Oops, it’s Soup! Roasted Red Pepper Tahini Soup with Roasted Tomatoes, Pan Fried Mushrooms and Grilled Chicken

Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned, but they still turn our really, really, really good.  This soup is one of them.  It was actually intended to be a spaghetti squash dish with roasted red pepper sauce.  Courtney couldn’t resist buying a massive spaghetti squash (seriously, this thing was the size of … Continue reading

Paleo Shrimp and Grits {Whole30}

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While sitting on the bank of the Mississippi River eating beignets, I recently texted my husband “I could live here.”  I’m talking about New Orleans of course, and I really do think it’s a place I could call home.  My pants however?  They’d probably not survive long in the Crescent … Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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I have a pet peeve that involves bacon.  You’re at the store, and you pick a package up.  You look at it and think, “hey, this bacon looks pretty good – look at all that meat!” But then you get home and open the package, only to find the strips have been carefully … Continue reading

On My First Race Win, and the Importance of Showing Up Rain or Shine

I’ve never thought of myself as a competitive athlete.  In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever won anything more athletic than a round of mini golf.  Even if you go back to my school days, I’m quite certain I never even came in first in a gym class scrimmage (if I even got … Continue reading

A Taste of Brazil with Chef Bia

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One of the best things about having gained a reputation among friends as a total foodie is when friends want to teach you their specialty,or their family’s specialty.  Why YES I want you to show me how your Italian Grandma made her famous tomato sauce! And the dumplings your mom used to make. … Continue reading

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Buns with Cereal Milk Icing

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When I was a little girl I used to love the Pillsbury cinnamon buns that came in a tube.  I only ever ate them at my Grandparent’s house, but sometimes I would eat two or three with dinner.  I never questioned why we were eating cinnamon rolls with dinner, but I’m pretty … Continue reading

Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Herbed Ricotta

This quiche came out of a failed first attempt at perfection.  Those of you with an older sibling have probably used that line before.  But really, all chefs know that some of the best discoveries come out of misread instructions, innovative replacements for missing ingredients and failed first attempts. One … Continue reading

Why send a thank you card when you can host a thank you brunch?

Who doesn't love brunch?

When my Grandad passed a week before Christmas, I was set to be on a plane later that evening.  I really wanted Courtney with me and the family, but we didn’t have dog care arranged until the following week. The prospect of him staying behind made me really sad, so he decided to send … Continue reading

Classic Carrot Cake with Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting {Bakeolution}

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Good Friday to you all!  This is perhaps the first day in the history of working adulthood that Courtney has a day off that I don’t. Ah, now I know the sting of getting ready for work while your S.O. sits on the couch in their underwear. Life’s not fair. … Continue reading

Vegan Tempeh Reuben Bowls

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Let’s start with the important part: this dish was one of my favorite things I’ve made in quite a while.  It’s a fairly simple dish, but both the textures and the flavors are layered and complex.  I often cringe when I set a beautifully plated dish down in front of Courtney and he immediately proceeds … Continue reading

Savory Asparagus & Gruyère Bread Pudding

It’s officially spring, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!  We’ve had a cold, rainy couple of days in the District, but sunshine does appear to be on the horizon. This savory asparagus bread pudding is perfect for early spring.  Layered with challah bread and cheese, it’s still heavy enough … Continue reading

Healthy Bangers & Mash {Paleo Optional}

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  We started our morning with Shamrock (protein) Shakes, obviously.  And obviously we will end our day with Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls, because Tradition (as in, I’ve made it in the past on St. Patrick’s Day rather than it is particularly traditional in Ireland – apparently … Continue reading

A Near Catastrophe and Vegan Fudge Topped Chai Bars

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I had a big scare last night.  I almost had to seriously change my routine. My fitness routine, none-the-less!  (You know how I feel about my routines, especially my fitness routines!) When I got this e-mail informing me that the gym I’ve been going to for six years (and which I *may … Continue reading

Banana & Berry Coconut Flour Paleo Pancakes

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Sundays are a good day for pancakes.  On Saturdays, a protein bar has to do since we are usually hustling off to do a double (spin, chisel) at the gym starting at 9:00am.  But Sundays, we usually take as our rest day leaving time to make a real breakfast.  This morning … Continue reading

Smoky Eggplant Soup with Lamb {Whole30}

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Rarely do you see a recipe and think, “Oooh! I bet that would be awesome if I burnt it!”  Eggplant might be one of the few exceptions. You know that’s the only secret to baba ghanoush?  And I quote, “The trick behind the smokiness?  You pretty much just burn the … Continue reading

Mom & Jo Take N’awlins: Crushing Mom’s First 1/2 Marathon & the New Orleans Culinary Scene

Cafe du Monde beignets and a frozen cafe au lait, best ordered to go and enjoyed on the bank of the Mississippi

This weekend Mom and I finally exchanged birthday gifts.  Hers to me: a mother-daughter trip to New Orleans. Mine to her: the Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 Marathon.  We were treated to a beautiful, sunny weekend in the Big Easy and crushed all of what we came to accomplish: the race … Continue reading

(Not)Baked-o-lution Raw Vegan Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

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Having skipped Bake-o-lution last month while doing the Whole30, I was excited to bring something to the counter this time around.  However, I wasn’t quite ready to launch back into pastry flour and cream cheese icing. Instead, I decided it would be fun to see what my colleagues would think of a raw vegan dessert.  While … Continue reading

Roasted Salmon with Herbed Beet Puree and Smoky Kale Chips

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When I set out to select a Valentine’s Day menu, this recipe naturally came to the top of my list.  Having literally just finished a Whole30 the day before Valentine’s Day, I was eager to show off how delicious Whole30 recipes are (this one is 100% compliant!).  Plus, the pink beet puree made it … Continue reading

Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Popcorn

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I think I originally stumbled upon this recipe while searching for something similar to the popcorn soup served at Rose’s Luxury.  And let me tell you, this is not that soup!  That soup is rich and buttery with big chunks of lobster.  This soup is hearty yet light, and 100% vegan. … Continue reading

Tandoori Chicken with Curried Pineapple Cauliflower Rice {Whole30}

I never was a big fan of white rice to begin with, but I can genuinely say I now prefer the cauliflower version. There are so many ways to spice it up (literally!) and this one has got to be one of my favorite. Curry, raisins, almonds, pineapple… it’s just … Continue reading

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Covered Raspberry Cream Bars, Won’t You Be My Valentine?

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I have lots to share with you from our Valentine’s Day feast, but I’m a big proponent of starting with dessert.  My Grandad used to tell me that you should eat your favorite thing first, because that’s when your taste buds are freshest. His advice was specifically regarding the top … Continue reading

Whole30 Round 2 Reflections: Admissions, Results, and Next Steps

You can do sit-ups until you're purple, but abs are made in the kitchen.

I haven’t blogged much about my Whole30 experience this time around, only about the ridiculously delicious recipes I’ve discovered while doing it. But I do have some reflections to share.  The first is that I didn’t find the Whole30 challenge to be much of a challenge this time.  Perhaps it’s … Continue reading

Paleo Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Hazelnuts {Whole30}

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It’s always nice to have an hors d’oeuvre when you have people over to your house for dinner.  Something besides wine to distract them while you’re spilling and bumping into things and burning yourself in your (open format) kitchen. Obviously on Whole30 the cheese plate is out, as is hummus – my … Continue reading

A Paleo Cuban Feast: Ropa Vieja with Cauliflower Dirty Rice and Greens Braised with Bacon {Whole30}

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With my second round of Whole30 wrapping up, I have to say… I have discovered some awesome new recipes.  Clearly, I’m going to have to write a “part 2” about all the amazing things you can do with cauliflower.  This one right here, for instance. Courtney and I love Cuban food.  During the short … Continue reading

Turkey Breakfast Meatloaf {Whole30}

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By last week, my third week of Whole30, I found myself feeling a little “meated out.”  And seriously, should that have come as a surprise when I was literally eating meatloaf for breakfast and leftover Moroccan chicken every other meal?  This is exactly why the Whole30 requires thoughtful meal planning.  You have … Continue reading

Paleo Paella: Chicken, Chorizo & Mixed Seafood Paella with Cauliflower Rice

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Paella is probably my favorite food.  I’ve told you the story of how I fell in love during a 2011 trip to Spain.  Not too long after we returned from that trip, recognizing my love of paella Courtney bought me a paella pan so I could make it myself.  That … Continue reading

Cod in a Spiced Tomato Sauce {Whole30}

I’m not really sure what to call this dish.  The recipe I adapted called it Moroccan, but does tumeric and cumin really make something Moroccan?  I don’t know that it does, but the spices sure are nice.  Fish was a nice change after a lot of meat-heavy meals as of … Continue reading

When it Comes to the Issue of Serving Size, Even Vegetables Can Be Misleading

One of the largest sweet potatoes in my bag, approximately 5 servings, may appear to be "medium" once cooked.

When we think about struggles with serving size, we generally think of processed, energy-dense foods high in sugar and fat. It’s the rare individual that  gets four servings out of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or stops after eating just eleven potato chips.  Serving sizes aren’t one bit realistic, but consumers might not buy the … Continue reading

Asian-Style Scotch Eggs {Whole30}

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I have a bit of an obsession with the concept of scotch eggs as of late.  Traditional scotch eggs are fabulous, but I also love the vast potential for fun takes on the classic British pub fare.  These baseball-sized maple walnut scotch eggs, for example?  Great for breakfast.  But I … Continue reading

Paleo Chicken Curry with Cauliflower & Sweet Potato with a side of stir-crazy {Whole30}

Thank goodness we’re going back to work today because I am so stir-crazy.  Because we can pretty much walk anywhere, we weren’t even that confined by the storm (I would actually go crazy being snowed-in in the suburbs, even if I was going crazy in my great big home with a great big yard). … Continue reading

Salmon & Avocado Breakfast Salad {Paleo, Whole30}

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This dish falls into the category of “if it was on a restaurant menu, it would probably make me a regular.”  Luckily, I don’t have to venture out to find this, which is a mighty good thing since we’re currently sitting on about 20″ of snow.  Despite the snow, I … Continue reading

Zucchini, Sausage & Pesto Roll Ups {Whole30}

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Apparently we’re about to be pummeled with snow.  As last night’s one inch preview if proof of, it doesn’t take a whole lot to cripple D.C. But from the sounds of it, the storm coming this weekend is the real deal.  Essentially the forecast for this weekend is: don’t plan … Continue reading

Paleo Pork & Green Chili Tamales {Whole30, Day 4}

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Last time around, one of the most challenging things about Whole30 was the impact on my social life.  Things are a little different this time, as it’s the fact that I’m in grad school and working full time that is really requiring the social sacrifices – Whole30 is just something I … Continue reading

Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes {Whole30, Day 3}

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Today is day 3 of my Whole30.  So far it has been literally zero challenge.  This is pretty much how I like to eat most of the time anyways, so without major behavior change this really just isn’t difficult for me. As you can see, the meals are huge and delicious … Continue reading

Pie Parties, Whole30, Oxymorons and Broken Resolutions {Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie!}

More sweet pies.  I voted for the bacon gingersnap crumble on the middle right for 'most likely to be president'!

When I break a resolution, I almost always do it intentionally.  I’d never calling it “slipping up,” but rather a well thought out weighing of the pros and cons that leads me to believe there’s a valuable reason not to stick to said resolution.  Case in point: “Sober January.” About … Continue reading

Garlicky Spanakopita Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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There was no dipping my toes into the pool of reality last week.  No, siree – I dove back in head first.  Last Monday wasn’t just my first day back to work after over two weeks of vacation, but also my first day back in graduate school after a four … Continue reading

Year in Review: Best Recipes and best Memories of 2015

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2015 Year in Review: 2015 was a pretty amazing year that started with the trip of a lifetime and was filled with lessons about what’s truly important in life, exciting new beginnings, wonderful new friendships and lots of travel.  I’m so grateful for the opportunities 2015 has brought me and the wonderful … Continue reading

Vegetables Wellington: a Vegan Holiday Centerpiece

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I would imagine the holidays could be a tough time to be a vegan.  You never can really be sure what’s in the salad at the holiday potluck and your co-worker John had no idea butter wasn’t vegan when he proudly offered you those cookies. And then there’s your family … Continue reading

Al’s Diner, the Famous Prongburger (BBQ Burgers in the Slow Cooker)

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This recipe comes to you from Jodie, Texas, 1958.  Times were simpler back then, unless you were trying to prevent the Kennedy assassination.  Either way, burgers were cheap and at Al’s Diner you could have ordered the famous Pronghorn burger, which came with mesquite fries and a double malt shake, … Continue reading

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Cranberry Goat Cheese Sauce

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I have another festive recipe for you all to enjoy, although this one is healthy enough to be a regular weekday meal!  Instead of breading the chicken, you coat it in plain yogurt (calcium! protein!) and roll it in a mixture of rosemary and ground pecans (healthy fats!)  I love any recipe … Continue reading

My First Bake-O-lution! Momofuku Milkbar Cornflake Cookie Sandwiches Filled with Cereal Milk Buttercream

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On my first day at my new job, the whole office gathered for an afternoon break featuring more than half a dozen cakes. While I’d like to say this was all to welcome me to the office, it was actually a fun monthly tradition we have at Share Our Strength: Bake-O-lution. … Continue reading

Festive Pomegranate Guacamole

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There’s no pausing once the calendar flips to December – the holiday parties are immediately upon us.  There’s no denying it’s one of the most festive seasons of the year, but it can also get a little overwhelming… especially if you find yourself having to make a dish for three parties … Continue reading

Vegan Bourbon Laced Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crumble

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It’s funny that I should decide to make a pumpkin pie this year, because to be honest I never really liked it.  I don’t know if it was the texture (gross!), a subconscious aversion because of my pumpkin allergy (which only ever manifested as as a skin and eye reaction, … Continue reading

A Turkeyless Thanksgiving Feast

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When it comes to Thanksgiving, the turkey is almost always cast as the lead actor taking center stage amongst a scrumptious spread of extras.  I’m not sure how that came to be (I’m sure I could Google it), and I certainly know that Thanksgiving traditions are as diverse as the … Continue reading

8 Gourmet Ways to Repurpose Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Thanksgiving is official over, but many of us have leftovers for daysss.  I’m fine with indulgence during the holiday season, but what I can’t get behind is food waste.  The good news is that when it comes to Thanksgiving food, it’s the leftovers that are really the star of the show. … Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites

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I have so many recipes to share with you!  What do you want first, the vegan or the bacon? Mmm, yeah, that was an easy question. This is the only photo I got of these bacon wrapped stuffing bites. Wanna know why?  They got eaten that fast.  These are a great Friendsgiving … Continue reading

Our First Annual Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry

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Hosting Thanksgiving has been a bit of a tradition in the Messy Kitchen, but this is the first year we’ll be hosting two Thanksgiving feasts, less than a week apart nonetheless.  It may sound like a daunting task (it is), but it’s all for a good cause.  On Saturday night we … Continue reading

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Honey Dijon Sauce

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I didn’t learn to cook from my mom. It wasn’t that she couldn’t cook, it just wasn’t until more recent years that she has enjoyed it. Besides breakfast for dinner (which I still to this day love), Mom had several signature dishes that we all remember fondly. Perhaps because they were … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Brownies Topped with Pumpkin Mascarpone

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I’m kind of glad Starbucks has a new controversy (for the record, red is my favorite color and I think simple is classy). Honestly, I’ve never had their pumpkin spiced latte (version 1.0 or 2.0).  I’m generally on board with pumpkin flavored foods, although I do tend to think pumpkin should be an … Continue reading