5-ingredient key lime pie bites (vegan, sugar free)

One of the most frutrating things about changing your diet is relearning how to cook. The substitutes for the ingredients you used to rely on (sugar, white flour, eggs, dairy, meat etc.), don’t behave in the same way. In the first three months that I spent eating a plant-based diet, I was brought almost to tears several times because the kitchen suddenly felt like a foreign place.

Which makes the victory all the (sugar-free) sweeter when I hit on the right mix of ingredients the first time I make up a recipe. And judging by how quickly these little bites disappeared with our small group from church, I’d say these were a BIG hit.

If you have Lime Vitality Essential oil, I’d use that to give them a limey kick, but freshly squeezed lime juice will work too. They can be served naked or with a coconut coating. 

Last thing before I share the recipe…on Monday, I’m doing a clean eating challenge with a “Big Game” theme. It features a six day meal plan (including this recipe) of foods you might find at a “Big Game” party, but with a healthier twist. Comment if you’d like in on the challenge which I run through a private Facebook group (or you can request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1359914420746043/)


Key Lime Pie Bites 
1⁄2 cup cashews
1 c date paste
3 drops of lime vitality essential oil or 1-2 tsp of lime juice
3⁄4 c large flake, unsweetened coconut
Shredded coconut (optional)

Put all ingredients except the shredded coconut in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is very smooth. Roll into bite-sized balls. If desired, roll in shredded coconut. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.

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crockpot carrot cake oatmeal (vegan, sugar free)

This week I’m running a 6-day clean eating crockpot challenge through a private Facebook group.

The recipes for apple cinnamon and banana bread oatmeal in the meal plan got me thinking about what other kinds of desserts could be transformed into a healthy breakfast.

Carrot cake immediately came to mind.

Naturally sweetened only with fruit and containing hints of cinnamon and ginger make this oatmeal a tasty way to start the morning. And because it’s made in a crockpot, it’s already warm when you wake up.

If you are interested in learning about upcoming clean eating challenges, please leave a comment and I will contact you. 

Crockpot Carrot Cake Oatmeal
3 cups oat berries/groats
3.5 cups water
2.5 cups nondairy milk
2 large carrots, finely grated
3 large Medjool dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
raisins

1. Put all ingredients (except for the raisins if you prefer to add them upon serving) into the crockpot and stir.
2. Turn crockpot on low and allowed to cook for 6 to 8 hours.
3. Spoon into bowls and garnish with raisins and pour on additional non-dairy milk if desired.
4. Makes about six servings and stores well in the refrigerator for several days.

Recipe Notes
I prefer using whole oat berries (or groats) as they take a longer time for your body to break down. Which means they’re not easily been converted into simple carbohydrates. 

Although you could add the raisins directly into the crockpot, I prefer to add them upon serving. 

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curried quinoa salad + cookbook giveaway

First up…tomorrow will be the last day you can enter the giveaway for the Oh She Glows Everyday cookbook. Click this link to see the original post. Please share it with other plant-based eaters too…or maybe people you’re hoping to win over.

And as promised, another recipe for you.

This one is inspired by a recipe I found at Whole Foods Market. I substituted in quinoa for the couscous the recipe originally called for plus made a few little tweaks. Quinoa in a complete plant protein so this substitution bumps up the nutrition profile of this salad.

It’s extremely easy to put together (except for maybe shredding the carrots if you do so by hand) and can be eaten as a side, main meal and brought to share at a pot luck. I find that quinoa doesn’t do too well after several days in the fridge, so be sure to eat this within one to two days of making it.

Remember too, that I post several times a day over on my FB like page…nutrition and fitness tips, motivation and more! I would love to see you over there too…be sure to leave a comment and say hello.

Curried Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

1 T curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c. raisins
1 c. uncooked quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
2 carrots, shredded
½ onion, minced
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. minced fresh cilantro
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

Instructions

Add curry powder and salt to water and cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool and fluff with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

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quinoa tabouli (vegan, gluten free, low carb, sugar free)

quinoa tabouliI love trying foods from other cultures which have a solid amount of veggies in their diets.

Ever since I tried tabouli, a middle eastern salad that usually features bulgar, I was a fan. However, my enthusiasm for it waivered ever since I began cutting back on wheat products several years go. I also swapped out the oil for hummus for an interesting twist on the dressing.

Thankfully, I discovered that quinoa is a perfect substitute and packs a superfood, plant protein punch into this refreshing salad. The key to great quinoa is thoroughly rinsing off the bitter saponin and using a ratio of water to quinoa that is just shy of 2:1.

If you give this a try, I would love your feedback.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the quinoa tabouli recipe

quinoa tabouli

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

    For the Ingredients

    • 4 T hummus
    • 2 T lemon juice
    • ½ tsp salt
    • dashes freshly ground pepper

    For the Salad

    • ¾ c. uncooked white quinoa
    • 1 cucumber, diced
    • 1 pack cherry tomatoes, sliced
    • ½ onion, finely diced
    • 1/4 -1.2 cup fresh parsley, minced
    • optional: pine nuts

    Instructions

    For the Dressing:

    Combine all ingredients in a glass measuring cup, jar or bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Add water if necessary to thin. Pour over tabouli and gently stir until thoroughly mixed.

    For the Salad:

    Thoroughly rinse quinoa. Best way is to cover with water in a bowl or pot, agitate with you hands, pour into a sieve and repeat 2-3 times with fresh water.

    Add quinoa to a pot with 1.5 cups of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

    Cool and fluff with a fork. When cool add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and pine nuts, if using.

    Pour dressing over tabouli and gently stir until thoroughly mixed.

    This salad is best eaten fresh, but will keep in the fridge for one day if properly stored.

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    6-ingredient Cauliflower soup (vegan,anti candida, gluten free, paleo) 

    cauliflower soupToday is Day 4 of the full Sugar Detox Challenge. I’m also adding the twist of following the anti-candida diet which you can learn more about here.

    One of the keys to succeeding with any diet change, is preparation. Mental and physical.

    So much of what and how we eat is tied up in our emotions, our memories and our culture that breaking from your traditional diet can be tough. I’ve found the best way to mentally prepare for a diet changhttps://shebloomflourish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1024&action=edite is praying about it and leaning on God to get me through. But I also put that faith in action by researching recipes and articles…you could say it’s “thought for food.

    To prepare physically, there are several practical steps to take to increase success:

    • Remove the foods that are a source of temptation: This is key if you really struggle with giving into cravings. If it’s not in your cupboards or fridge, it’s not very likely that you’ll run to the store to feed the temptation.
    • Meal planning: Although I always recommend planning meals -including snacks – because it saves time, mental stress and money, this step is especially important when you are following a new diet and dealing with foods that may be unfamiliar to you.
    • Meal prep:This is meal planning’s often overlooked partner and an area I still need to grow in. Meal prepping, especially for snacks that require more than grabbing a handful of something, helps avoid the pitfall of reaching for whatever is most convenient, but not diet-friendly.

    Four days into the anti-candida diet and I’m grateful for taking these steps. The hardest part so far is not reaching for my usual standbys of raisins or carrots and hummus. All healthy, but the higher sugar and carb count counts them out for the strictest part of the anti-candida diet.

    Now on to the cauliflower soup…

    As part of my meal prepping, I made a HUGE pot of this over the weekend, which takes care of my lunches for this week and most of next.

    It’s simple to make but packed with flavor and other goodness that eating cauliflower, onions, garlic and curry bring.

    CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the cauliflower soup recipe

    cauliflower soup

    Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

    Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

    Serves: 6-8

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ tsp curry powder
    • 1 ½ tsp salt
    • dashes of freshly ground pepper

    Instructions

    Saute onions and garlic in a little water in a large stockpot until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add cauliflower and seasonings and add more water until it’s not quite covering the cauliflower.

    Bring to a boil, then simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, about 35-40 minutes.

    Cool slightly and add to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. You will probably have to do this several times, so make sure you have an extra pot on hand to transfer the blended soup into.

    Recipe Notes

    *Eliminate pepper if following the anti-candida diet

    *Freezes well.

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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.

    017_15A
    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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    peanut butter banana milkshake (vegan, sugar free)

    pbmilkshakes Shakes and smoothies are such a “thing” these days.

    (Almost) every time I see a shake or smoothie recipe posted on my favorite food blogs or on the pages of a magazine, I think, “I should try that.”

    Yet, I rarely make it past this shake.100_2516The one that tastes rich and unwholesome but really is made from a few simple good-for-you ingredients with no dairy or sugar in sight. It is inspired by this recipe over at Healthy. Happy. Life.

    Enough said. With summer is in full swing and school starting in less that one month for us, I’m keeping this post short and sweet…

    CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the peanut butter banana milkshake recipe

    peanut butter banana milkshake

    Prep Time: 5

    Serves: 1

     

    Ingredients

    • 1 banana, pre-sliced & frozen, per shake
    • 3 T peanut butter
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • Cinnamon
    • ½-3/4 cup almond milk or other dairy-free milk

    Instructions

    Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, starting with ½ cup of almond milk.

    Blend until smooth, adding more milk if needed to produce a thick, but pourable, shake

    Recipe Notes

    For a peanut free version, try walnuts.

    To keep the recipe raw, use a raw nut butter

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    jolly good potato & leek soup (vegan, oil free)

    100_2326With a new baby welcomed into the monarchy and surprising election results, the Brits have been in the headlines of late. So it seems rather timely to post a recipe that I often associate with England.

    I have a soft spot for the UK since we were blessed to live there for a few years when I was growing up, coupled with the fact that one of my grandmother’s haled from England, a war bride of the 1940’s.

    grandpa nan
    my grandpa & nan on their honeymoon in England

    The first month we lived there, we had tea and cookies every night.

    Back in March, I shared this recipe for vegan cabbage rolls, a nod to the Polish side of my heritage. As much as I’d like to veganize one of the more traditional British meals which my “Nan” often made – roast beef and Yorkshire puddings – it just wouldn’t be the same. Instead, I’ll turn to another recipe traditional to the British Isles…potato and leek soup.

    This is a recipe handed down to me from my mom and is super simple to make. As with many soups, it tastes better the second day, so consider making it ahead of time to let the flavors fully develop.potato leek soupCLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the potato & leek soup recipe

    jolly good potato & leek soup

    Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

    Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

    Serves: 10-12

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium leeks, sliced
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 7 medium organic russet potatoes, peeled & diced
    • ¾ tsp. salt
    • Dashes freshly ground pepper
    • water

    Instructions

    Sauté leeks and onions in a large stock pot in a little water until tender, about 5 minutes.

    Add potatoes and add water until potatoes are loosely floating.

    Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add seasonings and simmer until potatoes can be mashed until smooth.

    Add more water if necessary to achieve desired consistency

    Recipe Notes

    Organic potatoes are best to use since potatoes have a high pesticide content.

    The soup tends to thicken as it sits, so you may need to add more water upon reheating.

    The consistency for this soup that I like best is one that is easily pourable without being too watery.

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