{light & simple fusilli pasta salad with roasted chicken and fresh veggies}

17 Apr

chixpastasalad-3

i love to make this dish… and quite often, too! it’s simple, healthy, colourful, and great as a make-ahead meal to have on-hand for lunches. furthermore, it is an easy to dish to batch-cook… a great choice to take to potlucks or BBQs. it has a lot of fun “crunch” and texture, which we all know i love and enjoy, and as always, you can control the ingredients. i simply buy a roasted chicken from the market whenever they are on sale… then i eat some, shred the rest, and save it for a dish like this or to throw on salads.

i always try to eat something raw with every meal i have – whether it’s a large salad with some warm soup and bread, a ripe banana in my oatmeal, or fresh avocado slices on top of my scrambled eggs – i always try to incorporate raw ingredients. i believe it’s important to balance out a dish with raw components that only fresh vegetables or fruits can offer. what i also love about this dish, is that it can be served hot or cold – it’s great both ways! i love it when my food is versatile ;)

and you can add in whatever veggies you want, really. mix it up with cooked and raw veggies… i would like to try this dish with some fresh spring peas, roasted garlic, and blanched asparagus – to celebrate the season!

———

fusilli with roasted chicken and fresh veggies:

– 16 oz cooked fusilli pasta, drained and set aside {reserve 1/4 cup starchy water}

– shredded roasted chicken {about 1 cup}

– veggies {about a quarter cup for each} :

   ~black olives

   ~cucumbers

   ~red onion

   ~mushrooms

   ~tomatoes

   ~corn

   ~purple cabbage

———

chixpastasalad-2

combine all ingredients and mix together. drizzle in reserved starchy water {this will help “marry” the pasta to the veggies}. add in dressing of choice {i opted for a french vinaigrette} and some S&P to taste. sprinkle in some dried herbs, if you wish…

chixpastasalad-4

and… “eat the rainbow” :)

chixpastasalad-3

make a big ol’ batch and take some to work for lunch!

chixpastasalad-5

nom nom… 

{signs of spring – cheerful cherry blossoms}

23 Mar

march2015-26

march2015-25

march2015-22

march2015-16march2015-18

march2015-17

march2015-15

march2015-14march2015-13

march2015-12

march2015-19

march2015-24

march2015-27

mmmm, can’t you just smell them?!?!

<3

 

{march madness!}

18 Mar

…just kidding… kind of.  it’s mostly a play-on-words… kind of.

hey gang – hope all is well. i don’t know about you, but i am so beyond ready for spring. warmer days, open windows, sandals, tulips, etc… aren’t you?! i know i have readers from all over the world… and i often find myself wondering, “what is the weather like where YOU are?!” ;)

…does anyone else feel all wonky for like a good week or so after the time-change happens?! it doesn’t matter if it’s in the spring or fall, my being just tends to feel it one way or another. however, i so welcome the extra light with open arms!

anyway, here are some snaps from my haps in march –

march2015-20

the southwest has been sunny and warm during the past week or so… and you better believe i’ve been trying to take advantage of it!

march2015-26

and i’ve been stopping to smell the cherry blossoms, too! mmmm,mmmmmmmm!

march2015-7

rosemary chicken w/ fresh english peas, asparagus, & feta cheese over a bed of israeli cous cous

my awesome new boss recently took us out for lunch at a cool local spot, and i was recommended this amazing dish which was absolutely delicious! …and i completely i devoured the whole thing… with little effort!

march2015-8

i see lots of vines growing along walls where i walk… i find them to be beautiful.

march2015-11

oh, hey. Continue reading

{healthy batch-cooking}

11 Feb

batchcooking-1

it seems like this is the time of year when everyone promises to “eat healthier!” and so with that in mind, i’m going to write about a little something that helped me change my diet by creating better eating habits and healthier decisions.

i’m referring to BATCH COOKING.

working in the food industry all these years has really helped me learn how to be a better at-home cook.  i wasn’t even much of a cook until recently… i’d say within the last 5 years i really discovered my love for cooking.  it actually is relaxing to me… chopping, stirring, mixing, tasting… all of it makes me feel good.

anyway – between wacky work scheduling, random one-day sales on groceries, and not having a vehicle -something I’ve kind of had to learn to do well is batch-cook. i find it’s much easier for me to spend an afternoon preparing a bunch of food for the week than trying to figure out how i’m going to get three daily meals in during my regular work week. i was first introduced to the idea of “batch-cooking” when i was working at whole foods market. i had never really thought about preparing food ahead of time… it just wasn’t something i had considered. but the more i thought about it, the more sense it made… especially at the time, when i was working the night shift. i simply didn’t have enough time in my day to cook at home as much.

that has all changed, though. now it’s become a regular thing for me to batch-cook at least 2-3 things each week. i don’t plan my meals before shopping, i let the food guide me. when i shop, i simply look for what’s fresh – as well as local and organic. sometimes i’m inspired right on the spot and sometimes i wait until i get home and look at what i got and create dishes based on that and what i have in my pantry.

every week is different. i don’t {and due to where i used to live, couldn’t} rely on being able to get anything i want at any time i want… which is a much different mentality then my days living in manhattan. but it keeps my diet much healthier because i know what i am buying didn’t have to travel very far and therefore is much fresher, and it keeps me eating in tune with nature and the seasons.

here are a few pics of some dishes i batch-cooked recently :

hamandbeans-8

slow-cooked smoked ham hocks w/ green beans and leeks

roastedchicken-8

herb-stuffed roasted chicken and veggies…

mushroomsoup-1

savory mushroom soup {with homemade beef broth}…

dehydratedbellpeppers-1

dehydrated {rainbow} bell peppers…

baconbrussels-4

bacon and brussels…

beefstew-1

my mom’s recipe : hearty beef vegetable stew… <3

batchcooking-1

candied carrots, sautéed cabbage and bacon, garlic and onion kaniwa, and red kuri risotto

i also have been LOVING these purple sweet potatoes! i like to bake 3-4 at a time and just bust them out when i’m ready for one.  they freeze really well, too!

purplesweetpotatoes-8

do you batch-cook? what are some of your favourite make-ahead meals? i love to hear from you, so comment below and let me know what you think!

{my first post in 2015 – an overdue update… with tons of pics!}

6 Feb
moving2015-10

last day in the tiny house…

hey gang – how’s the new year treating you so far?  did you make a bunch of resolutions? are you off to a healthier new you?! seems like many of us make those kind of promises in honour of the new year.

me?! i moved… again. and so i figured it was time to clue you all in.

i’ve missed blogging… but i have literally been living like a gypsy for the past month – and i simply didn’t have time to update as often as i had before.  plus, my camera is still broken so i haven’t been fotographing as much.  i’ve been relying on the trusty iphone to supplement in that regard… but this will all change very soon… it’s just life, i guess.

in my last post of 2014, i mentioned that i had to leave the tiny house… it was something i wanted to do but also something that was hard to do. it wasn’t so much that i wanted to leave the house, it was more that i wanted to leave the area.  it’s a beautiful place, but i am simply not cut out for the cold weather or the culture. if i could have taken that tiny house and put it on wheels to travel with me, i so would have. but alas, it’s a stationed tiny home and that wasn’t an option. c’est le vie. it was an experience i will never forget, and one that changed me and molded me into who i am today.

anyway – i can’t go into the whole story because i could seriously write a book about the circumstances around my final decision to leave the valley. it was just a series of events, some unfortunate, that paved the road to open up new directions in my life. and i have no regrets about it. i feel content in my choices and in the things i’ve learned, and i am excited for a new beginning in my life.

i’ve always been one to change my surroundings if i feel the need… and this move was no exception. home is truly where the heart is… so as long as i have ME, i’m good.

and so without further ado, here are some snaps of the haps in january… enjoy! i look forward to reconnecting with you and hope you all are well!

moving2015-1

this message really helped me as i made the final decision to leave colorado… the best word i can use to describe all the feelings… bittersweet.

moving2015-5

i will miss seeing the deer in my front yard every morning… that’s for sure.

moving2015-6

as i was packing and downsizing even more, i came across all these notebooks i saved from all my years working as a shift leader in NYC. i miss that job and that city so much, but it was an experience like no other and one i will cherish.

moving2015-7

fracking is a big thing in colorado – i would see signs all the time and people in the town where i lived were not at all ashamed of expressing their opinions on it… do you see the hand-painted sign on the bottom? it reads : “fracking gassholes” — haha! i loved it.

moving2015-9

i took myself to breakfast here on moving day… it’s called heidi’s deli. they make one of the best pastrami sammies i’ve had this side of the hudson… i will miss them.

moving2015-28

… and their ham, swiss, egg, and avocado croissants!

moving2015-13

i swear i wear this hat every day, lately…

moving2015-12

i was nervous moving in january… it’s not something i tend to plan out, what with unpredictable weather and all. but i was so thankful that wedged in between all the snowy days, was sunny friday – the day i moved my things out of the tiny home.

moving2015-14

i left this for the new tenants… cuz i’m like that.

moving2015-11

i also “left my mark” under the kitchen sink… ;)

moving2015-19

moving day lunch – cubano tacos. AH-mazing.

moving2015-20

while in gypsy mode, i was staying with some friends out in the sticks… literally. i helped them chop and stack some wood for the winter… okay, mostly i stacked. :P

moving2015-58

i’m learning to incorporate more salads into my diet in winter… my dear friend miss M taught me about the simplicity of putting cooked veggies in with your greens to add more dimension and warmth during the cold months… so simple, so easy.

moving2015-21

gettin’ artsy with a clementine…

moving2015-18

… and some window light!

moving2015-16

who wouldn’t love cooking your oatmeal on a wood stovetop?!

moving2015-15

i was SO thankful to be able to spend plenty of time in the private hot springs near carbondale… it was so healing, so sacred.

moving2015-23

doesn’t this look so bizarre and cool?! it looks like some kind of alien snow crop circle or something… but it’s really just an indentation from a cross-country ski pole…

moving2015-24

the roaring fork…

moving2015-26

this reminded me of new york…

moving2015-27

never grow up…

moving2015-29

moving day dinner… i will miss the local grass-fed burgers!

moving2015-49

ran into a little weather on actual moving day…

moving2015-50

i’m so grateful my chauffeur {kind of a joke – a good friend drove me the entire 8 hours to my destination!} was fully prepared with snow tires!

…and i’ve pretty much been eating a lot since i got here!

moving2015-53

homemade vegan pizza…

moving2015-54

with tons of fresh mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and jalapenos!

moving2015-55

good wine, good friends…

and my goodness, is it warm here! and i love that!

<3

{a personal post : bye bye 2014, my last blog for a little while, happy new year, 2015 – 8, new beginnings, cycles, the universe, etc etc…}

31 Dec

wow.

so i’m sitting here… alone… with my baba black lager. it’s new year’s eve. the last day of 2014. the final day in this calendar  year… 2014 was a numerology #7. 2015 will be a numerology #8. i could write a whole blog about the significance of numbers, etc. i just think cycles are so interesting… cycles of all kinds… the seasons, numbers, etc.

does anyone else get all weird on this day? like, it’s just another day really… but somehow i find the energy to be soooooo … intense. in many ways.

like, i woke up restless – what’s that about? and i slept for like, 9 hours last night.

oh yeah, it’s not just because it’s new year’s eve… it’s because things are changing… again. at least for me, personally… in my life, everything is changing… including where i live… i’m saying good-bye to the tiny home… with a bittersweet feeling in my heart.

you know they say that the only constant in life is change. how funny is that!? like, well – you can guarantee this – stuff’s gonna be different tomorrow. not everything will be different, but a lot of it will… because that’s how life rolls… it doesn’t care if we are ready for the change or not… it just keeps on changing. people change, astrology changes, rules change, the weather changes, laws change, … most things around us do NOT stay the same… including the people in our lives, and those we love.

so what’s my point? 

i dunno, maybe i don’t have one. maybe i just wanted to sit down in front of my computer and keep it real with you readers… and myself.  maybe i’m tired of trying to “keep it together” all the time… as in, always having the perfect thing to say and taking so much time to think about how to express myself… because i’m so scared of being misunderstood. maybe i just wanted to be spontaneous and sit down and write while i felt the desire, the thoughts flowing, the keys being struck with force and purpose… maybe i want to just say whatever i feel and not be worried about how everyone else is gonna perceive it…

maybe i’m just feeling the baba… ;)

so how do you feel about the idea that the only thing we can be sure of is that things change… how does that make you feel? is it comforting to know that with each moonset and each sunrise, that life can end and begin all over again?!  does that give you peace to know that tomorrow… tomorrow… the sun will come out?! or does it make you kinda crazy to know that you can’t ever really count on anything?! does it give you total anxiety to feel like as soon as you get comfortable with something or someone, there is damn good potential for it to morph into something else entirely and seem completely illusive?!

i feel like there is a balance… as with most things in life.

most days i’m so thankful to begin anew… to wipe clean the “yesterday” that never really exists in the first place… to wake feeling renewed and purposeful again. i learned a lot about the beauty in each new day when i lived in new york… it’s amazing how that city just doesn’t stop for anything… it doesn’t care if you didn’t get the memo, it doesn’t care if you aren’t walking fast enough, if you missed your subway stop, or if you aren’t feeling its embrace. when living there, i had to learn how to be so completely present that nothing seemed to really effect me to the point of not being able to continue to be in the moment.

my challenge this year is to get back to that space…

i’ve been practically beating my head against the wall trying to figure out where i went… what happened to the person that seemed to be able to really stay in the moment… to embrace it even when it was chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes down-right scary.  where did that audrey go that i spent 29 years trying to find when i met her in new york?!

she didn’t go anywhere… it took me all of 2014 to realize that.

i mean, seriously. just this past week i had the total epiphany that nothing is “wrong” with me… and if there is in fact anything that i feel uncomfortable with – that I, personally, have the power to change it. i can and always do create change in my life when i am feeling a need for it. sometimes it’s not always clear to me, but it’s almost like i do things without even thinking sometimes… and then when i’m on the other side of it, i go, “oh yeah… i see why we did this.”

i guess that’s true with everything in life… hindsight is 20/20, right?!

well, all i know is… i’m feeling more comfortable with change… dare i say, i’m embracing it. i’m not saying i love “change” during every moment while i’m in it… but i’m okay with the idea that everything seems “fleeting…” because really… if it’s true that the only constant in life is change… well, then i wanna make sure to be so immersed in each passing moment, that i love it for what it is… recognizing that it will never again be the same… that each moment really is a gift. maybe it’s not a gift wrapped in colourful paper and bows, maybe it’s not a gift we asked for… maybe it’s a gift we didn’t realize we needed.

but it’s still a gift… if we can be open to receiving it…

personally, i’m feeling happy to be letting go something while completely surrendering to something new and exciting. for me, my personal changes happen to coincide with the calendar change… but i’ve always been a firm believer that you can choose to make a change at any given moment in your life. you don’t have to have anyone validate your decision to change, you don’t have to have a party or mark it on your calendar… hell, you don’t even have to invite anyone. you can choose to make changes in your life while washing your dishes… you can choose to create a new life while driving to work… there are no rules for that. you can live life on your terms, but in order to do so, you must live life on your terms.

does THAT give you comfort?!  it sure does me… :)

so, as i ring in the new year and celebrate new beginnings, my heart is filled with gratitude for all the loving people, places, and things i’ve experienced. i just want to continue to hold a space of gratitude… and to be open to new things as i step boldly out of the familiar and into the unknown…

happy new year! – to each and every one of you. thank you for following my blog, for engaging and for taking time to read and give this blog purpose… i’m truly grateful to each one of you.

<3

 p.s. – i’m not gone forever… just a temporary hiatus while i adjust to some new things… i’ll be back to blogging in no time… 

{a holiday haiku}

24 Dec

xmasbokeh-2

sometimes the best gift

can’t be put into a box…

unwrap love all year.

<3

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,394 other followers

%d bloggers like this: