April 11, 2014


Today is different. Today is exciting. Today is emotional. Today is new. Today has been coming for a long time now...

Today is my last day at a job that I've held for 6 years, 2 months and 7 days. I woke up this morning at 5:30 am feeling refreshed and ready to start my day with a sweaty 60 min yoga sculpt class. I needed to begin this day on my mat, present in this moment that has been brewing for what feels like so long now. 

The decision to leave the comforts of a job and routine so familiar and so "good on paper" was a not an easy one; in fact it's been downright scary at times, but I knew I had to make the change. I've learned so much during this time and in this place, and I was never going to feel completely ready, but the time had come that I had to jump. I had to leap with my heart full of optimism and faith in myself and not look back. Thankfully, I have an incredible network of support around me - family and friends who encourage me to follow my dreams and pursue that which will leave my heart and soul feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. 

In 11 days I leave for Costa Rica to take what I am happily referring to as a mini sabbatical. The opportunity to live life for almost 2 months in a beautiful country, where I will no doubt learn a great deal about myself and continue to discover who I am, spend time with people I care about, work on projects that fulfill and motivate me, and plan for the future - one. day. at. a. time. It's an opportunity I simply could not let pass by me.  

Upon my return from Central America I get to follow my passion into the food & natural products industry by working with my family's company and contracting other exciting projects with individuals I have come to know and respect immensely. All in the spirit of good food, good living and doing good for all that is bigger than me and bigger than us. 

Making big life changes is scary, sure - but what's even scarier is regret. I feel it in my bones that I am meant to pursue what's in sight. I know it won't be easy, but I am ready for the new challenges and experiences that await me on the other side of change... 

April 1, 2014

Asparagus + Basil Pasta with Goat Cheese + Toasted Pine Nuts

In order to catch up on life's latest happenings (some big changes for me...more on that later!) I had one of my girlfriends over for dinner last week. I told her I planned to cook some asparagus pasta...not an asparagus lover, Alex said she'd just pick it out if she didn't like it. Fast forward to the end of our meal that night and not only had I heard "YUM" out of her, but her bowl was practically licked clean. With one recipe I had changed her mind about this ingredient and I challenge you to do the same for the non-asparagus lovers in your life. The flavors in this dish are light & fresh but full of zest. It's a super healthy recipe so you won't feel bad eating every last bite - and it pairs nicely with delicious, mellow wine. Enjoy!

Asparagus + Basil Pasta with Goat Cheese + Toasted Pine Nuts

*makes 2 servings

- 2 servings of whole wheat pasta noodles (we like thin whole wheat spaghetti)
- 1 bunch asparagus, shaved 
- 1 bunch green onions, diced well up into the green parts 
- 1/4 c VRGF olive oil (or other high quality brand)
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Basil sauce:
- 1/4 c VRGF olive oil (or other high quality brand)
- juice from 1 lemon
- lemon zest (from 1/2 the lemon)
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove (or two smaller cloves)
- 1/4 c fresh basil leaves

Pasta toppings:
- asparagus tips + 1 tsp butter
- 1/4 c crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 
- torn fresh basil (about 3 leaves divided between two servings)
- fresh ground black pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, prepare asparagus and sauce.

Rinse asparagus and pat dry. Cut off tips and set aside in a small bowl. Using a potato peeler, shave the asparagus lengthwise into long strips. 

In a large pan or heavy bottom pot, heat 1/4 c olive oil over medium heat. Add in diced green onions and saute for 2 mins, stirring constantly. Stir in asparagus strips, add salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 mins. Cook the asparagus tips by steaming them or adding them to a small pot of boiling water. Boil for about 4 mins, then drain water. Add 1 tsp butter to pot and mix with tips; set aside.

In a shallow baking pan add the pine nuts and toast until golden, about 7-10 mins. Remove and set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the Basil sauce in a small food processor and pulse until well combined. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and add it to the pot of asparagus and green onions. Stir until well combined then remove from heat. 

Divide the pasta mixture into serving bowls. Top evenly but generously with the Basil sauce. Add asparagus tips, toasted pine nuts, goat cheese and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately. 

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