Morning Smoothie!

Morning Smoothie!
(Serves 3) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Soy-Free

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Morning Sunshine! I should say instead. This smoothie is not so pretty, but it’s pretty healthy. I say not-so-pretty because at least that is what a co-worker thought last week. It was a bright sunny day (jk). So, I was at work reaching for my smoothie as a co-worker passed by and says, “ew, what is that!?!” To which I replied a smoothie, here try some. 😊 She thought it was delicious by the way. I honestly believe she meant no ill-will but the story doesn’t end or start here. A few weeks ago Seth was at a deli picking up some veggie sandwiches, the employee does the ‘ol “order up – veggie sandwiches!” An patron nearby hears this and says, “ew, who would even order a veggie sandwich. Ugh, a sandwich with no meat etc. etc.”  Well her supercilious comment wasn’t going to get by Seth that easily. He replies back, “that would be mine. by the way what form of dead animal carcass will be decomposing in your body today?”  Another incident within the same week occurred at a grocery store. He was on his way home, it was pouring out, I got in late myself and wasn’t up for cooking. So… he stops off to grab pizza. (Vegan – Daiya Pizzas to be exact). Another customer hears the automated self-checkout say the item and price. The customer to his son says, “whoa, that price for 1 pizza my God we could get 2 large pies for that price! The son adds or 3 medium!” Followed by both of them cackling. Now I don’t remember exactly what Seth commented back and he’s sleeping at the moment or I’d ask but I do remember in short – he let it go.

I suppose this rant is all to say or ask the burning question: Has society as a whole lost their manners?  Where is the tact? Has ill-mannered behavior become socially acceptable? Despite the popular ‘vegan perception’ I don’t look in other people’s carts at the grocery store and examine their items. I don’t arrogantly comment or turn up my nose at the person who orders the triple bacon cheeseburger. Can we not get the same treatment?
We are modest and humble people we don’t flash around or advertise our vegan lifestyle. I enjoy life, animals, family and love. I enjoy creating recipes and sharing them with all who will seek them out.
Think about it and ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.”

The best part about this smoothie is that my kids have been begging me to make it. I made this last week before heading into work. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
4-5 pieces of Kale, stems removed
7 Strawberries, hulled
½ to 1 cup Fresh Raspberries
½ Banana
1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Sweetener (Agave Nectar or Honey)

-Blend together in high-speed blender. I used my nutribullet. Enjoy!

 

A bowl of Green goodness!

My (craving) Green Bowl!
(Serves 1 – Me!) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
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This seems like such a random blog post for me because I don’t typically post my random cravings or thoughts. Lol. 🙂 So here it is – not that this is really even a “recipe” per se, just something I threw together in the madness. Well I guess it is an example of how I eat sometimes on a whim.
The level of “busy” has really kicked up times 10 it feels like – work, School, Kids, Kids School and Activities, helping my husband edit his latest book and don’t forget being an awesome wife (toot-toot, yeah that’s me tooting my own horn, lol). With that said I’ve been doing a lot of meal prep the night before or on my lunch break from work. An example of this would be, Sunday into Monday I soaked black beans overnight then cooked them the next day, so Monday night and Tuesday we ate black bean burritos for dinner. I was on the run with class so I needed something quick and on the go. Our schedules don’t sound all that bad with a little planning.
Last night I made vegan Sloppy “Joes” for the kids and Seth had a big salad and soup. I didn’t eat until after coming home from Jasmine’s cheer practice (I had a late lunch) so I just threw this together. Again an example of something I throw together and enjoy on the fly.

Ingredients:
5-6 stalks of Kale, stems removed, chopped
2-3 Cups of Peas, steamed (that’s a lot of peas for one person, isn’t it? :-/ Yikes)
1 Avocado, pitted (I started out with ½ then caved and went for the whole thing…doubles yikes)
1 Handful of Fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt/Pepper to taste
Chili Powder to taste
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
I lightly sautéed the Kale in olive oil (I just did a couple turns of olive oil in the pan) just before it wilts. I tossed in the steamed peas, fresh parsley and chopped avocado then seasoned to taste. Yummy in my tummy!

Weird craving…but I love peas! Love Kale! and Love love Avocado – so why not throw them all together, right! Enjoy!

Gnocchi, Leftovers and a Two-Minute Dessert!

Gnocchi & Leftovers
Yesterday’s Dinner with a Two-Minute Dessert
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I just wanted to share a quick re-make I made yesterday. There is no throwing away and we still had leftovers! My son wanted Gnocchi for dinner, it is one of his favorites. I was originally going to just keep it simple with Earth Balance/Olive Oil, fresh Garlic and herbs but instead I incorporated leftovers. The Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing that I shared the other day with the Gnocchi was amazing, great flavors! Now back in February I shared my very similar Gnocchi with Sweet Potato and Kale recipe, check out! However, this leftover re-make was so delicious the dressing really pops!

Ingredients:
2 Pkgs (17.5 oz) Gnocchi – Prepare according to package add Sweet Potato/Kale and remaining Asian Tahini Dressing recipe. Toss together to combine.

I love bananas! It’s funny because I have a co-worker that will only eat pretty unblemished yellow bananas. I often let mine go and flash her my beautiful spotted bananas, lol. And when opened they are beautiful, sweeter and yummy. Sometimes I’ll forget or won’t get a chance to eat them at work and will bring them back home. They usually get darker even still… I’m guessing from all the transport, lol. When they get like this I tend to peel them up, place them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for later. Did you know you can make ice cream with frozen bananas?…of course you knew this, it is one of my favorites. I want to share a funny banana story from the other day. I came home from work and placed my very overripe banana on the counter. I left the room and later that afternoon I went back in the kitchen and to my surprise – my banana was gone?? Oh no! I don’t know what made me look in the trash… but there it was, in the trash. Someone (who shall remain nameless) threw away my banana!! Noooo, I quickly rescued it. Yes it did, pulled it right out the trash. It was on top of the trash, it was good. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, picture the time that George ate the éclair from the garbage, lol! You know the episode, it was on top! So I rescued it, peeled it and froze it. Then I made my favorite ice cream the next day, just for me. 🙂

Salted Banana Peanut Butter ice cream
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Two-Minute Salted Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream:

2 Very Ripe Bananas, Peeled/Frozen overnight
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
Sprinkle of Course Sea Salt

-Combine frozen bananas and peanut butter in food processor until smooth. Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Serve & Enjoy!
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(Sometimes I’ll add vegan chocolate chips – if I have an open pack)

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing
(Serves 6-8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
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I love this recipe because it can be a salad or appetizer/snack. It is also great for dinner, lunch or as a side! This healthy salad is incredibly delicious and filling. The sweet potatoes can stand alone with the dressing, honestly it was hard for me to resist sampling the sweet potatoes and dipping before building my salad. 🙂 You can always kick the heat up to your liking. Speaking of heat… check down below I’m sharing some pics from my husband’s hot sauce! He has some pretty flavorful sauces. Well try my salad, I’m still working on it three days later. I anticipate that you will really enjoy this recipe! Enjoy.
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Ingredients:
2 ½ Lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
½ Tbsp Course Sea Salt
½ Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 Cups Kale, stems removed/chopped (about 7 stalks)
1 ½ Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
1/3 Cup Peanuts, optional

Directions:
-Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or cubes (I prefer wedges). Spread sweet potatoes evenly on two baking sheets and rub with olive oil, sea salt and chili powder. Bake for 30 minutes – toss about halfway through for even baking. Toss with dressing, kale, cabbage and top with peanuts. Enjoy!

Asian Tahini Dressing
¼ Cup Tahini
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ Tbsp Sriracha
-Whisk all ingredients to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to combine.
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Day 3 and still delicious!!!
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My hubby’s hot sauce! -Great flavor, I’m not a big heat person but this sauce is amazing. I wonder if he’ll share his recipe one day.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad

  • Servings: 6-8 ~ Vegan/Gluten-free
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/
Ingredients:
2 ½ Lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
½ Tbsp Course Sea Salt
½ Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 Cups Kale, stems removed/chopped (about 7 stalks)
1 ½ Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
1/3 Cup Peanuts, optional

Directions:
-Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or cubes (I prefer wedges). Spread sweet potatoes evenly on two baking sheets and rub with olive oil, sea salt and chili powder. Bake for 30 minutes – toss about halfway through for even baking. Toss with dressing, kale, cabbage and top with peanuts. Enjoy!

Asian Tahini Dressing
¼ Cup Tahini
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ Tbsp Sriracha

-Whisk all ingredients to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to combine.

Waldorf Salad with Kale & Chickpeas

Kale & Chickpea Waldorf Salad with Dressing
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
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Want to know the secret to the best Waldorf Salad? Here it goes…toast the walnuts! Oh yes and organic is best this salad is all organic as is most of the dishes I create 🙂 . So about those Walnuts…this classic with Apples, Celery and Raisins is nothing without the Walnuts. Toasting them instead deepens the earthiness; it enhances the flavor and pairs well with the dressing for added creaminess. I used Raisins and Kale instead of the traditional grapes and lettuce. Tossed in a traditional “mayo” dressing with dill and celery seed which add an extra [hmm…] to the recipe. Fresh and crisp. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
8 Stalks Kale, washed, stems removed/chopped
2 Red Apples (Gala or Pink Lady), cored/chopped
3 Celery ribs, chopped
½ Cup Raisins
1 (15.5oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
¾ Cup Walnuts, chopped (toasted)

Dressing Ingredients:
¾ Cup Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Dill Weed
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
¼ Tsp course Sea Salt

Directions:
-Remove Kale from stems, wash thoroughly I dry in my salad spinner before chopping then set aside.
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-Quarter and core apples then chop into bite-size pieces. Then combine Apples, Celery, Raisins, Chickpeas in a bowl and set aside.
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-Toast Walnuts in dry pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden (you’ll be able to smell the nuttiness) keep shaking the pan so they toast up evenly and so they won’t burn.
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-Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients.
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To Combine there are a few options:
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#1 You can top the kale with the Apple mixture then drizzle the dressing over top.
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#2 You can toss the apple mixture with the dressing then top over the kale.
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  #2
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#3 You can toss everything together to combine, the dressing is just enough. The salad shouldn’t be swimming in the dressing and it won’t be dry either. Enjoy!
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Kale & Chickpea Waldorf Salad with Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Waldorf Salad with Chickpeas/Kale
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Ingredients:
8 Stalks Kale, washed, stems removed/chopped
2 Red Apples (Gala or Pink Lady), cored/chopped
3 Celery ribs, chopped
½ Cup Raisins
1 (15.5oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
¾ Cup Walnuts, chopped (toasted)

Dressing Ingredients:
¾ Cup Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Dill Weed
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
¼ Tsp course Sea Salt

Directions:
-Remove Kale from stems, wash thoroughly I dry in my salad spinner before chopping then set aside.
-Quarter and core apples then chop into bite-size pieces. Then combine Apples, Celery, Raisins, Chickpeas in a bowl and set aside.
-Toast Walnuts in dry pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden (you’ll be able to smell the nuttiness) keep shaking the pan so they toast up evenly and so they won’t burn.
-Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients.

To Combine there are a few options:
#1 You can top the kale with the Apple mixture then drizzle the dressing over top.
#2 You can toss the apple mixture with the dressing then top over the kale.
#3 You can toss everything together to combine, the dressing is just enough. The salad shouldn’t be swimming in the dressing or it won’t be dry.

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
(Serves 2-4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Kale is nutrient dense and it is loaded with tons a good stuff. It’s no surprise that it’s considered a Super Food. Packed with Vitamin K, A, C, B6, Lutein and one cup boasts about 3 grams of protein and fiber. Excellent calcium and iron absorption also. I know I mentioned the power of spinach and Popeye yesterday, but imagine the strength he would’ve had if he ate kale instead, wow! It could’ve change the world, hehe.
Some additional ideas or variations of this salad: swap the dried cherries with cranberries or use an apple instead of a pear. Also, if the dressing is too tart or acidic add some sugar or additional Agave. Soak your peanuts, enjoy them raw or swap with chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 Pieces Lacinato Kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped
4 Pieces of Curly Kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped
2 Tbsp Capers
½ Pear, julienned
½ Cup prepared Red Quinoa
¼ Cup Raw Peanuts
½ Cup Dried Cherries
½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper

Curly Kale – Washed, Dried, Chopped
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Dressing (Makes about 1 ½ Cups)
6oz Fresh Raspberries
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
For Dressing – Combine all ingredients in high speed blender (I used a Nutribullet).
For salad – rinse and drain chopped kale, I used my salad spinner.
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Lacinato Kale – Wash, Dried, Chopped
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Combine all ingredients and toss together with ½ cup of prepared Raspberry dressing. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes for flavors to combine. Enjoy!

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2-4 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:

3 Pieces Lacinato Kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped
4 Pieces of Curly Kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped
2 Tbsp Capers
½ Pear, julienned
½ Cup prepared Red Quinoa
¼ Cup Raw Peanuts
½ Cup Dried Cherries
½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper

Dressing (Makes about 1 ½ Cups)
6oz Fresh Raspberries
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
For Dressing – Combine all ingredients in high speed blender (I used a Nutribullet). For salad – rinse and drain chopped kale, I used my salad spinner.
Combine all ingredients and toss together with ½ cup of prepared Raspberry dressing. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes for flavors to combine. Enjoy!

Reflections in a cup of Juice!

A toast to Reflections (A-Z Blog Challenge) and bloggers – Happy Juicing
(Serves 1) – Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free

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Ingredients:
2-3 Stalks Kale, stemmed removed
2 Carrots
½ Cucumber,
1-inch piece Ginger, peeled
½ Lemon
1 Granny Smith Apple
-Juice the above ingredients and enjoy! – Remember Organic is always best.

Good Morning my beautiful juice! I love juicing – feels revitalizing in the morning. What a great breakfast of Antioxidants, Nutrients and Phytonutrients.
I wanted to take a moment to touch on a couple things. First, I want to say thank you again to my fellow bloggers out there for the follow(s) and support, the comments, the likes and anyone who has perused my blog or tried any of my recipes too. It truly means a lot to me. I enjoy reading everyone else’s blogs and posts also. The amount of Vegans that are out there still amazes me sometimes and even the non-vegans too – just the amount of people out there that are looking for healthier alternatives…I think that is fantastic. I believe in my heart that one can heal through food, aside from the animal cruelty factor and ethical reasons, this world is really changing. We’re a long way from the vittles our parents and grandparents grew up eating. The food quality has changed over the years so drastically. So take care of yourselves out there.

Reflections:
Finally, I’d like to talk about the A-Z Blog Challenge that I participated in April 2015. It was a fun challenge for me to come up with a new recipe for each letter. I had a ball participating and enjoyed every minute. Posting everyday alone was challenge in itself, but I’m so glad I got it accomplished. 🙂  I’m newer to blogging so this challenge pushed me that much more to post daily and to get creative and even better to learn about blogging and meeting new people! I have enjoyed reading so many blogs – stories, posts, recipes and learning so much.
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