Happy March! I can’t believe how the time is flying, I had a newborn when I last posted and he is already a half year old, today! Our little familia is thriving, loving the early spring vibes and wonderful rain. In fact, the young magnolia tree we planted in our front yard when Jules was born is blossoming with gorgeous, deep purple flowers! This is where both Julius Azul and Sebastian Rio’s placentas are buried, under the room where both born. Magic!

IMG_7020I’ve had a lot of mamas asking me about recipes lately, so I thought I would post a few of my favorites. Nothing fancy, but the soups are staples for my family and the sweets are great ways to enjoy being naughty without all the refined sugar. Every time I craft something delicious I think to myself, ‘Ooh! Gotta blog this one!‘ and yet the months go by without any new blog posts. Having two boys under 3 years is so special and also at times a bit crazy making 🙂 Working 3 days a week, finding time for yoga and swimming, getting nutritious, home-made meals on the table 3 times/day, and of course baby night duty, keep me busy!

Green Soup

IMG_7101This is an iteration of a green soup I may have posted a while back – one that Jules has always loved – which is a terrific way to get lots of greens in his belly 🙂 I just made it today and it’s so filling, warming & yummy!

  1. Soak a small bag of white beans over night. Rinse in morning and boil till simmering, cook until soft. Set aside.
  2. Saute 1-2 yellow onions and 6-8 cloves garlic in olive oil (be generous). Add cumin, paprika, garlic salt, pepper,  2 tablespoons vegetable broth paste and some fresh thyme. Add carrots and celery. Once golden add criminy mushrooms and plenty of salt as this is the primary seasoning for soup. Set aside.
  3. Steam fingerling potatoes (a small bag – maybe 20?), a large box of spinach and 2 heads of broccoli crowns. Set aside with a bit of brags liquid amino, gamazio and olive oil.
  4. Once cool, blend 1/2 of mixture in batches in Vitamix, adding water, a tiny bit of half and half.
  5. Pour mixed soup (very thick and green) into a large soup pot. Add water and more vegetable broth until ideal consistency is achieved. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan if desired.

NOTE: All ingredients should be organic if possible to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in pesticides, especially if feeding young children.

Gluten-Free, Mini Chocolate Brownie Bites

  1. Mix together the following ingredients until smooth:
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1/4 cup pure Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking soda (aluminum free!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch

2. Fold in 1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins for a healthier version

3. Grease (or line) a mini cupcake pan and divide mixture among the holes (about 2 heaping tsp each).

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 17 min.

Beluga Lentil Soup

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  1. Soak a bag of black beluga lentils over night, rinse and cook until soft
  2. Meanwhile saute an onion, a bunch of garlic (roughly 7 cloves), celery and carrots in olive oil, adding plenty of spices like salt, pepper, cumin, garam masala, paprika, turmeric and nutritional yeast.
  3. Add a can of tomato puree or chunky tomato to simmer over vegetables for 5 min.
  4. Add other vegetables of your liking like cabbage, mushrooms, lots of spinach and bell peppers
  5. Pour vegetables into pot of cooked lentils and add vegetable stock / broth until ideal consistency is reached
  6. Add 1 can of coconut milk to soup and spice to taste

NOTE: All ingredients should be organic if possible to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in pesticides, especially if feeding young children.

Homemade No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

granola barsMy colleague brought these into the office and they are to die for. This is a modified version without refined sweeteners, adapted from this mama blogger’s site.

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups honey
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup 100% organic crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups crisp rice cereal (I used organic)
  • 2⅔ cups old fashioned oats
  • ⅔ cups ground flax seed
  • ½- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
 NOTE: Extra important the peanut butter is organic as conventionally grown peanuts carry a very high toxic chemical load.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine your oats, crisped rice cereal, and ground flax seed. Stir with a large spoon until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Measure out sugar, honey, coconut oil, and sea salt and place in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil. Stirring the whole time, boil for exactly 1 minute so mixture combines and sugars dissolve. Take pan off the heat and add in the crunchy peanut butter and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Pour this Peanut buttery honey deliciousness over your oat/rice crispy mixture. Stir until well combined.
  3. Let this mixture sit for about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, Grab a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan sized(mine is sized at 12½ x 17½ by 1 inch), and some parchment paper. Place cookie sheet on a large piece of parchment paper and trace around the outside of it. Cut it out and place this on the inside of your cookie sheet. It should fit perfectly. This will help later to keep the granola bars in one piece before cutting up.
  4. Next pour out granola bar mixture onto cookie sheet. Press with a second cookie sheet so it is flat. Then immediately spread your chocolate chips on the top and press again.
  5. Allow to cool. You can add it to your fridge or leave on counter to cool. Once the bars have cooled completely, slide solidified mixture out of your pan. Now take a knife and cut the bars into the size of your choosing.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze, ideal for packing in your kids’ lunches each day!

Shepherd’s Salad

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  1. Soak white beans over night, drain and rinse several times. Cook until soft and set aside.
  2. Once beans are cool, add chopped parsley, bell pepper, onion, tomato (if in season), cucumber, purple cabbage, carrots, arugula and a handful of whole raw cashews and/or almonds.
  3. Drizzle with a delicious sauce of equal parts olive oil & red wine vinegar, a generous heaping spoon of nutritional yeast, a tsp of vegan, zesty garlic aioli, a splash of soy sauce, a dash of pepper and plenty of salt.
  4. Mix and serve!

NOTE: All ingredients should be organic if possible to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in pesticides, especially if feeding young children.

Nutty Kabocha Squash Soup

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This is my absolute favorite soup lately! It’s the vegan adaptation of this recipe from A Pinch of Yum. It is so so nourishing, filling, and rich, without any the cream!

INGREDIENTS
1 medium (ideally red) kabocha squash
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed (optional – I like it both ways)
2 tablespoons olive oil
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
2 handfuls toasted walnuts & cashews
salt to taste

NOTE: All ingredients should be organic if possible to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in pesticides, especially if feeding young children.
INSTRUCTIONS
Cut the squash into wedges. Scoop out the seeds, cut off the rind, and dice the squash.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the squash, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt and saute until lightly browned and the squash is cooked through.
Place the cooked squash in a blender and add the nuts and cayenne. Blend for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. Season generously with salt.

Best Salad Dressing Ever – Seriously

My absolute favorite salad dressing, which I adapt for the Shepherd’s Salad, is as follows:

  • 1/3 cup water + 1/3 cup soy sauce + 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • Mix with 1 cup olive oil and 1 cup nutritional yeast.
  • Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and shake!

Enjoy!!

Love and Blessings,

Mama Ashlita

 

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