Yummy Protein Goo Ball Bites

I have been doing my best to get as much protein as possible lately. (Thank goodness for Brendan Brazier’s Vega Bars!) I have made many versions of this snack throughout my life, but never added protein powder before and it really was such a perfect addition! I made both vanilla and chocolate versions to enjoy 🙂 Awesome!

These were so super fast to whip up and even faster to eat haha so make sure you make some extra for the perfect on the go snacks.

Yummy Protein Goo Ball Bites

Chocolate Version

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (as I mentioned above – I love Brendan Brazier’s products from Vega and his Shake & Go Smoothie Chocolate is amazing!!!!)
2 tablespoons Artisana coconut butter (this is the best stuff ever!)
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1 heaping teaspoon organic peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup light coconut milk

Vanilla Version

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (my absolute favorite vanilla powder – Life Time Lifes Basics Plant Protein)
2 tablespoons Artisana coconut butter
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1 heaping teaspoon organic peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup light coconut milk

Combine all ingredients. You might need a little more protein powder or coconut if too wet or some coconut milk if too dry. Roll into balls in your hands.

Optional add ons:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Extra shredded coconut

Melt chocolate over a double boiler and dip the bites in the bowl. Then sprinkle coconut over and freeze until firm.

Spring/Summer Cleanse 2011: Week 1

It is that time of year, cleansing time! I love to do fasts and detoxes a few times a year. I have done so many different cleanses ranging from green smoothie cleanses, to juice cleanses, to the master cleanse and even gallbladder and liver cleanses. I decided this time around to embark on a longer more sustainable cleanse. It is a combo elimination diet and detox. This is helping me cleanse easily and effectively while I am continuing to eat. But I have cut out foods that would interfere with the cleansing process and that I feel I rely too much on in my diet. I used Dr. Alejandro Junger’s, Clean Program as a loose guideline. I am hoping to maintain eating primarily the foods of the Elimination Diet even after I finish the cleanse, while occasionally enjoying some of the other foods.

My Plan for the Cleanse:

Weeks 1-3 (21 days): (I plan on doing this part for 4 weeks)

  • Breakfast: Smoothie/Juice or Protein Shake
  • Lunch: Clean meal made of detox friendly foods (see list below)
  • Dinner: Smoothie/Juice/Soup/Blended Foods
  • Snacks: anything from the approved list, but only snack when truly hungry, not just bored. (I can certainly relate to this!)
  • Drink A LOT of water and/or herbal tea.
  • Also ideally lunch should be the real food meal, but of course since this is an extended cleanse, if you need to switch lunch and dinner sometimes it is fine, BUT make sure you keep
    a 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast free of food for optimal digestion and detoxing. (This actually makes this so much easier to sustain for weeks at a time, knowing that you can still go out for dinner sometimes!)
  • The shakes/smoothies/juices are meant to help decrease the amount of work your digestive system has to do so it can rest and  restore.

The general list of foods to remove for Elimination Diet includes: grains with gluten, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no dairy, animal products, alcohol, caffeine or soda. Click here to see Elimination List. and here to see the Shopping List.

Weeks 4: Juice Cleanse

I love my juice cleanses! See this post for more details.

Weeks 5: Back to the Elimination Diet Cleanse detailed above

With all stages I will include lots of Yoga of course and some cardio exercises.

Here is my first week of the cleanse broken down meal by meal to make it super easy for you to cleanse! Of course adjust times and recipes for your life and preferences. Meals in Bold have recipes listed below. I will post a few more recipes next week to add more variety 🙂

DAY ONE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
1:30pm (lunch): Romaine with Caesar Dressing and Capers
8pm (dinner): Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

DAY TWO

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Kitchari from JivamukTea Cafe (they use brown rice instead of white basmati! perfect!)
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY THREE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10:30am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Raw Sesame Nut-meat salad from Bonobos
7:30pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY FOUR

5 am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
7:30 am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
12:00pm (lunch): Kitchari and a kale side from JivamukTea Cafe
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
8:30 pm (dinner): Cucumber and Avocado Soup

DAY FIVE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water
1:30pm (lunch): Berry Protein Shake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Coconut/Avocado Raw soup & Lover’s Salad from Caravan of Dreams

DAY SIX

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Berry Protein Shake
1:30pm (lunch): Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
7pm (dinner): Soba Noodle Soup at Souen Ramen

DAY SEVEN

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Mango and Coconut Smoothie
2:30pm (lunch): Leftover Soba Noodle Soup & Small Salad  with Caesar Dressing
5pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
9pm (dinner): Leftover FROZEN Berry Protein Shake (so fun! I was able to eat it like a creamy sorbet instead of drinking it :))

RECIPES

Morning Green Smoothie (2 servings)(We drink this most days as it is now :))

1 cup frozen Blueberries or raspberries
1 cup frozen Mango or Pineapple
big handful of baby spinach or 3 stalks of kale or chard
2 heaping tablespoons Synergy Green Powder, Vitamineral Green or other green powder
1 tablespoon Maca
1 heaping teaspoon Crystal Manna Blue green algae or E3AFA2 heaping tablespoons Psyllium Whole Husks or MetaFiber1 serving of Vegan Protein (soy-free) powder; Vega, UltraClear, Life’s Basics
2 cups Almond, Hemp or Coconut milk
1/2 cup water or coconut water

optional: coconut (unsweetened) or avocado

Blend everything together and Enjoy! Feel free to play around with ingredients (adding or ommitting them) but pay attention to the elimination diet guide (ie no bananas for this smoothie)

Berry Protein Shake
Recipe adapted from Dr. Alejandro Junger

1 cup nut/rice/hempseed milk of your choice (either homemade with 1/2 cup nuts and 1 1/2-2 cups water, or unsweetened)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (optional)
3 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 serving of Vegan Protein Powder
1 serving of Fiber powder, Psyllium Husks or 2 ounces aloe juice
Handful of Spinach or serving of green powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 12 ounces almond, coconut milk or coconut water
  • handful of baby spinach

Blend and Enjoy!

Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake

This was out of control deelish! It was so creamy and chocolatey! I would not have it everyday, but for a treat, especially when cleansing, it was amazing!

4 ounces of water
8 ounces of almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 of an avocado
2 teaspoons organic almond butter
a pinch of sea salt
1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder – Vega Chocolate is Great!
1 serving MetaFiber
1 tablespoon Agave
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe from Clean Book; Dr. Alejandro Junger

2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
2 stalk celery
2 green apples, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
4-5 cups water

  1. Blend all ingredients except tarragon in a high speed blender.
  2. Check Seasoning
  3. Add the tarragon and blend again for 10 seconds, just enough to be mixed in.
  4. Serve in a bowl or mug slightly warm or at room temperature.

Cucumber and Avocado Soup
Recipe from Dr. Alejandro Junger
1 serving

zest of 1/2 lime
juice of an entire lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
1/2 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped

Blend everything together until totally creamy and smooth.

Vegan Fudge: Soy, Tree Nut, & Gluten Free

Thanks so much Averie for this recipe! OMG! This one “magically” dissappeared fast out of the fridge over the week. 😉 I don’t normally make these kind of desserts to keep in the house, but it was Birthday Week so I thought we could have this special treat. SO good, So fast (to make AND to eat!!). YUM!!!!!! It’s rich, decadent, fudgy, wonderful.


Vegan Fudge–Soy, Tree Nut, & Gluten Free; and a 10 Minute Recipe
Recipe from Averie

1 Cup Vegan/Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 box Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (Earth Balance)
1/2 Cup Regular Coconut Milk *DO NOT USE LIGHT Coconut Milk*
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cocoa.
  2. Separately, place the margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan, and stir together over medium heat.
  3. Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles just begin to break at the surface.
  4. Remove it from the stove, and immediately pour the liquid over the dry chocolate & sugar mixture.
  5. Let everything sit for a couple of minutes (and if you wait too long and it hardens up on you, feel free to nuke it for 15 seconds at a time or until melty), and then stir vigorously to melt the chocolate and incorporate the dry ingredients.
  6. Continue stirring until a completely smooth mixture forms.
  7. Mix in the vanilla, and quickly pour everything into your prepared pan, a lightly greased or cooking-sprayed 8×8 pan (or another similar size)
  8. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

I'm surprised any of this made it into the pan 🙂 It was so good! The ultimate spoon licking dessert!!

Ready to Chill

Coconut Lentil Soup

My friend Lisa Dawn is an amazing Yogi, Wife, Mother and Cook! We were talking recently about simple, nutritious, delicious and fast vegan meals and she served me such an amazing soup that I had to replicate it at home! Sometimes I forget how simple meals can be so amazing delicious, fun and taste so complex! Thank you Lisa for Inspiring me and Reminding me of this! I had so much fun in the kitchen dancing, stirring, singing – I have been so busy lately and have been neglecting cooking; it was good to find my way back 🙂

p.s. this soup/stew is AMAZING!!! Michael and I were so excited to have such a big batch to eat all week at home.

Soup while using the immersion blender

Soup after immersion

Coconut Lentil Soup
inspired by Lisa Dawn

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (canola)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 cans coconut milk (I used 1 light and 1 regular)
  • 4 cups of water (+1-2 cups once the pasta is added)
  • 8 ounces of little pasta (I used Conchigliette)
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste (black pepper is fine, I just wanted to stay with the colors)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and lentils and continuous stirring for 1 minute more. 
  2. Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Reduce hear and simmer till lentils are cooked.
  3. Using an immersion blender or by pouring into a blender – puree the soup.
  4. Add the pasta into the soup and the additional 1-2 cups of water. Enjoy!

note: It came out super thick for me, but we enjoyed it that way. If you want more of a soup consistency add more water.


Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce

This was surprisingly easy to make and deelish! Michael and I both loved it so much!! I would say double this recipe as it will go FAST 🙂 This dish is hearty with great flavor. This is definitely a great dish for people transitioning to a vegan diet, meat-eaters you want to impress with how deelish vegan food can be, and of course Vegans will love this too!! So yum!!!

I added my go-to pan-fried tofu to this dish. As far as I know, it is the best way to make tofu that is super tasty! The crust is perfect!! You can always change up the spices to suit any meal 🙂

Before the Sauce

Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
Adapted from a recipe on http://www.thekitchn.com/

Polenta with Black Beans and Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
1 can black beans (15 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (28 ounces)
6 large stalks swiss chard or kale
3 large or 6 small garlic cloves, diced
1 package pre-cooked polenta (18 ounces)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tbs. jamaican jerk seasoning
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb extra firm tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
dash of salt
dash of cayenne
sprinkling of Daiya/Italian – Mozzarella Blend

  1. Preheat oven to 500F. Empty entire can of tomatoes in a ceramic or glass baking dish, add coconut milk, and place in the oven. Bake 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1-2 cloves diced garlic, 1 tbs. jerk seasoning and cook 2 minutes. Add entire can of black beans and set heat to low, stirring occasionally.
  3. Separate swiss chard stems from leaves. Dice stems very fine and add to a saute pan with 1 tbs. of oil and 2-3 cloves diced garlic. Heat through on medium 2-3 minutes, then add chopped leaves, apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 cup water. Cover with a lid and set heat to low.
  4. Check on the tomato sauce. Stir in fresh thyme and continue to roast.
  5. Drain, blot and press Tofu to release liquid. Slice into 1/2″ cubes.
  6. Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan and add tofu, sprinkling with salt and cayenne. Let tofu sizzle for 6 minutes without stirring until a crust forms. Turn tofu over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and train.
  7. In the same pan heat 1 tbs. olive oil on medium heat. Slice polenta in 1/2″ thick slices. Sprinkle one side with remaining 1 tbs. jerk seasoning. Fry polenta, about 3 minutes per side until light brown and crispy.
  8. To serve: spoon about 1/3 cup of beans on a place, 1/3 cup of tofu. Top with a heaping spoonful of greens and a slice of polenta. Top with about 1/4 cup tomato-coconut sauce and a sprinkling of daiya cheese and enjoy!

Dina’s Chili-lime Ginger Tofu in Coconut Basil Broth with Rice Noodles

My fabulous girlfriend Dina sent me the most deelish and simple recipe recently. I made it and was beyond delighted. I am already thinking about making it again soon. It was really quick and I had almost all the ingredients in my house already. This was just so tasty! I used wide noodles which took about 10 minutes to cook. It came out with the most delicious, thick, coconuty sauce! If you use thin noodles, it might need less cooking time and turn out more brothy. I had sliced the yam with a mandolin so it was super thin and broke up during cooking which just added to the thickness of the sauce.  We do not normally eat that much tofu in our house, but Michael and I agreed that this was the best we ever had it prepared, it was so good!

Dina’s Chili-lime Ginger Tofu in Coconut Basil Broth with Rice Noodle

2 cups veggie broth
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup coconut water (or more veggie broth/coconut milk)
Fresh basil, chopped
1 yam, peeled and slice thin
rice noodles
2 tsp safflower, grapeseed or another neutral oil
1 block tofu, cubed
Soy sauce or tamari, to taste
fresh ginger, grated
juice and zest from 1 lime
red pepper flakes
sriracha sauce.

Combine the veggie broth, coconut milk and coconut water in a saucepan over medium heat. Next add basil and the yam and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer until the potatoes were tender. Add the rice noodles and cook till soft, 3-7 minutes.

Pour the oil in saute pan over medium heat and add the tofu. Hit it with some soy sauce, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, red pepper flakes and sriracha sauce. Saute until  nice crust forms on tofu.

Combine broth, noodles and tofu in a bowl. As Dina says, “Holy guacamole!!!!!!!! Try it! You’ll never do Thai takeout again!!”

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Topped with Curried Pecans

This was so delightful! One of the creamiest vegan soups I have ever had!!! Such a great flavor and the nuts added so much! This will be a great fall and winter go-to soup. The recipe is super simple and super quick. I have mentioned canned pumpkin puree before as it is a wonderful ingredient to take advantage of! Super fast, deelish and very low in calories. I am sure you could substitute butternut squash if you prefer that over the pumpkin but the puree keeps this simple. If you are looking to cut calories definitely use a light can of coconut milk as it will still be creamy and deeelish!!!

IMG_2754

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Topped with Curried Pecans
Recipe inspired by the Quick-Fix Vegetarian cookbook
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, Cover and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and the pumpkin puree, then whisk in the broth until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. While the soup is simmering, make the curried pecans. In a small bowl, combine the pecan pieces with the remaining maple syrup and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt, tossing to coat. Place the pecans in a small baking dish and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. If you have an an immersion blender use that to puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir back into the pot. Return the soup to the stovetop, turning the heat to low. Whisk in the coconut milk, taste to adjust seasonings. Heat until hot, do not boil. Serve the soup garnished with the pecans.

IMG_2757

Superfood Smoothie

We normally make smoothies in lieu of our usual Green Juices once or twice a week. They are so yummy and such a great treat! We make so many different variations but here is our most recent one. I never measure the ingredients when I put them in the Vita-mix, so below are approximates.

superfood smoothie

Superfood Smoothie
3/4 cup Blueberries
4 ounces Acai puree
1/2 cup Cherries
3/4 cup Mango
3 stalks of rainbow chard, with the stems removed
2 heaping tablespoons Synergy Green Powder
1 teaspoon Maca
3/4 teaspoon Crystal Manna Blue green algae
1 tablespoon Lucuma powder
1 tablespoon Mesquite powder
1/4 cup Chia pudding
1 cup Coconut milk
1/2 cup water

Strawberry Heaven: RAW Strawberry Shortcake & Avocado and Strawberries with Honey Vinaigrette

I am not sure why but Sunday was all about Strawberries!! They are so juicy and good! Plus having such sweets all day was so much fun 🙂

The Cake recipe was not super difficult but it was time consuming since all the layers have to set in the fridge for a while. But it was well worth it! Oh My Goodness it was good! Thank goodness there is still so much in the fridge 🙂 I am sure there are people out there who think that eating Raw means no dessert. Well I can safely say this cake will prove them wrong! It is also nice to know that although it is dessert, these are still ingredients that are healthy and good for you, but still should not be eaten in excess.

RAW Strawberry Shortcake

top of cake

sede of cake

sliced cake

 RAW Strawberry Shortcake
This is a recipe from Carmella of the sunnyrawkitchen.com Inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s I Am RaptureThis recipe is for a 6″ diameter pan or tub. (I increased this to fit an 8″ spring form pan – so I increased the cake recipe by 1/2)
Cake
3/4 cup well packed dates, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup ground almonds or loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk (wet pulp is fine)(I was able to use almond flour which is so perfect for this recipe!!)
1 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews

Whipped Cream
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
1/8 – 1/4 cup honey or agave (depending on how sweet you like it – I like it sweet :))
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut butter
1 tablespoon lecithin*

Strawberry Layer and Decoration
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced (I used close to 2 1/2 cups with all the decoration on top! I wanted every bite to have tons of strawberries!)

*Lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.

To make the Whipped Cream:
Blend all ingredients except lecithin until smooth. Add lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Set in fridge for about 1 hr.(this is super important)

To make the Cake:
Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

Assembly:
Grease a spring form pan with a little coconut butter or line a large margarine tub with plastic film.
Next form an even layer on the bottom with half of the cake mixture.
Top with 1/2 of the strawberries, followed by some of the whipped cream. Set in fridge for 20 mins.
When firm, form another cake layer. Then top with more strawberries. (Remember to save a few for decoration).
Again top with whipped cream and set in fridge 20-30 mins.
When firm, gently remove cake from the pan or margarine tub and place on serving plate. Decorate with strawberry slices and serve.

Avocado and Strawberries with Honey Vinaigrette

I know I had already made dessert, but this salad was so decadent it felt like dessert for dinner!! The texture and taste of this dish is so delightful! This would be a perfect appetizer for a spring or summer party! It is also so simple you could throw it together in 10 minutes!

Recipe from The Daily Green

strawberry avocado salad

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
8 ounces strawberries, halved

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper together.
  2. Arrange the avocados and strawberries on 6 salad plates.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fruit salad. Serve immediately.

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