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. 

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

 

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 

Garlic Potato & Chipotle Black Bean Tacos

If I had to pick only one genre of food to eat for the rest of my life it’d probably be…Mexican. My husband and I have spent many days in Mexico working at a church our home church in California is affiliated with. One of the highlights of our trip, other than serving the people, would be the food! Is there anything better than an authentic street taco? Sadly, I’m sensitive to gluten and dairy (I know, lucky me). My food problems can keep me from enjoying some of my favorite, so I’m happy when I can create a Mexican inspired dish that doesn’t make me sick.

Chipotle and garlic don’t normally go hand in hand in my mind, but in these tacos they compliment each other perfectly. These tacos are healthy, juicy, and muy rico!

Start by washing, skinning, and chopping three russet potatoes and place in a separate bowl. I try to chop potatoes into smaller bite size pieces. Once in a bowl, top with salt to taste and three cloves of minced garlic. (After this step, I let the bowl sit on the counter for one hour because I wasn’t ready to bake. Consequently, some pieces turned brown. This was okay because it was just a product of the potatoes being exposed to oxygen).

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Place potatoes on a cookie sheet covered with path net paper and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check occasionally to assure potatoes don’t get overcooked.

While your beautiful garlic potatoes are going from ivory to golden brown, take a break until your timer reads 15-20 minutes left.

Now that your potatoes are nearing their end in the oven, turn your attention to the stove. Place a large skillet over medium heat and dump bag of spinach. Turn spinach with a utensil until spinach becomes soft. Once soft, empty one can of drained black beans into pan and mix together. Once warmed pour 8 ounces of your favorite chipotle sauce over the beans and spinach and mix together. Keep skillet over low heat for about ten minutes to let the flavors marinate!

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Your yummy juicy, crunchy tacos are now ready to be served. On a corn tortilla fill with potatoes and top with chipotle mixture. Tacos are tasty as is or topped with Perfect Guacamole. Go eat and enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 3 Russet potatoes chopped into bite size cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • Favorite Chipotle sauce (I use Frontera)
  • Corn tortillas

How To

Wash and peel potatoes then chop into cubes. Place all potato cubes into bowl, add minced garlic, salt and stir together. Place potatoes on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check potatoes occasionally to make sure they reach desired level of crispness. Depending on size of cubes might need more or less than an hour.

In a skillet, heat spinach and drained beans over medium heat. Once spinach softens add chipotle sauce and let simmer for approximatly ten minutes. Your tacos are now ready to eat. Place cooked potatoes in warm tortilla and top with chipotle mix. Serve with Perfect Guacamole! Enjoy!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes 

Enjoyers: 4