Sunday, May 26, 2019

cauliflower rice gallo pinto

Many of you don't know this but I was a Rotary exchange student in high school and lived in Costa Rica for my junior year. It was an experience that changed my life, as expected. At just 16 years old I left my small town of Sandpoint, Idaho to travel and live in a foreign country, basically by myself. I learned Spanish, I traveled by bus around the country and to bordering countries, I made friends and ate good food all along the way. It's been 16 years now since I left on that journey, but I am still in contact with my fellow adventurers, and I am still making gallo pinto.

Gallo pint, meaning, the spotted rooster, is a breakfast dish made with black beans and white rice, served with Salsa Lizano, eggs, and natilla (Costa Rican sour cream). I have been making cauliflower rice lately and thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit. This is an easy side dish for any meal of the day, wrap it up in a tortilla, serve it over greens, or keep it more traditional with eggs (depending on how "almost" vegan you are).

Cauliflower rice is just as versatile as regular rice, serve it with curries, make a fried rice, or just cook it up with salt and pepper for a simple side dish. All you have to do is grate raw cauliflower, either with a box grater or the grater attachment of a food processor, and saute for a few minutes with seasonings of your choice. Minimal oil needed, flavor possibilities endless.

caulirice gallo pinto
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

Dice the onion, bell pepper, and tomato. Grate the cauliflower on a box grater or with the grater attachment of a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet and add the onion, pepper, and tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid from the tomatoes, then add the caulirice. Stir constantly to evenly cook the cauliflower, it will only take a few minutes since it is in such small pieces. Add the spices and salt. Then add the black beans, drained and rinsed. Cook until completely heated and caulirice is nice and tender. Serve as desired, and Pura Vida!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

greener green curry

What a month! I was thinking I'd have so much time for new recipes and blog posts, but here I am, almost a month later and just now posting. Well, here's what I've been up too: I have just recently started teaching at Pure Barre Maui! It has been quite the journey of training and practice but with the support and motivation of my incredible team of fierce females, I am on the schedule and loving it. I have also been teaching nutrition and cooking classes at Montessori School of Maui for their after school program. Every week we talked about a different nutrient or food group for our nutrition lesson and then made ourselves something healthy to eat. Giving kids confidence in the kitchen and around food has been incredibly rewarding, I can't wait to do it again in the fall.

Of course, I am still busy in my own kitchen. I am always a fan of hidden veggies so here is one that is literally dripping with greens. Grab your favorite green curry paste, and everything else that is green, and let's get cooking.

greener green curry
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp green curry paste of your choice
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • handful of fresh Thai basil
  • handful of fresh parsley and cilantro
  • 1-2 cups fresh greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu
  • salt as needed
Chop the onion and heat the coconut oil in a pan. Saute the onion until just soft, then add the zucchini. While the veggies are cooking, add the ginger, garlic, green curry paste, coconut milk, Thai basil, parsley, cilantro, and the greens to a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the sauce to the vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes for all the flavors to combine. Add the peas and cubed tofu and bring back to a simmer.

Every green curry paste will be a little different, some more concentrated, some saltier, and some spicier, so make sure you taste your sauce before you add it in and again at the end. Add more salt as needed. Serve over brown rice or the grain of your choice. And there you go, getting your greens.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

pantry essentials

Having a fully stocked kitchen makes healthy cooking at home so much easier. With this guide, you'll be recipe prepared throughout the week, just pick up the produce or specialty items you need and you're good to go!

Many of these items I buy in bulk and constantly keep stocked, others are just by the container or package. If you have never used some of these items before, wait to get them until you are going to use them, and keep in mind, everyone's kitchen is going to look different. 

Dry bulk items:


Buy these in bulk and keep them in large jars to preserve freshness.

  • nutritional yeast
  • beans- usually lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans (canned or dry)
  • coconut milk cans
  • almond milk or other nondairy milk (store in the refrigerator once opened)
  • protein powder (Arbonne's vanilla flavor is my fave!)

Beans are a great foundation to a meal and, whether canned or dried, have a long shelf life.  Keep cans of coconut milk for making curries and coconut yogurt. I'm always stocked with some extra almond milks for making smoothies or protein shakes. And my favorite protein powder! Check it out here.

Nuts, seeds, dried fruit

These are all great things to buy in bulk and store in mason jars.

Things for the refrigerator:
You'll find these ingredients in a lot of my sweet treat recipes. Add spirulina to smoothies for extra protein and tons of micronutrients.

Oils and vinegar: 
It's nice to have a variety of oils and vinegars to choose from. Even if you are stuck in a cooking rut and making the same veggies every week, you can mix up the oil or vinegar to give the same dish a whole new dynamic.

Baking supplies:

  • flours (whole wheat, unbleached white, gluten free, your choice)
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • sugar (I always have organic cane sugar for making kombucha and usually use maple syrup when I bake)
  • vanilla extract
If you don't bake much you might be able to skip this section, although it is good to have these things around for when you do, they last a long time when stored correctly. On Maui I store all of these things in the fridge (flours, sugars, baking powder and soda) because of the humidity and the ants!


  • cumin
  • paprika (smoked and regular)
  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • chili flakes
  • cinnamon
  • dried herb mix (Italian herbs) 
  • curry powder
  • salt (Himalayan pink salt or Red Alaea salt)
  • black pepper
Of course stock your favorite spices or the ones that you use the most. For me, these are the ones I am constantly using. Yes, I do have more than just these spices on my spice shelf, but these are the ones I try to always have on hand. 

What's in your pantry? I'd love to know what you can't live without so leave your comments!