Summer Soups for your Cravings Types

We all know we’re supposed to eat more veggies – but the call of creamy, fatty dairy may be stronger than the whisper of greens!

If you know dairy doesn’t help you feel light, makes you congested, or worsens your adult acne, but you still crave the creamy texture, and want to up your fiber and phyto-nutrient intake, try my new summer soup recipes!

I’ve created them especially for the different Cravings Types (read: Ayurvedic doshas) – and if you don’t know your type yet, take the quiz here and find out if you’re a Featherweight, Firebrand or Earth mama/Earth papa!

Slurp up your soups!

 

Avocado Soup with Cucumber: Serves 2

Firebrand and Featherweight Approved

(not good for Earth Mama/Papa – too heavy with the oils and avocado)

 

Gluten-free Dairy-free creamy Curry Carrot & Avocado Soup!

Gluten-free Dairy-free creamy Curry Carrot & Avocado Soup!



Light and fresh, this summer soup is easy and requires no cooking – no hot stoves for those summer meals! Featherweights can add freshly ground black pepper to warm them up from the inside. Firebrands can chill in the refrigerator while resting the soup after the first blending. This soup has too much oil in it for heavy feeling Earth Mamas and Papas. Find your Cravings type here!

 YOU’LL NEED: 

1 tablespoon organic, cold-pressed olive oil

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

1 cup fresh carrot juice

1 cup water

½ cup cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon ground corander

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh fennel leaves

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, about ½ an orange

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup freshly grated zucchini

 

  1. Combine all ingredients, except zucchini, in a blender. Blend until smooth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Blend once more for 15 seconds, pour into bowls and top with grated zucchini.

 

 

Summer Pea & Zucchini Soup: Serves 2

Good for all 3 types, especially

IMG_8016-225x300

Creamed Minty Pea & Zucchini Soup: Gluten-free and Dairy-free soups for summer!


Fresh peas are vibrant and flavorful. This creamy green soup really delivers satisfying slurps for the heavy-feeling Earth Mama or Earth Papa. Firebrands will love this too, just allow it to cool to room temperature before serving. Featherweights can enjoy with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper! (Don’t know your Craving Type yet? Take the quick quiz here! www.cravingsquiz.com)

 YOU’LL NEED

2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

1 tablespoon chickpea flour (thickener)

½ cup zucchini, sliced

1 cup freshly shelled peas

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

 

  1. Add 1-cup stock to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the chickpea flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining stock, zucchini, peas and mint in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in the chickpea mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Simmering the chickpea flour thickens the soup and removes the bitter flavor from the flour.
  3. Ladle into a blender and blend with salt and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Featherweights can add a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 Like these soups? 

In the comments below, I’d love to know what you thought of the recipes, and what other ideas you have for us!

(P.S. these recipes are just an example of what you’ll enjoy in my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program – can’t wait to share it!!) 

What to do with all that eggplant…

If your CSA produce is taking over your kitchen, break out the food processor and whip it into shape!

 

A little bit of cooking now will save the savory goodness of the summer eggplant,

zucchini and tomatoes for fall and winter snacks long after this season is over.

Easy Eggplant Spread

 

1 large eggplant

2 red bell peppers (organic preferred), seeded

1 red onion, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste

*Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, oregano or thyme or a combination of all 3

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into even sized chunks.

Toss the veggies in a mixing bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and any herbs.

Spread them on a baking sheet.

Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, stirring with a wooden spoon on the tray once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the metal s-blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse to combine to a smooth paste.

 

Storage:

Keep that delicious spread good for up to 6 months: freeze 1-2 cup portions in freezer-safe containers.

To thaw, refrigerate overnight.

Greek Salad, Non-Dairy Style

Summer salads are the best way I can think of to eat and beat the heat – and avoid sweating over a hot stove in an already hot kitchen.

I whipped up this vegan Greek Salad this weekend for a BBQ, and watched as the mixed crowd (some vegan, some vegetarians, some omnivores) devoured the whole bowl – glad I helped myself first!

Vegan Greek Salad

Vegan Greek Salad

* Make the tofu “feta” a day ahead for super flavor saturation and throw it all together right before leaving for the party.

Tofu Feta 

Ingredients:

1 block firm tofu, drained and blotted dry with a clean towel

1 cup chickpea or blond miso paste

Tofu Feta Cheese with Miso Recipe

Tofu Feta Cheese with Miso Recipe

Directions:

1. Spread a thin layer of miso on a dinner plate, about the same size as the largest flat side of the tofu square.

2. Cut the block of tofu in half, horizontally. Lay 1/2 of the block of tofu on the miso on plate and spread a 1/4 inch layer of miso on the top side of the tofu, making sure to cover every bit.

3. Place the final piece of tofu on top, flat. Now cover every last bit of the tofu with a thin layer of miso.

4. Wrap the entire block in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to overnight.

5. Remove the tofu from the refrigerator and gently scrape the miso off the tofu. Sorry, I wouldn’t use the miso again.

6. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.

Vegan Greek Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and dried

2 cups cucumbers, washed, dried and sliced into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 cup pitted Greek olives (kalamata are perfect)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and cubed tofu into a large salad bowl.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Pour over the salad mix and gently toss with a large wooden spoon or your hands.

3. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow all the flavors to combine.

Enjoy!

 

Veggie Rolls – Delicious Detox Recipes Made Easy

Healthy meals can be simple, quick and filling – here’s a 2 minute recipe great for a girl (or guy) on the go:

 

2 romaine lettuce leaves
1 avocado, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
¼ cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup sliced olives (I like the greek or italian ones, pitted of course)
¼ cup fresh sprouts

drizzle of olive oil and ½ lime

Directions:

Lay romaine leaves on a plate. Add avocado, cucumbers, hemp seeds, carrots, olives and sprouts to a bowl. Drizzle oil and lime juice over the veggies and mix thoroughly. Place veggie mixture inside the romaine leaves and serve.

Simple Summer Desserts — Shhh! They’re Good For You, Too!

Summer Smoothie-sicles


Summer Smoothie-sicles!

smoothie-sicle recipe, healthy popsicle recipes 

Everyone loves popsicles – so why not make them a little healthier and more substantial than what the ice cream truck is offering? You can take this simple recipe and add all kinds of healthy secrets: non-dairy yogurt, liquid chlorophyll, dehydrated greens powders, vitamin C powder, or even soaked nuts and seeds. Go crazy!

I also like using the new silicon popsicle molds – why have your food freezing in petroleum based plastic molds?

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh fruit juice (except citrus)
¼ cup fresh green juice (kale, cucumber, celery, etc)
1 tablespoon liquid chlorophyll
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 Medjool date

Directions:

Blend all of the ingredients together until very smooth. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 5 hours or until frozen solid.

 

Raw Choco-Almond Date Bars

It’s too hot to turn on the oven in summer, which is why raw desserts are so welcome – oh, and they taste amazing with almost no effort!

Using raw cacao powder provides the body with iron, protein, and antioxidants. Found online and in health food stores, raw cacao powder tastes good and is easier for many people to consume without negative effects of processed chocolate.

Note: To make the nuts easier to digest, you can soak them together covered in water overnight then drain before competing the recipe.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup raw cacao powder or carob powder
pinch sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/3 cup brown rice syrup, agave nectar or real maple syrup

Directions:

1. Make sure the coconut oil is melted by measuring it into a small saucepan and heating it over low. Of course in the summer, mine is melted in the jar just sitting out at room temperature.
2. Combine the almonds and cashews in a food processor and pulse 10 to 12 times until they’re pulverized and no large pieces remain.
3. Add the remaining ingredients including the oil to the food processor and continue to pulse until the mixture is well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.
4. Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish and flatten with your hand or a rubber spatula. Wrap the pan with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to overnight.
5. Remove from the refrigerator and cut the hardened cake into bars about 3 inches square.

Smoothie-sicles recipe originally printed in Living Vegan For Dummies

Raw Choco Bars recipe originally printed in Vegan Cooking For Dummies

Patriotic Plant Protein Patties! (AKA Veggie Burger for July 4th!)

Click Here To ReTweet This Recipe – Thanks!


Patriotic Plant Protein Pattie! (AKA July 4th Veggie Burgers)
Celebrate our nation’s birthday with some veggie burgers that everyone can enjoy. I’ve doctored these up with extra plant protein coming from the beans and hemp seeds.

This recipe is cholesterol free, dairy free, egg free, and gluten-free (unless you add the totally optional bread crumbs – but really, you don’t need them.)

Make some extra patties, freeze them and reheat in a lightly oiled skillet any old time of year for a quick, hearty, healthy meal:

Yield: 6-8 patties

4 tablespooons flaxseeds, ground in a spice grinder

1/3 cup water

2 1/2 cups cooked beans (any will do: try black beans, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, or a combination)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1/4 cup diced celery

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup finely chopped spinach

1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

1/2 cup cooked brown rice, quinioa or millet (leftovers from the day before are great for this)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  1. Combine the ground flaxseeds and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir often until the mixture become gooey. Set aside to cool while you do the next step.
  2. Combine the beans, salt, pepper, parsley, onion, celery, orange zest, garlic, spinach, hemp seeds, brown rice, flax seed mixture and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse 15-18 times to combine the mixture so that it becomes thick and creamed together, with some chunks still remaining.
  3. The mixture should be easy to handle and can be formed into 1-inch thick patties. I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup and flattened each scoop to 1-inch thick. If it feels to dry add a little water. If it feels too moist, add a few tablespoons of cooked grain or bread crumbs and mix to combine.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet (a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is great) over medium heat and warm 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Cook the patties, about 3 at a time, for 7 minutes on each side.

Win this allergy-free Easter Egg for your li’l bunny! Enter by 4/15!

The amazing folks at NaturalCandyStore.com are giving away this eye-popping easter treat to one of my blog readers!

Vegan Easter Egg From NaturalCandyStore.com

Filled with allergy-free, vegan goodies, the keepsake container is packed with pretty green paper and are mostly gluten-free as well! Here’s what you’ll win:

  • Dark Chocolate Eggs – Organic & Fair Trade (2)
  • Dark Chocolate Bunny – Organic & Fair Trade
  • Surf Sweets Sour Worms (gluten free)
  • Surf Sweets Gummy Swirls (gluten free)
  • YummyEarth Organic Fruit Lollipops (5) (gluten free)
  • Traditional German-made paper Easter egg box

To enter to win, leave a comment here on my blog by 12pm EST on Friday 4/15 about why you would like to win this incredible prize from NaturalCandyStore.com!

Natural Sweetener Smack Down #2: Brown Rice Syrup (With Gluten-Free Chocolate Chick Blondie Recipe!)

Natural Sweetener Smack Down: Brown Rice Syrup

 

& Gluten-Free Chocolate Chickpea Blondies

 

Chocolate Chickpea Blondies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

If ever there was a lovely sin, sugar gluttony would surely be mine. I marvel at my ability to drain daily Super Big Gulps of Dr. Pepper back in my teen years. How does a human body even hold that much extra liquid?

 

Today, I eat more fruit and sweet vegetables than I ever did in my teens and early 20s, and my taste buds appreciate the simple flavors of seasonal produce. Since changing my diet 11 years ago, I eat a lot less sugar, but I still enjoy desserts and chocolates.

 

In an effort to understand the differences between my sweet mistresses, I’m logging in the second of my natural sweetener series today.

 

A Wikipedia search revealed “Brown rice syrup, also known as rice syrup, is a sweetener derived by culturing cooked rice with enzymes (usually from dried barley sprouts) to break down the starches, then straining off the liquid and reducing it by cooking until the desired consistency is reached. The final product is 45% maltose, 3% glucose, and 52% maltotriose.”

 

According to Lundberg, one of the top producers of Brown Rice Syrup (BRS) and organic whole grains in the US, the thick, caramel-like syrup is “a nutritive sweetener about one half as sweet as sugar.” I find this to be a little misleading. While the glucose composition is very low, there isn’t much nutrition to speak of in BRS. It’s not like you’re adding fiber, protein, or vitamins to your dessert.

 

Though it is said to have a low glycemic index (25), it is not recommended for diabetics, since its sweetness comes from maltose, which can still cause blood sugar spikes.

 

BRS can legally be labeled on foods as only a carbohydrate because it is made from rice, which is a starch, not a sugar. However, your body will still respond to it as a sugar, so don’t think this is a “free ride” food. Take caution with any added sweeteners, whether you buy them from the health food store or the corner convenience mart.

 

According to Mercola.com, “The World’s #1 Free Natural Health Newsletter”:

 

“Brown rice syrup is another culprit that has a ‘healthier’ sound – but it is far from healthy. In my opinion, you should stay away from it. Besides, it’s known to contain MSG.”

 

Dr. Joseph Mercola doesn’t offer any evidence to back up his claim that BRS is unhealthy, and only mentions that it might contain MSG. This might be true of processed foods, as MSG can be hidden on labels as almost anything (yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable extract are just a couple of names to look out for). HOWEVER, if you are buying jars of organic brown rice syrup, there’s no MSG hiding inside.

 

Here’s what I like about Brown Rice Syrup:

 

It has a gorgeous buttery, caramel flavor that lends itself well to baking. Because of the low glucose content, it doesn’t affect my energy levels very much. For me, it is a mild sweetener. For someone with serious blood-sugar issues, like diabetics, this sweetener should be used sparingly.

 

Find BRS in your health food store’s baking aisle, or order it by the case or by the bottle here on Amazon.

 

To use BRS in cooking:

 

Substitute rice syrup in place of sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup or molasses. To substitute sugar, use 1¼ cup rice syrup for one cup sugar, using ¼ cup less of another liquid in the recipe.

 

gluten-free-vegan-chocolate-chickpea-blondie

gluten-free-vegan-chocolate-chickpea-blondie

Chocolate Chick Blondies

 

From Vegan Cooking for Dummies (order here for <$10!)

 

These gluten free bars are dense and full of nutrition. The chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) offer substantial protein and replace the flour normally found in dessert bars. Once you cut them, these squares can be individually wrapped and frozen for later. Make a double batch and freeze half for a road trip, picnic or upcoming potluck.

 

Preparation time: 30 minutes

 

Yield: 6-8 servings

 

Canola, sunflower or unrefined coconut oil

 

15 ounces (1 can) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

 

1/2 cup apple sauce

 

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter (crunchy is best)

 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

 

2 Tablespoons brown rice flour

 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 350.

 

    1. Lightly coat an 8-inch baking pan with oil.

 

    1. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides a few times.

 

    1. Pour the batter into the pan and stir in the chocolate chips.

 

    1. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.

 

    1. Cool to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing into 8 squares.

Vegan Cheese Challenge Week 3: Daiya AKA “Vegan Crack”

Since my own body doesn’t like dairy products (can you say bloat and acne, anyone?), I have been eating a dairy-free diet for over 10 years now. The major issue about not eating dairy has been….not eating dairy. As much as I know it doesn’t work well in my body, I really did like the taste.

After I cut out dairy for health reasons, I started to learn about how the cows are treated on factory farms. I didn’t feel comfortable consuming foods from animals that are truly tortured. I also didn’t like the environmental impact that producing milk and cheese has on our shared air, water, and land resources.

So, I abstain. But I still crave cheese. It’s a natural, and common, food craving. Cheese contains opiate-like chemicals called casomorphins which act like opium in the body – that’s right, cheese makes your body feel good just like morphine does…           I hear. Since I’m on a search for “cheese” that doesn’t mess up my digestive system, skin, and the planet, I have discovered what might be called “the crack cocaine” of dairy-free and vegan cheeses: DAIYA.

It melts, it tastes good, and it’s easy to cook with. Now, when I say “tastes good” let me be honest. It doesn’t taste like French brie. BUT it does taste like pretty high-quality pizzeria shredded cheese, which is more than good enough for me.

I also love that Daiya is created without most of the top food allergens including soy, dairy (casein or lactose), gluten, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts (excluding coconut).

In honor of my dairy-free and gluten-free clients, friends, and readers, I now present:

To Diaya For Nachos:

3 big handfuls of corn chips

(my absolute fav is Xochitl Organic chips pronounced so-CHEEL; seriously, spring for the 9-pack box. They’re amazing.)

1 cup shredded Diaya chedder

DIRECTIONS:

Lay the chips out on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the Diaya cheese evenly over the chips. Turn up the broiler and set the chips about 6 inches under the flame. Broil for 6 minutes. Make sure the cheese and chips don’t burn, but do cook long enough for the Diaya to melt – because it does!

Eat with your favorite salsa, guacamole and vegetarian bean dip. These chips are perfect for an upcoming football or baseball viewing party! Just choose a vegan, gluten-free beer from www.barnivore.com’s list to go along with it! Live a little!

My rating over all:

A Big Ol’ Vegan Gold Star!

Summer Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Summer Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

An easy, delicious recipe for your gluten-free, vegan summer party plans. Chelsea Clinton would have loved this at her wedding!


Summer Quinoa Stuffed Mushroom on FoodistaSummer Quinoa Stuffed Mushroom

Yield: 4 servings

4 large Portobello mushrooms

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

For stuffing:

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 and 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

¼  tablespoon sliced chives

3 tablespoons raisins

¼ cup sprinkle of toasted pine nuts

Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon each chopped parsley, basil or mint

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Gently clean off the mushroom caps; slice off the stems and using a teaspoon carefully scrape out the dark gills. Place the caps in the baking dish. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Season with a little sea salt and pepper. Pre-bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the stuffing.

In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil and toss in the garlic. Stir for a minute. Add in the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, chives, raisins, and pine nuts. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine. Moisten with more olive oil, as needed. Gently heat through, briefly. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh chopped herbs.

Stuff each mushroom cap with ¼ of the quinoa mixture. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.