Tag Archive: Vegetarian

  1. Joy Is Not A Crumb


    Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com

    “If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. (Don’t Hesitate)”

    ― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

    Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.comQuick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.comQuick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com

    Quick Pickled Vegetables over Herb-y Black Lentils

    • 1 bunch tricolor radishes, quartered
    • 1 cup pearl onions, halved
    • 1 lb. baby carrots
    • 2 cups cauliflower, broken into small pieces
    • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
    • 2 shallots, shaved
    • 4 florets belgian endive, halved
    • ——
    • 4 cups white wine vinegar (or red wine, or rice)
    • 4 cups water
    • 1/4 cup mustard seeds
    • 2 tbsp juniper berries
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tbsp salt
    • ——

    To make the pickling liquid: Place water and vinegar in medium pot along with sugar, juniper berries, salt, and mustard seeds. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar and salt. Place cleaned and prepped raw vegetables into the liquid and submerge. Cover and let cool to room temperature, place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Extra vegetables can be kept for up to two months. They make for great accouterments in a Bloody Mary!

    Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.comQuick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.comQuick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.comQuick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com

    For the Lentil Salad…

    • 4 cups cooked black lentils (about 1 pound, dry)
    • 1 cup watercress leaves
    • 1 cup parsley leaves
    • 1 cup celery leaves
    • 1/2 cup mint leaves
    • 1/4 cup minced chives
    • 2 lemons, juiced
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • salt/pepper to taste

    Cook lentils until al dente, about 30 minutes. Strain, rinse, and set aside. Mix with olive oil, lemon juice, and greens. Serve as a bed to the pickled vegetables. Dress with chives, serve cool, but not cold. Makes great leftovers for weekday lunches. Served mine today with lemon avocado aioli.

    Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com Quick Pickled Vegetables + Herb-y Black Lentils via www.happyolks.com

  2. Shaved Fennel Salad + The Lunchbox Fund


    Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad

    Today I’m partnering with The Giving Table, The Lunchbox Fund, and nearly one hundred other food bloggers to feed impoverished and orphaned schoolchildren in South Africa. We’re donating our posts and asking our readers to join us in raising (at least) $5,000 to provide a daily meal to 100 children for an a whole year. Children with empty tummies at school can’t achieve their full potential. With the collective help of our reader base, we hope to nourish minds, nourish a nation, and positively impact the planet.

    Nicole Gulotta asked us to share a personal anecdote to plead the case of this fantastic cause, and while I will eventually get to that, I think it goes without saying that hunger at home and abroad is a problem that should take very little convincing to get behind. It is stunning and despicable to me that nearly 65 percent of all South African children are food insecure and that 1.9 million of those children are orphans as a result of HIV and AIDS. It is also unacceptable to me that 1 in 5 children here in the U.S, the so-called “greatest country in the world” live in a household that struggles to put food on the table. This would never be true of the “greatest” country in the world.

    Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad

    South Africa lives in a tender corner of my heart. In 2010 I lived on a small ship for five months with a few hundred students, professors, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu sailing across the Atlantic, around the horn of Africa, through the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, South China Sea, and finally back across the Pacific. On the days we weren’t at port he gave lectures on the history of his country, Apartheid, the meaning of Ubuntu, and spent his mealtimes fraternizing with young people in the mess hall. On one evening I remember sitting around a round table with  six women and one guy, a phenom to Arch (what we called him affectionately), that merited he scoot from his table to ours. He looked at us, giggled, and proceeded to circle the perimeter, tapping our heads like a game of duck-duck goose until he reached our male friend, Nimish, and squealed “you lucky little bugger!” before skipping off. He is at once the fieriest and goofiest person I’ve been lucky to experience and my life is forever changed by his unwavering optimism for human goodness, capacity for love and forgiveness, and his belief that young people can change the world.

    A lot of things get the man riled up, and hunger is one of them.

    “I doubt if there is a single moment in our history when all human beings have had enough to eat. Even today, in a world where it is possible to communicate across thousands of miles… close to 1 billion men, women and children will go to bed hungry tonight around the world. Yet a lifetime of experience has taught me that there is no problem so great it cannot be solved, no injustice so deeply entrenched it cannot be overcome. And that includes hunger. Hunger is not a natural phenomenon. It is a man made tragedy. People do not go hungry because there is not enough food to eat. They go hungry because the system which delivers food from the fields to our plates is broken.”

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    I have a shoddy recording (watch/listen here) of the night before we made port in Cape Town that I watch often for reasons private and obvious, in which he says:

    Don’t let us grind you down. Dream. Go on for goodness sakes, dreaming. Dream, dream.

    Dream the craziest dreams. They actually often are, God’s dreams.

    I feel pretty confident that I know only a smidgen of what there is to know about this life and humans and our collective experience, but I know this: we can’t do it alone. Most of you will visit this site for the recipe, and perhaps the half that read this accompanying post will find themselves economically capable of donating to The Lunchbox fund, and that’s okay. We are all doing what we can, with what we have, and the time we get here. But I’m dreaming. I’m going to dream that 5000 Happyolks readers who will see this post over the next week will donate $10 and multiply The Giving Table’s goal by a factor of 10. Yeah. Crazy dreams. Whatcha think? Let’s do it.

    Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad

    Shaved Fennel Salad

    •  6 medium-ish bulbs fennel
    • 2 granny smith apples
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 cup parsley leaves
    • 1 cup mint leaves
    • 1 cup watercress
    • ½ cup sour cherries
    • ½ cup shelled + chopped pistachios
    • juice of 1 navel orange
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp (plus a dash) sea salt
    • cracked pink pepper


    With a mandoline, shave bulbs of fennel to ¼ inch thickness. Place in bowl and sprinkle with salt to soften. Set aside. Shave the onion and apples (with skin) on the same setting on the mandoline and set aside. Clean and remove leaves of watercress, parsley, and mint. Set aside.

    Prepare the dressing by combining the juices of the orange and lemon, olive oil, plus salt, and cracked pink pepper.  Toss together the fennel, onions, apples, parsley, mint, watercress, chopped pistachios, and sour cherries with the dressing.

    Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad Happyolks | Shaved Fennel Salad

    This one’s for you, Arch.

    For good measure, here’s the link (again) to donate a buck The Lunchbox Fund.

  3. Sunchoke Soup


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    “I must learn to love the fool in me–the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my Fool.”

    ― Theodore I. Rubin

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    Sunchoke Soup with Cracked Black Pepper

    • 1 pound sunchokes, peeled and chopped
    • 2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil or butter
    • 2 sweet onions, chopped
    • 4 medium cloves garlic
    • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
    • 9 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup whole milk (optional)
    • 1/2 cup apple juice
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    Peel the sunchokes and the potatoes. Cut into dice-sized chunks.

    Heat butter or oil in a heavy-bottomed large pot. Add onions, garlic, and thyme, and stir until the onions begin to brown. Add the broth. Stir. Then add potatoes and sunchokes. Cook covered for 5 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes until chokes and taters are softened. Add apple juice and lemon juice, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in milk.

    Working in batches, transfer the soup mixture to a blender, remove the middle-nob so that steam can escape and cover with a paper towel as to not burn yourself with soup splatters. Puree until smooth in batches, each time adding some of the butter to the blender. Serve with a healthy amount of fresh black pepper.

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  4. Pizza On The Grill


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    “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

    – Joan Didion 


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    Pizza On The Grill 

    Dough adapted from Artisan Bread in 5

    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt 


    Herb Pesto

    • 1 cup packed fresh parsley 
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil
    • 1 clove garlic
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts



    • 3 or 4 pints assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 12 oz. fresh burrata


    Using Zoe’s “dump and stir” method for the dough, first combine liquids, salt, and yeast in the basin of a large bowl. Give it a good whisk until the water is murky. Pour in flour and stir together, add a touch of oil if it feels too dry. Using your hands, form a large ball of dough and set back in the bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

    Meanwhile, prepare the herb pesto in a food processor or blender simply by tossing all the ingredients together and pulsing until ingredients are liquified. Set near the grill with the burrata and sliced tomatoes for easy assembly.

    Heat your grill on medium-high heat. Dip a towel in olive or other neutral oil and grease the grates. When the thermostat reaches 425′, it’s game time. Punch down dough after rising, divide into two pieces and knead in a bit of flour. Roll out one ball with a pin or press by using your hands. For a thinner crust, gently take dough into hands and, using the backs of your palm and knuckles, tug at the edges until dough thins.

    Transfer dough to a cookie sheet for easy trasport (I learned on the second go). Quickly “fling” dough onto the hot grates and cover for 4-5 minutes, checking frequently to make sure the bottom is barely browning, not burning. Using the same cookie sheet, scoop up half cooked dough and flip. Reduce heat of the grill to low. Dress the pizza with generous amounts of pesto, tomatoes, and torn burrata. Cook for another 5 minutes until edges are browning and the cheese is melty.

    With your second ball of dough, repeat with leftover toppings or give this or this recipe a whirl.


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    We’re heading to Alaska again in 12 days. Remember this? It is positively my most favorite place on earth.

    Come and follow along on Instagram.

  5. Mesa Mules, etc.


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    When I was in Vegas a few months ago for the Saveur Awards, I got a ride from the airport with a female cab driver with rose tinted aviators and a turquoise manicure. She sang along, shamelessly, to “I’ve Got You, Babe” as we zoomed along the desert highway and looked back just once in her rearview mirror to say “honey, if you can tell me who sings this… ride’s on me.” I drew a blank. She laughed. Really? I was so embarrassed. Sonny and Cher. I thought about that one year we went as Sonny and Cher to our Sadie Hawkins dance in 2005, I burned the song to a CD to play in the car and we sang it ourselves in the parking lot near the swimming pool at our High School.

    The same song was playing yesterday when I stopped for breakfast at a cafe in San Luis Obispo. It was Saturday. Couples in workout gear moseyed in and woke up over coffee and acai bowls. Oh, California. A familiar scene and characters that Shaun and I could have lived out had we never left. I carry a Colorado driver’s license now and and am taking in the California coastline alone as a visitor. Campsites were full the two nights prior so I slept in the cab of my borrowed truck parked in a hotel lot away from the lights.  This was a whole new level of vagabonding. I had a hard time falling asleep and my mind began racing with questions of the legality of my makeshift homestead. Squinting with one eye open on my side, I googled “is sleeping in your car legal?” on my phone which led to a series of other searches for murder records in Pismo Beach, the addresses and pictures of registered sex offenders within five miles of where I was parked. I closed my eyes, said a little prayer, and didn’t wake again until 5:54 am. I lunged over the console to the drivers seat and peeled out for the beach.

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    They say we’re young and we don’t know, 
    we won’t find out until we grow. 
    Well I don’t know if all that’s true, 
    You’ve got me and baby I’ve got you. 

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    It’s funny how much has changed since we took turns with those lyrics in our costumes. Shaun and I started our relationship fighting the dogma that we were too young to “get it.” Truth is after all these years I don’t know if I’ve “gotten it” any more than I did then. We grow up. Time wears on our idealism, the ego plays its hand, we lose our perspective, we hurt each other intentionally and not. This is the human experience, in relationship, really. We try, we fail, we work, we regroup. I loved us then, I love us more now, despite the ways time has blemished our story. I’m sitting on a cliff watching the waves crash on the rocks in Half Moon Bay right now, journaling. A wise friend’s ashes were spread here many years ago… he was, and I think still probably is, Shaun’s and my fiercest cheerleader. I haven’t cried this hard in years. We haven’t always done it right, Hayden, but we’re still here. I wish you could see this love, now. I hope you’d be proud. 

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    I drove to my brother’s place in silence later that night with the windows down. The sun was just beginning to retire and there was that sort of glow about the road that made my life feel oddly cinematic. I had gone back through When Women Were Birds over the course of the trip, transcribing passages to my journal and hashing them out in the mornings from my sleeping bag. It rested in the passenger seat atop musky beach towels, a half eaten loaf of bread, and a pile of seagull feathers I started collecting in Santa Monica. In the distance I could see a flight of birds moving up the coast along the road, I admired them for a few seconds until I realized they were flying straight toward me. Drifting. Drifting. Drifting. Yet was sudden. A single bird did not follow the the others and slammed into my windshield like a bullseye. I screamed and watched, horrified, in the rearview mirror as it bounced to the ground and other cars passed over her grave. I looked at the book and the feathers in the passenger seat and felt like I couldn’t breathe. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??!!? I felt like in accidentally killing the bird, I had betrayed every intimacy with Terry Tempest Williams’ words and thoughts on women and birds over the past month. It was hard not to to feel auspicious or look for symbology. Why did the bird stray from her friends? I have so many questions. I should write Ms. Williams a letter. Maybe it’s not time for it all to make sense yet…

    They say we’re young and we don’t know, 
    we won’t find out until we grow. 
    Well I don’t know if all that’s true, 
    You’ve got me and baby I’ve got you. 

    I’m finally home in Denver. It feels right and good, I’m finding out, as I grow.

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    Mesa Mule 

    Inspired by the menu of a swanky bar in Los Angeles that friends Mike and Mel took us to a few weeks ago. I like a cocktail that’s a real kick in the pants, this one takes first prize.

    Recipe for a single cocktail. Increase quantities as necessary for your guests.

    • 2 oz (1 shot) tequila reposado 
    • 4 oz (2 shots) ginger beer 
    • 4 oz guava juice 
    • 4-6 round slivers of fresh jalapeño
    • ice 


    In a cocktail shaker combine liquids, a few slivers of jalapeño, and a few cubes of ice. Shake. Pour over glass filled with ice. Garnish with more jalapeño.

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Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.