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!

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

It’s Time for a New Spin on Old Favorites!

I am a Clevelander and Michael Symon the famed Iron Chef and celebrity du jour also, hails from this mid-west town.

Along with his acolyte, Johathon Sawyer, cuisine in Cleveland continues to function as a pork delivery system, along side of french fries in duck fat and fois gras as garnish.

Food trends happen for many reasons and conspicuous consumption factors in, I’m sure.

But at what point do we question celebrating gratuitous overindulgence as a substitute for culinary genius?

I get it. If you like bacon then food cooked with or otherwise augmented with bacon is delicious.

Like ice cream? Like Bacon? Mix the two and, voila! Genius!

I think not.

It’s like putting a girl in a bikini on a car.

Is it a better car? Is the design imaginative or ground breaking?

Or is it just a car with a scantily clad girl astride?

A dish which is flavorful and healthy, appealing to the eye and created without death and suffering; now that takes some talent!

Make cauliflower sexy; without bacon! and make me lust for a fruit dessert over the chocolate molten, whatever and I’m impressed.

There is a place for everything, I will concede. However, the Malthusian mathematics will come back to haunt is all.

Technology aside, there is only so much land to fill the appetites of food porn addicts and the lowest common denominator of palates!

And while some of my favorites may be no more or less creative and unique, I would like to think that they are environmentally friendly and healthy.

Coconut milk soups, fruit purees, fried broccoli rabe with Marcona almonds, nut creams both sweet and savory and an endless array of spices and greens presented in inventive and unexpected ways will satisfy and delight time after time.

Check out the article below for a short list of tired favorites.

Read the whole article here.

Bill Clinton Embraces His New Vegan Lifestyle!

Once notorious for his love of junk food and his famous stops at McDonald’s, former president Bill Clinton has embraced a vegan lifestyle to prevent heart disease.

Former President Clinton now considers himself a vegan. He’s dropped more than 20 pounds, and he says he’s healthier than ever. His dramatic dietary transformation took almost two decades and came about only after a pair of heart procedures and some advice from a trusted doctor.

Meatless Monday! Easy Summertime Meals that are Healthy and Light for Busy Families!

Summertime around here has meant a huge flurry of activity.

The hot and steamy weather hasn’t slowed us down much but appetites tend more toward light and flavorful rather than rich and filling.

And the schedules are all over the place! From sport activities to musical gigs, weekend getaways and family gatherings I find that preparing and serving nutritious meals is more challanging than ever.

Especially when I am not there to supervise everything!

Well, I’ve learned to “let go” and create easy, ready to prepare and assemble food for my family; even the picky ones.

I have been in the habit of keeping a big container of cooked brown rice in the fridge.

I also will sautee corn with cilantro and onions and keep that around.

In addition, I’ll chop green onion and fresh cilantro and keep that in the fridge, also.

There are always cans of organic vegetarian beans or refried beans in the panty.

I also make sure to keep stocked up on ripe avocados and limes.

By having these ingredients handy eating on the fly is healthy and quick.

Even the little ones can do it; even the chronically lazy!

We also like to garnish with fresh salsa and a tangy homemade yogurt or sour cream.

This meal and it’s many variations has become a summertime staple that everyone can enjoy and customize to their own preference.

Burrito style for those who are always running late and eating on the way or pizza stlye with a little Manchego cheese for weekend movie night.

So, don’t get frustrated get creative!

These budget friendly meals are flexible. Use what you have around and get fancy when the budget allows.

They are built in to be nutritious so you just can’t go wrong!

With only healthy options even the least culinary inclined among you can’t help but choose something delicious and nutritious while you enjoy a little fun in the sun!

Roasted Veggies! Zucchini, Red Pepper and Sweet Potato with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper!

033roasted veggies

These roasted vegetables have become a must have staple around here.

They are super easy to prepare and simply bake in the oven on 425 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

010roasted veggies

Use restraint with the olive oil.

You don’t want to fry the veggies, just coat them lightly for a little flavor and so they won’t dry out.

Also, try using a fancy salt for more exotic taste and texture.

011roasted veggies

Cut them evenly so that they all cook at the same time.

012roasted veggies

Don’t overcook; you don’t want them to be too soft or mushy.

017roasted veggies

Salt and pepper is all you need for seasoning.

The beauty of this dish is it’s simplicity!

018roasted veggies

These veggies go with everything, are healthy and filling!

019roasted veggies

Make big batches and keep them in the fridge for an always ready snack, side dish or meal.

Add a salad or soup and you have a meal.

You can add some feta cheese or even put them between two slices of toated wheat bread for a sandwich.

There are so many ways to use these.

They can be your new “fast food”.

Having stuff like this on hand keeps your snacking healthy and helps cut down on preparation time for meals!

032roasted veggies

Celebrating Winter Sunshine with Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Green Curry Coconut, Red Pepper and Asparagus!

074green curry soba noodles

This is not so much a recipe as one woman’s quest for a fresh and spicy meal on an unusually warm and sunny winter day!

079green curry soba noodles

A trip to the neighborhood grocer yeilded fresh ginger, avocados, limes a jar of green curry paste, soba noodles….
You get the idea.

033green curry noodles

This dish is quick and easy to prepare.

I can’t get everything cleaned, cut, chopped and sauteed before the noodles are finished cooking.

You will want to time it so that you don’t overcook them.

I sliced some ginger with the red pepper and asparagus and added a little coconut oil to lightly sautee the veggies.

051green curry noodles

You can put this together pretty fast.

Squeeze fresh lime juice over everything before serving, it really brightens the flavors!

Toss chopped cilantro into the draining noodles to gather just enough heat to bring out the herb’s pungent aroma!

055green curry noodles

Fresh avocado is creamy and perfect with the spicy green curry and coconut sauce.

073green curry soba noodles

I also made a batch of whole wheat linguine but the soba were slightly better.

Not in flavor but in texture.

076green curry soba noodles

Try this for a nice meatless meal that is flavorful and filling.

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