Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pancake Saturday

Happy weekend! I love Saturdays, especially when they start out this way:

so tasty :) gluten-free and vegan too! I saw this recipe on Averie's blog awhile back, and even though I'm normally not a pancake eater (with all the food allergies and stuff, unless *I* make them, I definitely won't eat them, but usually I don't eat breakfast - just a big green juice in the morning, mid-morning snack is fruit, salad for lunch... that sorta thing) - I was craving pancakes all this week. Into the blender went a banana, a verging-on-mealy-apple (you could also use applesauce), 1/4 cup of this milk:

on sale this week :) and a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

You could also use an egg if you roll with eggs. Or egg replacer. Just need something to bind it all together. Then I mixed in the oats, tapioca flour, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt, baking powder & baking soda (I would have put in vanilla extract, too, but we're out - anyone know any cheap online places to order it from? I hate how expensive it is at the grocery, but love it!):

and threw in some extras:

it's blueberry season! love it! I bought blueberries, strawberries (even though they came all the way from California, they rock my world), and raspberries yesterday, among other things... I also threw in some vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks, for good measure :) When I was growing up, my mom made breakfast every morning. It was awesome. I loved that she stayed home with us (until I was in middle school, when she went back to school).... but she would make Mickey Mouse pancakes, with mini-chocolate chips (long before I knew gluten and I were destined to hate each other). I sprayed the griddle with this:

Here they are cooking up:

and my plate:

topped with smart balance light (vegan and gluten-free) and maple syrup and berries! Normally I'm not really into butter or buttery replacements, but sometimes... it's good stuff.

on the side I had this beauty:

all cut up:

and this tea that I had forgotten all about:

I topped it with some Vanilla Almond Milk:

Last night, I whipped up the raw classic, chocolate avocado mousse. I make mine in the food processor because I think it's easier to clean and get it out. I used 1 1/2 avocados, about 1/4 cup raw agave, about 2 tablespoons maple syrup (not technically raw but delicious and adds an amazing warmth and richness to this dessert)

and something else I don't usually do - I put in some of the vanilla Almond Breeze. It made the mousse really creamy:

and extra good. Or maybe it's just as good as it always is :) I like it though. Here's my bowl, topped with berries:

so freaking good! If you haven't ever made this, go make it. Now.

Here's some of my goodies from the farmer's market yesterday:

The farmer's market is amazing. The one I go to, Parkesdale Farms, is conveniently on my way home from work, and while it's not certified organic, their farming practices are (as I think is the case for many smaller operations since it is costly and timely to become certified). Markets are great because you are supporting local economy and you can't beat the price, freshness, or quality. While sometimes the selection isn't as varied as I'd like it to be (I can't get kale, spring mix, or other greens, for example), I save an enormous amount of money. For $20.62 here's what I bought:

4 pears

1 apple

4 plums

4 nectarines

5 apricots

1 pint blueberries

1 pint strawberries

2 heads romaine

2 packs celery

2 avocados

1 pint grape tomatoes

6 red peppers (3 for $1!!! I had stopped at the regular grocery store first and bought 1 for $2.49 - $3.90 / lb)

8 cucumbers (4 for $1 - I juice... and eat. a lot :)

10 lemons

and everything is always super fresh and delicious. Yesterday was a big errand day - I also ran by Publix (the regular grocery), Whole Foods (kale heaven!!) and Target. I made a spin on my Tahini Caesar dressing and added grape tomatoes and basil:

all mixed up:

and turned this bowl of green goodness

into this:

sooo yummy!

Well, I'm done icing this lovely leg:

:/ and done drinking my snack juice:

kale stems, romaine, celery, ginger, lemon, pear, green apple, pineapple core (great use for it!), cucumber and spoonful of spirulina stirred in... green goodness! Even though the leg brace is obviously less than aesthetically appealing, the healing is coming along. When I was at physical therapy yesterday, I used the stationary exercise bike - no resistance, but I could turn the peddles (this might not seem like much, but I've been hobbling around with one crutch, and it felt HUGE). This whole experience has reminded me of how much the human body is capable of, and how it can heal and what an opportunity I have to make my body something even *better* - stronger, faster, healthier. I am also very grateful that I am just recovering from surgery / injury and not permanently disabled.
anyway, time to finish up laundry, do some time on the bike, and make some lunch! Head over to Averie's blog and enter to win a kitchen scale so you can weigh out Medjool dates and make dessert. Or whatever :) Have a great Saturday and enjoy the sun!

Go to Katie's blog and enter to win some Artisana coconut butter , coconut oil & cocoa bliss, because it rocks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cups & Full Moon Effects

Happy Thursday! Who's looking forward to the weekend? I know I am! We usually get to scoot out of work early before long weekends, so that's definitely a plus! Anyone else feeling the effects of the Full Moon? My good friend Averie mentioned some of the effects, and I can say I am definitely sensing some of the weirdness! A few days ago, I found my beloved Sigg water bottle in the fridge and it had frozen solid (my husband had a gallon - yes a gallon! - of beer that had shoved it to the back) and burst, destroying it :( sorry no pic... but he did replace it with this beauty:

I would've picked out something pink but it was super sweet of him to pick me out a new one :) He also got me this beauty from Whole Paycheck:

he might not eat kale with me, but he replenishes my supply! What a guy :) I had this random (full moon?) thing happen... broken cutting board:

I made this dressing today:

sooo delish! I started with this:

homemade tahini! What can't the vitamix do? All I did was put in about a cup of raw sesame seeds, a third a cup of warm water, and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, plus a pinch of sea salt. Super easy. I just took some of the tahini out of the blender, then left about half a cup in to make my salad dressing.

Caesar-Inspired Dressing:
1/2 c raw tahini
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
juice & zest of one lemon
juice of half an orange
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic (optional - omit if you aren't into garlic)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 T fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
sea salt to taste (several grinds)
cracked black pepper to taste (several grinds)

Blend until smooth. I poured mine over kale....

and stuffed my face! (guess I forgot to take a picture... it was good though :) I could eat kale all day, every day, and be one happy happy kid. I also had some spiralized zucchini noodles with the dressing:

also pretty tasty!

Dessert #1... inspired from a Reese's, coconut-style! I used these vegan chocolate chips:

(the dark and regular semi-sweet 365 brand from whole foods also appear to be vegan, even though they aren't certified. I like to say I'm 'plant-based' more so than vegan... plus I do still eat seafood from time to time. Cheese doesn't so much do it for me anymore, and it was my last dairy thing... we'll see what the diet progresses to) I used about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips for 2 coconut-cup desserts, melting the chocolate in the microwave (you could also do a double boiler). Be careful in the microwave - check on it about every 10-15 seconds so that it doesn't burn. Pour half of the melted chocolate into each of the cupcake liners, then put in fridge until hardened slightly (while making filling). After about 10 minutes, once chocolate is cool and slightly firm, top with coconut filling.

Coconut Filling: (for 2 desserts)
2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon agave or maple syrup

Melt coconut oil and mix ingredients together in food processor until smooth.

Add dollop of filling to each:

Then melt another 1/4 cup or so of chocolate and top filling with chocolate:

Put desserts in fridge or freezer (depending on how impatient you are!) to cool and harden. Finished product:

Very rich, but pretty tasty if I do say so :)

I also had some popcorn, using the brown paper bag method (just put about two tablespoons of kernels in a brown paper lunch bag and microwave until you hear 1-2 seconds between pops - I do it without oil or anything in the bag, and it comes out perfectly every time. Love it! Economical, good for the environment, easy-peasy, and yummy!). I topped it with melted coconut oil, vegan chocolate chips, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and stevia.

Soooo awesome! Like chocolately caramel corn. But better.

I made Averie's Vegan Coffee Chocolate Chip Softserve... yummy :)

those dark chocolate chunks were stellar in it! It's been a big dessert week... or big chocolate week, should I say?

The other day I made some mango vinaigrette

Here it is over spiralized zucchini noodles:

It was spicy! Here's the recipe:

1 Mango
1" chunk ginger, peeled
1 garlic clove
1/2 jalapeno (depending on how spicy you like it!)
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon brown rice vinegar
zest & juice of 1 lime
juice of half an orange
handful cilantro

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix until smooth.

What does everyone have going on this weekend? Fill me in! I am long overdue for some spring cleaning... With the wedding and the knee injury I've been procrastinating... which leads me to my *tip of the day* Just do it! whatever it is - stop waiting for your kids to get older or life to slow down or the weight to come off or the weather to get warmer .... just start the project or whatever it is - many times in life, we just need to take one step towards something to realize how badly we want it, and how capable we are of achieving what we want. And other times, that one step is all it takes to realize that it's not what we want. But whatever it is - go after it - life is too short to not put everything we have into everything we do! Have a fabulous weekend!