Winter (vegan) Sausage Soup for the Sick

Winter Sausage Soup

Winter Sausage Soup As per your requests, here's a recipe for that soup I posted over on insta last week.

My friend Maddie was sick and needing a little healing via home cooked nutrition and family time, so she parked herself on my couch and I rifled through my fridge for what would make up the best, quickie soup I've made in a long time! We paired it with some organic whole grain sourdough and it was the perfect supper for these cold nights we've been having in Brooklyn.

Ingredients:

2 Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages (vegan:seitan), pulled apart into bite sized chunks

1 onion, chopped

5-7 cloves of garlic, chopped, not minced

olive oil (a decent amount for both sauteing and drizzling over soup and bread)

2-3 parsnips, large chopped

1 cup frozen organic peas

a handful of chopped collards

sea salt

water

vegan chicken (or veggie) bullion

chopped cilantro

chili flakes

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed soup pot, heat a couple tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt, then add the sausage.
  3. Let it brown a bit before you add the garlic and onions.
  4. Give it 5 min or so until those guys start to cook through. The onions should be translucent and the sausage brown and fragrant.
  5. Add water to fill the pot about half way (or more depending on how many you are feeding and how big your pot is).
  6. Bring it to a boil and add the bullion and another pinch of sea salt.
  7. Add the parsnips and let it boil for 10-15 minutes until all the flavors start to meld and the parsnips are soft.
  8. Then add the peas and collards and bring it back up to a boil then turn off the heat.
  9. Spoon the soup into bowls and drop some cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, and a shake of chilis on top.
  10. Serve.
  11. Eat with crunchy bread.
  12. Feel awesome.

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes This is one of those recipes that I've been saying I'm going to try out forever, but was, for some reason, intimidated. I researched a number of recipes online, decided what flavor combination I wanted, gathered the ingredients, and then never made them!

Then, the other morning, with the Verizon guy here, Richie still palling around the apartment, Bar pulling at my pant leg, I decided it would be a good time to try. And they turned out AWESOME! They were actually super quick and easy to make (though a bit messy). No bake! No dehydrate! Just refrigerate! These will definitely be on the menu more regularly and I'll experiment soon with other flavor options (I'm thinking a chocolate nutbutter option...!).

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Here's how I did it:

Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper.

In a bowl combine and whisk:

-1c amaranth (or other nutty/neutral flour...I had some raw amaranth flour around so I grabbed that)

-1c oat flour (you can also grind oats in a food processor if you don't have flour on hand)

-3/4c coconut flour

-1/2tsp sea salt

Add:

-1tbsp vanilla

-5tbsp raw agave

-1/3c room temp coconut oil

And mix until it forms a dough then set aside.

In a food processor (I use my Nutribullet) process until fine:

1/2c coconut nectar/sugar

2tbsp cinnamon

Put the cinnamon sugar into a small bowl.

Take about 2 tablespoons of dough in your hand and roll into a ball.

Place the ball into the cinnamon sugar bowl and roll it around until it is totally covered.

Place it on the sheet pan and start over.

Should make 15 balls.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

ENJOY!!!

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

These are sugar free, gluten free (if you use gluten free oats), vegan, and raw. They are a totally healthy and delicious snack or dessert. Richie love loved them and so did the kids!!

Kitchen Sink Dinner

Kitchen Sink Dinner

Kitchen Sink Dinner Life has been crazy. I mean crazy crazy. We moved. Yes again. Full circle. Back to Brooklyn. Through it all, Brooklyn was home. So we came back. It means new schools, new schedules, boxes packed and now unpacking, and Passover in the mix. Our kitchen has been out of working condition on both ends for a while, so when I went to post something for you guys (from the long list of overdue posts I owe you...), this one seemed the most fitting.

I prepared this dinner a while back one rare evening when I was home alone and not at all interested in ordering the same local Chinese food we were in the rut of ordering from.  I swooped through my fridge snagging whatever fresh and frozen produce looked good together along with leftovers I could quickly and easily reinvent.

I make this meal often, even for the whole family, and almost 100% of the time Richie argues that it's my best meal. Go figure!

I most often use some greenery as the base for the fresh side of the meal (salad variation) and leftover brown rice for the cooked side of the meal (grain bowl variation). Then I get creative with whatever else I have around. I look for a protein (this time tofu, sometimes egg...), seasonal flavors, good fats (avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds...). I try to put together a good mix of flavors and textures.

The only rule is that it needs to be able to be make in under 10 min!

Here's what happened this particular time:

SALAD:

bib lettuce

avocado

oat flour dusted date pieces

toasted pine nuts

dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, dijon mustard, turmeric, cinnamon, salt (in measures that please your palate)

RICE BOWL:

in a skillet, heat in the following order:

coconut oil

whole garlic cloves until browned

marinated tofu (I love the Wildwood smoked teriyake)

cashews

frozen, shelled edamame

splash with shoyu or tamari and mirin then cook 2-3 min through

Serve it hot right alongside the salad. You can add avocado to the rice bowl too!

Banana Chocolate Chip (Paleo) Muffins

Banan Chocolate Chip Paleo Muffins

Banan Chocolate Chip Paleo Muffins Here it is you Instragramers! As promised:

It is no secret I've been experimenting with paleo meals.  No meat for me, of course, but eggs have snuck into our menu.  And it creates an opportunity for more nutrient packed, clean desserts.  These muffins are protein packed, organic, clean, mean, delicious, and the absolute perfect project for a snowy snowed in day.

Here's how I did them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep your muffin tins (this makes 12 big guys).

Put all of these in the bowl of you mixer in the following order: 4 ripe bananas (the riper the better...I may have just made that word up)

Put all of these in the bowl of you mixer in the following order:

4 ripe bananas (the riper the better...I may have just made that word up)

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup coconut or almond flour

2 tblsp coconut oil (organic, virgin, unrefined, melted)

1 tblsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips (vegan grain sweetened if you can find it)

Fill your muffin tins.

Bake for 25 min.

Cool on racks.

EAT!

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies Soooooooooooooooo...this post can't come without a bit of a preface...explanation...confession:

I'm eating eggs...and sometimes fish...

My vegan diet was amazing for a very long time. It treated me well and took very good care of me. But as many of you know, before I had Bar, I had a few miscarriages which led to a number of blood tests which led to finding out that I have a problem synthesizing B vitamins. So eggs needed to be on the menu. Always cage-free, organic, local. Mostly from the farmer's market. And I felt good eating them, so I continued past my pregnancy. Then after recovering from Bar, most of you also know, I fell into the abyss of SoulCycle. And now I'm instructing. With all of the exercise in my life, I needed more protein. And though I believe that many people can get more than sufficient amounts out of a vegan diet, my body was telling me I needed more for proper muscle recovery. So fish (mostly salmon, almost always wild, Norwegian) is also on the menu.

Soooooooooo...paleo desserts are a fantastic option. And these brownies are nothing short of amazing delicious.  They are a variation of these, just a little less sweet and with more add ins!

Here's how I made them:

Ingredients:

1 jar of smooth almond butter (try to find organic if you can)

2 eggs

1 cup coconut nectar (dry or syrup)

1/4 cup agave

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup cacao powder

Optional add ins: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup gogi berries, 1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Put everything into the bowl of a mixer (preferably wet ingredients, mix, then dry, but not necessary).

3. Mix until smooth

4. Coat a brownie pan with coconut oil.

5. Pour in batter

6. Bake for 25-30 min or until cooked through and just starting to brown at the corners.

7. Cool, Cut, Serve!

As Promised...Recipes! Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup No need to reiterate I'm sure, but life has been crazy.  Crazy crazy.  Taxing emotionally and physically.  And time is short.  But I've been trying my hardest to spend time (quality) with the kids and cook more.

Now more than ever, when our adrenals are in danger of fatigue, when the season is changing and the cold is drying us out, when days are shorter and the list of things to do is just as song, when we find stronger sadness AND happiness, we need to make sure we are getting the nutrients we need.

And when I say we, I mean me.  That's what Richie says at least.  And it's true.  Mama Bear is the toughest job out.  Keeping everyone healthy is of utmost importance.  So I've been cooking.  Wholesome, whole foods.

This recipe is a mix of a "clean out the fridge" and my grandma's cabbage soup.  It is sweet and sour and hot and just hit the spot.  With a big hunk of sprouted bread it's the perfect cold  night supper.

Ingredients:

1/2 green cabbage, sliced thinly

1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

3 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 field roast apple and sage sausages

1/2 kabocha squash, large dice

1 carton No Chicken broth (or the veggie broth of your choice)

2 tblsp honey

juice of 1 lemon

-Saute the onions and cabbage in the olive oil and salt until soft.

-Break the sausage (with your fingers so that it has raw edges, not cuts) and cook it in with the vegetables.

-When the sausage starts to brown, add the squash and broth and bring to a boil.

-Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer and cook 45min-1hour.  If at any point the liquid gets too low, just add hot water.

-At the end, add the lemon and honey.

The Utter Importance of a Quickie Dinner

Tofu and Brown Rice Stir Fry Dinner

Tofu and Brown Rice Stir Fry Dinner As some of you may know, and as an answer to why I am the least consistent blogger in the blogosphere these days, I'm currently training to be a SoulCycle instructor.  The program is long and rigorous and I've been loving every second of it despite how overwhelmingly busy my life has been.  On top of commuting into the city for training, long hours in the studio, extra hours riding in classes, we are also currently homeless (read: living with my in laws til our new house is ready for us), Richie's grandfather passed away, his brother had a baby, and and and...  It's been a crazy summer.  One I feel like I've missed so much of.  More new beginnings than I can count!

Maintaining the routine we once so smoothly danced through is legitimately impossible.  We're mostly grasping at straws to keep up appearances of any sort of semblance.  So, on those rare occasions when I actually get home early enough (and with enough energy) to cook a dinner, it better be a quick one and nutrient dense packed with protein!  I've mastered a few new quickie recipes (since Richie is always complaining about how he misses my clean cooking) and a few goodies for on the road too (packing a lunch and snack for training and before and after rides is integral to keeping me sane).  I'll do my best to post them all, but for today, here is a superhealthy favorite around here that (assuming I get the rice going while I shower) takes only 10-15 minutes from prep to table:

Ingredients:

a few handfuls of chopped kale

Wildwood (organic, sprouted, non-GMO of course) Tofu, I like the Garlic Teriyaki Smoked the best, but they're all pretty good

Whatever veggies you have around and sound good!  This time I used: Shitake mushrooms, Edamame, Onion (I used red here, but whatever you have around works), Cabbage (I used red here too, but either are fantastic), Broccoli, Garlic

Toasted Sesame Oil

Shoyu (or tamari)

Mirin

Avocado, cut into large bites

Prepared Brown Rice

Gomasio

-In a large cast iron pan or wok, heat the oil.

-Once hot add the garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, and onion and saute until soft.

-Once the veggies are cooked add the edamame and broccoli.  Basically what you are doing is sauteing the veggies that need sauteeing and then steaming the rest, so...

-Add about 2 tablespoons of mirin, 1-2 tablespoons of shoyu (depending on how much salt you like), and 1 tablespoon of water, stir then cover.

-Cook until the broccoli looks bright green (you do not want to overcook it!).

-Add the tofu and cook just until it's all hot.

-Plate the brown rice and then sprinkle it with gomasio.  Then pile the veggies and tofu on top.

-Eat!

(You can garnish it with kelp or dulse shake and/or braggs)

Overnight Oats

Love Life and Lollipops- Overnight Oats

Love Life and Lollipops- Overnight Oats I cannot tell you how easy this "recipe" is.  Ok I'll tell you: IT'S REALLY CRAZY RIDICULOUS EASY!  It also happens to be raw(ish), vegan, and wildly healthful.

Once upon a time, I struggled with breakfast and veganism.  It can be tricky, I admit, but once you find your go to's, it's a snap.

This one takes a tid bid of forethought, but almost no prep and literally zero in the am.

Here's how you do it:

Some time before you to to bed at night, put the following ingredients into a glass jar or bowl or whathaveyou (no plastic please):

Oats (as much as you'd like to eat in the morning or enough for as many of you as there will be breakfasting)- I like to buy Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

1-2 tblsp Chia Seeds

3-4 chopped Dates

1 tblsp raw honey

handful of Walnuts

3 tblsp Coconut Flakes

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Vanilla

enough Almond Mylk to cover (this is the "tricky" part...pour and let it soak in, then pour more, soak, pour...)

Cover and leave it in your fridge til the morning.  Serve cold.  You can sprinkle a bit more cinnamon and/or coconut on top and a splash of almond mylk to finish it.  Enjoy!

Love LIfe and Lollipops- Overnight Oats in the makingLove Life and Lollipops- Overnight Oats for Breakfast

Making My Babies Food: a First Step to Great Nutrition

(Avital's first bites) My journey towards veganism and a healthy, sustainable, and holistic lifestyle has been a long and twisty one. The more I learn and live, the deeper I fall in love with living life cleanly for myself and my family. It may sound silly simple, but what it all boils down to for me is that it feels good to feel good! The cleaner I eat, the more I work out, the deeper I sleep, each of my experiences feels a bit more fulfilling, and even a bit more spiritual.

And while my children are not yet old enough to understand the depth of those decisions or feelings, I’m doing my best to start them off in a place where they can only experience that fullness of life, never having the opportunity to be dulled down by processed foods, excess sugars, and chemical preservatives. I want my children to be able to taste the gorgeous sweetness of strawberries instead of deciding that they’re inferior to the gummy versions they come across in candy stores. I want them to stretch their legs and twist their bodies on a regular basis to know what it feels like to have the strength and flexibility to play hard and long. I want them to be free of any additives or sugars that will keep them antsy and up at night. I want them to sleep deeply (and long;)) so that their tiny bodies get the opportunity to heal and repair themselves each night for the coming day.

The most significant way I can affect these outcomes is by making sure the foods my children eat on a daily basis are whole, rounded, and fresh. So from day one I knew that I wanted to make as much of their food as possible. It’s a serious challenge. Although as they get older it becomes more complicated, when they were babies it took little more than diligence, a creativity, and a couple of hours each week.

So many of my friends have come to me for baby food recipes over the years. It’s so easy to get caught in the plain Jane smashed peas and pureed carrots routine. I was always curious about why people wanted to give their babies bland foods. I wanted to expose my children to new flavors and spices, to get them used to eating foods from around the world, and to allow them to experience the healing effects of botanicals, spices, and veggies.

Here are a few recipes for baby foods packed with flavor, protein, antioxidants, and so much other good stuff:

Green Lentils with Carrots and Onions

• In a heavy-bottomed pot sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 carrots in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

• Once the vegetables are soft, add the cinnamon and turmeric and cook together for about a minute.

• Add 4 cups of water and 1 cup of green lentils.

• Bring it to a boil and then down to a simmer.

• Cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes, or until the lentils are starting to disintegrate.

• Blend with an immersion blender to the desired consistency. If you have the time, you can let it cook for a couple hours. As it cooks, the lentils will break down into a dahl consistency which I find perfect for baby food.

Carrot Hummus

• In a pot bring the following to a boil: o 1 can of garbanzo beans (always use organic beans in bpa free cans. I like Eden brand), 2 carrots, 1 teaspoon sea salt, enough water to cover.

• Once the carrots are a bit soft (10-15 minutes) drain and set aside to cool

• Once cool, place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend with enough olive oil to move the contents through the blade.

• Blend to desired consistency.

Green Mashed Everything

• Steam together sweet green peas, edamame, broccoli, asparagus for 2-4 minutes until soft, but still bright.

• Stop the cooking in an ice bath and strain.

• Place all the veggies in a blender with enough olive oil to move the veggies through the blade and add sea salt to taste.

"Peanut" Butter Smoothies

Love Life and Lollipops- Peanut Butter Smoothie

After the gym, Richie has been going to this little health food store for smoothies.  He's been getting a peanut butter smoothie that he raves about.

I have to say, I'm not much of a smoothie person.  I would love to be.  They're superhealthy (when made right) and a cinch to make, but I always wind up feeling bloated and over full.

Well, one day, Richie picked me up from somewhere and I was famished, as usual after a day of running around, and he had one of those peanut butter shakes there.  I figured I'd give it a whirl.  And I have to say, it took me for a whirl!  It was sweet, but not too sweet, thick and milk-shakey, and totally filling and full of satiating protein.

That weekend I decided to make my own version at home and they were even better!  Granted they're more of a dessert for me than a breakfast, some of you sweet-toothers may disagree.  Either way, try it out, it's definitely a keeper, go-to recipe for quickie breakfasts, post work-out replenishment, or a snack on a busy day of running.

Here's how I did it: (makes 2-4 smoothies depending on how much you can drink;)

Throw the following into your blender (a Vitamix works the best for this and everything else;)):

  • 2 large scoops of cashew nut butter (or whatever your favorite nut butter is...cashew is particularly sweet and smooth, I try to only buy raw)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of local, raw honey (or raw agave if you prefer)
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ice (the amount will depend on how thick or runny  you like it)

Blend away!  Drink immediately through a straw.  Love every nutritious, delicious sip!