Spring Pea & Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Kale Pesto and Avocado

Pea and Asparagus Quinoa Salad with kale pesto and avocado CarasKitchen.net

About 7 years ago I went to my first farmers market in Santa Monica. It was then that I began to realize that food is seasonal and it gave a whole new meaning to the change in seasons. Although I have spent most of my life between Phoenix and Los Angeles where there really isn’t much varience in season (lets be honest), the colors and variety of produce change from winter to spring to summer to fall. And I love it.

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Health Benefits of Red Food – Monochromatic Monday

Monochromatic Monay Red Caras Kitchen

This was started on accident. One afternoon a few weeks back I made myself lunch and without intention behind it, put together a bowl of entirely green fruits and vegetables. It also happened to be Monday and discovered the hashtag  #monochromaticmonday. Thus started to put together monochromatic bowls of different food on Monday and a new series was born. Through doing this I have discovered so many different varieties of produce that in the past had been overlooked. It also helped me discover that I am a massive creature of habit and buy the same produce week after week.

I am no stranger to the importance of eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies for optimum health but after some reflection and a good scroll down my instagram feed it was easy to see I was eating the same things over and over again. In an effort to mix it up and hopefully inspire others to reach for new foods here is a little tid bit on this weeks featured color: RED
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Protien Packed Kelp Noodle Bowl with Veggies, Tofu & Almond Ginger Sauce (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Kelp Noodle Bowl Tofu, Veggies, Almond Ginger Sauce Vegan Gluten Free Protien Packed CarasKitchen.net

Few things are more thrilling to this chick then a colorful, nutrient rich bowl of plants. From thinking about the flavor/texture combo, gathering ingredients, cooking and plating; putting these together is one of my favorite things do to and I feel so blessed that I get to do it. Not a day goes by that I dont think about how lucky I am to have access to such abundantly diverse food (and the ability to afford it) as so many people go without or not enough. It makes my heart full and sad at the same time because I want real food to be accessible to everyone.

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The Best Nut Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Pasta & Broccolini (Gluten Free & Soy Free)

Nut Free Vegan Alfredo Pasta Caras Kitchen

It happens all the time. Just as I am getting into the groove of my workout (spinning/yoga/running), a recipe idea pops in my brain out of nowhere. This time: vegan alfredo sauce.

Growing up in an Italian famliy (I’m from Chi Town, baby), I am no stranger to all kinds of pasta and spaghetti dishes. I practically grew up on that stuff but as I’ve gotten older and more mindful of what I put in my body I keep it to a minimum. Not trying to hate on #carbs or anything, I just try to eat mostly vegetables. When I was younger, Fettucini Alfredo was my favorite. There was not even a close second. It didn’t matter where we were, Dennys, Olive Garden, Grandmas house; if it was up to me that’s what we were having. And with good reason, the shizz is delicious.

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Easy Spring Pea Pesto Avocado Toasts (Vegan, Nut Free & Oil Free)

Spring Pea Pesto Nut Free Oil Free Avocado Toasts Caras Kitchen

Easing into spring with this colorful and quick pea pesto, how great is that vibrant green? Last week, I bought some peas thinking I would make some kind of risotto but had a rush of inspiration to make a pesto for avocado toast this morning. Just in time for #ToastTuesday. This is bright, slightly sweet and lemon-y which pairs so well with avocado. mah fav.

Early tomorrow I am off to California for the Natural Products Expo which is the largest B2B convention on the west coast in the natural products sphere. It’s the food blogger equivalent of Disneyland. Think of it as the mecca center for all things healthy food, skin care, sustainable product alternatives, and supplements. It’s damn cool and so much fun. This year will be my fourth year attending and I am really looking forward to connecting with other bloggers and like-minded individuals/companies. If you are going to be there and you are reading this please reach out, I’d love to say hi.

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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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Savor Dining- Comtemplative Gastronomy Pop Up Dinner Recap

vegan coconut cake with almond, cocoa and edible flowers.

Something unique is happening in a mid-century style apartment complex tucked away in Scottsdales trendy Old Town neighborhood: A mindfulness based dining experience with ingredient driven cuisine called Savor Dining. This is not your typical pop-up and it couldn’t be more distinct from the club scene only a couple miles away blasting obnoxious music with too much bass (no offense if you like that part of town, its just not for this girl). Background tunes were by the like of Martin Denny and Bela Bartok, and yet somehow the event did not feel uptight or bougy rather it was evident that every detail was thought out and executed with care.

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