Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Strawberry chia pudding


I know strawberry season is coming to a close, but as long as Costco is carrying organic berries for cheap, I’m going to keep on buying them…

This “pudding” tastes a little bit like soy yogurt but not as sweet because I’m strict when it comes to sugary things in our house.  I want the kids’ taste buds to be un-warped as long as possible.  Fruit is as sweet as it gets.  However, in order to make this taste different than pureed soybeans, you need a little maple syrup.  A little is fine.

Strawberry Chia Pudding


  • 1/2 tub (8 oz) organic silken tofu (I like Nasoya)
  • 1 cup hulled strawberries (~5-8 depending on size)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Pulse in a blender until no lumps remain.  Let it “set” (so the chia seeds can gel) in the fridge for ~30 minutes.

Enjoy as is, or top with granola/cereal/nuts and seeds.

We also use it to bulk up smoothies.


I made a cocoa version for myself because I wanted to try out this NuNaturals cocoa.


Just add 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder and voila!  Dessert with some nutrition.  Kick it up a notch by adding a few drops of NuNaturals’ mint flavored liquid stevia.

And just like that my summery dish turned into a holiday one.

Sharing soup recipes

This is a recipe for…

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Texted to me by a friend, who got it from a friend, who got it from a cookbook, who got it from Rustic Bakery in Larkspur.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic (I omitted)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tbsp butter (I used olive oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 shallots (I used 2 tbsp shallot infused olive oil instead)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (I used Califia’s better half almond milk creamer)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Rub squash in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees F for ~45-50 minutes with garlic and thyme tucked under the cavity of the squash.

Meanwhile, heat butter (or oil) in a dutch oven or soup pot and sautee with onion and shallot.

Once cooled scoop the squash from the skin and add to the pot.  Add seasonings and let squash caramelize a bit.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Decrease to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes.

Puree the soup with a hand blender (or in a food processor) then add cream.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.




A huuuuuuge favorite for adults and kids alike.


Topped with home-made croutons.

Hosting made easy

I’m not a naturally laid back person (every family member reading right now is laughing at the obviousness of that statement) but I really try to keep my anxiety in check.  When it comes to having people over for meals – something I wish came easily to me – I definitely have to prep like crazy to make it fun for me in the moment.  Otherwise I’m just running all the disaster case scenarios through my mind, rather than enjoying company.  This may seem confusing since I’m very social and love hanging out with friends AND I love cooking…so those should merge to make me the perfect hostess, right?  Meh.  Perfectionism rears it’s head in and mucks that all up.

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

So on that note, here are a few ways to impress guests but make life stress free for yourself.  I was pretty proud of myself for how it all tasted and how hands off it was in the moment.


Bon Appetit’s salmon nicoise on a huge serving platter allows people to pick and choose which ingredients they want…Kyle doesn’t like capers or olives, so he worked around that.  I wanted mostly greens and potatoes and dressing, so that’s how I plated my portion.  And it looks pretty, too!  I figured between the two filets of salmon and four hard boiled eggs there was plenty of protein.


This dressing was the first time I used anchovies, btw.


I was intimidated, but I’m not sure why…it was super easy!


I also made bread, but that was done the weekend before.  You could just as easily buy a baguette that day.


Another day we had friends over for lunch so I turned to the crock pot for help.  P made the door festive for Fall.

I picked a “menu” that was cohesive enough to work together, but also allowed for anyone to pick and choose which parts he/she wanted.

  • Shredded honey mustard chicken – you can make this as far in advance as you want!  I made it in the crock pot a day before and kept it in the fridge until we were ready to serve.  There was an egg sensitivity in the group, so I thought this would be a nice option instead of chicken salad.  I added enough honey mustard dressing to the slow cooker with the chicken breasts to cook and then once they were done I shredded them and added more dressing. After it chilled in the fridge it was a delicious chicken salad like dish with very little effort (and no eggs).
  • Salad – I went with my personal preference here, which meant kale, spinach, and a shaved broccoli and brussels sprouts combo.  Using more hearty greens means you can dress the salad beforehand and it will stand up over some time.  In keeping with the chicken flavor profile I made a basic honey mustard vinaigrette.  I added pumpkin and sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, too, figuring it would be great with or without the chicken.
  • Walnut bread – Because carbs are yummy and everyone loves home-made bread.  I based my recipe off this one but nixed the cranberries.  It turned out lovely and made the whole meal seem like I’d gone above and beyond when really I made the bread several days before.


  • Snackables – you can’t go wrong with Sabra hummus and dippables.  Munchies make for the perfect side dish so you can nibble before, during and after the meal.


On the left is the dough rising on the counter and then on the right is after it’s been baked in the cast iron pot.

It’s hard to tell the size from the photo because the pot looks small but the loaf was pretty large.


It’s weirdly shaped on top because you just flip it from the wax paper into the pot (which is blazing hot from being in the oven for an hour beforehand) and hope for a decent landing.


As you can see, it’s not super high.  I’m not an expert when it comes to the chemistry of yeast and gluten and all that (yet?) but this was a no knead recipe, so I will trade the hands off rise for the arm workout any day.

What’s your go-to tip or trick or meal plan when entertaining?

Restaurants and chocolate

For a while this summer Kyle and I were so great about getting babysitter to go out to dinner once a month.  Going out in Sac felt like we were finally getting back in on the food scene.

Back in July we went to Grange.  It’s attached to the Citizen Hotel, which isn’t in the best part of town but seems to be in the process of gentrification Starbucksification.  Anyway, I already blogged about that meal, but we had some leftover money on a gift card so we went a few weeks later for brunch.  With the kids.


V mulling over her menu while noshing on a crayon.

Even though P has outgrown several allergies, it’s still not safe for him to eat from a restaurant kitchen so we brought food for him.  V, however, can grub with the best of them.  It’s so fun ordering my little sweet pea her own entree because then I can order my second choice (I’m so indecisive!) under the guise of it being for her (when really I am getting two things for myself to “split” with her). 😉


V got a savory combo platter with scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and fruit.  <– all for $8!!


I got the French toast.


And Kyle got the benedict on hash brown waffles!  How awesome does that sound!!

V wasn’t the easiest to manage but she did flirt with every single person at the restaurant thereby getting us in their good graces with our slightly rowdy table.  Grange’s staff was great and we all enjoyed our food, so it was a successful family outing.  Plus we hit up McKinley park which is such a good park.  It sounds ridic to praise a children’s park when we have 100 awesome ones in Davis, but McKinley is pretty dang cool.

In August we went to The Press Bistro for our anniversary.


Here’s my handsome husband of six years.

I think I deleted the pic he took of me?  The meal was great, as was the dessert we made our way to afterwards…


Ginger Elizabeth was a few blocks away so obviously we walked over so I could get some truffles.  Most of the sweets never got photographed, but here’s the portion that I saved for the next night.  The bark had pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds but the truffles were definitely the highlight.

As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a chocolate fiend.

It’s all I can do to keep my habit to a reasonable degree, but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s usually pretty prettyyyyy unreasonable.  


So Kyle got me this for our anniversary.  Because he is the best.  And it was basically better than Christmas.


The boxes lasted a week. Each. That’s not too too bad, right?  3-4 a night (with some other stuff too) seems appropriate.  I can’t even tell you which my faves are/were.  I adore all See’s nuts and chews and when you go to the store or order online (done both!) you can get all the rare ones that don’t come in the pre-made box sets.  They make some phenomenal things, I tell you what.

Oh chocolate.




I don’t even speak that language.


Honestly, I like the TJs knockoff better.

And speaking of TJs chocolate.


I hesitate telling the world about this, but as long as you don’t infringe on my Davis store’s stash we are cool.

OF freakin’ COURSE it is seasonal.  I’ve been getting one a week (because that’s respectable) but on my last trip to the store I found out October was the last month they were carrying them.

So guess what I did?

I bought 6.  And then they asked me if I wanted to reserve a case.  To which I said “how many are in a case?” And they replied “48”.  HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!  I am not that insane…yet?  So I reserved part of the case.  And they are going to call me when it’s in.  I’m considering it my birthday present to myself.  Don’t judge me.


A bar a day for our trip to Boise.  Only we were there for 4 days so I guess I had a little more than that.


This heavenly number combines salty roasted macadamias and marshmallows and dark chocolate.  SO THERE’S THAT.


Ok, I’ll share more chocolate later.  This is getting my sweet tooth in a state.

Spiced Quickbread



I leave you for a month and come back with this basic bread recipe that is just clogging up your feed with every other pumpkin apple squash thing.  Yep.  I have nothing to say for myself.  EXCEPT.  It’s so good I had to share.  I even took photos.  And wrote the recipe down!  And the nap gods have aligned so here I am…clicking into wordpress for the sake of all things Fall.

You like how I lured you in there with that flowery language but really knew you’d see the cute pic of V and be content.


The good news, is this is easy and I’ve made it twice already in October.  The bad news, is that I’ve made a million other delicious things from scratch (my first yeast bread without the breadmaker!) that I will never be able to share with you.  My computer is on a rapid decline thanks to the 700000 photos of my kids I take on a weekly basis and so the food photos had to go.  I was holding on to a false hope that one day I’d recap weeks and weeks of food…and Kyle forced me to bite the bullet and do a clean sweep so dropbox could at least sync.   So there’s that.

Funny how you can get behind one day and then after two, three, four….you just know it’s never going to happen but you hold out because denial is such a strong force to be reckoned with.  SIGH.  It’s frustrating that now, more than ever before in my food blogging time, I’m making the most fun things – walnut sourdough from a friend’s starter, grain free cashew bread, and candied nut crusted baked oatmeal, dehydrated crackers, to name a few – and I have zero time to share it in this space.


Fall Spiced Quickbread [gluten free, dairy free, soy free]


  • 1 apple, finely diced or grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil (I used melted coconut)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk*
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar**
  • 1 tsp NuNaturals stevia “no carbs” blend (or 1/3 cup cane sugar)
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl combine apple, eggs, and oil.  Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix until well combined and add almond milk if it’s too dry/hard to stir.  It should be a very thick but pourable consistency.  Fold in candied ginger.

*You may need more or less than called for depending on your apple’s size and variety.

**I have made this with and without the candied ginger and the ginger version is AMAAAAAZING.  Because it’s not a very sweet bread, if you don’t use candied ginger you may want to up the brown sugar to 6 tbsp.  Thanks to the stevia blend, you can get away with a pretty awesome bread – packed with those warm Fall flavors – that doesn’t spike your blood sugar.

Pour into greased loaf baking pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 43-45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool before slicing.



I love the combo of almond flour and gluten free flours here.  It’s an absolutely perfect bread, in my humble opinion.

Just look at that ginger!  Mmmmm…there’s something that happens to ginger in the oven that gets rid of all the harshness of the spice and leaves you with the most mellow and delightful flavor.  Seriously, I urge you all to try this, even if you aren’t a ginger freak like I am.


It’s good plain, but toasted with cashew butter is…whoa.


I’ve really embraced a label free diet, ever since P outgrew so many of his allergies.  Peanuts and dairy are still out, but now that sesame is back in the picture, a whole new world is open to us.

Veganism is really calling to me these days, but we aren’t 100% anything.  September was a vegetarian month for us for no reason other than we felt like it, and while P doesn’t love tempeh, he and V both devour tofu and seitan in any iteration.  Seriously, plain cubed tofu is a lunch staple.  And they are totally into chia puddings with the silken kind.  But then ribs go on sale at WF and so I say sure.  As far as wheat goes, it’s been fun to experiment with yeast breads again…both in and out of the breadmaker.  But then I went and made a grain free loaf the same day because why not?!

Anyway, I can’t expect to sum up everything we have eaten over the past 6 month in one post so let’s just get back to the bread.


Cheers to October!