life is like a spin class & cucumber salad

I’m about to drop a bomb of a metaphor on you. Life is a spin class. (If you have never been to a spin class, you need to go right now and then continue reading this post.)

Cucumber Salad

When you go for the first time, you’re not really sure what the heck you’re doing. You adjust the settings, and then you get on and just go. It’s always better with some serious jams to encourage you to move along and step it up. You start to really get into it. There are going to be parts where you’re kickin ass and takin names, and then there will be a lull at some point or a slow and steady climb.

It’s always better with a friend.

Farmer's market cucs

Don’t stop. Keep reading…

Quick and Easy Chilled Pea Soup

20130418-145059.jpg

Begrudgingly, I dragged myself out if bed this morning, to go for a good long, pavement-pounding run, and the best thing happened. It poured down rain. Buckets. I was absolutely drenched, and I loved it. That’s one of my favorite things in the world :)

20130418-145225.jpg

I’m just going to leave you with a quote I came across recently that I love and a very healthy, very easy summer soup recipe :)

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” ― Audrey Hepburn

Amen sistah.

Quick Chilled Pea Soup

Empty into a large mixing bowl:

-thawed peas (one large package – about 20 oz.) reserve 1/2 c.
-2 c. chopped fresh spinach
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-the juice of one lemon
-1 c. vegetable broth or water (add more later to reach the desired consistency)

Set aside.
In a small bowl (preferably a 2-cup glass liquid measuring cup) add:

-1 c. raw cashews
-enough water to cover the nuts

Microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a food processor), blend the cashews into a very fine, silly cream.

Add the cashew cream to the pea mixture and blend it all together. Add the reserved peas and more salt, pepper, and broth to your liking. Serve chilled on a hot day or warm it up if you prefer. (*note, you can also add cream or milk if you don’t have cashews.)

Garnish with a spinach leaf if you’re feelin fancy, and enjoy!

*French phrase for fun:

J’adore courir quand il pleut des cordes.
I love running when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Creamy Vegan Corn & Leek Soup

From the farmer’s market, I bring you this wonderfully creamy, vegan soup entirely inspired from the ingredients that called out to me at the White House market.

I love shopping at farmer’s markets – the love affair truly began in Lyon, France with the market, Marché Saint Antoine-Célestins that runs along the Saône River just a few blocks from the center of the city.  On a weekday morning, you’d stroll leisurely under the sycamore trees with a beautiful view of the cathedral just across the river as the vendors greet you and tell you about their freshest produce. However, the weekend market was an entirely different event, fun, but you may get your toes run over by little old French ladies toting their wheelie shoppers through the tight crowds. It’s all part of the charm :) The DC markets have a similar allure, but I can’t say I have the same rapport with these farmers – I got spoiled with the daily market just a couple blocks from my apartment in Lyon.

Now, if you live in California, you’re probably still in luck, but I actually made this soup in October, and sadly most of the DC farmer’s markets have now closed for the winter. A big bowl of this comforting soup would be wonderful right now, but it is truly the perfect summer-meets-fall meal. I used the last offerings of the summer corn and combined it with new winter crop of leeks. I didn’t really have a plan when I started, but lemme tell ya, this soup is out of this world. It’s smooth and creamy, bursting with flavor, and it’s also a healthy, vegan soup! So go ahead, have another ladle-full ;)

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…