The First Mess Cookbook + A Review

The First Mess cookbook is a plant-based symposium by Laura Wright. For the past few years she’s created a repertoire of decadent vegetarian and vegan recipes accompanied by lyrical writing and exquisite photography on her award winning blog.
Nourishment and sensory-overload (in a good way) is what comes to mind when I think of Laura’s food philosophy. Like many, I first discovered her blog  a few years ago when I was in search of more plentiful plant recipes to fill keep variety flowing in my life. Because of my own need to avoid gluten and wheat based recipes, her website was (and is) a ripe source of information and produce based goodness.

the first mess cookbook

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One Part Plant Cookbook Feature + Jessica Murnane’s Journey with Endometriosis

There are plenty of reasons why someone may become interested in eating well. For Jessica Murnane the focus stemmed from her personal health issues. After years of struggling with physical ailments, misdiagnosis’s, and the emotional grind of not knowing what was “wrong with her”, a doctor (out of many) properly diagnosed her with Stage 4 Endometriosis. Though she was headed for a hysterectomy at the age of thirty-three, a friend emailed her some information about adapting a healthier, realer way of eating to improve her condition.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells outside of the uterus. This can be very painful for woman and There is no cure for Endometriosis and the accurate diagnosis is most commonly identified by laparoscopy which is what Jessica underwent.

one part plant cookbook x violet woods
I  feel we talk about health topically but we don’t often discuss the real story behind it. Because often its not “pretty” and it may involve us becoming vulnerable to the reality of it all. Jessica took a different approach and opened up about her journey with Endometriosis. She’s had surgeries; she’s adopted a precious kid, and she’s not scared to open up about the lows on her popular podcast One Part Plant. I have spent the past year listening (and re-listening) to the One Part Plant podcast.  (notable faves include Amanda Chantal Bacon, Mckel Hill, and Laura Wright)

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Iced Lavender Lemonade Tea

I really love using lavender in edible creation. My goal is to cultivate lavender. as in keep it alive and healthy. I used to buy potted lavender from Trader Joes but somehow they wouldn’t make it very long, but the more I understand the simple roots of gardening I think California’s sun is too intense for plants.

On the topic of warm weather, hydration is very crucial with the temperatures many are experiencing. I remember once in Culver City I had a wonderful lavender lemonade. It was floral, sweet, & refreshing. I didn’t have but one lemon on hand but I did have culinary lavender and a lemon meringue tea from Art of Tea. The tea is a blend of green rooibos, orange peel, rose petals,  cornflowers – all of it organic. Blended with raw unfiltered honey and you have a drink that makes the summer slightly bearable.

iced lavender lemonade tea #glutenfree at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

2 cups of unfiltered water
2 tablespoons of lemon meringue tea
1 tablespoon of edible organic lavender buds
1 tablespoon of raw honey I used clover honey
juice of one organic lemon
+ 3/4th cup of cool water

  • First, make the tea – steep 2 cups of water with both the lemon meringue tea  & lavender buds so they infuse. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so
  • Remove steeper, since you’ll be adding a little more liquid to if you need to transfer the tea to a bigger cup do so.
  • Add the juice of a lemon & honey and stir until it dissolves. Add the remaining water and then taste, maybe you want it a little sweeter (up the honey) or add more water it its too sweet
  • Once you’re content place the lavender lemonade tea in the freezer or add ice cubes and enjoy

// substitutions
if you don’t consume honey you can use maple syrup,  raw sugar, vegan honey, or liquid stevia
feel free to add berries or chia seeds
if you dont want to heat up the honey you can freeze the tea first & then blend the honey + lemon

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk (dairy free + gluten free)

            Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk is perhaps perfectly described as floral, sweet and creamy. I was blown away by how delicious it tasted. Cotton candy came to mind (except I haven’t had that since I was a little kid) minus the sugary aftertaste. Something elves or fairy folk would drink maybe? Anyway, it smells wonderful thanks to the lavender and it is perfect for neutral cereals or even add cacao powder. Substitutions at the end.

lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender is so beautifully paired with honey in this recipe. Free of refined sugars and theoretically lavender does have nutritional benefits (read here). The flowering herb is attributed to relaxation. Raw honey is technically also flower food because it comes from their nectar. In a raw unfiltered state it is true honey because it contains strains of the propolis & pollen (and iron and potassium). In this recipe I do not heat in high heat to main as much nutrients as I can.

Brazil Nuts are an excellent source of selenium, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium and fats. Good for brain and blood health but remember nuts are very rich and this milk should last about 3-4 days and only one serving of milk will provide a heap of benefits. Store in the fridge and enjoy!


lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender Honey
  • 1 cup organic raw honey*
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons organic edible lavender buds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon non-alcoholic vanilla extract

    -Add water to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warm (water starts to bubble) 

    -add honey and stir. Reduce the heat and add the lavender & vanilla. 
    -Let it go for 15 minutes so the flavors infuse. 
    -Turn off heat and let cool then pour through a strainer to remove lavender then store your freshly made honey/syrup

Brazil Nut Milk

  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup brazil nuts soaked in water for 4 hours and drained

– Blend nuts and filtered water
– Strain all liquid
– Reserve pulp for adding to smoothies, oatmeals, dehydrate to make cookies 

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk

With your freshly made Brazil Nut Milk, return to the blender and start with 3/4th of a cup of the lavender honey, taste for your preference – if more sweetness is desire, add remaining honey and blend.


Notes //
for a vegan option swap maple syrup or coconut nectar in place of the raw honey
add cacao powder for a chocolate fix
blend with frozen bananas for “ice cream”
make sure the lavender you get is -edible- & preferably organic (free of pesticides)