What happens when you pair a health-conscious, vegan mother of two who has her own diet business with a husband and children who sometimes have other ideas? This blog is a chronicle of my journey to eat and live in a life-affirming way!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What I Ate: Sat, Nov 13th

As a diet and lifestyle consultant and a "healthy," mostly-raw, mostly-vegan mom, I get constantly asked one question time and time again by clients and friends... "what do YOU eat?"

So, today I decided that I am going to start doing a log once or twice a week detailing what I have eaten. Some days will be "good" days and some days definitely NOT! Although I do strive to eat as healthily as I can, sometimes life gets in the way. Life is not about perfection!

Today was a "good" day, meaning that I woke up and had a delicious green smoothie, ate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, made a nutrition packed juice and even had a treat (or two!)

You would think that weekends would be a difficult time to stay the course but on the weekends I actually have time to make juices and don't have as many distractions as during the week when I am balancing school runs, clients, kids activities, my workout, the dog's walks and writing deadlines! So, here goes...

Food Log:

8 a.m. Shot of E3 Live Brain On- this got my day started to a bang! Tastes terrible but I definitely notice an energy lift!!! Go to my post on my website Blue-Green Algae to find out more about this and other products I recommend!

10 a.m. Green Smoothie- this green smoothie was delicious and I felt so energized yet calm. So here is what I included in it:

Green Smoothie Recipe
- 6 stalks of Locinato kale
- 2 tsp maca
- liberal sprinkling of chia seeds
- 3 slices frozen bananas
- 1 cup homemade almond milk

It is bright and sunny and in the 60s in New York and I could not wait to get outside and enjoy the day! So, between breakfast and lunch when the kids were occupied, I took a 7 mile run. Felt like I could have gone on for ages powered up by my smoothie but I came back home STARVING!
12 p.m. Raw Avocado, Lettuce,Tomato and Macadamia Nut Cheese"Sandwich" with Side Salad and Green Juice
Raw Sandwich: Love Force Bread, slice of heirloom tomato, few slices of avocado, mixed lettuce, Dr. Cow's Aged Macadamia Nut Cheese
Salad: Romaine, raddicio, and the leftover tomato and avocado topped with Sproutman's Crunchy Sprouts and dressed with Olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice.

Green Juice: Spinach, celery, cucumber, romaine, 2 slices apple

Took kids to the park until late afternoon and, after lots of pushing on the swings, lifting up to the monkey bars, pogo sticking and generally chasing kids around, came back needing a little pick-me-up and something a bit warm so made my yummy, I-can't-even-tell-it's vegan hot chocolate for everyone!

4 p.m. Hot Chocolate: ok, I have to admit, I forgot to take a picture of my hot chocolate so used a picture I had used in a previous post on chocolate! Anyway, mine looked just the same and was delicious!
Hot Chocolate
- Almond milk
- 1 tbsp raw chocolate powder
- healthy squirt of agave
- 2 tsp maca
Blend in a Vitamix until hot. Truly, it is not so hard to be vegan when you have such delectable heathy treats! Felt great and powered up after I had it!

6 p.m. Early Dinner with Caroline/ Huge Salad: Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato, avocado, sprinkling of hemp seeds, walnuts (yes, I know, not totally perfect food combining but oh well) all dressed with lemon, olive oil and sea salt. Sprinkled some dulse on at the last minute for good measure Yum!

Took a nice relaxing bath and in the mood for something sweet...

7:30 p.m. Snack/Dessert: Coconut Cashew Cream with shaved coconut, raw chocolate sauce (so easy to make!) and a few blueberries, the coconut cream was from a few days ago so this took two seconds to put together!

Cashew cream: 1 cup cashews and 1 cup dried coconut, 1/2 cups coconut water, vanilla bean, dash of agave; mix in vitamix on high until smooth and creamy and that's it!

"Chocolate sauce": tir raw cacao powder into maple syrup until hit "chocolaty" consistency and that is it! I make a larger batch and then put it in the fridge to put on top of raw puddings, ice creams or even bananas...

Plan on getting all the kids in bed, cozying up into pj's and renting a movie. Bliss!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pears for Dessert?

So, today my son got home from his track meet and was starving and exhausted! AND, after dinner he wanted something sweet. Oliver loves pears so I decided to make his favorite pear dessert! If you are looking for something sweet and healthy to serve your family, this is a great recipe! It is so simple so here goes:

Pears for dessert
2 sliced d'anjou pears
1/2 lemon

Slice 2 pears and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle an ample amount of honey over them, squeeze a bit of lemon, and then dash some cinnamon and nutmeg on top (3 to 1 ratio.) Then, stir. They are absolutely delicious. Here is a picture of Oliver gobbling them all up!
If there ARE any left, then cover and put in the fridge. They are even possibly better the next day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Salad with Ranch Dressing the Raw Vegan Way!

Last night I was so incredibly envious of my husband's delicious salad topped with pistachios and creamy ranch dressing that I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own!

So, here is what I had for lunch today:

Salad: Locinato kale with shaved carrots, raddicio, and tomatoes topped with raw pistachios and yum- my new Raw Ranch Dressing, which I plan to use later for dips, more salads and maybe even on top of steamed vegetables. I probably made it a bit thick and, if I use it again for dressing, will probably add more coconut water but this consistency is great for dips and sauces.

Raw Ranch Dressing
1 cup macadamian nuts (preferably pre-spoaked, rinsed and drained)
1/2 lemon
1/2-1 clove garlic
Dash of sea salt
Coconut water (approx 1/4-1/8 cup but add slowly to desired consistency)

Mix in a food processor until smooth.

Last minute addition: Chocolatree Italian "Pizza Bread" Crackers!!! Chocolatree Cafe's products, particularly their Chocolate Chip Cookies and their Chocolate Love Cups (ie. a grownup, healthy Reeses Cup), are truly and deeply my newest addiction!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Almond Milk and Homemade Mixed Berry Pancakes

Today I had my eye operated on and you would think that I would just want to come home and do nothing but to be honest I was feeling a bit bored so I decided to putter about in the kitchen and make my homemade almond milk and make some mixed berry pancakes for my week of recouping at home! These two recipes together literally took me under 10 minutes and I have almond milk and mixed berry pancakes for the week!

Almond milk is so nutritious-AND easy to make and it tastes so much better than the kind you can buy in a box! This recipe takes me less than 10 minutes and is well worth the effort! To watch how easy it is to make, you can watch my video on you tube by clicking here! Below is an easy recipe for the almond milk. You can use it in smoothies, over cereal or berries or even add chocolate powder and have a delicious and healthy chocolate milk!

Homemade Almond Milk
2 cups of almonds (pre-soak and rinse for 4 hrs if can)
2 cups of filtered water
Agave nectar
1-2 vanilla beans (or vanilla extract in a pinch)
Optional: maca, 1 tbsp coconut butter, dash on cinnamon
Nut bag or muslin cloth to strain

Place the almonds and water in a blender. Squeeze a healthy dash of agave nectar and add vanilla and whatever optional thing you want to add such as maca, cinnamon or coconut butter. Blend and strain. Delicious!

So, what to do with the leftover pulp? Mixed berry pancakes!

I am a big believer in not wasting what you can use and I had about 2 cups of almond pulp leftover from straining the milk as well as some berries and an avocado that were almost past their due dates so I decided to make some Mixed Berry Pancakes...

Mixed Berry Pancakes (Raw and Cooked)
1-2 cups almond pulp (or ground up almonds, walnuts or any nut really)
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp powder
1 tbsp maca
1 avocado
1 tbsp coconut butter (optional)
Dash or organic, alcohol-free vanilla extract (optional)
Dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp agave nectar
Almond milk (just enough to get mixture a good consistency)
Mixed berries (today I used strawberries, rasberries and blueberries but you can use any fruit really!)

Mix all of the ingredients into a cuisinart or blender. Mix in the berries or other fruit by hand. Shape into pancakes and place into the dehydrator for 6-8 hours and turn them over and dehyrate for an additional 4-6 hours. If you have children (or a husband) who are not so open to raw, then throw these in an omelet pan and cook these as you would any other pancake and they won't know how "healthy" these are!!!

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows Tranformed!

One of my favorite things to have at Thanksgiving and around the holidays are Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows! But, we all know that these types of dishes are always laden with butter, sugar and more butter and sugar. When the kids and I came upon a recipe in New York Magazine, they begged me to make it. So, I decided to make one with a twist of my own.

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
3 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 cups silk milk soy creamer
1 vanilla bean (use pods inside)
Dash of sea salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin spice (optional)
Marshmallows (I used the fat-free, gluten-free ones from Elyon)

Bake sweet potatos in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour until soft and let cool. Place the sweet potatoes and all other ingredients (except, of course, the marshmallows) into your food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a casserole dish.

Then, top with marshmallows. The "healthy" marshmallows I found only came in a large size so I cut mine in half.

When you are ready to serve the sweet potatoes, place in the oven at 350 degrees and reheat. Place the oven on broil and brown the marshmallows a bit.

My crew loved it and couldn't believe I served "dessert" for dinner!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Decadent Almond Butter Cups

This week's posting pairs two things near and dear to my heart- almond butter and chocolate!!! When I was a little girl, I used to adore Reeses Peanut Butter Cups so when I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter Cups by the author and chef Christina Pirello on Chloe Jo's The Girly Girl Army, I decided to make some with a few twists of my own!!!
Almond Butter Cups
2 cups organic, unsweetened chocolate chips
1 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Dash of sea salt

Place cup cake liners in a muffin pan. Melt the chocolate chips over a double broiler. If you don't have a double broiler, place a glass bowl on top of a pot with boiling water underneath. Continue stirring while heating up the chocolate until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the almond butter, agave nectar and sea salt.

Pour about 3/4-1 cm of chocolate into the muffin tin and then spoon the almond butter mixture on top in a thin layer. Top with another 1/2-3/4 cm of chocolate until all of almond butter covered.

Place in freezer and let harden well. Take out and enjoy- yum!!! The only problem with these is you want to each them all!!! My daughter, husband and I all devoured them!
Thank you Chloe Jo and Christina Pirello for the inspiration.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Veggie Burgers for the Whole Family

So, you readers out there know that I am all about doubling efforts and not creating two dinners- one for me (who eats raw) and one for the rest of my family. This veggie burger recipe is one of my favorites because you can use anything under the kitchen sink and really clean out your fridge and also you can make one entree and serve it both cooked and raw, satisfying all elements in the family!

Today I had some broccoli, a tomato and some parsely I needed to get rid of so just threw that in. There really is not a veggie that wouldn't work so don't be scared to experiment a bit! I made mine on Manna bread and made my husband's cooked one on an Ezekiel sprouted bun.
Veggie Burgers Two Ways (Raw & Cooked)
1 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds (ground)
1/2 cup brazil nuts (ground) *you can also use walnuts, almonds, or pecans
1 tomato
4-6 sundried tomatos (soaked to soften, use the water too!)
1/4 cup grated carrots
Handful of parsely
1/2 large red pepper (or 1 whole small one)
3-4 stalks of broccoli (I just used head)
Dash of Nama Shoyu (or other soy sauce variety)
1/2 squeezed lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic (I prefer just one but go for it if you like garlic!)

For toppings (optional): sliced tomato, lettuce, Dayia vegan cheese, veganaise "mayonaise" or mustard Raw "Cheddar Cheese" (see below)

Mix all of the above into a food processor and process until smooth and well mixed together. Shape into patties... and, here comes the fun part!

Raw ones- shape into patties in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 4-6 hours turning over to make sure both sides done. Serve on a raw bread such as Loveforce bread, a sprouted, organic bread such as Manna bread or Ezekiel or even a collard leaf. I use either the Manna or the Loveforce bread and love to pile mine with sliced tomato and lettuce and my yummy raw cheddar cheese (see below) but accessorize yours as you wish!

Cooked ones- shape into patties and wrap with seran wrap and put in the fridge to "set". When you are ready to cook them, place them in a pan with olive oil and cook on both sides until done. Serve on Ezekiel burger buns. If you want a "cheeseburger," then put the Dayia cheddar cheese on top. These I serve with a slice of tomato, lettuce and a side or organic ketchup and mustard for the kids and my husband to doctor up as they wish!

Raw "Cheddar Cheese"
1 cups raw macadamian nuts (pre-soaked for 4 hours)
Olive oil (add slowly until achieve desired consistency)
Dash of sea salt
Squeeze of 1/2 a lemon
2-4 slices red pepper
Healthy dash of Nama Shoyu soy sauce
Optional: Add Rawmesan (includes Nutritional Yeast)

Add all in the processor adding olive oil slowly until achieve desired consistency. This cheese is delicious and can be used on your burger or even as a topping for broccoli or cauliflower or any other yummy veggie!

Tortilla Chips Without the Guilt!

The chips you buy in the grocery store, even if they are the "healthy" variety are still processed and packaged and sit on the shelves for weeks (if not months!) So, why don't you just make them! Don't have the time? This "guiltless tortilla chip" recipe literally takes under 5 minutes so is well-worth the effort. And, best yet, you always have chips left over to sprinkle over salads, serve with dip or serve as a side to sandwiches or burgers another day! Being a busy working mom, I am all for minimal effort for maximum gain!

Trick number one is to always have a stocked pantry and fridge. We keep Ezekiel tortillas in our freezer at all times. And, when I want to make these chips (or a wrap or quesadillas or something for the kids), I just take them out for a few minutes to defrost. Next, I cut them into triangular wedges and put them on a baking tray with a healthy drizzle of olive oil and dash of sea salt and that is it! Put them in the oven and cook for 350 degrees turning over until both sides toasty and brown. Optional would be to sprinkle them with parmesan, or a vegan cheddar or mozzarella cheese such as Dayia for a more "nacho-y" effect!
Today, I just made them plain and served them alongside a tomato soup for my daughter. Was the soup "homemade"? No, it was Pacifica from a box but we moms can't always do everything!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pasta with Pesto for the Whole Family!

Do you have a problem reconciling the food you prepare for yourself with what you prepare for yourself? Whether you are on a raw food diet, are eating gluten-free or just trying to avoid carbohydrates, I love these pesto dishes! Not only are they dairy and gluten-free but they are packed with iron, calcium, Omega 3's and other vital nutrients.
Also, with this recipe, not only will you get 2 dinners for the time it took to make one, but you will also have leftover pesto to put over vegetables or on a sandwich for another day. I prepare the raw version for myself with the zucchini "noodles" and the regular pasta version for the children. So here goes:

Raw Pesto Sauce
Basil leaves- approximately 6-9 stalks
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups cashews (preferably pre-soaked)
Pumpkin seeds (1/2 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
4-6 tablespoons hemp seed oil (optional)
Blue-Manna capsule (open out of capsule)

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend! That's it. Serve with:

Raw Option: Zucchini "Noodles" (shown above, made with spirulizer or grater)
or with
Tinkyada Rice Pasta
Either way you serve the pesto sauce is dairy and gluten-free and delicious!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homemade Walnut Crusted Seitan

For anyone who lives in New York City and has been to Candle Cafe knows that their Pecan-Crusted Seitan is divine! My children and husband are nearly addicted to it and, having gotten tired spending a fortune on take-out, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own!

So, out came the Candle Cafe Cookbook, which I find so inspiring when I need some fresh ideas and do not know what to make! Here is my take on the crusted seitan. Instead of pecans, I used walnuts and I made a few changes here and there.

The best thing about making this dish is that you cook one time and get two dinners out of it! One night I served 'Walnut Crusted Seitan' with a side of fresh corn and the next night I made 'Seitan bugers.' Although I still need to prefect my recipe and, apparently my crew thought mine had too much rosemary, overall everybody loved it!!! Practice makes perfect and it is fun to experiment.

See below for both easy recipes!!!

Walnut-Crusted Seitan

2 packages seitan
Olive oil
For marinade:
- 4 sundried tomatos (soaked so soft)
- 1 tomato (roma preferably- in a pinch you can use organic ketchup)
- 1/4 cups basalmic vinegar
- 1/4 cups orange juice
- 1/4 cups umeboshi vinegar
- 1/4 cups soy sauce (preferably Nama Shoyu brand)
- 2 garlic gloves (minced)
- 3 stalks of fresh parsley (minced)
- 2 tbsp tarragon (preferably fresh but dried ok)
- 2 tbsp rosemary (preferably fresh but dried ok)
For crust:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- Healthy dash of sea salt
- 2 cups coursely ground walnuts
- 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

Blend all of the ingredients for the marinade in a blender. Soak the seitan in the mixture overnight or for at least 4 hours. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and dip the seitan in it covering it on all sides.

Heat up the olive oil in an omlet pan and cook seitan on all sides until crispy. Place on a paper towel to get off excess oil and serve. Delicious!!!!!!!!

Seitan Burgers
2-4 Ezekiel hamburger buns (or some other grainy choice)
Leftover seitan
Onions sauteed in olive oil
Sliced avocado
Sliced tomato
Vegenaise, mustard or organic ketchup

Place all of the ingredients on top of the warm bun and serve. Delicious!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes Without the Guilt!

So, this is what I had for breakfast today before going to the gym: Raw Blueberry Pancakes with organic maple syrup and fresh blueberries!

Hope you will excuse my long absence but I have been taking time to do the really important things this summer like spending time with family and just recharging my own batteries. Now that I feel fully charged and up and running, I hope you will tune into my posts again!

So, I now that I have my two children settled into school, I have been cooiing (or non-cooking) up a storm. Yesterday I made almond milk and had so much almond pulp (and leftover blueberries) and, you know how much I dislike wasting food, so I decided to make my raw blueberry pancake. They are so easy to make, delicious, and a great way to power up your day!

Raw Blueberry Pancakes
1 cups almond pulp (or ground up almonds, walnuts or any nut really)
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp powder
1 tbsp maca
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp coconut butter (optional)
Dash or organic, alcohol-free vanilla extract (optional)
Dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp agave nectar
Almond milk (just enough to get mixture a good consistency)
Blueberries, strawberries or bananas (to put on top)

Mix all of the ingredients into a cuisinart or blender. Mix in the berries or other fruit by hand. Shape into pancakes and place into the dehydrator for 6-8 hours and turn them over and dehyrate for an additional 4-6 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator then you can cook the pancakes on low heat in an omlet pan on the stove (technically they would not be raw, though.)

Here are the pancakes in the dehydrator:

When you have finished you will have a decadent, delicious breakfast and feel great and powered up for your day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Juice Feasting or Fasting?!?

I have been a bit out of touch because I have been doing Dr. Gabriel Counsen's Juice Fast for Peace at Organic Avenue! You get 4 large 16 oz. green juices (see above) and have lectures and counseling sessions with Cousen and nightly meditation. Lately I have been feeling total burnout juggling my business, writing assignments and motherhood and giving my body a break is just what I have needed!

I have found that I am a little grumpy and on edge and have just been working in total overdrive but luckily my younger daughter is off at camp so there has been no sibling fighting to send me over the edge!!! Overall it is amazing, but I have been supplementing a bit with additional juices and smoothies because the 4 juices just have not been cutting it for me!

Day 1 of Juice Fast: Kale and Banana Smoothie

4-6 stalks of kale
1 cup almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp maca
1 tbsp chia
1 tbsp hemp powder
1 tbsp goji berry powder

This totally hit the spot!!! Feeling amazing today- clear and totally energized!

Day 2: Kale, Banana, Cucumber & Celery Smoothie

3 stalks of kale
1/2 cucumber
3 stalks of celery
1 tbsp maca
1 tbsp chia
1 cup almond milk
1/2 frozen banana

Took this in the car on the way to the beach with my son!!! Here is where I perched on the beach all day reading my book- felt like a new person!

Day 3: Chocolate, Goji berry, Banana "I am dying" Smoothie

Day 3 is always hardest for me when I am fasting and I needed a major boost! So, here was my rocket fuel! After I drank this I was good to go!

2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp goji berrie
1 tbsp maca
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk

Truly this absolutely hit the spot and got me through the day without reaching for FOOD!

Day 4: Watermelon Juice

Blend watermelon and serve- that's it! Watermelon can be frozen in chunks or just chilled before you blend it according to your desired consistency. Today after a 6 mile run this was a total thirst quencher.

Well, hopefully, these recipes have inspired you when you go on your own juice fast or are just making smoothies or juices at home! Drink and enjoy- we are off on a 2 week vacation and to pick up my daughter at camp!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Potted Herb Gardens- Delicious Herbs for You and Fun for the Kids!

Several weeks ago before my daughter and I left for camp, we decided that we would plant an herb garden! Above are the before and after shots!

We have fresh rosemary, curly parsley, basil and mint! Even if you live in the city, if you just have a bit of outdoor space such as an outdoor landing or even a window box, you can't easily plant a few herbs. All you need are some pots, dirt, seeds or seedlings, sun & water and viola! It took us a total of 15 minutes to get everything planted. The only bump in the road was that I forgot to factor in the fact that we would be gone a week dropping off Caroline at camp so we lost the tomatoes (see left center) but I replaced them with a hearty rosemary.

I can't wait to use the mint in a pasta with pea dish that Caroline adores (and in my chocolate mint smoothie) and to use the rosemary when grilling!

It is so exciting for children to be able to plant seeds and watch them grow and Caroline is going to be so proud of her herb garden when she returns from camp!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bak Choy Coconut Salad

We are awaiting our new delivery of vegetables from our CSA so today after making a huge green juice when I looked in our fridge we literally only had Bak Choy and a few garlic scrapes left. I am determined to use each and every vegetable that we are delivered! But, if you are anything like me, you get in a rut and I have definitely been in my greens and avocado salad dressed in olive oil and lemon rut. So, what to do? A while ago I took cooking classes from Chef Dan and came across one of his delicious recipes. I tweaked it a bit and here is what I whipped up!

Bak Choy Coconut Salad
2 heads Bak Choy
2 tbsp unsweetened grated coconut
2-3 tbsp coconut butter (leave at room temp so more of a liquid when dress salad)
Healthy dash of soy sauce (we use Nama Shoyu)
Garlic or garlic scrapes

My new secret ingredient is the coconut cream from Sacred Foods! I have been putting the coconut cream on everything from raw bread (for me), Exekiel bread for my son and even adding it to smoothies. This was the first time I have used it on a salad and it was truly delicious!

The salad was so amazing that I literally had to fend off my husband's fork so I could get a bowl full!!! I have to admit my son was not a fan but we are still working on him to get him to like salads. He likes steamed veggies and even raw veggies with dip but no salads- go figure!
So, why eat Bak Choy. Bak Choy is rich Vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, calcium, and nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber--both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer. Definitely a vegetable that we all need to eat more often!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie Anyone?

Along with the homemade muffins this morning, I made my decadent chocolate banana smoothie. Packed with protein, calcium, potassium, omega 3's and antioxidants, it is a wonderful way to start the day! Yum- delicious!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie
2 small bananas (or 1 large one)
1 frozen banana
2-3 tbsp unsweetened chocolate powder
Agave nectar to sweeten (if needed)
2 tbsp hemp seed powder (optional- to add protein & omega 3s)
Dash of flax seed oil (to add omega 3's)
2-3 cups vanilla almond milk (or soy milk or hemp milk)

Blend in blender and enjoy!

Homemade Healthy Blueberry Muffins that Your Family Will Devour!

It is a lazy Sunday morning here in New York City and after a late birthday celebration last night for my son's 10th birthday, everyone woke up just wanting to putter about in their pj's. I looked in my pantry for some inspiration and came upon the Purely Elizabeth gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free muffin mix that had been given to me in a care package by Integrative Nutrition (thank you so, so much IIN!)

The instructions say to add water, maple syrup, olive oil, vanilla and frozen or fresh blueberries but I put my own little spin on it and added almond milk that I had just made the night before, some hemp seed powder for extra protein, and some flax seed oil for extra omega 3's. Instead of the olive oil, I used coconut butter. And, I used my new secret ingredient- the best alcohol-free vanilla from Sun Organic Farms .

I served the muffins with a side of raw almond butter and the crew completely scarfed them down!!! And, the best part yet was it only took me 5 minutes to whip up and just 20 mins in the oven!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our CSA Farm Share Starts Today: What are They and Why Should You Sign Up?

Here in New York not much grows locally in the winter but last night I finally was able to excitedly await our first delivery of our CSA farm share!

I am sure you have heard of CSA's but just what are they, you might wonder!

CSA stands for 'community supported agriculture' and they are a unique approach to farming that brings the farms and constomers together to produce quality, locally harvested, sustainable crops to your dinner table! With a CSA you become a "member" of the farm for a season by pre-paying on the produce you will receive, which enables the farmer to be able to afford to plant and harvest the produce! And, you in return receive a portion of the farm's harvest!

I am a member of a CSA called My Farm Share. I am signed up for the vegetables only share but you are able to add on a fruit share as well as an egg share to your membership. Each Tuesday night beginning in June, we receive a box bursting with fresh vegetables for our week!

This morning, we received ample amounts of mixed lettuces, swiss chard, arugula, kale, radishes, garlic scrapes, bac choi and fresh basil! Not only does receiving vegetables each week encourage me to experiment with vegetables I have turned out to love but might not ordinarily buy, but I have been able to really connect with and become educated about which vegetables are in season in my area.

When you have eaten a vegetable that has literally just been picked and delivered to your doorstep and you taste just how fresh they are, you can literally never go back! Today, I am planning on making a large salad for lunch with the fresh lettuces and radishes and a large green juice and tonight I will make a fresh pesto with the basil- yum! As we get different vegetables each week, I will be posting new recipes to test out for your family so stay tuned!

Garden Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Mixed lettuces

Optional: grated carrots, sliced tomatos, avocado, or any other vegetable that you have and love!

For the dressing:

4-6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 Lemon

Dash of sea salt

In a large bowl, mixed the lettuce and then top with whatever vegetables you have on hand. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon, garlic and sea salt and then top on your salad! Truly so delicious and easy!!!

Pesto Sauce

1 ¼ cups olive oil
2 cups chopped basil
1 clove chopped garlic
½ cup chopped pine nuts

1/2 cup parmesan (optional!)
Lemon (optional)

Mix all of the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you want a more lemony taste you can add the juice of one lemon. You can use this pesto sauce over regular pasta noodles, on top of pizza or brushetta, or even over fish!

Tonight I will use the pesto sauce over regular noodles (rice Tinkyada) for my son and husband and over zucchini noodles, which I have sliced with a mandolin or hand slicer, for me!

However you use it the result is delicious and it is always nice to have some in the fridge to spice up recipes!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Homemade Dried Fruit: Perfect Portable Snack for the Plane!

What do you do when you know you will be traveling on an airplane? Well, the first thing I do is pack provisions, which usually include an avocado, some dulse, some olive oil and lemon, and some healthy snacks such as a Lara Bar, Moms in the Raw granola bar, or even some Sacred or Gnosis chocolate!
This weekend, I was taking my daughter to camp in North Carolina (boo hoo) and I noticed that I had tons of fruit left so decided to make dried fruit for us for the plane!

So, how do you make them?
It was so incredibly easy!!! All you need is a dehydrator and some fruit. All I did was slice up the remainder of the box of strawberries and the leftover pineapple that I had made my son's smoothie with the day before and pour the blueberries on the tray (see above.) I let the strawberries and pineapple dehydrate overnight but the blueberries needed a bit more time.

And, voila, snacks for the plane! We ended up having a long wait on the tarmac and Caroline and I were very grateful to have our snacks to tied us over for a late dinner!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Raw Chocolate Pudding Kids & Grownups Will Adore!

Tonight I got home late with the children from their dance and drama classes and while they sat at the kitchen counter having dinner, I made this delicious pudding. It is so easy to make and truly addicting!

Raw Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Cream
2 Thai coconuts (if you do not have these you can substitute 2 cups of raw cashews and 1 1/2 tbsp coconut butter)
2 vanilla beans (or alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1-1½ tbsps unsweetened chocolate powder
½ cup agave nectar

Open the Thai coconuts and take the meat of both coconuts and the juice of another and blend until smooth. A Vitamix blender works best. Add the agave nectar and beans from the vanilla pods and run. Take some of the pudding and put it aside for the vanilla cream. Add the chocolate powder to the rest and continue to blend. Serve the chocolate pudding in a fun glass or bowl and add a dollop (or more!) to the coconut cream on the top.

My crew devoured it up! And, I felt good because they were not filling their bodies with sugar or dairy-laden desserts.

A Refreshing Pineapple, Mango & Banana Power Smoothie

My son had Sports Day today and I knew it was going to be a scorcher. So, this is what I made my crew this morning for breakfast before we all headed out! Packed with nutrients, live enzymes as well as protein, this is a great way to start a hot, action-packed day!

Pineapple, Mango & Banana Power Smoothie
3 slices of pineapple (sliced about 1/4-1/2 in thick)
1 mango
1 sliced banana (frozen)
1-2 cups almond milk
2-4 tbsp hemp protein powder

Blend all until smooth and enjoy. Truly this is so delicious and incredibly refreshing!