Sunday, December 7, 2014

Almond Milk + Almond Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Every other morning I make a fresh batch of almond milk to use in my smoothies, baking, etc.  I don't like the idea of drinking the store bought one regularly.  I do use it in baking from time to time but only as a back up. Many varieties of packaged almond milk contain sugar, "natural flavor" (God only knows what that might be), carrageenan, and possibly some preservatives not even listed on the label.  Not to mention, every second week when I carry my blue bin out to the end of laneway I see how many tetra packs, cartons and packages I could have possibly avoided  - almond milk being one of them.  It 's really quite simple to make and it's absolutely delicious!


1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
2 cups filtered water
1-2 medjool date

Soak almonds over night.  Drain the water and place in a food processor or high powered blender with 2 cups fresh filtered water and one or two pitted medjool dates (depending on how sweet you'd like it).  Blend for 30-60 seconds.  Strain through a nut milk bag (I bought mine at Simply Raw Express) or cheese cloth.  Store in a glass or stainless steel container in the fridge.  Use within 4-5 days.

When you're finished making your almond milk you'll be left with a healthy bunch of almond meal.  It seems such a shame to throw it away so I invented a cookie recipe, of course, to use up the leftover almond meal.
1 1/4 cups almond meal
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together egg, coconut oil and vanilla.  Pour egg mixture into the mixing bowl with the almond meal and mix together.  Refrigerate batter for 3-4 hours or overnight.  Grease cookie sheet and use your hands or a spoon to form into balls and place on the cookie sheet.  Press them down slightly to flatten. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Vegan High Protein Quinoa Lentil Bowl

Wow!  I just invented this dish tonight and it's so amazing!!!  The secret ingredient is peanut butter (or any nut butter).  I mean, what doesn't taste good with peanut butter!?!??!  If you are what you eat, then I am 85% peanut butter because, as a child, I ate peanut butter sandwiches three meals a day, everyday, from about age six to age seventeen.....and can you believe it?  I'm still alive - and well!

I recently visited Hawaii and found the most amazing peanut butter I've ever had in my life.  It's called North Shore Goodies Coconut Peanut Butter.  I literally purchased over $100 worth of peanut butter while I was there.  I bought so much that my bag was overweight when I went to check in for my flight.  There was no way I was leaving that peanut butter behind so I paid the extra $35 and brought it back with me. 


1/2 cup raw sesame oil
1/2 cup soaked almonds or cashews
3 tbsp. gluten free tamari
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or almond butter)

1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups spinach or chard
Salt to taste

In a blender or food processor mix first five ingredients (sesame oil, nuts, tamari, maple syrup, and nut butter).  Blend until smooth and set aside.

In a medium saucepan bring lentils and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

In a separate saucepan bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in a pan.  Saute onions, garlic and peppers until tender.  Add spinach or chard and cook until wilted.

In a ceramic dish or large bowl combine all ingredients and mix together well.  Serve warm.