Sweet Potato-Pesto Hash Stuffed Peppers with Cashew Cream

Sweet Potato-Pesto Hash Stuffed Peppers with Cashew Cream

When food catches me off guard by being extremely delicious, I find it much more gratifying than if I had been prepared for it to be that good.  That’s what makes seeking out new restaurants and constantly creating new recipes so appealing to me.  And it is what made my trip to Prasad an eye-opening and revitalizing experience, reminding me of how completely satisfying a well-prepared vegan meal can be.

Spoiler alert: the food I ate there inspired this recipe!

Last week, I took my first solo vacation.  It was to somewhere I’d never been, but had always wanted to go – Portland, Oregon.  

I think my expectations of the city had just been accumulating over time, from friends who had visited some of the many epic breweries there, or whose aunts cultivated massive personal gardens in the area, from magazine articles touting the burgeoning culinary scene, and even quirky TV shows that poked fun at the laid-back hippy/hipster vibe Portland is reported to exude.

All of it made me want to go.  

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Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

I’m not really a die-hard swimming fan.  I know some people really go out of their way to jump in the water if there’s a pool or ocean or lake anywhere nearby.  I wouldn’t say the same about myself.  Mostly because I don’t love being cold, and I usually find myself far out of my temperature comfort-zone.  But here in Arizona, with the 100 + dry heat summers, it can be one of the best (and one of the only) things to do outdoors! 

This weekend, it finally hit the 100s in Tucson.  I definitely missed the nicer – and totally weird – low 80s May we were having, but it made for the perfect weekend for a pool party.  Yep – pool party weather!  So I finally managed to go swimming for the first time this year, and let me tell you, it was glorious.  

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Peach & Prosciutto Salad

Peach & Prosciutto Salad

In a perfect world, there would be no tough decisions.  Mint chocolate chip or rocky road?  Hiking or swimming?  The pink or the teal dress?  Sweet or savory?

(Some real toughies there, huh?  Okay, but you know what I mean!)

Still, it may be argued that having some challenging decisions make life more interesting and spicy.  Well, for better or worse, we do have options in life, but today I’m telling you to have it all.  At least as far as this particular salad goes.

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Pineapple & Sausage Quinoa

Pineapple & Sausage Quinoa

Last week, I shared with you my Garden Quinoa Salad – a delightfully fresh take on quinoa that was basically made as a pairing to summertime – and now I’m ready with another one!  Just like they say about Reese’s peanut butter cups and Oreos, there is really no wrong way to eat quinoa.

This lovely, lovely little grain – well, seed, actually – can go with anything, and is a good source of complete, vegan protein.  Plus, when you make a big batch of quinoa ahead, you have a base for your meals all week if you want! [I mean, just look at all the things you can do with it… Quinoa-Farro Butternut BowlMexican Quinoa Risotto"Meaty" Veggie Sloppy JoesBest Black Bean BurgerFarmer's Market Burrito Bowl, BBQ Stuffed Winter SquashThai Stir Fry]

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