For Reals Meals Recipe: Carrot Cumin Soup With Parsley Oil


Everything that Natalie and Andrea served at the Yoga+ For Reals Meals ruled. But this soup is something I’m still dreaming about. The combination of the thick & rich parsley oil with the creamy dreamy pureed carrots is just so good. It’s pretty much Fall in a bowl…come and get it.

{ Carrot Cumin Soup with Parsley Oil }
from Middlewest Mag Vol 11 bunch flat-leafy parsley, tied, 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Lemon wedges

Parsley oil:
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and adding a handful of ice. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the parsley and cook it for 30 seconds, then remove and plug it into the ice bath. squeeze the parsley to remove excess water. Remove the water and dry the parsley thoroughly with a kitchen towel. Put the parsley in a food processor with the oil and salt and blend until it’s all incorporated (it will look a bit like pesto). Pour the parsley oil into a jar and set aside. Note: this can be done ahead of time, the oil will keep at room temperature for at least a week.

Bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and adjust the heat until it’s all at a simmer. Cook until the carrots are very tender, 20-25 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion. When the onions have softened and started to become translucent, add the garlic. Continue to cook until the onions have become fully soft. Stir in the cumin and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat. When the carrots have cooked, turn off the heat and add the onion mixture. Let the whole thing cool for a minute or two, then blend the soup with an immersion blender. Blend until the soup is extremely smooth.

Serve the soup:
Season the soup with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Gently reheat the soup over low heat for a few minutes, just so the flavors have a chance to meld. Divide the soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a spoonful or two of parsley oil and serve with lemon wedges.

I’m feeling more soup now…get Potluck Creative’s recipe for their Acorn Squash, Corn, and Coconut Soup.

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For Reals Meals Hosted By Yoga+ Chicago


Photos by Eva Deitch

Sisters Natalie and Andrea Pavela of Yoga+ were this month’s FRM hosts. Why did I ask them to host? Well, for starters, a baller former For Reals Meals host (Dean Renaud) suggested them. And I pretty much think everything Dean says is cool. Second, I am so into awesome business- and community-building ideas – and Andrea and Natalie have one the coolest ones I’ve heard of in a long time. They started their event series (Yoga+), which are vinyasa-style yoga classes followed by interactive and educational workshops. They’ve done everything from floral-arranging tutorials to learning how to make boozy punches. So for our session, we did a little yoga and lots of eating. Pretty awesome idea, right?


The hosts and creators of Yoga+: Natalie and Andrea Pavela


Drake socks. DRAKE SOCKS.


Clockwise: Rebecca, Sarah, Chelli, and Claire

Their guest list was so great. I had never met a single woman on the list, which is the best kind of For Reals Meals ever. Their guests included Sarah Burrows of Modern Sprout, Chelli Look of Chelli Harms Collection, Claire Staszak of Neighborly & Tula Yoga, Rebecca Crall of Territory, and Jana Kinsman of Doodlebooth and Bike•A•Bee. Everyone was so freaking kind and cool. I told Natalie and Andrea that FRMs can get really real and that there are typically tears at some point. This one was no different. As each person went around the room and shared their own personal and business stories, things got emotional. I was  touched by everyone, but especially by Chelli’s incredibly generous spirit and dedication to empowering women. I encourage you to read her story.




And damn, the food was good.
Natalie and Andrea created a pretty incredible menu:

Iced Pitta Organic Tea from TeaGschwner
Kale Ginger Margaritas (inspired by the Garden Variety Margarita from The Wayland NYC)

Zuchinni Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil Pesto + Pine Nuts
Carrot Cumin Soup with Parsley Oil from Middlewest Mag Vol 1
Quinoa + Diced Vegetable Cabbage Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Raw Almond Butter Triangles (inspired by Oh, She Glows recipe)



Cabbage rolls with creamy peanut sauce



Jana teaching us about her fancy honey ways.


Raw almond butter triangles for dessert


Cause I love tequila, even during yoga…a kale ginger margarita

And all of this awesomeness happened in my house. It pays to be really minimal in the furniture department (aka I can never find anything I like, so my apartment is still kind of empty). Andrea and Natalie blew my mind when they turned my apartment into a yoga studio/dining room. They brought all the yoga mats, the table, the table decorations, and even all the table settings. These sisters are incredible women, chefs, and teachers. They’re just down to create change, and I’m so excited to see where their business goes.

To check out Yoga+ events, head here.
And take a look at Rebecca’s awesome wares, grab one of Sarah’s cool planters, take a class with Claire, see why Jana is so awesome, and pick up one of Chelli’s beautiful designs.

Photos by Eva Deitch.

Recipes coming later this week!
In the meantime, check out my basil pesto sauce. Toss it with zucchini noodles, tomatoes, and pine nuts and create the same dish shown here.

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Episode 16: Pursuing More Than One Passion + Protecting Your Work With Julie Lee Of Julie’s Kitchen


Food-photography queen bee, Julie Lee of Julie’s Kitchen, is this week’s guest! Julie’s been on the site before, sharing one of her beautiful recipes and hosting the first ever LA For Reals Meals, but this is the first time we really dig deep into the path she followed that brought her to success. And that path might not be what you think.

Julie and I discuss juggling five jobs at a time in the early days, how it’s ok (and actually pretty healthy) to pursue more than one passion, and the action she took to protect her work after a big company used it without her permission. A lot of heart and a little bit of scandal…sounds pretty good, right?

Here’s Julie:


Listen and subscribe in iTunes
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Show Notes:
Julie’s Kitchen (website)
Julie’s Kitchen (on Instagram)
Julie’s SkillShare Class (take the class with me!)
Smashed Celeriac by Jamie Oliver
Registering Your Copyright
Julie’s Lawyer
Body Of Work by Pamela Slim

Got something to say about this episode?
Leave a comment, tweet it, share it on Instagram, and make sure to tag @jessicamurnane or #onepartpodcast.

Want more?
Head over to iTunes and Stitcher to subscribe and leave a review. The more reviews, the greater chance someone else will hear Julie’s story.

And please share this episode with someone who might need it!

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My Adoption Story, Take Two + How To Respond & Not Respond To Shit-Hits-The-Fan Moments


Just this past week, a potential adoption fell through. This one was particularly hard because it was pretty damn close to happening. A month of meetings and planning and talking about it a lot. It felt so for sure that I even did what my counselor told me not to do…buy a crib. I know, I  know. But Restoration Hardware was having a sale! And you know, I thought it would be cool if the baby had somewhere to sleep.

Not sure we need to dive into all the emotions here, because as I am sure you can imagine, it felt pretty bad. Disappointment (in letting myself get attached), empathy (I couldn’t stop thinking about the birth parents’ hard decision), and regret (for buying stuff) come to mind. I also felt pretty angry. I was mad at the time that was lost. I felt angry that I invested so much emotional energy in something that didn’t even happen. And if I’m being totally real, I’m angry (and a little nervous) that I have to go through this process again. But that’s not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how other people reacted to the news.


One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this experience is how people react to difficult situations like these. Your friends and family want to be supportive and say the right thing, but sometimes you don’t want them waxing philosophical or giving you the standard “everything happens for a reason” or “this will pass” or “the universe has a plan for you.” Some people like to hear these things. And maybe I’m a total dick for saying this – but I don’t. I’m so grateful for all of the people in my life that care about me, and maybe most people have no idea what to say – so they stick to the standards. But in that moment, a response like that feels like it minimizes what I’m actually feeling. It feels like putting a little Hello Kitty Band-aid on my big ugly wound. And if this is the plan from the universe, let’s just acknowledge that the plan doesn’t feel all that cool right now.

In a perfect world, people close to me would respond with ”F*CK, what can I do?” or “Damn. Ok. You ok?” or “Want to go drink tequila?” or “Let’s go to Hawaii, my treat” (ok, that one is a stretch). Or simply, “I’m here. And I love you.” And there were definitely a few that did. Which was really nice.

It also made me think about how I react to other people’s shit-hits-the-fan situations – losing a job, a breakup, an illness. What do people actually want to hear? Maybe not what I think they want to hear. Maybe it’s just letting them know we can talk (or not talk) and that I love them. Or that I’m not sure what to say, but that I’m here when they need me. At least that’s what I want right now.

And all of this today reminded me of this awesome Brene Brown video I found last year. It goes through the six types of friend reactions to your shit-hits-the-fan stories. It’s real. It’s touching. And for some reason, it just felt so perfect for today. Watching this again made me really think about the peeps I like to share with and how special they are. And how I might be a better friend on the receiving end next time. Please click on over, watch it for me, and then share with someone else.

Love you guys.

Read part one of my adoption journey: My Decision To Adopt.

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Episode 15: Finding What Speaks To You + Creating Big Change With Heather Crosby of YumUniverse


Heather Crosby is this week’s guest. Remember her? She was on the site earlier this week to give away her new cookbook (it’s so good!). Clearly, I’ve got a thing for Heather and her message. And maybe her spicy taco recipe too. After hearing this episode, you’ll understand why I dig her so much.

Heather and I discuss how she took her health in her own hands when doctors weren’t giving her answers, how she went from eating her first salad at 19 to becoming a wellness expert, tips on getting a book published, and why she’s not as perfect as you might think. Sounds awesome, right? Dive in there!

Here’s Heather:


Listen and subscribe in iTunes
Listen and subscribe in Stitcher

Show Notes:

Pre-Order Book Bonuses
Book Release Party (you’re invited!)
Creamy Millet & Quinoa Salad
Brendan Braizer
T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification 
Missing Microbes
Eating On The Wild Side

Got something to say about this episode?
Leave a comment, tweet it, share it on Instagram, and make sure to tag @jessicamurnane or #onepartpodcast.

Want more?
Head over to iTunes and Stitcher to subscribe and leave a review. The more reviews, the greater chance someone else will hear Heather’s story.

And please share this episode with someone who might need it!

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