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Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Recipe Friday – Cacao Hot Chocolate

February 17, 2017
Hot Cacao

Hot CacaoJust when it started to warm up, it’s predicted to storm. Since cold winter days and hot chocolate go hand in hand, we wanted to find a healthier hot chocolate to share. Raw cacao is less processed form of chocolate and it is the ingredient from which chocolate and cocoa powder originate. It can be bitter if eaten plain, but brewed into almond milk and sweetened with date paste or Bee Free Honee, the cacao transforms into a dark chocolate drink that is also a superfood with immune boosting properties!

Raw cacao is one of the best sources of magnesium and iron and contains coumarin, an appetite suppressing, blood thinning, and anti-tumor compound. It contains chromium help regulate blood sugar and detoxify the liver. It also contains phenethylamine and anandamide, which helps to support mental well-being and enhance our mood. With an abundance of calcium, potassium, sulfur, zinc and copper, this is a nutrient-dense superfood for sure!

Hot Cacao

Cacao Hot Chocolate



  • 2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons date paste* or honey (use Bee Free Honee to make it vegan)

In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients and heat over medium-high heat until hot, but not boiling.
Divide evenly between two mugs.

*Date Paste

  • 1 cup of Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water

Remove pits from dates (if pitted). Soak dates in the water for 5 minutes. Massage dates to soften. Place dates and water in food processor or high speed blender. Store date paste in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Credits: Recipe and Photography: Jill Uechi


Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Recipe Friday – Orange Buddha Bowl

December 17, 2016



One of the easiest and yummiest things to eat is a Buddha Bowl. These bowls are enjoyed with gratitude and packed with pure and simple foods forming a round mound that is reminiscent of a Buddha’s belly. For this Recipe Friday, we created an Orange-colored Buddha Bowl. Orange is one of the happiest colors and we were feeling a bit gloomy with the grey weather and some sick kids in the house. So a happy orange bowl seemed like the perfect way to lift our spirits and boost our immune systems too!


Health Benefits of Orange Vegetables:

Eating red and orange vegetables regularly will help you reduce your risk of chronic disease. These bright-colored vegetables contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. The nutrients help our bodies in many different ways, from our eyes to our bones. The benefits include aiding in eye health, reducing the risk of prostate cancer, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, promoting collagen formation, fighting harmful free radicals in the body, encouraging pH balance of the body and boosting the immune system.






Orange Buddha Bowl


  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup orange tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium sweet potato diced
  • 2 cups greens



  • preheat oven to 425
  • Chop sweet potatoes into small wedges coat with olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Chop the bell pepper, julienne slice the carrots and heat up in pan for 2-3 minutes
  • Add tomatoes & garbanzo beans for another 2 minutes


  • 3/4 cup cashews (soaked at least 8 hours)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 water
  • salt to taste
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of chili flakes



Combine and blend all together



Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Vegan Ramen

December 10, 2016

vegan ramen

After completing our first vegan reset, we are inspired to keep our vegan lifestyle going. Today we’d like to share a Vegan Ramen recipe that we found at, which is delicious and warming during these colder months. It is a great, healthy alternative to the pre-packaged ramen soup bases and you can change it up with the veggies that you have on hand. Plus, it seems that everywhere we go, we hear coughing and sniffles and what better way to ward off a (possible) oncoming cold than with rest and a big bowl of steaming hot soup!







  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos, plus more to taste
  • 0.5 ounces dehydrated shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp white or yellow miso paste (ensure vegan friendliness on package)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (for flavor), plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces (227 g) ramen noodles* (ensure vegan friendliness on package)
TOPPINGS optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, for garnish
  • 10 ounces extra firm tofu, flash “fried”*
  • Miso-glazed carrots
    • 1 cup carrots into 1/4-inch thick pieces on an angle
  • Miso-glazed baby bok choy
  • Chili Flakes
  • Cashews
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add oil, garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until the onion has developed a slight sear (browned edges).
  3. Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use a whisk (or wooden spoon) to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom to enhance the flavor of the broth.
  4. Add remaining 5 cups vegetable broth, coconut aminos, and dehydrated mushrooms – stir.
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on low for at least 1 hour, up to 2-3, stirring occasionally. The longer it cooks, the more the flavor will deepen and develop.
  6. Taste broth and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more amino sauce or sesame oil if desired. Add the 1 Tbsp miso paste at this time.
  7. When you’re 30 minutes from serving, prepare any desired toppings (see notes for miso-glazed carrots, baby bok choy, and quick-seared tofu).
  8. NOODLES: Fill a large saucepan or pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add ramen noodles (depending on size of pan you may need to do this in two batches) and cook according to package instructions – about 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  9. Strain broth and reserve mushrooms for serving. (Save onions and ginger for serving as well, if desired, though I use only half the amount).
  10. To serve, divide ramen noodles between four serving bowls. Top with strained broth and desired toppings, such as carrots, bok choy, green onion, or seared tofu. Serve with chili garlic sauce for added heat.
  11. Best when fresh, though the broth can be stored (separately) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 1 month.
sauce for toppings:
in a small mixing bowl add 2 Tbsp yellow miso paste, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos, 2 tsp rice vinegar (or sub lime juice), and 1 tsp sesame oil.
*If you can’t locate ramen noodles, you can also sub a similar-shaped noodle, such as angel hair pasta.
*For the miso-glazed carrots, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. add carrots and miso glaze sauce together & toss. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point, or until tender when pierced and deep golden brown. 
* For the miso-glazed baby bok choy, slice bok choy in half lengthwise and heat a metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Use remaining miso mixture as above (for carrots). Brush mixture over bok choy. Once pan is hot, lay down bok choy cut-side down and sear for 1-2 minutes. Flip and sear on other side. 
*To flash “fry” tofu, press extra firm tofu until most moisture is removed, then cut into rectangles and add to a plastic bag. Add 1 heaping Tbsp cornstarch and a pinch each salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Heat a metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp grape seed or sesame oil and tofu. Brown on one side for 4-5 minutes, then flip and brown on other side until light golden brown and crispy.
*Ramen method adapted from Chow.
*Miso-glazed carrots adapted from Food52.
Stay Healthy!
Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero
Food & Drink Friday Recipe

December 2, 2016


If you are like me, Veganism isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to embrace, but it’s just not easy to do so, especially if you are cooking for other non-vegan family members. The switch to 100% vegan is a process and although I usually enjoy trying new vegan recipes I had become really busy and trying new recipes seemed like an added chore. So, when we decided to try this vegan reset, it was a perfect time to do so. I am so happy that we did this too! The recipes are easy to prepare and they don’t use ingredients that are hard to find. They are family friendly too, so I didn’t find myself always cooking 2 meals. If you are interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, this is a great way to incorporate healthy, nutrition dense, and delicious vegan meals.

Today we’d like to share one of the dinner recipes from Kim- Julie with our 10-day vegan reset – The Black Bean Avocado Bowl. All of her recipes that we have recreated have been amazing and we tweaked this one just a tad.

If you are interested in finding more about the 10-day vegan reset, please check it out at We promise that you will not be disappointed!

black bean avocado bowl ingredients

avocado dressing



Black Bean Avocado Bowl


  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 potatoes cubed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable paste
  • Handful of fresh rosemary
  • Tbs olive oil
  • Red chili peppers to taste


  • 1 avocado
  • 6 cherry tomatoes diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg. F
  2. Mix cubed potatoes with oil and fresh rosemary.
  3. Place potatoes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. In medium pan sauté red onion & garlic 3 minutes
  5. Add zucchini, black beans, red chili flakes & vegetable paste sauté another 3 minutes
  6. In a separate small bowl mash avocado with a fork. Add lime juice, tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  7. To serve: In a large bowl place raw spinach and the baked rosemary potatoes. Top with cooked vegetables and avocado dressing.




Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe adapted from and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Recipe Friday – Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

November 25, 2016



This week marks the beginning of a holiday season that lasts for about 6 weeks. We’ve been a little stressed thinking how to get through this season without completely abandoning our clean eating diets that we’ve worked so hard to follow. We decided that if we are going to indulge in a dessert, it should at least have fresh ingredients and be as healthy as possible. This recipe created by “natural girl modern world” is not only vegan and gluten free, but it is super rich, yummy, not too sweet and the perfect dessert that can be enjoyed by everyone! It’s not a simple recipe and does take some time to make it, but the effort is well worth it!


Health Benefits:

Raw Cacao Powder: The original recipe called for cocoa powder, but we exchanged this ingredient to a healthier raw cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is extremely high in antioxidants, which prevents premature aging. It is a great source of magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium. It also reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance, eases PMS issues and improves mood.

Hazelnuts: Aside from being a great source of fiber, they contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. They are full of antioxidants and brain boosting elements and contribute to healthy skin and hair due to high levels of Vitamin E.

Coconut: We’ve talked about the many health benefits of coconut before, but it’s always nice to revisit the amazing benefits of coconut. Coconut lowers cholesterol, improves digestion, wards off wrinkles, stabilizes glucose levels, fights viruses and infections, builds cells, regulates hormones, increases thyroid production, increases metabolism, and staves off memory loss.






We recommend that you read the instructions all the way through before you try to recreate this recipe. It takes a little bit of prep time; for example, the coconut cans need to be chilled in the refrigerator and the cashews need to be soaked ahead of time.




Chocolate hazelnut crust: 

  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts, raw
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


Chocolate cream filling: 

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz / 400 ml can), divided
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder (1.3oz / 35 g)*
  • 2/3 cup cashews (soaked 4-12 hours, rinsed well)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


Coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz / 400 ml can), refrigerated overnight or ideally ~24 hours
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional – Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish**


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, blend oats until the texture of coarse sand. Add hazelnuts and blend until the nuts are a crumb-like texture. Add coconut, cacao powder and salt. Pulse to mix. Pour in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup, then pulse until well incorporated.
  • Prepare a 9″ pie dish (use a non-stick pan or line bottom with parchment). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and form the crust with your fingers. Press the crust together very firmly so it holds together. Gently prick the bottom of the crust ~15 times with a fork to allow air to escape when baking. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • While the crust cooks, prepare the filling. Pour 1 cup of canned coconut milk into a medium sized bowl. Add arrowroot powder and whisk thoroughly to remove all lumps. Set aside for later.
  • Measure the remaining liquid in the coconut milk can (it should be ~1/2 cup – 3/4 cup). Use the non-dairy milk to top-up the balance to a total of 1 cup (meaning you would need to add 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup). Add the liquid to a blender with cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla and salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, whisking as it heats. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce heat to low. Pour in the arrowroot and coconut milk slurry and whisk vigorously to combine. Continue whisking for 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Once it reaches a pudding-like texture, remove from heat. Add coconut oil and whisk it in until the mixture becomes glossy. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Refrigerate until firm (~4 hours).
  • To make the coconut whipped cream, open the chilled can of coconut milk. The thick coconut flesh/fat should have separated from the liquid. Scoop out the coconut solids and add to a large mixing bowl. The remaining liquid can be stored in the fridge for another use. Using electric beaters, beat the coconut on medium-high speed. It should take ~1-2 minutes to fluff up. Add the vanilla and maple syrup, to taste. Beat for another ~30 seconds to incorporate.
  • When ready to serve, spread whipped coconut cream over the prepared pie. Top with toasted coconut flakes (optional) and serve.



*Similar to measuring out flour, make sure you fluff out the arrowroot powder before scooping it into a measuring cup – then level it off with a knife. For most accurate measurements use a kitchen scale.

**Toasted coconut flakes add a nice touch but are completely optional. Bake 1/4 cup of large coconut flakes in the oven at 325°F for 5-10 minutes. Stir to encourage even browning.





Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero