The Bright Side

I don’t like to get into too much personal biz on this rather public blog but feel like I need to let people know that my recent absence can really only be explained by saying that it’s just been a really weird month. I can pinpoint the start of the weirdness pretty exactly to April 15th, the day of the marathon bombings.  But the last week and a half in particular has been just a crazy roller coaster of crap.

I missed the Virtual Vegan Potluck on Saturday and I’m super-depressed about it.  I think it’s such a brilliant concept and I was so excited to be a part of it, but life sort of got in the way.  Even though I was one of the shameful no-shows, I encourage others to visit the Potluck and check out some of the rockstar blogs that actually followed through with sharing their amazing recipes and stunning photography.  If I’m not blacklisted for life, I might try again to get in on the next one.

I’ve been trying really hard to look on the bright side of all things and just take really good care of myself, and my husband of course.  Summer is coming and I am very much looking forward to the relaxed attitude that falls over New England this time of year, to just enjoy the time I have with my family and friends and make really delicious and nourishing food for us all.

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Recently I have been experimenting a little with my eating.  I’m trying to focus really hard on whole, unprocessed foods and balancing my diet a little better overall. It’s not always possible and it’s definitely not always easy. But I’m also trying not to be so hard on myself when my diet isn’t “perfect” or as “clean” as I’d ideally like it to be.

For our relay race two weekends ago, I made a huge batch of Winter Spice and Brown Sugar Granola (click for recipe) by PureWow.  I added dried cranberries for a little extra somethin’-somethin’.

Winter Spice Granola

This came out unbelievably delicious and smelled like heaven while it was baking. It’s sugary, yes, but highly satisfying and a little goes a long way.  And it certainly was great running fuel.  Highly, highly recommended (but be warned; it seriously makes a ton).

For dinners I’ve been all about the beans and greens. This time of year in general I find that I crave leafy green vegetables, and this is never something I feel guilty about eating!

This is Hottie Black Eyed Peas  (click for recipe) from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I added like a metric ton of hot sauce to the recipe after it was done because it just tasted so darn good with the black eyed peas.

Hottie Beans n Greens

I’ve also been enjoying Warm & Spicy Kale with Shiitake Mushrooms over Brown Rice (click for recipe) by Maria Guadagno of The Bombshell Blueprint.


I LOVE this recipe.  It is delicious and spicy, even as cold leftovers, which is fortunate because the recipe makes enough for three [large] meals! Just make sure you open some windows and put on your oven blower, if you have one, to avoid getting a blast of cayenne pepper to the face while this cooks.

Finally, there’s good old-fashioned Black Bean Burgers (click for recipe) served up with a side of greens, in this case sauteed collards.  The burger recipe is by Urban Vegan.  I also made roasted sweet potato wedges to have on the side.  And there was ketchup, obvi.

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Black Bean Burger

Sweet Potato Wedges

H was also a big fan of the patties.  I’m totally sold because they are so ridiculously easy to make, so his approval means they will be making frequent appearances on our lunch and dinner plates going forward.

So there you have it.  Look on the bright side and eat great food, and life is good.