Acai Smoothie & Coconut Chia Pudding Parfait


The name of this recipe is a mouthful, and a tribute to the complex flavors and exquisite, refreshing texture in this raw vegan delight.

For the Coconut Chia Pudding:

Whisk together…

2 cups full-fat coconut milk (canned)

1 tbsp. Pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Slowly stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds.  Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

 

For Acai Smoothie:

Blend together….

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 sliced frozen banana

2 tbsp. Acai powder (you can buy this in bulk from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup almond or rice milk

1 tsp. agave nectar to taste

1 tbsp. almond butter or other nut butter

 

Assemble by layering pudding with smoothie.  Top with granola, hempseed hearts, assorted fruit, cacoa nibs, whatever you fancy!

 

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Vegan Apple Crisp

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My mom’s apple crisp is amazing, and I will never attempt to re-create perfection.  So I decided to experiment with a vegan version of this cozy fall treat.  You will not miss the butter!  My husband devoured a giant bowl in 5 minutes, so it couldn’t have been that bad 🙂

Vegan Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • About 6 Cortland apples, depending on size; freshly picked or organic preferable
  • Cinnamon (eyeball this)
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, organic if possible
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour (if you don’t have it, all-purpose works)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Earth balance spread

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel & Core apples.  P.s. I am terrible at this, I basically just hack away at them with a small paring knife, more or less.  I wish I could be Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, where she expertly peels an apple in one, long, swirly strip.
  3. Chop apples into 3/4 in. cubes.  This doesn’t have to be precise, just make the pieces roughly the same size so that they cook equally.
  4. In a bowl, combine chopped apples, cinnamon, 1/3 c. granulated sugar, and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch.  Mix well, and pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish.
  5. In the same bowl, combine oats, flour, more cinnamon, brown sugar, 1/3 c. melted coconut oil, and walnuts (if using).
  6. Mix topping with your hands until it starts to come together and resemble wet sand.
  7. Spread evenly over top of apples. Dot pieces of Earth Balance Spread over topping.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly browned and apples are bubbling.
  9. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Love,

Steph xo

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

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I’ve always been a snacker. I could put away a bag of Pirate’s booty in a sitting, dominate some Cape Cod potato chips. I decided to finally try roasting chickpeas as a healthy snack, and now I wonder what took me so long! These little babies are bomb. Seriously, if you like crunch, they’ve got it. And you can jazz them up anyway you like (make ’em sweet with honey and cinnamon, or savory with olive oil, kosher salt & thyme). Plus, they’re super simple and low-maintenance.

Ingredients

Can of chickpeas (or 2, depending how many you want)
Olive oil (I use my Misto sprayer to cut down on the fat content)
Kosher salt or Himalaya salt
Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain chickpeas, rinse with water, and let them dry on paper towels, patting them before placing onto a baking sheet. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and spread chickpeas out on tray. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, until chickpeas are crispy. Take out of oven and toss with a couple teaspoons of hot sauce. Place bake in oven for another 10 minutes. Voila! Crispy, crunchy, yummy, fiber-filled snacking!

Enjoy.

Xo Steph

Tofu Pad Thai

So, several years ago I attempted making homemade Pad Thai. Let’s just say, it wasn’t so great, and my brother has never let me live it down.

I finally made it again using a recipe I found on the PETA website, and it. Is. Phenomenal.

1 10-oz. package rice noodles or ramen-style noodles
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into chunks
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I used Teddy’s Super Chunky)
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp. sugar (or less)
Sriracha, to taste
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Chopped peanuts, for garnish

· Cook noodles according to package instructions.
· In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic cloves and tofu chunks. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce over the tofu and sauté until golden brown.
· In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, sugar, Sriracha, remaining soy sauce, and 1 cup of water.
· Add the cooked noodles and peanut butter mixture to the tofu and cook through, about 5 minutes.
· Garnish with sliced green onions and chopped peanuts and serve right away. Enjoy!

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Why Go Veg?

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What do the above celebrities have in common? Other than being insanely rich, of course.  If you guessed, “they are all vegetarians”, you’re right!  Others include Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Brad Pitt, Bill Clinton, Natalie Portman, Alanis Morisette, and Fiona Apple, to name a few.  How cool is that?  I mean, Andre 3000?  He may be the coolest example of a vegetarian.

I was a vegetarian for many years, including my high school years.  I have to be honest with you, the reason I became a vegetarian wasn’t because of animal rights, or environmental issues.  Frankly, it was because I had an eating disorder, and becoming a vegetarian allowed me a valid, respectable excuse to cut out many foods. 

Now that I’m older, and have recovered from my eating disorder, I can focus on what I believe in.  In an earlier post, I wrote about how important it is for us as human beings to stand for something.  BE what you believe in, rather than just talking about it.  So because of that, I’m going vegetarian again.  I’m not going to get into the cruelty of animals, because many of us already know so much about that.  But, if you’re interested, I highly, highly recommend watching the 2008 documentary Food, Inc.  Be prepared for some extremely disturbing images.  It’s real life, and it changed mine.  If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or changing your eating habits, I also highly recommend Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

I texted my boyfriend about going vegetarian, as I would for anything I’m really jazzed up about.  His reaction, which typically would be incredibly supportive and proud, was actually one of disappointment.  Now, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because I know he loves his chicken wings, and bacon, and steaks, as most men do. 

My question for you readers, especially the vegetarian ones, is how do I stay strong in my convictions without seeming all high and mighty?  I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone else, but I want to be able to have an eloquent but firm answer for when people find out I don’t eat meat, or that I’ve transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle.  Please comment, I’d appreciate your thoughts and personal experiences!

xo Steph