recipe

Chocolate Cherry Nib Smoothie Recipe

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Recently Ka’Chava sent me some free samples to review of their Tribal Superfood Plant Based Whole Meal Powder.

It’s Vegan, Gluten free, Soy Free and has zero preservatives. It boasts 24 grams of protein, 9 grams of Fiber, Omegas, Antioxidants, Probiotics, Super Greens, Adaptogens, Vitamins and Minerals. And it tastes great to boot! I’ve tried several plant protein powders and many seem grainy or bland or gritty. Ka’Chava blends smoothly and tastes great! It also contains a good variety of nutrients to get you through your day. Perfect for busy mornings where you need a grab and go breakfast that will actually keep you sustained.

This week Whole Foods Santa Cruz has cherries for a great price so I decided to incorporate them into a smoothie. I definitely recommend picking some up for this weekend. A great Memorial Weekend treat. This was delicious!

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Chocolate Cherry Nib Smoothie

1/2 cup fresh pitted cherries

1/2 a large frozen banana

1 scoop (1/2 a serving) of Ka’Chava Chocolate Protein

1 tsp raw dark cocoa powder

1 cup cashew milk unsweetened

1 tsp cacao nibs

4 drops liquid stevia (optional-I would also switch it for a pitted date)

Blend! It was cold and sweet and perfect for my sweet tooth. The Ka’Chava helps make the smoothie thick and filling.

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Last week I managed to pull a muscle somehow and I’ve been in some pain whenever I walk. I’ve been resting a lot and on the doctor’s recommendation I took some pain medication which has definitely helped. Hopefully I’ll be back to 100% soon so I can be active again.

Looking forward to the long weekend. (no classes Monday)! Hopefully I will be doing something fun!

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Tofu Picatta: An Old Family Favorite done Vegan

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A couple weeks ago we received a bag of fancy Morrel mushrooms from a family friend who had gone mushroom hunting. These cost $38 a pound!!! Seriously. So we were lucky to get some for free to try. My mom, dad, and I all love mushrooms, but we usually stick to crimini, button, or portabello.

Right away my dad wanted to make picatta! An old family favorite. We had chicken picatta a lot growing up (I try not to dwell on the meat I ate growing up). But it was actually my dads idea to try to do a meat free version with extra firm tofu and that definitely made me happy. I love when my family is excited to try meat free meals!

We served it up with lentils, and sautéed morels with zucchini and onion. It was so good! My dad even said he liked the tofu version better than the chicken 🙂 Veg for the win!

Tofu Picatta

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIngredients

1 block extra firm organic tofu

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

dash sea salt

dash black pepper

1 tbsp EVOO

1 cup low sodium veggie broth

1 tbsp garlic

1/4 cup vegan white wine

juice from half a lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tbsp capers

other half a lemon thinly sliced

finely chopped parsely for topping

Steps

  1. Press tofu for about 10-15 minutes. I used a tofu press, but you can always do it with heavy books 🙂
  2. Place flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. slice tofu and coat in mixture on both sides.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in pan on medium high and once hot add the tofu slices. Cook until golden on both sides. About 6 minutes total. IMG_2874
  4. Remove tofu from pan and add in wine to pan. Add minced garlic. And simmer for 30 seconds. Then add in broth, lemon juice, capers, and heat for 1 minute. Add tofu slices back into pan so they can soak in the flavor. IMG_2876
  5. Add lemon slices onto top of cooking tofu.IMG_2878
  6. Remove from pan and serve garnished with parsley.

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Enjoy!

Saturdays in Santa Cruz+ Coconut, Almond, Pistachio Granola Recipe

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Every other Saturday morning I get up early, grab breakfast and rush out to the bus stop to make my way downtown. I spend my Saturday mornings volunteering at the Downtown library with the Tails to Tales program. It’s a really sweet program where kids read to service dogs and promotes literacy. A lot of kids may not feel comfortable reading to adults or other children, so this provides an opportunity for them to practice and enhance their skills in a nonjudgmental environment

Overall it’s just a wonderful way to begin my weekend and get out of the apartment nice and early! This Saturday after I finished volunteering I ran some errands around downtown and then begin to feel the hunger bug striking and was craving a nice big salad with lots of fixings. Of course Cafe Gratitude could fix that!

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And since it was so sunny I ordered it to go and enjoyed it at a table outside!

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Their I am Fulfilled salad loaded with beets, carrots, avocado, almond parmesan, and teriyaki almonds with a raw carrot flax cracker and goji chipotle dressing! With a small carrot, pear, ginger juice. I love that they source local and organic ingredients and everything is vegan!

The day was simply too nice to waste so before I headed home I decided to take a nice long walk out along Westcliff Drive. My favorite view in Santa Cruz! Plus it’s always fun to watch the surfers on these really sunny breezy days!

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Today the water was full of surfers and Westcliff Drive was populated with bikers and dog walkers 🙂

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I got about an hour of reading in before I walked back to catch a bus up to campus. It was wonderful to soak in some sun and watch the ocean waves. I’m committing myself to going out here at least once a week for the rest of the school year. I have this beautiful view at my fingertips! Why waste it?

Now on to the granola! I LOVE whipping up a batch of homemade granola to have on hand during the week. it’s super simple and fun to experiment with whatever I have on hand! This week I made Coconut, Almond, Pistachio Granola

  • 1 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond and pistachios
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup Image

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add in oil, almond butter, and sweetener of choice and mix well!

Pour onto a baking sheet (I use silicone baking sheets when I make granola, but parchment paper would work!)

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Bake for between 12-20 minutes checking about every 5 minutes and stirring on pan until golden brown! Allow to cool completely before moving into a storage container. ImageImage

Great on top of non dairy yogurt, sprinkled on top of smoothies, or even eaten with some almond milk and fresh fruit! Or straight out of the container as I often do

Enjoy!