Dec 072014
 

What better way to start the holidays than planning the menu?  Christmas parties, visiting families and fun times with friends usually all center around food and drink. Hopefully my Best Vegan Holiday Recipes from around the web will give you some great ideas to make your holiday special!

This year I will be celebrating Christmas at my mother in law’s house. Luckily we don’t have to travel far! Both my mom and my husband’s parents live five minutes away, and his sister and her husband are about twenty minutes away. I’ve yet to come up with what my contribution will be. My mother in law typically makes a roast, cheese covered vegetables and traditional butter-laden Christmas cookies, so I will be coming up with a delicious side, main and dessert that everyone can enjoy (vegan AND omnivore).  I’m thinking garlicky greens, Jamie Oliver’s nut roast and my Samoa bites made with sunflower seed butter. Hmm…I do think I’ve figured out my contribution just while writing this!

What are you doing this holiday season? Do you have to travel? If so, do you bring your own food?

Hopefully you gain inspiration here! Let’s start with breakfast!

Eggless Breakfast Taco - be sure to serve with LOTS of yummy sauce!

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

French Toast Casserole – Paula Deen Style (But Vegan) - PETA

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash – My New Roots

Sweet Potato Hash - Image and Recipe Credit to My New Roots

Sweet Potato Hash -Recipe and Photo from My New Roots

Soups:

Roasted Rutabaga and Parsnip Soup – by Gena Hamshaw, Care of Kris Carr

Roasted Rutabaga and Parsnip Soup - Image and Recipe by Gena Hamshaw, Care of Kris Carr

Roasted Rutabaga and Parsnip Soup – Image and Recipe by Gena Hamshaw, Care of Kris Carr

Unconventional but delicious. Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Apps:

Lemony Artichoke Dip – Terry Walters

 Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms - Pea Soup

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms - Image and Recipe Credit to Pea Soup

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms – Image and Recipe Credit to Pea Soup

Grilled Balsamic Bruschetta

Grilled Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Grilled Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Sides:

Vlad’s Very Garlicky Greens – Alton Brown

Chestnut Stuffing – Terry Walters

Roasted Baby Leeks with Thyme – Jamie Oliver

Roasted Baby Leeks - Image and Recipe Credit to Jamie Oliver

Roasted Baby Leeks – Photo by Jamie Oliver

Balsamic-Maple Brussels – Kristy Turner, Care of Taste Space

Balsamic - Maple Brussels - Image by Chris Turner and Recipe by Kristie Turner, Care of Taste Space

Balsamic – Maple Brussels – Image by Chris Turner and Recipe by Kristie Turner, Care of Taste Space

Mains:

Lentil, Apple Walnut Loaf (One of my all time favs.) – Terry Walters

Nut Roast – Jamie Oliver

Nut Roast  - Image and Recipe Credit to Jamie Oliver

Nut Roast – Jamie Oliver

Desserts:

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake – by Christine Roseberry, Care of Kris Carr This one is not traditional but who doesn’t love carrot cake??

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake - Image and Recipe by Christine Roseberry, Care of Kris Carr

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake – Image and Recipe by Christine Roseberry, Care of Kris Carr

Chocolate Tahini Macaroons – Taste Space

No Bake Samoa Bites will be the hit of the party for ANY party, cookie swap or just to have on hand. They are TO DIE FOR. Reminiscent of the Girl Scout Cookie – but healthier.

No-Bake Samoa Bites

No-Bake Samoa Bites

Raw Vegan Eggnog from My New Roots

Raw Vegan Eggnog - Image and Recipe Credit to My New Roots

Raw Vegan Eggnog – Image and Recipe Credit to My New Roots

I hope you enjoy the Best Vegan Holiday Recipes. Happy Holidays from Dawn!

FCC Christmas Photo

FCC Christmas Photo

Nov 222014
 

Change things up this Thanksgiving with this Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale. TO. DIE FOR. You may just lick the bowl. Right in front of the whole family.

A few exciting things have happened.

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

1) My CSA/Farm share just started up, 2) I got arugula in my first basket and 3) I figured out a way to prepare it where I actually enjoy it. Thank you Kris Carr. She posted links to 9 awesome arugula recipes and the first one I tried by Isa at Post Punk Kitchen was this Arugula Caesar recipe.

With just a few tweaks to make it my own, I knew I had found a gem. As a side note, my daughter was not nearly as thrilled about the recipe as I was. Hmpf.

Speaking of my daughter, allow me a shameless digression to plug our work; we just finished our second children’s book together in a series called Agnes and the Martian. The book is called Agnes and the Martian’s Camping Adventure. Shocking I know – if you know me, you know we love camping. We even have a blog about THAT.

 Back to the story at hand. Thanksgiving and this salad. What do you plan to make? Are you going to try something new this year? I plan to make coconut pumpkin soup (vegan version), a veggie lentil loaf, roasted Brussels stuffing, and this salad.

Vegan Caesar

Vegan Caesar

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water (plus more for thinning)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh grated garlic (see note)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:
1 bunch kale, chopped
Handful of baby arugula
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 avocado diced
Fresh black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Mix dressing ingredients in a blender. Place kale in a large bowl; massage dressing into kale; stir in arugula until well coated; top with chickpeas, avocado, and black pepper; toss well.

Nutrition Info
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 253.8
Total Fat 11.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 500.3 mg
Potassium 691.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.5 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 10.2 g

Vitamin A 304.4 %
Vitamin B-12 22.2 %
Vitamin B-6 112.5 %
Vitamin C 88.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 18.0 %
Copper 27.7 %
Folate 39.8 %
Iron 19.5 %
Magnesium 18.0 %
Manganese 60.5 %
Niacin 55.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.3 %
Phosphorus 23.0 %
Riboflavin 106.3 %
Selenium 10.6 %
Thiamin 122.2 %
Zinc 15.9 %

*Percent Daily Values for Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

312d351d8f1bc13f1225669f901a83bc

Nov 052014
 

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks are a delicious way to start celebrating the Thanksgiving Season.

Creamy avocado and tender sweet potato proudly stand atop a bed of hearty kale for this feast – perfect as a unique dish for a dinner party and simple enough for a weeknight meal.

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

There is so much to be thankful for this year. In this post (that is long overdue) I thought I might list a few of these wonderful blessings.

I spend time each morning doing three things when I wake up. I quiet my mind for just a few minutes, visualize where I want to be in life, as if I’ve already achieved it, and spend a few minutes focusing on gratitude.

I have a safe, warm home to live in.
Running water.
My health.
My husband and daughter.
A loving family.
Wonderful friends.
Plenty of healthy food.
Transportation.
Freedom.
Time. Time to be quiet and time with my family and friends.

Though my blog has been taking a bit of a backseat to a few projects I’m working on, it is a wonderful outlet, and I’m so grateful for all of my readers. Thank you to all of you. Over the years I have met so many other bloggers and readers that I’m blessed to be a part of this amazing community.

May you spend today focused on gratitude as well, and may it bring back to you love, joy and positivity!


News:

Before I leave you with the recipe - I’ll share information about my next upcoming live cooking demo. It will be on November 18th at Native Sun in Mandarin, 6pm. You will leave with a belly full of pumpkin soup, delicious samples and tons of tips on having a stress free holiday. The details and how to sign up will be released soon on Native Sun’s Event Page. Seating is limited so save the date and I hope to see you there!


Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

 Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt (or any salt will do)
4 bean burgers, premade, like Sunshine Burgers, or homemade
2 ripe avocados, peel and seed removed and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced

Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
1/4 red onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp raisins

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; massage sweet potato with oil and sprinkle with salt; poke holes event over skin with fork; wrap sweet potato in foil; bake 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and cool.

2. Meanwhile, remove leaves of kale from stems and chop; slice red onion thinly and top kale; mix olive oil; mustard; maple, balsamic and garlic in a small bowl; pour over kale and onion mixture; massage until kale begins to break down and fibers soften. Top with raisins.

3. Heat bean burgers; slice sweet potato; layer 1/4 kale mixture, one slice sweet potato, two slices of avocado, bean burger, another slice sweet potato; another slice avocado and some fresh onion on each of four plates.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 498.2
Total Fat 28.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 425.9 mg
Potassium 979.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.4 g
Dietary Fiber 19.3 g
Sugars 9.2 g
Protein 11.6 g

Vitamin A 529.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 30.2 %
Vitamin C 131.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 14.8 %
Calcium 16.3 %
Copper 25.9 %
Folate 25.4 %
Iron 15.3 %
Magnesium 15.1 %
Manganese 53.1 %
Niacin 15.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 18.6 %
Phosphorus 12.3 %
Riboflavin 16.7 %
Selenium 3.2 %
Thiamin 13.3 %
Zinc 8.4 %

*Percent Daily Values for Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Gratitude

Gratitude

Oct 162014
 

I have it! Just for you, a (MUCH) healthier Uncrustables alternative!
Whole grain, sugar free, wheat free, nut free, dairy free, preservative free, GMO free, kid tested and easy to make!

Healthier Uncrustables

Healthier Uncrustables

My daughter has many demons to battle – food allergies and chronic ear infections. I have written many times about her allergies, but I haven’t spoken much about her ear infections. Recently, upon a order from the pediatrician to have her third set of tubes in I put the breaks on. WHY is this happening? Obviously the tubes are a bandaid covering up the real issue.

After a trip or two to Naturopathic Doctor, Dr Jon Repole, we are working through a proper diagnosis that engages several holistic methods including diet, probiotics, chiropractic adjustments, massage, essential oils and agitating the lymph system. After discussing diet, I realized I had been adding quite a bit of wheat back in and she was consuming too much sugar in the form of jelly, honey etc. Though her external allergies were ok, it may be part of the cause of the fluid and inflammation in her ears.

Part of my process of changing her diet, and the diet of our whole family, is to read ingredients on food labels and look for healthier alternatives. Dr Repole made the suggestion to switch from Ezekiel bread to a local company called DeLand bakery with a very simple ingredient list.

I know how hard it is to change a child’s diet in an attempt to make it healthier and want to help parents out there struggling with the same issues. I sometimes eat lunch at my daughter’s school and the processed and packaged “food” is typically on the plates – Uncrustables and Lunchables are commonplace for kids that bring lunch from home. Though this is a few more steps – the nutrient content, exclusion of preservatives and GMOs is well worth it.

 


THEIRS

Ingredients

BREAD: GMO ENRICHED UNBLEACHED FLOUR (PROCESSED FLOUR REQUIRES NUTRIENTS TO BE ADDED BACK IN) (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, GMO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, GMO SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, YEAST, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (TRANS FAT DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES, DATEM (DOUGH CONDITIONER LINKED TO ASTHMA), ENZYMES (WITH AMYLASE (FROM BACTERIA, FUNGUS OR SWINE. MAY BE GMO), LIPASE, ASCORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVE), CALCIUM PEROXIDE (USED TO BLEACH FLOUR. BANNED IN CHINA AND THE EU), AZODICARBONAMIDE (INGREDIENT IN YOGA MATS LINKED TO ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES!!!!), WHEAT STARCH]).

PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE (FORM OF SUGAR), SUGAR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES (FOOD ADDITIVE), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (GMO TRANS FAT) GMO SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES.

GRAPE JELLY: GRAPE JUICE, GMO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, GMO CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PECTIN, GMO CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE).

vs.

MINE

Ingredients purchased at Native Sun Natural Food Market

BREAD: DeLand Oat Bread: Oat bran, Oatmeal Flour, Filtered Water, Sea Salt, Baking Powder (Gluten Free option is available.)

SUNBUTTER: MaraNatha Sunflower Seed Butter: Roasted Sunflower Kernel Seeds, Sea Salt.

JELLY: Dates, Water, Himalayan Salt


 

Healthier Uncrustable
Healthier Uncrustable

Healthier Uncrustables Alternative

Vegan, Wheat Free

Ingredients

2 slices DeLand oat bread
1 Tbsp date “jelly” (see directions below)
1 1/2 Tbsp MaraNatha sunflower seed butter

Directions

1. Lightly toast bread; spread on sunflower seed butter and date paste; cut off crusts.

**Date “Jelly” Directions: Soak 1 lb pitted dates in 1 cup water overnight. Blend dates, water and 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt until a smooth paste is formed.
***I haven’t tried this yet, but make a bunch up and place them in the freezer and pull out as needed. I bet they will work great!

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 330.0
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 290.0 mg
Potassium 120.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.8 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 16.8 g
Protein 7.8 g

Vitamin E 20.3 %
Calcium 2.5 %
Copper 18.8 %
Iron 7.0 %
Magnesium 18.8 %
Niacin 9.0 %
Zinc 7.5 %

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

10352995_759944347377903_8962077502933136771_n

Sep 052014
 

I am so excited about this flourless Chickpea, Olive Oil and Garlic Naan recipe that I could do cartwheels!

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea, Olive Oil and Garlic Naan Recipe

With a lovely bread-like texture and light crisp crust I’m wondering what took me so long to create something delicious with chickpea flour. My friend Vivian has been telling me for months that I had to try it. She uses it to make pancakes, breads, tortillas and more. I played around with the liquid ratios and found that you need to thin the flour quite a bit and let it bake up. Next time I might try coconut oil and see how that goes. I could definitely see making this for a crowd so I might try it out at the next cookout! If you do the same, don’t be shy with the olive oil – use a bit extra and let it really soak in, and try mixing some roasted garlic in with the batter. This is best served immediately out of the oven and my version is only 80 filling calories per square so go ahead and enjoy two squares. I won’t tell.

(I’m even MORE excited about the recipe in the next post….stay tuned. Hint…see the below photo. Can I say OMG?)

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea Garlic Naan

 Vegan, Gluten Free, Flourless
Serves 12
Printable Recipe
Inspired by Vivian, Owner of KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 cups garbanzo bean flour
scant 3 cups water
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions
1. Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Let sit 2-4 hours to fully incorporate all ingredients.

2. Prepare 9×13 pan with oil, brush evenly over surface; pour batter into pan.

3. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean; remove from oven, cool, cut into 12 squares; sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired. Serve immediately.

*Reheat any left over bread.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 80.1
Total Fat 3.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 3.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 3.5 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 0.4 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 0.7 %
Copper 0.0 %
Folate 0.0 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 0.1 %
Manganese 0.2 %
Niacin 0.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
Phosphorus 0.1 %
Riboflavin 0.0 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 0.1 %
Zinc 0.1 %

*Percent Daily Values for Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Do What Makes you Oh SO Happy

Aug 192014
 

Last year I was mad as hell seeing what kids at my daughter’s school were eating. It could NOT be called food! Join my crusade to FIGHT BACK. This is my post on healthier plant-based vegan back to school lunches.

You guys – we need to start getting PISSED about what kids are eating. Let’s control for ourselves and make the time to help our children eat healthy. We cannot rely on the government with their “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. On one hand they support eating fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, all the crop subsidies go to GMO corn, wheat and soy. They consider fruits and vegetables a “specialty crop”. What?! Talk about mixed messages. For those of us not on subsidized meal programs it’s time to boycott school lunch!  Support programs such as Tour de Fresh – organizations working to bring fresh salads and education to schools.

This is a real example of a kindergarten school lunch last year. These children are not in an impoverished area. Compared to the rest of the world, this district is considered affluent, with some of the best schools in the country. What a great “balanced lunch” option.

#lunchFAIL

#lunchFAIL

Yes there was a vegetable option but do the kids choose it? NO! Kids need EDUCATION. Studies show they are more likely to choose healthier options if they are taught what the healthier option is and why. Getting them involved is also essential. Join a farm share and have them pick vegetables for themselves!

Ha! Good timing. KyV’s Farm Share is available for fall right now!  

TAKE BACK LUNCH

Let’s give up the excuses and start packing a variety of healthy lunches that aren’t packed with puss filled dairy and nitrate-filled processed meats and GMO wheat.

WE need to eat healthy first. Use these ideas for your own lunch!

Do not let your child end up like THIS:

 

GREAT LINKS:

Tons of Bento Box ideas, Veggie Bento Love

Vegan Lunch Recipes (with downloadable cookbook), Eating Well

50 Vegan Sandwiches, Connoisseurus Veg

 Veg Kitchen, ideas and recipes!

FCC TIPS:

  • Make lunches for two or three days in a row so you can grab-and-go.
  • Ditch the plastic bags! Use re-usable containers, utensils and washable napkins. You will save money in the end. Promise.
  • When in doubt try Pinterest for ideas.
  • Use your muffin tin to create quinoa, NON-DAIRY cheese and veggie meal muffins.
  • Break out the cookie cutter to cut fun shapes out of fruits, veggies and sandwiches!
  • DO be sensitive to kids with allergies. Even if your child doesn’t have them – it is horrific for parents that do. I just paid $253.00 for an epi pen AFTER insurance AND a coupon. It SUCKS so don’t complain if you can’t give your kid peanut butter. You could be buying epi pens instead.
  • For children on subsidized lunch programs – there are ways to make very inexpensive and healthy lunches. With planning it can be done. Contact me and I will walk you through it.

RECIPES:

SANDWICHES, WRAPS AND ‘ZA

Collard Sushi

Collard Sushi

Crazy Collard Sushi (Minus Sprouts)

 

Fu Wrap

Fu Wrap

Fu Wrap

BB, Banana and Hummus Wrap

BB, Banana and Hummus Wrap

Black Bean, Banana and Hummus Wrap (subtract the onion)

Mini Pizzas (Photo care of Lunch Box Bunch)

Mini Pizzas (Photo care of Lunch Box Bunch)

Mini Pizza from Lunch Box Bunch!

BBQ Bella Tempeh Joe

BBQ Bella Tempeh Joe

Is your kid a Sloppy Joe lover? Try this BBQ Bella and Tempeh Sandwich

SOUPS

Watermelon Gazpacho, Eating Well

Watermelon Gazpacho, Eating Well

Gazpacho Recipes (Cold Soups), Eating Well

Bowl Licking Good Lentil Soup

Bowl Licking Good Lentil Soup

Bowl Licking Good Lentil Soup. Kid tested, mother approved.

GRAINS

Apple Fried Rice

Apple Fried Rice, from Swasthi’s Recipes

Apple Fried Rice from Swasthi’s Recipes

Sweet Citrus Barley

Sweet Citrus Barley

Sweet Citrus Barley with Pistachios

Pineapple Fu with Basmati Rice

Pineapple Fu with Basmati Rice

Pineapple Fu with Basmati Rice

SALADS

Nut butter, Raisin and Barley Salad

Nut butter, Raisin and Barley Salad

Nut butter, Raisin, Apple and Barley Salad (Sub sunflower seed butter for peanut butter.)

Quinoa Salad in a Jar

Quinoa Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

Veggie Pasta Salad

Veggie Pasta Salad

One of my favorite pasta salads! Add any protein. Use brown rice pasta for gluten free option.

Snazzy Salad

Snazzy Salad

I love this idea for making a “salad” with fun shapes they can dip. Photo care of Parenting Mag.

CRAZINESS

Breakfast for lunch!

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Fruit and Yogurt Calcium Bowl

Fruit and Yogurt Calcium Bowl

Plain, non-dairy yogurt with fresh fruit

Cereal for Lunch

Cereal for Lunch

Cereal for lunch! I love these ONE INGREDIENT puffs. Add a side of homemade non-dairy milk and fresh fruit. Fun!

SNACKS

All Natural Zucchini Muffins

All Natural Zucchini Muffins

All Natural Zucchini Muffins, All-Time Top Reader Fav

Roasted Sweet Potato Hummus

Roasted Sweet Potato Hummus

Roasted Sweet Potato Hummus,
Serve with celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes etc. (See that snazzy salad above!)


Nut and Gluten Free Granola

 Here is a delicious snack and topping idea for yogurt or banana ice cream. It is nut, grain and dairy free. Enjoy!

Nut and Gluten Free Granola

Nut and Gluten Free Granola

Nut and Gluten Free Granola

Serves about 8 1/4 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup dried bananas
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup non- dairy chocolate chips
1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions

1. Spread coconut oil over a small baking sheet; toss all remaining ingredients together directly on the baking sheet to coat with coconut oil; toast 3-4 minutes, or until just browned.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 151.2
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 36.8 mg
Potassium 97.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 13.2 g
Protein 2.4 g
Vitamin A 0.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.2 %
Vitamin C 0.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.2 %
Calcium 0.8 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 2.4 %
Iron 3.7 %
Magnesium 1.7 %
Manganese 5.4 %
Niacin 1.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %
Phosphorus 5.1 %
Riboflavin 0.9 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 0.8 %
Zinc 1.5 %

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


For the grand blog-post finale, my biggest secret surprise is that my daughter and I just self-published our first children’s book together on Amazon and Kindle……

It is called The Adventures of Agnes and the Martian!

The Adventures of Agnes and the Martian

The Adventures of Agnes and the Martian

Most parents want their children to be able to discover and live their passion, achieve their dreams, and succeed at what they put their mind to. 

One year ago I left my 13-year corporate job to take on the world and make it a better place, and wanted to pass that determination on to my daughter. Together we created our book, the Adventures Agnes and the Martian.

This book is our way of inspiring children on the path to following their dreams.

As a thank you for getting this far in the post and listening to me blather on, for a limited time I would like to offer – drum roll please -

A free digital copy of our book, The Adventures of Agnes and the Martian!

 email me at dawn(at)floridacoastalcooking.com for your copy!

I know, I know, you are overcome with emotion. Seriously though, it is a cute book if I do say so, and since I love ya – I just have to share. It is for readers from preschool through 1st grade. Preschool and kindergarten my need some help with the reading.

Camping MADNESS

Camping MADNESS

I would love to get your thoughts on this book as I attempt to learn how to market a self-published book with no background in marketing. Who knows, I might fall flat on my face, or I might help my daughter soar with the eagles!

If you like it, and could share it on social media, or even better, review on Amazon, I would forever be in your debt.

She acted out the scenes in all the photos, and then (with a bit of help) tried her hand at drawing in the “Martian”. This was a bedtime story my Nana used to tell me as a child, and now I get to pass it on to my daughter, and children everywhere. We are even planning the next book already and I’m thinking we might call it, Camping Madness with the Martian and Agnes. What do you think?

Jul 302014
 

 Your alarm wakes up out of a dead sleep and you hit the snooze button…. four times. Finally you drag yourself out of bed, get dressed and when you walk out the door a wall of heat and humidity hits. It is time to fight back naturally with hydrating FOODS for Summer.

Hydrating Foods

Hydrating Foods

Recently I led a workshop at Native Sun about fighting summer fatigue and having more energy naturally.  The research is so surprising, I just can’t keep it to myself!.

Interestingly, one of the primary ways to fight back is through proper hydration, and hydrating foods should always be first on your list. The chart above shows some top hydrating foods. One of the BEST and simplest salads to hydrate is mixture of fresh berries, cucumber and watermelon.

Now let’s talk about the effects of dehydration.  Dehydration impairs your thinking, digestion, energy, how you move, aches and pains and can even age your skin.  It can be one of the main reasons for headaches, dizziness and irritability.

Taking in too little fluid is a major cause – your body loses fluid and electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids that carry an electric charge. Why is this important? Because they affect the acidity and pH balance in your body, they regulate the amount of water you retain, and they are not found in water. They are in natural sodium, calcium and potassium to name a few.

Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables

Source

In turn, one great way to hydrate properly in the summer is not only through water, but also through sodium balance!

The right kind of sodium is key to proper body function. It keeps fluids in balance, maintains blood pressure, digestion and metabolism, supports muscles and nerves, and is key for calcium absorption. It has even been called the “youth mineral” because of it’s benefits for our joint and ligaments – keeping them young and healthy.

A word of caution when it comes to sodium balance and endurance athletes or anyone working outside in the heat – you are at higher risk of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is when your blood sodium falls below a level 135 of milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). According to the National Institute of Health, the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L from depleting your sodium stores through sweat and drinking too much water. Because you lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can dilute the sodium content of your blood.

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Don’t simply add table salt.

Table salt (NaCL) is mined from underground salt mines, processed, refined and stripped of the natural sodium and then anti-caking agents are added. What you want is the true organic sodium (Na). Most Americans are actually deficient in Na and consume way too much NaCl. While table salt stores in our bodies, any excess in natural sodium will be excreted.

Instead of adding table salt to your diet, add some foods that naturally contain sodium. Natural sea salt, fruits and vegetables.

  • Beets 65 milligrams sodium per beet
  • Celery and Carrots 50 milligrams in one stalk or one carrot
  • Spinach 125 mg per cooked cup
  • Swiss chard 300 mg per cooked cup
  • Also, asparagus, barley, lentils, coconut, okra, kale, raisins, red cabbage
Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

The organic sodium in these foods actually alkalizes the body and helps neutralize acidity from fried foods, meats, cheeses, alcohol and any processed foods etc. Without organic sodium, our bodies are clever, they will neutralize the acid from the mineral stores in our bodies – including our bones.

Finally, add Omega 3′s to your diet. Many people think flax when they think Omega 3′s; however, flax is a phytoestrogen like soy, and can alter the body’s hormone balance. The best form of plant based Omega 3 I have found is milled chia. I eat two tablespoons daily of a blend called Mila and have been doing so for three years. Mila specifically has been cleaned of mold, dirt and insect pieces that you find in generic chia. It is then carefully milled, or sliced open, to create more surface area for your body to suck up the nutrients. Finally, each crop is tested for nutrient content and blended for consistent levels of fiber, Omega 3 and other vitamins and nutrients. The fats in Omega 3 foods hold on to hydration in the body and help it from being excreted. Chia has extreme absorption qualities and can absorb many times it’s weight in liquid, keeping you hydrated longer. If you have ever heard of the book Born to Run, chia is the food utilized by the Aztec Indians of the Copper Canyon. They would take chia on their long and arduous runs for nutrition and hydration!

* Info on Mila * To try some use US11065661 * Video *


Have you heard of these ideas on fighting fatigue, tiredness and dehydration? What are some of your tips?

If you liked this post, please comment and share with others!


Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 pint fresh berries
2 Tbsp milled chia such as Mila
Sprinkle of natural sea salt

Directions

1.  Pour 1/2 cup yogurt into each bowl; top with 1 Tbsp Mila; divide the berries evenly; sprinkle natural sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 142.3
Total Fat 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 188.5 mg
Potassium 109.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.1 g
Sugars 8.2 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.3 %
Vitamin C 19.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.6 %
Calcium 0.5 %
Copper 2.2 %
Folate 1.1 %
Iron 3.7 %
Magnesium 6.4 %
Manganese 10.2 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 0.6 %

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

Jul 102014
 

Fresh summer produce gave me the idea for this Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad. There is nothing better than vine ripened tomatoes, hearty edamame and garbanzo beans, and crisp-tender green beans dressed simply with olive oil and sea salt.

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

For cookouts, beach days, and everyday life, this is the PERFECT summer base salad. What is a base salad? Something you can add to; sautéed tofu, cashew cheese, or any protein or cheese you like.


July 4th was a whirlwind.

There was lots of time for fun and a few points of reflection.

The holiday kicked off with a cookout, followed by a beach day complete with paddle boarding and body surfing, and later that evening we watched our daughter see fire works for the first time on the boat….now THAT was cool.  There was even an unexpected limo ride the next day!

We were at our second cookout of the weekend, when suddenly there was a limo at the front door. Our friend’s landscaper/part owner of a new restaurant had sent a limo by to fetch us to enjoy food and drinks at his new place.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I got a call from my mom who had been rushed to the emergency room with chest pain.

With thoughts of my Dad‘s sudden passing in my head, I drove to the hospital. After many tests and a weekend of hospital food, she was diagnosed with severe gastrointestinal issues (not from the hospital food, but that’s a whole other story). Since she never complains about aches and pains, the pain must have been really bad at the time.

On the way home I reflected how fragile life is. After losing Dad so suddenly, I could clearly see the possibility of losing both my parents, and what was left was devastating. It made me so grateful that she is ok and back home and that I have been able to make the changes I had yearned for – leaving Corporate America, becoming self-employed, loving every minute with my small daughter and relishing the ability to be creative. Every. Day.

Has it been easy? Not always. But worth it? Yes.

I further reflected on what kept me where I was for so long.

Fear.

Fear that I might fall flat on my face, fear that I might be embarrassed, fear that I would have to work so hard and hate it, fear of failure.

There’s an old saying, if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. 

It is SO true. Yes I work hard, but I enjoy every day now.

And guess what else I found out. Failure is part of success.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~ Wayne Gretzky

This is my wish for you. Live every day as if it is your last. If you don’t like where you are in life now, begin to take steps to change it. Don’t stay where you are out of fear. Turn off the TV. Read books that will help you in life, like How to Win Friends and Influence People. Study people like Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins. Get up early, start dreaming, planning and taking action. Take a chance, let yourself fail, get back up and keep on going.

Don’t wait.

And while you’re dreaming, I have the perfect salad to fuel you.


Are you where you want to be? Do you have changes you need to make in life? What is holding you back?


Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

Serves about 10 rounded 1/2 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz fresh green beans
12 oz shelled edamame
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup red onion (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp coarse ground sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Steam green beans until crisp-tender; about 10 minutes; remove from steamer and run under cold water and let drain. Cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 151.6
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 234.8 mg
Potassium 233.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 7.3 g

Vitamin A 13.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 14.1 %
Vitamin C 18.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.9 %
Calcium 6.2 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 12.6 %
Iron 9.7 %
Magnesium 6.6 %
Manganese 20.1 %
Niacin 2.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.6 %
Phosphorus 6.5 %
Riboflavin 4.0 %
Selenium 2.4 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 4.2 %

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

Three Bean Salad 

Jun 162014
 

Tender sweet potatoes, rich curry and toasted bread are the feature ingredients in my crunchy, delicious Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto.

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Well known as the home of the controversial Paula Deen, Savannah Georgia is one of my favorite places on earth. It is rich with history, has a great food scene and an amazing farmers market in Forsyth Park.

I visited last week, camping in my mom’s new camper at Skidaway Island State Park. If you ever stay in the area, definitely plan on the market Saturday morning. It runs from 9am to 1pm.

The mission of the Forsyth Farmers’ Market is to promote understanding and participation in a local food system that supports sustainable production and increases access to local products.”

Forsyth Farmers Market

Forsyth Farmers Market

Last week’s market held a special surprise through a gentleman named Michael Maddox; the manifestation of my dream to build a community around an organic farm. TRUE community supported agriculture. Think of the possibilities! A school, homes and families all focused around health, food and a connection with nature.

I can’t help but wonder how many of us could grow our own food if we needed to. How many kids know where vegetables come from, or even what many vegetables even taste like?

Green Bridge Farm

Green Bridge Farm

Meet Michal from Green Bridge Farm, about thirty minutes northwest of Savannah. I spoke with Michael and he is now selling lots around his organic farm, with a school just nearby. This land has been in his family since the 1700′s and he is personally funding this project.

A Sustainable Community Project

An ecologically-friendly development of twenty five wooded acres in Effingham County, Georgia.

An existing 20 year old organic farm is the center piece and shared community space on this otherwise wooded acreage. Lots for sale in sizes of 1.2-1.6 acres each, priced at $50,000.00 per lot.

Green Bridge Farm

Green Bridge Farm

There is even now a Tumbleweed home for rent! Tumbleweed homes are small homes, sometimes on wheels, that help people live simple, inexpensive, uncluttered lives. To me – that sounds like real freedom. The blog notes state,“We now have a Tumbleweed house for rent. Anyone interested in visiting the farm and staying overnight can now stay in this little home for  small fee.  Call me for details. 912-667-1118.” 

Here are the details of the main lots.

Community Space

There are approximately four acres set aside for community space including existing organic vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. Gardening is not mandatory but this project provides a unique opportunity for those interested in growing their own food. The four acre lot and gardens will be maintained by the neighborhood association.

CSA

CSA

I would love for projects like this to begin popping up all over the US. Pure utopia. It would be amazing to live in small communities, utilizing solar power if possible, and spending spare time learning how to self-sustain. No produce from Chile and Argentina, no trucks from halfway across the US. Think of the energy savings!  My next dream is to build lots that have gone vacant and build tumbleweed communities – where one family once was, now there are five, with a garden in the middle. Sort of like this one in Somoma but with the organic garden in the center.  America’s “bigger is better” mentality is unsustainable, this would be a solution to this problem. No trees would be cut down to clear new land, and families would still have the joy of owning their own space. Who wants to join me with this project?!

Forsyth Farmers Market

Forsyth Farmers Market

Back at the campground we created a lovely meal from the fresh produce we got at the market as the children played at the playground. What I love best about camping is the family time – no technology distractions. It is an inexpensive and fun way to take lots more vacations throughout the year!

Camping

Camping

One of the last days we were in Savannah we tried to visit our favorite Green Truck Pub, but much to our dismay, it was closed that day! We resorted to a small café next door to a natural food store and my mom happened to order the most delicious looking sandwich.

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

A sweet potato on ciabatta with a creamy pesto. It was VERY heavy, but I loved the concept and it simply had to be recreated at home….so here it is! Crunchy, sweet, delicious and with a little twist of curry on fresh baked, organic bread. Nothing better!

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

   Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Serves Estimated 8-10
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes
1 baguette
1 10 oz pkg baby lettuces
1/3 cup raisins

Curry Pesto
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp melted curry coconut oil (such as Ziggy Marley) + extra for greasing baking sheet and potatoes
1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450F; grease baking sheet with coconut oil and rub additional on potatoes; poke holes evenly over skin of potatoes with fork; rub with salt; bake for 30 minutes; flip and bake additional 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven, let cool and slice.

2. Meanwhile blend curry pesto ingredients; slice and toast or grill baguette.

3. Layer 1 slice baguette, spread 1 – 2 tsp pesto, a few raisins; two slices sweet potato; a few lettuce leaves, top with second baguette slice.

**Please note: un-flavored coconut oil works just fine. Feel free to use that as well!

Estimated Nutrition Info
**There may be some pesto left, so calorie count may be lower. When I created the calorie count I had to include the calories and fat from all the pesto.
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 225.6
Total Fat 4.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 348.2 mg
Potassium 152.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Sugars 5.8 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 67.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.4 %
Vitamin C 41.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.9 %
Calcium 3.2 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 1.7 %
Iron 11.7 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 8.1 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.1 %
Phosphorus 4.5 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 2.7 %
Zinc 1.8 %

*Percent Daily Values for Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 062014
 

My Summer Coolers with fresh fruit and herbs are perfect to bring with you on the go. They will leave you feeling light, refreshed and are 35 calories or less!

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Drink eight glasses of water.

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Don’t drink sodas or diet sodas.

Hey, we all know the rules. We know we need to stay hydrated and eat our fruit, but drinking water all day gets boring, and reaching for a granola bar or diet soda is easier.

I’ve found a delicious way to get your water and fruit in – that is so refreshing, you’re freezer will be filled with mason jars.

Why are we supposed to stay hydrated anyway?

I’ve got a few good reasons. Are bodies are made up of mostly water. We need it to cushion organs, flush toxins and cool our bodies.

Speaking of cushioning our organs – think of what happens when our brain is dehydrated. Hello headaches and fatigue.

Many times we think we are hungry, but we’re actually thirsty. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve read a blog post or tip that tells me to drink a full glass of water before each meal to keep me fuller. Do I do it? No. Why? Because that glass of wine is calling my name.  But THIS recipe is a whole other story. I drink it morning, noon and night, and after one taste, I bet you will too.

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

A few other luscious ideas:

Herb Coolers

Herb Coolers

Blueberry, Thyme and Grapefruit Essential Oil (Or use fresh grapefruit juice)

Strawberry, Cucumber, Basil and Peppermint Essential Oil (Or use fresh peppermint)

Mint, Basil, Blueberry, Thyme and Lemon Essential Oil (Or use fresh lemon juice)

**Please note, use can absolutely use fresh juice in place of any of the oils – it just won’t be quite as fragrant or potent.

**If you are using oils, do NOT use just any old oil. See below for tips.

**If you would like to try the certified organic oils I use, visit my essential oils page.

Tips

Stay cool!

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Fruit Cooler

Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

*Certified Organic Lemon Essential oil (or juice 1 lemon)
1 cup fresh fruit (I used berries and peaches)
Filtered Water
2 Mason Jars

Directions

1. Spoon 1/2 cup fresh fruit into each mason jar; cover with filtered water; drop two drops of lemon essential oils into each of the jars; freeze Mason jars overnight.

2. Fill remaining space in mason jar with water (and additional fruit or herbs if desired) and drop two additional drops of lemon essential oil into each jar; cover, shake and enjoy.

 

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 35.0
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 7.5 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 5.5 g
Protein 0.5 g

Vitamin A 1.0 %
Calcium 3.0 %
Iron 2.0 %

*Percent Daily Values for Refreshing Summer Coolers with Fresh Fruit are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.