Spinach and Gnocchi with White Beans from Power Plates + a Giveaway

Spinach and Gnocchi with White Beans from Power Plates + a Giveaway| theclevercarrot.com

I remember trekking down a muddy mountain with my cousin after a long summer hike.

We were starving, and naturally, we were chatting about where we should go for lunch after our descent. I mentioned a few local places (I totally wanted a beer and a burger with ALL the toppings), but quickly caught myself asking her: “Can you even eat anything at restaurants these days?”

My cousin is newly vegan. When eating at non-vegan restaurants, it’s been difficult for her to find something on the menu that’s not just a bunch of leaves and mealy tomatoes on a plate. To my question she replied: “There’s always French Fries.”

Of course! French Fries. Who doesn’t love thin, salty, crispy French Fries?

But seriously? For your main meal?

One of the greatest pleasures in life is enjoying a fabulous meal out, and to think that French Fries could be your only option is such a buzzkill. I’m not a vegan myself, but this conundrum got me thinking about the real issue at hand: is it that hard to offer something substantial (and creative!) for those looking to follow a plant-based lifestyle?

Of course it’s not; it’s all about awareness.

And that’s why I’m excited to share Gena’s new book with you today.

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6 am tomato sauce

6 AM Tomato Sauce| theclevercarrot.com

I’ve always been an early riser.

When the birds are up I’m up, and there’s nothing more satisfying than basking in a full 60 minutes to myself before the rest of the house rolls out of bed and asks me for breakfast… and socks.

Morning’s are when I get to create!

In fact, I learned something interesting about myself; if I don’t allow myself some ‘playtime’ in the morning regardless of how much work I have to do, or where I need to be, I’m totally cranky for the rest of the day until I get it out of my system. I’m like a pressure cooker.

It could be as simple as writing a few pages in my notebook (I do this every morning, religiously), making a batch of sourdough, or even lighting a darn candle while stirring my oatmeal.

It’s still dark at 6 AM, you know.

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the curious watermelon that grew

Homegrown Watermelon Salad with Tomatoes, Pickled Jalapenos + Feta | theclevercarrot.com

I don’t know much about gardening.

I like gardens. I like the idea of gardening. But it all seems so overwhelming I’d rather sign up for a CSA and call it a day. Or go to the farmers market on weekends. Or better yet, wait for my neighbor to drop off some of his never ending harvest on my doorstep (I repay him with sourdough).

But where’s the joy in that?

This summer, my husband gallantly spear headed our gardening adventures and it’s been fun documenting the process.

We bought all kinds of organic seeds to try, and lucky for us everything grew! We planted a variety of tomatoes including cherry tomatoes, yellow tear drops, sweet orange sun golds, summer squash (I broke down and bought a spiralizer), romaine lettuce, eggplant, figs and wait for it…

Watermelon.

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