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Recipe Friday – Homemade Hummus

March 24, 2017
Hummus dip

Homemade Hummus

Homemade hummus is one of our favorites! It’s always a winner when we bring it to gatherings. But even better than that, it’s so easy and quick to make and the result is the best tasting, fresh hummus! Seriously, you just pop all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend. What’s easier than that?

Hummus is mainly made from chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and they have so many health benefits! Chickpeas provide a rich source of protein without the high calories or saturated fats found in meat. They are also a great source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Studies have shown that insoluble fiber helps to produce bulk and prevent constipation and soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar. Regular intake of chickpeas have shown to lower LDL levels and contain significant amounts of magnesium, folate, maganese and iron. Finally, chickpeas contain saponins, which act as antioxidants and can lower the risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis and protect agains hot flashes in menopausal women.

Hummus Ingredients

hummus and veggies

Hummus and chickpeas

Hummus and veggies


Homemade Hummus

We love this recipe from simple-veganista. You can adjust the recipe to suit your own taste and consistency. We tend to use less garlic and more lemon for a hummus that is slightly more tart. If used as a sauce for roasted veggies, we like to add more water to make it smoother and more dressing-like.


  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)(15 0z), drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup water (+ 2 tablespoons as needed)
  • 1 small garlic clove or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt, or to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency. Taste for flavor adding anything here and there that you like….garlic, lemon, salt, cumin. Depending on the size of your lemons or how many you used, you may like to add the extra 2 tablespoons of water for slightly thinner consistency. I used all the water for the recipe pictured here.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week or so.


You can use 2 tablespoon tahini + 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil if you like. Or you can use all olive oil omitting the tahini all together and still have a great hummus. Keep in mind the olive oil will slightly color the hummus, but not in a bad way.


Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Photography: Coco Iv


Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Recipe Friday – DIY Noodle Jars

February 25, 2017
DIY Mason Jar Noodles

Cup o' Noodle Ingredients

We don’t have to convince any of you what a great lunch instant noodle cups are despite the lack of nutrition. Today we made a healthier version that was really easy!

The idea is so close to the instant noodle cups that you are used to eating, but instead of freeze dried vegetables and flavor packets that are high in sodium and contain MSG, these noodle cups contain fresh veggies and a healthier soup base. Basically, you combine noodles, a bit of vegetable base, some raw sliced veggies, and a few seasonings inside a mason jar. Then you store them in the refrigerator, then when you’re ready to eat, pour hot water over the top and lunch is served.

DIY Cup o' Noodles

Ingredients for Cup o' noodles

DIY Cup o' Noodles




  • Vegetables of choice: We used Bok Choy Mui, carrots, mushrooms, sweet peas and green onion. Thoroughly clean the vegetables and trim if needed to fit the smaller mason jars.
  • Choice of noodles: rice vermicelli was used. However, quinoa noodles, zucchini noodles, brown rice noodle will also work.
  • Tofu – small cubed
  • Vegetable Soup Base: Better Than Boullion Seasoned Vegetable Base – 1 teaspoon



  1. 1 pint mason jars are ideal it gives you just the right serving. However if you would like to pack in more ingredients a larger mason jar will work just fine. As long as you can seal the lid tightly.
  1. Add a teaspoon of vegetable boullion to the empty mason jar.
  1. Add your choice of vegetables starting with the heavier ingredients 1st.
  1. Add 1 cup of noodles.
  1. Then add remaining light-weight ingredients ie. chopped Green Onion.
  1. When you are ready to eat just pour hot water into your jar o’ noodles and stir.
  1. If storing for consumption at another time, simply place the cap back on and seal and store in the refrigerator. It’s now a grab and go meal, just add hot water.




Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Coco Iv

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