Fruit Flag

Fruit Flag

Independence has meant different things through my life. If my kids glean one thing from me, I hope it’s how to be independently strong, confident, and kind.

I loved cooking in the kitchen by myself when I was younger. It made me feel knowledgable – little did I know that you don’t cook fish chopped up into tiny little shredded pieces rather than a big chunk. My parents very graciously ate that meal. I redeemed myself by whipping up some awesome rhubarb crunch.

For almost four years I got up to play basketball at 6 am before school. This is when I was 11-14. I loved feeling the power to follow through on decisions and see myself get better through dedication. I felt independent in my hard work.

Fruit Flag

I remember at the end of high school I was really excited for college away from home (not unlike most of us – I just might have given my parents a good challenge). I was so looking forward to the independence that would come from being totally in charge of myself. I don’t even want to think about this with my children, watching them out the rearview mirror as I drive away like my mom did, not really being successful at holding in tears.

One time at school (go BYU Cougars!) I saw a girl in the middle of a path standing, crying silently, and not moving. In my independent desire for kindness, I went to her and hugged her. It sounds kinda weird, and kinda weird to be telling you this, but it was a moment. She was a stranger and I was a stranger, but for that moment she wasn’t alone. I honestly don’t remember what devastating news she had just received, she told me through muffled tears. We never learned each other’s names and never saw each other again, but for that simple moment, we declared our ability to independently come together to make each other stronger.


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Creamy Cashew Dip

Cashew Dip / good for veggies and vegan nachos

I really don’t know if anyone can love a homemade ranch dip as much as I do. Forever ago I made cilantro lime ranch that is to die for. But then I kinda went mostly vegan, so that doesn’t work very well anymore.

I’ve tried making a dill flavored dip but haven’t succeeded yet. Just you wait…just you wait.

In the meantime, I’m pretty pro at this dip. I dip my veggies in it, I use it as a sauce on salads, nachos, or enchiladas. It’s creamy, it has cilantro in it, and it holds up to the other flavors and textures in a dish.

Cashew Dip

I’m okay that I use cashews in so many sauces, they are amazing. I love discovering different foodie ideas because I had no idea that this was ever a possibility. Before I went vegan-ish, I never thought about cashews outside of their beany form. The broader I make my food spectrum and desire to experiment, the more I have to learn.

I have  s o  m u c h  t o  l e a r n. But that’s a good thing…. 

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Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce

Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce \\ Carrot Bowl

I’m a sun worshipper. I love the feeling of sun-kissed skin and the hint of sunscreen that lingers with us through the day. It’s 90 degrees here today and I finally caved and turned on the air conditioning. I love the hot warmth that makes shade seem so much cooler. With the sun shining so hot this week, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. This cashew kale with peanut sauce only requires a short stove time. You could even make it in a cooler morning or evening and save it for the next day as a cold salad.

I love the peanut flavor mixed with the cashews, I love the kale all wilted in the spicy asian flavors, and for some reason the peeled carrots make this dish super exciting to me. You’ll like it and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make. Seriously, it’s probably about 10 minutes…. 

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Chickpea Salad with Dill, Celery, & Sunflower Seeds


Chickpea Salad with Dill & Sunflower Seeds

I’ve learned a couple things the past couple weeks. Okay, maybe month:

If you feel like you are in a good life rhythm, don’t buy a dog.

If you do adopt a dog, be willing to say it’s too much.

It’s okay to cry, even if the kids don’t, when you give the dog back. We named him Chowder. And yes, I was in the middle of the store crying…feeling like a fool. But it’s okay…. 

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Healthy Fast Food

Fast 3 ingredient Salad - Carrot Bowl

Sometimes it’s about keeping it simple.

I love to experiment with new recipes, sometimes taking several hours happily being busy in the kitchen.

I enjoy having my kids cook with me, which always brings a little bit more mess, but also more positive vibes. Their voices surrounding me make me feel important and loved.

Today though, it’s about having a salad that’s easy, fast, and tastes good. It’s about minimal time in the kitchen and more sitting to enjoy while reading the latest posts of your favorite blog. You could pair it with some carrots and hummus if you’d like.

This salad is greens, avocado, and juicy clementines with some salt and pepper.

Quick food does’t have to be bad for you, it can be healthy fast food. Because it is.

Sometimes I like it that way too.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Quinoa and Nuts

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Nuts

When it’s cold outside, and I hate being cold, it’s really hard to want to eat a crispy cold salad.

Really, I think being cold is one of the worst things.

And I have a really weird thing where I get hives when I get too cold. It doesn’t happen as often now as when I was younger, but maybe it’s just that I avoid getting that cold now.

It’s always fun to meet other people who have the same allergy…I only know of one other right now.

Anyone else?

Okay, to warm you up, make this salad.

Roast some diced sweet potatoes with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400 degrees until slightly crispy – 20ish minutes.

Layer your greens, cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, and nuts on top.


Easy, warm, and the perfect lunch.

It might take a little planning ahead for the roasting, but totally worth it!