Carrot Cake Smoothie {Gluten-free and Vegan}

After moving out here to California, from New York last year, the list of things that we love about living out here just continues to grow and grow. There really isn’t much to complain about when you live less than a mile from the ocean, the sun shines every day and you are living the life you always dreamed of. That said, the one major draw back to being here in California, is being away from family. After living 15 miles or less, away from my family my entire life, being roughly 2,500 miles away from them this past year has been the only thing I don’t love about being in California.

Carrot Cake Smoothie {Gluten-free and Vegan}
This is something that bothers me most of the time, but for obvious reasons with the holidays it is the hardest. Even the smaller holidays, like memorial day or labor day. Because I know if we were living at home in New York, no matter what we had going on, we would all take a break from our busy lives to get together at my parents house for an entire day, brunch in the morning, cocktails and snacks in the afternoon, playing with the kids and of course, a huge dinner. Since living in California, Mark and I haven’t gone home for any of the holidays and we have done out best to make the most out of them together. Both Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were full days, planned with friends and majorly delicious meals and we made brand new traditions and memories. Walking barefoot on the beach on Christmas day, definitely didn’t suck. That said, both last year and now likely this year too, we didn’t plan a thing for Easter. It kinda crept up on us.

Easter isn’t a big holiday for my family, by any means, but we would always get together with the family, the kids would have some sort of easter egg hunt, we would often times have brunch with the extended family and then we would have a traditional dinner or ham or something similar back at my parents house.
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Strawberry Avocado Jalapeño Salsa - Gluten-free and Vegan

It’s strawberry season, it’s strawberry season and I  might be just a little bit excited! Iapologize in advance, I know it isn’t quite strawberry season for those of you not in Southern California. But, that just means you can start bookmarking and saving all of these yummy strawberry recipes I share and they’ll be all ready for you to get to cooking as soon as they are in season near you.

Strawberry Avocado Jalapeño Salsa - Gluten-free and Vegan

This slighty sweet, kinda tart, and a little bit spicy, Strawberry Avocado Jalapeño Salsa, is just as amazing as it is beautiful. Great on tortilla chips, over your favorite tacos,  on grilled chicken or fish, or even just with a spoon. We have already had some hot weather here in Southern California, so I have been enjoying summery treats a little early. This salsa is simple to make and just full of so much flavor. I don’t always love fruit in savory dishes, but this one is incredible. I have a feeling this is going to be a staple snack around here this strawberry season! [click to continue…]

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***Have you entered the Nourished Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway, yet? Enter here.***

Cauliflower Lentil Veggie Burger - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

There is nothing quite like a good comforting and satisfying veggie burger. I stopped eating store-bought veggie burgers a long time ago, after I realized what is in most of them – weird fillers, preservatives and other strange things that I am not even sure are food. I started rethinking buying them and I can’t tell you the last time I did. Making my own veggie burgers is something I really enjoy, I can create something unique and flavorful usually with whatever I have on hand.

Cauliflower Lentil Veggie Burger - Gluten-free + Dairy-free
I created these veggie burgers with some of the beautiful cauliflower we had in our CSA box. I was starting to get sick of roasted cauliflower and was looking for a new and creative ways to use up some of the many heads of cauliflower we had on hand. I started thinking about the amazing quality that cauliflower takes on when you steam it and puree it, like mashed potatoes. It’s so thick and I knew it would bind together and work well in a veggie burger.

Cauliflower Lentil Veggie Burger - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

I won’t lie and tell you this veggie burger is as good as “the real thing” or that it’s “meaty”. For me, veggie burgers aren’t meant to replace a beef burger, there really is no comparison to a good grass-fed beef burger, but – in my mind, a veggie burger is it’s own thing. A yummy comforting meal on it’s own.

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Potato and Spinach Soup with Jalapeño from the Nourished Kitchen Cookbook + Giveaway
What a wonderful time it is for fantastic passion-filled cookbooks! So many incredible, drool-worthy books on the shelves right now, it is such a great time for us food lovers! I can tell you, this self-proclaimed cookbook junkie is in heaven, currently. You should see the many packages and envelopes that have been showing up here over the last month or two, each one filled with another stunning book that is exuding the incredible passion of the dedicated creator.

Today, I am excited to bring you another book that I have been highly anticipating. The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table recipes for the Traditional Food Lifestyle, from the ever so talented, Jenny McGruther, is a book that I have been waiting to have in my very own kitchen, since the minute I heard that it was in production. I have followed Jenny’s blog, The Nourished Kitchen for many years now and she has always been an inspiration to me, how I cook and how I eat. Jenny’s blog was one of the first I found when I initially changed my diet.

For me, there is nothing more inspiring than flipping through the pages of a cookbook that I know was created with much love and passion. Regardless of the content of a cookbook, there is something so special about the ones where you can feel the author’s devotion to their craft and the immense amount of love and care that they put into every single dish that they created to share with us, the readers. The Nourished Kitchen is a fine example of this. Jenny’s words illustrate the profound love and joy she has for cooking and with each paragraph I read, I get more excited to get into my kitchen to start creating something beautiful. Although Jenny and this cookbook are not exclusively gluten-free, she and I share so many very similar views on food and eating. As the Jenny puts it:

“a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense, real food, and values quality environment, and community over the convenience of processed, additive-laden products that are the norm on grocery store shelves”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, really. For those of you that have followed Tasty Yummies over the 4 years I have been writing it, you know that I have chosen to not put any labels on my diet.  Besides eating gluten-free, I choose to focus my efforts on a real food diet rich in nourishing whole foods that feed both my body and my soul. I eat intuitively, always listening to my body and feeding it with fresh, unprocessed, seasonal and whenever possible, local foods that are not just delicious and good for me, but that also fills me with happiness and joy.

You also probably know that despite my mostly plant-based diet, I do consume some meat. I consider myself a conscientious omnivore who prefers to only eat meat and other animal products, when I am given the opportunity to purchase it locally, from a farmer whom I can trust. This is something that has become increasingly more difficult for me, since we’ve moved to California last year. The cost of raising livestock on pasture and sustainably seems to considerably more expensive here, than it obviously is in New York. So, I have to say, I am very envious of Jenny’s amazing resources, living in the central mountains of Colorado.

Potato and Spinach Soup with Jalapeño from the Nourished Kitchen Cookbook + Giveaway

With each recipe and every section in this beautiful book, you can see the incredible advantages of Jenny’s location, which provides her access to amazing traditional foods throughout the year. The Nourished Kitchen contains more than 160 recipes, inspired by the seasons, land and waters around her. Whether you are gluten-free or dairy-free, or you have other restrictions on your diet, there are still plenty of recipes in this cookbook for you and the best part is, because of the simple and traditional preparations and the approachable ingredients (many of which you can grow in your very own garden) – many of the recipes are easily adaptable to fit your own way of eating. [click to continue…]

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