WIAWhen its that awkward between seasons time

Happy Humpday everybody!!!!

Sorry I’m a bit late to the party, but hey I made it! Yes, for the first time since school started, my week day workload is finally somewhat manageable, and I couldn’t wait to show you my pretty food pictures! Come on, tell me you don’t do that too.

“I think this is such a pretty food picture but I have to save it for Wednesday!!!”

Truth. Anyway, even though it is still, albeit barely, August, I’ve started to crave fall. Pumpkin, cinnamon, boots and cozy blankets and tea. Yes. Alas, its still summer. So my eats are a little mood-swingy haha!!photo-256See on the summer spectrum, I still love big green smoothies -this is a melon-pineapple-matcha-mint and ginger combo (plus lemon and spinach). So refreshing!photo 3-120But I’ve also been getting into oatmeal a lot more recently. Solution? Summer fruit oats! Topped with blueberries, grapes, kiwi and watermelon, because why not? Eeeeexactly.photo 5-77Still, this morning, all bets were off. Its fall enough for me!!! Pumpkin spice oats with apples:)photo-255My main meals vary, anything from ‘hippie bowls’ -rice, veggies, beans, nooch, random condiments etc…photo-252To spring rolls (ahem summer…)photo-251And back to warm, orangey deliciousness!! Broccoli, falafel and sweet potatoes topped with tahini sauce and spicy ketchupphoto-249Even my drinks have gone from sweet and creamy (ever mixed zevia root beer with iced almond milk coffee? Do it. Its like a grown up root beer float)photo 1-120To fruity green smoothies! Watermelon, lime, mint, ginger, spinach and ice 🙂 Soo good

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I’ve been hoarding as much fresh summer fruit as I can before its all gone…

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But alas, pumpkin strikes again!! Did you know that a box of spice cake mix plus a can of pumpkin makes the best, cheater pumpkin bread/cake ever? Bonus points for adding chopped apple!!

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But of course, we cannot forget the ice cream. Chocolate (and cinnamon -see its everywhere) homemade ice cream with peanut butter sauce

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And lots of Cookie Dough… Always.

I know its still Summer, but have you started to “crave” Fall? Confession: Its gotten so bad that I had pumpkin/orange at every meal today. Pumpkin oats, sweet potatoes at lunch, kabocha at dinner, and pumpkin pie ice cream (home made, once I tweak the recipe I’ll post it!) for dessert!! Commence my lovely self-tanning habits of Autumn!

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Marvelous Monday – Love and Cookies

Happy Monday everyone! I am so so happy today-I actually have relax time after school for the first time in two weeks! I’ve been so stressed out lately, what with homework and getting my school club up and running, studying for the SAT, getting ready for college applications and dance shows and school tests and and and……

But today, I think finally figured it out. I figured out how to be organized and productive and motivated.

I think I discovered the secret to ensuring that your Monday is ALWAYS marvelous!

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Make sure you put reminders up everywhere you look to love yourself and love your life

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Hace a clean, organized, un-cluttered workspace (I just cleaned my desk -and added the whiteboard-last night and I feel so much more productive!)

Live every moment of your days to the fullest

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….and always make sure you have a good snack ready and waiting 🙂

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This recipe I made created using the Living Intentions Sprouted Superflour I received to review, and it came out perfectly!

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As you know, there is no ailment that cookie dough cannot fix. Even if its a bad case-or a good case- of the Mondays.

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These cookie dough truffles actually taste like Raw cookie dough, in taste and texture. So they are pretty much perfect. Highly addicting. The sign of a good recipe.

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(Almost) Raw Cookie Dough Truffles

makes 16

  • 1 C. Sprouted Super Flour (or a mixture of your favorite whole grain flour and almond meal)
  • 4 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 C. nut milk
  • 2 1/2 heaping TB raw almond butter
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp stevia extract (or to taste)
  • Chocolate Chips or Cacao Nibs (as many as you want!!!)
  • Optional: Cocoa powder, coconut shreds for coating

Soften the dates in the nut milk for about 30-45 minutes (or just put in microwave for a few seconds). Add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor and blend until everything is well incorporated. Adjust sweet/salty to your preferences. Pulse in the chocolate chips (Maybe 1/4-1/3 C to start?), then roll into balls and keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat. If you want to dust them, roll the truffles in coconut shreds or cocoa powder (or a mixture of the two, which is what I did) before putting them in the fridge.

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Now go sit down at your clean desk with a couple of truffles, maybe a glass of iced coffee, and enjoy your luxurious, Marvelous Monday!

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And Tuesday. Wednesday. Thurs-you get the idea 🙂

Living Intentions Review

A little while ago, Living Intentions sent me a few of their amazing raw goodies to review!!

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I received a sample of their Sprouted Flour, Sprouted brownie mix, and two flavors of their raw Gone Nuts!

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Of course, I broke into the nuts within minutes of opening the package and taking pictures. Oops.

Okay, not oops. Mmmmmmmm…..

These were gone in no time.

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Ingredients: Organic Raw Cashews, Organic Clear Agave Nectar, Sprouted Almonds (pesticide free), Organic Coconut, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Cacao Butter, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Vanilla Extract and Organic Mesquite Pod Meal.

The white chocolate nuts were delicious, on their own tasting very coconutty and sweet with a hint of salt, and very much like white chocolate when I put some on top of my breakfast oats:) I am usually not a white chocolate fan -its very sweet, but these were divine!

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I liked the clusters of cacao even better!

Ingredients: Sprouted Almonds (pesticide free), Organic Raisins, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Blueberries, Organic Coconut, Organic Raw Cacao, Organic Clear Agave Nectar, Organic Unfiltered Olive Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract and Himalayan Crystal Salt.

A smooth dark chocolate coating held together clusters of almonds and dried fruit -it was nutty and fruity and sweet and dark and delicious! My only complaint was the raisins-simply because I’m not a raisin fan though haha!

I usually ‘hide’ my ‘special’ foods (i.e. these nuts) from my stepdad so that I get them all to myself….buutttt I found out after getting these that he knows where my hiding place is. AKA its a good thing I tried them first! Haha  I will definitely be trying more of their Gone Nuts! line!

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Next up were the sprouted flours- which I was super excited about!! I decided to try each of them in both a cooked and a raw recipe, to see how they turned out!!

For the raw cacao brownie cake mix, I made (surprise) raw brownies

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Following the recipe on the back of their package pretty closely

and baked brownies

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Using 1 cup of mix, 1 small avocado, 1 banana, 1/2 T vanilla and a bit of baking powder. They came out super moist but I have to say the batter was better than the finished product (isn’t that ALWAYS the case? 😉 )

Both brownies were very rich and chocolatey, however the mix does have a strong maca aftertaste in both desserts, which took away a bit from the chocolate in my opinion. Other than that I did enjoy the brownies! And they have such better, higher quality ingredients than almost any other brownie mix I’ve seen! Low sugar too!

Ingredients: The Original Sprouted Super Flour (Organic Sprouted Buckwheat, Sprouted Almonds (pesticide free), Organic Mesquite Pod Powder, Micro-Fine White Chia Powder and Agave Inulin), Organic Cacao, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Raw Sun-Dried Cane Juice Crystals, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Coconut, Raw Brown Rice Bran & Germ, Organic Maca Powder and Himalayan Crystal Salt.

And last but most certainly not least, was my favorite product of the package! The raw Super Flour!

Ingredients: Sprouted Organic Buckwheat Flour, Sprouted Almond Meal (pesticide free), Organic Mesquite Pod Powder, Micro-Fine White Chia Seed Powder, and Organic Agave Inulin.

Made out of sprouted grains and super foods-it was slightly sweet and delicious -I could eat it by the spoonful.

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First I made a batch of almond-peach pancakes, and they were divine! The super flour had a wonderful taste and texture-the almond meal in the flour gave these pancakes a ‘crunch’ , taking pancakes to a whole new level!!
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I followed the recipe on the back of the package for their raw ‘oatmeal’ cookies, using almonds instead of walnuts and adding some ginger, then I dehydrated these for a few hours. Oh my goodness were these amazing! They tasted like actual oatmeal cookies, but with the ginger they also tasted like gingersnaps! I would so make these again!
And finally, I made up my own recipe
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For (almost) raw cookie dough truffles -but you’ll have to wait for another post for the recipe!!! 😉 Can I just say these were awesome though?
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In all, I loved my samples from Living Intentions -even the packaging! Basically my mantra when cooking. I can’t wait to try out more products from this amazing company! Thanks Living Intentions!
And guess what? You can too!! Through the end of August Living Intentions is offering $5 off purchaces of $30 or more with the coupon code LIVINGAUG13 . Visit shop.livingintentions.com to take advantage of this awesome opportunity! Hurry, and try the Super Flour so you can make the truffles -coming soon 🙂

Recipe ReDeux: (Not So) Chunky Monkey Jars

I just signed up to be a member of Recipe ReDeux, and when I got the email I found out that I had 3 days before the first link up. AHHH!!! So exciting but AHHH!!

This months theme was “Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar”, and immediately my mind started inventing what I could make. I didn’t want to go the usual OIAJ route (I know I know. Its hardly normal to the “real world” to eat breakfast out of a peanut butter jar. But its too usual for me). I wanted to make something awesome for my first recipe redeux. Also, I wanted to bake (baking therapy is important to me). And I wanted chocolate pudding. So my thought process went a little like this:

Thinking. Thinking. Hmmm I really like the PB-Chocolate-Banana combo -chunky monkey is it?…Now turn that into a jar recipe…..barrel of monkeys…Chunkey Monkey Barrels…Chunky Monkey Jars!

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Well, this is chunky monkey’s health conscious cousin. You know, the one who buys health magazines and owns a gym membership.

She’s not so chunky, but every bit as delicious-if not more so. She is also infinitely more well-put together, and prepared and balanced. She is ready for breakfast or dessert. Or both.

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A dense peanut butter banana muffin, a thick and rich chocolate mousse, and a sweet and sticky peanut butter mousse all layered together with fresh banana slices.

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Decadent enough for dessert, yet healthy and balanced enough for breakfast!

Chunky Monkey Jars

serves 4

For the banana bread layer:

  • 2/3 C whole spelt flour
  • 3 T. peanut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 super ripe, medium bananas
  • 1/2 T. nut butter
  • 1/4 C. nondairy milk + 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 T. raw sugar
  • 3 T. stevia baking blend (or more sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 325. Lightly grease the insides of four small (8-10 oz) jars. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt together. In a small bowl, mash the bananas then add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined. Add liquid to dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Scoop batter evenly into the jars (about 1/4 C per), place jars on a cookie sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes (toothpick test!) Allow jars to cool COMPLETELY before filling with mousses (can put in fridge once they are cool to the touch)

For Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 2/3 c nondairy milk
  • 1/2 T. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 C. dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp stevia extract

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Keep in fridge until ready to use!

For Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 1 C. cooked chickpeas
  • 6 oz (1/2 package) silken tofu
  • 2-3 heaping TB Peanut Butter (or almond, sunbutter)
  • 1/2 C. peanut flour/PB2
  • 1 date
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • dash salt
  • 3/4-1 tsp stevia extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or peanut butter extract

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. If it is too thick, add some nondairy milk. Too thin, add more nut butter, peanut flour, or a pinch of xanthan gum. Keep in fridge until ready to use!

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For assembly! Once the jars and muffins are completely cool, top muffins with a layer of one flavor of mousse, then a few banana slices (if you wish), and top it off with the other flavor of mousse (There may be extra of the peanut butter mousse)! Serve right away, or put a lid on it and keep it in the fridge for later!

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These are awesome because they are perfectly portioned for a quick breakfast or a healthy dessert, and can be made a day or two in advance! Also, it comes in a jar, which as everyone knows, means they taste better than your average, un jarred parfait. For bigger portions (maybe more large-meal sized??) split into two or three peanut butter jar sized jars!

Good thing this makes four! I made these for my family of three for dessert, and may or may not have finished the last one the next morning for breakfast 😉 I’m just a crazy monkey I guess!!

A Cake To Remember

Forgive me lovelies, for I have slacked.

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I haven’t posted, I haven’t replied to your comments, I haven’t read your blogs -shoot I haven’t even turned my computer on since Sunday!

I even made this a whole week ago, and didn’t even tell you about it (unless you follow me on instagram)

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But I had a legitimate reason. Senior year started in full throttle. Up at 5:40, school at 7:45, home at 3:00, and homework until 11.  I haven’t even had time for a run, movies, or even baking! And you know, baking is incredibly therapeutic for me.

So I decided to come back with a recipe, for a mind-blowingly delicious cake. I hope you’ll forgive me?

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Making this cake, last week, was absolute bliss. The measuring and mixing, the baking and blending.

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The scent of warm chocolate swirling through the air as the cake cooled.

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Then the assembly.

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When I can just lose myself in the repeated swirls of frosting, taking photos between each step

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looking for new, artistic angles to capture my edible medium.

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Of course, I felt incredibly hipster too, creating an incredible vegan cake while wearing my cute, thrifted high-waisted shorts, waiting to go shopping at the consignment store and planning my activist club.

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But the big plans were at the back of my mind, as I decorated this beautiful cake, my creation, in the soft summer sunlight. It was peaceful.

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And then came time to cut the cake. My best friend came over, and we sliced beautiful slices, laughing about how this cake was the ultimate ‘cravings cake’ (In case you missed it, last week all I wanted was cookie dough. And chocolate)

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We sat down with our cake, watched a girly movie, and laughed our last summer weekend away.

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This cake, THIS CAKE.

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Thin yet fluffy, light and moist, perfectly chocolate cake layers

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Filled with a sweet, buttery, incredible cookie dough filling.

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And finished off with a silky chocolate frosting.

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Double Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake (or, ultimate cravings cake. Or, therapist cake)

serves 10

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 C. Whole Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 C. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C. maple syrup
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T. white or rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 T. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C. water
  • 3 T. almond milk (or use iced almond milk coffee 😉 )

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch circular cake pans. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix together remaining (liquid) ingredients well. Add flour mixture to liquid mixture in 2-3 batches, mixing well each time, until your cake batter is smooth. Pour evenly into the two pans (they will be thin in 2 pans, this is on purpose) and bake 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Make sure cake is completely cooled before frosting

For the Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/2 C. dates
  • 1/3 C. almond milk
  • 3-4 T. nut butter of choice
  • 1.5 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. baking soda
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2 T. coconut flour (Optional)
  • Stevia to taste (start with 1 tsp and increase as needed)
  • 3-4 T. ground flax
  • 1/3 C. oats
  • 1/4-1/3 C. chocolate chips (chopped smaller if you wish)

Soften your dates by pitting them and putting them in a mug, then cover them with the almond milk and microwave them for about 40 seconds. In a food processor, add beans through stevia and blend well until smooth. Add flax, process, and adjust your sweetness and saltiness until the flavors suit you (I put a lot of vanilla, baking soda/powder, and sweetness in because those are the main flavors of cookie dough and I like them to be prominent). Once you find your balance, pulse in the oats, then the chocolate chips. Keep in fridge until you are ready to ‘frost’. Don’t worry-this makes extra on purpose 😉

For the Frosting/Pudding

  • 3/4 of a large ripe avocado (or 1 whole small)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 C. pitted dates
  • 1 C. canned pumpkin (or cooked sweet potatoes/squash)
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 C. almond milk
  • 1/4 C. peanut flour or PB2
  • 2/3 C. dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp stevia (additional to taste)
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 T. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder/cornstarch

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender until very smooth, adjust to taste, and keep in freezer or fridge to set. Make sure this is completely cool before frosting cake (sometimes the blender heats it up while blending).  I know this seems like a lot of ingredients, but trust me its delicious and really easy!

To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on a flat surface, spread a thick layer of cookie dough filling on top, and top with the second cake. Press it down flat and use a knife/spreader along the edge to make sure the sides and cookie dough are smooth and even. Spread the frosting on top. If you want to make the truffles on top, add a few more oats/ tbls of flour to leftover cookie dough filling and roll into small balls for decorating 🙂

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Decadent enough to be my next birthday cake, yet wholesome enough for breakfast.

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Or lunch, which I actually did.

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One of the biggest things I am going to miss about summer is the endless free time to do whatever I wish, just because. And for the last weekend of summer, I was able to spend a few hours of bliss.

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Pure, sweet bliss.

This cake recipe has been submitted to

the veggie nook

 

because its a cake, but its actually good for you 😉

Friday Faves 8/9

In yet another desperate attempt to procrastinate on finishing my summer assignment essay, I have decided to do a Friday Faves post- mainly because it sounded fun and I got to spend the last 20 minutes taking pictures of random things in my house. Always a plus 😉

This Mini Table

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I got this adorable little table at a yard sale for 10 cents!! Its the perfect size for taking pictures on -I can move it to wherever the best lighting is – and also the perfect size/height for my laptop when I want to sit on the couch for computer time 🙂 yay!!

365 Vegan Smoothies

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This is a no brainer when you think about my latest smoothie obsession. I want to make all of these!!!

Red Lipstick

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Funny, because usually I don’t wear a lot of make up – just a little concealer, eye liner and mascara. But I’ve been loving bright red lips lately! So much fun and it makes you feel cute and fancy when you otherwise are feeling lazy. I swear, today was a ‘meh I don’t feel like doing anything’ day, so I put on a little lipstick out of sheer boredom and BAM I feel motivated! Haha no idea why.

Sophie

 

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This little girl, I swear. She sleeps in the funniest positions, and loves ‘helping’ us do things. Like helping me type (top left). Or do sit ups (aka lets try to eat Lacey’s pony tail while she is on the yoga mat!)

Cookie Dough Dip

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I had THE BIGGEST craving for chocolate chip cookies the other day (i.e. you want something, and then just so happen to be on Pinterest and it seems EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER is pinning chocolate chip something or other). Except it was dinner time. Since it was a girls night, my mom and I decided it was perfectly acceptable to make a large batch of cookie dough dip (of the chickpea variety) and eat it for dinner. We had other stuff too, but just to make sure we got all of our food groups in before we ate big bowls of cookie dough. With vanilla soy yogurt. Divine. I had it the next day too, and for lunch today. Some women crave chocolate, apparently I crave cookie dough.

Being a Typical Vegan

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On a more vegetable centric note, I’ve also been loving on sprouts lately. I’ve been putting them on everything. This is the third container this week!

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Also Figs. So gosh darn pretty!

Piggies!!

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aaaaawwwwwww!!!! I want a pet piggie!!!!!!!!!

SENIOR YEAR!!!

 

 

 

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Got my shirt made, my schedule assigned…Its beginning to look a lot like senior year baby!!!!

Whoop Whoop!!!

Aaalllright time to finish my essay now. No more excuses!!!

What have you been loving lately?

Are you a “chocolate craver” or is there something else that tends to strike your fancy? of course, after I ate my cookie dough, someone on TV had a piece of german chocolate cake and I was like ‘THAT. THAT is what I want”. haha!

We Have a Winner!!! Also, poor girls kombucha

……And the winner of the Journey Bar giveaway is:

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Congratulations Anie!!! Shoot me an email with your address and your Journey Bars will be on their way!!!

 

And to make this post a bit more interesting. I discovered how to make cheater kombucha 🙂

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Take a can of zevia (any flavor will do! I made ‘apple pie’ kombucha with cream soda zevia and cinnamon!), pour it into a cup to let the fizzles go down, add a dash (tablespoon or so) of apple cider vinegar and your good to go!! You get the vinegary-ness from the acv, and the sweet, slightly fizzy, flavored part from the soda. If you need to add a bit of sweetener, go right ahead -but this costs wwwaaaayyyyyy less than bottled kombucha and the acv has a ton of benefits (even if its not quite the same as ‘real’ kombucha). And you can make any flavor you like!

Thats all for now!