Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook has been around for awhile, but it’s new to us. This cookbook makes vegan cooking more fun and less precious. All of the recipes use ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find, but the outcome is healthy and tasty! Reading through the recipes can be funny and with all of the expletives, we had to make sure our kids weren’t nearby! Lol!
For this Recipe Friday, we chose Coconut-Lime Rice with Red Beans and Mango. We didn’t have brown rice and substituted barley instead. The barley made the dish really hearty and the brown rice would probably have made it lighter. The flavors were still really good with the creamy coconut and zesty lime. We paired our dish with a Vegan Cesar Salad, also from the Thug Kitchen.
COCONUT-LIME RICE WITH RED BEANS AND MANGO
Recipe from Thug Kitchen
2 cups short-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons neutral-tasting oil (we used light olive oil)
1 cup diced shallots or onion
1 1/2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 mango (We thawed out frozen mango from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups cooked red beans
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro or green onions (for garnish)
Rinse the rice under cool water. Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the shallots or onion and saute until they start to brown in some spots, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds until everything smells choice. Add the rice and keep stirring until the rice starts to smell slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, salt, and cayenne pepper and bring to a simmer. Give the pot a quick stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. If your rice isn’t done by the time the liquid is absorbed, add a little more broth or water.
While the rice is cooking, chop up the mango into bite-size pieces.
When the rice is tender, fold in the beans, lime zest, lime juice, and mango. Let cook for another minute or so until everything is warm. Serve topped with cilantro or green onions.
VEGAN CAESAR SALAD
Recipe from Thug Kitchen
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/3 cup hot water
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp dijon
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp capers, drained
Place the almonds and the hot water in a small bowl, and set them aside to soften, about 15 minutes.
In the mean time, mince the garlic finely. Once the almonds are softened, throw them into a blender with the water they were soaked in. Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients (except the capers), and blend well until nice and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings. If the dressing seems too thick, add a little more water and blend again. Finally, add the capers and blend for 5 seconds. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
To make the salad: wash and spin dry your lettuce. Cut or tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in a big bowl, top with a couple tablespoons of dressing, and toss well. Top with croutons and serve.
Out with the jams and jellies, we are glamming up our morning toast with Figs. Some mornings we just want our breakfasts to look pretty. As though you need an excuse to dig in to this pretty breakfast dish, figs are packed with nutrition and perfect for easy summer dishes. These delicious little fruits help to stay young and beautiful inside and out. Some of the benefits of figs for the skin are:
They are rich in important nutrients like Vitamin B, C, phosphorus, potassium and minerals like calcium and magnesium which are essential for boosting and rejuvenating the skin’s health. The high omega 3 fatty acids in figs keep the skin well-moisturized and conditioned from within. Figs are loaded with anti-oxidants and dietary fiber, which help to flush out toxins and waste from the body, to prevent skin conditions like acne and psoriasis and gives you healthy and glowing skin.
Figs on Toast
1 to 2 slices of bread. As shown gluten, dairy, soy and nut free whole grain bread by Udi’s.
2-3 tablespoons of almond butter
Optional Toppings: Drizzle bee-free honey, chia seeds, bananas, blueberries and other fresh sliced fruit.
Summer is well underway and we can’t wait to share this Hibiscus Cooler Sangria recipe with you! Each week we will be featuring a different summer tea and this one, by Art of Tea is so refreshing! If you stop by Willow Spa you can try a glass of this delicious drink.
Hibiscus tea is a little tart and so for those of you that like tart flavors, this tea is for you! It can be made as either hot or cold tea and has a deep red color. However, what makes this tea so special is that it has so many health benefits!
Sipping on a cup of tea is a healthy and delicious way to treat a variety of health issues to improve your quality of life.
Hibiscus tea has the following health benefits:
It can give your immune system a boost
Use it to lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol
This herbal tea can help lower your blood pressure
Use hibiscus to ease cramps, swelling and bloating caused by menstrual cycle
Drink hibiscus tea to relieve constipation and aid in digestion
Use it to help protect the liver or to treat liver disease
It contains anti-cancer properties that helps to slow down the growth of cancerous cells.
It lowers the absorption of starch and glucose which is beneficial in losing weight
Hibiscus tea is the perfect healthy beverage to quench your thirst this summer!
HIBISCUS COOLER SANGRIA
By Art of Tea
One 2qt. pouch of Art of Tea’s Hibiscus Cooler
4 cups boiling water
1lb. sliced fruit
In a large container, brew one 2qt. pouch of Hibiscus Cooler in 4 cups hot water for 5 minutes.
Remove tea pouch and allow concentrate to cool to room temperature.
Add your choice of sliced fruit: oranges, apples, berries, etc.
This creamy green popsicle is packed with healthy ingredients to keep the skin hydrated, smooth, and beautiful.
The best foods for the skin are high in water content to keep the skin hydrated, and high in antioxidants and vitamins to bring the best out of your skin. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in this creamy green popsicle.
Avocados are a certified super food, containing essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and amino acids. They are known to increase the absorption of important nutrients such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein. The D-manno-heptulose sugar found in avocados helps improve the production of collagen, which is crucial to keeping the skin healthy and young.
Coconut water is packed with fluids and electrolytes that not only keep you hydrated, but your skin as well. Hydrated skin is healthy, glowing skin.
Lime, like all citrus fruits are know for their beneficial effects on the skin. Lime helps rejuvenate your skin and protects it from infections, thanks to its antioxidant, disinfectant and antibiotic properties.
Kiwi is jam-packed with tiny, black seeds that contain the high levels of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, that is responsible for improving the moisture and elasticity of skin.
Creamy Green Popsicles
Juice of 1-2 limes
Bee Free Honey to sweeten as desired.
Peel and dice avocados and banana.
Juice 2 limes. (use less if you don’t like tart flavors)
Blend avocados, banana and lime juice in a blender until smooth.
Add 8+ ounces of Coconut Water (or until consistency desired) and blend.
To sweeten add Bee Free Honey to preferred sweetness. (optional) and blend.
Peel and slice kiwi into thin round pieces.
Add a slice or two of kiwi to the popsicle mold. Pour or spoon mixture into molds leaving almost a ¼ inch from the top. As it freezes, the mixture will expand. If using wooden popsicle sticks soak them in luke warm water before setting them in the popsicle molds.
Freeze: Approximately 6 hours.
Ready to eat: Run popsicle mold under luke warm water to release the popsicle from the mold.
Sweets are one of those guilty pleasures that we tell ourselves we can enjoy on special occasions – and let’s face it, those special occasions seem to pop up all the time! We know the negative effects that sugar has on the body but as we get busy and stressed sugar starts to creep in from all angles. This summer, we decided to do a 7-day no-sugar diet at the start of the summer vacation as a way of forcing ourselves to pay attention to our sugar intake. We will try to stay committed to eating nutrient dense foods throughout the summer and prevent our sugar cravings. However, a 7-day sugar detox is a great way to reset over and over throughout the year.
There are quite a few no-sugar detox diets plans out there. We chose to follow the one from foodbabe.com and today’s no sugar granola is just one of the many yummy recipes that she has. This granola turned out so crisp and flavorful! The sugar was not missed at all.
NO SUGAR GRANOLA
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cups coconut flakes
1 cup chopped mixed nuts (almond, pecan, walnut, etc)
1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup sun ower seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds or axseeds 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4-1⁄2 cup coconut oil
Optional: 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool and store covered in a glass container.
4. To serve for breakfast, place 1 cup of yogurt in a bowl and top with 1⁄2 cup of the granola.