One Day A Week

“The McCartney family launches short film ‘One Day a Week’ highlighting the environmental impact of animal agriculture and encourages people to help by eating less meat, with appearances by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone.

Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) next week, Meat Free Monday has released a short film about a huge contributor to climate change that is often left out of conference discussions – animal agriculture.

“There’s a simple but significant way to help protect the planet and all its inhabitants”, says Paul to camera. “And it starts with just one day a week. One day without eating animal products can have a huge impact in helping maintain that delicate balance that sustains us all.”

With dire consequences for ourselves and future generations, livestock production results in vast amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. It requires increasingly unsustainable levels of precious resources including land, water and energy, and is a major contributor towards global environmental degradation and climate change.

The Meat Free Monday campaign has had an incredible response since its launch in 2009, with many of the world’s leading authorities on climate change endorsing meat reduction as an effective way of fighting global warming.

The campaign’s new film ‘One Day a Week’, largely funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and produced in collaboration with French film director Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Hope Production, amplifies this message using the breathtaking aerial photography with which Arthus-Bertrand has become synonymous.

Narrated by Paul, and with appearances from Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone, the film describes how the beauty of the planet only exists through a delicate balance of climatic conditions – a balance we are dangerously disrupting through our insatiable desire for animal products.

The film uses Paul’s own music – tracks from his 1997 classical music album Standing Stone, as well as an unreleased song called Botswana.

Meat Free Monday’s aim is to raise awareness and inspire people to make a change in their diets from an easily achievable starting point.

Meat Free Monday & the McCartney family’s new film shows why cutting out meat #OneDayAWeek is so important. Whether you’re going #MeatFreeMonday or #MeatlessMonday, you can make a difference!”

0.jpg

 

 

mfm-logo

Let’s talk diet specific goals and shame….

pinklinedivider-2
govegan2.jpg

 

forward-right-arrow-button_318-76852.jpg No, no they don’t. And they don’t want change. I resisted so many changes for so long. Change means leaving a comfort zone. I retreated back to my comfort zone more than once. But it doesn’t change the facts. Somewhere in my deepest inner being I know that eating animals is wrong, wrong for me, the animals and the environment.  Despite nay-sayers I know that eating animals is contributing to global warming. And I KNOW eating all the junk food consumers eat is horrible for our health and longevity. But despite knowing, we have a hard time with change and accepting something is bad or wrong for us. We will make every excuse in the book to continue eating something that’s so wrong but tastes so good. I made every excuse in the book. But the biggest and truest is that I had a hard time when I tried to go full vegan. I haven’t taken enough time to work with beans and legumes to know how to cook a variety of dishes and I don’t want to use soy and need to limit wheat gluten. Plus my husband was a hard core meat eater when we first got together. 

 

anigif_sub-buzz-24093-1478084291-2

For a long time I battled a war inside me bouncing between veganism and being a meat eater. Every time I ate meat I felt it was wrong. But I had no clue how to juggle healthy vs compassionate. And I began disliking myself more every bite I took. I was ashamed to stand and say I was an animal rights activist and yet I still ate meat. I lied often, so I could still stand up against animal cruelty and not receive condemnation from vegans. I think a large reason I have had weight issues has been over guilty eating and dislike for myself because of eating meat. Most of the time when I was trying to be meat free, I ate a lot of junk food. I wasn’t healthy. 

And it’s difficult trying to speak with people who go meatless because of animal rights issues when quitting meat was a breeze for them. But nutrition is a complicated jungle and if you have any health issues stacked on top make it even more difficult. And many in the animal rights community (at least who I’ve encountered) meet people with nutritional concerns and questions with disdain and anger. Feeling they are not actual issues when compared to the plight of animals. And although I agree, a life is indeed more important that a pork chop in my belly, my human life and health is also important. 

tenor.gif

So why did I personally struggle so much going vegan? I only knew how to cook your basic meat and potato meals. I was born and raised on meat, potatoes and sweets. Vegetables were not a big part of my Mom’s cooking, but meat was. Beef and pork were like an every other night swap. With a night for chicken, or a pasta night thrown in. I grew up in a turbulent home and sweets were a refuge and an “I’m sorry” for what I did. Into adulthood I loathed the taste of almost all vegetables. My staple veggies on my adult table were, corn, corn and oh yeah, corn. Eventually I branched out into salad with a cucumber thrown on top with mounds of cheese and croutons to cover the taste of the green stuff.

tenor (1)

Fact was, when I first tried to be a non meat eater, my diet may have been kind, but nutritionally it was a major disaster. I ate salad (as in lettuce), processed boxed crap, pastas and, you guessed it, sweets. I lived off coffee cake, muffins, and bread. I was tired allllll the time. And during this time is when I found out how unhealthy all that boxed stuff was that has a list of 30 ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. And was also finding out that many of the vegan brand products (which I already thought tasted like cardboard or too much green vegetation) had the same problem, a lot of unhealthy added ingredients. Plus I was hearing the negative aspects of eating soy and wheat gluten on a daily basis and recently learning that wheat gluten makes me bloat and may have a big part in my stagnant weight loss. And processed sugars are extremely unhealthy period!

But I’ve learned a lot and am ready for the next steps towards a kinder, more environmentally friendly, and healthier nutrition plan. What are my nutritional goals based on all I’ve learned? As we move closer to the end of my 30 Day Challenge and headed towards the New Year, here is what I’m aiming for in our kitchen…

yod.gif

My husband and I have been moving towards a gradual shift to become meat free. We’ve both been at different stages, and at different times, for different reasons. My husband’s tastes lean vastly more towards a Mediterranean Diet. And I too have found greater health benefits in the Mediterranean Diet, the more I learn about nutrition, and how my body reacts to foods. But I also know that wheat gluten affects me, so now I know that after this cleanse is over I need to lessen the amount of gluten I have in my diet. I won’t be eliminating it, but I do see the reasons to reduce the amount I eat. It’s a filler for the most part, with minimal nutritional value in comparison. And I’m sick of belly bloat!

You can lessen the amount of gluten you eat with some simple changes. Switch from eating regular pasta to a rice pasta, or you can easily make/buy gluten free breads. Also watch labels.  

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life worrying what others think of me and my choices, and I’m tired of playing this game. I worry what vegans will think, I worry what my friends and family will think. No more. My husband and I have taken the time to learn about nutrition and alternate choices when it comes to meat, dairy and sweets. We are making a hard core commitment now in implementing all we’ve learned along the way and all we will learn as we make changes permanent. The chart below shows the breakdown of  the nutrition plan that my husband and I can both work with as we progress our way to a Vegetarian/Vegan lifestyle. I modified the Mediterranean Diet to rely less heavily on fish, this would be called an to be Ovo-Vegetarian/Pescatarian diet. 

This Is The Basics Of A Mediterranean Diet

1606w-fruits-vegetabless.jpg

Starting From The Top….

Tier 1 – Sweets, especially those made with processed sugars and animal products will be severely limited. There are enough raw recipes that have no funky ingredients that can be sweet and delicious. It’s just a matter of either taking the time to learn to make them, or finding a good vegan bakery that maybe specializes in raw treats. Here are some examples …. Raw Deserts

Tier 2 – is all about my glass or two of wine I have when we go out to dinner or are at a social event where drinking is available. We don’t buy alcohol for the house unless it’s the holidays usually. In the summer we may get sangria or beer. But it’s an occasional thing. 

Tier 3 – Fish and sea food for now will remain in our meal planning. But over time I want to phase it out and either move it up to the top and one day I will finally be completely meat free and it will no longer be in our kitchen. 

And tier 4 – Eggs are a pretty regular part of our diet and like fish will be phased out too. 

beyond-meat-super-fan-badge_hoddzpah-1.png

 

This right here is the future of protein and could very well one day be our main source of protein. I highly recommend this soy free, gmo free product for your Meatless Monday and beyond!

 

 

I could survive almost completely off of tier 5 through 8 –  I’m a pasta lover but until I discovered and actually used gluten free pastas, it meant I had to live with tummy bloat. Tier 5 through 8 is my rock now and we already have been about 90% dairy free (cheese on pizza mainly),  but are now 100% dairy free. The supplements I use from Arbonne keep it all nutritionally sound. 

Avoiding: 

  • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
  • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Refined Oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
  • Highly processed foods: Everything labelled “low-fat” or “diet” or looks like it was made in a factory. Other than Beyond Meat and a few other similar plant based meatless options. 

One day, I will be completely meat free as I play with more and more recipes and become a better cook in my kitchen. I tried and failed so many times doing it the wrong way so that it would become permanent change. Soy can be unhealthy, as well as gluten can be. I feel very lucky to have come across Arbonne. Because in learning how to be gluten free I’ve learned how I can leap to being meat free without being unhealthy. You just need the right fooducation 😉. To be healthy, you need to cook. And to be a more compassionate consumer you need to cook, and cook the right things to be healthy. We are changing our habits, and you can too. For the animals, for the planet and for YOUR health!

Gatherer-.jpg

How To Talk To Friends And Family About A Plant Based Diet

In summary: Just like 3/4 of the rest if the world I’m trying to find healthy. And just like all the other animal advocates out there I’m trying to live kinder, but I also want to be healthy. I know I’m not the only other animal rights person who has had issues with becoming vegan. And I know many vegans don’t understand my dilemma. I know many who had trouble with health and veganism hide in the shadows afraid to admit they just don’t have the skills to live life a healthy vegan. I’m trying to find my way back there, but this time in a healthy way. So don’t bash me if you’re a vegan who just doesn’t get it. Help me, share recipes with me and tell me how you found the balance. And in the meantime, I will continue to move forward towards healthy and ethical sustainable living by learning and experimenting with cooking. And as I learn, I will share what I’ve learned so others can lead a kinder more ethical life with food.

Why Veganism Is The Future

 

MeatlessMonday-poster-goodforyou.png

 

no-animal-testing

 

The info below is from PETA. I am personally not a fan of PETA and the way they themselves treat animals and their views on euthanasia and especially their views on the Pit Bull breeds. There are many other animals rights/welfare organizations that are more compassionate and much less egotistical. But they are a wealth of information on veganism and sources for vegan products. Arbonne is PETA certified for the products being vegan and cruelty free!

 

 

Meatless;  Soy-Free and Gluten-Free 

  • Neat “meat” is a new product made from a mix of nuts and garbanzo beans. It comes in four flavors: Mexican, Italian, Breakfast, and Original.
  • Great Life by Lucinda has a variety of veggie burger mixes.
  • Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Crumbles come in both Feisty Crumbles and Beefy Crumbles flavors, and they’re made from pea protein.
  • Beyond Meat’s Beast Burger boasts the fact that it contains more iron and protein than its meaty equivalent, and more omegas than salmon.
  • Cool Foods’ Vegi Bacon are “bacon bits” derived from pinto beans, and are ready to top your baked potato, salad, or soup.
  • Sunshine Burgers are made from a variety of beans, seeds, and brown rice. They come in eight flavors, including Shiitake Mushroom, Loco Chipotle, and Hemp & Sage.
  • Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burger is made from quinoa, garbanzo beans, nuts, and vegetables.
  • Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Bites and several types of veggie burgers are made with grains, beans, seeds, and greens and are certified kosher as well.

Meatless; Gluten-Free (*These are not certified gluten-free, but the ingredient labels do not list gluten or wheat.)

  • Gardein offers four gluten-free varieties: Chick’n Scallopini, Chipotle Black Bean Burger, the Ultimate Beefless Ground, and Garden Veggie Burger. These delectable options are made with a soy protein base.
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a dehydrated soy product that looks like little flaky nuggets and is a great stand-in for ground beef. It can be rehydrated in about a minute and works well in spaghetti sauces, chili, tacos, and veggie burgers.
  • Butler Soy Curls are perfect for grilling or cooking in soups, salads, stir-fries, and fajitas.
  • Simply Balanced Smoky Chipotle Meatless Chickenpacks a lot of protein and is perfect for the summer grilling season.
  • Simply Balanced Korean Barbecue Meatless Chickenis another variety from this brand, which is carried exclusively by Target.
  • Simply Balanced Mushroom Miso Meatless Turkeyis the brand’s third faux-meat flavor. Mushroom miso sounds delicious. It’s time to taste-test these cruelty-free meats!
  • Tempeh is a fermented soy product that comes in the form of a dense cake, perfect sliced or cubed and then steamed or fried and added to stir-fries, pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. It’s especially delicious when smoked for a “BLT.”
  • Praeger’s veggie burgers come in both kale and California varieties.
  • Amy’s Veggie Loaf is packaged ready to eat! You can also opt for the low-sodium version.
  • Beyond Meat has delectable chicken tenders that you should stock your freezer with ASAP.

Meatless; Soy-Free

  • Seitan is a delectable meatless option made of wheat gluten. Available from many companies, it’s popular because it soaks up flavors extremely well and the texture is chewy and satisfying. You can also make your own!
  • Field Roast vegan meat products are all wheat- and grain-based. They specialize in links, roasts, and meatless loafs—perfect for the holidays or anytime.
  • Bahama Rice Burgers are rice-based and come in seven flavors.
  • Amy’s California Veggie Burgers come in original and low-sodium varieties.
  • Hot Dang Original Grain Burger is so delicious, but remember that only the original flavor is vegan.

*I found a pretty clear explanation here about my issues with soy, and she lays it out much better than I ever could!  Wellness Mama – Is Soy Healthy

18157051_135113880363686_4175576882423229505_n.png

Gluten Free Flours I Recommend (an ongoing list)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour Gluten Free

BRM-01452-4.jpg

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cup4Cup

61vh-tkO00L._SL1000_

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend GFM-almond-2lb-mockup-400-x533.jpg

 

 

some of my favorite cookbooks

Cookbooks.jpg

One Part Plant  

Naturally Nourished 

Wanderlust Find Your True Fork: Journeys in Healthy, Delicious, and Ethical Eating

The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Thug Kitchen 

The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food

Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

Nourish Bowls: Simple and Nutritious Balanced Meals in a Bowl

The Healthy Ketogenic Vegetarian Cookbook: 100 Easy & Delicious Ketogenic Vegetarian Diet Recipes For Weight Loss and Radiant Health

Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet–with 150 Engine 2 Recipes

 

 

*Notes:

While I myself am not doing a vegan nutrition plan, something vegans and even vegetarians who are finicky need to remember: By eliminating food groups from your diet, you are potentially at risk of missing out on certain micronutrients. By avoiding animal and animal products, a vegan diet is at risk of being low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, if you follow a vegan diet it is essential that you get enough of these nutrients through specific vegan food sources – and may even need to take additional supplements.

When selecting dairy-free alternatives, make sure you are choosing the fortified options. Humus is a good nutrition choice; tahini (sesame seed paste)  is a good source of calcium, zinc and iron, which are all micronutrients hard to get a hold of on a vegan diet.

While within my own lifestyle I am focusing on a a more pescatarian/vegetarian/ovo-vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free,  centered nutrition plan, I am also trying to keep my nutrition clean and whole food oriented and items like these below that are consumed by many vegetarians and vegans I just keep out of my diet.

Soy, in large or often amounts: “because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients.” First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.”

Nutritional Yeast: Simply because I don’t think it makes ANYTHING really taste like cheese. I would rather just eliminate the cheese and stop trying to emulate it with something that tatses nothing like the cheese I so love and is so bad for me and my health. It just toys with my senses.

 

Happy National Watermelon Day

🍉National Watermelon Day🍉
Thursday, Aug. 3

 

 

watermelon-tomato-salad600_k6g7ri.jpg

🍉watermelon and heirloom tomato salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped basil (or mint, chives, or parsley)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 medium seedless watermelon rind removed, cut into 2-inch triangles
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 medium red onion sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese about ½ oz.

Instructions

  1. Combine oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper in small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.

  2. Arrange arugula, watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and onion on a large serving platter.  

  3. Drizzle evenly with dressing.

  4. Top evenly with cheese. 

Calories: 154

 

grilled-600_sic2l7.jpg

🍉grilled watermelon wedges

Ingredients

  • ¼ medium watermelon rind washed, cut into 1¼-inch thick wedges
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place cookie (or baking) rack over baking pan. Season watermelon with salt. Place on prepared rack. Let watermelon drain for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

  2. Preheat grill or broiler on high.

  3. Lightly brush watermelon with oil.

  4. Grill (or broil) for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear and watermelon softens slightly.

Calories: 105

 

gazpacho-600_w4gexq.jpg

🍉watermelon and tomato gazpatcho

Ingredients

  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • ½ medium cucumber chopped
  • 1 medium shallot chopped
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley (reserve a small amount for garnish)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Thinly sliced carrots (for garnish; optional)
  • Thinly sliced radishes (for garnish; optional)

Instructions

  1. Place tomato, watermelon, cucumber, and shallot in blender; cover. Pulse until chunky.

  2. Add vinegar, oil, basil, parsley, and salt; pulse until chunky.

  3. Remove ⅓ of tomato mixture; place in medium serving bowl.

  4. Blend remaining tomato mixture until smooth. Add to serving bowl; mix well.

  5. Divide into 4 serving bowls. Garnish with carrots, radishes, and parlsey if desired.

Calories: 90

 

Watermelon-Shakeology-600_niowjr.jpg

🍉watermelon strawberry surprise shakeology

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup diced watermelon
  • 1 scoop Strawberry Shakeology
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions

  1. Place water, watermelon, Shakeology, mint, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Calories: 155

 

More recipes continued….here

 

 

watermelon_PNG2646.png

🍉10 fun facts about watermelon

1. Watermelon is 92% water.

2. Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.

3. The word “watermelon” first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.

4. A watermelon takes about 90 days to grow, from planting to harvesting.

5. You can eat watermelon rind. Here are three ways to enjoy the green part!

6. The first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1796 was titled American Cookery and contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

7. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.

8. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee in 2013, weighing in at 350.5 lbs.

9. More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America. The most common watermelon options are seeded, seedless, mini and yellow & orange.

10. The United States currently ranks 6th in worldwide production of watermelon, with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Indiana consistently in the lead.

Source: Parade

 

171707-Watermelon-Art.jpg

🍉national watermelon day on pinterest

 

 

flying watermelon.jpg

 

 

Coconut Oil Benefits + A Coconut Milk Recipe

o-COCONUTOIL400-facebook.jpg
Coconut Oil Benefits:
🌴Helps with weight loss
🌴Improves metabolism
🌴Good for your muscles
🌴Helps with insulin productivity
🌴Protects your kidneys & liver
🌴Reduces inflammation
🌴Alleviates arthritis
🌴Improves digestion
🌴Helps prevent Osteoporosis
🌴Balances hormones
🌴Relieves stress
🌴Eliminates free-radicals damage
🌴Helps people with type 1 diabetes

Reasons To Eat Watermelon

bowl-watermelon

Reasons To Eat Watermelon
🍉Low in calories
🍉Rich in antioxidants
🍉A good source of vitamins C, A, B6 and B1
🍉A good source of the carotenoid lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers
🍉It’s delicious
🍉It will help hydrate you

 

Watermelon-and-Arugula-Salad.jpg

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh arugula
1 cup cubed watermelon
2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
10 coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Preparation:
1. Place arugula on a serving plate.
2. Top with watermelon, cheese, and mint.
3. Top with your favorite dressing and enjoy!

Pledge To Go Veg! Veg Week 2017!

veg week

Join me and pledge to go veg for a week (at least)!

For more info and to sign up (it’s free), just Pledge To Go Veg!

Coffee & A Recipe(s)

the-top-10-health-benefits-of-drinking-coffee

 

cup-of-coffee

Coffee Recipes

Quinoa & Coffee Chili

Coffee Vinaigrette 

Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

Raw Tiramisu 

Irish Coffee

 

 

“Your cup of joe may be more than just a morning pick-me-up—it might actually ward off several common diseases. Studies have linked three to five cups of java a day to reduced risk of brain and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as cancers of the colon, breast, and liver. A study at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that coffee drinkers also have a moderately reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. And caffeine isn’t responsible, so decaf offers equal benefit. Researchers suspect that rather than one compound, a synergy among substances in the complex biochemical mixture provides the protection.

Choose It & Use It
Coffee enriches flavors in gravies, stews, and tomato-based recipes such as pasta and barbecue sauces, baked beans, and chili. Choose a good-quality roast and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Brew it fresh and a little stronger for cooking. Substitute it for half of stocks or broths, add it to vinaigrettes and marinades, or grind beans in a pepper mill and add a bit to spice mixes.” ~ Vegetarian Times

coconut-butter-cups-4-1-of-1.jpg

Recipe comes from the blog, The Healthful Hoard, and was adapted from a recipe by Emily Von Euw in her book Rawsome Vegan Baking.

5 Ingredient Coconut Butter and Tahini Cups with Coffee Crème Filling

(makes 24 mini cups) ~ gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, grain free, nut free, soy free ~

Ingredients

  • 1 cup melted coconut butter (if using freshly made, it will be liquid already)*
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup espresso or strong-brewed coffee

Directions

  1. Soak the dates in the freshly brewed espresso for about half an hour – longer if they are quite hard. If you have a glass measuring cup you can just pour the coffee straight in and save yourself from washing another dish.
  2. In the meantime, line your mini cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. Once the dates are soft, pour them along with the coffee into a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Place into a small bowl, set aside, and give your blender a quick rinse.
  4. Add the melted coconut butter, tahini, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to your blender and process until combined.
  5. Fill each liner about halfway to the top with this mixture, then place the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
  6. Once they’ve set, remove from the fridge and spoon the date mixture on top. It should fill go almost (but not quite) to the top – about 1 tsp per cup. Flatten with your fingers.
  7. Cover each cup with the remaining coconut butter (and rejoice if you have some left over – it’s delicious on oatmeal or by the spoonful), then place the trays back into the fridge to set for another 10-15 minutes before enjoying.
  8. They are best kept in the fridge to keep from getting soft and sticky.

Notes

  1. You can buy coconut butter from health food stores but one small jar will run you at least $12 or so, while a big bag of unsweetened, shredded coconut from a bulk store will cost you maybe $5! The difference in price is pretty steep. I definitely recommend making your own coconut butter. The process is exactly the same as making nut butter, but takes less time, and for this recipe you need to use the blender/food processor anyway.

Parsnips & A Recipe

71059118

 

autumn-roasted-vegetables-1

 

ROASTED AUTUMN VEGGY DELIGHT
INGREDIENTS
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 large carrots (purple or orange), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices
1 rutabega, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 cups packed kale, rinsed and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly oil two large, rimmed baking sheets.
Combine the vegetables, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl and toss by hand to coat. Spread the mixture evenly onto the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes on separate oven racks. After 15 minutes, stir the vegetables with a spatula and return to the oven, switching the rack position of the sheets. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender and browned.
YIELD: Makes 6 servings.