Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

I found this recipe today on pinterest and couldn't wait to try! Original recipe here.  I only made a few minor changes to make it vegan :)

You Will Need:
  • 1 whole head cauliflower
  • 2-3 tbs tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • taco seasoning
  • green onions (optional, garnish)
To Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Cut bottom part of cauliflower (with leaves and stem) off. Cauliflower should sit firmly without wobbling.
  3. In a separate bowl mix tahini, lemon juice and taco seasoning.
  4. Either dip the cauliflower head in the mix or spread it over evenly with  spoon (I did the latter).
  5. Top with green onions.
  6. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes. I roasted mine for about 36 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven, let cool then slice! I dipped mine in left over taco mix sauce. 


Raw Vegan Butterbeer

Hello Harry Potter fans!! I'm new to your brood.  I watched all 8 movies in an (embarrassingly) short period of time and immediately became hooked. How can I bring a little bit of the magic world into my own healthy muggle world? 

Clearly through Butterbeer. Creamy, frothy, comforting and refreshing Butterbeer.  The recipe is easy and simple. It tastes like "less sickly butterscotch" just as J.K. Rowling described. Without further ado... wands up and blenders on!

You will need:
  • 6-8 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 cups sparkling water (mineral or soda, etc). 
To Make:
1. Blend dates and water until smooth.

2. Pour sparkling water into a large (huge) beer mug or glass.

3. Pour the date puree over top. Stir gently once or twice. 

4. Enjoy!

No magic involved...except for the magical taste, that is :)

Farmer's Veggie Soup

In a large crockpot simmer (slow cook):
1 head celery, chopped
3 cups shredded kale
1 can whole stewed tomatoes (or 6 fresh roma tomatoes)
2 large russet potatoes, chopped
2 bags baby carrots
1 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 handfuls basil, julienned 
1 tablespoon organic veggie broth
water to the brim

Simmer for 8-12 hours. Keep in fridge for 1 week.

Youth Juice

My breakfast 'go to' lately, in light of my antioxidants for anti-aging kick!

1 cup wild blueberries or 1 cup mixed berries (always organic!)
1-2 cups orange juice
1-2 cups water
1 tbs flax meal
1-2 tbs raw, plant based, organic vanilla protein powder

The taste is a dream come true!!

Why I Thought A Plant Based Diet Wasn't For Me and How I Perfected My Digestion


For a while I was under the impression that my body was rejecting a plant based diet...I am so relieved that I have found the simple and natural solution to my digestive issues!!

Here's my story:
When I provide science based health information on this blog, it's usually because I've read an interesting article that resonates with something I've experienced in my own health journey. This time,the opposite has happened. I've had weird digestive issues that occur only on work day mornings, when I get up early, walk a mile, then sip on a big smoothie. I eat totally clean, eat moderate fats to aid absorption but for some reason, I didn't feel like my body was absorbing all of the nutrients it should. After reading a chapter about chewing in the book Gulp!, by Mary Roach, I decided to give it a try. I can't even tell you what a huge difference it's made. It literally took my IBS/leaky gut and turned it into normal, perfect digestion (to be clear and...blunt, we're talking brown, solid and easy with minimal "residue"...). 
Veggies are pretty hard to digest. When you eat large portions like I do the stomach and digestive system has a lot of work to do. Give it a head start by breaking them down into a smoothie like consistency with your teeth. Chew between 30-50 times... this allows to digestive system to focus more on absorption rather than emulsion. If the stomach is faced with the task of breaking down a pound of veggies and it doesn't have the resources (we only produce so much digestive enzymes and acids), it will literally dump the whole piece of food into the intestines. With a whole food, nutrients are much harder to absorb. Because of this it runs right through the system, cellulose (plant fiber) in tact, and comes out a lot looking a lot like it did when it came in. This causes bloating, gas, diarrhea and sometimes even constipation.
I never really had this problem with proteins and fats or fruit/veggie juices and smoothies. In fact, these always left my stomach flat and my digestion flawless. My salads and plant based meals mostly consist of carbohydrates and starches and this is where I was having issues. After two days of intense mastication and oral liquefaction of my food I was shocked by my amazing digestion. So shocked, that I had to Google this possible connection. Low and behold, I found thousands of results and one Q&A with Dr. Emily Kayne.
Chewing can put some stress on your jaw but it takes a ton of stress off of your digestive track. If your muscles are sore, throw some soups and smoothies into the mix.
The benefits of chewing your food far exceed digestion and include overall well-being. It allows us to eat more slowly, savor the meal and enjoy intricate flavors we would otherwise completely ignore. Chewing is a reminder to slow down and enjoy life and the great pleasure of eating. Thorough chewing is by far the best way to practice "stopping when you're full". Just try it. You'll be packing away leftovers like you've never done before.

Veggies Only Shepherd's Pie

 You Will Need:
  • Veggies! I used:
-4 small green bell peppers
-1 large flower zucchini
-1 large heirloom tomato
-6 basil leaves
-4-5 small eggplants
-1 large white onion
  • 1 large sweet potato (I used a huge white (Japanese) yam)
  • Himalaya Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
 To Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Rinse off the sweet potato, poke holes in it with a fork and either microwave for 10 minutes (until soft) OR boil for about 40 minutes
  3. Chop all the rest of the veggies and steam on low heat for about 15 minutes (I steamed in a huge skillet with about 1/2 cup veggie broth in it- I started with the eggplant which takes longer to cook and only steamed the other veggies for about 7-10 minutes).
  4. Drain liquid from skillet (save! It's a very nutritious and delicious soup!).
  5. Add steamed veggies to a large dish. 
  6. Once the potato is steamed fully, mash until smooth. Add almond milk and sea salt as needed. 
  7. Spread a layer of the sweet potato over the veggies until fully covered. 
  8. Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!!

On The Universe....

Okra and Corn Maque Choux

 Summer time in the south means okra and tomatoes! Recipe adapted from My Recipes' Okra and Corn Maque Choux:

  • You will need: 
    • 4-5 ears corn, shucked
    • 1 large white onion, chopped
    • 4 cups okra, chopped
    • 2 cans of tomatoes OR 3 large fresh tomatoes
    • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 cups rice, cooked (I used white rice)
    • the recipe calls for spicy sausage which I omitted. The recipe would be great with spicy tofu!
    • The dish is pretty flavorful as is, but feel free to add Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste :)
  • Add all ingredients except for the rice to a large skillet. 
  • Saute on low heat for 20-30 minutes until veggies are soft and onions are close to transparent (try not to over cook to preserve nutrients)
  • Serve over a bed of rice!