A Grateful Life

recipes and tips for better living

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Pumpkin Spice + Everything Nice: No Bake Pumpkin Spice Squares


It's that time of year again....

Last year the Limited Edition Flavor of Pumpkin Spice Shakeology sold out in LESS THAN A DAY!   And TODAY it hits my web-store shelves for a VERY limited time only (while supplies last).  So for all of you PSL lovers out there, make sure you get a box or two ASAP and don't just do a double take on this recipe, MAKE IT.  You'll love it.   It'll require about 15 minutes to throw together these simple ingredients and NO BAKING TIME!!  The crust has FOUR EASY ingredients and the filling has 5 SIMPLE ingredients.


You're going to love it!



CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted shredded coconut
4 Pitted Medjool Dates
1 Tbsp + 1 extra tsp organic melted coconut oil

CRUST DIRECTIONS:

Place all 4 above ingredients in a food processor with an S-blade and blend until well blended and sticky.  Press this mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 cooking pan that has been lightly sprayed with oil (or lined with parchment paper)



FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups canned light coconut milk
1/2 cup of water
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (preferably from grass fed cows or you can try an agar based vegan alternative)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

FILLING DIRECTIONS:

Add the coconut milk and water to a saucepan, and BEFORE heating, sprinkle in the gelatin and allow it to bloom for 5-10 minutes.  From there, place saucepan over med heat for 3-4 minutes until the gelatin has dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.   Whisk the pumpkin puree in.  Then Whisk the Shakeology in.  

Pour the liquid mixture over the crust and set in the refrigerator.  Allow to set for about 3-4 hours, or until fully set.  Cuts into eight 2x2 bars.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.






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Monday, September 2, 2019

Super Simple, Delicious Beet Hummus



Are you drooling yet?

As someone who has been healthy-lifestyle and food blogging now for 10 years, I'm no stranger to stumbling upon drool-worthy photos on the web and the gram then digging in for the recipes and finding them to be 10 ingredients and 20 steps long.  Who has time for that?

As you know I'm all about quick, healthy recipes and meals that actually fit into a busy girl's lifestyle, and compliment our level of patience with prepping and cooking in the kitchen.

So for those of you who love a dash of PINK on your plate, and those of you who love BEETS, here's a SUPER SIMPLE BEET HUMMUS recipe that will have your palette dancing, your pink-loving-heart beating overtime, and satiate your desire to keep your kitchen and prep time minimal.

INGREDIENTS:

1. a container of any traditional hummus or baba ganouj (simply pick a store bought hummus that you love)

2. frozen, thawed sliced beets

DIRECTIONS:

Steam the beets to warm.  Add the container of hummus and the thawed beets to a food processor with the S blade.  Blend and serve, or add any additional flavors you want (such as more tahini, lemon, sea salt, garlic -- all the ingredients that are traditionally already in your hummus).

I'm not a big 'measurer' in the kitchen unless I'm baking (which let's be real, I rarely do), so if I had to guesstimate on the amounts of hummus and beets I used I'd say about a half of a bag of frozen beets to a container of hummus.





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Monday, June 3, 2019

5 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Diet + Shifting into Higher Plant Based Eating


Shifting into a higher plant based diet, or even pulling yourself out of a dietary rut doesn't have to be arduous, boring or overwhelming.  Sure it'll take a little extra effort on your part to make change (as change is never 'easy'), but it's simpler than you think and totally WORTH IT.  Here's how to get shifting... 


1.  Focus on what you CAN have, not what you can't.  It's really easy when you're making changes to get hyper-focused on the things you're aiming to eliminate from your diet (many of them likely processed foods with flavor additives which the food industry purposely gets us addicted to).  Instead try focusing on all of the healthy plant abundant foods you love.  Shifting your focus from what you're telling yourself you 'can't have'  to what you 'can have' is such a simple solution and it gives you winning results every time. Plus, in the end, you CAN have it all (unless you find it's a trigger food, then I suggest getting rid of it) -- it's just a matter of moderating how much you have and being consistent with that practice. 


2.  Master the Quest for Crunch!  There is something so satisfying about CRUNCHING foods.  It's one of the reasons chips and crackers fill the grocery isles and end up in most everyone's carts and pantries.  Finding healthy alternatives is simpler than you think.  Some of my favorite chip replacements are sliced bell peppers and endive leaves which both make perfect 'scoopers' for guacamole, hummus, dips and salsas, as well as jicama and carrot sticks.  Try my SIMPLE KALE CHIP RECIPE which gives you a salty, crunchy bang full of minerals, fiber, and antioxidants without a starchy, processed, or or high carb quality.  


3. Supplement Smart.  Investing in a few key supplements has always helped me take my nutrition more seriously, helps me to create a new routine around health, and fills in the nutritional gaps that happen to all of us from our Standard American Diet.  My favorite ways to supplement my diet are with a vegan protein, greens, and superfoods.  I just started using our new Plant Based Recover Protein which is hands down the best chocolate protein I've ever had, and have been a long time fan of the shakeology greens boost, and Vegan Shakeology which contains not just a spectrum of superfoods, but the pre and pro biotics, digestive enzymes and everything you need for gut and brain health.  The only other supplement I take daily outside those, is our pre-workout....and to be honest, that's less for health and more to have a healthy way to replace coffee and give me a ton of pep for my workouts (and life in general).


4. Think "Water First, Veggies Most".  Can I ask...when was the last time you drank a full 16 ounces of water?  We are a chronically dehydrated society, and often when you feel hungry, it's simply that you're dehydrated.  Drink half your body weigh in ounces of water daily, and always have 16 ounces before you eat.  It fills up your belly so you feel full faster, and therefore eat less.  When plating your foods, or reaching for snacks, keep the thought 'veggies most' in mind.  Whether they are Raw, Sautéed, Roasted, Air Fried, or what have you -- veggies are packed with FILLING FIBER, dense micro nutrition, and coupled with protein they keep you full and satisfied.  When you approach protein, look at it more as an accessory and if you're trying to swap in plant based alternatives consider lupini beans which are one of the highest protein rich, lower starch beans.  You can learn more about these concepts and get a winning VEGGIES MOST 30 day meal plan along with a ton of great recipes in our 2Bmindset E-course.


5.  Use my buddha bowl recipe ebook and Plant Based Slim Down Gide.  My downloadable ebooks are gifted to my new clients.  
If you're a current client and don't have a copy of my ebooks, you can find them in our resources in our online community page.  The buddha bowl recipe and Plant Based Slimdown guides are both vegan, gluten free, soy free, and offer simple delicious recipes packed with tempting dressings and divine bowls that are simple to make and fun to eat. 



xo m

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Egg-Banana Protein Pancakes with Berry Compote


A simple protein pancake made with just banana, eggs, and a little protein powder.  One of my favorites....

Ingredients:

for the pancake:
2 whole eggs
1 mashed banana
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp maple extract
a small squirt of liquid stevia
cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

For the compote:

1/3 cup of frozen raspberries and frozen strawberries
either a tbsp of lemon or water
a tiny dab of pastured butter (optional)

Toppings:

Cocoyo (coconut yogurt)
grain free granola
cacao nibs

Directions:

Mix the pancake ingredients in a bowl well.  Break up as much banana as possible.  Oil your pan with pastured butter or use a non stick pan and heat over medium.  Add the pancake batter in rounds (they will be slightly runny at first, you can form your pancake as it cooks).  Once the edges are solid and the base is flippable, flip your pancakes to cook both sides.

In a small sauce pan heat the compote ingredients, breaking up the berries and machine the larger ones with a fork.  Heat until completely thawed and warm.

Plate:

Stack your pancakes, top with a generous scoop of cocoyo, the berry compote, and a sprinkle of granola and cacao nibs
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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Satiating & Delicious Superfood Smoothie Bowls


I rarely eat smoothie bowls out.  There are two places I trust to make me a HEALTHY bowl, but most places make the smoothie bowls with fruit juice, sweetened plant milks, and loads of fruits which end up making your smoothie a sugar bomb, offering you a quick lift, and later a crash and a feeling of hunger.  Most smoothies and bowls you can get at 'healthy' juice bars have the sugar content creeping into 40-70 grams because of all the high sugar fruits and juices added.  That's the equivalent of about 10-16 tsp of sugar!

I'm often asked how I make my smoothie bowls so insanely delicious AND still filling.  In truth, my secret is pretty simple, I keep them low sugar, and make sure they have an ample amount of protein, nutrient density and some healthy fats.  Because I add Vegan Shakeology to all of my bowls, I don't have to overload my bowl with a ton of high sugar fruits to give it natural sweetness.  Rather, I add a half to a full scoop of superfood vegan shakeology and sometimes bump it with a half scoop of vanilla plant protein powder too (I only do that when I use just a 1/2 scoop of shakeology).  I also normally add some greens for alkalization and of course some healthy fats for more satiation.  Additionally, I make sure to top my bowl with items that are lower sugar/lower carb and crunchy, like coconut flakes, cacao nibs, nuts/seeds or a low sugar grain free granola.  This ensures you are CHEWING your smoothie.  The act of chewing sends a message to your brain that you are indeed eating and satiated.  When you're only drinking your food (such as when on a juice only cleanse, or if you choose to have smoothies without crunchy toppings), your body doesn't get the same signal of satiation, so you end up being hungry after or hungry again sooner. 

Whats in this Bowl?

The smoothie base is simple:
3/4 cup unsweetened Ripple Brand Plant Milk
a fistful of spinach
and ice -- all blended together

The Toppings are just cocoyo, grain free granola, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Simple Salmon and Greens Bowl


Eating Healthy, doesn't have to be complicated.  You don't have to be a know it all chef or even have many skills in the kitchen.  One of my favorite proteins is salmon.  It's one of the few fish I never tire of eating, and lucky for the less-than-saavy-kitcheness, you can buy salmon already cooked at many healthy grocers like Whole Foods, or you can buy a piece of smoked salmon at almost all grocery stores.

What makes a dish taste so good is the combination of flavors: sweet, salt, and fat, so having a great  dressing for your dishes that satiates the palette can be a big game changer.  I've found that by adding coconut aminos to most my dishes it gives it both the sweetness and saltiness our palettes love, and by adding avocado, it fills the gap on the desire for fats.  Salmon in and of itself is a fattier fish, so you may find that by preparing it with some seasoning salt, you really have little desire for additional fats, but I love my fats, so here's how I build a simple and delicious dish like this:

To half of the bowl add mixed greens / a salad blend 
Add a handful of micro greens 
Slice half an avocado in
Top with either grilled, poached, or smoked salmon

And my preferred dressings for this dish are either:

Green Goddess from the fridge section of Trader Joes with a splash of coconut aminos
or Primal Kitchens honey mustard dressing diluted with a little rice vinegar and coconut aminos

Finish with a light sprinkle of bagel seasoning.


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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Make At Home Superfood Infused Vegan Chocolate Bark


If there is one thing i have a deep love for that never seems to waiver, it's chocolate.  That said, i'm not an 'any-kind-of-chocolate' type of girl.  I don't care for the cheap drug-store chocolates, milk chocolate, or white chocolate.  Rather i should say, i'm not entirely opposed to them, but I just don't get the same 'feels' with them as i do with a deep, dark, rich, slightly sweet, decadent, melt in my mouth, take me to outer-space, type of darker-quality-chocolate.

I also prefer Vegan preparations of chocolate, given my intolerance to dairy, and i love when chocolate is infused with healing herbs, ayurvedic medicinals, coconut, and love....

Enter....my latest affair with chocolate....this simple make-at-home Superfood Infused Vegan Chocolate Bark.


INGREDIENTS:
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Coconut Butter (I used Nutivas coconut manna)
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 scoop or 1 packet VEGAN Chocolate Shakeology
2 Tbsp Vegan Vanilla Shakeology
Culinary Dried Rose Petals
Sea Salt

What i love about using Shakeology specifically for this recipe is that it infuses the bark with over 70 adaptogenic herbs and superfoods including some of my Ayurvedic favorites such as Ashwagandha and Moringa.  Ashwagandha is a rasayana meaning it's used to promote physical as well as mental health.  Specifically it's known to strengthen your immune system, increases your stamina, and has even been shown to help reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone that makes us store fat).  Moringa is a super-nutrient-dense green packed with anti-oxidants and poly-phenols.  It's known to help with inflammation, is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for helping to prevent or treat over 300 dis-eases.


DIRECTIONS:

Start with your base:  Coconut Oil and Coconut Butter
Melt them in a pot stirring over med-high heat stirring often 

Remove from the heat and add in the powdered cacao and shakeology, stirring until all little lumps are smoothed out.

Pour into a non stick container and let set in the fridge for a short moment to cool.
Before the top begins to harden add on any additional toppings; pictured here dried rose leaves and sea salt.  Other great options are goji berries or dried cherries, dried coconut, pumpkin seeds, and sea salt.  Once your toppings are on, place the bark pan in the freezer until frozen (freezes quite quickly).  Remove from freezer once set, break into chunks, and store in the freezer until ready to each (they do melt quite quickly).






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