Vegan Summer Corn & Tomato Linguine + Monday Blues

I’m really slow on the climb up the Monday morning ladder this morning. You know that thing where the better your weekend is, the worse Monday is? It’s that today, times 84. Planes, cars, boats, country music, beers, fried chicken, pizza, kittens, and a complete adoration of everyone around me was just one slice of the weekend–capped off by a 4 hour flight home in an airplane that was trying to replicate a winter wonderland environment with an internal temperature of about 34 degrees and that was so dinky that tray table was about as big as the beeper I had in 7th grade. No wonder the ticket was in my budget (holler, Spirit Airlines!)

And as entertaining as it was to watch the woman next to me try to hoist up her big ol’ first generation iPad on the miniature tray to play her shadow puppet game (don’t ask me,) me attempting to place my $8.90 snack pack and $3.10 water bottle on said novelty table, took all amusement out of the situation. By the time I landed, shuttled, drove, and crawled into bed at midnight, I had a sore throat and was looking quite unhappily at the week ahead of me. What is it about having the happiest times that sometimes only makes you even more unhappy when it’s over? Boy, I sure am ungrateful sometimes. Well, I’m allowing myself until noon (central standard time–just to be neutral) to gripe and then it’s back to a sense of positively and a focus on how absolutely wonderful my life is right now. Furthermore, I need to undo those beers, that fried chicken, pizza, and this little cold I’ve got brewing–so, this week, is going to be beautiful food, an active body and mind, and only a bit of a whiney attitude. 

Today’s recipe, is the perfect summer meal. The noodles are tossed in the most magical thing, that is cashew cream sauce, and topped with a light, fresh, and rustic sauce made from summer corn, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Cashew cream, if a foreign concept to you, is a preparation that is beyond worthy of a try–even if its a skeptical try. The cashews are soaked and softened, and then blended with just three other simple ingredients at a high-speed to make the silkiest (vegan!) pasta sauce ever. Put this guy on the weeknight dinner list this week and know that if you do, somewhere out there in Los Angeles, you’ve made me a little less cranky. Click to read more below the pretty picture.

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Sunflower Sprout & Yam Salad + Doing It All

I don’t believe that balance truly exists. Wait–all you hyper-positive people, come back here. Don’t get me wrong, I try to achieve it every day because how amazing would it really be to do everything, every day, with equal effort and dedication? A balance between our responsibilities and tasks,  adorations, interests, and progression towards betterment. I try so hard to create an equal harmony between my quite full-time day job, creating meals that I love, writing about said creations, caring for my strength and well-being, giving the most loving attention toward my relationships, maintaining my energy to travel and explore, and the list goes on endlessly. Generally, I wake up daily at an ungodly early hour trying to not only do everything on my mental list but be the best at all those things, because damn it, it must be possible. 

But the truth is, it’s literally impossible to do it all. On the mornings that I make a creative and tasty breakfast, I go to work with my hair and outfit looking like shit. On the nights I work out after a long day of work, I eat a microwaved mucho-queso enchilada instead of cooking the beautiful groceries I bought on Sunday and had intended for glory. On days when I romantic day dream from dawn to dusk, I end up not sitting down to write and create (note: almost a month gap lately between posts.)  And then, what happens when I maybe have a family or a business?  And increased responsibility by the moment? That balance will be further and further away from a reality. 

There have been many days of frustration when I really don’t do all I had intended to. I won’t go as far as to say I had feelings of failure because that’s just dramatic and I’m NEVER dramatic but frustration, without a doubt. Over time though, I’ve realized that the fact that I wake up every day trying to do it all, is what provides me my version of balance and my continued sense of achievement. Someone I used to work for once admonished me for saying “I will always keep trying my absolute best to achieve success,” saying “If you only try, you will never DO, Abby”–what a crock! Sometimes you just can’t do it all but as long as you keep trying your damnedest to do all you can, life will be as balanced as it’ll ever be. 

I am absolutely in love with this salad creation and know you guys will adore it, also. Sprouts are so good for you–sprouted beans, nuts, grains, and seeds are high in fiber, protein, enzymes, and fatty acids. I found these particular sunflower sprouts at my local farmer’s market and they were just so lovely, I was inspired to make a dish that makes them the star. The raw sprouts are mixed with lemon basil and cucumbers then tossed in homemade Orange & Sesame Dressing then topped generously with roasted yams and avocado. I enjoyed it as yesterday’s Saturday lunch and felt full as can be but still somehow felt light as a feather. Pretty much the opposite of most every other minute of my life when I can be found shoving pasta into my mouth and am subsequently comatose–so, SEE, balance in all things. Recipe for this little salad babe is after the jump so, get at it.

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Sorrel & Mint Pesto Pasta + Dream Journal

In recent conversation, I told a certain someone “I rarely remember my dreams”, with conviction. So, of course, every night since I made that declaration, I have dreamt to remember. You know how some people keep a dream journal? Or maybe that’s just a thing that people talk about that you’re supposed to do but never actually do–you know, keep a notebook by the bed and as soon as you wake up, flip on a light, grab a pen, and jot down the dream so that you don’t forget it. Side note, can you imagine sleeping over at someone’s house and at 5:02 am, they flip on a light, grab a pen, and start jotting down their dream? I’m totally doing that, just for the comedy, next time someone sleeps over. I digress.

My point in all this is that this blog, given that it’s 6:04 am right now as I write this, is serving as my dream journal. And to be honest, I didn’t have much else to say this morning to pair with this lovely pesto recipe. Alright, dream journal. In the dream, I had just had a baby–it wasn’t clear in the dream that I was a single parent but there was no specific guy around for what happened in the dream so, I guess we’ll never know. So, it’s a cold day and I’ve decided to go out with my new baby but I hadn’t bought any warm clothes or socks for my child. So, I called the one person I knew that had a kid and even though their daughter was now was 8 years old, I figured they would have some hand me downs. Then because apparently I’m going to be an amazing mother, I left my child sleeping at home in my bed to drive over and pick up the socks and jacket. Then on the way home, I got a really bad flat tire and had to call an Uber to get home. I woke up before I found out if it all worked out. It would seem that the years I spent being a nanny did nothing to increase my dream smarts about childcare. I mean, if this dream is a premonition that I’m going to be a careless new parent one day, then based on Monday night’s dream–I’m also getting a pet hippogriff. For you non-potter fans, a hippogriff is a creature which has the front quarters of an eagle and the hind quarters of a horse. 

And the only thing I love more than Harry Potter, is pasta. That was one of the best segues I’ve ever written. To get serious though, classic basil pesto pasta is quite overdone in my opinion. It’s tasty, sure, but I am such a huge fan of pestos made from other herb combinations. Sorrel peaks in late spring/early summer and is a tart, lemony herb. It’s paired with mint, garlic, lemon juice, and raw almonds to make a bright and clean pesto that is then mixed in with hot pasta and fresh asparagus. Click through below the photo to read more about the pasta and less about my dreams.

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