Chocolate Mango Smoothie

*Visit for all the pictures and links!

Lately I feel like I’ve been getting lazy with my morning shakes and oatmeals. I’m guilty of relying heavily on “green” powders, protein powders and supplements. Maybe that’s why my skin and digestion have gone bonkers. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t hurt to focus on whole foods and produce for a bit.

Loving Peppermint SuperfoodMocha Mint ShakeDisney Cruise prep    Amazing Grass Green Superfood(great in moderation…)


This morning I made a chocolate mango smoothie without any of my favorite French vanilla (my favorite), chai, chocolate or coffee flavored mix-ins. And you know what? It was delicious! And of course, packed with real foods.


Chocolate Mango Smoothie

Chocolate Mango Smoothie

Chocolate Mango Smoothie
(Vegan, gluten free)


1 Banana
1(or 2) Handfuls of Spinach
1/2c frozen cauliflower
1/3c frozen sweet peas
1c (or more) cold coffee [I made it the night before and put it in the fridge. Your shake won't taste like coffee but gives it a deeper chocolate taste.]
1/3 Mango
1-2T raw cacao powder
*optional: uncut stevia, maca powder, or feel free to sub coconut water for the coffee.

Place all of this goodness in a high powered blender and blend till smooth. Feel free to add more ice or liquid as you go!

This makes one ginormous serving! I poured half in a to-go-cup to drink with breakfast. The other half, I over some dry oats and placed it in the fridge. It’s going to make for a great lunch topped with dried blueberries and almonds!

I hope getting back to the basics will have my body back in check. Until then, have a great 4th of July everyone!

photo 2

Great job USA!

photo 3

I’m Germany all the way now. Not everyone has a dirndl, right?

photo 4

Go Germany! Prost!

Apricot Coffee Cake

I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day.  The fiance` and I had an awesome day of church and golf with my mom (sorry dad, but you were working, haha).  After a ridiculously hot day out on the greens, we came back for a chili dinner joined by my dad and my future-father-in-law.  It was a great day but no day is complete without dessert [you know it's true...], so of course I had to bake something.

I had a handful of apricots and a few plantains that I needed to use, so I decided to make a coffee cake!   This recipe is super simple and done in about 40 minutes, so give it a try. It came out perfectly moist, sweet and delicious without the added fats and sugars!

Apricot Coffee Cake

Apricot Coffee Cake

Apricot Coffee Cake

gluten free, vegan


  • -2 ripe plantains
  • -5 apricots
  • -1/2c brown rice flour
  • -1/4c coconut flour
  • -1/4c arrowroot starch
  • -1t baking soda
  • -1/2t baking powder
  • -1T cinnamon
  • -pinch of salt
  • -1 flax egg (1Tflax meal + 3T water; let sit 5 minutes)
  • -1/4c maple syrup -stevia to sweeten (to taste)
  • - (optional) 1/3 c chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 400F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease pan. In a large mixing bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Dice two apricots into small pieces and set to the side along with the optional walnuts.

Now in a blender, put in plantains, 3 apricots, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender into the mixing bowl along with the flax egg. Mix well and fold in apricot pieces and walnuts. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes total. After 20 minutes, cover the cake with foil so it doesn’t burn. Pull your coffee cake from the oven and let it cool before applying any kind of icing. I made a simple sunflower drizzle (tastes a little like caramel). Enjoy~



-3T sunflower seed butter

-1/4c maple syrup

Stir together and drizzle on top of your coffee cake!


And to all the fantastic Father’s (and father figures) that have been part of our lives, thank you!


Carrot Cake

If it doesn’t have chocolate, how can it be called dessert?  I don’t know, but I do know that Jim… my  FIANCE`! (sorry, still giddy)…. enjoys carrot cake.  Well I had carrots and I love Jim, so why not whip up a carrot cake?  Even though this recipe really lacks chocolate, I really like this cake!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake


  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 1/2c arrowroot starch
  • 1/2c coconut flour
  • 1/2c brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1c shredded carrot
  • 1/8t uncut stevia
  • 2T vanilla extract
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1/4t ginger
  • 1T baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 flax egg (1T flax meal and 3T water; let stand five minutes)

Coconut “Buttercream” Frosting:

  •   1/2c coconut butter
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 2T+ almond or coconut milk (coconut creamer works, too!)
  • stevia to taste


Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with coconut oil.  Blend together everything but flours, flax egg and carrot shreds.  In a separate bowl, sift together your different flours, baking powder and cinnamon.  Pour the contents of the blender into the flour and stir to combine.  Now stir in the flax egg and begin to fold in carrot shreds.  Pour batter into the lined or greased pan and bake for 26-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

To make frosting, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until you reach the desired consistency and taste.  Now frost your carrot cake and enjoy the extra frosting with a spoon… or a fruit plate.

Enjoy your carrots! And, if you really like carrot cake check out this recipe or this one, too!

Carrot cake carrots


Sriracha Cheese Sauce

Hello there!

Well it’s been over a month since I last posted!  Not to worry, though, I’ve still been busy as ever in the kitchen… oh and working on wedding plans!  That’s right, I’m engaged! So, again, sorry… I’m not sorry.

Our first engagement photo.  Middleton Place, SC

Our first engagement photo. Middleton Place, SC

Jim and I are now in full swing planning a wedding, working and working on our own side project [top secret for now].

We celebrated the engagement with my family and closest friends over a meal at my folks place.  We never go anywhere empty handed, so I brought with us my Chocolate Raspberry Pie, Peppermint frosted Protein Brownies and a vegan Creamed KaleLet me tell you, that creamed kale was awesome and I am now addicted to sriracha sauce!


Creamed Kale with Sriracha Cheese Sauce

(vegan, grain free)


Cheese Sauce

  • 1/3c cashews; soaked at least two hours
  • 1/2c almond milk; or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/4c arrowroot starch
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3T Sriracha (if you don’t like Sriracha, sub with seasoning of choice; Italian spices are good, too!)
  • 1T miso paste (optional, but great flavor)
  • 1/4c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2t lemon juice
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed; chopped and lightly steamed.


Place cashews and almond milk in a food processor or high powered blender and process till smooth.  Begin adding your other ingredients and blend, blend, blend.  Then be sure to taste!  Add more nutritional yeast to kick up the cheesey taste or more seasoning/ garlic to enhance the cheese’s flavor.  If it’s too thick or you’d prefer a runnier sauce, add a bit more almond milk or water.  Once you’ve reached the consistency/taste you desire.

Put your lightly steamed kale in a large serving bowl and pour the cheese sauce over the top.  Now the fun part… begin to massage the cheese sauce into the kale using your hands!  Massage away until the cheese is all over the kale and your hands.  Store the kale in the fridge for an hour or two to soften and soak up that flavor.  Warm before serving. [though it's not too shabby when it's cold.]



Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Zest.  Such an underrated world.  You have to have zest for life!  I like to think I have a zest for life and a try-anything-once sort of attitude.  Just this month I was traveling, skiing, hiking, skydiving (that’s right, 18,000ft!), and began a new startup.  As exhausting as it can be, I feel blessed to have these opportunities and I want to take advantage of them all!  Of course… couch time with a warm bowl of zesty pasta is good, too!

citrus pesto welli citrus pesto skydive

Citrus pesto pasta is quick, light delicious and fills you up just enough.


Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Citrus Pesto Pasta

(serves 4)

vegan, gluten free



  • 4c cooked brown rice pasta (or gluten free pasta of choice)
  • 1/2c almonds
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1T orange zest
  • 1T lemon zest
  • 1T lime zest
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 3T water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can artichokes (chopped)
  • 1.5-2c chopped leeks (be sure to clean these suckers well!).


In a blender or food processor, add almonds, parsley, garlic, zests, coconut oil and water.  Begin blending or processing until you have a pesto consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.

Next, in a cook pan at 2T water or oil, and over medium heat begin to saute your thoroughly cleaned leeks.  Saute for about five minutes, adding more water or oil as needed.  When leeks are soft, add artichokes and begin to warm.

Citrus Pesto Pasta

Finally, add brown rice pasta and pesto to the pan.  Fold together all of your ingredients until warmed and well incorporated.

A few great additions to this pasta are olives, sundried tomatoes, and vegan parmesan (a homemade version is super simple).

 Citrus Pesto Pasta - vegan

So whether you go out and experience new things this week or chill on the couch for a bit; add just a bit of zest!





Ginger Brownies

Ginger brownies, because one can never enjoy too many brownies in life.  And speaking of enjoying life, it has been quite a while since my last post.  And we (the boyfriend and me) have been uber busy yet again!

In the last few weeks we’ve gone to casinos (never been before), a few parties, hiking in Tahoe, celebrated St. Patricks Day/someone’s 40th birthday party… not either of ours, lol… and I not only got to see snow, but I got to ski in it, too! Something I haven’t done in almost 10 years.

ginger brownies 1 ginger brownies 2ginger brownies 6 ginger brownies 5

What made it all more wonderful was enjoying these epic events with my boyfriend who is just as crazy as I am.  Did I mention we decided to wear wigs on our hike, and maybe for the rest of the day?  Sadly, no, that is not our real hair though I think he looks pretty good with a mullet.

ginger brownies 4 ginger brownies 3

Despite the business of life, I’m still trying to stay busy in the kitchen.  I made “award winning” Frangelico brownies (not the brownie recipe I’m sharing today), peppermint protein bars and chocolate, caramel cookies to name just a few of the treats going on in my kitchen.  Of course I make actual food, too, but my sweet tooth comes first.

Here it goes, Ginger Brownies with a hint of orange…

Ginger Brownies

Ginger Brownies

Ginger Brownies

(grain free, vegan)

serves 8; double recipe for 8×8 pan


  • 1/2c coconut flour
  • 1/2c arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cacao powder (sub 1/2c with carob powder if you’d like; I do!)
  • 1/8t uncut stevia
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 3T coconut oil
  • 1 ripe plantain (pureed)
  • 1 1/2t ginger powder
  • 1/4t baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2T Grand Marnier (orange juice works, too)
  • 1/4c dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2-4T ginger chips
  • 2T almond milk 


Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper; or double the recipe and line an 8×8″ baking pan.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Mix in wet ingredients and stir until well combined.  Now mix in chocolate chips and crystalized ginger chips.

Pour batter into lined pan and bake 25 min.  Let cool then devour.

Ginger Brownies v, gf

The brownies are thick and fudgy, and not cake-like at all.  Brownies should not be cakey—that’s what cake is for, right?  And with every tasty bite, you can be happy knowing that you’re eating wholesome ingredients cleverly disguised as delicious dessert.  With a hint of spice from the ginger and a few chewy ginger bits, it takes the taste of these brownies to an exotic level.  They go from a typical brownie to something a wee bit fancier.  Awesome.

So if you feel the need to impress your friends, family members or coworkers with a touch of spice and wholesome brownie goodness, these will certainly do just that.

ginger brownies 7

Carrot and Parsnip Mash

Do you sometimes feel like your life is uber busy?  I feel like I live in a whirl wind of work, life and more awesomeness.  One week I was in California, the next week at a race, then working long hours, Church, time with friends, a surprise stay-cation with the boyfriend, and wouldn’t you know it?  Back to California next week!  If that was a lot to read, believe me, it’s a lot to do.

carrot and parsnip savannah carrot and parsnip race

Despite the business of life, I still love to take time to sit and eat a good dinner with my loved ones.  I’m a little obsessive about it actually.  Sitting down and reflecting and sharing with the people you are living life with is so important and it gives me an excuse to try new recipes on my victims loved ones….

carrot and parsnip girls

I’m so used to passing the mashed potatoes at dinner but this time I went a new direction with my root vegetables.  Carrot and parsnip mash!  It could not be any easier and has such a fresh and down-to-earth taste, you may be swapping your spuds out more often.

Carrot & Parsnip Mash

Carrot & Parsnip Mash

Carrot and Parsnip Mash

(vegan, grain free)


  • 6  medium-large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3  medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1T dried thyme [though fresh might be better...)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Bring a pot with 1/2c salted water to a boil.  Once it's boiling, toss in your chopped root vegetables.  Bring the water from high heat to medium and let steam 15-20 minutes until soft.

carrot and parsnip

(rainbow carrots)

Begin to mash the vegetables adding the coconut milk and thyme and mashing until it's the consistency you like.  I like 'em mushy!  Add salt and pepper to taste. [A teaspoon or two of coconut oil might be good, too.  Let me know if you try!]

Another simple side dish for your next dinner.  Food should not be complicated.  Healthy, wholesome and simple is best.  This mash doesn’t taste like your everyday mashed potatoes.  The carrots lend a smooth sweetness that is countered by the spice of the parsnips.  The coconut milk and thyme blend and smooth the sweet and spicy duo.  Enjoy!

carrot and parsnip JK