preTTiest veggie eveR

Jar of peanut butter.  You are quite unassuming for the pure joy you bring to peoples’ lives.


And then……you provide the most amazing vessel for a morning tub of oats.  Could it get any better??  I’m not quite sure.


Simple OIAJ [oats in a jar] 

  • 1/3 rounded cup of oats
  • 2/3c plain ricemilk
  • 1/3c water
  • vanilla splash
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 1 small banana sliced and mixed in at the end
  • topped with one of my graham crackers + Heather’s amazing strawberry jam

I am torn between mixing in my naner at the beginning or the end.  Both have their benefits, so I guess I’ll just switch off.  WHO thinks about things like this!?


Earth to Ashley Realizations I make…after the fact…

Round ONE

  1. Before going for a winter run, check the weather, or prepare to get caught in a blizzardy cold storm.  Today I was getting weird stares not only from my Vibrams but also my capri running pants + single layer long sleeve shirt. Moral of the story:  Check the weather!  Ski goggles would have come in handy today!
  2. If you are going to peel veggies, BE CAREFUL. 
  3. If you make 4 batches of graham crackers, you are going to want to eat them ALL.

It’s hard to tell but my shirt is pretty soaked…as are my pants and feet!  Speaking of did mine feel today???


Okay..this doesn’t look bad, but it was coming down HARD.  I really was having a hard time seeing while running.


I planned a well balanced completely random lunch.  [this goes with earth to ashley realization #3]


Leftover cold quinoa fruit + nut salad + black bean burger + steamed broc + 2 broken grahams plus ~2t PB

The burger was topped with a little of Nancy’s sourcream + 365 brand salsa.


How long do you guys keep leftovers around for?  This quinoa salad was from Saturday and I’m still eating it Thursday…gross??  It still tasted FABulous!  Topped with fresh goat cheese of course.


Speaking of graham crackers….here are some more photos from the trials. 

From left to right Trials #1 –> #4


As you can tell….I couldn’t figure out which way I wanted the fork pokes to go, or how many I wanted.  I was also being pretty sloppy with my fork stabbing skills…oops.  I think I like 3 stabs the best!


b-20     b-21

Trial #1                                                              Trial #2

Trail #3                                                              Trial #4

b-22     b-23

There is definitely a visual difference between all of them.  They range in color and in grainy looking texture.  I tasted trials 2 + 3 again today and they are pretty inedible.  I had to throw them out, which I hate doing.  #1 is wheaty but tasty and will definitely get eaten and #4 is yummmy + crunchy and almost perfect!

I broke down the nutritional info for Trial #4 - This was assuming you cut 24 crackers from the dough. [varies on size you cut, but mine were about 2.5x2]

1 graham cracker:

  • calories: 58
  • fat: 2g
  • sugars: 8g
  • protein: .75g
  • fiber: 1g

Not too shabby.  If you eat 3, it’s not a bad snack or 2 with some PB!!  The flavor needs some work though.  I would love to get the sugar count down a bit, but I don’t want them to taste like cardboard.

The whole wheat version.


Whole wheat pastry flour.


What do you think the prettiest vegetable is???  I’m pretty sure I’ve come to my conclusion!!!  Although I do LOVE bok choy, I think the winner is RAINBOW CHARD!  


I don’t understand how something can grow from the earth and turn out HOT PINK. 


Just gorgeous.  I love how the colorful stems creep up into the leafy greens!  Don’t be scared of this amazing vegetable!!!!


As my girl Kelsey would say….”GORGEY!!!”  


What did I do with it??  Well, I have actually only cooked with chard twice.  It kind of scares me…I mean look at that color!!  It was on sale at WF for $1.50!!! so I decided to give it a shot again.  So so glad I did.  I did a little research into this nutrient DENSE veggie and wanted to learn the best way to cook it, destroying the LEAST amount of nutrients.  It’s seriously a powerhouse of HEALTH.  It looked like steaming for 2-3min was the best answer.  Su-weeet.

Garlic salted quinoa with savory red beans + rainbow chard [modified from a recipe I picked up at whole foods]

  • 1-2c quinoa [depending on how much you want!]
  • 2c. water for 1c. of quinoa [or 4c. water for 2c. of quinoa]
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 3/4c. water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red/green pepper
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1t dried oregano
  • 1/2t dried sage
  • 1T vinegar [I used apple cider vin]
  • 1/2t salt
  • pepper to taste
  • salt/garlic powder/butter [for quinoa]
  1. Rinse quinoa + beans and set aside
  2. Chop onion, mince garlic, and chop pepper.
  3. Wash chard well and chop about 1” off the end of the stem. 
  4. Tear the leaves off the stems and chop the leaves + stems seperately.
  5. In a lightly oiled pan, add the quinoa over medium heat.  Cook for 1-2min and then add water.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer for 15-20min until liquid is absorbed.
  6. As soon as you start the quinoa, lightly oil a medium sized pot and sauté the onion + bay leaves for ~5min over med. heat. 
  7. Set up a large pot with a steamer basket and about 1” of water.  Cover + bring to a boil.
  8. Add in the peppers + garlic [to the onion mixture] and cook for ~5 more min.
  9. Add the water, sage, oregano, vinegar and beans to the pepper/onion pot.  Mash some of the beans to help thicken the water.  Let cook about 5-7min over medium heat.
  10. While that is all cooking: add the stems from the Chard into the large steamer pot.  Cook for ~2min.
  11. Add the leaves in and cook 2-3 more min.
  12. Fluff quinoa with fork, add in salt/garlic powder/butter to taste and lightly stir.

CHOW!!!! [i used a slotted spoon to scoop out the bean mixture b/c it was pretty watery.]  Don’t forget to take the bay leaves out! hehe

I love deconstructed meals.  This took about 30min with prep + cook time!


It was kind of hard to write the directions but I really tried to write them out to maximize efficiency.  If you want to make this let me know if something sounds confusing.  We topped the chard with a little vegan butter [earth balance] and salt. 


I loved EVERY part of this dinner.  The greens were full of earthy flavor, the beans were seasoned well, and the quinoa was light + fluffy!!!  Huz loved it too :)  I had seconds of everything.  I loved the crunchy stems mixed in with the wilted greens.  mm mmmm


Teri had chard tonight too!!  How random is that!? 


A few random tidbits I have been meaning to share!

If you like baking, check out my friend Carly’s blog.  I know her from middle/high school.  She just started blogging and is rocking at it so far.  It’s called “So I Married a Chef.”  Carly has extremely mouth watering recipes.  Like: marscapone brownies, PBJ bars!!!!!!, cupcakes, cookies and MUCH more! 

Next on the list:

I love this post from Darryn about her experiences with Soy!  Want to know my views?  Check it out on my FAQ page!


Check out the articles that are up, on the Natural Food List website, that I’m working for.  They are fun + informative.  If you follow them on twitter you will get a lot of good coupon offers for organic/natural food. My first article will be up in a few short days!