Special sauce + veggies on the grill (vegan)

Confession: I’ve baked, fried, roasted, steamed, simmered, and slow-cooked, but until this past weekend, I had never GRILLED. Ironic, because I love any and all foods tossed on the grill, char marks and all. But something about the thick metalwork, smell of gas, fire and sooty clean-up intimidated me until I decided that summer is too short not to enjoy sweet summer squash on the grill- at home. So I faced my fears.

 

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Traveling solo: pros and cons

I first got my feet wet traveling solo during my semester abroad in Strasbourg, France. The third day after arriving, I got lost in a snowstorm alone, breaking me in for the next few years of my life, which would involve a) getting lost more than I want to admit and b) finding my way back every time, thank you Jesus. By now, I’ve traveled through Morocco, Spain, France and Belgium on my own, mastered the art of bus, train and airplane schedules and learned to navigate my way through any city (visual cues are the key).

 

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Paris, in the winter

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Germany part 1: no fear in love

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I don’t know if it was the first time I had ever met a refugee, but I do remember the first time I met a refugee from Syria. I’m sure somewhere in my twenty-something years, I’ve met someone who was forced to leave their native country because they were unable to live, work, and love in the place called home. But it probably didn’t mean anything to me. Maybe I even thought they were lucky to have left, considering living in their home country sounded like a nightmare.  I couldn’t see and didn’t understand that home is still home, regardless of how bad it is. The reality of it didn’t hit me until I heard Sam’s story. Continue reading

Rice & greens bowl with summer veggies, feta & toasted pinenuts

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I have some serious advice for all of those who are lucky enough to go to Trader Joe’s on a weekly (or daily) basis. I love Trader Joe’s. I love the weird fusion products and sampling station with tiny cups of coffee, and how the employees always ask about your weekend plans. I love how I’m surprised at how cheap it is, and I love their Mesquite Smoked Almonds.

But if you think you don’t like vegetables, maybe it’s because you’re buying them at Trader Joe’s. You’ve got to go to a farmer’s market, and spend an extra few bucks to get the good stuff. It will make a vegetable convert of you the first time you taste a sweet, perfectly tender tomato or crisp cucumber.
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