Chipotle-spiced sweet potato soup (vegan)

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Since I stick to a gluten-free and mostly paleo diet, sweet potatoes are my sweet, starchy saving grace in the midst of crisp green veggies and meat. Technically, I could eat them all year round, but something feels wrong about sinking my teeth into a hot, just-barely caramelized fire-orange potato mid-summer (the one exception being sweet potato fries of course- sweet potato fries are always a good idea). So when the skies cloud over and temperatures dip just a little bit, I rejoice because it’s that time again- time to haul a big, heavy bag home of these tubers that take on spice, butter and maple syrup so well, but are also super-duper delicious all on their own.

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Overnight oats with buttery cardamom- spiced pears & toasted pecans

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A couple weeks ago, I posted a summer-to-fall transition recipe: a warm bowl of quinoa and spiced eggplant with sweet, just barely caramelized onions. And since it’s the end of October and we’re still getting some warm weather waves down here in sunny Southern California, I have another summer-to-fall bowl for you. This satisfies that strange combo of craving festive, spicy flavors while dealing with July-style weather. Cool, creamy overnight oats with pears pan-fried in butter, cardamom + cinnamon and coconut sugar, topped with toasty whole pecans tastes like fall but is still cool enough to breakfast on warmer mornings.

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What I learned about staying healthy while living overseas (it’s surprising)

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Before moving to Morocco in 2012, I had one major fear. I didn’t fear loneliness, or being far from my home country, or not being able to communicate with those outside of my culture and native language. I wasn’t afraid of not finding a job, or even of the possibility of terrorist attacks (although there had been a major attack in Marrakesh in 2011). This one thing crossed my mind again and again while packing and preparing: the fear of gaining weight. Continue reading

Spinach + kale smoothie with aloe and coconut oil

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When I was a little girl, I woke up every morning looking forward to a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Or Frosted Mini Wheats. Or- if I was on vacation, Mom’s rule- Lucky Charms. Things have changed. I’m not looking to jumpstart my day with a crash-and-burn sugar and carb fest. I’m looking for an easy way to pack in nutrients and superfood ingredients so that I can feel great the rest of the morning and make sure my body gets what it needs right away. Enter the green smoothie. Hate it or love it, it’s here to stay.  Continue reading

Step out of your comfort zone

A couple weeks go, I felt myself go into a funk. After a long and crazy summer of international travel and reconnecting with old friends, I began settling into a routine with new job responsibilities in a new location. And with that came a certain amount of uncertainty about myself and about my future.

Life shifts are exciting, but they carry with them the pressure to re-establish ourselves. You may be coming from a place where you are known to a place where you are newIn the midst of insecurity, two things can happen: a) your confidence can droop as you struggle to prove your identity, or b) you can take the opportunity to remake yourself: not to lose your identity but to reconsider parts of yourself you thought were immovable.

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Curried eggplant & sweet onion with quinoa

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Here in southern California, it still mostly feels like mid-July; beaches are peppered with people every weekend, I’m in shorts almost daily and well, it’s 85 degrees outside. But still, it’s October. Pumpkin spice lattes are here, department stores are gearing up for Christmas and I’m eyeing bomber jackets. It may feel like summer, but everything in me says fall. So, I’m going to behave accordingly.

Enter summer-to-fall transition dishes, like this eggplant & sweet onion spiced in curry powder and sauteed in coconut oil, served with a side of quinoa and toasted pinenuts. I followed the rules: I used farmer’s market produce (they’re still stocked with eggplant, tomatoes and peaches), but I also used sweet spices and rich coconut oil to make this dish feel just a little warm and festive. Continue reading