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super powered tomato + basil collard wraps

super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesscollards // @thefirstmesstomatoes // @thefirstmessbasil in the garden // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
I will say this with comfort and clarity because I know I’m not alone: it’s surprisingly easy to get overwhelmed by life on a regular basis–the wonderful parts, but also (womp womp) the more stress-inducing bits. We’re away for a bit on the east coast of Canada this week with my man’s family and all I could think about leading up to our departure was A) How much stuff I have to take care of before I get in the car with my duffel bag, snacks and camera, B) How much stuff I could be accomplishing if we weren’t going, and C)How realistic/possible it would be to get some work done while we’re ON vacation. I swear I can’t be the only person who thinks this way. In the same moment, there is a pull of necessity from the natural world calling for release, but also the thoughts of deadlines, career, and the “How will we ever get ahead of it all?” questions that shore up in the weaker moments.

Some of my plans got all messed up last week, my schedule was thrown off, there was a very scary thunderstorm, I didn’t see Mark for a few days because of the “passing ships in the night” quality of our conflicting work schedules sometimes, my dining table was a mess of recipes to be shot, food props, fibreglass door brochures, and just stuff, I think I ate too much sugar and drank mostly coffee, there’s still messes around every corner of our yard as we try to get it ALL together this summer, it’s August already?!, then THIS etc. In the middle of one of my now-daily marathon list-making sessions, I texted this to Mark: “I feel like I’m paddling really fucking hard and not getting anywhere.”

My tendency, when there’s probably too much going on and I’m asking the big life questions, is to go inward a bit and figure out why it’s all happening. I get stuck in my own head is another way to put it. It takes a while for inspiration, in the form of human interaction, something I’ve read/seen, or a moment of intentional quietude, to pull me up back into life and living. A worrier and an over-thinker to the end–just how I operate. But I had a very chill contractor/landscaping/handyperson-type dude here the one morning, just as the sky was darkening something fierce for another round of rain. He was giving me an estimate on a new deck + shelter structure kinda deal and we were talking about what a mess the yard had been before we lived here. The drops were puttering around and he calmly said something about being able to see past the the frustrating/messy/uncontrollable aspects of less desirable situations because he had the work/life experience to know that it all works out in the end. Pretty much exactly what I needed to hear, even if he was just talking about some outdoor livin’.

As we continue to get our bearings on this life and some of the seemingly fresh things it’s been throwing at/graciously handing to us, I think we get a bit more confident leaning into the “Everything’s going to be alright” mentality. And not in a a way that leaves it all to the fates. We’re learning and grasping and nodding our heads YES because we have a clearer sightline on human capability. I still make decisions on a whim and overcommit myself 98 percent of the time, but I feel stronger in putting my head down and getting to the work in a more intelligent way than ever before. If this is maturity/getting old/full-tilt-boogie-level adulthood, sign me up.

In addition to seeing ahead + realizing some human potential, I’ve been coming up with cooler recipe ideas and just making better things in general. It’s cool when inspiration from certain sometimes stress-y life moments stream colour and inpspiration into your everyday needs. Of course I didn’t invent collard wraps, but dang if I didn’t just try them for the first time recently and absolutely love them. My first exposure to the collard-as-wrap was in Sara’s book actually, and I was immediately pulled in by her emphasis on avoiding the “hippie mush” problem when fixing them up. Actually, just the expression “hippie mush” was enough to catch my interest (#HIPPIEMUSH). Anyway, this version has some highly varied textures and lots of summer tasties from the tomatoes and basil. Marinated and charred tempeh, chickpea mash, a little sundried tomato flecked quinoa, extra tomato, maybe a balsamic drizzle. Lots of plant-powered protein in a little leafy package. A good travellin’ snack if I do say so myself.

So I’m off to re-charge the batteries on that eastern shore. Catch ya next week or perhaps on Instagram in the meantime? :) Big love, all.

tempeh marination // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
super powered tomato + basil collard wraps
serves: 4
notes: Like any decent burrito or wrap-type thing, overstuffing these will lead to failure/messes everywhere. If you’re transporting them, I would recommend securing with toothpicks before you go anywhere, just so there aren’t any surprises at your destination.

1 block of tempeh, cut into half inch strips
1 chili, sliced
4-5 sprigs of basil, divided
splash of red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
olive oil
salt + pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
handful of sundried tomatoes (not the oil-packed ones), small dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
8 large collard leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes halved)
balsamic glaze/reduction (optional!)

In a shallow dish, place the tempeh pieces, sliced chili, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped basil, the red wine vinegar, sliced shallot and a good glug of olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and toss to coat the tempeh. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a fat pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Once cool, to the quinoa add a glug of olive oil, 2-3 tbsp chopped basil, the diced sundried tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

In a shallow dish, mash the chickpeas with the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. You want a mixture that kind of holds together but also a few whole chickpeas too. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high and place the marinated tempeh slices on the grates. Grill both sides until char marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.

To make the collard wraps, start by laying one collard leaf down on a cutting board so that it’s on a horizontal orientation. Lay another collard leaf on top, overlapping the stem ends considerably. You should have an almost solid rectangular-ish sheet of collard green now. It almost looks like a very chunky figure 8. Spoon some of the chickpea mash into the middle, pressing it down. Lay two tempeh slices on top of the chickpea mash. Then place some sliced tomato on top of the tempeh. Place a few slices of tomato and whole leaves of basil on top. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze if you like. Pull up the long side of the collard wrap and fold it over the filling. Bring in the short sides as if you were making a burrito. Then roll the whole thing until you’ve sealed the wrap.

Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Secure wraps with toothpicks if necessary. Slice wraps in half to serve.

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Carly06/08/2014 - 4:18 am

I totally feel you on this “everything will be alright” mentality. I’m going through my own can of worms at the moment and just like you I overthink everything and tend to spend too much time dwelling on what my heart/brain have to say (a lot) instead of just throwing all that crap out the window and going with my gut. These super powered wraps seem like the perfect place to start!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment06/08/2014 - 5:43 am

Yes, trusting that things will work out in the end is key, isn’t it?! I love how we can find inspiration in unusual ways, that’s a sign we are in fact able to get out of our heads every once in while. ;-) Love these collard wraps especially because of the tempeh, quinoa, and sun-dried tomatoes! Lovely summer dish.

Julia06/08/2014 - 5:58 am

EVERYTHING about this post resonates (like a gong) with me. thanks for the candid sharing, and thanks for a killer wrap recipe. i too was introduced to collard wraps via sara. enjoy the east coast:)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/08/2014 - 8:09 am

This is such a bright and gorgeous wrap. Lovely!

Mariela06/08/2014 - 8:51 am

Boy do I admirer those who don’t over think, over analyse, over stress. One day I will too let go and trust the process.

Lovely post, lovely recipe!

Tieghan06/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I am a huge overthinker, worrier and everything in between. I can relate to this post in so many ways, thank you for sharing!

Now these wraps. Just gorgeous!! Love all the colors, textures and flavors!

Grace06/08/2014 - 9:57 am

I guess it’s instinct to always want to improve, build something better, think to the future. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what’s next’ but it takes some serious skills to reflect, be present and just breath. Enjoy your vacation! These wraps are all that is good for the body and soul. Beautiful!

Lynsey06/08/2014 - 10:13 am

Laura, as always your words and sentiments on life are so beautifully written – even when they are talking about times of stress and feelings of being completely and utterly overwhelmed. If these (OMG) beautiful wraps are what comes out of your mind when under the gun, I can’t wait to see the creativity that flourishes after a little rest and recharge by the sea! Enjoy your vacay! xo

Abby06/08/2014 - 10:14 am

your photographs are perfection, as usual, Laura! such a lovely post :)

Ashley06/08/2014 - 10:16 am

Did you just climb in my head and write the exact thoughts in my brain? I’m pretty sure you did. I think I could have finished your sentences in this post. My goodness. Really can’t wait to see you in September! We’re also leaving for vacation soon and I am s.t.r.e.s.s.i.n.g. :) Hope you have a very relaxing time without the computer! <3 <3

[…] How did I never think of this? Why wrap sandwiches in lettuce when I could be using one of my favorite leafy greens in the world? […]

elle06/08/2014 - 12:12 pm

looks so beautiful and yummy, but might fall apart. think i might shred the greens too and wrap everything in a rice paper wrapper. Adds 20 calories and 4 carbs if anyone is wondering.

Ileana06/08/2014 - 12:14 pm

Spectacular – as usual! Such beautiful food. Enjoy your vacation!

Eileen06/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

These wraps sound like the perfect thing to make for a summer potluck! I would be so happy to see a big tray of these in the middle of the tableful of typical chips and crudites and hot dog buns. Yay!

erin {yummysupper}06/08/2014 - 12:59 pm

Laura, every time I look at that wallpaper of collards I swoon. What a brilliant photo!!! And your wraps looks awesome.
I hope your trip gives you some of the rest and recuperation you’re craving. Travel can work wonders on the racing brain… I know that feeling well.
xoxox from Berkeley,
E

Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish06/08/2014 - 1:30 pm

Absolutely stunning! I am sooooo making these for lunch tomorrow :)

sara forte06/08/2014 - 2:45 pm

you are too good. These are gorgeous and long live the #hippiemush :)
If it’s of any help, I’m convinced that a home in flux is crazy making. We moved into a home that needs a lot of TLC as well, and I’m realizing all these projects will take a lot of time and money…two things that are inconsistent around here. A home is a place where you should go to rest but it is instead a place that I am “managing” and constantly thinking about what project takes precedence. It’s a job, really, not a refuge. For now anyway.
I’m glad you’re getting out of town. I hope you can stop thinking about it and enjoy your time. Your garden looks beautiful, btw.

Jo @The Nectar Cafe06/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

I am with you on those feelings of wondering how we will ever get on top of it all. I feel like that alot until I take the time to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that ‘me’ time is just as important as work/home-making/family commitments.
I’m loving the look of these wraps and anything wrapped up in a big leaf is awesome in my opinion, so I’ll defiantly be trying these out! Beautiful pics as always Laura x

Renee (will frolic for food)06/08/2014 - 5:36 pm

Being overwhelmed, oh yes I know the feeling well. Sometimes stepping out from underneath of the clouding thoughts gives you some freedom and perspective. meditating helps me! and yoga and exercising. and taking walks. it all helps. life can be so full of stress and projects and people who want things from you. // and this post is fiercely gorgeous. i want to be eating this right now. your savory recipes ROCK. wondering if i can convince my friend who i’m staying with to make this tonight, haha! i’ll be making this in the future, either way! <3

jocenel06/08/2014 - 6:47 pm

The food looks so delicious, I made my own for lunch today. I change one thing though; the tomatoes in your picture are hybrids. I used plum tomatoes.

I wanted to make this king of green wraps for far too long. Great recipe, so easy :) And pictures are fabulous.

Laura Wright06/08/2014 - 7:16 pm

Hi Jocenel, glad you enjoyed it. Those hybrid tomatoes in the picture were also grown by my father and were incredibly delicious, which is certainly enough for me.
-L

kristie / birchandwild.com07/08/2014 - 12:28 am

These are the first collard wraps I have seen that I have wanted to make immediately after seeing the photos. They look creative, fresh and really tasty.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen07/08/2014 - 6:40 am

This post is a gem. I can relate to all those feelings of being overwhelmed by life. Sometimes it’s just SO MUCH that it’s hard to think and see clearly. Sometimes we just feel we are SO BUSY that we don’t even have a spare week to spend relaxing. Oh yes, life.
On another note, these wraps!! They speak to my heart. If one could adopt wraps, I would definitely adopt these ones. Oh and how gorgeous is that collard picture? You’re awesome, Laura.

Valerie07/08/2014 - 11:01 am

I’m unbearably neurotic; if there’s nothing to overthink/worry about, my mind goes into a tailspin and starts obsessing about small things like streaky glasses and the paper towel roll that should have been placed in recycling. Usually my cat’s blasé countenance helps put things *slightly* into perspective.

Gorgeous hippie wraps! Love the happy colours.

la domestique07/08/2014 - 11:12 am

I love greens and these wraps look so colorful and nourishing. Enjoy your holiday!

Lindsey08/08/2014 - 9:40 am

i can’t tell you how much this past week mirrored yours – unexpected car crap, my husband leaving for a work trip unexpectedly, recipes gone terribly wrong! but when measured on a spectrum of relative importance these things aren’t so weighty i suppose. not easy sometimes to get out of our own way, but yes, a break from it all to escape and breathe is totally necessary! xo

Jenalle08/08/2014 - 11:02 am

These look amazing.
Also styled perfectly, as usual.
Props. :)

Teffy Perk08/08/2014 - 3:20 pm

Oh wow. That looks so so sooooo good!
Exactly my kind of wrap – full of goodies and flavours that just sing!

{Teffy’s Perks} X

sunday food mood board vol1.09/08/2014 - 7:13 pm

[…] […]

[…] I’ve been obsessed with collard wraps […]

[…] Super powered tomato + basil collard wraps (The First Mess) […]

Leah11/08/2014 - 1:29 pm

I totally feel you on all fronts – I was just out of town for 2 weeks and I feel so behind. It was really hard to actually enjoy my vacation because I kept thinking – should I be taking more pictures, can I try to get a blog post done, etc. etc. and I realize that isn’t fair to my husband and our family. I’m learning too – I guess sometimes you have to just let go and try to trust that it will all work out and get done at some point. Gorgeous recipe and photos as always !!

Samantha11/08/2014 - 3:40 pm

Oh wow, what an absolutely genius idea! I’m going to start doing this for lunch! Thank you for the great post :)

shanna mallon12/08/2014 - 9:48 pm

fringe benefit of being one of the in-your-head types: you see things so well and say them so good. reading this post, I just kept thinking what a pleasure it was to get to read it. also. these photos. I can’t. the only word is perfection. kind of an overblown concept and an elusive one but as far as food pics, yours are my fav.

Diana13/08/2014 - 11:49 pm

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.

jessise1314/08/2014 - 4:04 am

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.ブランド靴

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)14/08/2014 - 2:25 pm

Oh my gosh–your photographs always blow me away. So inspiring and creative! These collard wraps sound amazing Laura!

hannah14/08/2014 - 5:37 pm

This is so important isn’t it, it’s not really optimism more a sense of calm and peace, a sort of trust that we can hand over our struggles and stress to “life” and allow it to take its own path without endlessly worrying and striving for control. You write so beautifully and this post has really got me thinking. And fantasising about these wraps. What sort of tomato sauce do you mean? In the UK “tomato sauce” means Heinz ketchup but I’m not sure that’s what you used here!

Audrina15/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I know EXACTLY what you mean by thinking those before going on vacation! But nonetheless, everyone needs a break once in a while :) The wrap looks delicious!

http://www.mindfullyaudrina.blogspot.com

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño17/08/2014 - 11:11 am

These look so good and such a unique and delicious combination of flavors. I hope you enjoy a little respite and don’t worry too much about all the stuff you are not getting done. Deep breaths my friend.

simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls (with spicy cumin garlic drizzle)

simple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmessfor cumin + garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesspreppin
Today’s post is another episode of “things we actually eat all the time.” I was stumped last week on what to share here and was about thisclose to throwing my hands up again when I remembered that whole overarching ethos thing about cooking seasonally with accessible ingredients/methods so that we can all be a bit healthier and happier. That’s the thing that I love and this bowl is something that we eat weekly, in one form or another. When a dish repeats and cravings/excitement are detectable, it’s time to share, no matter how simple it is. I even started a new category here for this sorta dish called “everyday eats.” I’m excited to share more of those meals that are thrown together with pantry stock and seasonal bits, but still have an overall vibe of wellness and vibrance too. Hope you can feel me on this.

We’ve been spending most of the hours outdoors, sometimes for fun and most often times working on something or other. There have been going away parties, roller coasters, funnel cakes (oy), birthdays, hangry pizza lunches after visits to the “natural regeneration” portion of the dump, big and half-dead cedar hedges ripped out with my badass mum, deck planning, smoke alarms in the middle of the night (to choruses of “FUCK, COME OOOON”), talks on creating, long walks after dinner, chats about a lot of upcoming projects (one of which will have me getting my bake on in a serious way–yesssss), tons of iced coffee, thunderstorms, and a decent handful of major career-shifting questions. Just lots of sweat, laughs and growth I guess. And we still haven’t been to the drive-in, a baseball game, Algonquin or the beach yet. Maaaan, summer though.

So when the season is full and the meals are needed in a more relaxed sort of way (but still have to be mega-nourishing), this burrito bowl works out pretty nicely. If you’re even a little bit like me, this is all pantry stuff for you: sweet potatoes, canned black beans, herbs, brown rice, spices, chilies, citrus… It’s just a little blend, boil and grill away from yummy supper on the porch/balcony/kitchen counter with a cold beer (or iced tea!) in your favourite cut-offs. Hope you’re all eating well, loving each other, and adventuring often out there. Big hugs and some fist bumps for everyday good eatin’. xoxo

sweet potatoes // @thefirstmessgo-to black beans // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmess
simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with spicy cumin garlic drizzle
serves: 4
additional gear: 4-5 pre soaked wooden skewers
notes: The cumin garlic drizzle serves as a protective coating for the sweet potatoes and peppers as they grill, but also as a light sauce too, so just make sure you reserve enough for serving at the end. You could make these up with any and all types of of salsa, various cheeses, extra lime wedges, sour cream (dairy or non-dairy based), some fresh corn etc etc. Burritos are personal preference driven (duh that’s why they’re so awesome), so this bowl is no different.

spicy cumin garlic drizzle:
1 small jalapeño, seeded
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 2 limes + a little bit of zest
1 tbsp agave nectar/other liquid sweetener
salt + pepper
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (I used avocado)
big splash of water

bowls:
1 medium-large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup small diced red onion
big handful fresh cilantro leaves, divided
2 red bell peppers, stems/seeds removed
cooked brown rice
1 ripe avocado

In an upright blender, combine all of the ingredients for the spicy cumin garlic drizzle. Blend on high until you have a smooth, liquid-y mixture. Check for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Put your pot of rice on if you haven’t got any on hand. Place the cut sweet potatoes in another medium saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil over medium heat and simmer until a knife just goes through when you try to prick one, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss the black beans with a hearty pour of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle, the diced red onions and almost all of the cilantro. Season them with salt and pepper, toss once more, and set aside.

Preheat your grill to high. Skewer the sweet potatoes onto the bamboo sticks, making sure you don’t weigh them down too heavily. Place skewers on a dinner plate along with the pieces of red bell pepper. Pour some of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle on top and lightly toss everything to coat. Grill sweet potatoes and red peppers until char marks appear and vegetables have softened slightly, about 10-12 minutes total. Remove from the grill and cut peppers into bite-sized pieces if you like.

Portion the rice into 4 bowls. Divide the black beans among the bowls. Top rice and beans with grilled sweet potatoes, red peppers and extra cilantro leaves. Pit and peel the avocado, and then dice into chunks on top of the bowls. Finish all of the bowls with extra spicy cumin garlic drizzle and some more salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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Valentina - sweet kabocha23/07/2014 - 5:18 am

I could kill for this plate. Totally.

This is my kind of eating, not to structured and with all the best things! I love sweet potato. That cumin drizzle sounds perfect for my meal tonight!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment23/07/2014 - 7:11 am

This is absolutely my kind of rice bowl! Love the flavor combo and especially the cumin garlic drizzle. Glad you decided to share your everyday meals with us!

Ileana23/07/2014 - 7:35 am

You manage to make everything look so vibrant! I wish I had this for lunch today. :) The cumin-garlic drizzle sounds soooo good!

Denise | TLT23/07/2014 - 7:59 am

Simply gorgeous and totally calling me. I’d live out the cilantro (can’t help it) and add some cheese (again: can’t help it) though. Bookmarking this and will probably make it this week. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

Shanae23/07/2014 - 8:03 am

This looks so amazing! I cannot wait to make this for dinner tonight :D

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar23/07/2014 - 8:16 am

These bowls look great! Such a yummy combo of flavours!

Kathryn23/07/2014 - 8:23 am

I think I probably like real deal everyday eating posts more than fancy recipe posts (not that I don’t love every single one of your posts obviously). But there’s something extra special about getting a peek into the way that other people eat on a day to day basis that’s always inspiring + fascinating.

Amanda23/07/2014 - 8:31 am

Love a good bowl! Fist-bump indeed.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen23/07/2014 - 8:54 am

Absolutely loving your new everyday eats concept! More of that, please! Fancy, complicated dinners sure are wonderful and can make your jaw drop but everyday food is the one that keeps us nourished; keeps us going, and inspired. These burrito bowls look absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to make some soon.

P.S. Those quinoa tacos still linger on my mind…just SO GOOD!

Brian @ A Thought For Food23/07/2014 - 9:00 am

Yup… I’m all about this bowl. I often do sweet potato and black bean tacos, so I just know I’d be a fan of this.

Ashley23/07/2014 - 9:20 am

Love your idea for “everyday eats!” It’s those simple meals that get us through the busy so we can enjoy the outdoors and all the little projects we have going on. But it’s in those full times when we really need these home-cooked, nutrient dense meals! Well done, friend. Also…the photos…again + again…you amaze me! xo

molly yeh23/07/2014 - 9:38 am

gahhh sooo pretty and colorful!!!!! love.

Heather23/07/2014 - 9:55 am

fist bumps for the new nourishing everyday eats category! more time to enjoy the outdoors :) thanks for this one, Laura!

Erin23/07/2014 - 11:01 am

SO. MANY. of your recipes have become ‘everyday eats’ at my house. Can I hear it for the Busy Lady Bowl?! I have a feeling this one will follow suit. Thank you!

Kathy23/07/2014 - 1:06 pm

Hi! Love your recipes! Is there any way to print them out? I’ve tried cut and paste to word and it gets all messed up! Please let me know if there’s a button I’m missing.. Thanks!!!

Laura Wright23/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

Hi Kathy, Thanks for this! There isn’t a button for printing as of right now. I am working on this though. My apologies in the meantime!
-L

Liz @ Floating Kitchen23/07/2014 - 1:29 pm

These are so beautiful! Love the colors and the flavors!

Francesca23/07/2014 - 6:47 pm

I am running with that drizzle. Would honey be a reasonable substitute or is it too sweet? A great easy meal for those hot and busy days. How does the sweet potato go when cooked this way? Does it soften up enough?

shanna mallon23/07/2014 - 11:10 pm

um, yeah, I definitely feel you on this one. I love everything about this post.

jessica (BAKECETERA)24/07/2014 - 8:49 am

i could certainly eat this every day! i’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but i’ve never grilled them! i can’t wait to try this out. ps: i didn’t know you were canadian, excitement!!

Laura Wright24/07/2014 - 2:10 pm

Hi Francesca, honey would substitute just fine for this. And I’ll add that in the recipe, the sweet potato is boiled for a short period of time before it hits the grill, so perfectly soft but still a bit crisp by the time it’s ready to eat :)
-L

Jacqui24/07/2014 - 10:29 pm

Love it, this is exactly my kind of everyday meal and I love that you’re keepin’ it real and enjoying your summer as you should be. Goes by to fast, especially up in the north! And it sounds like lots of exciting new things are happening, much deserved!

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño25/07/2014 - 7:23 am

The flavor combination here is so fantastic! This is absolutely something we could eat on a weekly basis. Yum!

Tea25/07/2014 - 10:07 am

Everyday Eats are where it is at in the summer time. Next time I whip up a similar bowl your dressing is going in it.

[…] that’s on the table in 10 minutes but feels like it took way more effort than it did. These sweet potato and black bean burrito bowls might take a little longer but still fit that kind of easy but tasty vibe that I like to end the […]

[…] Fire up the grill to make sweet potato burrito bowls. (The First Mess.) […]

Thalia @ butter and brioche26/07/2014 - 2:58 am

love these burrito bowls.. definitely will be recreating this meal for my vegetarian household. looks seriously delicious!

Emily @ Life on Food26/07/2014 - 11:51 am

Sweet potatoes are my fav. This looks so delicious. How can I make it appear in front of me now?

Nik@ABrownTable27/07/2014 - 12:20 am

I really love no fuss meals at home. I love sweet potatoes and I know I will have to make this at home soon!

Petra27/07/2014 - 6:11 pm

Beautiful compositions! I wish I could arrange food and take pictures of it like you, because I believe that “all you eat needs to look fabulous, or else it’s not going to taste as good” (well, the source of the quote is here). I especially like the combination of grey and orange, it creates a really nice contrast evoking the tastes of autumn.

Millie l Add A Little27/07/2014 - 8:01 pm

This looks like absolute perfection!! I’ve got to make this STAT!

http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

[…] grilled sweet potato burrito bowls. […]

Sophie28/07/2014 - 2:15 pm

Just perfect! So pretty, too with your eye for colors and textures. We get excited about burrito bowls here too at least a couple times a month, and I can’t wait to try this drizzle all over our next bowls! Summer forces me to be a little more spontaneous and pantry dinners are perfect for just that :)

Paige28/07/2014 - 5:35 pm

What a great lunch! Easy to pack, so tasty, and sustained me well. I took one less step (out of laziness) by blending the cilantro in. It also made a great sauce for a falafel (which means my laziness paid off.) Thank you so much for wonderful recipes.

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet28/07/2014 - 8:36 pm

Almost had this for dinner tonight – but I forgot the sweet potatoes! (<—important)

Lisa29/07/2014 - 9:27 am

Made this for dinner and it was absolutely amazing! A wonderful combination of flavours. Thanks for sharing this great meal.

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine30/07/2014 - 5:50 am

All of my favorite things all nestled in a bowl together! Your photography is stunning!

Pragati30/07/2014 - 8:23 am

YUM! This sounds so delicious!

Pragati

JC30/07/2014 - 11:17 am

Haphazard bowls of goodness are always the best. Kind of like how the messier a sandwich is the better it usually is.

spotlight | This is for Real30/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

[…] love a good burrito bowl. they are one of my go-to fast, easy […]

Amy30/07/2014 - 8:39 pm

Made this tonight for dinner, with a couple minor tweaks (no grill, so I roasted the veggies.) It was SO delicious- that cumin drizzle is a keeper! My husband had seconds, we’re having it tomorrow night too, and I’m about to email it to friends.

[…] sweet potatoes and red peppers, which are drenched in a cumin and garlic drizzle inspired by the first mess. The roasted veggies go on top of fresh greens, along with avocado, an easy mango salsa, and black […]

Hilary01/08/2014 - 12:25 am

I read this post – then your interview with Tara

1) You are so cool

2) Your simple recipes are often my favourite – what you eat every day might seem boring and not worth posting – but they are not. I am probably more likely to make something that is a staple in your life! B/c I’m always looking for something to add into regular rotation

3) if you ever do something outside of this blog – business wise. Please let us know because I probably live close enough that I would come out and support you!

Thanks!

Kathryne01/08/2014 - 10:10 am

This is my kind of meal right here. Bring on the everyday recipe inspiration! P.s. Love that all-caps f-bomb. If only my readers knew that I drop it on the daily.

Linda @ Veganosity01/08/2014 - 1:02 pm

I just discovered your blog, love it! Your photos are beautiful.

Isn’t it great how the simplest foods make the best meals? This is similar to what I feed my family on a daily basis. Color, color, and more color. The more vibrant the meal the better it tastes.

Hilary02/08/2014 - 3:26 pm

So I just made a variation of this for lunch. Holy jebus. I did more of a sauté – onion, sweet potato, beans, rice, beet greens, tomato, + the drizzle. Dynamite! Thanks for the inspiration.

Valerie05/08/2014 - 2:34 pm

My hangry pizza “lunches” usually take place on errant early mornings; after stepping (barefoot!) through cat vomit. *Cue* the salty sailor talk + cheese-bedazzled pizza pies.

This dish is gorgeous in its simplicity! I rarely have sweet potatoes on hand but this is lush enough to make a random grocery store run.

30 day vegetarian challenge |05/08/2014 - 8:45 pm

[…] found on The First Mess […]

[…] sweet potato burrito bowls: don’t mind if I do, and I do, and I […]

Anya’s zucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto + peaches

AnyaThe Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff // @thefirstmesszucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto + peaches // via @thefirstmessjust cut // @thefirstmess
I’ve been a pretty serious fan of the Golubka blog for a while. When Anya asked me to contribute a guest post last year while she was finishing up some work on her book, I was beyond flattered because mutual admiration is awesome, but also surprising at times. Her raw food creations always hit me with an immediate appeal to taste, and then slowly as I read, they would surprise me with their intricacy and elements of whimsy. Her style of cuisine spoke to me with its naturally healthy virtues and, along with her daughter, she managed to make it look so ethereally beautiful as well. To say that I looked up to Anya’s work when I started my blog would be an understatement.

So when she sent me her book around mid-spring, and I saw that it was a fully realized, but also expanded-upon, version of the creative work that she shares on her site, I was immediately inspired. When a book or an entity of any kind makes your mind tick with possibility–for your health, your family table and your whole life–it’s a good one. Also, there’s a lot to be said about a cookbook that can convey a sense of time and place in the world–a trait I find most appealing in any food related publication actually. Anya talks about waiting in lines for pantry staples like butter during her upbringing in Russia and how farm-to-table wasn’t so much a movement as it was the only means to survive. This perspective and resilience reverberates throughout the pages.

Almost all of the recipes are vegan and a nice selection of them are raw–all gluten free and seasonal in theme as well. When the really balmy hot days start to take over here, this is the kind of inspiration I crave most. Abundant, colourful, and satisfying for these days that we spend predominantly outdoors

I was debating between making this zucchini spaghetti dish or her berry and chocolate crisp for today. Mark really wanted the dessert, but I wanted a light summer dinner on our porch at dusk (and apparently Shanna and Tim did too!). (I’m confident that the crisp will be happening next week, what with the impending glut of berries coming on). Anyway, this will be the first of many from Anya’s table to ours. Some other bits that look so, so good: kale + mustard muffins, cacao buckwheat granolafava bean quinoa cakes, fig bars, and spinach quinoa crepes.

Rather generously, her publisher sent me an extra copy to do a little giveaway with too! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me one of two very summery things (or both if you’re really into sharing, which is always totally, totally cool with me):

1. Something seasonal you plan to cross off your list this summer (mine: have a beach picnic, paint my porch, come up with a high-vibe campfire recipe that doesn’t involve beans or oats).
2. Your favourite summer fruit or vegetable and your go-to way to eat it (mine: tomatoes on toasted sourdough with salt, preferably on the steps of my porch as my mid-morning meal, aka second breakfast)

This one’s going to be open to residents of the US and Canada only and I’ll close submissions next Monday (July 14th) at 10am EST. Good luck, lovelies! (This giveaway is now closed–thanks!) Hope you’re enjoying that sunshine, and maybe a few magical summer storms too :)

basil // @thefirstmesspesto preppintoasted seeds // @thefirstmesszucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto + peaches // via @thefirstmess
zucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto + peaches
from The Vibrant Table: Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan & Sometimes Raw Kitchen
serves: 4
notes: I toasted the pumpkin seeds with a bit of salt before grinding them into the pesto, but if you prefer to keep this raw, just skip that step. Also, I use a julienne peeler for the zucchini, but if you have a spiralizer, you can probably get away with 3 zucchinis since it better utilizes the seedier inner part of the vegetable.

pesto ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted in a dry pan over medium heat (or not, as discussed above)
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
splash of water
1 tbsp lemon juice
small clove of garlic, peeled + crushed
salt + pepper

zucchini spaghetti etc. ingredients:
4-5 medium zucchini
2 peaches
handful of chopped basil/basil flowers

Place the toasted pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor with the “S” bade in place. Pulse the seeds until they are the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. From here, add the basil, olive oil, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Turn the food processor onto high until you have a smooth paste. Set the pesto aside.

With a julienne peeler, make long lengthwise strands of zucchini, avoiding peeling the centers if they’re a bit seedy. Place zucchini “spaghetti” in a large bowl and toss with a heavy pinch of salt. Let the zucchini sit for about 5 minutes so that the salt can soften the noodles ever so slightly. Pit and slice your peaches while you wait.

Toss the zucchini spaghetti with most of the pesto until strands are evenly coated. Arrange the peaches on top and tear pieces of basil to finish it off. Garnish with some extra bits of pesto if you like. Serve immediately.

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Melissa10/07/2014 - 5:46 am

What a beautifully simple but healthy looking dish. I will have to bookmark this one for summer when it comes along.

Ali @ Farmers Market Vegan10/07/2014 - 6:08 am

Right now I’m loving corn and cherries! Corn grilled and sliced off the cobb into chipotle-spiced salads; cherries on top of my morning granola.

Grace10/07/2014 - 6:20 am

My favorite is rhubarb! As Summer approaches, I can’t wait to get my hands on it to make rhubarb pie, rhubarb tea, rhubarb compote! My absolute favorite is your rhubarb fool and coconut cream. It is, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite desserts!

Shannon10/07/2014 - 6:22 am

Just stunning! My favorite is cucumbers – I’ll eat them plain like an apple, or in a cucumber salad :)

KL10/07/2014 - 6:29 am

lately it’s been cucumber and radish for me

Bonnie10/07/2014 - 6:33 am

I love all things summer: berries, cherries, lettuces, corn, peaches. Figs! But year round, I long for juicy, ripe Jersey tomatoes! Served simply, sliced, drizzled with good olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt. Mmmmmmm.

C. Soto10/07/2014 - 7:12 am

Favorite summer food: Blueberries, straight up. Actually, they are my favorite food – period!

Leah10/07/2014 - 7:13 am

This meal looks delicious! Raw and fresh is definitely appealing in the warmth of the summer. This summer I plan to have my breakfast at the top of one of my favourite local hikes (Signal Hill, St. John’s, NL), perched on the mountain overlooking the Atlantic ocean in those early morning dawn hours when it’s often just you and the birds awake. As for summer fruit, I am in love with fresh figs. And biting into a juicy fig just as it is is my favourite way to enjoy it!

Tova10/07/2014 - 7:31 am

Love this! Although very new to me, I too am a fan of the Golubka blog!
This summer I also hope to make a picnic on the beach, and prepare an entire meal using the heat and flame of an outdoor fire. My favourite summer fruit is the tomato –> and I love a quick panzanella style salad. I am also obsessed with Ontario peaches –> grilled and drizzles with honey over some yogurt and granola –> the best day to welcome another sunny summer day.

Cheers!

Susan10/07/2014 - 7:55 am

I love cherries in the summer! I really just love to eat them as is – such a great treat.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar10/07/2014 - 7:57 am

This is gorgeous! I love the way it looks with the grass all around it…like we’re on a picnic with you :) Great recipe!

jessica z10/07/2014 - 7:57 am

I plan to cross zip lining and attending the beach fest off my list this summer!

Hannah M.10/07/2014 - 8:02 am

It’s hard to pick favorites when it comes to summer fruits and vegetables, but wild blackberries are up there in my top 10, for sure. Preferably eaten in a warm cobbler with unsweetened whipped cream :)

Bridget10/07/2014 - 8:07 am

Favorit summery food: peaches

Favorite way to eat peaches you ask? In a cobbler with some ice cream wrapped up on the couch with my fiancé OR simply sliced open fresh in the morning with a bowl of oats and a cup of coffee.

Leanne10/07/2014 - 8:11 am

Summer! Seriously, I just want to find the time to sit in the backyard sunshine and read a good book. It hasn’t happened yet…but I’ll make sure it does!

Tamara10/07/2014 - 8:17 am

Tomato – still warm from the garden, eaten like an apple :)

Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming10/07/2014 - 8:20 am

i love allll the fresh fruit! especially blueberries and peaches!

Brandee10/07/2014 - 8:26 am

We are planning a trip to our local sandbar this weekend. It will be my sons first boat trip and first time in a lake!

Brandee10/07/2014 - 8:31 am

My favourite summer food is strawberries. To be honest I love them warm right off the bush while picking them! I also love them in cupcakes and sprinkled on my morning cereal.

Colleen10/07/2014 - 8:34 am

Can’t wait to try this recipe!
This summer, I’m gutting and re-doing my guest bath. I know, sounds like a blast, right? Oh yeah, and I’m scraping, sanding, and painting my wrap-around porch!

Heather Taylor10/07/2014 - 8:37 am

I am finally going to visit the Outer Banks and see a lighthouse!

Kat10/07/2014 - 8:45 am

My favorites are sugar peas, love eating them straight out of the pod on the field.
Will have a little get-together for our 1st wedding anniversary with all of our guests from last year, best food and music :)

Margarita10/07/2014 - 8:55 am

I love how beautiful this dish looks. So vibrant and refreshing.
1. Go camping and hike some nice trails.
2. Fruit tarts! Or any baked dessert with stone fruit toppings.

leslie10/07/2014 - 8:57 am

For sure my favorite summer meal is caprese salad with fresh picked tomatoes from the garden. I wait all year, skipping over the store bought tomatoes, waiting waiting for my own to finally ripen then I eat caprese salad over and over until they are all gone. Reminds me of summer and Italy all in one.

Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers10/07/2014 - 9:05 am

Such a gorgeous dish full of colors! This is the perfect summer meal!

shanna mallon10/07/2014 - 9:14 am

The way you said this is just right, about Anya’s book being a fully realized version of her blog, about how mutual admiration is surprising (especially with someone like this), about light foods being so welcome this time of year. Also, Laura, I will probably be saying this to you til kingdom come — YOUR PHOTOS. So good.

Laura Bray10/07/2014 - 9:19 am

I am looking forward to trying stand up paddle boarding for the first time ever! Beyond excited for that adventure.

I’m constantly gravitating toward homemade iced tea. It’s simple, but I love to use genmaicha and a bit of stevia. Earthy, slightly sweet, and ice cold for the heat!

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan10/07/2014 - 9:26 am

That book, swoon! Ok here are mine!

1. Stand up paddleboarding, looks hard as shit, but I want to try it!

2. Watermelon..alll the watermelon!

Sini | my blue&white kitchen10/07/2014 - 9:30 am

What a gorgeous post and recipe. I too am in love with Anya’s work and with The Vibrant Table, a cookbook full of inspiration. Haven’t made this zucchini spaghetti yet but am so so eager to try!

Holly10/07/2014 - 9:30 am

FAVE SUMMER JAM:

Nothing in this whole wide world beats a ripe, fresh picked southern peach – close second to immediate devouring is old fashioned peach shortcake with basil garnish. Summer in a dish!

Kyle10/07/2014 - 9:32 am

Looks lovely! There is nothing better than a fresh tomato from the vine, chopped up with salt and pepper- preferably eaten on my parent’s back deck, watching the sun rise up to mid morning.

Val10/07/2014 - 9:32 am

Looks wonderful – I’m definitely interested in this cookbook! To answer your questions: 1) My goal is to grill ALL of the fruits/veggies this year. There are certain veggies/fruits that I tend to ear raw or cook on the stove (shelling peas, raspberries), but I’d like to develop some grilling techniques for them instead. 2) My favorite summer food? A tie between a good tomato/corn salad (corn, tomatoes, avo, herbs) and eating golden raspberries straight out of hand.

michelle10/07/2014 - 9:33 am

I would LOVE a copy of The Vibrant Table!

1) I can’t wait to have a picnic in the park, get cinnamon buns at the bakery at my cottage, and hopefully catch a movie at the drive-in

2) Right now I’m really feeling peaches. Particularly grilled peaches drilled with maple syrup over vanilla yogurt.

Danielle10/07/2014 - 9:37 am

My favorite summer fruit are peaches! I love the super sweet, oozing with juicy goodness with each bite. My mouth is watering! I love the looks of that cookbook and I’d love to get my hands on it.

Shelley10/07/2014 - 9:39 am

My #1 thing to check off of my summer bucketlist (which is revamped every year) is to learn how to can! I would like to can homemade marinara sauce, jams, etc. for the cold months to come.

anastacia mosher10/07/2014 - 9:43 am

My favorite summer fruit it’s strawberries! I love them any way I can get them…salads, smoothies, in desserts, or by themselves.

Jenny10/07/2014 - 9:45 am

Sigh…summmmmmmmmerrrrrrr. On my summer to-do list: picnic and lazy afternoon in central park and a day at Coney Island. Also: making our way to Red Hook to enjoy the libations at Fort Defiance. And I’m feeling you on open tomato sandwiches…with a somewhat heavy-handed sprinkle of flaky sea salt. x

Ashley10/07/2014 - 9:50 am

These photos are absolutely, completely, amaaaaazing. I cannot wait for Colorado peaches to be fully in season. They are my absolute favorite and usually just get eaten over the sink. :) Bucket list: gotta get out for some camping this summer!

Buffy10/07/2014 - 9:53 am

What I’m looking forward to most this summer is all happening in August- our family beach trip and a large group camping trip by the river with friends for my 40th birthday!

Also, I’ve been obsessed with tomato, cuke, and feta dressed with EVOO, balsamic and salt & pepper. I eat it almost every day!

Colleen10/07/2014 - 10:07 am

This looks incredible! :)
This summer, we really want to stain/refinish the deck and eat lots of summer cherries – I usually just eat them as-is. One of my all time favorite things about summer! :)

Aleksandra10/07/2014 - 10:21 am

I love seeing the grass in your pictures. It makes me feel like I’m sitting with you on your porch and enjoying that beautiful dish. My favourite summer fruit of all time after cherries and peaches are figs. I spent so many blissful summers at my grandmothers picking them directly from her tree and marvelling in their honey-like sweetness.A ripe fig is incomparable!As far as summer is concerned, staying outdoors as much as possible and sipping on anything refreshing is essential!

Christy10/07/2014 - 10:26 am

Recently discovered your blog when my SIL made the roasted carrots on a bed of spiced yogurt (except she had to grill them because her oven doesn’t work in the house they just bought. Still she had the grace and generosity to make some astounding meals over last weekend–food = love.)

This summer, I really want to learn to do some food fermenting. I’ve had some amazing slaws and pickles over the past couple of growing seasons and everyone in my family loves this.

Thanks,
Christy

Katie10/07/2014 - 10:34 am

Favourite seasonal vegetable: zucchini. I have many plans for the kilograms I will eat, cook, and (fresh)freeze for winter. My favourite seasonal way to eat it is to make raw zucchini sticks and drizzle with tahini and Sriracha. Bliss.

Smadar10/07/2014 - 10:40 am

I plan on going to the beach at least once, and I like to enjoy lots of berries this time of year. Straight up berries in a bowl, nothing fancy.

sarah10/07/2014 - 10:50 am

Oh my gosh, that dish is so beautiful! During the summer, all I want to eat is watermelon. It is just so good.

Megan10/07/2014 - 10:50 am

This weekend I can’t wait to go kayaking and canoeing with friends. We’ll slither through passages to a few different lakes and then it’s picnic time!

Xanthia10/07/2014 - 10:53 am

Figs my favorite part of summer. Although they’re delicious raw, if I’m feeling fancy I cut them halfway down in quarters so they fan out like flowers. Then I add on a little fresh goat cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and honey or maple syrup (with a dash of salt and pepper). Grilling these confections under the broiler until the goat cheese starts to melt and the sugars caramelize makes an incredible starter.

Holly10/07/2014 - 10:58 am

My favorite summer vegetable is zucchini, and although I love it fried, my go-to much healthier way of preparing it is to dip in flour, then almond milk, then seasoned bread crumbs, bake, and serve with a vegan aioli.

And this summer I plan to take a series of relaxing weekend trips with the hubby, almost all involving a cabin/B&B and a Major League baseball game!

CL10/07/2014 - 11:06 am

The best way to consume summer fruit is a watermelon soaked in basil gin and bitters, eaten with a spoon straight out of the shell. You’re welcome.

Maria Anne10/07/2014 - 11:14 am

My favorite summer fruit and vegetable – I really can’t pick just one, but I love zucchini and I love berries! I love any and all grilled vegetables – and I’ve been seeing a lot of people grilling fruit lately, which I really want to try. Mmmm!!
xo
maria

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth10/07/2014 - 11:17 am

I’m a big fan of Anya’s blog – as well as yours! One of my favorite summer memories is sitting in the garden patch as a kid, knees in the dirt, picking sun hot tomatoes off the vine with salt shaker in hand – bite, sprinkle, bite, sprinkle.

Alanna @ One Tough Cookie10/07/2014 - 11:26 am

What a gorgeous looking recipe! I especially love your photo of the Thai Basil flowers — when mine first sprouted this year, I couldn’t believe how lovely they looked!

One of my favourite summer dishes is strawberries tossed in a couple tablespoons of sugar and balsamic vinegar, then cooked until they become thick and jammy. Eaten on ice cream, of course!

marie10/07/2014 - 11:27 am

1. canoeing with friends!
2. watermelon!!!

Stephanie10/07/2014 - 11:28 am

For my summer bucket list, I plan to cross off kayaking in the San Juan islands off the coast of Washington when the resident orca pods are in town

molly yeh10/07/2014 - 11:34 am

i have been ALLLLL about the cucumber noodles lately, but it’s zucchini noodles that i have to try! and i love the look of this pumpkin pesto.

Christina10/07/2014 - 11:42 am

I love fresh peaches with plain yogurt, granola, and mixed spice for breakfast on a summer morning.

Stephanie K10/07/2014 - 11:43 am

I’m hoping to take a road trip to see Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty this summer. Maybe I’ll pack some watermelon for my trip. It’s by far my favorite summer fruit. This zucchini spaghetti looks amazing. I can’t wait to make it!

Autumn10/07/2014 - 11:50 am

Whoaaa! I’ll be making this salad for sure!!! I’ve been loving the cherries this summer!! They are so juicy and full of flavor!!!

Annie10/07/2014 - 11:55 am

I’m looking forward to putting together seasonal dishes and cocktails for a housewarming party later this summer and I always love grilled peaches as a go-to summer fruit!

Mer10/07/2014 - 12:04 pm

This summer, I plan to spot as many fireflies as possible…I didn’t see my first one until I was in my 20s, so I’m making up for lost time!!! They are nothing short of magic.

My favourite summer fruit is watermelon – cold, scooped,sliced, diced, cubed…in salads with olives and/or mint, on its own, or pureed in tasty beverages…it really doesn’t matter as long as I can shove heaping helpings of it into my face!

Maj-le10/07/2014 - 12:06 pm

My favorite summer fruit hands down – peaches. There is nothing better than biting into a ripe peach on a lazy summer afternoon outside. But, they are also very taste in peach crisps, peach cobbler and grilled over charcoal and drizzled with some maple syrup.

Amanda10/07/2014 - 12:09 pm

So yum! This summer I plan to restain the deck and go camping. My favorite summer food are Jersey tomatoes in any kind of salad!

catherine10/07/2014 - 12:12 pm

i plan on making some roasted tomatillo salsa from my CSA. LOVE that they are grown organically in Ontario and yet feel kind exotic

Spring10/07/2014 - 12:19 pm

I plan to do some major summer hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Liesel10/07/2014 - 12:22 pm

As usual, beautiful presentation and photography!

Favorite summer produce: Has to be a tie between fresh-picked blueberries (on top of homemade granola) and basil from the garden (pesto, pesto, pesto).

Laura: Your counter tops turned out beautifully. You inspired us to use Helmsman spar urethane on our butcher block island from IKEA and we are so pleased with the results. Just curious – How many coats did you apply?

Eileen10/07/2014 - 12:47 pm

This zucchini spaghetti sounds amazing! Peaches? What?? :) I have already accomplished my main summer goal — to go to the dog beach in Santa Cruz and spend a few hours watching all the dogs frolic in the waves! And my favorite summer food is, hands down, the tomato, sliced and with a pinch of salt. No need for anything more. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

Julie S10/07/2014 - 12:48 pm

This looks so lovely! My big summer project is starting my garden now that we OWN a house. I’ve always had a makeshift garden at my previous rentals but am so excited to go totally all in! I’ll be taking breaks with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer Market with a sprinkling of sea salt and some torn basil :)

Martina10/07/2014 - 1:04 pm

Nothing will beat fresh local peaches for me! Plain and simple and soooo delicious.

Jade Sheldon-Burnsed10/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

My husband and I are hoping to have a day at the beach: crepes in the morning, chowder in the afternoon and plenty of walking up and down the beach in between!

Sarah Wallen10/07/2014 - 1:23 pm

Fresh berries (any kind) with a little cream are my favorite summer food.

Eve10/07/2014 - 1:27 pm

On my summer to do list, was to plant a raised vegetable bed and to tend and harvest it with my two young girls. It is doing really well, and the giant cucumbers are coming up next for harvest. I’ve met a lot of great neighbours, who are enthusiastic about seeing food grown in suburbia.

Jesse10/07/2014 - 1:30 pm

Beautiful recipe; I just so happened to buy a julienne peeler the other day! Living in the southern U.S., summer nights are balmy and breezy…for the next full moon I wanna strap on my roller skates with their rainbow laces and glow-in-the-dark stickers and soak up the night. The peaches we have down here are amazing (Georgia peaches!) and I loved blending them up and pouring them into Popsicle molds, topped off with some coconut cream. A sweet treat for a hot afternoon, sitting on the stoop in the sunshine.

Beth10/07/2014 - 1:40 pm

Oh, what a simple and delicious looking dish! Can’t wait to make it myself. I’m looking forward to mint juleps on the porch with the abundance of mint taking over my flower beds. My fav summer fruits are all the berries and peaches, straight up and cobbler or crisp style:)

Saniel10/07/2014 - 1:41 pm

Peaches and zucchini, great combination

Sandra Lea10/07/2014 - 1:41 pm

My book club plans to have their next two meetings on the beach with some good food and wine.

Gwen10/07/2014 - 1:55 pm

Caprese salad made with tomatoes still warm from the garden…this year I planted Brandywine, Russian Black and Berkeley Pink Tie-dye. Sliced with locally made Vancouver Island buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil. Salt and cold-pressed olive oil.

Swimming in the ocean in the evening means it’s really summer…

Victoria10/07/2014 - 2:11 pm

Summer food is a toss up between a simple cucumber+tomato salad with lots of s&p plus a hit of vinegar or eating a whole melon (doesn’t matter which) for breakfast! I DEVOURED the first cantaloupe I got my hands on this season. So good!
This recipe looks delicious!

Kate Reeve10/07/2014 - 2:38 pm

My favourite summer food: watermelon popsicles!

Justyna10/07/2014 - 3:47 pm

seasonal activity which must be crossed off the to-do list: a weekend camping getaway with friends complete with evening bonfires and midnight swims!

Aleena10/07/2014 - 3:56 pm

My favorite summer vegetable is summer squash. I love it grilled on a charcoal grill with a olive oil-balsamic coating on it and eating it on my deck with the scenery of the trees in my backyard. It is such a treat.

Jo10/07/2014 - 4:31 pm

I’m loving summer squashes at the moment, and I have to admit my favourite way to eat them is spirilaized with pesto, just like your amazing dish here! So, in the interest of being original, I’ll share something seasonal I’m planning to do this summer. I’m going to gather together all of my friends with little ones, and head to the PYO blueberry farm and pick a years worth of berries for our freezers. Also make flower-crowns in the field next door and adorn all of our babies with petal-head dresses : ) And I don’t live in the US or Canada, so this was just for fun! Though I’d happily donate the beautiful book to some friends in Canada if I were to win! Hehe. Beautiful pics as always Laura. Happy summer, I’m totally with you an all of your plans and summery snacks! xx

Sarah10/07/2014 - 4:43 pm

1. I want to host an outdoor brunch by the pond at my house. Everyone would wear pajamas and sit on quilts while eating elegant pastries and such. :)

Kristie10/07/2014 - 4:49 pm

I can’t wait to climb to the top of an 11,000 foot peak in the Rockies and see nothing but mountain upon mountains from the top. As far from a city as possible.
I am living cherries in everything from salads to raw porridge right now. New fave, cherry mole sauce!

Claire Schultz10/07/2014 - 5:15 pm

My summer list includes: perfecting pasta from scratch without a machine – just simple hand cut shapes and purchasing a tiny chest freezer that will fit down my tiny basement stairs built in 1903 – to fill for the long winter months.

My favorite summer goods: sun ripe tomato, fresh torn basil, avocado, olive oil salad.

So simple so satisfying.

Happy summer to you.

Emma10/07/2014 - 5:28 pm

My favorite summer food are nectarines. I love to eat them with plain Greek yogurt, raw steel cut oats, and hemp hearts.

shilpa10/07/2014 - 5:38 pm

Oh Summer how I love thee! Two things that scream summer are Strawberries and Cukes!! I absolutely love both yours and Anya’s blogs. Definitely get so much summer inspiration from them! Thank you!

Heather10/07/2014 - 5:43 pm

S’mores on our newly-completed patio!

Lauren10/07/2014 - 6:39 pm

My favorite summer food is corn, cooked on the grill. I also like to make pickles!

Kristin10/07/2014 - 7:16 pm

How do I even choose??? Corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and peaches top the list. A fave corn prep: saute diced zucchini and red pepper in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper; add one ear’s worth of corn fresh from the cob; saute for 1-2 mins, just enough to warm. Butter on top to get all melty, a bit more sea salt and pepper, and spoon into my face. :)

Christine10/07/2014 - 7:17 pm

Looks yummy! One summery thing I’d love to cross off my list this summer would be to go camping or go on a nice picnic. My favourite summer fruit would probably be nectarines and I eat them with any kind of cheese and maybe honey.

Nikki10/07/2014 - 7:17 pm

I love using raw zucchini in every possible way !! Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish and lovely vibrant pictures !!

sarah10/07/2014 - 8:08 pm

I can’t live without watermelon!

Rebecca10/07/2014 - 8:58 pm

YUM. I can’t wait to make this! My it’s-really-summer food is watermelon. My go-to way to eat it is in a HUGE slice on a plate. Sometimes it doesn’t make it that far though, and I crack it open and just dig the spoon in! :)

Emily10/07/2014 - 11:02 pm

I’m planning to do some hiking this summer. Hopefully near the beach!

Meghan11/07/2014 - 1:05 am

I’ve been dreaming of this book before it hit the shelves, and have been collecting the recipes from other bloggers like yourself, ever since. It’s ironic that I am so fond of The First Mess in all the exact same ways that you love Anya. Likewise, you recreated her recipe beautifully. And what a recipe it is! I do love zucchini in the summer, but my favorite would have to be a fat and sloppy Texas peach, eaten hot and sultry in the sun. And as for my summer adventures, I am hoping to finally catch one of these gnarly storms that have been ripping through town, and chase lightning! It was my childhood dream, and now, my summer reality.

Thanks Laura!

Erin11/07/2014 - 7:52 am

My favorite is heirloom tomatoes! I live for the moment they start appearing in the farmers’ markets. I like to eat them raw on crusty brown bread crostini with homemade ricotta and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Susan11/07/2014 - 8:22 am

I’d love to check out a new swimming hole south of Austin!

Allison11/07/2014 - 8:45 am

I love fresh tomatoes, cut up and sprinkled with a (generous) bit of sea salt. So good!

amanda11/07/2014 - 9:08 am

1. Something seasonal you plan to cross off your list this summer (mine: have a beach picnic, paint my porch, come up with a high-vibe campfire recipe that doesn’t involve beans or oats). — build a mega sand castle

2. Your favourite summer fruit or vegetable and your go-to way to eat it (mine: tomatoes on toasted sourdough with salt, preferably on the steps of my porch as my mid-morning meal, aka second breakfast) — figs… from branch to mouth, warm and slightly gooey from the sun (like me) :)

Eliza11/07/2014 - 9:59 am

My favorite summer fruit, by far, is watermelon. I love to eat it cubed with just a little sprinkle of salt with breakfast in the morning or as a mid-afternoon snack.

My grandfather taught me how to salt watermelon. We used to eat it on an old picnic table at his house in Kentucky, right by his small garden where he grew tomatoes, watermelon, and a few other summer crops!

Lesley11/07/2014 - 10:20 am

This weekend I will be visiting a camp in the woods on Cape Cod where I had my first nursing job several summers ago. Friends who live there year-round and a visiting friend will meet there for bonfires, pond-swimming, and cocktails on the dock (“docktails”). I have been waiting all winter for this summer treat. I love your blog and Golubka!

Miruska11/07/2014 - 10:34 am

I live in Calgary, Canada, where winters start in October and end in late May. There is never enough summer. I have a pretty big balcony I have not been able to enjoy. Its concrete pad was in a pretty bad condition and it’s really windy on the 9th floor where I live. This year, my dad helped me resurface the concrete and we put acrylic sheets on the railing to make it less windy. It’s perfect. I bought a nice outdoor rug and some planters and have been having my morning coffee out there every day. I plan to continue for the rest of the summer. Next, barbeque!

Clara11/07/2014 - 10:39 am

Hi, I was about to buy this book but I will wait until this giveaway!
1) I would like to have picnics at the park, I never do and I always fantasize of doing them. My favorite fruit is peaches! I can’t get enough of them, and blueberries and plums and all the berries, oh gosh, I love summer season!
2) quesadillas with avocado and of course Gazpacho!
Thank you for your generosity!

Madeline11/07/2014 - 10:51 am

One summery thing I hope to do is take my daughter to the fair for the first time! And my favorite summer fruit has always been mangos. I eat them plain, when they’re perfect and ripe :)

Mandy11/07/2014 - 12:00 pm

First, by the end of summer, I want to finally achieve a headstand!

Second, PEACHES!! I have two simple favorites – sliced fresh, atop a crispy polenta cake, topped with gorgonzola/feta/goat cheese and some honey, or a salad of sliced peaches, red onion, feta and mint, drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Lisa11/07/2014 - 2:07 pm

With the abundance of fruits and vegetables available in California’s central valley during the summer it is difficult to pick just one, but one all-time favorite is the Kingsburg sweet 100 tomatoes. I like to eat them in a salad or on pasta if any make it home from the farmer’s market — I’ll eat them out of the basket!

Kristin R11/07/2014 - 2:40 pm

This summer I am looking forward to planting my “verticle” gardens to hang from my fence!

My favorite summer food is (hands down) watermelon! This season has brought so many scrumptious, sweet and mouth watering melons to my table,its an endless amount of pure bliss!

Anna11/07/2014 - 3:29 pm

My favourite summer fruit is local strawberries. And my favourite way to eat them is right out of the box after I buy them, walking around the farmers market.

Erin11/07/2014 - 6:44 pm

Looks great! This summer I’m looking forward to mastering the art of great, healthy ‘travel snacks’ and there is nothing better than basil being used for fresh pesto :)

Elise Hill11/07/2014 - 7:48 pm

I have been a longtime fan of Golubka and this cookbook looks like a glorious continuation on paper. This coming weekend I am crossing off my summer list, wine tasting and camping along the Oregon coast. My favorite summer vegetable would have to be sun-ripened tomatoes consumed with burrata and sea salt because it reminds me of my honeymoon in Big Sur, CA.

Alison11/07/2014 - 9:38 pm

Berries! As many different ones as I can get my hands on!! Hopefully I will get to fit in a day on a picking farm in, before the season is over.

Anya11/07/2014 - 10:16 pm

Laura, I am so, so honored! Thank you for such a kind, thoughtful review – you saw in the book exactly what I hoped readers would see. Hope you get to try the crumble soon :)

Cait12/07/2014 - 10:50 am

My favorite is fresh corn from the farmers market- grilled with cilantro lime butter, or roasted, cut off the cob, and in a salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, crab meat, and a honey lime vinaigrette. Yummmmm!

Summer to do list? Books- reading as many as I can out in the sunshine!

Samantha12/07/2014 - 11:39 am

This recipe looks outrageously good.

My favourite summer fruit are cherries, eaten by the handful directly from the tree. Preferably after biking to the orchard!

Leah12/07/2014 - 11:51 am

Stunning photos as always!!

I would love to have an outdoor picnic this summer complete with a fancy picnic basket.

My favorite summer fruit is peaches and I love a good peach cobbler :)

Kaitlin12/07/2014 - 9:51 pm

Grilled peaches with homemade ricotta, honey, and a pinch of salt is a summer favorite and I’m hoping to go blueberry picking in Mississippi!

Sarah12/07/2014 - 11:01 pm

I was introduced to your blog recently and find myself browsing it often for inspiration and recipes! It truly is a beautiful place to visit! Myself and my family are gluten, dairy and meat free. Anya’s cookbook sounds like a wonderful fit for us! Her recipes that you mentioned have piqued my interest. I would love a copy of her book! To answer question number two, my favourite summertime veg is snap peas. I love their sweetness, and the warmth of the sun soaked pods juxtaposed with the cool crunch of the peas inside. I like them best straight from the plant still standing in my garden. I especially like when my kids are by my side sharing them with me!

Tess13/07/2014 - 3:36 am

The flavours here are so intriguing! I can’t wait to visit my dad who lives far away, as is summer tradition. I just moved to Minneapolis from Winnipeg, Canada and I really look forward to exploring Minnesota on camping trips during these brief but beautiful warm months. Juicy nectarines, peaches, strawberries and cherries are my favourite summer foods. I’m going to make a tart with fresh strawberries so very soon!

Lydia Claire13/07/2014 - 3:54 am

Strawberries mixed in with vegan yogurt!

Liz S.13/07/2014 - 7:28 am

My favorite summer fruit = fresh bing cherries. I eat them with raw walnuts or on top of coconut milk ice cream.

Marie13/07/2014 - 7:40 am

Salads! Soft butter lettuce from Josh and Melissa’s farm and Tokyo turnips, purple radishes, green onions and hemp seeds sprinkled all over, dressed with a yummy maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic and balsamic dressing! Oooh! So good that we dream about it and celebrate the start of the Farmers’ Market season by taking the day off so we can take the time to catch up with everyone, and check out new vendors. Love Summer and all the salad possibilities that lie ahead!

Christy13/07/2014 - 9:20 am

My favorite summer produce is rhubarb – I love to eat it in strawberry-rhubarb pie! It makes me think of my grandparents and how they always grew rhubarb specifically for strawberry-rhubarb pie :D

Jessica Brown13/07/2014 - 9:26 am

I love making paletas, it is a wonderful contrast to the suffocating humidity of New York City in the summer. My favourite to date is jalapeño and pinapple. I can’t have a weekend in the city without a picnic in the park, people watching – two essentials… portable speakers and cheese!

Ursula13/07/2014 - 10:15 am

1) We crossed off setting up a hammock chair in the backyard to cozy up and read with my four year old.
2) We really love our arugula, cilantro and mint straight out of the garden. Otherwise, making your Vanilla-Stewed Rhubarb is always a favourite, and we never go without watermelon mint popsicles in the freezer!

Cristina13/07/2014 - 10:41 am

Your blog is awesome.

Tomatoes, hands down. Roughly cut and topped with sea salt, basil and a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil. Stir and let sit until the juices start running then eat and sop it all up with a fresh baguette.

Leanne13/07/2014 - 11:24 am

1. i am making the forest hike a regular weekend trip
2. tomatoes on toast with basil and honey – tastes like summer every time

your blog is beautiful and makes me excited to cook. couldn’t ask for more :)

Heather13/07/2014 - 12:41 pm

This past week I crossed off my must-have summer adventure: overnight camping on a mountaintop in the Smoky Mountains. After quite a wild thunderstorm in the evening, we were treated to a lovely foggy morning hike through the forest.

Tomatoes and corn on the cob win the fruit/veg of summer contest for me. I like thick slices of tomato, topped with plain yogurt, fresh basil, and s+p. And I like my corn grilled and topped with a chili-butter.

Emm13/07/2014 - 1:53 pm

I am obsessed with zucchini spaghetti! I just made some with pesto last night. I finally purchased a spiralizer and I highly recommend it. The Vibrant Table sounds like my kinda book! I would love to have a copy. This summer I want to:

Host a candlelight dinner for 20 in my backyard – we did it two years ago and it was magical. Something about a balmy night and the sound of many friends enjoying it together.

Make a dessert with sweet, sweet pluots. Maybe a cobbler – I like crisps, but I’m craving that cake-y batter with the intense juice from the fruit.

Rachel B13/07/2014 - 3:04 pm

1. Take a day trip on my bike, outside of NYC.
2. Grilled peaches and halloumi cheese. As an appetizer, while preparing a gourmet meal for friends and family.

Christa13/07/2014 - 5:26 pm

Oh my, lovely.

Definitely blueberries, eaten right off the bush. My favorite PIYO place just opened today, and I’m going Wednesday. Can’t wait!

Amanda13/07/2014 - 8:08 pm

Love the recipe! I discovered kohlrabi this summer, and love it in a simple vinegar-based coleslaw.

Meg13/07/2014 - 8:13 pm

This looks DIVINE! I’ve had CRAZY cravings for zucchini pasta and pesto lately (what can I say–summer = basil = ALL THE PESTO!!) so this is definitely happening soon. The peaches are an unexpected addition but, no doubt, delicous.

I’d have to say my favourite thing about summer is going for a nice relaxing run or walk in the evening, just as the sun is going down and the breeze is cooling off.

Happy summer!

sophie wolanski13/07/2014 - 8:15 pm

It’s too hard for me to choose one blanket summer favorite, but right now having just come back from a trip to Brazil, where they’re really not about the vegetable or good fresh bread, I’m obsessed with: a perfectly CREAMY AVOCADO spread extra thick on a slice of SPROUTED MICHE, topped with a WHITE ANCHOVY and a good squeeze of LEMON. Ooooh and fresh, crunchy, spicy RADISHES dipped in whipped BUTTER topped with SALT.Omg my stomach is rumbling I need to go……….

S Brenner13/07/2014 - 9:24 pm

1. Something seasonal you plan to cross off your list this summer: seeing the sun for as many of the next weekends as I can (i.e. escaping the San Francisco summer fog).

2. Your favourite summer fruit or vegetable and your go-to way to eat it: Current favorites, heirloom tomato sliced and garnished with crumbled feta cheese, oregano, and nice olive oil (great accompaniment to a homemade herb and fennel spanikopita w/ spelt dough) OR any berries or watermelon I can get my hands on. I’m particularly into making ‘fresca’ (w/o extra sugar)…water, ice, and a few strawberries or pieces of watermelon into the blender. Verrry refreshing!

kelli heidtmann13/07/2014 - 9:40 pm

I am going to build myself an outdoor sleeping area, covered and screen, cool and breezy

Cristina Lopez14/07/2014 - 1:43 am

my summer goal is to go on a road trip up north, and enjoy and revel in the beauty of summer minus the crazy heat waves. preferably with my dog :)

Kristin14/07/2014 - 6:05 am

Asparagus!!!! We love to put a little olive oil, lemon and a secret seasoning mix that has a little kick to it then put them on the grill. Delicious!

Deanna14/07/2014 - 2:55 pm

This summer I’m learning how to grill! I finally bought a grill after 2 years so I’m hoping to find some good recipes and not burn everything :). I love zucchini pasta and this recipe looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

Kasey14/07/2014 - 4:21 pm

I have been loving seeing all these zucchini noodles! I’ve only recently started making them, and am totally hooked. Thea edition of peaches and pesto?? Just. Brilliant. xo

[…] This one requires a julienne peeler to make the zucchini “noodles,” though you could use a regular peeler and then just stack and slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. But basically you just make pesto with pumpkin seeds in a food processor, mix with the zucchini strands, and add peaches. Get the recipe. […]

Ashlae15/07/2014 - 10:24 am

I’ve been wanting to try the zucchini spaghetti ever since I got my hands on the book – but the last time I ate raw zucchini I was bed ridden for two days with what I still swear is the worst stomach bug I’ve ever had. It probably wasn’t the zucchini, but every time I look at zucchini noodles I’m taken back to that terribly miserable day. However, that pesto is another story. I’m gonna smother some brown rice noodles in it later tonight and *maybe* shred some zucchini on top. BABY STEPS, YO.

PS – Your photos always make me swoon. And I think I tell you that every time.

[…] This one requires a julienne peeler to make the zucchini “noodles,” though you could use a regular peeler and then just stack and slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. But basically you just make pesto with pumpkin seeds in a food processor, mix with the zucchini strands, and add peaches. Get the recipe. […]

[…] Zucchini Spaghetti with Pumpkin Seed Pesto + Peaches is my kind of summer […]

well, hello monday… |21/07/2014 - 8:01 am

[…] my ‘i NEED all these things. right. now.’ list: one. two. three. four. […]

[…] what was it that finally had me take the plunge? Seeing this beautiful recipe. I wanted to make pretty little delicate raw zucchini noodles too. I think it was […]

Brian @ A Thought For Food22/07/2014 - 9:50 pm

I can’t remember if I posted on this or not… the recipe seems somewhat familiar but I just can’t recall if I ever told you how beautiful it is. I’m kind of obsessed with everything in this dish. Especially the pesto. I could eat pesto every day and be a happy camper.

[…] zucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto and peaches. […]

Kathryne01/08/2014 - 10:06 am

Laura, gorgeous photos, as always. Anya’s book is lovely. It’s so fun to see others’ visual interpretations of recipes. Your kitchen! I love it. Can we talk sometime about how you sealed those counters? I got a kitchen island from Ikea with a similar top and it doesn’t look so good.

Denise03/08/2014 - 12:56 am

Thank you for the inspiration. This is my favorite summer lunch. Pumpkin seeds are a perfect replacement for pine nuts-I’m allergic to tree nuts.

wiaw: peach edition |06/08/2014 - 8:03 am

[…] sound like a weird combo, right? no. you are wrong. i found this little recipe on pinterest (gosh, i drool over her food!!) and even added it to a well, hello monday…post. […]

[…] Zucchini spaghetti with pumpkin seed pesto and peaches (hopefully our rental has a vegetable peeler!) […]

Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish10/08/2014 - 11:56 am

You’re my new favorite blog!!! I am making this for lunch and couldn’t be more excited! xoxo, Kelly