Tag Archives: Vegan

Chronic Illness as my Teacher

What once was my biggest bully is now one of my strongest allies.

Chronic illness is nothing to bat an eyelash at by any means. I’ve been through my fair share of ups and downs and I’ve been on this healing journey for sometime now. In some ways I feel like I’ve lost out- often times not being able to work as hard or as strenuously as I’d like for instance, or not being able to maintain as consistent a state of health as I would like, but mostly I feel as though I have been given an incredible opportunity to learn from what my body is telling me, and I am constantly receiving feedback from which I can change my habits accordingly.

When I refer to feedback, I’m referring to various symptoms that present themselves and are either incessant or unbearable to the point of saying “something’s gotta give” enough times that something eventually, gives. Slowly but surely, and at my own pace my eating habits continue to change for the better. The more I learn about healthy eating and healthy life styles, the more I want to add healthy habits into my routine, naturally eliminating the negative habits and as a result I become less susceptible to falling victim to my cravings.

If it weren’t for the intensity of some of my digestive symptoms, i.e. poor digestion, intense periods of pain and extended periods of discomfort, to name a few, I don’t know that I would care about health as much as I do. But because of the experiences I have had when eating certain things (usually anything not considered healthy) and that I have been able to adjust what I eat accordingly, I have been able to develop a keen sense of awareness when it comes to what my body can and cannot tolerate. Being that I do experience a great deal of pain if I eat a slice of bread for instance, and the fact that I’ve experimented with this hypothesis of mine enough times to know it to be true, I’m much better able to make dietary choices that will benefit me both in the short term and the long run. In other words, when I see something made of gluten (an inflammatory food that I happen to be sensitive to) I can finally see clearly and choose wisely. I’ve reached the place in my life where I’d much rather ‘miss out’ on said item and spare myself the misery later.

I sometimes feel (predominately-felt) I have no control over my cravings and will munch accordingly. The same way I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan and the way I transitioned away from eating gluten, with patience and at my own pace, I am also transitioning away from indulging in sugar. For the most part I eat clean.. and every once in awhile I still crave sugar and give in. I’m working on not beating myself up over it, because for one thing my symptoms aren’t as drastically affected by sugar as they are, say, with animal products and gluten. But since I know the importance of eating right, now more than ever, ending my addiction to sugar is next on my list to tackle. Patience and persistence are key. 

I like to offer gratitude for my conditions because although I am on this healing path towards health as a result of looking for relief, had it not been for the path given to me initially, I wouldn’t have been led to road I’m on now, one in which I love so dearly.

There’s not much these days that makes me happier than spending time in my kitchen. I just love nutrient dense food, both the way it tastes and the way it makes me feel. I also get a real kick out of introducing and turning people onto foods they’ve either never heard of, or never thought they liked before.

Initially I like to take a moment and offer thanks to the food items I’ll be using, showering them with love and appreciation and continuing with those sentiments I pour love into my meals both while making and enjoying them. Love really does make everything taste better! What’s not to love about the smells that permeate an active kitchen. I adore the time spent with people I have the pleasure of sharing my meals with and I continue to be amazed at the ability to make things I’ve used before taste even better each time I try. There are no limits when it comes to eating healthy, the creative options are limitless. When immersed into the action on set in my kitchen I am filled with a sense of fulfillment and appreciation unlike I’ve ever experienced before. For it’s the quality of the food I consume that is helping me to heal from the inside out. And my passion to live a healthy, happy, pain free life keeps me motivated to keep trying new things, and finding new ways to get the tastiest and most nutrient dense foods into my diet.

Quality of diet for me = Quality of Life. 

Is there a moral to what I’ve shared with you today?  We must be patient with ourselves, open to learning and trying new things, patience, attentive to our bodies-listening to what they tell us, see food as fuel/medicine, Oh, and did I mention we must be patient with ourselves? I for one must be patient with myself! Progress is progress no matter how slow. Every day is a new day and an opportunity to do something differently.

Do you have any experience with food addiction and possibly a triumphant story of overcoming you’d like to share?

Do you have any experience with pain relief from eating the right foods for you?

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers to a healthy and happy life, cheers to good health!

Spiritual Foodie

 

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Healthy ‘fried pickles’

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*Vegan and Gluten Free

Healthy ‘fried’ pickles:

1. bread and butter pickle’s (or any)
2. batter: in a food processor blend Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds and shredded coconut. Add oregano, oat flour, almond flour & salt. (add intuitively. This recipe is primarily nuts and oat flour, but have fun with it and add how you feel called!)
3. transfer to a bowl and mix gently w small amounts of water and pickle juice
4. bake 400° aprx 6-8 min

Enjoy!

#healthyoptiontounhealthyfood #vegan #glutenfree #flavorful #nutritious #friedpickles #bakedpickles #cravings #improv

Seeded Baguette, gluten free & vegan

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Gluten Free Dough

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 cups tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp guar guar (or xantham gum)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 and 2/3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 4 large egg substitue: (1 egg = 1 tbsp ground chia or flax or combo of both mixed with 3 tbsp of water)
  • 1/3 cup neutral flavor oil, i.e. avocado or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

*makes enough for about 4 loaves (1 lb each) — I made two small baguettes with 1/2 of this recipe

  1. Combine ingredients for dough, dry ingredients first, then wet.
  2. Cover mixing bowl and let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Careful not to disturb the bubbles, shape dough, on wax paper, to desired shape with WET hands (not flour like when baking glutenous breads) and cover with plastic wrap, loosely, let sit for 90 min. (Refrigerate any remaining dough)
  4. Pre-heat oven with baking stone to 475 for at least 30 min
  5. Remove plastic wrap and cover with your choice of seeds, I used sesame and pumpkin, and make 3 diagonal slits.
  6. Bake at 475 for 30 min and let cool on a rack for 15-30 min.

With little experience baking I was grateful for the awesome guidelines provided by: www.artisanbreadinfive.com 

The recipe I followed and modified: Artisan Bread in Five, Baguette

 

 

 

Coconut Kale Chips

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Coconut Kale chips

1. Massage kale leaves with melted coconut oil (1-2 tbsp), coconut aminos (drizzled), salt (1/4 tsp)
2. Spread evenly on non stick flat cooking tray and top w shredded coconut and coconut flakes.
3. Bake 350 for 10-15 min

A real treat!

*Inspired by a recipe (crispy kale chips) in ‘Heal Your Gut cookbook’ by Hilary Boynton & Mary G. Brackett

Oat Milk, raw & vegan

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Simple as can be:

1. Soak 1.5 cups gluten free rolled oats in a nut milk bag overnight (8-12 hrs) with 4 cups of filtered water.
2. Squeeze all the liquid from bag, refrigerate and enjoy!

(Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.)

*Heads up, the consistency is very gooey. If you have kids, this is a wonderful sensory activity for them to help out with. The gooey oats that remain afterwards can also be a lot of fun to play with. Hint: try adding natural food coloring and toys to the mix as well.

 

 

Lemon and Blueberry Almond Cookies- RAW

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*Inspired by the book ‘Raw Food Made Easy‘ by Jennifer Cornbleet, pg 164

I used approximately:

  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds & 1/4 cup of raw pecans, rinsed and soaked briefly
  • add a dash of salt, blend in a food processor briefly, maintain a chunky consistency
  • add 4 chopped dates, some cinnamon and a small amount of maple sugar (optional)
  • add a drop or two of lemon essential oil (doTerra) and continue to blend in food processor (keep chunky consistency for texture)
  • transfer to a bowl and mix in dried blueberries before forming into small balls

Cheers to good health!

Banana Bread – Vegan and Gluten-Free

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In the hopes of being able to salvage bananas that had over ripened I successfully found a recipe online and created one of the tastiest breads I’ve ever had. This was actually my first attempt at banana bread, baking in general is very new for me. Learning which substitutes to use and when makes my life a lot easier. I really enjoy trying new things, going outside of my comfort zone and discovering that I am capable of more than I realized. The original recipe I found online calls for sugar, which is tried and true. I plan however, to experiment and modify this recipe to get the same satisfactory results without the added sugar. In the meantime, I am very pleased with this vegan and gluten free banana bread and encourage you to give it a try, especially if you already have bananas that have over ripened and might just otherwise get thrown away.

*Black bananas actually work great, they may look bad from the outside, but inside they are packed with flavor!

*If you want to speed up the process of ripening bananas try leaving them in a paper bag for a day or two or even leaving them in the fridge overnight.

Here’s a link to the original recipe (be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page): http://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-gluten-free-banana-bread/

The substitutions I made:

  • Coconut milk instead of dairy milk.
  • Substituted 1 egg with 1 tbsp (50% golden flax seed 50% chia seeds) ground in a coffee grinder and mixed with 2.5 tbsp water.

Strawberry Shortcake Pie (mostly Raw)

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This layered ‘pie’ just came together today while playing around in the kitchen. Turns out it just happens to taste a lot like Strawberry Shortcake. It’s absolutely delicious!

Prep ahead of time:

  1. chill a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight
  2. Ideally, prepare strawberry jelly layer the night before and chill in fridge overnight as well

Crust:

  • 2 cups of soaked nuts, any (I used a mix of raw macadamia, raw cashew, raw brazil and raw pecan nuts)
  • add 3-4 soaked dates
  • 1/4 cup raw shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • add 1/4 tsp vanilla & dash of sea salt
  • add lemon juice to taste & zest of one lemon
  • opt: maple syrup or natural sweetener of your choice

Process ingredients in a food processor until smooth (or a bit less for more texture)

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Strawberry Chia Jelly:

  • 2 small strawberry containers (set aside a few of the most attractive looking strawberries, to be sliced and added before serving)
  • 1-2 tbsp of chia powder (chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder)
  • opt: small amount of sugar or natural sweetener of your choice / also, pairs well with fresh mint

Process ingredients in a food processor until smooth, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight if possible. Opt: Add whole chia seeds in addition to chia powder.

* Jelly Inspired by pureella.com

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Vegan Whipped Cream:

  • 1-2 refrigerated cans of coconut milk
  • Sweetener of your choice, I used maple syrup
  • Flavor, I used vanilla extract and rose water

Do not shake the cans of coconut milk, open and carefully scoop out the thick portion on top. (The liquid on the bottom of the can be saved and used as a wonderful addition to just about any dish at another time.) Blend the ingredients together in a high speed mixer for a couple of minutes, until desired consistency is reached. *If you choose to add some of the liquid portion of the can, be sure to do so sparingly & add only a little bit at a time.

Pie:

  1. Conform raw nut crust to a pie pan
  2. Add layer of strawberry jelly (or any fruit)
  3. Spread plenty of vegan whipped cream to cover jelly and fill pie, or just drop whipped cream onto the pie with an ice cream scoop
  4. Top with sliced strawberries

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*Keep Refrigerated

Pecan encrusted Sweet Potato ‘Burger’

sweet potato burger

Adapted from the amazing book The Naked Kitchen Veggie Burger Book comes this sensational delight. So versatile it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cook books, it’s a real treat!

Makes 8-10 thin patties

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C pecans
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 2 sweet potatoes, baked and peeled
  • 2 C cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (or your choice of herb)
  • 1 tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4-1 C GF all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp any neutral-flavor oil

Directions:

  1. Process pecans and 1/2 tsp of salt in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside on a plate or pie pan.
  2. Then process the sweet potatoes, cannellini beans, herbs, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili powder, cinnamon, chipotle powder, black pepper, and rest of salt. Pulse until well mixed.
  3. Add and process 3/4 C of the flour until combined and add additional flour if need be because it may be too sticky to work with. The mixture should be a bit sticky and form relatively easily into patties. Tip: Keep your hands moistened with water to make shaping patties easier.
  4. Gently coat multiple patties with crushed pecans and cook in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat with coconut oil. Cook aprx 4-5 minutes on each side or until firm, then lower the heat and cook another 4-5 minutes on each side.

ENJOY!

Raw ‘Cheesy’ Roasted Red Pepper Kale Chips

Raw Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Kale Chips

While juicing recently I spent a lot of time online looking at online videos of recipes and bookmarked several that I knew I wanted to try. This was one of the first things I made and has also turned out to be the most repeated thing I’ve made over the past few weeks. I am eating kale chips almost daily thanks to this recipe, and they never taste the same. I have been able to use an assortment of nuts, a variety of peppers, and both straight and curly kale to mix things up.

Here is a link to the original recipe I found online:

For the nut cheese, she uses walnuts in her video where as I chose to use a combination of soaked cashews and macadamia nuts instead because they were what I had on hand at the time. I’ve tried walnuts once and liked the kale chips just fine, but the cashew and macadamia nuts really seem to set this recipe apart from anything I’ve had before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale (curly or straight)
  • 1 red bell pepper (or more)
  • 1 cup of soaked raw nuts (macadamia nut & cashew..  or any variety)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or less)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (or less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

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