Almond Milk Yogurt Raspberry Crunch Bowl

Frozen berries mixed into the almond milk yogurt make a freezy, ice creamy wonderfulness that is just too good to be true. Ice cream for breakfast anyone? Yes, please! 

Frozen berries mixed into the almond milk yogurt make a freezy, ice creamy wonderfulness that is just too good to be true. Ice cream for breakfast anyone? Yes, please! 

I have been experimenting with all different kinds of alternative yogurts and almond milk yogurt is a serious contender in this game. Granted, it may not be the lowest calorie or lowest sugar yogurt but it does taste aaaaamazing. So for a real treat, I mixed in some frozen organic raspberries and topped with my very favorite buckwheat cinnamon crunchies and there is was... ice cream for breakfast! I actually have made this a few more times as dessert and it has been a huge hit with all!

the recipe: (serves 1)

1 small container almond milk yogurt

1/3 cup frozen organic raspberries

2 tablespoons buckwheat cinnamon crunchies (see my post on these if you don' t know what I am talking about)--- alternatively, top with your granola of your choice. 

the plan:

Mix your frozen berries into your yogurt and top with your toppings! Enjoy! 

Butternut Squash, Corn & Coconut Chowder

Add the corn cobs to your cooking liquid to get a deeper corn flavor in your chowder. 

Add the corn cobs to your cooking liquid to get a deeper corn flavor in your chowder. 

This is one of those simple yet very satisfying recipes. The broth is light yet flavorful- it has a sweet and sour flavor with a touch of heat. You can have several bowls of this fall inspired chowder and not feel heavy or weighed down. If you are staying away from corn, you can easily swap it out for mushrooms to give it an equally satisfying and earthy flavor. 

the recipe: 

1 small butternut squash- cubed

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 small fennel bulb- chopped

1 small onion- chopped 

1 carrot- chopped

2 garlic cloves- crushed

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoons gluten-free or grain free flour (i.e., chickpea, almond, brown rice, coconut, etc.)

4 cups vegetable broth 

1 cup coconut milk 

1-2 corn cobs- kernels cut off

fresh dill and basil - for garnish and to taste

fresh lime- to taste

salt - to taste 

 

the plan: 

Wash, peel and cube your butternut squash. Wash and cube your other vegetables (fennel, carrot and corn). After you have cut the kernels off the corn, save the cobs to add to the cooking liquid. 

Melt coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, fennel, carrot and garlic and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the flour and chili flakes and stir for about 1 minute. Next, add your squash and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn cobs and corn kernels and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes or longer if you desire. 

When serving, squeeze in lime and top with fresh herbs. Season with salt as your please. 

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Buckwheat Soda Noodles and Cabbage Salad

Soba noodles coated in a perfectly balanced sweet, spicy and savory peanut sauce. Served atop a bed of crispy, cool green and red cabbage, carrots, snow peas, radish and green onion.

Soba noodles coated in a perfectly balanced sweet, spicy and savory peanut sauce. Served atop a bed of crispy, cool green and red cabbage, carrots, snow peas, radish and green onion.

This might be one of my very favorite things to eat. I'm a sucker for a good peanut sauce and this one is very good. There is also something about the freshness and crunch of the veggies mixed with the chewy and spicy noddles that gets me every time. And as most of my recipes go, this is incredibly easy to make. You can add a protein of your choice to make this a more filling meal- my favorite, sauteed velvet pioppini mushrooms. YUM!

the recipe: 

1 package soba noodles (or other diet friendly noodle of your choice)

1/4 head green cabbage

1/4 head red cabbage

1 carrot julienne (thinly sliced like little sticks)

1/2 cup sliced red globe radish

1/2 chopped sugar snap peas

1/4 cup chopped green onions

few sprigs few mint

Peanut Sauce: 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce, 1 Tablespoon prepared sweet chili sauce, 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.

*Note: If you don't want to use peanuts you can easily sub in Almond Butter instead. If you don't want to use that, consider using Tahini (sesame seed paste). And If you don't want any nuts or seeds- you can dress the salad simply with Lime and Olive Oil, maybe a splash of Coconut Aminos if you are avoiding soy.

the plan: 

Prepare Soba noodles per package instructions (it usually takes about 4-5 minutes). Now prepare your peanut sauce. Once the noodles are done, I usually drain them and mix a little oil (coconut oil) so the noodles don't stick together as they cool. Or if your peanut sauce is ready, you can dress your noodles with the sauce at this point. Divide the salad between your serving bowls, top each one with a heap of dressed noodles, sprinkle with chopped mint and green onions. Serve at room temperature and enjoy! 

Daikon Radish "Scallops"

Lightly braised daikon radish and a coconut amino wasabi dipping sauce 

Lightly braised daikon radish and a coconut amino wasabi dipping sauce 

These beautiful faux "scallops" are not only a pretty party trick but incredibly tasty. Simply braised daikon radish coins are cooked to tenderness and then lightly seared to get a beautiful bronzed finish. The dipping sauce is a simple mixture of coconut aminos and organic wasabi powder. You can also choose to use a gluten-free tamari or alternatively try them with a peanut or ginger dressing. I've them all and they ALL make a tasty combo!

the recipe: (makes 8 "scallops")

1 long daikon root (tip: try picking one that is pretty straight and symmetrical to achieve the perfect scallop shape)

Coconut Oil (for searing) 

1/3 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari (the latter if you are okay with Soy)

Organic Wasabi Powder (1/4 teaspoon + to taste)

the plan: 

Peel, wash and dry your daikon root. Slice the root into approximately 3/4 inch thick coins or "scallops." Place them in a skillet and barely cover with water. You can salt the water if you would like a more briny flavor. Cook the daikon in a low simmer bath for about 15 minutes. You can experiment with how you like them cooked - less cooked with a bite or cooked longer and softer. I like them both ways. When they are cooked to your likeness, drain and place on paper towel. Heat a little coconut oil in your pan and "sear" your daikon on one side until golden in color. Meanwhile, mix up your dipping sauce of choice. If you are using the coconut aminos, just mixed in the wasabi powder until you get the taste you like. Easy Peasy! Hope you enjoy! 

 

Sundried Tomato, Walnut and Herb Pate

Sundried tomatoes, soaked walnuts, garlic, salt, fresh basil and sage blend up to make the most perfect sweet and savory pate. Pictured served on gluten-free toast.

Sundried tomatoes, soaked walnuts, garlic, salt, fresh basil and sage blend up to make the most perfect sweet and savory pate. Pictured served on gluten-free toast.

This is one of those recipes that everybody will be asking you for. It is so easy to make and totally vegan and gluten-free. You can either use sundried tomatoes already soaked in olive oil or soak you own- reserve the oil for the pate. You also want to soak your walnuts in water for at least 2 hours to soften them up- this soaking liquid you discard. Feel free to experiment with different herbs. I find that basil and sage are pretty mellow and go well with the raw garlic. If you or your guests aren't garlic fans, just leave it out. It is just as good. You can serve this with crackers, toast, mixed in an omelet by itself or with some fresh goat cheese, mixed into warm pasta or on sandwiches as a spread. So go ahead and mix up a big batch and enjoy! 

the recipe: 

1 cup raw walnuts, soaked at least 2 hours- up to overnight (soaking liquid discarded)

3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil (approximately 1 cup total with liquid- reserve olive for recipe)

handful fresh basil

4-5 sage leaves, more of less depending on taste preference

1-2 whole raw garlic cloves, again depending on how much garlic you like

salt and pepper for taste

the plan: 

Wash and soak the walnuts for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. If your sun dried tomatoes are not purchased soaked in olive oil, cover the tomatoes with just enough oil to cover them. Let them sit for at least an hour in a warm room or up to overnight to re-hydrate them. When you are ready to make your pate, drain and rinse the walnuts-discarding the soaking liquid. Add the walnuts, sun dried tomatoes and the soaking oil, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Blend the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency. Serve immediately or can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. 

 

 

tomato walnut pate.jpg

Coconut Granola

Coconut Flakes, Sliced Almonds, Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Puffed Quinoa 

Coconut Flakes, Sliced Almonds, Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Puffed Quinoa 

Warning: This recipe is incredibly addictive. I promise you that either 1) you will wish you had made more because you finished it so fast or 2) you wish you hadn't made so much because you find yourself snacking on it all day long and you can't stop. The blend of coconut flakes, seeds, almonds, maple syrup and cinnamon make this tasty and super good for you. If you are cool with oats, feel free to throw some in as well. 

the recipe: 

1 cup large coconut flakes 

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/3 cup puffed quinoa 

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup hemp seed 

1/4 cup maple syrup 

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

the plan: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, pour over coconut oil and maple syrup and mix. Spread a thin layer on the granola mixture on a parchment paper over a baking sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden in color. Cool and enjoy! 

* Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. 

granola 3.jpg

Minty Pina Colada Frozen Smoothie

Coconut Milk, Frozen Pineapple and Mint 

Coconut Milk, Frozen Pineapple and Mint 

Winter may have come (GOT) but summer is still very much here in Northern California. It is has been over 100 degrees every day and only getting hotter. This frozen smoothie is absolutely the best when you are so hot you can't think of preparing a meal. If I am not going for pure coconutty pineapple flavor, I'll toss in a handful of spinach, a few slices of avocado, flax seeds and some lime for a complete meal.  The base recipe with some frozen banana is also incredibly yummy. 

the recipe: 

1/2 cup coconut milk 

1 cup frozen pineapple pieces

handful mint 

the plan: 

blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender. add more ice if you want your smoothie even icier. 

 

Coconut Yogurt Dragonfruit Bowl

Coconut Milk Yogurt topped with Dragonfruit, Strawberries, Coconut Flakes, Cocoa Nibs and Carob Chips

Coconut Milk Yogurt topped with Dragonfruit, Strawberries, Coconut Flakes, Cocoa Nibs and Carob Chips

This was put together as a breakfast recipe but it could just as easily fall under the dessert category. If you haven't tried coconut yogurt yet please do yourself a favor and try some. I like the plain, unsweetened kind. You can easily add stevia or another sweetener of your choice if you want it a bit sweeter. You can also blend it up with fresh vanilla pods or a few drops of pure vanilla extract to give it a warmer flavor. Moving on to the other star of this recipe... dragonfruit. The flavor is a lot like a kiwi but a little less tart. It is such a pretty fruit to look at though that I think I'd still add it to my recipes even if it didn't have any flavor at all. You can find dragonfruit at a lot of supermarkets these days and they are really don't require any special preparation. Just cut and serve. Feel free to change out your toppings as you please for the recipe. Enjoy! 

the recipe: 

1 cup (or 1 container) coconut milk yogurt

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1/4 dragonfruit, cut as you like 

1 strawberry sliced

Sprinkle on cocoa nibs and carob chips as you like 

the plan: 

Pretty self-explanatory but for consistency's sake... mix in any sweeteners or other additions that you like (stevia, maple syrup, chia seeds, etc). Top with fruit and other toppings of your choice. 

Dragonfruit 

Dragonfruit 

Coconut Milk Chia Pudding and Crispy Quinoa Parfait

Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding and Crispy Puffed Quinoa Parfait

Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding and Crispy Puffed Quinoa Parfait

So there seem to be a few popular food things lately: chia seeds, tiny jars filled with goodies and more chia seeds. I thought the jar idea was just to make the food look pretty but I have to say, it does make a great on-the-go meal. I chose to mix my chia seeds in store bought coconut milk yogurt and layered it with crispy puffed quinoa. I added a little fresh beet juice to my pudding to give it a little color. You could easily do the same with berries for a sweeter taste. 

the recipe

1 cup coconut milk yogurt (store bought)

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/3 cup puffed quinoa

1 teaspoon fresh beet juice or 1/2 cup mashed raspberries (for natural color)

the plan: 

Mix your chia seeds into your coconut yogurt. add any natural coloring or flavorings and let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to gel.  Layer your yogurt mixture with the quinoa. Feel free to add additional layers of fresh fruit, granola or nuts as your please. Enjoy! 

Matcha Matcha Milkshake

Japanese matcha blended with fresh pineapple, unsweetened almond milk, and fresh mint and lemon verbana. 

Japanese matcha blended with fresh pineapple, unsweetened almond milk, and fresh mint and lemon verbana. 

So this isn't really a milkshake...but it does have milk (almond milk) and it is a shake so I'll just run with it. The fresh herbs make this super refreshing, as does the fresh pineapple. This shake always makes me feel energized and light and I can feel that I've done something good for my body- and it tastes great!

the recipe:

1 tablespoon japanese matcha 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk 

1/2 cup fresh pineapple

few sprigs fresh mint and lemon verbana

3-4 ice cubes

the plan: 

blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and enjoy! 

* this shake tastes best if you enjoy it right away before the juices can settle 

Gorilla Rolls

Sunbutter and bananas wrapped in collard greens.

Sunbutter and bananas wrapped in collard greens.

This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes. The sweet bananas, the nutty sunbutter (like peanut butter but made from sunflower seeds), and the hearty collards combine to make an easy and tasty breakfast or just a grab-n-go snack anytime. They hold up really well so feel free to pack these guys up for a picnic or anytime treat! 

the recipe: (makes 1 roll)

2 collard leaf greens

1 tablespoon sunbutter

1/3 banana sliced

the plan: 

Wash, dry and remove hard vein (remove only the very hard vein from the bottom half, cutting a V shape) from collard green leaves. Lay the 2 collard greens on top of each other. Place sunbutter in center of top leaf. Lay sliced bananas atop the sunbutter. Starting at the end of the leaves that have been split by de-veining, start to roll up to the tip of the collard greens leaves. That's it! Enjoy! 

Very Very Green Salad: Fennel, Green Apple and Romaine

Don't let the simplicity of this salad fool you. It is knock your socks off delicious! 

Don't let the simplicity of this salad fool you. It is knock your socks off delicious! 

I first tried this salad at Prova Pizzeria in West Hollywood. I was shocked at how tasty three ingredients could be. As they did at Prova, I dress this salad with a simple dijon vinaigrette. Side note: the pizza here was also excellent.

the recipe: 

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 granny smith apple, sliced thinly

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly

dijon vinaigrette (1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt)

salt + pepper to taste

the plan: 

Wash and prepare your salad ingredients. Chop, slice and arrange your salad in the bowl. Dress with the dijan vinaigrette right before serving to ensure your ingredients stay crisp. 

Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats with Summer Fruit

Savory steel cut oats topped with fresh sweet peaches, creamy avocado, tart strawberries and chia seeds 

Savory steel cut oats topped with fresh sweet peaches, creamy avocado, tart strawberries and chia seeds 

Steel cuts oats don't have to be a heavy wintery dish. I like to lighten up my oats with freshly sliced fruit and a bit of chia for even more protein and some crunch. The best part of this recipe is you can make the oats in a rice cooker! Just set it and forget it. Easy, healthy and delicious!

the recipe: 

1 cup steel cut oats

4 cups water

1/2 salt 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

fruits, nuts, and/or seeds of your choice

the plan: 

Add the oats, water and salt to the rice cooker. If you have the kind of rice cooker that allows you to choose from varying options, choose the "brown rice" option. If you don't have that option, time your rice cooker for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I like to stir in coconut oil into the oats when they are done- you don't have to but I love the flavor. Now simply top the oats with your toppings of choice and enjoy! 

*Note: you can make this less savory by adding less salt and mixing in a sweetener of your choice. 

 

Lazy Sunday Watermelon Salad

Quite literally the easiest and tastiest salad. Ever. 

Quite literally the easiest and tastiest salad. Ever. 

It's Sunday morning and my 3 year old is literally hanging on to my legs while I am trying to get Sunday brunch together. In attempt to accomplish something quick and easy, this was the result. Quick, easy, beautiful and absolutely delicious! 

the recipe: 

1 small seedless watermelon

6 ounces sheep's milk feta 

1 tablespoon balsamic reduction or glaze

extra virgin olive oil to taste

fresh mint

salt + pepper to taste (I recommend Maldon salt)

the plan: 

Slice your watermelon as pictured or peel and cut into cubes (as is more traditionally done and takes a few more minutes). Sprinkle on cheese and dress with olive oil, balsamic, mint and salt and pepper. Enjoy! 

 

Stonefruit Summer Breakfast Salad

Peaches, Avocado, Strawberries, Pepitas, Cocoa Nibs and Crispy Puffed Quinoa 

Peaches, Avocado, Strawberries, Pepitas, Cocoa Nibs and Crispy Puffed Quinoa 

Sweet peaches and creamy avocado to me are a heavenly match. I always like to add a touch of something tart, be it tart berries like the strawberries in this salad or maybe even a squeeze of fresh lime. The contrasting bites of rock hard cocoa nibs, crispy crunchy puffed quinoa, flaky coconut and nutty pepitas make this as fun to eat as it is beautiful to look at. 

the recipe: 

1/2 peach sliced

1/2 avocado sliced

1-2 fresh strawberries 

1 teaspoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 teaspoon raw raw cocoa nibs

1 teaspoon large coconut shreds

1 teaspoon puffed quinoa 

*optional: lime and/or salt to taste

 

the plan: 

Slice. Arrange. Sprinkle toppings on top. Enjoy! 

*You can make this more of a meal by adding the entire recipe to a bowl of oatmeal (or porridge of your choice), yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), or your favorite cereal. Make it lunch by preparing this over a bed of mixed greens. 

My Matcha

Vanilla Almond Milk Matcha Latte 

Vanilla Almond Milk Matcha Latte 

Warmed vanilla almond milk whisked into savory Japanese matcha green tea, sweetened with a few drops of liquid stevia. Simple but amazing. And amazingly good for you. To get your almond milk perfectly frothy...I recommend buying an electric milk frother. They only cost a few dollars and it only takes about 20 seconds to whip it up.  

the recipe: 

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

1 teaspoon matcha green tea

liquid stevia (to taste)

the plan: 

In your mug, mix 1 teaspoon matcha with a few drops of water and stevia until you form a smooth paste. Warm almond milk to your liking. Use your electric milk frother to froth it up.   Pour almond milk into your mug and spoon remaining froth on top. Sprinkle a little extra matcha powder on top if you want to be extra fancy. 

 

End of Summer Endive, Fennel and Lentil Salad

This salad is as easy as it is tasty. Bitter and crisp Belgian endive mixed with slightly sweet fennel, a crumble of zesty goat's milk cheese, salty french lentils and a few of summer's last sweet blueberries round out this perfect lunch. I drizzled on a simple vinaigrette to finish it off. 

the recipe: (serves 2)

3-4 heads Belgian endive 

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced 

1 cup cooked lentils  

1/4 cup goat's milk cheese

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Salt + Pepper to taste

Basic vinaigrette or simple fresh lime and olive oil to dress

the plan: 

Cook lentils in salted water until just tender and let cool [you may enjoy the lentils warm or cool- your choice]. Alternatively, you can buy the lentils pre-cooked in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. Wash and chop your endive and fennel. Arrange vegetables on plate and top with a round of lentils. Sprinkle goat cheese and blueberries and top with your dressing. 

* Omit the goat cheese to make this meal vegan. Add toasted almonds for extra crunch. Switch out the blueberries for dried cranberries to make this more of a fall salad. 

Soba Noodles with Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms, Chopped Vegetables and Furikake

A nice heap of freshly cooked soba noodles topped with fresh diced sugar snap peas, carrots, avocado, green onions and cilantro. A dash of fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of furikake round out this perfectly balanced plate.        the recipe:    1 package soba noodles (or other noodles of your choosing)  1 cup oyster mushrooms  1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas  1/4 cup finely chopped carrots  1/4 cup chopped green onions  1/2 ripe avocado, cut into 1 inch cubes  1/2 lime (to juice)  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra for sauteing mushrooms   1 tablespoon chopped cilantro  1 teaspoon furikake   salt + pepper   Optional: Sriracha to taste      the plan:    Cook noodles per package instructions. Don't forget to salt the boiling water.  Saute mushrooms with your choice of oil until wilted and soft (I used coconut oil and salt). Chop your vegetables. Pile a spiral of noodles in the center of the plate, arrange mushrooms around the noodles, top with chopped vegetables and sprinkle with lime juice, EVOO, and furikake. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!   You can easily make this a heartier meal by subbing other proteins of your choice. 

A nice heap of freshly cooked soba noodles topped with fresh diced sugar snap peas, carrots, avocado, green onions and cilantro. A dash of fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of furikake round out this perfectly balanced plate. 

 

the recipe: 

1 package soba noodles (or other noodles of your choosing)

1 cup oyster mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas

1/4 cup finely chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 ripe avocado, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 lime (to juice)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra for sauteing mushrooms 

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon furikake 

salt + pepper 

Optional: Sriracha to taste

 

the plan: 

Cook noodles per package instructions. Don't forget to salt the boiling water.  Saute mushrooms with your choice of oil until wilted and soft (I used coconut oil and salt). Chop your vegetables. Pile a spiral of noodles in the center of the plate, arrange mushrooms around the noodles, top with chopped vegetables and sprinkle with lime juice, EVOO, and furikake. Serve at room temperature and enjoy! 

You can easily make this a heartier meal by subbing other proteins of your choice.