Tag Archives: gluten-free

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

23 Jun

I rarely venture above 23rd street, so when I had to go to the Upper East Side the other day, I made a few stops along the way. First on my hit list? Candle Cafe!! I didn’t have time to indulge in a full-fledged meal, but I got the Green Goddess juice which boosted my spirits. (I’m sure this guy would appreciate looking like he’s scratching his butt in the picture below. He’s actually just putting his wallet in his pocket, but my version is funnier).

Candle Cafe NYC

Look how vibrant and beautifully green the juice is!!

Green Goddess Juice at Candle Cafe. Mixed Greens, Apple, Lemon, and Ginger.

I swung by Beanocchio for a soy latte and couldn’t resist these delicious coconut macaroons.

Raw Almond Vegan Macaroons at Beanocchio

And they’re even heart-shaped (-ish)! So cute.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons at Beanocchio

They were sweet, but not cloying, and held together perfectly. I love raw cookies and bars because I don’t feel gross after I eat them. They aren’t packed with processed sugars and artificial ingredients that can send your body into a frenzy. Plus, raw desserts are filling and satisfying. They’re typically high in protein, good fats, and fiber, which means I don’t get the urge to binge on 50 of them. It’s not about the calories, it’s about the quality of the ingredients.

I took a stab at making my own raw vegan macaroons. Next time, I think I’ll try chocolate covered ones. Mmmmmmmm.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup almonds (soaked for 1 hour)

1/2 cup toasted unsweetened, low-fat organic coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened, low-fat, organic coconut

1/4 cup agave

Directions:

1. Soak the almonds. Drain, disposing of liquid. Reserve almonds.

2. Toast coconut in a small saute pan over low heat.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

4. Put all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and begins to hold together.

5. Using a tablespoon, scoop mounds of the mixture and place onto prepared baking sheet. Note: when scooping, be sure to press mixture into the tablespoon to ensure it forms a mound and holds together. If the mixture is sticking in the spoon, have a cup of hot water to dip the spoon into between scoops.

6. Refrigerate for one hour. These little mounds of joy were soft but held together, even when bitten into. They tasted even better on the second day.

7. Eat!!

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

New Product Watch: Mini LARABAR Variety 12-Pack

24 May

I’ve mentioned LARABARs before, but had to share my latest find… MINI LARABARs! I found them on Soap.com when I was shopping for cleaning products. I haven’t seen them in NYC yet, but I’m sure they’re on their way if not already cropping up.

Each box has four Cherry Pie, four Apple Pie, and four Cashew Cookie bars. Cashew Cookie is 100 calories, the other two are only 90, making it a healthy, portion controlled snack. They’re gluten-free, and have zero fake additives like bars often do. They’re made simply from dried fruit and nuts, and only the natural sugars from the fruit. And boy are they tasty!!

Ask anyone who has traveled with me, I’m always concerned about not having something to eat. Particularly when I’m on the go, or traveling long distances, I hate not knowing whether I’ll have a healthy and tasty food option. Although fresh fruit is my preference, sometimes it’s not available, or difficult to stuff into a bag without getting mutilated. So I always have a few LARABARs stashed in my purse. The Minis are so convenient because they don’t take up much room. I was happy to have a few in my purse when I was in Maine last week and needed a quick munch on the plane.

Check ’em out at LARABAR.COM!

Mini LARABAR Variety 12-Pack

P.S. They’ve also come out with a new bar flavor, Blueberry Muffin which if you close your eyes, does resemble its’ name. Ingredients: Dates, Cashews, Blueberries, Blueberry Juice Concentrate, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Vanilla Extract.

Blueberry Muffin LARABAR

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa and Carmelized Onions

28 Feb

Whenever I go to Soul-Cycle Tribeca, I always stop at the Whole Foods next door for two things: Blue Print Cleanse (Green & Red) and curried cauliflower from the salad bar. You may think cauliflower is a snooze fest, and I agree, it can be. But there’s one cooking method that makes anything taste better. Roasting.

Roasting uses indirect heat to cook evenly. It produces a crispy texture on the outside, while cooking all the way through the inside. Meat benefits greatly from roasting, but vegetables are my fave. Here are a couple great roasting tips from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

1. Get that oven HOT (over 400 F)

2. Don’t crowd the pan – make sure there’s enough room so the heat can circulate and any moisture will evaporate. If you crowd the vegetables together, they’ll just trap the heat and steam so you’ll never get that gorgeous browning or crisp exterior.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian bible, get Bittman’s book. There’s literally a recipe for every vegetable you can imagine and he offers vegan substitutions too.

I’ve roasted just about everything from broccoli, onions, garlic, asparagus, fennel, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, to apples, pineapples and fresh chestnuts (YUM). It completely transforms boring vegetables into sweet, carmelized morsels. It’s easy and ideal when entertaining because you’re not chained to the cooktop paying more attention to your dish than your guests. You’ll never believe cauliflower could taste so good!!

If you don’t already have them, invest in a set of stainless steel baking sheets, also known as jelly roll pans. I prefer not to use non-stick because of the perfluorooctanoic acid (say that ten times fast) used to create the non-stick coating. (Scroll down for more info on PFOA). If you use non-stick to save calories, try a high heat canola oil in spray form. You’ll use less with the spray, and it’s easier to coat evenly without dousing with oil.

Spectrum canola spray

I could not live without my baking sheets. If you’re looking to stock your kitchen with the right tools and equipment, start with (2) half sheet pans, and (2) quarter sheet pans. You can find baking sheets and other cookware, utensils, and baking items, at Broadway Panhandler. Their prices are typically better than specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma. I can get lost in Panhandler for hours. It’s a vortex like CVS or Duane Reade.  I go in for something specific, and walk out an hour later with various things I don’t need. You can also order online or find baking sheets at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.

Baking sheet

I took a stab at replicating the Whole Foods curried cauliflower. I’m proud to say, it’s pretty darn close and I really like my addition of quinoa [pat, pat on the back, back]. Not only is this dish delicious, it’s incredibly healthy.  Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, and Vitamin C. With the addition of quinoa, it’s a balanced meal with protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, high in essential amino acids and is gluten-free. I cannot get enough of it.

I’ve also roasted cauliflower and tossed it with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. It’s totally amazing with the addition of parmesan cheese too.

Do you have a favorite cauliflower recipe? Or a stellar roasted vegetable dish? Share it!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa and Carmelized Onions

4 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 small-medium yellow onion, sliced

1 head cauliflower

1 can garbanzo beans

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 garlic cloves

Garam Masala is available at Whole Foods and most ethnic food stores. If you can’t find it, you can make your own. Click here for the recipe.

1. Set oven to 400. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil on a sheet pan (or eyeball it…enough to coat the cauliflower. Start with a little, add more if you need it). If you’re using oil spray, spray the pan. Place cauliflower on the sheet pan. Season with salt, pepper and curry. Mix with hands making sure all florets are coated. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until florets are slightly browned and cooked through. Be sure to rotate position of pans and mix cauliflower occasionally.

2. While cauliflower is cooking, heat 2 T extra virgin olive oil in medium saute pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Season.

3. Add chickpeas and cook about 2 minutes. Add garlic, garam masala and turmeric. Stir to coat chickpeas and onions. Add peas cooking another 2 minutes until warmed through. Add two cups quinoa and stir until warmed through. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Put quinoa/chickpea mixture into a large bowl. Once cauliflower is done, add to the quinoa. Squeeze 1/2 lemon and stir in. You can also sprinkle chopped cilantro on this as a garnish.

5. Serve warm or room temp.

To learn more about the benefits of cauliflower, check out these links:

University of California, Santa Barbara: UCSB Scientists Show How Certain Vegetables Combat Cancer

Benefits of Cauliflower and Broccoli

To learn more about the dangers of PFOA, check out these links:

http://www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/

http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/healthandfitness/a/nonstickpans.htm

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=76745

 

Vegan, gluten-free, yummy, on-the-go snacks

6 Jan

Day 4 – Vegan on-the-go!

Ok so I’m not going to lie, I’m tired today. Been tired all day, still tired now. I did another double session of Bar Method and Soul-Cycle so maybe my body is angry and fighting back. Either way, I was running around all day on a couple coffees, but no food. Not good for me or my metabolism. Being vegan does pose a few challenges like grabbing a bite when you’re out and about, which is why it’s always good to have goodies stashed in your purse for emergencies. Thank you Larabars for surviving the beat down of being jostled around in my overstuffed purse.

No, I don’t get paid to promote these brands, but I would happily do it; they are life-savers! I have been eating them for years, way before I began this vegan journey. I first got them as on-the-go snacks for my husband and I. We wanted something easy and low-calorie for pre or post-workouts, and occasionally in between meals. For a while we tried Balance bars, but didn’t like that they are full of ingredients you cannot pronounce. It’s like translating the periodic table. So I searched for a natural, good tasting bar. The search was over when I tried Larabars and Go Raw bars. They are now my go-to healthy snacks. They are gluten-free, wheat-free, and vegan. The Go Raw products are even nut-free and organic, and flavors like Banana Bread are only 120 calories. I recommend keeping Go Raw in the refrigerator since the ingredients are “live” and are susceptible to going bad (although I’ve never seen that happen).

Here are a few of my favorite flavors:

Larabars: Peanut butter cookie, Coconut cream pie, Peanut butter & jelly, Cherry pie and Apple pie.

Go Raw: Real Live Flax Seed Bar, Spirulina Energy Bar, Banana “bread” Flax Bar,  Spirulina* “super chips” and Ginger Snaps.

*Spirulina is a blue algae and complete protein containing all essential amino acids.  It’s also a rich source of potassium which is why I love it post-workout!

Happy Snacking!

Available at Whole Foods. Go Raw brand sometimes available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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