apple cabbage slaw with apple cinnamon dressing (vegan, raw, paleo, gluten free, no added sugar)

In the apple vs. pumpkin debate, I fall in with the apple crowd.

What about you?

It’s been a great year for apples here in Northeast Ohio…especially the organic red apples we’ve been enjoying from my parent’s neighbors. Which got me brainstorming ideas for a fresh fall apple-based salad…

Voila! Apple cabbage slaw with apple cinnamon dressing.

I can eat it like candy.

My favorite thing? I can’t decide. It’s a toss up its crunchy sweetness (but without any added sugar!) or being the perfect balance to the heavier comfort food dishes because the apple cinnamon dressing is free of heavier oils found in traditional coleslaw.

 

The apple cabbage slaw recipe is one of the three bonus recipes included in the the Perk Up Your Pantry – Fall edition recipe ebook and also includes:

  • 5 essential sauce recipes
  • 5 essential snack recipes
  • 5 easy main dish recipes
  • 3 fall-inspired bonus recipes
  • A shopping list of all ingredients

PLUS you’ll receive two bonus items: a meal prep tip sheet and a meal plan tip sheet which includes a suggested meal plan featuring the recipe in the Fall Perk Up Your Pantry recipe book. All for only $8! Click here to buy it now.

 

And in case you fall on the pumpkin-side of things, I’ll have a pumpkin-inspired recipe for you later this week.

6-ingredient chocolate earth truffles (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, raw option)

chocolate earth trufflesAs promised yesterday, here is an Earth Day-inspired recipe that is simple to make and a way to satisfy the sweet tooth without any added sugar (unless you want to add a little).

I came across this recipe at the Whole Foods Market recipe site, but made it over so that it didn’t contain sugar. I always love when I find recipes that are easily sweetened by fruit…recipes that leave you feeling good about what you ate instead of weighed down and sluggish.

You might want to double this recipe if you have children or are bringing this to share because they don’t stay on the plate for very long.

If you’re curious why I recommend buying fair-trade cocoa powder, read this post.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Chocolate Earth Truffles recipe

6-ingredient chocolate earth truffles

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Chill Time:  1 hour

Makes: 12-15

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup date paste
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably fair trade
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup cacao nibs (or dairy free chocolate chips)
  • 1/3-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Instructions

In a food processor, add peanut butter, date paste and cocoa powder and blend until all the ingredients are well combined.

Spoon mixture into a large bowl and add raisins and cacao nibs or chocolate chips. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Place mix in the fridge for about one hour to firm up.

Scoop out spoonfuls of truffle mix and form 1” balls.

Roll balls in shredded/flaked coconut.

Recipe Notes

Store in an air tight container in the fridge. Will keep for about 2-3 days if properly stored.

You also could roll the truffles in finely ground walnuts, pecans or almonds.

To make these raw, use raw peanut butter

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date night: eating raw @ The Root Cafe (a review)

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Cleveland, and Lakewood in particular, has a seriously under-rated food scene. If you live in Northeast Ohio, you’ll know what I mean. If you’ve never been here…well, you are missing out my friend, though I suspect many people will discover this hidden treasure in July during the RNC.

Last night my husband and I were treated to a three-course raw foods meal at one of our favorite local hang outs…The Root Cafe.

I love The Root’s commitment to locally sourced, organic ingredients for it’s vegan and vegetarian menu and that the atmosphere reflects our community. It is quintessentially Lakewood. And I’m not alone in my opinion…this past Tuesday, The Root was featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.

So last week when I saw this post by owner Julie Hutchinson, I jumped at the offer:

root menu

raw food night <3If you’ve never had a raw style meal before but are super curious, post in the comments below and we will pick a name to enjoy a complimentary 3 course meal! xoxo

I was so excited when Julie responded that my name had been selected…raw veggies + a date with my husband = one happy girl.

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I picked the Cheezey Kale Chips, Chop Salad with  Creamy 1000 Island Dressing, Pesto Pasta Primavera and we were treated to both beverages and dessert. We also couldn’t resist ordering the soup of the day (not raw) which was a Coconut Tomato Curry Bisque, which The Root kindly added with their compliments.

The highlights of the meal for me were the soup, which struck an excellent balance between the coconut and curry and brought the heat to match, the Chop Salad which even got me to eat the radishes – a veggies I usually avoid , and the Pesto Pasta Primavera because…garlic! It also was my first time trying spiralized squash noodles as a stand in for traditional pasta and they did not disappoint. I also give a forks up to the strawberry fig salad which complemented the pasta. It’s greens and balsamic dressing where a bright refreshment to the nut-infused dishes.

Our meal concluded with the warmed Vanilla Bean Almond Mylk and Chocolate Almond Cocoa and the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Creme. While the vanilla almond milk was bland, I was pleasantly surprised by the almond extract in the cocoa. Usually I’m not a fan of almond extract, but in the cocoa it reminded me of my son’s favorite cherry cordial ice cream.

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Since maintaining a low-sugar diet, I found the ice creme topped with cashew whipped creme to be a little sweet, but my husband – and I’m sure other traditional dessert lovers – had no problem scraping the bowl clean. 🙂

Overall, I’d give The Root Cafe a five forks up on this months’ raw food menu: everything was well presented, creative in its menu options and the service was friendly and attentive. Bonus marks are given for the locally sourced, organic ingredients.

*While I received a complimentary meal, the idea for this post and my opinions are my own.

chocolate mousse cake (vegan, sugar free, gluten free, paleo)

mousse cake

I’m not really sure if “cake” is the right work to describe this dessert. Pie doesn’t really fit either, although this does have a crust. But after doing some research to see if there was a more fitting name for this confection and turning up nada, I’m running with cake. Food people, if I’ve missed named this dessert, please let me know. I’m all ears.

Ever since radically reducing my sugar intake a couple of years (and more on this to come next week), I’ve tried to stick to desserts that use mostly fruit to sweeten them. After seeing similar concoction around the Web, I knew I had to try my hand at my own version.

mousse cake steps

This recipe combines the recipe for my dark chocolate pudding mousse with an almond-coconut-chocolate crust sweetened only with date paste. If you want more “cake,” then double the recipe for the pudding.

The best part? You won’t regret eating a second, or third, piece. It’s a cake that will make your taste buds and your body sing – even if it’s not made for a birthday. 😉

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe

chocolate mousse cake

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 c. whole almonds
  • ½ c. date paste
  • ½ c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Mousse

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. date paste
  • 1- 14.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 scoops 100% pure stevia
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 T almond butter

Instructions

Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture begins to hold together.

Press the crust mixture in a springform pan, packing down tightly,

Combine mousse ingredients in a food processor, scraping down the sides a couple of times, and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in two separate batches if doubling the mousse.

Spread mousse over crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

Double the ingredients for the mousse layer if a higher cake is desired.

Make sure you buy 100% PURE stevia – it should come with its own very tiny scoop. I get mine at Trader Joe’s.

Buy fair trade cocoa powder, if possible

For a raw food dessert, be sure to use raw almonds and almond butter.

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Leng’s salad (vegan, gluten-free, peanut free option)

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As promised, here’s the post I promised which features one of my favorite sauces that pairs well with many dishes. Although the National Day of Peanut Butter may have passed, peanut butter lovers know that any day is a good day to enjoy this nutty legume. (For those with allergies and non-peanut butter lovers, you can sub in almond butter).

I call this recipe Leng’s Salad in honor of a woman our family got to know a couple of years ago. She and her family were refugees we had the privilege mentoring for a short time. While they’ve since moved away, every time I make this salad, I think of how much they enjoyed it at our home. Given that they’re Asian and this is an Asian inspired recipe, I wasn’t sure if it would fly or flop. But it was a hit. 🙂

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As with most salads, this is a mix-and-match, add-what-you-like-best free for all. When I want a super quick version, I’m even content with two of these ingredients – usually kale and cabbage. This usually is a crowd pleaser (unless you have a picky crowd or your “crowd” includes humans under the age of “skeptical about most vegetables), so be brave and try it out at your next potluck.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Leng’s Salad recipe

Leng’s Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

    For the Salad

    • kale, destemmed, roughly chopped
    • red or green cabbage, roughly sliced or shredded
    • carrots,peeled into strips or shredded*
    • green onions, finely sliced
    • sunflower seeds

    Additional mix-in/combination options:

    • cauliflower, roughly chopped
    • sweet potato fries, diced*
    • rutabaga, diced
    • raw brussel sprouts, finely sliced or shredded
    • brown rice pasta*
    • red pepper, finely sliced

    621 Thai Dressing (makes 5-6 servings)

    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
    • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
    • 6 tablespoon coconut aminos
    • 5-8 tablespoon almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
    • 6 tablespoons peanut or almond butter

    Instructions

    For the Salad

    Chop all ingredients into bite-sized pieces. If using cabbage, slice thinly. Mix well.

    For the Dressing

    Add all ingredients to a jar and stir or shake until thoroughly mixed. Add more almond milk if needed or for desired consistency.

    Recipe Notes

    I didn’t list quantities with the salad ingredients because salads are so flexible. Just adjust your portions as needed. Generally, one full handful of combined ingredients = 1 side salad portion and two-three handfuls work for a main course salad portion.

    *Omit these options and sub in almond butter in the dressing for the strict portion of the candida diet and/or for a paleo-friendly salad

    I opted to create this dressing recipe using garlic and ginger powered because it’s quick and easy. Most days I would not have the patience to mince the garlic or ginger for the dressing. I recommend using organic powdered ginger or a brand that does not add sulfur.

    You might want to start with adding 5 T of your non-dairy milk to start and then add more until you get the desired pouring consistency. This dressing will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add a little more milk the next day. I’m not sure how another type of non-dairy milk will affect the taste or consistency.

    When I sub in almond butter, I usually use roasted almond butter, either chunky or smooth. Raw almond butter would work too, but it might affect the taste/consistency.

    The dressing keeps well for several days in the fridge. I often will make up a jar and then pour it over my salads all week.

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    throw back thursday go to snack // ants on a log

    ants on a log
    ants on a log = celery + peanut butter + raisins

    Grow up in North America and peanut butter is almost synonymous with childhood. Except, perhaps, if you are severely allergic to it.

    Perhaps it is not surprising then that one of the snack I fondly remember my mum making for us as children is the classically simple, “Ants on a Log.” The genius of combining these three ingredients harkens back to the 1950s (I couldn’t help looking up its history) and I am forever grateful.

    Picture 003
    my two youngest at the beach in 2013 (because it’s fun to look back at the little years)

    As I shared here, my husband looked forward to coaching little league from the time our children were babies. Me? I looked forward to the day they were p.b. + celery ready so I could make them this snack.

    And whether it’s because of its name or portability, it’s also one of my favorite foods to pack for a picnic.

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    My two oldest when they were little circa summer 2006. Though they weren’t eating ants on a log here, we were enjoying a picnic in Stratford, ON

    I recommend using organic celery since conventional celery is on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list and spreading it with all natural, no sugar added peanut butter (the raisins add a natural sweetness).

    So tell me, what is your favorite snack from childhood? Do you still eat it today? What are your favorite plant-based foods to pack on a picnic?

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    naturally salty sweet peanut butter banana jumblelaya (vegan, nut-free/raw option)

    100_1879Sometimes, I think the best recipes are those that are cobbled together…a little of this, a little of that, nothing measured. Just a few favorite ingredients in a bowl, in a cup, on a plate. Snacking especially lends itself to improv eating.

    Although my go to snack often is enough to satisfy, sometimes, I’m looking for something a little bit more…

    100_1883This snack is by no means intended to approximate the traditional Cajun jambalaya in the rice-veggies-meat sense, but it does mimic the dish’s mish mash approach to pulling ingredients together.

    Peanut butter + banana have long been a favorite of mine. (In my white-bread eating days, it was especially satisfying eat the pb+b on a toasted plain bagel.)

    Add in naturally sweet dried coconut and raisins and the hint of cinnamon and you have an unconventional, yet satisfying snack. I usually toss all these ingredients in a bowl, but for the pictures, I used a small canning jar, because it just looks prettier.

    If you have a nut allergy, substitute in sunflower seed butter. And if you prefer eating raw, use a raw nut butter. I recommend using a salted nut/seed butter as it complements the delicate sweetness of the fruit.

    CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the salty sweet peanut butter banana jumblelaya

     Salty Sweet Peanut Butter Banana Jumblelaya

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    1 banana per person
    Raisins
    Unsweetened, shredded dried coconut
    Cinnamon
    Salted peanut butter or nut or seed butter of choice

    1. Slice bananas into a bowl, jar or mug
    2. Sprinkle on cinnamon
    3. Add remaining ingredients in desired quantity
    4. Enjoy!

    oven-baked sweet potato chips + guacamole (vegan, oil-free)

    2009-01-18 19.13.25I grew up in a home where we ate quite a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. But somehow the avocado eluded us. And guacamole? The first time I tried it I was in my late twenties.

    It was love-at-first-bite.

    guacamole collage But chips, guac’s side kick, are rather low on the healthy eating spectrum, sprouted, organic, GMO-free or not. And despite their salty, crunchy tastiness, I’ve been looking beyond the vegan label to examine what I’m actually putting into my body.  Because eating a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily = a healthy diet.

    So when I want a healthier compadre for my guacamole, I round up some sweet potatoes and put them to work. According to WebMD, sweet potatoes are full of calcium, potassium and vitamins A & C.sweet potato rounds collageBoth recipes are simple to prepare and contain a small handful of ingredients.

    But before we get to the recipes, I wondered…are there any foods or dishes that somehow eluded you in childhood that you discovered as an adult?

    CLICK TO PRINT A PDF of the guacamole recipe
    CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the oven baked sweet potato chips recipe

    oven baked sweet potato chips & guacamole (oil free, vegan)

    Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

    Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

    Keywords: bake raw appetizer snack side gluten-free nut-free oil free paleo soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian garlic avocado cilantro sweet potato Cinco de Mayo Mexican

    Ingredients

      For the Sweet Potato Chips

      • Sweet potatoes
      • Salt
      • Chili powder
      • Cumin

      For the Guacamole

      • 1 avocado
      • 1- 1½ tsp. fresh lime juice
      • 1-2 T cilantro
      • 1 small garlic clove, minced
      • 1 tsp. cumin
      • 1/8 tsp. salt
      • Freshly ground pepper

      Instructions

      For the Sweet Potato Chips

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

      Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes, then slice into rounds about ¼” thick.

      Place rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with seasonings to your taste.

      Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hours, turning at least once until potatoes are cooked through.

      For the Guacamole

      Peel the avocado, remove pit and mash.

      Add remaining ingredients to the avocado and stir thoroughly.

      Best if served immediately.

      Recipe Notes

      Plan to prepare approximately 1-2 sweet potatoes per person depending on the size of the potato.

      Sweet potato chips are best when freshly cooked, but can be stored in the fridge and then reheated

      Avocados are ripe when their skins are black and they yield gently to the touch.

      A fork or potato masher work well to mash the avocado.

      Sometimes I add in diced onion and/or finely diced tomatoes to mix things up a bit.

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      oh-lay early spring salad

      2009-01-08 14.07.00It’s funny how much we talk about the weather, at least around these parts. Perhaps it’s because we’re all in it together, this waiting for spring to be spring.

      I check weather updates repeatedly as if somehow my multiple visits per day to our local weather station’s website will translate to warmer temperatures in the forecast. Even now my fingers are itching to check it once again. The calendar says it’s spring, but the temperatures seem reluctant to leave winter behind. I need to remind myself as I remind my children that it is the Lord who controls the weather and, thankfully, He is not bound by a calendar.

      spring inside
      lavender for our door :: wheatgrass courtesy of my youngest who bought it for my oldest :: a nod to another favorite past time

      At least I can bring spring inside our home and to our table. For our home, I’m switching out winter photographs, prints and decorations. (And if you’re looking for spring printables, here are a few free ones I found around the web: (Hello Spring by On Sutton Place; Hello Spring by Sandy Toes and Popsicles; Bicycles by Oh So Lovely blog)

      And for our table, I looking to grace it with recipes that incorporate springtime vegetables and my favorite minneola oranges which are only available for a short time in the stores where we live .

      early spring saladSo I was excited a few weeks back to have this recipe arrive in my inbox from Minimalist Baker.  I tried it out, but didn’t like the combination of the beans and quinoa with the lettuce, though I might have liked it better with kale (it’s a texture thing). So I made a few modifications to come up with the Oh-lay! Early Spring Salad featuring a pumpkin seed parmesan.

      CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Oh-lay Early Spring Salad recipe

      oh-lay early spring salad

      Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

      Cook Time: 1-2 minutes

      Serves: 4 people

      Ingredients

        For the Salad

        • Spring greens mix
        • Asparagus, roughly chopped
        • ½ – 1 cup minced cilantro
        • Oranges, diced
        • Avocado, diced
        • Pumpkin seed parmesan
        • Optional toppings:
        • Cucumber, diced
        • Roasted red pepper, sliced (organic is best)
        • Corn (organic is best)
        • Plantain chips, crumbled

        For the Pumpkin Seed Parmesan

        • ½ c. pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted
        • 3 tsp. nutritional yeast
        • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil
        • 1/8 tsp. salt
        • ¼ tsp. (heaping) cumin

        For the Orange-Lime Dressing

        • ¼ c. lime juice
        • 1 T orange juice concentrate + 1 T water
        • 3 T olive or avocado oil
        • ½ scoop 100% pure stevia
        • ½ tsp. cumin
        • ¼ tsp. chili powder
        • 1/8 tsp. salt
        • Dash pepper
        • 1 T cilantro, minced

        Instructions

        1. If toasting pumpkin seeds, place in a pot over high heat and toast until you hear the seeds begin to “pop”, about 1-2 minutes.

        2. Combine all pumpkin seed parmesan ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until roughly crumbled.

        3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well until emulsified.

        4. Prepare all salad ingredients, combine with dressing and parmesan and serve.

        Recipe Notes

        Use about one large handful of salad greens per person.

        If serving to a crowd, combine the greens, asparagus and cilantro in a large salad bowl, but serve the remaining toppings and dressing on the side for guests to add as desired. That way if you have leftovers, the greens will remain fresh.

        Pumpkin seed parmesan will keep for at least one week if refrigerated in a jar.

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        three-ingredient cinnamon toast (sugar & oil-free, vegan)

        100_1693On this last day of March I’m making a last ditch effort to post a new recipe before we turn the calendar to April. Although it’s been rather quiet here at brownberry tales,  on my side of the screen, it’s been business, and busy-ness, as usual which has led to the starting, but not finishing two other posts.

        Every once and awhile I hit a meal planning slump (such a depressing, clunky word, right?). But honestly, it’s challenging to maintain enthusiasm when planning meals for six palettes that don’t always agree on what tastes good, especially when it comes to plant-based recipes. As a high achiever who loves her family, I want all my peeps to enjoy what they are eating.

        Since inspiration was lacking from traditional dinner recipes, last night, I turned to breakfast. Inspiration found!

        cinnamon toast

        The recipe I’m sharing today is not the one I served last night (pancakes), but it is the recipe I used for a topping. After whipping it up, it reminded me of the cinnamon-sugar topping I used to put on toast. I still have vivid memories of toasting a piece of bread, slathering in with butter, then sprinkling on the cinnamon-sugar mix. Yum! But not so great for the teeth or the body.

        In this version, date paste replaces the sugar and the pecans make an excellent butter substitute. The cinnamon got to stay. 😉

        CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the cinnamon toast recipe

        3-ingredient Cinnamon Toast

        100_16951/2 c. pecans
        1/4 c. date paste
        1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon*

        serving size: 3-4 pieces of toast

        Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the oils release in the pecans and the mixture begins to clump together and becomes spreadable. This may take 3-5 minutes. Spread on toast and store any leftovers in the fridge.

        Recipe Notes

        • I used 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
        • My favorite bread is the Ezekiel 4:9 Bread by Food for Life because they use sprouted whole grains, but use gluten-free bread if needed
        • Bring any leftovers to room temperature before using.