Date Paste

Dates are known as nature’s candy.  That is because they are naturally sweet.  Whenever I am craving something sweet, I eat a date.  They are especially good stuffed with a little peanut butter!  Since I have been eating SOS free lately, meaning no sugar, oil, or salt, I have been using date paste as a natural sweetener whenever I bake.  Since dates are a whole food, they are a much healthier alternative to processed sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pitted dates
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in liquid overnight or for several hours until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. In a food processor, process dates and liquid until completely smooth.

I store the date paste in a mason jar in the freezer where it will last longer and since it doesn’t freeze solid, I can just take it out and use it as soon as I need it.

This recipe yields 2 cups.

I usually make date paste to add in baked goods, but sometimes I’ll spread some date paste on top of an apple.  It tastes like a caramel covered apple! Delicious!

Sweet Jubilee Smoothie

Most of my smoothies I have had recently included bananas in them.  When I first made this smoothie without a banana I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.  I actually intended to have this smoothie with tomorrows breakfast (I currently have to make my smoothies the night before so I don’t wake the roomies with the vitamix), but I took a small taste and liked this smoothie SO much I had to have it immediately.  I knew I had to share this on the blog so I can make it again!

Sweet Jubilee

I got this recipe from Simple Green Smoothies following their 30 day challenge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale (or other leafy green)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup grapes*
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 orange

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!

*I used frozen grapes for a colder and thicker smoothie.

Chocolate Mint Banana Shake

I feel like whenever I post a new smoothie recipe I always say it is my new favorite.  Well, once again this has been a smoothie I have been drinking a lot of lately!  It has 2 of my favorite ingredients in a smoothie, bananas and dates, but this smoothie also includes mint!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 dates
  • 1 tbsp carob powder
  • 1/8 tsp peppermint extract (a small handful of fresh mint will be better if available)
  • handful of spinach
  • Optional: 1 serving chocolate protein powder

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

I’ve really been enjoying this smoothie in the morning at breakfast with the mint flavor.  Unfortunately, with the green spinach and the brown carob powder, it is not the prettiest so I didn’t take a picture.

Apple Pie Blizzard

No matter what kind of a smoothie I make, I usually add bananas.  So even though this is called Apple Pie Blizzard, it has more bananas than apples, which is fine by me!  This is such a sweet blizzard, naturally sweetened of course, that is perfect post workout or for a filling breakfast.  All the flavors in this blizzard work together so well!

This recipe is adapted from here.  I changed a few things around based on the amount I wanted and the ingredients I had on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 apple
  • 3 dates
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • handful of spinach
  • cinnamon
  • hemp seeds (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Combine all  ingredients except the hemp seeds in a high-speed blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with hemp seeds and extra cinnamon.  You can also chop the other half of the apple and add that to the blizzard if desired.

This recipe is pretty much a smoothie only a lot thicker.  In fact, it is kind of like banana ice cream with an apple and a few other flavorings.  If you would prefer to make this a smoothie, you can add more liquid.

I didn’t even think of taking a picture of this but will in the future 🙂

Thanksgiving 2014

This year for Thanksgiving, my family had a fantastic 100% cruelty-free vegan dinner!  Lately my family has been cooking SOS free, which means no added sugar, oil, or salt.  Everything was amazing!

Thanksgiving

I didn’t take any individual pictures of things, but this gives you a main idea.  Our dinner included:

There was also a Field Roast and Bread Stuffing that was not gluten free that my family enjoyed.

For dessert we made two amazingly delicious pies.  Both pie crusts were made using the crust recipe for the Pumpkin Pie.  (Sorry there isn’t a picture 😦 I was too excited to dig in!)

I loved how even the pies were healthier than the traditional kinds, but were still so flavorful!  I feel like with these pies, I get to actually taste the flavors of the pumpkin and the apple and not just sugar.

 

I haven’t been posting a lot lately because I have been mostly making smoothies (which aren’t always the prettiest) and eating raw, but now that it is starting to get colder out, I most likely will be cooking more and will start adding more recipes up here again.  And now that I am eating mainly SOS, expect MANY more of those recipes to come too!

 

Zucchini Pasta

I have been very into light, mostly raw foods lately.  This meal is extremely flavorful, quick to make, and uses only real whole foods!

Zucchini Pasta

This recipe was adapted from Choosing Raw.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 package of sun-dried tomatoes, hydrated in water and drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt (can omit)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or use medjool dates)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  2. Pour over zucchini pasta made with 4 medium zucchini with a veggetti.
  3. Top with nutritional yeast and enjoy!

You really can’t go wrong with this marinara sauce.  I actually don’t even measure the ingredients and just add everything to taste.  This sauce can be served over anything like pasta, rice, or beans.

Pumpkin Milk

I don’t ever eat cereal but I will pour almond milk over oats, I use quinoa as a grain with some fruit on top, or just plain cut up fruit in a bowl.  Instead of adding regular almond milk (or any other kind of non-dairy milk) why not spice it up a bit with a different flavor of milk that you can easily make at home.  This recipe is perfect for this time of year!

Pumpkin Milk

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar OR 1-2 dates

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This is such a simple recipe and technically you can drink it right out of the blender like a smoothie.  The original recipe suggests pouring it over cereal.  But there is SO much you can do with this milk.  Since I don’t eat cereal, I’ve poured it over granola that had raw oats and dried berries in it and I added a sliced banana to that and I loved it!

I’ve also poured the pumpkin milk over 2 sliced bananas. (Hard to tell those are bananas in the picture.)

Banana Cereal w: Pumpkin Milk

Another time I chopped up a large apple and poured the pumpkin milk on top:

IMG_2756

Another thing you can do is add a handful of spinach to get some extra nutrients without affecting the taste of the pumpkin milk.  Just know that your pumpkin milk won’t be as lovely a color which is why I didn’t add any for the pictures above.

Can you think of any other ways to use this pumpkin milk?

Enjoy!

Chocolate PB Date Shake

I haven’t posted in a while!  Since it had been so hot at the end of the summer, the only foods I really wanted were fruits and smoothies.  And I have been eating a ton of fruits and a ton of smoothies! Oh, and a TON of banana ice cream! (Try it with 1/2 tbsp of carob powder!)  These were usually breakfasts and lunches.  Dinners would be whatever my mom made and saved me to try.  So I haven’t really done any cooking or baking myself.

Most of my smoothies have been somewhat the same.  All of them include bananas!  Then sometimes I’ll also add an apple, an orange, strawberries, pineapples, peaches, or watermelon.  Sometimes peanut or almond butter.  I’ve also been including dates a lot!  And usually all of my smoothies include a large handful of greens!  If you can’t taste them, you might as well add in some extra nutrition!

When I came across this recipe on the internet, I knew I had to make it!  I mean, it includes ALL my recent favorite foods that I eat at least once a day – bananas, dates, and almond butter!

 

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk*
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp carob powder
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • Optionals: greens and maca powder

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

*Add more or less milk depending on how thick or thin you want your shake.

I added the greens to mine, but unfortunately this will make it a less appealing brown color.  (This is why there is no picture.) But just because the smoothie isn’t pretty, doesn’t mean it tastes bad.  This shake is delicious!  I also added maca powder to mine for an extra boost of energy!

In the original smoothie, she uses peanut butter instead of almond butter (you can use any kind of nut butter you like) and she doesn’t blend it in but rather serves it on top.  I like it blended in, but you can do whichever you prefer.

 

This smoothie is great for breakfast!  It has tons of healthy ingredients to keep you full and satisfied.  The only sugar comes from the natural sugars found in bananas and dates.  That’s the good kinds of sugar that won’t cause you to crash in about an hour, but will keep your energy up all morning!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  I think it is going to become my staple breakfast smoothie for quite a while 🙂

Pasta Salad

This summer has absolutely flown by!  I cannot believe I go back to work on Monday.  To end the summer, I went on a hike yesterday and had a great summer-time dinner waiting for me when I got back.  I have been wanting to make a pasta salad for a long time and never got around to it.  I figured pasta salad would be great after a hike.  Pasta salad is actually quite easy to make and it makes so much that you will have leftovers for the week.  This is perfect for those work days.

Pasta Salad

This recipe has been adapted from two recipes: here and here.  I chose ingredients for the pasta salad based on what I liked between the two and I liked the oil free dressing better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb tri color spiral pasta (or any kind will work.  I used this.)
  • 1 16oz package frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (I sliced grape tomatoes in half)
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • dash of hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Allow to cool.
  2. Slice all your veggies and add them to your cooled pasta.
  3. Add the black olives and chickpeas.
  4. Mix together the dressing ingredients in a shallow bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing into the pasta salad and mix to combine.
  6. Chill a couple of hours, if desired, and serve.

I bought carrots and olives that were already pre-sliced which made this meal even easier to put together.

Pasta Salad 2

The best thing about pasta salad is you can just cook some pasta and add any kind of veggies that are your favorite for a bowl that you find delicious!

Tempeh Avocado Sprout Sandwich

I came across this recipe at the most perfect time.  I had some tempeh and some sprouts that needed to get used before they expired and anything with avocado just sounds absolutely amazing!  I rarely eat sandwiches anymore, but I may have to make them more just to eat this sandwich.  This was so simple to make, so tasty, and a great healthy meal!

Tempeh Avocado Sprout Sandwich

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz package of tempeh
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs tamari
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of sprouted grain bread*
  • 4 tbs hummus
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 pint alfalfa sprouts
  • handful of greens

Directions:

  1. Slice the tempeh in half.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, and balsamic vinegar in a shallow bowl.
  3. Evenly coat the tempeh and let it marinate for about 30 minutes.
  4. Bake the tempeh at 400F for 30 minutes flipping once halfway through baking.
  5. Once the tempeh is done, spread hummus on your bread.
  6. Add tempeh, avocado, sprouts, and some greens.

This recipe makes two sandwiches or two wraps!

*Ezekiel sprouted grain bread was used by my family.  To make this gluten free, use a gluten free bread or try a wrap!  I recommend these  Brown Rice Tortillas which is made by the same company as the ezekiel bread.