Highlights from a Road Trip to Durango, Colorado

durango silverton stream train

Due to the Covid pandemic, we had to cancel 2 major trips to Europe this summer. With limited international travel options, we opted for a road trip to Durango, Colorado.

Durango is a small mountain town nestled in the San Juan Mountains in the Southwest corner of Colorado. It attracts outdoor enthusiasts like bikers, hikers and skiers as well as retirees. It’s home to the iconic Durango/Silverton coal train and Fort Lewis college. You can hike in the mountains, walk along the Animas river or sip beer at craft breweries. Several parks and hikes were closed due to the Corona virus but there are still fun things to do.

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Vegan Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) with Orecchiette

My friend Ann is a terrific cook. She uses exciting, high quality ingredients and has a knack for putting flavors together. Years ago, she served Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) with Orecchiette, an Italian dish that blew me away. It’s been my favorite pasta dish ever since. Typically, I avoid pasta because most dishes are weighed down with heavy sauces. But this classic dish from Puglia, home of the vegetable lovers, is refreshingly light and healthy. It has a ton of nutritious Broccoli Rabe and adorable ear shaped pasta. If you are looking for a bright, healthy taste of Italy for your vegan and non-vegan friends, this is it!!

My husband is now the chef of this recipe and rather than use strict measurements, he eyes the proportions. This is where your chef di cucina can emerge.

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Everyday Powerhouse Steamed Greens Bowl with Tahini Dressing

steamed greens bowl

As the Covid Quarantine drags on (it’s now over 2 months), I feel like Bill Murry in Groundhog Day! My motivation to try new things is suffering so my kitchen routine doesn’t vary much. I go on autopilot and repeat  the same ol’ dishes with slight variations. However, this everyday powerhouse steamed greens bowl with tahini dressing is just as fresh and tasty as ever!  It’s ultra healthy (te quiero kale and broccoli) and served with an addictive tangy, umami dressing that makes it hard to resist (even if you don’t like broccoli). I crave this bowl so often that I sometimes have it for breakfast (shhhhh)…!

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Healthy Gluten-Free Seed Bread from The Bojon Gourmet

gluten-free seed bread

Yes it’s another bread recipe!!!  I just found out that my month-long trip to Portugal has been canceled which is such a bummer. I planned it almost a year ago and was looking forward to experiencing Fado music, lingering in wine bars, and trying every cute cafe in Lisbon. Plus, I’m feeling stir crazy with the extended Covid quarantine. So, it’s no surprise that I’m craving comfort foods like my favorite: toast and tomatoes. I’ve been trying different breads, but this healthy, grainy slightly sweetened seed bread could be my favorite so far. The recipe is the genus work of Alanna, a former pastry chef turned full time blogger of The Bojon Gourmet. If you haven’t ogled her site yet, stop now and click over.

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5 Exceptional Podcasts to Help you Through the Corona Virus Pandemic

It’s been over 3 weeks since the Covid-19 shelter in place restrictions were announced in California. Our routines were uprooted overnight as we face a new uncertainty. Many are anxious and scared.  Rather than focusing on fear we could use this time to go deeper. For example, meditate, keep a journal, stretch, read, cook, spend time with family and listen to podcasts.  I’m using these 5 exceptional podcasts to get through this time.

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Yeast-free Buckwheat Bread (Vegan & Gluten-free)

yeast free gluten free bread

If I were standing near a table filled with desserts (brownies, cookies, cakes, etc.) across from a table of freshly  baked breads……. I’d go for the bread!! Bread could be my favorite food. I used to live on Baguettes, Multigrain, Olive, Sourdough, Bagels, Ciabatta and Pita. But not anymore!! (see why below). But, when I get bread cravings, I bake a fresh loaf using unique gluten free flours like buckwheat, brown rice and chickpea. This Yeast-Free Buckwheat Bread recipe produces a beautiful “German -like” bread that may surprise you.

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5 Ways to Stay in Shape During the Shelter at Home Quarantine

stay in shape during covid quarantine

Many gyms and fitness studios are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a person who loves to exercise, this was a big adjustment for me. So, I’ve had to change up my routine and find other ways to stay active during the shelter at home quarantine. Here are the 5 ways to stay in shape and maintain your mental and emotional health during this strange time.

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5 Ways to Thrive During the COVID19 Quarantine

thrive during covid quarantine

(photo by Julie Hammer)

We are in extremely uncertain and scary times with the COVID-19 virus and recent shelter at home quarantine orders. Uncertainty of this magnitude can easily overwhelm us with anxious energy (not good for the immune system). So, how can we forget the hysteria and emanate peace during this crisis? First, it’s important to remember  that even the slightest amount of calm energy can balance the fear.  

As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains: “When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”

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Want to Boost your Immune System? Try These Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Did you know that sweet potatoes can boost your immune system??? This is good news since our media is in a whipped frenzy about the Corona Virus. All the hand wipes and sanitizer has been sold out so how else can you protect yourself? Build up your immune system. Eat lots of  leafy green vegetables topped with these comfy cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes.

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My Husband Went Vegan for a Week: Here’s What Happened!

Several months ago, my husband and I watched The Game Changers, an inspiring documentary about elite athletes that were vegan (read more about that here). After the film, my husband said he wanted to, “go vegan” for a week. I’ve never pushed my way of eating on him, but in the 25 years we’ve been together, this was a first!!!

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