spap 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!! 

the perfect spring lunch


as the saying goes: when it rain's it pours. but here in seattle, the weather has brought out the freckles on my nose and tan lines on my back! however in my life, it's feels like it's pouring buckets of both exciting developments and challenging stress. 

... subbing a few too many yoga classes in addition to my usual 5 weekly classes and not finding time to practice for myself.
... taking on a couple new fabulous weekly clients for my private chef work but orchestrating a complicated scheduling puzzle.
... getting the final touches and designs together for my band's new album.
... planning the menu and testing recipes for a yoga retreat that departs in just a few weeks.
... managing a climbing injury, but still wanting to get outdoors to climb (i can't pass up on these wonderful conditions after a long season of wet rocks!)
... realizing that i need to get my act together if we're going to cape town south africa in just a few months but don't have any plane tickets or reservations yet.
... fitting everything in around some weekend trips to portland and austin (both rad cities, surprisingly very similar to each other!)
... sudden adult-onset allergies are destroying me, but i can't resist the outdoors in this glorious weather, so i've been putting off being indoors to do computer work and bookkeeping.
... and my cousin, who lives nearby and is like a brother to me, is having a baby like *today,* so i'm basically going to be an auntie any minute.

in summary... the side effects of having multiple passions in life, each progressing on their own meandering paths. 


last week i was helping a client use up all her random veggie leftovers from hosting an easter dinner. the resulting soup was so delicious, i went out and bought the ingredients for myself to recreate it at home. sometimes my favorite recipes are intuited from everything-but-the-kitchen-sink experimentation. 

today i'm taking a break from the pollen, hunkering down with my computer, and procrastinating with food blogging (which is exactly why this blog initially started back in college). productive procrastination. 



pureed asparagus, pesto & sweet potato soup ~ makes about 3 quarts 
1 medium yellow onion
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs asparagus
1 small bag baby spinach or 1 large bunch adult spinach, washed
1 small yellow/white sweet potato (about .75 lbs)
1 small bunch fresh basil
1 tablespoon (ideally) fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
juice of 1 lemon
salt + pepper to taste
1/2-1 cup raw pine nuts
homemade or store-bought pesto for garnish *optional
shaved parmesan for garnish *optional

crush garlic and set to side. thinly slice onions and saute in oil large soup pot until gently caramelized - about 10 minutes.

wash but don't peel the sweet potato. cut into tiny cubes for quick cooking. wash and trim asparagus and cut into inch-long pieces. once onions are cooked, add garlic, a good pinch of salt and cubed sweet potatoes. cover pot and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes until potatoes are soft.

then add oregano, asparagus, 1/2 cup pine nuts and just enough water that all vegetables are in water but not quite fully submerged. turn up the heat until water is boiling, then lower to simmer covered for another 3-5 minutes until asparagus is for tender but not too mushy.

remove soup pot from heat, add torn fresh basil, spinach and lemon juice. stir and cover until greens are wilted. just a few minutes.

blend in batches until smooth. adding a bit of water if necessary to reach desired consistency. adjust seasoning to taste - adding more lemon, salt and black pepper if you prefer.

garnish bowls of soup with shaved parmesan, a little drizzle of pesto if you have it on hand, or toasted pine nuts, some fresh basil, or all of the above! serve with some good bread & a fresh greens salad!


simple spring salad: 
butter lettuce
shaved carrot ribbons
thinly sliced radish
quick pickled red onion
lemon + local honey + olive oil
sea salt + black pepper

i've been trying to incorporate local honey into my daily routine to combat the allergies. a little drizzle with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil makes a bright flavorful dressing. to quick pickle red onions, just thinly slice any portion of red onion and submerge in unseasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar and wait at least 2 hours, or overnight. i shave the carrots with a vegetable peeler and a knife or mandoline to thinly slice radishes.

toss & munch!

honey curry mustard slaw



i have fond memories of the saint patricks day meals my dad made for our family growing up. but as an adult, i don't particularly enjoy corned beef or guiness beer. maybe i would be more thrilled about a holiday that was celebrated by eating greens, rather than wearing green and drinking. i was shopping at my local food coop yesterday, and they had piles of green cabbages on sale. ok, cabbage i can do, but boiled cabbage and potatoes is terribly dull. instead, i got inspired to #eatboldly by mustard & co's honey-curry mustard... this is not your average saint patricks day dish! in fact, you are probably better off just considering it as a great spring or summer slaw!

when i first tried mustard & co's kick-ass mustard, i whisked it into a salad dressing in the same proportion i typically use mustards ... heavily. it had a thrilling wasabi-like effect that i've only tasted before with homemade mustard. i quickly understood the "eat boldly" message on jar's packaging. this little jar is concentrated in flavor and spice. it's a wonderful addition to my unruly mustard collection (apparently my friends and family always remember my love for mustard around christmas time...)

eat boldly, friends.



cabbage, cashew & apple slaw ~ serves 4 
6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 large apple, thinly sliced or cubed
1 cup roasted unsalted cashews
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups roasted honey curry mustard chickpeas (recipe below)
avocado & honey curry mustard dressing to taste (recipe below)
1 ripe avocado *optional

toss ingredients together, reserving a few green onions, chickpeas and cashews to sprinkle on top. extra tasty with ripe avocado slices on top too!

roasted honey curry mustard chickpeas
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey curry mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

preheat oven to 425-degrees. whisk oil, mustard, salt and curry powder together in a bowl, then stir in the chickpeas to coat. spread coated chickpeas onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. don't overcrowd the chickpeas - the more space between them the better! bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasty and crisp. let chickpeas cool on a paper towel or brown paper bag.



avocado & honey curry mustard dressing
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey curry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
cayenne to taste

wiz up in a blender, adding a splash of water if needed to reach a thick-dressing consistency.



thank you mustard & co. for sponsoring this blog post! all opinions are mine.