Friday, October 15, 2010

Apple Pie (Green) Smoothie - Recipe

So, it's fall in New England and I have been craving apples!

Tonight I wanted something simple...something that had greens but wasn't a salad. I was also thinking about apples. I went online to look up apple smoothie recipes for inspiration and ended up creating this one.

It was yummy. So yummy that I drank almost all of it before I could take a picture!

I liked it just the way it temperature and creamy but my husband and son said they would prefer it cold. So they put theirs in the fridge.

Let me know what you think.

Apple Pie "Green" Smoothie

2 apples, rough chopped (I used red apples)
4 pitted, soft dates
1 cup rice milk, vanilla or plain
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 tablespoon Lecithin (optional)
3 generous sprinkles of "apple pie spice"
1/2 of a peeled cucumber, rough chopped
1 extra large hand full of romaine

Blend it all in a high speed blender (I use a K-tec) and enjoy!

* it made two large glass fulls!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vegan, Creamy Mac Un-Cheese - Recipe

I used to LOVE mac & cheese...all the creaminess, cheesiness, was warm and comforting...ahhhh.

Then I found out about my dairy and wheat allergies...bye, bye mac and cheese. Which wasn't a total loss because we all know that the conventional kind isn't really good for you anyway.

I tried some of the prepackaged, dairy and gluten free mixes, frozen brands, etc...but didn't care for them.

Recently, however, I went on an Internet hunt for a new recipe to try.


I included a link to the original recipe I found online...but we changed it so much due to personal preferences I decided to rewrite it completely and include our version here. It is super simple!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Vegan Mac Un-Cheese

¾ cup unflavored Rice or Hemp Milk
3 Tablespoons Tamari
¾ cup nutritional yeast
½ Tablespoon paprika
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
½ block of tofu, firm or soft, drained
¼ canola oil
4 generous Tablespoons of Earth Balance
½ Teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2 generous Tablespoons of Veganiaise
½ Teaspoon sea salt
1 Lb. pasta of choice (we use Quinoa pasta)

Preheat oven to 350◦

Prepare pasta as directed on package. Be sure not to overcook or it will get mushy…yuck!

While the pasta is cooking, add all other ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.

When the pasta is cooked, put the drained pasta into a baking dish sprayed lightly with canola oil and pour the sauce over the top. Mix it all together, being sure to coat all of the pasta.

Bake uncovered in the oven until hot…about 20-25 minutes.

Options and additions to play around with:
You could add some cooked, chopped broccoli or mushrooms.
You could also use smokey paprika for a different flavor.

After it was done cooking, we sprinkled it with crushed tortilla chips (in place of bread crumbs) and then put it back into the oven, uncovered, to get a crispy topping…mmmmm

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vegan Spinach Dip - Recipe

At Last!

I have always loved creamy, gooey, rich spinach dip.
We used to make it for parties and it was always such a treat.

After giving up most dairy, I just sort of forgot about it but today I decided to create a vegan version of our beloved dip. I was inspired by some vegan recipe books I have been reading to expand our food repertoire. They all have some type of creamy spinach dip...sometimes with stuff added like artichoke hearts.

Some are cold...some are hot.
Below is what we did...just try it and see if you can tell that there is no dairy or eggs!

Simple and Safe Vegan Spinach Dip

1 box or bag of frozen spinach, thawed, with the water squeezed out
1 container of vegan sour cream (12 oz.)
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (you can add a little more if you want it creamier)
1 can drained and chopped water chestnuts
1 package of dried vegetable mix

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl making sure to break up the clumps of squeezed spinach.
Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or so (if you can wait to dive in) to bring out the flavors.

We have used this as a dip with veggies and chips or you can use it to stuff tomatoes or olives.
Serve it in a pretty bowl, a martini glass or a scooped out loaf of bread.

You Are What You Eat - Book

I picked this book up at an airport waiting for my flight.

I liked the cover and have a personal belief that we are indeed, what we eat.

I read almost the entire thing on the plane and found the information really practical and easy to comprehend.
Her style of writing was clear and made sense to me. It was broken into small sections, which I really like.
I like to be able to find the information that applies to me directly.

I would recommend this book to someone that is interested in learning how to decipher physical symptoms and learn more about how their body works and how what we put in our mouth effects it.

She has another book out too that I got after finishing this one.

Non-Dairy Premade Chocolate Syrup - AH!LASKA

So creamy and good!

This non-dairy chocolate syrup tastes great over our raw, vegan (non) ice cream as a special treat.
We found it at our local health food store.

Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Natural or Organic Ingredients
Wheat Free

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vegan The New Ethics of Eating - Book

Ok, so I posted about getting this book close to when I began writing this blog but at the time I had just started reading it.

Recently, on our vacation, I finished it. I basically couldn't put it down.


I was really effected by it. It was a quick read and very simple to navigate.
The subject matter, however, was disturbing and eye-opening.

I have made personal changes in my diet as a result.

A cool thing is that I shared it with my mom (who we were visiting) and positive changes at our family dinner table happened as a result.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about where our food comes from.

Let me know what you think.

Wheat and Gluten Free Bread and Bagel Mix - Pamela's

My son was a bagel freak!

So you can imagine his distress when he found out about his allergies to wheat and eggs.
We gave them up for a while but then found this mix...note the word "bagels" on the front!!


They didn't come out pretty but they actually tasted really good...just like real bagels.
(Especially when they were crispy and toasted.)

Eggless Premade Mayonaise - Spectrum

I used to need my sandwiches smothered in mayo...then I gave up dairy and I lost the taste for it.
It actually began to gross me out.

Now there are some recipes that call for it and I am happy to have found this brand of egg-less mayonnaise.
I occasionally use the soy based varieties too but I think this is a great option for people with an additional sensitivity to soy.

Let me know what you think...

Wheat and Gluten Free Pancake Mix - Pamela's

This is our favorite pancake mix...mmmmm
So simple to make and totally yummy!

We use an egg replacer and rice milk so they work within our allergy guidelines.

Sometimes we use the pig griddle just for fun!

Coloful, Binder Clips Storage Solution - Tip

I love office supplies...weird, I know.

It is so hard for me to walk by all of those colorful, patterned clips and bands without wanting a handful.

No too long ago I succumbed to the pretty things and filled a small bin...
not knowing what I would do with them.

They sat on my desk for a while but I don't really have a huge call for binder clips.

I found a new use!

I use my colorful clips to close our food products...flours, nuts, chips, etc...

Now I get to use them all the time and they make me happy.

Egg Replacer Substitute - ENER G

I find that of all our food allergies, the egg allergy is the toughest one to navigate.

There are tons of gluten free foods on the market now but most have eggs!

This product has really helped.
We use it in recipes and have had good luck.

It is a powder that you mix with a little water and is readily available at most natural food markets.

Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free Premade Cookies - Lucy's

A yummy find...

My son and I have many food allergies but were thrilled to find cookies that actually taste good and that fit within our dietary guidelines.

This company has other flavors but these are our favorites.
Wonderful dunked in rice milk...

Give them a try!

Food Art - Dessert Flower

A dear friend of mine was lucky enough to have this thoughtful dessert display created especially for her...while she was on holiday in Greece, no less!

Just shows you how simple ingredients can be arranged in a supremely unique way.

Honor yourself with pretty things.

Handmade Raw Vegan Organic Chocolate Bar - Gnosis

This special chocolate was brought to our attention by a thoughtful shop owner in New Canaan, Connecticut. What a treat.

The box packaging was so opening a little gift!
There were other flavors but we only tried this one.
The company mission and literature were so positive and full of love...

Why Call it "Gnosis?"
(no'sis) n. [Greek for knowledge] Knowledge of the Heart, Experiential Knowledge of Truth

Raw Chef Certification Class with Alissa Cohen

My husband, Steve, attended this Raw Chef certification class as a kind of re-entry into civilian society after his year in Afghanistan.

We all went up to Maine together and enjoyed wandering around after his classes.
What a beautifull area.

He enjoyed the classes and meeting many wonderful people.
We benefited with yummy, decadent, raw treats!

Vegan Caesar Dressing - Recipe

We visit a veg cafe (Native Foods in Palm Desert, CA) while visiting my parents and one time they had this recipe in their newsletter menu.

We tried it and LOVED it!!

Thought I would pass it along.

Let me know what you think...

Storing Recipes - Tip

With our collection of recipes growing rapidly, I needed a simple way to keep them organized and accessible.

I have tried traditional recipe cards and boxes in the past and found them too small and limiting.

What I decided to do is have two with "recipes to try" and one with recipes we have tried and liked. I just hole punch sheets I print off the computer and insert them into the binder. As we try the recipes I either move them to the other binder or to the trash...depending on how they went over!

It is simple...easy to customize and large enough for me to make notes.

I also added some blank paper and plastic sleeves to the back for additional items.

Creative Vegetable Party Display - Tip

This is a variation on a simple way to serve veggies and dip for your next party.
I use a large oval, glass baking dish as my base container. This time I lined the bottom of the baking dish with a coordinating, colorful napkin. You could also leave the dish exposed and fill it with streamers, holiday ornaments, glitter, tissue paper...the options are endless.
Then I find glasses in a variety of heights and widths. I have bought a few individual glasses at the dollar store to supplement what I already have.
I like to cut the veggies long and ragged and have them be sort of organic in shape as opposed to symmetrical.
You can fill tall glasses with long carrots, celery and even bread sticks. Medium glasses are great for bell peppers sliced lengthwise and strips of jicama. Short glasses work well for shorter cut veggies and olives. Specialty glasses like Martini and Margarita are perfect for dips, sliced cucumbers and marinated items.
I think it makes a pretty presentation and I like how little of the landscape the whole collection takes up. When entertaining, sometimes space can be tight.

Creative Cupcake Frosting - Tip

I learned this pun intended...a long time ago and it has been very useful.

If you don't have fancy frosting tools and tips or if you simply don't want to get them all out and have to clean them you can try this simple trick.
Take a sandwich size ziptop baggie and snip a tiny triangle off of one of the bottom corners. Be sure the bottom is flat and that it doesn't have a gusset. I have made that mistake before and ended up with two streams of frosting! aghh!

This part takes a little finesse...while loosely holding the cut bag end in one hand, with a spoon, neatly scoop a bunch of frosting into the baggie through the open end. Then seal the top and carefully twist the top section of the baggie to force the frosting down towards the cut tip.
That's it. Instant frosting tool.

Not fancy and a little more homemade looking but still tasty!
I think the frosting is the BEST part of the cupcake anyway.

Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce - Recipe

I have NEVER liked bell peppers!
I don't like the way they taste or smell.

In fact, it is sort of a standard statement from me when ordering in a restaurant ..."no onions or peppers, please"...just automatically.
So you can imagine my utter surprise when I fell completely in love with a recipe that has peppers as one of it's main ingredients!


I actually like it so much I took a break halfway through writing this blog post to go whip up a batch...
can you say compulsive? It was worth it.
I stumbled upon the recipe online and it intrigued me because I haven't been able to eat dairy products for a while due to food allergies.

It is called "Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce" and you would NEVER, EVER know that it has no dairy and is actually a raw-vegan recipe.
We dipped chips in it, poured it over rice and my son had it with different meals. He actually packed it in his lunch himself!

Click the link below to see a short video on how easy it is to make this and to get the recipe...

The wonderful creator of this recipe is Kristen Suzanne, a Raw vegan chef, author and teacher. You can visit her website for more information.

Check out her books too...amazing, live, healthy, positive ideas!

And please let me know what you think about this...

Investment Kitchen Tools -Tip

Slowly but surely I have been upgrading some of our kitchen appliances to keep up with our growing love of creating raw and vegan entrees and desserts.

We have been stretching out our purchases as our education and needs changed and because most are quite expensive!

The new specialized products have been well worth the wait but I also feel a bigger responsibility to care for them than say my old $30 blender.

There is one thing I have done to keep the manuals for these appliances clean and handy. I included some plastic sleeves in the back of my recipe notebook and slipped each manual in a sleeve.

That way the are protected, within reach and easy to find.

Palm Greens Cafe - Restaurant

A great find on one of our trips to visit my parents.
When we travel, I always google the area for new healthy restaurants and cafes...places we can eat with our personal food choices and multiple food allergies.
I have spent many, many years in Palm Desert and Palm Springs but this was a new find for me.
Lunch at The Palm Greens Cafe was such a treat that we went back two days later for dinner!

There were many organic/vegan/vegetarian/gluten and dairy free options...from stir-frys to wraps to blueberry pancakes. I was even able to have have pizza! The best part was an amazing vegan ranch dressing that would fool anyone.
If you are ever in the area...I highly recommend it. It is a small unassuming place and the food was really good.
Palm Greens Cafe
A Natural Alternative
611 South Palm Canyon Drive, #6
Palm Springs, California


Righteously Raw Chololate Bars

I choose not to partake in conventional dessert...loaded with fat, dairy, refined sugars, bad oils, etc...but I do enjoy raw, live treats, made with real food.

A raw foods chef and teacher (Kristen Suzanne) turned me on to these beautiful raw chocolate bars and I wanted to pass along the gift.
I tried the Righteously Raw Caramel...which I LOVED
and the Righteously Raw Maca...which I really liked
I found them at Whole Foods and a local natural foods market while visiting my parents in Palm Desert, CA.
I visited their website and was really inspired by their mission and story. Check it out...

Pasta Sauce Fix Up - Tip

I recently made some pasta for my family and did a little alteration to the store bought red sauce.
My son doesn’t like chunks of tomato in his sauce so I decided to blend it to make it smooth.
While I was at it, I thought it was a good opportunity to add some nutrition.
I peeled and rough cut a couple of raw zucchinis and threw them in the blender too. I added some fresh garlic and some more fresh herbs. Once blended it was smooth and creamy and pretty pinkish-red color.
It almost looked like a Vodka Sauce.
Because he is really open to eating healthy foods (if they taste good) I told him about my additions. He thought it was so cool because he didn’t taste the zucchini but still got all of the nutritional benefits.
He isn’t a fan of zucchini on it’s own, so this was a great way to get him to eat…
and most importantly, enjoy it!

Carrot (Pulp) Cake - Recipe

We love to juice!
Anyone that has juiced carrots knows that you end up with a humongous amount of pulp/fiber.

We didn't want to through away it's goodness so I hunted for some easy recipes to utilize it.
I found one for a raw carrot cake type was amazing!

A bit more like pumpkin pie and completely decadent.
Throw all ingredients in a food processor and press in a pan.
See the link below for the forum that had the recipe we use.

After a bit in the fridge...
this is what you end up with!
Yes, that is raw carrot pulp!

(Forum post #1 by sunshineandstars )
We added a vegan (un) cream cheese frosting...recipe also found online.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheeze Dip - Recipe

So I will start by saying that I am truly sorry that I can't give credit where credit is due. I found this recipe somewhere and for the life of me can't remember where. I searched online and didn't come up with anything. If this is yours, please let me know.

With that said, this is one of my favorite raw recipes!!!!

It is so thick, creamy and cheesy
super easy to make
non-dairy, raw, vegan...

We use it as a dip, a spread, a topping...whatever.
When I bring it to parties I am ALWAYS asked for the recipe and the funny thing is, I don't even like red bell peppers! I think it is a texture thing for me. When they are all mashed up in something like this, I don't mind the taste.

I have tried substituting other nuts but it wasn't the same.

Let me know what you think.

Cheddar Cheeze Dip

1/2 large red bell pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend all ingredients  in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.

Dip and enjoy!

Juice Recipe - Valentine's Fruit Punch

A happy accident...

Last Valentine's Day Steve whipped up this random juice.
We simply used what felt good and what we had in the fridge.

The result tasted like sweet fruit punch and was very pretty.
The perfect color for Valentine's Day.

This recipe makes a lot...
about 4 large glasses to share!

Valentine's Fruit Punch
1-2 heads of romaine lettuce
1 lemon
3 red beets
5 or 6 apples
1 pear
1 inch of ginger
half a cabbage (we used napa)
half a cantaloupe

wash well and then run all through a juicer...

Pour and enjoy!

Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sun Butter Cups - Recipe


These were so good!

I waited to post this recipe until I had made it a few times...
thinking it was a fluke that they tasted so good.
No way could these be "safe" for us.

They were actually better each time!

This is our altered recipe, due to our food allergies.
Try it...see what you think.
They are super easy and can be ready for a party or special event in a short amount of time.

We have plans to try different fillings...
Raw caramel? Mint? Berries?

Sun Butter Cups

This recipe looks long but it is so easy!
Once you do it once you might not even need to look at this again.

1 to 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup organic powdered sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
10-14 paper or tin muffin cups

Melt about 1 1/4 cups of the vegan chocolate chips...90 seconds - 2 minutes on half power in the microwave or use a pot on the stove top. Stir. Be sure not to burn the chocolate.

Using the back of a spoon, press a thin layer of chocolate into the muffin cups... along the bottom and into the groves of the sides, stopping about half way up. If you want taller cups bring the chocolate higher up the sides. We preferred a thinner layer of chocolate to a thick one.

Don't expect them to be "perfect"...have fun, get messy.
They will taste good and some of the rouge chocolate will break away later, when you remove the muffin cups.

I placed my muffin cups on a cookie sheet or platter for easy transport in and out of the freezer or fridge.
Place the chocolate muffin cups into the freezer or fridge to harden.

In a bowl mix the sunflower seed butter and salt.
Fold in the the powdered sugar, breaking up the clumps as you go.

Make sure the chocolate cups have hardened. If they have, move on to the next step...
Warm the sun butter filling in a pot on the stove or in the microwave for about a minute. Let the filling sit for a minute.

Spoon the sun butter filling into the hardened chocolate cups, leaving room for the top layer of chocolate.
Place the filled cups back into the freezer or fridge while you prepare the rest of the melted chocolate.

Repeat what you did in step 1...melting the remaining chocolate.
Spoon the melted chocolate over the filled cups, gently working the melted chocolate into all edges.

Place the completed cups back in the freezer or fridge and wait (if you can) for them to set and harden.
Once set, peel the muffin cups off and enjoy!

After, I stored mine in the refrigerator and they kept for several days.
We couldn't tell for exactly how long because everyone ate them!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dairy Free, Homemade, Raw Ice Cream Tip

After giving up conventional desserts about 8 years ago
and then discovering an allergy to dairy products,
I just figured my ice cream days were over.

Then I discovered raw ice cream! Yea!
By adding a few extra natural ingredients,
you can turn almost any smoothie
into creamy, delicious, decadent raw ice cream.
The best thing would be to google “raw ice cream recipes” for specifics
but most of them simply add coconut oil, young coconut meat and sometimes nuts
to a fruit smoothie type thing.

Throw it all in the blender and blend till smooth.
Then you chill it in a bowl in the fridge.
Later you can add things like vegan chocolate chips, fruit or chopped nuts.
An ice cream maker isn’t imperative
but it does help with the consistency when freezing.
I picked up an “out of the box” Cuisinart model for about $30
at a national bed and bath store.

I just load the chilled mix into the frozen bowl,
turn on and wait about 30 minutes.
Just think, in the time it takes to clean up the kitchen after dinner,
you could have a custom blended, healthy raw treat
that you feel good about putting in yourself and your family!

I store the bowl from the ice cream maker in the freezer
so that it is always ready to go!
If you put it in a plastic bag
it won't get frostbite.

Spreading the Word!

New calling cards are on the way...Yea!
I am so excited to be able to share what we have learned.

Posting on a blog will be much easier than responding to individual recipe requests via email!

Having everything in one place where people can visit, at their convenience, is a wonderful thing.

My wish is that this blog helps others to not feel so helpless when it comes to food issues.
I also hope that we enable people to feel empowered and grateful for the abundance they have.

Juice Recipe - Tropical Sunrise


Steve whipped this refreshing juice up one morning
just pulling from what we had in the house

The color was almost glowed!

One sip and I was transported to a sandy beach on a lush island...
all that was missing was a fancy glass and an umbrella.

It was sweet and  tropical...
it sort of had a Pina Colada flavor.

I have an allergy to pineapple, so discovering a tropical flavor like this (without pineapple) was a treat for me.

Tropical Sunrise Juice

6 Carrots
2 Apples
1 Pear
1/2  Cantaloupe
1/8 Watermelon
1 inch of fresh ginger

Run all the goodies through a juicer.
Pour and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!