Happy Earth Day

One of my favorite places on Earth is Devil's Postpile, located in Mammoth Lakes, California. Camping at Mammoth Lakes is a family tradition. My Dad came upon this glorious place in his early adventuring/backpacking days. He started bringing my family here camping since I was a child. 

I find peace in nature and this is such a beautiful place with all it's tall pines, flowing rivers, waterfalls and lakes. On Earth Day let's remember how wonderful this planet is and let's do everything in our power to keep it as beautiful and clean as these mountains I love.

Spring Vegetable Udon Noodle Soup

Spring vegetables and vegan noodles make a healthy fresh soup for a light weeknight dinner. I was able to use some beautiful produce for this soup, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Rainbow Carrots are not only gorgeous, they are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

Brown Beech Mushrooms fall apart into dozens of little individual mushrooms when you cut off the base. Isn't Mother Nature just amazing.

Spring Vegetable Udon Noodle Soup

4 cups organic vegetable broth
1/2 cup sliced carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup brown beech mushrooms, cut from stem
1/2 cup sugar snap or snow peas
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt + fresh ground pepper
fresh lemon

In a large saucepan, bring vegetable broth, garlic and red pepper to a boil. Lower heat to medium/low and add several twists of fresh ground sea salt and pepper. Add the carrots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, snap peas and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat, then add the noodles, soy sauce and green onions. 

Spoon into bowls and add a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve with additional lemon wedges on the side.

Variation: Make a miso udon vegetable soup by replacing the soy sauce with 2 tablespoons white miso. 


Book Club

My new books have arrived! As I mentioned in my Small Changes Required post back in January, one of my goals this year is to read more books. To quote my boyfriend Jake (who makes a killer Veggie Chili), "reading is like jogging for the mind"... and my mind could use a workout.

I saw Michael Moss, author of Salt, Sugar, Fat, a few weeks ago on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. I ordered his book moments after the interview ended. Michael Moss, is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, and through his investigations he was able to get executives of the world's largest food companies to admit that they have only one goal...to maximize sales and profits. He was able to acquire startling confessions and reveal how they deliberately entice consumers by stuffing their products with salt, sugar, and fat. I think this is an important book for everyone to read. Here is a link to Salt, Sugar and Fat on Amazon.

The Beauty Detox Foods, is Kimberly Snyder's latest and greatest book. I am a fan and follow Kimberly Snyder. I purchased her previous book, The Beauty Detox Solution and I subscribe to her email newsletter. Her principles are simple and represent a popular voice for change. Health from the inside out. Her new book is loaded with beautiful 4-color pictures and recipes that look spectacular. Here is a link to The Beauty Detox Foods on Amazon.

Happy reading!

Kumquat-Rosemary Marmalade

My friend recently gave me a bag of kumquats from her yard! The word kumquat comes from Cantonese and it means "golden orange". Their sweetness is concentrated in the peel, which provides a nice contrast to the bold tartness of their pulp.

Kumquats provide potassium, vitamins A and C, anti-oxidants, essential oils, calcium and iron. They're also a good source of fiber.

One way to eat them is to roll them between your fingers to release their juice, bite into one end, suck out the insides and then eat the peel. They are also good cut in half and drizzled with a bit of honey. 
I decided to make a marmalade.

Kumquat-Rosemary Marmalade

Recipe adapted from Robin Bellinger on Serious Eats


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup organic sugar
12 ounces kumquats, rinsed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, and seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the sugar and water, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the kumquats, ground peppercorns, rosemary and stir to blend. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 until the kumquats are translucent and the marmalade starts to thicken. Remove from heat and cool. Saves well in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Toast some multi-grain bread, spread with soft goat cheese, and top with Kumquat-Rosemary Marmalade for a unique open faced breakfast sandwich. 

Here are some other wonderful ways to use marmalade:

  • As a condiment on a cheese platter
  • Inside a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Swirled into oatmeal or yogurt
  • Mixed into pancake batter
  • Spread onto french toast or crepes
  • As a crostini topper, with soft goat cheese