Homemade Prickly Pear Soda Recipe

Do you ever have a hard time getting started on a long project?  Whenever I have a project that's going to take a couple hours of concentration, or involves a big setup like a photo shoot, I like to motivate myself with a tasty beverage.  Usually that's coffee, but lately when it's after 2pm I've been making myself a prickly pear soda.  To me, it tastes a little like hippie Sunkist.  


  • 2-3 T prickly pear syrup - My neighbors have a giant cactus that supplies plenty of prickly pears, so I usually have some prickly pear syrup in my fridge.  
  • 1t - 1T apple cider vinegar (it's good for you & adds tartness)
  • 3-4 squeezes of lime, up to half a lime depending on your taste buds
  • optional glug of maple syrup to sweeten
  • sparkling water to fill the rest of your glass
  • tiny ice cubes

Serve yourself, and get back to work.

My Current Breakfast Obsession

I'm not an aspiring chef, and I'm not certainly not a foodie because there are a lot of foods I'm unwilling to try.  I'm a vegetarian so that rules out a lot of things.  

But I love food and I think a lot about it and I've read a lot about it. I really like eating seasonally from the farmers market and growing food when I can. 

I also kind of hate the thought that I have to make food for myself three times a day.

So when I find a delicious meal that is easy to make, tasty enough that I want to eat it every day for awhile, and pretty healthy - well that's just about the best thing ever.

I've found an amazingly simple, tasty and healthy breakfast, but it actually requires some advanced preparation.  But it's simple!  Here's how you do it:


Don't be fooled by its name, buckwheat is a seed and is gluten-free.

  • Buy buckwheat from the bulk aisle of your hippie natural foods store.  Don't get roasted or toasted buckwheat, raw is what you want.
  • Put about a cup of buckwheat in a bowl and cover it with plenty of water, because the buckwheat groats will expand as they soak.  Let it soak for at least 30 minutes but not more than a day.  I leave it overnight.
  • Now you rinse. Get a sieve and rinse off your buckwheat, rinse a few times.  You'll get a lot of starchy, viscous stuff during initial rinses, but when the water's looking clear, they're ready.
  • You can store your soaked buckwheat for several days in the fridge.
Coconut yogurt, chia seeds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, soaked buckwheat, cacao nibs, hemp seeds

Coconut yogurt, chia seeds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, soaked buckwheat, cacao nibs, hemp seeds


  • Take out a medium sized bowl.
  • Spoon in some yogurt.  I like plain coconut yogurt.
  • Add a few spoonfuls of soaked buckwheat.
  • Dice up a half or a whole fruit.  Banana, pear, apple or mango work well.  If fruit isn't in season, then sprinkle in some goji berries, raisins or frozen berries.
  • The rest of these are optional, but I like to throw in a bunch of them:
    • Hemp seeds
    • Cacao nibs
    • Chia seeds
    • Nuts or seeds - I like walnuts or pumpkin seeds
    • You can also drizzle on secret potions, powders or oils.  Or maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth.
  • Mix it all up and breakfast is served.


My Favorite Quick Lunch When I'm Working

I love food.  I eat really slowly, comically slowly.  Even when I think I'm wolfing something down, I'm still always the last one to finish.  

I work for myself, and when I'm in the middle of a workday I want to throw together lunch very quickly. Fast usually means pre-packaged and bad for you, which I'm not inherently opposed to.  But I don't want to eat something that's going to leave me feeling hungry, or, worse, make me crash an hour or two later.

Here's my favorite fast lunch for when I'm working.  It's quick and easy to make, really flavorful, and it satisfies me until dinner.  Bonus points for it being vegan and healthy!


Makes one big salad you can eat while you're working on building your empire.

  • Tear up a bunch of arugula leaves into a big bowl. Like two big handfuls.  I love arugula.  You can substitute any hearty leaf, just skip iceberg or kale.

  • Dice up a small avocado.  I'm not afraid to eat an entire avocado. You can do half if you want.
  • Mix up the dressing:
    • Take out a small bowl and pour in a tablespoon or two of olive oil or grapeseed oil.
    • Pour in about an equal amount of balsamic vinegar.
    • Add about a spoonful of stoneground mustard.  It needs to be fancy mustard, not the yellow hot dog mustard.  
    • Stir up the dressing.  Stir it pretty fast.  The tartness of the mustard offsets the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and binds it with the oil.
  • Pour the dressing over the arugula and avocado.  Yum.
  • Optional, but recommended:
    • Sprinkle a handful of walnuts into the salad. I just bust them up into smaller pieces with my fingers.
    • Shake some dulse flakes in.  Dulse is a sea vegetable, and the flakes give a slightly salty and tangy taste though it's not very strong. It's rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements and iodine, which all sound like things I don't eat often enough.  Shake a whole bunch on there.
    • Add a bunch of nutritional yeast. The yellow flakes are popular with vegans because they taste slightly like cheese or nuts, but not really because they're flakes.  I personally really like the way nutritional yeast tastes.  It's full of B-complex vitamins and all 18 amino acids, which sound like things I don't eat often enough.
    • You can grind some fresh black pepper over the top.
    • Today I added in some chopped up chives from my garden.
    • If your taste buds are super fancy, drip a few drops of truffle oil over the top.
  • Mix it up and eat it while writing a blog post about your lunch.  Hopefully it will drive traffic to your website.  The blog post, not the salad.

I'm growing arugula in my garden so I was able to pick all the fresh arugula I needed for my salad today.  I'm feeling very smug about this.

Does this salad sound good to you?  If you try making this salad, let me know!