Cauliflower Nuggets… or Wings

Hello Folks!

cauli nuggets7It is a surprisingly dreary looking day outside… but since it’s Florida in the summer, and it’s almost 90° outside, I’ll just pretend I’m walking through a water park.  Yesterday we probably could have used a little rain to cool off as my family and I walked around Orlando.

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My cousin is visiting all the way from Berlin, Germany and has never experienced downtown Orlando.  She’d been to the theme parks plenty but yesterday she and my mom came over to not only to celebrate both their birthdays, but to experience a little of downtown, check out our home and enjoy some of my homemade vegan food (recipe below).

We started the afternoon with a lunch of cauliflower nuggets for an appetizer, followed by black bean and sweet potato tacos.  I may have added a few nuggets to my tacos…

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After our delicious meal we were off on a journey through the city.  We made it about a half mile before the heat caught up to us and we stopped into a favorite bar that looks out over Lake Eola.  After cooling down and sipping our wines, we wandered through the farmers market and a few shops before heading back for coffee and cakes (it’s the German thing to do).

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We chatted for a long while and finally said bis dann or “see you later”.  I so enjoyed their company and was even more thrilled that my cousin could finally try some of the foods I’m constantly blogging and tweeting about!

cauli nuggetsLots of people have asked for my cauliflower “wing” or nugget recipe, and while I do have a lot of variations on it, here’s a pretty basic one for you all to enjoy.

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Cauliflower Nuggets (you don’t have to put them in tacos!)

Cauliflower Nuggets

vegan, grainfree

Ingredients:

  • 1 head raw cauliflower; chopped
  • 1/3c garbanzo/fava flour
  • 2T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/4t pepper
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • 1/2t onion powder
  • 1/2c water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  In a mixing bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients.  Slowly pour in the water and mix together until have have a batter about the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour your chopped cauliflower into the bowl and be sure to coat all of the cauliflower with the batter.  Spread the battered cauliflower across a parchment paper-lined baking pan and place in the over for 45 minutes. When the timer goes off, your nuggets are done and ready for the dunking.

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not the prettiest picture… sorry about that… but dang, these are tasty!

We dipped our veggie nuggets in a homemade vegan ranch and spiced them up with a little of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce but dip away in whatever you enjoy! Have a great week!

 

Chocolate Mini Doughnuts and Berry Yogurt Frosting

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Hi folks!

IMG_3373It’s another beautiful day in Florida.  There is never a day I wake up here in Orlando and think, “why does it have to be so sunny today?”  People always ask if I miss Seattle, and while I miss the hiking and outdoorsy-ness of Washington (the highest elevation in Florida is only 298ft!), the many, many days of cold, gray and rain was what I was not all that stoked about.

I loved growing up in the good ol’ Pacific NorthWest because people were so conscious of everything from their health to the environment. Can you believe the county we live in now doesn’t have a recycling program?!   That would have been unheard of in Washington, so it always feels weird to just throw a glass or plastic bottle in the garbage… will the guilt never end?…

mini doughnuts4Seattle also had a sweet market place I miss, maybe you’ve heard of it?  Pike Place Market!  If you’ve never been, put that on your bucket list immediately.  There is nothing cooler than throwing fish in the market or buying the most gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers.  Fun shops and delicious restaurants keep the place packed with locals and tourists alike.  [I can’t wait to take the hubby there].

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One of the best places to stop was The Daily Dozen Doughnuts.  I don’t particularly care for doughnuts and my mom was never big on any kind of junk food but my family and I always made a stop here to share a few of the tiny round treasures.  I was reminiscing about the mini doughnuts and decided to buy new baking pans so I could recreate a healthy version of my childhood treat.

 

mini doughnut3My delightful doughnuts are grain free, gluten free and contain no added sugar.  But these little minis are packed with flavor and protein and still taste oh, so sweet.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Lemon Doughnuts (with Berry Yogurt Frosting)

Chocolate Lemon Doughnuts with a tangy Berry Yogurt Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2c hemp protein flour
  • 1/4c cacao powder
  • 2T arrowroot starch
  • 1 flax egg (1T flax meal + 2T water; let gel 5 min.)
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/4t baking soda
  • 1T maple syrup (optional)
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 6T organic lemon juice
  • 1/2c sweet potato puree
  • Stevia to sweeten (I used lemon stevia)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 330F and grease a mini doughnut pan (or two).  Sift together your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Blend together all your wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.  Add your flax egg and mix.

Scoop your thick batter into the mini doughnut pan(s) and bake for 15-18 minutues.  When finished, let these beauties cool down.  Warm or cold, these mini doughnuts are awesome, and super easy to make anytime!

Tangy Berry Yogurt Frosting

  • 1/2c berries  (I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • 3T non dairy (unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1/4c melted cacao butter
  • lemon stevia

Directions:

Puree all of your ingredients together… cool in fridge… done…. nice, right?

Trail Mix Cookies

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My final “F” word for my short series of them, which included, Faith, Family, and, of course, food, is Fitness.  I’m not talking about being a gym junkie or running marathons and working yourself into a lean, mean, sexy beast (unless you want to), I’m talking about staying physically active and doing something to get you movin’.

Personally, I love going to the gym in the morning and have the place to myself.

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I usually start out on a recumbent bike so that I can multi-task; thanks Oprah!  I like to do my devotionals, catch up on emails and read as I work up a sweat.  Then a little running and weight lifting and I’m ready to start a new day with a clear focus.  This takes all of one hour in the morning, it is my “me time” to de-stress and prepare for the day.  Every now and then, I enjoy a good race or mudrun.  Yoga (of the hot variety) and paddle-boarding are also high on my list.  However, I don’t have to do these things or force myself.  I found ways to incorporate Fitness that I actually enjoy.

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I know a lot of folks tell me they force themselves to work out to lose weight.  Hate to burst your bubbles folks, but exercise is not linked to weight-loss *gasp*.  But…exercise is still super beneficial because it helps reduce your risk of heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes and some other  not so awesome diseases and health issues. So find something to keep you active that you actually enjoy!  Go out and shake your boo-tay on the dance floor, go for a walk with your girl friends, or get lost on a trail you’ve not explored (thank goodness for Google Maps!).

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The point is, when it comes to Fitness, (don’t force yourself ) do what you enjoy and do it with the right intention.  If you are concerned about losing weight, start with changing the way you eat.

Here’s a fun snack for you to take on your next stroll or yoga session.  [I thought of taking them hiking… till I realized I live in Florida, and my apartment is probably the highest elevation I’ll find!].

Trail Mix Cookies
Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1c brown rice flour
  • 1c sorghum flour
  • 2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2c sunflower seed butter
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1/2c plus 2T applesauce
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1t molasses
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/2c trail mix [or make your own, I like walnuts, dried unsweetened cherries & cacao nibs]
  • *optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

Eat well. Stay Active. Be happy and healthy!

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When Heart Break Hill Comes Early– And How I’m Coping With It.

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Welli Desserts:

This woman is force to be reckoned with. I call her my fitfluential mentor… Even though she’s on another coast!

Originally posted on Cafe MJ:

So sometimes the only way my body can get in attention is to make it come to a screeching halt.  That is exactly what it did a few weeks ago.  I had been running beautifully, feeling strong and lean and mean (okay–not mean–but fast!).  As I prepared to go on a long weekend trip to see my girl in Juneau, I decided I would front load my heaviest work during the week so I could enjoy some relaxed runs and hikes with my friend.  Monday–I ran 10 miles with the stroller and then did a 3 mile VO2 Max workout in the evening.  I was still tired from the previous week.  Tuesday, I ran 6.25 miles to a boot camp in a park, did a ton of sprints, and then ran the 6.25 miles home.  Wednesday, I ran again.  The whole time I was thinking, “hm, my pelvis area does…

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Veggie Burgers

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Yet another “F” word has come to mind this week, and no, it’s not fireworks (though I am pretty stoked for the 4th of July).  The word that comes is Food!  I’m sure we’re all going to be enjoying awesome food this weekend and probably a whole lot of grillin’ going on.  Most people know me as a dessert junky (guilty) but I love a (veggie) burger right off the grill as much as the next person.  One of the new favorites in our home are my Veggie Burgers, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  The Veggie Burgers are quick to make and seem to be devoured even more quickly!  Here goes:

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Veggie Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 flax egg (1T flax or chia meal + 3T water; let sit 5min)
  • 1c quick oats or coursely chopped rolled oats
  • 1T spicy mustard
  • 2T nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1Tea. onion and garlic powder
  • 1t paprika
  • lots of salt and pepper and whatever seasonings you like, really!
  • (ghost pepper chili powder; totally optional, I used 6 tiny shakes and there was plenty heat!)

Directions:

I said this comes together quickly… Heat a grill pan on the stove top to medium heat (or fire up your grill!).  Using a food processor, shred your zucchini, onion and carrot.  Squish the contents of the food processor with a paper towel to soak up as much of the water as you can.

veggie burger 2Using your hands (fyi, this is a messy process) add your rinsed and drained black beans to a mixing bowl and loosely squish them around with your hands so that they are decently mashed but you keep a few of the beans intact.  Now add all of your other ingredients and mix the contents until its all well incorporated.  If you think it’s too wet, add a few more oats to the mix.  Form your mixture into five or six patties and start grilling!  I cooked mine about 6 minutes on each side cause they were kind of thick and I like them a little burnt.

veggie burger 1Whatever you eat this Fourth of July weekend, eat real Food and enjoy!

Bacon Jalapeno Cheesecake

jalapeno cheesecake

Continuing my tale of my favorite “F” words.  Today’s “F” word (no worries, still G-rated) is FAITH.  For anyone that follows me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that my faith is oh-so-important to me. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” [Heb 11:1].  And this great hope is what I cling to.  I must cling to hope.

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Life is crazy uncertain and challenging at times.  I didn’t plan to have my job and my sense of security pulled out from under me, my friend didn’t plan to lose her husband at such a young age, and I’m certain my new friend (who I know only through Facebook) never dreamed of battling cancer. We each face our own challenges, but we hope God has a greater purpose for us, we hope greater things will come out of these events, and we hope to come out stronger on the other side of whatever battles we face.  Faith is what gives each of us great hope.

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On a much lighter note, but still regarding Faith, I’m thankful my family has Faith in my cooking and baking skills…  Even when I throw something crazy at them, like a Bacon Jalapeno Cheesecake!faith 4

This cake was met with rave reviews, so I wanted to share the recipe with you now.  Have a slice and have faith that you will make it through whatever challenge you’re facing.

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BACON JALAPENO CHEESECAKE

vegan, grainfree, no refined sugars

Ingredients:

  • 1c raw cashews (soak for at least two hours and drain)
  • 1/2c non-dairy milk
  • 1/2t organic lemon juice
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1T nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 jalapeno(s)  [seeds removed… unless you want it super spicy!]
  •  3T lucuma powder
  • 3T  Maca powder
  • 1/3c melted cacao butter
  • 1/8t+ stevia to sweeten

Topping:

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Directions:

Here’s the easy part if the ingredients overwhelmed you.  in a blender (I use a vitamix), begin blending your cashews and liquids until super smooth.  Once it’s nice and creamy, begin adding your dry ingredients and your jalapeno!  Sweeten with stevia.

You should have a very thick and creamy batter.  If it’s not spicy enough, add more jalapeno.  If it’s not sweet enough, add a bit more stevia.  Too thick? Add a little non-dairy milk, though it should be very thick.  Too thin? Add a little more maca and lucuma.

Now that you have your “batter” at the right consistency.  Grease two small ramekin dishes or a 4″ spring form ban and pour in your batter.  Let sit in the freezer for at least 4 hours.  Thaw for 20min before serving and top with the uber tasty “bacon” before serving.

Have a little Faith, because this tastes ah-mazing!faith 2

I Can’t Believe it’s not BACON!

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What’s your favorite “F” word?  I have several (and no, nothing bad, sorry to disappoint!), and in no particular order they are: Food, Faith, Family and Fitness.  After a great Father’s day spent with both my father-in-law and my dad, and the rest of my delightful family, I thought family would be a great shout out today.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “F” for Family.

My family is super awesome, and I’m not ashamed to admit they just happen to double as some of my best friends.  The importance of family was always instilled in us at an early age.  Dinner time was always family time and always at the table.  There was always a night or two in the week meant for a family movie or board games and weekends consisted of enjoying the Pacific Northwest.  Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, you name it, we did it as a family; the perks of growing up in Washington.

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Our wedding in October. My handsome hubby and my beautiful family. And yes, that is kale in my bouquet!

As much as we have in common (like the desire to live in sunny Florida), there are a few things we don’t all share.  For instance, my meat-loving father doesn’t understand my veggie loving ways, and we can happily tease each other back and forth.  I took this Father’s Day as a challenge to create him a (vegan) dessert that he would enjoy.  He’d raved about a bacon and jalapeno cheesecake he’d eaten recently… challenge accepted!

First things first (the cheesecake recipe will come later),  here is the recipe for that awesome Bacon!

bacon3Bacon Done Right

Ingredients:

  • 1c coconut chips
  • 1t tamari or soy sauce
  • 1t maple syrup
  • 1t liquid smoke
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1/2t pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 330F* and line a small baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together your liquid ingredients.  Now add your coconut and give it all a good stir; I let it sit for about five minutes to make sure it got a good soak.  Now sprinkle the mixture with paprika and pepper.  Spread the marinated coconut on the parchment paper and bake it for 30 minutes.  After 15 min, give it a good shake and then bake for the remaining time.

bacon2*To keep it raw, go ahead and use a dehydrator.

This bacon was so stinkin’ good!  My dad and brother couldn’t believe it wasn’t bacon.  And my dad (who not only loves meat, but it also not fond of dessert) demanded I leave the leftovers for him.  Holy validation!  I could not be happier than to win the approval of one of my toughest critics; love my dad!  And most definitely love my family for being my beta testers.

I'll have seconds...
I’ll have seconds…

All I can say is, love, value, and appreciate the family you have for as long as you can. And this happy piggy family thanks you for not choosing pork!

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