A few weeks ago I attended a blogger event held at our local Whole Foods Market. Luckily for me, the healthy food specialist was there with some sweet treats. The highlight of the night was the raw strawberry “cheese” cake. Yup, I had 2 pieces! He gave me the recipe and I knew I had to make it for Christmas. Before I transitioned to a plant-based diet, I loved to bake for Christmas. Slowly, I have been finding great “vegan” recipes and trying them out. But,because I also lost 40+ pounds since the switch, I try to limit how often I make them.
Honestly the crust mixture alone is something I could eat by the spoonful.
I brought the “cheese” cake to dinner at my mother-in-laws. It was a hit even with my brother-in-law whose wife runs a bakery. The next day I brought it to my family’s Christmas. My mom loved it, my dad would have like it better if I did not tell him what was in it and my husband had to “try” it again to make sure he really liked it.
Would I make it again? Yes.
What is your favorite vegan, plant-based, or raw sweet treat?
I have been gardening for over 15 years. It all started when I lived in an apartment that had a field out back. That field was tended to by a seasoned farmer that still runs the farm stand up the street. He took me under his wing and helped me set up my first real veggie garden. Of course, I over did it that year. I bought more tomato and pepper plants than any one person should ever attempt to take care of. But my neighbors loved the free veggies they were able to get all summer.
Since that first garden, I have found a way to have some form of a plot every summer. One year was at a community garden and other years it was a tiny patch next to the garage. It all has evolved into my lovely raised bed garden (which might be encroaching a tad on my neighbors yard) that was built by the Hubs . This year I plant a variety of veggies but my favorite is the cherry tomato. Garden fresh cherry tomatoes are nothing like the ones bought at a grocery store and mine are now all organic! My son played a big role in plant selection when we went heirloom seed shopping. So this year we added, okra, rhubarb, amaranth, several varieties of beans and squash and of course pumpkins.
What’s in your garden?
I first made this wrap a couple a weeks ago and it was love at first bite! The base of the wrap is an avocado and white bean spread that doubles as a great dip for veggies or chips. The spread is easy to make with 5 ingredients.
One ripe avocado
1 can of white beans (canellini) rinsed and drained
juice of one lime
2 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
salt to taste
As you can see garlic did not want to be part of the group photo so I had to do a separate photo shoot. That is why I call this a sassy veggie wrap. Garlic gives it that special sassy bite!
I used my food processor to mix everything together to get a nice smooth spread. You can use a blender or mash it all together with a fork.
Next it was time to make the wrap. Using an offset spatula I spread the creamy mixture on a wrap. I topped that with shredded carrots and red cabbage. You can add any veggies you like. I rolled it up, cut it in two, plated it and of course took a picture. My husband has gotten used to the fact that I am going to take a picture of some of our meals.
There you have it. One of the new staple meals around this plant-based home!
Chipotle to the rescue! About once a week the hubs heads to Chipotle Grill
. From there I get a salad with rice, beans and guacamole. Their Guac is so good that you don’t need any type of salad dressing. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the salad…it is kind of already in my belly! Today I also had loads of chopped veggies. Getting my daily fill of fiber.
So I am looking forward to Day 5 of The Great Salad Challenge.
Today’s salad is a mock tuna salad made with chickpeas. This is a quick and easy dish to make for lunch or dinner. It even tastes great on pita chips. The one problem with this salad is that it does not photograph well. This photo does not do justice for such a tasty treat.
I used one can of chickpeas, well rinsed and drained. I put them in a bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola mayo, some chopped up pickles, a splash of cider vinegar and some salt and pepper to taste. Then I broke out my handy potato masher. I mashed all the ingredients together but you can use a fork, blender or food processor. It all depends on how smooth you want your salad. I left it a bit chunky this time and I also forgot to put in some celery.
Go ahead and have some fun with your chickpeas. Prepare them in the manner that you usually prepare tuna. You are going to really enjoy this and you may never crack open another can of tuna!
A couple of weeks ago we started getting more organized. We have always grocery shopped on Sundays and now we follow that with preparing some foods for the week. I even have the hubs pitching in and doing some cooking. It is fun to find recipes together and cook together and it keeps us from eat out too often.
So, I cooked up some quinoa then added black beans, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. I topped it with some lime juice and cumin. Such a fresh tasting salad. Today I paired it with the left-over kale salad. Two salads in one meal!!! If you have not tried quinoa it is a tasty grain packed with protein and has a nice texture.
I am already planning for tomorrow! Maybe something with chickpeas. Go on now…eat your veggies!
Engine 2 is hosting The Great Salad Challenge
on Facebook. The challenge for the entire week of January 22nd is to include one huge plant-strong salad every day in your meal plan. *Plant-strong = no animal products, no processed junk, no oil. This sounds fun to me!
The first salad I made is a favorite. It might sound a bit weird but it is a massaged kale salad. I put kale, and one avocado in the bowl first. With my hands, I worked the avocado into the kale. This makes the kale more tender and easier to digest and coats the kale with avocado goodness. Them I added 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 2 chopped green onions, the juice from one lemon and some white beans. AMAZING! We had that with some left over Indian bread. Quick, simple, and plant strong!
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of all of the end of the year specials and Top 10 lists. But, I do find myself reminiscing as each year comes to a close. I was just looking through photos from the year and I am amazed as how much my son has grown and matured in the past 12 months. We all continue to make personal growth and work on making life around the house more peaceful and productive.
I started the year really wanting to post more often. Then, the opportunity to work more closely with a friend on her blog arose. There I am posting 1 to 2 reviews a week and having fun with that. I also spent the Fall coaching my son’s soccer team. So, the MonkeyThreads blog got ignored. My shop continues to make sales and work is, work!
Every year is a new start and so is every day! So get on out there and make today a good day. Don’t wait for January 1st to start with a resolution or project.
Much Happiness and Success!
I love kale and avocado so, I think putting them together in a salad is a lovely idea. After trying the combo while eating out, I decided that I would try and make it at home.
I started with a bunch of green kale. I washed it, stemmed it and chopped it. Next I took a very tearfully journey with a strong red onion. I cut it in half and thinly sliced that half.
Now comes the fun part. Time to get intimate with your avocado. I took one ripe avocado, halved it and removed the seed. I squeezed it’s creamy goodness all over the kale and then….I massaged the avocado into the kale. Ok, I could have cut it and mixed it in with a spoon but the results of massaging it gives the kale a creamy coating that is amazing.
After the massaging was completed I added the chopped onion, the juice of 1/2 a lime, 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds. I gently mixed it all together and then let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. That allowed the kale to soften a bit.
While waiting for my salad to be ready to eat, I picked some fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden. They got chopped and added on top of my salad.
Let me tell you, this is one tasty salad. It makes a great side salad and is hearty enough to have for lunch with a slice of whole grain bread.
1 bunch of Kale
1 ripe avocado
1/2 red onion
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
I topped mine with cherry tomatoes but you can also add shredded carrots or bell peppers.
A few years ago we started a yearly tradition of packing up the families and heading to Cape Cod for a week. It is one week out of the year that my parents get our undivided attention. So, 6 adults and 4 kids trek to The Cape and we do our best to blend 3 households into 1 for a week. It goes smoothly for the most part..a few bumps here and there but every year there are memories of a lifetime made. Thank you Mom and Dad for providing us with this week every year.