the in-between season bowl

sweet potato + sausage hash over greens with a fried egg + avo crema

My food cravings are all about cold, fresh salads + smoothies in the summer, and warming, comforting stews in the winter. But what about these in-between days, when it’s 45 degrees at 7am but going to be a high of 81 a few hours later? That’s where this in-between season bowl comes in… and it couldn’t hit the spot better.

A bed of raw chopped baby greens piled with a warm sweet potato, rosemary, caramelized onion + sausage hash, a fried egg, cooling avocado crema and zesty salsa verde. It’s one half raw, fresh and light; one half warm, hearty and comforting. For confused cravings on these in-between season days. And in Austin, apparently, these days (before the full-on blazing heat) are few. Continue reading

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garden gazpacho

Gazpacho and I have a thing this summer. How did I never see in it what I do now? I used to compare it to ‘just like drinking a jar of salsa – yuck!’, but now I see it’s so far beyond that. Light, refreshing, complex, pure, and wonderful. Like drinking my summer garden. For breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Topped with herbed croutons, fancy ceviche, or nothing. I love it, and I love that it helps me keep any of my precious garden tomatoes from going to waste.

Working on an organic farm this summer as well as having 6 plants of my own to tend, you could say I’ve picked my fair share of ‘maters this season. And just look at all the varieties! Each has their own flavor, texture and purpose. Many are heirlooms, which are so flavor-packed and meaty they’re just crying out to be part of a mean BLT. I’ll admit some look pretty darn ugly on the outside. But it’s the inside beauty that counts, right?

summer's tomatoes

I’ve made gazpacho (Spanish chilled tomato soup) maybe 6 times in the past few weeks, enjoying it as an on-the-go breakfast, as a cool refresher after working outside, eating bowls-full for lunch & dinner, and taking it to a cookout for friends to enjoy. Each time I make it is a little different, as I don’t follow a strict recipe and always use a mishmash of tomato varieties. But it’s hard to mess up too bad, unless of course you mistake jalapeños for bell peppers. Here’s my top secret recipe, now go put summer’s bounty to good use! Continue reading

My curried chicken salad

As someone who is very careful not to waste (any) food that I buy, I like to keep canned chicken or salmon in my pantry. That way I can use it when the craving arises and not get anxious about it going bad. Thus, chicken salad is a practical meal to make and last for several lunches of the week. It’s versatile and can be enjoyed on whole wheat sandwiches, mixed green salads, on flatbread crackers, lettuce wraps, or straight out of the bowl.

I have come up with my perfected chicken salad, — a mixture of fruity, cool and spicy flavors. Crisp apples, chewy dried apricots, crisp onion and celery, creamy tart yogurt, and warm curry and garam masala. I ate mine for lunch in big lettuce leaf wraps, making for a light and refreshing midday meal.

Fruity curried chicken salad

1 12.5-oz can white chunk chicken (I found Costco’s Kirkland brand to be the best- with big solid chunks of white meat)

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 t spicy mustard

½ t curry powder

¼ t garam masala

½ apple, chopped

¼ cup onion, chopped

¼ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup chopped dried apricots or golden raisins

Salt + pepper to taste

These measurements are all estimations; I’m not sure of the exact proportions I used. Just throw everything together in a bowl, adding more of what you like, different fruits or veggies, more spice, less spice, whatever tastes good! Make it your own. Stir together with a fork, season with salt and pepper and enjoy.