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I’m Dawn – a health food nut, yoga lover and camping aficionado. I develop and test plant based (and mostly gluten free) recipes, research food allergies, plan events for a local farm, promote holistic living products, and coach people on how to run their own whole foods business.

Apr 142014
 

In the mood for a little lemon, olive oil, garlic and white wine? My Vegan Mushroom Piccata Recipe will perfectly fit the bill.

Mushroom Piccata

Mushroom Piccata

 One of the best dishes I ever ate was a piccata at a place down the street from my house called Bistro 101. It is no longer there, but not a day goes by that I don’t miss that delicate lemon sauce dotted with capers, nestled in a bed of spicy arugula.  Since I no longer eat chicken I figured I’d better find a way to create my own at home.

One thing I don’t worry much about is protein. I usually get enough through plants – but there are days when I just feel like I want a boost. For those days I sometimes add a bit of nutritional yeast – high in protein and fortified with B vitamins – it is one of the best supplements to add to a plant based diet.  I added it here for extra flavor and a boost of protein by mixing it in with the flour before sautéing the mushrooms. I love using mushrooms as a sub for meat because of their hearty texture – they will shrink a bit after cooking.

For an added flavor boost I used a tapenade product that I LOVE, it is a mixture of Kalamata olives and capers, but feel free to sub capers if you like.

Vegan Portobellos

Vegan Portobellos

Mushroom Piccata

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

4 Portobello mushrooms
Olive oil mister
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
Fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive/caper tapenade spread (I used Organic Divina, Kalamata Olive Spread)
2 Tbsp Earth Balance butter

1/4 tsp agave (optional)
Garnish with parsley (optional)

Directions

1. Remove stem and wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to clean. Mix flour and nutritional yeast,  salt and pepper in a small bowl; spray mushrooms with olive oil and dredge in flour mixture.

2. Heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp Earth Balance in a pan over medium high heat. Drop mushrooms into heated oil, top down; cook 3 minutes, flip and cook an additional 3 minutes; remove mushrooms and set aside; reduce heat and add lemon, white wine, broth and garlic; simmer until reduced by half, taste and if needed, re-season with salt and pepper and add agave to sweeten. Add mushrooms back to mixture; and simmer 5 minutes or until heated through; plate mushrooms. To pan, add remaining Earth Balance, whisk to incorporate and pour sauce mixture over mushrooms.

3. Top each mushroom with 1 Tbsp olive tapenade and slice of lemon. Garnish with optional parsley.

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 256.1
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 384.2 mg
Potassium 201.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.3 g
Sugars 1.5 g
Protein 7.9 g

Vitamin A 5.3 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 243.9 %
Vitamin C 11.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 5.2 %
Copper 4.3 %
Folate 30.4 %
Iron 5.2 %
Magnesium 4.1 %
Manganese 14.8 %
Niacin 141.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.1 %
Phosphorus 10.1 %
Riboflavin 282.9 %
Selenium 18.7 %
Thiamin 321.4 %
Zinc 11.3 %

*Percent Daily Values for Vegan Mushroom Piccata Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 022014
 

  This Easy & Delicious Vegan Spanakopita Recipe has a healthy little secret – within that oh-so light and flakey crust it is stuffed with savory, seasoned greens and tangy sun dried tomatoes nestled inside. My whole family enjoyed each bite!

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Getting kids involved in cooking is fun.

Especially with plant based cooking. No worries of contamination or icky pathogens – just good clean fun.  The best part is that it is time well spent together (electronics-free), AND gives kids a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

When I graduated college I do believe my best dish was spaghetti with jarred sauce that I typically managed to still mess up. I remember all the waaaaaay back to my dorm at FSU – there was a shared kitchen with one of those old stoves with the coil.

Visions of a Dorm Room

Visions of a Dorm Room

The “kitchen” was more of a closet with other students occasionally also cooking spaghetti or a processed cheese product that could last a nuclear ice age – you know the one I’m talking about.

Cooking in the Dorm

Cooking in the Dorm

Very funny photo source. If you want to be entertained - click the link. 

A well trained cook, my mother was not. Fish sticks, chicken pot pie and tuna noodle casserole all the way baby.
Love you mom! Please don’t be mad I’m telling everyone about the frozen fish sticks!

My Nana, on the other hand, was an excellent macrobiotic cook. But, unfortunately I didn’t think macrobiotics were cool when I was growing up, so I didn’t learn how brilliant my Nana was until later in life.

Now that I have learned so much about food, our food system in the US, and cooking, I have vowed to bless my daughter with knowledge and skill. She will know what kohlrabi is, how to make her own bean burgers (and be able to eat the raw mix if she wants), the importance of fiber, why staying away from dairy is key, and the state of the commercial farming industry. She is one of the people that will help shape our future – and the future looks better than today.

Part of our future is electronics. I’ve learned to embrace it, but respect it’s power. One of the ways I have planned to embrace it is by doing more videos on how to cook. My problem is timing. By the time I get home from a long day of business meetings, appointments etc. my daughter needs to start her homework  and I have to get dinner on the table before she tries to eat me out of house and home. The last thing I seem to be able to do is put makeup on and film a video.

But I have good news. I’ve discovered a great medium for the busy cook who wants to get into the video segment.

The Vine Video. In 7 seconds I can give a quick overview of how a dish was made. No one really wants to sit down to a 20 minute tutorial before they eat anyway, right? Right? (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Well here it is. You can pause it at each frame but just don’t pause it on my oh-so-fresh and un-made up face. Lord knows I’m not in my college days any more.

Did you grow up cooking? If you have children, how do you get them involved?

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Greens Spanakopita

Serves 4
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 sheets fillo dough
Olive oil spray
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bunches kale, bok choy, spinach or mixture of any greens (about 5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
2/3 cup non-dairy cheese (such as cashew cheese, Daiya or tofu cheese)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat; spray with olive oil; sauté onions, about 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low; add garlic and greens, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until greens are wilted.

2. Place one sheet fillo on pan prepared with parchment; spray with olive oil; top with next sheet; repeat. Top with greens mixture, cheese and sundried tomato; fold edges over so top is completely covered; flip and spray top with additional olive oil; bake for 25-30 minutes or until fillo is browned. ** Cut into four triangles.

**Watch the fillo closely because it can go from undercooked to overcooked in minutes!

Nutrition Facts (with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 204.8
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 508.0 mg
Potassium 599.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 296.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 86.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.5 %
Calcium 9.5 %
Copper 14.1 %
Folate 9.3 %
Iron 12.7 %
Magnesium 10.1 %
Manganese 33.8 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 7.3 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 3.4 %

*Percent Daily Values for Vegan Spanakopita Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 242014
 

Flavorful marinated mushrooms stuffed with a soft vegan cheese are topped off with tart, tangy and sweet sundried tomatoes in my Vegan Marinated & Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms.

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

In the middle of the night last night, thoughts started coming to me – rolling in like thunderclouds. Dark, worrisome, brooding.

 It started with losing my dad and ran the gamut through all of the things I need to get done. I started wondering why we as humans occasionally wake in the middle of the night and start worrying. For one, we can’t do anything about it at that time and secondly, worrying typically doesn’t accomplish anything other than making us feel terrible.

Suddenly, I remembered an excerpt about time travel from a book I’m reading called Choose Yourself, by James Altucher. Not time travel as in “I want to go back in time to see the dinosaurs”, but as in be in the NOW. When you think about the past or the future you are time traveling.

Grilled Mushrooms

Grilled Mushrooms

So I began to have gratitude for what I had RIGHT THEN. A warm, comfy bed, my husband snoozing next to me, and my daughter nestled in her bed. A roof over our heads. Running water. An abundance of food, an abundance of knowledge, family and friends, residing in sunny Florida.

Next I remembered something in this month’s Oprah magazine called 4-7-8 breath. You breathe through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and exhale from your mouth for 8 counts. Repeat.

Next thing I knew – I was off to dreamland.

Upon waking I knew I had my topic for this post! It flows perfectly with another realization I came to recently. While I’m cooking I never am really present. I’m rushing around trying to do twenty things at once and sometimes burning what I’m cooking in the process. Vivian from KyV Farm recently said she has been cooking all her food for the week on Sunday and she calls it her “me time”. I decided there was no reason I couldn’t do that, so while I was cooking these mushrooms I decided to be present. I grabbed a glass of wine and my magazine and sat on the porch as the mushrooms were grilling. My daughter set the table, we lit candles and sat as a family. We made a sort of mini-production out of it. What a difference this makes! It gives us time to chat about our day, or even just to be quiet together. And that is what life is really about, right?

I hope some of these experiences help you to be more present in your day, to not “time travel”, and to live your best life!

What are your favorite ways of staying in the moment?

Vegan Marinated Mushrooms

Vegan Marinated Mushrooms

Now for the recipe – I have a tofu tip for you.

To press the tofu of water, I love using a TofuXPress (see how it is used in this post.). I finally broke down and bought one a while back and it is probably one of my most favorite tools. It both presses blocks of tofu with no mess, and has a cover so you can marinate right in the press. It is worth the splurge on it. If you want to check it out I have a link to one…look just to the right under “I recommend”. I promise you will NOT be disappointed.

Vegan Grilled Mushrooms

Vegan Grilled Mushrooms

Vegan Marinated & Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms
with Sundried Tomatoes

Serves 4 – 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Please note that tofu will need to be prepared a day or two prior to making this recipe. Feel free to make the marinade ahead too!

Ingredients

1 block organic, extra firm tofu
2-3 Tbsp miso
8 Portobello Mushroom Caps
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp prepared mustard (I like coarse ground)
2 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave (honey is not vegan)
1/2 cup non-dairy shredded mozzarella (such as Daiya)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup julienned sundried tomatoes

Directions

1. Press tofu of water – 1 hour to overnight; slice into three sections lengthwise. Spread each slice evenly with miso and let sit overnight.

2. Wipe down mushroom caps and remove stems. Mix balsamic, olive oil, garlic, mustard and maple syrup in a large bowl with a lid. Place mushroom caps inside and gently toss in marinade. Let sit 10 – 20 minutes.

3. Mix miso, tofu, cheese and garlic powder in a large bowl with hands until all ingredients are well incorporated.

4. Heat grill over medium heat, to around 350F; place mushrooms on grill racks, gill side
down; cook 7 to 10 minutes; turn and stuff each mushroom cap with 2 rounded Tbsp of tofu mixture; grill an additional 10 minutes or until “cheese” is heated through. Top each with a few slices of sundried tomato.

**Reserve any leftover marinade for another use.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 168.4
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 338.3 mg
Potassium 616.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Protein 8.9 g

Vitamin A 0.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 3.4 %
Vitamin C 3.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 7.0 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 4.5 %
Iron 8.3 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 41.2 %
Niacin 2.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 11.4 %
Riboflavin 3.1 %
Selenium 10.3 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 7.0 %

*Percent Daily Values for Stuffed Mushrooms are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 132014
 

By the number of looks on this post, Simple Guide To Certified Organic Essential Oils, I’m thinking that an essential oil giveaway might be fun.

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And the winner is…….Lean S! I will contact you shortly to get your information!

Rules to enter. Get one entry, or three!

- Tell us, what is your favorite thing to do with essential oils and which two you would love to try.
- Share this giveaway on twitter, facebook or other social media and let me know by leaving a separate comment.
- Subscribe to Florida Coastal Cooking for email updates and leave a separate comment that you did.

The winner will be chosen at random and will get the two essential oils that they said they wanted to try!

Giveaway ends on Friday, March 21st at 4pm EST. I’ll announce the winner here on this post and contact you – so be sure to leave your contact info.
Please no IBO’s. Let’s leave this for people who haven’t tried these amazing essential oils!

1393359868_1

Lavender Essential Oil  

lavender

Deeply breathe in the relaxing, herbal aroma of Genesis PURE™ Lavender. This highly soothing scent helps both the mind and body. It may help ease occasional stress and tension. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

Lemon Essential Oil

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Envelop your body in the strong, citrus scent of Genesis PURE™ Lemon. This vibrant aroma may invigorate your senses. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

 Peppermint Essential Oil

peppermint-leaves

Invigorate your body with the refreshing and cooling scent of Genesis PURE™ Peppermint. Peppermint essential oil has been traditionally used to promote alertness and stimulate the senses. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

eucalyptus-leaf-bsp

 Breathe easier with Genesis PURE™ Eucalyptus. Traditionally used to help support respiratory health, this cooling scent may provide feelings of well-being during times of distress and discomfort. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

Grapefruit Essential Oil

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Experience the energizing effects of Genesis PURE™ Grapefruit. This invigorating, fresh scent is often used to enliven both body and mind. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

 Bergamot Essential Oil

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Grant your senses a calming escape with the sweet scent of Genesis PURE™ Bergamot. Traditionally used to help ease the mind, the light orange peel, floral fragrance creates a delightful aroma. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

Orange Essential Oil

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Both refreshing and calming, Genesis PURE™ Orange may ease your mind and help you unwind. This lovely citrus aroma is commonly used in aromatherapy to provide a welcome release from everyday stressors. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.

This giveaway is solely funded by me and has no affiliation with Genesis Pure Corporate.  
GP Products are formulated by Dr Lindsey Duncan based on his Cleanse, Balance, Build philosophy, with the exception of the products that are one ingredient foods and need no formulation.
I am a very proud independent business owner representing Genesis Pure products.

Mar 122014
 
Vegan Carrot Cake

My Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is a new and fresh twist on the classic flavors you love.

Sweet, creamy and tangy frosting is slathered over spiced, carrot bundt cake that is stuffed with raisins, sunflower seeds and coconut in this easy-to-make recipe (that just so happens to be vegan, gluten free, nut free and refined sugar free).

Florida Coastal Cooking

Florida Coastal Cooking

Cream cheese and carrots.  A little naughty and a little nice.

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Sort of like strangers kissing for the first time.

(I just had to fit that video in because it is so sweetly romantic.)

Though you will feel naughty eating carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, you’ll find that this cake is actually very nice! Each serving boasts 5 grams of fiber, ZERO cholesterol, 13.8g sugar, 5 g protein and TONS of vitamins and minerals.

Now let’s compare this to a cheesecake factory slice of carrot cake……

Nutrition Facts, Cheesecake Factory Carrot Cake, Serving Size 1 slice, Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 756 Calories 1510
% Daily Values* Total Fat 84g 129% Saturated Fat 23g 115% Cholesterol 190mg 63% Sodium 600mg 25% Total Carbohydrate 179g 60% Dietary Fiber 6g 24% Sugars 129g Protein 18g

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

 Tips for this bundt cake: This is a small bundt cake – be sure to keep an eye on the cook time. You may want to check it at 20 minutes as oven cooking times vary.  This cream cheese frosting will be great on just about any cake or cupcake. If you don’t like maple – simply sub agave or brown rice syrup.

What is your favorite cake? Chocolate cake? Rum cake? Fruit Cake?  Maybe I’ll make that next!

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan, GF, Sugar Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 10
Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Nut Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut butter, softened
1 cup unrefined, organic coconut sugar (or 1/2 coconut and 1/2 sugar if you don’t care about sugar free)
1/4 cup unsweet apple sauce or crushed pineapple
1/4 tsp lemon zest & 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup non dairy milk
1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup each raisins, sunflower seed and/or pumpkin seed, shredded unsweet coconut.

Maple vanilla cream cheese frosting
8oz cream cheese alternative
2 Tbsp maple
1 tsp lemon (2 drop lemon oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cider vinegar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Cream together coconut butter and coconut sugar; stir in applesauce or crushed pineapple; stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Add vanilla, salt, pumpkin pie spice and nondairy milk.

2. Mix GF All Purpose Flour with baking powder in a small bowl. Stir slowly into wet ingredients.

3. Add 1 cup carrot, raisins, sunflower seed/pumpkin seed and shredded unsweet coconut.

4. Bake at 325 25 – 30 minutes. Test at 25 minutes with a knife to ensure it comes out clean. Cool completely.

5. Mix frosting ingredients. Frost cooled cake

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 291.0
Total Fat 17.4 g
Saturated Fat 10.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 366.0 mg
Potassium 122.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 13.8 g
Protein 4.4 g

Vitamin A 30.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.9 %
Vitamin C 4.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.5 %
Calcium 14.0 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 2.8 %
Iron 13.2 %
Magnesium 2.3 %
Manganese 16.0 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.8 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 1.3 %
Selenium 4.1 %
Thiamin 1.4 %
Zinc 2.7 %

Percent Daily Values for carrot bundt cake are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 072014
 
Genesis Pure Organic Essential Oils

 I am head over heels in love with these new 100% organic essential oils!

 

(Scroll down to find out why I’m so excited and how I’m now saving 100 calories by using essential oils!)

So much to say, so little time.

In the scheme of health and wellness in my life – essential oils are fairly new.  When I researched information on the web about essential oils to share with you – WHOA. The information is simply overwhelming. Just for you I spent days scouring the web to find you the best info and then compile the important info here.

WHY use organic essential oils?

Positive effects on the brain (Stress & Insomnia)
Dermatological health
Wellbeing
Antibacterial properties
Non-chemical cleaning – no worries of pesticides
Beneficial for circulation and respiration if used properly
Safe for the environment
Supports sustainable farming

Genesis Pure Organic Essential Oils

Genesis Pure Organic Essential Oils

7 Great ways to use essential oils

Some of these you may know but some are hopefully fresh ideas!
If you want more inspiration check out Pinterest.

Inhale it:

10 drops in a diffuser, hot compress or in hot water
A few drops in your shampoo to energize (peppermint is great in the morning)
direct palm inhalation – use only with oils that are safe to use undiluted. Rub palms and inhale.
Facial steam – 1 – 5 drops on hot water in a pot, cover head with a towel, steam face. Excellent for opening sinuses, headaches, skin treatment.
Great for headaches, sinus and respiratory.
Caution: Prolonged use can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and lethargy

Relax in an aromatic bath.

Relax in an aromatic bath.

Epidermal (on the skin):

Bath – mix with salts or drop a few in the bath. (Great to use Lavender and Eucalyptus)
A generally safe dose is 5 – 10 drops, mixed with 1/2 to 1 cup of salt or emulsifier.
Aromatic baths are excellent for skin problems, circulatory problems, respiratory symptoms, stress and nervous tension, insomnia, muscular and menstrual pains.
Caution: Overuse of essential oils in the bath can cause irritation. Use only mild, non-irritating oils for bath, such as lavender oil and clary sage oil.

Compresses:

10 drops oil in 4 oz hot water, soak cloth, wrap.
Good for bruises, wounds, muscular aches and pains, dysmenorrhea, skin problems.

Massage:

Essential oils are very concentrated. For adults, about 14 drops per oz is recommended for most purposes. For children under 12, about 6 drops per oz is generally safe. A 2.5% blend for a 1 ounce bottle of carrier oil, such as jojoba, is 15 drops of essential oil.

Cleaning and Laundry:

Citrus:
Remove smells from laundry
Remove scuffs on shoes
A few drops in the dishwasher for spot free shine
Breaks up sap from trees
Great to de-grease
Mix with vinegar to cut grease
Remove hard water
Clean stainless steel & granite
Peppermint and Eucalyptus:
Mix eucalyptus and baking soda to kill dust mites on your mattress – 1 cup baking soda to 10 drops peppermint and eucalyptus, sift over bare mattress and leave for an hour, vacuum
Remove pet odor – mix 1 cup baking soda with 10 drops lavender, sift over carpet, leave for 1 hour, vacuum

Cooking and internal
**Use caution here – not all essential oils can be taken internally. Be sure to dilute if drinking with at least 4 oz water. Check with your physician if you have ANY questions or concerns.

Lemon will add zing to cooking and baking
Add peppermint to water and coffee grinds
Lemon or peppermint & honey to soothe irritated throat

Oral health:

Brush teeth with baking soda, lemon & peppermint

Essential Oil Chart

Essential Oil Chart

Source: One Good Thing

Notes and Tips:

Pure: Pure does not always mean pure. This term is not regulated and may be applied to just about anything. Is there a statement about purity? You should be informed if it is not 100% essential oil (meaning, it has been altered or mixed with something else).
Sustainability: Many essential oils are not from sustainably harvested plants and farming practices – be sure to choose a brand you feel comfortable with. Most essential oils sold in the U.S. are not certified as to their organic status, but some European brands are. 
Grades: Be aware that there are various grades of essential oils and that many times a low grade is sold as a higher grade.
The terminology is not regulated.  Watch for words such as fragrance oil, perfume oil or natural identical oil. Therapeutic or aromatherapy grade is touted as the higher grade essential oil but this cannot relied on. Many oils are sold as “pure” or “genuine” and are not. There is much false advertising in the aromatherapy market. Be sure to choose a USDA certified organic oil that includes the organic seal to ensure that you are not ingesting pesticides topically or internally through inhalation or ingestion.
Quality oils are sold in a dark glass bottle. Beware of oils sold in plastic or lighter containers – the oils can dissolve plastic and can be damaged by heat and light. Also be aware of any oils being sold as the same price for all oils. Quality oils vary widely in price due to availability of plants, cost of harvesting and extraction. Is the cost comparable in comparison with other brands of the same essential oil? If it’s really cheap, it probably isn’t the real thing. Does it smell as you expect it to smell?

Tips from Reference University of Minnesota

Dos and Don’ts

Do keep out of reach of children
Do research each essential oil you wish to try
Do use caution if you have serious health conditions or are pregnant
Do research whether the essential oil can be used undiluted or “neat” or should be diluted
Do not rub essential oils on before sun exposure – may lead to phototoxicity – especially citrus oils like bergamot
Do not use oils that have added synthetic fragrances
Do consult a physician if you have any questions
Do not consume any essential oil without researching. Many contain harmful chemicals and pesticides and are NOT safe to consume
Do keep in mind food allergies – if you are allergic to the plant you will be allergic to the oil

For anyone that scrolled straight down or took their time to read the tips and do’s and don’ts, I’ll share why I’m so excited…. because I found a brand new way to save 100 calories and a refreshing alternative to plain old water!

Imagine for a minute that moment you bite into a fresh orange. A burst of sweet, bright citrus explodes in your mouth. Are you drooling yet?

That was the sensation I got when I put a drop of organic essential orange oil in a cold glass of water before my workout. It has even more flavor than squeezing fresh fruit and is so easy to carry with me in my purse.

Orange Essential Oil

Orange Essential Oil

So many people have told me they try to drink enough water but it is just so…..boring. Instead they try soda, diet soda (even worse in my opinion), juice, coffee etc.

Instead of a calorie laden drink, or a water flavoring with tons of preservatives, try a drop of essential oil! The water will also naturally replace some caloric foods and help you up that water intake.

Let’s compare.

Organic Orange Juice

Organic Orange Juice

Organic OJ does have tons of vitamin C, but it also has tons of calories. Best to simply eat an orange and get the fiber as well. Keep in mind most of the fiber is in the white fibrous that we typically try to take off!

mio

There are tons of flavored water drops for water, but they are full of preservatives and sugar substitutes.
Water, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Malic Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

I love how there are so many warnings about essential oils – which is true, not all are created equal, but when you read the above ingredients on a product made by KRAFT foods, you realize how far the food industry has gone down the wrong path and how far it to come to right itself when people wake up and start reading ingredients.

GP essentail oils

The essential oils I have fallen in love with are a brand I personally support called Genesis Pure brand. They are 100% pure and 100% USDA certified organic, non GMO and sustainably harvested. As of yet, though there are MANY amazing oils out there (shout out to Aura Cacia (available at Native Sun!), Young Living, doTerra) I personally have not found any other oils I feel as safe with for putting a drop in my water and consuming internally. I splurged and bought all of them and I am very excited. I have been using them for so many things – but my most favorite is a drop or two of orange or lemon in water!

For each essential oil I read the information before I use it. Here are my absolute favorites…

Lemon:
100% PURE Essential Oil and Certified Organic.
Envelop your body in the strong, citrus scent of Genesis PURE™ Lemon. This vibrant aroma may invigorate your senses. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.
Topical Use: Dilute 1 drop in 1 tsp (5 mL) carrier oil before applying to skin.
Dietary Use: Dilute 1 drop in 1 tsp honey or 4 oz beverage.
Aromatic Use: Add 1-2 drops into a diffuser.

Orange
100% PURE Essential Oil and Certified Organic.
Both refreshing and calming, Genesis PURE™ Orange may ease your mind and help you unwind. This lovely citrus aroma is commonly used in aromatherapy to provide a welcome release from everyday stressors. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.
Topical Use: Apply 1-2 drops neat (undiluted) or dilute with a carrier oil before applying to skin.
Dietary Use: Dilute 1 drop in 1 tsp honey or 4 oz beverage.
Aromatic Use: Add 1-2 drops into a diffuser.

Peppermint
100% PURE Essential Oil and Certified Organic.
Invigorate your body with the refreshing and cooling scent of Genesis PURE™ Peppermint. Peppermint essential oil has been traditionally used to promote alertness and stimulate the senses. Does not contain any fillers or carriers.
Topical Use: Dilute 1 drop in ½ tsp (2.5 mL) carrier oil before applying to skin.
Dietary Use: Dilute 1 drop in 1 tsp honey or 4 oz beverage.
Aromatic Use: Add 1-2 drops into a diffuser.

If you would like to try these Genesis Pure Organic Essential Oils go to Genesis Pure and click shop. Use US11065661 to order and if you are interested in 25% off all the oils and all the products in the wholesale membership club please email me at chefdawn@Hotmail.com

Feb 272014
 
Loaded Falafel Burger

These easy Loaded Falafel Burger with Roasted Vegetables use fresh roasted veggies along with premade burgers to save time on a busy weeknight.

Could there be anything better than eggplant, tomato and onion all roasted and caramelized? I think not.

Falafel Burgers

I give no apologies when it comes to dinner on busy weeknights.

Meals from scratch are best, but when it comes to getting home after a busy day and wanting to take a few shortcuts, I’m all for it. One of the cleanest burgers I’ve found is Sunshine Burger, and the falafel is delicious!

Here are the ingredients:

Organic cooked brown rice, organic cooked chick peas, organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic cooked yellow split peas, organic Tahini (organic ground toasted sesame seeds), organic cumin, organic garlic, organic parsley, sea salt.

These are definitely something you can feel save feeding your whole family.

I don’t talk a lot about my personal life on my blog – I lean more towards chatting about the actual recipe and the benefits, but I’ll share a little of what has been going on and why I’ll be doing a fair amount of clean semi-homemade recipes instead of from scratch. Since leaving my corporate job in August life has been a whirlwind. Mornings (still) start by 5AM and I get right down to business. I’m a morning person though. I like to be sleeping by 9:30 or 10PM. I work for a few hours on events with Native Sun, my blog or my business. At around 7AM I get my daughter up to get ready and take her to school then head right to my workout to start my day. This has never been an “if I can make it” thing. No exceptions to working out! I head home and then it is off to meetings at Native Sun or business meetings. I absolutely love being out of the cubicle and in a self-directed environment. Sometimes I walk out of a meeting at 2:00 and into the sunshine wanting to yell – I’m FREE! I pick my daughter up from school and help her with her homework and sometimes take her paddle boarding on the river. Then after she goes to bed, many times it is back on the computer to take a training course, do an on-line business presentation or two or catch up on anything else. Self-development is another must. I never. stop. learning. We all are students, and if we don’t continue to learn, grow and change we cannot move forward. No, I don’t have time to watch much TV any more, but the old saying is so true – if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. After losing my Dad in May, I vowed that on my last two minutes of life I would look back with pride. I would not wonder what if. I will know that I did everything in my power to achieve my goals and dreams. I am not special. I am not unique. I simply made a decision to wake up and say to myself – I want more. It was a choice.  Though I have failed many times, and I will fail many times more, I look at each failure as an opportunity to learn. In the past two years I have learned more about people, how to listen and how much I enjoy helping others than the previous 34 years of life. I have found that through helping others, I naturally move closer to my goals and dreams.  On the days I think to myself – how am I going to do this? Am I deserving of making this work? I then think about all the successful people out there – many of them came from a world of hardship and rose to greatness. We all have 24 hours in a day. It is what we do with that time that sets us apart.

Plus, now you have this delicious sandwich to save you time.

Is there anything you would love to accomplish in your life? Are you moving towards it? If not, what might be holding you back?

Loaded Falafel Burger

Loaded Falafel Burger

Loaded Falafel Burger with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 eggplant, sliced
1 roma tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
4 falafel burgers, such as sunshine burger
4 Organic thin style sandwich buns
1/4 cup prepared hummus

Yogurt Sauce (Optional – use extra hummus if omitting)
1 container plain non-dairy yogurt (preferably Greek style)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove minced garlic

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; spray two baking sheets with oil or cooking spray; top with eggplant, tomato and onion slices; drizzle 1 Tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper; roast 25 minutes, turning vegetables half way through cook time.

2. In a small bowl, mix yogurt sauce ingredients if using.

3. Heat falafel burgers to package directions; toast thin buns. Spread bottom thin bun with 1 Tbsp hummus; top with one burger, 1/4 of the roasted vegetables and 2 Tbsp yogurt sauce; add top slice of thin bun and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 434.4
Total Fat 21.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 638.1 mg
Potassium 206.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.0 g
Dietary Fiber 13.6 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 19.7 g

Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-12 3.8 %
Vitamin B-6 6.4 %
Vitamin C 8.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 5.8 %
Folate 5.8 %
Iron 24.0 %
Magnesium 5.4 %
Manganese 11.4 %
Niacin 1.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.3 %
Phosphorus 9.5 %
Riboflavin 6.5 %
Selenium 1.4 %
Thiamin 5.3 %
Zinc 2.6 %

*Percent Daily Values for Loaded Falafel Burger are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 182014
 

Simple, devilishly delicious and 100% vegan, my Vegan Chorizo Nachos with Pickled Jalapeno Relish will tame your inner junk food junkie.

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

 Layers of flavor with fresh lime, zippy jalapenos, spicy chorizo and a variety of textures from crunchy tortilla chips to creamy avocado come together in this recipe to satisfy even the biggest craving.  Bring this to your next pot luck and amaze your friends that it is vegan, or halve the recipe for a fun family night.  Either way you can’t go wrong!

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Better yet have an impromptu fiesta!

Here are some great dishes you could include:

7 Layer Dip

7 Layer Dip

Chipotle Walnut Lettuce Wraps

Chipotle Walnut Lettuce Wraps

Grilled Corn, Onion and Black Bean Salsa

Grilled Corn, Onion and Black Bean Salsa

Mexican Tortilla Bake

Mexican Tortilla Bake

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice

For anyone that doesn’t want to use the soy chorizo, sub black beans. I was unsure if I would enjoy the Tofurky chorizo; however, it was nicely flavored and had great texture. It will be an interesting experiment to bring this to an omnivore pot luck and see if anyone can tell the difference.  The pickled jalapeno relish is what really makes this dish unique. It is spicy but not too spicy, and has a nice acidity from the vinegar to add that finished layer.

Tell me – do you eat plant based meat products every now and then or do you try and go the whole food route? I typically stick with as many whole foods as much as possible but I also realize that people switching to a meatless diet can go through an adjustment period where it is nice to have some easy options to splurge on but still stick with the program. Hopefully this gives people options!

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos with Pickled Jalapeno Relish

Serves 10 (This is great for a big group!)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 bag organic corn tortilla chip rounds
1 pkg chorizo style meatless crumbles, such as Tofurkey
1 cup low fat, organic refried beans
3/4 tube vegan style nacho cheese such as Teese

Pickled Jalapeno Relish
2 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
1 fresh lime, juiced

Directions

1. Preheat the broiler to high.

2. Lay a bag of tortilla chip rounds on a baking sheet ; top with 1 pkg chorizo style meatless crumbles; spoon refried beans over evenly; spoon Tees nacho style cheese over evenly; broil for five minutes, or until cheese is melted.

3. Mix relish ingredients in a bowl; top broiled nachos with relish.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 319.9
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 884.1 mg
Potassium 392.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.4 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 9.1 g

Vitamin A 9.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.4 %
Vitamin C 9.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 2.1 %
Folate 4.7 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 1.8 %
Manganese 2.4 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %
Phosphorus 1.5 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.6 %
Zinc 0.9 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 142014
 

This semi-homemade Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Four Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is simple enough for even non-bakers (like myself) to make and absolutely scrumptious!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

This post is for any of my last-minute types out there. If you want to make a dessert but they all sound too complicated, run out to your natural food store and grab the simple ingredients for these cupcakes and get mixin!

I loved the combo of chocolate with a touch of peanut butter peeking out from under a decadent and naturally sugar free frosting.  These Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Four-Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is great for vegans and non-vegans, adults and kids alike!

Happy Valentines Day to you and your loved ones.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Four Ingredient Frosting

Serves 18
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 box Madhava MMM….Super Yummy Chocolate Cake Mix
Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs (or three organic foraged eggs)
1 cup non-dairy milk or water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
4 1/2 dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into 4s (Justin’s brand is vegan)

Frosting
6 Tbsp non-dairy creamer
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups dates, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake batter to package directions using egg replacer, water or milk and melted coconut oil; pour batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners (18 cupcakes); push 1/4 peanut butter cup into each cupcake and cover with batter; bake 23-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

2. Blend frosting ingredients using a high speed blender or processor until smooth – this will take several minutes, stop and scrape the sides of the blender regularly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Cool cupcakes completely and frost with frosting.

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 288.6
Total Fat 17.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 153.6 mg
Potassium 111.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 21.1 g
Protein 2.3 g

Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.3 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.2 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 7.1 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.7 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 0.7 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 0.7 %

*Percent Daily Values for this Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 122014
 

Valentines day ~ the day of love, desserts, cards and indulgence. This Valentines day I want to celebrate some of my favorite foodies in the bloggosphere by showcasing their scrumptious creations in this post of 20 Indulgent Vegan Valentine’s Desserts.

Mint and Chocolate – my favorite:
Raw Andes’ Mint Pie by Oatmeal with a Fork

Oatmeal with a Fork

Oatmeal with a Fork

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream:
Chocolate Ice Cream with Caramelized Bananas and Chopped Hazelnuts from the Vegan Chickpea

the vegan chickpea

the vegan chickpea

Salty and sweet:
(Sub agave for honey to make vegan)
Almond Butter Pretzel Truffles from Running with Spoons

Running with Spoons

Running with Spoons

For my raw foodie:
Raw Chocolate Cookies with Minty Avocado Frosting from Green Spirit Adventures

Green Spirit Adventures

Green Spirit Adventures

For Breakfast:
Sugar Free Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Icing from Keepin It Kind

Keepin It Kind

Keepin It Kind

Cupcakes:
Light and fluffy Vegan Orange Cupcakes from the Pretty Bee

the Pretty Bee

the Pretty Bee

Classic Valentines Treat:
7 Ingredient Vegan Cheesecakes by Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

Something different:
Coconut Macaroon Brownies by Vegan in the South

Vegan in the South

Vegan in the South

Spiced Fruit Cake:
Spiced Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce from the pretty bee

the Pretty Bee

the Pretty Bee

Turtles:
3 Ingredient Vegan Pecan Caramel Clusters from Je Suis Alimentageuse

Je Suis Alimentageuse

Je Suis Alimentageuse

Fudgy:
3 Ingredient Fudge Squares by Kitchen Vignettes

Kitchen Vignettes

Kitchen Vignettes

My kind of banana bread:
Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars by Ambitious Kitchen

Ambitious Kitchen

Ambitious Kitchen

Strawberries:
Strawberry Mouse by A Girl Worth Saving

A Girl Worth Saving

A Girl Worth Saving

Perfect way to eat your chia:
Coconut Chia Pudding with Mango and Mint by Tales of a Kitchen

Tales of a Kitchen

Tales of a Kitchen

Winner for most interesting:
Parsnip Cake with Candied Kumquats by Golubka Kitchen

golubka kitchen

golubka kitchen

Potato chips n’ chocolate chips:
Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies by Yummy Crumble

Yummy Crumble

Yummy Crumble

Peanut Butter:
Peanut Butter and Cookie Dough Bark by Blissful Basil

Blissful Basil

Blissful Basil

A delicious crumble:
Blackberry Apple Crumble Bars by Veggie on a Penny

Veggie on a Penny

Veggie on a Penny

And one more because this looked amazing:
5 Minute Microwave Apple Cinnamon Crumble by Averie Cooks

Averie Cooks

Averie Cooks

I love these cookies at Christmas – here is a cinnamon orange version:
Crumbly & Delicious Cinnamon & Orange Cookie Balls by My Inspiration

My Inspiration

My Inspiration

And a bonus for good measure!
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups by Pure Ella

Pure Ella

Pure Ella

 Posted by at 9:18 pm