Super Seedy Crackers

Super Seedy Crackers

Jack and I spent about a week in Norway on vacation this past summer. On the first day, we did my #1 favorite travel activity – visiting grocery stores in other countries. I don’t know why, but I’m so fascinated by what other people eat, how things are packaged, how stores are organized… all of it. That day, I picked up a package of crackers that ended up being my favorite snack of the week. They were thick seedy crackers – I smashed avocado on them for breakfast and slathered cheese on them as a snack later in the day. They were hearty and filling, and I felt good that I was getting a little bit of protein and fiber in every bite.

Super Seedy Crackers Super Seedy Crackers

Fast forward to now – I finally got around to making a similar cracker at home. They’re easy to make, gluten free and I just love snacking on them at any time of the day. They’re made with brown rice flour (that’s what makes them crispy), almonds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds.

Super Seedy Crackers Super Seedy Crackers

Most nights, Jack and I eat dinner pretty late so we like to share a little pre-dinner snack. How cute is this mini cheese board?? I filled it with a few crackers, Alouette’s Le Petit Fromage cheeses, figs and a few grapes. We like Alouette’s Parmesan Basil and the Cucumber Dill Flavors – the creamy cheeses pair well with the nutty seedy crackers. They’re the perfect snack portion (only 40 calories each!), all natural, and made with no preservatives – just cheese, a touch of yogurt, fresh vegetables, and delicious bold spices. A weeknight happy hour treat could not be tastier and easier!

Super Seedy Crackers

Heidi’s Spicy Green Soup

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

I’ve made this soup three times in the past week and a half.

I know – it’s not quite soup season yet, but you probably still have bunches of summery herbs and this recipe is such a wonderful way to use them. This one comes from Heidi Swanson’s book Near and Far, which has been a favorite in my kitchen since it came out last fall. I just love Heidi’s recipes because they’re so unique and usually very very simple to put together. This one take no longer than 15 minutes and it packs a bright punch of flavor.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

Basil, cilantro, ginger, almonds, lemon… all my favorite things. :) The only slight change I made to the recipe was using lemongrass instead of mint because it’s what I happened to have on hand. This recipe is such a great base for whatever toppings you want to add, see Heidi’s suggestions in the recipe below. The first time, I added brown rice and sliced almonds, the second time a poached egg (heavenly), and this time – soba noodles, green onions, and tofu.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

The book is organized into two sections: recipes that are inspired by Heidi’s home (in Northern California), and those that are inspired by her travels to places such as Morocco, India, Italy, France and Japan. I’m so drawn to this book because we’ve traveled to many of the same places and I just love the way she translates these cuisines so simply and beautifully. All the recipes, by the way, are vegetarian.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

Next, on my list is to try her Pozole recipe, how gorgeous does that look?

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson Get the book! (click)

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

You can never be too old for a little back-to-school snack, right?

My sister and I used to love rice crispy treats as kids. Since I rarely eat marshmallows these days, I’ve been loving this slightly healthier alternative that uses almond butter and brown rice syrup as a binder instead. I also packed in omega-rich hemp seeds, almonds and shredded coconut – making these a filling treat to get you over that 3 o’clock slump.

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

To make these lightly sweet treats a little sweeter, I smothered them in chocolate. At first I was going to be good and just do a little drizzle of chocolate.

Look how pretty it was starting out (pictured above).

Right after that, photo nerves got the best of me, my drizzle became uglier, and I decided a full layer of chocolate was necessary. So there you have it – cute, yummy, chocolate-y bars.

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Watermelon Poke Bowls

There’s a new poke bowl shop in town called Poke Poke, and we’re just a little obsessed. Jack and I have eaten there at least 2x per week since it opened. In fact, as I sit to start writing this post, we’ve just returned from eating lunch there. We might be late to jump on the poke trend, but there’s something so crave-able about these sort of deconstructed sushi bowls. Please tell me that we’re not the only ones that get hooked on the same type of food for weeks on end?

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Even though Poke Poke is close to our house, I wanted to make a version at home to share with all of you. Only I didn’t want to use fish because, well, this is a vegetarian blog. Also, I’m not a big fan of sushi-grade grocery store fish. Enter – watermelon. I first saw the idea here and I was intrigued. While it doesn’t taste like tuna, it sure looks like it. It’s so delicious with this tangy sesame-tamari-lime dressing and all of my favorite poke toppings like pickled ginger, cucumber, furikake (a toasted nori and sesame seed condiment), macadamia nuts and avocado.

It’s so refreshing for the last of these late summer hot days!

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

Our dishwasher recently broke, which has made me realize just how many dishes we (mostly I) use in a day.

For example, I start with a big glass of water first thing in the morning before I make a smoothie. Next comes iced cold brew coffee. When it’s time to make lunch, I’m usually too lazy to go upstairs to get my previously used water glass so I’ll grab another. In case you aren’t keeping track, I’m up to 4 glasses by about noon. There’s also one by my bed, two in the bathroom, and by the end of the day there will be a larger collection at my desk. I know – first world problems. But now that I’m washing dishes by hand, I’m trying to change my ways. I’ve learned that it’s far easier to rinse and reuse the same glass than it is to have a sink full of glassware (and of course other dishes) at the end of the day when I’m trying to start dinner.

All of this extra dishwashing led me to try the infamous one pot pasta. It was apparently invented by a french chef and later made internet-famous by Martha. I never considered trying it before because it’s a little too trendy and I’ve never found it to be a big deal to wash the pasta pot. But by now I was tired of washing dishes and this recipe seemed incredibly easy. And it was (is).

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

It’s delicious too. Because the starches from the pasta stay with your pasta, this method creates a creamy sort of sauce that wouldn’t be there if you cooked and drained your pasta.

It starts like this, just add water:

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

I felt like Martha’s recipe lacked a bit of flavor so for my version I’ve amped up the herbs & seasonings. I also added lemon juice, lemon zest and my market-haul of summer veggies. In lieu of freshly grated parmesan cheese I made a “cheese-like” hempseed topping. This pasta is nicely flavorful on it’s own so feel free to use cheese or “cheese”, or skip both. I do recommend adding toasted pine nuts (I forgot to add them before we took the photo), because they add a necessary bit of texture to this otherwise soft pasta.

I had a little trouble deciding on the serving size for this recipe. The final pot looked “family size,” but then we ate the whole thing, with Jack going back for multiple helpings. So I’m going to say this serves 2 hungry people, and maybe a few more if you have smaller eaters or if you serve this with a protein on the side.

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta