Vegan

Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com

Amazing things always happen to me when I’m at Michael’s. This one time I saw a Marisa Tomei and I was freaking out because I grew up loving her. My Cousin Vinny? I was way too young to watch it but that didn’t stop me from taking peeks from the hallway. I would do that as a kid: sneak out of room at night, sit in the hallway that allowed me to peer straight into the living room while still being out of sight, and watch the movies my parents watched. They had no idea that their “date for two” in front of the TV actually included a third wheel.

Then there was this other time that I saw an older gentlemen in a fly fisherman’s outfit have a meltdown because the coupon on his phone wasn’t working–it was a sight. And then yesterday, as I was shopping for candy-making materials, I turned around to see an old dude slap his wife’s behind. She laughed and playfully slapped him back. While it was a little awkward to witness, it actually made me smile. When you’re young it’s hard to imagine what being married for a long time must be like. Everything is so new and fresh and first-timey at this age. But when you’re older, perhaps flirting with each other is even more important.

Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com

I went on my run and thought about them, imagining how much life they’ve lived together, how many kids they’ve raised and wondered how many hardships they’ve survived. I do that sometimes: imagine people’s “stories.” I sometimes think going through that much life together can either tear you apart or bond you in a way that is unbreakable. We all wish for the latter. So, him slapping her ass made me happy is all…haha. It made me believe that perhaps love lasting a lifetime really can happen.

I came home and made a rendition of this smoothie bowl. It is, after all, what I have most days either immediately after my workout or for breakfast.

Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Blistered Blue Lake Beans with Chili, Mint and Orange // www.acozykitchen.com

My Sunday rituals are strong. They usually start with an early trip to the farmer’s market, followed by lots of recipe testing. I love cooking on Sundays. And then, TV. Lots of that too.

The past few Sundays, I’ve spent watching Game of Thrones and I’m gonna lie, I barely understand what’s going on. Still. But I keep watching, thinking someday I’ll understand every single character, their family, etc. It’s wishful thinking, really.

Silicon Valley is more my steez. Lots of awkwardness and a CEO who wears those tennis shoes that slip on like socks. Those are so strange. Why do those exists?! I don’t get it.

Blistered Blue Lake Beans with Chili, Mint and Orange // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Beet Hummus with Crispy Beet Greens // www.acozykitchen.com

If you know me, you know that I’m not Valentine’s Day’s biggest fan. It’s not that I hate relationships or love or love or any of that—if anything it’s the complete opposite. I’m pretty sure my disdain for all things Valentine’s Day has to do with how the internet celebrates. Everything immediately turns red and pink and pizzas on Pinterest are topped with heart-shapped pepperoni. WHY?!

Also, I’m convinced that we shouldn’t be consuming that much food coloring in our lives. It’s a very rare occasion where I’m like, let’s turn this whole dish RED! PINK! Like, no. If it’s not meant to be pink then let it live in its original color and chill. Let’s all walk away from the food coloring, ok? (Red velvet cake on occasion is fine.)

Today the internet beat me. I made something festive…sorta. It was on my long list of to-makes so I figured it might be a good time, but this is naturally pink, so I’m defending it.

Here it is, internetz: (Resentfully) presenting pink hummus…

Beet Hummus with Crispy Beet Greens // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Roasted Ras El Hanout Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto // www.acozykitchen.com

Oreo decided to be super nice and send me their two new soon-to-be-released cookies: Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. So of course I ate like 10 in one sitting and felt sick and terrible about myself. I contemplated not eating for the rest of the day just to make up for it, but quickly admitted to myself that I could never do that. I’m not a girl who goes on cleanses. They’ve never worked out for me. Instead I just eat some carrots.

Last year Josh whipped me up a snack of roasted carrots, whipped goat cheese and carrot-top pesto. I remember having my mind blown a little bit. Up until that point I don’t think I had eaten the tops of the carrot before; I’m pretty sure I usually just threw those things away with absolutely no remorse. But why? I used beet greens in stuff before, why not the tops of carrots?

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Winter Citrus Watercress Salad with Avocado and Beets // www.acozykitchen.com

What do you eat when you’re sort of stressed and worried? Let me preface this by saying if you say carrots, we’re no longer friends. You’re gonna be kicked off the island. JK, I would never do that to you, ok.

I spent a solid hour last night just staring off into space, imagining all of the awesome things people should stress-eat. A whole cookbook could be written on the subject. It could be packed to the brim, giving people ideas on how to numb their anxiety with doughnuts and cheese. This type of cookbook definitely wouldn’t be have a release date in the month of January, but I bet it’d be super popular right before tax season.

Last night I chose nachos as my ammo…and it worked! I felt calmer and more relaxed after each and every cheesy chip. This salad is sort of the opposite of what I wanted last night but now that I’m done with my nacho craving and I’m a more relaxed me, bring on the pretty salad, man!

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Rye Granola with Sour Cherries and Pistachios // www.acozykitchen.com

And just like that, we’re all back in it…

Last night I set my alarm clock for the first time in a week or so. (Amelia seems to have adjusted because she, too, has been sleeping in—a Christmas miracle!) And I’m surprisingly eating sorta healthy, and not because I set any particular parameters or diet-resolutions, but because my body actually doesn’t want sugar and crazy carbs, at least for now.

I spent the past few weeks sleeping, drinking lots of water, drinking lots of other stuff, catching up with friends and taking the time to just read. It’s been amazing. I think that rest has made me so excited and energized for 2014.

This week I’ll be sharing a few healthy(ish) recipes that aren’t necessarily diet food, but sort of what our bodies are calling for after enduring stuff like marshmallows for dinner.

This granola comes from the queen of granola, Megan Gordon from A Sweet Spoonful. She’s the head lady in charge and granola-maker at Marge Granola, and the author of the newly released book, Whole-Grain Mornings! You guys, you know I love me a grain.

Rye Granola with Sour Cherries and Pistachios // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Winter Squash Hummus with Za'aatar Dusted Pita // www.acozykitchen.com

December always starts with me being sort of depressed that December is starting. December’s beginning means that the year’s end is imminent. And 2013′s end kinda gives me a panic attack because I can remember its start so vividly.

Not to worry! if you too, are in a lil’ panic mode, this month is full of appetizers and cookies and cakes and cinnamon rolls. All will soothe your pain. I have lots of cookies on my brain and cakes. All I want to make right now are cakes. I figured we’ve all eaten enough this weekend so best to start off with something light.

Winter Squash Hummus with Za'aatar Dusted Pita // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Sunchoke Apple Soup // www.acozykitchen.com

In an alternate universe, I have long hippie-flowing hair, I can wear long dresses (I’m so very short) and have the super power to go on walks in the forest and name every single flower I come across. I can gather a random medley of flowers, take them home and effortlessly arrange them in one of those antique-y looking vases. In this alternate universe where I’m a flower-whisperer, I’m guessing I probably HATE sunflowers. (I feel like most florists whom I’ve met do.) I’m a flower snob, guys.

In my non-alternate universe, I kinda like sunflowers. They’re definitely not my go-to flower at the market, but I like them in fall. They’re so warm and cheery and harmless. I will admit, they’re definitely homely, but I think that’s part of their charm. For the longest time I had no idea what that sunchokes were related to sunflowers. Honestly, for a long time I had no idea what the hell a sunchoke actually was. I thought it was an artichoke. I dunno. When I found out the two were related it all made sense. Sunchokes do sort of taste like nutty, the way a sunflower seed tastes. You can eat them raw, shaved in salads or pan sautéed and thrown in a hash with an egg, but I love them in soups. They make the creamiest, silkiest of soups.

Sunchoke Apple Soup // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Veggie Burger: Loaded with Garbanzo Beans, Heirloom Rice, Black Beans and Spices.

Ugh. What a cocky recipe title. But I’m serious. This thing is soooo great. I have sort of an attitude about veggie burgers because most restaurants don’t treat veggie burgers with the proper respect they deserve, man. They’re generally just some sad afterthought, a requirement for burger establishments so vegetarians don’t starve to death while at their restaurant. Can you tell I’m passionate about the subject?

As a meat-eater, I eat veggie burgers all the time because I love them. I would never say that a veggie burger is necessarily better than a meaty, bacon-loaded burger with melty cheese on top, but I would say they’re just different – you can’t really compare the two. I don’t always want that kind of burger; sometimes I want to go lighter, fresher but still want to feel full.

Veggie Burger: Loaded with Garbanzo Beans, Heirloom Rice, Black Beans and Spices.

These veggie burgers are a mix of garbanzo beans, black beans, beets (!!), heirloom pink rice (can we talk about my love affair with fancy rice?), a bunch of spices and some red onion. They’re vegan, too! No egg to hold them together – the coldness from the fridge helps bind them. It’s vegan science.

Since I’m not a vegan, I love adding cheese to every burger ever, meat or no meat.

I love these things so much. I hope you get a chance to make ‘em. Here’s the link on Etsy for the full-on recipe. Get at it!

Veggie Burger: Loaded with Garbanzo Beans, Heirloom Rice, Black Beans and Spices.

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Mango Cardamom and Sweet Coconut Popsicles  www.acozykitchen.com

You know those people who take WHOLE bites out of popsicles? You must know a few people who do this or, I dunno, you might even do this, too. If you do, you’re a psycho. I still like you. My boyfriend falls into this category. And so does Amelia. (She may have had one of these popsicles. May have. Actually, she totally did and loved it.)

I don’t understand voluntarily biting things that are ice cold. My spine shakes at the thought. I’d literally freak out. My brain would freeze over! Biting into cold things is like nails on a chalkboard. I guess I have major teeth sensitivity. Does this mean I’m going to lose my teeth later on in life?

Other thoughts this week have included: I need to work smarter not harder. Buying clothes (I don’t do it that often) makes me feel AWESOME and poor. Should I share my beauty favorites? Jessica has inspired me.

Mango Cardamom and Sweet Coconut Popsicles  www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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