Standing on a snowy ledge at ten thousand feet, looking into a valley surrounded by towering peaks that have been doing their thing for thousands of years, with the freezing wind harshly blowing at my face – this is when I finally had the thought, “alright, Colorado is pretty cool.” Up until this point I had been skeptical. Mildly impressed by the city and it’s neighboring state parks. After you’ve driven on the glorious highway 15 through Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, and visited places like Yellowstone and the freaking Tetons – its takes a bit to win over one’s adventure seeking heart. It was during this trip into Rocky Mountain National Park that Scott looked at me and said, “I could live in THESE mountains.” Which is like, woah, huge. I’m a mountain girl. Give me all the rivers, streams, and crystal clear mountain lakes in the summer with fields of wild flowers and an overgrown garden. Then all the snow and wood burning fires in the winter with powder to carve and snow shoe adventures. But Scott? Give him all the ocean, surf, warm air and soft sand – that’s his jam. So, for him to say he could live in those peaks, well, a glimmer of hope flashed before my eyes. Now if we could just find a place where our two dream worlds collide. Until then, we have lived at the beach, and now near the mountains, and haven’t “settled” yet. We should just quit our jobs and become park rangers, I know, maybe one day. Until then, my parents were so over-the-moon-cool and took us to the national park in our back yard this past weekend. It was the best day with the best people and I still feel warm and full from our time spent together in those mountains. I’ve updated our “Adventure’s by Us” gallery pin-board with images from our trip if you would like to see more, just click here or on the image in my sidebar!
Now onto this insanely delicious macro bowl. Any Native Foods fans out there? Holla! This was the first, and now only, dish on their menu that I have or will ever gravitate towards. I fell in love with it in California two years ago, and am stoked to say I finally nailed the recipe in my own gosh darn kitchen. Maybe even surpassed it in deliciousness? Maybe. You will have to try and decide for yourself. If you live in a country or state that does not have a Native Foods, here is their best dish (in my opinion) for you to now enjoy at home – win! The star of this bowl is an unassuming one, the kraut. It adds the perfect amount of tang to balance out the rest of the flavors and is oh-so-amazing, do not miss it! It get’s even better when it is sustainably grown, harvested, and produced right here in my home state of Colorado. MM Local Foods has been a favorite of mine in the preserved produce department since moving here, and I love everything about their mission, practices, and products. They are practically a CSA in jar form to ensure you eat locally, seasonally, and sustainably year round. Best of all, you don’t have to live in one of their producing states (Colorado and Washington) to benefit from their quality practices. You can order their jarred goodness online here. Sending some big love your way MM Local.
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1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
2 to 3 stems of kale
1/3 block tempeh
1 green onion chopped
few spoonfuls of caraway kraut
4 teaspoons white sesame seeds hulled
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure sesame seed butter tahini
1 teaspoon grated ginger
juice from half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon mellow white miso
1/2 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon honey*
pinch of salt
*I only use unpasteurized honey (in its raw state), organically produced, and sustainably harvested. Make sure to use a runny honey for the best consistency. If you do not eat honey, I recommend this substitute.
You can easily make the gomasio and dressing ahead. Simply blend all the dressing ingredients together and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. For the gomasio, lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan on low heat for a few minutes until lightly browned and fragrant (about 5 minutes, toss every minute or two). Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a mortar and pestle (or food processor) with the salt and grind into a coarse meal. I like mine on the extra coarse side. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the cupboard until ready to use.
Combine the quinoa and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Leave the lid on and set aside, allowing the quinoa to finish steaming and get extra fluffy for 8 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Remove the stems from the kale stalks and tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Steam in a steamer basket on the stove until wilted, about 5 to 6 minutes.
While the quinoa is finishing and the kale is steaming, crisp the tempeh in a dry pan on medium heat on the stove. I took my portion of tempeh and cut it in half “thickness” wise, and then cut it into triangles, but feel free to slice it however you would like. It should only take maybe 3 minutes per side to crisp. Serve immediately.
Combine the cooked quinoa, steamed kale, and crisped tempeh in a bowl. Top with a good drizzle of the dressing, a few spoonfuls of caraway kraut, a healthy sprinkle of gomasio, and some chopped green onions. Awkwardly stir with a fork and dig in!