Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

I hope everyone had a great holiday!!! The season is just beginning! This is a great dish that can be an appetizer or easily adapted into an entree. Perfect seasonal food to keep you toasty & warm! Plus it was AMAZING!

The only thing I would do differently next time is make more and make some of them in kid-friendly serving-ware as they love love loved this dish! The lentils are so easy and similar to what I make often for us as a staple. And the butternut was so amazing and smooth with the coconut milk added to it. YUM!

Layered Lentil and B

Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

Adapted from Eatwell101.com 

Mashed Butternut

  • 1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put butternut squash into a pot or a large saucepan and soak up with water, cover and cook until the squash pieces are tender.
  2. Drain the butternut keeping the cooking water.
  3. Then blend it with coconut milk and cinnamon adding a little cooking water to obtain the desired consistency.
  4. Adjust seasoning and pour into the bottom of the glasses.

Mashed Lentil Curry

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 lb green or brown lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pan, sauté the onions in olive oil.
  2. When the onion is softened , add the lentils, water and curry. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, add a little water during cooking if necessary.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, drain them keeping the cooking water.
  4. Immersion Blend half of the lentils and add more water depending on desired consistency.
  5. Season to taste.

To create the layers. Pour the squash into the glass first, follow with the lentils and finish by topping your with a second layer of butternut puree. Serve warm or hot.

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No Bake Chocolate Macaroons

Oh how I LOVE Oh She Glows! Just amazing! I am a huge fan of raw desserts, but not everyone is. Thankfully my family loved these macaroons for Passover. They definitely are not your traditional but they were super yummy and even considered healthy! How fun! Another one of our recipes that can be enjoyed anytime!!

I doubled the recipe and used small and big ice cream scoopers to make big macaroons and mini ones 🙂 (or baby ones as my kiddos would say!) 

No Bake Chocolate Ma

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No Bake Chocolate Macaroons
Recipe from ohsheglows.com
Raw, Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free

12 macaroons

  • 1 banana, finely mashed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)*
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)(I used)
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana until most of the clumps are gone. Stir in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir until combined. Now stir in the coconut, optional chia seeds, and fine grain sea salt to taste.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat. Using a spoon or retractable ice cream scooper, scoop rounds onto the sheet. Place sheet in the freezer for around 20 minutes, or until macaroons are firm. Store in the freezer until ready to enjoy. They will soften at room temperature.

Note: 1/4 cup pure maple syrup results in a lightly sweet macaroon. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to your own taste buds, especially because some cocoa powders may be stronger than others.

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Perfect Fall Soup: Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

Today was that perfect Fall day. Super brisk yet still super sunny highlighting those gorgeous fall colors!! We spent the late afternoon crunching on all the fallen leaves and a messy outdoor art project!! It was a bit chilly and as it got later (and colder) I figured it was the perfect day for a warm & creamy soup. Yum!!

I was thinking Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk. Then I decided to add carrots from the CSA and apples we picked last weekend. I figured this was going to be a winning combination and it was!

I used pre-chopped butternut squash which made this meal a breeze and done within 30 minutes!

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Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

  • medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • bag of carrots/parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups (water & broth)(I used 2 of each) 
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of coconut milk (all I had was light and it still came out creamy)
  • dash of nutmeg & cinnamon

In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil while peeling and cutting the squash, carrots & apples.
Turn the heat down and add the veggies, stirring until they are all added.
Add liquid and salt &pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are soft.
Using an immersion blender puree completely smooth in the same pot.
Add coconut milk, nutmeg & cinnamon, taste and season, stir (I used the blender again) and enjoy!

Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Mushroom Gravy

Just reading the name of this recipe makes my mouth water with how good it was!!!! To me this was perfect date/impress/romantic/thank goodness for leftovers food.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Coconut Mushroom Gravy
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers – half recipe to serve just a few, but if you are like me make the whole thing!)
Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) – rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you’d like a thinner gravy

1. Using a large pot – bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

2. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

3. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

4. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

5. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It’s OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

6. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa – or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

7. Plate your risotto and then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. ENJOY!!

Plated Risotto

Plated Risotto

Risotto

Risotto

Gravy

Gravy

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.

Vegan Soba Noodles at Page at 63 Main

AMAZING! I loved our meal at Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor. So YUM! They had two really great vegan options. The Asian Steamed Buns were so deelish but the Vegan Soba Noodles were out of this world. I am not normally that impressed with a soba noodle dish. I love them, but restaurants don’t typically impress with them and these were seriously amazing! And of course I love that the word Vegan is in the title of the dish on a fancy restaurant’s menu 🙂 Awesome!!!

Vegan Soba Noodles: Black trumpet mushrooms, carrots, seared water chestnuts & soba noodles with lemongrass soy glaze.

We dove in too fast to catch a picture of the Asian Steamed Buns but here is what was in them; pickled cucumber, avocado, scallions, cilantro, green curry, soy glaze and smoked coconut with shitake mushrooms. Really amazing 🙂

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.

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #2

This is a mung dal kitchari which balances all three doshas. It is particularly beneficial for the stomach, lungs, liver, and large intestine.

This Kitchari was completely different from the first one I made Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #1 and we loved it. We loved the first one too but it was nice to have a different one.It was perfect I made such big batches as we were happy to eat them all week-long. YUM! (and that I am still happy to make others too :))

Do you have a Kitchari Recipe that you love? Please let me know, I want to try more!

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #2
adapted from ‘Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing’
Serves 8-10
2 cup yellow mung dal (split or whole)
2 cup basmati rice
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
5 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup water
5 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
5 whole cloves
8 crushed cardamom pods
15 black peppercorns
5 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
12 cups water

  1. Wash the mung dal and rice until water is clear. Soaking the dal for a few hours or overnight helps with digestibility.
  2. In a blender, put the ginger, coconut and 1/2 cup water and blend.
  3. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and add the oil, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir for a moment until fragrant. Add the blended items to the spices, then the turmeric and salt. Stir until lightly browned.
  4. Stir in the mung dal and rice and mix very well.
  5. Pour in the 12 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and cook, lightly covered, until the dal and rice are soft, about 30-35 minutes if mung beans are split, and 1 hour if whole. Add water if needed.
  6. Unless you love a spicy bite – be aware of the peppercorns, bay leafs, cloves and cardamom – pick them out :

Spices

Before adding the water

Meltaway Peppermint Patties

I love Coconut, Chocolate and Mint! YUM!!!!! If you are not into mint just leave it out and enjoy the chocolate coconut goodness! This was super simple and fast to make and more importantly to enjoy!! Love that! Keep these babies cold and they are perfect for these already super hot summer days!

Meltaway Peppermint Patties
recipe adapted from Elaina Love

Mint layer:
3 cups dry, raw shredded coconut
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. mint extract or 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Chocolate or carob layer:
3 cups dry, raw shredded coconut
1/3 cup maple syrup or date paste (made by blending dates and water)
1/8 cup organic cocoa powder or raw carob powder (add until mixture reaches desired color)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. Celtic sea salt

1: Blend the first 3 cups of coconut in a dry blender on low speed with the lid off. Use a spatula to keep things moving until it becomes the consistency of butter. Make sure you do not blend so long as to separate all the oil from the coconut. This step is tricky, and takes a good blender like a Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can still do this step, although you may need to separate the coconut into 2 batches.

2: Remove the coconut and put in a mixing bowl. Add the sweetener and mint extract. use a spatula to mix well. Set aside.

3: Blend the coconut for the chocolate layer. Mix the coconut by hand with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

4: Separate the chocolate mixture into 2 halves. Take one half, and press it into the bottom of a 4 x 4 baking dish or Tupperware. Put it in the freezer for 5 minutes until it is solid.

5: Remove your dish from the freezer and add all of the mint layer. Place in the freezer again for a couple of minutes.

6: Add the second half of the chocolate mixture to the top of the mint layer. Freeze again until solid or refrigerate.

7: Pop the meltaways out of the container by twisting or using a spatula to pry up. Place on a cutting board and cut your candies into whatever shape you like using a sharp, thin knife. Enjoy and store in the refrigerator.

Spinach and Tofu with Peanut Sauce

YUM!!! I love peanut sauce, tofu and spinach so what can be bad here?!?! You can serve this over rice or noodles as there is more than enough sauce to go around. What a deelish dinner!

Spinach and Tofu with Peanut Sauce
adapted from Vegan Feast Kitchen

Quick peanut sauce:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup plain soymilk or nut milk
2 Tbs coconut powder
2 Tbs sweet Thai chile sauce
1 Tbs lemon or 2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs tamari

Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently.

The rest:

Cube 1 block of  firm tofu and brown it quickly in a nonstick skillet in 1 Tbs. peanut oil

Add the peanut sauce mixed with:
1 tsp. roasted (Asian) sesame oil
a few shakes of Thai or Vietnamese hot sauce

Stir this around the pan until the tofu almost absorbs it.

Add 12 oz. of fresh, cleaned baby spinach.

Stir around over high heat JUST until the spinach wilts. Serve immediately and ENJOY 🙂

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