Festive Pomegranate Guacamole

Festive pomegranate guacamole, perfect for holiday parties or as a snack! - cookieandkate.com

I’ve committed guacamole blasphemy and I’m not even sorry. I just couldn’t help myself after that pomegranate, feta and avocado toast last week. It’s festive, right? And delicious, too—creamy, classic guacamole contrasts surprisingly well with sweet, juicy, ruby red pomegranate arils.

If you really want to mess with a classic, try adding some feta on top of this pomegranate guac. I love it with feta and without, but I thought I’d leave the cheese out this time and present it as a party option that everyone can enjoy. It’s dairy free/vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free, tomato free… and I suppose it could be cilantro free if you have any cilantro haters in the house. I am not one of them.

pomegranate guacamole ingredients

This guacamole has been my go-to snack over a busy weekend. I’ve been working my way through some serious post-travel, oh-hey-there-holidays overwhelm, but I have a few more wholesome party snacks to share this week. I know I’m not the only one who’s feeling swamped, so let me know if there’s a particular kind of recipe you’re looking for! I’d be glad to help.

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Week in the Life of a Vegetarian (Thanksgiving Edition)

See what a week's worth of meatless meals looks like! - cookieandkate.com

I just can’t resist a behind-the-scenes peak at someone’s life, can you? I ever-so-casually scan the headlines on celebrity magazines in the grocery store checkout lines. I can’t help but click on dramatic weight loss stories when I find them on food blogs. And I get such a kick out of real-life Instagram photos.

We’re wired for this stuff, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by the positive feedback on my springtime “week in the life of a vegetarian” post. I was happy to hear that you guys found some inspiration in the humble, everyday meals that never make it to the blog. Artificial lighting and all!

Since every week is unique, I thought it was about time to share another week’s worth of meals. This week was different for a few reasons. For starters, the weather has changed. It’s cold outside, the days are shorter and butternut is the new rhubarb. Instead of eating at home all week, I drove home to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. I attended a couple of house parties and went out to eat a few times while I was there. I thought you might like to see how a vegetarian navigates those situations.

Last time, when I talked about my vegetarian, whole foods philosophy, I forgot to mention that it makes me feel great! I have plenty of energy. I almost never get sick. My weight is healthy and stable. I don’t take my good health for granted, so I try to support it with lots of fresh produce and other whole foods… which can be done regardless of meat consumption. You’ll see that I did a totally imperfect job of it last week (cheese! pie! no regrets!), but I’m trying to ease back into healthier habits this week.

Before I go, I owe a thank you to this post’s sponsor, Nourish Snacks. They’re a really neat new company founded by dietician Joy Bauer (you may know her as the nutrition expert on The Today Show). They offer a variety of wholesome, natural, vegetarian snacks in grab-and-go packages. Their products are super creative and on par with the kinds of snacks I reach for on a regular basis—nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and popcorn!

You’ll see a few snaps of Nourish Snacks in the photos below. If you want to try them out yourself, use code COOKIEANDKATE for 10% off snacks through the end of the year! Check out their offerings here. I think I’ll send my baby brother a sampler pack to keep him fueled up through finals week.

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Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas

Green salad with apple, pepitas-cranberries and goat cheese - cookieandkate.com

Way back when I started this blog, I intended to write about a variety of subjects. Like Cookie, of course, as well as interior design and fashion and whatnot. I promptly discovered that I didn’t feel good pushing unnecessary material goods and ran out of content. I was stuck—I couldn’t post Cookie pics all week long and expect people to come back for more. (Or could I?)

green salad

Fortunately, I discovered that I could share recipes on the internet, which gave me something to write about and photograph. Healthy, attainable, feel-good recipes, those are my jam. Like this salad, which has been my default lately. I made it three times for each of my three Thanksgiving feasts (two friendsgivings and one family Thanksgiving!), and it received a warm welcome at each table.

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What’s in Season? December Produce

Learn what to do with December fruits and vegetables! Find recipes, preparation tips and more. cookieandkate.com

Man, it’s cold outside! It’s below freezing in Oklahoma this morning, so Cookie is snuggled up next to my feet. I suppose the cold season isn’t all bad—now’s the time for slow-cooked stews, roasted winter vegetables (my favorite!) and baked holiday treats. The growing season has come to an end across most of the northern states, but I’ve rounded up the vegetables and fruits you might be able to find locally or from nearby states below.

Thanks again to Becky for letting me base this resource on her “Eat Seasonal” monthly seasonal produce lists. Tag your seasonal produce and recipe pics #eatseasonal on Instagram so we can go check them out!

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Roasted Cauliflower, Freekeh and Garlicky Tahini Sauce

My new favorite meal: roasted cauliflower on a bed of healthy cracked freekeh pilaf, topped with tahini sauce, fresh parsley and raisins! cookieandkate.com

It’s no secret that I love a good recipe challenge. Bob’s Red Mill challenged me to come up with a recipe to go with freekeh, the latest addition to their Ancient Grains line. I’m glad they did, because now I have a new favorite quick-cooking grain in my pantry.

I’d honestly poked fun of funny-sounding “freekeh” before I tasted it myself, in part because it conjured up memories of the rap songs playing at parties during my early college years. Ah, freekeh freekeh! Sorry.

cauliflower and freekeh

As it turns out, freekeh is not a lyric from rap songs, nor is it bland hippie food. Sorry again. Freekeh is a flavorful strain of ancient wheat with a nutty, slightly smoky flavor and a pleasantly chewy, couscous-like texture. Bonus? Cracked freekeh cooks up in 25 minutes, so it requires less than half the time of wheat berries or other whole grains.

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Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Creamy and light, spiced pumpkin soup - cookieandkate.com

While I was in Portland, I went to lunch with my baby brother and our friend Bill. I’ve written about Bill over the years—in summary, Bill beat leukemia with the help of my stem cells. He’s the toughest guy I know. Now we’re friends who share the same immune system and we finally got to meet a few weeks ago. (More about that here and by the way, you can join the registry over here.)

We shared lunch and an afternoon at Multnomah Falls. It was a damp, gray fall day in the Pacific Northwest and it was perfect.

pumpkin and Portland

Bill picked The Picnic House for lunch. You really have to go next time you’re in Portland. “Unique” doesn’t begin to describe it—the restaurant feels like an old school theater inside, with different scenes set up in every corner and amazing food everywhere the eye can see. I was tempted to order every item on the menu, but after much deliberation, I finally settled on a small soup, salad and sandwich. I might just have to recreate all three of them for the blog (so good), but the pumpkin soup seemed most timely.

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