Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography & Fly Fishing Workshop (and a few words about fear)

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

2015. Whoa.

I have sat down to write this post several times. To talk about how amazing 2014 was, and how this year is shaping up to be even more incredible. January is barely half over, and my year is already filled with travel plans. Tulum in less than a month. Workshops near and far. I want to tell you how excited I am for all that. Because I am, truly, beyond excited. But before I do, I would like to talk a little about anxiety and fear.

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

I am, by nature, a comfort zone–loving introvert. I am most at ease spending my day alone, focused on work with minimal interruptions, then retiring to the couch with an evening glass of wine and my far-away best gal friend on the phone. And amazingly enough, that is what my life is like most days. I have worked from home for over five years. I have spent the past year answering only to myself and the clients I choose. It has been awesome. But existing in this environment—the environment that nurtures my solitary, creature-of-habit tendencies—has also made stepping outside of that comfort zone feel exceptionally daunting. I like control and certainty. When I have to deal with the unfamiliar or the unknown, I get totally high-strung and nutty. I lose my appetite. I have stress dreams. A couple weeks ago I dreamt that everyone showed up for a workshop Eva and I were hosting and I couldn’t find my pants.

Stepping outside my comfort zone has brought nothing but wonderful experiences. It allowed me to finally quit the job that drove me crazy, and instead do less of the same work for more money. It gave me the opportunity to work with the awesome food and creative crews at EatingWell magazine. It led me to hosting a workshop last fall with Eva in upstate New York, which has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life to-date. In this past year I’ve realized that I will probably always be somewhat prone to stress, but I refuse to let it keep me from doing awesome, slightly scary things.

All this is important for me to acknowledge here because fear and anxiety are something we all experience, and to present one side of the story without the other would feel like a half truth. Yes, I’m a little freaked out by 2015. I’m apprehensive about my first tax season as a freelancer (::groan::), balancing my usual work with travel plans, and trying to organize my life in a way that makes all these things doable. But I’m also SO excited for everything this year will bring. Margaritas in Mexico with my best friend. Workshops all over the darn place with Eva Kosmas Flores. It’s going to be awesome, you guys. If you can, you should absolutely join us! I promise I’ll wear pants.

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

I am so thankful for a wonderful and talented friend like Eva to inspire me to do things, because I, the comfort zone–loving introvert, would have never thought about hosting a workshop on my own. Our first one was amazing, and we have so many more planned for 2015! Our collaborative effort is called First We Eat, which is derived from one of my favorite M.F.K. Fisher quotes, “First we eat, then we do everything else.” Our first workshop of the year will be in Asheville, North Carolina, and will take place on the 6th–9th of March in a beautiful lodge on Cold Mountain. There will be fishing, exploring, and tons of good food (including delicious things from the forthcoming Genius Recipes, which I have been looking forward to for.ev.er.). AND we’ll be joined by my favorite North Dakotan/overall-wearer/maker of tiny cakes/marzipan master Molly Yeh!!

The workshop begins on the morning of Friday, March 6th, with breakfast, photography lessons, and then a trip to local antique shops for a little prop hunting. We’ll spend Saturday morning styling and shooting, followed by a fly-fishing lesson in the afternoon (and eating what we catch for dinner!). There will be more hands-on styling and shooting on Sunday along with a lesson on post-processing in Lightroom, and then a special farewell dinner hosted by Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Catering. And then we’ll say our goodbyes Monday morning over breakfast before departing at 10:00am. All lodging and meals are included in the cost of the workshop, so it’s basically a wonderful little weekend getaway in a beautiful location. We’d love to have you there, and you can register here!

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

And now, just a little bit about this recipe. Being a creature of habit, I eat the same breakfast pretty much every day. I could totally sell this to you as a resolution-friendly dish, but it’s really just my favorite breakfast because (1) it’s simple, healthy, and delicious, and (2) it’s how I justify eating cookies for lunch.

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl

serves: 2

1 medium to large beet, peeled and grated
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3–4 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
2 large kale leaves, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped
a few handfuls of chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp miso
1 tbsp water
2 eggs
a couple handfuls of pomegranate seeds
2 spoonfuls of pickled mustard seeds
1/2–whole avocado (depending on how much you prefer), sliced

Whisk together miso and water in a dish and set aside.

Warm oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the beets*, carrots, brussels sprouts, kale, and chickpeas. Saute for several minutes until the kale just begins to wilt, then stir in the miso mixture. Cook for another minute, then remove from heat.

In another pan, fry the eggs. While the eggs are cooking, divide the cooked veggies between two bowls. Stir in the pomegranate seeds and pickled mustard seeds, then top each with an egg and avocado slices.

*Cooking the beets along with all the other veggies is usually how I prepare this, but it also turns everything in the dish varying shades of pink. If you’d like to preserve the colors (as I’ve done for these photos), cook the beets in a separate pan.

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop


    • carey says

      Thank you, Lan. ♥

      I hope we’ll see you at one someday! (I am the most anxious about/excited for the overseas locations.) :)

  1. says

    It is so refreshing to read something this honest. I can completely relate to those fears and anxieties, and how daunting it is to step out of one’s comfort zone. Even when there are good things out beyond the walls we build ourselves, it can still be so hard to take those steps, sometimes!

    Also, I am SO GLAD you and Eva are doing more workshops this year! The upstate new york workshop was so, so amazing (I feel so honored to have been able to attend), and I know you’re just going to get better and better at them as you go along. Sweden? Croatia? What an adventure! I can’t wait to hear all about them. :)

    • carey says

      Thanks, Willow!! :) I so glad that you were able to make it to our first one, and I’m psyched that it won’t be our last!

  2. says

    These photos are absolutely stunning! I love that even your everyday breakfast is so beautiful. My cinnamon chex from this morning don’t quite make the blog cut ;) Also, I love your words on anxiety. Doing what you truly want to do can be the scariest thing in the world, but I think you’re beautiful work is proof that it is all worth it in the end!

    • carey says

      Thanks so much, Chelsea! (I did, admittedly, work to make this version of my breakfast as pretty as possible, which meant cooking up the beets separately from everything else. Usually it’s just a hot pink mess peppered with bits of kale.) ;)

  3. says

    Happy first year of freelancing! It sounds like a crazy, scary adjustment, but it looks like you’ve made the change rather successfully! I’m super excited about your collaborations with Eva–I’m eagerly anticipating updates about the Cape Cod workshop to see if I can swing it. Mad props to you for constantly putting yourself and your abilities out there in the face of anxiety and fear…you are too talented to keep your skills to yourself :) I’m so glad to hear things are going so well for you. Get it, girl!

    • carey says

      Thanks, Brianne! The transition was totally scary at first (especially when the last paycheck from my job was half the amount I thought it would be, and then there was like a 3-month gap between when I started freelancing and when I finished projects and could actually invoice things…*gulp*). But then it all worked itself out. :)

      And omg, you MUST come to the Cape Cod workshop. We’re going to make that happen!

  4. says

    Oh man, I so love this post, Carey. Such lovely words, and they resonate so much — thank you so much for sharing such candid thoughts. I am so SO excited for you and Eva and Molly and all these huge huge things ahead!! I know exactly how you feel with comfort zoning and introverting and I’m so in admiration of you that you’re seizing the day and stepping outside what you know. And we’re SO lucky that you’re doing it too and sharing your gift with us!!! 2015 is going to be so amazing, I just know it :) So thankful to know you and to read your beautiful blog, Carey!! (AND OMG these BREAKFAST BOWLS. Too good. They look amazing.)

    • carey says

      Thank you, Cynthia!! ♥♥♥ This year is going to be pretty nuts, but I’m so excited (and I can’t wait to meet Molly!). I know all the traveling and socializing will make my quiet introvert times feel more special, instead of just being the norm. ;)

      I also need to be doing the blog thing more. I forget how much I miss it! I almost included a rant in this post on my escalating frustrations with my current photography environment (thanks for being the worst, no-light kitchen, I guess I’ll just go put a dirty board on my bed and pretend it’s a table again). But I think I’ll save that for another day!

  5. says

    Everything you’ve said here has struck such a deep chord in me. Travelling to and hosting workshops is, more or less, my biggest dream, but the anxiety & fear that tags along with branching out is entirely frightening & keeps me from doing what I’d love most more often than I’d like to admit. When I heard about First We Eat, I felt like I was watching some parallel life of mine unravel in your’s & Eva’s hands, and it’s been so inspirational to see you two, along with other bloggers, put yourselves and your own dreams out there while turning them into reality. It’s truly amazing, really. And I have no doubt that it’s terrifying as well. But through the fear, I hope you remember that what you’re doing is remarkable and in the end, overcoming your anxieties will be entirely worth the experience you render as a result. I seriously can’t wait to see what you and Eva bring in the next year and so on. Just keep doing your thing. Take lots of deep breaths, and live it up! Don’t let the fear weigh down the fight. You’ve totally got this.

    P.S.- On one last note, these BF bowls look stunning! I am SO for savory breakfasts like this.

    • carey says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Meghan. Your photography and styling are beautiful, and I have no doubt you’ll be hosting your own workshops one day! :)

  6. says

    Reading this post and everyone’s comments, I am completely touched by the level of caring that exists in the food blogging community. Feeling everything you’ve described (but not having dared to take the plunge into freelance full-time just yet), I often find myself bottling things up and keeping fears in. I appreciate your bravery, and hope that I can channel it to reflect more of my own fears and anxieties with those around me.
    Oh, and of course this breakfast bowl looks incredible.

    • carey says

      It’s an amazing thing, isn’t it? The blogging community has been so good to me in so many ways, and it seems to truly come alive when we put our vulnerabilities out there. It’s a great thing to be real and to have so many other people know just how you’re feeling.

  7. says

    Always love reading your posts and viewing your images, both are truly inspirational! I too am an introvert and have struggled with fear and it’s probably my biggest obstacle but definitely working on it :)

    I’m really hoping to attend the Cape Cod workshop this year and learn from an incredibly talented group of people!

    Cheers to 2015!

    • carey says

      Thank you so much, Jenn! We would love love love to have you at the Cape Cod workshop! It would be so great to finally meet you in person. :)

  8. says

    Congratulations – just the locations of those workshops made me swoon and I’d love to attend, no pants required, right? I’m similarly inclined, anxiety and fear are constant companions. Yet I love to live and refuse to let them control me. You clearly don’t let them control you!

    This veggie breakfast bowl is just perfect, btw. Gorgeous photography too.

    I read this yesterday, and it totally resonated with me. Maybe you too?

    “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” ~Lao Tzu

  9. says

    I love those honest thoughts. It is great to know that I am not the only one. Anxiety and fear is a part of life, but how you deal with is a personal choice. It seems like though you are dealing with it very well.
    I wish you and Eva all the best with your new endeavor. It sounds so so exciting.
    This breakfast bowl looks so so delicious.
    Happy new year!
    PS: Good luck with the taxes.

  10. says

    Wow, I identify with that so much! Having just started my own blog, I’m in the middle of stepping out of my comfort zone, but I’ve also settled in quickly to an introverted life. Thanks so much for the inspirational post, and for the scrumptious looking breakfast!

    • carey says

      Thanks, Kristin! I remember how strange it felt when I first started blogging, but I think we all settle into a comfort zone with it soon enough. :)

  11. says

    Yay to an exciting 2014 and cheers to an even more fabulous 2015! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found a job that you really love and got to connect with like-minded people with whom you can live your dreams.

    P.S. These breakfast bowls look phenomenal and the pics are just _stunning_

  12. says

    Ah – the pantsless nightmare is one I can definitely relate to. I’m so excited for what this year has to offer you as you break out of that comfort zone! I wish so much I could join you for your workshop – I know it’s going to be such an inspiring and amazing weekend! And this breakfast bowl is exactly what I want to eat every morning. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. says

    Stumbled across your beauuuuuutiful breakfast bowl on P. Thank you for the miso idea – bowls are our favorite meals now, even 2 kiddos.

    Congrats on your shift to freelancing. Your photography is stunning and your story, inspiring. Thanks for sharing. (I’m a recovering corporate gal and am learning to embrace the freedom and ditch anxiety & stress…not as easy as I thought, but soooooo worth it!)

    • carey says

      Thanks, Amy! Being free of the corporate/9-5 world definitely starts out a little rough and scary at first, but it is indeed soooo worth it. :)

  14. says

    This looks amazing Carey – I’m sure it would make the best lunch too!! I mean, the colour, textures and of course RUNNY EGG – what could go wrong?
    Also, thank you for writing this post – I couldn’t agree more with what you said. Everyone goes through anxiety and fear, it’s just a case of being positive.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  15. says

    agh I want to go to that workshop SO BAD! It’s a little out of my budget right now, tho — I’m taking an online workshop with Eva right now & a lifestyle photography workshop in Baltimore coming up. But I can pretty much NEVER get enough of workshops, especially food focused ones! and Fly fishing?! I want me some of that. I also want some of this breakfast bowl. so gorgeous, so right up my alley. i would eat this every day. Love!

  16. says

    You are amazing. This post is beautiful not only because of those miso bowls. Your words are so inspiring, thoughtful, and inspiring. Cheers to a wonderful 2015!!

  17. says

    I certainly feel that the fear/anxiety I’ve experienced over the years… leaving jobs, starting my own business, just doing things that make me feel a little uncomfortable… has turned me into a more understanding and easygoing person. I can let things go a little more now… which is something I couldn’t do even a few years ago. I freaked over the smallest thing.

    I love all these things that you’re doing… and the collaborations with really amazing people. It’s all wonderful!

    Another thing that’s wonderful: this breakfast bowl. I type this as I eat a bowl of rice with miso veggies (and I added some shrimp) that were the remains of last night’s dinner. Totally loving this bowl and the egg on top! And Brussels sprouts. And pomegranate. All my favorites.

  18. says

    Beautiful post — words, photos, everything. I am dying to go to this workshop, but it’s probably not a good idea if I am due with a baby March 10th, right? But I see there is something on the Cape this May?!! So exciting. I am going to do everything I can to get to that one. I’m in Niskayuna, NY and bummed I missed your last workshop in upstate NY. Wishing you the best of luck with your First We Eat collaboration/adventure!

  19. mary says

    Really relate to your introvert habits and preferences and I take this post as a bit of a pep talk to myself about working with and through fear and stress that comes from venturing outside the comfort zone. Love the blog!

  20. says

    This beautiful post resonated with me so much! I’ve always been an anxious person, but it’s definitely gotten “worse” since I started working from home. In some way it’s a relief to read that other people experience the same thing and that you’re not alone. I’m not going to let my fears stop me from achieving what I want, it’s a challenge every time but totally worth it!
    Oh, and stunning photography and this workshop sounds like heaven!

    • carey says

      Awww, thanks so much, Linda! As much as I wouldn’t wish similar anxieties on anyone, it is really nice to hear that I’m not alone.

      P.S. So bummed we’ll be missing you at our Sweden workshop! But maybe you can meet us in Croatia in the fall. :)

  21. Tino says

    Carey may i know what camera and lens do you use? I need suggestion about to upgrade my camera. Thankyou! Oh anyway love your works!

  22. Daniel says

    Just made this and it was amazing! For a beginner cook fresh out of college it was really easy. I did a few things differently.

    I cooked my beets in the oven and peeled them the night before. I threw some goat cheese crumbles on top and tossed the veggies in some Garlic Expressions dressing. I also added onions and left out the brussels sprouts/miso mix/mustard seeds (only because I didn’t have any).

    Thanks for the recipe! Really like your website.


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