Object of Affection: Julia Child on her 100th Birthday

She was magnificent. She was born 100 years ago today in Pasadena, California. Growing up, she was wild, funny and athletic. She was 6’2” before she graduated from high school. She went East to Smith College in 1930 and wanted to be a writer. In 1941, on the brink of World War II, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for the Office of Strategic Services, a new government intelligence agency. She traveled, and while in Sri Lanka in 1945, she met her future husband. In 1945, she married.

And in 1948, Julia Child moved to Paris and learned to cook. Good news for the rest of us. She was wise, that Julia. About food and about life. To whit…

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.”

“I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than three bowls of Jell-O.”

“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?”

“Everything in moderation...including moderation.”

“You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.”

“...small helpings, no seconds, no snacking, and a little bit of everything.”

“I would far prefer to have things happen as they naturally do, such as the mousse refusing to leave the mold, the potatoes sticking to the skillet, the apple charlotte slowly collapsing. One of the secrets of cooking is to learn to correct something if you can, and bear with it if you cannot.”

"Cooking is one failure after another, and that's how you finally learn."

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘What the hell?’ attitude.”

"The pleasures of the table—that lovely old-fashioned phrase—depict food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life. In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

"Train yourself to use your hands and fingers; they are wonderful instruments. Train yourself also to handle hot foods; this will save time. Keep your knives sharp...Above all, have a good time."

Thank goodness Julia did all the above.

I love this woman and all she stands for. I loved her before I’d ever traveled to Paris and before I could roast a chicken. I loved her before Julie and Julia, the movie, and followed the original Julie and Julia Project blog on Salon.com. I love how hard and long she worked at Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and how she innately understood the power of television to bring the book’s lessons into American kitchens. I love her humor and stubbornness and grace—and the fact that she never whined.

And I love that she loved to eat. I’m going to honor her memory with a good meal. Maybe a roast chicken.


About Cindy Wall

Cindy’s a communications and marketing pro, a writer, a grammar snob, and a rapacious reader. In her own words, she knows “a little about a lot”—i.e., 19th century literature, Karl Lagerfeld’s latest adventures, professional bike racing, and when to use the Oxford comma. She’s a fan of indie film and music, and bullish on local eating and shopping. And she’s recently re-reved her blog, Paris State of Mind, where she writes about all things French.

Shop Like You Give a Damn: Kale - The Green to Beat

This ain’t your mama’s cabbage.

Just in case you missed the memo, kale is The “It” Veg and for good reason too. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and is reasonably rich in calcium.

Look, I’m no chef and can barely make my way around the kitchen but here are two quick and simple recipes that will get your body revved up to tackle the sizzling days ahead.

Coconut Kale Smoothie

Combine one large frozen banana, two to three kale leaves (stalks and all), a cup of coconut water or coconut milk (water if you’re calorie sensitive), six cubes of ice, and two pinches of cinnamon in a blender.

Blend for 40 seconds. Sweeten with a drop of agave, if needed.

This green glass of goodness is the perfect way to start your morning, infuse some fun at lunch, or makes a refreshing post-workout treat!

I dig HarvestBay Coconut Water so much that I always pick up a case (12) at The Turnip Truck on each visit. Harvest Bay is 100% not from concentrate, all-natural coconut water from young green coconuts. That's it. Nothing extra, like added sugar or fat. This refreshing bevy only has 35 calories per serving too.

Kale Chips

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. De-stem, wash, and dry one bunch of kale.

Tear into small pieces and toss thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Salt and pepper (or use cayenne pepper for a kick) to taste.

Spread in one layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes or until crispy.

This recipe serves two, but sometimes I just throw portion control out the window especially when kale tastes this good!

Comment below if you devoured these recipes or if you have a kale infused recipe that you can share too. Remember to keep it simple!

See you next Sustainable Sunday!










Photo credit: J Bryan Dill

Shop Like You Give a Damn - The Betty Crocker Project....Tater Style

I was lucky enough to actually meet the forces behind the astonishingly adorable and informational Meet the Shannons website when I was a campaigner at PETA a couple of years ago. This websites boasts a tasty vegan spin on classic Betty Crocker recipes. Brilliant, I say!

Although I take pride in fueling my body with healthy foods, anyone who knows me is quite aware I have a profound love for the tiny but mighty TATER TOT. This little wonder of food has even surpassed pizza as my go-to comfort food. No kiddin’. Here is the Shannon’s scrumptious Texas Tater Tot Casserole recipe that resembles more of a hearty Shepherd’s Pie filled with spicy beans, vegetables, Daiya Pepperjack Cheese and crispy tots!

For you Nashvillians, you may pick up Daiya brand vegan cheese and Cascadian Farm’s organic version of tater tots called Spud Puppies at Turnip Truck or Kroger.

Texas Tater Tot Casserole 

1 Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

1 Can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)

2 14oz Cans Diced Tomatoes (Mexican Style)

3/4 Cup Frozen Corn

1-2 Fresh Jalapenos (sliced - how much you add depends on how hot you want it to be)

1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)

1/2 Orange Bell Pepper (diced)

1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro (diced)

1/2 Red Onion (diced)

2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

1 1/2 teaspoon Braggs

2 teaspoons Cumin

1 teaspoon Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce (you can add more if you want more heat)

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

2 Pinches of Paprika

1 1/2 Cups Daiya Vegan Pepperjack Cheese (shredded)

2 Cups Frozen Tater Tots

Heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except Daiya and Tater Tots. Put the Chili mix into a casserole dish. Then sprinkle an even layer of Daiya over that and then an even layer of Tater Tots over that.

Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until your Tater Tots are a sweet golden brown.

For more recipes from The Betty Crocker Project or to Meet The Shannons, head here.

Comment below and let me know how your recipe turned out and if you can send me leftovers too. Cool?

See you next Sustainable Sunday.












Photo credit: J Bryan Dill

Shop Like You Give a Damn - Healthy Meal Planning on a Budget


Sure, that word is certainly not a part of my every day life, as I seem to have the same kitchen sensibilities as a frat boy…well at least a vegan one. However, I felt compelled to write this post, because some of the reasons I get from others on why they won’t entertain a vegetarian or vegan diet are because:

“It’s too complicated and I don’t have the time to dedicate to that…”


“Eating healthy is too costly.”

I’m here to debunk that myth by sharing one of my favorite healthy recipes and also provide information on an upcoming workshop that will demystify Healthy Meal Planning On A Budget!

Lemon Couscous with Chickpeas, Cilantro, Raisins and Almonds (from Shape magazine)

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes


1 1⁄2   cups water
1   tablespoon olive oil
1   teaspoon salt
1⁄2   teaspoon cumin
1⁄4   teaspoon turmeric
1⁄4   teaspoon cayenne
10   ounces whole-wheat couscous
1⁄4   cup golden raisins
1   cup slivered almonds
2   cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 oz tablespoons shallots, minced
1⁄4 oz cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄2 oz cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 oz lemon, zested and juice



In a small pot or Dutch oven, combine the water, olive oil, salt, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil, stir in the couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff up the grains with a fork. Cover and let stand for another few minutes while you prepare the mix-ins.

In the meantime place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes so the raisins get re-hydrated and plump.

In a small frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn—this will only take about 3 minutes.

In a medium salad bowl, toss the couscous with the remaining ingredients. Drain the raisins and add them to the bowl, along with the toasted nuts. Taste for seasoning and serve.

As you can see from below, this dish won’t blow your caloric intake budget either!

Nutrition Score per serving

(2.5 oz. couscous

1/4 cup chickpeas) 395 calories

88 g fat

1 g saturated fat

70 g carbs

6 g fiber

12.6 g protein

1.8 mg iron

50 mg calcium

200 mg sodium


Whether your motives are to look smashing in a string bikini this summer, feed your family with thoughtful healthy options, or flirt with a veg lifestye, I have a fun and informational upcoming event that will lead you in the right direction. My friends at The Turnip Truck Urban Fare and I are hosting a FREE Healthy Meal Planning On A Budget workshop that will guide us through the store with ease as we plan and budget for meals that will not only fulfill our tastebuds but also leave our wallets with a higher self-esteem too! All attendees will receive 10% off of their groceries that evening and also enjoy a $5 gift card too. Spaces are limited so RSVP now.


Besides, isn’t it more enjoyable to shop for a dazzling sustainable wardrobe when your body feels strong, healthy, and confidant?

Share some of your favorite healthy, vegan or vegetarian recipes in the comments section! My tastebuds need you.











Photo courtesy of Ashley Hylbert Photography.