Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes 

These vegan plant based mashed cauliflower potatoes are fluffy and creamy! I’m sure you are already familiar with the cauliflower craze, but I’m going to throw one more recipe at you. I love mashed potatoes, like most Americans. I just don’t love all the carbs and dairy. So in attempt to make mashed potatoes equal parts healthy and dairy free I hit the kitchen and mixed a few of my favorite things together. The mashed mixture turned out fluffy, soft and tasty! No need for butter! This recipes serves about 8, I made it so large so I could freeze at least half. When I purchase potatoes I try and use them fast so that they don’t grow ears. I also must say that I also love having frozen food ready to help on the busy days, which tend to come more than not.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of gold’s potatoes (7-8 large potaoes)
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs of pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 Tbs of pepper
  • 1 Tbs of Trader Joes Everyday Seasoning
  • 1/2 handful of fresh parsley and/or basil (optional)

How To

Wash and peel all potatoes. Cut potato in quarters and place in large pot. Wash and cut cauliflower head into similar size as potato quarters and place in same large pot. Add water to pot, water should rise above potatoes and cauliflower pieces. Place pot on stove over medium heat. Contents will be ready when they can be easily pierced with a fork. Once ready, drain and place in a separate bowl. Mash, mash mash! Mix in almond milk and spices and stir. Cauliflower mashed potatoes are now ready to be served. Enjoy!

Prep time: 25 minutes 

Cook time: (about) 25 minutes 

Enjoyers: 8

My Daily Second Trimester Pregnancy Smoothie 

I love smoothies. They’re a great way to pack nutrients into my day. Being pregnant, I’m extra sensitive to my daily nutrient intake…did I eat enough protein, fruit, veggies? The answer, sadly, is commonly no. Especially this pregnancy, I’m chasing around a 10 month old (I know, we’re crazy for being pregnant again so soon!). Since my pregnancies are so close, I’m also running an extra risk of being nutrient deficient because each pregnancy takes so much out of the mom. Needless to say, good nutrition is so important when you’re carrying for a little one. 

This smoothie is rich, chocolat-ie, and super yummy! It contains 30 grams of protein, tons of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and so much more! 

Getting enough protein during pregnancy is vital. Most moms know you need about 70 grams per day. That is a lot for me since my diet is mainly fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is a challenge to get my needed amount. 

 The Whole Journey blog talks about the importance of magnesium, vitamin C, and collagen during your second trimester (this is when the baby’s skin and bones are forming.). Cacao is an excellent source of magnesium, vitamin C, and antioxidants! Raw cacao contains more magnesium and antioxidants than any other food on the planet! Definitely deserving of the title super food

Magnesium is needed for nerve activity and function. Thus adding appropriate amounts to your diet can compliment baby and moms health. 

Vitamin C is excellent for many things including antioxidant activity, tissue repair, and collagen protection. A benefit to adding raw cacao to your diet, instead of coco, is that cacao, being raw, contains Vitamin C. Heat destroys vitamin C, thus all processed chocolate has zero vitamin C. 

Collagen is a vital part of skin, ligament, tendon, blood vessel, and bone growth. As you can imagine, providing your body with good nutrition while pregnant gives your body the necessary tools to support baby’s rapid growth without depleting the mom.

So let’s make a smoothie! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of almond milk 
  • 1 scoop of high quality protein powder. I used Sunwarrior Classic Protein Chocolate sprouted and fermented brown rice protein. 
  • 1 serving of high quality collagen
  • 1 banana 
  • 1 cup of ice 
  • 1 Tablespoon of raw cacao
  • 1 handful of spinach 

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend together. Serve immediately. 

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Enjoyers: 1  

Disclaimer: post not intended for medical advice, talk with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. 

Homemade Baby Wipes 

So when I was pregnant with my first, a friend asked if I was going to make my own baby wipes. I quickly responded with a “No, probably not.” It seemed unnecessary. Sure, I prefer natural products, which is why she asked, but who has time to make wipes? It wasn’t until recently that I realized making wipes would be really easy. It is better for baby (chemical free ingredients that agree with your baby) and cheaper. The whole process took about ten minutes! It was fun and the wipes smell super good.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 roll of strong and soft paper towels
  • 2 cups of warm water (to help ingredients mix)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Witch Hazel
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon of baby oil
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon of baby wash (I use Honest)

Optional:

  • 1/2 Tbsp 100% Aloe Vera (especially if not in baby oil)
  • Baby safe essential oils

Directions

Cut paper towels in half using a serrated knife, set aside in air tight container. I used Via because they’re both strong and soft. I normally prefer a paper towel not made with chlorine but, I couldn’t find one strong enough, and a thin towel would disintegrate as you use it…gross!  Warm the water and add all ingredients, mix and pour over paper towels. Remove cardboard center and pull center paper towel piece so it’s ready for use. Place lid on and all done! Time to go clean some baby bums 😉

Grapefruit Limeade

Do you have a favorite summer drink? I personally love grapefruit flavored beverages! I can be bad at drinking the recommended amount of water each day, so having fun drinks around the house really helps. 

Grapefruit is good for your blood pressure and over all heart health. They’re packed with nutrients including lycopene and positively influence lipid levels. I’ve also read a study that found that men who regularly ate grapefruit have an above 50% less chance of prostate cancer! Go grapefruit! 

This limeade is the perfect mixture of sweet and tart and it’s looks pretty in your glass! Perfect for a summer barbecue or just when lounging around the house! 

Ingredients 

  • 2 Grapefruits 
  • 3 limes 
  • 6 cups of water 
  • A handful of mint 
  • Stevia or honey to taste 

How To

Squeeze juice of limes and Grapefruits into pitcher, save grapefruit pulp. Add water, sweetener, (if desired) and mint. Stir and add ice. Top with grapefruit pulp for extra color and texture. 

Your drink is ready to be poured and enjoyed!


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Enjoyers: 4 

Salted Chocolate Almonds 

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted- I have lots of ideas to try out and post about, I’ve just been busy with a little home renovating and all day nausea…..yes, I’m expecting a baby in the fall! We were super surprised since our first born came just last year! Why not keep the good times rolling?

I attempted something simple last night. I’ve been trying to up my protein since it is recommended that I eat 70 grams per day. That is a lot for me, considering I’m not much of a meat eater. So almonds it is! I wanted to try and jazz up these, some what boring nuts in a healthy way.

This is one of the more simpler post but still fun and classy.


Ingredients

A couple handfuls of raw almonds

1/4 cup Homemade chocolate chips melted

Ground Himalayan pink salt

How To 

To start, gather ingredients and create assembly line of almonds, chocolate and salt. Dip almonds in melted chocolate one at a time and place on parchment paper. Let cool and repeat dipping if chocolate seems to thin. Before completely cool sprinkle almonds with salt. Not only do salt and chocolate go well together they make the almonds look beautiful! Keep in fridge and serve.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Homemade Chocolate Chips 

 

 Okay, I already know what you’re thinking. Homemade chocolate chips? Why would I make something that is so easy to buy? I thought the same thing before I found reasons to make my own. It started with an intolerance to dairy that developed after I was pregnant with my first son. I found non-dairy chocolate chips at a local natural grocery store but, they were double the price of the semi sweet ones I used to get at Trader Joes. It was then that I started doing research and came across some recipes for chocolate chips and thought it would be great to make them sugar free. Another perk about making your own is using all cacao products as opposed to coco. I love adding cacao powder to my hot drinks and smoothies. Cacao, according to the ORAC scale, is the highest antioxidant food that we know of! Anti-cancer and beauty power, yes please! I love finding new ways to add it to my foods.

I soon came across a recipe by Forest and Fauna that captured exactly what I wanted to create. I tried this recipe and loved how they turned out. I love the flavor the maple sugar gives it and the soft texture of the chips from the cacao butter and coconut oil. I give Forest and Fauna full credit but, thought I’d share my spin on their recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs Cacao butter
  • 2 Tbs Coconut oil
  • 5 Tbs Cacao powder
  • 3 Tbs Maple sugar

How To

In a medium sauce pan bring about 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Place cacao butter and coconut oil in glass cup and place in sauce pan. Keep glass cup in sauce pan till cacao butter and coconut oil have melted. Once melted mix in cacao powder and maple sugar until completely combined. I first tried using coconut sugar but, that was a mistake because it doesn’t completely dissintergrate. Forest and Fauna had the brilliant idea to let chocolate mixture cool in a silicone trivet, which also works as a mold. Spread chocolate evenly over trivet and place in freezer for about an hour. Since I use coconut oil the mixture is on the softer side, letting it freeze for longer is better. Turn trivet over and work out chocolate chips into a bowl for storage. Store in fridge. Yum Yum Yum!

Pass on the Table Salt 

Much talk has happened recently regarding salt. We’ve probably all grown up with a salt shaker on the table, that probably contained something called Morton Ionized Table Salt. As you got older, you mostly likely heard in your high school health classes that salt is deterimental to your cardiac health. You might of even seen your parents use Mrs. Dash on their food in attempts to use less salt when flavoring their food. When I worked in the hospital I remember countless times bringing a patient their meal tray with Mrs. Dash packets instead of salt. So it’s no mystery that although salt is necessary in our diet, it needs to be limited. Salt can contribute to water weight and high blood pressure creating potential problems and harming our health. But is all salt one in the same? Does all salt harm our health in the same way traditional table salt can?

If you’ve been to the grocery store to buy salt in the last year you’ve probably seen more than just one option. On the shelves are Sea Salt, Pyramid Salt, Black salt, Himalayan pink salt, Keltic salt, Real salt…etc. As creatures of habit, most of us probably pick what we know unless there was a reason to try something new. Hard to take chances with something like salt, it is necessary to flavor so many of our meals. Can’t eat popcorn without it!

I’ve been using Himalayan Pink salt for a few years and completely love it! It is relatively inexpensive, tastes just like the table salt that I’m used to, and it is a pretty color. I switched to this salt after hearing the lack of nutrient value table salt offers compared to other less refined salts. So let’s talk Himalayan salt benefits…

Minerals are an important part of our health. Himalayan pink salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements. The body needs minerals and trace elements to operate properly and provide balance. Table salt falls short, it consist mainly of sodium chloride and chemicals like anti-caking agents to allow salt to flow smoothly out of a shaker. Himalayan pink salt also contains less sodium than traditional table salt, which can be helpful to those who need to limit sodium intake.

According to a clinical study, Himalayan Pink salt provided benefit in “normalizing of mineralization in the human body” and was “effective in helping to stabilize pH and Oxidative Stress numbers in the human body.”

One theory claims that a proper pH balance (more alkaline) is a way of fighting disease. Supporters of this theory believe that acidity is the mother of all diseases and that we can reduce acidity in the body and promote our health when we consume alkalizing foods. Himalayan pink salt is a food that promotes an alkaline environment in the body.

According to an article on globalhealingcenter.com, Himalayan pink salt offers benefits such as decreasing signs of aging, promoting bodily water levels, aiding in respiratory and sinus function, aiding in proper sleep, promoting bone health, and stabliizing blood sugar. I’ve never heard of table salt making such claims!

But there is one good thing about traditional table salt. It has added iodine. The government added iodine to promote health. One health benefit is it decreases the number of thyroid issue i.e. Goiters, an enlarged thyroid. But since I don’t have table salt in my home, I have to make sure my family and I consume iodine in another fashion. Sea weed is one food that is high in iodine. Since it’s not likely that my husband will ever let any sea weed near his mouth, I buy Braggs Sea Kelp delight. This seasoning is high in iodine and has a mild flavor. I add it to pastas, soups and salads often.

Now go on, go flavor your food with some Himalayan pink salt and add some minerals along with color and flavor to your plate!

 

Sources

 

Quinoa Enchilidas

This recipe is for those who love quinoa, and also those who love Enchilidas! This dish is a healthier spin on the traditional Mexican dish we all love. My sister introduced me to the idea of quinoa casseroles with sweet potatoes. I don’t love sweet potatoes, but in this recipe I think they make all the difference. These Enchilidas are fun because it’s only a few ingredients, it’s filling, healthy, and tasty. My picky husband approved! (Win!)

To start, wash sweet potatoes under warm water and poke multiple times with a fork. Instead of wrapping individually with tin foil, place on a cookie sheet and cover the cookie sheet with tin foil. Aren’t sweet potatoes so beautiful…?

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Place two sweet potatoes in oven and cook for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweet potatoes are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork. I cooked three because I was making one for my 6 month old son, can you tell which one is for him 🙂 It was his first time trying sweet potatoes and he loved it!

While potatoes are in the oven rinse, cook two cups of quinoa on the stove top. Bring quinoa and 4 cups of water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium until all the water has diminished and the outer rings appear on the individual grains. Once cooked, remove from heat and add approximately one Tbs of coconut oil to give quinoa a softer texture.

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In an 8×8 casserole dish dip five corn tortillas in 8 ounces of your favorite enchilada sauce. I use frontera brand. Let sit while sweet potatoes continue baking to allow sauce to soften tortillas.

Once sweet potatoes are done, cut open long ways and mash insides with a fork, place insides in a separate bowl with cooked quinoa. Combine potatoes and quinoa together, mix well- you don’t want any sweet potato chunk. A this point you should have a even texture throughout….Kind of looks like cookie dough!

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Add a dash or two of salt to quinoa mixture. The great thing about combining quinoa with sweet potatoes is that it softens and sweetens the quinoa but, doesn’t add a strong sweet potato flavor.

In your 8×8 dish fill soaked tortillas with quinoa mix, corn, black beans, and onion. Once sufficiently loaded, roll tortillas closed and repeat with all five tortillas

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Once all have been stuffed and rolled then squeeze half a lime onto tortilla tops. At this point you’ll probably have some tortilla stuffing ingredient left over. Place left over beans, corn, onion, and quinoa mix on top of tortillas and pat down. We’re trying to get the most bang for our buck here, or yummy food per serving. Add remaining 8 ounces of enchilada sauce to top of dish and place in oven.

Cook enchiladas at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, just until dish is heated through. My sauce was spilling over… I do love sauce! image

Once your timer goes off your dish is now ready, hooray! Serve with favorite salsa, Perfect Guacamole or both! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 16 ounces enchilada sauce
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste

How To

Begin with baking sweet potatoes. I washed and poked with holes then placed on a tin foil covered cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes, until inside is soft. While sweet potatoes are baking begin cooking quinoa. Place 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of water into a pot and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until water is gone. Mix in coconut oil, remove from heat and set aside.

Place five corn tortillas in the 8×8 casserole dish you’re going to use later and cover with 8 ounces of enchilada sauce. Let soak while sweet potatoes are baking. Once sweet potatoes are ready cut in half long ways and place soft insides in a separate bowl with cooked quinoa. Mix and mash until completely mixed. You should have a soft even texture.

Now it’s time to stuff your tortillas, open tortilla and place quinoa mix, corn, beans, and onion inside then roll tortillas in a traditional enchilada fashion. Once you’ve completely stuffed and rolled all five tortillas squeeze half a lime onto dish.

With the remaining tortilla stuffing ingredients place on top of tortillas and pat down.  Pour remaining sauce on dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, just until dish is heater throughout. You beautiful enchiladas are now ready to be serve, serve with favorite salsa, Perfect Guacamole or both! Enjoy!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes 

Enjoyers: 5-6 

 

Veggie & Bean Soup 

When it’s cold outside, there isn’t anything much better than a warm bowl of soup to get you through winter nights. Soup hasn’t been one of my favorite meals for long, I used to be disappointed whenever I ate it because I never felt full. This colorful dish is packed with protein and veggies, it’s healthy, harty, and delicious! There is something so satisfying about taking 8 plus fresh ingredients and making a beautiful dish from scratch, that also happens to be tasty; so get to it!


Ingredients

  • 32 ounces of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of great northern beans
  • Half a yellow onion
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup of Parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tbs oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs  basil
  • 1/2 Tbs of Braggs sea kelp delight (for nutrition)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To 

Chop, chop, chop all veggies and place in crock pot. Add in drained and rinse beans and spices. Now add vegetable broth and stir. Set crock pot to high for three hours or low for five. Stir occasionally to integrate spices evenly into soup. Yep, it’s that easy! Serve, sip and enjoy!

Prep time: 2o minutes 

Cook time 3-5 hours 

Enjoyers: approximately 6