MAKES 4 SERVINGS
When I was growing up, my mother used to make tabbouleh, and I remember thinking it was “icky healthy food.” I’ve since realized that tabbouleh can be phenomenal. This recipe is high in flavor and nutrition, replacing bulgur wheat with gluten-free and protein-packed quinoa. Dig in!
Quinoa Kale Tabbouleh
1 cup white quinoa, soaked for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
2 cups veggie broth
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 cup olive oil juice of 2 lemons
1 preserved lemon, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 English cucumber, diced
1⁄4 cup curly parsley, cut into chiffonade
7 green onions, slivered
1⁄4 cup basil, cut into chiffonade
1⁄4 cup mint, cut into chiffonade
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
2 cups dinosaur (lacinato) kale, cut into chiffonade
1 In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa, veggie broth, ghee, and sea salt to a boil. Stir well, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until fluffy.
2 In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and preserved lemon and set aside.
3 Combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients, pour the dressing over all, and mix well.
Recipe taken from Kathryn Budig’s book, Aim True.
photo: Lesley Unruh
styling: Cynthia Groseclose
I love to read.
Perhaps it’s escapism, or maybe it’s the best way for me to flex the creative muscles of my brain. It allows me to travel the world (or even realms) without leaving my seat. It fills my mind with wonder, inventiveness, and the hunger to put beauty into the world.
I recently shared dinner with my good friend, Margo Lightburn, who expressed a desire to read more —but being a full time teacher, wife and mother — didn’t even know where to start. She suggested I put together a list of my recent favorites (maybe this will turn into a book club??) to get her moving in the right direction. These are a few of the books I’ve read in the past year that have particularly resonated with me. They range from fantasy to autobiography, so there’s a taste for all!
(I realize I’ve only mentioned male authors, but fear not! Ann Patchett, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Glennon Doyle Melton are all on deck!)
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
I’ll start here because Neil Gaiman is my literary boyfriend. (True, this is information unknown to him, but a girl can dream in-between pages.) I have had a long standing love affair with myth, fairy tales, the supernatural, and anything with a dose of darkness. Gaiman has an uncanny ability to blend the beautiful magic and history of myth with modern day grittiness, digestibility and accessibility for all. While this book was written in 2001, it stands strong in this modern age and clearly displays how ahead of his time he actually was. This story showcases the gods of old (think Norse, Hindu, etc) struggling to maintain their power in a world that no longer believes in them. Gaiman’s America (read: our world today) worships the church of television and computers, alters replace by screens, old gods being forgotten in favor of modern technology gods. The result? War, of course. Oh, and a modern day masterpiece.
Added bonus: Starz has turned American Gods into a TV series coming in 2017. READ THE BOOK FIRST!
This is Water, by David Foster Wallace
I devoured this remarkable book in one reading while on vacation. This is Wallace’s commencement address given at Kenyon College in 2005. The pages fly, but the words stick to your soul. He delivers a stirring speech about our journey into adulthood and how to maintain our compassion, and ultimately, empathy. This is a stunning wake up call for anyone coasting in neutral, or desiring a better understanding and connection to everyone surrounding us.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This wildly successful biography is powerful, enlightening, and beyond all —profoundly revelatory. Between the World and Me is Coates’ letter to his adolescent son, attempting to answer what it means to inhabit a black body in America. It’s impossible to do this book justice in a brief blurb, so let me just say this —absolute required reading.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli
I have to be completely honest — I would have never picked up this book on my own. I’m not much for science, and always tend to want to read chimerical fiction or spiritually packed non-fiction. My girlfriend is always reading a wide array of topics and plopped this one one my queue list.
Again, to be honest, after reading this book, I certainly couldn’t converse on quantum physics or any of Einstein’s theories in an intelligent way, but I did walk away knowing more about remarkable, genius, and nearly incomprehensible theory. I also walked away with one glorious lesson:
Einstein always began with, “It seems to me …” as opposed to, “I know everything; hear me roar.” One of the brightest minds always had the decency to stop, contemplate, and make an offering instead of a stubborn statement. Thank you, Einstein. May our minds all be as open as yours.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (Currently reading)
I wasn’t kidding when I proclaimed my ongoing love affair with Gaiman’s magical penmanship, and this nugget is pure gold. This novel begins with an adult man returning to his hometown for a funeral where wild childhood memories come flooding back. The kind of memories that only a child could dream up — or perhaps actually experienced? This story resonates with me, a tiny Kansas girl who spent most of her younger years weaving stories out of milk thistle, honeysuckle and the pages of my beloved stories. It’s transporting me into a land-before-time. A place where anything is possible when you let your mind go free. It’s absolutely exquisite.
On that note, I’m finishing my blog and opening my book.
Happy reading, y’all!
If you’re not following McKell Hill’s Instagram page, you absolutely must. It is eye candy for the belly, and a stunning collection of inspiration for anyone inspired by health, wellness, and a delicious meal.
Hill is about to release her new book, Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple, and you can be certain I will be eagerly awaiting my shipment with stove-mitted clapping hands.
This is taken directly from the description of her book:
Drawing inspiration from nature, the turning of the seasons, the world of plants, nutrient dense foods and hidden gems in the world of superfoods, Hill celebrates simplicity, and shares her vast professional knowledge and expertise in this practical and easy-to-use cookbook. But Nutrition Stripped isn’t just an approach to eating—it’s a lifestyle that will help you look, feel, and be your best. Whole foods cooking is the foundation of health and can be enjoyed no matter what your dietary preference, whether it’s vegan, paleo, or gluten-free.
Nom nom for the belly and mind. Get it, girl.
Here’s a sneak peak from one of her recipes that I am throughly thrilled to test out. Report back!
ZUCCHINI PIZZA CRUST WITH LEMONY PEA PESTO
Zucchini is a surprisingly chameleon like vegetable—I find myself using it frozen in morning smoothies, pureed in desserts, and, now, grated in pizza crust! Zucchini pizza is a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables, and it is naturally lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared with traditional crusts. This recipe pays hom age to a cauliflower crust, which is one of my most popular recipes from the blog. Both of these recipe components, the crust and pea pesto, can be enjoyed on their own, yet when combined, it’s evident they’re meant to be enjoyed together.
3 cups finely grated zucchini
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
Lemony Pea Pesto (recipe follows)
Garnishes: arugula, grated fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper
Place the grated zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle the salt on top, and gently toss until the salt is distributed.
Allow the zucchini to sit and sweat excess moisture for 45 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the zucchini from the strainer to a nutmilk bag or cheesecloth. Wrapping the cloth around the zucchini entirely, use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid. Repeat the process until the zucchini no longer releases liquid. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add the flours, eggs, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste.
Stir to combine well.
Position one rack in the middle of the oven and another in the top position. Place a pizza stone (for a crispier crust) or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500 ̊F. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a clean countertop and drizzle it with olive oil. Spread the zucchini dough onto the parchment paper and form the dough into a large 10-inch round or oval, about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough from the parchment paper directly to the hot pizza stone or lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pizza crust over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is firm-crisp.
Carefully remove the crust from the oven, spoon on the pesto to the desired thickness, and bake on the top rack for 5 to 7 minutes, until the pesto is warm. Remove from the oven. Top with garnishes, if desired, and serve immediately.
LEMONY PEA PESTO
MAKES ABOUT 1 1⁄2 CUPS
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see page 42)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Quick-thaw the peas by blanching in boiling water for 3 minutes or microwaving until soft. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the peas, pine nuts, garlic, oil, water, hemp seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste and pulse until the mixture is well combined and thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in an airtight glass container.