Coconut Cacao Goji Pops (Raw, Vegan, and Gf!) and an Ode to Mamas

IMG_9028It’s been warm, sunny, and gorgeous in the good ol’ PNW this week. Yesterday it was even muggy, which is VERY unusual and kind of uninspiring for most things. Except when it comes to popsicles. Mugginess really does inspire a good popsicle spree, and who doesn’t love popsicles? Especially SUPERFOOD popsicles. OOOOOOHHHH! AAAAHHHH! Buzzwords! Mainly these are just straight up delicious though.IMG_9022Ah, the magical goji berry. I love these little guys. Smoothies, granola, on yogurt, in baked goods…they kind of kick ass anywhere that you think “Oh, a berry might fit nicely there.” And apparently they’re full of all sorts of good-for-you properties too. Let’s get down to the popsicle spree though.

What you need:

1 can light coconut milk

3 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1/4 goji berries

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup maple syrup

An extremely strong arm for some intense whisking

Popsicle mouldsIMG_9024Directions: Put everything into a bowl and whisk like you’re whisking for your life! Once everything’s combined, pour into popsicle moulds and be sure to leave about an inch of space at the top (freezing expands the liquid a bit).IMG_9027After a few hours or overnight, run the mould under warm water to loosen the popsicle, remove, and devour. 🙂IMG_9032Look at those beautiful goji berries!IMG_9033I loved this pop so much, I felt like it needed a self portrait.IMG_9034Noodles felt like he wanted this pop so much he tried to melt it with his laser beam eyes. (DON’T FEED CHOCOLATE TO DOGS!!! Just FYI)

And now:IMG_9035This is my beautiful momma and me when I was just a wee little thing. She’s the one who’s inspired most of my cooking and for that and so many other much more important reasons, I can’t thank her enough. I’m a lucky duck. Happy Mother’s Day to her and to all my many friends who are mommas or are soon-to-be-mommas! The world wouldn’t go round without you, ladies! Thanks for being you!

🙂

VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK!!!! Green and White and Delicious All Over: Spring Salad with Shaved Fennel, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Peas, and Avocodo

IMG_9015I’m so proud to be participating in this years Virtual Vegan Potluck with so many fantastic food bloggers! Over 170 bloggers around the world are uniting to bring the veggie-friendly foodlovers of the world some deIiciousness. I RSVP’d that I’d “bring” a salad to this interweb party, and here’s what I’ve created….a little dish that’s quick to throw together and full of spring veggie goodness and starring my good friend fennel.IMG_9011What you need:

1 bulb fennel, THINLY sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced (yes, this is a trend…when in doubt, slice even thinner)

1/2 head cauliflower, thinly sliced

1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed and chopped

1.5 avocados, thinly sliced

1 cup snap peas, chopped

1 head green romaine lettuce, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp good-quality olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9012Start by very gently steaming your asparagus so that it remains crisp, but turns bright, beautiful green.IMG_9013

After that, slice and chop your way to vegetable perfection and toss it all in a bowl.IMG_9016Add lemon juice and olive oil to your salad bowl, toss so that everything is lightly coated. The dressing should be SUPER light to show-off all them veggies in their glory, but you could also add a little whole grain mustard to kick it up a notch. Salt and pepper to taste, and bam! You have a beautiful green salad for your potluck and your belly!IMG_9019Just look how happy this salad made Lori of Crown Hill Day by Day. (I won’t lie, the joy was also due to some incredibly fuzzy socks).

Happy potlucking friends!

For more tasty salad ideas go back to Emmy Cooks and forward to Veg Bon Vivant. To see the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck participants, click here. vvplogo

Back in Action With Spicy Slaw and Baked Plantain Chips. Woot! (Gf and Vegan)

IMG_8997Well, my friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I apologize. I’ve been thinking about recipes, but the last couple of weeks have been, um, let’s say dynamic and challenging. That sounds diplomatic, right? Job changes (my new gig starts tomorrow!), forced entry into the constant pain-in-the-ass realm of real estate, and midterms. Whew. So, I won’t lie, I’ve been putting my energy into other things. 

The bug to cook and post came back today though. Hooray! So, I present you with this little dish. It’s light and spicy, but hearty enough to be lunch. It’s also fantastic on tacos and aside from a lot of chopping, it doesn’t take much. IMG_8994What you need:

For the plantains:

well, you need plantains. 🙂 2 medium very, very ripe (and pretty much black)

1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the slaw:

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped roughly

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 zucchini, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, chopped

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1 mango, chopped

1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 can)

1/2 cup salsa verde, as spicy as you like

2 Tbsp white whine vinegar

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

salt and pepper to tasteP1030173_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the plantains…remember, the thinner you slice them, the crispier they’ll be. I like mine slightly chewy, so they weren’t super thinly sliced. Pour melted coconut oil over slices and spread onto large baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 min, flip plantains, and bake another 10 minutes. They should be golden brown or slightly darker. Soooooo delicious. IMG_8993P1030169To make the slaw, chop the veggies! I’ve started growing cilantro in my apartment, and it’s been so nice just  to walk over and grab what I need. Who knew indoor spices could grow so well? IMG_8996Once all the slaw fixings are chopped, add beans, salsa, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper and toss. Serve with plantains and enjoy! 🙂IMG_8997

Buckwheat Chia Cacao Cookies. Gluten-free, vegan, and taaaaassstyyyy!

P1030124_2It seems like I’m always writing about how I really needed a cookie today, and what’s funny is that I don’t really eat very many cookies. But today, to sound like a broken record, I really needed a cookie. Actually, the craving started yesterday, so these little cookie friends were extra necessary and satisfying.  Buckwheat is the wizard of grains, and I find I  literally never get tired of it. Or of saying the word groat. It’s funny and to sound a little (or actually, maybe a lot) d-baggish, it’s got a great mouthfeel. Anyway, these cookies combine the magic of buckwheat, coconut, cacao nibs, and chia and flax seeds into delicious little nuggets of joy. It’s very, very tricky not to just tilt the plate and pour them all into my mouth, but that wouldn’t be very class of me, now would it? 🙂P1030123_2What you need:

*addendum* I think these are delicious as is, my boyfriend says they taste good, but “healthy.” 🙂 You might add some regular sweetened chocolate or a bit more maple syrup if you’re looking for a more traditional cookie. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t care for super-sweet sweets. 🙂

1 cup buckwheat flour (grind it from your groats!)

1 cup superfine rice flour (I used brown)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp flax seeds whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used a homemade combo of hazelnut, cashew, and almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syurp

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup cacao nibsP1030120_2P1030121_2First, preheat that oven to 350 degrees, then whisk together your flax and chia gel (it will set up in about 5-10 minutes). In the meantime, sift together all dry ingredients in one bowl, and in another combine all wet ingredients and your gel when ready. Mix those two together and add chia seeds, coconut, and nibs then stir all ingredients together until well mixed.P1030122_2Drop dough onto a shaking sheet lined with parchment (I used a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie). Bake for 10-15 minutes.P1030127_2When a knife comes out clean, your cookies are done. Feel free to admire your cookies.P1030128_2After admiring them briefly, eat one (or several) and enjoy!P1030124_2

Raw Cacao Ka-pow Secret Green Smoothie Goodness (raw, vegan, and gluten-free). Huzzah!

P1030118It’s a long title for a smoothie with a long list of fine (and most importantly, delicious) attributes. Not only is this one green, full of antioxidants, protein, and some crazy tasty cacao pow, it’s refreshing, not too sweet, and can keep me full through a hard workout or for at least 3-4 hours, which is really something if you’ve met me. I’ve been making it most mornings for the past month or so, and it just makes me happy. But again, this is not the smoothie for you if you’re looking for super sweet and fruity. While it’s many things, it is not those two things and it doesn’t like to front.P1030116What you need: Serves 1 (or two if you just want wee smoothies)

1 banana, preferably frozen and chopped (alternative: frozen mango chunks. WHAT?! Yes, it’s not bad and will do if you’re out of bananas)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

2 cups baby spinach, kale, or chard

1 Tablespoon raw almond butter

1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1 cup almond (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tsp maple syrup if you’re using homemade almond milk without sweetener (I’ve been making my own nut milk lately and a little sweetness boost is sometimes nice for those not used to green smoothies)

1 Tbsp chia seedsP1030112_2Put it all in a blender (again, magic bullet to the rescue!) and wait for it…..wait for it….BLEND! Add ice if your banana’s not frozen or you want slightly more thickness. Drink it up!!! POW!P1030117P1030115

 

Ginger Pear Teff Muffins. Teffing Good and Gf and Vegan!

P1030110_2This morning a number of small and sad looking pears at the bottom of the fruit bowl came to my attention. All of them bruised, a little softer than is appetizing, and abandoned. I suppose that’s the risk you take with Trader Joe’s bags of organic fruit, but man, these pears got overripe fast! Because I hate wasting anything (high 5 to Grandma for all those years of reminding me waste not, want not!), an emergency batch of muffins just had to be prepared to save the pears from unfulfilled potential. (the apples below were saved for juicing the last minute)P1030100_2P1030102_2For those of you that haven’t experienced teff, it’s an Ethiopian grain that is fantastic in a number of things, most notably to me in muffins, pancakes, and that delicious bread that you find when eating Ethiopian food. Despite the dark color, it’s actually got a fairly mild flavor and a really nice, superfine texture. So, let’s make muffins!

What you need: (makes 12-13 regular sized muffins)

2 cups of teff flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup potato starch

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)

2 Tbsp chia seed whisked into a gel with 6 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp flax seed

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp ground ginger, more if you like a really spicy muffin

about 4 small very ripe pears, chopped (or any other fruit that you think would pear…haha get it?…well with ginger)P1030103_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, whisk your chia seeds into a gel and add flax (it’s super gel!). It’ll take about 5 minutes for this to set. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and combine all wet ingredients into a second bowl, including your chia/flax gel.P1030106_2Combine wet and dry, and fold in pears.P1030107_2Grease muffin tins with oil of your choice and fill with batter. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean when inserted.P1030108_2P1030111_2P1030109_2Eat and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

For Your Consideration: Oat Flax Beer Bread (Gf and Vegan and The Best Gf Bread I’ve Ever Tasted!)

P1030093_2Sometimes I really, really miss good fresh bread. My grandpa used to make the best sourdough, and everything else has kind of paled in comparison. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for a couple of months now, and I think I finally got it totally right. IT IS SOOOOO GOOOOOODDDD! Whoa.

If you’ve been looking for a good all around bread that doesn’t cost $7 a loaf (Udi’s, I’m looking at you), this is your new best bread buddy. It toasts well, makes a mean sandwich, and was born to sop up soups and sauces. It also freezes like a champion, so you can make it, slice it, and freeze it for another day.P1030092_2What you need:

1 cup oat flour (gluten-free, natch). I ground my own in the magical bullet

1 cup supafine rice flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour

2 Tbsp flaxseeds, soaked in 6 Tbps water until a gel is formed

1/8 cup coconut sugar

1.5 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp of sea salt

12 oz of gluten-free beer (I used New Grist)

coconut oil to grease breadpanP1030094_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then grind your oat flour, and sift together all dry ingredients. Add flax gel and beer, and stir until well mixed. Pour into prepared bread pan and pop in the oven until golden brown and slightly cracked on top and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 30-45 minutes, but varies quite a lot depending on your oven).P1030096_2Let cool for a few minutes (I could only wait for about 2 before I had to eat some, but I’m weak, you might be stronger). Eat plain, or top with something tasty. Hummus and tomato worked pretty darn nicely for me. Enjoy! 🙂P1030097_2P1030098_2

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

P1030069_2

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!