Friday, March 21, 2014

Citrus Kale Smoothie

I found this recipe a couple of days ago on thisrawsomeveganlife and switched it up a bit according to what ingredients I had on hand. I've made it every day since.



I've had green smoothies before that I wasn't too fond of, so I was unsure how this would turn out. I was pleased to find that this drink blows away all other green smoothies I've had.

It's packed with nutrients from fresh oranges, lemons and kale, and a nice little kick from a bit of ginger.


Ingredients:


1 lemon, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
2 1/2 cups fresh kale
1 to 2 frozen bananas (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
chunk of fresh, peeled ginger (or a dash of ground ginger if you don't have any on hand)
ice


Directions:


Put the citrus fruit in a Vitamix or other powerful blender. It's important to use a high-powered blender, otherwise the kale will not be blended enough and you'll end up with little green pieces. Blend the fruit until it becomes juice. Add the kale and blend until completely incorporated, slowly moving up to high speed. Once completely combined, add the bananas and ginger and blend until combined. Add ice until you reach your desired consistency. I usually use about 2 cups.


Cheers!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Carrot Orange Juice

This morning I woke up in need of an energy (and immune system) boost. This juice was the perfect remedy. It's incredibly refreshing and is full of vitamins A and C. It's also good for your hair, skin and of course, your eyes.

I snapped this with my phone after already consuming
half of it, but next time I'll take better pictures!


This recipe makes more than enough for 2 people, depending on how much you plan to drink. I used a very large glass for myself with enough left over for two more normal servings. One thing I love about this drink is that it not only gets you started on a helping of vegetables and fruit, but it fills you up too! 

I use a Vitamix for juicing, so all the fiber isn't lost. 


Ingredients:


4-5 large oranges, peeled and separated
3 medium carrots, chopped into chunks
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup water


Directions:


Place the orange pieces into the Vitamix, a couple at a time, and slowly turn the machine to high until the oranges become liquified. Add in the chunks of carrot, again, a couple at a time, until completely incorporated. Next, add the lemon juice, cinnamon and water and blend for a few seconds. Depending on how thick you want your juice to be, you may want to add another 1/4 cup of water or so. 

That's all there is to it, folks! This is the kind of juice you could make daily because of its simplicity and tastiness. 

Enjoy!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Citrus Cashew Cheesecake


Today I am so excited to share this wonderful cheesecake recipe with you all! This was the first vegan, nut-based, dairy-free dessert that I ever attempted, so it is very near and dear to my heart. I also consider it to be my best creation. It probably even trumps most of my favorite pre allergy-free desserts.


Sometime last year my friend and I went to this healthy, little organic restaurant and for dessert we ordered a dairy-free cheesecake. When the server told us it was made of cashews, we figured he meant the crust was made of cashews and the filling made of tofu. No, no. He assured us that the filling was made of cashews. This was our first introduction to cashew cream.


I was blown away.

When I got home I searched the internet for anything resembling what we ate, and although I didn't find a recipe for our particular kind of cheesecake, I discovered that this whole cashew thing was pretty big among vegans and the like.

Determined to recreate what we had tasted at the restaurant, I combined and tweaked a few cheesecake recipes until I came up with this.

If you'd like to view some of the recipes that inspired mine, they can be found herehere and here.


I hope you enjoy this spring treat!


Ingredients:


Crust:

2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup whole dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/8 tsp sea salt
zest from lime, lemon and orange

Filling:

3 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-7 hours
1/2 cup raw honey
2/3 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
juice from one orange (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 tsp zest from orange, lemon and lime
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract


Directions:

For the filling, blend the cashews in a food processor for about 15 seconds. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until completely smooth. I always blend a little longer than I think it needs. Pour into a bowl and set aside in refrigerator.

For the crust, blend the almonds, cranberries, coconut and salt in the food processor. Add in the dates in small amounts until the crust begins to hold together. Press into the bottom of the springform pan. Then pour in filling. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, let thaw for 30 minutes.






Sunday, May 5, 2013

Berry Spinach Smoothie

(makes 2 large servings)


As the days are finally becoming warm and sunny, I am getting so excited to start making smoothies again. I love all kinds of smoothies, and this recipe is one of my favorite, go-too options during the summery months.

Please don't let the spinach turn you off! I've had "green monster" smoothies before that I really dislike. I made one once that I could hardly swallow because I felt like I was drinking liquid spinach. Blech.

I like healthy food but I expect it to taste good!

So in order to get a little more greens in my diet and still enjoy my food, this recipe was conceived. I found the problem with most spinach smoothies I attempted was that I could taste way too much spinach. But in this one, the berries hide its flavor. You truthfully cannot tell it's there.

So even though it's a little scary, give this recipe a try! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



Ingredients:

1/2-1 cup fresh spinach
1 banana, frozen
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen berries of your choice (My favorite is blueberries and raspberries)
1/3-1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (use according to desired consistency)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed



Directions:

Place spinach in food processor and blend for a few seconds. Add the banana and berries and blend until they become small to medium chunks. Add lemon juice and coconut milk and blend until you reach the desired consistency. I like my smoothies really thick, so I only put in 1/3 cup of coconut milk. Top with a few berries and drink to summer!









Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hot Cocoa for One


Before winter leaves us, I thought I'd share with you all this simple hot cocoa recipe. I don't drink hot cocoa very often. I'm actually not really into sweet drinks at all. But once in a while, when it's unbelievable cold and snowing and bleak outside, I suddenly get a craving for some hot cocoa. Whether you drink it all the time or like to enjoy it sparingly, this rich, creamy, and not too sweet drink will hit the spot.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup almond milk
1T cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
11/2 T pure maple syrup

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a medium pot on low heat. Stir mixture until hot, 3 to 5 minutes.


Pour into mug, top with cinnamon, cocoa powder, whipped (coconut) cream, or all three! Enjoy this winter treat!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Prosciutto-wrapped Cod with Roasted Root Vegetables

(Original recipe from Ina Garten)

Serves 6




When I was younger my dad went on a lot of business trips. Sometimes he went as far as Alaska and Hong Kong. These trips were often long, so we really missed him while he was gone. But when he got home he always brought little treats and trinkets for my siblings and I. We still have pictures of me in the little Chinese-style pajamas he brought once.



Well, I know I didn't actually go anywhere far away, and I don't have a legitimate excuse. But the truth is, I've been away from this little cyber flat of mine for a long time, so to make up for it I have a little treat to share with all of you.

This prosciutto-wrapped cod may just be the best meal you've ever had. It definitely ranked high on the list for me. And the veggies that go with it? I'd have to argue they're even better than the cod.



I have to warn you, this dish is a little pricy, but it's good enough to be served as part of a holiday course. So if you treat it as a special-occasion kind of meal, it's well worth the money.

I could truly go on and on about how good this is. My family couldn't stop talking about it either. But please don't take my word for it. Go make this as soon as you can find an excuse for a celebration!


Prosciutto-wrapped Cod with Roasted Root Vegetables:

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled and seeded butternut squash, diced into 1/2 in. cubes
2 cups peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 in. cubes (about 2 medium)
3 peeled parsnips, diced into 1/2 in. cubes
6 medium peeled carrots, diced into 1/2 in. cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 lbs. of skinless, wild caught cod fillets
6 thin slices prosciutto
1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Apple brandy
Lemon wedges, for serving


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place all the vegetables on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add more if needed.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the vegetables and toss. Depending on how many vegetables you end up with, you may need to make two batches. Spread the veggies into a single layer and lay a stem of rosemary over them. Roast for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, add 1 Tablespoon of garlic, toss and roast for 10 more minutes until the vegetables are tender and browning slightly.

Line another sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place fillets on the pan, brushing them with olive oil on both sides and season generously with salt and pepper. Wrap the fillets individually with prosciutto and top each one with a whole sprig of rosemary. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. The fish should be only barely cooked.

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add remaining rosemary sprigs, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic, and a splash of apple brandy and reduce heat to low, cooking about 5 minutes, until  butter begins to brown slightly. After 5 minutes, remove from heat, strain into a separate bowl or gravy boat, and add lemon juice.

Place the cod on a platter and surround with the roasted vegetables. Spoon some rosemary butter over the fish, or pass around for guests to serve individually. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Enjoy the bliss!




Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hot Rice Cereal


I'm sitting here typing away on my laptop with an empty bowl sitting next to me. Empty bowl and full stomach.



Yep. But really, this is becoming a bad habit. I have been trying to eat more fruit for breakfast, but too often I opt out on the green smoothie for this super delicious, satisfying, warm bowl full of gluten-free goodness.

So be warned. If you make this, you will have a hard time not making it at least a couple of times a week. Better stock up on rice!

This hot rice cereal is as usual, gluten, dairy and sugar free. I use a little bit of natural maple syrup to sweeten it up, but feel free to use whatever sweetener you prefer.

For those of you who miss that steamy bowl of oatmeal from your glutenous days, this is a wonderful substitute.

Wish I had an actual picture of the cereal to show you!


Ingredients:

1 cup leftover cooked rice (you can cook it in the morning if you wish, but that will take much longer)

coconut milk (you could also use almond or any other type of non-dairy milk you like, but the
coconut milk is thicker, so it makes the dish nice and creamy)

3 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

dash or two of salt

handful of raisins


Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the coconut milk into a small pot. Add coconut milk, pouring in enough to at least cover the bottom of the pan. Use your discretion to determine how much milk you want. Cook on low, covered, stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until steamy hot.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Lemongrass Pork

Serves 6


Well, summertime is certainly upon us. It's hard to believe it's already mid-July. There's only so much time left to use the beloved grill, before the weather get's nippy, so I am going to try to make as many grilling recipes as I can before summer comes to an end. 



This Lemongrass Pork dish is full of flavor: a little sweet, a little salty, and a lot of delish. Grilling it provides a nice, slightly charred look and flavor. I think it's safe to say this recipe is a winner, because my family devoured it all last night, leaving none for my poor dad who didn't get home until later.

It's completely gluten, sugar, and dairy free, and you won't believe how easy it was!

Enjoy with some rice and a nice summer salad. 


Grilled Lemongrass Pork:

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder steak (1/2 inch thick)
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped shallot
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
2 Tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons tamari (basically gluten free soy sauce- you should be able to find this in your grocery store. If not, check your local asian store)
3 Tablespoons fish sauce (make sure you check the ingredients for gluten-some have it, some don't)
2 Tablespoons olive oil


Directions:

Cut the pork into long pieces, about 3 to 4 inches long. Alternatively, you can cut it into cubes if you want to put them on a skewer. Set aside in large bowl. 

In a food processor, blend garlic, shallot and lemongrass until fine. Add the honey, pepper, tamari, fish sauce and olive oil and pulse until well combined. The texture should be somewhat smooth. Pour mixture over the pork and coat. Cover and allow to sit for at least an hour to marinate at room temperature. If making the day before, let sit in the refrigerator overnight and let the meat sit out for 45 minutes before grilling. 



Grill the pork at medium-high for 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the slices frequently until completely cooked. Serve over rice. 



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

(Original recipe from DamyHealth.com)





My mom's birthday was a couple of days ago, and I was put in charge of making the cake (which I totally didn't mind). I asked her what cake she wanted, and being the most selfless mom in the world, said she wanted me to make something that we could all eat- meaning gluten, dairy AND sugar free. It sounds impossible, I know. 

But this was the "cake" she asked for-a chocolate peanut butter pie I had made once before. Last time I made it, it was good. But I had to make a few changes to give it a more peanut buttery flavor. Obviously, the peanut butter is the best part. 



The second time around, I think I nailed the peanut butter flavor. There's no longer just a hint of peanut butter, but there's not so much that it sticks in your throat. 



Added bonus: this is one of those "freezer cakes," so it's a perfect dessert for the summer. 



Directions:

Blend all the crust ingredients together in a food processor until it has the consistency of dough. 

Blend all the filling ingredients except the water. Add the water in a little bit at a time until the desired consistency. I actually put in the full 1/4 cup of water in. It was wetter than the first one I made, but I actually liked it better that way.

Blend all the topping ingredients until smooth. 

Place parchment paper in an 8-inch spring form pan. Press down the crust. Add in the peanut butter filling and top with the chocolate topping. 

Place in the freezer for about 3 hours. Then let it thaw or eat it frozen! (I like it frozen). 




Monday, July 2, 2012

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

(makes one serving)

One morning, I woke up craving a Chocolate Banana Smoothie from Starbucks. But there were a few problems:
1. The Starbucks version has dairy in it (and I'm not a huge fan of the soy substitute)

2. The Starbucks version cost $4.45, which is a lot for a poor college student like me

3. I had just woken up, and was in no condition to leave the house


So, I decided the only satisfactory alternative was to make my own. I gathered a few essential ingredients and threw them all in my food processor. Now since Starbucks was on the mind, when I tasted this smoothie, I thought it tasted exactly like the real thing (and hastily named it the Starbucks Clone Chocolate Smoothie). But having made this many times since, and having downed my share of actual Starbucks Chocolate Smoothies since, I've decided it does not taste exactly the same. In fact, I think my recipe is actually much tastier! 

Why? Well, it's less icy, more chocolatey, dairy-free, less expensive (this really does make it taste better, I promise).



But really, I prefer this easy, homemade smoothie to any other, and I frequently make it if I need to take a meal with me and eat on the go.  

Ingredients:

2 bananas, sliced and frozen 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 Tablespoon honey, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules (this is totally optional and to taste, but 1/2 teaspoon usually works for me)
1/2 Tablespoon canned coconut milk, or to taste



Directions:

Blend frozen bananas in food processor with vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder and coffee granules. When the mixture becomes thick, add the honey and coconut milk. Add coconut milk until the consistency is to your liking. I like mine very thick, so I only use 1/2 Tablespoon. 

Scoop into a glass and that's it! A healthy, filling, shake for any time of day.