Today is sunny and 70 here in Charlotte, NC! An absolute perfect day for a healthy and vibrant salad. For lunch I created this simple mixture of chickpeas, parsley, bell peppers, red onion, celery, lemon juice and spices and it came out so good. And it's great because you just toss everything into a bowl and stir until combined and it's ready in just a few minutes!

I packed it in a small container, along with a few strawberries, then my bulldog, Mr. Truck, and I headed to our favorite park for a picnic. I put down a beach towel and we sat and enjoyed nature. I saw a heron, a few mallard ducks, and an osprey. It was lovely!

Chickpea Salad with Bell Pepper, Celery, & Lemon

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 & 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs of celery)

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss until combined. Taste and add additional lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. This keeps well, chilled, for about 2-3 days.

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Over the past few months I have really been enjoying making my own homemade seasoning blends. It's another quick and fun recipe you can put together in under 10 minutes. These also make really cute birthday or Christmas gifts for anyone you know who enjoys cooking!

This Italian seasoning blend has been such a tasty addition to my homemade fries, winter soups, and pasta sauces. I love opening up my spice cabinet and seeing my own creations. It smells so good too!

You may be wondering what is even in Italian seasoning? It contains all the classic herbs and spices like basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and garlic powder. If you do a lot of cooking at home, you probably have all of these dried ingredients on hand except for marjoram - that's the only one I had to get to put this recipe together as I don't often use it in many of my recipes.

To store it, you can use any small glass mason jar you have. I personally love these adorable tulip jars by WECK. I like to store my sauces in it and use them as chia pudding containers. They are super cute and look great just sitting on your counter top too.

Homemade Italian Herb Seasoning Blend

(makes 1 cup)

1/4 cup dried basil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried marjoram

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon garlic powder

In an 8 oz. mason jar with lid or small WECK Tulip Jar (pictured) combine the basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and garlic powder. Attach the lid and shake well. Store in a cool dry place.

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Happy New Year!

I spent the first day of 2021 in my pj's, making collards, black-eyed peas, and this delicious sweet and buttery vegan cornbread. It's a popular tradition to eat these foods on the first day of the new year as it's supposed to bring you good luck and prosperity throughout the year.

Later in the day Matt and I watched Lord of the Rings, played board games, worked on our New Years goals, and took all of our Christmas decorations down. It was a peaceful and relaxing day full of joy and delicious homemade comfort food.

This cornbread recipe is so easy and comes out perfect - buttery, moist, sweet, and lightly crispy on top and really reminds me of the homemade cornbread I always ate as a kid.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021!

Easy Sweet & Buttery Cornbread - Vegan

1 & 1/4 cup cornmeal (finely ground)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

5 Tbsp vegan butter, melted (I like Earth Balance)

3/4 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and lightly grease an 8x8 inch square baking dish. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except the corn kernels. Stir the batter a few times, then add in the kernels (if using), and stir only a few more times until just combined. Don't over mix!

3. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out evenly using a spatula.

4. Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.

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Hi. I'm Ginny!

I'm a published photographer and blogger from Charlotte, North Carolina.  I share healthy & nutritious vegan recipes, lifestyle inspiration, & beautiful nature and travel photography!


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Ginny Williams

est. 2017