Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catching Up

Hello friends! I hope you've all been staying safe, warm and dry in this blustery weather we've been experiencing. It's no secret that I hate winter more than anything. I'm super sensitive to cold and the snow is just irritating haha. My poor fingertips have been frozen and thawed so many times over the past week or two!

I left work today and no surprises it was snowing AGAIN. I grabbed two pics and I figured I'd share them with you...

I'm not dumb enough to take pics while driving a crappy car on slippery roads... this shot was taken while stopped at a stop sign.

Slightly out of focus shot on the street corner by my house. Lots of snow as you can see.

And here's just a little bit of what has come out of my kitchen. I didn't shoot a lot but I thought you'd like to see the few pics I did take. I have been eating a lot of repeats too and I didn't think you'd need to see that.

It's been so cold that drinking juices and smoothies every morning isn't happening so I've been treating myself to delicious oatmeal when I feel too cold to deal with smoothies.

Isn't this bowl gorgeous?! Oats with cinnamon, banana, walnuts, raisins and coconut. Yum!

I couldn't even wait to get this out of the food processor to take a picture of it. This is Isa's Hummus for Bagels out of Veganomicon. I am obsessed with this stuff! It is so yummy and nice and thick and a perfect sandwich spread. Gluten is now allowed on the Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse but she says sprouted grains are ok so I will put some of this deliciousness on a toasted Ezekiel English muffin with some fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes. It is so delicious and by far my favorite flavor combination!

This is a nice creamy batch of mashed cauliflower. Can't go wrong with this stuff. Seasoned with nooch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

Finally, some raw zucchini pasta with marinara sauce. Yum!

OK that's all for now. I'm hoping to get to the grocery store on Monday so hopefully I'll have a haul for you next week. We'll see though, who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us!

Hope you've all had a great week and are staying warm! Have a great night and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Throwback Tuesdays - Uncooking with Pecans!

Hey everyone! I hope all of my fellow Northeastern friends are doing ok in this shitstorm snowstorm. I left work at 3:00 today and my 7 minute commute took me a half hour. It was like a giant slip and slide outside, it was pretty scary actually. Even worse when my windshield froze over directly in front of my face. Very awesome.

Now I'm cozy at home and here to post another Throwback recipe! The post I chose today is actually a 3-in-1 recipe for my raw pecan pie truffles, dip and cereal puffs. I'm actually going to just copy and paste the entire post over here because you'll get Isobelle's recipe for raw cocoa puffs as a bonus! We must keep that recipe active as well since it's so yummy!

OK, here it is!

After the great response I got from the Raw Cocoa Puffs that I made using Isobelle’s recipe, I decided to contact her to see if she would mind if I just posted the recipe here for you. She said yes of course because she is a total sweetheart and also that she misses everyone :) She also suggested that I try playing with the flavors to create new puffed cereal flavor combos and I IMMEDIATELY thought of one flavor – maple pecan AKA pecan pie!! More on that later.
First, here is Isobelle’s amazing Raw Cocoa Puff Recipe:
Raw Cocoa Puffs (Isobelle’s Recipe in her words):
(Serves 2)
 1/2 cup almonds, ground
4 dried plums (or dates, but I recently discovered I’m allergic)
3 tbsp. cacao/cocoa
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. softened coconut oil
1/8 tsp. sea salt
 Grind the almonds, sea salt and cacao in a blender or food processor until a fine meal forms. Add in the dried plums/dates, maple syrup and coconut oil – blend again until everything begins to stick together.
The ingredients should form a ball of dough in your food processor.
 (This part takes a long time – but it’s so worth it!)
Take a small piece of the dough and roll it into a ball in your palms. Now, repeat 30, 40, 50 times maybe. It depends on how big or small you make your cocoa puffs. This is a great exercise for practicing patience.
 Dehyrating Method:
Place the balls on your dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 3.5-4 hours. If they aren’t crunchy enough for you by the end of that time, increase to 5 hours.
Sounds amazing right?! Well I decided to take Isobelle’s advice to try and come up with new flavors and combined two of my favorite flavors: maple and pecan. The result tasted EXACTLY like pecan pie!! The dates and maple syrup combine and create an amazing caramel like taste. So delicious!
I’m going to give you the recipe for the “dough” and three ways to use it. Because I love you all that much :) I call it mostly raw because from what I understand maple syrup isn’t totally raw? I’m totally over that and fine with it ;)
(Mostly) Raw Pecan Pie “Dough”
1 1/2 cups chopped raw pecans
4 pitted medjool dates
Scant 1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
Grind pecans, cinnamon and sea salt in your food processor until it forms a very fine meal. You can leave it a little chunky if you prefer though. Add dates and maple syrup and process until it forms a ball of dough. Your dough will be sticky but should be fully combined.
So here is where we get creative. This recipe is really simple and really versatile and I’m going to show you a trio of preparations. Up first is the puff cereal form inspired by Isobelle!
Pecan Pie Puffs
All you do for the Pecan Pie Puffs is follow the directions in Isobelle’s recipe for rolling out little puffs. It will be tedious work but the resulting cereal will be totally worth it! I dehydrate mine at 104 degrees and it has taken way longer than 5 hours probably because the dough is so sticky. Mine has been going for almost 7 hours already and I’m going to leave it overnight to dry and crisp up. Hopefully it’s not over dried! I tried one half dehydrated puff and it was amazing!
Pecan Pie Dip/Spread
The second “preparation” is to leave the dough as is! This stuff is an amazing dip for apples, graham crackers, ginger snaps, bananas, pretzels… you get the point. Yum!
Pecan Pie Truffles!!
Yeah I did it. FINALLY. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve wanted to make Pecan Pie Truffles and it finally came together without me even realizing it! I took some of the dough and refrigerated it for about an hour and a half so it would stiffen up a bit. I simply rolled it into a ball and then rolled the truffle in chopped pecans. This makes it look pretty and also helps you hold the truffle without getting very sticky. I store these in the fridge to keep them firm but they are equally yummy at room temp (and it mimics the gooeyness of pecan pie!).
Isn’t it pretty?! You can get away with making these truffles small too because they are sweet and decadent. But guess what! No guilt!! It doesn’t get any better than that!
Thank you so much Isobelle for allowing me to share your amazing recipe and for inspiring me to get back into the kitchen and create a recipe! You are awesome :)

So there you have it. A (mostly) raw, healthier version of a pecan pie. It is so silly that I’m so proud of a recipe that has 5 ingredients but I just love how it came out.
Ok my friends, so that was my Throwback recipe for today! I hope you try it because it is really really delicious! Everyone that is being screwed over by the snow and cold please stay warm, dry and safe.  We already have several inches on the ground and the worst is supposed to happen overnight. Stay safe my friends!

Friday, January 17, 2014

CSD Cleanse Update & Another Throwback Recipe

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well! This will probably be a quick post on my end because I'm exhausted but I just wanted to pop in and show you a few meals I've been eating on this cleanse as well as share an old recipe that I've been enjoying this week too. But I figured I'd start with a quick grocery haul :)

Shredded coconut, raw almonds (VaVaBars anyone?!), fresh dolmas (!!!!!!) and some mushroom broth.

2 HUGE, beautiful bunches of swiss chard on sale 2/$5, a huge container of spring mix, bananas, cauliflower, broccoli, ginormous carrots and gourmet blend of mushrooms.

And some meals:

When I have time to juice I start off my day with some green juice. My favorite one is Kris Carr's Morning Glorious juice which has romaine, kale, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and broccoli stems. I'm not a huge fan of veggie heavy juices as I have more of a sweet tooth but I really like this one.

Lots of big salads with beautiful, fresh veggies. The one above has greens, carrots, tomatoes and cucumber.

I found my adorable bento box and made some great lunches with veggie sticks (I'm telling you those carrots were HUGE), cucumber, dolmas and some hummus.

I made some zucchini pasta with steamed broccoli and Nana's Marinara but forgot to get a pic. I'll try and get one the next time I eat it because it was delicious!

Finally, on days that I don't have time to deal with juicing I go the quicker route and make a smoothie. For some reason I have an easier time drinking veg heavy green juices than smoothies so I make some concessions and make fruit smoothies and use Vega powder to bump up the nutrition and get 2 servings of greens as well as omegas and probiotics.

My favorite smoothie is my Good Morning, Sunshine Smoothie! This one came out extra thick and it was soooooo good! It was like soft serve for breakfast. I am loving my Ninja high speed blender, it is making my life so much easier.

I took this pic to show you the swirls of green from the Vega powder. I just thought it was fun :) 

So like I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to bring all of my old recipes over here and this is a great opportunity to bring this smoothie recipe over! Here it is!

1 small frozen banana
5 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
3/4 cup favorite plant milk or water
1 serving vanilla protein powder*
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
*I always use Vega One protein powder because it has my greens, probiotics and omegas included. No need to add spinach unless I want an extra green boost!

So there's my update! I hope you all have a great night and a great start to your weekend tomorrow. I have one more day of work until freedom and I can't wait. It'll be nice to be able to relax and not worry about getting up and running around.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Cauliflower Madness!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well. I'm loving being back on the Crazy Sexy Diet cleanse again. I feel good and happy and most importantly.... I feel INSPIRED! Inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook and create recipes and I haven't felt inspired in a long time. It's a great feeling and I'm really happy that I decided to make this switch.

I am planning on updating you on my meals and such tomorrow but for today I decided to post the first installment of my "throwback" series. I have a bunch of recipes posted on my other blog that will go away when the domain name runs out and I don't like that so I decided that I'll bring them over here. I'm going to do it slowly so I don't bombard you all with a bunch of recipes over a few days. So for the next few weeks or months (however long it takes) I'm going to have Throwback Tuesday and Throwback Thursday posts where I bring over a recipe from the old blog. That way they'll still be around when I lose that domain.

I decided to start with two of my most popular recipes... my Cheesy Cauliflower Mash/Patties and Pasta with Cauliflower Cream Sauce.

I decided to take a stab and veganizing this recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes.
Don’t they look delicious?! Let me tell you, the flavor packed into these little patties is incredible. I strayed from the original recipe just a bit but it came out amazing. They can be served as a mash as well and would probably be easier that way. Yum!
Cheesy Cauliflower Patties
2 cups cauliflower, chopped into large florets
1/2 cup cheddar Daiya shreds (I used Mozzarella because it was all I could find and it tasted great too)
1 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds (you can sub bread crumbs if you like)
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1. Cook cauliflower in boiling water until tender. This should take 10-15 minutes.
2. Drain the cauliflower then mash while still warm. Stir in the rest of your ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Form the mixture into patties and add to pan. Cook until brown then flip and cook other side. Enjoy!
*Note – My patties did fall apart a little bit since there isn’t too much of a binder in there. They are very delicate so handle with care. I recommend making small patties that will flip easily with a spatula. If they fall apart they will be just as delicious! Or, you can just skip the whole patty process and just serve the mash as is. I’d recommend heating the mixture over a medium heat just to make sure the cheese has melted. Yum!

This recipe came to be because I still had some cauliflower mash left and decided to get crazy with it and turn it into a “cream” sauce for pasta! I used to love fettucini alfredo and thought this would be a fun, healthy version of it!
Check out this gorgeous bowl of creamy pasta! I used gluten free angel hair pasta but you can use whatever you like. I’m just an angel hair girl :)
Pasta With Cauliflower “Cream” Sauce
1 serving pasta of choice (with some cooking water reserved)
1/2 cup cheesy cauliflower mash (see above)
1/2 cup steamed spinach (and other veggies of choice)
salt, pepper, garlic to taste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
2. Heat cheesy cauliflower mash in a small saucepan. Thin sauce with pasta cooking liquid to desired consistency. I like mine thick and creamy. Add nutritional yeast and mix well.
3. Add veggies to sauce and add pasta last. Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.
This pasta is rich and creamy and decadent with absolutely none of the guilt! Definitely give this a try, I think you’ll like it!
So here is the first installment of my Throwback series! I hope you guys don't mind seeing these repeat recipes but I just wanted to get them here before they are gone... maybe it's my OCD haha. I'll be back tomorrow to show you some meals I've been eating on my cleanse. 
I hope you've all been having a great week! I'll see you tomorrow!!