Chickpea Biryani

I’ve really evolved over the last several years.
I used to be one of those girls that abhorred the outdoors.
But after living in Washington, North Carolina and now Colorado, I finally appreciate, understand, and ~sometimes~ even crave the fresh mountain air.
We went on a hike this weekend. I can’t lie, I feel really at peace and centered when traipsing up a mountain. Granted, Garr is carrying Lou on his back and I’m completely uninhibited, just gliding through the forest. We were having a lovely time, the endorphins were flowing, giggles were had. As we’re coming back down, I notice a spot in front of me that looked wet. I was telling myself “Be careful, do not slip on that wet spot” when BOOM, down I go, using my forearm and hand as brakes. I walked the rest of the way with my arm up in the air – not because I needed to keep the blood from gushing out, but because I like the drama. Also, it is a pretty sweet battle scar and I look like I mean BUSINESS.
The most upsetting is that my mom assumed I was wearing tennis shoes because I couldn’t possibly own real hiking boots.

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of matchstick carrots
  • 2 cups of uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. of za’atar seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of cashews, chopped
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Add rice to a bowl + cover with hot water, set aside
  • Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Add carrots + red pepper, cook another 3-4 minutes
  • Add garlic + all spices, cook another minute
  • Drain rice + add to pot along with 1/2 the raisins + four cups of water
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover + simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked
  • Serve warm with more raisins + cashews + cilantro
  • Eat slowly over like three days + turn into a basmati rice grain

Adapted from here!

Vegan Lasagna

I’ve peaked!

There is nowhere to go but down from here.

And I’ve accepted my fate.

I saw the Jonas Brothers in concert this weekend. With my best friends. At Red Rocks. I recognize the first part of this might be considered, by some, to be a nightmare. But when you are a millennial who grew up listening to their CDs on repeat and trying to relate your dull, suburban life to that of every single song, it’s truly a dream come true. I practically wore a graphic, fitted tee of Joe’s face under all my clothes to high school for crying out loud. I’ve been waiting for this for as long as I can remember. Most obviously, they did not disappoint. Despite being the oldest people there minus the moms who drove their adolescent daughters there, it was magic. Joe took his shirt off and kissed Sophie Turner and we all chanted Kevin’s name giving him the recognition that beautiful man FINALLY deserves. What more could I ask for?

My only regret is not splurging on better seats so their sweat would fling on me.

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 package of white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 oz. package of frozen spinach
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup of hummus, whatever flavor you’re digging
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast + more for serving
  • 1/4 cup basil + more for serving
  • 2 jars of marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook noodles to al dente
  • Meanwhile, wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel + place something heavy on top, let drain for 10 minutes
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add zucchini + mushrooms + bell pepper + S+P, cook 8-10 minutes
  • Add spinach + cook another 5 minutes, remove from heat
  • Crumble tofu into a bowl + add hummus + nutritional yeast + basil + Italian seasoning + garlic powder + crushed red pepper + S+P, mix well
  • Pour some marinara in the bottom of a baking dish + layer 3 of the noodles + ricotta mix + veggies + marinara
  • Repeat until all ingredients are used up
  • Cover with foil + bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove foil + bake another 5 if you want a little crispness on the edges
  • Serve warm with basil + more nutritional yeast
  • Take a slice to a friend along with a copy of your favorite Jonas Brothers CD and ask if you can rock out together

Adapted from here!

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now whenever I see cookies, I’m forced to sing:

“Cookies! Cookies! Cookies are so yummy! Fresh out of the oven and into my tummy!”

Oh, you’re not familiar with that tune? Allow me to mail you this singing bear that plays a medley of tunes on repeat, cookie song included.

Because they are the only songs I know. I couldn’t tell you what’s popular in real music right now. I was like 8 months late to the Olivia Rodrigo party. We are a big Disney Junior household right now. She obviously has no idea what’s going on in the shows, but she loves the music. Bluey is this really cute show about Australian doggos and for the longest time she was uninterested, but recently she realized the theme song SLAPS. So that’s been a highlight of this season of life for me. Nothing, however, will ever trump Lou’s beloved Hotdog Song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When that song comes in, she stops whatever she is doing, races to the television and starts dancing her tuchus off. It’s incredibly cute.

But that song haunts my dreams and will be the reason her first real word is hotdog.

Time: 1 day (prep + baking) | Serves: 1.5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour – I used 1 cup of all-purpose + 1 cup of whole wheat
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. of ginger
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

How to:

  • In a bowl, whisk flour + baking powder + baking soda + nutmeg + ginger + cinnamon
  • In a separate bowl, whisk brown sugar + coconut sugar + honey + olive oil + 1/4 cup of water until smooth
  • Whisk in dry ingredients into your wet just until a little flour is left
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Cover with plastic wrap + refrigerate overnight
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop cookies onto a baking mat lined cookie sheet
  • Bake for 12 minutes
  • Serve warm or room temperature
  • Eat all of them before anyone gets home + pretend like you just bought a new cookie scented candle instead of baked all day