So guys, ever since I moved into my house my pantry has been a GD disaster. We had a few pizza paddles to the left of the cupboard (where you see that black wire cooling rack) and it meant you couldn’t open the cabinet fully. As a result, the cabinet was mostly open, chuck it in, and close it.

The above was what the cabinet looked like for months and months. (Maybe a year…) Last weekend I decided enough was enough and cleaned out the pantry and organized my shit. And I thought you might like a glimpse into what I always have on hand, because I’m a voyeur and would like to know what YOU are snacking on, too.

This is now what the cabinet looks liked. This is my “quick” cabinet full of stuff that moves quickly. My end cap, if you will. The bottoms shelf is snacks and open crap – the things we go through the fastest. Dried fruit, granola bars, and chips on the bottom shelf. Lots of nuts in there. I try to always have on hand:

Lara Bars – these are from when I was doing Whole30, but some of the flavors are great and I like to have something to grab-and-go, especially now that I am pregnant and ALWAYS hungry.

Other Bars – Guys, bars are just easy to eat. I am really into Chia Bars (TJs) and Fiberful Bars (TJ) right now. Yes, the Fiberful Bars have sugar but only 6 g compared to way worse other bars. I also dig the “That’s It” bars that are just fruit (thanks to Ana for that rec.) Also in this category of snack is fruit leathers.

Dried Fruit – We’re big fans of dried mango and raisins in this house, but I’ve also got dried prunes (fiber, what what!) and have recently really been enjoying dried mandarins. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and these are basically candy without just straight up eating candy, so they’re good for avoiding the jelly beans at work.

Nuts – I’m not going to lie, I definitely hated nuts for the beginning of my pregnancy. It’s like after Whole 30 (I got pregnant around Day 8 of Whole30) I was adverse to literally ANYTHING I had eaten. But I know nuts are good for me and I try to keep them around for snacks and baking. I usually have hazelnuts (for this recipe), pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and maybe almonds (although I really dislike almonds because of the bees.) Cashews are by far my fave for snacking, and I like the rest for adding to granolas.

Misc Snacks – The rest of the snacks in here are tortilla chips (for dipping in salsa and guac, obviously) and pita chips (for dipping in the garlic dip from TJs and hummus) as well as ALL THE POPCORN. Which actually isn’t all that bad for you as long as you don’t over salt and over butter it. We have an air popper and it’s a great snack for when you’re hungry because it takes a bit to eat. Also you probably spy some leftover poptarts from when I wasn’t eating much during my first trimester. Also on the list? Cheddar Rockets (TJs, similar but not superior to Goldfish), ginger snaps, ginger chews, graham crackers, and assorted crackers for cheese.

Cereal – I tend to eat granola/cereal in the morning, and right now I am into the Almond Ginger flavor from TJs, and I like to have raisin bran on hand too. Jeff is digging the cinnamon cereal from TJs (basically Cinnamon Toast Crunch…I know, delish but not healthy at all.)

Misc/Top Shelf – We also always have mac and cheese and (not pictured) tomato soup for simple dinners. The top shelf (which I cannot reach without a stool) houses extra spices, olives, vinegars, and Jeff’s “syrup.”

Fridge Snacks – Obviously not pictured, but for snacking I usually have: 2-3 fruits (hello cherry season!), cheese (mini Babybel or some kind of cheddar), as well as some snacking veggies – carrots, sugar snap peas, and cucumbers are my fave right now.

Next up in this series? What I keep in my baking cabinet/where all the grains go…stay tuned!

What are you snacking on? What keeps you going?? Help me because I am hungry ALL THE TIME.


Guys, May is so exciting. I am getting sick of citrus (sorry backyard!) and I am ready for berries and summer greens. Is there anything more exciting than new veggies? I think not.

Apricots
Asparagus
Avocado
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chard
Citrus
Figs
Kale
Peas
Potatoes
Radishes
Rhubarb
Strawberries

And of course, I wouldn’t leave you hanging with no recipes, so below check out some of my fave recipes with the above ingredients!

This Strawberry Avocado Smoothie is a go-to of mine this time of year. Sweetie and earthy, plus smooth from the avo. Win-win-win.

Kale! Kale! Hail Kale! I was so grossed out by kale during the beginning of my pregnancy but I’m back into it now, and making up for lost time. These Kale Chips are spiced with my faves (cumin on all things) and are perfect for when you’re craving potato chips but have a random bag of kale in your fridge you need to use. Trust us.

POTATO SALAD. Guys I am so pumped for summer because somehow that’s when I make all the cold salads and eat them out of the fridge with a spoon while I’m waiting for the grill to heat up. This is great with all grilled things, all meat, all veggies…the list goes on. Bring this to all your parties and people will love you.

Beets, glorious beets, for making perfect Beet Hummus. I have been VERY snacky lately (I mean I kind of always am) and am glad to have some hummus around so I don’t blow my dinner on cheese sticks and tortilla chips. Beets are my spirit vegetable, you guys. They’re messy! They’re delicious! They’re loud (in color) and they WILL STAIN YOU. Kindred spirits, we are. (Try golden beets if you, you know, don’t want all your shit stained. Still as good.)

What else are you guys cooking this month? Send me your fave recipes – I am always looking for new ideas!


May’s the month that spring starts in earnest. Jacarandas here in LA are bloom, their purple flowers littering the sidewalks. The avocados are coming. Sunshine is lasting later into the evening; peas are spotted at the farmers market, and we’re thinking about berries and stone fruit season. In honor of the season of plenty, our calendar this month throws it to a recipe we made for Chocolate Avocado Donuts.

(PS – here is a tablet version.)


We made these back in 2015, but they’re worth resurfacing – a healthy way to get some nuts in without all the preservatives of granola bars! Enjoy!

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Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

These bars are game changers. We were looking for snacks that were simple, that were delicious, and that were easy. We love a granola bar, but they’re usually full of crazy lists of ingredients that we cannot pronounce, and they always have tons of salt and tons of preservatives. These, on the other hand, are quick, easy, and have just three ingredients!

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

We first saw them over on the Kitchn (they just have the best ideas!) and we adapted them for what we like. We love a cashew so much, and we usually have them on hand, so it makes these even easier! A quick five minutes with a food processor and an overnight chill and you have snacks for the week.

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

The dates is what keeps these together, an although we used already chopped dates we recommend using whole dates roughly chopped – they’re wetter and they’ll keep your bars together better. You can use whatever nuts and fruit you want – which is really the best part. Raisins and almonds. Cherries and peanuts. Apricots and hazelnuts. Go crazy.

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul
Ingredients:
1 cup cashews
1 cup dried apples
1 cup (12-15 whole) pitted dried dates

Directions:

1. Slightly chop the cashews, dates, and apples.
2. Food process all ingredients until a ball forms, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove and form into a square, then wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour at least.
4. After your refrigerate, divide into squares and have as a snack whenever you get hungry (or snacky.)

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul


Hey chickadees, hello and happy Easter! Easter to me means eating lasagna and sitting in my house/backyard with a bunch of friends celebrating springtime. This year is no different, although I am making baked ziti instead of lasagna.

Anyways, the point is, we’ve reached a new milestone – spring has sprung and we’re solidly into longer nights and warmer days. And I feel like I’m also emerging from a long, dark winter where (in case you haven’t noticed) I haven’t been around. And I’m here to tell you why: because I am four months pregnant!

Guys, I never knew a lot about pregnancy before getting pregnant. Sure, I’d read here and there and was familiar with morning sickness (hint: not in the morning) and being tired (but what does that really even mean? Aren’t we all tired?) and food aversions (I bet those people are just picky, right?) BUT, OH GOD what a shock and kick in the ass when I found myself EXHAUSTED (have you had mono? It’s like that) and NAUSEATED ALL THE TIME (food? No, thanks) and grossed out by ALL FOOD.

What’s a food blogger to do when they can’t eat anything but breaded chicken tenders and french fries from Trader Joe’s? And goes to bed at 8 pm every night after eating said dinner quietly and very slowly, so as to a) not move too much and b) not throw up? Boy was I not ready for the first trimester.

I will say, in case any of you are pregnant or looking to get pregnant, something that saved me was REALLY COLD fruit smoothies. Here are some ideas for you:

Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie – Cucumbers were one of the only veggies I ate for the 8 weeks I was really down and out. They were in the “safe” list along with edamame and sugar snap peas. Things that were absolutely disgusting? Anything leafy – keep lettuce, arugula, spinach, etc. away from me – no thanks!

Secret leafy greens were mostly OK, like in this Avocado Tangelo Smoothie. I was really into SWEET smoothies which is the opposite of what I usually crave, so this carrot and citrus smoothie worked it for me.

Other than smoothies and chicken and fries, I was really only eating cucumbers and sometimes pirate booty and maybe a sandwich with chicken and a lot of mayo. It was a food blogger’s worse nightmare (but my 12 year old self’s dream, I suspect.) Also there was definitely pregnancy chocolate ice cream because the colder, the better.

But, lucky for you and me, here we are, solidly on the other side and sliding into the second trimester. I can say I am back to eating almost everything (I even had Indian food the other night, one of the very first foods to skeeve me out) and I am relearning how to carry my largest cast iron with one arm (guys who knew I had built up those muscles because of cookware?)

I’ve been reposting some winners from year’s past, and I’ll likely do that again while I get a good backlog of recipes up for you. Please be patient with me! In the meantime, I will leave you with tried and true dishes I know you’ll love.