Monthly Archives

March 2016

Breakfast Dessert Gluten Free Recipes Vegetarian

Lavender Blueberry Chia Pudding

March 27, 2016

Lavender Blueberry Chia Pudding
AKA – Bre’s Chia Pudding


If you’re reading this blog you probably know that I’m obsessed with my niece. We don’t look very much alike, but you know we’re related based on two characteristics:

  • We think we’re hilarious – she cracks herself up and I crack myself up.
  • Our sleep habits – we hate going to bed and we hate waking up.


I procrastinate quite a bit before I go to bed. It’s typically a ritual that goes something like…

  • Complain about going to bed
  • Get a snack
  • Declare I hate going to bed
  • Look in the fridge
  • Think of an idea for a recipe!
  • Get into bed
  • Oops, I need a glass of water!
  • Get back to bed and toss and turn for a good 45 minutes
  • Sleep
  • Wake up and scowl at my mom when she says, “Good morning, MariSunshine!”


Last week, as I was going through my bedtime rituals, I came up with this recipe thanks to the help of Oh She Glows and my Flavor Bible. I’ve had some lavender in my cabinet for a few months and have been wondering how to use it. At Christmastime I made some lavender almonds, but was stumped after that. My Flavor Bible suggested combining it with blueberry and almond and that’s how this pudding was created.


My niece loves to help in the kitchen and this was a perfect recipe for her to help measure, stir, shake, and get her hands dirty with the left over almond pulp.


A few notes about this recipe:

  • You’ll make the almond milk first. If you don’t have a nutmilk bag, you can use cheesecloth. You also can skip the second straining, but it makes the milk significantly smoother. I love these dishtowels for this step. They’re super handy for a lot of kitchen tasks, especially drying produce.
  • Making your own almond milk is pricey. If you’d like to cut costs you could use prepared almond milk and blend it with the lavender.
  • A cautionary word on chia seeds – While they’re very healthy (high in protein, fiber, and omega-3s), some can’t digest them.
  • If you can’t digest chia seeds, replace the chia with raw oats for “overnight oats” (the ratio of milk to oats is usually 1:1).


Lavender Blueberry Chia Pudding
Makes 2, 1 cup servings

½ cup of almonds, soaked overnight
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of lavender, culinary grade
2 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked about an hour
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 whole vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
pinch of salt
¼ cup of chia
½ cup of blueberries – I used frozen since they’re not in season
Maple syrup to taste – I use about a tablespoon per serving


  1. Rinse soaked almonds to remove any residue.
  2. Make almond milk: In a high-speed blender (hello Vitamix cult members!), combine soaked almonds, water, lavender, dates, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Blend on high for at least one minute.
  3. Place a nut milk bag over a bowl and pour almond milk mix through the bag. Squeeze the bag to remove any left over liquid.
  4. Optional step: Filter the milk again through a fine cloth to make an especially smooth milk.
  5. Place chia in a bowl or jar and slowly stir in the prepared milk with a fork.
  6. Chill until desired consistency (at least an hour), stirring occasionally. I like to put mine in a jar and shake it every time I go in the refrigerator… about every 15 minutes.
  7. Add blueberries and maple syrup


Dinner Recipes Soup Vegetarian

Lemon Coconut Soup

March 20, 2016


Lemon Coconut Soup aka Learn How to Photograph Soup.

Not a very timely topic, but what are your thoughts on New Years Resolutions? Years in the past I made resolutions like picking up my clothes before I go to bed (I literally did not do it a day) or cut back on my almond butter habit (HAH!!!) This year I decided to make a resolution only for January and then go from there – have one green vegetable a day. While searching for different recipes to support my resolution, I was led to this list of detox recipes on Greatist. After a few dozen butterballs, I needed a little detoxing. I haven’t made it through too many of the recipes, but it did lead me to Supper with Michelle. A few months later, I’m doing okay on my “one green thing a day.” I’m far from perfect, but I’m doing my best.

DSC_0484That’s a complete lie. I am not doing my best at all. Yesterday I had quinoa, rice, sushi, and Girl Scout cookies (quinoa and rice were separate meals). To support my “green habit” I am making this soup regularly. I had small expectations  – I didn’t think I’d be a fan of a lemony soup, but the lemon is not over powering and gives it a nice brightness. The coconut milk is what makes this soup so satisfying, and the quinoa adds a nice crunch.

Confession: Until about a year ago I’d never made grains on a stovetop. I use a rice cooker at home. Before my “grain test” in school I called my friend, Kaitlin, in a panic to have her walk me through the process. In case there are any others out there who are grainaphobic, The Kitchn has simple directions to make rice, and rice and quinoa have the same proportions grain to water.

DSC_0490Also, an interesting fact about cooking grains – if you boil the water first, then add the grain, it will give you a fluffy texture. If you combine the grain with cold water and bring it up to a boil, it gives you sticky grains. I prefer sticky. I recently tried freezing the soup. I’ll get back to you on how it does. Here’s to eating more greens!

DSC_0496 (1)

Lemon Coconut Soup
Serves 4 – Adapted from Supper with Michelle “Lemon and Spinach Orzo Soup”


  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ a yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 carrots, sliced on a bias
  • 2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup of red lentils
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • ½ a lemon – juice & zest
  • 3 cups of de-stemmed, chopped curly kale
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare quinoa according to your preferred method and set aside.
  2. In a 4-quart pot, on low-medium heat, add olive oil and stir in onion. Add a pinch of salt to help sweat the onion. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Add celery, carrot, garlic, lentils, and red pepper flakes. Stir occasionally until vegetables become slightly tender – about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to high and pour in vegetable stock and cover soup until it comes to a boil.
  5. When the soup boils, bring down the heat to low and simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the coconut milk into the soup until it becomes well incorporated. Squeeze half a lemon into the soup, and microplane the zest to your liking. (I probably used ¼ teaspoon)
  7. Add chopped kale and prepared quinoa to the pot and heat for another 5-10 minutes or until the kale becomes wilted.
  8. Season with salt to your liking.

Question: Do you make resolutions and if so, how are they going?