I’m truly beaming today to share this gorgeous recipe and heartfelt story with you, neither of which I wrote! They come from my childhood friend and fellow foodie, Lisa Kellenberger.
Even though Lisa and I have lived no less than 2,000 miles apart since high school, a mutual love of writing, photography and travel have always connected us. But it wasn’t until I started my blog that we discovered our shared passion for real food!
Today, Lisa is rocking it as Media Manager for the coolest adventure travel company around, Knowmad Adventures, which happens to be owned by her sister and brother-in-law. (Yes, coolness runs in their familiy.) Because of her inherent creativity and eye for design, I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation to write for Gracefully Primal. And when I read her story and saw her beautiful recipe, I was blown away.
Her paleo/real food experience is one I think we can all relate to: the grief of saying goodbye to foods we think we can’t live without, and the freedom and empowerment that eventually come from taking the leap.
Enjoy Lisa’s transformation story and whip up her delicious chimichurri, inspired by her travel in Argentina!
First off, I am so honored and excited to be writing for Gracefully Primal. Grace and I first met during our bumbling elementary school days and I never imagined over 10 years later we would be collaborating on a blog post!
Before I dive into my Fresh & Simple Chimichurri Recipe I will tell you a little bit about myself, the turning point in my relationship with food, how I structure my life today, and the inspiration behind this recipe.
I grew up in Orono, Minnesota, went to college in Boulder, Colorado, mixed in a little traveling, and have come full circle, as I am now living back in Minnesota. At my happiest, you will find me with a close group of friends and family making a big breakfast, doing something outside or active, deep in conversation, or simply relaxing. I am perpetually intrigued by design, photography, culture, marketing and everything in between.
The turning point in my relationship with food came abruptly in 2011. I went on an elimination/allergy detection diet to help battle eczema, a dry skin condition I had had my whole life, but one that had gotten extremely irritated and painful that year. After the help of a combination of practitioners – a dermatologist, an internal medicine doctor, and a holistic specialist – my skin cleared and my body as a whole felt better than ever before.
I remember sitting in the holistic specialist’s office while he began to explain the eating program to me. He said, “[After this] you will never eat the same again,” and I felt so overwhelmed and trapped that I started to cry as I walked out.
But, he was right. After just two weeks of what felt like a very strict menu (essentially just vegetables, select fruits, and meat) my body felt healthier than it ever had before. I’m not going to lie, at first it was really hard; when I was hungry, I was starving, and I missed a lot of things I once ate on a daily basis. But, as time went on I was able to expand my diet a bit and I no longer felt trapped – I felt free, energized and inspired. I felt so good that I continued to eat whole foods out of choice, not out of obligation.
In 2012, I went head first into a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I was living abroad, although my interests stayed the same, I wanted to try everything the country had to offer, so I tried it all – processed foods, whole foods, sugary foods, fresh foods… everything. Although that seems contradictory, this experience was very powerful for me. First off, it showed me that when I ate better I felt better (no question) and second of all it showed me that life is a balance and although I strive to eat whole, fresh foods every day, some days I won’t, and that’s okay with me.
Today, I am continuing to learn about the whole foods lifestyle and find the life balance that works best for me. My job, working as a Media Manager for the South American travel company Knowmad Adventures, is fun, fulfilling and challenging. I’m taking a photography class. I’m finding time to cook and be outside as much as I can. And I’m trying my best to make a big, healthy breakfast every morning. One of my biggest obstacles right now is time; between all the things I want to accomplish in one day and getting enough sleep, I don’t feel like I have enough! But, it is all a moving puzzle and I keep developing my priorities and perspective as I go along, all the while trying to remind myself to just breathe and enjoy the moment.
Inspired by my time in Argentina, where steak and asado (barbecue) rule the food scene, I decided to share a chimichurri steak sauce recipe. The ingredients are simple and the outcome is absolutely delicious, enjoy!
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped and lightly packed
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of turmeric (optional)
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped and lightly packed
- 2 Tbsp shallot, minced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Place all ingredients a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped, but not fully pureed. Served best over steak.
About the Author:
Lisa is the Media Manager at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012 and is continually planning her next adventure. Read Lisa’s biography here.