Chocolate Cake & A New Mantra

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I have been spring cleaning my life A.K.A. organizing my world. That means that I have also been doing some serious brainstorming for this here blog. In the next few months I plan on implementing some really exciting things and getting this party started. Other than that, I think I am finally getting a foothold on our latest move to Texas. There has been so much tumultuous decision making going on year after year, it feels good to drop some roots and feel emotionally and spiritually steady. All of the bluebonnets and wildflowers may be helping ….

A brilliant friend of mine once said, “the grass is greener where you water it”.

And that, my friends, is my current mantra. 

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slightly adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme

  1. preheat oven to 350º
  2. grease bundt pan (I used coconut oil because I am coconut obsessed)
  3. sift together flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, flax and salt
  4. add rosemary, lavender and cocoa nibs to dry mix
  5. grate two pears, cube one. add cubed pear to dry mix
  6. in a separate bowl, combine grated pears, vanilla, oil and coconut milk
  7. fold wet mixture into dry
  8. pour into bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes
  9. set aside and cool while making this delicious vegan ganache to drizzle on top
  10. decorate with lavender, rosemary, rosemary flowers & cocoa nibs

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Bright & Sprightly Pasta For Spring

spring pasta

So I’m a little late on celebrating the beginning of spring with an inspired recipe, but I’d like to join in on the fun. Honestly, I have been sitting on this one for a while. Have you met my friend, procrastination? 

truroots, garlic and pasta

But you can rest assured that this blog will soon be chock-full of spring recipes from now on because I am so in love with everything this season has to offer.

And now for the recipe at hand // this is a really great way to sneak green vegetables into a sexy spring pasta dish without feeling like your spaghetti has somehow morphed into a grassland of salad greens. I’m not dogging on salads, but sometimes I just really want a comforting plate of warm al dente pasta bathed in a creamy sauce.

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But let’s be real with each other … those types of pasta dishes are usually unnecessarily heavy and induce a food coma like no other, so why not keep it light, healthy, and energizing while still satisfying your creamy carbohydrate craving? Ya with me? I don’t want to blow your mind too much, but not only does this qualify as a sinfully delicious pasta dish but it is a toothsome example of clean eating at it’s finest. And gently cleansing at that. I went there. Now onto the recipe..

Bright & Sprightly Pasta
1 head of spinach, 1 handful of dandelion greens, 1 handful of kale – all lightly steamed
1 handful of fresh parsley
1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on your love affair with garlic)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 avocado
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. pink salt
1 cup coconut milk
8 oz. pasta (I used TruRoots gluten-free spaghetti)
1 champagne mango, sautéd and diced

  1. Boil the water for your pasta and get started on the rest while you’re waiting.
  2. Lightly steam your greens and then add all ingredients (aside from the mango and pasta) to a food processor. Whizz up that green goodness into a thick and creamy pasta sauce, making sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Dice your mango and add to a lightly oiled sauté pan over medium heat. The idea is to cook this just long enough to heat the mango!
  4. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Voilà! Add mango, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, finish with a touch of crushed red pepper and you’ve got yourself a meal.

 

 

Hamantaschen for Purim « Gluten-free & Vegan

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One year ago yesterday, I set out on a ten-day hiking adventure with a group of forty or so strangers in an unfamiliar land. It just so happened to also be my 28th birthday.

That country was Israel and those forty or so strangers quickly became close friends whose perspectives sculpted out such an undeniable experience of beauty and discovery surrounded by a breathtaking display of ocean / mountains / city / culture.

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So in honor of each one of those individuals, all of the incredible hummus, outdoor marketplaces, carob trees, camels, goats, and stray cats, the taste of real falafel, the almost sickening amount of halva ingested, pre-post-and during hike yoga, to the discovery of arak, fresh dates and za’atar, to the sea and the mountains, the colorful cities, and especially to eating salad for breakfast every damn day…

here is my recipe for vanilla poppy seed + cardamom apricot apple filled hamantaschen for the jewish holiday Purim.  

 

Cardamom Apricot Apple Filling

  • 3 small apples, shredded
  • 10 dried apricots, unsulfured
  • 12 medjool dates
  • 1 C. water
  • ¼ C. orange juice (I used freshly squeezed, any will do!)
  • zest from half an orange
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • ½ vanilla bean, insides scraped
  • pinch of pink salt
  1. Place water, OJ and medjool dates into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until dates are fully incorporated and there are no more lumps
  2. Transfer this mixture to a small saucepan
  3. Over medium heat add in your grated apples, apricots, vanilla, salt and cardamom then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to med/low and simmer until fruits are soft and have absorbed mostly all the liquid
  5. This may take 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes and keeping a close eye on making sure they do not burn
  6. Mash the fruits into an apple sauce-like consistency with a fork or potato masher, set aside

 

Vanilla Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 C. poppy seeds, ground in a spice or coffee grinder
  • 1 ¾ C. of coconut cream, or one 14 oz. can
  • 12 medjool dates
  • ¼ C. raisins
  • 1 vanilla bean, insides scraped
  • zest from half an orange
  • pinch of pink salt
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the ground poppy seeds into a saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until raisins are soft and plump
  3. Fold in the ground poppy seeds and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in blender
  4. This would be an awesome time to add some carob chips or cacao powder (which I most definitely will be doing next time around), and then blend everything into a thick vanilla poppy seed spread. Set aside for cooling

Gluten-Free + Vegan Hamantaschen

  • ¼ C. coconut flour
  • ½ C. amaranth flour
  • ½ C. rice flour (white or brown, depending on your taste and availability)
  • ¼ C. maple syrup
  • ¼ C. non-dairy yogurt (I used SoDelicious Coconut)
  • ¼ C. coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ tsp. pink salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the coconut, amaranth and rice flour together along with the salt
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk maple syrup, yogurt, melted coconut oil, vanilla and lemon zest
  4. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold everything together until a soft ball of cookie dough is formed
  5. Place ball of dough in freezer for 5-10 minutes
  6. Between two pieces of parchment paper and maybe a little bit of rice flour, roll the dough out to about ¼” thickness
  7. Use a circle cookie cutter or even the lid of a mason jar to cut out the base for your fillings.
  8. Scoop about one teaspoon of filling and plop onto the center of each cut-out
  9. Fold the hamantaschen about half way into the circle starting with the left side. Then fold the right side in the same manner. Now fold the bottom of the circle and lightly pinch the ends to form a triangle. I sprinkled a little bit of coconut sugar on top for added sweetness.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

Blood Orange Glazed Vanilla-Citrus Donuts « Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free + Vegan

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First off – Happy Valentine’s Day, loves!!

Today I wanted to go for a run and practice yoga, but that didn’t happen. Ever since leaving California two years ago, my yoga practice has lost its identity. The studios in New York were too expensive, too located on the other side of town, and too stocked up with inconvenient timed classes for my ever-changing work schedule. Not to mention, have you ever tried to find the right yoga studio? A place where the teachings, type of physical practice, balance between eastern/western philosophies really lined up with what you were looking for? It’s hard, and they are usually not right around the corner. Commuting from Brooklyn to wherever that studio may be (even if it’s still in Brooklyn) can take up half of your day. Plus, what if you have to head into work after that? Like, very soon after that. I don’t know about you, but I like to take a shower after a good yoga session and the thought of jumping onto the subway, heading home to shower, then getting right back on the train and heading into work didn’t seem pleasant to me.

Okay I must have lost some of you by now, but the point is; my yoga practice was all over the place and quickly fading. I’d go through spurts of practice and then suffer from long droughts. My apartment was tiny and finding space to practice was not an easy task. Not to mention, my downstairs neighbor would freak out when any type of thump louder than a quiet footstep graced her presence. Back to my point, I may not have found the right yoga studio here in Dallas just yet, but my home practice has been on point since moving here – until yesterday. I was distracted by donuts. Hey, it happens!

I generally don’t go all-out for Valentine’s Day, but I am a sucker for any excuse to get into the kitchen and bake something truly delicious. And these donuts are truly delicious! They’re dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and took a long hard day (or two) in the kitchen of trial and error to perfect. For real, I threw out some really horrid looking donuts. But then I found it! These little cuties are bright with a tinge of citrus and have just the right amount of crumb to cake ratio for a baked donut. But let me be frank here, they are indulgent. They are also pretty darn healthy! It is Valentine’s Day after all. Being good to your body while still catching a bit of a sugar high seems like just the right thing to do on this February 14th. And don’t forget to check out tonight’s full moon while indulging!

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds, Coconut & Almond Flour, Cacao.ImageImage ImageImageImageImageImage

 Vanilla Citrus Donuts
  • ½ C. white rice flour
  • ¼ C. coconut flour
  • ¼ C. cashew flour
  • 4 tbsp. arrowroot
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ C. sugar (or more depending on your preference)
  • 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • ¼ C. coconut oil, melted
  • ½ C. warm water
  • 4 tbsp. nondairy yogurt (I used SoDelicious Coconut)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • zest of one small lemon
Black + White Blood Orange Raw Cacao + Lucuma Glaze
  • ¼ C. coconut oil, melted
  • ½ C. blood orange juice, no pulp
  • ½ C. maple syrup (or any other liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 C. raw cacao powder (for chocolate) or lucuma (for vanilla)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350˚ and lightly grease your donut pan.

This recipe is really easy. Sift all of your dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in all of your wet ingredients and mix it all together, making sure it is smooth and clump-free. Scoop your batter into the donut pan and use a toothpick to evenly distribute and smooth out the batter. I used two scoops with my 3tbsp cookie scoop for each donut. Bake for 8 minutes then rotate the pan to ensure an even bake, and bake for another 8 minutes. Take out and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before dipping in glaze.

For the glaze, melt your coconut oil and mix all ingredients together in a small bowl just big enough to dunk a pretty little donut in! Dunk and decorate and try not to eat them all in one sitting.

xoxo

Who Doesn’t love Milkshakes?

Masala Chai Macadamia Nut Milkshake

Say hello to my friend, Lucuma. A superfruit from Peru, lucuma is traditionally known as the “Gold of the Incas” and has been a cherished part of Peruvian culture for centuries. It is a fruit that grows on a tree and looks almost like a plump, roundish version of a mango – green on the outside and champagne yellow on the inside. It’s really rare to find lucuma in its’ full fruit form anywhere other than South America and is most commonly found powdered, which is great for smoothie making & baking purposes. Lucuma’s golden colored powder adds a sweetness and almost caramel or maple flavor to recipes and is low glycemic. Perfect for anybody looking to cut back on sugar consumption! Not to mention, this beauty of fruit is loaded with minerals, beta-carotene, and fiber.

Whipped Coconut Cream Top

Messy Milkshake 

And what to say about macadamia nuts? Oh, you know – just that they’re a lovely and flavorful way to consume your healthy monounsaturated fats along with being high in protein with all of your essential (and even a few non-essential) amino acids. So all in all, macadamia nuts are great for keeping your cholesterol in check, lowering your risk of heart disease, and contribute to a properly functioning immune system.

. . .What’s so bad about milkshakes after all??

 Masala Chai Macadamia Nut Supershake

 

Masala Chai Macadamia Nut Supershake 
  • 4 chai cubes *
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ C. raw macadamia nuts
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla bean powder, or extract
  • 1-tablespoon lucuma
  • 1/8th -teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8th -teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8th -teaspoon cardamom
  • .5 C. preferred milk of choice

*Your favorite chai tea brewed, chilled, and frozen into ice cubes.

Place in blender and blend until completely smooth. What a sexy shake! I topped this baby off with stevia-sweetened coconut cream with just a touch of added vanilla, and I highly recommend adding this sweet indulgence for your super milkshake pleasure!

BEETS + BUCKWHEAT

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

A big change has occurred since I first decided to start Edible Insight. The cold and gray winters of Brooklyn are now a thing of the past for me, and my clan of human + furry friend (aka boyfriend and dog). We are now enjoying a comparably mellow winter in Dallas, Texas. Well, aside from that crazy ice storm that whizzed through the South a mere few weeks ago and left my car temporarily stuck at the bottom of a hill, just blocks from our apartment. Ooops! But I swear, we have had some gorgeous, 60°, 70°, and even 80° weather since then. And I am thankful for not having to wear three layers of clothing just to take my pup for a walk around the ‘hood. It’s the little things in life, right?

Big Tree, Little Dog.

While the weather was misbehaving here in Texas, I spent a good amount of time indoors, looking out, sipping on tea, and starting new projects. Cookies! I haven’t baked or made cookies in a long time and being that my kitchen is now bigger than the small and narrow hallway of a “kitchen” I had back in New York, I was excited to bake again. By the way, our new apartment is a charming as hell classic revival home with an old fireplace mantle, sliding pocket doors and original wooden floors. Yep, I’m digging it.

Cacao Powder

Beets.

These cookies have really grown on me. They’re closer to brownies than crispy, chewy cookies but they are delicious and packed with nutrients, so who the hell cares? Yum.

Beets are amazing blood cleansers with super duper antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. They add a sweet yet earthy flavor to the cookies and really compliment the cocoa in a nice way. As for buckwheat – well, it’s hardly wheat and totally gluten free. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and packs a punch of protein as well as fiber. Take that, wheat!

GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN RED VELVET COOKIES

(18-24 cookies)
 1 cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup coconut flour
¾ cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil
1/3 cup beet puree
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (plus six tablespoons of water)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar for optional rolling or dusting
 

*if you like your cookies sweet, sweet, sweet, I would use regular sugar rather than coconut sugar.

For beet puree: (two-three beets should give you more than enough puree)

Cut off leafy tops and use for something else (salads, sautees, etc.)

Boil the beets for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork.

Let cool and then run under cold water to easily peel off beet skin.

Puree in a food processor.

For cookies:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two cookie sheets with parchment

In a small bowl, mix your ground flaxseeds with the warm water and set aside.

Use a small mixing bowl to combine all the dry ingredients. Add buckwheat flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt.

Take a large mixing bowl (or stand-up mixer) and cream the coconut oil and coconut sugar together. Keep whisking as you add the beet puree, flax mixture, maple syrup and vanilla. Now, slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into the wet mixture and then fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Let chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Using a rounded tablespoon, roll dough in powdered sugar and drop onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes and then lightly “smash” cookies down to create the crinkled cookie effect. Bake for another 2 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cool.

Kale Chips: Revisited

Okay, so they’re kind of past their prime, but that doesn’t make me love them any less. In fact, the batch I made today may have flared up my love affair with these healthful cheesy(v) snacks. 

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These past few days in Brooklyn have been fairly cool in contrast to the hot temps and high humidity levels that the most recent heat-wave brought our way. I think I went a full week without really cooking anything. I ended up eating tons of raw veggies, smoothies, and many different variations of what we all know and love as salad. I knew I wanted a cooking project to embark on during my two days off (whoa, what a treat!), but my body was still not ready for heavy foods. I have temporarily overdosed on banana “ice cream” and was craving something savory. What did I decide on? Kale chips.  Seemed like a happy medium to me. 

 

I used to make these healthy chips way back when I first discovered Kale Chips at (dare I say) Whole Foods. I became totally obsessed, but upset that they were so expensive for a bag the size of a healthy person’s potato chip pig-out session. I made them pretty often for a while there and then I found myself all kale chip-ed out. So here I am, a few years later, revisiting my love affair with kale chips. And boy have I learned a great deal about this cruciferous vegetable since my first encounter with it a number of years ago. 

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A few things to keep you interested in kale:

→ Phytonutrients! These natural chemical compounds found in fruits and vegetables have been known to positively affect our bodies natural healing abilities and vitality. You’ve heard of carrots being good for your eyes, right? Well, betacarotene is the phytonutrient responsible for that. Recent studies have shown Kale to have high concentration of phytonutrients such as carotenoids (antioxidants) and glucosinolates (found to reduce the risk of cancer by way of liver detoxing). Um, awesome!

→ High in vitamins A & K and C as well as B6

→ Rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese and iron

 

And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Did I mention it’s easy to grow in almost any climate? Oh, kale! 

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