Category Archives: eats

pizza, please.

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let’s be honest – there aren’t too many things in this world that are much better than pizza. Warm, cold, deep dish, thin crust, in whatever form you may choose, there’s really no disputing that pizza is an all-time favorite. So, what if pizza somehow magically became healthy? Or, at the very least, mostly healthy? Boom. Done. 

A combination of a couple different recipes that were floating around the world wide web, plus the contents of a very weirdly-stocked refrigerator, led me to this wonderful, somewhat Mediterranean, pizza. Gluten free, extremely light and pure on the ingredients list, and also, you know, absolutely delicious. The ideal meal for these beautiful end-of-summer evenings.

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ingredients

for the crust:

 a head of cauliflower

1 cup of almond flour 

2 eggs

1 tbsp thyme

a sprinkling of freshly ground salt and pepper

for the toppings: 

1/2 of a large eggplant

1 can of chickpeas

2 fresh tomatoes (or canned tomato paste)

a large handful of kale

2 cloves of garlic

 

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directions

in a food processor, mix together the cauliflower, eggs, and almond flour. When fully processed, spread the mixture evenly over a pizza pan lightly coated in olive oil. Top with a tiny bit of salt, pepper, and a smattering of thyme. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and let the crust bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the crust is baking, wash the tomatoes thoroughly and blend them in a blender or food processor with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil, and then prepare the rest of the toppings (chop the eggplant, grate the garlic, and wash the chickpeas). Once the crust is finished, take it out of the oven, spread the sauce out evenly with a spoon, and start tossin’ on toppings, sprinkling the garlic on last. Put it back in the oven, and let it bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until your kitchen smells like absolute heaven. Let cool, and then devour. In the rare event that a small bit remains, it stores really well in the fridge for at least a day (it hasn’t lasted in mine any longer than that, but I assume it would be okay for a couple!)

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chocolate ice cream… for breakfast!

the greatest day of my life was probably the day that I realized that it was not only completely acceptable, but also actually healthy, to eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration – but still. The discovery of the smoothie bowl was a pretty serious game changer. So, for those of you who aren’t currently eating chocolate ice cream first thing in the morning, hold tight, because your morning routine is about to get rocked. There are a million different types of “smoothie bowls” you can make – the idea behind it is essentially just a slightly less liquid smoothie that is served in a bowl instead of a glass. Surely there’s some impressive psychological reason for why eating something with a spoon out of a bowl makes it much more filling than drinking it from a glass, but I just know that where regular morning smoothies never seem to fill me up, a thick and delicious smoothie bowl is always enough to get me through the morning. So why a smoothie bowl, instead of just a regular plate of fresh fruit? One of the reasons is that you can sneak all sorts of healthy additions into a smoothie bowl, things that would be a litttle bit more noticable when added to a plate of fruit – like greens, for example. There aren’t too many people out there who would be stoked to see a massive pile of kale on top of their chopped strawberries and blueberries, but in a smoothie bowl, you can dump all kinds of kale, spinach, and even chard if you’re feeling saucy, and you won’t be able to taste it at all (just be careful about coloring… sometimes too much green can leave you with a really weird looking bowl. That’s why I love the chocolate ones – it makes sense for them to be a slightly questionable brown shade!) Also, you can add some really nutritious and wonderful toppings to your blended bowl that would be a little less easy to get onto a regular plate – bee pollen, hemp seeds, goji berries, even some maca powder or chia seeds. Literally limitless options here, and you can tailor it to exactly what your morning holds: feeling a little sleepy? Add in a spoonful of maca powder. Have a super-intense workout planned? Sprinkle on some hemp seeds. Need a little extra sustainable energy? Toss in some raisins. The list goes on and on. Or just sprinkle cacao nibs on top of it, because who doesn’t need a little extra chocolate? The main point is that you have so many more options to play around with a smoothie bowl, and it offers a wonderful way to fuel and nourish your body in the mornings, while still making for a really delicious breakfast.

My favorite smoothie bowl recipe is the one pictured below, which is just a simple chocolate-banana bowl, but there are hundreds of different recipes and mixtures you can throw together. There is usually a base of frozen bananas, but after that, the possibilities are absolutely endless. This one consists of:

1 1/2 frozen banana

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp maca powder

1/2 cup hemp milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 handful of kale (frozen optional)

1 handful of spinach

1 dried, pitted Medjool date

to make it, simply toss all of these things into a blender, and let it blend until smooth. Then pour it into a bowl and add toppings! I put in walnuts, bee pollen, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, and goji berries, and sprinkled it all with a little bit of cinnamon. Happy breakfasting!

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the scoop on: coconut oil

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cute… but why? Is coconut oil really everything that everyone hypes it up to be?

Yes – and while the coconut oil I just put in my hair to repair it from a day at the beach sinks in, let me tell you exactly why and how coconut oil can be your new best friend:

1. it’s awesome for your skin! Coconut oil is one of the best skin moisturizers out there… and, what’s better: you know this one is all-natural, chemical free, etc etc. It has loads of antibacterial properties, and can even be used to treat acne (yes, oil to treat acne! Bizarre, but true.) Summer’s the best time to get on the coconut oil train, because in addition to making you smell like you just got off of a tropical island, the oil is also packed full of antioxidants that will help protect your skin from free radical damage caused by the sun! And to get the full range of skin benefits from this miracle oil, don’t just stick to using it alone as a moisturizer – mix it with olive oil for a facial wash, mix it with baking soda for a facial scrub, mix it with honey as a face mask, or scoop it into a little tin and use as a pre-scented lip balm!

2. it’s even better for your hair – and my super damaged beach hair can currently attest to that! It provides a great treatment for dry scalps, but is also incredibly moisturizing for hair, helping it retain its natural moisture and strengthening your strands. Let it soak into your roots and ends for a half hour, and then shampoo out. You can also use just a tiny bit of coconut oil after washing your hair, smoothing it over little flyaways to help fight the summer frizz.

3. Coconut oil is the ultimate DIY tool. Seriously. Not to get too hippie on you here, but in addition to using the stuff for conditioner and moisturizer, you can use it to make homemade deodorant, toothpaste, and even sunscreen. I kid you not. For the deodorant, you just need 3 tbsp of coconut oil, 4 tbsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of shea butter, and a little bit of your favorite essential oil. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil, then add in the baking soda and oil and mix well. The recipes for toothpaste and sunscreen are just as simple – this oil is pretty much one stop shopping for self care.

4. Not just for beauty, coconut oil has a pretty important place around the house too – its a wonderful way to keep wooden spoons and cutting boards conditioned and treated, just apply generously and give it time to sink into the wood. It can be used to lubricate squeaky hinges, unstick stuck zippers, treat and clean leather, and season cast iron cookware.

5. And last, but certainly not least, coconut oil is incredible for you to eat. You can use it to flavor coffee or tea, dress salads, pop popcorn, cook in, or just add it to smoothies… or really anything. It’s been proven to help maintain a balanced body weight, keep your heart healthy, fight infections, boost digestion and metabolism, and it can significantly reduce your hunger, improve your blood cholesterol levels, and boost brain function. The fatty acids from coconut oil help the body absorb other nutrients too, so in addition to offering its own benefits, it’ll help you get more from everything else you eat! It’s no wonder that people in countries where lots of coconuts are eaten are some of the most healthy in the world… this stuff is an absolute miracle!

annnnnnd, finally, because there’s no way that this post could make you anything less than incredibly psyched on coconut oil, here’s an incredible coconut cookie recipe that will let you start reaping all of these wonderful benefits as soon as possible! Not much better than a cookie that’s actually healthy, right?

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sweet tooth adventures: fourth of july pie-lets

happy (almost) fourth of July, lovely friends! In honor of our nation’s day of independence, here is a so-healthy-you-could-eat-ten (oops, I did) recipe for some red, white, and blue mini-pies… probably one of the most simple things I’ve ever made, and with a very low ingredient count! Perfect for your picnic/barbecue/miscellaneous patriotic celebration tomorrow evening.

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ingredients:

2 cups of walnuts

10 pitted dates

2 tbps coconut oil

plain So Delicious coconut yogurt

fresh strawberries & blueberries

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directions: 

put the walnuts, coconut oil, and dates into a food processor, and let process until smooth(ish). Meanwhile, toss one large container of coconut yogurt into your ice cream maker (it works just as well as regular yogurt instead of frozen yogurt, but I never really want to pass up a chance to make healthy fro-yo, soooo…), and let it churn until it’s a thicky, creamy consistency. Mine took about 20 minutes. While it’s churning, take the crust mix out of the food processor and mold it into tiny pie crust shapes, and stick in the freezer. After an hour of freezing, pull the crust out and pop your pie-lets out of the muffin tin, and once you have them on the serving platter, scoop your fro-co-yo into the crust and decorate with some fresh and patriotic berries. Have an absolutely fantastic fourth!

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* orignal recipe is from the incredible Green Kitchen Stories, aka one of the best food blogs ever *

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link love

happy tuesday morning, wonderful people! Here are a few interesting and beautiful things to bring some brightness to your cloudy morning:

this article, which is all about the different stresses we hold, and how to STOP doing this.

read this too, because you definitely need another excuse to go to the beach right now… weekend trip, anyone?

– are you eating all of these? all day every day? probably not… but sneak some in every now and then 😉

read, read, read.

– one of the prettiest necklaces I’ve ever seen.

– some (more) reasons to get outside and love this weather.

this is interesting… drink you kombucha, but also exercise for a healthy gut?

these look like a perfect summer treat.

– females in the triad: need something cool to train for? why not sign up for a sprint triathlon?!

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sweet tooth adventures: coconut milk ice cream

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Summer means ice cream. I mean, duh. Gelato, custard, sorbet, or just plain, great, creamy ice cream. There’s something this time of year (hm, probably all the warm sunshine?) that makes everyone scream for ice cream. So what does that mean for those of us who are desperately trying to mindfully nourish our bodies, and avoid as much of the sugars and the dairys as we possibly can? Fear not – healthy ice cream is not only a very real thing, but also super easy to make… and, it’s unbelievably delicious!

 

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk (I like to use light)

1-2 egg yolks

1 tbsp honey

+ whatever flavorings you choose (see bottom of the post)

Directions:

bring the coconut milk to a light boil, and then, stirring very thoroughly, add in the yolk/yolks. I generally tend to stick with one egg, but it’s a little thicker and more creamy with two. Make sure to stir very carefully at this point, so that the egg doesn’t cook into piece-y chunks, and slowly bring the mixture up to a full boil. Once it starts boiling, bring the heat down to a medium temperature, add in the honey and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour everything into your ice cream maker, and let it churn for ten or so minutes, until you’ve got a bowl full of creamy, delicious goodness.

Flavors:

mint chocolate chip: mix two tsp of peppermint extract into the cooling liquid. Once it’s completely cool, add in chocolate chips.

– vanilla bean: scrape one vanilla bean into the cooling mixture, and add a tsp of vanilla extract. Option to add a little more honey for this one.

– chocolate & cinnamon: stir 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of cinnamon into the coconut milk before adding the eggs.

– blackberry honey: scrape a little bit of vanilla bean into the mixture as you heat it. Once it’s cooled and ready  to pour into the ice cream maker, add in 1 cup of fresh blackberries and 2 tbsp of honey.

 

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the scoop on: overnight oats

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even with all of the research done surrounding the importance of big, full, nutrient-rich breakfasts and all of the findings that highlight this as the “most important meal of the day,” it is still too easy to altogether skip breakfast, or, at the very least, rush out the door with a Larabar in hand, and no immediate plans to eat anything more substantial. We’ve all been there, and when it’s the choice between a well-balanced breakfast and a shower, or, more importantly, an extra twenty minutes of sleep, it’s hard to vote for the breakfast. Here’s where the little miracle called overnight oats enters the scene. Oats are a ridiculously great way to start the day – alone, they are packed with a solid profile of micronutrients, are fiber-rich and filling without being overly calorie dense, and also taste really delicious (when prepared properly… forget that hotel breakfast oat-mush, or the cardboardy microwave oats…). They keep your heart healthy, stabilize your blood sugar, AND are naturally gluten-free (!!).  With the added benefit of chia seeds, coconut milk, and some frozen berries, this little mason jar contains a full serving of everything your body could ever think to want at the beginning of a day. And the best part? It all takes five minutes to prepare, THE NIGHT BEFORE. Boom. It’s the easiest thing ever in the world.

So how?

Take a small to medium sized mason jar, and fill it halfway with dry oats. Cover the dry oats in water, until about 3/4 of the jar is full. Add in a little pour of coconut or almond milk, and a spoonful of chia seeds. At this point, you can add in frozen berries, cinnamon, raisins, even honey… whatever you usually crave on your oatmeal. Once that’s done, throw the lid on and pop it in the fridge. By morning, the oats and chia seeds will have soaked into a filling and delicious breakfast. Voila! Literally, a  stress-free morning in a jar.

 

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fast food, done right

One of the biggest excuses I hear people give when they explain why they don’t eat healthier is that they don’t have the time to. And I’ll admit, that’s valid – a whole foods, plant based diet usually does require a lot more thought, preparation, and time than the average American diet. Even though it is absolutely always worth a little extra effort to try to eat clean, and in a way that benefits your body the most, it’s always nice to discover little gems like this “one & done” salad, that make eating clean a possibility even on a tight schedule. I’m sure the idea of baking an array of vegetables in a muffin tin is in no way a unique one, but it was one that was born out of necessity for me – a series of back-to-back completely packed days left me without a clean baking pan, and without the time to clean it, or really do much else in the way of preparing food. So, I opened up my fridge to find anything that could possibly fit into a muffin tin, and baked it all. I also added in a little bit of quinoa, because I keep a large (sealed) bowl of cooked quinoa in my fridge almost all the time, for situations like this, and of course some sauteed kale, because why not? Fortunately, the combination was delicious, even though it is super simple.

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“one & done salad”

ingredients:

1 large brown egg

4 large stalks of asparagus

2 cups of broccoli

1 lemon, or lime, or both

2 large handfuls of kale

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup quinoa

1 tbsp capers

to make:

crack the egg into one of the muffin slots, and add in the veggies to the others (pictured above). Drizzle a little bit of the olive oil on the veggies, and pop in the oven – I baked it at 375, for about 15 minutes. The timing on this one is completely dependent on how runny you like your egg, though – if you give it less time, the egg will be much more yolk-y, and makes for almost a built-in salad dressing… food for thought. While the egg and veggies are baking, turn the stove to medium-high, and sauté the kale in the remaining olive oil, until it’s soft (usually 2-3 minutes). Add everything into a bowl, and if you happen to have cooked quinoa on hand (or are preparing this meal in less of a rush, and have time to actually cook quinoa…), toss that in too. Add in the capers, a dash of sea salt, and the juice from your preferred citrus, and voila! Fast food, done right.

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springing into spring juicing

green juice. Juice in general. Cold-pressed, non-pasturized, juice fasting, juice feasting, cleansing, detoxing –  all of it is all the rage right now in the health world, and with good reason. I must admit, I was incredibly skeptical at first, and dragged my feet mightily before jumping on the juicing bandwagon. I heard all the negatives: it’s costly, messy, time consuming, and nowhere close to worth the effort, and I let those convince me that it simply wasn’t worth the time. But oh, how wrong I was. True, my grocery bill may have taken a small jump, and my mornings might require a few extra minutes of preparation and clean up time, but oh man, how incredibly worth the effort these little glasses of freshly pressed vegetable juice are. This afternoon, I found myself (as often happens) lagging in a way that even tea could not fix, so I wandered down to the kitchen and whipped up a quick glass of kale/lemon/cilantro/celery juice (pictured below), and I swear, sipping it was like a shock to my brain, in the best way possible. I felt awake, alert, and layers of cloudiness built up by the day seemed to simply melt away.  Green, lemony heaven.

 

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Now that it’s finally spring (!!!), a season marked by a distinct sense of freshness, it seems like it’s time for an entire system reboot. It’s time for the shaking off of the dreary build ups of winter, both physically and emotionally, and the preparation for rebirth and renewal. Spring cleaning, for the heart, home, and body – and what better way to spring clean your body than by juicing? You don’t have to start drinking gallons of the stuff a day, and you don’t even have to do a juice cleanse. But adding a little bit of cold-pressed vegetable juice to your diet is one of the most amazing ways I can think of to really awaken and renew your body and mind for this season. It’s a great way to get in some concentrated nutrients, and an easy way to add greens and colorful veggies to your diet.

So, for those of you who have never played the juicing game before, I’ve shot a few of my favorite combinations to throw in the juicer, just to give you all some ideas! If these don’t sound quite up your alley, or if you’re already craving more, here are some great resources for juice recipes: rawsome vegan, green kitchen stories, and nutrition stripped.

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1 whole beet + beet greens, 2 lemons, 1 large orange, 1/1.5 apple, and a hefty slice of ginger root. 

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5-7 stalks of celery, 2 large carrots, 1 orange, 1 large lemon, a large chunk of ginger root + grated ginger root and cloves to top.

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4-6 big leaves of kale, 1 lemon, 1 apple, 4 stalks of celery, a large chunk of ginger root.

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seasonal foods: april

it’s april – the season of warm rain and freshly mowed grass, wearing shorts even when they’re not really quite necessary yet, and finally, a great selection of seasonal produce! As we segue into the warmer months, and are blessed enough to live in a state that has some incredible agriculture, I’ll be keeping a monthly list up on here of some of the beautiful, fresh, and seasonal eats that our beautiful earth gives us, as well as a smattering of accompanying recipes throughout the month, so you can best use those colorful beauties you pick up at the farmer’s market!

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some of the highlights that april has to offer us are:

artichokes

arugula

asparagus

avocado 

beets

broccoli

cauliflower

kale

onions (green)

peas

spinach

strawberries

so much fresh, healthy green and vibrant, beautiful red in there… I’m so excited to see all of the recipes this list can yield.

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