apricot & greens smoothie




#morningslikethese

mornings when you can take a moment to nourish yourself and sit quietly in a beautiful space. i love those mornings.  and i've been cherishing every morning this way all month in our new home. our deck is surrounded be edible goodness and tall green trees, it's quite and the perfect space to sip coffee. i am savoring this new opportunity to walk into the garden and grab a handful of fresh herbs and greens to make breakfast. i'll see how long this morning ritual continues...  we will certainly keep the ritual going from our caravan trailer in south africa next month! and i imagine sitting in slippers and a sweatshirt long into the chillier months back in seattle in the fall (so long as it's not wet outside!) i won't give up mornings like these so easily.

i bought a flat of apricots last week at our neighborhood farmers market. they were bursting with juice, so i frozen several trays of sliced apricots to save for later, and have been slurping up the remainder in these tart green smoothies that are wonderfully refreshing and hydrating in the warm summer weather! the cucumbers this time of year are incredible as well!! i've been munching on them day after day! ah, summer produce! 


apicrot & greens smoothie ~ serves 1 
2 ripe apricots
1 cup greens (kale or chard) 
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup or more cucumber
1/2 cup or more frozen pineapple 
fresh mint spring 
1 tablespoon chia seeds
splash of water or coconut water

blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, and just enough water to get things moving. blend until smooth. add chia seeds and blend to just stir them in. pour and enjoy!

grilled summer squash & corn salad


we leave for south africa in 12 days, but i seem to have already settled into vacation mode. a good portion of my clients are off with their kiddos on summer vacations, so i've just been teaching a little yoga and working irregularly for clients who drop back into town. my partner is a school teacher, so his relaxed summer-break mood is also effecting my motivation to do anything productive. we've slowly managed to settle into our new home and spent a full day merging kitchens with our housemates, but mostly we've been spending our summer lounging on the deck of our new home with coffee and our house mate's cats and utilizing our house mate's incredible vegetable garden and propane grill to assemble meals worthy of opening a good bottle of wine. 

i'm grateful we've had a relaxed july. it's allowed us to fully enjoy our one month of "summer" before we travel to the other hemisphere for early springtime in south africa. soaking it in while we can! 


this is the first time as an adult that i've lived in a home with a grill. i'm convinced that everything tastes better grilled. i know i'm not alone in that thinking. since i have all sorts of free time, made and remade this salad of grilled corn, poblano peppers and summer squash - grilled each vegetable in batches and then cooled and tossed together to create the most flavorful summer salad imaginable. but since it takes a little while to grill everything, know that this salad holds perfectly well in the fridge - so you can make it ahead of time for a backyard bbq party! 


grilled summer squash & corn salad ~ serves 6+
6 ears corn, shucked
6 small-ish zucchini, sliced into 1/4" strips length-wise
6 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 limes - zest saved and juiced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1-2 cloves crushed garlic (optional)
olive oil
salt, pepper & chili powder
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (optional)

rub shucked corn, sliced zucchini and seeded peppers with a bit of olive oil - just enough to thinly coat. salt, pepper and sprinkle with chili powder. heat grill to medium-high heat and grill corn, turning every 3-5 minutes or so until the kernels are lightly browned, then let corn cool to room temp. while corn cools, grill zucchini ribbons and peppers in batches until theres some good grill marks on both sides of the zucchini and blisters on the peppers. remove veggies from grill and let cool on a large cutting board or flat surface (try to avoid letting them pile up in a bowl where they will continue to steam and get mushy).

once grilled vegetables are cooled to room temp, slice off the corn and cut the zucchini and roasted peppers into small bites. toss with the zest and juice of both limes, chopped onion, garlic, cilantro and cotija cheese. you might add a bit more olive oil, salt, pepper or some chili powder to taste or toss in some chopped greens like tender kale or arugula. 

snap pea & nappa cabbage slaw


i've spent the last decade in tiny apartments with dinky little kitchens and cheap electric stoves. i made do. in fact, i made some pretty incredible meals out of those tiny kitchens! and while it's still going to be a long while before david and i own a home, we're making the jump to move into a house ...a real house!... with another lovely couple. it's going to be a big transition for us to merge our households, but i'm thrilled about this house, its beautiful kitchen, it's viking gas range, and the wildly productive vegetable garden that our house mate has been pouring his heart into for the past two years! 

but for now, i'm still in our apartment... sweltering on the top floor. it's too hot to consider turning on the stove or oven, so i've been playing with fun salads and smoothies. i've made a few batches of this flavorful dressing for myself and clients and love the sweetness of nappa cabbage. you can toss in any other spring veggies you like and some kind of protein! lot's of different combinations work well with this dressing!

snap pea & nappa cabbage slaw ~ serves 4 
1 pound nappa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 pound sweet snap peas (about 2 cups chopped)
2 small persian cucumbers (about 2 cups chopped)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup gomasio or toasted sesame seeds

optional additions:
toasted soy nuts
wasabi peas
hard boiled eggs
baked/fried tofu
ripe avocado
toasted seaweed snacks

shred cabbage and chop snap peas and cucumbers into small bites. mix in any other fun additions and dress with a hefty portion of miso-ginger-wasabi dressing. enjoy! 

miso-ginger-wasabi dressing ~ makes about 12 oz
6 oz fresh orange juice 
2 oz untoasted sesame oil
2 oz unseasoned rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2-3 tablespoons miso paste (white or chickpea miso works best!) 
1 heaping tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon tahini
wasabi to taste (powder or paste) *optional 
best if you wiz this up in a blender, or you can just stir together. store leftover dressing in fridge. 

cold smoked chocolate s'mores tart


when i take pause to add them up, i know an incredible amount of amazing women! i've been so fortunate in the past few weeks to have shared wonderful conversations with the majority of them all ... brilliant, driven female entrepreneurs who meet together for a monthly discussion group. strong and fearless women i train and climb with indoors and recently on a rad ladies-only bouldering trip. knowledgeable and influential instructors who inspire and expand my own yoga practice. and a recent gathering of pnw food bloggers introduced me to a number of talented gals that i had been admiring for years, but had yet to meet in person. 

ladies, thank you all for overwhelming inspiration! 

one of my favorite local female-owned business, 'hot cakes' sent me a goodie bag of ingredients from their wilderness collection to test out. a portion of proceeds from this fun product line benefits organizations committed to preserving wildlife and wild places! so basically ... eat chocolate and save the wild! their alder wood cold-smoked chocolate chips and campfire caramel sauce worked their way into a tart that drew inspiration from a recipe from my friend sasha's blog 'tending the table.' sasha's peanut butter pie is wildly delicious and the crunchy addition of puffed rice in her "crust" was perfect for what i had in mind. adding a ganache layer makes things a bit more complicated, but it's well worth the extra effort. 


smoked chocolate s'mores tart 
note: i made a double batch to fill a 12" tart pan plus 3 mini-tarts (because that's what i own) ... but for a single batch, a 9" or 10" round tart pan or springform pan would all work well. if you have extra makings, fill some cupcake tins with leftovers! 

for the crust
1-1/2 cups pitted dates
1-1/2 cups raw cashews
1 cup puffed rice cereal 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
pinch of sea salt

for the smoked chocolate ganache layer
2 tablespoon coconut oil

for the almond cream layer
3/4 cup smooth almond butter
3/4 cup full-fat coconut cream 
2 tablespoons campfire caramel sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
large pinch of sea salt

toppings
2-3 tablespoons campfire caramel sauce
1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup mini vegan marshmallows 


in a food processor, pulse cashews, cinnamon and sea salt until nuts are roughly chopped. add pitted dates and pulse until everything sticks together. transfer crust "dough" to a mixing bowl and work in the puffed rice. 

use a paper towel to lightly grease tart pan(s) with a little bit of coconut oil. press dough in using your fingers and just enough crust dough to cover the bottom of the pan. if you have leftovers, make extra mini tarts in cupcake tins! 

melt coconut oil and smoked chocolate chips in a double boiler. spread a thin layer of chocolate in the tart pan, and then transfer to freezer to let set. reserve a few tablespoons or more of melted chocolate to drizzle on top... just leave it in the double boiler so that you can easily reheat it later. 

in a blender, combine ingredients for the almond cream layer until smooth. it should be slightly airy and pourable, like a thick smoothie. add coconut milk if needed to loosen the mixture. check on the chocolate layer and make sure that it is fully hardened before topping the tart with the almond-cream layer. fill tart pan to the brim. sprinkle the top with marshmallows and puffed rice - whatever proportion you think looks good! return tart to freezer for another 15+ minutes, until almond-cream layer is firm. 

finally, reheat melted chocolate in double boiler and warm the caramel sauce. drizzle both over the chilled tart. return to freezer until ready to serve! to serve, gently remove the tart from the pan and let sit for a few minutes at room temp, until it's easier to cut tarts with a knife. you can also slice tart and return slices to freezer until ready to serve. i think the best texture is when frozen or when they've been sitting out at room temp for about 10 minutes. they can hold for an hour or two at room temp, but the almond-cream layer will soften significantly. 

thank you 'hot cakes' for your sweet contributions! 

parsnip date butter & archipelago preserves


after two full years of self employment, i finally accomplished one of my bigger goals: teaching and cooking for my first yoga retreat! i partnered with my colleague, bree dillon, to share in the organizing and teaching. i also had a tremendous amount of help in the kitchen from my lovely friend becca... a girl with an incredible palate, who could pinpoint the flavor of the tiniest amount of capers in a lentil salad big enough to feed 25 people. together, we pulled off the most incredible three-day weekend retreat at doe bay on orcas island. 


even at the fringe of the growing season, orcas island had so much to offer our bellies. i put together a self-guided food tour of the island, visited farms and fabulous artisans and collected ingredients along the way for our shared meals. with breakfasts in mind, we collected six dozen rich and vibrant eggs from happy hens at warm valley farm, visited the tasting room of 'girl meets dirt' to stock up on island-grown fruit preserves, stopped into roses bakery for my favorite breads and got a personal delivery of island-roasted coffee from 'local goods' for endless pots of french press. our breakfast buffets had homemade everything: granola, almond milk, energy balls, island-grown greens, asparagus-chimichurri frittata one morning and a spanish tortilla with romesco sauce another, parnsip butter & jam smeared toasts... i've never seen a better looking breakfast selection. 


i want to gush on and on about the experience, but i'll reserve that to my personal journal. i will tell you though about these delicious preserves. and this parsnip-date butter i made to go along with audra's preserves. 

'girl meets dirt' is something truly special. audra, the master jammer, is dedicated to reviving and stewarding old fruit orchards throughout the san juan islands, hand picking all her fruit locally and making the highest quality small batch preserves in stunning copper pots. her flavors are many, but her plum preserves are my personal favorite. paired with crusty bread and a smear of parsnip-date butter... oh so magical. 


parsnip date butter ~ makes 2 cups
3 cups peeled and cubed parsnips
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoon lemon juice - or to taste
3 or more large medjool dates - or to taste
large pinch salt

peel and cut parsnips into cubes the size of grapes or hazelnuts. add to steamer basket and steam for 20 minutes or so, until roots are completely smooshable. transfer steamed parsnips to a blender or food processor with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. start with less lemon and date, and add more to taste. i enjoy this spread lightly sweetened and enough acid to brighten the overall flavor but not to taste intense lemon. let cool and store in airtight container for up to one week. 

notes: i usually don't promote peeling or steaming vegetables (i like to eat all the nutrients) but the resulting color and texture in this butter recipe is far superior. so save those veggie peels for a soup stock, and you can even use your steaming water in a stock too! there's good stuff in there... this recipe was inspired by a toast i had at the london plane in seattle. there they served the parsnip-date butter drizzled with pomegranate molasses, but i highly suggest you get your hands on some 'girl meets dirt' preserves instead!! 


thank you local goods & girl meets dirt for your contributions to our retreat! our guests were well fed and well caffeinated!!