Oh Veggie Burger, Oh Veggie Burger. . .

Oh Veggie Burger, Oh Veggie Burger. . .

“Oh Veggie Burger, Oh Veggie Burger. . . ” To the tune of Oh Christmas Tree.

Have you ever had one of those culinary moments when you had no idea what to make for dinner and decided to Iron Chef-it? Well, I do all the time! I was dying for a veggie burger but the more I read about all the preservatives and chemicals in our frozen foods, I feel I need to move further and further away from my frozen favorites. Moderation people, moderation.

I had How Sweat Eats veggie burger recipe pinned to my Pinterest board titled “Pin-Up Dolls: Food Addition” and decided it was time to adapt her recipe and dig in. Enjoy!

Sweet Chick Burgers

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, cut into quarters
1 bulb of garlic, roasted
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed in 4 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup vegan sour cream or vegan plain yogurt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
extra salt and pepper for seasoning cream

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

Caramelized onions, optional

4 gluten-free buns

Directions:
1. To roast garlic, see this tutorial.

2. Pierce potato all over with a fork and place on a paper towel, setting in the microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove, slice in half and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh.

3. In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in onion, spices, salt and pepper, minced fresh garlic, flaxseed, and flour. Mix together until combined, then place bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This helps firm the mixture up.

4. While mixture is chilling, combine sour cream with roasted garlic cloves, maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then set aside until ready to use.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 4 equal patties, then place in the skillet once hot. Since the mixture can be wet and messy, do not move until they are fully cooked and golden on one side! This takes about 5-6 minutes. Then, add more oil if needed (this really helps cook them) and flip burgers very gently. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Toast buns if desired.

6. Assemble by topping burgers with roasted garlic cream, cranberries, and green onions. I added caramelized onion after the picture was taken and it was AMAZING!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Heaven!

We did it! We have made it through Thanksgiving and are now on to Christmas! This is such a glorious time of year full of twinkling lights, cold weather, spending time with family,  and unhealthy treats. Wait, unhealthy treats? But, what about healthy treats? Yeah, I’m that girl. The girl who stares at a box of peppermint bark and asks “How can I make this healthy and good for you?” Still working on that one.

I am a savory gal. I would take a veggie burrito over chocolate cake ANY day of the week. But, it’s Christmas and my family (and me) deserves a sweet treat this season. Now that I went predominately gluten-free and still using my vegan superpowers, sweets are expensive and generally pretty dry. I have been dying to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, so I did some research and came up with these delicious sweet treats. No gluten. No dairy. No bullshit. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and sugars. Set aside.

3.  Combine the coconut oil, vanilla extract and pumpkin and mix until combined. Sift in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Roll tablespoon sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Flatten with a silicon spatula. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

You Makin’ Me Bacon?

I love to cook. Excuse me, I mean I LOVE to cook. Some people are dancers and some are cooks. I am the latter. With Thanksgiving being next week and all I have started the cookathon early. With how much I dance with my spatulas and pot and pans there is no way this culinary holiday only lasts one day in my kitchen. The last few days I have made butternut squash soup, vegan cauliflower steaks, thanksgiving rice, and vegan stuffing. It’s like being a kid in the candy store only this kid is in the produce department.

I decided to change it up tonight and take a Michael Myers type stab at my own bacon. Look, I may be vegan but I’m not stupid. . .  Bacon was delicious. The crisp, and the crackle, and the smokey flavor. My taste buds are feeling frisky! While I was in San Diego last month I had the pleasure of staying with my dear friends and workout soul sisters Brandi and Rose Mahan. Rose made her very own vegan bacon and from the moment she started cooking it was love at first sniff. I decided to recreate her masterpiece and came pretty close with my Fackin Bacon B.S.T. (bacon, spinach, tomato or big savory tasty).

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Ingredients

1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and dried with a towel
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
2 tablespoons vegan brown sugar (or regular)
2 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1-2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions

  1. Slice the tofu with a cheese slicer (you can carefully try a peeler if you do not have a cheese slicer). You should have around 25 slices.
  2. Mix together all other ingredients except coconut oil in a medium bowl. Transfer to a shallow dish adding all the tofu slices.
  3. For best results, let marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. I made these instantly and they were still very tasty.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and allow to heat up. Add the bacon slices, cooking each side until a dark golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve hot or cold!

Sunday Pumpkin Sunday!

My Sunday started out at the South Pearl Farmer’s Market. Interesting to learn, Farmer’s Markets in Colorado close the week after Halloween since they get this thing called “cold weather.” The San Diegan in me was perplexed! A small price to pay to get the true fall/winter experience.

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I was fortunate enough to meet the man who makes the pastas at Pastamore. He recommended the gluten-free vegan Chipotle Fettuccine. Chipotle peppers mixed in pasta? This called for a celebration! I decided a white sauce would compliment the chipotle and if I am to get the true fall experience than I better add pumpkin.

Pumpkin Alfredo (I adapted this recipe from Veggieful.)

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Ingredients

¼ cup vegan margarine
¼ cup minced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup corn flour
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin

Directions
1. In a pot on medium to high heat, add the margarine, onion and garlic.
2. Sauté for two minutes until the onion is transparent
3, Add the corn flour and stir until it forms a paste.
4, Add the almond milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pumpkin. Whisk to combine.
5. Reduce heat to low and whisk for a few more minutes or so until the sauce has thickened. Be careful not to let the sauce burn on the bottom of the pot,
6. Take off the heat and cool.  (The sauce will thicken even more when cooled)
 Serve on your favorite gluten free pasta or on pizza with a sprinkle of basil!

12 Days of Inspiration!

Christmas was always the most magical time of year for my family. Just second to Halloween (and when I mean just second we are talking one fell just before the finish line type second). I had always heard stories of the one year decades prior to my existence that my family celebrated Christmas in July and how fun it was. Last year on July 23, my fiance Chris decided we would celebrate Christmas in July and I nearly fainted. MY DREAMS! It was fabulous and strange. Fabulous in that you are getting to listen to Christmas music and string up lights and strange because it’s hotter than heck and the stores aren’t playing music. It is an experience all should partake in.

 

Well we are going for round 2. Clearly it left a sweet enough taste in my mouth (peppermint bark here I come!) In conjunction with my Inspirational Eve efforts I am launching the 12 Days of Inspiration. The 12 days of Christmas but for motivation/inspiration. Everything from recipes, quotes, exercises, to all around feel good messages. Here is to 12 days of simply making the most of it. That is my goal for every day.

12 Days of Inspiration

 

Big Hugs,

 

Inspirational Eve-

Are You Ready For Some Football Food?

Super Bowl Sunday was always a day to eat and be loud in our household. My goal for 2013’s Super Bowl Sunday was to show you can eat delicious fresh snacks even on game day.

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Kicking off the game with homemade nacho cheese dip and guacamole makes everyone feel like a winner. As much as I know I could eat the entire bag of chips, I find it much more pleasurable for my stomach to use a combination of chopped veggie intermixed with chips. That may I’m energized for the entire game.

I got this recipe from Cafe Janae as well as Landry Fuller. Wonderful wonderful!

Vegan Cheese Sauce

1 large red bell pepper (roasted)
1/4 cup water
1 cup raw cashews (soaked over night and rinsed well)
1 Tablespoon Tahini
3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 T Raw Onion
1 Clove Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.

 

Inspirational Eve’s Guacamole

1 large or 2 small Haas avocados seeded and peeled

1 roma tomato, cut in half

1 tbs onion

Juice from 1 lime or 1/2 of 1  lemon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded

1 tbs cilantro

1 clove garlic

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Makes 1 cup.

 

Snacks are great but eventually you will need some substance. Especially if you throw the football like we do. Tonight I decided on Pulled Porto sandwiches with pesto and steamed carrots and fresh cucumber slices.

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This was quite a treat for me as I do not eat bread very often and I cannot remember the last time I ate white bread. It was tasty!

Pulled Porto Sandwiches

2 portobello mushrooms, rinsed and slices into 1/2 inch strips

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbs Braggs Liquid Aminos

Pistachio Pesto see recipe below

1/4 cup yellow onion, sliced into rings

Buns

2-4 tbs Vegenaise

Lettuce or spinach

 

1. For pulled porto marinade-Combine mushrooms with olive oil and liquid aminos in a storage container. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

2. Heat a nonstick medium skillet on high heat Add mushrooms and 1 tbs of marinade liquid. Discard the rest of the marinade. Saute for 3 minutes. Add onions and and cook 2 more minutes. Take skillet off heat.

4. To assemble sandwiches- On 1 side of bun spread 1-2 tbs Vegenaise. On other bun spread a generous amount of pistachio pesto. Scoop half of portobello mixed on the bottom bun and cover with lettuce. Place other bun on top and enjoy!

Pistachio Pesto

I came up with this recipe because I did not have basil but I did have cilantro and the closest thing I had to pine nuts were pistachios.

1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and stems trimmed off

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled

2 tbs nutritional yeast

1 tbs lemon juice

2 garlic cloves

1/2-1 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

 

1. In a food processor or blender combine all ingredients up to ground pepper and blend until smooth. You may need to scrap the sides down a few times to ensure everything is incorporated.

2. With food processor or blender on, slowly pour in the olive oil. Let the processor blend for about a minute.

 

WINNING!

 

 

 

 

Popeye Was On To Something!

The Incredible Hulk of the vegetable family are the greens and Mister Spinach here is no exception. Iceberg lettuce needs to be shunned like you would if someone asked you if you want to drink battery acid with your dinner. Okay, maybe a little extreme but iceberg is nowhere near as nutrient dense as spinach.

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I recently read spinach can aid in bleeding gums which blew my mind and my fear of a bloody mouth. It also slows the degenerative process, and a great source of calcium. Popeye downed his spinach thanks to it being packed with iron, riboflavin, Vitamins B6, A,C, E,K, as well as calcium and magnesium. It can fight against breast cancer and skin diseases, it’s high in folate (researchers say even cooked it’s beneficial), prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Popeye, eat it up! Just get it fresh and not from a can.

Dinner and Dessert

Anyone who has known me long enough to taste my kitchen creations knows how passionate I am about cooking. I have not lost my charm in the last year but since I have been living with my fiance while he takes care of his ill mom, I have not had a kitchen to call my own. I cook in other people’s kitchens, but for someone who loves cooking, there is nothing like your own kitchen. I have had the pleasure to cook in the Conscious Cook’s kitchen lately and have realized as long as there are ingredients, a sink,somewhere to chop, and a heating source than I have a kitchen. With that being said, tonight I walked into the kitchen much like a cowboy would approaching a draw-anxious and ready to win this one. This was the outcome:

Potato and Leek Soup

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This recipe is vegan but can be made nonvegan by substituting vegan dairy alternatives with dairy products.

2 tbs vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 large leek, white part diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (I kept skin on for nutrient reasons), quartered

1 1/2 tbs white wine

3 cups vegetable stock

3 tbs nutritional yeast

2 tbs Vegenaise (soy-free)

1/4 cup almond milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

1. Melt butter in a large sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for four minutes.

2. Add leeks and cook for three minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.

3. Add potatoes and white wine to the onion mixture for one minute.

4. Add broth and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Working in batches, ladle soup into a food processor or blender and process until creamy. Continue until the entire soup has a creamy consistency. Serve immediately and smile with satisfaction.

 

Homemade Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

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Landry Fuller of Fuller Living had us make vegan ice cream in our class this Saturday and I knew I had to come home and make my own variation. The one we made had a very strong banana flavor so  I changed it slightly. I can’t wait to make chocolate!

2 bananas, frozen (peeled and chopped before you freeze)

1/3 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Adam Parker’s homemade Strawberry Balsamic Jam (Parker family secret recipe)

 

Mix all four ingredients in a food processor or blender for a few minutes until creamy. Freeze for at least 3 hours and enjoy!

 

 

Watch Your Language!!

I have been interested in  personal development long before I got the job at Tony Robbins. You can see this by my before pictures and when you find out I am an ex drug user. It wasn’t until I listened to several of Tony’s products and began to hear the repetition of his effective tools that I noticed drastic (positive) shifts in my personal physiology. That mixed with my wonderful coach Shasheen-who aids in how I speak about myself and my life. Growing up we are reminded to “watch your language” yet we are only reminded of this when we use a four letter word. What about when we refer to ourselves time and time again as being an idiot, a fat ass, or simply telling ourselves “I can’t.” This language we use about ourselves and the situations we encounter in life manifest into our belief system which in turn shapes who we are as individuals. A higher state of consciousness is something we as humans should strive for. We allow outside interference to manipulate how we feel far too often. Learning that I (you) can literally shift every emotion like you would shift gears with a manual transmission has been one of the most valuable tools I have ever accepted into my life. Hearing about this and agreeing with it, however, is far different from implementing it. The great news? All it takes is consciousness and the ability to redirect the old thought.

This task takes conscious practice and the willingness to lead an extraordinary life. There will always be road blocks, speed bumps, and unforeseen situations which are all apart of the journey we call our life. Seeing these unexpected events as lessons is the start to leading a happier life. The language we associate to these events also play a major role in how you will perceive them. Resisting what makes you uncomfortable only fuels the fear, insecurity  or judgement we have towards things. How different would your life be if you exchanged judgement with curiosity? This has opened my eyes to far more opportunities in the last month than I ever imagined. Starting this new school of thought now by asking yourself “What can this situation teach me?”

 

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Organic Dynamic

I have had the pleasure the last few weeks to sou chef for the Conscious Cook here in San Diego.

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The opportunity to cook for others in a public setting has finally come! Landry, the head chef and Head Coach of Fuller Living, talked about the importance of buying local organic food.

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This is no new idea to me but she mentioned the importance of buying local produce from the USA due to the different organic regulations between each country. I honestly never really cared about the country my produce came from except when I would see Taiwan or Brazil on the fruit sticker and would then live vicariously-wondering what life must be like there.

While shopping at Sprouts today I was far more conscious of where my produce came from thanks to Landry. I always suggest buying local, but being educated about what you ingest is absolutely imperative to your health. Here is a helpful cheat sheet if you are not familiar with the dirty dozen and the clean 15.

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Buy organic when you can. Organic, depending on where you go, cost a little more but start looking at your health as an investment. What is more expensive, your grocery bill now or your hospital stays later?