Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Aioli - thick, creamy and egg-free!

Those who know me well, or who have been paying attention to this blog for a while, know that I can’t get on board with mayonnaise. I will sub sour cream and Greek yogurt and soaked cashews everywhere I can, because that mysterious white stuff with the raw eggs is not welcome in my belly.

I’ve had these strong feelings for several years, and my no-mayo stance has definitely gotten in the way of enjoying some otherwise attractive menu options at my favorite restaurants. Fancy shmancy places throw around the word “aioli” with pride – pesto aioli, sundried tomato aioli, jalapeno aioli. It sounds so good, but I know it’s just a horn-tooting way of saying “we threw some fun stuff in some mayo.”

Roasted Broccoli and Smoked Gouda Calzones

Roasted Broccoli and Smoked Gouda Calzones - homemade whole wheat beer crust, my favorite pizza sauce, and melty cheese! Comfort food at its finest.

I really don’t post enough pizza or calzones to accurately represent how often Ryan and I eat them. It’s OFTEN. Probably at least once per week. Pizza is more common, especially in the summer when we can use the grill, but Ryan definitely prefers calzones. Food stuffed in food is his favorite thing, you know.

He also loves broccoli – he’ll eat it raw, and keep the florets big, and doesn’t mind if there’s a little stem attached to those florets. I, however, prefer my broccoli roasted until golden brown and a tad crispy on the outside. And the stems? Those can’t be anywhere in sight. It’s really the only way broccoli is palatable to me, which seems a little wrong, being the veggie-obsessed person that I am. The nutty, crisp, olive-oil coated broccoli is the only broccoli that has made its way into my heart.

Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Galette with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Galette with Garlic Yogurt Sauce - summer veggies on top of creamy yogurt sauce, wrapped in a buttery whole wheat crust!

This is the time of year when you go to pick up your CSA and you realize signing up was the BEST DECISION EVER.

Tomatoes! Zucchini! Peppers! Oh my!

Simple Artichoke, Pesto and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Artichoke, Pesto, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas - a simple, flavorful vegetarian meal!

As I’m getting older and busier, I’m realizing that simple really is best. Not every soup needs 15 different spices, a straight-forward margarita pizza is sometimes just right, and ain’t nobody got time for the fancy weeknight meals.

Perhaps that realization is why I’ve loved quesadillas so much lately; Simple meals leave more time for life living…or watching reality TV on the couch in pajamas. Whichever floats your boat that day, really.

On that note, I’ve started watching Bachelor in Paradise and it is gloriously awful. So many tears, so much scheming, and general drama overload. Just what I need to escape the stress of the day and feel a little bit trashier about myself.

Caramelized Banana Nut Granola

Caramelized Banana Nut Granola - big clusters of oats, caramelized banana, maple syrup, and nuts!

I used to be the snackiest person. I needed something to eat at 10am and 3pm or else all bets were off for the rest of the day.

For morning snacks I’d stick to fruit, but the afternoons were carby. When I started my first job, every day I’d get an intense (likely stress-induced) belly ache around 3pm. At that stage in my life oyster crackers were my best friend. When I couldn’t take anymore bland crackers, I reached for multigrain cheerios. Very balanced, I know.