26 Feb 2014

JICAMA BURGERS with CUMIN, CORIANDER, DILL & LEMON


These are inspired by crab cakes, but I think they're better 'cause they are healthy and cruelty-free. Also they just taste *freaking amazing*. I honestly wasn't expecting them to be as good as they turned out. I gobbled up 3 in mere minutes. They taste great with avocado, just so ya know. Please don't expect this recipe to taste much like the original thing... the ingredients are totally different and there's no cooking involved. Enjoy the flavours and textures for what they are! Veggies are winners all by themselves! But for those of you who are vegan, seriously craving sea food, and are fine with eating cooked food... try Sophie's Kitchen products (my mom loves them).


I never actually ate crab cakes when I was growing up but apparently (thanks, Wikipedia) they are made up of crab meat, bread crumbs, mayo, butter and eggs... yum? Well, we're throwing that stuff out and bringing in fresh veggies and spices. This recipe is based with jicama, onion, walnuts and lemon juice; and spiced with cumin, chili, coriander, dill, salt and pepper. I had trouble NOT eating all the mixture before shaping it into cakes and putting them in the dehydrator. Again: these probably don't taste anything like real crab cakes but they are delicious in their own right. Ya got me!? The spices liven up the crunchy, sweet jicama and zesty lemon, while the onion gives it a bit of heat. Think of this recipe as like a basic burger or something, add some mustard, avocado, tomatoes, etc. and it comes alive. But it's also delicious on it's own. My mom thinks you should add basil and olive oil to make them "pesto burgers", she's smart. Sorry for all the sporadic-ness in this post. There's not really one focus. Hopefully you just scrolled past this because I don't even know what I am talking about now. C'mon, scroll.


JICAMA ONION CAKES with CUMIN, CORIANDER, DILL & LEMON

1 cup jicama
1/4 cup onion 
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Cumin, coriander, dill, chili, salt and pepper (as desired) 
1 cup walnuts

Peel and chop the jicama and onion up into small chunks. Throw all the ingredients - except the walnuts - into your food processor and pulse a few times until it's a consistency you like. Dump into a bowl and set aside. Now process the walnuts into a thick paste and add this to the first mixture, combining evenly so you end up with a mushy mix... it doesn't sound appetizing but other describing words are not coming to mind at the moment. Shape into cakes (I used a large cookie mold) and then dehydrate for a few hours until they hold together; or use your oven at it's lowest temperature to get the same result. Serve with herbs, avocado, veggies, spreads, crackers, or whatever else you like!

24 Feb 2014

CHOCOLATE & SALTED DATE CARAMEL CUPS with PECANS


WOO LISTEN TO THIS RIGHT NOW AND BOOGIE WIT ME!

Okay. That's done... for the time-being (but the boogie's never REALLY over). Moving on to chocolate caramel dreamscapes! I made these after having a non-raw version at the farmer's market. The lady who was selling them makes them from scratch; she uses a coconut caramel made from her own coconuts and raw cane sugar, etc. I love supporting the farmer's market so I bought one and shared it with my beau in the snow. Heh heh... dat rhymed. It was INSANELY good. We were both like "what tha heck!?" So later that day I made a raw version and I gotta say it tastes daaamn fine... plus it's great for you! I made three, and I just ate them all. When it comes to chocolate, I don't do sharing (except for special occasions like with a beau in the snow and that's only because it rhymes; if it was sunny they wouldn't have gotten any).


What have you been up to lately? Personally I have been busy as a bee - or beaver, because they never stop working either... not with those teeth - writing my second book, being me which takes a surprisingly large amount of time, keeping up with university classes, maintaining my blog and attempting to revive/keep alive my social life! I also realized the other day that I should probably start making an effort with my appearance. I haven't in a looong time but now that I'm going to be in TV interviews, photo-shoots and meetings with other vegan-ish professionals and business people... I need to look like a respectable girl again. I used to take a lot of pride in dressing well and in high school I made a reputation for myself for always wearing high heels and dresses. (I had like a suitcase of make-up by grade 7, okay?) But after taking some gender studies courses in university, among other reasons, I felt strongly that I should boycott the whole gender norms system so I stopped wearing make-up, bras, clothes that fit; using shampoo and shaving... you get the idea. I was a dirty, gender-neutral hippie. 

I think that phase has to end now though. This is a new chapter in my life, and it's gonna be largely defined by professionalism! Technically, I have created my own business (woah... no way) and I feel like I should start acting like it. I'm finally realizing this can be my job if I want it to be. And I want it to be. Thus I went shopping a few times in the past week and have pretty much built a new wardrobe for myself. Lots of girly dresses and some sweet flowy pants. Flowy is a word; I don't care what auto-correct tells me. 

I'm still getting used to caring about what I look like again, it's pretty strange, but humans adapt fast so I'm sure in no time it'll be second nature to throw on mascara again. At the very least, I'm excited to find eco-friendly, vegan cosmetic companies! 


I'm glad you guys don't mind my ramblings because it is really therapeutic for me to write all this stuff out. Even if no one is reading this and you all just skip to the recipe... I'm still relieved to get these thoughts out somewhere. From the very beginning this blog has been a kind of daily journal for me, but one that saves paper and that literally anybody can open up, read, comment on and share (if you have access to da interweb). I actually love that my heart and mind are so easily accessible to the public; letting out everything that is floating around in my head for all to see takes a huge weight off me somehow.

Okay I have managed to write an entire post that has almost NOTHING to do with the actual recipe featured today. Here's the deal: if ya love chocolate, caramel, pecans and healthiness; then this recipe is your new BFF. But I thought I was your new BFF, so we're gonna have to have a talk about that.


CHOCOLATE & SALTED DATE CARAMEL CUPS with PECANS: makes around three

Chocolate:
Approximately 1/2 cup melted chocolate (click for my recipe) 

Date caramel:
1/4 cup dates
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Water, as needed (I used about a 1/2 cup) 
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (optional) 

Pecans 

Coat the bottom and sides of cupcake papers with 1/2 the chocolate, then place a couple pecans in the bottom of each and put in the freezer until the chocolate hardens. 

To make the date caramel: blend all the ingredients together until smooth, adding water as needed. Scoop into your cupcake papers, then pour on the rest of the chocolate and top off with a pinch more of Himalayan salt and a pecan.   

19 Feb 2014

ULTIMATE POWER HOUSE SMOOTHIE with ALL THE GOOD THINGS


Like the name implies, this baby has got it all. You will be glowing and possibly floating above the ground after drinking this. Transcend with super foods! The recipe includes everything from chlorella to cinnamon to spinach. If you don’t have time to eat 3 huge salads every day, you can stop sweating now because it’s all good, bro. This smoothie has got yo back. The best part is: it tastes freaking amazeballs. I used to think amazeballs was a weird term and that I’d never use it but I see it all the time in your guys’ comments and you’ve converted me to the balls of amaze ways. Thanks a lot. Note: the sarcasm. 



I am essentially addicted to blueberries and fortunately they happen to be one of the best brain foods in existence; they’re in here. The benefits of bananas are bodacious, and we’ve got two in this recipe. What else are we throwing in? Okay… lemme see here… spinach, hemp seeds, cacao, noni, blue green algae, maca, acai, cordyceps mushrooms, mesquite, camu camu, vanilla, ginger, Himalayan salt, cinnamon, spirulina, chlorella, E3 Live AFA, barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa, nettle, kale, dandelion, kelp, bladderwrack (seriously who named that plant though), rockweed, sea lettuce, dulse, alaria WOW 4 REAL THAT WAS LITERALLY A LIST OF ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU CAN EAT. THEY’RE ALL IN HERE! How is this possible? Well, because there are some super rad companies out there that genuinely care about sustainable wellness (for your body as well as the planet). 

Beaming was generous enough to send me their smoothie kit which includes all those incredibly powerful super foods. They also sent me Artisana Coconut Butter and I am. Flipping. Out. It’s basically the best coconut product out there and smells like coco bliss heaven (yes it`s an actual physical location… in my daydreams). Back to the subject at hand: among a bunch of bags of maca powder, cacao nibs, goji berries and hemp seeds; I also received a jar of Amazing Grass’ Raw Reserve Green Superfood which contains all the greens listed above, as well as a jar of Beaming’s Superfood Smoothie Blend, which contains all the other great stuff. Adding a tablespoon or two of each of these blends to your smoothie every day allows you to get all those magical foods into your body within minutes! I am happy! I am smiling! I am jumping up and down! Actually I was sitting on the floor, but I like to think of myself as an honest person so I got up and jumped around a little bit. 

We don`t all have time to eat four pounds of broccoli every day, and I dunno about you – but I haven`t a clue where to find organic cordyceps mushrooms or blue green algae… so these powder blends are ideal for us normal folk who have busy lives and don’t live in an underwater organic love garden (but damn that sounds cool, doesn`t it?). 

P.S. Look at the pretty gif I made for you! If you let it load properly, it looks real nice. 



ULTIMATE POWER HOUSE SMOOTHIE with ALL THE GOOD THINGS 

2 bananas

2 cups frozen blueberries
3 cups spinach
1-2 tablespoons Amazing Grass’ Raw Reserve Green Superfood 
1-2 tablespoons Beaming’s Superfood Smoothie Blend 
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 cups water or nut mylk 
1-2 dates, if desired 

Blend it all up and float to the ceiling. Note: if you don't have the super food powders, it's not the end of the world; you can leave them out or use your own blend of stuff! 


17 Feb 2014

PRODUCTS I AM LOVING: RAW COOKIES, BODY BUTTER, GLASS STRAWS


Today's post is a short and sweet ode to a few products I have been loving (whadda surprise... never woulda guessed that from the title). First we have got Hippie Cookies! I've recently begun a beautiful relationship with Left Coast Naturals... but what we're working on together is pretty hush hush so shh. Anyways, they're giving me mad swag (aka free foodz) and one of their brands is Hippie Foods... they make healthy snacks with 100% sustainable ingredients and techniques. I love it. Also these cookies are INSANE. Raw, vegan, gluten-free and holy crap are they delicious. Buy them today. Eat the whole bag. Feel proud, because you just made the world a better place. I think the vanilla almond ones are my fave. Also check out Hippie Foods' Coconut Chips... they are like crack. Addictive.


Next we've got Ellovi Butter - no, this ain't no dairy product. This is a miracle moisturizer and you muuust have it. I don't really know what I will do when my jar runs out... beg them for more, I guess. It's BETTER THAN COCONUT OIL! I know, that's like blasphemy in the vegan world but 4 real guys, this stuff makes my skin so smooth it gloooows. It also smells like sugar cookies so if you're single and looking for a mate, just rub this on your face and they will come running. That was easy. The only ingredients (there're just 6) are super high quality oils like macadamia and coconut. So natural I'd make it myself but hey... it comes in a cute jar. They also have a Lip Butter that looks like it's calling my name. 

*You lucky folks get 20% off this product if you use the coupon code "thisrawsomeveganlife" on www.ellovi.com!*


Finally we have glass straws! I've used only Dharma Straws up until now, but recently Simply Straws sent me a lovely little collection, along with an adorable case and cleaning wand! I like the bends some of the straws have, and the etched logo. Glass straws are da bomb and every plastic straw user should try them right now. Game changer. They're easy to transport, beautiful to look at, and pretty effortless to use. I mean, it's a straw. Just sip. You'll be seeing these straws in my up coming book on Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks. Wink wink. It'll be out December 2014. Ugh a year away. It's okay. Patience.

11 Feb 2014

COFFEE & CACAO BANANA BLISS MYLKSHAKE


Am I telling you to have a chocolate mylkshake for breakfast? Yes. Am I saying it will change your world and alter your taste buds' perception of reality for ever more? Yep. Am I claiming said creamy, dreamy, sweet choco shake is super healthy for you? Oh, baby, hell yeah. Will I stop asking questions now? Fine. Okay. 

I don't usually eat stuff like cacao right away in the morning, and I don't normally have coffee at all; but I woke up today and wanted to make a face mask from coffee grounds and cacao powder (mix them both with water to make a paste, rub it on your face and leave for 10 minutes to get gorgeous skin). I didn't use all the mixture so I decided to throw the extra in my Vitamix with frozen bananas, almond mylk and dates. I know, right: basically ALL the good things. As I was saying to my lover the other day, "I have no reason to be sad when I have bananas in my freezer and ripe avocados on the shelf." Can anyone disagree. I didn't put a question mark at the end of that because it's not really a question. 

Maybe you're one of those folks who's all like "COFFEE IS EVIL, KEEP AWAY FROM IT!" First off lemme say that I don't even really like coffee so I'm not directly disagreeing with you. But let's think about this: in almost every way, coffee and cocoa/cacao are very much the same; and almost everyone is passionately on-board the cacao train of health and positivity. It seems like the "problem with coffee" is that in today's world, people are pretty much addicted to it and more importantly, they are addicted to it in a very processed form (like instant coffee with white sugar and dairy cream). That ain't good. All I AM SAYING is that a lil bit o' fresh, organic, fair trade coffee beans can actually be a great addition to your diet every now and then. The benefits of drinking black coffee have been studied and are pretty influential. In any case, coffee is definitely awesome for body scrubs and facial masks. Psst... also... in this recipe. Yum. Let's do it up. 


COFFEE & CACAO BANANA BLISS MYLKSHAKE 

3 frozen bananas
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground coffee beans 
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon lucuma powder 
3 dates
1 cup almond mylk 

Blend it all up until smooth and creamy, then drink it down. For the wiiin! Note: most of the ingredients are optional... just blending up frozen bananas is *freaking amazing*. 

7 Feb 2014

VEGAN ARTISAN CHOCOLATE VALENTINE'S GIVEAWAY


You read that right. Who's yo fave blog!? Huh? Yeah. My life is good. A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to receive a whole box of AMAZINGLY good artisan vegan chocolate from Amore di Mona. The best part is that this chocolate contains only ingredients I use myself when I make my own chocolate (raw agave syrup, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, Himalayan salt and in some kinds - dried fruit and coffee). 

I love this brand and their product, so I am doing a Valentine's Vegan Chocolate Giveaway with them! Enter below (all you gotta do is hug a tree) and you're eligible to win 15 bars of the best chocolate everrr. Specifically, you could win: 

2 Dark Chocolate bars 
2 Dark Chocolate with currants
2 Dark Chocolate with crunchy coffee beans
2 Caramela bars
2 Caramela with cherries
2 Caramela with cranberries
And 2 Caramela with crunchy coffee beans

Note: this is for Canadian and U.S. residents only (sorry, everybody else... sad face). And you'd like to also order Amore di Mona Valentine's Day gift boxes from Amazon, you gotta do it by Tuesday, February 11th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Feb 2014

COCONUT CREAM LIME PIE


OH LAWD THIS BELONGS IN HEAVEN. I think the recipe dropped down from the divine clouds and landed in my little head just so I could share it with you today. Thanks to whoever's running the holy show up there... Obviously they have excellent taste when it comes to eating. Who knew the angels liked raw vegan desserts? Yet I can't say I am surprised. Why do I always compare food with heaven, and call it holy and divine? Because the mind-blowingly amazing flavours - and the fact that all my recipes are raw and vegan (cruelty-free and uber healthy) - allow your mind and body to transcend the physical realm and reach new heights. Food has the power to enlighten. Okay, this weird biblical story has overstayed its welcome. Moving on.


The crust of this pie is made up of hemp seeds and dates. I love the taste of cannabis. Don't worry - hemp seeds have practically no THC, which is the stuff that gets ya high (but you can find plenty of THC in its close cousin, the notorious marijuana plant... just sayin'). Hemp is full of protein, fiber, and a gorgeous balance of healthy fats: omega 3's and 6's. The coconut and lime cream part of the pie is basically what it sounds like; it is made up of coconut meat, coconut oil, coconut nectar and a lime. Yep. The best things in life are the simplest.


When I finished blending the cream, I scooped a bit out of the Vitamix and casually had a taste. I froze, eyes widened, then started groaning with pleasure. (Yes; sex and food effectively share many similarities.) Then I immediately scribbled down the recipe so I wouldn't risk forgetting what was in the glorious concoction. Honestly it tastes like a sweet coconut lime cloud has found a home in your mouth. I don't even know if I am making sense anymore, but it is IMPERATIVE you make this ASAP, okay? Now you say: "Sir, yes sir!"

Note: sharing will be difficult, almost impossible, but believe in yourself and find the strength to be generous because it is our duty as human beings to get this pie into as many mouths as possible, since it holds a substantial weight in the potential goodness of the future. Let's go, troops. P.S. I don't know how we went from talking about heaven to marijuana to the military but let's not worry about that; let's eat.


COCONUT CREAM LIME PIE

Crust:
3/4 cup hemp seeds
3/4 cup dates

Cream filling:
1/2 young coconut meat
1/4 cup coconut water, if needed
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 peeled lime
Pinch of Himalayan salt 
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

To make the crust: pulse the hemp seeds into powder in a food processor then add the dates and process until it lumps together. Press into a small pie dish (my mini one is 4 inches).

To make the cream filling: blend all the ingredients until smooth, white and they look like a delicious cloud. If it's too thick to blend, add a little but of coconut water. Spread evenly into your crust and put in the fridge for ideally 48 hours before serving.

3 Feb 2014

HORMONE-BALANCING YERBA MATE BANANA SMOOTHIE with MACA, LUCUMA, VANILLA & CASHEWS


Hello, hello! How are your hormones today? Balanced, I hope. If not - this will do ya good. Actually it will do you good even if you possess the most perfectly balanced hormones in the universe. As one wise reader informed: "your hormones can never be too balanced." Right!? Right. This post is part of a big ole cyber potluck type deal (apparently called a blog share) that a bunch of us awesome healthy food bloggers are participating in and the theme is - you guessed it - "hormone-balancing foods". Who else is in on this? Lemme tell ya. Their names and websites are listed below.



All the ingredients in this balance your hormones. Duh. BUT THERE'S MORE! This smoothie contains yerba mate which is a kind of tea that relieves stress, maca which enhances your libido, cacao which improves brain function, cashews which strengthen your bones, and a few other things that are uber good for you - trust me. Or don't, google the ingredients and find out for yourself. Hehe. 


HORMONE-BALANCING YERBA MATE BANANA SMOOTHIE

2 frozen bananas
1 1/2 cups chilled yerba mate tea (mine is a chai blend) 
1 teaspoon lucuma powder
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
3 dates
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/4 cup cashews, preferably soaked
Cacao nibs (optional) 

Blend everything together until smooth. Taste and adjust accordingly (add more dates, vanilla, etc.) Top off with cacao nibs to make it look pretty and enjoy!