December 4, 2016

A Very Matcha Holiday!


Note: This isn't a sponsored post - I simply adore Encha and their products ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you're looking for a unique and creative gift this year, consider the gift of matcha! As you may know, Encha is one of my favorite companies. They represent many of the values I hold dear and I'm continually inspired by their products. The high quality, attention to detail, overwhelming love and care they pour into their work is nothing short of incredible. Refreshingly authentic!


Besides the actual organic matcha (which is honestly the BEST matcha I've ever had) Encha expanded this year and have so many new fun bundles and products to take your matcha enjoyment to the next level. (I wish these pictures did them justice but I think until you get your hands on them, you can't fully appreciate the beauty. I'm in awe!) I'll share a few of my favorites here, then feel free visit their site for the full list of products and bundles. You can honestly find something for everyone - from a matcha newbie to a long-time fanatic!


Let's start with some serious green eye candy - how gorgeous is this gift wrapping! So much thought and delicate care. The tissue paper, ribbons, and boxes are sure to bring a smile as loved ones open the Encha joy ๐Ÿ˜Š (Check their site for details on how to request this free service right now!)


One of my favorite new additions is the "Encha Flow" matcha pitcher and two small blossom cups - how beautiful to see it in action, pouring that bright, green goodness! Perfect for sharing a special moment of health and love with couples, family, friends, or get-togethers.


The two blossom cups (named Sakura and Ume) are adorable and I love the texture! They're hand-crafted by potters in Japan, and are about half the size of a normal matcha bowl. So natural and earthy - let's take a closer look... ๐Ÿ˜Š


Sakura (pronounced sah-koo-แน™ah) means "cherry blossom" in Japanese, and Ume (pronounced oo-me) means "plum". The Encha Flow and each blossom cup are sold individually, so you can mix-n-match depending on your preference and how many are needed.


If you're looking for some basic everyday tools, you can also find a whisk/scoop set, a whisk holder, and (my very favorite!) matcha bowl. This smooth, black "Encha Zen Matcha Bowl" is the one I use every morning. When I first started drinking matcha I used a soup bowl which worked great, but I found using a Japanese-style matcha bowl (called a chawan) really connected me to the tea. I feel more appreciative and in touch with where the matcha comes from, the tradition behind it, and most of all the farmers in Japan who work so hard to share their passion with the world ๐Ÿ’š


To learn more about matcha, visit my Matcha Page and be sure to check out Encha's website as well!

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A holiday wish
May we all spread peace this holiday season and beyond. Encourage deeper connections and meaningful conversations. Open your heart and help unify the world with kindness and compassion. Raising a cup of matcha, and wishing joy to you all!
๐Ÿ’œ ~Kaitlin




November 28, 2016

Edamame, Tomato, Corn Salad with Lemony Dressing


Only 6 simple ingredients needed to make this colorful edamame salad! It's so fresh and light, yet pleasantly filling. Hearty edamame, juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, onions, and herbs tossed with a bright lemony dressing - all the textures and flavors play so nice ๐Ÿ˜Š It's an awesome dish in the summer (think fresh corn and garden tomatoes!) but I love it year round thanks to organic frozen corn and available sweet cherry tomatoes. Be sure to find organic produce (especially edamame and corn) if possible. It's such a fun and versatile recipe - check my notes below for variations!


Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 5-6 as a side

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup corn
1/4 cup red onion (or green onion)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley, basil)
Juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
Salt to taste

Directions
Quarter tomatoes, and finely dice onion. Roughly chop cilantro, stems removed.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.
Toss to combine and salt to taste.
Can serve immediately, or refrigerate first to let flavors develop.

Variations: (Have fun!)
Add a splash of red wine vinegar for extra tang - I love this!
Top with some creamy avocado chunks before serving
Garlic lovers - add a clove of finely minced garlic
My husband likes to add some sweetness to his (touch of sugar)

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More healthy salad goodness!

I love to see what you guys are cooking up! Come join me on Instagram and share your pics!


November 15, 2016

Lentil Vegetable Soup

This easy, 10-ingredient soup is packed with nutrients and totally customizable. Follow the recipe or swap in your own favorite veggies! I know I just posted a soup round-up, but I couldn't help it - I'm a soup fanatic! It's safe to say we make at least one batch of soup or chili every week. I LOVE how it's such a wide variety of plants and nutrients, and of course makes awesome, easy leftovers - just pull out of the fridge and heat up! Instant happiness ๐Ÿ˜Š This recipe is a family favorite and my 4 year old daughter even loves sprinkling garbanzo beans in hers. Hope you enjoy too!


Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 5-6

Ingredients
1 onion
2 carrots
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup cut green beans (I use frozen)
8 oz. mushrooms
1 zucchini
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry brown lentils
3-4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
Salt to taste
Other additions: spinach, broccoli, kale, corn, peas, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

Directions
Dice onion and carrot.
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, add onion and carrot with salt. Sautรฉ for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince garlic, dice zucchini, and slice mushrooms.
When onion is translucent, add garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, and basil. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes with juice and vegetable broth.
Increase heat and bring to a light boil.
Add green beans and lentils.
Reduce heat, cover, and lightly simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender, adding more broth or water if needed. Salt to taste.
Optional (but highly recommended!): stir in a few handfuls of baby spinach during the last couple minutes of cooking.

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More soup for you! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I love to see what you guys are cooking up! Come join me on Instagram and share your pics!