Vegan Potluck and Raw Vegan Superfood Brownie Recipe!

Last night, our local vegan/veggie group here in Shreveport had our first potluck! The turn out might not have been insane, but it meant that we were able to chat more intimately with each other, and I personally am all about that kind of interaction 🙂

Also, vegans usually know how to rock a kitchen and there was no disappointment in the offerings- even considering that Dan and I don’t eat wheat! So much gluten- free vegan goodness. My friend Nancy even made gf vegan crab cakes and remoulade sauce!

We brought a Spanish Omelette and Raw Superfood Brownies. It is a real basic raw brownie recipe, but I pimped it out and wanted to share!!

Raw Vegan Superfood Brownies with Chocolate Coconut Ganache

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3 cups walnuts
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tbsp Maca powder
1 tbsp mesquite powder
2 tbsp Sacred Strawberry Pura Vida Powder (or any other green superfood powder you like!!)
Pinch vanilla powder
Pinch kalahari or Himalayan salt
3 cups dates
2 tbsp coconut oil

In food processor, process walnuts until just crumbly. Add everything else except dates and coconut oil and pulse until combined. Add dates and process until the dates are fully broken down and homogenized with the mixture. Add coconut oil and pulse a final time. Press mixture into pan and leave in fridge to set while you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate Coconut Ganache

3 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao powder
Pinch vanilla

Blend in high speed blender until smooth and drizzle or spread over brownies. Let set in fridge.

I happened to have some of my raw Chicha chocolates left over from an order, so I melted those and drizzled that on, too! Yum, total decadence!!

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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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We’re (almost) famous!

We have been working crazy hard behind the scenes to promote our little company and what we do. Locally, things are slowly growing and as a testament to that I was asked to do an interview about our weekly raw food lunch for a local entertainment blog. It was a blast and I loved chatting with my interviewer Chris Jay about everything that is anything 🙂
Here is a link if you are interested in taking a peek:
http://20×49.shreveport-bossier.org/index.php/2013/11/12/sacred-strawberry-to-host-raw-vegan-pop-up-lunch-at-sunshine-health-foods/

Week of Raw

I am so proud of myself this week! I have managed for the first time in a long time to eat mostly raw! Sounds crazy for a raw food business owner, right??! But I have to be real, open and honest 🙂 I reached a point where I just felt physically bad again because here in the States, unhealthy food really is ubiquitous- it is the status quo without a doubt. The amount of planning, research and willpower that has to go into maintaining a truly healthy diet ( raw or not ) is mindboggling. Which is why I do what I do!! If I can help someone eat a little better and feel a little better by offering high quality raw snacks and food then I have done my job 🙂
And the truth is, a week in- I feel amazing!! I’ve had lots of green juices, including this one with broccoli stalk, parsley stems, green apple and lime

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Raw soups, like this carrot, cashew, and Ras-al-Hanout spiced one

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This smoothie with mango, banana and spinach is pretty much like the very first green smoothie I ever had so many years ago!

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And I have been LOVING having different variations if Kate Magic’s Purple Mayhem for breakfast.

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The basic recipe is this:
2 tbsp. mesquite powder
2 tbsp. cacao powder
1 tsp. purple corn extract
Mix in bowl, then add
1 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. coconut nectar
1 tbsp. water
Then stir in
1 cup sprouted buckwheaties

I love trying out new variations on this and if always keeps me satisfied and energized for hours!! Also, breakfast has always been one of the most challenging meals to keep interesting while doing raw because I never, ever want a smoothie first thing in the morning.

Hope you try it and enjoy it! Much love.

End of Summer, End of a Cycle

This Saturday marked the end of the Farmers’ Market Season and I suppose at least mentally the end of summer. I am sad to see it go, as especially toward the end of the season I feel like I connected with a few other ladies and it is nice to have that weekly space to socialize, chat, meet new people, tell your story and really try to get the public excited about your products! This is the last time our stand will look exactly like this:

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On the other hand, I am excited to work on other projects we have going on, like our weekly Raw Food Lunch on Fridays at Sunshine Health Foods. The first week, this was the menu:

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And the dessert, raw chocolate covered caramel shortbread slices (Billionaires Shortbread)

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This past week, we offered raw falafel with tahini sauce, kale salad with Moroccan cream sauce, hempseed tabbouleh and strawberry shortcake!

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We are starting out small and sort of grassroots, but looking forward to growing organically with this!!
Also, the Fall Farmers’ Market starts up in October and we already have big plans for making our stall even better and will be offering a new line if products that we just know are going to be a massive benefit to our amazing customers , friends and family!
Also, my sweet baby girl turned one, but that gets its own post in due time 😉
I love each and every one of you!
xx

Chocolate Banana Mylkshake

What’s up? Things have been going here, it’s all kinda crazy and some days I don’t really know which way is up or down or have time to even catch my breath, much less scrub the bathtub and vacuum the floors. Any other mamas out there feel me? But I wouldn’t change a thing, and the days of having an impeccable house can wait until the babe is older and/or I can afford some help 🙂

This smoothie here is perfect for one of those days when everyone seems to need a piece of you and it’s three o clock in the afternoon and you still haven’t had time to have lunch, much less make it to the gym!! Take care of yourself, get enough nutrition in, and most importantly ENJOY it!!!

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-4 frozen bananas
-3 cups almond milk (or whatever type of milk you do)
-2 tbsp vegan protein powder ( I use my own Sacred Strawberry Pure Plant Protein blend, but anything mild will work)
-2 tsp green powder ( I use my Sacred Strawberry Pura Vida blend, but again, anything green will work.)
-2 tbsp raw chocolate hazelnut spread (I used my own, but there are some great ones on the market OR just add one tbsp nut butter and one tbsp cacao powder)
-1 tsp vanilla powder
-10 drops Medicine Flower banana flavored extract (optional)

Blend in a high speed blender till smooth and creamy. Makes 2 biiig servings.

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Sunday morning

The last couple of weeks have been just absolute chaos! I’ve been writing, so I have a few posts to share with you but due to probs with the Flickr uploader, getting pics from the iPhone to ye olde blog has been problematic. Enough of that, though!

So, the week of the opening of the Shreveport Farmer’s Market (thus the opening of the Sacred Strawberry stall) we had to go to New Orleans for my hubbies immigration interview.
On the way down, we stopped in Baton Rouge to eat at a place I found online called Truly Free Bakery and Cafe. We loved if so much that we stopped to eat again on the way back up to Shreveport. They are a completely gluten-free establishment and have a ton of imaginative vegan options. The first time, I had a vegan Reuben on a collard wrap. This was amazing! Tempeh, sauerkraut, creamy tangy dressing and a *steamed* collard wrap! Sooo good! I also got a red velvet cupcake that just wow’ed the pants off of me! Dan had a burger and he loved it!
Well, the next day on our way back we decided to stop there again for lunch. This time, I took pics 😉

I had a veggie burger this time, with avocado, barbecue sauce and mushrooms I think.  Oh, and vegan cheese! This was one epic burger!
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Aaand another cupcake, this time chocolate peanut butter with a banana frosting inside! Um, yes!
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Oh, and lots of green juice all around!
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Of course, no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a whistle stop at Whole Foods to drop some cash we didn’t need to spend! Of course I got a kombucha (ginger from my fave Austin based brewer) and some raw brownie goddess bites I fell in love with in Austin! Also, Popsicle molds for the little one and yummy spices!

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On the way back after lunch, we got the news that Dan is getting his green card!!! Words cannot express how ecstatic we are to know this! Our lives here can officially begin!

In other news, I have been making epic quantities of these , among other things, for my stall:
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All in all, life is good here!  Lots of working out and gym time, nourishing foods, cuddles with babies and doggies, tending to the garden, and loving sharing my vision with the public on a larger scale!  How about where you are?

unplanned break- and plans

Apparently I took a little unplanned break from ye olde blog.  I didn’t really mean to, things just got a little overwhelming over this way.  I don’t really  have any support network to speak of or coping mechanisms in place at this point in my life, so when things get overwhelming it quickly turns into not being able to deal with my life, much less blog about it.  Right now, I am still feeling down and not really knowing how to get out of it, but I am recognizing it for what it is.  I do have coping mechanisms.  I know that.  I didn’t do a course in Rebirthing or a course in Kundalini Yoga for nothing.  I have a tool-kit now to help me deal with negative thoughts and feelings.  The problem is that my pattern is being so consumed by that negativity that it does not even occur to me to use my tools.

Right now, it is one day at a time for me.  One breath at a time, one moment of reflection and being okay in the moment.  One at a time.  And that is okay.  For now. 

I do have some things to share with all of you though.  I’ve got a recipe for some pretty damn awesome Apricot- Cardamom Cookie Squares and I’ve got a tutorial on how I make my own baby wipes for the wee one.  So please stick around.  There is Life here!

What I’m Loving Wednesday

Here we are again!   And I did it this week 🙂

This week is especially beneficial for me to focus on the good right now.  As I said last week, we are dealing with some health issues in the household right now which has been crazy making and then yesterday I woke up with some really bad back pain.  It is really the only time my back has ever hurt, barring some soreness while I was pregnant.  Anyway, it can be easy to dwell and feel sorry for myself!  So, the good!

1. The carrot cake smoothie posted in Facebook this morning by The Raw Food World.  It was incredibly delicious and when I make it again I will double or triple the recipe if it is to be shared with anyone else.  Haha, THAT good!

Carrot Cake Smoothie

I large carrot

1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp vanilla brown rice protein (like Sunwarrior, which is my fave!)

2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp extract

pinch cinnamon

1 tbsp coconut oil (optional as it was not in the original recipe but hubby asked me to add some)

Add almond milk first then other ingredients into Vita-mix or other high powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

Serves 1 (or 2 small servings)

2. The garden!  My mother has always been proud of her yard, so this year we are just putting some things in pots as it would have been traumatic to my mom for us to rip our something for a veggie patch!  Starting out so small, but I love the things we have so far:

Here is some lavender, a stevia plant, a peppermint, a Malabar spinach plant and a poblano pepper:

lavender, stevia, peppermint, Malabar spinach, poblano pepper

Here is some more of the Malabar spinach.  It is meant to be a heat-loving perennial edible green which tastes a bit like spinach although it is extremely distantly related.
Malabar spinach

This is another poblano, a hibiscus my mother had previously and a mulberry sapling we got for free!
poblano, hibiscus and mulberry sapling

Here we have a loquat sapling, parsley and some pineapple sage that smells heavenly next to two strawberry plants and a jalapeño.

&nbloquat sapling, parsley, pineapple sageStrawberries and jalapeño

In addition to the things that we planted, we also have a satsuma tree here, a pear tree and a whole load of blackberry (or dewberry) bushes around the property.  I picked a good handful of them today.  They were tart but tasty!

Blackberry vines among the greenery
This post is getting long, so I will leave it at that.  Short list, but sweet 🙂  Have a wonderful rest of the week, y’all!

Vegan Eats in Shreveport

I am currently residing in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, also known as the 5th saddest city in America according to twitter.  Let me just say that I am not surprised by that at all.  Living here certainly makes me sad for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which being that I previously lived in a city of around 6 million extremely diverse inhabitants.

Although it has not always been the case, Shreveport no longer has a dedicated vegetarian eatery.  For a city of 250,000, I find this mind-boggling.  In terms of where I spend my money, this is what I generally do:

Vitamins Plus for snacks like GT’s Kombucha and Earth Café raw pie.  They have really done a great job with stocking a wide variety of raw and vegan products, but I do wish the staff were a bit more knowledgeable about things (for example, the difference between a tincture and Bach Flower essences).

Sunshine Health Food Store.  I feel like I have to mention them because they are a Shreveport institution.  Store-wise they have a solid inventory and even have a little raw section but the café for me is a fail.  Vegan option- avocado sandwich. And sometimes they are out of avocados.  Thanks, i’ll just make that at home with some gluten-free bread and homemade sauerkraut of awesomeness.

India´s for me is the best Indian joint in town.  They are clued up as to what vegan means and the food is just good.  Generally the standard Indian restaurant cuisine, but well done and abundant.  For vegetarians, the Tandoori Paneer is an interesting option.

Dahn´s Garden does a mean Pad Thai with tofu.  If you like spicy, the Lemongrass Tofu is super  tasty but leaves me sweating.  They’ll also do a Tom Kha or Tom Yum soup with tofu for you.  I love this place and eat here often.

Albasha has seriously good Lebanese/Greek food.  Dolmas, hummus, veggie moussaka, falafel, etc.  They even do a vegetarian plate where you choose 5 vegetarian items out of about 9.  Again, the standard Greek restaurant fare but well done and tasty.

Another Broken Egg Cafe is awesome for vegetarians and gluten-free eaters and decent for vegans.  The Black Bean Sliders on gluten-free bread is tasty,  and the staff are knowledgeable about special diets.  I love going here for brunch with my family during the weekend.

That’s all I got for now!  You know, although there really isn’t a whole lot out there for a gluten-free vegan with a penchant for raw in Shreveport it has meant that I have to get more creative in the kitchen.  That is never a bad thing and it means that I have a backlog of things to share with you!

Do you live in a cultural backwater?  What is your favorite place to eat?