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Category Archives: Cooking

Zucchini Pasta with Pumpkin “Marinara”

I have a confession… I’m in love… and it’s name is Spiralizer!!

I recently purchased a spiralizer, which was totally the best investment ever (besides maybe my juicer).  Basically you can take any vegetable, usually zucchini’s, and make them into a pasta like form!   It’s a fantastic way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, and if you are a major pasta lover like I am, but are trying to steer away from heavy carbs in the evening, then this is totally the perfect solution.

Best.thing.ever.

I’ve been using this thing like crazy, and experimenting with all kinds of sauces and so far this one is my best one yet!  Seriously in love with this sauce, I LOVE fall and pumpkin!!  I love that you can make Pumpkin both sweet AND savory, it kind of just morphes into whatever you want it to be.  Couple that with the fact that it’s also packed with nutrients (as most of my recipes are) and BAM! Total nutrition party in your mouth!!  (Check out my other post on Pumpkin for the nutritional benefits!)

 And here is the recipe:

Zucchini Pasta with Pumpkin “Marinara”

1 Zucchini – spiralized

Pumpkin “Marinara”:

Half a can of unsweetened organic pumpkin

2 medium garlic cloves

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

A little less then 1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

– Pour in Apple cider vinegar into the blender first

– Add remaining ingredients, blend away until all ingredients are incorporated into a smooth yummy sauce!

– Makes about 2-4 servings, depending on how much pasta you are using and how much sauce you prefer!

I added some lightly sauteed tofu with some basil, but you could add some beans, nuts, steamed veggies… the options are endless!

This can definitely be heated since it’s more of a cold dish.  Because, lets face it, when you think of fall, you think of warm dishes.

Ah-MAH-zing Vegetable Chili

Since I got back from my roaring weekend of sunny warm Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s been doing nothing but rain!! The temperatures have also dropped to a more fall like feel.  Which I love, just minus the rain.  I don’t have all that much room in my little cottage so I can only really do my workouts out on my deck, so I’m not so much a fan of the rain!   I hear up here that during the winter months it does nothing but rain, so I’m going to have to come up with some creative workouts that I can manage to do in a tiny box like area.  Any suggestions??

In any case, this colder weather has struck up a strong desire for curling up in front of the fire with some hot cocoa and a blanket…. but since I don’t have a fire place I opted for a warming soup instead!  This soup was thrown together and ended up tasting Ah-MAH-zing!!  (my newest favorite word courtesy of my newest favorite show Happy Endings, anyone else watch it?? So hilarious!!)  I love to make soups because you can really put anything into it, load it up with veggies, beans, and even grains and it tends to last for about a week of lunches or dinners, for one person that is.

The other best thing about this soup is that it is packed with all kinds of vitamins and protein, so it keeps you quite full for  long time while also giving you some vitamin C and carotenoids to give you a nice glow 🙂  Really this should be called Power Glow Chili!

 Ah-MAH-zing Vegetable Chili

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 can diced italian herbed tomatoes

2 Tbsp Tomato paste

2 Large carrots (chopped)

2 Large Garlic cloves

Half of a large white onion (chopped)

1 Yellow bell pepper (chopped)

1 Red bell pepper (chopped)

2 Cups water

2 cans Chili Bean Mix (although I used 1 can chili bean mix and about 1 cup of chick peas)

1-2 dashes cayanne pepper (the heat!!)

3 Tbsp dried Basil

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

– Pour olive oil into large pot, wait till it heats up a bit

– Add garlic and onion and saute until onions become translucent

– Add chopped carrots, and saute for about 5 minutes

– Add spices and tomato paste, stir around a bit, maybe 1-2 minutes more

– Add bell peppers, saute about one minute

– Add in tomatoes, and water and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (continue stirring every 10 minutes or so)

– Add in beans and continue to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes (keep your eye on the carrots, they are going to be your marker for when the soup is done.  You want the carrots to become slightly soft, but not too soft)

Enjoy with some yummy rice crackers or a whole wheat baguette!

I’ve been enjoying this soup for lunch this week and it totally fills you up and warms you up too!  Delicioso!

What do you turn to when the weather turns cold??

Fat Tuesday!

Posted on

Have you gotten any Mardi Gras beads today?? I haven’t but oh well Lol

So to celebrate Fat Tuesday I decided to have pancakes since I grew up always going to Fat Tuesday pancake suppers at my parent’s respective churches when I was a youngster.  However, instead of your regular pancakes I made sweet potato pancakes with a spinach pesto!!

Can we say DELISH!? I think I should get some beads for this concoction 🙂

Sweet Potato Latkas

Lightly adapted from Spark People

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded

1/2 cup green or white onions, finely minced

1 Tbsp dry parsley

1 tsp dry stage

2 Tbsp flax meal

2 Tbsp boiling water

1/2 lemon

1/4 cup brown rice flour

Celtic sea salt (course) to taste

Black Pepper to taste

* Pour boiling water over flaxmeal in a bowl and let turn to gelatinous mass.

* Mix sweet potatoes and onions with lemon juice

* Add Seasonings, flour and flax – mix together

* Heat oil (coconut oil) – drop spoonfuls on hot pan, use fork to spread out into a thin pancake

* Cook until corners are browned and crisp, flip – cook till golden

Spinach Pesto

2-3 cups baby spinach

1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 large garlic clove

Lemon Juice – to taste

2 tsp sesame seeds

1/4 cup raw cashews

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Salt to taste

* Put all ingredients into a food processor, and process until fully blended.  May add some spinach if taste is too strong.  This recipe is really to each persons own taste, so you can add a bit more of any ingredient until you find the right combination 🙂

BEADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And the Oscar goes to…..

Ohhh how I love award shows! Especially the Oscars.  I love seeing all of the celebrity’s, the fashion, the fact that it’s live and anyone could say anything!

I am totally celeb obsessed! And yes, it has also been my life long dream to become famous.

I’d be great at it don’t you think??  Lol

So I’ve been hemming and hawing over what to make for tonight’s special occasion, and finally came up with a nice menu for two, my roommate and I.  I was deathly ill yesterday… let’s just say that I had a lapse in judgment, more rather, was having a fantastic time out with friends and did not stop to think that after having a couple glasses of red wine, drinking a long island iced tea might not be the bestest of ideas….. yea noooo bueno.  However, I treated myself with extra sleep, coconut water then made a lentil vegetable soup and today I feel as good as new!!  Again, the powers of whole foods strike again! Lol

Oscar Night Menu

– True Cilantro Cheesy Grits

– The Fighter Garlic Basil Sweet Potato Fries

– Black Swan Grapefruit Avocado Sprout Salad

– The Kings Speech Peppermint Tea

– Toy Story 3 Chocolate Cake with a Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the Oscar goes to…….

Me!!! Lol

Yes, that is a real Oscar!!  About 4 years ago I went to LA for a wedding and it was right around Oscars time so they had this whole display with all of the real oscars in cases, and then one that was attached to a cord that you could hold and take a picture with!  You can only imagine my sheer excitement!!!

I won’t post all of the recipes here as that is a tad overwhelming!  So I’ll start with the Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake!!

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies with a Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

– 3 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer

– 6 Tbsp Warm Water

– 1 3/4 Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

– 1/3 cup Carob Powder

– 1 tsp Baking Powder

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/3 cup melted Coconut Oil

– 1/3 cup chopped Green & Black 86% Chocolate Baking Bar

–   1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

– 1 ripe banana mashed

– 1 cup Vegan Sugar

* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

– Whisk together the EnerG Egg Replacer and warm water and set aside.

– Add the flour, carob, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until they’re thoroughly blended.

– Chop the chocolate bar and place in a medium-sized microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Whisk in the melted coconut oil until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla, mashed banana, and egg replacer and blend well. Stir in the sugar.

– Add the wet mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Gently mix together with a large spoon or curved silicone-type spatula until the batter is just blended.

– Line an 8” x 11 ½” pan with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread out to the edges.  Place in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

– Cool in the pan, remove, and cut into squares. (Best stored in the fridge.)

Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

– 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries

– Small bunch mint roughly chopped

– Juice from 1 inch of lemon

– 1/4 – 1/3 cup vegan sugar

– 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

*  Place all ingredients (minus the chia seeds) into small sauce pan and heat (stirring constantly) on medium heat.  Heat for about 2-3 minutes until it comes to a rolling boil.

* Add in the Chia seeds and keep stirring constantly until the sauce becomes a slightly thick jam like consistency.

* Pour onto the chocolate cake and enjoy with a nice cup of peppermint tea!!

I Heart Alfredo!!

Ok, so I have a confession to make, I have become OBSESSED with making this Pasta with Alfredo sauce.  Like literally, I cannot seem to get enough of it!!  I may need an intervention.

“Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a Pasta Alfredo-holic”

It’s just soooo delicious and creamy and…. delicious!!!

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

1 cup unsweetened original coconut milk (or any other plain unsweetened milk)

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp Tahini

1 Tbsp ground mustard

2 large cloves garlic

2 large pinches dried Thyme

1 tsp Paprika

Juice from a 1 inch lemon slice

Salt and pepper to taste

* Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high.  (Depending on your blender and its power, you may need to add a bit more milk in to make sure it blends well.)  The sauce will be a nice thick consistency.

* Pour sauce into pot with drained pasta, put on low heat and stir until pasta is fully mixed with sauce.

* Put into favorite bowl with any of your fav veggies, or just add scallions (my fav) and some basil and enjoy the delicious decadence slooowly!!! (I made the mistake of inhaling it too fast the first time because it was so good!! then got sad when it was gone too fast)

The good news is that I have admitted that I have a problem with this amazing vegan cheesy goodness.  The bad news is that I really don’t want to let this go!! Lol

This dish is a bit on the decadent side, and definitely not one that should be consumed as much as I have been consuming it in the past few weeks.  However, it is most certainly WAAAAYYY better then the real tushy stuff (tushy is the new term which I have picked up from Kris Carr, when referring to anything regarding dairy or cow).

I am finally just about cleared of my cold thank god!! I’m tellin  you all, those cold buster smoothies and juices worked!! Along with my Samubucus lozenges.  Those lozenges tasted horrible! but they work! A major perk of working at a holistic pharmacy, I am surrounded by awesome remedies all day long that can make me better!

I hate that this blog today wasn’t filled with interesting knowledge Lol but I find that after I get home from work in the evenings, I don’t have a ton of time to write.  But I’d rather post something rather then nothing 🙂  All for the love of my growing crowd of readers 🙂

Here is my question for you all today:

Are there any topics or questions you would like me to cover in any up coming blog postings?  I have a few up my sleeve which I would like to cover when I have a bit more time to go more in depth.

Valentines Day is Berry Granola

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

Well  I hope everyone had a wonderful valentines day filled with love no matter if your in a relationship or not.  I myself am not, but a few valentines day’s ago my best friend reminded me that it’s not just about your “loved one” but about the love you have all around you, from family and friends!  I thought that was a fabulous way to look at it.   So thank you D!!  I love you!! 🙂

I had work today, which flew by! I love those days don’t you?  Where you all of a sudden look at the clock and it’s already 3:00!! WOW!!

I came home and fixed a most delicious meal of sprouted mung beans, steamed broccoli and red quinoa with a ginger miso dressing 🙂  oh it was scrumdi-dily-umptious!! I apologize for no pictures, but as usual I made extra so I have some for dinner tomorrow night, so I’ll try to remember to take some photos and post the recipe.  It’s quite simple and easy to throw together, which is my philosophy about meals during the week.

However, I will share with you what I whipped together this evening.  I have been fixated on making some granola since my fantastically big flop of making it about a month ago where I burned it to a crisp!  So this time I basically stood watching the oven the whole time.   And as usual, I didn’t measure anything, but since granola is really just a big mixture of whatever, I’ll just post what I put into it.  You can feel free to add or subtract to your own desired taste!

Valentines Berry Granola

– Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (2 cups?)

– Dried Cranberries (apple juice sweetened)

– Dried Strawberries

– Goji Berry

– Dried unsweetened banana (1/4 cup)

– Coconut flakes (1/4 cup)

– Raw almonds (1 large handful)

– Raw sunflower seeds (1 large handful)

– Chia seeds (2 Tbsp?)

– Coconut Oil  (approx. 1/2 cup?)

– Brown rice syrup (approx. 1/4 -1/3 cup?)

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees

– Mix all ingredients together until fully encorporated.

– Spread onto parchment paper

– Put timer on 5 minutes, and every 5 minutes open oven to stir granola around.  Keeping your eye on the oven to make sure it doesn’t burn!!  I believe I baked it a total of 30 minutes??  (basically just keep watching it until you feel its about done.)

– Let it sit out so it hardens up a bit, then carefully break into nice big chunks and put into an air tight container. Enjoy it with some vanilla hemp milk, or over fresh cut fruit and yogurt or just eat by the handful as an on the go snack!! The options are endless!!

Let cool

And just remember….

“All you need is Love…”

A Few Wishes and Amazing Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Goodness!

So I have been doing some “wishing upon a star” lately….. no one star in particular really… just wishing in general.  I have soooo many wishes these days.  Most of which have to do with time moving just a smidge faster so that I can magically be exactly where I am wanting to be.  Also, my life long dream to become famous is becoming stronger and stronger… why? I don’t know but if anyone has any connections give me a hollah!!

Life in general and what the future holds has been on my mind a lot lately, and when I say a lot I mean like ALL THE TIME!  By no means is this a bad thing, I just wish I had more answers to it all.  Lots of open ended questions:  Where am I going with my life?  When will I find “The One”?  Should I go to Grad school?  How am I going to get to California?  How long is it going to take until I finally can reach my ultimate goal?   ………and the questions continue, but I won’t bore you with my laundry list of “when’s”  but you get my drift right?

In particular, after having been single for the past ohh…. almost three years now, I am ready to get back into the dating field.  Not to mention the fact that after my 27th birthday this past year, I started getting that “settle down” itch which totally freaked me out!! So needless to say I would very much love to find my prince charming soon! Lol

Cinderella is my all time favorite Disney movie.... does that mean anything?? Lol

So with all of that “woe is me” yammering I just did, I shall share with you the amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies I whipped up to settle my nerves and mind this weekend.  I tend to hit up the kitchen when my mind is all a flutter, I find it soothes me, calms me down, I become “Zen” 🙂

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Chloe Coscarelli

2 1/4  All purpose flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1 Tbsp Ener-g egg replacer

3/4 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

1 cup Earth Balance Butter

3/4 cup Vegan Sugar

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Water

1 Tbsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1.) In a medium bowl whisk together the: flour, baking soda, egg replacer, salt, and cinnamon

2.) In a stand mixer (or can use hand mixer):

– Beat the butter for 30 seconds

– Slowly add the sugars in a stream while mixing

3.) In a small bowl mix the water and vanilla together

4.) Once the butter and sugar is mixed, add the water/vanilla mixture while still mixing the butter and sugar

5.) Put stand mixer on “stir” or if using hand mixer put on “low” and add in the flour mixture a 1/2 cup at a time.  Make sure that after each addition of flour the mix gets fully incorporated.

6.) Add in the chocolate chips and lightly mix (not too much! but just enough for the chips to get mixed in)

7.)  Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop dough onto cookie sheet leaving enough room for them to spread.

8.) Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough a little bit so they look nice and round

9.)  Bake for 12-18 minutes (depends on how you like your cookies)

– for super chewy doughy cookies bake for 12, for super crispy bake for 18.  – for medium texture use your judgement from 13 to 17 minutes

So I leave you with this one last question…