New CWB Logo!

I’m so excited to debut my new logo today! If you’ve visited the blog since yesterday, you might have noticed that the little icon on the tab in your browser has changed, and now you get to see it up close! It’s my new logo! And Dexter’s in there!!

 

cultivated wellbeing

I’ve been working with an awesome team called The Net Men to get this logo made, and I have to say, I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out. I really threw a lot at them to incorporate into one simple logo, and when I saw that little white Dexter silhouette, I knew I’d chosen the right team for the job! I hope her little ears make you as happy as they make me! (Probably not, but just pretend with me for a second.)

You’ll be seeing some other fun changes and upgrades to CWB in the coming months, so be on the lookout for those, and get excited for better mobile functionality too. I’ve already moved stuff around and redecorated the side bar over here to the right ——————–> to include my eBook and a new BlogHer Social Media Influencer badge, which will mean more to you once I share my first assignment with you!

I don’t really have much else to say here — this is just a bonus Wednesday micro-post to tell you how excited I am about the new look and to draw your attention to it because I’m so thrilled to start using the logo!

LogoFINAL

Wooohoooo!!! 

And get excited for Friday’s post — I hinted at it in my rant from last Friday. 🙂 

 

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Pesto [Recipe]

Ahhh, fresh figs. We bought a baby fig tree this year — it’s a dwarf for our dwarfy front yard. I think it’s called a Black Jack, and it’s yielded exactly 3 figs so far. This, after my parents got over 700 figs in the first year of their tree’s life down in Texas. Wow, what a difference the climate makes! Our little tree might be slow-growing, but the three figs we’ve eaten have all been divine, and I’m looking forward to next year, when I’m hoping our little dwarf will get fat with figs. Yum!

In the meantime, my husband is a fantastic forager. Loren found a black mission fig tree on public land a few weeks back, and he came home with a grocery bag full of the little goodies. We ate them for dessert with honey goat cheese and maple syrup. We ate them with pancakes. We ate them on their own. We cooked them down with peaches and cinnamon, and we still had lots left for fun fig recipes! fig recipes

Cookin’ the Market

I mentioned a few posts back that I ran into a friend of mine at the Jack London Farmers’ Market, where she was doing a cooking demonstration for creamy cucumber gazpacho. On that same visit, she offered me a few recipe cards from previous market demos, and one of them happened to be a fig pizza! I didn’t follow the recipe per se, but it was inspiring nonetheless! Unfortunately their fig pizza gem isn’t listed on their website yet, but if you’d like to check out some cool Cookin’ the Market culinary creations, here’s their fall menu.

Gluten-free Pizza Crust

fig recipes

Admittedly, this is a recipe that includes a store-bought gluten-free pizza crust. I love making things from scratch, but you can’t do everything all the time, and if there’s a tasty, decently healthy pre-made option for those nights when you just need to get dinner on the table, then why not? I’m looking forward to trying Kelly’s grain-free crust recipe over at Primally Inspired, but I don’t tend to use tapioca flour that often, so I’ll need to stock up before I try it. I won’t say that the Udis crust (affiliate link) I used for this recipe is a FANTASTIC option if you’re watching your carbs, but honestly tapioca flour isn’t either, so I suppose you have to pick your battles. And the Udi’s crust is so thin while still remaining sturdy that you can just pile on the protein and veggies for a night of guilt-free delicious dining.  

For the Pesto

I did make my own pesto for this recipe — stay tuned for a video on how to do that yourself! I think it’s important to control your ingredients where possible, especially when it comes to foods that contain fats and oils. You want to know that your ingredients are organic and high quality. Often the makers of store-bought sauces, dressings, pesto, marinades, etc. cut corners by replacing olive oil with canola oil or soybean oil, by using conventional ingredients, or by adding undesirable flavorings and preservatives. Check out my salad dressing post and video for more details on this topic.

That being said, it’s not impossible to find a good, high quality pesto at your local grocer or a natural foods store like Whole Foods. You want a pesto that has ingredients you can pronounce and no commercial vegetable oils. My recipe isn’t the traditional basil and pine nuts combo (another fun reason for homemade — variety!), but the classic combination will work beautifully on this pizza if you don’t want to make your own.fig recipes

My pesto recipe is simple

In a food processor, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • the juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • pinch of salt

fig recipes

 

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Pesto
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Udi's gluten-free pizza crust
  2. 1/2 cup fresh pesto
  3. fresh organic goat cheese
  4. 5 to 7 black figs, sliced
  5. 4oz package of sliced prosciutto
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Spread pesto evenly across pizza crust
  3. Evenly distribute the figs and dollops of goat cheese across pizza crust
  4. Drape prosciutto over the surface
  5. Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer your crust
Cultivated Wellbeing http://www.tonisicola.com/

Rainbow Frittata – Easy Breakfast that Keeps in the Fridge

rainbow frittata

I love a good frittata. They’re easy to make, they leave room for creativity, and they keep well in the fridge so you can have a ready-made breakfast waiting for you on weekdays. Playing with the endless possibilities that come with baking eggs in the oven has unleashed some epic Sunday morning breakfasts in my house lately. I almost feel silly for ever paying a restaurant to make me a frittata.

I’ve recently confirmed that you can put basically anything in a frittata and it will be delicious. In fact, there’s a podcast about this very topic over at Table to Farm, a short podcast that’s been entertaining and educating me lately. In their frittata episode, they even suggest throwing leftover mac and cheese into the mix. Great idea! (sadly, I just noticed that Table to Farm is a year old and they haven’t made any new episodes. Boo.)

This particular gem covers the colors in the rainbow pretty well, because I was able to find a bright orange cauliflower at the market this week. It’s gorgeous!

orangecauliflower

I also used pastured eggs from my in-laws’ neighbors (they have 24 chickens!), and some of those egg shells were blue — maybe it’s a stretch to say that this frittata actually includes the color blue, but I’m counting it for the sake of the name Rainbow Frittata.

The beet greens have red stems and purple leaves, the kale is green, and the egg yolks are electric yellow (find out why the yolks were so vibrant in these pasture eggs).rainbow frittata

Rainbow Frittata:

Ingredients:

  • 10 pasture eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • orange cauliflower (or regular if you can’t find orange) — chop up as much as you like!
  • beet greens (chard works great too)
  • kale
  • lemon pepper
  • season salt
  • garlic powder
  • EVO or coconut oil
  • feta cheese (I used goat feta)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Chop cauliflower into small pieces
  3. De-vein the kale and chop all greens
  4. Lightly saute for 8 to 10 minutes in a bit of EVO or coconut oil
  5. Whisk the eggs and coconut milk until uniform and pour over veggies
  6. Add in the feta
  7. Bake for at least 20 minutes, might take longer, depending on your oven — you’ll know it’s done when a fork comes out clean from the middle
  8. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving
  9. Slice and serve1rainbowfrittatabitecwb

 

My First Blog post

This is my first blog post on a site that has been brewing in my mind for a while now. As a corporate wellness professional, I find that I can get caught up in wellness jargon, participation numbers, ROI, scheduling, and workplace politics — none of these is a reason I chose this field of work. I chose health and wellness because I wanted to provide alternative solutions for people seeking more comprehensive help for their health challenges. I honestly sought solutions for myself as well. I wanted to learn about complementary and alternative healing modalities, to get a real look at nutrition research, to understand food in a complex way and then create meals and meal plans for folks with dietary restrictions, weight loss goals, or health goals in general. I’ve realized that now I want more than that.

Over the course of the last year and a half, I’ve been writing a blog for work called Passport to a Healthy Me! (which I LOVE writing). I’ve recently found myself wanting a space to move beyond the scope of what that blog covers. Food, cooking, and nutrition are my main passions, so those topics will most certainly be featured on this site, but I’m also a rock climber, a gardener, a recently born-again runner, a painter, a musician, and I’ve recently taken up sewing (which is hugely challenging for me so far). This is my venue to explore these passions (and sometimes struggles) and share my journey as a way of staying creatively motivated and hopefully motivating others to cultivate their creative passions too.

I also wanted a space to talk about all of my experiments! I’m my own guinea pig for new recipes, new creative ingredients, ways of eating, fitness programs, natural remedies, homemade body care or face/body care from the kitchen cupboard, and the list goes on and on. My body is my laboratory, and I’ve found some effective and exciting solutions to problems I’ve had over the years. As with everyone, I’m a constant work in progress, and I find that my curiosities about how nature can offer answers to my questions and solutions to my problems has led me down a path that’s sweet and rich. I love the idea of sharing my explorations with the world, and am so excited to get started!

Pinnacles

photo taken in April of 2012 in Pinnacles Regional Park on my first real outdoor climbing trip — the adventures to follow have been amazing

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