Broccoli Soba Bowl FTW! (Gf and Vegan)

P1030091_2There are 3 things that make this little lunch bowl fantastic: 1) It’s delicious; 2) It contains delicious things (okay, I guess that’s just reprising number 1, but still); 3) It’s cheap!; and 4) It takes literally 12 minutes to make. Also, broccoli is the best! I know, if you actually read these posts, I say a lot of things are the best, but I really, really, really love broccoli. I’ll stop talking about it soon, but somehow the broccoli, soba, sauce combo really is so satisfying and just light enough that you’re not hungry anymore, but not weighed down after lunch. It’s like magic. P1030086_2What you need (serves 1):

1 serving of soba noodles (I used sweet potato soba, but any soba or vermicelli could work)

1 head of broccoli, rinsed and stem removed

1Tbsp sliced almonds

For the dressing (serves more than 1):

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 of a green onion, chopped

1/2 inch of fresh ginger, chopped finely

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp tamari

P1030088_2First, start two pots a’boiling, 1 to steam or blanch your broccoli in and 1 for soba. While waiting for water to boil, prepare dressing ingredients.P1030085_2Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor or Magic Bullet (that little thing is truly amazing) and blend together. I didn’t blend until liquid since I still wanted some ginger chunks, but find the texture that makes you happy. When water for broccoli and soba boils, place soba noodles in one pot and cook as according to package instructions. If you have a steamer pot, steam your broccoli for just 2-3 minutes (so it’s still nice and crisp) or place in boiling water and cook until bright green. Don’t overcook your broccoli or suddenly you’ll have green mush, and nobody likes mush of any color. Drain your noodles and broccoli, toss together with almonds, and dress to taste. Eat it up and marvel at how economical, fast, and delicious your lunch just was!P1030090_2P1030089_2

 

 

 

 

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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake. That’s right, I said it, and I meant it! (Also gf!)

P1030080_2I’ve been following this blog for awhile, and some of the things the author comes up with look absolutely amazing! This carrot cake has been taunting me for some time, and I finally decided to try making it. Good news, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and aside from freezing time to let the first couple of layers set, it’s super fast to make (and eat).

P1030083_2A few modifications I made:

Subbed raisins for dates (mainly because I didn’t have any on hand)

Used a mix of almonds and cashews for the frosting

Used a mix of oat and buckwheat flour for the filling.

I also added a bit of maple syrup to the filling (about 2 Tbsp) and did not use the pineapple chunks (my belly decided pineapple is bad news a couple years ago).

What I would change:

Add more carrots! And I might consider shredding them, though it could be that my food processer is not primetime top choice quality, and I don’t have a high speed blender to make the frosting super smooth and creamy. All of that said, this ended up SOOOOO well. I highly recommend it! Here’s a link to the original recipe.

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P1030082_2playing pac-man with my cake…:)

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Nom!

Vanilla Cashew Apricot Bites. Dee. Licious.

P1030077_2This week has been fantastic. A whole week with only work, and no school. Hooray!!!! That said, it’s all ending tomorrow. But, I only have two terms left, and the end is in sight. Again, hooray!!!! Anyway, today was filled with time with friends, fresh air, SUNSHINE (it’s a miracle!), lots of good food, and one killer spin class, and it was a great reminder that unwinding and de-stressing is so incredibly worth it even when it seems like there’s not possibly enough time.

These little bites were inspired by some bites I read about in a magazine, I wish I could remember which, but I’ve been waiting to make them for a long time. They’re dense and flavorful, and a great pre or post workout snack and SUPER easy to make. Seriously and for reals.

P1030076_2To make them you need:

1 cup of soaked cashews (soaked for at least 2-3 hours, up to overnight)

3/4 dried, unsweetened, unsulphured apricots (soaked for at least 15 min, up to an hour)

1/3 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut (ground into a flour if you prefer)

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

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P1030071_2First, drain apricots and cashews and place in food processor. Process until a thick paste is formed.

P1030073With paste, roll a spoonful at a time into a ball and roll in coconut to coat. If you prefer to grind the coconut into flour (I did a mixture of fine coconut flour and shreds), just place shreds in a food processor to grind to the desired fineness. After coating each bite, place them all in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge. Eat, relax, and enjoy!!!P1030074_2YUM!

 

 

 

 

Mango Coco Kiwi Smoothie. Sunshine In a Cup!

P1030066March in Seattle means gray, windy, rainy, and often unpleasant. So for the past few mornings I’ve been mixing up this little sunshine smoothie not only because it tastes super good, but it makes me feel like I’m in some tropical climate, even if just for a few minutes. Come summer, I guarantee I’ll be posting more about how awesome the PNW is and how I’d never want to leave.

P1030061What you need:

about 3/4 cup of frozen mango chunks

1 sliced kiwi

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp sliced or whole almonds (preferably soaked in H20 overnight)

1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup coconut water

2 Tbsp light coconut milk

P1030060Put all ingredients in your blender (I used my magic bullet). Blend. Seriously, that’s it. 🙂

P1030067Drink and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

 

Baked Apple and Pear Chips. Two Ingredients, So Much Yum.

P1030052_2We had quite a bit of extra fruit that I’d bought to make pies, and while it’s so tasty fresh, juiced, and smoothied, I’ve been feeling snackish today. Sooo…fruit chips seemed like the right thing to make.

P1030045_2Start with apples, pears or both. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice your fruit very, very thinly.

P1030048_2Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place slices on sheet. Pop them in the oven.

P1030050_2After about 50 minutes, flip the fruit, and bake another 30 min before removing. Eat straight away or place in airtight container and save for another day. Yum!

P1030053_2Also, making a little almond butter sammie is definitely a good idea.

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For the tolerant of gluten, non-vegans, and pie lovers everywhere…

P1030042Friends, this is an exception to the general theme of the blog (gf and vegan/vegetarian) that I just had to make for two reasons. Reason 1: these little mini pies were winners last night; and Reason 2: they’re adorable. If you’ve got some kind of event and most folks eat gluten and don’t mind buttery, flaky pie crust, with delicious fruity innards (and really, who hates pie?) these are such a nice easy option. Also, did I mention they’re really, really cute? 🙂 My man’s birthday party was last night, and these were pretty much the perfect little pie-friends to celebrate with.

I’ll start off by saying that when you’re short on time, making pie crust from scratch is very tricky, so I just used Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust. A little time economy was worth it so that I could actually make these.

P1030044What you need:

2 frozen pie crusts (or prep your own and make these gf)

about 6 small apples, chopped (or any other fruit that’s calling your name)

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp flour (I used whole wheat, and it felt so wrong, I won’t lie)

a standard muffin tin

flour to cover your rolling surface

P1030029First thaw the crust according to the package, and roll it out. Then using a mug or glass roughly the size of the top of the muffin tin, make 12 circles in the crust and remove each circle (these will be the bottoms of the pies). Roll each out until you have about an inch of overhang when they’re fitted to each muffin spot. Repeat the process with the second crust to make tops.

P1030030Mix fruit, flour, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl and spoon into muffin tin.

P1030031Wet the edges of each pie top, and pinch the top and bottom edges together until bonded. Make a slit in the top of each mini pie. Now, very important, chill these little guys for at least 30 minutes! While they’re chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. After the 30 minutes, pop them in the oven and bake for about 30-40 min until tops are golden brown. Let them cool about 20 minutes and remove from the tin.

P1030036P1030037P1030040Share and be the happiest! Vegans and gluten-free’s, I promise I’m working on a pie for us. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Chia Chocolate Cookies! (Gluten-free and vegan!)

P1030021_2   Today is not going super well. 3 finals are due today, for all of which I’m way behind in terms of preparation (one of which I thought I had till Sunday to finish), yesterday I just announced I’m changing jobs…it’s been kind of a tough week. And thankfully it’s almost over! 🙂 So, while I’m re-listening to lectures, I decided to do a little baking.  Because why not. And it’s better than sitting here stressing while I have to be tied to my computer anyway.

P1030025_2These cookies are really less sweet treat, and more power snack. They’re tasty and the almond meal gives them a nice almost cakey texture, but they’re not very sweet. If you’re looking for  a sweeter cookie, I might send you back to my Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies instead. That said, if you’re looking for something that you can grab before running out the door to workout or something, these might be the winners.

What you need:

1 cup almond flour

1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s, though King Arthur is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 Tbsp chia seeds (2 of which will be whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel and set a aside)

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

P1030016_2First, whisk together your chia gel and set aside for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl. In separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (including chia gel and melted coconut oil). Add wet to dry ingredients, and mix. Add chocolate chunks and remaining chia seeds.P1030018_2Place parchment paper over cookie sheet, and spoon dough (it’s very thin dough) onto parchment. Place it all in the oven, and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.P1030024_2Build a leaning tower of cookies and eat them up!!!

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Coconut Curry Soup. MmmMmm Good!

P1030013_2So you, may have noticed that I love coconut. So it probably won’t shock you that I love coconut soup too. It’s March in the PNW, which means cold and damp, and sometimes windy, and today walking home in the sideways rain, nothing in the world sounded better to me than a nice bowl of spicy, coconutty deliciousness.

Hence, I present to you coconut curry soup. And I won’t lie, it’s good. Real good.

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And the best thing about this soup you ask? Well, it’s fast. And the second best thing? It does wonders for a sore throat.  Just sayin’. It tastes a lot better than any medication I’ve tried.

To make it, you need:

1 Tbsp of coconut oil

2 cans of light coconut milk

3 cups of water or veggie broth

1 cup white mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, diced finely

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 Tbsp tamari (or fish sauce if not going gf or vegan)

3 Tbsp red curry paste (I like mine pretty spicy, so start yours with less if you don’t think the spice is so nice)

1 Tbsp lemon grass

1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

several leaves of basil (save until serving)

2 inces of fresh ginger, diced finely

4 cloves of garlic, diced

salt and pepper (or better yet, grains of paradise) to taste

P1030004In a pot, combine garlic, onion, ginger, and coconut oil. Sauteè over low heat until softened. Add carrot and mushrooms, and continue to sautee until carrots softened and mushrooms browned. Add red curry and lemongrass and cook for 1 more minute

P1020996Add coconut milk, water, red pepper, and cilantro. Bring to boil for 30 seconds, and reduce heat to low. It can definitely be served here, but it’s even tastier if you let it cook for an extra 10 minutes or so.

P1030011_2Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh basil, and drink down the spicy, coconutty, smooth-as-silk goodness! Also, don’t be afraid to add tofu, chicken, or whatever protein of choice is. Rice noodles would also be fantastic!

Buckwheat, Chia, Berry Bowl. Delicious, Nutritious, and Pink!

P1020992I just got back from Mexico, and it was amazing! I have so many recipe ideas that I can’t wait to play around with. BUT, first I have to get over the wee bit of stomach irritation I came home with. I’m guessing it was ice cubes in the smoothies, but I also was eating way more spicy stuff (so much delicious spicy food to eat!) than usual…really, who knows. All I know is that everything tasted mighty fine, and I’d say a little rumble in my tumble was totally worth it. Anyway, you guys don’t want to hear about my stomach. WTH am I talking about?! So this morning I decided to start out with something relatively easy to digest, hearty, and tasty (and pink…I miss all the incredible color in Mexico).

This breakfast is super easy and quick to make, and again, it’s totally customizable. As long as you’ve got buckwheat groats, chia seeds, and some almond milk, add whatever fruit and sweetener you’ve got on hand.

P1020991What you need (serves 1):

1/3 cup buckwheat groats

2 Tbsp chia seeds

about 1/2 cup H20

1/3 cup almond milk

handful of fresh or frozen berries

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Mint leaves for garnish

P1020994To start, place buckwheat groats and water in a pot, bring to boil, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes (groats will start to soften).

P1020995Add chia seeds, almond, milk, and berries, and cook over low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add sweetener, and eat the sweet colorful goodness that’s in your bowl!

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Epic Granola Bars! (Vegan and GF!)

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Ever have one of those weeks where you just feel like you’re under water? Mine’s been kind of like that this week. Just more to do than I think can humanly be done. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a lovely trip to Mexico coming up on Sunday, and a couple of days off to catch up (and breathe, and maybe stop treading water). Traveling gf style can be tricky. More and more airports have gluten-free goodies, but they often cost upwards of $3 or $4 for a granola bar, and I’ll be honest, as a student that seems like a lot of money for little snack bar. So, these tasty little friends came to be. P1020953_2 They’re extremely customizable, so just use what you’ve got on hand. This combination of fig, date, oats, almonds, chocolate, coconut shreds, chia seeds, and maple syrup is sooooo good though. Lovely and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness, I find myself wanting to high-five these bars, but as it turns out, granola bars don’t really give a solid high-five back. It’s much more satisfying to eat them.P1020952_2   To make these, you need:

1. 5 cups gluten-free oats

1 cup puffed rice cereal

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

3-4 squares of dark, dark chocolate, chopped into small bits

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup maple syrup

6 dried figs, chopped

5 dates, chopped and pitted

a dash of nutmeg

a dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup waterP1020956_2Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. I know, that sounds like such a complex step. One of the many reasons homemade granola in any form is the best.P1020958_2If you have an 8 x 8 inch dish, use that, but if not, I found that two bread pans worked out just fine. Either way, line the pan (or pans) with parchment paper, and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Don’t be afraid here. Press really hard! The better pressed it is, the better your bars will stick together. Now bake for 30-40 minutes, until the tops is golden brown.P1020961_2Remove the parchment and granola from the pan, and let cool completely before cutting into bars.P1020967_2Take them anywhere, eat, and enjoy!