Springtime Pesto {Nettles + Ramps O’ My}

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Just two weeks ago I turned 29. That felt a little weird to type or even think about. It’s odd to think I was just 18 when I started this blog. Where in the HECK did the time go? I was just a freshman in college and now I’m married thinking about kids. That provides a whole lot of perspective. I look at my blog and see how my taste in food has evolved over the years. I mean just by looking at the title of this post you can see how much I’ve decided to dip my toes into the ever expanding world of food. Nettles? Ramps? If you asked me 10 years ago what those things were I would have probably shrugged and not even know where to get them.

In true Taurus foodie fashion I welcomed my day of birth with deliciousness. An almond milk latte, avocado toast (not made by me) for brunch and a broccoli rabe pasta dish  with a luscious creamy cheesy sauce garnished with slivered almonds (yea…talk about decadent af), an entire bottle of Valpolicella for dinner and a strawberry tart made by my fave french bakery for singing Happy Birthday. Simple elegance.

I decided that this year is all about simplicity, presence, playfulness and gratitude. My kitchen intentions are to continue to provide simple healthy seasonal eats as often as possible. I working out of this culinary rut, I promise. I don’t know how many freakin’ pesto recipes I have put on my blog but this one is different!!! Trust!!

Have you ever seen a nettle? Or a ramp?

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Stinging Nettles (copyright Uwe H. Friese, Bremerhaven 2003)

Nettles or stinging nettles are a wild edible plant that has small sharp hairs that can actually irritate the skin. The weird part is even with that small inconvenience, it is nutrient-rich, a natural antihistamine (buh bye seasonal allergies), helps control blood sugar and a few other things (check it out here).

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Wild Leeks aka Ramps (copyright dano272)

Ramps are the hot thang right now and to be honest I had NO idea what they were until last year. These wild, foraged leeks are only in season for a short period of time and if you’re not shopping at the farmer’s market can run up your grocery bill. The taste is similar to a leek that had a baby with garlic. Using it up in a pesto gives you an earthy, creamy, garlicky flavor without it being overwhelmingly garlicky.

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Beautiful Oven Roasted Veggies

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That bitter chill of winter is creeping its way into our lives, our homes and resting in our bones. And I am nowhere near ready for the winter. We have barely had the fall. How about taking a chill pill winter?!

The weather is at that in-between point where the building we are living in has not gotten the memo that it is cold af outside, so there’s no heat yet (we got heat on a 55 degree day, which makes no sense). So what do we do to keep it warm up in here?! ROAST EVERYTHING.

And I mean EVERYTHING.

Things just seem to taste better once basking in the glory that is the oven, including desserts, macaroni smothered in cheese, sweet potatoes, stuffed peppers (you know you love ma recipe, go here). I can go on and on.

But nothing compares to the food orgasm that follows roasting some seasonal veggies.

I’m here to tell you, show you, teach you that this is SUCH A SIMPLE PROCESS and all it truly needs is your time and your love. And a delicious sauce to pour over it (I’m loving tahini, don’t worry the recipe will be yours).

These suckers are so lip smacking good, you will be licking your fingers (I use my hands to eat these, I mean, come on, why wouldn’t you?!). You can easily roast all your veggies and turn this into a meal in itself (not need to be extra if you’re tired, we’re not judging you).

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Oodles of Zoodles with Avocado Pesto

Tempeh Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sammies

Whoa…where have I been, right?! Sheesh. Okay, I will keep it real with you, I’ve been working diligently on my Spring Cleaning Cleanse program which starts on Monday, April 25 (click here if you wanna join in yo).

I’ve been in the kitchen trying every single recipe, making sure it’s super duper simple for those busy peeps and putting together a pretty gorgeous e-guide for my cleansers. Kinda nice of me, right? So I apologize in advance for my absence. I promise once the cleanse is over, I’ll get back to normal (sorta).

I am in the process of shifting to lighter eating (thank you Spring weather and Mother Nature for getting the memo) so all my recipes are focused on this. And to be honest, it gets a little boring. Who the hell wants salads all day every day? NOT ME. That sucks so I give myself the opportunity to change it up a bit, you know, like with this recipe for Zoodles (zucchini noodles, yes, it is a made up word but so what?!).

This recipe is…

Light.

Refreshing.

Full of flavor.

And takes only 10-15 minutes (or less if you quick like that).

Can you dig it?

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Sweet sweet stuffed sweet potato boats

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Okay ya’ll this sweet potato obsession is REAL! I cannot get enough of these bits of heaven.

I find myself appreciating this starchy sexy veg more after my 21-day sugar detox. I’ve actually continued to find ways to enjoy some sweet potato in my life. And sometimes (well, most of the time) if it looks pretty to eat, it’s more fun to eat.

This particular recipe just came out of no where. I kid you not. I had just gotten home from the farmer’s market and was STARVING. I took a peek at what I had (aside from what I brought home- which happened to be a ton of greens on greens on greens). My fridge was practically empty. My pantry was decent. But I, of course, had a bazillion sweet potatoes, left over citrus cilantro dipping sauce and a ton of kale on deck. So what’s a girl to do? Put that ish together in a sexy roasted sweet potato boat.

Okay, I know you’re salivating.

You want this, right now. In your belly. 

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Fab + Filling Falafel Salad

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Is it just me or does the summer inspire you to eat more and more salad? For the last month or so Matt and I have been on a salad kick (I believe I said this to you before, right?). Instead of whipping up the normal massaged kale (yes, this is a norm in my home) or the quick chopped salad with romaine and tons of fresh veggies, I randomly felt inspired to change it up. If I’m going to eat light, I don’t want to eat the same damn thing every day. That’s so boring and says to your body, “eff you. Suffer.”

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