New Recipe (GF, Raw & Vegan) & One Great Birthday Gift!

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If you know  me well, then you know that I was beside myself when I opened one of my birthday gifts and it was……….a Spiralizer!  I know, its’s hard to contain the excitement isn’t it?!? Seriously, though, I was so excited to get this because I have wanted to delve into the world of veggie pasta for a long time now.  Last night I finally made a dish using my Spiralizer, and it was super easy!  Cutting the zucchini took a few minutes, tops.  It was fun to make and eat.  There is just something about eating “pasta” that you cannot resist! There are some of you I will never convince to eat zucchini pasta, but for those of you who are interested, here is what I did!  I followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum with some changes; my version is below.

I paired this with a yummy salad and corn on the cob for a delicious, filling meal.  I also made cheesy pasta for my swimmers.  It was their favorite by far.  They ate the entire bowl, saying it was even better than the boxed pasta that I buy from Amy’s!  I have made homemade Mac and Cheese before, following recipes to the ingredient, and I have never had this much raving about it.  I literally cooked some pasta, pulled it off the stove, and mixed in a few Tbsp. of butter and a handful of Mexican cheese!  Seriously, that’s it! LOVED IT!  It will definitely be a staple in my house over the next few weeks.  Without further ado, here is the recipe for zucchini pasta:

Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • handful sliced cherry tomatoes
  • handful sliced red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • handful sliced carrots

Avacado Sauce:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Cup fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions (only green part), sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Mash avocado, parsley and green onions together in a separate bowl, then whisk in all other sauce ingredients.  Pour sauce over zucchini noodle blend and mix to combine.  Best eaten the same day!  ENJOY!

Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie

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OK, this smoothie was DELICIOUS……seriously delicious!  Filled with just the perfect amount of ginger, it was such a refreshing, filling drink!  Shown is one serving, so there is enough to share.  I was barely able to finish one glass!

This is another recipe from the book, Whole Food Energy.  So far, it has not disappointed!

Velvety Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 2 bananas (sliced and frozen) **I used bananas from my counter and added crushed ice to the smoothie
  • 1/2 inch peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp. raw almond butter
  • pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or other high powered blender and enjoy!

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Recipe: Raspberry Tahini Smoothie

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This was one interesting combination of flavors!  It took me a few drinks, but I quickly fell in love with the bursting lemony goodness.  This smoothie is full of fiber and antioxidants, and I used it late morning today when I started feeling low on energy instead of going for another cup of coffee.  It did the trick, and I felt way better than I usually do when I drink coffee.  Win Win!

This one is also from the Whole Food Energy book by Elise Museles.

Pretty in Pink Raspberry Tahini Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients to your Vitamix or other high powered blender and mix.  Note:  I used a banana right off the counter top because there were already frozen raspberries included.

Gluten-Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

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Another delicious recipe from the cookbook, Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles.  A hit with 3 of my kids; the one who didn’t like it was not a fan of the strong coconut flavor.  These recipes can easily be modified to remove that strong coconut flavor, though.  These were moist and had a wonderful flavor from the lemons.  If you have never tasted gluten-free baked goods, please know that they have a very different texture from gluten muffins. I happen to be a fan, but it may take some getting used to if it is new for you!  These muffins are a great option for my oldest, who eats a mostly vegan diet.  Since he won’t eat eggs alone, he can still benefit from the protein from all the eggs baked into these muffins.  I did not add poppy seeds to mine because  didn’t have any.  They were still delicious, so I can only imagine how they would taste even better with the addition of the poppy seeds!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Raspberries

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (***I used 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (***I used zest from 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (add to batter frozen)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil muffin pan; I used coconut oil spray.  Whisk eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Stir in coconut flour, sea salt and baking soda.  Fold in raspberries and poppy seeds.  This batter thickens the more you stir it.  Fill muffin pans almost to the top and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  These muffins should be enjoyed within a day.  If not, they should be stored in the freezer and reheated prior to eating.

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TIP: When trying a new recipe, let you children taste it before you send it in their school lunch.  Unless you have a child who loves surprises!

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Recipe: Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

This is the first of several new recipes I will have to share with you this week.  I received a cookbook recently as a gift, and it has really motivated me to go back to eating more raw foods and gluten-free options.  I spent the morning preparing to go to Whole Foods to shop for the week.  It is the only affordable option around me that has everything I need.  I am a one-stop shop kind of gal.  Everything I have tried thus far today from the new cookbook has been fantastic.  Keep in mind that if you are not used to eating a lot of raw foods or baking gluten-free, then these things will be very different for you, both to make and to eat.  Keep an open mind and remind yourself that you are what you eat!  That in itself is motivation enough for me to stay on the right track!

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The cookbook is Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles (pictured above with one of my favorite cookbook authors, Robin Robertson).  This is the first recipe from it that I tried.  2 of my 4 kids loved it, but the other 2 did not.  I think it is because it has a pretty strong coconut flavor, and some of my kids are not a fan of strong coconut.

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For the record, I thought these were absolutely fantastic, so rich and moist.  You really could only eat one or two, and that is saying a lot for this gal with a huge sweet tooth!  It is the perfect kind of treat that is filling and satisfying.  They are also gluten-free, vegan and raw with no added sugar!

Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts
  • 1 Cup cashews
  • 1/4 Cup goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao nibs

Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor (I used my Vitamix!) and process until the nuts are in small pieces but not powder.  Add remaining ingredients and process until everything mixes together, and you have a dough-like consistency.  Roll** into small balls and freeze for 30 minutes prior to eating.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

**dough feels oily in your hands

Taco Night!!!

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Taco night might be our favorite here.  It’s really the perfect meal for a large family , any family really, because everyone can pile what they want on their taco (our only rule is that they have a protein and one or more vegetables on their plate.  It’s also really easy to prepare, which is a bonus for me, and it fills everyone up.  Use whatever kind of protein you like; this meal can so easily be whatever you want it to be.  Carnivore, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, you name it!  I usually use black beans, soy crumbles, or a combination of both.  I saute them with a bag of frozen organic corn.  Trader Joe’s has a nice box of 12 taco shells made with organic corn.  Add a nice salad on the side and the meal is complete!  You can see the picture below of my latest salad dressing obsession.  I try to stay away from dairy, but a little bit of this on your salad goes a long way.  It is really delicious!  I picked it up at Publix.  Also pictured are some of my favorite salad greens from Trader Joe’s.  It is a nice combination of organic baby greens ready to eat.

All of the following deliciousness made it onto our table this evening:

  • salad (tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds, mixed Power Greens, artichokes, olives, red onions with white cheddar dressing)
  • salsa
  • black beans/soy crumbles/corn
  • shredded cheese
  • avocado

Have a great night!