Browsing Tag

Vegan

Food & Drink Friday Recipe Well-Being

Aloe-Lime Coconut Yogurt

September 23, 2017
Aloe Lime Coconut Yogurt

Poached Aloe

Aloe Vera is well known for its topical application, but can you eat Aloe? YES! Most often it’s blended into smoothies and juices, but there’s so much more this medicinal plant can offer. The edible and superfood part of the Aloe Vera plant is the solid gel-like substance, almost like a tapioca and that gave us the idea of making a dessert topping with the Aloe plant.

 

Strengthens the Immune System

Aloe vera gel contains vitamins A, C, E, B-12 and folate.It has an array of essential minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium, sodium, copper, zinc and selenium. It also contains 20 amino acids, including 7 out of the 8 essential ones.

 

Anti-inflammatory

Aloe contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, including salicylic acid, C-glucosyl chromone and an enzyme called bradykinase.  Aloe is also able to reduce the production of acid in the body, which also prevents inflammation.

 

Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

Phytosterols, found in aloe vera gel help to enhance insulin sensitivity, which reduces blood glucose and triglycerides levels.

 

Note: There are many species of Aloe, they are not all edible and they can be difficult to identify. We don’t recommend that you use your house plant in any recipes. Barbadensis Mill. Is the known as the best variety of aloe vera to eat. You can obtain edible aloe vera as a full plant or just purchase the leaves. We got our Aloe from Wholesome Choice.

Aloe Lime Coconut Yogurt

Aloe Lime Coconut Yogurt

Aloe Lime Coconut Yogurt

Aloe-Lime Coconut Yogurt

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 2 large Aloe leaves
  • Yogurt – we used So Delicious Coconut Yogurt

 

METHOD

  1. Here is a great post by marecipes.com about how to remove the edible part of aloe.
  2. Once you have removed the skin, chop the meat of the aloe into small cubes.
  3. Add the sugar, lime juice and aloe cubes to a small saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium low heat.
  5. Cool and serve as a topping over plain yogurt. This makes approximately about 3-5 servings. If you are new to eating aloe, start with about a 1/3 of the aloe as a topping.

willow-living-signature

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

September 2, 2017
Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

I’m not sure about you, but as moms trying to raise healthy kids, we are always looking for recipes that curb that sweet tooth, but remain somewhat healthy too. We’ve made chia puddings before, but for some, the texture of the chia wasn’t appealing. In this recipe, the chia seeds are blended with the avocado and the texture is nice and smooth, and more like a mousse! This Chocolate Avocado Mousse totally hits the spot and is even a hit with our kids. We posted a similar recipe a couple of years ago, but this new version is even better!

Once you try it, you might think that it seems too decadent because it tastes amazing! However, it’s packed with protein, healthy fats, anti-oxidants, and fiber. So don’t worry…just enjoy! Oh, and one more thing…it’s really easy to make even on short notice!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse


Chocolate Avocado Mousse 
 

Makes about
2 cups
Ingredients:

  • 12 oz plant or nut based of choice (we used organic almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (we used grade B)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

METHOD

  • Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on the highest speed until smooth.
  • Pour into 1 large container or 4 small 4-oz containers and store in refrigerator for 1-3 hours or until thick and creamy like mousse. You can also put it into the freezer for 1-2 hours and it’s more ice cream like.
  • Eat alone or top with some fruit, vegan whipped cream, oreos, or nut butter. It’s up to you!

 

You can add any toppings to the mousse. We added fruit, cacao nibs, nut butter (peanut butter is really yummy), and vegan marshmallows (you can buy these at Trader Joes).

 

willow-living-signature

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Matcha Mint Smoothie

August 26, 2017
Matcha Smoothie Ingredients

Matcha Mint Smoothie_

We Love This Green Smoothie So Matcha!

What do you drink to keep your body fueled and ready to go when your life is full of work, long commutes, staying active. motherhood and everything in between? Our new go to drink is this this Matcha Mint Smoothie. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s contains the superfood Matcha tea.

Why is Matcha Green Tea so Good for You?

ENERGY BOOST

Matcha tea has twice as much caffeine as regular green tea. However, that’s not the only reason that Matcha tea provides energy. There is the naturally occurring amino acid L-theanine, which relieves stress, promotes relaxation without drowsiness, and improves cognition and attention.

MOOD & MIND ENHANCER

As mentioned above, Matcha contains L-theanine, which helps improve our mood, enhance memory and increase our ability to concentrate. The presence of L-theanine ensures that our mind stays sharp when we need to, and helps us unwind when we don’t.

DETOXIFY

Matcha tea has an intense green color due to Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier, which helps flush heavy metals and other toxins from the body.

STRENGTHENS IMMUNITY

The catechins in matcha tea contain antibiotic properties that boost the immune system. In addition, matcha also contains a number of essential vitamins including calcium, iron, potassium, protein and vitamins A and C.

COMBATS AGING

Catechins are also known to help slow down the aging process by combating oxidation and inflammation. Plus the potent antioxidants contained in matcha may also protect the brain from the progressive deterioration accompanying dementia.

FIGHTS CANCER

The most potent catechin found in matcha is epigallocatechin (EGCg), which makes up 60% of all catechins in matcha tea. This powerful anti-carcinogen is well known for its cancer-fighting properties and has been associated with reducing the risk of skin, esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreatic, lung, bladder, prostate and breast cancer.

BOOSTS METABOLISM

Drinking matcha tea before a workout has been shown to boost thermogenesis and our body’s metabolism, increasing fat burning potential by 25%.

LOWERS CHOLESTROL

Studies have shown that populations who consume matcha green tea regularly have found a significant decrease in cholesterol-induced problems. This is believed to be a result of matcha tea containing lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

 

Matcha tea-2

Matcha Mint Smoothie Blander

Matcha Mint Smoothies

Mint Matcha Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of almond milk
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 teaspoons Matcha Green Powder
  • 5 mint leaves

Directions

  • Place all ingredients into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass, serve immediately, and enjoy!

Yield 1 serving

willow-living-signature

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps

August 12, 2017
Chickpea Avocado Filling

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps2

We are always on the lookout for a tasty, lunch that is vegan and high in protein and fiber.  These Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps from shelikesfood.com were perfect and yummy too! They had a slight tart flavor and the avocado helped everything stick together well.  It’s easy to make and the filling can also be used as a sandwich with bread or on rice cakes. It travels well, without getting soggy, and makes a great lunch for a picnic too!

Health benefits of chickpeas: Chickpeas, like other legumes, have always been touted for their high fiber content. However, there has been research indicating that fiber from chickpeas had better health benefits than other sources of dietary fiber, including better blood fat regulation, specifically showing lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Chickpeas contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the Daily Value!

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps Ingredients

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps1

 

Chickpea Avocado Lettuce Wraps

We didn’t have jalapeños and we added tomatoes, but we will definitely try this with jalapeños next time!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large avocado, removed from skin and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion, white or red
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • Diced jalapeno, to taste
  • 6-8 lettuce cups

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the avocado and lime juice to a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Next add the remaining ingredients, lettuce cups excluded, and mash again until desired texture is reached. Mix with a spoon to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
  2. Fill each lettuce cup with about 2/3 cup of the chickpea mixture, or fill with desired amount.

willow-living-signature

Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Coconut-Lime Rice with Red Beans and Mango

July 22, 2017
Coconut Lime Rice

Coconut Lime Rice

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 Rice5

Coconut Lime Rice

 

COCONUT-LIME RICE WITH RED BEANS AND MANGO

Recipe from Thug Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop up the mango into bite-size pieces.
  3. 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

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • romaine lettuce
  • croutons

Method:

  1. Place the almonds and the hot water in a small bowl, and set them aside to soften, about 15 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

Enjoy!

willow-living-signature