roasted autumn veggies & quinoa

This bowl is everything I want to eat on a chilly fall night.

Crisp brussels sprouts and broccoli get tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes and a touch of olive oil before roasting in the oven until caramely perfection. Then the veggies are folded into a big pot of steaming, multicolored quinoa and topped with toasted almonds and fresh basil.

The whole dish is ridiculously easy to throw together and has very little active time, but you can see it's sure to impress, making it the perfect friendsgiving side dish OR just a side dish for you to enjoy with dinner tonight. And if you're feeling a bit lazy, as I am about 98.9% of the time, it works perfectly as your main dish or paired with a super simple salad of just greens and olive oil.

Earlier this year, I met a friend in Palm Springs for a long weekend getaway where we secured an Air B&B so we'd have a kitchen at our disposal. We forced ourselves to make a quick grocery trip on our first day before heading out to the pool but only managed to grab a few essentials.

Back at the house rummaging around the fridge to put together lunch, my friend grabbed some arugula and sprinkled it with just salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. As I was eyeing her, I thought that must be the most boring salad ever created...but I couldn't have been more wrong.

The simple ingredients really brought out the bright, pepperiness of the arugula and its since become one of my most favorite salads to enjoy along any main dish, like this roasted veg quinoa, which is also beautiful in its simplicity.

It's funny how sometimes the simplest dishes are the most delicious, but you would have never even THOUGHT to make it until someone mentions it. What it really comes down to is editing, and making sure each ingredient serves a purpose instead of just adding unnecessary complexity, which is actually way harder than it sounds; but when you strike the right balance it's culinary magic.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 1 cup multicolored quinoa
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, julienned

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook quinoa according to packaged instructions. Meanwhile, toss veggies with olive oil on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

2. Add quinoa and veggies to a serving bowl and stir to combine before topping with almonds and basil. Transfer to bowls and serve immediately.

pumpkin spice smoothie

Because fall.

I feel like I've been waiting forever to post this one! Now that it's officially fall I will officially admit to being a bit basic (okay a lot basic) and completely excited about all the pumpkin items this season brings around.

I've never been big on coffee. Aside from a brief stint in high school when drinking a latte seemed like the coolest thing in the world, there's something about the taste that just doesn't appeal to me.

So instead of a pumpkin spice latte, I took the flavors and transformed them into a pumpkin spice smoothie. While not only delicious, drinking it also gives you the added benefit of being a little less basic than your friends who are running off to Starbucks the second their seasonal cups appear.

Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 frozen banana (if using fresh just add some ice cubes to make it cold)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Coconut whipped cream (scroll to the bottom here for the recipe)
- Sprinkle of brown sugar for garnish (optional)

1. Add pumpkin through coconut milk to a blender and whiz until smooth. Top with coconut whipped cream and brown sugar.

wicked cool nuts X sprinkles & saturdays

It's no secret I'm a fan of snacking.

Just check out here, here, and here if you don't believe me. So when Wicked Cool Nuts approached me to try some of their treats I was completely on board. Although they carry the ever popular kale chip (maple pepper kale chip to be exact), it was their tomato chips that I couldn't wait to get my hands on.

Whether it be in soups, salads, pastas, or sandwiches tomatoes are one of my all time favorite foods to eat and cook with. They're extremely versatile and bring such a bright, fresh taste to every meal, so I was curious what they would taste like dehydrated as chips.

LA times recently wrote an article about the trend of dehydrating treats among chefs in their restaurants. The decidedly unsexy dehydrator is becoming a kitchen counter staple right next to the coveted Vitamix blender and Magimix food processor, and after trying these Pesto Tomato chips from Wicked Cool Nuts I couldn't be a bigger proponent of the new trend.

These thin, delicate tomato slices were covered in just the right amount of pesto that was reminiscent of an Italian pasta dish or slice of bruschetta, while still being a light and healthy snack.

The best part about all the treats I tried from Wicked Cool Nuts was that they tasted completely homemade with high quality ingredients. It seriously was like they were just dropped off by a friend or family member (who really knows their way around the kitchen).

Move over kale chips, tomato chips are here.

black rice bowl with roasted veggies & coconut basil cream

There's something about this season that just makes me crave big bowls of nurturing grains.

I'm loving quinoa, barley, farro, and especially rice right now. The black rice in this bowl is layered with nutritional yeast roasted kale and broccoli and then drizzled with a super simple coconut and basil cream sauce.

I first posted a recipe for nutritional yeast roasted broccoli as a side dish last winter and it was such a huge success among you all that I've been thinking of ways to incorporate it into a main. Nutritional yeast is a great way to get a cheesy flavor while still using a completely plant-based product. Kale also roasts amazingly with the same technique and comes out with a delicious cheesy crust.

The textures of the crispy veggies and al dente rice are brought together at the end by the creamy coconut and basil sauce that is made with just two ingredients and sliced avocado. The result is a new favorite dish for the season.

Ingredients (serves 3-4): 
- 1 cup black or wild rice
- 12 oz broccoli florets (or 1 full TJ's bag)
- 3 large handfuls kale (or about half a bunch), steams and spines removed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 handful basil
- 1 avocado

1. Cook rice according to packaged instructions.

2. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add broccoli to one half of a large baking sheet and kale to the other half. Drizzle both with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Massage the oil into the kale a bit with your hands before sprinkling both veggies with 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast. Stir veggies around a bit so they get an even coating before drizzling on remaining tablespoon olive oil and sprinkling on remaining tablespoon nutritional yeast. Finish with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until crispy, checking on it midway to see if the kale side needs to be stirred, do not stir the broccoli side midway.

3. While the veggies are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding the coconut milk, basil, salt, and pepper to a blender and whizzing until smooth.

4. Divide rice between bowls, then top with veggies, a drizzle of sauce, and sliced avocado.

vegan tuck box X sprinkles & saturdays

I'm about to admit something slightly embarrassing.

When it comes to my favorite activities...snacking is up there.

Okay. Okay. It might not be the most active or productive or social thing to do with your time. But really, at the end of a long day what is better than putting on a good movie and curling up on the couch will a bowl of your favorite snack? In fact, I've had many a night when a bowl of popcorn becomes my dinner, and I'm not mad at it.

As a snack connoisseur, I've tried several different snack box subscriptions but honestly didn't come across any I loved until I found Vegan Tuck Box.

Why do I love it so much?

First and foremost, I think a common issue when it comes to any kind of monthly subscription box is disappointment at the size of the products inside. All too often, it feels like you just paid upwards of $30 for a box full of small samples usually given out for free.

Vegan Tuck Box products are full size, people. You won't find any single serve peanut butter packets or miniature granola bars in here. My box contained 10 full-sized items including a chocolate bar, bag of chips, power bar, and bag of cookies.

What's more is Vegan Tuck Box is based in the UK (although they ship all over the world) so these aren't your run of the mill boring snacks either, they're all new brands/companies and different treats you can't find here in the US.

A few of my favorite snacks this month...

The Sticky Toffee pudding mug cake. I love a good mug cake, but what made this one so fun was that it transported me right back to London, where I studied abroad. Sticky Toffee Pudding isn't a common dessert here in the states, but it's a staple in the UK and it's so freaking delicious, it really should make its way over the pond more often.

Another favorite of mine was the Salted Caramel Wholefood Chocolate bar. I'm not even a huge caramel fan, but this chocolate bar was the creamiest, most divine little piece of chocolate heaven I've tasted in as long as I can remember. I was shocked to see that it was only made with four ingredients: cacao butter, cashews, coconut, and pink salt.

How much is it?

It's only $22 a month for the Ultimate Box that includes 10-13 full-sized treats. You can also opt for the Variety Box that's 5-8 treats for only $12 a month, and either subscription can be cancelled anytime. And on top of that, if you enter BLOG20 at checkout you'll receive 20% off your first box!

Vegan Tuck box also donates 10 cents for each box they sell to charity and gives reward points that you can save up to get a free one. That's seriously so many reasons to feel good about treating yourself to this little surprise gift each month to look forward to in the mail.

Where do I get it?

Head over here - and don't forget to enter BLOG20 for 20% off your order!

fall favorites

Fall is coming!

{pictured above: Kale & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing}

So even though it isn't technically fall until next Thursday. And even though it might still be in the 90s for most of the's September, and there's no denying the crisp excitement that autumn is almost here moving through the air.

From breakfast bars for back to school to warming soups and comforting side dishes, I had so much fun going through all of my recipes to pick out these fall favorites. This year, I'm really looking forward to creating some Halloween goodies, playing with classic fall produce like pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, and pomegranate, and planning my perfect Thanksgiving meal.

I'd love to know what kind of recipes you'd like to see on the blog this fall! More soups? Decadent desserts? Pasta? Lots of apples? Tons of pumpkin? Cozy breakfasts? Colorful salads? Let me know what you'd like to see!

Back to School Breakfast Bars...

Chia-Oat Power Breakfast Bars

Cozy Soups...

Healing Miso Soba Noodle Soup

Simple & Easy Lentil Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil & Rice Soup

Comforting Dinners...

The Best Baked Mac & Cheese

Pan Toasted Balsamic Mushroom Gnocchi

Rustic Cherry Tomato & Kale Bread Pudding

Perfect Sides...

Roasted Broccoli with Nutritional Yeast

Cheesy Better-than-Potatoes Cauliflower Puree

The Best Garlic Bread

Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Dip

Fall... I'm ready for you!

early fall berry parfait with salted graham cracker crumble

Holy yum, you guys.

But seriously. This is so freaking good.

Despite the fact that this blog may be called Sprinkles & Saturdays, I'm not a huge dessert person. Nine times out of ten, I'll choose an appetizer over dessert without a missing a beat. But every once in a while, a really divine, awe-inspiring dessert comes around that stops me in my tracks.

Just looking at this baby, you'll realize this is one of them.

Not only does this parfait have a diverse group of textures with the airy coconut cream, crumbly graham crackers, and juicy berries, it plays on hot and cold and salty and sweet. The warm sweet berries against the cool coconut cream makes the whole thing melt in your mouth while the salted graham cracker crumble adds the much needed savory component to cut through the sweetness of the fruit.

The salted graham cracker crumble in this parfait was inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit with a few tweaks to make it entirely plant-based and a bit healthier, while still being the sweetest way to welcome fall.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 5 graham crackers, finely crunched
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon coconut sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 3 cups mixed berries, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight*
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Fresh mint for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse graham cracker crumbles, flour, salt, and 1/4 cup coconut sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and add melted coconut oil; mix until a few large clumps form. Spread out crumble on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, shaking once, until golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile heat 2 cups of berries, one tablespoon coconut sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook another 3-5 minutes.

3. Open the can of coconut milk and scrap the cream off the top, reserving the liquid on the bottom for smoothies, etc. Place the cream in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer for a few seconds until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. Divide warm berries among bowls and top with coconut cream, remaining 1 cup of fresh berries, graham cracker crumble, and fresh mint. 

*I've tested a bunch of different brands, and my favorite for coconut whipped cream is the Coconut Cream from Trader Joe's 

**If you make this recipe let me know! Leave a comment or tag #sprinklesandsaturdays on Instagram. I'd love to see what you come up with!

warm kale & black bean salad

There are few things I don't love about fall.

Fuzzy slippers, pumpkin everything, scarfs, all the best tv shows coming back. Honestly, everything about fall is just better than summer, but for San Francisco, our summer starts now. June through August the temperatures have been holding steady between the mid 60's and low 70's, just now is it creeping into the 80's and beyond, which historically continues through Halloween.

I created this salad to bridge our somewhat awkward transition from summer to fall. Ideally, I would be in full fall mode right now sipping chai tea lattes and hanging a fall foliage wreath on my door (I'm literally the most basic, I know), but instead I'm pulling out my floral dresses and throwing on my Ray Ban sunglasses.

That's why this dish is not quite a salad and not quite a warming bowl to snuggle up with. It's somewhere in between, capturing the best of both worlds. But no matter what season, this has become one of my favorite easy dinners to throw together at a moment's notice since you only need 7 ingredients and the whole thing can be ready in less than 10 minutes.

What's the weather been like where you're living? This salad is a must for any dinner table, whether it's been cooling down or heating up like here.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
For the Cashew Parmesan (makes a big batch):
- 1 cup roasted & salted cashews (do not use raw)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 head kale, stems and ribs removed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1. To make the Cashew Parmesan: add all ingredients to a food processor and whiz until mostly smooth with some small cashew pieces remaining. Store in an air tight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month. 

2. Pour olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add kale and cook for about 2 minutes, add black beans and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

3. Remove kale and black beans from heat and stir in dates. Divide between two bowls or plates and top with cashew Parmesan. Serve immediately.

**If you make this recipe let me know! Leave a comment or tag #sprinklesandsaturdays on Instagram. I'd love to see what you come up with!

creamy rosemary pasta

Yay, guys!

It's Thursday, which means it's almost Friday, which means it's almost Labor Day weekend! This year, I'll be heading up to Tahoe to spend the weekend celebrating a friend's birthday. We've got home cooked dinners, hikes, and days at the beach planned, which seems like the perfect summer send off.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have another mini getaway as well. I went to Sea Ranch, which is north of Napa along the California coast, with my family. My sister and brother-in-law were visiting for the first time in over a year, and it was amazing to spend time with them.

Summer coming to an end got me thinking about this delicious rosemary white bean dip my mom makes as an appetizer for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Not only is it a total crowd pleaser, it's super simple and only requires four ingredients. It's creamy, decadent texture gave me the idea that, with a few tweaks, it would make a delicious pasta sauce.

As it turned out, my instinct was spot on. You only need six ingredients for this recipe, and the result is a comforting but light pasta dish that's perfect for the transition from summer to fall.

I hope you all enjoy the long weekend with family and friends!

- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 spears rosemary, stems removed
- 1 small head broccoli florets, steamed
- 1 lb whole wheat penne

Cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, add beans, rosemary and red wine vinegar to a food processor. Whiz together while slowly drizzling in olive oil until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine pasta and broccoli in a large bowl before stirring in the white bean sauce. Serve immediately.

why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight

Last week, I was scrolling through the Cupcakes & Cashmere weekly links when I saw one for an article about why people should stop blaming carbs for making them fat. Since I'd just written this post about carbs, I was intrigued and clicked through. It brought me to Vox, which is a site that posts ideas/opinions backed by actual science.

Although sites like Pop Sugar and Refinery29 are fun to browse, their advice and opinion pieces aren't always backed by much. I found it really refreshing to be reading something that had actual evidence behind it, so I started down the Vox rabbit hole of articles. One in particular I found especially interesting. It was all about the scientific connection, or lack there of, between exercise and weight loss.

The conventional formula we've always been told is diet + exercise = weight loss. But what if that's wrong? What if exercising actually won't help you lose weight? Well that's exactly what certain scientists have observed and come to believe.

The article points to how small a portion of daily calorie burn exercise actually accounts for, and how difficult it is to create any significant calorie deficit through exercising to back their claim. It was well written and easy to understand, so instead of recounting it, you can just check it out here. The video at the top sums it all up nicely.

I'm not going to lie though, my mind was a little bit blown, especially since it totally explained some of my own experiences. Just a couple months ago, I decided I was going to kick my exercise routine into full gear. Orange Theory, a high intensity interval class, had just opened a studio down the street from my office and was offering discounted memberships. I took full advantage and attended their hour long, butt busting class six days a week for two months straight, fully expecting to be in the best shape of my life by the end of it.

Well that far from happened.

It turns out, I actually gained weight instead of losing any. It could have been muscle mass, but I wasn't noticing any difference in the way I looked and neither were my friends or family. I couldn't understand how I'd been killing myself six days a week for two months and had no physical results to show for it. After reading this article, I feel like I've figured it out.

This new info isn't a free pass to throw your running shoes out the window or cancel your gym membership though. Exercise is still one of the number one ways to increase your lifespan and improve your overall health. It's also important for maintaining weight loss, even though it's not the golden ticket for getting there.

I'm far from swearing off exercise all together, but this newfound knowledge has allowed me to take a more realistic approach to working out. Like maybe killing myself in the gym six days a week isn't necessary? And if I happen to miss a workout for whatever reason, it might not be the end of the world. Revolutionary right? Maybe you knew that all along, but in a city where there's an exercise studio on every block and Equinox ads on every corner, it's easy to fall into that extreme of a mindset. This article was a great reminder to always seek balance.

lemon edamame crisps

Hello healthy snacking.

With Fall almost here and back to school season in full swing I feel like healthy snacks are on everyone’s mind. I love that within the last couple of years, we’ve moved away from 100 calorie Cheez-It snack packs that leave you starving on empty calories, and over to whole, unprocessed foods that provide real energy. But in 2016, I think we’re realizing more than ever that a bag of plain almonds just isn’t cutting it. We deserve more. We deserve snacks that are truly delicious, that we look forward to just as much as we would any meal, and that are easy to grab and go as we move about our hectic lives…

…Well, hello lemon edamame crisps. Isn't this convenient. 

Edamame has long been celebrated as one of the most nourishing foods in the world. Eating edamame has been linked to lower blood pressure and inflammation, increased bone density, and reduced risk of depression and diabetes. Edamame is also an amazing source of complete protein, with just one cup containing a whopping 17 grams. It’s basically the most perfect snack food ever, and this recipe takes it to a whole other deliciousness level.

These crisps are made with just 5 ingredients. The edamame is coated in heart healthy olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of garlic powder, drizzled with tamari or soy sauce, and then doused in vibrant lemon. The real secret here is that we don’t just use the juice of the lemon; we grate the zest over the top too to really amplifying the brightness. 

Not only will these fuel any busy day, they make the perfect snack for an at home happy hour and look impressive as an appetizer for entertaining guests. Add them to your snack game arsenal, and you'll be like, "Almonds, who?"

- 2 cups fresh or frozen & thawed edamame, shelled
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- Juice & zest of 1 lemon
- Flaky sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add edamame, olive oil, tamari, and lemon juice to a bowl and stir to coat. Spread edamame out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, watching carefully towards the end - they can burn easily. Sprinkle with lemon zest and enjoy immediately for optimal crispness or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature once cooled.

weekly find: the best foam roller

The major question when planning a spa day is always: massage or facial? For me, the answer is easy. Although I know facials are generally more beneficial in terms of getting tangible results, which is important to consider when you’re shelling out over $100 for a 50 minute service, it’s just too difficult to say no to the relaxational bliss you experience while getting a massage.

However, as a 20-something-year-old living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, my budget for any sort of spa service is slim to none. Manicures and pedicures have even gone out the window since moving here. Instead, I “invested” in some $2 files and buffers, cuticle cream, upped my Essie game and now replicate the experience at home, which actually yields similar results.

I took what I learned from that and applied it to massages.  Although nothing can replace the divine relaxation and indulgence you feel when getting a massage, you can work out some major muscle tension all on your own with a foam roller.

I’ve tried a bunch, and this one from Amazon is my absolute favorite. The bumps are specifically designed to work as a massage therapist’s fingers would, finding knots and applying the right amount of pressure to roll out tightness. The compact size is also ideal for storage and still provides enough surface area to target all the major areas; and not to mention it’s super affordable.

Since buying it, one of my favorite things to do at the end of a long day is search for a YouTube video that shows how to target a certain area that’s especially been bothering me, and roll it out while watching some trashy reality TV. Not quite the same as going to a swanky spa with lavender rose water and aromatherapy, but does the trick nonetheless.

Shop the Item Here: Master of Muscle Foam Roller available on Amazon
Price: $23

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