Fresh Berries, Pound Cake and Custard Trifle for Easter

I’m so excited that warm Spring weather!

Also, we are all ready to taste all the fresh flavors that come with the sun.

Brightly colored berries and delicate cream go so well together.

This can be so easy to throw together on short notice.

You can use ready made pound cake, instant vanilla pudding and whip up fresh heavy whipping cream for an elegant and so delicious dessert that looks great and extravagant.

Fresh berries make any dessert special and fancy.

The other thing to remember is that you can make this extra special by baking all the ingredients from scratch.

Use your favorite cake recipe, maybe something with a little lemon zest to enhance the flavor of the fresh berries, as well as your favorite vanilla custard.

Be creative or keep it simple, either way, you will have a special treat for you and your guests.

Sweet, Crunchy, Salty! Halloumi, Red Pepper and Pineapple Appetizers!

Halloumi, red pepper and pineapple skewers are too easy not to make for a tasty appetizer on the fly!

Halloumi is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk, and sometimes also cows’ milk.

It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled and has a salty, chewy, rich flavor that makes it a great compliment to sweet and tangy flavors.

Warm the Halloumi in the oven at 250 degrees fahrenheit for about 15 minutes then just chop and skewer the ingredients.

I kept mine small; about 1/2 inch square makes petite and tasty little bites.

These work great with cocktails as hardy appetizers.

Try a cilantro, olive oil dipping sauce for a little added flavor.

Colorful skewers make these festive for entertaining and I could even see putting this together like a salad or as a side for rice and beans; almost like a salsa.

Try this for early Easter snacks and the perfect way to usher in the bright and sunny flavors of Spring!

Chronic Poison! Dwarf Wheat Is The Devil!

I don’t know how much more we need to know about this crudely genetically modified grain before we all stop consuming it.

It is linked to a myriad of health problems and is addictive to boot.

From Type 2 Diabetes to metabolic syndrome, this dwarf wheat has been blamed for many of the chronic ills of society.

This is not the wheat of your grandmother.

Created 50 years ago this new wheat has double the genetic information as the original Einkorn variety eaten for millennia without problems.

Vegan Raspberry Mango Muffins With Pistachios

My eldest daughter isn’t leaving for college for another 5 weeks and already she is teaching me things.

She made these incredibly moist and delicious muffins and gave me the recipe.

She substituted raspberries for blackberries and I would switch out the wheat flour for coconut flour.

just a few ideas.

In any case, these were delicious!

She has taught me about Chia seeds which are wonderful; Extremely healthy and a great ingredient for vegan chefs to add texture, heft and “egg white” qualities to baked goods.

Blackberry Mango Muffins

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. Chia seed
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
2 Cups Mango, No Skin/seed and Mashed
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
2/3 Cup Organic Sugar
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Ground Allspice
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Fresh Blackberries
1 Cup Salted, Shelled Pistachios

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and get 24 cupcake liners ready in a baking sheet.

Stir the chia seed and warm water together and set aside for a few minutes until it is gelatinous.

In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mango, sugar, ACV, vanilla extract and the chia seed mixture.

Using a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, Allspice, and salt.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together until there are not dry chunks and it is smooth.

Fold the blackberries and salted pistachios into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until it almost reaches the top.
Bake for 23-27 minutes, check to see if they are done baking with a toothpick to see if it draws clear. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Enjoy and Share!

Juicy, Fleshy, Figs!

I apologize for the photos but I certainly hope that these BEAUTIFUL figs make your mouth water like they did mine!

Figs are great snacks and can set the stage for fancy appetizers like goat cheese stuffed figs with pistachios.

Fresh figs are seriously underrated in my opinion and everyone should eat as many as they can.

Dried figs are nutritious and delicious but fresh figs are a real treat.

Figs are a great source of fiber and are low in calories.

For vegans concerned about calcium, consider this:

Figs are a fruit source of calcium (79 milligrams in an 8 oz-wt serving), a mineral that has many functions including promoting bone density. Additionally, figs’ potassium may also counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to further prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Not much needs to be done to prepare figs for your favorite recipes or impromptu creations.

Lightly clean the skin with with water, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, if desired.

Eat the tender skin to benefit from fig’s high fiber content.

You don’t need to add sugar.

You can use the meaty flesh as a fruit spread, in baked goods or with savory cheeses and artisan breads.

Enjoy and Share!

Flaxseed and Rye Bread with Avocado, Tomato, Basil and Mayonnaise Sandwich

I realize that this sounds like a mouthful but trust me it’s worth the effort.

Instead of going gluten free I’ve decided to stay away from all wheat; Dwarf Wheat in particular, and opt for other grain varieties.

I happen to love rye bread and the added benefit of flaxseed made this a great choice.

Although Rye does contain gluten, it is much less than what is found in dwarf wheat which is consumed today.

Let’s get back to this sandwich!

The avocado, fresh basil and tomato are sprinkled with sea salt and a large dollop of mayonnaise.

This is a huge treat for me.

The mayo is the only real dietary indulgence….everything else is so healthy!

It is a filling, delicious lunch that leaves plenty of room for watermelon later in the day!

Enjoy and share!

Yummy, Spinach and Cannellini Soup

With a few staples in the pantry you can create fresh and filling healthy meals by adding a seasonal ingredient or two.

Cannellini or white kidney beans, garlic, yellow onion and coconut oil are always on hand.

A bunch of fresh spinach added to a few simple staples puts this meal over the top.

Coconut oil, garlic and yellow onion sauté until soft and then add spicy and beans.

Add a few cups of water and allow the everything to simmer together.

I have been avoiding soup bases and bullion because they contain MSG…even the vegan brands, for the most part.

This dish doesn’t need it.

The richness of the coconut oil makes this soup tasty without any added chemicals.

This meal is very clean and filling.

Talk about cheap!

There is no excuse not to eat well when you can have a meal like this in minutes.

Enjoy and share!

Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

This recipe is and anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory recipe that is hard to beat.

I really don’t know if you can eat any healthier than this.

Organic kale and sweet potatoes, garlic and coconut oil with crushed red pepper flakes.

This meal is fairly inexpensive, really.

Especially when you consider how much nutrition you get for the money and how filling this is.

Start with about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3-4 cloves of garlic. ( I always use a lot of garlic! )

Saute in a pan and add 3-4 large sweet potatoes, washed, with skin on and diced into 1 inch cubes.

Cook these ingredients together until the sweet potatoes get soft.

The fat in the coconut oil helps your body to process the vitamin A in the sweet potatoes, which, by the way, has been found to be beneficial in protecting the body against skin cancer as seen on the Dr. Oz Show.

Mine became mushy but I didn’t care. This is soooooo good!

Massage the kale….yes. Massage it, wash it and chop it up and add to the pan and cook unit soft.

Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

You will crave this dish. I promise.

You will feel satisfied but not heavy and you will have done yourself a favor.

I also added some turmeric, ginger and cumin.

These are my favorite spices and they are great for your health.

I have been going on about coconut oil lately so please don’t get bored with me.

Coconut oil is so incredibly beneficial to you health and especially to brain health and is showing promise mitigating the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

It tastes great, it’s good for you.

Use it every chance that you get.

Enjoy and share!

So Delicious! Black Bean and Avocado Spread!

I apologize that my photos are not more glamorous or that the spread itself is not prettier.

But there is no denying the fact that this little dish is one yummy and nutritious treat.

Coconut oil, black beans, garlic and avocado create a powerhouse of healthy oils, fiber and antioxidants in a tasty and convenient spread or dip; warm or chilled.

This recipe is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant rich combination that is easy to incorporate into your diet.

Just sauté garlic in coconut oil for a minute add 2-3 cans of organic black beans and cook until soft.

I start mashing everything with a potato masher then add the avocado and blend in the food processor.

Avocado is my new favorite food these days and I use it as a meat/dairy substitute in sandwiches and as a base for creamy dips and spreads.

My diet is becoming increasingly vegan if for no other reason than I simply feel better; more energized, lighter, and sharper.

Coconut oil is another of my favorites and I find ways to squeeze it into everything that I eat.

In this recipe it adds tremendous richness, creaminess and depth of flavor.

I find that coconut oil lends a richness that meat and dairy add to foods.

Black beans are a major staple in my kitchen.
They are super cheap, incredibly nutritious and convenient.

I buy organic beans in BPA-free cans and I find that if I always have them on hand I always have a meal.

From a quick soup to a warm spread or quesadilla, black beans are a great source of protein.

I served these with organic corn chips.

Served warm as a spread for bread or in a corn tortilla with other veggies, this is a quick and convenient source of protein and nutrition.

Keep some in the fridge and serve with brown rice and sautéed red peppers and it makes a cheap and easy meal.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Whoopi Pies To Die For!

“Skinny Bitch” and “Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps” author, Kim Barnouin has shared this recipe for chocolate whoopi pies.

Read the book if you get the chance but definitely make these sinfully delicious desserts!

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Method

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and vinegar, and set aside. (It will curdle a little; it’s supposed to do that.)

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, arrowroot, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the almond milk mixture to the batter and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and almond milk mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before placing them onto a rack to cool completely.

Filling

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk

In a large bowl, beat the shortening and Earth Balance together until well combined. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the extract and almond milk, and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

These will not last very long and I challenge you to miss anything.

I would like to try making these with coconut flour to make them gluten/wheat free, as well

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