Spicy African Peanut Stew


I’d like to apologize to you today. It turns out that at some point over the past few years I started using the phrase ‘I’m not going to lie’ so frequently it became a habit of speech.

“I’m not going to lie,” I told my brother over breakfast recently. “These eggs are pretty good.”

WHY WOULD I LIE ABOUT THAT? Why on earth would I have told him that the delicious scrambled concoction I was so happily devouring wasn’t good?

With that simple huevo statement, I began to realize that I was in fact walking around not-lying about things all the time. More importantly, I was outwardly telling people that I wouldn’t be lying in situations where truthfully,  I would never, never, never ever lie.

“I’m not going to lie, this weather is perfect!” I excitedly told the cashier at Target on a sunny 55 degree day.
“I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t want to come to work today” I told my boss while working on a busy weekend.

From now on, I promise to try to not tell you that I’m not going to lie in situations where it’s blatantly obvious I won’t be lying.

Humor me one last time though:

I’m not going to lie, this stew is fantastic.


Spicy African Peanut Stew
Source: Peas and Thank You
Printable Recipe 

1 (14oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2tsp curry powder
1tsp cumin
1/2 to 3/4tsp garam masala (add 3/4 if you like more spice)
1T fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch of sugar
dash cinnamon
1 (14oz) can organic fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (14oz) light coconut milk
2C vegetable broth
2T natural peanut butter
1/2C red lentils, drained and rinsed

Place all ingredients in a crock-pot. Stir.
Cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce to low for additional 3-4 hours until potatoes and lentils are tender.
Serve with yogurt, cilantro, and chopped peanuts as garnish.





It’s pi day so I feel obligated to post a pie recipe like everyone else on the Internet.

Pi makes me think of math class, and math class makes me think of homework. Homework makes me shudder.

Do you know what doesn’t make me shudder?


I think we’ve come full-circle. You know what is circular?

A pie.

You know what isn’t circular?

This pie. Also, pi.

My mom stumbled upon this recipe, made it, and informed me that I needed to try it ASAP. My mom was right. Mothers are always right.  This is delicious.

Happy Pi(e) Day!


Vegetarian Pot Pie
Source: FoodNetwork.com
Printable Recipe

1T butter
2 small heads fennel, chopped finely (~3C)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
12 oz mushrooms, sliced (white button or cremini)
1 small russet potato, peeled and diced small
1/4C flour
1C low-sodium vegetable broth
1C milk* (any kind, even unsweetened plain almond or soy would work)
1C frozen baby peas
1/4C parsley
1/4C thinly sliced fresh chives
1T white vinegar
1 egg yolk, beaten
7oz puff pastry or pie dough
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 400.
In a large dutch oven or saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.
Add fennel, onions, and carrots. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook until mushrooms have shrunken and potatoes have begun to soften, about 6 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over veggies. Stir until flour no longer appears raw, about 1 minute.
Slowly add broth and milk while continuing to stir.
Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened about 4-5 minutes.
Remove mixture from the heat.
Add peas, herbs, and vinegar.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Transfer mixture to an 8×8 baking dish.
Place puff pastry dough over the mixture. Cut slits in the top to vent.
Brush with egg yolk mixture.
Bake at 400 until the crust is golden-brown and mixture is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly before serving.



Utah, Cows, and Moroccan Tomato Soup

We used to play this weird game when I was younger where we would shout ‘Holstein’ if we saw a holstein while driving. The game is a riff on the more popular Alphabet Game, but geared towards people driving in areas devoid of billboards and license plates. To be honest, our cow identification skills were lacking so I think any cow that had spots counted for a point. The design of this game is rather poor since inevitably we would come across a field of cows leading the entire car of bored children to start screaming ‘Holstein! Holstein!’ until our very annoyed father ended the game due to noise violations.

I’m not really surprised the game never took off in popularity, but it left me with pretty decent cow-spotting skills.

Most recently, I visited southern Utah for a weekend of hiking. Have you hiked in a canyon before? The one we hiked in looked like this:


A deep gorge with red-orange rocky walls so close you could touch both sides if you stood in the middle, a sandy floor, and numerous warning signs regarding the dangers of being in the canyon in rainy weather (i.e. flood warnings). A side note to my Mom: it wasn’t raining that day.

It was beautiful in a way I can’t really describe. What’s a word for more beautiful than beautiful? It was the beautiful-est.

Every so often, the gorge would widen slightly and there would be a grassy clearing still flanked by 40 foot high canyon walls.

You can imagine our surprise when we hiked out of a very narrow section of the trail and stumbled upon a group of cows.

“Holstein! Holstein!” is what I should’ve shouted if I wanted to win, but my hiking pal didn’t know the game so I resisted the overwhelming temptation.


I couldn’t help but take a hundred pictures. In fact, I left Utah with more cow pictures than I care to admit.

I guess I just really like the idea of these cows also hiking through the canyon just like us. Maybe they too felt a little cold as they were traipsing along the darker portions of the path. Maybe they also felt annoyed by having to walk in the dry sand for miles. Maybe they wished they had packed more snacks to eat along the way.  Per usual, I spent a lot of the hike oohing and ahhing at the surrounding scenery. Perhaps, the cows were also MOOOO-ved by the landscape?

I’ll never know for sure.

Like the canyon walls, this soup is orange-red. I didn’t try to eat the walls of the canyon, but I imaging that this tastes much better. I love a good tomato soup and this one is a nice spin on a classic with garbanzo beans and a subtle smokiness from the cumin and paprika. I loved it. You will too.


Moroccan Tomato Soup with Chickpeas
Source: Cookbook
Printable Recipe

4T butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
salt, pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2tsp smoked paprika (regular works too)
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp cumin
1/2tsp ground ginger
1 (28oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes
2C low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1T honey
1/4C cilantro, chopped

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat butter. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook until tender about 10 minutes.
Add garlic, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add in tomatoes and broth.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
Return to heat. Add chickpeas and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Add lemon juice and honey.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve garnished with cilantro.

Millet Banana Bread

First, I brought bananas to the brink of extinction. Next, I added some flour, sugar, millet, and eggs, baked the mixture for an hour, and served it. Heaven, I tell you. H-E-A-V-E-N.

Let’s all marvel at the beauty of banana bread for a second.


Can you smell it through the screen? There isn’t anything quite like the aroma of freshly baked banana bread.

It’s called bread despite it being cake so it can certainly be eaten for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner, post-dinner snack, dessert, post-dessert snack, or even a midnight snack. This particular recipe is a little different than a traditional banana bread as you fold in millet just before baking. The result is a sweet banana bread studded with little crunchy millet seeds. I might be reaching with this statement, but the millet reminded me of sprinkles… except less sweet, lacking color, and decidedly more healthy.

Banana bread with adult sprinkles? Sign me up.


Crackly Banana Bread
Source: Smitten Kitchen 
Printable Recipe

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/3C virgin coconut oil, heated briefly until it is liquid
1/3C light brown sugar
14C maple syrup (if bananas are not over-ripe increase to 1/3C)
1tsp vanilla
1tsp baking soda
1/2tC  sp salt
1/4tsp nutmeg
1tsp cinnamon
1 1/2C white whole wheat flour
1/4C uncooked millet

Preheat oven to 350. Prep a loaf pan by spraying with nonstick spray, buttering, or lining with parchment.
Combine bananas, egg, oil, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, salt, spices, and flour.
Combine dry and wet ingredients. Stir until almost combined (still with some flour streaks present) and add in millet. Fold until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

A Seedy Post

If you scroll down to the end of this post and take a quick look at the picture you may think you’re reading a DIY article on creating your own bird food.

You’re not.

Although, if I’m being completely honest, you could probably put these into an outdoor feeder, and satisfy your local bird, squirrel, and deer populations.

I attempted a gluten-free diet a few months ago for fun. You read that correctly. I gave up gluten to have fun. Did I ever tell you guys how fun I am? The answer is clearly ‘not all that much fun.’

Seed crackers quickly became a staple for me because I have a serious hummus addiction that requires dipping options other than carrots and cucumbers.  If you’ve ever purchased seed crackers you are most certainly aware of the audible wailing that comes from your credit card the minute you place these delicious crackers into your grocery cart.


In an attempt to stop spending my life savings on seeds, I sought out a recipe so I could make my own. (As I’m typing this, I’m realizing I could totally say something about spending seed money on seeds or needing seed money for seeds or something to that effect. There is a definite pun lurking among these words. Figure it out and get back to me.) 

This recipe is incredibly adaptable. You could add a different seed, skip a seed, add more of one seed, or less of another. Want something sweet? Add a little honey (or sweetener of your choice) and a dash of cinnamon. Want something more savory? Toss in some herbs. Craving heat? A pinch of cumin, cayenne, and chili powder should do the trick.

If your gluten-free, gluten-filled, or maybe just an ornithologist, give these a try.

Despite their appearance, they’re far from seedy.



Seed Crackers 
Source: Bite.co.nz
Printable Recipe

1/2C chia seeds
1/2C sunflower seeds
1/2C pumpkin seeds
1/4C flaxseeds
1/4C hemp seeds
1C water
1 clove garlic, grated with a Microplane
1/4tsp salt
Additional add-ins: onion powder, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, etc.

Preheat the oven to 300. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
Combine seeds, water, garlic, salt, and any additional spices in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Let sit for about 8-10 minutes, until the chia seeds have become gelatinous and the water has been soaked up.
Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet, attempting to spread into a layer about 1/8″ thick if possible. It will be easier if you make 2 or 3 small rectangles over 1 big rectangle as you will need to flip the rectangle (intact if able) about 1/2 way through the cooking process.
Bake for 30-25 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each rectangle over, and bake for additional 30-35 minutes.
Once the mixture is dry and golden at the edges, remove from the oven.
Cool for about 15 minutes.
Break into bite-sized crackers.

This Isn’t About Cats.

Let’s pretend you don’t like cats. You’ve never had a bad cat experience per se, but you haven’t really had a great one either.  Admittedly, you’ve never owned a cat, but your aunt has had a few over the years. That counts, right? It’s nothing major, but you’re just not really a ‘cat person.’

It turns out there is actually a test regarding your feelings (or should I say your ‘felines?’) on cats. Luckily for you, it’s multiple choice. What a relief given that you didn’t know there would be any sort of exam and are almost certainly feeling wildly unprepared in this moment. After all, you thought you were just reading a food blog. Don’t fret. The test has just one simple question and two possible answers:

        How do you feel about cats? 
                a) I LOVE CATS MORE THAN ANYTHING. GIVE ME 30. 

Which do you choose?

If you select answer A, you come across as some sort of insanely crazed cat person when in actuality your allergies flair when you get too close for comfort.
But B is too harsh. Not being a mega-cat fan and wanting them to be wiped off the planet are two very different things. Plus, you really enjoy grumpy cat memes. Not all cats are bad.

As you may have guessed by now, this isn’t a story about kittens, or cats, or felines of any variety. I’m sorry if you were really hoping that the end of this post would be marked by a whole slew of cute cat pics. It’s not happening. Please accept my apologies.

I guess what I’m trying to say in the most obscure of ways is that so often in life we are asked to pick a side. A or B? 1 or 2? This one or that one?

 What’s your favorite color?
How do you feel about legalizing marijuana?
Do you think men should wear track shorts if they aren’t professional runners?

I’m dedicating this post to all of those who live in the indecisive grey-zone. It’s taken me a long time (thirty years to be honest) to realize that being in the middle is fine. It’s even more than fine. It’s perfect. There is nothing wrong with hearing both sides of an argument… and deciding that that you like both sides, hate both sides, or at least can sorta/kinda/maybe understand both sides on some level.

Cheers to those of us who aren’t afraid to stand in the middle sometimes.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cookies
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Printable Recipe 

For the cookie:
1/2C unsalted butter
1/2C sugar (+ 1/4C more for coating)
1/2C brown sugar
1/4C creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3C flour
2/3C cocoa powder (dutch-process if you can find it)
2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
For the filling:
2/3C creamy peanut butter
2/3C powdered sugar
large pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt.
Once the mixture has come together, take heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture and roll into a ball.
Place on a small tray, and place in the freezer while you make the cookie dough.
Beat butter, sugar, and peanut butter.
Add in egg and vanilla.
Sift together salt, baking powder, cocoa, and flour together.
Combine dry and wet ingredients until combined.
Scoop approximately 2T of dough and roll into a ball.
Flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball into the center. Wrap dough around and roll in granulated sugar.
Place on to the baking sheet. Flatten slightly.
Repeat with all of the dough.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. They are going to look undercooked.
Remove and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.

Farro Bowl




I spent my night working and my morning reading an article about how you can actually workout in bed. How convenient for those of us working nights and pretending to sleep days!

Update: you really can’t workout in bed


I decided to attempt a sugar-free lifestyle in January. I type ‘sugar-free’ with a grain of salt… or a grain of sugar? Or maybe a granule of sugar? But actually, no sugar. That’s my point.

I did eat fruit. I allowed myself a cookie mid-January. I used a few teaspoons of honey in a recipe on occasion. Balance is key.

It really wasn’t intended as any sort of diet plan. I simply wanted to challenge myself. You know? Goals and such.

I’d love to tell you that my cravings for sugar are gone, and that you’ll never ever see me consume a sugar-laden candy bar again. But, you will. You might even see it first thing in February. Here is to hoping that sugar-free January doesn’t turn into sugar-full February.

This almost-sugar-free dish might be one of my favorite ‘bowl’ recipes ever.  As someone who has made A LOT of grain-veggie-protein-with-a-drizzle-of-sauce bowls over the years stating that this one takes the cake is saying an awful lot. But, I’ll say it. THIS ONE TAKES THE CAKE. Something about the chewy, nutty farro with the hearty sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach topped with the ginger-miso dressing is so dang good. It’s the type of recipe you make for lunch, eat three servings right away, and then proceed to eat the leftovers for dinner. I’m speaking from experience.

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Farro Bowl with Tofu, Mushrooms, and Spinach 
Source: ATK Vegan for Everybody
Printable Recipe

1 1/2C farro
2tsp toasted sesame oil
1tsp sherry vinegar
14oz firm tofu, drained and pressed
4T vegetable oil
1/3C cornstarch
10oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 shallot, minced
2T dry sherry
10oz baby spinach
1 recipe miso-ginger sauce
2 scallions, sliced thin

Miso-Ginger Sauce
1/4C mayo (vegan)
3T red miso* (okay to sub yellow miso)
2T water
1T maple syrup
1T sesame oil
11/2tsp grated fresh ginger

Prep farro according to package directions. Once cooked, toss with 2 tsp of sesame oil and 1tsp of sherry. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
Slice tofu into 8 slices and then crosswise.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss tofu slices in cornstarch to coat.
Heat skillet over medium heat with 2T of vegetable oil.
Once the pan is hot, cook the tofu until it is browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove from oil and set onto paper towel lined plate. Cover to keep warm.
Into the hot pan, add 1T vegetable oil, mushrooms and shallot.
Season with salt.
Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until vegetables cooked.
Deglaze pan with 2T sherry.
Cook for 1 minute until mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add spinach into the pan and allow to wilt slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from pan.
For the sauce: whisk together. Taste. Adjust seasonings if needed. Add water to thin if needed.
Assemble bowls by layering farro, mushroom mixture, and wilted spinach. Top with a few slices of tofu and drizzle miso sauce over the top. Garnish with scallions.