March 2017 Favorites 

Happy April, my sweet friends!! I first wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all of the love concerning my previous post – I was blown away by the response. So many beautiful comments and messages – the feedback only proved that we are not alone and that it is so important to be authentically YOU. Thank you ❤

March brought about lots of new recipes and making old favorites – I was able to finally eat some nuts without extreme setbacks, so that was nice…well, that was until about a week ago – trying to get the inflammation back down. Fingers crossed I don’t have to go back to being nut-free.

Before I dive in, here are some of my favorite photos from March:
 



MARCH FAVORITES:

P R O D U C T S:

Love and Kindness {wild rose + motherwort} mist for the heart >> Plantfolk Apothecary >> My dear friend sent this to me and it was instant love. Words that come to mind when I spray it: beautiful, peaceful, magical, happiness, confidence, protection, love. I absolutely adore the scent of rose, which is the star of the show in this little bottle. It actually reminds me a little of my self-love (“I AM”) spray that I carried in my shop.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites

Tessemae’s Mild Buffalo Sauce >> My Mom picked this up from Whole Foods (on sale) and together we made some amazing cauliflower wings! Literally the best I’ve had! This sauce has a really clean list of ingredients and has such a great flavor! Perfectly spicy and tangy. Minus Willow (she didn’t even try them), the entire family went back for seconds. I’m going to brainstorm other ways to use this sauce and grab myself a bottle next shopping trip.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites

Kombucha >> Here are some new flavors we tried and loved!

Vanilla Oak >> Brew Dr. Kombucha 

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Hibiscus Ginger (GT’S)

Bilberry Blessing (GT’S)

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Simple Mills Toasted Pecan Crunchy Cookies >> My Mom bought and shared these with us and they are amazing. Crispy little cookies that almost melt in your mouth. I seriously adore all things from Simple Mills! Found these on sale at Whole Foods.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites

Food Empowerment Project Chocolate List >> OK, so this isn’t technically a product, but I can’t recommend it enough. I have my friend, Kittee, to thank for this one and I’ve been using this app for the last month and a half – so helpful! If you care about where your money is going, how the cacao beans are sourced (a lot use child labor and slavery), then you NEED to download this app and get familiar with the companies…I was really bummed to see a couple favorites on the “Do not recommend” list (such as Enjoy Life and Hail Merry) but I have high hopes that they’ll change their sourcing. I don’t consume chocolate much these days anyway, but I’ll absolutely refer to this app when I do go to purchase something with chocolate. And in the meantime, I’ve stopped supporting Enjoy Life and the other companies that aren’t recommended…until they change sourcing/other issues. Please know that your choices matter and WE VOTE WITH OUR DOLLAR! While I obviously want to support vegan companies and applaud them for using animal-free ingredients, I also care about my fellow human beings – exploitation is wrong.

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R E C I P E S:

5 Ingredient Granola Cups >> The Fit Fork Feed >> I strayed away from Lindsay’s original recipe and made modifications so that I could eat them. I knew they were going to be good before they were baked because I kept sneaking bites of the batter. I used tigernut flour instead of oat flour, tahini instead of cashew (or nut butter), and maple syrup in place of rice syrup. These were so buttery and cookie-like and they made the perfect little vessel for yogurt and berries. I highly recommend checking out the recipe!!

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
And in case you don’t follow me on Instagram or missed it, here’s how we filled ours:

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Pineapple Teriyaki Cauliflower Poppers >> Athletic Avocado >> I’m always brainstorming new ways to switch up our taco night and when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew we had to make it asap. The first night we put them into tacos and the second day I added the leftovers to a big salad. Simple recipe and the slightly sweet flavor paired so well with our other ingredients.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Paleo Dinner Rolls >> The Real Food Dieticians >> It had been ages since I made or ate a roll/biscuit so when I found this recipe while Pinterest browsing one night I added it to our menu! I already had all of the ingredients on hand AND I didn’t have to make any adjustments (huge bonus)…well, I did omit the baking powder, but that was super minor. One bite and Willow declared that we make them all the time! Buttery, fluffy, and so easy to make. I’m envisioning biscuits and gravy in the near future.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Vegan Almond Flour Banana Bread >> Detoxinista >> Willow requested banana bread one day so I did a quick Google search for ‘paleo vegan banana bread’ and this recipe popped up. And the best part was that it called for three ripe bananas…which is exactly what we had at the time! We’ve tried a few of Detoxinista’s recipes in the past and loved them, which is why I gravitated towards this recipe. And it absolutely did not disappoint.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites

 

Green Mac and Cheese >> Veggies Don’t Bite >> I was so excited to try this recipe because I have LOVED every sauce creation Sophia has come up with. And I also love how each one is so different and amazing in their own way…this particular sauce is borderline drinkable. It is insanely creamy, full of flavor, and it has a really great tangy zip to it. I cooked up regular gluten-free noodles and sweet potato noodles to go with this sauce and everyone gave it a big thumbs up! The next day, I used the leftover sauce to drizzle over some roasted veggies…the possibilities are endless! I had an idea come to mind, but I ran out of sauce…next time I’d like to make mashed potatoes with it…doesn’t that sound amazing??

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Sweet Beet Sauce >> The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids >> Willow, out of the blue, decided that she actually wanted to make a few things out of this cookbook – we got it for her 4th birthday. During our sit down meal planning session one week, she grabbed this book and told us which recipes she wanted. You see, she tends to just “read” through this like a regular book, and while we have made a few recipes out of here before, we typically wait until she brings it up. She’s beet obsessed…I honestly think it’s because of the color, but who knows, maybe she actually really enjoys the flavor, too. We whipped this up one day and used it in a layered nice cream dish. We made one slight modification and replaced the agave with pure maple syrup (almost all of her recipes call for agave and since we don’t use it, we sub it with maple). Willow was taking bites of this sauce with a spoon and loved how creamy it was. We originally started making it in the food processor, but switched to the VitaMix to get it ultra smooth.

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
MOONDROPS SESAME ALMOND COOKIES >> The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids >> This was the other recipe Willow picked to make and I ended up prepping these solo…she was too caught up in painting to stop what she was doing. These were SO easy to throw together – one bowl, a handful of ingredients, and popped them in the oven to bake. They were the perfect balance of crispy and chewy…I love cookies like that. Willow really enjoyed them, too. The recipe doesn’t make a lot, which is good because sadly, they are not as tasty the next day. We threw a couple on top of our layered nice cream treat!

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
Raw Chocolate Beet Cheesecake >> Unconventional Baker >>  Willow has been asking to make this ever since I showed her pics from Audrey’s blog…my beet and pink obsessed kid! I think it was worth the wait because she absolutely LOVED it! In fact, my entire family did (parents and Oma included). Willow is known for eating the ‘cheese’ part of the cake and leaving the crust behind, but she devoured it entirely. Josh said he loved the crust because it wasn’t date-y. I added a few Brazil nuts to the crust because I had them on hand and I loved the flavor that brought to it. The actual ‘cheese’ portion of the cake was one of the creamiest I’ve ever had. Super smooth, melt in your mouth delicious. I attempted to swirl in some leftover sweet beet sauce (from the recipe I mentioned above) and it ended up looking more layered, but it was seriously SO good. Willow has asked to make it again!

REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
REVIEW: March 2017 Favorites
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B O O K S:

Rising Strong by Brené Brown >> I had read this one before, but checked it out from the library again. For some reason, it resonated a lot more with me the second time around. An extremely empowering read – I highly recommend it – everything by Brené Brown is fantastic.

The Autoimmune Fix by Tom O’Bryan >> I’m nowhere near finishing this book, BUT it absolutely has my attention. He discusses the autoimmune spectrum, causes, how to pinpoint and heal. I’m really excited to finish this – only 100 pages in and I’m already learning a TON.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman >> Josh (my husband) checked this book out from the library because someone had recommended it to him and then he passed it on to me. I laughed at him because he said he couldn’t read it before bed because it was so creepy…then I started reading it and realized why!

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What were your favorites from March? Did you read anything share worthy? Try any new products or recipes? Or maybe you’re watching something on Netflix that I need to know about?! Leave me a comment below…

Thanks for stopping by!

6 thoughts on “March 2017 Favorites 

  1. Vanilla kombucha–yes! Why isn’t that a more common flavor? I love anything and everything vanilla so that sounds amazing to me. Speaking of which (I know I say this every time but) I think your vanilla mocha body butter might be my favorite. I am obsessed❤️❤️ I have to try those cute little granola cups because a) I have tigernut flour b) you’ve already conveniently worked out the modifications for me and c) they are too cute filled with colorful creams and berries to pass up the yummy and IG photo perfect opportunity☺️ Although I’m not sure my gut loves tigernut flour yet, cassava is still much more of a sure thing for me. Perhaps it’s the high fiber content…idk. I think amount makes a big difference with it and nuts too, I’m guessing you’ve noticed the same? But I am so thrilled that you have had some success with adding nuts back in!! What a delicious month of baking it made for. And a very pink month😄 The beet cake is stunning, Audrey’s recipes never disappoint. I love Willow’s little cookie-topped jar too! And pineapple teriyaki cauliflower sounds like something that would never make it onto a plate for me, just straight off the baking sheet snacking piece by delicious piece. Willow and that gorgeous long hair is so cute, I love the first pic! So cute and almost 5, yes?!🙊 Hope you are well and getting more outside exploring days in with warmer weather! (And yay I’m not a week+ late this time😂) xoxo💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right???? Gimme all the vanilla!!! It’s so funny because I’ve always been a huge vanilla fan, but ever since this whole gut thing and going AIP for a long time, I’d take vanilla over chocolate any day. Such a happy, comforting flavor! And that kombucha is crazy good. Definitely sweeter than what I’m used to, but it was such a nice treat. Awww! Yay!!!! That makes me so happy to hear! It’s my personal favorite, too – I’m hoping to keep it a permanent body butter scent as it seems to be the favorite among many others, too ❤
      Oh, my goodness. Those little granola cups were so amazing! And I was so happy that my little swaps worked out. I'm so bummed, Natalie…I haven't been feeling good these last couple of weeks and I'm 95% sure it's due to nuts, but it might also be from cassava overload. I hate this game of trial and error!! Tigernut flour seems to be OK with me, but then again, maybe I need to do a more thorough test to see. It's weird how one day you'll be fine and the next you're not, yet haven't changed anything. Last month was definitely a fun baking month and I'm grateful for that…it helped my mood! And pink is always so happy!
      Yes! We love Audrey's recipes so much! They're always such a huge hit. I'm so bummed because I can't locate her digital book that we bought! It's lost and there are so many recipes in there that we hadn't tried yet or favorites that I fell in love with. Gah. But this beet cheesecake was sooooooo good! Definitely need to make it again.
      Willow's hair (when wet) is down to her butt! Haha!! She loves it long and I have major hair envy. Yes! She'll be five next week! I just can't believe it! And I'm freaking out because I still haven't figured out my vanilla frosting recipe yet. I'm having flashbacks of this time last year! Haha!!

      Thank you, friend! Always means a lot to hear from you – you're comments always bring a huge smile to my face. Hope all is well with you…I'll have to email you soon to check in!
      Lots of love ❤ ❤ ❤

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  2. Gosh I love all your food photos, I am always drooling when I see them.. they are absolutely gorgeous and inspiring… And I LOVE Willow’s long hair… what a beauty!!
    Also I am reading rising strong again right now too, and it’s hitting me deep… love that we are on the same wavelength!! Sending you lots of love and hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • No way??? We are always on the same wavelength!! I love it!!! Isn’t that book amazing? I need to just go buy a copy so I can always have it to refer back to. You’re so sweet!!! Thank you! I wish we lived closer so we could hang out and cook together. Willow has been asking to go back to CA and we’re trying to figure out a way to make that happen this year…and we’d love to see you again!! Can you believe our girls are going to be five???? So crazy and bittersweet.
      Sending soooooooo much love your way! Big hugs, mama!! xoxoxoxo
      ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  3. Oh my goodness Mandy, I’m drooling literally over all of this amazing food you made and those pecan cookies from Whole Foods, haha! I seriously think I’m going to have to head over to Whole Foods tomorrow and find those cookies. I sure hope my location carries them. I love pecans so much. Also, that pink cheesecake is so beautiful. Olivia would just flip over it as well since pink is her favorite color. I like that you mentioned that about the crust not tasting like dates. I do not like dates so it’s nice to hear that as I find some recipes with dates are not balanced out enough. That cake sounds and looks excellent. Those granola cups look so delicious too and hey, 5 ingredients?! And those pics of Willow, seriously she is your twin, I 100% see you in her beautiful little face and her long hair! I love seeing how much she is growing up and how sweet she is!
    I love these posts because I always discover new finds and amazing products you use!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, you are SO sweet!!!! Thank you for the kind words! It was definitely a good month for food…even if I paid the price with my gut! ha! Those pecan cookies are to die for!!! Willow actually prefers them over chocolate, which is a nice change. They also have a cinnamon cookie, but I have yet to try it as they’re always sold out in stores when i shop! I totally thought of you when I saw them though.
    That cheesecake was wonderful! I’m planning to make one of yours next…just need to figure out which one because they’re all soooooo amazing! We’ve almost tried them all. I’m actually not a fan of overly date-y crusts – I much prefer maple syrup in the crust, so this beet cheesecake was perfect for all of us.
    No way??? I just don’t see it! haha!! I get lots of comments about how much she looks like Josh or they’re baffled at how dark my hair is and how golden/light Willow’s is! So wild. She really is a sweetheart and I’m beyond blessed to have her for my daughter.
    I really do enjoy putting these posts together…especially when I actually have a good bit to share. So I appreciate you saying that you like these monthly posts!
    Big hugs and LOTS of love to you! Hope all is well with your sweet family ❤
    xoxoxoxo

    Like

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