Almond Coconut Date Chia Seed Pudding. YES.

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I’m a snacker. An every 2 hours snacker. If I don’t eat every 2 hours (maybe a slight exaggeration, but not that far off), I can get “hangry” and weak, and that’s a bad feeling. To fend off hangriness and keep myself going strong, I’m on a lifelong quest to find and make a multitude of healthy, delicious, and easy snacks to keep me going throughout the day. And luckily for me, I just got my new bulk bag of chia seeds, which led to this tasty little dish.

Pudding can be a hard texture for me to like, but I love chia gel, especially when it’s combined with my go-to MVP players, coconut and almond. Dates add a delicate sweetness, and vanilla rounds things out. Even better, it’s just about this simplest recipe ever and takes all of 5 minutes to make plenty.

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What you need:

2 cups of almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chia seeds

5 dates, chopped

1/2 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut

handful of almonds

apple slices and cinnamon for garnish

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In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except garnish) and whisk. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until chia seeds have expanded and the gel is set. Spoon into bowls and garnish with apple and a dash of cinnamon. Eat and be happy, avoid hanger. Keeps in an airtight container in refrigerator for 3-4 days, though at my house, this doesn’t last long.

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Millet-Quinoa-Rainbow-Veggie Salad of Happiness (in F Major)

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This name sounds ridiculous, I know. We debated both what the name should be and what note it would be for awhile and never really came up with a great name (as evidenced by the above, which while not concise, it is accurate), but did decide that F Major was definitely the note. G Major was the other option, both would work. That led to playing notes on the iphone to double check. What you can do on an iPhone is amazing. Yeesh. For those of you who don’t know me, yes, you are correct, I ere on the side of nerd. For those of you who do know me, you knew that already and are shaking your heads at my nerdiness.

Anyway, I digress. This meal was inspired by my need for color on another grey Seattle day, and by the abundance of absurdly beautiful veggies in my kitchen from Full Circle Farms. It incorporates a mix of veggies, fruit, and whole grains that may sound a little strange, but they work together like….like….well, it’s late and I can’t think of anything specific, so I’ll say it’s like something really delicious, filling, easy, and nutritious. It’s a magical and happy salad, and it will be repeated.

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SO. To make you need (and this makes about 6-8 servings):

1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted

1 celery root, diced and roasted

1 bunch rainbow chard, stems chopped and set aside, leaves sauteed

1/2 red onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 apple, chopped

1 cup of millet

1 cup of quinoa

1 cup of black beans

1 tomato, chopped

handful of fresh parsley, chopped

knob of coconut oil

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

For dressing:

1 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp champagne vinegar

small handful fresh parsley, chopped

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To start, slice your squash, scoop out the seeds, and chop. Peel and chop the celery root. Toss both with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheets and roast at 450 until golden brown on outside and cooked through.

To prepare your grains, bring 4 cups of water to a boil with chopped parsley. When boiling, add quinoa and millet, boil for 1 minute and reduce heat and simmer til cooked (about 20 min).

Place onion and garlic in a pan with coconut oil on medium-high heat. When onions browned and softened, add chard leaves along with 5 Tbsp water. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove lid, and saute.

Add squash, celery root, grains, greens, onions, and garlic to a large bowl along with tomato, apple, and black beans. Whisk together dressing and pour over salad and stir together. Garnish with avocado, and bask in the warm deliciousness of what you just made.  Also, keep away from hyper-focused dog in background. 🙂

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Coco Almond Power Buddies (Vegan and Gluten-free)

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Life has been busy of late, and I find that if I don’t make myself a big batch of food to get me through the week, I wear out pretty quickly.  Today, while getting ready for a long week of work and school I had a hankering (that’s right, I said a hankering) for something kinda chocolately, kinda coconutty, kinda sweet, and really energizing. Hence, power buddies were born. They don’t look like much, but they more than meet all the requirements and taste delicious with a subtle sweetness. I’d say they’re less cookie, and more new and improved energy bar. Or energy lump.

Makes about 20 buddies.

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

3/4 cup raw crunchy almond butter

4 Tbsp chia seeds (2 of which will be mixed with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel, the other 2 sprinkled in separately)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or you could use maple syrup here, which would be absolutely delicious)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp cacao powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mixer (or an extremely powerful wrist), mix coconut oil and sugar, and beat in chia gel, almond butter, and vanilla. Sift together all dry ingredients, and add dry to wet and continue stirring or beating on low speed.

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When completely mixed, spoon batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 min. Eat!

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Apple Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes (Gluten-free!)

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This week I’ve been an inexplicable craving for pancakes. This happens about once a year, and when it does, I really need the pancakes. Since I’ve been avoiding gluten, I don’t have any pancake mix that I can eat in the house, so I decided to improvise and make a up a quick batch and it worked. So easy and mad tasty.

Makes about 15 small pancakes:

3/4 cup of buckwheat groats, ground into flour (can also just use pre-ground flour if you’ve got it)

1/4 cup of superfine brown rice flower

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 large organic egg (or if going vegan, 1 tbsp of chia seeds whisked into a gel with 3 Tbsp warm H20)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/8 cup almond milk

dash of cinnamon

1 small apple, chopped

1 cup of frozen blueberries

walnuts (for garnish)

Luscious maple syrup

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First, grind your groats (pictured above)! The conversion is 1:1 groat:flour. I find that my magic bullet does this nicely. Also, in case nobody’s told you yet, buckwheat is the best. It tasted fantastic, has lots of protein and is nutritionally very dense, and can be used anywhere whole wheat is. Now, moving on.

Sift together all dry ingredients.

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Whisk together egg and milk and add wet to dry. Stir in blueberries and apple. Grease a griddle with coconut oil. Spoon on  batter and cook until golden brown on each side.

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Serve with walnuts, maple syrup, or whatever else sounds good to you. Eat them all! (the above version has apples, raisins, chia seeds, and shredded coconut)

Stuffed Pepper Delight

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I’ve been staring at one ugly buddy in my fridge for the past 5 days, wondering what to do with it. His name is celeriac, and I keep hearing how awesome he is, but I didn’t really know how to make it work. Thanks to an article from NPR, today I got a spark of inspiration. Peppers, celeriac, some nice, fresh cilantro….yes, oh yes, the peppers will be stuffed.

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What else did I have on hand, you ask? Pinto beans, quoinoa, avocado, some manchego cheese, and beautiful, beautiful braising greens from Full Circle Farms.  These peppers at least got to be eaten knowing they brought ridiculous deliciousness to my belly.

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What you need: Serves 2

2 red peppers

grapeseed oil

1 celeriac (celery root) out knobs removed and chopped

1 avocado

1 cup of pinto beans (soaked and cooked, or use canned if you’re in a hurry)

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly

1 cup quinoa, dry

2 cups of H2O

1/4 red onion (I cooked it into the quinoa)

A  small amount of cheese, grated (omit if you’re doing this vegan style)

2 cups of greens (mustard greens, kale, chard, collards, spinach etc)

Chicaoji sauce – raw cacao, chipotle, goji berries, magic

Goat yogurt  (omit if you’re going vegan)

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First prepare the quinoa by placing chopped onion in a pot, and saute with grapeseed or coconut oil until softened and slightly brown. Add two cups of water, and  bring to boil. Add quinoa and cilantro, reduce heat, and cook until done (about 20 min). Set aside.

Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Add chopped celeriac to bowl and toss with grapseed oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet, and bake until soft and slightly brown (about 35 min).

Saute the greens over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of grapseed oil a handful of water, a few chili flakes if you like (I do), sea salt and pepper, along with a good squirt of lemon or lime.

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When all that’s done, mix quinoa, beans, celeriac, greens, and chicaoji sauce in a bowl with a few more squirts of lemon or lime. Slice your peppers in half and place in a baking dish. Fill peppers with stuffing and add a 4 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish.

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Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, until peppers are slightly soft. Top with avocado, goat yogurt, and serve!

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Beautiful Stephanie

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I first encountered this tasty little number at a coffee shop that called it a Beautiful Stephanie, for reasons I don’t know. Call me crazy, but I assume a beautiful Stephanie was involved somewhere in the naming process. My powers of inference are astounding. Anyway, my version of a beautiful stephanie includes almond milk, vanilla early grey tea, a bit of maple syrup, and vanilla in bean or extract form. It’s warm, aromatic, and all-around lovely on a cold afternoon.

Makes 1 serving.

8 oz of almond, coconut, rice, or hemp milk

1 tsp of vanilla early grey tea (I love Townshend’s version)

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Maple syrup to taste

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or just a dash of vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a saucepan, heat over low-medium heat (DON’T BOIL, especially if you’re using rice milk!). Stir, strain, and serve.

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Green Smoothie #1

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I think very little is more polarizing than green smoothies. Unless you’re counting religion, politics, and the like, but  in Smoothieland, the green smoothie is the winner. I like the idea of a green smoothie, but I hate tasting a blended salad. It’s awful and weird and reminds me of slime from “You Can’t Do That on Television.” Or the slime that came out of that giant nose on “Double Dare.” Am I the only one that remembers that? Probably.

Anyway, my green smoothie has to have enough chlorophyll to make it green and healthy, but enough fruit and friends to make it taste good. I came up with this one in my search to find a breakfast that actually keeps me full longer than 90 minutes and can get me through a hard workout in the morning.

To whip this one up, you’ll need a pretty solid blender (magic bullet does just fine).

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Makes 2 servings:

One apple, chopped

2 kiwis (with skin on if your blender can handle it)

Handful of romaine leaves

Handful of spinach leaves

1/2 avocado

ice, enough to meet your exacting temperature and thickness standards

small handful of mint

1 vanilla bean, scraped (or a dash of vanilla extract)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

Blend, drink, and enjoy! Or, pour it into a bowl, sprinkle with granola or bee pollen, and eat like you would yogurt.

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Gluten-Free and Vegan Orange, Pomegranate, and Tahini Cake

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Today my mom commissioned me an extremely important task: Dessert, gluten-free style. For some reason, a cake was all I could think of, and I haven’t made a cake in literally YEARS. After borrowing a cake pan from my awesome neighbors, I found a recipe that looks incredible (from my recent addiction, mynewroots.org….Sarah B is a genius and she works in the test kitchen of my dream restaurant in Copenhagen, anyway, I digress) and tweaked it a bit to make it gluten-free and compatible with what I had on hand. See the original recipe here, and see all the other recipes, because have I mentioned they’re really effing good?

Anyway, I once again used my King Arthur Flour whole grain gluten-free flour mix, toasted sunflower seeds (raw seeds toasted on a dry skillet), pomegranate seeds, and lovely oranges. While not quite a gorgeous as the original, it still came out looking mighty tasty.

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Ingredients:

2 cups whole grain gluten-free flour mix

1Tbsp baking powder

1Tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (plus 2 Tbsp orange zest, and I added some orange bits, since more fruit always strikes me as better)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

3/4 cup tahini

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (reacts with baking soda to add air to the cake….who knew?)

Orange slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cake pan with coconut oil or your oil of choice. Combine all dry ingredients, whisk together OJ, tahini, and sugar, fold dry into the wet, and add seeds and fruits and apple cider vinegar. I completely forgot to layer the cake, but it turned out very nicely regardless. Fill cake pan, and bake 30-40 minutes. After allowing to cool for 10-15 minutes, remove cake from pan, add orange slices, toasted seeds, and maple syrup. Eat!

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Gluten-Free Morning Glories

The past few days have been cold, foggy, and grey here in Seattle, and I’m finding myself drawn to bright, rainbow-y foods. Well, that and wine, but I’m trying to stick mainly with bright, happy, healthy foods. It works about 90% of the time. So, I decided to whip up a batch of morning glory muffins to make my early mornings a little happier. I used a blend of gluten-free flour from King Arthur Flours from our Christmas trip to Vermont, and I have to say, it’s pretty amazing, but you could safely get away with any whole-grain flour or blend (buckwheat would be mighty nice).

One thing that’s so nice about these little lovelies is that you can toss in whatever you feel like. I happened to have pears, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and shredded carrots, but seriously anything would be really tasty. Okay, not anything, but many things. I think my next batch will have figs, apples, carrots, and maaaaybe chocolate nibs. Delight.

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Recipe: Makes 12 regular-size muffins, and a few wee baby muffins

2 cups whole grain flour

1 Tbsp xantham gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves to taste

2 Tbsp chia seeds plus 6 Tbsp warm water (whisked together)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup non-dairy milk of your choice

1 knob coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 shredded carrot

1 chopped pear

handful raisins

handful pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk wet ingredients together, mix dry ingredients, and add wet to dry. Add fruits and seeds/nuts. Grease or line muffin tins, and bake roughly 30 minutes. Put in face and EAT (maybe with jam)!

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