Vegan Sheppards Pie

A little bit British and a whole lot of delicious. Enjoy this creamy, savory delight that's completely vegan, diary, and gluten free, but very satisfying! Perfect for the holidays or any cold winter night.

Ingredients:

  • 10 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1 large red onion, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 lbs. cooked lentils (I used Trader Joe's ready to eat)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
  • 1/5 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • ½ teaspoon fresh sage 
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Dice potatoes. Boil them on high, then simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl. Blend in coconut oil, tahini, nutritional yeast, mustard seed and mash until fluffy. Add salt, pepper, cover and set aside.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil on medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent. Add thyme, sage, garlic and mushrooms and cook until onion is golden brown and mushrooms are soft. Finally add the kale & soy sauce.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  4. In a casserole dish, layer the cooked lentils in the bottom, then add the mushrooms mixture & finally spread the mashed potatoes on top.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve.

Lavender Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

July 1st and summertime weather is here! Luxuriate in your morning with this delicious lavender flavored smoothie. Get your greens hidden in a delicious vegan bowl! This recipe serves one, so double the portions if you've got a loved one to eat with! 

Ingredients:

  • 4-7 pieces of fresh lavender buds
  • 1 banana {fresh or frozen}
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 cup of kale or greens
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries {fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup of water (no need to use store bought nut mylks)
  • tsp of either hemp seeds, cashews, coconut flakes (this replaces the nut milk consistency)
  • pinch of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients and serve in your favorite bowl! 

Toppings:

  • banana
  • fresh berries
  • buckwheat groats
  • coconut flakes
  • flax seeds, nuts, bee pollen, cocoa nibs, lavender

Serve with dandelion tea or as pictured here, cold-brew coffee with coconut milk. Have a happy 4th of July everyone! Be thankful for all the stuff and people in your life. Love ya!

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

I LOVE sour cherries and raw cocoa. Blend it with avocado, and you've got a rich, creamy smoothie. It's full of healthy fat, antioxidants, vitamins and a daily serving of greens. Top it with your favorite fruit, seeds or nuts, and breakfast is served. Perfect for a June summer day. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw, pitted frozen cherries
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or greens
  • 1/2 very ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup filtered water or nut milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • tbsp of raw cocoa power or nibs

Blend everything with a Vitamix or high powered blender. Pour into a beautiful bowl and add raw toppings (whatever you have in the kitchen). I suggest:

  • sliced banana, apple or pear
  • flax seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • dehydrated coconut flakes
  • raw cocoa nibs
  • rasberries
  • dried goji berries

Homemade Nut Milk

Here is my basic recipe for delightful homemade Almond Milk & other Nut milks! Enjoy! xo

Quitting dairy is a great step towards improving your health and also lessens your impact to factory farmed cows and the environment! Going dairy free couldn't be easier these days as supermarket's offer tons of choices with coconut, soy, almond and even cashew milk. However, the problem with the store bought milk is that there's TONS of additives including: Sugar, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Xantham Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitate. YUK! In addition, commercially made almond milk is pasteurized, destroying the natural enzymes present in freshly made almond milk. Raw, organic homemade almond milk contains live enzymes, plus doesn't have the nasty additives of the store-bought variety and IMHO taste even better. It's creamy, sweet, mildly nutty and is perfect for smoothies, tea, baked goods and cereals. Personally, I use it to make decadent smoothies, chia seed puddings, and in my morning tea or coffee. I love the taste, texture and seriously can't get enough of it!

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. SOAK: Place 1 cup organic raw almonds in 3 cups of purified water in a large glass jar with 1 tsp sea salt and soak for 8- 12 hours. (Optional to use half cashews, brazil nuts or hazelnuts, details below)

2. RINSE: Rinsing the nuts removes any of the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors. If soaking for the full 12 hours, you can rinse and re-soak twice if possible. Any nuts that float to the top have probably gone rancid, so discard them to be safe. After soaking, discard the water. ** This step is very important. When I first made almond milk, I used the soaking water to make my milk and I got very sick. No Bueno.

2. BLEND: Put almonds and water in your Vitamix and start blending at low speed. Quickly accelerate to high speed until all of the nuts are completely pulverized (about 1-2 minutes). You can use this without straining and drink as a thicker milk or use in smoothies and it will have more calcium. For a more standard, silky milk, I would suggest straining. 

3. STRAIN: Strain out the almonds using a nut bag, fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth or fine mesh knee-high hosiery if that’s all you have around the house. I personally use a reusable nut bag and you can find these in health food stores or kitchen shop. Make sure you wash the bag as soon as you are finished so you can reuse it again. Place your nut bag over the opening of a a wide rimmed glass jar and slowly pour the milk into the bag. Squeeze the cloth all the way down, until every last drop is squeezed out. Then remove the almond pulp and set aside.

3. ALMOND PULP: Don’t waste the almond meal. Save it to use in other recipes. You can store almond pulp on top of a paper towel, in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. You can dehydrate it, and use the almond meal for recipes such breads, cookies and other baked goods. You can also use along side a soap as a face or body scrub.

4. STORAGE: Store in a glass jar in the fridge. It will keep for 4-5 days in a very cold fridge. 

Almond Milk

This basic almond milk is perfect for any recipe that calls for dairy milk. If you're using for coffee, tea, smoothies or as an indulgent drink all by itself, you may add sweetener and flavoring, here are my suggestions:

  • To sweeten, add 1 tbs maple syrup, coconut sugar or blend in 3 soaked/pitted dates
  • Pure vanilla extract & dash of cinnamon
  • Nut-meg or chai seasoning
  • Raw, organic cocoa powder for a rich, chocolate almond milk. Mmmm.
  • Blend in cherries or strawberries
  • Blend in raw hemp seeds for added protein boost (hemp seeds do not need to be soaked or strained)
  • Try different nuts in your milk. I’ve used cashews, brazil nuts and hazelnuts. Be sure to also pre-soak these nuts as above. 1/2 Almonds and 1/2 hazelnuts are my personal favorite!
  • For a creamer nut-milk, try 1/3 cashews instead of almonds. NOTE: Cashews will blend completely, so there’s no need to strain!!

Let me know how yours turns out. Now, go get Nutty!

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Butternut squash is one of my very favorite foods in the coldest days of winter. While back home in Tennessee over Christmas, I decided to cook dinner for my sister her two month old baby, (although I think he's still only on milk). It's cold and rainy today, so it felt like warm soup would hit the spot. This soup was fairly simple to prepare. I added some cashews for cream and apple for sweetness. The only blender at my parents house was a standard GE variety, but it worked just fine. I hope you enjoy! Please let me know. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 2 large sweet apples
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (homemade)
  • 1 cup raw, soaked cashews (soaked in water for at least 3 hours)
  • 2 cooked carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • tbs cinnamon
  • tbs cloves
  • 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper. 
  2. Slice the butternut squash in half, length wise. Remove the seeds from the cavity. Peel the squash and then dice into small cubes. Dice the apples into cubes. Peel and slice the garlic.
  3. Thoroughly coat with olive oil and place on your baking dish. 
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Remove and let cool.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients. Working in small batches, slowly puree in a blender until smooth and creamy.
  6. Check seasoning and adjust as you desire. Top with pumpkin seeds. 
Baked_butternutsquash