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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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Grilling season is definitely here and with 4th of July only a week away I wanted to give you the perfect accompaniment for your backyard (or wherever you may be) get together!

My Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Sriracha Hummus are the perfect addition to almost any grill feast and it is super simple at that.  Plus, you can use my Go-To Hummus recipe as the base to make it extra delicious.  It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

Try switching up your grilling routine with this healthy and delicious recipe.  You'll be happy you did! 

Love and Fireworks,


Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Srirach Hummus
Serves 2*


1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp avocado oil, or oil of choice**
1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup of hummus, regular or original flavor
1-2 tbsp sriracha


1. Preheat the grill to 400ºF.

2. Cut sweet potatoes in half crossways (not lengthwise) and then cut each half into wedges, roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes with oil and spices.  Prepare a grill basket with foil*** and spread the wedges out in one even layer. 

4. Place on the grill and cook for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway through and removing once browned and easily pierced with a fork. 

5. While the sweet potatoes cook mix the hummus**** and sriracha in a small bowl.  You can start with 1 tbsp and taste.  Add more if you like more heat.

Notes: *You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd by using more sweet potatoes.  **I like to use avocado oil when I grill because it is great for high heat, if you do not have this on hand use whatever healthy high heat oil you have.  ***You can also place foil directly on grill or place wedges directly on grill if you would rather just be careful when flipping and removing.****Use my Go-To Hummus recipe for great results!

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I've learned part of the reason I travel is to know myself.  Who am I in different scenarios?  If I live a life that is spent consistently in one place, doing one thing, how can I really get to know myself?  How do I watch myself grow?  Maybe this is why I am always drawn to hit the road or jump on that flight.  I get to know other people, places and cultures but I also get to know myself in a new light.  To watch myself explore and work through things that are absent in daily home life.


One exciting part of our journey last year was also getting to know my husband in a similar manner.  We have traveled together before.  Pretty much right from the start.  When we began dating I had a three month trip planned to the south of France and he came to visit for almost three weeks.  Talk about getting to know someone well and fast.  We went from secretly dating to not seeing each other for a couple months to spending every moment with each other.


It is interesting to look at our relationship growth through the window of travel.  After spending 6 months together pretty much non-stop I can see how it has changed and blossomed into this amazing partnership.  Don't get me wrong, we definitely have our moments and don't always agree on how things are supposed to get done but for the most part it's pretty amazing.


Maybe this is a good test for every marriage to go through.  We learned a lot about conflict resolution, a lot about each other's strengths, also some weaknesses and how to just be together.


Now, onto this beautiful location...


It's been a beautiful journey and here is one small stop on that train: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.


Cape Breton wasn't originally on our itinerary but after some recommendations we decided we must go.  It was just the two of us again.  We had dropped Walker off in Halifax and driven back northeast.  The only thing I would change is the scheduling.  I definitely think Cape Breton should have been done before Newfoundland. 


It was wonderful following the Cabot Trail and it was beautiful but after Newfoundland it did seem to lack a certain epicness.  If you are planning a trip to this area I would recommend doing the Cabot Trail before you board the ferry to Newfoundland.  It will be the perfect build up!


Thanks for following the journey,


















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Jun 01, 2017


I love hummus.  I remember when it was first starting to gain popularity and wasn't just seen as a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food staple.  I would try every brand to find my favorite, which changed over time as I was exposed to new brands.  I even tried making it a few times but I could never get the texture and consistency just right.  I had lots of good versions at restaurants and mine just never lived up to it.  All of the research I did said I needed to add tons of oil and I just couldn't get myself to pour in half a bottle of olive oil when I was making it at home.  First, because it was expensive and second, I could see no reason to add all of that fat (not that I'm opposed to healthy fats).  So mine always turned out too dry and not that rich creamy texture you think of with good hummus.  For the time being, I gave up making it and resorted to only eating it at restaurants or the store bought varieties.  After a while, I got frustrated with all the packaged varieties and their ingredients.  I didn't want it with canola oil and preservatives but it was hard to find so back into the kitchen I went. 

This time I decided I would try adding a mixture of oil, tahini and water to see if I could still get the rich mouth feel that the oil and tahini gives it but come to a creamy consistency with the added water and not spend my whole paycheck on olive oil.  After a few tries, I had a great recipe (in my so humble opinion) that I could actually be proud of.  I've been using this recipe for a couple years now and it is a fantastic template for any other other hummus your heart desires.  I have used this base recipe with caramelized onions and balsamic, cilantro and jalapeño and I've even switched out the chickpeas for white beans to make a delicious white bean hummus.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  I hope you will give it a try and please let me know in the comments below if you would like me to share my other hummus recipes with you!

Love and hummus for all,




2 cups of chickpeas, cooked and drained*
1/3 cup tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


1. Put all of the ingredients (except the water) in a food processor.  Pulse until starting to combine.  Scrape down the sides.

2. Turn the food processor to on and start to drizzle in the water.  Scraping the sides occasionally.  Add until a nice creamy consistency is made.  It usually takes about 1/4 to 1/3 cups water. 

Notes: *To get the creamiest hummus I've been told you need to peel the chickpeas.  I'm sure it probably works but I can't get myself to take this step.  It's up to you if want to spend your day peeling beans but I think it is still good and creamy without this step!

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