Wild West Rice Salad

The Wild West Rice salad is found in the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. To be completely honest, I have never used a cook book so much. I am quickly making my way through trying most recipes from Run Fast Eat Slow. 

Maybe it’s because there is so much warmth in the air, maybe it’s because all of my favorite veggies are now in season. But, I have been craving salads lately. And it is so much fun trying different types of salads. The combination of fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins are endless. 

I also have been whipping up my own salad dressings. Store bought dressings are not worth the money. In most cases they are packed full of sugar. It’s so much easier and less expensive to make your own. 

So here we go… Wild West Rice Salad. 

Facts: The best part about this Salad is that it is a great recovery meal for vegans. Because of the combination of the wild rice and edamame, this Salad, has all nine essential amino acids. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • double batch of Creamy Apple Cider Vinaigrette 
  • 6 or more radishes, diced
  • 3 cups of Kale or other greens 
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 6 scallions, skice
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • (I also included tomatoes, but feel free to add anything you would like, if you are not vegan, add a high quality goat cheese for extra protein.)

DIRSECTIONS

  1. Cook rice, add cooked rice to salad bowl, mix with half of dressing and let cool.
  2. Once rice is cool, add other veggies.
  3. Add more dressing, toss and combine.
  4. Top with goat cheese (if you aren’t vegan) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 shallot minced, or garlic 
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Dressing lasts for 1 week in fridge. 

I know I will be enjoying this Salad for a couple of days! Hope you give it a try. 

Vegan Chocolate Nog Truffles 


Because of the dramatic Election, the holidays seem to have been overshadowed. Is this how everyone feels? Or is it just me because I live in Washington, DC. Well, we can not forget them! Thanksgiving is approaching – it’s next week. To get in the holiday spirit, I have been making Truffles. These Chocolate Nog Truffles cane from a recipe I found in Veg News. They are spiked with spicy rum and nutmeg. They scream, “It’s the Holidays!” They are also really easy to make, I promise.

Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 3/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dark or spicy rum
  • 1/2 cup sliver or chopped almonds
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegan shortening
  • Roasted almonds or toasted coconut flakes for garnish.

Here is what you do…

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add powder sugar and nutmeg. Beat until coarse crumbs form. Slowly pour in rum and bear until fluffy. Fold in sliver or chopped almonds. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove mixture from refrigerator and use hands to roll into truffle balls. Place balls on to baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. In a double broiler over medium heat melt chocolate and shortening. Stir and combine. 
  4. Remove truffle balls from refrigerator. Using a fork slowly lift truffle ball from baking sheet and dip it in the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Once all the truffles are covered with chocolate top each truffle with a roasted almond or toasted coconut. 
  6. Place back in the refrigerator and let cool until chocolate mixture has harden into a shell. 
  7. Share with friends and family. Enjoy! 

I brought these Truffles into work and everyone loved them. These would also be great to bring to any holiday party. 

What is your favorite holiday snack, dessert, or dish? Has anyone made Truffles before? 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Eating for two: What to eat while pregnant!? Pregnancy Cravings, and good reads!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

EATING FOR TWO

In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was really concerned on what to eat, and what foods/drinks to avoid? I already ate a¬†healthy, mostly plant based, organic diet. But I knew I drank too much caffeine, and struggled with drinking enough water. I also worried that I wasn’t eating enough. Being pregnant means, it is no longer just about me. I have become less selfish, and put my needs aside, thinking mainly of what will nurture the new life, that is developing and growing daily.

I am lucky that Thanksgiving and Christmas were during the early stages of my pregnancy. I eat really well during the holidays. All of the food I cook is organic and locally grown. My plate was filled with a variety of different foods, everything super colorful and in season.

Whether you are pregnant or not, most of the same nutritional rules apply. ¬†For example… You are what you eat. Eat your colors. Purchase things that are local and in season. Avoid the nasty – preservatives, pesticides, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and GMOs. ¬†And although this may be obvious, limit your caffeine intake, absolutely no smoking, no alcohol, and no drugs.

In the beginning there were some things that totally through me off. My doctor told me it is safest to eat pasteurized foods. The reason why is that the process of pasteurizing kills harmful bacteria. This meant no “raw milk” soft cheeses, no farmers market honey, no free range local eggs (unless they are cooked all the way through.)

This made me read labels a little more closely. I shop at farmers markets, and organic grocery stores, so this may surprise you, but some things are not pasteurized. Some soft cheeses like feta and goat cheese are made from raw milk. Organic free range local eggs are raised on pasture, but are not pasteurized. I still eat free range local eggs, but I just cook them well. I loved poached eggs before, but for the time being, I am making egg scrambles and frittatas.

Although, many eat vegetarian and vegan during pregnancy, my doctor wanted me to eat well balanced meals. So for me, to easily achieve balance and make sure I am getting enough protein, I decided to include organic meat, eggs, and dairy (greek yogurt, and cream cheese) to my daily diet. It’s no longer just about me and my needs, I’m eating for two.

When it came to fish, I was confused. I always eat wild caught, but because of dangerous mercury levels found in wild caught fish, it is almost safer to eat farmed raised fish during pregnancy. The reason why is because it is mercury free and more controlled.  Although this may be true, I still have been eating wild caught fish, but in moderation. Oh and raw fish and sushi is off limits.

I also am a tea drinker. However, because I am limiting my caffeine intake I only drink a small amount of black tea a day. When pregnant you can have up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. I normally keep my caffeine intake under 40 milligrams.

Two of my favorite types of tea are Chia tea and Green tea. Chai tea has star anise in it. To much star anise can cause contractions. Green tea is also controversial because some say to much green tea can make it more difficult for the body to absorb folic acid, which is essential. However, Raspberry Leaf tea is the best tea to drink while pregnant. Midwives have claimed for years that it strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles, resulting in an easier labor.

I found three books really helpful…

GOOD READS

  1. The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy, by Allison Tannis and Jonny Bowden. This book is very straight forward. It basically lists the healthiest foods to eat for each trimester and beyond. It talks in detail of why each food is beneficial. It also talks about some to avoid and the reasons why.
  2. The Kind Mama, by Alicia Silverstone. This book was by far one of my favorite baby books. Alicia Silverstone is very green, earthy, hippy like. She is also a vegan.  This book not only talks about fertility and pregnancy nutrition, but it also has many recipes to try. She takes the book beyond nutrition, by discussing co-sleep method, what to register for, how to make your own belly balm, prenatal yoga, and much more.
  3. Skinny Bitch, Bun in the Oven, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.¬†This book is a gutsy guide to becoming one hot healthy mother. These are the girls who wrote Skinny Bitch, a book I read a couple years ago. They use Skinny Bitch in the title of this book simply because it is their brand. Trust me they do not expect us pregnant ladies to be skinny, and they open the book saying that now is not the time to worry about dieting and body image. ¬†These ladies are also vegan, so be aware because they get really into it. However, they are also quite hilarious. I’m still currently reading the book, so I’ll get back to you once I am finished with a final review.

FOOD CRAVINGS

One of the top questions that every pregnant lady gets asked is What foods have you been craving? Honestly,¬†I haven’t had any weird cravings, however, all this baby wants is fruit. In the fall/winter I ate a lot of apples and citrus fruit. Now that it is summer time I am eating watermelon, honey dew melon, peaches, strawberries, and other berries.

To get my daily dairy intake, I eat a lot of organic greek yogurt. When I traveled to Greece a couple years ago, I remember the greek yogurt being amazing. Wallaby Organic yogurt reminds me of the taste and texture of the kind I ate in Greece. It has become my favorite kind, because it is high in protein, (17 g) but very low in sugar (4 g). I get the plain flavor, and add berries.¬†YogurtNow that the farmer’s markets are up and running, I stop by as much as I can. After yoga, on Saturday mornings, I have been stopping by the Del Ray farmer’s market, and picking up some amazing strawberries. I have never eaten strawberries so sweet. I added blackberries and raspberries for a great berry mix.

berries

 

I also am pretty obsessed with tomatoes. I eat them every day. Sometimes, I will eat a bagel with cream cheese and tomatoes. Other times I will eat tomatoes and hummus. But on Saturday, after yoga, while at the farmer’s market, I spotted these beauties. I am also growing tomatoes in my garden.tomatos

While walking though the farmer’s markets, I immediately started to think of lunch, a tomato sandwich would be perfect. I haven’t eaten a tomato sandwich in years. The way I use to eat it as a kid was simple, white bread, mayo, tomatoes and salt. I went to MOM’s organic market in search for organic sour dough bread, and a healthy alternative to mayo. I found Earth Balance.

earth balance

This mindful mayo is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free. There are no preservatives. It is vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free!  It is awesome!

I decided it was time to clip some of my basil I have been growing in my garden. basil

So the ingredients for the ultimate tomato sandwich is organic sour dough bread, tomatoes, basil, earth balance mayo, sea salt.

Drinking while Pregnant

When it comes to drinks, it can be quite boring during pregnancy. ¬†I don’t drink soda on a regular, and I can’t drink too much iced tea because of the caffeine. So I have been drinking lots of water. To spice things up I add fruit to my water. However, a coworker introduced me to La Croix sparkling water.

sparkling water

My favorite flavors are the coconut and the passionfruit. This sparkling water is awesome because you feel like you are drinking a soda. However, there are no calories, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and it is sodium free.

So that is my answer, to the oh so popular question, “Have you had any cravings?” Some say you crave what your body is in lack of. Others¬†say while pregnant you crave what your body and baby need. If this is true, maybe those who don’t have any real cravings, are eating a well balanced diet and living a stress free healthy lifestyle.

Thats all I can hope for!

And always remember… ¬†When pregnant you are eating for two. But that doesn’t mean you need a ton of extra calories, it is more about the quality of food you eat.

“The cleaner, more cell-loving, oxygen pumping, nutrient-rocking food your put in your body, the better your body can do what you ask of it.” – Alicia Silverstone : The Kind Mama

What foods have you been eating lately?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

a Merry Christmas recap

Christmas is over. (sigh)

I have mixed feelings about this.

In a way, this Christmas season was stressful.¬†Thanksgiving was so late. Christmas came so fast. I was super busy at work. I felt like there was no time to shop, plan, cook, chop down a tree, send out cards etc… The on going Christmas music started to annoy me.

But in another light, I am sad to see it go.

I love shopping at the Christmas market in DC. And seeing a random person dressed up as Santa really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

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Also during Christmas time. My house looks amazing with classy Christmas decorations. I loved all of the Christmas cards I received. They are my favorite!

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My dogs love Christmas more than anyone I know.

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Especially my maltese.

8979_10102182913590716_3493053952912861067_nNow that my husband and I are married. My sister thought it would be a fun idea to start a new Christmas tradition. So this year, I hosted Christmas Eve. We drank Cranberry Champagne.10247303_10102192559724786_2230103488879420499_n

We ate my homemade¬†lasagna – the sauce was my nana’s recipe.

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On Christmas day, we woke up early, and went to my mom’s to open presents. We all gave and received some great gifts.

Later we ate lobsters for Christmas dinner.

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I baked Christmas cookies.

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Then for dessert we ate my homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. The cake is gluten free.

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Everything was delicious.

The day after Christmas, my sister and I did a little shopping. I definitely have a new outfit to wear every day of this week. She got some great stuff too. I know this isn’t a fashion blog, but I’ll post my outfits on instagram just in case you are interested in what I wear when I am not in workout clothes. ¬†Oh p.s. Did you know free people now has workout clothes? They are pretty stylish.

On Saturday, we did Christmas with my husbands parents. It was fun to open more presents, and hear all about their lovely time spent in Idaho. Lucky for them, they had a White Christmas.

At the end, of it all, my favorite part about the holiday is eating good food, drinking good drinks, and hanging out with loved ones. Oh and watching some great Christmas movie.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! 

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? Did you receive any awesome fitness related presents?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Got leftover Turkey? Make Stock!

Another wonderful Thanksgiving came and went. The feast was amazing full of my favorite fall flavors. ¬†However, just like everyone else, my fridge is over packed with tons of leftovers. Well if you are like me, with a stuffed fridge, questioning what to do with all of those leftovers, you’ve come to the right blog.

I’ve got your back!

Lets start with ideas for your leftover Turkey.

There are lots of things you can do with your leftover turkey. Some like to go traditional, by making a good old turkey sandwich. My husband, however got a little bit more creative by making a turkey pot pie from scratch. I’m so proud of him… This is what we ate for dinner.¬†turkey pot pie

The turkey pot pie was delicious, but it only used some of the left over turkey meat. We still have a lot more meat to use and the whole turkey bones and all. The last thing I am going to do is let those bones go to waste…

At this point, some of you may have your jaws dropped… gasping, “You eat Turkey?” I have said it before, but I will say it again, although, I eat mostly a plant based diet, and almost always experiment with vegan and vegetarian cooking, I do not label myself as a vegetarian. I occasionally eat meat, as long as it is organic/wild caught. I also am working on being more balanced in my life, and definitely believe at certain times in life, organic animal based protein is necessary in moderation.

Moving on…

Lets talk about STOCK…

I use vegetable stock all the time. I use it in my butternut bisque/soup recipe. I use it in replace of water in any recipe that calls for water. It actually really does give that extra flavor. However, two weeks ago, I made my very own vegetable stock for pho soup, and (not bragging, just stating the truth) it was over the top good. Store bought vegetable stock just doesn’t even compare to made from scratch vegetable stock. I was almost a little mad when I discovered this… because now I am going to always have to make my own, or at least have some homemade stock on hand. The key to this is to make it in bulk and then freeze it.¬†

Another reason why I prefer making my own is because I have more control on what I put in it. No additives or preservatives like the store bought kind, plus I can really customize it to my taste buds. Depending on what dish I am making, I can add a little more of one spice. It is also much more economical. Save money, make a big pot of stock, and freeze it so you always have it on hand.

There are also amazing health benefits to stock, especially chicken stock (as long as it is organic.) According to Sarah Wilson from IQS…

  • Stock is full of minerals and electrolytes, in a form easy for the body to assimilate.
  • Stock has been know for centuries as a healing remedy for the digestive track because of it’s soothing effect on areas of inflammation in the gut.
  • Stock is a de-stressor. It repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine.
  • It is great for anyone with Thyroid and autoimmune issues.

Now there are many types of stocks other than Vegetable. There is Chicken, Turkey, Bone, Fish… the list goes on. And for the same reasons, I listed above, it is better to make your own.

But because Thanksgiving has just ended, the odds are you have some leftover Turkey on hand…

So now lets use those turkey bones and make some Stock!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped up roughly
  • 1 white onion, chopped up roughly
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped up roughly
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • garlic cloves
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 bay leaf
  • Turkey bones (use organic turkey)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Remove turkey meat from bones, leaving some on if desired.
  • Cut turkey meat in small pieces and place a side. (This meat can be used later for turkey soup.)
  • Place all ingredients in a big pot over the stove. (or crock pot, slow cook)
  • Fill pot with water to cover all ingredients, (about 20 cups of water.)
  • Bring liquid to a boil, continue to boil for 20-30 minutes.
  • After 20-30 minutes of boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 3-6 hours. 3 is the minimum, but 6 hours is ideal for ultimate flavor and health benefits.
  • Once simmered for the time you choose, strain all ingredients. Now you have Turkey Stock!

Note: You can use immediately for soup, or you can store in the freezer.

stock 1

stock 2stock 3Have you made Stock form Scratch? What’s your favorite kind of Stock? Leave a comment below and let me know what you do with your leftover Turkey!

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe

My November Goal post revealed my food goal for November, which is to explore and test my Thanksgiving recipes instead of winging them the night before or day of. So I have been in search for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe -something new and different that my family has yet to try.  To find this recipe, I have been reading tons of magazines and blogs. While browsing Bon Appetit I finally came across a Sweet  Potato Cheesecake Recipe.

thanksgiving mags

 

I don’t bake much, but I have been lately. Having a Kitchen Aid Mixer and a Vitamix has made me more adventurous in the Kitchen. These tools are must haves and I can’t believe I use to cook and attempt to bake with out them. They save me in the kitchen.

Okay, lets talk about Sweet Potatoes…

When baking this recipe there were so many firsts for me.

It was my first time making a Cheesecake and using a springform pan. First time ever using sweet potato as a dessert. And it was my first time doing a water bath.

So lets define some important tools you must know before you continue on…

Springform pan: is a type of bakeware which features sides that can be removed from the base. This is a must have when making cheesecake. Like any product, you can find one to fit your budget. I got mine at Sur La Table for under $15.

Water bath: At this point your cheesecake is already assembled in the springform pan. Now you are going to place it (cheesecake springform pan and all) in a bigger baking pan. You will boil water over the stove. Once water comes to a boil you will pour the boiling water into the bigger baking pan until it is about 1 inch deep up the side of the springform pan. Then you will transfer the cheesecake and water bath to the oven and bake. The water bath keeps the cheesecake moist and prevents drying and cracking.

cheesecake

 

So there are two parts to this cake, the Oat-Pecan Crust and the Cheesecake Filling.

Oat-Pecan Crust

INGREDIENTS:

all ingredients are organic

  • 2/3 cup whole pecans
  • 1/3 cup large rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats.)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Combine all dry ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, slowly increase to Variable 6 for 5 seconds.
  • Bring back down to Variable 1 and pour melted butter in though the lid opening.
  • Pulse until everything is blended.
  • Transfer crust mixture to a 9″ springform pan, pressing it into the bottom and 1″ up the sides.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Place on wire rack to cool.

Cheesecake Filling

INGREDIENTS:

All ingredients are organic

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1.5 lbs or 24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Peel and Cup the sweet potatoes, boil them until soft.
  • Combine all ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, increase to variable 10 until all is blended
  • Start water bath, (for additional notes check above) bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Position the springform pan inside large baking pan/dish.
  • Pour filling into crust.
  • Pour water in the outer baking pan/dish until it reaches 1″ up the springform pan.
  • Transfer cheesecake in the water bath to the oven and bake for 60 minutes, until edges are firm.
  • Remove cheesecake from water bath and cool cheesecake on cooling rack for 1 hour.
  • Then transfer cake to refrigerator and cool completely for 4 hours.
  • When ready, run a thin knife around sides, remove springform pan sides.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Important note: Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. If it is cold the eggs will not mix well. It will be lumpy.

 

cheesecake

 Wondering how this taste!? Well it turned out delicious. I brought it to work and it was gone in 5 minutes. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? What are you making for Thanksgiving? Have your tried sweet potatoes as a dessert?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Goodbye October, Hello November!

Halloween has come and went.

And, you probably feel like this right now…

halloween candyBut thats okay, because day light savings time gave us an extra hour of sleep… So now we are well rested and ready to take on November!
Hello-november-images

November is here, and I am excited. It is probably my favorite months. 

These are my top 3 reasons why I heart November and my November goals…

 

1.    I love November because it is so damn colorful!

On the first day of November, my husband and I left the city to spend some time in the country. The fun thing about living in the DC area is that you only have to drive 90 minutes out and you hit beautiful country roads. Virginia is also very historical! Lots of history are among these country roads.

fall leaves country roads2.   Another reason, I love November is because it is so damn tasty.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. And this November I will be doing lots of cooking. I want to come up with some fabulous new additions to our traditional Thanksgiving. So be prepared for lots of food posts.

3.   And the final reason, I love November is because it is the perfect month to run. 

I wake up every morning with a strong desire to hit the trail. There is only a short time that the leaves are this colorful and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, soon it will be really cold and I’ll have to pull out my winter running gear. So these are the last weeks where the weather will be perfect for running. Also, I must run, to counter act all of the cooking, food testing, eating, tasting I will be doing in order to find the prefect Thanksgiving addition. So I will be participating in Pile on the Miles. (More on that later.)

NYC MARATHONAlso CONGRATS to everyone who ran the NYC Marathon! You guys rocked it out!

What is your favorite thing about November? What dishes are you eating this Thanksgiving? Are you going to pile on the miles?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

The story of why I stopped drinking Milk & a Cashew Cream Recipe!

When I was little, I refused to drink milk. I still remember the day my older sister scarred me for life. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and we were both about to down a glass of white rich creamy milk, when she said, “You know, thats from a cow’s boob.” She ran off smirking, when I on the other hand, immediately put the cup down with a look of disgust. I vowed, from that day forward, I would never drink a glass of milk again.

Now a days, if you don’t want to drink milk, or heavy cream you don’t have to. There are tons of dairy alternatives right on your local grocery store shelves. They are available and the variety is endless. However, there are sneaky additives to some of the most popular brands, and it is just as easy and quick to make your own, fresh at home.

When I started to cook more vegan and plant based meals, I noticed that most of the dishes that required heavy cream such as Clam Chowders, used Cashew Cream.

I first came across Cashew Cream in the, Isa Does It, cookbook. But today, I found another variation on the blog I have been reading, My New Roots.

Can you believe I made that creamy goodness from the raw organic cashew nuts sitting in the bowl behind.

Cashew Cream

 

So here it is, the Cashew Cream recipe…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  • Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and let soak for a minimum of 4 hours at room temperature or overnight refrigerated.
  • Once cashews have soaked, drain water.
  • Place soaked cashews in Vitamix, and add water, garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt.
  • Blend until completely smooth.

That’s all you do.

That’s it!

Enjoy as a replacement to (dairy) heavy cream in all of your recipes!

Have you made Cashew Milk before? What is your favorite dairy replacement?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

Plant Strong 2Plant Strong

 

It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Roasted Chickpeas

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This photo got a ton of attention when I posted it to Facebook and Instagram last night. People requested the recipe and wanted to know all the details from what kind of seasoning I use to if they get crunchy.

Why I decided to make these…

On Saturday, when I was at DC VegFest, they handed out free samples of this snack. They tasted delicious, and the minute I saw them, I knew I have seen them before. In my favorite cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson has a recipe for these. So instead of buying a bag at VegFest, I decided to make them myself.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas. (Drain and dry them the best you can.)
  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons hot paprika (I didn’t have hot paprika on hand, so I used red pepper flakes as a substitute. When using red pepper flakes I only used 0.5 teaspoon.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary. (I used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. (I used dried)
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Pour the chickpeas on a baking sheets, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Check the chickpeas at 10 minutes shaking the baking sheet, making sure they aren’t stuck to the sheet. Continue baking for the rest of the time.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine evoo, salt, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, paprikas, and red pepper flakes if using.
  • Once chickpeas have baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and put them in the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix together.
  • Place paprika covered chickpeas on baking sheet and put in the oven, baking for an additional 5-10 minutes. (The longer you leave them in the oven, the crunchier they get. Just make sure they don’t burn.)
  • Let cool for a couple minutes and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!

*** All of the ingredients I used are organic, and non GMO. ***

Why I love these…

I absolutely love these chickpeas. They are a wonderful alternative to potato chips, kale chips, or popcorn. They are a low in sugar, high in protein snack. You can eat them by themselves, or add them to salad, soups, or even on top of grains. And although, I flavored them with paprika,  you can really chose any type of seasoning or flavors you are craving. A friend of mine, commented on facebook that she made hers with garlic and grated parm. So try away, get creative!

Have you tried roasted chickpeas before? What is your favorite seasoning? How do you flavor you roasted chickpeas?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

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