High-res version

At the beginning of December, I was ending each night with the bright light of my iPhone reading my newsfeed, which included some uplifting stories, but mostly included shared articles about how the world was ending, everyone’s opinion about EVERYTHING, and a great deal of sarcasm/defeat/anger/uncertainty. I decided to leave Facebook for a minute and headed over to YouTube (I know, I know…baby steps, y’all).

On YouTube, I discovered a treasure trove of videos about essential oils, DIY whipped body butters, and vegan chefs whipping up fake eggs and flaxseed gel. It was a land I’d never discovered and I continue to find it fascinating and soothing. Next thing you know, I’m buying beeswax, shea butter, and diffusing lavender and frankincense like nobody’s business.

But because this is a food blog, I’ll focus on food for a second. For my loyal Food Revival readers, perhaps you remember why/when I started this whole thing. I think it was in 2009? I was just laid off from my job at Southern Progress/Time Inc (RIP).

***Delayed pause to give respect and a moment of silence for the passing of SPC/Time Inc***

During this time, I was volunteering for Jones Valley Teaching Farm and in exchange for my work, I received a box of veggies each week. I called each post my “CSA Challenge.” This is when my Birmingham freelance/nonprofit/food/volunteer journey began. Most nights were spent researching new recipes while my husband took photos of each dish for this blog. Let’s be honest, we were also doing a lot of googling (e.g. “what is kohlrabi?” “how do you cook a rutabaga?” “why do beets taste like dirt?”).

Here we are nine years later and you will find me (on most nights) picking up the 2-year-old from day care, inching and navigating our way down Highway 65, calling my husband to ask him to throw a Homerun Pizza in the toaster oven, and moving through the bath time/bedtime groundhog day activities. So now that I work for Jones Valley Teaching Farm, you’d imagine I would have conquered the kohlrabi, rutabagas, and beets. Nope. My 2017 food accomplishments revolve around Homerun Pizzas, Queso, and Banana Sandwiches (don’t ask).

HOWEVER, my new-found fascination with vegan YouTubers and the lingering effects of too much lavender and frankincense has inspired me to change this in 2018.

(I realize you are worried at this point. It’s okay. So is my husband.)

The truth is I still love to blog and cook. I (obviously) still love Jones Valley Teaching Farm. I’m not saying I’m going straight up vegan. But I would like to focus on a more plant-based diet in 2018. I’m also going to focus on getting my kids to eat more plant-based recipes. I tried last night. I made this amazing soup featuring broccolini (and its leaves) from Jones Valley Teaching Farm.  But then I spent way too much time defending my rights to make soup for dinner with my 6-year-old. I mean, the AUDACITY to incorporate COOKED CARROTS in a SOUP and THAT’S FOR DINNER? Needless to say, I found myself pretending to “look for something downstairs” when really all I did was zip myself up in my kid’s tent in the basement and took this photo:




Don’t worry. I made sure everyone knew I was okay after I heard my name called the FIFTH time. I will not let this setback take me down.  I mean, LOOK at this delicious soup:




I also adapted THIS Chickpea Salad. I used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. I also used the hummus garlic sauce instead of mayo/mustard. I’m really happy with how it turned out and will be spreading this on my sprouted bread a little later today.




So, here are my resolutions:

Eat more veggies from the Farm. It’s a job perk. The veggies are amazing. TAKE THE JOB PERK, AMANDA.

Then document the recipes and experiences on Food Revival. You love doing this. DO WHAT YOU LOVE, AMANDA.

Perhaps this blog post inspired you to do the same? Well, I mean the eating more veggies part. I don’t want you hacking my blog.  If so, then let that inspiration SHINE! On this last day of 2017 (which also happens to be the very last day YOU can give donations to your favorite non-profits for the year), you can give to Jones Valley Teaching Farm! What can I say? It’s kind of my job to beg you for donations and I’m even providing the link right here: https://jvtf.org/donate/

P.S. Just wait until I post about my DIY whipped body butter.

Wishing all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR filled with frankincense, rutabagas, and a tent to hide in.