Roasted Green Beans with Sage and Almonds


I just realized that only one out of my five last posts have been about food. Whoops. Well I think we are about due. On that note I present to you a side dish that sings ‘fall.’ And it doesn’t even include pumpkin or butternut squash. (No offense to those fall players;  I made pumpkin gnocchi just the other day.) I usually will just saute my green beans with garlic, olive oil, a little butter, and almonds, but I had some sage to use up so this sort of fell into place and I couldn’t be happier with the result. It’s actually easier and tastes even better.


I love the idea of saving money by eating at home so I asked my husband how much he thought a restaurant would charge for the whole dish. He got brownie points for reasoning that only a fancier restaurant would go to the trouble of serving roasted green beans with sage and guessed “For two sides? At least $9.” I don’t really care if he was only trying to stroke my ego because the dish cost less than $2.50 to make and 5 minutes hands-on time.  I chalk that up as a W.



Adapted from Finger, Fork, and Knife.

Preheat oven to 395 degrees.

Line a roasting pan with parchment paper.


2 big handfuls of trimmed green beans

about 5 fresh sage leaves

a little less than a 1/4 cup of almonds, roughly halved

with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the ingredients and sprinkle with sea salt.

Roast for 15 minutes. If you need to buy yourself some time whilst attending to more attention demanding dishes, turn off the heat and leave the beans in the oven. They aren’t anything to write home about once they cool.




bubble smoothie

As a replacement to soda I’ve been drinking a lot of fruit juice and seltzer water. It’s been awesome. Apple is the clear winner with some ginger and lemon thrown in to kick it up a notch. I don’t miss diet coke at all. I’ve got the fizzies and the sweet- it’s a perfect combo with no aspartame induced hang-over.


This past weekend I had a juice at a fairly local juice bar/cafe that blew my mind. I’ve been trying to capture that flavor but with the added bubbles of my beloved seltzer water.

So, may I suggest two dynamite flavor combinations.

strawberries on towel

1.) orange, strawberry & grapefruit <- seriously will blow your mind.

2.) strawberry, peach, pineapple, small grating of ginger and lemon.  Add tons of seltzer water to taste.

strawberry, peach, pineapple


Note: Seltzer water is also known as sparkling water. Seltzer is just water and carbon dioxide whereas club soda has sodium bicarbonate and mineral water has other minerals added. Tonic water has quinine in it, and in my not so humble opinion, is the grossest thing ever. The quinine was originally added to stave off Malaria and that’s why gin and tonics became popular in tropical regions, but now it’s just in there to disguise the even grosser taste of gin. Pick your favorite, the flavors are surprizingly different from one type to the next.

Raw Rainbow Pad Thai

I have written and taken pictures for about 4 posts that I have deemed not good enough for your kitchens. Each dish was good enough for dinner, but left me wanting to tweak and experiment once more before giving it to you- and I just haven’t had time. Plus I’ve been working on a game plan for some of my friends that are going to do a sorta-detox with me. So there are a few recipes I want to try before including in the game plan.
However there is one recipe I’ve tried since the last post that is indeed worthy of your kitchens. But because my photos were crudy and because the recipe is perfect as-is, I am only going to direct you to Oh She Glows.  This conncoction is not going to make it to the cleanse menu because it contains tamari, but it is delicious and wayyyy healthy. I was holding the recipe until I can get my mitts on a spirilizer someday but couldn’t wait and instead used my julian veggie peeler and a trusty pairing knife. Get thee some peppers, zuchinni, and red cabbage; then try this recipe that certainly lives up to it’s name.
isn't it beautiful!

isn’t it beautiful!

planning a sort-of detox

Last Friday I sent the following email to some of my local friends and got a surprizing number of takers. We’ve since changed the dates to Sunday, July 28th to Thursday, August 8th, but essentially, here’s a preview of what’s to come. Drop a comment if you are interested in participating!

Also, click the picture to get the recipe for this beautiful fresh side. It will definitely be making it to the sorta-detox menu. Had it last night and will vouch for it’s bright, delicious flavor.


Continue reading

Almond Apricot Bars

It is wedding season. Today is my two month anniversary. Last weekend we drove 7.5 hours to see a beloved friend get hitched to her perfect match and today I leave for my hometown to be maid-of-honor for the only girl who would be my friend when I changed schools in second grade.  I am indeed honored. Last weekend I packed snacks and a to-go dinner that served well… until the tofu, which apparently sat too long outside the refrigerator, decided to wake me up at God knows what time a.m. and make me feel like I was going to pass out instead of fall back asleep.

But I still wanted to pack some nutritious options for this weekend’s trip – so I don’t end up ordering a kid’s meal of  chicken (?) nuggets and a jr. frosty. {I may have made some poor decisions last weekend! Don’t judge me!} Preferably one that doesn’t have the opportunity to go bad and force the hubs to play Florence Nightingale. Cliff bars were great for our honeymoon because they needed zero care and allowed us to share a bar when we a little hungry, but were trying to get through a very bumpy dirt/rock road before sundown. Plus we could save a little money by having a big (included with our hotel) breakfast buffet late in the morning, have a bar for lunch, and then have a nice dinner out.

photo (26)

Continue reading

Thai Veggie Burgers


The Hubs and I decided last week that enough was enough. The clutter was driving me crazy. We bemoaned our own failure to hang up pictures and curtains. We succeed in keeping our kitchen clean,  but when it comes to clutter, we are both guilty of letting things accumulate in the living room.  So what do you do when you are ashamed of your filth? Invite people over! We decided that we needed a deadline and a potluck was just the enforcer.

While I did prepare an unhealthy potato salad,  (who can turn down a special request?) we also served organic, grass-fed hamburgers and homemade veggie burgers. Our guests brought all sorts of omnomery including homemade ice cream (avocado lime for the adventurous, chocolate and strawberry for the faint of heart) and corn bean salad. I planned on taking all these cool pictures, but I got stuck at my job late and guests were actually beating me to my house- so I had to kick it into gear and leave the camera behind.

The veggie burger came from my favorite food blog, Cookie + Kate.  I love my usual lentil burgers, but turns out lentils give the hubs stomach aches, so I was excited to try this new recipe.


Continue reading

Spring Potsticker

I made potstickers! I had no idea if they would work out or if I would be ordering pizza. I took some photos, with the plan that I would make some alterations to the recipe and post it here- but there is no way that I  can improve this recipe or describe the somewhat laborious process to the same success as Deb at Smitten Kitchen. To attempt it would only be an injustice to you. Please go here, print out her recipe, do yourself a favor and start mise en place, and freeze the extras for a fancy appetizer next time you have friends over. It is well worth the effort.

Smitten Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen

Some tips however I might add to the original recipe:

Because dumpling wrappers are not prevalent in my neck of the woods, I used the square won-ton wrappers available in my grocery store and made them a little more round with a biscuit cutter. Rounding the edges seemed to work instead of having to make them completely round. If I would have insisted on perfect circles, there would have been hardly any room for the filling. You could skip this step all together and just make them into the triangle shape like crab ragoons/wontons but the pleats really look nice and add a lot to the presentation.


Also, it will seem like you are making a ton of these- and you are, 50-60, but they are super light so you have to eat a bunch of them to fill you up. They are perfect as an appetizer, but they take so long that you’re probably not going to make anything else fancy that night. The folding stage is is a perfect time to call in your sous chef (friend, significant other, escort service…)


I wasn’t sure if this recipe would qualify for a health-recipe because of the wrappers. While the wrappers don’t qualify as a super-food, or even a whole-food, they aren’t that bad either. It’s pretty much just egg, flour, water, and salt. Further, if you are watching your caloric intake, they are only 155 calories for 8 wrappers. Better yet, what a great way to add some more veggies in your diet, if you are like me and need some convincing before eating asparagus. The dipping sauce is tasty, but it definitely doesn’t qualify as a health food. Fortunately these little guys are delicious without the dipping sauce- you won’t even miss it if you opt out.

For prior posts, please visit

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempah

Last week my friend Catie came over to help me with mundane wedding project tasks, God bless her. While cutting burlap and twisting birdseed into tulle wrappers, we started talking about food. She has been trying to avoid overly processed foods too. We started swapping what ingredients we had been experimenting with. I mentioned that the dinner I had prepared I had made a few days earlier, but with tofu and that it was surprisingly better than that night’s chicken version.  I also passed on a tip I had learned from a food blog, but had yet to try- freezing tofu before preparing it as that will give it a more meaty texture. My friend stated that she hadn’t cooked with tofu much but rather had some success with tempeh.”Tempeh!! Oh tell me more!” 
Tempeh was an ingredient I had only heard of and didn’t know anything about. My pal explained that Tempeh appealed to her because it was less processed than tofu. Holy crap. Even tofu is ‘processed’. I hadn’t even thought of that. I figured if it was in the hippie section of the grocery it was not processed. And really, it’s not that tofu is all that processed, just more so than tempeh. If my understanding is correct (feel free to correct me in the comments section), tofu is made from soy milk, whereas tempeh skips that step of making soy milk and is pretty much straight up fermented soy beans. Once I got my mitts on some at the local natural foods grocery I discovered that indeed, it is pretty unprocessed. check it. Yes, those grey and black spots are fine and don’t indicate any spoilage.  

I found a recipe online and decided I would pair it with some red peppers I had on hand and some quinoa although the inspiration recipe paired it with wheat berries- another ingredient I need to try! (Can I add that to my wedding registry?) The recipe isn’t a marinade as I expected, but rather a glaze. The flavors are kind of a mild version of that Chinese dish, orange chicken, which I loooovvveee but haven’t had in a long time because it’s so processed and sugary. But I wanted to run with that, so I tweaked the recipe to make the flavors a bit stronger. I also sprinkled on some chopped up peanuts for texture and cilantro and red onion for color and to give a stronger flavor. 

ginger and mircograter

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh

Serve with your choice of veggies and/or whole grain. Slightly adapted from 101 cookbooks. 

1 cup OJ. If you squeeze your own takes about 3-4 large oranges.
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine. The original recipe calls for mirin, but I didn’t want to buy a jar of something I may never use again.
2 teaspoons molasses (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves
some olive oil
a lime or lemon if you’ve got it. I cheated and used some of that stuff in the bottle- don’t you judge me.
a handful of fresh cilantro (optional)
package of tempeh. The original recipe remarks you can also use extra-firm tofu, though I haven’t tried it. 
Juice your oranges into a small bowl and remove any seeds. I won’t tell if you use reg. OJ. 
Grate your ginger into bowl and add the soy sauce (or tamari), white wine (or mirin), and your sweetener of choice (maple syrup or molasses). Set aside. You are not marinating anything. 

Cut up your tempeh. I cut mine into small triangles. Fry it in large pan with olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side. 

Pour your OJ mix into the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce reduces to a glaze. (I added red peppers to mine at this point and threw in some red onion slivers in the last minute of cooking. You don’t want to really cook red onions or they loose that beautiful color.)You can squeeze some lime on top, sprinkle on some cilantro and peanuts on top for a real ta-da and to make it a little more Thai-like. 

Serves 4, or two with one small leftover side dish for lunch if you have a boy to feed.

Whole Wheat Waffles

When the future hub’s roomate recently moved out and I started moving in, there were items left behind. Some of the items were abandoned by roomates of long ago. So when a waffle iron, among other things was found, picture texts were exchanged with a “is this yours?” to the last rommie.  

Joyfully, the waffle iron was one of these items abandoned. Now that I’ve taken a whack at this dish, I can invite said last inhabitant and let him enjoy the fruits of the newly rediscoved waffle iron too.

I modified this king arthur recipe a good bit as the batter was intially too wet and the waffles too thin. I added wheat germ to the mix which gives it the added benefit of a kick-butt protein. Unfortunately, wheat germ is removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour because otherwise the flour would go rancid quickly. But you can keep wheat germ in your fridge and add it to things like your yogurt, cereal, and waffles. However, I must warn you, perhaps I should have called these “Fart Waffles.” Wheat germ definitely gives you gas.

I also substituted molassas for the refined sugar. The fresh orange juice was part of the original recipe and really played off the other ingredients nicely.

Whole Wheat Waffles

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour *

1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons molasses **
1/3 cup unsalted butter, gently melted
(That’s nearly 5 tablespoons if you’re like me and just use the little tablespoon ruler on the butter wrapper)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I used whole wheat pastry flour, but I’m sure you could get away with regular, and certainly white whole wheat flour as that’s what the original recipe called for.
** or honey, or maple syrup, but molasses gives the most complex flavor.

  1. all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. melt yo butter. Add in milk and continue to cook for another minute.  (here’s a little tip: when you microwave butter, put another cup of water in the microwave with it and it will allow you butter to melt more slowly and avoid splattering.)
  3. Whisk in egg, orange juice, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t get too over zealous. Some lumps are okay, don’t over mix.
  5. Heat up yo waffle iron. Preheat da oven to 200 degrees.
  6. Let your batter sit for at least 5 minutes to firm up a bit.
  7. Add batter to heated waffle iron. (give your iron time to heat up inbetween rounds.) Remove cooked waffle and place on a baking sheet in the oven. I read that stacking causes waffles to become limp due to the steam so I’ll do that next time.)
  8. Top with berries if you’ve got it and 100% pure maple syrup. (Or whatever you damn well feel like.)
  9. Save leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the toaster.