For people who are trying to stay away from grains, eating a wrap sandwich can sometimes seem like it is impossible. However, it is not when you have collard greens. I encourage those who want something low carb or grain free, but still enjoy eating wraps to try them. Since I eat raw most of the time, collard greens are a life saver when I want burritos or wraps, but do not want to go through the prep of making my own dehydrated tortillas. You can fill them with whatever you like, but one of my favorites is made with Mediterranean ingredients. I make a raw vegan falafel “meat” from nuts that is delicious in the wraps or even on salads, and combine it here with lots of veggies and a tahini lemon sauce for dipping. These are especially good when the weather starts to get warm, which I know we are all hoping happens soon!
I used to have a favorite Spring salad that had chevre and strawberries on it. I thought that I would never be able to enjoy the chevre part of it again, but I have been making a raw chevre with macadamia nuts that is just as delicious. It has a bed of spinach, fresh strawberries and avocadoes with the luscious chevre, as well as a sweet strawberry dressing which I have also revamped from my previous salad. I added nutrient packed chia seeds which are wonderful in the dressing! Everyone I have shared this salad with loved it, and they did not miss the dairy cheese. Try it when strawberries come into season and you will love it!
I have always loved strawberries and cream. There is something about the fresh sweet berries and rich silky cream that is heavenly. I used to make myself this simple dessert quite often when I ate dairy, buying the best quality cream and vanilla with fresh berries. I thought that when I became vegan, I would be missing out on whipped cream, but when I discovered coconut cream I was overjoyed to find out that I still could enjoy it. It is made in the same way that whipped cream is, chilling the cream and whipping air into it with beaters. Let me tell you, it is even better than the dairy stuff because it is sweet from the coconut. All you need is a chilled full fat can of coconut milk. It is a black palate, but folding lavender into it and serving it with berries is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. You get the aroma of the lavender and vanilla and it is so delicious with the sweet berries and cream.
One of my favorite simple desserts is coconut macaroons. I love that they can be a black palate for different flavors during different times of the year. One of the most delicious is coconut lemon. The tart lemon is lovely with the sweet coconut. Great for year-round, I especially like it in the winter and spring. I decided to make some recently, and pair them with pistachios and dark chocolate. They are just the right amount of sweet. These bites are perfect for after dinner when you want dessert but do not want to over do it. I have instructions here for both baked and raw, so you can make them either in the oven or the dehydrator, with the option of making raw chocolate or melting chocolate to suit your needs. These would be perfect for an Easter celebration!
We are on a Paleo kick in our house. For lent, we gave up sugar including honey and syrup. Needless to say, we found this to be so hard. I think it was a case of the “heart grows fonder when your apart” scenario. The craving for sweets slowly set in, and the need to create something within the perimeter of our fast was necessary to maintain. Thus, this brownie recipe emerged. This is great for the person who can’t seem to break the vicious cycle of sugar withdrawals. The brownie is high in fiber from the coconut flour as well as nutritionally dense leaving you more satisfied. It is made with coconut oil that is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, and the minimal sugar substitutes used make it low glycemic. I should add that they are slightly sweet. These brownies freeze great, so cut them out and enjoy them as needed.
This weather is getting me down. Instead of looking like Spring, it is feeling like those windy, snowy days of January. Cold weather always gets me in the mood for soup. But I must confess, this recipe was meant for a total different direction, and soup wasn’t one of them. This bisque might take the cake as in my most delicious, fast and easy category for soups. Some of you may criticize the canned ingredients. But these companies products are canned in BPA free cans!
I should add that I am a meal planner. One day a week is designated to prepping so meals are easy and fast throughout the week. One way I do this is by creating a large amount of protein such as chicken or ground beef. Today, I made 2 pounds of grass-fed beef with onions. I refrigerated half for later and added a pound of mushrooms to the other half in the pan. The recipe calls for a lot of garlic. I’ve discovered that if you are trying to get away from the coconut flavor, add more garlic.
When I think of spring soups, I always think borscht. If you are unfamiliar, it is a soup of Ukrainian origin with the main ingredients beets. It is lovely to serve in the spring when we are craving a little bit lighter veggies. Although the classic version is delicious, I decided to revamp it and give it an Indian twist with coconut milk and spices. It is perfect for transitioning from winter to spring as it is warming while still substantial, yet light and packed with nutrients from all the veggies. It would be perfect for those rainy spring days when it is still a bit chilly served with a salad for dinner. Add a bit of cooked tofu or seitan for an even more substantial main dish.
In the winter months, we often rely on cooked vegetables. But now that spring will soon be arriving, it is time to think about eating more raw fresh vegetables. Although beets are often cooked, sometimes we do not think to serve them raw. In reality, they are wonderful when sliced thin in salads! This way they retain the nutrients and provide a nice crunch, plus, they have a wonderful sweet flavor. In the recipe I am sharing with you, I combined them in a salad with sweet carrots, crunchy sunflower seeds and a tangy vinaigrette in a fresh salad fit for spring. Once the veggies start to grow again in Minnesota and the local beets and carrots are available, this salad will be even more delicious!
I often get asked by customers, or people looking to be dairy free, ‘what are good cheese substitutes’? Although there seem to be a lot of them out there, opinions vary on what is the best. One of my favorites actually is not purchased in a package, it is a super easy home made recipe, Macadamia ricotta cheese. Although you can buy non-dairy ricotta, it tends to be made from soy, and often times people are looking to avoid it. This home made version however, contains only 3 ingredients and tastes like ricotta plus has the light fluffy texture. It can be used on top of salads, as a spread paired with jam or served with fruit and can also be used in pasta like lasagna.
Sugar is a foreign object in my kitchen along with its counterparts, processed foods. We try to avoid grains and dairy to uphold a paleo lifestyle. My kids love sweets, and I don’t want to deprive them of its yummy satisfaction. When I was growing up, chocolate pudding was a standard reward for eating all the good stuff. But what if the pudding could be good stuff too? This recipe is a great way to get some omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. Some of the ingredients are optional. I add them to get a little more healthy nutrients in my kids. It really is pudding undercover. My son begs me for it. Who says healthy can’t taste good? Enjoy!