#ResolveToGrow

ynpntrianglencBackground: I have the privilege of serving on the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN) Triangle NC Board of Directors. You may try saying that three times fast, if you so desire. We’re an affiliate of our national chapter (YNPN), and our mission is:

“To cultivate and support young nonprofit professionals in the Triangle by fostering networking, skill-building, and resource-sharing.”

Fancy, right? Essentially, our purpose is to help bring nonprofit professionals together in various spaces – whether physical, online, etc. – and bridge connections to other people and knowledge. I “joined” in 2012 (we charge $0 for membership currently) and fell into this amazing group of individuals who had the same passion, commitment, and goofiness that somehow nonprofit professionals either are born with or develop over time.

Amazing “When You Work at a Nonprofit” Tumblr

Alright, enough background. We started a campaign for 2015 called #ResolveToGrow. Yes, it’s a sly way of asking folks to make resolutions for the new year, but we would offer some accountability support along the way.

The problem is: it required me to think of how I wanted to #ResolveToGrow this year – what would future Katie be like? Or, should be like, both in my professional and personal identifies.

Initially, I targeted a professional (and arguably super nerdy goal) of how I wanted to grow: to become much more knowledgeable and skilled in the art of Google Analytics. GA is gold, and I had skimmed just the surface of this data dashboard to help inform work at my previous and current job.

Taking this #ResolveToGrow challenge by the horns, I have already completed the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course through Google’s Analytics Academy. Step one of many, for sure. I have even put into practice some of the infrastructure recommendations for tracking our three websites along with testing out some “Goal” conversions and other nebulous Google-terminology meaning “bring people to website and keep them engaged longer.”

Wow, that got in the weeds quickly. In the spirit of always striving forward, I’ve come up with a few other ways I #ResolveToGrow in 2015:

  • Make homemade seitan. It’s been on my vegan cooking bucket list for a few months now. I plan on trying Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe, unless you have a “MUST MAKE” one!
  • Return to the lap pool. I’m not sure sure why I use “return” to imply that I was once there because I never participated in organized swim ever. I learned how to swim, thankfully, as was practically state law in Arizona. And, I spent 90% of my childhood summers in the water. But, to actually move my body up and down in formalized motions is not something I have undertaken outside of a few half-hearted attempts a couple of years ago when I learned that swimming laps is really hard. With enough friends who either are aficionados or taking on the similar challenge, I plan on incorporating this back into my workout routine post-marathon.
  • Plant a garden. So, I literally #ResolveToGrow my own herbs and a few vegetables (peppers, squash, tomatoes) in 2015.

Three might be the best, more reasonable start to this life campaign. We’ll see if others make it to the list (Chicago marathon? Brewing my own kombucha? Getting more involved in local government happenings?)

How do you #ResolveToGrow in 2015 and beyond? If you’re on Twitter, you should tweet at YNPN Triangle NC (@YNPNTriangleNC) with your response. Made sure to include #ResolveToGrow!

Day 26 of vegan recipe challenge: cooking with friends

Perhaps “Cooking with Friends” could be the “Words with Friends” for the new year. Less wordy, less competitive, and the outcome literally puts food on the table.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Jessi and I took on our own culinary friendship date. During the process, we touched on our own challenges when cooking with our partners: the improv chef versus the stick-to-the-recipe, the “this is how I do it” mindset [totally guilty of this one], so for a friend to be willing to chop, simmer, and saute along side you, I chalk that up to a pretty big deal.

We started with Angela Liddon’s Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas.. I showed some self-restraint and allowed the chickpeas to cook longer than I had previously, giving them even more crunch (and subsequently keeping fewer on the baking sheet as I snuck a couple each time I walked by – oops!). Below, find the recipes from the Oh She Glows blog for both the salad and the roasted chickpeas.

Bowl2You will be quenched, my friends.

Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

Yield: about 3 portions

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons natural cane sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Salad:

  • 2 medium field cucumbers
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • Roasted spiced chickpeas (recipe follows)

1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and adjust to taste. Feel free to add more sweetener if you prefer. Set aside.

2. Peel cucumbers, slice off the ends, and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon (see photo in post if necessary). Slice halves into 1/8-inch “half moons” and toss into a large bowl. If your cucumbers are really big you can slice the half-moons in half as well.

3. Dice the red pepper and red onion and add into bowl. Roughly chop cilantro and add into bowl. Pour in all the dressing and toss to combine. Let this salad sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge, tossing every 10 minutes or so to help the dressing soak in.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted chickpeas (if desired). Recipe follows.

5. Portion into bowls and top with peanuts and roasted chickpeas (optional). Serve immediately.

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

Yield: 1.5 cups chickpeas or 3 (1/2 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a medium baking sheet with a couple pieces of paper towel.

2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place onto paper towel. Add a couple paper towels on top and roll the chickpeas around until completely dry. This helps them crisp up in the oven.

3. Add the chickpeas into a medium mixing bowl and stir in the oil until coated. Now stir in the rest of the seasonings.

4. Discard paper towel and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Add chickpeas back onto the baking sheet.

5. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes. Give the pan a gentle shake to stir the chickpeas and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly charred on the bottom. I roast for a full 40 minutes because I like them on the crispy side, but keep an eye on them as oven temps vary.

6. Cool for 5 minutes or so and then top on your salad. They will lose their crispness quickly so these are best enjoyed immediately. If need be, you can freeze them once fully cooled, reheat them in the oven for about 5 minutes or so to bring back the crispiness.

But, that’s not all!

That was just the starter set. We jumped over to Isa Does It for the Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu & Kale. Recently, I reveled in my love for peanut butter. If you have the same lust in your heart, you will MELT over this sauce. After making it, I would put it on anything (even a bird):

No, not really a bird. But as pizza sauce? Yes. On salads? Yes. Over a bowl of quinoa and veggies? Yes. On ANYTHING? Almost yes.

Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu & Kale
Serves 4
Total time: 25 minutes; active time: 25 minutes

For the tofu:
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used peanut)
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the sauce and kale:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (!!!)
2 teaspoons curry powder (see note)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari (can sub soy sauce)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into pieces
Pinch of salt

For serving:
4 cups brown rice, quinoa, or rice noodles
Sriracha (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Note: Isa recommended S&B Oriental Curry Powder. I could not find it so I used a traditional curry powder. If you can find the S&B brand, the star anise in it supposedly really shines. It’s on my list!

Prepare the tofu:
You’ll need a cast-iron pan, or something nonstick that can take very high heat. Preheat the pan over high heat. Once the pan is good and hot, apply the oil in a thin layer. Add the cubed tofu and sprinkle with the salt. The tofu should immediately sizzle when it hits the hot pan; otherwise, turn up the heat. Cook for about 7 minutes, tossing often, until it’s nicely browned.

Prepare the sauce:
Preheat a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat and add the oil. Saute the ginger and garlic in the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the water and deglaze the pan, then turn up the heat a bit. Once the water is warm, add the peanut butter, curry powder, rice vinegar, tamari, agave, and sriracha. As the ingredients heat up, the peanut butter will blend smoothly into the water as you stir. It should take 5 minutes or so, stirring often. Taste for seasonings, especially to see if you like the level of curry, and add more if you like.

Prepare the kale:
Get your steaming apparatus ready. Place the kale in the steamer and sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Steam for about 5 minutes, until soft but still with a little spring to it.

To assemble:
Spoon the rice into bowls. Add the kale, then the tofu, and smother in the peanut sauce. Top with sriracha and cilantro, if you like.

How differently our three bowls turned out:

Bowl4Aaron

Bowl3Jessi

Bowl1Katie’s…and the worst photo (le sigh)

Have you cooked with any of your friends? Was it a success? Or is it still something we don’t talk about?

Day eighteen of the vegan recipe challenge: brought to you by Michelle

Time is of the essence today. And, essentially, I don’t have time to pen a thoughtful post (or even a thoughtless one at that!). So, I’m inviting you to check out the recipes of my friend Michelle, who took her own vegan challenge in 2014. She is super talented, so I promise: you will NOT be disappointed with whatever dish(es) you opt to try in your own pursuits:

tofu scramble black beans green pepper cilantro corn tomatoesTofu scramble? Check!

Black Eye Pea Portobello Spinach Patties with Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Roasted Salsa Verde
Black Eye Pea Portobello Spinach Patties with Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Roasted Salsa Verde

Last, but not least for now, one of my new go-to salads:

Avocado, Corn, Tomato and Brussels Sprout SaladAvocado Corn Tomato Brussel Sprout Salad_2

Happy Friday, all! What vegan meals do you have planned for this weekend?

Day twelve of vegan challenge: throwing in a non-food resolution and then joining the gravy train

In the midst of this self-imposed #Veganuary recipe challenge, I missed an opportunity to jump on the new year’s resolution post bandwagon. Last year, I set several personal growth goals for 2014. After reviewing the list, I feel that I accomplished several of them (more yoga, growing in my relationship with Aaron, hiding my smartphone at night) while others will circle back for a soon-to-be-written 2015 goals to espouse post (I MUST GET TO THE RAMP FESTIVAL!)

To indulge my Instagram addiction (and to diversify my posts beyond food and beer), I am participating in the #npcommpix challenge sponsored by the team at Nonprofit Marketing Guide under the leadership of communications guru Kivi Leroux Miller. Check it out:

npcomm

So, for yesterday – Resolution – I literally looked over my shoulder at the bookcase full of spellbinding and unread books. I. love books. It’s impossible for me to walk into a bookstore (especially used) and not walk out with something. Unfortunately, the pace of reading said books has not kept up with the purchasing, therefore leaving me with a bookcase full of unread books. Ding! That lends itself to a perfect (and I believe attainable) 2015 resolution:

booksThis is my kind of stacks on decks.

12 books. 12 months. Seems feasible. Based on Instagram feedback, I’ll be starting with “The Girls of Atomic City” by Denise Kierman. Any in this photo that you have read and would offer feedback on?

Shifting gears back to the land of #Veganuary, today’s recipe is (confession) not one I have made personally. BUT, it was made for Aaron and I by our wonderful friends Jen and Chris. Inspired by a dish from The Grit in Athens, GA (which has now been added to the bucket list), this bowl of gravy-goodness is mind-blowing good. Rich and creamy, this golden bowl will do you right (and impress any guests you have over – this is vegan?!) I will note: this recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour start to finish, so consider this one of your investment dinner evenings. I promise: it is SO worth it!

The Grit Restaurant Golden Bowl (via BigOven.Com)
Serves 4

the-grit-restaurant-golden-bowl-4Droooooooooooool

For Grit Yeast Gravy:
1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance rocks!)
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (almond could substitute)
1/4 soy sauce (or tamari)
3/4 cup hot water (or more depending on how thin you want your gravy)
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce

For Grit Style Tofu:
15 ounces extra-firm tofu
Vegetable oil (can substitute)
Soy sauce
Nutritional yeast

Sauteed vegetables:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (sub olive, sunflower)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and then sliced
6 medium button mushrooms, quartered (or substitute other favorite mushroom)

Preparation

GRIT YEAST GRAVY:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine completely. Stir in flour and yeast until blended and continue to heat roux until mixture begins to bubble. Use only enough heat to maintain vigorous bubbling, whisking constantly for 4 minutes. This is the time required to cook the flour to smoothness, and vigorous whisking is important to avoid burning.

Continue rapid, thorough whisking and add soy milk gradually. The mixture will quickly become thick and custard-like. Combine soy sauce, water, and Worcestershire sauce and add to gravy gradually. Blend well after each addition, and do not add liquid so rapidly that gravy is very thin. If gravy does become thin from the addition of too much liquid, continued cooking will thicken it.

Set gravy aside, and reheat before serving, or hold over very low heat while preparing the rest of the Grit Golden Bowl. Add more water as needed to maintain a good consistency if holding over low heat.

(note: I halved the gravy recipe in The Grit cookbook to come up with these measurements, so you might have to adjust the flour/yeast and water measurements a bit to arrive at the desired consistency (we always make the full amount, because we use the gravy on other things))

GRIT-STYLE TOFU
Cut tofu into cubes smaller than playing dice. Lightly oil a non-stick skillet and place over high heat. Allow oil to heat slightly, and add tofu. Saute, tossing with a non-metal spatula until evenly and lightly golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, saute briefly to further brown tofu. Remove from skillet, draining and discarding any excess fluid.

Rinse and wipe skillet dry, lightly oil and place it over high heat. Allow oil to become very hot and add tofu. Saute tofu, tossing with a non-metal spatula almost constantly until very well browned. Sprinkle with soy sauce to taste. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast to coat tofu cubes and, tossing vigorously, saute for a few seconds and remove from heat. Keep warm in the oven while you finish cooking the veggies.

SAUTEED VEGETABLES
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high to high heat. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent. Add bell pepper and saute for 1 or 2 minutes, until slightly cooked, but still firm. Add zucchini and yellow squash, and saute for another minute or two, until squash is slightly cooked but still firm. Add mushrooms and cook until they give up their water. (note- other veggies of your choice can be substituted; onions are always a good base, and the zucchini and yellow squash go well with the gravy, and so we always use these as a base, but we’ve also used other bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and peas with tasty outcomes).

TO SERVE
Spoon 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice into a bowl, top with veggies, tofu, and gravy, and enjoy!

For a tasty option, you can also garnish with shredded mild cheddar. (Veganize it or just leave it off!) We had it without cheese, and it was perfect.

Isa Does It (yes, she does) & day one of vegan recipe challenge

My friend Laura gave me one of the greatest gifts possible this year:

Isa

Hands down – vegan/nonvegan – one of the best cookbooks out there. This may be a premature post, but I like to think that after batting 10 for 10 from a random assortment of recipes, it’s a winner.

I plugged a movement cleverly named Veganuary on Facebook this week. The motivation behind this campaign is simple: take the pledge to try vegan this January (aka in 8 days). Why? A whole host of reasons:

  • Honor the lives of other creatures (aka animals)
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Reduce your cholesterol
  • Seek out new foods to entice your palatte
  • Support sustainable agriculture
  • Reduce air and water pollution
  • Lose weight
  • and more!

A few friends mentioned that they would try it – even for a few days. And I say:

heck to the yes!

Even adopting a plant-based lifestyle for three days can have positive impact. It’s not about doing a 180 of your life overnight. That’s not practical or likely to stick. Instead, I encourage people to start small. Swap out your milk to a non-dairy alternative. Pick up vegetables at the local farmer’s market.

And, when you need help, ask a vegan friend for some recipes. So, this brings me back to Isa.

I (ahem) am going to make an effort to post a recipe each day from now until the end of January that I have: 1) made; and 2) enjoyed. One of the challenges of any cooking experience is (especially from those tantalizing Pinterest recipes) – what if it’s terrible? And there are some bland, boring, duds out there on the Internet (and no, I’m not talking about farmers.com).

So, first up for today:

Smoky Incan Stew 2

Smoky Incan Stew (serves 6 to 8)
total time: 45 minutes – active time: 20 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped chipotles in adobo sauce, seeded
3/4 cup quinoa (red quinoa looks prettiest)
4 cups vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1.5 cups corn kernels (preferably fresh but frozen is okay)
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and juice reserved, tomatoes crushed into pieces (see note)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (1.5 cups)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Pre-heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onion in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chipotles, quinoa, broth, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for 7 minutes, until the quinoa is almost ready.

Lower the heat to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes. Cover the pot and simmer for about 12 minutes. the sweet potatoes should be tender and the quinoa fully cooked. Add the corn, tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro, and simmer for about 7 minutes, just until everything is heated through. It tastes best if you let it sit for a few minutes before serving, allowing the flavors to marry. You may need to add some of the reserved tomato juice to thin it out to your liking. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • The recipe calls for a can of whole tomatoes, but only the tomatoes are used at first. The juice in the can may be used to thicken the stew, or maybe you want to make a Bloody Mary or something? For prepping the tomatoes, you can just crush them with your hands. I do this right over the pot when it comes time to add them. Just grab one out of the can and squeeze between your fingers. It’s messy fun! Fresh tomatoes may be subbed, but add them along with the quinoa so that they have time to break down. About 1.5 cups chopped fresh tomatoes ought to do it.
  • One more ting: Touching hot peppers can really burn you, so handle them briefly and carefully, and wash your hands with soapy water immediately after. You can even wear rubber gloves if you want to be extra careful.
  • What to do with those extra chipotles? You can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge and use within a week, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be using chipotles twice in one week. What I like to do is store them in plastic and freeze.

Nom nom nom. Enjoy!

Smoky Incan Stew_1

 

A semi-(cook)book review: Glowing from the Inside Out via Oh She Glows

When I first stumbled upon Angela Liddon’s blog last summer, I was initially stunned by her photographs of food, nature, and even common kitchen utensils, all elevated to items of worship. Then, I reached the next stage of the OSG nirvana: actually COOKING the multitude of recipes she had tested, tried and true. I consider the Oh She Glows blog my gateway into vegan cooking, and, the opened the door into a entirely new perspective on good.

Clearly, it would have seemed ludicrous NOT to order her cookbook: “The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out.” Wait, can you still see this? Or am I glowing too much? Because I have inhaled the recipes tried thus far from this must-have guide to cooking vegan like a pro.

IMG_20140406_094154

The Green Monster, while not a new recipe of hers, has become my new morning go-to breakfast. I love the dash of cinnamon (mine becomes more of a good teaspoon). Check out the new glassware obtained over the weekend in celebration of Deep River Brewing’s one-year anniversary shindig (after drinking lots of North Carolina beer this weekend, this smoothie tasted extra good on Monday morning).

As part of my lunch series for this week, I tried her Protein Power Goddess Bowl: chocked full of lentils, quinoa (recipe calls for wheatberries but surprise, surprise, Kroger doesn’t sell them), red onion, bell pepper, tomato, and this UH-MAZING lemon tahini goodness dressing:

IMAG1643Hello giant spoon – shovel away!

Feeling like some spice in your life? Then her Quick & Easy Chana Masala will satisfy you beyond measure.

IMAG1620 Serrano, take me home.

Between the toasted cumin seeds, fresh ginger, garlic, garam masala and additional spices fusing with the chickpeas and diced tomatoes over hot basmati rice (which I had not had in WAY too long), this is a must add to your weekly rotation. While we normally try to avoid eating any “white” rice, it would be a disservice to this dish (in my humble opinion, of course!) to have it over anything BUT basmati – authenticity is key!

Thanks to a friend’s push via social media, I was inspired to take another stab at homemade hummus, and Angela’s cookbook offered her classic hummus. She touts using homecooked chickpeas as the ultimate base. While my bag was a bit too low to make for this batch, I opted for canned but DID pop each chickpea out of its skin (while watching “The Simpsons” on Sunday – definitely made the task a bit more pleasurable).

IMAG1640Take that, chickpea skins!

IMAG1642The result!

Now, it is VERY creamy, as she noted, and it does have a different texture than other homemade hummus recipes I’ve tried sans removing the skins.  It has thickened up greatly in the fridge over the last 48 hours, so I’m learning how to thin it out a bit (although it spreads sooooo nicely on our wraps).

Finally, for now, I was in need of more detox last week (what does that say about our weekend adventures as of late??), so I made her Eat Your Greens Detox Soup.

IMAG1622Let’s call this a little spring cleaning.

To put it eloquently: I freaking loved this soup. Tons of veggies (onion, carrots, kale, mushrooms, broccoli) and some seriously enticing spice combinations of fresh ginger, tumeric, cumin, cinnamon and some black pepper. Honestly, I DID feel better both while and after eating it.

So, more to come from this fantastic resource. If you are still on the fence because you don’t want to add another cookbook to your shelf, don’t listen to yourself: get it. You won’t regret it.

 

Frugal Food Preparation: What’s in the Freezer?

Last week, Aaron and I tried to engage in some food frugality post-Richmond vacation and played the: “What can we make from the pantry, fridge and freezer?” game. I still did require SOME fresh food but minimal: bananas, snow peas, apples discounted veggies, and Amy’s lunches for Aaron’s work. Outside of those few items, it was time to engage culinary creativity.

One meal I threw together was a simple marinated tempeh (fridge) stir-fry with snow peas (purchased), peas (freezer), okra (freezer) tossed over pasta (pantry). This was (I’m almost embarrassed to admit this) the first time I had marinated the tempeh, and boy, did that shake it up! A simple marinade of tamari, sesame oil, black pepper, and white wine vinegar.

Image

Image

For dinner another night, we went spicy – ole! This dish was infused with red pepper flakes, cumin, and black pepper. This was an almost glorified freezer meal: broccoli, peas, okra thrown together with diced tomatoes and chickpeas, all plopped on some wonderful brown rice. It brought the sweat…and coughing fits.

Image

Not photographed, but better believe there was a taco night or two mixed in there. Our Costco-supply of black beans, chickpeas, and corn tortillas always prove to be a lifeline for quick, delicious meals on those nights when cooking/dicing/prepping is just not likely to happen. My friend Michelle wrote a great blog post on how to create tasty weekly meals by stocking up on key staples to have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge, especially for vegan cooks.

Some of my go-tos to help in all dishes, but especially on the cheap, are:

1) Nutritional yeast (I could eat this on everything)

2) Dried beans (black, chickpeas, navy)

3) Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts – Costco, baby!)

4) Dried herbs and spices (in particular: cumin, basil, thyme, parsley, chili powder)

5) Grains, such as quinoa, bulgur, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice

6) Other proteins: tempeh, tofu

7) Frozen veggies, especially Edamame and stiry-fry blends

8) Toasted sesame oil

9) Hummus (i know, I know. We should make this at home. But Sabra…Sabra just knows what’s up!)

10) A good balsamic vinegar (we are fortunate to have Blue Sky Oil & Vinegar not too far from our house, which has an incredibly array of vinegars and oils – you can even taste them!)

What sort of ingredients are your must haves?