vegan

Creamy Lemon Avocado Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite summer condiments (yes, it's condiment because I put it on everything). This "upgraded" version has protein from the hemp seeds, lots of good fats from the olive oil and avocado and a delicious surprise with the freshness of the lemon. My favorite way to serve it is with pasta and cherry tomatoes. It's the perfect summer night meal when it's too hot to be in the kitchen. 

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  • 4 oz fresh basil
  • 1/2 medium to large avocado
  • 3 T hemp seeds
  • 2 T toasted pine nuts
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 T lemon juice (about a half a large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 T Philosophie Green Dream (optional)
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In a food processor combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle the olive oil in, stopping to scrape down the sides halfway. Return the lid, turn on the processor and slowly drizzle in the remaining oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. This pesto can be kept in a glass container in the fridge for up to a week. Serve on pasta, pizza, add to salad dressings or eat straight out of the container with a spoon (I won't just you).

Look at this green goodness!

Look at this green goodness!

Creamy Blackberry Nicecream

Now that the weather is starting to heat up, I crave something cool mid-day or after dinner. Dairy ice cream is usually not my friend and I try not to keep ice cream (dairy or not) around because I end up eating it and then not feeling so great. One of my favorite summer treats to make is nicecream. Nice cream is a banana based frozen treat that you can make super simple or add superfoods, fruits, nut butters, etc to make it extra creamy and delicious. 

The other night I was craving something sweet and pulled a few things out of the freezer. What came from it was a super creamy, super delicious "ice cream" that will now be a staple for the coming summer months. The trick to making this super delicious is waiting until you bananas are very ripe (not completely brown, but lots of brown spots) before freezing. Not only will it make it sweeter, but the starches in the banana break down more the riper the banana gets allowing it to cream up more easily. 

  • 3-4 very ripe frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries (you could also play with other berries)
  • 1 T cashew butter (I use Artisana)
  • splash of nut milk
  • pinch of salt

Combine everything, except the milk in a high speed blender. You will need the stopper for this. I use the "frozen dessert" setting on my vitamix. Use the stopper to push the ingredients into the blender. If needed, add a splash of milk, but not too much or it will become too runny. Continue to blend until creamy. Scoop into a glass container and freeze for 20-30 minutes before serving. If you're feeling extra, you can make my Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake cookies and make a nicecream sandwich. 

 

 

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Vegan Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

I'm a big fan of treats that satisfy my sweet tooth but also nourish my body. This past weekend I was craving cheesecake but didn't want all the sugar and dairy. These bars are so incredibly delicious. They are just sweet enough with the perfect tartness. I could easily eat one of these every day (I may or may not have since I've made them...). The blueberry cardamom variation is equally as delicious with a lovely floral note from the cardamom. Either way you can't go wrong. 

Crust:

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  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until the mixture is combined and resembles course sand. Pour into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Line a bread pan with parchment. Pour the crust into the pan and use a spatula to spread evenly. Place in the freezer.

"Cheesecake" filling:

  • 1 cup soaked and drained cashews
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch os salt
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 T The Philosophie Berry Bliss (optional-use code BODYBLISS15 for a discount)

Combine all ingredients but the raspberries and Philosophie Superfood Powder into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy (30 seconds to a minute). Remove the crust from the freezer and pour half the batter over the crust. Pour the raspberries into the remaining filling and blend until combined. Pour remaining mixture over the white layer. You may choose to swirl at this point. To do this use a knife and zig sag back and forth until you reach the desired patter. Place the pan into the freezer and freeze for 1 to 2 hours until set.

The serve, run a knife around the edges, remove with the tabs from the parchment and slice into squares. Store in an airtight container in your freezer. Remove from freezer 5 to 10 minutes before eating.

Blueberry Cardamom Variation:

To make the blueberry cardamom version, sub frozen blueberries for raspberries, only use the juice from 1 lemon and add 1/4 tsp ground cardamom. 

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Banana Chia Pudding

The last couple months my tummy has not been super happy. I ate too many raw vegetables and too much roughage and my body has decided it was enough. So it basically shut down digestion. As a result I have been eating very simple, warming and gentle foods. Lots of steamed veggies, rice and tofu and a boat load of this delicious, gentle banana pudding. It has good fats from the milk and chia seeds, sweetness and potassium from the banana and a delicious spice from the cardamom. It resembles banana cream pie and may be my new favorite snack. You can adjust the sweetness according to taste and top with coconut cream. I make ahead of time and store in mason jars. Will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. 

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup nut milk or full fat coconut milk
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 extra ripe banana
  • 1 T maple or date syrup (optional. I only use if the banana isn't super ripe)

Instructions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, chia seeds, cardamom and vanilla. Bring to a low simmer and simmer until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Mash the banana really well, until most of the lumps are gone. Fold the banana into the chia mixture. Pour into jars and refrigerate 2 hours until set and chilled. Top with yogurt or coconut cream and enjoy. 

Herby Falafel Recipe

A few months back I came across a falafel recipe where you don't cook the chickpeas and I was intrigued. I have a recipe for falafel that uses cooked chickpeas and it is delicious but it doesn't have that traditional falafel crunch. I thought I would try it out. The herbs add a lovely freshness while the lemon brightens the flavor. I think these may be my new favorite comfort food.  

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  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 T chickpea flour (if you don't have this, wheat or GF flour will work just fine)
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (if you like a stronger flavor you can use 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying (I use avocado)

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Rinse the chickpeas and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients, accept the oil. Pulse until combined, scrapping the sides as needed. Continue to pulse until the batter resemble gravel or course sand. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. The dough will taste a bit salty, but it will mellow as it sits and be perfect once they are cooked. 

Place a large fry pan on your range at medium high heat. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil into the pan. Wait until hot, but not smoking (I will drop a tiny piece of the dough into the oil, if its sizzles, it's ready). Shape the dough into 1 1/2 in flattened balls (I use a cookie scoop and flatten and round with my hands). Cook 5 or less at a time, make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. I love to serve these atop a green salad or as wraps with pitta, yogurt sauce and greek salad. 

Drool-worthy Twix Bars

About a year ago I thought to myself "there has got to be a way to make a healthy Twix bar." I have no shame in admitting I have eaten way too many of these in my life. So into the kitchen I went to create. It took a few tries, but I think I nailed it. The cookie is slightly sweet, salty and crunchy. The caramel has the perfect texture; chewy and delicious! These are perfect for the holidays (or, let's be real, anytime of the year). They are gluten, grain, and refined sugar free and vegan. If you make these, make sure to use #bodyblissrecipes on instagram so I can see your beautiful creations! Happiest of Holidays to you! May it be filled with family, friends and so much love!

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Cookie:

  • 3/4 cup organic peanut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (I also successfully used hazelnut meal)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the over to 350. Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and press the cookie batter into the pan. Using your hand or the a wet spatula to smooth out the top. Pierce the cookie several times with a fork at bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in the freezer.

Caramel:

  • 10 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • 2 T cashew butter (almond butter also works0
  • 1 T melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp each of pine pollen, reishi and maca 
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Put everything into the bowl of a food processor and process until creamy (I like to make sure it is a creamy paste and no date pieces remain). Remove the cookie from the freezer. With wet hands, spread the caramel over the cookie. Take a wet spatula and smooth it out until it is flat and place back in the freezer. Let set at least an hour.

Chocolate:

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In a double boiler (if you don't have one, place a glass bowl over a pan of water and bring to boil, make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl when it boils). Chop or break up the chocolate and add it to the bowl with oil and cacao magic. Stir until melted. Remove the bars from the freezer. With a sharp knife cute in half length-wise and then into 1 inch slices width-wise. Dip into chocolate either on all surfaces or dip the bottom and drizzle over the top. Place on a cookie sheet and put back in the freezer until set. 

Banh Mi Bowl

Fun fact about me; my husband and I lived in Vietnam for a short time a few years back. One of the things I loved most about it was how many veggies are in the daily diet. Vegetables were always the star of every dish. We would go to the market and the isles would be lined with bins overflowing with brightly covered fruits and veggies. It changed the way I cook and I am forever grateful for that. 

The other day I was missing our beautiful little apartment in Saigon and the flavors of the city. I threw together my take of a banh mi. A banh mi is a sandwich, usually eaten for breakfast or a snack. This version is deconstructed, vegan and served on a bed of pad thai noodles. 

For the Bowls:

  • 1-8 oz package rice noodles 
  • 1 package extra firm tofu (my favorite is Hodo soy)
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

Noodle Sauce:

  • 3 T Tamari
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil

Cashew Sriracha Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for several hours or overnight
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water

Cook noodles according to package instruction. Drain and toss with a bit of raw sesame or avocado oil. 

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Drain the tofu and wrap with clean kitchen towel, place a plate on top of the cake and let sit for about 30 minutes. If you are using Hodo Soy Tofu, you can skip this step. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slices. Place corn starch and salt in a bowl and toss until coated. Heat a pan on medium to high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (I like to use a cast iron). Place tofu in the pan and let cook until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove tofu from the pan and place on a paper towel.

Prepare the veggies.

To make the noodle sauce combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

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In a high speed blender add all ingredients and blend on high until creamy (about 30-60 seconds). If you want it to be thinner, add a bit more water. If it gets too thin, add a small handful of cashews. 

Assemble the bowl by placing the noodles in a bowl. Drizzle a couple spoonfuls of the noodle sauce over the noodles. Arrange the tofu and veggies to your liking. I like to bunch them together around the side of the bowl. Drizzle with cashew sriracha sauce and sesame seeds. Dive in!

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