Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail + scenes from the sonoran desert!

Refined sugar-free, turmeric spiked champagne cocktail.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Vast and unrelenting.

Expansive and barren.

A dangerous and unforgiving beauty.

The desert calls my name.

Again, and again.

#thedesertismyspiritanimal.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles. Continue reading

Vegetarian + Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee

Vegetarian, gluten-free stuffing.

Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative.

Thank you for the feedback and support on last week’s post. I found comfort in your comments, and knowing I’m not the only creative right now that’s feels way rut-y. I think {I think!} I’m moving out of it and into a different space now.

There’s some new energy breezing through.

I feel it in my bones.

The holidays are funny. It’s an intense paradox of immense joy and overwhelming pressure. Plentiful food and drink and indulgence. Families and friends coming together to celebrate abundance, and gratitude. Parties and gatherings uniting friends and coworkers and strangers alike.

Love surrounds us.

Love abounds us.

Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative.Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative.Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative.Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative.Super Vegetarian Gluten-free Stuffing with Kale + Ghee | Nourishing ghee and kale filled vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing for the holidays. There's also a vegan stuffing recipe alternative. Continue reading

Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins

Vegan, gluten-free basic overnight oats.

Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been in a rut. One of the worst that I can remember. Likely stemming from the combination of the election results, and we’ve already covered this. The unseasonably warm eighty degree weather in November – I know this might sound wonderful, but really it’s strange and weird and definitely doesn’t make me wanna roast squash right now. And the general stress and pressure of the encroaching holidays, this part should be obvious.

There’s something about this specific combination that’s got the creative parts of my brain on lockdown. I’ve tried to set this rut free, but nothing seems to be helping. Maybe after I get these words out and this recipe into the universe I’ll relinquish all that’s been holding me back. After three recipe testing fails this week, I needed to lean on something that I new was already loved.

These black tea soaked raisins were a part of The Great Big Harvest menu. They are a punch of flavor, slightly sweet and a touch bitter, and the perfect topping for oats, rice pudding, yogurt, or any custard/ice cream/creamy dessert things. Also! These basic overnight oats are my go-to oats recipe. You can adjust the liquid, and spices to suit your needs.

This post is sponsored by Silk. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible to bring you free, quality content each week. For updates, discounts, offers and more sign-up for Silk’s newsletter here.

Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free.Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free.Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free.Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free.Basic Overnight Oats with Black Tea Soaked Raisins | A simple and classic basic overnight oats recipe with a flavor-packed topping of black tea soaked raisins. Naturally vegan, gluten and refined-sugar free. Continue reading

Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah + scenes from the great big harvest!

Vegan, nut-free pumpkin seed dukkah.

Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah | A simple kale salad with lemony vinaigrette and nut-free crunchy pumpkin seed dukkah. Perfect for the fall and your Thanksgiving table.

Regardless of your political stance and affiliation, I think we can agree that our lives are filled with a substantial amount of uncertainty right now. And it would be unlike me not to mention that I’m deeply struggling to unpack the layers of the election results.

The past six days I’ve sat with my anger.

Wallowed in self-pity.

Used the f word continuously.

Drank bourbon in the afternoon.

Cried so many tears.

Exhausted all the feelings.

Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah | A simple kale salad with lemony vinaigrette and nut-free crunchy pumpkin seed dukkah. Perfect for the fall and your Thanksgiving table. Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah | A simple kale salad with lemony vinaigrette and nut-free crunchy pumpkin seed dukkah. Perfect for the fall and your Thanksgiving table. Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah | A simple kale salad with lemony vinaigrette and nut-free crunchy pumpkin seed dukkah. Perfect for the fall and your Thanksgiving table. Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah | A simple kale salad with lemony vinaigrette and nut-free crunchy pumpkin seed dukkah. Perfect for the fall and your Thanksgiving table. Continue reading

Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt

Vegan, gluten-free caramelized golden beet soup.

Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt | Roasted and deeply caramelized golden beet soup with fall root vegetables and garlicky yogurt or cashew sauce to keep it vegan.

Like most Americans I have been totally engulfed in election coverage. With large chunks of my day glued to CNN. Obsessive checking of Facebook and Twitter. An occasional break to watch this to remind myself that comedy actually does help. Brain looping through anxious thoughts of what ifs and holy shits. Counting down the days till this nightmare is over.

The desert was calling me. I went to seek refuge. I left with relief – partial anyway. The days I spent there were breathy. Calm. Besides an Instagram here and there, I was unplugged. Spotty service. No tv. No checking. I reached a point that the chaos of it all no longer swirled around me.

I reluctantly packed my bags to come home. I went through airport security and was sidesmacked with appalling Trumpisms and Clinton scandals. Newspapers and headlines and televisions blasting. I realized my escape from reality was short-lived. I arrived home. I wanted a shower. Cat snuggles. A glass of wine and golden beet soup.

Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt | Roasted and deeply caramelized golden beet soup with fall root vegetables and garlicky yogurt or cashew sauce to keep it vegan.Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt | Roasted and deeply caramelized golden beet soup with fall root vegetables and garlicky yogurt or cashew sauce to keep it vegan.Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt | Roasted and deeply caramelized golden beet soup with fall root vegetables and garlicky yogurt or cashew sauce to keep it vegan.Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt | Roasted and deeply caramelized golden beet soup with fall root vegetables and garlicky yogurt or cashew sauce to keep it vegan. Continue reading

Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread

Vegan, hearty, gluten-free pumpkin bread.

Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread | Gluten-free pumpkin bread full of superfoods like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds. Naturally vegan, and refined sugar and nut-free.

This summer I had the pleasure of hanging with Alanna for a few days in Minneapolis. She brought a copy of her {soon to be released} cookbook with her. And, it was one of the most beautiful cookbooks I had ever seen. As I flipped from page to page, I had never been more inspired to get into the kitchen and bake. And the truth is, I don’t like to bake, really at all.

Alanna’s Alternative Baker is the perfect book for anyone needing, wanting or desiring to cook with naturally gluten-free grains and flours alike. This loaf is the first thing I cooked from her book. Hearty, dense bread moistened with pumpkin puree, lightly sweetened with maple syrup and raisins, and scented with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s not savory, but not too sweet either. And, it’s best sliced into half inch pieces, toasted real well, and smeared with butter or pumpkin butter or both.

I was a little apprehensive about diving into bread making, because I literally have never done it before. But Alanna assured me this recipe was real forgiving, and there was plenty of room for error and experimentation. She was right. I turned the book’s original recipe, Pumpkin Cranberry Nut and Seed Loaf into this naturally nut and gluten-free pumpkin bread. Those little burnt raisins on the top, they’re my favorite part. I ditched the cranberries for them, and played with the seed ratio to eliminate the nuts altogether, because I’m not a huge fan of nuts in bread or baked goods. Sarah made a similar cinnamon raisin version like I did, but left the nuts in. Check out her recipe, here.

I want you to love this recipe as much as I do. And I want all of you to own Alanna’s book and love it as much as I do. Luckily one of you will win a copy of Alternative Baker.  Leave me a comment below to enter. I’ll choose a winner at random on November 1st at noon Central, and notify them by email. Contest is open to readers in the United States and Canada.

One last thing! Today is Sara’s second annual virtual pumpkin party!! You might remember that last year I made this pumpkin polenta. Head over to hosts Sara + Aimee‘s blogs to see the full list of party participants.

Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread | Gluten-free pumpkin bread full of superfoods like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds. Naturally vegan, and refined sugar and nut-free.Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread | Gluten-free pumpkin bread full of superfoods like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds. Naturally vegan, and refined sugar and nut-free.Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread | Gluten-free pumpkin bread full of superfoods like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds. Naturally vegan, and refined sugar and nut-free.Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread | Gluten-free pumpkin bread full of superfoods like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds. Naturally vegan, and refined sugar and nut-free. Continue reading

The Dirty Chai Nightcap

Vegan, creamy dirty chai cocktail.

The Dirty Chai Nightcap | A creamy, non-dairy, refined sugar-free, dirty chai latte spiked with booze, chilled and then poured into a martini glass as a dirty chai cocktail.

My friend, Lisa makes awesome tea. She bottles the best chai concentrate I’ve ever had. Like ever. Truth is, I didn’t really enjoy chai that much until I tried hers. It’s extra gingery, a touch spicy, real smooth and just a tad sweet. She’s turned me into a chai monster. An almond milk dirty chai latte monster. And all that’s led to this dirty chai cocktail: The Dirty Chai Nightcap.

Nightcap: last drink of the night; anyone up for a nightcap?

A combination of chai, espresso, maple syrup, soy milk, and your favorite spirit. I understand a traditional nightcap is meant to ease you to sleep, not keep you from sleeping, but it really depends on the kind of night you’re having. Also, this can easily be made caffeine-free with decaf espresso and rooibos chai tea.

I often make the joke, who’s drinking soy milk anymore? It feels so, 1998. I hadn’t had soy milk in years. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever had it. By the time I was reaching for plant-based milks, soy milk was already in the shadows of almond. But as part of my ongoing partnership with Silk, they asked me to feature their soy milk in this post. I’m glad I did. Because this is what I’ve found.

Their organic, unsweetened soy milk is somewhat naturally sweet, very creamy, and quite pleasant. It’s GMO, carrageenan, sugar, gluten, lactose, cholesterol, artificial color and flavoring free. But most importantly, Silk’s organic soy milk gives folks from around the country an affordable, trustworthy, allergen-friendly plant-based milk that isn’t sourced from nuts.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s very important to me to mention it again. As much as I love supporting local and small businesses, I also love to get the word out about big businesses doing good. Or at least making a major effort to change the landscape of our food industry in the ways they can – by growing non-GMO crops, and providing the public with trustworthy, allergen-friendly food.

For as many of us who have access to backyard gardens, farmers’ markets, CSA deliveries and paychecks large enough to be spent at Whole Foods, there are many more of us that don’t. Who don’t live within an acceptable range to grocery stores, or fresh food options. And those folks aren’t exempt from food allergies, restrictions and/or humane life-style choices. Silk is a mainstay brand that is accessible and affordable for most. And for these reasons, I’m a proud Silk ambassador.

This post is sponsored by Silk. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible to bring you free, quality content each week. For updates, discounts, offers and more sign-up for Silk’s newsletter here.

The Dirty Chai Nightcap | A creamy, non-dairy, refined sugar-free, dirty chai latte spiked with booze, chilled and then poured into a martini glass as a dirty chai cocktail.The Dirty Chai Nightcap | A creamy, non-dairy, refined sugar-free, dirty chai latte spiked with booze, chilled and then poured into a martini glass as a dirty chai cocktail.The Dirty Chai Nightcap | A creamy, non-dairy, refined sugar-free, dirty chai latte spiked with booze, chilled and then poured into a martini glass as a dirty chai cocktail. Continue reading

With Food + Love © 2016 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- do not use or distribute them without permission | SC is represented by The Lisa Ekus Group