Saturday, June 30, 2012

Under Construction

Have to make some adjustments to my blog because unfortunately my biography has been spammed. It's unfortunate how an experience to one person can seem so diminished to another. I just want a little peace in life and this blog was supposed to be that sort of peace. Its supposed to be that little cup of comfort I look forward to, kindve my therapy to get through. And it's sad when someone comes along and tries to change your story. But you know what? What does it matter- keep calm and keep moving on, right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Banana Chip Munchkins

Instead of going out to eat, Bill and I decided that we would just get takeout from one of our favorite places- le sushi! This sushi place is prime time because it has many vegetable sushi rolls, as well as raw fish for Bill, and the people know us well enough that they cater to my diet. Usually, we will get a bunch of rolls made by them and I'll trust them enough to make some really good rolls for the both of us. They never cease to deliver. Of course Bill and I can't be serious about anything and just made faces for the full 20 minutes waiting for our sushi. 
Anywayyysss work has been kicking my bootay lately and I've been working so many hours and haven't had much downtime. One thing I've been doing good at is waking up early and working out before work. This makes me feel so much better a because it's one less stress I don't have to worry about accomplishing when I come home from work! I'm just really lucky Bill wakes up at 6:30AM for work- otherwise I probably wouldn't have the willpower to wake up in the AM. 
After my workouts, I need something to hold me down and build up my protein. I don't like to eat a really big meal after my workouts but I definitely need something to hold me down for a little. Meet these baby munchkins. They are so delicious and are so amazing, I ate them up really fast! And the best part is that they are raw, gluten free, vegan and sooo simple! Friends I give you one of my greatest, most luxurious recipe: my chocolate banana chip munckins!
Makes 12 
16 Mejdool Dates, chopped
1 cup Banana Chips
1/2 cup fresh almond pulp from almond milk (or almond meal)
1/2 cup raw pecans
pinch cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish

1. first, add your pecans and almond pulp to the food processor and process until fine
2. Add in your banana chips and process until chunks
3. Next, add in your cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract/bean, celtic sea salt and incorporate
4. In 4 batches add in your Mejdool dates until you get a dough-like consistency.
5. Roll your dough into a ball and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6. Take out your dough and roll into balls. Sift unsweetened cocoa powder and top it with it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two Awesomely Quick Snacks

Yesterday was my first day off in such a long time and I spent it mostly in front of the TV watching Wimbledon. As you can tell, I was chillin' so much that I just put my computer aside and had myself a personal day. I took a day off from working out, errands, all of the above and just relaxed. It was kinda nice, but then I felt a little bummed because I have so much to yet still do! Hmph! But hey, I got a day off to do nothing so I can't complain, right?

Almost the entire day I rummaged through the kitchen trying to find something I could maybe make, bake, cook, anything! I haven't been to the grocery store in such a long time and my food has been limited. Since I wasn't really hungryyy, I just wanted to munch all day. I had a lot of food that is on the verge of rotting, so I wanted to use most of it up.

Introducing the easiest and best sandwich post workout or as a snack- banana bread almond butter sammich! At work, my boss bought maybe 2 cases filled with bananas; which at work hardly sell. Usually I will take one here and there just so they don't go to waste (and also because I'm wildly in love with bananas). I was craving a Peanut butter and banana sandwich, but wasn't feeling like having a full on sandwich for the day. We were joking about how we are probably going to be making banana breads all week trying to compensate for our rotting bananas, and I thought hey! Why not make a banana act as the bread!! YES! It was actually really filling and it tasted amazing! All I did was slice a banana in half long ways and then add almond butter (homemade) on one side and squished the other side of the banana on top. EASY PEASY.

My next quick fix snackage recipe? Bruschetta. Yup. Vegan and gluten free and absolutely amazing. My mom said it was the BEST bruschetta she's ever eaten. The best part? Only took me 5 minutes to simple put together! Here's a quick little recipe to make the tomato mixture even better!

Tomato Basil Bruschetta 
Serves 8 tiny bruschetti

6 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons EVOO
a pinch of salt and pepper
1/4cup vegan cashew cream (recipes anywhere and everywhere)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (vegan)

8 pieces of gluten free bread, toasted

1. All ingredients except toast together and let it marry for an 30 minutes. 
2. toast your bread so it is nice and crispy then top it with your bruschetta. If you have fresh basil, place a leaf on bottom than put your tomato mixture on top.

So easy, yet so delicious!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vegetable Green Curry & Coconut Rice

I might have a slight obsession with my cat. It might be a little unhealthy but there is so much to love about my Iggy Smalls! How could I not love this cat- he takes out time from his busy little life to be my sous chef every time of day that I cook- whether it is breakfast (he loves to clean my yogurt off my plate), the occasional snack grazing fest, and especially dinner. He makes sure everything is at the least edible (he has a rather picky palate). If Bill were to be reading this right now, he probably would A. think I'm the most lunatic person that I'm actually admitting to this B. shake his head that I actually believe my cat has a picky palate C. not be surprised. Hey, it's tough being a mother to such a sous chef!

Lately, I've been craving Thai food. At school, I had a thai restaurant that was literally outside my apartment and it had the greatest thai food ever. One thing I always got was their Vegetable Green Curry. The best part about it was that they didn't use fish sauce or anchovies to make it, so it was completely vegan (and gluten free, as most green curry naturally is). However, in the Poconos, thai food is something we mountain people don't seem to explore, and if we did I would have to travel a good ways away to just get a decent curry! I took this as the perfect opportunity to stank up my house and make my own curry! The results were TREMENDOUS! I also experimented with making coconut jasmin rice- which is so easy when you have a rice cooker. 

For the green curry sauce, I used the recipe from this blog, My Husband Cooks. I don't usually follow this blog, but I literally googled it, did some soul searching, and had a feeling I was going to fall in love with this green curry. And I did. If you don't want to make your own curry sauce (there's many ingredients and can seem overwhelming and some that seem foreign), I'm sure you could use Thai Kitchen's curry sauces, but I don't know if they will be gluten free or vegan friendly so make sure you read the ingredients!

Some things about the ingredients:
* Kaffir leaves can be found at any asian grocery store or maybe the asian aisle of your supermarket. If you don't have them, you will be totally fine without them- they just give an awesome aroma to your curry!
* For the basil leaves, I used thai basil leaves (also at asian food market), but you can definitely use regular basil if you don't want to go on the hunt for them
* If you can, definitely use fresh herbs. I have fresh mint and cilantro leaves from my little garden and it definitely makes the difference.

Vegetable Green Curry Over Jasmine Coconut Rice
Serves 4-6
Adapted from "My Husband Cooks"

1 cup coconut milk
2 limes (juice & zest)
1 serrano chili or jalapeno
3 cups (100g) cilantro
3/4 cup (10g) mint
1/2 cup (8g) thai basil (or basil)
2 (75g) shallots
3 (15g) cloves garlic
1 3’’stalk (15g) lemon grass
1 1 1/2′’ piece (35g) ginger
1 tbsp. brown sugar (make sure it's gluten free!)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

1. Add the cilantro (stem and leaves) to a blender. Add the leaves of the basil and mint along with the kaffir lime leaves, lime zest, lime juice, and coconut juice.
2. Blend for a moment on highest setting before adding the garlic, shallots, lemon grass and ginger. Set to highest setting until smooth. Add a little bit of water or coconut milk if you want it smoother. If your blender is powerful enough, you can combine all the ingredients at once. You can also use an emersion/hand blender. (However, they’re not as  likely to give you a smooth consistency.)
3. Add the sugar, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Blend for a moment. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

1 15-oz can lite coconut milk
2 cups Brown Jasmine Rice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1. if you have a rice cooker, add your jasmine rice and coconut milk into the rice cooker and follow directions. 
2. Once it is done cooking, add your cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg into the rice.


- 2 Bell peppers, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, halved and deseeded
- 3 shallots, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 bunches curly kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup oyster (or shiitake- I had fresh oyster mushrooms) mushrooms, stems removed
- 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 teaspoon sriracha

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray a baking sheet with aluminum foil with cooking spray, and place your bell peppers, jalapeno, shallots, and carrots on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grapeseed oil.
3. Roast for 20 minutes, rotating the pan and flipping over the peppers halfway.
4. While this is happening, when you have ten minutes left bring your green curry sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. When your vegetables are done roasting, chop them up a little more and add them to your green curry sauce. 
5. Reduce heat to low, and let the vegetables simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
6. Add in your oyster mushrooms and kale and cook until your mushrooms are very soft and your kale is wilted. 
7. Place an ice-cream scoop size of coconut rice and ladle in your vegetable green curry. Drizzle sriracha if you want more heat!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eden Cafe and Italian Vegetable Soup

What a tremendously hot day it way! I've been working my little booty off lately for the opening of the season. I've been managing to keep up with the cooking, the working out and whatnot- but I've been eating a little more every day: WOOPS! It's tough to go sometimes an entire day without eating and my willpower slowly begins to deteriorate. Thankfully, starting tomorrow I'm probably going to go on a diet consisting of eliminating processed foods and focusing on natural, simple ingredients. My face breaks out tremendously at work being around all the fryer oil; on top of that having to sweat and have a rather unhealthier diet than usual. 

Before my mother went to Wanderlust in Vermont (the lucky duck!), she took me out to my FAVORITE vegan cafe- Eden. It is located in the city of Scranton, PA- probably 30 minutes away from us (which isn't bad at all!). It is right next to Lackawanna College, where one of my good friends went to school. I had a carrot-almond soup that was so heavenly. I am definitely recreating this and I could probably make it into a raw soup, chilled for those summer days. Then we had a hummus and veggie platter and since the place is gluten-free friendly, they gave us some toasted almond bread on the side. The hummus was homemade and it was so delicious! I brought home some mock tuna salad for dinner as well as a grilled chicken cheesesteak for Bill. It definitely was a good day for me :]

The next day, I decided to try and recreate one of my family's traditional recipes: our italian vegetable minestrone. I have been in the mood for soup lately, because it has been rather chilly every day except the last two days. The idea first came up when I was in the grocery store browsing for dinner idea's and I saw Amy's Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup. I decided to recreate it a little bit and use their secret ingredient for the little baby noodles: CHICKPEAS! And instead of spinach, I used kale. These were probably the only two things I really used from the Amy's...but the chickpea idea was so perfect! I'm not sure if I want to give out my momma's italian vegetable soup recipe, because her "broth" has been our family's grandest pride because it is a homemade "broth" that my father taught us and we use it for many bases for italian entrees; ie there's not gonna be a recipe for this :x But I will give you the vegetables I used to make mine!
Italian Vegetable Soup
Serves 4
1-15oz can chickpeas, drained (reserve the chickpea water)
2 medium shallots, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 red bell peppers, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 bunches curly kale, taken off the stem
1 cup oyster mushrooms, destemmed
some vegetable broth (this is where my broth is secret :])
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
sea salt and white pepper to taste

1. Preheat EVOO in a 4-qt saucepot medium-high heat. Add in your shallots and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Next, add in your garlic and cook for an extra minute.
3. Add in salt, pepper, and your red bell peppers and zucchini and cook for approximately 5-10 minutes, until they are pretty soft.
4. Add in a good amount of vegetable broth that just covers your mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add in your chickpea water, oyster mushrooms and chickpeas. Simmer for 12-15 minutes.
5. When your water has reduced a good amount and your mixture seemed very thick, mixe in your fresh basil and take it off the heat to serve.

I'm going to the CIA

Hey everybody! So sorry I haven't put anything down- I am working on putting up some recipes like green veggie curry with coconut rice, italian vegetable soup, and some raw desserts. But right now I've been trying to plan my future a little because I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA- HYDE PARK! I'm so excited- I'm finally going to pursue my dreams as a pastry chef whhaaattt! Is this really happening? Am I really growing up? SOMEBODY PINCH ME!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fruitastic Weekend!

The weekend could NOT have gotten more beautiful! It was such a lovely weekend! Although I worked both days this weekend, I did not let it stop me from enjoying the sun. I enjoyed so many smoothies outside, while reading some awesome cookbooks that I got and trying to read the Hunger Games. I'm so lucky I'm an early bird- that way I can wake up, enjoy a refreshing smoothie, go on a run all before work and STILL have time for a shower! 

I feel like I talk so much about food, that I forget to talk about the fitness side of me. I work out approximately 5 days (sometimes 6) a week- running every other day and doing some weights on the days in between. Usually, I take Sunday as my freebie day. I run approximately 7-8 miles at the moment, working on 13 miles for my HALF MARATHON! It's scary thought .. 13 miles?! phew. I love to run-it is something I began to have a love for recently. Back in the days before my Celiac Disease, I always thought I had some sort of asthma. Always athletic, but I was terrible when it came to running. Ever since I found out about the Celiac Disease, I have had a clearer mind and I can run for miles on miles and feel great! In order to be able to also do this, nutrition and a healthy diet is CRUCIAL! Usually, I have my smoothies after my runs. In my smoothies, I add some protein powder to keep my muscles retained rather than hurting! I have terrible knees due to my long love for basketball, so they hit hard when I run. But hey, they are troopers just like I am, and take the brunt of the pain! Here is one of my many smoothie recipes. This one I especially love because it uses fresh fruit and fruit that you will most likely have at local grocery stores!

Berry Banana Flax Smoothie
Serves 1
  • 1 Banana, halved
  • 5 Strawberries, cut in quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Blueberries
  • 8 blackberries
  • 1 scoop Soy Protein Powder (vanilla flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flax Seeds
Combine all into a blender and mix until smooth.

mmmmmm- this is all in my smoothie except I just ate it like yogurt :] enjoy VegNews special yayyy!

Kale Stuffed Enchiladas in a Tomatillo Sauce

Already my day has been kind've off. Bill woke up really sick, throwing up blood. Instantly I took off work and was about to take him to the ER. But the blood wasn't substantial and he seemed to be doing better, so I just let him rest. That kinda stuff scares me, especially since I learn so much about nutrition-related disorders, specifically GI ones. I try so hard to get Bill to eat healthy, but it is so much harder for boys to listen. One day, it will all click; I have hope for him. 

Everybody, Iggy Smalls is now Gluten Free!

Work has been taking over for me- the season is about to begin. Bill and I have been getting along and are getting back into our cooking routine again! For the weekend we made some awesome kale-stuffed enchiladas with a tomatillo sauce- DIVINE! I go tmy inspiration from Michael Natkin's cookbook "Herbivoracious". I got a Barnes and Noble Gift Card, so you know I instantly went out to use it! I got these books- mostly for conversions, inspirations, and awesome reads. You're probably going to be seeing a lot of inspiration recipes from these recipe books on my blog from these books! For Herbivoracious' kale-stuffed enchiladas, I hardly followed the recipe, but I fell in love with the tomatillo sauce. Bill loved it too-it was spicy, yet still pleasant to the palate for people who don't like heat!
Kale Stuffed Enchiladas in a Tomatillo Sauce
Serves 3, or 2 hungry people
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 poblanos- stemmed, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and halved
  • 3 T safflower oil (or other high heat oil)
  • 1 C vegetable broth (mine is homemade, but make sure you find a GF vegetable broth if you don't)
  • 3 T light coconut milk
  • 3 large bunches dinosaur kale
  • 1 Medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3/4 bag Daiya Pepperjack shreds
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/4C chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons celtic sea salt
For the sauce:

  1. Combine the garlic cloves, poblanos, tomatillos and a teaspoon of salt in a blender and puree. 
  2. Heat 1 1/2 T oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add puree and cook it down for approximately 10 minutes stirring frequently. 
  3. Add broth and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Take off heat and add coconut milk
    1. Make sure your sauce is a thick, tomato-sauce consistently, if not put it back on the heat and simmer it down a little more
  5. Turn off heat and let it cool.
For the filling:
  1. Break leave bunches in half and heat 1 1/2 T of the remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat. 
  2. Add the red onions and cook for 1 minute. Add kale and toss.
  3. Add water and 1 teaspoon salt, cover, and reduce heat to low
  4. Cook, tossing occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes, until kale is wilted and the water has evaporated.
  5. Place kale mixture in a bowl and mix in 1/2 of the pepperjack cheese shreds with the kale. Set aside.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Wrap tortllas in a moist paper towel and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  3. In an 8x8 pan, ladle 1 cup tomatillo sauce. Dip tortillas in the remaining sauce in the saucepan. Place in the baking dish and stuff it with the kale mixture, folding it so the steam side is down. Do this for each tortilla.
  4. Pour sauce on top and add 1/4 of the remaining cheese on top
  5. Bake for ~ 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
  6. Top with chopped scallions and serve. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chickpeas on Chickpeas

I decided to trial the length of an average bike ride to work. I thought it was going to be something ridiculous like 30 minutes- but it was actually only 15 minutes! That makes me so much more motivated to bike to work. 

I've been trying to keep positive spirits lately because I feel like there's been so much negativity around me. I want to be a happy-go-lucky kinda gal. I want to make better of life. I don't want to dwell on bad- happiness is bliss, baby!

For today's post, I made some semi-homemade chickpea soup! Usually, I work long days and when I come home, I don't want to spend a great deal of time cooking- I just want to eat! one of my favorite soups is Wegman's Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup. I love this soup so much because you can jazz it up any way you want it. For mine- I simply warmed it up on the stove top and added:   -1/2 can chickpeas (drained)                       -A big heaping bunch of kale or spinach (I get kale from my mom's boyfriend's garden-but I've tried spinach and it works just as good!)                                           -1 teaspoon sriracha and a pinch of cumin and crushed red pepper flakes.
Let the chickpeas simmer for approximately 10 minutes and garnish with whatever you want- I garnished mine with some sprouted garbanzo (chickpeas) beans, some cup up scallions and a few more drops sriracha. In little than you know, you have a faux-gourmet meal! So easy! BUT WAIT- it gets better

One of the most frustrating things about not using a whole can of chickpeas is that you'll feel obligated to either A) throw it out B) throw it in a boring salad C) Make Moroccan Lentil Chickpea Soup again. I love the soup, but variety is nice, ya know? What I like to do is premake my lunch for work the next day and make a wonderful CHICKPEA SALAD! What? That's right-- another recipe that is just as fast and you can save some time in the morning before bolting to work (might I say, you might be able to enjoy that cup of coffee). And- this recipe is so versatile you can tweak it any way you want- in 10 minutes or less :]. All you need is:
Chickpea Salad
Serves 1
- 1/2 can chickpeas, drained
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 T fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon EVOO
- 1 Plum tomato, diced
- Few sprinkles Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper

  • Toss gently right in your to go container for work and store it in the fridge for the next morning!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012

June 13, is one of the hardest days of my life. It's not the day that my sister passed away, but rather it is her birthday. The difference between her birthday and the day she died is that on the day she died, it is supposed to be an average normal day. But on her birthday, so many memories and thoughts race through my head throughout the entire day; I wonder "Wow...what would we be doing today? We'd probably be going crazy right now!". It's the memories and the "what ifs" that are the hardest to get through. Like, what if she were alive- would we be going out to celebrate her 20th birthday? Would we be in a fight as siblings? Would she be dating a male skankatron? Who knows what today would be like to celebrate her birthday.

I lost my sister when I was 8 years old- she was 6 years old. She was my best friend. She looked over my brother like a HAWK and I was right behind her doing mischievous things. If you didn't know any better, you would assume Marie was the oldest, the way she looked after my brother. she loved him so much so and made all the decisions for him. It was so cute and so funny at the time- she was actually the one that named our cat Cynthia- she obviously convinced Joey this was the perfect name for a cat.

It's weird not having my babygirl around. On her birthday, how do we celebrate? Do we celebrate at all? Every year we send you up a balloon Marie with all our wishes and love to no end. Is that enough? 

In her memory, I made one of her favorites. Marie loved hot dogs when she was little, and corn on the cob was her go-to vegetable. I obviously cannot eat a hot dog (and probably don't know when the last time I had one was), so I made a juicy vegan burger. I finally found a bread that is PRIME- udi's sandwich bread in the freezer aisle. I added some red onions, lettuce from the garden, tomatoes, daiya pepperjack cheeze shreds, and a vegan burger patty that's gluten free and then some sriracha vegan mayo (1 T mayo and 1 t sriracha). I had corn on the cob on the side- I simply preheated my oven to 350 and cooked it with the husk on for 30 minutes. However, I'd strongly recommend that you grill these puppies- it tastes so.much.better. I just didn't have the energy to heat up the grill today. 

No more recipes for today. I'll be sure to get one is just a dreary day. And enjoi life :]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dining on a Diet

Soups from one of my favorite places to eat- made just for me :]

Sometimes it can be tough dining out with such a limited diet. There's been numerous, frustrating occasions where my family and I will go out and I'll break into tears because I can only have a house salad with lettuce and dressing. But ya know what my motto is- you can always find something! And having Celiac Disease as well as being vegan, you always have to remember to EMBRACe your lifestyle; because if you dwell, then it is going to bring you down. Make the best of what you got, right?

My grandma recently found out she has Crohn's Disease, and instead of finding food to try, she "bitches" about what she cannot have anymore and emphasizes more things she believes she CAN'T have. this really upsets me, especially since I know how she feels being so restricted and having to deal with stomach problems. I know sometimes it can be REALLY hard and REALLY frustrating. Trust me on this, I have broken down into tears in restaurants or have cursed Monsieur Celiac (my arch enemy in my stomach. He kind've looks like the Mucinex dudes on the commercial) when contamination comes to place. It is really, really, hard and sometimes it is easier to blame the world. But you have to always look at the brighter side- you are a vegan for whatever reasons you have. And as for Celiac Disease- look how much better you are now that you don't have symptoms. AND it is naturally cutting your temptations from that coffee cake in Starbucks and your friends extra slice of toast at breakfast- right? It's going to be hard, just as everything in this world is, but you're not going to do yourself any good by dwelling on your "shitty" situation (no pun intended). 

So just remember- this is you and your life. Embrace every moment. Enjoi Life (GF joke). And if you have rough patches like I did- write yourself a note and carry it around with you. I keep my little note in my wallet and it says this:

If you eat that muffin, you're going to bloat like no other and you better hope there's a bathroom nearby.
You love animals. You do better to the world than most. Look at how healthy and happy you are!
It's what motivates me, and makes me happy :]

So tell me what would your note say?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Raw Almond and Flax Butter!

today was nothing but activities for me! I had a wonderful day with Bill and my brother. It is finally starting to hit me that I am doing a half marathon in November and I want to do as best as I can- so I better start training while the weather is pretty! 

I have this new way of running to motivate me- and that is to run to places with water... aka gas stations, lake naomi cafe lodge, and probably work soon! It's been a lot of fun and makes running more enjoyable. Honestly, I love to run...I will run however long I want to; sometimes though, it can be a struggle to motivate myself, especially when I don't start my mornings early. If my mornings do not go as I hope they do, I get all messed up! I love working out early; I found it much harder to work out later on in the day, so if I don't work out in the morning, I have a pretty terrible afternoon workout (if at all), and I feel like a turd. 

Today was a totally different story- not only did I have an awesome run in this beautiful weather, I played some tennis with my two boys and walked my dog. PHEW, I am beat let me tell ya! For days like these, I always have to make sure to keep my protein up so I don't wear and tear my muscles and I can lift weights tomorrow. My go-to thing is Almond Butter. Yup, I am obsessed with this stuff like no other. I love it because it is the best protein fix after an intense work out. And not only that, but I make my own little concoction to not only get my protein fix, but also fiber as well! I love making homemade almond butter and I usually make it when my bulk foods section in my grocery store has a good price on almonds. That way, I can eat almonds on the go, or I can make almond milk, or just make more almond butter!

Almond butter is a great recipe that every gluten free veghead should know how to make- so here's mine!
Almond Butter 
3 cups Almonds
2T Chia Seeds
2T Flax Seeds

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 15 minutes
This is what it should look like after 2-3 minutes- still a fine flour texture but you have to scrape the sides

After 5 minutes, your mixture starts to be crumbly

After Another 5 minutes (10 minutes total) has gone buy, a little ball starts flying around (it's the most exciting part!)

This is after a total of 12-15 minutes- the most glorious part: when you have your buttery, silky texture.

  • If you want "crunchy" texture, scoop out your almond butter and place in a cup of almonds and chop them up. Fold them into your almond butter
  • Other butters you can try at home: Peanut, Cashew, Sunflower Seed, maybe hazelnut or walnut- the possibilities are endless!
  • Mix and match seeds with other variations- I'm going to try a peanut butter banana butter, and see if pecan butter works

What are some butters you have made, or would like to see on here? Lemme know!

Rhubars & my Chip-Free Diet

it was probably my first weekend off in a while, so Bill and I decided to head to his side of town and visit his family. It was sweet- and I wished it didn't end. His family is so genuine, it's a nice getaway from my crazy family. Before we went, I made some rhubars that I will put the recipe on in just a minute.

But lately, I've come to a revelation. Ever since I found out about the Celiac Disease, I've been eating so many potato chips in an unhealthy, binging way. I've gained the weight to compensate, and starting tomorrow (Monday) I'm going to begin a healthier, chip-free diet! HA! I'm actually serious too. I am thinking about planning my meals for the week and sticking to that meal plan. Hopefully, this will be able to save me some money, and extra snacking , and if all goes well I'll probably post a sample week menu on my blog

Alright, enough of this- here's what I like to call the "rhubar" recipe, breaking it down into 3 parts

1. Rhubarb Compote
5 cups Rhubarb, chopped (like above)
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
  • Place everything in a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat- until the sugar dissolves and bubbles
  • Once sugar bubbles, reduce heat to a simmer for 10-12 minutes
  • Once the Rhubarb is very mushy , either finish it off in a blender or use an immersion blender to get a smoother texture. 
2. Almond Crust
2/3 cup almonds
1 cup GF AP Flour (Any works)
2T sugar 
1/2t salt
4+T canola oil
4+ T unsweetened almond milk

  • Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray and Preheat oven 350 F
  • Put almonds, flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and process until it's a flour-like texture
  • alternate between canola oil and almond milk, tablespoon by tablespoon. After 4 tablespoons, check to see if the dough is fully mixed. If not, add another round of each per tablespoon.
  • If the dough in the processor begins to form a ball, then it is ready. Place your dough in the baking pan and press it down throughout with your fingers. It doesn't need to go above the sides- only line the bottom
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, then refrigerate. 
3. Rhubars
2 cups rhubarb compote
3/4c applesauce
1/4c lemon juice
1/2c sugar
3T corn starch
1 Almond Crust Recipe
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 F
  • Whisk all your ingredients together until incorporated
  • Take out your crust from the refridge and pour your filling over top
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes

For best results, let it cool down before you cut. Also, I like to keep mine refrigerated for best taste. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Raw Taco Boats

Happy Friday everybody! I'm going to have to make this short and sweet because this weekend Bill and I have off so we are going to visit his family. And it's also Friday and beautiful out and Nascar weekend so we need to head out asap! 

Bill had a half day of work, and wanted me to make him some grub before we headed out. Usually when he goes out of his way to ask me to make food, it usually means that he doesn't want a fried, fatty, processed food filled with meat and gluten. So I instantly hopped on this opportunity to make us a light little lunch! 

Recently, I've been fascinated with the Raw Food Diet, and I've been testing out a few recipes here and there to see how it is, and it's not bad at all! However, my current arch enemy has to be potato chips, because they are everywhere in my house and I can't get enough of them !

This recipe was inspired by a post in the blog Pickles n Honey - with my little twist to things!

Raw Taco Boats
Serves 2
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (I use mexican chili powder)
1 Tablespoon Cumin
2 Tablespoons Namashayo Coconut Aminos
6 Vine-Ripe tomatoes, sliced 
White of 1 scallion, sliced
1/4 cup carrots, sliced
2 handfuls bean sprouts
2 romaine heart lettuce leaves

Mix walnuts, Chili Powder, Cumin and Coconut Aminos together and set aside
To set up: place your walnut mixture, scallions, carrots, tomatoes and bean sprouts in your lettuce boat 

Rockstars interpretation of Downward Dog :D

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Corny Johnnycakes

What a day to spend a Wednesday afternoon! Wednesday's are my favorite days because our local farmer's market is open for us, and they have the greatest produce ever! It's called Josie Porter Farm and it's so lovely! Currently they don't have much because they are still growing stuff for the season to begin, but they have rhubarb and scallions- yum. I love scallions for breakfast in a tofu scramble because they are so delicate. I haven't experimented with rhubarb yet, but I plan on doing so sometime this week- possibly something I like to call "rhubars" :]. Hopefully they will work out for my blog!

Anyways, before I got a tattoo on my foot and went to the farmers market and after my workout, I decided to treat my mom and I to a lovely little breakfast. I've been craving pancakes and corn muffins lately, so I decided that I can kill two birds with one stone and just make CORN CAKES- or johnnycakes as people in the south would refer to them. In Florida, these were so common back when I lived there. But since I've moved to the Poconos they are hard to find. My mom got some fresh corn so I decided to use it on these heavenly, delicious, glorious pancakes. 

Next time, I will probably add some blueberries inside the corncakes, because when I put them on top they were SO. GOOD. I also might experiment in a blueberry cornbread...hmmm??? 

Some helpful hints before you make these:
* I would strongly suggest using a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Corn is very sticky, so make sure when you fry them you use a good amount of oil
* If you want, try to bake them for a healthier alternative! I haven't tried it, but maybe next time I will because they cook fast on the outside!
* If you are using frozen corn, thaw them before you use them- they will be too cold when you blend them up and might mess up your batter

Corny Johnnycakes
Yields 6 cakes (yields 2 or 3)
1 cup frozen corn (thawed) or fresh corn
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
juice of 1 fresh lemon

1. First, put your fresh corn and almond milk in a blender and blend for 3 seconds
2. Add all your ingredients in the blender and blend for 10 seconds- just until there is enough crunch but have a slightly smooth batter
3. Put your batter in the fridge for 5 minutes- in the meantime preheat your cast iron skillet if you are using it!
4. When cooking- add just enough oil in the pan to cover it. I used 1/4 cup vegan butter each time i put in a new batch of cornycakes
5. Put in 2 ladles of batter in your pan and cook for no more than three mintes on each side! 
6. Put them on a paper towel to get the extra oil off as you make each batch- and after every batch make sure you add enough oil to the pan to cover it!
Serve with: blueberries on top, whip cream, maple syrup, powdered sugar- just like you would with pancakes!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Babycakes' Hostess Cupcakes

It's been three days, and I'm still in shock that my little brother has graduated from high school. I honestly didn't think he would! He is a connoisseur for being late, not caring about his grades, and acting like a goon. But he did it, and I'm so happy!  

After Joey's graduation, we went to a lovely little inn with awesome food. The chef made me a gluten-free and vegan entree as well as a little baby cake! Everything seemed wonderful and it was really nice to see all of my family. 

My cake :]

Afterwards, Joey's closest friend Patrick had a party. Our family is very close with theirs, and Patrick's mother asked me to make cupcakes! I was so happy! Of COURSE I would, although I really don't enjoy cupcakes, I do love to bake and that is all that matters! Bill and Iggy were my taste-testers, and we went through so much before I could even bake. Bill was afraid that I should not do gluten-free and vegan cupcakes since I hardly ever bake cupcakes and wouldn't know how they would turn out, but I did it anyway. I didn't try to make my own recipe, though, I adapted my recipe from the people who know their shit, The Babycakes Girls! Patrick loves chocolate, so I made Babycakes' Hostess Cupcakes with my own icing. I made the icing green and yellow for our school colors!

Hostess Babycakes
makes 24
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups agave nectar
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Vanilla Icing Recipe
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until you have a thick batter. Pour in the hot water and continue mixing until the batter is smooth.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 24 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 14 minutes. The finished cupcakes will bounce back when pressure is applied gently to the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely. 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
yields 4 cups
  • 1 cup soft vegan margarine
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp gf vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp of almond milk
Cream all together until creamy (lolz). For natural food coloring, use chlorophyll liquid for green (at your local health food store) and turmeric powder for the yellow hue (found in any spice aisle!)
Bon appetit!