Garlic-Turmeric Roasted Veggies

Garlic-Tumeric Spice Mix

Often during weeknights, I am far too tired to put together a “proper” meal. When I get home, I either want food NOW, or I want it prepared magically while I melt into the couch. I usually employ shortcuts such as cooking rice on the weekend and freezing into 1 cup batches. This effortless meal is something I learned from my mom, and I probably make it at least once a week.The spice mix is my favorite part, especially since the three main ingredients are anti-inflammatory.

I learned the incredible benefits of turmeric by chance when I mistakenly tripled the spices in a meal (don’t ask). I was starving so I forced myself to eat the unpalatable food. About 20 minutes later my back and head felt better than it had in years! The only unfamiliar ingredient was turmeric, and after learning about its anti-inflammatory properties, I have been eating it daily to help ward off my migraines. Good for me and delicious too!

For this ‘shortcut’ meal, all you need is a bag of pre-cut, pre-washed veggies, 1 yam or potato, olive oil and the garlic-turmeric spice mix (recipe at the bottom):

The ingredients

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the yam or potato into bite size pieces. The smaller the pieces the faster it will cook.

Cubed Yams

Grab a few handfuls of vegetables from the bag, cutting large pieces so they are all about the same size. Toss the veggies in 1-2 Tbs oil and spread evenly in a pan, about one layer deep.

Veggies in a pan

Shake the spice mix very generously over the veggies. I about 3/4 Tbs for a 7×11 pan worth of veggies. Shake veggies to coat.

Spice coated veggies

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tips of broccoli are crispy. Enjoy!

Garlic-Tumeric Roasted Veggetables

A 7×11 pan makes about 2 small servings.

Garlic-Turmeric Spice Mix

This is measured in ‘parts’ but I usually use 1/2 tsp for each part, which makes a little over 3 Tbs

  • 4 parts turmeric
  • 6 parts garlic powder
  • 2 parts black pepper
  • 5 parts sea salt or seasoned salt
  • 2 parts nutritional yeast (optional)

Mix all together and store in an airtight container


Sautéed Mizuna and Yams

I am not the most adventurous person when it comes to grocery shopping. My fiance and I have our grocery run down to an art; we take the same route and the same amount of time each trip. This means, however, that I often get the same produce over and over, since I know I’ll have the ingredients to use with it. In an attempt to get out of my veggie-rut, I bought a ‘mystery’ CSA box. I didn’t know what I was going to get until I picked it up. What I received was a HUGE amount of greens, most of which I’ve never heard of.

I am working through my greens, in order of least perishable to most. Today’s greens are Mizuna, which is a mild Japanese mustard green. After googling it, I learned that it can be used in place of spinach or other mild greens. I sauteed it with some onion and yams, and it was incredible. In my fiance’s own words, “this is restaurant quality!” The mild spiciness mellows even more once cooked, but it adds a depth of flavor that spinach often lacks. I’m going to be bold here and say it’s my new favorite green.

Sauteed Mizuna and Yams

We ate the meal so fast I only had time to take a picture of the wee bit of leftovers before it was gobbled up! This is definitely going in my “make again (and again) recipe box.

Sauteed Mizuna and Yams

Adapted from Martha Stewart online

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lb Mizuna or other mild greens (about 5 cups tightly packed)
  • 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse greens well and let drain.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss in yams and sliced onions. Cook until yams are slightly tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add in green onions, curry powder and water. Cook until water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add mizuna or greens and stir well. You may have to spit the greens in two batches. Cook until greens have wilted, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Info: per serving: 160 cals, 7g fat, 4.5g protein, 5g fiber

Cranberry Pear Sorbet

Our view while we enjoyed a cold treat

I love the weather is San Francisco. It’s like the sky spins a giant Jeopardy wheel each morning to pick the weather (sometimes even two or three times a day!). Just last weekend it was miserably cold and foggy in my neighborhood. I didn’t even leave the apartment on one of the days, because it looked just too icky outside.

Then the sky spun that great big wheel again, and it must have landed on “summer”. Well, “summer” for San Francisco, that is… It has been bright, sunny and warm during the day, and the evenings have been those balmy nights that make you want to sit outside with friends, sipping iced lemonade and enjoying a cold treat while you watch the sunset.

I prepared this sorbet in the morning using ingredients I had on hand, so so my fiance and I could enjoy it later in the evening. It was the perfect refreshing treat we had been craving, so I thought I’d share it. According to the bottom of this page, this recipe is actually a sherbet, but it tastes much more like a sorbet to me, so I’m sticking with it:)

Cranberry Pear Sorbet

Cranberry Pear Sorbet

  • 2 ripe pears
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup or to taste
  • 2 Tbs spiced rum OR 1 extra Tbs maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until cranberries are pulverized and mixture is frothy. Pour into a container, preferably with a wide bottom, and freeze 2-4 hours until firm.

Once frozen, break into chunks and place in blender or food processor. Process on low until creamy. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings

Nutritional Info: 125 cals, 6g fiber, 16g sugar

Super Green Kiwi-Limeade

Super Green Kiwi-Limeade

Ok. I have a secret. It’s quite unsavory, and many will disagree heartily.

I don’t really like smoothies.

Yep. I don’t dig those sweet, cold, frothy, drinks that everyone is raving about. You’ll never find me at a Jamba Juice, and while I’ve tried to have green smoothies for breakfast, I can never stick with it. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor. I love all the ingredients that go into a smoothie, and the endless combinations you can make. It’s the texture. I just don’t like thick anything . My oatmeal has to be so milky it’s drinkable, my peanut butter MUST have a crunch to offset the texture, and don’t get me started on ice cream that’s on the “too creamy” side.

So when I discovered whole juices, I fell in love. You get all the flavor, nutrients and fiber like a green smoothie, but the drink-ability of a cold glass of juice. Today’s favorite is a tangy kiwi-limeade that reminds me of spring, relaxing on my front porch, watching life go by.

Super Green Kiwi-Limeade

Super Green Kiwi-Limeade

  • 2 ripe kiwis, peeled
  • 2 cups mild greens, such as spinach
  • 1 medium carrot, broken into pieces (for sweetness and to mellow the flavors)
  • 2 Tbs lime juice, or juice of 1 one lime
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup ice (about 6 cubes, for me)

Combine ingredients into high-speed blender in order given. Blend on high until well blended (Blendtec users press the “Whole Juice” button). If using a regular blender, chop greens and carrots into small pieces before blending.

Makes 3 large servings or 4 small.

Nutritional Info: 1 of 3 large servings: 42 cals, 1g protein, 6g sugar, 2g fiber, 75% vit A, 90% vit C

I actually prefer this recipe with one kiwi, since I like things tart, but my fiancé preferred the sweeter, 2 kiwi version by far. Enjoy!

Crispy Apple Chips

Baked Apple Chips

Mmmm, sweet and crispy

Last Sunday I discovered that my neighborhood has a small (tiny!) Farmer’s Market just a few blocks away. Serendipity! One of my favorite finds was a big bag of “cosmetically challenged” apples. These apple were funny shaped, scarred or small, but were still loveable. I couldn’t resist, especially since a large bag was about the same price as two apples at my local big-box grocery store.

But what was I to do with all those apples? I ate most of them raw (with peanut butter, mmmmmm), and made a few apple-kiwi-kale smoothies. But at the end of the week, I still had one big, beautifully-ugly apple left. Looking for something different, I decided it’s time to try out apple chips! I am still recovering from a Girl Scout cookie overload, so I opted to keep these simple and without extra sweetener.

Apple Slices

Hard not to eat these BEFORE baking!

Apple Chips

  • 1 or 2 large apples, rinsed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Slice apple as thin as possible. I used my beloved mandoline at the thinnest setting, but you can use a good kitchen knife too. Don’t bother coring the apple, since the seeds will fall right out, and you get an adorable star shape, too!

If you are making a large batch with multiple apples, I recommend letting the apple slices sit in a bowl of water and a squirt of lemon juice while cutting so they don’t brown. Don’t toss the water out though! You can drink it as a lovely apple-infused water while you are waiting for the apples to bake.

Lay the slices on parchment paper or a pan lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Bake for about 2 hours until dry, flipping the chips over about halfway though. The baking time will vary depending on how thin the slices are, so check after each hour to see.

Nutritional Info: 1 large apple: 100 cals, 22g sugar, 0.5g protein, 17% dv vit c

Green Julius

Green Julius

Growing up, I used to love the delicious, frothy drink that is the Orange Julius. I think I would get one pretty much every time I stepped foot in my local mall. However, at 230 calories and 59 grams of processed sugar for just the small, I’ve since given up on my old mall-erific treat.

Recently I was hankering for that sweet orange-y drink from my childhood, but without all the calories and dairy. I whipped up a healthy vegan version – with a twist. Adding some kale gives this a nutritious boost and a fun green shade. You can’t taste the kale at all, I promise!

Green Julius

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 clementines or 1 orange
    I like the clementines because they have less pulp
  • 1 medium kale leaf OR
    1/4 cup greens such as spinach
  • 1/4 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla*
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional but gives it a citrus-y boost)
  • 4-6 ice cubes (about 3/4 cup)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender in order given and blend until frothy. If using a Blendtec, use the ‘smoothie’ button. If you don’t have highs peed blender, chop the kale or greens into small pieces before adding to blender.

Serves 2 large glasses or 4 small as pictured.

Nutritional Info: 1 large serving of 2- 96 calories, 12g sugar, 2.5g protein, 100% vit C, 50% dv vit A, 14% calcium (percentage of daily value)

 *when making cold or uncooked desserts, I prefer to use vanilla bean paste since it doesn’t have that booze-y taste that extract has. It delivers an incredibly rich vanilla taste, and is a great value too. I use mine in every sweet treat (including tea!) and after 2 years I still have half left.

Stumpy the Swab Stasher

Here is another pattern that was lost to the internet abyss:

Along with my cotton puffs, I use cotton swabs quite often for makeup application. So of course, I had to make myself something to hold those, too. Who wants an icky cardboard/plastic box on your counter?


I made stumpy using Lionbrand Lionsuede, which has a great texture and gives a very sturdy result. If using worsted yarn, I recommend at least doubling up. The pattern is quite easy, so here it is, incase you’d like a stump to hide your cottony treasures in:

Stumpy the Swab Stasher

Yarn: Bulky (Lionbrand Lionsuede)
Hook size: G

Special stitch: Bpdc, Fpdc

Main Stump:

1: With light color: ch 4. In 1st chain (4th from hook) dc 15. Join with sl st. (this makes a circle).

2: With main color: Bpdc around each post of each dc [15]. Join with sl st.

3: Fpdc around each post of each dc [15]. Join with sl st.

4: repeat row 3 until the stump is the height you like. Mine was 7-8 rows. Finish.

Little Branch:

1: With light color: ch 2. In 2nd ch from hook, sc 5.

2: With main color: sc in each st around until branch is the length you desire. Sew branch to stump

And that’s it! The matching owl is basically two spheres, starched stiff, and some half circles as wings.

Stumpy the Swab Stasher Stumpy, Owly's Buddy

Dog Bone Toy

Crocheted Bone

I’m reviving some old patterns that got swallowed by the internet abyss when I closed my old blog. A few years ago, I made this wee crocheted doggie bone for my co-worker’s dog, Romeo. Here is the “recipe” since it is really just a teensy tiny modification of another pattern.

Crocheted Dog Bone
worsted weight yarn
F or G hook depending on yarn weight

  1. Crochet Pepika’s 3D Heart, but stop at rnd 9
  2. Continue crocheting in a spiral for about 10 rows
  3. Crochet another 3D heart, also stopping at rnd 9
  4. Stuff both pieces and sew together!

That’s it! Alternatively, you can crochet both halves for 5 rows after rnd 9, so the seam is in the middle. Your choice.

Romeo is a teeny timy dog, so he couldn’t chew through this thing. However, I would supervise larger dogs to ensure they can’t get to the polyfil inside.

Thanks to much to Pepika for posting the original heart pattern.

Here’s some in action pictures:

Romeo and his boneWhat, I don't want this!

New York Noro Plaid

Noro Plaid ScarfMMMmmm, Noro. I love the colors of this yarn, but I’m a bit disappointed with the feel of it. I guess since I’m very allergic to wool, no wool yarn will ever feel yummy to me.

I originally bought this skein of yarn for the wavelength, but it was just taking me too long. The thing kept twisting severely, and every row I’d have to spend 5 minutes straightening it. Luckily, I found I way to both show off the lovely colors, and also use nearly 100% of the skein! Basically, I capitalized on the natural gradients of the noro, and made a sort of ‘plaid’. The results are easy and beautiful!

Here is the super simple pattern, sized so it uses as much of the skein as safely possible. If I were to do it again, I’d decrease the width to maybe 33 stitches and increase the length a few inches.

Noro Plaid Scarf

1 skein Noro Kureyon Sock

Size f crochet hook

Finished measurements: approx 7 in. x 51 in.

Row 1: ch 43

Row 2: dc 2nd ch from hook. *ch 1, skip next st, dc 1* repeat across

Row 3: ch 4 (this counts as first dc and ch). *dc 1, skip next st, ch 1* repeat across
(Basically, you are making a dc mesh, like in filet crochet)

Repeat rows 2 and 3 just row 3 (thanks emy!) until the scarf reaches about 51 inches long.

Now, there are many ways you can do the vertical weaving. I chose to make long chains, to keep the integrity of the gradient, but you could replace the chains with 2 or 3 stands of yarn. It is your choice whether you want fringe, but remember, this scarf uses most of the skein, so keep that decision until the end.

If you are weaving in chains here are some options:

  • Chain one super long chain, and wind into a ball to use, cutting the length as you go
  • Chain single lengths and make them as you need them
  • Chain double lengths and weave both ends, so you have two less ends to weave in

Basically, take the chains or strands of yarn, and weave them in and out of the mesh boxes, lengthwise. Make sure to alternate the starting direction for each column. Secure the ends of the chains by making a knot, and weave in the loose ends of the chain back into itself.

This all sounds much more complicated than it actually is! Here are some more pictures. NOTE: These pictures are of the unblocked scarf! I will try to replace them with better quality ones when I get a chance.

Noro Plaid Scarf

Noro Plaid Scarf