OMG! I just made the most amazing plant-based 'cheesy’ sauce this past weekend, and I am in heaven!! And I owe this enlightening experience to none other than Molly Patrick of Clean Food, Dirty Girl - you can find the recipe here** along with a full mac 'n cheese experience.
Not only is this vegan cheesy sauce so tasty, but its beautiful golden yellow brought on some painting inspiration, as I was busy stuffing myself ;-)
So I serve you (on a platter, duh!) an entirely whole-foods, plant-based portrait of Molly, the creator of the most amazing cheesy sauce! Ta-dah!!
Molly's hair is made out of the golden cheesy sauce, of course, ha! And you'll be happy to know that no blueberries, strawberries or cranberries were harmed in the creation of this portrait: all leftovers made it into my morning smoothie today!
Here's my blank 'canvas' and color palette of gold yellow cheesy sauce and blends of blueberries, strawberries and cranberries. Oh, yeah, and my 'paintbrush' :-)
If you haven’t come across Molly Patrick before, she is an extremely funny and engaging person who is passionate about making whole-foods plant-based recipes as tasty as they can get and equally passionate about delivering them to those interested in the least boring way. And, let me tell you, she's wildly succeeding at both!
As is the case with this awesome cheesy sauce, recipe here. I finished making it and dug right in with some Ezekiel toast and had to pry myself from the bowl of golden yumminess before I ended up putting it all away! Later in the day, I even added it to something healthy, steamed broccoli, instead of just chowing it down by itself! So proud of my self-restraint!
I've been following Molly for over a year now, and I am one of the lucky peeps who get her Saturday emails: I look forward to each email as it is delivered to my in-box with a freshly created yummy recipe of the week and a focal point of conversation. Recipes go from the best plant-based mac 'n cheese using this cheesy sauce, to meat lovers-approved plant-based meatballs, to a dee-lish turmeric vanilla latte. And each recipe comes with a great story that I can always relate to on a deeper level than meets the eye.
Molly is nothing if not honest and a straight shooter. She is courageous in sharing her stories in a way that allows her to become open to all of us, to reach out and connect with a vulnerability that I find very inspiring. Her empathy and compassion ooze from every single story and always somehow connect back to food and to how what we eat affects how our minds and bodies feel.
You might think, how are these things connected? The best way to find that out is to subscribe to her free newsletter here and find out over the course of the following weeks. And you also get a free recipe book when you sign up! Yum!
You can also find Molly and her cooking adventures on Facebook at Clean Food Dirty Girl and on Instagram @cleanfooddirtygirl
Most of all, check out Molly's website, which has TONS of free recipes, and lots of advice on how to be gentle with yourself on this journey of eating foods that give you energy, make you happy and keep you healthy, no matter if you are also eating meat or not. You will find something yummy (and entertaining) if you want to throw some healthy meals into the mix regardless of where you are on your personal journey towards a healthier you.
Thank for all the great recipes, Molly! Looking forward to the next one!
**Spoiler alert: if you have a sensitivity to colorful language, please tread lightly.
I find Molly to be very down-to-earth, funny and engaging, and her passion for health, plant-based eating and self-discovery are qualities I deeply admire.
That passion comes in all forms, like great tasting healthy recipes, enriching stories and also very *specific* language at times ;-) While I appreciate her humor, and I hope you will have the same reaction I do to her inspiring stories and to her direct style of communication, I realize this may not work for everyone, so please keep that in mind as you visit her site.
I would like to dedicate this painting to my mom's friend and mine, Nesty, who sadly passed away on Monday in the most unexpected way.
Nesty is one of those old friends who go way back for me and my mom, one of those people who knew me 'way back when'. I refuse to say 'was' simply because I feel like she still 'is'. She is and always will be part of our memories, our shared lives and our hearts. She doesn't disappear just because she is no longer physically here with us. She just is. The way my grandma still is with us, and my two kitties, and many other loved ones we've lost along the way, yet they are still with us, every day.
I would have liked to have painted flowers in her memory: she loves flowers! But I am inept at painting flowers, I'm afraid, and I would not have done them justice. Most definitely not in the way her paintings do. So instead, I simply want to dedicate my latest painting to her as the smallest gesture: where I was at this point in time when this sad, shocking and most unexpected news came our way.
This painting happens to be of pink macarons, happy macarons, that for some odd and inexplicable reason feel right to me, like a pink celebration of her life. I think she would like them, the way she always likes my paintings, with kindness and support. She has always been encouraging of my painting, and I always appreciate her comments and interest, especially coming from a fellow artist.
This is one of Nesty's many beautiful flower paintings, such a talent and inspiration:
I grew up with Nesty, her husband Mihai and their beautiful daughter Dana, and they were part of my childhood landscape in Romania and of so many memories. Fun childhood memories of me and Dana sharing mushroom filled tiny bread baguettes called 'cornulete cu ciuperci' that my mom made total spur of the moment at my birthday party :-) And so many other memories of a time and a place that feels so long ago, and yet in many ways like only yesterday!
We shared a life in a hard place, a communist country, in a past where we found beauty and joy in the most creative ways. Beauty like her amazing paintings, greeting cards she created, 'Martisor' she made for every March 1st to celebrate an age-old Romanian custom, her artistic and creative jewelry, and her love for all white furniture. The last of which I have figured out only more recently is something that brushed off on me big time, without even my realizing for a long time that it made such a strong impression on me as a child - so thank you, dear Nesty, for this gift I will continue to carry on.
Sharing the unique experience of growing up in such a tough place bonds people for life! It certainly did so for us, and Nesty, Dana and Mihai still feel like extended family to me and my mom, even after so many years apart. And to this day our conversations feel like not a day has gone by, like we will always belong to and share a certain world no matter where our paths take us in life, and like we're just picking up where we left off every time we talk.
Nesty is such a kind soul and a creative artist with an eye for beauty, and as someone just said, she's now going to paint Heaven!
Rest in peace, Nesty! We will carry you and your beautiful soul in our hearts!
So I've been playing with my food lately ... oops! Isn't that what parents tell their kids, don't play with your food? ;-) Well, that's the beauty of being an adult: I can play with my food all I want, haha!
I was craving a fruit bowl for breakfast, you know, one of those pitaya (Dragonfruit) or Acai bowls, so I set out to make one. First, I blended some blueberries ...
Next, I blended some spinach and kale together, and a little banana smoothie ...
And last but not least, I blended some Dragonfruit, which not only tastes delish, but look amazing!! It has this out-of-this-world bright fuchsia pink color that is a lot more of a feast for the eyes for me than it could ever be for my taste buds!
Needless to say, this breakfast was a lot more fun than usual!
This is my food watercolor studio, complete with an inspiration photo and 'paint' ...
First I played with my food, but then I ate it all! I hope you're proud I finished all my breakfast, mom! :-)
I'm Cristina Tudor, a Beverly Hills fashion illustrator. I paint live illustrations at fashion, retail, entertainment, bridal and lifestyle events for clients such as Chanel, Ferragamo, David Yurman x Galia Lahav, Badgley Mischka, Bloomingdale's, Warner Bros. Studios, Diptyque Paris, Ted Baker London, Eric Buterbaugh x Beverly Hills EB Florals, and Survey Monkey, among others.
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