Truffle Oil Mushroom Bruschetta with Fermented Garlic, Arugula & Hummus (Vegan)

Truffle Mushroom Toast with Arugala Black Garlic chickpeas caraskitchen.net

Single lady dinners coming atchu strong today! And I mean nothing about your relationship status. I just mean for those nights when you are only cooking for yourself. For me thats most nights…, I am a bit of a homebody often choosing to hang in then go out with friends or family and since I am an LDR this girl is solo ALOT. Part of it stems from the desire to control what goes in my food, part of it is about saving money (I am a supporter of the saying “money looks best in the bank”), and part of it is because I might afterall be an introvert. Whatever it may be, I am often cooking for one.

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One Bowl Almond Butter Banana Bread (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread Caras Kitchen 2

When there are two banans turning browner by the minute on your counter, it only makes since to either freeze them for smoothies or whip up banana bread. I chose the latter. One bowl magic inspired by my girl minimalist baker, cause lets face it, doing dishes can suck and gluten/free vegan so as many people as possible can enjoy this delicious baked good. All about inclusivity here on the blog, none of that you can’t sit with us bs.

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Cauliflower Fried Rice with Fresh Herbs (GF, Optional Vegan)

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Fresh Herbs caraskitchen.com

It seemed fitting to share this recipe now since today marks 1 month since officially being done at Superette Cafe. Before deciding to sell the cafe I was in the process of creating Take Home Meal plans and this was one of the recipes. It’s perfect for meal prep/planning because it actually tastes better the next day and keeps well in the fridge. Lets face it -it’s perfect for anyone (myself included) who wants a lazy/fancy dinner after a long day so double this recipe and eat well all week long. Its super easy and tastes gooood.

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Summer Pasta with Lemon-Thyme Mushrooms and Arugula and an Update

summer pasta with lemon-thyme mushrooms and arugula3

its been exactly 6 months since my last blog post. A part of me wants to have this dramatic reaction and make it mean something that i stopped blogging on a regular basis. like i slacked off, got lazy. The other part of me wants to be compassionate, understanding and realize that sometimes life happens. you quit your job, move states, go through a tough breakup, and open a cafe. sometimes that’s what gets in the way of wordpress. i realize now how much blogging was a creative outlet for me when i used to spend my weekdays making the lives of attorneys easier. its no surprise that on my time off i cooked, photographed and blogged. now that i do what i love for work i don’t necessairly need an outlet hence the blog falling to the wayside. i get to create recipes and cook all day for work. hello dream. sometimes i get a rush of nostalgia for my previous life but can shake it rather quickly when i realize that having a fancy sounding job and making a lot of money is the boobie prize…, i wasn’t fullfilled. my life is about sharing healthy, sustainable, delicious food with my community. its about creativity, love and self expression. i do miss la, though. i don’t feel nearly at home in phx. i feel as though i have been sent on location for a film shoot and once the project is complete ill be back in the city. at least thats the plan. i can’t stay away for too long so i make short trips back as often as possible and this last one something pretty magical happened.

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Savory Breakfast Bowl (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Savory Breakfast Bowl

It’s 2016 and sort of hard to believe that another year has passed by. Can you? Maybe you’re just as shocked as I am. Maybe not? I always find the holidays and year end to be a time of reflection filled with notaslgia but I am at a turning point in my life. 2015 will be remembered as the year I distingushed what I am committed to going forward as I continue to shed the skin of my former self. I am becoming a grown lady. It will be the year that I realized “someday” does not exists and I only have right now to chase my dreams. There were many accomplishments and triumphs but the biggest one was finally quitting my corporate job to take a leap of faith into entrepreneurship. I am opening up a cafe and I am scared as hell but nothing great comes from comfort zones and lets just shout from the roof tops because I officially stepped outside of mine! The future is uncertain but it is exciting and I can not wait to see what 2016 has in store.

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Vegan Baked Ziti Pizza

Baked Ziti Pizza #vegan 4

I am clearly not on a low carb diet anymore, that was soo 2005. And screw diets anyways, they don’t work. That being said this is truly a hearty indulgent dinner but so much fun and oh so good.  On my way home from Chicago after Thanksgiving I was watching Diners, Driver In’s and Dives on the plane and one restauranter offered a pizza with pasta on top. My Italian heart went through the roof and immediately decided I needed to make a vegan version for the blog. So Voila! I give to you Vegan Baked Ziti Pizza. Traditionally a baked ziti is pasta that is slightly under cooked and then finished off in the over to al dente with loads of cheese and meat. This is similar such that the pasta is baked but while on top of an already cheesey pizza. The result is rather delectable!

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Persimmon and Basil Creme Galette

Persimmon and Basil Creme Galette #vegan 9

This past month I’ve found myself in aggressive moods propelled by moments of angst over the impending changes at work and in my life (more on that another day). I can’t help but think the current state of our world is also a player in this game of nearly getting the best of me on a regular basis. The barrage of headlines about war and terror and red verse blue cast a shadow on my otherwise sunny disposition. How does one deal with it all? It makes me feel like I am treading water in uneasy seas.

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5 Ingredient Almond Rosemary Crackers with Fig Tapenade

5 ingredient rosemary almond crackers

This past week I have spent a generous amount of my free time in the kitchen and I ain’t mad about it. I flew up to San Francisco last Friday with my boyfriend to visit my dear friends K&C who recently moved and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at home together on Sunday night. The evening began with a trip to a really cute local market called Oceana in Pacifica where we gathered ingredients and snapchatted away about some superfood ice cream we discovered (username: CaraCarin). Immediately after getting home we got to work, Christina on the crackers and me on a pear chutney. It was just like old times and I couldn’t help but feel nostaligic as we laughed and sipped on red wine together in the kitchen again.

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Holiday Kale Salad with Fennel, Sweet Potato, Apple and Pomegranate

Winter Kale Salad 058 #vegan #glutenfree #kale

Over the last 9 years I have been living apart from my immediate family spending 8 of them in Los Angeles and 1 in Melboune, Australia. There have been many years where I haven’t made it home for the holidays for various reasons including school, work, boyfriends or because sometimes going home for the holiday’s is difficult. Like many, my parents are divorced and figuring out which parent to spend what holidays with isn’t always easy. On the upside, so many people I know and love in LA also don’t go home for the holidays so there is always a friends-giving or gathering of the like so I’ve never felt like I missed out. However this Thanksgiving I am traveling with my dad back to Chicago to see the extended family- cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. My traditional Italian family is not very vegan or vegetarian friendly so I have been thinking a lot about what I want to contribute to the meal and this kale salad recipe is a serious contender. 
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Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Fresh Figs

Wheatberry Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables 080

Look at those colors. This dish is really something to feast your eyes on and I am not saying that in a way to take credit for its beauty, that is straight up mother natures game. And its strong. The topic of colors seemed to continually come up in conversation this past week with several different people. Like this past weekend in a training and development course I was taking a woman shared about the impact “having her colors done” had had on her happiness and confidence. It made going shopping all that more easy which for some of us, myself included, can be a very time consuming task. Essentially what “having your colors done” means is a color analyst will teach you what colors look good on you and what colors to avoid. It is based on your hair color, eye color, and skin tone. The process includes going through your wardrobe, editing it and learning what types of colors will benefit you in certian types of situations. Lets say you have an important meeting so you want to wear a color that has you be perceived as powerful or you are giving a speech and want to look inviting and likeable – there would be a specific color for that, too. Believe it or not, its science.

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