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Shaved Fennel and Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Sweet and Sour Dressing

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Shaved Fennel and Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Sweet and Sour Dressing

fennelcitrussalad

A photo of this fresh, seasonal salad“leaked” on the internet the other day (thanks, Mom) and there was a TON of requests for the recipe so in leu of my usual intro detailing the benefits and flavor descriptions I am just going to post some photos and give you guys what you really want - the dang recipe! Besides, by looking a the photos you can imagine how wonderful this salad is for you and how incredibly the flavors come together.

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fennelcitrussalad

If you’re interested, take a peek on my instagram, where I detail why and how this salad is not only raw, vegan and seasonal (fall/winter) but it is also SUPER low waste.

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fennelcitrussalad

P.S - This dressing is a little time-intensive but it’s worth it - a totally unique flavor, with healthy ingredients reminiscent of your favorite Chinese take-out sauce. You can skip it if you’re in a pinch though, the salad kind of dresses itself with all the citrus and seasoning.


Serves: 4-8 • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes + cooling time for dressing (I suggest to make it a day ahead of time)


Shaved Fennel and Citrus Salad

  • 1 bulb of fennel + fronds, shaved using a mandolin

  • 3-4 medium-large pieces of citrus fruit - grapefruit, navel orange, blood orange, pomello; rind removed, cut into rounds or half moons

  • 1 large english cucumber, sliced into 1/4” rounds

  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts

  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

  • 1/2 red onion, shaved using a mandolin (*optional)

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (*optional)

  • Salt + pepper to taste

  • Spinach, romaine or mixed greens (*optional)

All very simple. Wash and prep all of your fruit and veg as described above, reserving citrus juice for tossing with the fennel and fennel fonds before mixing all of the ingredients together. Top with more walnuts, avocado and pomegranate arils. You can transfer to a bowl, chill and serve as is or you can serve this salad over a bed of greens.


Pomegranate Sweet and Sour Dressing

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar/liquid sweetener of choice

  • 1/4 rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 coconut aminos/soy sauce

  • 1 /2 tsp. red chili flakes OR 1 tsp. sriracha

  • 1 tbsp. corn starch dissolved in 1 tbsp. water

In a small sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients except for the corn starch slurry. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the corn starch and water - continue whisking til the mixture thickens enough to to coat the back of a spoon while still runny (about 3 minutes). Remove from the stove top and pour dressing into a glass container to fully cool. I like to make this dressing the night before as it thickens as it cooks down but you can also serve it hot with spring rolls or over rice and steamed veggies!

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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The Ultimate Guacamole

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The Ultimate Guacamole

ultimateguacamole

Everyone loves it. Everyone craves it. Everyone wants it on everything. And yes, everyone knows its extra. When it comes to something I eat and enjoy so often I don't want it to just be mediocre, it's taken me a long time but I have recently come to perfect my ideal gauc. But, what makes guacamole the "ultimate" guacamole?!

ultimateguacamole

Well... I've learned that it's different for everyone - some like super chunky guac (like me) but others like it totally smooth (yuck, sorry). Some like tons of fresh herbs in and others like to keep it simple. Some like tons of spice but others want to keep it mild. But for me, a few things make this recipe my ultimate and I hope you love it too...

1. Its substantial. This gauc has it all - GARLIC, ONION, JALAPENO, TOMATO and....FRESH CORN. The sweetness from the somewhat uncommon addition of corn is the absolute holy grail for gauc and in my opinion it makes this more than just a dip - it is so well rounded, you can just eat it by the spoonful. 

2. The freshness. The addition of lime and cilantro combine to make the perfect fresh take. 

3. The creativity. The sneaky addition of smoked paprika. Such a nice touch.  

ultimateguacamole

Give this a go and let me know if you take away OR add anything else so that makes this gauc YOUR ultimate.


Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 15 min


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 ear of fresh raw corn, cut off the cobb (yup, corn!) 
  • 1/4 large red onion *optional
  • the juice from 1 large, juicy lime (sub lemon)
  • 1/2 chopped jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped roma/cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic OR 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika OR cayenne 
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Prep all of your ingredients - remove your corn from the cobb, chop the garlic, pepper, onion, collect your spices and juice your lime. Pit and peel the avocados and add to a large bowl.

I like to keep my guac really chunky so I simply use a knife to roughly chop my avo but if you like a finer mash, use the back of a fork til you reach the consistency you like. Then, fold in the rest of your ingredients (holding back on a bit of each for decoration). Taste and re-season if needed.

For presentation, transfer your mix to a smaller bowl and top with paprika, cilantro, red onion, tomato and more fresh corn and enjoy immediately. 

Serve this dip up with chips, sweet potato fries, on top of a salad or rice bowl - or literally just eat it alone with a fork. 

As with all avocado based dishes, this dip generally doesn't keep super well but if you do want to make your left overs last - cover the gauc with cling wrap, allowing the plastic to touch the surface of the dip - that will reduce the oxidization overall. 

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Eating Seasonally: Pea and Basil Pesto Cucumber Canapes with Sun Dried Tomatoes

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I'll admit it. I am not an appetizer person. It's not that I don't like the idea of them but, I have a big appetite and honestly, I'd rather just get to the full-plate of food which is why I never really feature them here on the blog. That said, the first time I made this app I pretty much ate a dinner sized portion so I guess, if you're like me, you could do that too.

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My pea pesto is somewhere in between a thick pesto and garbanzo-free hummus - rich, creamy, fresh and packed with flavor. It is loaded with the good stuff - brain boosting walnuts, 'cheesy' nutritional yeast, refreshing citrus, sweet basil and even some very sneaky good-for-you greens. It starts with a lowly bag of frozen peas and transforms into something wonderful in the food processor. I spread it thick over bias-cut cucumber slices (would be just as good over crostini) and top it with fresh or smoked sun-dried tomatoes for a truly special app that tastes like a sinful slice of pizza but with an ingredient list that is as clean as can be. 

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Makes: 30 Canapes • Prep + Asembly Time: 30 min


PEA AND BASIL PESTO

  • 20 oz. bag of frozen petite peas, thawed to room temperature 
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup dandelion or spinach greens, de-stemmed *optional
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, pine nuts OR pumpkin seeds
  • the juice of 1 small lemon
  • salt to taste

To make the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse til a thick, smooth consistency has formed. You may have to scrape the sides down a few times to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

PRO-TIP: I recommend making this pesto day-of. Even with the addition of lemon juice, basil can tend to brown as it is exposed to air for a longer period of time.

TO ASSEMBLE

  • 2-3 english cucumbers, cut on the bias into 30 rounds
  • Sliced fresh tomato to garnish OR julienne diced sun-dried tomatoes (find the smoked variety if you can)

Use a rounded table spoon of pesto on each canape. Arrange them on a large tray and top with fresh or sun dried tomatoes. Serve room temp or chilled. 

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Eating Seasonally: Raw Pad Thai Salad with *Peanut-Free* Dressing

This salad is not just a salad. It's everything. Am I being dramatic? I am. But keep scrolling and you'll see what I mean.

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This salad is something so special. With a soft-spot for Thai flavors, I've eaten my fair share of this traditionally heavy, salt-laden dish in the past and yea, its amazing. But I would argue that THIS is almost better. My take on raw Pad Thai has the same flavor profile as it's noodley-counterpart but it's fresh, crunchy and leaves me feeling light and energized. 

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If you follow my blog, the sauce recipe should look familiar to you as I have shared it a few times. Usually I make it with powdered peanut butter or tahini but I really love this almond butter variation.

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This is the perfect way to use up all the veggies in the back of your fridge, or your new CSA box or to try something new you see at the farmers market with minimal risk (it's covered in bomb-ass sauce after all). It is slightly labor intensive with all that julienne peeling and chopping but it is SOOO worth it. 

P.S- Do not skip the addition of raw corn here! It's a summer staple that adds a really refreshing hint of sweetness!

Give this nutrient-rich, full-flavor salad a try and let me know how you think it stacks up to the original Pad Thai!

raw pad thai

Serves: 2 'dinner' size portions • Prep Time: 30 minutes


FOR THE SALAD

  • 1 medium zucchini/summer squash, julienned 
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green/Napa cabbage
  • 3/4 cup raw corn kernels 
  • 3/4 cup raw veggies of choice, julienned or thinly sliced (celery root, asparagus, beets, jicama, etc.) *optional
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. mint, chopped

Julienne, spiralize and/or chop your clean veggies and herbs. Add them all to a large bowl suitable for tossing. A julienne peeler (linked about) makes light work of this task.The goal is the get a diverse range of textures just like in a traditional noodle-based Pad Thai so opt for a few different methods when it comes to slicing your veggies.


FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter or tahini (for a nut-free option)
  • 1/4 cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos OR Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 2-4 tbsp. water (depending on how thin your almond butter is)
  • 2-3 tsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2" knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1" piece of lemon grass *optional 
  • 1-2 tsp. sriracha or other asian-style chili sauce *optional
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high til well combined. Sample and adjust seasonings to taste. Stores well in a glass container in the fridge for well over a week.

NOTE: This dressing will thicken slightly as it sits but you can always stir in more acid (lime juice) or water to thin in out.

PRO-TIP: I like to make a double (or even triple) batch of this sauce. The recipe above makes just as much as you need for these two salads BUT it can be tricky to get that small of an amount blending in a conventional size blender. Making more than enough of this is great because you can always store it in the fridge to use on salads later in the week, or to add to a nourishing and warm rice bowl. Although, if you have a nutri-bullet or something similar, whipping up a small batch should be a breeze.


FOR GARNISH

  • Sprinkle of cilantro and mint
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoon chopped dry roasted pumpkin, almonds, cashew or pistachio 
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Right before you're ready to serve toss the dressing through the veggies. You may want to reserve a bit of the dressing (for dipping) or if you don't like a lot of sauce. 

Garnish with chopped nuts, seeds, herbs and black sesame for an authentic look.

PRO-TIP: Be sure to toss just dressing into the veggies right before you serve. The acid in the sauce will break down the thinly sliced veggies over time and NO ONE likes a mushy raw pad thai. Make note of this if you are prepping salad for the week!

*recepie inspired and informed by Oh She Glows!

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Eating Seasonally: Rosey Rhubarb Cobbler Breakfast Parfait

veganbreakfastparfait

Tastes like dessert but eats like breakfast? I am so in love with this part-cobbler part-parfait and I think you will be too. It comes together in a few easy steps and once prepped, it assembles in mere minutes. It just screams 'summer is almost here' with a combo of ruby-red compote, fresh zingy yogurt and chewy-crunchy raw-nola -granolas raw (and totally addictive) cousin. 

When summer starts to roll around I star to crave something lighter than my usual oats for breakfast, but right now, we're in that silly in-between-time when it's still too cold for an AM smoothie. Sometimes I go for a simple bowl of fruit, but lately, THIS has been my go-to - I still get my fiber-rich oats and I get to enjoy a whole slew of other delicious gut-friendly stuff too! 

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Rhubarb is only around for a few short weeks in my area so I am make sure to take advantage of it while it's here. A powerful digestive aid that is loaded with vitamins and minerals, I pair this veggie with it's classic counterpart - the strawberry, which are just coming into season. My compote sets itself apart slightly with perfume of rose water (which can be found here) and chia seeds - which help to naturally thicken the sauce as it cools.

I am so excited for you to scroll below and check out my raw-nola recipe. It creates the 'crumble' of this 'cobbler' but it requires no oven and it's super easy, quick and totally customizable. I simply add all my favorite dried fruits, nuts, seeds, seasonings and oats to a blender - pulse a few times and voila! 

Let me know if you make this for dessert...err...I mean, breakfast! :) Enjoy! 

roserhubarbcompote

Serves: 5-7* • Prep Time: 20 minutes

*Prep ingredients for a full week and assemble your parfaits day of! Also makes an excellent brunch item to share!


STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COMPOTE

  • 3 medium stalks of rhubarb, cleaned and sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 pint of strawberries, cleaned and diced in quarters
  • Apx. 1/4 cup water
  • Sweetener to taste (I used about 3 tbsp. of maple syrup)
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp. food grade rose water

Add chopped rhubarb and berries along with a little bit of water into a small saucepan on medium heat. Allow the ingredients to cook down together, it will happen rather quickly. If the bottom of the pan dries out before the ingredients soften, add a bit more water, a little at a time. Once the rhubarb breaks down and the mixture appears quite liquid turn off the stove and remove from the heat. Allow the pan to cool slightly and then stir in sweetener to taste, chia seeds and rose water. Serve warm or transfer to an airtight container to chill in the fridge - keep in mind the pectin in the berries and the fiber in the chia will allow the compote to thicken as it cools! Keeps for 4-5 days - also great on toast, on top of oatmeal or enjoyed warm over waffles.


POWER PACKED RAWNOLA

  • 6-8 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 4-5 large dried figs, stems removed
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans (or a mix of any nuts you desire)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom *optional
  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats

Add your pitted dates and stemmed figs to a food processor along with the larger nuts and half of your oats - pulse until the dates, figs and nuts are fully broken up and appear 'granola' like in texture and size. Add in the rest of the oats as well as all other ingredients and pulse just to combine. Mixture should appear crumbly, but it will pull together when pressed between your fingers. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Store in an air tight container - keeps for weeks in the fridge! Also great eaten alone as a snack or on top of a smoothie bowl!


HOMEMADE COCONUT YOGURT VIA MINIMALIST BAKER

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk* (best brands include Thai Kitchen and Whole Foods 365)
  • 2 vegan-friendly probiotic capsules* (at least 50 billion IU)

Instructions here (keep in mind this needs a few days to ferment). If your making this dish day of, use a store bought alternative - my favorite is LAVVA brand but Kite Hill, CoYo and So Delicious also make good, easy-to-find dairy-free alternatives. You could also serve up some chia seed pudding as this layer of your parfait to take the yogurt out of the mix.

TIP: Dairy-free yogurts don't have the protein content that conventional yogurts do - to add in some more power, I have often mixed my dairy-free yogurt with a tbsp. of two of vanilla protein powder - in addition to the added nutrition, it also helps to thicken the yogurt substantially for more of a 'greek yogurt' consistency. 


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

Layer apx. two inches of your cooled compote at the bottom of a jar, cup or other glass vessel. Then add in apx. 2 inches of rawnola and top with apx. 2 inches of plant-based yogurt or chia seed pudding. Add fresh berries or other fruit on top and sprinkle with a bit more rawnola for garnish.

Pro Tip: The rawnola can get a little bit soggy if you let these guys sit too long, which I don't mind because its so full of fun textures but for best results layer these up right before serving!

 

LOVE THROGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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Tofu 'Satay' Thai Lettuce Cups with Spicy Peanut Sauce

An easy, fresh lunch or dinner that satisfies that craving for something a little out of the ordinary. When I am feeling in a rut with my food choices I like to change up the way I eat salads - and these lettuce cups totally do the trick. By simply shifting lettuce from a "thing in a bowl" to a crispy vehicle for peanut-y tofu-y cashew-y goodness can make all the difference.

The recipe is inspired by my friend (and house mate) Mimi who totally does not give herself enough credit in the kitchen - shes a genius and she inspires so many of my dishes. She said the basis for this recipe was conceived on a whim while rolling through the isles of Trader Joe's - and if you ask me, it is a total masterpiece. When she first made it for us one night I couldn't help but eat more than my share - lol - sorry, Mimi. 

And....I hate to brag but by no exaggeration this peanut sauce is the best around. The recipe actually makes a much larger batch than you might wish to use here but I have a feeling you will be wanting more - it's great over any fresh salad, tofu dish, or even spread onto bread as the beginnings of the best Thai-influenced sandwich. Not to mention, it's made with PB2 powder which has 80% less fat than peanut butter so you can eat A LOT without feeling weighed down.

Okay, enough talk, scroll on down and make this recipe for yourself. Let me know how you like it in the comments! 


Serves: 2 • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 6 minutes


 

For the Lettuce Cups/Filling

  • 1-2 heads of bib or butter lettuce (romaine will also work great)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced in .5" cubes
  • 1/2 red fresh onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • handful mint or cilantro (optional)

Satay Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup PB2 powder
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce of choice (I use Sriracha)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, depending on desired thickness
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Mix together your satay sauce in a small bowl or mason jar (the amount is way too much for this recipe but, I am betting you'll want more)

2. Prep your veggies by washing the lettuce cups and delicately separating the leaves, dicing the onion and red pepper and mincing the fresh herbs. 

3. Sautee your cubed tofu in a dry shallow pan, allowing it to slightly brown each side (this takes about 1-2 minutes per side). Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

4. Once the tofu is slightly cool, add it to a bowl and pour in about 1/2 cup of the peanut sauce. Give it a stir till well combined and then add in your fresh herbs, cashews, red onion and pepper. 

5. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups and enjoy with extra peanut sauce on the side!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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Easy Layered Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

At the risk of you doubting the deliciousness of this recipe I do want to say that this is the first time I went all out on testing a cashew 'cheese'cake recipe of my own. Maybe it's that I thought it would be too much work (it isn't, just takes some patience) or that I didn't trust myself with *that* much dessert just laying around (I shouldn't have) but I made this extra creamy, chocolatey, layered dream for very good reason - my mom's 60th birthday! She is also vegan and I really wanted to surprise her with something truly special for such a momentous occasion and lets just say that neither she, nor our omnivore family members were disappointed. This is a 'cheese'cake to suit everyone - rich flavor, crunchy crust, creamy filling, chocolatey, tangy, ultra indulgent and fairly healthy. Best part? No one will know it's good for you! It is the perfect thing to bring to a summer party or a birthday event - the presentation is alone gets people all worked up in a chocolate tizzy! 

My Mom always loved chocolate and she used to make a crazy mousse cake topped with whipped cream and fresh berries in the summer months that people would go nuts for. I used her favorite flavor and texture profiles to inform this recipe because the day was about her, after all. In the weeks approaching my Mom's big day, I researched and tested - looking at different methods and recipes for vegan 'cheese'cakes. I even bought cashews in bulk. I was ultimately most informed by Minimalist Baker's killer 'cheese'cake recipes but I took notes from a few other sources as well finding the perfect blend of ingredients to make for a truly decadent dessert.

I should warn that this cheesecake does take some time to prepare - so plan to make it in advance. Upside: It stores in the freezer wonderfully. I topped mine with raspberries (mainly for presentations sake) but next time I'd love to try adding a layer of coconut, a drizzle of peanut butter sauce or even some vegan whipped cream - it will be great any way you 'slice' it (that pun is for you Mom). Happy birthday, I love you.


Serves: 16 small pieces • Prep Time: 30 minutes • Chill Time: 6 hrs - Overnight


EQUIPMENT

  • Spring form pan (8-10" will work best)
  • Food processor
  • High Speed Blender

Crust

  • 20 Medjool dates, pitted (apx. 1.5 cups, packed tightly)
  • 1 cup nuts (I used toasted hazelnuts but almost any nut will do)
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

Filling

  • 3 cups raw cashews soaked overnight
  • the juice of two large lemons (scant 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1, 14 oz. can full fat coconut milk (add both the solid and liquid)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cacao/coco powder, divided and added to half the mixture to make the chocolate layer
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

Ganache

  • 1/2, 14 oz. can coconut cream (not coconut milk, can be found at Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao/coco powder
  • 2-4 tbsp. maple syrup, to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

Topping (optional)

  • 1 large carton raspberries

1. A day or two before you want to serve the cake make the crust and filling to ensure ample chill time so the layers can set up. To make the crust combine dates, oats and nuts in a high speed blender on high power till you reach an even, crumbly consistency. Add in vanilla and salt, pulse again. The mixture should come together when pressed between your fingers - if it is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

2. Press crust into the bottom of a springform pan that is sprayed lightly with oil (to make sure the cake doesn't stick). Work your way up the sides slightly with the crust to make a lip. Set in the freezer to firm up while you make the filling.

3. To make the cheesecake layers add all of the filling ingredients listed above (excluding the coco powder if you want a chocolate and vanilla layer) to a high speed blender. Blend on high till fully combined. The mixture will look thin, but not to worry, it will set in the freezer.

4. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into a storage vessel and hold in the fridge. This will serve as your "plain" or vanilla layer. Blend the cacao powder into the remainder for your chocolate layer.

5. Remove the springform pan from the freezer and pour the chocolate layer over the crust. Put back in the freezer to set for at least one hour before pouring over the vanilla layer. 

6. Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and put the whole cheesecake back the freezer to set for at least three hours or ideally overnight.

7. Once the cheesecake is completely solid it's time to make the ganache. Simply combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan on low-medium heat - whisk till just fully melted and combined. You can also do this ahead of time and store in a glass vessel - reheat to a pourable consistency simply place the jar in simmering water for a few minutes stirring occasionally. 

8. Pour the hot ganache evenly over the cheesecake while still in the springform pan. Decorate with raspberries and set in the fridge for at least an hour or until the ganache is fully set. 

9. About 20-30 minutes before you're ready to serve remove from the fridge and release the springform mold. Slice into pieces and plate it up!

Leftovers: Stores great in the freezer for a week or two - just be sure to keep it covered with some plastic wrap or transfer to a storage container. Allow the slices to defrost for a half hour or so before enjoying!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Go-To Green Smoothie

This green smoothie is your new go-to - whether you're feeling low-energy, like you have poor digestion or just like you need a green boost. The recipe below makes enough for four 16oz. servings but I'll usually drink a full liter at once (for extra health, you know) - the leftovers store well in the fridge, although you will notice some separation, just shake it up and be on your way.

After drinking this smoothie I instantly feel more alert, balanced and nourished - my digestion improves and I (almost) feel like running up a mountain. It sort of has the same effect as coffee.... but better for you and well, green. This smoothie isn't super sweet and that's kind of the point - it is designed to be nutrient packed but still super tasty. If it's too tart for you, you can always add a date or two to help round out the flavor.

In my opinion adding fresh herbs makes this smoothie, they add a freshness that just can't be beat - I like parsley, cilantro and mint because they are ideal for digestion but you can add whatever you have on hand.

Adding nuts is optional but I do urge you to consider it as plenty of research shows that the fat soluble nutrients in greens is better absorbed in the body when consumed with a healthy source of fat. Brazil nuts are my go-to because they also give me my daily dose of selenium. 

The best part about a green smoothie like this is that it is totally customizable - the measurements below are my rough guide for creating a balanced, nourishing, great tasting smoothie but I urge you to adapt the recipe to match what you have on hand and what tastes best to you. I love the combination below as a guideline but I often make a green smoothie when I know I need to clean out the fridge and therefore it's always a little different. I sometimes like to add cucumber for extra hydration, chia seeds for better digestion, maca powder for hormonal balance, banana for sweetness and potassium or avocado for an extra creamy boost. Listen to your body and add what feels right to you - as long as you have a balance of greens, sweet fruit, acidic fruit and liquid you really can't go wrong!

What do you like to add to your green smoothies?


Serves: 4 16 oz. servings • Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 packed cups fresh spinach or kale
  • 1 full head romaine lettuce
  • handful parsley
  • handful cilantro
  • handful mint
  • 2" knob ginger, no need to peel
  • 1 large grapefruit or 2 lemons, rind removed
  • 3/4-1 cup fresh/frozen mango or peaches for similar flavor
  • 2-3 cups water or coconut water
  • 2 brazil nuts or 2 tbsp any other nut/nut butter

1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high until fully incorporated - you may need to use the tamper to help move the ingredients.

2. To enjoy immediately, pour over ice or store in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Thai Style Green Wrap Recipe & Tutorial

"YES, YES, YES!" I am literally straight out of the Herbal Essences commercial right now!

Collard wraps are my new favorite thing, well, I mean, not new, I first experienced them a few years ago at Kye's in Santa Monica. Kye's catered an event I attended and I could not get enough of their awesome concept - a guilt-less, gluten-less, just-as-tasty burrito?! I remember thinking to myself that I would probably never make one myself because it seemed like a pain in the ass to get a leaf act like a tortilla but let me tell you now - IT'S SO EASY and I am so excited to share the method with you! It takes *maybe* 3 more minutes than using a conventional tortilla and I can genuinely say I like collards better - they are more pliable, the filling is less likely to fall out and I can eat my weight in them and not feel like crap afterwards. 

The ingredients for traditional flour tortillas often look like this "Enriched Flour Bleached(Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, interesterified soybean oil, glycerin, hydrogenated soybean oil. contains less than 2% of: corn syrup solids, baking powder (sodium aluminum phosphate, baking soda), salt, monoglycerides, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate (preservatives), fumaric acid, enzymes." They usually come in at about 120 calories per wrap and contain up to 350mg of sodium and get 30% of their calories from processed fats. 

Collard greens on the other hand are pillars of health - they supply the body with protein, fiber, calcium and iron and rack in at a whopping 11 calories a leaf meaning, more burritos for you!!!!

I've now tried a whole slew of different fillings in these wraps (because I'm obsessed)  and it's always best to have some kind of grain or filling protein (like beans, quinoa or rice, bulking ingredients (like raw and cooked veggies) and some kind of healthy fat (tahini, avocado, cashews, etc.)- heres a few ideas:

  • roasted sweet potato
  • black beans
  • quinoa
  • corn salsa
  • cilantro
  • avocado

 

  • white rice
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • ginger
  • nori

 

  • brown rice
  • butternut squash
  • white beans
  • nutritional yeast
  • tahini drizzle

 

But my favorite has to be the Thai style wrap I share with you below...mostly because of the sauce (recipe included). 

I have perfected my thai-peanut sauce in the past few months and have been eating it on everything. I have been waiting for the perfect time to share it on the blog and this is it! It's spicy, peanut-y, creamy - it uses no oil and is pretty damn good for you! 

Scroll on down to check out the ingredients used in this recipe and then keep reading  for detailed instructions on how to roll the perfect collard wrap - no matter what fillings you choose! Great creative and report back!


Serves: 2 (2 wraps per-person) • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Assembly Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 large collard green leaves, steamed in the process described below
  • 2 servings of extra firm tofu, dry seared in a pan with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage 
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 -1/2 of a large hot house cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped raw cashews *trust me*
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Thai basil, minced

Low-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce

(makes more than enough, but trust me, you want this much)

  • 1/3 cup PB2 powder
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 the juice of a lime
  • 1-2 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • enough water to give you your preferred consistency (I use about 2-3 tbsp.)

All you have to do to make this sauce is chuck all the ingredients in a mason jar - throw on the lid and shake away!


MAKE A COLLARD WRAP/BURRITO: STEP-BY-STEP

Firstly, you'll need to get the largest, freshest collard greens you can find. I always have luck at farmers markets and in my experience bundles of 6-8 collard greens can be found in the organic section of most large grocery stores. Inspect the collards for tears and holes - those should be avoided if possible. Rinse them well.

If you won't be making your wraps right away, I like to stick the stems of my collards in a bit of water just as you would a bouquet of flowers and store them on the counter - this helps to to keep them super fresh. Plus, it makes your kitchen look pretty. 

When you are ready to assemble your wraps start by heating a bit of water (2-3 tbsp) in a large, shallow pan that has a lid. 

Grab a leaf and a sharp knife. Flip the leaf so that the underside or stem side is facing up. With your knife, gently shave down the woody part of the stem so that the whole leaf becomes more pliable. Trim the bottom of the stem off.

Place your leaves into the pan and cover with the lid for no more than 45 seconds - blanching the leaf gently - you are doing this to increase the flexibility of the stem, not to wilt the greens. A good way to tell if it's done is to look under the lid - the collard should get brighter, if it begins to darken, you've gone too far. You can add one leaf at a time or do them all at once, it doesn't effect the cook time much!

When ready, carefully remove the collards from the pan, separate them and allow them to cool throughly on the counter. 

To wrap, begin by placing your collard leaf, under-side/stem-side facing up on a plate so that it lays flat. Add your filling into the center of the leaf *length wise* (from stem to tip of the leaf) leaving at least 2" on either side. Don't be afraid to pack these pretty full with sauces and tons of stuff- I actually find collard leaves to be more durable than regular flour tortillas when it comes to stuffing and wrapping!

Now comes the actual wrapping - if you've ever watched the masters at Chipotle, you're golden. The only trick with a collard is making sure you have the correct orientation of the leaf, so listen up! Fold the lengths of the collard leaf into the center- essentially touching the bottom of stem to the tip of the leaf over your filling as seen in the second image above.

Then pull the sides closest to you over your filling and roll upwards making sure to tuck all of your ingredients - end with the seam side facing down on the plate.

Your collard wrap should now look like the first image above - the outside of the leaf facing up so you have a nice clean surface. HOW GOOD DOES THAT LOOK?!

Sorry, getting excited. 

Anyway, if you wish, you can cut your wrap in half - and do it on a bit of a diagonal please...you didn't just go through all of that hard work to not make it look great. Okay?

Enjoy! 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Vegan Nutella Energy Bites

Energy bite options are endless. I have a ton of different flavors on the blog already but they are something I never tire of creating and I hope you never tire of enjoying them either. I love storing them in a fridge and having one or two as a pre-workout pick-me-up (they provide a boost of potassium and sustained energy by way of dates, nuts and cacao) but I also love eating half of the mixture while it's still in the food processor as I roll them out - it's all about balance with these guys. 

I have wanted to make a Nutella flavored energy bite for a while now. Nutella, the classically creamy roasted hazelnut spread, is not dairy free which means it's been a long time since I have experienced it's uniquely delicious flavor profile - until now. A key to nailing the flavor was roasting the nuts - I was worried about the (slightly pricey) little hazelnuts but the method I described below was easy and worked out fine and the end result is so worth it!

The rest of the process is pretty much my standard - oats, dates, healthy fat, flavorings - all combined in my trusty $30 food processor (best purchase ever). 

Let me know if you try these nutty little guys, they are such a special treat - I actually used this recipe as an on the fly vegan dessert for a plant-based guest at the inn where I work, I drizzled some chocolate sauce over top and sprinkled some berries, so easy - he LOVED it! 


Serves: 6 (Apx. 12, 1.5" bites) • Duration: 15 minutes (add a little extra if you're hand rolling bites!)


  • 1.5 cups oats, ground
  • 12-16 large Medjool dates (roughly two cups, lightly packed), pitted and soaked, if needed
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted hazelnuts, toasted
  • 3 tbsp. cacao/coco powder
  • 2 rounded tbsp. almond butter (sub coconut oil or any nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

1. Preheat your oven to 325*F. Once the oven is at temp, place your raw hazelnuts on a lined baking sheet and roast for intervals of 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly toasted (this took me about 6 minutes total), allow to cool.

2. While your nuts are roasting, pit your dates, IF they are a bit dry place them in a small vessel - heat water on the stove and pour over the dates and allow to soak for a few minutes until plump. Drain well and dry the dates off with a paper towel.

3. Pulse the oats in a food processor or blender until a flour-like consistency is reached, pour the flour into a separate container.

4. Add the dates, hazelnuts, cacao, almond butter, vanilla and salt to a food processor - blend till the mixture is nearly smooth (you may have to stop the machine and push the mixture down a few times with a spatula). Then add the oats back in and blend again until the oat mixture is fully integrated - it should be very thick, just slightly sticky and easily formable between your fingers.

5. Begin to roll into 1.5" balls and place them in a storage container in the fridge to set up for a few minutes. To decorate, you can roll the balls in coco powder, drizzle chocolate sauce over or press a hazelnut into the center of each one.  Alternatively, you could press the mixture into a pan or other vessel, set in the fridge, slice and enjoy them like brownies. 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

 

 

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