Pumpkin Cheezecake Bars | Vegan, Probiotic, Gluten Free, Date Sweetened, Oil Free, AMAZING

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

with ~4 billion probiotics per bar!!

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To everyone out there who once said, “I LOVE CHEESECAKE” Look no further. Seriously.

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These babes are so delish, and are actually full of ingredients for sustained calm energy, mood, and even improve digestion and immunity! How!? Well, using healthy foods like dates, pecans, and cashews of course. But also! I am a huge fan of the Lavva Yogurt company.

Their yogurt is pili nut based with 0 (zero!added refined sugars, and 50 billion! Yes 50 billion probiotics.  Probiotics are amazing for of course digestion and beautiful perfect snake poops, (yay!), but did you know that most of our serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is produced in the gut? Plus, our GI is an open vessel to the outside world, and is lined with inflammatory and immune cells ready to fire to protect us from invaders.  It makes sense if the biota is thrown off, our immunity and inflammation would be all over the place.

I love how this yogurt tastes and makes me feel so much that I got it for a yogurt parfait bar at one of The Shift retreats that I chef at.  The ladies 1. loved it and 2. Were floored with how amazing their digestion was after just one weekend!  Granted, my whole foods plant based cuisine helps peoples digestion, but honestly often people will complain of discomfort and gas due to so much fiber they are eating all of a sudden.  With the addition of this effective delish yogurt, it really helped!

 

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Makes 20 Bars. adapted from the incredible Feasting On Fruit

Crust:

  • 20 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 oz raw pecans
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×6 baking dish with parchment paper (feel free to try round spring cake pan, pie plate, or square pan!)
  2. Using food processor S blade, blend the crust ingredients until well combined and pressable texture for crust, nice and chunky, not paste or butter
  3. Press crust evenly into parchment lined dish

Cheesecake:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in the fridge overnight and drained
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 container Lavva Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 container Lavva Original Yogurt (save the other half to top your oatmeal or smoothie bowl!)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Soak cashews overnight, drain and rinse.
  2. Blend cheesecake in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or use your food processor S blade again.
  3. Blend until super creamy and smooth
  4. Pour on top of crust
  5. Freeze overnight
  6. Let thaw for 10-20 minutes, slice into 20 bars and keep in the fridge for ~5 days or freezer for up to 2 weeks. DEVOUR IN ECSTASY

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Chai Chickpea Superfood Cookie Dough Balls | Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Date Sweetened

Fall is! Well, here in Venice, CA it actually still feels like Summer… BUT the PSL (pumpkin spice latte) is back at Starbucks sooo therefore it’s time to throw pumpkin spice, pecans, and chai gingery goodness in absolutely everything.

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I am a huge fan of drink mud.  The founders are basically neighbors of mine, local here in Venice. They have a great mission to help get people feeling energized and thriving without overstimulating the adrenals from coffee.  Their product drink mud has medicinal mushrooms, cacao, turmeric,  and Indian Chai spicee. It does have a tad of caffeine, making these superfood balls the best pick me up that ever happened!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 8-10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1-2 Tbsp Drink Mud Powder: https://www.mudwtr.com/ . (option to use your favorite mix of spices and superfoods like pumpkin pie spice, spirulina, maca, hemp, cinnamon, cacao, etc.)
  • 1-2 thumbs fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkle of pink salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice powder
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

Steps:

  1. Food processor S blade: blend chickpeas, dates, tahini, nut butter, vanilla, mud powder, ginger, and salt until smooth
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin spice powder, cinnamon, coconut, and pecans
  3. Using a tablespoon, create balls of dough and roll them into the separate bowl to coat with pecans, coconut, and more spice
  4. Keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze for about a month
  5. Warning: you will feel like LIFE IS AMAZING after eating these and you may want to run 15 miles or something. Do your best not to eat them before bed 🙂

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Macaroni and PEAS | Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Oil Free

Mmmm comfort food at its finest.  I love using chickpea pasta and other bean pastas.  They’re super high in protein, fiber, iron, and resistant starch to really help feed your good gut bacteria- helping not only your digestion and blood sugar levels, but also your immunity and mood! Lots of nerves in the gut- feed it well!

Serves about 8:

  • 1 cauliflower, rough chop into large florets
  • 1 yellow onion, discard outer layer and chop into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 boiled sweet potato (skin removed)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 lemon
  • 16 oz dry elbow macaroni pasta (I like using banza chickpea pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  1. Steam onion and cauliflower until soft and translucent (about 15 minutes)
  2. Combine steamed vegetables with salt, pepper, avocado, potato, and nutritional yeast in a food processor S blade or high speed blender and blend until smooth
  3. Boil macaroni according to manufacture’s instructions and mix with peas. Pour sauce over macaroni and peas and mix well. Transfer to casserole dish for serving

Healthy AF Enchiladas + Caloric Density & Weight Loss| Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Disease Reversing Info

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These enchiladas are by no means at all traditional.  Traditional as in white flour tortillas and cheese and meat… blegh! Sounds like a mess of weight gain, and heart disease! Time for a neeeeeew recipe.  This recipe has got kale, shrooms, quinoa, and all simple wholesome ingredients. Mmm what could possibly be more deliciously satisfying and nourishing.

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Completing my master’s and dietetic internship in South Texas where cola, taki’s, breakfast tacos, and bacon fat laden pinto beans are unfortunately staples, the statistic that 3/4 of Americans are overweight or obese made sense to me.  What’s crazy is that, a calorie dense, nutrient poor diet is actually quite common. Even where I live now in Los Angeles, California.  I have a couple of clients who, prior to working with me, had never chopped a vegetable before.  Gawd. I love my job.  And these enchiladas.  They’re not insanely overly stimulatingly like oh my gawd so f***ing good (if you’re comparing to something thats been salted, oiled, idk.. fried and oober processed) . Recalibrate your taste buds. And these will knock your socks off. 😛

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Healthy AF Enchiladas

Adapted from Food52’s Wintry Mushroom Enchiladas

The Homemade Saucy Sauce 

  • tablespoon water
  • cup onion, diced
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I like the Fire Roasted diced tomatoes from Muir Glen – no salt added)
  • teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

The Enchiladas

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 pound baby bella or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapeño peppers (or for V mild version, use poblanos
  • cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 10 6-inch organic corn tortillas (I used masienda brand – just corn, lime, water)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • avocado on avocado on avocado

Steps:

  1. To make the enchilada sauce, heat water in a medium skillet or pot. Saute onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, thyme, tomatoes, and maple syrup
  3. Transfer sauce to a blender or food processor, and blend till smooth. Add a little water to adjust the consistency as you wish. Set sauce aside till you’re ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp water (have some handy to add if burns off). Saute onion and garlic till onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has been released and evaporated.
  6. Add the chilis to the pot and give them a stir. Add the kale and allow it to wilt slightly. Add the cumin, sea salt (optional), black beans, corn, and quinoa. Continue heating mixture until it’s completely warm and well mixed.
  7. In the bottom of a casserole dish, spread a thin layer of the enchilada sauce. Place about a quarter cup mushroom and quinoa mixture in the center of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and place it into the dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Cover them all with a layer of enchilada sauce and bake for 25 minutes. Top the enchiladas with chopped cilantro, avocado, and pumpkin seeds, and idk. More corn because noooom!!!
  8. Also, squeeze a lime on there and, call me crazy, but I put a little cinnamon on mine and it was off the charts

So.. why is this recipe so generally disease reversing?

  1. No Salt: although 0 calories, it is a super processed white powder (aka crack cocaine) that causes responses in the brain to make us not only want to eat more, but that makes wholesome food taste less flavorful.  Cut the salt, and all of a sudden, celery, cilantro, avocado and lime dance on your tongue like a tap dancer in times square.  Flavors so very exciting, no white powder added.  Plus plus, high sodium intake has been shown to decrease calcium absorption / utilization. That ain’t good!!! Also also. Sodium is important. This is different than salt. Naturally occurring sodium is sufficiently found in wholesome plant foods like the veggies I mentioned a second ago.  No stimulants needed.  Excess sodium causes water retention, causing blood volume to increase, leading to high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, etc.
  2. No Oil: Talk about caloric density. Not many foods are more calories per pound than oil… are any foods more calorie per pound??  Just a tiny bit of oil adds a lot of calories with not much benefit.  All it really does is make you eat more calories than you’re designed to eat plus make you want to eat more. The fat from the avocado and pumpkin seeds is fantastic. You got fiber and zinc and fresh phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Avocado oil and pumpkin oil?? Mmm I’ll pass.
  3. Nutrient Dense: Self explanatory.  Every calorie is full of nutrition.  Helping you to feel calm, balanced, satisfied, energized, clear headed.. not to mention beautiful bowel movements. Which is actually a huge fricken deal these days.  If there’s a magazine rack in your bathroom… call me!!! You need help!!!
  4. Intact Grains: Ok, obvi the tortillas are made of corn flour, which is not intact. The quinoa tho- that’s good stuff.  And the tortillas I used were just 3 ingredients: non-gmo corn, lime, and water.  That’s all you need. No gums, oils, preservatives, or fortified etc etc. Keep it simple.  The more whole the better.
  5. Beans: Resistant starch is liiife.  Did you know that resistant starch in beans actually decreases the glycemic load of your next meal?  Also, beans are such great sources of protein, iron, fiber. Eating them has been shown to help decrease risk of so many diseases and cancers.  If you’re afraid of fartiness. Don’t fret.  The resistant starches may take a couple of weeks for your gut to adjust to.  Start with a little bit like 1/4 cup a day for a week and work your way up to ~1-3 cups or so / day.  A healthy gut can process beans just fine.  Little to no fartiness.  If you’re used to eating a V low fiber diet. Warn your friends and family your increasing ahead of time hahaha.
  6. Greens: The most nutrition per pound possible.  Everything you need. Just amazingness.
  7. Mushrooms: Should be eaten cooked. Mushrooms help decrease excess estrogen that may cause breast cancer- very well targeted, doesn’t cause low estrogen if you are healthy. Also, mushrooms contain lectins (ABLs) that recognize cancer cells and prevent them from growing and dividing. Also also, mushrooms upregulate IgA antibody secretion, helping the immune system. Also also also, they have beta glucans which also boost immune function. PLUS they make their own vitamin D if exposed to the sun!! Honestly. All plants are amazing. I just don’t have all day to tell you every magical component of everything gawd!
  8. Onions: Eaten raw the allinaise enzyme is active and is potent cancer fighter. Onions also help to blunt blood sugar spikes. Onions and garlic are antimicrobial and help the immune system to fight viruses and fend against cancers. Scallions are great too.
  9. Healthy Fat: Includes fiber 🙂 Necessary for healthy hormones, satiety, clarity, and overall optimal health. It doesn’t take much though.  A little dab will do you.
  10. Peace of mind: Honestly, of course.  A favorable health destiny is priceless. HOWEVER I say “generally” disease reversing because I do have clients with eating disorders, amenorrhea, and anemia, and athletes who aren’t getting in enough calories and wasting away, or frail adults, etc. Who, it is healthier for them to eat more refined foods. More calorically dense foods. More stimulating foods.  These recommendations are for the general average American looking to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, blood pressure, have regular bowel movements, and reverse type 2 diabetes. Have your healthy AF enchiladas, and your vegan cookies too maybe. Ok? All depends on your goals and what you, you beautiful individual, need.

That is all. xoxo

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3 Fave Soup Recipes + WHY I’M OBSESSED WITH SOUP?! | Vegan Dietitian

Why am I obsessed with soup?

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  1. Moist Cooking Method

    Fact: The way we prepare our food changes its nutrient content.  So, if you’re going to cook your food, in a soup is the best way! Cooking in water means the food can’t go over 212*F.  This is a plus because the higher the heat, the more nutrients are denatured and destroyed and the more carcinogenic properties begin to form.  With moist heat, there is now browning or charring occurring.  Also, in a soup all of the nutrients are cooked into the broth instead of drained out.  So you’re eating all of those incredible vitamins and minerals instead of pouring them down the drain with the water.

  2. Medicinal Ingredients

    Is it possible to make a whole foods plant based soup that isn’t medicinal magic?  Flavor it up with ginger, garlic, and onion,  Throw in that turmeric and black pepper and make a curry. Use all those veggies you never heard of like romanesco, leek, and lion’s mane mushroom.  The ingredients in hearty wholesome soups and stews are powerful disease prevention and reversal medicine for a calm mind and a happy healthy and long beautiful life!

  3. Variety on Variety

    Vegetable soups, bean stews, creamy squash, chili, bisque, even chilled raw soups! The possibilities are endless.  Thickening up by blending with cashews, chopping some veggies chunky, blending others, using vegetable juices for a base, maybe even coconut milk, garnishing with pumpkin seeds, or even avocado.  There are so many kinds of soups. I eat them almost daily and don’t think I’ll ever get sick of them.

  4. Easy Peasy

    Feeling lazy? Me too.  I’m down to heat up some water and throw in all my favorite veggies and spices any day. ( me everyday ) Yay soup!

  5. Underrated AF

    Soup is a great option.  Sure, if you get it in a can it can have some extra sodium look for less than 300mg of sodium per serving or find “no salt added” or “low sodium” options and maybe if you get them at a restaurant they’ll have some oil, but overall, whole foods plant based soups and soups are an incredible option not to be overlooked.  Please try making at LEAST one of these recipes this winter!

THE RECIPES

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1. TOMATO BISQUE

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Serves: 4

adapted from http://www.DrFuhrman.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups carrot juice (3 pounds of carrots, juiced, or put 2-4 carrots chopped in a blender with enough water to reach 3 cups and blend until smooth) (they sell carrot juice at whole foods and trader joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 (26 ounce) BPA-free carton chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, unsulfured dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons no-salt herb seasoning blend, adjusted to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces spinach or baby kale

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, add all ingredients except the cashews, basil and spinach. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove 2 cups of the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Puree the remaining soup with the cashews in a food processor or high-powered blender until smooth.
  4. Return the pureed soup along with the reserved vegetables to the pot.
  5. Stir in the basil and spinach and heat until spinach is wilted

2. MAMA’S CHILI

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  • 2 Tbsp water for sautéing + some nearby
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (learn to chop an onion)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups corn kernels (we used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean, and cubed
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire Roasted – No Salt Added)
  • 3 cups canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth/stock
  • diced avocado and chopped green onion, garnish
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning to taste.

3. THE HERO POT

  • A large pot
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small chunk of ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground or fresh turmeric
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • ~6 cups filtered water
  • ~1/2 cup broccoli
  • ~1/2 cup celery
  • ~1/2 cup mushrooms
  • ~1/2 cup peas
  • Lime and avocado to garnish
  1. Prep ingredients: chop vegetables, mince garlic + ginger
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in pot in 1/3 cup of water (keep a jug of water nearby to add as needed)
  3. Add turmeric, lentils, sweet potato, and 5 cups of water and bring to boil for about 10 minutes
  4. Turn down heat to simmer and add in rest of ingredients to simmer for about 15 minutes
  5. Take your superhero medicine 😛

enjoy ❤

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Two Quick, Easy, Vegan, + Gluten Free Bean Pasta Recipes: Prescription Pesto + Sesame Ginger Sauce

Who doesn’t Love pasta? Yes, love with a capital “L”.  For these recipes I used banza pasta made from chickpeas.  Bean pasta is awesome! It is super high in nutrients like iron and beneficial fiber. Plus it is loaded with protein. It’s gluten free and only takes 7-8 minutes to cook. Obsessed. I particularly like the Banza brand because it looks just like regular pasta and has a really nice consistency.  Some bean pastas that I have tried are a little mealy and chalky, this brand is nice and noodle-y.  I don’t know how else to describe it 😛 Hope you enjoy these recipes! xo

Purchase Your Box Of BANZA Here:

Banza Chickpea Pasta, Variety Case, Shells/Elbows/Penne/Rotini (Pack of 6)

Sesame Ginger Pasta + Veggies

Mmmm when I had this recipe the first time I could have sworn it had peanut butter and sugar in it with its gingery garlic creamy deliciousness.  Its just sesame seeds and dates!? What!? So simple and I can assure you this recipe will not disappoint!

Adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Quick and Easy Chilled Sesame Noodles

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces bean pasta, cooked according to package directions, rinsed under cold water, and drained
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 pound mushrooms, chopped + steamed (or use another pound of broccoli or any other vegetable you love!)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 6 scallions thinly sliced

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds, lightly pan toasted
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw almonds or cashews (preferably soaked / sprouted)
  • 7 medjool dates or 13-14 regular dates (like deglet noor), pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (or rice vinegar / apple cider vinegar)

Steps

  1. In a high speed blender, puree all the sauce ingredients until smooth
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta, bell pepper, scallion, steamed broccoli, and veggies with the sauce until thoroughly coated.
  3. Divide among 6 plates and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Prescription Pesto

Yaaas pesto :-P. This recipe has got all the medicine in it, and TBH: there is nothing I crave more. This pesto is BOMB. Don’t be fooled by the word, “medicine.” Back in the day when you used to plug your nose to get the stuff down.  This powerful pesto has got the most potent DNA protecting and disease reversing foods like greens, turmeric, beans, walnuts, and garlic.  And this medicine, baby.  Just can’t get enoughhh yuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adapted from Dr. Michael Greger‘s Eight Check-Mark Pesto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch (or about 2 cups) fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup raw or sprouted walnuts
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 of a peeled lemon
  • zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pinto beans (I recommend no salt added like Eden’s Organic)
  • 1/4 cup liquid from canned beans or water
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white miso (equal to or less than 270mg sodium / serving)
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth. Scoop onto a cup and a half of cooked bean pasta.

5 Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving / Holiday Recipes | Katie Reines, MS, RD.

Ahhh Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. Take the stress away and leave nothing but joy to saturate your friends and family. Which is really what Thanks. Giving. is all about, isn’t it?  Sometimes, these family occasions can be looked at as a burden.  I invite you to challenge that.  Let’s put in an effort out of love. It is worth it.  And maybe even take it to the next level- provide your family a truly compassionate dish option 😛

  1. Apple Pie

This is the gourmet recipe from the incredible healing cafe, Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA where I’ve been working at seasonally since high school. Jacob Massey is an amazing raw vegan pastry chef. This pie: UNREAL. You have to believe me, seriously you must try it <3. I’m obsessed. Maybe its the already delicious food it’s made out of. Or maybe it’s all the joy he puts into his work. I’d say both. Anyone who has it tastes and feels the incredible-ness.

Makes 6 Pies:

Crust:

  • 10 cups walnuts
  • 7 1/2 cups pitted moist dates or coconut date rolls
  • 2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp coconut oil
  1. Line spring form pans with parchment paper
  2. Pulse and blend in food processor until well combined and a little chunky, not too smooth
  3. Distribute crust evenly into pans and press to smooth

Filling:

  • 10 quarts chopped into 1/2 inch cubes apples
  • 4 cups soaked dried apricots
  • 2 cups soaked raisins
  • 3/4 cup psyllium
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger (not peeled but washed)
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Blend soaked fruit, psyllium, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in food processor until smooth
  2. Combine with chopped apple and mix well. The juices from the apple will release and the dried fruit mixture will distribute nicely
  3. Distribute filling evenly on crusts and press to smooth

Crumble:

  • 8 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  1. Pulse in food processor until well combined and forms a nice crumble texture, not too smooth like butter
  2. Distribute crumble over pie fillings evenly and smooth gently
  3. Freeze pies overnight and thaw in the refrigerator. Freezing and thawing gives the apples a delicious cooked texture and releases all the wonderful juices.
  4. Try your best to share with someone 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!

2. Holiday Kale Salad

Inspired by the Quinoa Medley (#4 below). Use whatever herbs you like and have so much fun! This dish has wowed so many people and honestly, you can’t go wrong. A sweet tangy dressing, epic freshness and beautiful colors with the pompom. Mmm mmm!

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  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 bunch green onion (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 large bunch dill (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 bunch mint (half chopped half blended)
  • 2 Tbs tahini (I used 2 Tbs hemp seeds)
  • 2 cups currents or raisins (I didn’t use raisins at the demo)
  • ½ cup pure lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups walnuts
  1. Wash, de-stem, and schiffinade kale
  2. Chop using either a food processor S blade, or a knife and cutting board, half of the bunches of scallion, dill, and mint
  3. Deseed pomegranates (with a large spoon, banging on the outside of 1/2 of the fruit so the seeds just fall into your palm)
  4. chop walnuts
  5. Blend juice, dates, and the other half of the bunches of green onion, dill, and mint
  6. Massage dressing into kale thoroughly with gloved or very very clean hands
  7. Using tongs, mix in nuts and pomegranate seeds
  8. Serve chilled❤

3. FullyRaw Pumpkin Pie

I made this pie many times in Indiana where little local persimmons are all over the place.  There were two local persimmon trees at Purdue where I would frequently sit under, wait for the wind to blow, and eat all of the fruit that fell to the ground! The samples I made in the video below could not have gotten better reviews.  It is amazing how people think healthy food won’t taste redonk. And when it does, the light in their eyes! Priceless.

FullyRaw Kristina’s Pumpkin Pie:

Crust

  • ~1 lb dates
  • 1.5-2 cups pecans
  • 1-2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pie Filling

  • 2-3 cups pie pumpkin
  • ~2 lbs dates
  • Ginger, thimble sized piece
  • ~168grams persimmon pulp
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crust

  1. Using food processor S blade, put pecans in first, then dates and cinnamon, and pulse and blend until desired crust texture
  2. Take out the blade
  3. Press all around pie crust

Pie Filling

  1. Put pumpkin chunks and then dates, persimmon, cinnamon, ginger, and spice in vitamix, or food processor S blade
  2. Blend until completely smooth
  3. Rubber spatula into pie crust
  4. Freeze to set (about 2 hours)

4. Quinoa Medley

I’m actually obsessed with Chef AJ and The Plant Based Dietitian, Julieanna Hever.  I got to meet Chef AJ at Chicage Vegan Mania when I went with the club that I helped to create, “Be Veg at Purdue”. She made this quinoa medley at her demo and everyone was like. HOMINA. No oil? No salt?? So much flavor?!! Howw does she do it. A must make dish for every occasion.  Both Chef AJ and Julieanna Hever have the best recipes.  Definitely check them out!

Time: 25 minutes. You will need: large pot, knife, cutting board, large bowl, large spoon, measuring cups. Serves: ~20. (½ cup servings)

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz dry quinoa (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch scallion
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ – ¾ cup lime juice (about 8 limes)

Steps:

  1. Rinse quinoa and then bring to a boil in 5 cups of water. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. (cook to manufacture’s instructions on box)
  2. Allow quinoa to cool. Chop herbs using a food processor S blade, or by hand. Juice limes.
  3. Combine ingredients in large bowl. Serve chilled. Keeps well for about a week in the fridge.

5. Butternut Squash Brussel Sprout Stuffing

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My roommate in Texas made this twice for a project and guess who ate it all.  GUILTY (well, you know, ate most of it). It is so amazing! Food52 is a great resource for reliably bomb vegan recipes.

I hope this helps you to bring something healthy and delicious to your table. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

HEMP MILK RECIPE | Dietitian Approved

Ahh hemp seeds!  One of the most nutrient dense little foods out there.  With anti-inflammatory omegas, packed with protein and iron.  Look out world hemp milk is going to make a lean mean hulk outta you! 1 cup of this milk recipe has got about:

  • Calories: ~130
  • Protein: ~8 grams
  • Fat: ~9 grams (essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids!)
  • Iron: 15% DV* (*daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet)
  • Fiber: 8% DV*

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 pitted moist date
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Steps:

  1. Blend for 1-2 minutes on high until smooth and creamy
  2. Keep in the fridge for about a week
  3. Hug someone randomly, because you can
  4. ❤ smile.

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Healthy Pasta TASTE TEST + 4 Reasons Why I STILL Avoid Gluten

 

Pasta. What a delectable vehicle for vegetables!  Add your favorite beans, steamed veggies, and tomato sauce and BOOM! An impressive gourmet dinner.  While intact grains are the gold standard (grains in their whole form), whole grains, yes including their bran, germ, and endosperm, are milled into a fine flour to make whole grain pastas, breakfast cereals, and other “whole grain” products.  A few examples of legit whole intact grains would be steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

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How to tell if the product is WHOLE GRAIN?

  1. Whole grain stamp is on the package
  2. “100%” or “Whole” are used to describe it
  3. The first ingredient listed is a whole grain

refinedgrains

Refined grains are not only grains milled into a flour, but their grain was stripped of the nutrient and fiber containing bran and germ! Murder! Refined grains are white / light in color and examples include white bread, cookies, cakes, pretzels, white rice, regular pasta, and anything made with white flour. Darn!

Don’t fret too much! The recommendation is:

Make at least 1/2 of your grains whole grains.

Grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet for fiber, iron,powerplategraphichirez magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, and lasting energy! Be sure to include them on your plate.

The Taste Test

Well before #1, my personal favorite is ZUCCHINILINI OF COURSE! Which is simply zucchini or summer squash, spirilized to look and feel like spaghetti. I like to mix it with pasta dishes to add bulk, flavor, color, and more veg of course!

#1 Nature’s Promise Whole Wheat Spaghetti: #1 in taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Contains gluten.

#2. Bionaturae Gluten Free Corn and Soy Spaghetti: Fabulous texture and taste and with 5g protein and 6% iron, this product is ok. Low in fiber :-/

#3. Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: Quite sticky texture, but great flavor and elasticity.  Would go great with a sauce. However, low in fiber although whole grain. Brown rice is naturally low in fiber.

 

#4. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Corn and Quinoa Spaghetti: Texture dry and kinda crunchy, but a good source of fiber at 16% daily value and 10% iron!

#5. Andean Dream Quinoa Gluten Free Spaghetti: Texture was definitely a little sandy.  But I must say with 6% calcium, 12% iron, and just barely a good source of fiber at 10% daily value, not bad.

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The Consensus:

The quinoa based gluten free products have a better nutritional profile, but are not as delicious as the lower fiber rice based ones.

Why I personally still avoid Gluten?

Do I go out of my way to avoid gluten?

No.  I still enjoy it in moderation. My mom makes homemade bread and pizza with gluten which I eat occasionally.  My diet is whole foods based, so I rarely purchase packaged products that might contain gluten.

Do I eat gluten every day?

No.  Maybe I eat a gluten containing meal or snack 3-4 times a week.  I am generally healthy and do not currently feel any reason to put more effort into seriously avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and foods containing gluten 100% of the time.

Why I make this personal choice:

  1. My sister has ulcerative colitis, which is similar to celiacs in that they are both autoimmune inflammatory intestinal disorders. With a genetic risk factor in my family, I try to not over load the gluten as a personal preventative measure.
  2. Studies linking gluten and autism spectrum disorders autism-and-nutrition-1. The GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet has been shown to help people with ADHD and autism, what else could it be linked to? I am ever curious and after reading such articles have trouble stomaching gluten (and of course would never recommend drinking milk).
  3. Naturopaths recommend avoiding gluten initially when trying to avoid inflammation with an “elimination diet,” along with dairy and other common inflammatory trigger foods. With this in mind, many people have success reversing adverse symptoms like rashes, IBS, fatigue, etc (SO MANY), once they remove gluten from their diet.  I grew up with canker sores, weird rashes, and eczema so, avoiding inflammation (and gluten) is in my best interest.
  4. Close friends with celiac disease so it is easier for everybody to find a gluten free delicious option!

While as you could see from the video, a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general public because it tends to have less nutrients. Be a savvy shopper and let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy those intact whole grains and plant yums! xx

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Vegan Brunch: True Bistro with STEPH’S PLATE + Why Try A Vegan Restaurant?

First of all, I am so honored to have met Steph from Steph’s Plate! She is such a doll you must watch her videos and get inspired on IG.  Secondly, True Bistro is one of the most classy vegan restaurants I have ever been to.  It is definitely swanky enough for impressing a date, yet not intimidatingly so.  Their lunch menu offers brunch options of waffles, crepes, tofu scrambles, as well as classic sandwiches with burgers, salads, and they feature incredible sweets like local FoMu ice cream and fresh cinnamon buns.

 

Steph ordered the crepes with FoMu lavender ice cream and blueberry compote, I went for the more savory mushroom and red pepper tofu scramble with fresh home fries, salad, and a side of their smokey mac and cheese.  Steph’s crepes were incredible.  They didn’t, you know, “taste vegan” at all!  It was so good, like an incredible dessert to me!  My scramble had such a refined savory flavor profile, I was really impressed.  It didn’t taste like eggs necessarily but the combo of herbs and veggies were brilliant- so delicious.  The mac and cheese I actually got to take home for my sister (the cheese lover). It had a LOT of smokey flavor, almost sausage-y.  Anyone who enjoys those smokey tones would adore it.  Can’t wait to try the waffles and I must go for dinner!

 

4 Reasons: Try A Vegan Restaurant:

1. Plant Foods In Your Diet

A whole foods plant based diet has been shown to be the most effective at preventing and reversing disease. According to the USDA’s Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines:

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2. Environmental Impact

It is without a doubt that eating more plant based meals is more sustainable for the long term and environmentally friendly. As described in the USDA’s Scientific Report, and watch Dr. Michael Gregor’s Video:

3. Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer

Saturated fat and cholesterol are well known for their association with causing the leading causes of death: heart disease and cancer.  Fortunately, plant based diets high in whole foods with fiber containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

4. Get Inspired

Once you find out how delicious plant foods can really be, you are much more likely to want to get in the kitchen and start cooking!  Keep trying more restaurants and dishes, and before you know it, every meal will be whole foods, plant based, and simply divine.

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