Cherry Coconut Milk Smoothie

I’m in the midst of estimates. The estimates for flooring are over. Contractor chosen. Start date set. Now, we’re getting painting estimates. So far I have had 3 done and 2 more scheduled for tomorrow. It’s going to be a lot of work moving all of our small stuff out of the way and having contractors bombard our house for the next 3-4 weeks but it’s going to be so much fun to see our house transform into what we want it to be!

Cherry coconut milk smoothies

My craving for coconut has been out of control lately. From coconut yogurt, to coconut water, to coconut in protein bars and coconut flakes sprinkled on just about anything. I figured I needed to do something about it and incorporate more of it! I bought a coconut creme flavored protein powder and after two not so spectacular smoothie attempts, this version happened this morning. And may happen again tomorrow…

Cherry coconut milk smoothie

Strawberry Coconut Milk Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk (save the other half for the next days smoothie!)
  • 1 apple, core removed, cut into large chunks
  • 1 heaping cup frozen cherries
  • 1 large frozen banana, broken into chunks
  • 4 scoops¬†Jarrow Formulas Greek Yogurtein coconut creme flavor
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender in the order listed. Run on ‚Äúsmoothie‚ÄĚ setting. Serves 2.

Vegan Apple Crisp

My sister Zandria and I made Sunday brunch for a few friends last week. When I was thinking about the menu I wanted to make something sweet but not “french toast and pancakes sweet”. My sister and my mom try to stay away from gluten so that eliminated a lot of possibilities (without having to spend extra time and money stocking up on new flours and ingredients). I wanted to use up extra apples laying around and it was Zan that came up with the idea of using my buckwheat flour…ta-da!…vegan apple crisp was born!

We studied several recipes and I wrote up one of my own on my Google Docs. That’s what I was checking on here while¬†simultaneously¬†pouring honey:

Me checking my recipe while pouring honey at the same time

It’s so great that I had my sister in the kitchen taking pics of me! I wish we had one of her!

Focusing on the honey measuring

I melted the coconut oil for a second by setting the jar in a small saucepan of boiling water. It made pouring it a breeze! (note: coconut oil is usually soild)

close up on measuring coconut oil

The end result was yummy! It was juicy and the “crisp” part was crunchy and just sweet enough due to the honey, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Perfect with the frittata and sausage that we prepared to go with it.

Vegan apple crisp

Vegan Apple Crisp

  • 6 medium fuji or honey crisp apples
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) coconut oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash apples, core them and cut them into chunks. I used organic apples and did not peel them. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the apples and toss to combine. I used the 13×9 dish that I baked the apples in as my bowl.
  • In a separate bowl combine buckwheat flour, salt, spices, almonds and pumpkin seeds and stir. Add coconut oil, vanilla and honey and stir until well combined. Spoon it in chunks over the apples and spread to cover. Cover the top of the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

BluePrint Cleanse ‚Äď post cleanse feelings

I had three main take-away’s from my cleanse experience:

My previous misconception #1: I ate lots of veggies.

My current understanding #1: I didn’t eat nearly enough veggies!! When I realized how many vegetables are jam packed into each juice I had last week and how many veggies I ate before and after the juicing as stand alone meals I realized that I need to increase my intake. It makes me feel better!

My previous misconception #2: I enjoyed my food and took my time eating it.

My current understanding #2: I can benefit from slowing down even more. Taking the time to chew my food thoroughly. Taking the time to sit down every time I eat and not be reading or on the computer. Give attention to eating!

My previous misconception #3: I ate enough whole foods.

My current understanding #3: I have stayed away from processed foods for a long time but I can do even better than that. I need to incorporate more nutrient rich grains like quinoa, barley and brown or black rice. I also had a bad habit of eating protein bars or cereal and milk for breakfast. I need to eat fruit or smoothies/raw juices in the morning. I need to prepare a nutrient rich homemade breakfast like I do for dinner. Protein bars should be a once-in-a-while-backup-plan not an everyday. Today I had an apple, some raw almond butter and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Tonight it took me 2 minutes to make some Better Than Yogurt Chia Pudding that I  will enjoy for breakfast in the morning.

Apple and almond butter

Lastly…but not least…I have lost 7 1/2 pounds since January 1st! Working out 6 days a week and cleansing have awesome benefits! I’m halfway to my weight loss goal, happy and motivated to continue!!

Curried Egg Salad

I have been in love with Bon Appetit ever since last year when Gwyneth Paltrow was featured on the cover. I immediately subscribed and have made many recipes from Bon Appetit since then. Now I will be able to share them on my blog which is so exciting! By the way my favorite recipe from the Gwyneth Paltrow edition was the recipe for Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce. I’ve made it multiple times and as soon as there are some good local peaches in season here I will certainly make as post about it!

In the new May 2012 magazine a recipe for Curried Egg Salad¬†caught my eye. I had not made regular “old-fashioned” egg salad since I catered a friends baby shower a couple of years ago and the idea of adding curry made it sound like a perfect weekend brunch food. The recipe only called for 4 eggs and with the 2 hungry boys in my house I decided to double the recipe.

The only thing I changed was that I used Vegenaise instead of mayo. I know, don’t make fun of me, I used an egg-less vegan mayo in egg salad. I prefer the taste of it to regular mayo…that’s the only good reason I can give you! I also forgot the scallions so I had to leave those out.

Curried Egg Salad (adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons¬†apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons¬†Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†ground cumin
  • 8 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1¬†medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Whisk Vegenaise, shallot, apple cider vinegar, mustard, curry powder, and cumin in a large bowl. Fold in eggs and apple. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. I served mine on a toasted whole-wheat english muffin.