Summer Favorites 2017

**I meant to share this post a couple of weeks ago, but apparently forgot to schedule it!**

Hello, everyone! It has been quite some time since I’ve written anything in this space – and I’ve attempted a few times to sit down and pour out some words…only to delete it all. It was a heavy summer filled with loss, hard times, and frustration and the fact that our computer is on its last leg didn’t help much. Yep, I’m typing this post from my phone…totally not fun, but it’s helping to force me to let go of “perfection.” All photos in this post were taken with my iPhone and aren’t edited. These words were typed in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep. 

{{I’m dedicating this post to Jen, one of my best friends. Thank you for always inspiring me and pushing me in ways you will probably never realize…I don’t think I will ever be able to fully express my gratitude.}}

This was definitely not a normal summer for us – usually we went on a new (or revisited an old favorite) hike each week, but with all of the wildfires, we were forced to stay indoors for most of it to spare our lungs.

BUT it’s officially Autumn and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m ready to pull out the heavy blankets, cozy sweaters, and let go of summer. I’m ready to welcome change in every sense of the word. Before I say goodbye to summer, I wanted to share a quick…or not so quick recap of my favorites!

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**If you’re used to reading my “favorites” posts, you’ll know they’re always organized by products, recipes, etc – this post is not. I’ve compiled my favorites here in the order they happened or when they were tried. If I continue with these posts, I’ll definitely go back to a more organized fashion! Hopefully by then our computer will be nicer to me!

SUMMER FAVORITES 2017

We flew to Vermont in June to spend a couple of weeks with Josh’s family and to get away from tourist crazy Bend! Felt good to visit with everyone. While there, we took a road trip to Rhode Island to spend a day with Jen and Tyler!!! (Seriously my favorite people) It’s truly incredible to spend time with people who just get you. Conversations flow and it’s definitely nice to not have to explain your reasoning behind certain choices (lifestyle, diet, etc) because for the most part, our values align. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m grateful to have them in my life.


Playing KUBB with Josh’s family! Even Willow got into it! If you haven’t played this lawn game, definitely check it out! Loads of fun!

Spending a couple of hours at The Montshire Museum of Science in Vermont. It’s amazing to watch your child light up with excitement to learn. I think she needs a microscope for Christmas…she literally spent 30+min using it!


Another highlight….FINALLY getting to meet Jen and Mike (and Eily + Taco) in real life! They came through Bend in July and we got to spend a few days with them. Feels like we’ve been friends forever and I know we will be. If you’re not familiar with their Etsy shop, Compassionate Paws, definitely check them out. 


Teaching Willow how to play UNO. Let’s just say there were a few days of nonstop games. So fun!

Josh and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with a hike! My parents were so kind to spend the day with Willow while we finally got to complete this gorgeous hike at Clear Lake.

While in Rhode Island, Jen sent us home with some goodies and this tea became my favorite. I loved it so much that I shared some with my Mom. 

Vegan Lemon Sauce with Basil >> The Vegan 8 >> Yet another fantastic recipe from Brandi! So rich in flavor with the perfect lemon tang and the basil is a lovely addition. We used potato noodles (made with our spiralizer) instead of edamame noodles. I used leftover sauce on roasted veggies the following day. SO good!

FERRERAW ROCHERS >> @mindful_moose eBook >>  Jess and I have been long time friends on Instagram and I was so excited when she released this beauty of a book! Lots of delicious recipes. It’s no surprise that our first choice was a decadent chocolate recipe. Willow and I had a blast making these and my entire family approved!

CRISPY ROASTED CURRIED CAULIFLOWER >> @thefitforkfeed >> Lindsay shares my love for cauliflower and curry so I obviously jumped on this recipe as soon as she shared it on her page!! She shares a lot of amazing recipes within her posts on IG – I would highly recommend giving her a “follow!”

Oh!

And Wildbrine’s fermented Sriracha! We love how it’s raw and doesn’t contain things like citric acid, “natural flavors,” sugar, etc. It tastes SO fresh!

Poor photo, but I can’t say it enough, I wish everyone would watch this documentary! Such an eye opener and I really enjoyed the variety of doctors interviewed and how it didn’t feel like a preachy film. I learned a lot!

Watching the solar eclipse with Willow and my Dad! Thanks, Mom, for making that awesome setup for Willow to ease my worried mind!

MAPLE WALNUT CREAM CHEESE >> Veggie Inspired Journey >> I could cry. The photo somehow got erased from my phone!! But if you click HERE, I’m hoping you can see the photo I posted on IG. This was a huge family hit (entire family, including my Oma). We paired it with banana bread and Willow ate a good bit by the spoonful! Haha!

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Buddha Chocolate Coffee Fudge Cups. Oh, my. Paleo, vegan, and worth every penny. And it’s an Oregon company! We found this at Market of Choice here in Bend and they were sold out of all the other options by this company….which made me believe it had to be amazing. I can’t wait to try other products!

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Remember how I said Jen sent me home with some goodies?? Well, she included some books (the bottom three in the stack below). I spent all of my summer with my nose in a book and these were my absolute favorite! The Outlander series is incredible and while I’m dying to start the fourth one, I decided to take a little breather and read something else! Ha! I have reviews for most of these on Goodreads. Are you on there??? If you are please let me know! And if you’re not (and you’re a big reader), definitely check it out!

I just have to add…Lily and the Octopus has my heart. SO GOOD!!! Even Josh read it and loved it!

Acorn ring made by Tamara of The Striped Cat Metalworks >> You guys. Have you seen her creations? I’ve been following her for a while on IG and have admired her craftiness….when she posted about this acorn ring and that a portion of the sales go to help the squirrels, I had to order one. And guess what? When my order arrived I was so surprised to see a little ring she made just for Willow! You can absolutely feel the love she puts into her work.

Circle Creations: 3 Cami Bra Package Deal

I will be the first to admit that I am “cheap” with some things. Bras were one of them. In the past I would get them from Target or Kohls…and I hated every single one. They were uncomfortable or broke after a few washes or wears. Finally, last month, I said, “I’m done. I NEED to find a bra I can get behind and one that is made with organic materials.” I immediately went to Etsy and ended up finding a shop in Oregon. I was SO hesitant to invest more than my usual $10-20 per bra, but I took the plunge and ordered a three pack! After reading every single review, I chose to order up from my usual size small and I’m glad I did. I AM IN LOVE WITH THESE BRAS!!!!! Hands down the most comfortable bra I have ever owned – I honestly forget I’m even wearing it. They’re beautifully and wonderfully made, they were shipped fast, and I feel good supporting a company who uses sustainable materials. Click HERE to view these bras. Also know that they offer them for sale individually for $36.

Nothing new, but being silly with this kid is my favorite. And this was probably my favorite Instagram post in a long time. It felt good to not care what people think and to really connect with people. I seriously had so much fun reading the comments and thank you to those who played along!

Homeschooling a kindergartner now! Woohoo! Crazy how fast time flies. She’s not a baby anymore!


3-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Pots >> Feasting on Fruit >> If you have a major sweet tooth AND you love chocolate (who doesn’t???) then you need to try these!! They’re fluffy, dreamy, crazy rich pots of deliciousness. And believe me, you’ll only be able to take a few bites…it’s that rich.

Favorite local shop! Forge Humanity. Beautiful space, amazing people, and every single product goes to support a cause. For example, this book I bought Willow helps give 10 people clean water for a year! If you’re ever in Bend, Oregon, definitely stop in! 


Vegan Lemon Bars with Spiced Tahini Caramel >> The Vegan 8 >> This is a recipe of Brandi’s from 2014!!!! And I finally tried it last month for the first time. If you know me, you know I’m addicted to tahini. BUT for those of you who are not, rest assured these aren’t strong in tahini flavor. Definitely rich and a small square is plenty, but that bite of spiced caramel is heaven. It truly makes these bars fantastic and pairs so perfectly with the lemon. This was absolutely with the wait and will definitely be a repeat recipe.

Coconut Secret UnGranola Bar: I. Am. Hooked!!!!!! Found these at Market of Choice and I was so excited! I should add that Willow is obsessed with them too! I love that they’re grain-free, soy-free, cane sugar-free (sweetened with coconut nectar), and they use fair trade chocolate!

Also, these Chaco sandals are the best. I have worn nothing else (literally every single day) for the last five months and I’ll be sad when I have to break out socks. I have worn these on 5+ mile hikes and normal every day wear – so comfortable!

Went on a date with Josh to Salud! All raw and everything is delicious! We found a coupon for buy one get one half off so we took advantage. We love this spot, but prefer to save money and eat at home. Our meals were amazing though (as usual). Plus it feels good to support a local business who cares about health!

Addicting. That is all I will say….


Chocolate Monkey Bread >> Feasting on Fruit >> I’ve never actually had monkey bread before and after having this version, I don’t think I need to try another…because it’s amazing!! Fudgy, gooey, balls of brownie. BUT it’s fruit sweetened, grain-free, and vegan (of course). This was gone in a flash and we’ll definitely make it again for soon!

The Fit Fork Feed : Everything Bagel Crusted Cauliflower >> She shared this recipe on her Instagram…if you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll tag you in her post! I hope this works…click HERE to see her IG post.


Favorite movies that Josh and I saw in the theater:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • Wonder Woman 
  • Baby Driver

As always, I would LOVE to hear from you. Tell me some of your favorites from the summer! Books? Movies? Recipes? Moments? 

Thanks for stopping by!

❤️

Grain-Free Peppermint Brownies

This time last year I shared a recipe for Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies and since they were a big hit, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could recreate them to be closer to my current “diet.” I was going to try and make them AIP compliant, but since Willow isn’t the biggest fan of carob, I thought I better stick to good old cacao.

So what adjustments did I make?

Instead of gluten-free all purpose flour, I used cassava flour.

I used coconut butter in place of raw tahini (oh, how I miss tahini!).

Instead of aquafaba, I subbed in pumpkin puree.

My first trial was too heavy on the cassava flour which not only left you with a somewhat overpowering taste in your mouth, but they were also on the dry side. Second trial got a little closer, but not up to my perfectionist standards 😉 Third time’s a charm and I knew that I finally nailed it when Willow took a bite and already asked for a second one…and said, “Mom, can we make these for Christmas?”

YAY! On that note, when we asked Willow what she wanted us to make for dinner on Christmas Eve, she replied: “Cookies.” I swear she does eat more than baked goods!

These brownies are NOT for the faint of heart as they’re super….

RICH

CHOCOLATEY

SWEET

CHEWY

FUDGY

Grain-Free Peppermint Brownies

GRAIN-FREE PEPPERMINT BROWNIES

{gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, oil-free, vegan}

Makes 8 large brownies or 16 smaller ones

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1/3 cup Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar*
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree*
  • 1 Tablespoon NuStevia Cocoa Mint Syrup*
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons gum-free, unsweetened coconut milk*

*If you’d prefer to skip the stevia syrup, add an additional 1/4 cup coconut sugar and use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. You can use sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin (I recommend using white sweet potato) or you can do a combo of both. For the coconut milk I recommend either Trader Joe’s canned or Native Forest’s Organic Simple Coconut Milk.

HOW TO:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a double boiler, gently melt together the chocolate chips and coconut butter; stirring frequently. Once smooth, remove from the stove and add it to your dry ingredients…along with the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and stevia syrup.
  4. Once everything is combined, fold in the remaining 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
  5. Transfer the mix to your baking dish and either using your fingers or a spatula, flatten it out into an even layer. This batter will be very thick due to the cassava flour and you’ll be tempted to add in more liquid, but please don’t!
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting.
  7. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers, I recommend warming them slightly before eating to allow the chocolate + coconut butter to soften a bit!

Grain-Free Peppermint Brownies

Grain-Free Peppermint Brownies

Merry (almost) Christmas, my friends! Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding

Are you tired of pumpkin recipes? Not yet? Good! Because I have an insanely easy recipe for you today. I almost didn’t share it because it is so easy and tapioca pudding isn’t anything new, but my family enjoys this so much that I decided to type up a little post for it.

I meant to share this earlier in the week, but I got wrapped up in the WORLD SERIES!!!! What an amazing Game 7! We are over the moon that the Cubs did it!!! 

But back to this recipe…

When I created this, I thought it looked a little naked. Like it needed something to go with it. I brainstormed AIP friendly sauces and toppings, but none of them seemed exciting. Then my friend, Natalie, over at Feasting on Fruit, posted her recipe for a Date Caramel Sauce and I knew instantly that I found what I was looking for! PERFECT match! If you’re not following an AIP diet, you could top it with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and/or chocolate chips. You’ll see a photo below with some chocolate chips sprinkled on top…that would be Willow’s handy work 😉

My family and I prefer eating this pudding warm, right off the stove with a little caramel sauce swirled in. 

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
PUMPKIN TAPIOCA PUDDING 

{AIP, oil-free, vegan}

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
  • 1 cup filtered water*
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)*
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée 
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Dash of ginger powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Optional: vanilla bean powder (or extract) or ground cardamom.

* For an even creamier option, use coconut milk instead of water. I use Trader Joe’s organic canned coconut as it doesn’t contain any gums/thickeners. I don’t recommend using lite coconut milk.

How to:

  1. In a small pot, combine the tapioca pearls and water. Allow to soak for at least an hour.
  2. Do not drain the water – add the remaining ingredients (except if you’re using vanilla extract) to the pot and heat over medium, stirring frequently.
  3. Once the mixture begins to lightly boil, reduce the heat to low-med and continue to cook until the pearls are translucent, stirring often. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once the pearls are translucent and the mixture has thickened, remove from heat. At this time, you can add in vanilla extract.
  5. You can eat this warm or cold. It will thicken even more once chilled in the fridge.
  6. Top it with extra cinnamon, a sprinkle of coconut sugar, chocolate chips, cardamom, coconut whipped cream, or our favorite…Natalie’s Caramel Sauce!! 

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
Thanks for stopping by!

❤️

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This time time of year is my absolute favorite – cooler weather, all the wonderful varieties of squash, and lots of soup! I used to always start my day with a smoothie, but these days I’ve traded it in for a bowl of hot soup. Not only is it comforting, but it’s also a great way to load up on healthy veggies!

Since following the AIP diet, I have discovered mushroom broth and fallen in love! I realize mushroom broth isn’t anything new, but I’ve always passed it up while shopping. Now I literally use it in everything -to sauté veggies, soups, and anywhere it calls for regular veggie broth. Most vegetable broths contain tomato or peppers – both of which you’re supposed to avoid on an AIP diet. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms and would still like to try this soup, you can use veggie broth, but it will produce a different flavor.

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
SAVORY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP:

{AIP, vegan, oil-free option}

Serves 6

What you need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil*
  • 1 3/4 -2 cups mushroom broth*
  • 1 cup coconut milk*
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste

*NOTES: Can replace coconut oil with broth to keep the soup oil-free. We use Pacific Organic Mushroom Broth (contains water, mushrooms, sea salt, garlic). We use Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk (can) as it does not contain gums.

How to:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking tray with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Wash and halve your butternut squash – remove seeds. We like to lightly brush our butternut squash with a small amount of avocado oil and sprinkle it with garlic…but that is optional. With the cut side down, roast the squash for 45-60 minutes or until tender.
  3. While the squash is roasting, slice your celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Do not be concerned about the size since in the end everything will be blended/puréed .
  4. Heat a large pot with a teaspoon of coconut oil or broth over medium heat and saute your onions until translucent. Then add the celery, carrots, and garlic – Saute until tender.
  5. Next add in 1 1/4 cups of mushroom broth and reduce heat to low-med. Allow to warm while the squash is roasting.
  6. When the squash is tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then remove the skin and cut into cubes – add directly to the pot. Once all of the squash has been added to the pot, add in your seasonings, coconut milk and remaining 1/2 cup of mushroom broth. Increase the heat to medium to allow everything to warm.
  7. Once the soup begins to boil, remove from heat and either carefully transfer and purée the soup in a high-speed blender or use a handheld immersion blender. In this instance, we used our immersion blender to allow for more texture. If you find that your soup is too thick, you can add more broth or water.
  8. Enjoy!!

I LOVE topping this soup with either garlicky kale, fresh basil, roasted broccoli, or roasted cubes of sweet potato. If you’re not following an AIP diet, I recommend adding a dash of jalapeño pepper sauce or diced jalapeños for a kick!

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Leftovers with a swirl of jalapeño pepper hot sauce and chives:

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Thanks for stopping by!

❤️

Baked Cinnamon Mini Donuts {AIP, Vegan}

Just when I thought gluten-free baking had its tricky moments, I dove head first into the grain-free, nut-free baking world and it is 100 times harder than I thought! So many failed attempts with either gummy textures or mushy. Upon researching, I learned that AIP baked goods, more often than not, produce a different texture and unless grain-free is all you’ve ever known, it might also take some time to get used to. During my MANY trials, I also learned the importance of two things:

  1. DO NOT over mix the batter.
  2. Allow baked goods to cool completely before eating…this was VERY hard for me.

Have I scared you away? Haha! I promise these donuts are delicious and picky eater approved. I have written here that this recipe makes 12-14 donuts and I say this because Miss Willow will eat the batter by the spoonfuls! Each time I’ve made them, she helps herself to the bowl, leaving me to estimate how many it officially makes 😉



If you’re not on an autoimmune diet, I do have two other donut recipes on the blog and both use gluten-free (all purpose) flour and nuts. Check them out HERE and HERE.

Since I have made this recipe a gazillion times, I have added notes on variations, but I cannot attest to any other flours (coconut, banana, sweet potato, etc.).

Baked Cinnamon Mini Donuts {AIP, Vegan}

BAKED CINNAMON MINI DONUTS {AIP, Vegan}:

Makes 12-14 mini donuts

What you need:

  • 1 cup Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour*
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (gum-free)*
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree*
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut butter*

For coating:

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar (or maple sugar)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon

*NOTES: I buy the cassava flour from Natural Grocers, but you can also find it on Amazon. I use Trader Joe’s canned organic coconut milk as it is free from any gums or strange additives. Instead of pumpkin puree, you can use unsweetened applesauce and they’re just as delicious! As for the coconut butter, I have also used half coconut butter + half coconut oil or all coconut oil…all three variations produce a very similar texture and flavor, so it comes down to preference or what you have on hand.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease your mini donut pan(s).
  2. Combine the coconut milk + ACV, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut sugar and coconut butter until well combined. I actually like to use my stand-up mixer for this to kind of cream it together until it resembles a sand-like consistency.
  4. Next add in the remaining wet ingredients (applesauce, milk + ACV) and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Then add in all of your dry ingredients and mix until just combined – be careful not to overmix. The batter will be VERY thick and you’ll be tempted to add in extra milk to thin it out, but resist that temptation!
  6. Pipe the batter into your donut pan – fill it almost up to the top (the batter will not rise like usual donuts) and using your fingers or a small spatula, flatten/smooth down the batter. If you don’t have a piping bag, grab a Ziploc bag, spoon the batter into it, seal it and snip off a corner.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to set in the pan for another five minutes. While they’re setting, combine the mixture of cinnamon and coconut sugar in a Ziploc bag.
  8. Remove the donuts from the pan and shake them in the bag of cinnamon + coconut sugar. Allow them to set on a cooling rack until completely cool. Another option is to remove the donuts from the pan and allow them to cool, brush them with melted coconut oil and dunk them in a bowl of cinnamon + coconut sugar. OR dunk them in melted chocolate for a more decadent version (although, that last option isn’t AIP friendly)!
  9. Enjoy! I recommend pairing them with a hot mug of tea or apple cider.

***These donuts are best eaten the day they’re made – so make them and share!

Here is a very ugly, but real photo of what they look like when they first come out of the oven…they won’t look perfect, but coated in cinnamon + coconut sugar will make everything better!

Baked Cinnamon Mini Donuts {AIP, Vegan}
Baked Cinnamon Mini Donuts {AIP, Vegan}
Baked Cinnamon Mini Donuts {AIP, Vegan}
Thanks for stopping by!

❤️

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

Hello, friends! Before I dive into this recipe, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for all of the supportive comments on my previous post – means so much to me. I was shocked at how well it was received and even more shocked to learn how many others are in the same boat. Your emails and text messages have helped me to feel less alone and hopeful. I’m sending so much love and healing energy to all of you ❤️

If you read my last post, you know that I’ve made some changes in my diet to reset my system and I’ve had amazing results – more energy, no bloating, pain-free, positive mood changes, clothes fitting better, and hopeful. When I was first introduced to the Autoimmune Protocol, I focused too much on the foods I’d have to avoid, rather than looking at the lengthy list of foods I could eat – it’s all about perspective, right?

Since going vegan almost ten years ago, I’ve consumed nuts & seeds on a daily basis. Heck, almost at every meal if I think about it: nut milk in my smoothies, nuts in granola, cashews to make a creamy sauce or soup, nut or seed butters on toast, in smoothies, in baked goods. The list could go on. Nuts & seeds are in A LOT of vegan products.

Same goes for grains. They’re in our cereals, granola, pancakes, and baked goods. But we also cook them up to go with our lunch or dinner – rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat…well, you get the idea.

My body hasn’t ever had a break from nuts, seeds, and grains – I’m 37 years old – so that’s many days of consuming these foods. I’ve been without nuts and seeds for over two weeks now and without grains, beans, and nightshades for over a week…I’m honestly shocked at how much better I feel. With the AIP diet, they say to do it for 30 days to reset your system – I’m not sure I will go that long since I don’t think I’m getting enough protein (might add beans back in next week) – it’s a harder diet to follow as a vegan.

Eating this way has forced me to get creative, but also reigniting my love for the simple meals…my current favorite dinner is baked yams with sauteed kale, onions, garlic, zucchini, topped with coconut aminos and sliced avocado…gimme those greens! I’ve also fallen in love with these Coconut Paleo Wraps – on the pricey side, so they’re a treat for me. You can find them at pretty much an natural food store or online, but I have found that Whole Foods sells them for the best price. I love using them for both savory (veggie wraps) and sweet (apple crepes) recipes. Oh! And all I can say is coconut butter never tasted so good – now that all of my other nut/seed butters are out – coconut butter is like gold to me! Haha!

*If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to do a post sharing what I eat in a day following this protocol.

If your weather is anything like ours, you’re probably still enjoying smoothies and nice cream without shivering under a blanket just yet 😉 I think this recipe borders on nice cream due to its thickness, but I’m calling it a smoothie bowl since it has a sneaky little veggie in there!

Ahhh, golden beets! Have you tried them? Are you a beet lover? If you’re not a beet fan, golden beets are a lot less “earthy” and overpowering than the vibrant red beets and they also have a perfect sweetness to them. I also love golden beets for their bright, sunshine-y yellow color! I’ve brightened the color even more with some fresh turmeric and mango. My first instinct is to grab the bottle of homemade almond milk, but since I’m not consuming nuts right now, I’ve been using coconut milk, which also gives it a nice tropical twist!

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl
Sunshine Smoothie Bowl {vegan, AIP-friendly, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free}

Serves 1-2

What you need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh golden beets, peeled + chopped*
  • 1/2-1 inch chunk of fresh turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons raw coconut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional; if following AIP do not use extract)
  • coconut milk to blend*

*I have made this with an additional 1/4 cup of beets and it’s still delicious! Just depends on how much of a beet lover yo are. I use Trader Joe’s organic canned coconut milk as it is gum-free. I suggest starting with 1/4 cup, adding more if you’d like a thinner consistency. If you’re OK with gums, then any coconut milk will do…full fat will make it ultra creamy. 

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

How to:

  1. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl, and enjoy! You can top it with fresh blueberries, dried mulberries, shredded coconut, cinnamon, or granola…or load it up with everything!

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl 

Can’t believe this is the last official week of summer! Are you excited for fall?!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

This Chickpea & Kale Salad is similar to your standard chickpea mash, but with a little spice and greens thrown in. It’s creamy, full of flavor, and easily customizable! Pair it with some celery + carrot sticks for a quick snack or turn it into a main meal as a big salad or sandwich. 

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

I love the accidental, throw-together meals that end up being share-worthy. The recipe I’m about to share with you is one of those meals! I can’t take full credit for this creation…I have my hubby to thank. Sometimes he uses ingredients I wouldn’t normally think to combine and also has a heavier hand for spices, but more often than not, the outcome is delicious and packed with flavor. The day he threw this together, I made him give me the rundown on the ingredients he used, but he couldn’t tell me measurements…go figure! So the trials began. I’m excited to share a savory recipe with you – it’s been a while!

Before I dive in, I have to talk about our little addiction. A few months ago we discovered Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeno Peppers and can’t get enough. They’re so good that we were going back and buying a jar a week! We’ve been throwing them in tacos, sauces, salads, pasta, and more. I don’t normally buy jarred products like this, but not only is the jar labeled ‘vegan and gluten-free’ but it’s also non-GMO, free from sulfites, and citric acid. If you haven’t guessed it by now, these jalapenos make an appearance in this recipe 🙂

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

SPICY CHICKPEA & KALE SALAD

{vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free option}

Serves 6-8

What you need:

  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 3 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBSP Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeno Peppers*
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup soy-free vegan mayo*
  • 2 TBSP (or more) diced red onion
  • Optional add-ins: chopped carrot, red bell pepper, or tomatoes

*We love this homemade version (but omit the sriracha) or you can use Soy-Free Vegenaise

How to:

  1. Tear the leaves of kale away from the stem and wash thoroughly. Shake the water off, but don’t worry about getting the kale completely dry because any water remaining will aid in cooking. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss it with the granulated garlic and salt.
  2. Add the kale to a pan, cover with a lid, and cook on medium heat. Stir frequently and if needed, add a splash of veggie broth or oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the kale is softened/tender.
  3. Next, throw your chickpeas, cooked kale, jalapenos, and seasonings into a food processor. Pulse until broken down into smaller pieces*
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and fold in your mayo one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If you want a super creamy texture, go heavier on the mayo. Then fold in the diced red onion*
  5. Add to a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich, spread between two tortillas and warmed up, or as is!

NOTES:

*I have not tried making this with fresh jalapenos, but I imagine they would produce a higher heat/spice level – I probably wouldn’t throw in 2 TBSP off the bat! The jalapenos I used are fairly mild/tame.

*If you prefer a smoother consistency as opposed to the chunkier way I’ve done – add your mayo and onion directly into the food processor instead of folding it in. Process until smooth.

**If you or your kiddo don’t like spicy, simply omit the jalapenos and either cut the spices back or omit all together.

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

Here we enjoyed it in a sandwich with red leaf lettuce, thick slices of homemade cashew cheese, extra red onion slices, and a smear of vegan mayo…

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

 

Thanks for stopping by!