The World’s Best Green Juice, Ever. In the world! (did I mention the world?)

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I’d like to start by saying one thing: Green juice is MAGIC. Yes, it looks weird (although I like pretty much anything that looks like it may have come straight from a rainbow), and like it might taste really bad. Once you make the leap to the green, you’ll be so glad you did. This juice is a nice start to the morning, an afternoon pick me up, or a good post workout recharger. And it’s an excellent gateway juice before you start getting all hardcore with green juices that don’t have anything ungreen in them. Also, it’s amazing. 🙂

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Makes about 16 0z of wonderful, beautiful juice.

3 small apples (or 1 large, ignore the 5 pictured)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

about 3-4 cups baby kale (or 5-7 leaves grown up kale)

1-2 inches of fresh ginger

1 pear

(optional: handful of parsley)

Juice apples, pear, kale, ginger. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon into juice and stir. Drink it up and feel like a juggernaut of rainbow-colored goodness.

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Ice Cream Cake = Birthday Happiness (Vegan, Raw, Gluten-free!)

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Yesterday was my birthday, and while I may now be 32, some things haven’t changed since I started eating solid food. For example, my undying devotion to ice cream cake. It may be one of the most perfect foods. Somehow, even though I don’t really like cake, when you add ice cream and freeze the whole deal, it’s amazing! This year ice cream cake from the DQ wasn’t going to cut it though. My days of dairy and gluten and buckets of sugar are now days of yore. I took it as a challenge and came up with this insanely, stupidly delicious “cake.”

So, what  do these ingredients have in common? Well, they make a wicked tasty cake. Duh.

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Let’s go layer by layer, shall we? Layer one is a mixture of oats, almonds, dates, and maple syrup, all ground down to a granola bar consistency. Layer two (this one is the real surprise winner) is chocolate avocado mousse. What?! Avocado mousse?! YES. Totally amazing and weird. And finally, layer 3 (this is where I get lazy) is my favorite vegan ice cream from Molly Moon’s here in Seattle, vegan coconut chunk. Oh, I should also mention that between each layer is a very thin layer of coconut shreds. Mmmmmmmm….

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So, to make this baby, let’s also go layer by layer by layer.

Layer 1:

1 cup oats (gluten-free)

1 cup almonds

5 soaked dates, pitted (soaked at least 3 hours)

2-3 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Layer 2:

1 avocado, very ripe

4 Tbsp raw cacao powder

5 soaked dates, pitted (as above)

2 Tbsp maple syrup

Layer 3: 

Your favorite vegan ice cream, softened to an easily spreadable texture

To make, find either a cake pan or I just used a parchment-lined pyrex dish. Start by combining all ingredients for layer one in a food processor or magic bullet until you can easily mold the mixture into a ball and have it stick together. Press it into the bottom of the parchment-lined dish. Place in freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours, until hard.

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Sprinkle layer 1 with shredded coconut. Now, in a food processor or magic bullet, combine all ingredients for layer 2. Evenly spread across layer 1, sprinkle with coconut shreds, and freeze for 1-2 hours.

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For layer 3, taken softened ice cream and spread over layer 2 (make sure layer 2 is fully frozen!). Freeze for another 1-3 hours and serve! Keeps well in freezer, but I won’t lie, it nearly didn’t make it past day 2 in our house.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Olive Oil Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins (gluten-free and vegan!!!) Holla!

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Today was a day for muffins…savory, fruity, cakey muffins. I’ve been so swamped with school lately that I’m prepping a lot of food on sundays to get through the rest of the week. I’ve also discovered that listening to lectures on my iPod while I cook is actually helping me retain the information better, so it’s win-win. 🙂

These tasty little friends are made with cornmeal, olive oil, and luscious, luscious blueberries, and they have a velvet-y texture despite the cornmeal. I never actually thought I’d describe any food as velvety because it’s always struck me as impossible unless you’re talking about mousse, but these come pretty close.

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To make:

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp chia seeds (whisked into gel with 6 Tbsp water)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 tsp sea salt

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

From here, it’s easy. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk chia seeds into a gel (will take about 5 minutes of setting). Sift together dry ingredients (except sugar), whisk together wet ingredients (include sugar here).

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Add wet to dry and fold in blueberries.

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Spoon into regular-sized greased muffin tin, and bake til golden-brown on top and fork comes out nice and clean (about 20-30 min).

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Eat ’em up!!!!!

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The Liebster Award

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Modern Hippie Cooks, thank you so much for the nomination for this year’s Liebster Award! Since I’m so new to the blogosphere, I hadn’t heard of the Liebster Award, so for those of you like me, I’ll fill you in.

What is the Liebster Award?

Well, auf Deutsch, Liebster roughly means “the sweetest, dearest, kindest, nicest, beloved, valued, pleasant, cute, or endearing.” And I’m tickled Modern Hippie thought of my little blog! The award itself is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Liebster Rules

The nominees must:

Post 11 things about themselves

Answer 11 questions posed by their nominators

Nominate 11 other bloggers

Go to their pages and tell them

And don’t tag back! So….

11 Things About Me:

1. I’m a veterinarian; 2. I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was the ripe old age of 3; 3. I love surfing; 4. My dog goes with me nearly everywhere; 5. I’m addicted to learning; 6. Twin Peaks scared the crap out of me; 7. If I don’t get out into the wilderness once weekly, I get cranky; 8. The ocean is my favorite; 9. I eat edamame stupidly fast; 10. Time with my friends and family makes me realize just how lucky Iam every day.

Questions from Modern Hippie Cooks:

1. What inspired you to start blogging? Changing my diet really changed the way I feel everyday, and I wanted to share some of the recipes that I love to create. I’ve also been looking for a creative outlet to write a bit more and work on my photo skills, and I’ve had so much fun!

2. What is your favourite season? I love the briskness and sun that comes with fall, but man, oh man do I love those long sunny days of summer.

3. CDs or download? Download. I love CDs, but I hate the clutter.

4. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?  Trekking to Everest Base Camp, paying off my student loans (lame, but necessary), getting yoga certified

5. Who inspires you? My friends and families.

6. What is one of your happiest memories? Body surfing with my dad in Hawaii when I was 9…one of my favorite trips!

7. What is your favourite food? Berries, coconut, and hot chocolate (I had to choose 3)

8. Do you collect anything? Not really, but I guess you could make the argument I collect pretty dresses

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Somewhere by the sea

10. Your most desired travel destination?  Way too many to choose from!

11. What is your favourite scent? Salty sea air. I love the ocean if you can’t tell. 🙂

I’m still working on the 11 other blogger part. I’ve been posting up a storm, but haven’t been reading up a storm. I’ll update soon, so check back. 🙂

Chickpea, Sweet Potato, and Saffron Soup. Boy howdy.

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I’ve had a little tub of saffron sitting on my spice shelf for far too long. As all the other spices disappear and get replaced, the saffron has the been the proverbial cheese from “The Farmer in the Dell.” It stands alone. 😦 So today I decided that saffron was done standing alone, and came up with this tasty soup. It’s light, but filling, and doesn’t take much fanciness aside from the saffron and some caraway seeds, which I suppose aren’t fancy, but I never used to keep them in my kitchen until recently, so they’re kind of fancy.

Anyway, this soup is very easy, relatively quick, and waaaay delicious with the light flavors of saffron, mint, caraway, and cilantro and a nice tang from some fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Really it’s about spices here, so make sure not to skimp, and add everything if you’ve got it.

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Here’s what you need:

2 Tbsp cilantro (I used dried, but feel free to use fresh if you’ve got it)

1.5 Tbsp caraway seed

2 Tbsp chopped mint

2 Tsp saffron threads

pinch of chili powder

pinch of paprika

1/2 tsp grains of paradise (optional, but so tasty and a really versatile spice)

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (if using dried beans, soak in water overnight, then cook until softened before adding)

6 cups of water

1 large yellow onion

4 regular carrots, chopped

7 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 regular or 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

spinach, washed and saved until just before serving

Mint for garnish

 

First, add olive oil, onions and garlic to a pot along with caraway seeds and cilantro, saute-ing until golden brown and slightly softened. Then add carrots, sweet potato, and mint, cooking over medium-high heat until carrots start to soften.

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Add water, beans, and all remaining spices to pot along with lemon juice. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Right before serving add spinach and serve when spinach is wilted. Serve, eat, and be happy!

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Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-free!) Say what?!

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Oatmeal, raisins, dark chocolate. There, that’s my post. It’s all you really need to know, and maybe all anybody really needs to know when it comes to cookies AND life.

Okay, that’s probably not true. Except the cookie part.

Anyway, today’s been one of those exceptionally grey Seattle days, a little bit drizzly, and absolutely no discernable patches of clear sky anywhere. I’ve been holed up working on school, and cookies suddenly seemed absolutely necessary. In times of such necessity, it’s best to just make the cookies.

These little delights are super easy, and through a combination of gluten-free all purpose flour, almond meal, and oatmeal, have the best texture; a little chewy on the inside, a little crispy on the outside, with lots of raisins and big dark chocolate chunks. I won’t lie, it’s taking most of my willpower not to eat about 10.

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Let’s make cookies! What you need:

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

1.5 cups gluten-free oatmeal

1/2 cup almond meal

4 Tbsp chia seeds (2 combined into 6 Tbsp of rice or almond milk to form a gel, and 2 folded into batter)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3/4 of a broken dark chocolate bar

1/2 cup raisins

3 Tbsp maple syrup

9 Tbsp rice, almond, or other non-dairy milk (6 for chia gel, the rest added to wet ingredients)

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch each of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While chocolate bar is still wrapped, smash it to pieces with the bottom of jar. Very satisfying and keeping it wrapped prevents chocolate from flying everywhere. You can also use chocolate chips, I just didn’t have any.

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. A note here about almond meal…you can buy pre-mealed almonds at Trader Joe’s or, if you have whole almonds, pulse them in a food processor or magic bullet until a crumbly flour is formed. Don’t go too far or you’ll make almond butter, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what you’re going for here. The conversion is 1:1 almonds:almond meal (or flour). Whisk together 2 Tbsp chia seeds and 6 Tbsp rice milk, let sit a few minutes until a gel is formed.

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In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, chia gel, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together and add wet to dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate and raisins. Spoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Eat and be happy!

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Dream Team: Roasted Beets, Beans, Greens, and Grapefruit Salad.

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Some days, I spend literally half the day thinking about the salad I’m going to eat for dinner. Well, not half the day, but periodically throughout the day.  This particular salad had been in my head for a few days, and I’ve been waiting for a few spare moments to actually make it happen. Well, today was that day, and I’m so glad it was. Beets, green beans, black rice, pear, white beans, kale, romaine, and sweet, sweet meyer lemons all mixed up with a little goat cheese and walnuts to round it out and dressed with meyer lemon vinagrette….it’s a party in a bowl. And you just can’t beet (pardon the pun) eating food that looks like a rainbow. It’s also surprisingly filling and rich, so it works best as a main dish.

So, you also want to have a rainbow party in a bowl? Fortunately this is VERY easy.

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What you need:

1 large beet, cubed

1.5 cups of cooked white beans or 1 can (garbonzo, navy, canellini, great northern, or butter beans would all work)

2 cups of green beans, chopped into 1 inch segments

1 grapefruit, sliced or chopped

1/2 bosc pear, chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 Tbsp goat cheese (omit if doing this vegan-style)

1 cup black rice, cooked

2 cups baby kale

zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon

2-3 cups washed and cut romaine

For the dressing:

juice of 1 meyer lemon

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

1/8 cup chopped red onion

4 Tbsp champagne vinegar

2 Tbsp water

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First, roast them beets! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, toss the beet in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the juice of 1 meyer lemon. Spread the beets  on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, until firm, but cooked through.

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While the beets roast, prepare the black rice. Black rice is not only really, really tasty with a slightly nutty flavor and gorgeous dark purple color, but is higher in antioxidants than other rices. Combine 1 cup rice with 1 and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 30 minutes until done.

Saute the green beans over medium-high heat until they reach a vibrant green color (this is only about 3-4 minutes), but are still nice and crunchy. Remove from heat.

Combine all the vegetables and fruits in a large bowl, toss with the zest and juice of a meyer lemon. Add goat cheese, walnuts, beans, and about 3/4 cup of the black rice .

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients, and blend in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet (that little machine is the best). Dress the salad, toss, salt and pepper to taste, and serve! *Note* The only thing I’d change here, is that I wouldn’t have forgotten to add 1/2 of an avocado! Don’t make my mistake!!!!!

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Warm and Gingery Carrot-Apple-Parsley Juice. Zing!

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Last time I was in Portland, I finally got to stop at a juice truck that I’ve been dying to try for ages. Their smoothies and green juices were originally what I was super excited about, but being that it was October and blustery and rainy, I decided to try a hot juice to boost immunity. I didn’t fully anticipate two things: 1) Hot juice is delicious. Duh, apple cider…don’t know why I never made that connection; and 2) garlic is not something I enjoy in juice. That said, I did buck a nasty cold going around, so maybe it all worked out. Either way, I’ve been drinking hot juices of varying combinations for a few months and found myself headed back to Portland this afternoon to see some of my best friends. It just seemed right to post my favsie warm juice concoction.

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In your juicer, combine:

2 large carrots

2 regular or 3 small apples

1 handful of parsley (Italian parsley was what I had)

A generous cut of ginger (I used about 2 inches)

After juicing, place on stove in small saucepan, heat until just before boiling (if you do let it boil, it gets really, really foamy. Too foamy). Once warm, remove from heat, drink and enjoy the spicy zing!

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Butternut Chickpea “Fritters” with Tzatziki (Gluten-free!)

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Last night, when thinking about dinner, I found myself looking at a butternut squash and a bunch of dried chickpeas. Common conundrum, I know.  I was also very in the mood for something akin to falafel, but a little healthier. So, these wee fritters came to be. Cumin, garlic, shallots, chickpeas, and the smooth creaminess of  roasted butternut all baked or pan-fried…well, it’s a perfect easy midweek dinner with some greens and sauce. They’re also completely veganizable simply by skipping the tzatziki.

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And so, what you need:

1 butternut squash, roasted

1 cup chickpeas, soaked and cooked

1 shallot, minced

2/3 cup rice flour (and some for coating fritters)

2 Tbsp cumin

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

pinch of chili flakes or cayenne

For Tzatziki:

1/2 cup goat yogurt

1/5 cucumber chopped

juice of half of one lemon

1 Tbsp cilantro

To start, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, half the squash, scoop out seeds, and place each half cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake until soft (about 45 minutes), and scoop out flesh. In a large mixing bowl, mix chickpeas, squash, shallot, cumin, cilantro, rice flour, and chile. The mixture keeps well in an airtight container for 2-3 days, so can be prepped in advance.

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Spread rice flour on a cutting board, form the squash mixture into balls, and roll until well coated in rice flour.P1020828

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Place in oven, spray with olive oil, and cook for about 30 minutes or so. I also pan fried a few by melting 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan, and placing 4 balls of butternut squash mixture in the pan until crispy on each side.

While baking or pan-frying, mix the tzatziki by putting all ingredients in a blender (again, the magic bullet handles this like a champion).

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Dip, dress a salad, or eat a fritter plain. They’re simple and magically delicious!