Food!

I wanted to share with you some of our eats around here the past few months!
Of course there have been smoothies!

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This one was a Chocolate Peach situation with shilajit and lucuma topped with bee pollen.

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Banana, peach, blueberry, lucuma, amla berry and coconut water for the little.

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Frozen banana, fresh mango, aloe Vera, snow pea tendrils and chlorella with bee pollen. I am loving bee pollen this Spring!!

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Another banana, mango, aloe and chlorella smoothie. So healing for the gut lining. It’s just an amazing plus that it tastes truly incredible! There were many more, but this is what has been recorded for posterity’s sake.

There were also juices. Lots of wild greens.

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Pretty much all of these has some combination of chickweed, cleavers, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon.

Also, there has been food. Much more than this, too lol!

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Cauliflower and jicama in a wild garlic cream sauce, spinach with coconut aminos, olive oil and lemon and some raw bread I made using psyllium husks for the first time!

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That bread going into the dehydrator.

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Some high raw wraps with greens, sprouts, quinoa burger and green Gaia dressing.

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Green juice and raw brownies. Love.

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Red bell pepper gazpacho with spirulina and bee pollen.

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Kelp noodles in a cheesy sauce with black pepper and scallions. Amazing 🙂

I’ve been feeling pretty incredible recently with all the green juices and wild spring greens. Having large quantities of it daily really just changes everything! So worth it!

Epic Photo Post

Why hello there! I thought I’d pop in here and check in. Things have been busy around here ( what’s new!?) and starting to shift a bit. It seems that there is a lot of weirdness going on all over the world right now, the sun is especially active and I guess everything is kind of reflected in everything else. But incredibly beautiful synchronicity abounds too! I don’t really know how to explain it- but there is just so much going on right now and for everything positive it seems that something equally as negative appears, and vice versa! I know that is kind of vague but it has been testing me to my core recently and I am still coming to terms with what it all means.

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I made collard wraps one day! They came out well, but it is a skill to be acquired and I have no shame in admitting that I have not mastered the art of collard wraps 😉

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These raw vegan hazelnut brownie, caramel and chocolate bites were almost too good!

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This smoothie was delish! Sweet basil, banana and frozen peaches. A unique combo, but I enjoyed it!

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And these cakes! I made them for an order for the faculty at a local high school. Maqui berry and Blueberry on a sprouted hazelnut, coconut and mesquite crust and Pumpkin Lucuma on sprouted hazelnut, cinnamon and cacao crust with chocolate orange hearts ❤ such a joy to make these!
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This was one potent juice! Carrot, cucumber, turmeric root, green apple and lemon! Perfect late morning digestive fire boost 🙂

We’ve also spent a bit of time in sweet mama nature. Not nearly enough, but some!

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Path by the Red River in Shreveport.

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Near Red River in a different spot.

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My feral child and I near swampy and beautiful Caddo Lake!
So that is that! Beauty abounds if you open to it. I’m trying to open my heart and embrace change, embrace the things that serve me and discard that which does not.

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A half day of smoothies and raw vegan summer berry ice cream with chocolate flake

I’ve been feeling sort of blah lately, lacking the energy to make it to the gym regularly or yoga class at all and then getting really frustrated with the lack of progress I am seeing towards my fitness goals. Well, as the adage goes, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity! So, I decided to shake things up again and do smoothies all day! Really, what a difference in how I feel already- and with absolutely NO sacrifice!!
For breakfast, I had this little delicious thing here:

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This one had frozen banana and peaches, strawberries and blackberries from the FarMar, wild dandelion greens, Malabar spinach and spearmint from the garden, maqui berry powder and soaked hazelnuts. It kept me going for hours and fueled me through my workout today at the gym.
When I got home, I was sooo ready for this variation on the carrot cake smoothie:

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Organic carrots, frozen banana, more Malabar spinach, vanilla, almond milk and a packet of Vega protein powder in Vanilla Almondilla flavor. So so good!

Dinner tonight was a big ol green salad and a bit of Amy’s Kitchen gluten-free vegan pizza doctored up with artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, onions and red bell pepper. Maybe not health food, but good for the soul of this tired mama who did not want to cook tonight 🙂

I leave you with a vegan ice cream recipe that takes advantage of the seasonal bounty of delicious berries. I used strawberries and blackberries but any kind of berry would work here. Get your good fat on!

Berry Coconut Hemp Ice Cream with Chocolate Flake

2 cans full fat coconut milk
1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1 tsp maqui berry powder (or acai)
1/2 tsp strawberry extract (optional)

For chocolate flake:
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
1/4 c coconut sugar
1/4 c cacao powder

Stir or blend until smooth

Blend in high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturers instructions adding in chocolate during the last 5 minutes or transfer to a freezer safe container, stir in chocolate and freeze, stirring every two hours until frozen. Let thaw briefly before serving.
Makes about 8 servings.

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Thanks for reading!
xx

Raw Vegan Apricot-Cardamom Cookie Squares

A while back I promised a recipe for some amazing apricot cookie squares that I made.  Ever the procrastinator (well, that and super-busy mama!) it has taken me a little longer than planned.  But here we are, better late than never!
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Apricot-Cardamom Cookie Squares

For the base:

(this recipe is adapted from the lemon lavender doughnuts I posted about earlier.)

2 1/2 cups brazil nut flour

2 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup sprouted buckwheaties

pinch salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut nectar

Place all ingredients except for the coconut nectar into a food processor and process until combined and flour like.  With food processor running, slowly add coconut nectar.  A thick dough should form.  If it is still dry, add a little water a tablespoon at a time.  Take the dough out of the food processor and spread out onto a teflex sheet.  Score into squares now to make it easier on you later 😉

For the Apricot-Cardamom topping:

2 cups dried apricots, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted

seeds from 1 pod of cardamom

3 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp coconut nectar

Add all ingredients to high speed blender and blend on high until smooth.  Spread over cookie base and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 hours.

This recipe makes 16 big huge squares.  They keep in a sealed container for at least a week, but I put half of them in the freezer to have in a pinch.

Review: Be Raw Food and Juice

In a previous post, I mentioned that my hubby had to be in Dallas.  After his appointment, we went to the raw food restaurant in Dallas, Be Raw Food and Juice.  As far as I know, there are other places to get raw vegan food, juice bars, Whole Foods, etc. but this is the only dedicated raw food restaurant at the moment.  When I heard that Bliss Café shut down without my ever getting a chance to try it out, I was pretty upset having just moved back to Shreveport.  So of course I was just so happy to hear of another raw foods place.  I called to make sure they were going to be open and the woman who answered the phone was very friendly and professional.  I really don’t know much at all about the layout of Dallas, but I do know that driving is notoriously stressful there.  However, finding the restaurant was not really a problem at all.  I can’t really tell you where it is, but google maps works 😉
Be Raw in Dallas
Dan and I kind of went crazy when we got there.  We each ordered a soup.  I got the corn chowder.
corn chowder
This was phenomenal.  Creamy, chunky, peppery corn goodness.  The menu said it contained coconut water and hemp seeds so if the base is made from that, then it is much more nutrient dense than a traditional raw corn chowder made with cashews.

And he got the pho.
raw vegan pho
Really, really good.  Slightly spicy, gingery and with a flavor that neither Dan nor I could put our finger on.  I love it when that happens!  I am normally really good at dissecting raw recipes and it is awesome when someone can keep you guessing!

Then he ordered the trio of pizzas
trio of pizzas
The pizzas were alright.  I liked the variety- Greek, Margherita and another one with pineapple on it.  Also the portion size was amazing for the price.  The base was really soggy though, and some of the flavors were a little bland.  I hate that I didn’t like this dish much, but maybe it was just an off day?  Or that I just reeeally like my own raw pizzas?? LOL

And I ordered the coconut kale enchiladas
coconut kale enchiladas
These babies were the BOMB!  I liked them way better than the enchiladas at Daily Juice in Austin and I thought those were great.  The enchilada wrapper just melted in your mouth, the kale was massaged with avocado and spiced to perfection and the sauces were just perfect.  Green and red salsa on the side as well!  Just about the best thing ever!!

We also ordered a brownie, the amigo wrap and a pad thai to go, not knowing what our eating situation was going to be like in Fort Worth.

The brownie was super delicious but did not want to be photographed after a long car ride.  It was expensive, but big and I liked the fact that they covered it in a fresh berry sauce.

amigo wrap
The amigo wrap was like a raw mexican burrito inside of a lettuce leaf.  We ate this as a late night snack after a dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub at the Omni where we were staying.  This was incredibly delicious as well.  The staff at Be Raw really know how to bring in the Tex Mex flavors that the area is known for into raw food.

Last was the pad thai, which to be fair we had the next day.  I thought this was alright, but paled in comparison to the other dishes we had.  The variety of spiralized veggies was colorful and tasty, but the sauces were lacking something and there wasn’t enough of them to really coat the veggie noodles.  For my tastes, this could have done with some fresh herbs like cilantro or thai basil and the addition of more textures like crushed nuts or something.
raw pad thai

All in all, the food was stellar.  I know now what kinds of things that are more suited to my tastes and I cannot wait to try more!!

Coffee and Doughnut Remix

This last week has been pretty crazy.  We had to go to Dallas for my hubby to have a biometric scan as part of his immigration process and it just so happened that my Dad was going to be in Fort Worth for an industry convention that week.  So we stayed over and did the DFW thing for a few days.  It was kind of awesome, actually.  But also tiring and I have been laying low since we got back, especially considering that next weekend we are going away again.  This time down south to Lafayette for Festival International, which we are looking forward to not only for the music but for reconnecting with old friends!

So for today, I want to post about a few of my recent discoveries which came together quite serendipitously as classic police fare, haha.  The famed coffee and doughnuts, but this way the doughnuts aren’t deep fried balls of flour and sugar and the coffee isn’t the normal brewed crap with cream and white sugar.

For the dougnuts, I used a recipe from the absolutely amazing blog fragrant vanilla cake.  I have been eyeing and drooling over her creations over there for months now and chose this lemon lavender dougnut recipe as my first recipe to try of hers.

here they are dehydrating in all their glory:
lemon lavender raw doughnuts dehydrating
lemon lavender raw doughnut
I loved these doughnuts.  I thought that the texture was incredible and the light lemony and lavender flavor came through without being overpowering.  That being said, next time I make these (and there will be a next time) I will leave off the frosting and dip them in chocolate instead.  I think that as a base recipe for doughnuts, this recipe is a real winner!

And cold brew!  This is probably one of the most revolutionary discoveries I have made in a while.  We bought a bottle at Central Market in Fort Worth for the trip home and enjoyed it so much that I was determined to find out how to make it.  Well, as it turns out it is just about the easiest thing to make. ever.
cold brewed iced coffee
1. Take the best quality coffee you can afford, although even crap coffee is going to taste infinitely better cold brewed and grind it (or buy it pre-ground..whatever works for your lifestyle and budget)

2. Add 1 cup of your ground coffee to a big jar along with 4 cups of cold water

3. Stir the coffee and water and then cover it.

4. Let sit overnight up to 24 hours.

5. Strain the mixture really well. (I use a coffee filter inside of a funnel.  It takes about half an hour to fully pass through the filter)

6. Dilute this concentrate 1:1 with water, coconut water or nut milk of your choice.  Sweeten to your liking with stevia, honey, maple syrup etc.  I myself am partial to a home-made date sweetened almond milk with a touch of cinnamon 🙂

ATX in the Raw Part 2

Our next stop on a raw foods tour of Austin took us to Beets, an all raw cafe on West 5th St. It took us a little effort to find the place but once we did it was on!

My hubby and I with our baby daughter and my parents in tow all went.  My parents are not seasoned raw foodies.  At all.  They love their meat, but even more frustrating to me is their love for all things processed and chemical laden.  I try to buy them alternatives to their favorite packaged foods, but it sometimes doesn’t work.  For example, my father just does not like maple syrup as much as he likes his maple flavored diet syrup (eeeww!)

To start, I ordered a Goji Lemonade
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Lemons, gojis and agave. Not too sweet and the gojiness was really intense.
And Dan ordered a green juice.  I can’t remember what it had in it, but it was green and had lots of ginger.

Then we ordered our mains.

I had the chalupas- a corn tortilla with sunflower beans, veggies, guac and a sour cream drizzle.  Really yummy! I got the kale salad for my side.
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Dan had the raw reuben, it had a mild sauerkraut, homemade raw vegan thousand island dressing, marinate portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions and some kind of cheese on a really nice raw bread.  He really liked this dish, and I did too.  I would absolutely order this next time.
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It came with chips and a beet salad.
My Dad had the ELT, which was an eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  He *said* he liked it, haha but when I offered to trade him half of his sandwich for one of my chalupas he did not protest (but this is probably a testament to how much the man loves him some Mexican food than anything else!)  I liked the sandwich and once again, I was impressed with the bread.  The texture was not at all cracker-like, not overwhelmingly flaxy either, soft and yielding to the tooth but not mushy or soggy.
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And my mother ordered the nori roll appetizer and a side of sprouted lentil salad.  These were fairly basic nori rolls but good for my mother because that is what she wanted- something familiar.  The lentil salad was okay, but I soaked red lentils are just too starchy for my taste.  Not a fault of the restaurant, just my personal tastes!
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After, we had a selection of raw chocolates from the cool case up front.  I thought the chocolate was good.  It was clearly made with coconut oil in addition to cacao as it got melty really quickly. It was also the kind of chocolate where you taste mainly the dark chocolate flavor and not the flavorings much at all.  My dad broke his tooth on a super hard goji berry though! 😦

The service was great, our waitress was very personable and commented on how well-behaved Amethyst was being (although to me she was fussy!).  There is tons of seating and I can’t imagine the place ever being full.

All in all, I would give Beets a 7.5/10

The menu had all the classics that you would expect to find- hamburgers, tacos, sandwiches, pizza, nori rolls, juices, smoothies, cheezecakes, etc.  Everything was done well, tasty, reasonably priced and well presented.  The only complaint I have is that there wasn’t anything that was really interesting or a new take on the classics.

Next in the series- locally made raw chocolate and The Daily Juice Café

Raw Green Tea and Passionfruit Cupcakes

After my mid-afternoon nap, I woke up craving something sweet.  I knew that I wanted to make something a little bit different, and thought of the poor, overpriced matcha in my cupboard that has been languishing unloved for weeks.  I then turned to the huge basket of passionfruit that came in my vegbox this week and thought “Hmmm. That flavor combination just might work!”  And it does!  

As per usual in my household, I made half of the recipe sugar-free for my hubby.

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Raw Green Tea and Passionfruit Cupcakes

for the cupcakes:

  •  1 ½ cups almond pulp
  • ½ cup agave nectar or honey (for sugar free version, substitute with ½ cup xylitol)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 15 drops Medicine Flower vanilla extract (or ½ vanilla bean, scraped)
  • 1 tsp. Matcha powder
  • 3 passionfruit

 In food processor, blend all ingredients until matcha is well incorporated. In silicone cupcake holders, fill ¾ full and poke a hole in the center of each one, and fill hole with the passionfruit pulp. Cover with remaining cupcake mixture and pat down. Set in freezer while making icing.

 For the icing:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked
  • juice of 5 passionfruit
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 5 drops Medicine flower vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. Agave nectar (for sugar free, substitute with 3 tbsp xylitol or 20 drops stevia)

 In high speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pipe or spoon icing on top of cupcakes and leave in freezer to set for a further 20 minutes.

 

Cupcakes Crudos de Matcha y Maracuya

para los cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ taza de los restos de haber hecho leche de almendras
  • ½ taza sirope de agave (para versión sín azucar, sustituir ½ taza xylitol)
  • ¼ taza aceite de coco
  • 15 gotas extracto de vainilla
  • 1 cucharadita té verde matcha
  • 3 maracuyas

 En un robot de cocina, procesar todos los ingredientes hasta que quede una masa con el té verde matcha bien incorporada. En unas formas de cupcake de silicona, rellenar ¾ del recipiente y con un dedo, formar un agujero. En ese agujero, rellenarlo con la pulpa de maracuya y desupúes tapar con lo que queda de la masa. Presionar bien. Colocar en el congelador mientras que haces el glaseado.

 Para el glaseado:

  • 1 taza anacardos, remojados
  • zumo de 5 maracuyas
  • 2 cucharadas manteca de coco
  • ¼ taza aceite de coco
  • 5 gotas extracto de vainilla
  • 2 cucharadas sirope de agave

En una batidora de alta potencia, batir todos los ingredientes hasta que quede una crema suave. Poner encima de los cupcakes y volver a ponerlos en el congelador durante 20 minutos más.

Juicy!

I am really, really craving some sort of juice feast/cleanse at the moment.  I suppose it is simply because I feel heavy, tired, sluggish and hot all the time.  Add that to the baby pressing up against my insides, impeding my digestion causing heartburn and nausea.  Needless to say, I want a break from food!  I know that while pregnant, juice fasting or deep cleansing of ANY type is not the best idea and after the birth, I am planning on breastfeeding for as long as possible.  I have read that it is possible to do a juice feast, as long as adequate calories are consumed and essential fatty acids are added when the baby starts on other foods and is not solely breastfeeding anymore.  Well, that means probably another 7-8 months from now!   I would never, ever put my health or the health of my child at risk so I will be waiting until then to seriously contemplate doing a juice cleanse.  In the meantime however, that won’t stop me from adding in as much green juicy love as possible!

Here I am with my big bottle of goodness!

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This has a head of celery, two big cucumbers, one apple and two lemons. My dogs look well impressed, right?!  At least I am excited 🙂

Naughty Pregnant Lady Frappe

Confession-I love coffee.  I do, I adore it.  I haven’t really been drinking it during my pregnancy for a number of reasons, mainly because I’m not convinced that it is a good thing.  I have, however, had a few decaf coffees.  Which to be fair, I am not sure than isn’t worse.

I digress.  Today, Hubby came home with a pack of Oxfam fair trade coffee.  The leaded stuff, the full strength kind!  Well, considering that I have been feeling so, so tired lately, I immediately set out to brew a pot and make something delicious out of it.

Here is the resultant beverage:

Emily’s Naughty Pregnant Lady Frappe

  • 1.5-2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 dropper English Toffee stevia (or whatever liquid stevia you have around, or 2 tbsp. your favorite sweetener i.e. agave, honey, coconut sugar etc.)
  • .5 cup raw vegan whipped cream* (I had this on hand from earlier.  You could easily substitute almond or other non-dairy milk. Or hell, dairy if that is your bag! Or cream!!)
  • .5-1 cup freshly brewed coffee (depending on how strong you like it.  I went light with mine because my body is not used to the caffeine anymore)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy, thick and smooth.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!  Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.

Raw Vegan Whipped Cream

(from Cafe Gratitude)

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • .25 cup agave or honey
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • .5 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 tbsp. lecithin

Place all ingredients except for coconut oil and lecithin into blender and blend until smooth.  Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend again.  Place in fridge for at least one hour, or in freezer for 2o minutes to set.