Back on my grind, loving life.

No matter what happens in a day, no matter the ups and downs, cooking always makes me happy. Knowing that I can combine fresh vegetables, herbs, and fresh lime juice to create the most insanely fresh and full bodied tasting dish puts the biggest smile on my face and warms my heart. Food has always been my comfort and always will be.

After an eventful vacation and a crazy exhausting week back to school, I’m finally back on my grind. I won’t even talk about the food I ate last week – wegman’s prepared food for dinner and salads with cucumbers and tomatoes was basically every day last week – it was a sad situation. So I am very grateful that I had this weekend to rest back up and get back to my grind of healthy eating, homemade, my own.

I started this weekends cooking with making my own peanut butter for the first time. OH MY GOD, WHY DID I NEVER DO THIS BEFORE? So freaking easy and so so delicious. Literally nothing but a pound of trader joe’s organic roasted, unsalted peanuts in my ninja storm – pulsing and grinding for 3-5 minutes and bam – peanut butter! And the consistency is perfect. I’m a crunchy peanut butter kind of person and this peanut butter is an in-between stage – not huge chunks but I could always add these in if I wanted. Price differential is not that amazing. I pay $6.99/lb for my organic, free trade peanut butter from the local coop and I paid $3.99/lb for these peanuts which yielded about 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter – a little less than what I would buy. This will last me about a week and half — as I’ve said before, peanut butter is my everything. I can’t go a day without having at least a spoonful.

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My bestie at school is going to be so thrilled when she gets some of this peanut butter tomorrow morning πŸ™‚

Next, lime pickled cucumbers and red onion with cilantro. Yup, you heard right. Here is it – cut up 2 cucumbers ( I peel them slightly, like every other peel if you know what I mean – so that there’s still some skin on it) into very thin slices, throw in a bowl. Add in thinly sliced red onion (1/2 onion), a small bunch of cilantro chopped, juice of 2 limes and salt and pepper to taste. Mixed all of this up with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar & 1/4 cup water and then stored in a bar jar.

Can’t wait to eat this on top of salad greens this week.

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Then another new recipe I tried — “California Quinoa Salad” (pinterest find). I followed the recipe for the most part but didn’t have red pepper. I’ve eaten this twice already. As the blog states, it makes a ton and it’s so damn delicious. This is definitely a find for the summer – on those hot days with a fresh margarita in hand, lounging in my chair in the backyard. Oh how I dream of these days, almost everyday, with this cold weather still, I don’t think we’ve had spring yet.

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Lastly, a recipe I made up months ago that I just had to bring back… roasted asparagus and mushrooms with kamut and goat cheese. This time I added cherry tomatoes to the roasting pan – I really love doing this. Cherry tomatoes especially roasted, they get all split open and juicy and even more sweet. Mixed these up while hot with goat cheese, kamut and salad green – yum! yum! yum! This is lunch for tomorrow for sure!

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Next weekend look forward to this Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea salad that I’m going to try! Have a peaceful week ya’ll and remember, clean cooking will always bring a smile to your face πŸ™‚

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