Friday, July 27, 2012

[Chocolate] Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

As my half marathon gets closer and closer, the more health-conscious I become. Probably my main goals in order to pull through are 1) not pass out, 2) eat so my muscles aren't worn out and 3) eat more protein. Protein is one of the hardest things to get when you are Celiac-crazy and vegan!

Every morning after I run, I make sure I have a very protein-dense shake. Even when I don't run, I make sure to get a good portion of protein in the morning. It is optimal to get it at breakfast. On the mornings that I don't drink a Hemp Chocolate Protein Power Shake, I make these awesome fruit and nut granola bars- it is SO easy to make; just needs a little love and time; but it's totally worth it- even my mom was enthused to make these awesome granola bars! I use a dehydrator to make these, and I'm not 100% sure how these would be in the oven. If you do put them in the oven, I would suggest putting it on the lowest heat possible. If it works- let me know!

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
vegan ~ gluten free ~ can be raw
2 cups raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
3/4 cup flax seeds
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup dates, chopped and pitted
(optional) 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. First, place your flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and grind into a fine powder. Set aside
2. Place your strawberries and blueberries (or any other berries you prefer) into a blender and puree. Add your flax seed into the mix and blend until it is finely incorporated.
3. Next, add in your chopped dates into a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Then, add in your walnuts and almonds and process it into a find, crumbly texture.
4. combine your nut and fruit mixture into a mixing bowl and stir until finely incorporated. 
5. Spread your mixture onto a teflon dehydrating sheet. Put in the dehydrator at 100 F for 12 hours.
6. After 12 hours, take out your almost-ready granola bars and cut lines, you can either do 4 x 5, 2 x 6, whatever you prefer! Put them back in the dehydrator for another 12 hours on 100 F
7. Once they are done, you can melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle on top! To make them raw, you can omit this- but it is so good with them!

Mini golfin' with this goon- guess who won?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Watermelon Gazpacho

It's already halfway through the summer and I realize I have not even posted a recipe about watermelon. Like, really? I eat it every day and still have yet to make it more creative than cutting it into a wedge and throwing the occasional spice on top!! 

Today turned out to be a perfect day to make it, considering it was so hot, yet no too scorching to make a perfect gazpacho- a soup served cold [dahhh]. This gazpacho is the perfect combination of refreshing and spicy. 

I made mine for my mom's friend for a party. Apparently it was a huge hit because my mom said people were guzzling it down! and the best part? It literally took less than 10 minutes.

Watermelon Gazpacho
serves a party; 10 minutes to make
4-5 cups watermelon, seedless, chopped
1 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
1 medium shallot, diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon of fresh basil or mint (I used basil since it was fresh from the garden), chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
2. Add your mixture to a blender in 3 parts- make it as chunky or as smooth as you want. I made my first two batches chunky (blended for 5 seconds), and my last one very smooth (blended for 15 seconds). Serve in a large bowl and ladle into elegant cups or glasses and garnish with a fresh basil leaf!

Just catching up on the latest news in the Pocono Record. My smart boy ;]

Friday, July 20, 2012

Au Lac Bon Hue Lemongrass Soup

After consuming The Loving Hut's Lemongrass Soup, or Au Lac Bon Hue, I finally decided that I should probably try and make this homemade. Well, semi-homemade. I cheated a little on the broth but hey- it tasted so good. Oh, and in my version (even though it doesn't look as purty) I added my favorite, kale. You must've seen that one coming. I also added some edamame beans to mine too. Although my soup wasn't as lemongrass-y, it still was flippin' fantastic!

Au Lac Bon Hue
- 2 packets Thai Kitchen Lemongrass and Chili Instant Noodle
- 4 cups water
- bunch of lemongrass, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 bunch curly kale, chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked edamame
- 1 jalapeno, sliced and seeded
- 1/2 block xtra firm tofu, pressed, dried and diced
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup scallions for garnish
- handful of cilantro, for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste

1. First, make your broth- bring your 4 cups of water to a boil. Once it is at a rapid boil, add in the packets of powder and oil packets inside your 2 packets of Thai Kitchen. Also add in your lemongrass and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
2. Once your broth is made, strain out the lemongrass and place your broth back into a saucepan. Bring your broth back to a boil.
3. While your broth is beginning to boil, sauté your jalapeno and shallot with diced tofu with your 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat until nice and brown. 
4. Once the broth is to a rapid boil, add in the vermicelli noodles from your thai kitchen packets and cook, still boiling for 3 minutes. 
5. Reduce to a simmer, and add in your cooked edamame, jalapeno, tofu, shallots, bean sprouts, and kale. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes.
6. For each serving, sprinkle cilantro, chopped scallions, and maybe some sriracha for that extra kick!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

White Wine Sangria + Secret!

My blog-love has been slacking lately, and I sincerely apologize to my viewers. It's been a roller coaster of a week- lots of awkward drama, work-related stress, school work, and parties. Woops, did I admit to the last one? Yeah, hangovers in need of cure. But to say the least, I ended up misplacing my phone for a week- aka no photography :[ I did fine with everything except that, especially since I made some awesome Indian dishes which I couldn't capture but would've been delightful for my blog. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to recreate them!

Speaking of parties- oh wait, were we talking about them? Well we are now! I feel like I don't have many drink recipes, and I spontaneously concocted this one moments before heading out to my friends lakehouse. Literally, so easy; and may I say so refreshingly dangerous?I've begun to just make these and bring them to parties, since the choice of alcy is usually 1) beers on beers, 2) cheap vodka not pleasing to the estomago. Not only is it neeevil (nice and evil- spongebob), but it could work as a sweet homemade gift idea too! The best part? It literally takes 5 minutes to make (and even less time to finish) It's that good- trust me.

Fruit de la fruit White Wine Sangria
- 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc White Wine (or your favorite white wine works)
- 1 Mango, diced
- Handful of blueberries
- 8 strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice

1. Pour 1/4 cup of the white wine into a water bottle and put in refridge for later use
2. Pour in 1/4 cup pineapple juice into wine bottle, as well as your mango, strawberries and blueberries
3. Shake it up a little and serve chilled!
Iggy pic: Abercrombie and Fitch pose
Also! before you head off- I've been thinking of creating a secondary blog, focusing on kale and providing more nutritionally-based recipes. My love for kale is rather obsessive, and many people have been telling me I should make a blog specifically for it! Well, not really I just want to make a blog for kale lol. I just need ideas for a name of the blog. 

SOO if you have any suggestions e-mail me at or post a comment!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nutrition and Fitness

It's been so beautiful in the Poconos- the weather has been tremendous! I have been running extraordinary amounts of miles lately, and the Poconos is the best place to be able to go on a run and find so many different trails. This one is my favorite- it's really tough because going back home on it is uphill. oye. But hey- look at this scenery! Can't get enough of it on my morning runs!
Work has been so time-consuming lately and not only have I found it so hard to keep a balanced diet, but I've obviously been slacking on making food :[. I work 10:30-7:30 usually, and by the time I get home from work I am so exhausted and don't have the time to be able to eat a decent meal. It's frustrating! And as for breakfast- my main go-to has been my protein smoothie. It is similar to my Berry Banana Flax Smoothie, but it has a secret ingredient that is about to be not-so-secret- HEMP SEEDS! Hemp seeds are an amazing source of protein, and have a superb omega 3 to omega 6 ratio that is hard to find for us herbyvores. It's protein rich, and perfect to replenish those muscles after an intense workout.

Hemp Chocolate Protein Smoothie
serves 1
1/4 cup blueberries
 1 banana, halved
1 cup whole soy blueberry yogurt
2 scoops chocolate soy protein powder
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds, hulled 
1 cup ice (optional)

place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth 

My typical salad at work- fire roasted corn, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, matchstick carrots with balsamic dressing and an apple and larabar. And to the right? just an occasional orange rind in my hair. No biggy :]

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dehydration Celebration

It's been way too long since I've actually wrote a post! Ah! On top of work, I've been doing an online class. Usually when I come home from work I use that time to work on my blog, but lately I've been having to use that precious, glorious time on silly English (BLEH). 

One thing I've been finding so valuable in my busy schedule is the dehydrator. Not only do you not have to put in so much precious time into it, but you can honestly just throw some fruits and veggies into it, set the timer for like a million hours, walk back and eat it and you have some awesome snacks or toppings! For the 4th of July, I managed to get the day off (I don't know how I managed to do that!), so me and Squilliam feasted. It was also our 1 1/2 year anniversity on July 1, so we spent the day together :]. He got me something I've been asking for for goodness knows how long- an edible arrangement! And he picked the BEST one too! Iggy seemed to really enjoy the grapes (I'm pretty sure he ate every one). Bill got a little frustrated with me because I honestly got so excited over the KALE!!! hehe..woops. I guess that's what he gets! I'm slightly obsessed with kale.

 Speaking of kale- you know what I did with the decoration to my edible arrangement? yup, dehydrationnnn!! On the 4th, we had a humongous feast of dehydrated stuff and grilling out. It was awesome. First on our list were Anna's BBQ Cajun Chips. I followed the recipe as is with extra kick!

Me and bill decided we wanted some "sun" dried tomatoes. So what did we do? We dehydrated some tomatoes and voila! These were honestly my favorite of the many things I dehydrated. It was absolutely simple- slice, sprinkle some salt on top and then dehydrate for 4-5 hours on 115 F. 
Third thing we dehydrated was of course: KALE!! My absolute favorite. I honestly get ancy when there is no kale in my house...because I literally eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I made kale chips 2 ways: One was just the original kale chips (get it? Instead of original lay's chips) where I massaged olive oil and salt onto the kale and dehydrated for 5-6 hours on 115 F. The second batch of kale chips were my nacho cheeeezzeee kale chips. 

Nacho Cheezey Kale Chips

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, then drained
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3-1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne
pinch of sea salt
1 bunch of kale of choice

1. pour in all your ingredients except water into a food processor and let it mix.
2. slowly incorporate your water as the food processor is running, until the mixture is not too chunky, but relatively smooth.
3. massage onto kale, and dehydrate on 115 for 6 hours. 

Of course, for the 4th of July we had a mini-cookout. Bill made some awesome veggie burgers and I slow-cooked some onions. It was honestly a great day. We had some lovely dehydrated foods to go with it (see the tomatoes!?!!). I think I was so happy with the day because it might have been one of my first 4th of July's I've ever enjoyed since I usually work on holidays. 

Iggy was so pooped, he passed out while eating popcorn! 
4th of July- 1
Iggy Smalls- 0