Fall has definitely arrived here in Seattle! During the autumn and winter months, I’m much more inclined to cook at home, enjoy earlier nights and eat out less. This is a great time to experiment with some easy and wholesome recipes that will support your body through the colder months.
If you’re cooking for a crowd or batch cooking, simply double the ingredients for each recipe below.
Soup is a go-to at my house during the colder months. I especially love how simple and quick this recipe is (only 10 ingredients – most of which you probably already have at home.) It’s loaded with veggies and cannellini beans for a hit of plant-based protein and extra fiber.
I make this quinoa recipe frequently. It’s seasonally versatile so I often serve it cold in the spring/summer and warm in the fall/winter. This also makes an excellent filling for wraps or on top of a salad.
Who doesn’t love a comforting curry? This recipe has a lot of room to play, meaning, you can use any vegetables that you like and serve it alone or on top of brown rice (my favorite) or quinoa. The options are truly endless with this simple-to-make dish.
There’s nothing better than tossing a handful of ingredients into a large stockpot and letting it simmer all day while you go about your task list. (Checking it frequently of course!) I love to make a big batch of this soup on a Sunday and eat it throughout the week when I need something simple and quick.
I can’t get enough of the sweet & spicy flavor profile this warming salad has. Cauliflower creates a neutral base for ingredients like caramelized leeks, plump raisins and earthy nutmeg to play. This can also be served cold and tastes even better heated up the next day!
Sometimes you just need a little extra something to get you through the afternoon slump. These delicious bars are the perfect combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats that will keep you fueled and satiated until your next meal.
These delicious (and healthy) Crispy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies are destined to disappear from the cookie jar quickly! I’m normally not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, but the touch molasses in this recipe creates a smokey flavor that makes these absolutely irresistible. Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the oats, gluten free flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the syrup, oil, vanilla extract, and molasses. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
Using your hands, roll tablespoon-size scoops of dough into balls. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
Note: You can substitute chocolate chips for the dried fruit and any kind of nuts for the walnuts.
Here I am again, rounding up all of my favorite things from this month to share with you. This month is multifarious and contains everything from French skincare to my mediocre gardening skills. Enjoy!
I’ll simply leave you with the description provided by the podcast host (also wonderful author and blogger) Shannon Ables.
“The simple sophisticate is someone who prefers quality over quantity, sensible living over mindless consumption, personal style instead of trendy fashions, has an insatiable curiosity for life’s endless questions and a desire to live a truly fulfilling life rather than being led around by the nose. Inspired by her lifestyle blog The Simply Luxurious Life, Shannon Ables (the original Simple Sophisticate) shares with listeners tips on how to live a refined life on an everyday income. From achieving your goals, preparing a memorable meal, creating a capsule wardrobe, traveling the world (Francophiles tune in as Paris is a favorite destination), and living life to the fullest without breaking the bank, living well is really quite simple.”
This podcast is all-encompassing, realistic and inspiring for all ages and walks of life. Able’s demeanor is positive and genuine, and I feel like I’m listening to a close friend when I tune in weekly.
I stumbled upon jazz vocalist, Emilie-Claire Barlow’s, music nearly 10 years ago. Her lithe yet warm vocals have since been the subtle background to many of dinner parties and quiet afternoons spent at home. Toronto born, you can expect an eclectic mix of French and English.
While I’m not usually one for fiction (I know, I’m trying), this novel came via the recommendation of a family member and The New York Times Book Review, so I’m taking a stab at it. I won’t say much, as I’m only about one-third of the way through, but thus far, it’s an immersive coming of age story intertwining a vivid ode to nature.
I’ve read many of esteemed psychologist, Martin Seligman’s, books including Authentically Happy and Learned Optimism. While this book is much more research-forward than most self-help books (specifically within the text itself), it still provides readers with applicable takeaways and a comprehensive overview of the field of positive psychology. I also found the notes in the appendix quite helpful and interesting for further research.
I devoured Liane Moriarty’s novels The Husband’s Secret, Truly, Madly, Guilty, and of course, Big Little Lies. So when HBO decided to bring this coveted story to the screen in 2017, I was definitely intrigued. While I only started watching it last month (a little late to the game, I know), I’m already impressed by the dark, comedic storyline laced together with the complex, multifaceted characters.
After seeing each other for the first time in years on separate work assignments in Paris, former lovers, Sophia and Yves, rekindle their romance in an affair that takes them across France from Normandy to St. Tropez. The simplistic, black and white cinematography makes for transcendent love story filled with romance, style, and unrepentant passion. I watched this film when it premiered nearly 8 years ago and continue to watch it at least once a year for its artistic allure and inspiration.
My dry, sensitive skin luxuriates in relief that this simple moisturizer provides. As a coveted French pharmacie essential, this long-lasting, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic formula restores and maintains skin’s hydration. I use this in the morning under my sunscreen and at night after cleansing.
I finally gave in to all the buzz surrounding this cult-classic product on a recent trip to Hong Kong. This multipurpose mist is crafted using potent plant extracts including polyphenol-rich green grape, rosemary, orange flower, and rose. Simply shake and spray over your face, neck and décolleté to prep the skin, set your makeup or simply refresh. The glass bottle looks elegant on your countertop or bedside table too.
When it comes to fragrance, I tend to gravitate towards more masculine, earthy scents over floral or fruity. (For reference, Tabacco Vanille by Tom Ford has long been a favorite.) I recently stumbled upon this Mixologie rollerball when shopping for a travel-size scent. It encapsulates all of my favorite notes including vanilla bean, smokey musk, amber, sandalwood, white oak, aged bourbon, tobacco flower, and tonka, and does so in a subtle, non-overbearing manner.
The only joy I obtain from summer, is the fact that autumn is right around the corner. For whatever the reason – whether it’s my Northern European lineage or strong sensitivity to the sun – I simply do not thrive in warm weather. So, until my beloved overcast days return and the wool sweaters reappear from the depths of my closet, I’ll be baking my pumpkin treats (all of which you can find on here) and scrolling through Pinterest looking for autumn inspiration.
I recently took it upon myself to find flowers and vegetables that thrive with a dose of the morning sun, but primarily prefer a shaded environment. (Those are the attributes that constitute my tiny container garden here in the city.) It turns out that hydrangeas and kale fancy just that.
So far, everything seems to be thriving. However, from what I’ve read, these plants are quite resilient. Don’t get the wrong impression, I am certainly not the pinnacle of domesticity.
What have you been loving this month? Be sure to share with me in the comments below or on Instagram or Facebook. I really enjoy hearing from you!
On this July 4th, let’s raise a glass in celebration for the wildly simple, yet, profoundly complex concept that is freedom.
My gratitude for freedom doesn’t come from dire circumstances or traumatic personal experience, but from the awareness I try to cultivate based on other people’s lack of. I feel a tremendous responsibility to continually stay informed and engaged and to check my privilege as someone who could easily and ignorantly turn a blind eye.
As we celebrate our
independence, I encourage you to take a moment and consider those who live in
nations or under circumstances where freedom is less abound.
Today, I think about:
The 5.7 million registered refugees and 6.6 million internally displaced people who have been barbarously uprooted by the violence and destruction of the ongoing Syrian Civil War.
The genocidal attack on the Yazidi community nearly five years ago in Sinjar, where the Islamic State enslaved and killed thousands of innocent men, women, and children, subjecting captives to the most unimaginable horrors.
The devastating hindrance and impact that educational inequality has on women and girls globally and that despite progress, females still continue to face multiple barriers, based on gender and its intersections with other factors, in the access and right to quality education.
The children being held in despicable conditions at the United States-Mexico border, a completely preventable an unnecessary humanitarian crisis. Also (and despite your personal political beliefs), consider the sacrifice and trepidation these families must have encountered in their pursuit of safety and asylum.
I also think about the vast inequality and austere issues pressing the United States. Reading the statistics on gun violence and hate crimes has left me aghast. My mind wanders to racial inequality, wage inequality, and homelessness. I think about the rising cost of healthcare and the fact that 11.8% of households were food insecure last year. I think about those who endure microaggressions and racial oppression daily (of course outside the U.S. as well), and how it must feel to live in a country where freedom is touted, but one’s opportunity can be hindered simply because of race.
Today, let’s momentarily consider our life without independence, because this holiday can be more than just fireworks and a day off. Today can be an opportunity to consider the antithesis of our freedom. We must acknowledge that we, as humans, are exactly the same as those living in countries where genocide and sexual violence are common corruptions. We must also acknowledge that people in such dire circumstances love their families the same way we do, and dream of a better future just like us, and desire justice and equality, yet, will likely never possess the right or resources to pursue it.
If you’re privileged enough to be in a position today where you don’t have to think about your freedom, instead, channel that energy into how you can help those impacted by injustice, inequality and terror everyday – both here at home and on a global scale. We are one.