Chocolate Ice Cream…for breakfast??!

I woke up this fine April fool’s morning wanting chocolate. Conveniently, I used up my kale reserves in dinner last night, so no leafy greens for a smoothie.  Which made me think, why not make a dessert-worthy smoothie and eat “chocolate ice cream” (or as close to it as I can make it) to celebrate the day? And guys, this was amazing.  If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you! It’s light, fluffy, creamy, nutritious, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet.  I am so tempted to just go back in the kitchen and make round 2!!

Chocolate “Ice Cream” Smoothie (V, P, GF)
Serves 1 lighter serving

Ingredients
1 frozen banana
1/2 avocado
2 Tbsp cacao
2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional, but kicks up the protein!)
Almond Milk as needed (no more than 1/4 to 1/3 cup)

Method
Add all ingredients to the blender, adding just enough almond milk to make it blend easily, but making sure to keep the thick consistency.

ENJOY! :D

Say “Oh Kale Yes” To Spring! Smoothie

I got back to my apartment completely famished this afternoon after a workout, and all I wanted was peanut butter.  Until I realized that there was nothing to put it on, except for kale–I am all for experimenting, but I wasn’t quite there yet.  So I pulled out the kale and realized that I also had some avocado left from my last smoothie and made up my mind to make a wonderful, replenishing smoothie.  This was one of those “smoothies on a journey”, where you just start packing ingredients into the blender and go from there.  I was so on board after putting just the first three ingredients in.  This smoothie is super fresh, light, creamy, fluffy, and is sure to make you feel happy afterwards.

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Say “Oh Kale Yes” To Spring Smoothie
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
serves 1 happy belly

Ingredients:
1-2 leaves kale
1/2 cup water
1/2 banana
1/3 avocado
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 tsp maca powder (optional)
1/4 tsp spirulina powder (optional)
1/4 tsp green earth minerals (optional)

Method:
Place the the kale, banana, avocado, water and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

Notes:
Definitely taste the mixture before adding the second half of the ingredients because it tastes incredibly wonderful and fresh.  If I had an orange or something light like that, I might think about adding that as well.  Be careful with the optional powders, they can take over very easily, so just remember to start with a little and add more as you like.

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I am just so excited that spring is here that I cannot help but make smoothies! I hope you all feel the same way, and join me in celebrating by making your own! Have a wonderful day, and remember that you are worth putting in the time and effort of making good food for yourself.

Love,
Lucy

Vegan, Grain-Free Meat(less) Loaf

I went back home for my sister’s birthday and Marti Gras, and I was faced with the dilemma of eating vegan in a Paleo household.  Luckily, my mother is just a vegetarian version of Paleo (she skips the grains or dairy, but devours the eggs), and she usually gets some tempeh to experiment with for our dinners.  While roaming the interweb of food blogs a little while ago, I had stumbled upon Fork & Beans’ Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes, and they looked so yummy and creative that I decided that this was the perfect time to test them out.

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As always, I seem to be interpreting recipes so that I can translate them to fit my diet or someone else’s (i.e.: mi madre!) or switch up ingredients because I don’t have quite everything the recipes call for.  This was just like all of those cases.  However, in this case I was challenged with turing this vegan recipe into a vegan and quasi-paleo.  In addition, I had less than an hour to whip up the recipe for the first time and head over to my grandmother’s for the family dinner I was making these for.  Basically, I felt like I was throwing things in a bowl and hoping that they would taste good together, as I would try them minutes before actually eating them in my meal.  To add to the crazy, my parents were trying to put together a New Orleans shrimp dish in the same amount of time, and all the hustle and bustle of the crazy kitchen added to my sense of panic.

Despite all of the above circumstances, (and maybe because of them, who knows?)I was able to turn out some great-tasting tempeh meatloaf. Even the meat eaters in my family tasted them and told me they liked it! That is the only stamp of approval that I need.  That and also my happy taste buds.

This recipe turned out to be extremely satisfying.  The loaf was wonderfully flavorful and had a great texture that you sink your teeth into and still

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Vegan, Grain-free Meat(less) Loaf

Ingredients
For Loaf 
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced/finely chopped
1 package (10 oz.) of tempeh (I used Twin-Oaks, just make sure it is gluten/grain free)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (make sure it is vegan!)
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds soaked in 6 Tbsp water (leave to sit for at least 5 minutes to set up)
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Method
1.  Preheat your oven to 375°F (If using a convection, set to 350°F)
2. Grind the tempeh in a food processor until it is broken up.  This doesn’t take long, definitely no more than a minute or two.
3. Saute the garlic, shallots, and red pepper in coconut oil in a medium frying pan until the shallots become somewhat translucent and aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Then, Take off the heat and let cool.
4. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, the cooked veggies, ground tempeh, cooked veggies, dried herbs, and tomato paste in a medium to large mixing bowl.
5. Add the chia “egg” mixture, then add remaining ingredients (sunflower seeds, coconut, parsley).
6. Scoop the mixture into a muffin pan, greased with coconut oil, gently pressing down.  Mine filled up 11 of the spots.  These will not rise, so don’t worry about leaving too much room at the top–just don’t press down so hard that the loaves become super dense.
7. Mix the tomato paste and syrup in a small bowl and spread over the tops of the loaves.
8.  Place the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked in the middle.
9.  Let the loaves cool for at least 5 minutes, then they are set to serve!

Note:  Cara from Forks & Beans tops these with mashed potatoes.  I wasn’t able to whip up (or mash, in this case) any potatoes, but it would be fun to try! Pair this with a salad and veggies of some sort, and don’t forget the dessert after ;)

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I hope you enjoy these little meat(less) loaves.  I found them extremely satisfying, especially because sometimes I miss the texture of meat.  If that is your fancy, I totally recommend trying them out! They also warm you up and make you feel happily full.  I hope you have a give them a try, and thanks for stopping by!

Love, as always,
Lucy