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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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After three weeks on the road we made our way to Portland, Maine.  We decided to treat ourselves and rent an apartment for five nights.  

 

We spent time exploring the city, eating delicious food, checking out some local breweries, taking Hudson to the dog park and playing on dog friendly beaches. 

  

It was a nice little break from camp life but to be honest, by the end, I was ready to be back in our traveling home.  I guess our camper and rooftop tent are starting to really feel like home even if the ground beneath it is ever changing. 

 

It always surprises me how quickly I adapt to the life of a “gypsy” traveler.  More quickly than I adapt to being home after my travels (reintegration is so much harder). 

 

This is the first trip I have taken of its kind but definitely not the first time I’ve spent consecutive months traveling.  It is these times when my soul seems to soar.  I feel more like myself in my own body and I am just living. 

 

I know it isn’t easy to give up on the modern conveniences we are used to but there is something freeing about having everything you need (for a little while) traveling on your back or in your car. 

This wonderful world is at your fingertips.  It is there for you to explore.  I believe our time on this planet is a gift and I want to see as much of it as possible. 

This trip is exciting because I am exploring my own backyard… the USA and Canada; as opposed to hopping on a plane to see other countries and cultures. 

I am learning to appreciate the subtle differences in cultures and cuisines through the regions on the continent I grew up on. 

One thing I really missed while we were in Portland was feeling the rhythm of the day.  After only a couple days living inside I was starting to feel out of sync.

 

Now, lets talk a little about food….

 

If you don’t already know this, I love shopping at farmers markets!

It is a great way to eat seasonally and but the freshest produce possible. 

I get a lot of my recipe inspiration from what I find at farmers markets and sometimes it isn’t even the produce...

This particular trip I found some chaga sourdough bread I was super excited to try! (Chaga is mushroom renowned for it’s medicinal properties)

It was delicious!  I made my favorite version of toast with it and was sad I didn’t buy more!

For the toast; it’s just a smear of tahini and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.  It doesn’t sound like much but man, it is delicious!!  Hopefully, you liked this easy recipe and a glimpse of our super cute airbnb!

Love and light,

Crystal

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Jun 28, 2016

 

One of the luxuries of they type of trip we are on is leaving space to be spontaneous. 

We do schedule part of our journey but part we have left open.  We took full advantage of this when we were in New Hampshire and decided we had enough time to take a quick detour and visit Massachusetts. 

 

It wasn’t originally in our plans but neither Dallas nor I had ever been, so we found a campground at Salisbury Beach State Park and were on our way. 

 

Hudson wasn’t allowed on the beach but we were able to explore the riverside.

 

The winds had picked up and so we decided to explore some of the nearby cities.  We went through Cambridge, drove through Boston and spent a little time in Salem to see where the witch trials once were. 

 

Newburyport was only minutes away from our camp and had some of the cutest little New England streets I’ve seen.  They also had fun shops, good restaurants, friendly people and a great farmers market!

 

One morning, the wind had settle down for a couple hours so we decided to make brunch out of our farmers market finds. 

 

It was a special treat because Dallas planned and cooked a lot of it. 

 

I wish I had a recipe to share (as it was delicious) but we had a few tricky outdoor elements that just didn’t line up. 


 

We made a Mexican inspired potato hash with spring onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lots of spices.  To really make it feel like brunch we decided to pop a little bubbly!

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Crystal

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The next stop on our journey was New Hampshire!  When we first arrived the weather had turned cold and rainy. Luckily, the sun returned on our last day and we got to explore the White Mountains.  My favorite hike was Hedgehog Mountain, where most of these photos we taken.

I am excited to share a new recipe with you from this part of our journey.  When we were in Burlington, Dallas had a creamy asparagus soup he couldn't stop talking about so I decided to create my own with a few healthy swaps.  Plus, fresh local asparagus was everywhere we turned!

We were lucky enough to come across some fiddlehead ferns and I decided they would make a great addition!  These delicious foraged vegetables have a very quick season so this soup can also be made without them by adding more asparagus.

 

Adapting to outdoor cooking has taken me a little longer than I thought it would.  There are new challenges when you are dealing with the outside elements, only a two cook top stove and fewer utensils but I'm learning to make it work.

 

The biggest issue so far is the weather.  Whether it is wind or rain, it makes it very challenging to fire up our little camp stove.  Not to mention, who wants to cook while cold and wet?

 

Luckily, we have found some good restaurants along the way to fill in the gaps when cooking isn't ideal.

 

My favorite part of cooking on the road is finding all the fun markets and farmers markets along the way.

 

All the produce just tastes better (and lasts longer) when you are buying it so fresh and it didn't have to travel thousands of miles to make it to your plate. 

 

Grocery store asparagus just doesn't compare to the stuff you buy at the farmers market!

 

I really encourage you to get out to your local markets, meet the people who are growing your food.  It helps us connect back with nature and gives us a new appreciation for it.  And your taste buds will thank you!

 

 

 


 

   

 

 

 

 Love and fiddleheads,

Crystal

 

Creamy Asparagus and Fiddlehead Fern Soup
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup cashews, soaked*
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fiddlehead ferns, cleaned well**
2 1/2 cups asparagus, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
3 cups vegetable broth***
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 large lemon, juiced (about 3 tbsp)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Soak cashews overnight or at least 4 to 6 hours.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until aromatic and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. 

3.  Stir in garlic, fiddle head ferns and asparagus and cook until bright green.  Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. (If you would like to reserve a couple fiddle heads or asparagus for garnish, set aside a couple now)

4. Pour in 1/2 cup water to deglaze the pan.  Stir and cook for anther two minutes.

5. In a blender add the asparagus mixture from the pan, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Check the consistency;  if it is too thick you can add water or stock 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency. 

6.  Garnish with reserved fiddleheads or asparagus. 

Notes: *You can use either raw or roasted for this recipe.  The flavor will change slightly if you use the roasted but in a good way! **This soup can be made without fiddlehead ferns, just replace them with 1 1/2 cups asparagus. ***While I am traveling I use bouillon cubes dissolved into water instead of homemade or store bought broth.   

  

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.