Happy Recipe Friday!
Today we are featuring the lovely Ashley Melillo – author, creator, photographer, and recipe guru of Blissful Basil!
Hi! I’m Ashley, the writer, photographer, and recipe-creator behind Blissful Basil, a blog dedicated to unearthing the happiest side of life through wholesome foods. Being a school psychologist by day and a vegan food blogger by night, I strive to incorporate a wide array of plant-based foods into my recipes in order to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
ABOUT BLISSFUL BASIL
Blissful Basil is a blog dedicated to unearthing the happiest side of life through healthful, plant-based foods. I believe that when we consciously and thoughtfully enjoy a wide array of wholesome foods, we allow ourselves to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was raised to believe that food should be something that’s both enjoyable and nourishing, and I create recipes with this notion in mind. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, I hope you find Blissful Basil to be a welcoming and inspiring place. I strive to develop plant-based recipes that appeal to everyone, so you can count on a variety of flavors, textures, and colors in every dish.
HOW I #LIVEMYHEALTH
I wholeheartedly believe that living a healthy life means finding balance. Whether I’m literally finding my balance in a regular yoga practice or figuratively finding it in my everyday routine, I live my health by centering and re-centering on a daily basis. It isn’t about finding perfection or following precisely in someone else’s footsteps; it’s about finding what enhances your own, personal well-being and doing more of it. The three most profound and impactful changes I’ve made that have shaped my health in a positive way are:
- Adhering to a regular exercise regimen. After a long battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, I started exercising regularly at the age of 24 and found that it eliminated the feelings of anxiety and depression that I had once accepted as my winter-month reality. I also felt happier, more energized, and more focused. I now exercise 4-6 times a week, striving to incorporate yoga, interval training, and weight lifting into my weekly routine. Exercise not only enhances physical health, it’s also an incredibly powerful tool in promoting cognitive and emotional well-being.
- Living a plant-based lifestyle. I became vegetarian in August of 2010 after my love for animals caused too much cognitive dissonance to endure. I made the shift and never looked back; from that moment on, I felt at peace with my plate and my spirit was renewed. In March of 2014, I made the full shift to veganism after easing into the lifestyle for over six months. I now feel healthier, more energized, and even happier than I was prior to the shift. That being said, I’m a strong believer in listening to your body in an intuitive manner; vegan or not, if you’re doing what works best for you, both physically and emotionally, then that’s all that matters. (Fruitive’s own note: This is the definition of #LiveYourHealth! Live your own health people! Ashley’s in the loop!)
- Finding my peace in the present moment. I give myself 30 minutes a day to be present with my thoughts through meditation, yoga, or mindfulness techniques. With so many distractions in this increasingly-complicated world, it’s easy to misplace your goals, values, and ideals if you don’t check-in with you on a regular basis. I find that giving myself the permission to take that time allows me to find the balance that is so instrumental to experiencing contentment. (#LiveYourValues people!)
COLORFUL JICAMA NOODLE SALAD WITH CREAMY TAHINI-GINGER DRESSING
Serves 2 – 4
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2½ tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce*
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1½ tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- optional: ½ teaspoon minced fresh turmeric root
For the Salad
- 2 medium jicama roots, peeled and spiralized or julienned
- 1 orange pepper, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
- 1 bunch of scallions, trimmed and cut into matchsticks and sliced (white and light green parts)
- 1½ cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 2 cups thinly sliced dino or lacinto kale
- ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
- hemp seeds
To Make the Dressing
- Add the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, and turmeric to a medium bowl. Whisk together for 30-45 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To Assemble the Salad
- Add the spiralized jicama, orange pepper, red pepper, scallions, purple cabbage, kale, and cilantro to a large bowl. Toss to evenly distribute the vegetables.
- Divide the vegetables amongst 2-4 large bowls. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with a lime wedge and hemp seeds, if desired.
*For a gluten-free option, use Bragg’s Aminos or gluten-free soy sauce