Vegan Cinnamon Spiced Horchata

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I updated this traditional Mexican drink by making it dairy-free, but it's still full of flavor and nutrients! When you begin to try new recipes out, you'll realize that you can upgrade a lot of other recipes you used to make, by taking out inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, flour, and sugar. This recipe is the perfect example!

The soaked rice blended together with water and almond milk provide a silky smooth texture, and the dates add a natural sweetness. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices to use especially during the holiday season, it just has that warming effect on your soul. This drink is a great alcohol free option to offer your guests during the holidays and if you want to add alcohol to half of your batch, feel free to add some rum to the mix.

I remember when I first started transitioning my diet, I would make classic dishes I loved and craved but would use healthier substitutes. For example, I would make pancakes and oatmeal using GF oats, almond milk, flaxseed eggs, and maple syrup instead of eggs, milk, and flour. The flavor was still there, but the inflammatory ingredients were gone! I began to have more energy, was able to work out harder, think more clearly, and was getting sick a lot less! The better and better I felt, the more motivated I became and I just kept searching for healthy restaurants and recipes, because when you have a variety of options available, you won't be missing anything. I promise you! You'll only be excited about trying all these new things!

So I hope you enjoy testing this recipe out and please let me know what you think in the comments below! 


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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain 
  • 8-9 pitted medjool dates 
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick 

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice in 2 cups of hot water for at least 2 hours. The rice should be soft and easily break in half. Drain and add to a blender.
  2. Add 4 cups water, almond milk, dates, vanilla, and the cinnamon stick, top with lid and cover with a towel to ensure it doesn't splash. Blend for about 5 minutes until the mixture is extremely smooth and there aren't any large pieces of dates or cinnamon. 
  3. Taste your horchata to see if it needs more dates for sweetness or if its too sweet you can add more almond milk. 
  4. In two batches, pour the mixture over a bowl or pitcher covered with ca cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. This will sift out all of the pulp and make your horchata nice and smooth. 
  5. Strain the mixture until only pulp remains in the cloth, squeezing to get every last drop out. Set nut milk bag aside with pulp aside. 
  6. Next, whisk together the mixture and pour into a mason jar and keep in your fridge for up to 3 days. Serve your horchata over ice with a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy!

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Protein Salad Bowl

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I decided to use all my favorite ingredients and make a protein filled salad bowl. Since I'm eating strictly plant-based now (I decided to cut out dairy, meat and eggs for good) I've been incorporating more beans and potatoes into the mix, especially on days I work out hard. You know what I've noticed? I have WAY more energy (YES!), less breakouts (I think eggs were the culprit), and in a better mood. Food really does affect your gut and the way you energetically feel. I go back and forth experimenting with incorporating animal foods into my diet, but I honestly always feel best just eating strictly plant-based. 

Not only do beans and potatoes contain high amounts of protein, greens like spinach and broccoli do as well. So you can imagine how much protein is in this salad! 

You can also substitute the white potato with sweet potato. I bought these purple skinned potatoes from the local farmers market, so I wanted to use them up. 

What really brings this salad together is the vegan rawmesan 'cheese,' which I've been sprinkling on just about anything I can. Its made with nutritional yeast, which is high in vitamin B. When eating strictly pant-based you need to be very conscious that you're receiving all the nutrients your body needs. When your body is deficient in vitamin B you'll notice you're constantly tired, moody, sleep poorly, and your skin may even begin to look flushed and pale. Avoid these symptoms by eating more vitamin B rich foods like greens, nutritional yeast, nuts, seeds, and other foods listed here

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember to generously sprinkle that rawmesan 'cheese' on top!


Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups mixed greens (divided) 
  • 3 small potatoes (or 1 medium potato of your choice: sweet potato, red potato, white potato)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme 
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 head of broccoli 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Vegan rawmesan 'cheese'

Instructions: 

Roasted Potatoes:

1. Preheat oven to 375'F. 

2. Cut your potato in to small pieces, and spread in baking dish and drizzle avocado oil or olive oil on top, and salt and pepper. Mix in the sprigs of thyme, and roast until golden brown for about 40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. 

Portobello Mushrooms:

1. Chop mushrooms into bite sized pieces and cook in your skillet with salt and pepper on medium heat stirring frequently for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Set aside once cooked. 

Chickpeas and broccoli: 

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add in broccoli, and cook until softened. For about 5-7 minutes. Drain broccoli once softened. 

2. Add 1 Tbsp of avocado or olive oil, cooked broccoli, chickpeas, spices, and salt and pepper into your pan and cook on medium heat with a splash of water for about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Sweet Corn:

1. Husk corn. 

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add corn. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Cut the kernels off the core and set aside. 

Assembly:

1. Add 1 1/2 cups of mixed greens to each bowl and then divide all the toppings to each bowl. Add the avocado and the vegan rawmesan on top. 

2. Use your favorite dressing. I used a simple French vinaigrette dressing and it tasted great! Enjoy!

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods to eat in the wintertime, and this is a quick and simple recipe to make at home. 

I find myself constantly disappointed when ordering this at restaurants. Either they add too much, cream or butter and the flavor of the butternut squash is lost. Thats the whole point right, to taste the main ingredient?

Thats what this recipe does, using a just a few fresh ingredients, and creating a flavorful and addicting soup. Feel free to add a little ginger to the dish if you're feeling a little sick, this antibacterial addition will add a hint of spice. 



Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 6 thin carrots 
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or olive oil
  • 32 oz container of vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups water (if needed) 

Instructions: 

1. Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add in the onion and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. 

2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, and vegetable broth.

3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with lid on top for about 30 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked. 

4. Blend together soup with a hand blender. If the soup needs more liquid add more water to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. 

 



Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Do you have chocolate cravings? Or are you just a chocolate lover like me?! Well, whatever the case, here is a healthy chocolate mousse alternative. This recipe is naturally sweetened with either coconut nectar which has less sugar content (low glycemic) or with maple syrup which is a tad sweeter in flavor.

The ripe avocados give this mousse a rich creamy texture that will trick you into thinking you're eating chocolate pudding. The avocados also provide healthy fats, magnesium, and omega 3 fatty acids. The raw cocao boosts this recipe's nutrient content by adding iron and powerful antioxidants. 

I love making this recipe for my friends, or sometimes just making this quickly as a snack for myself. You can serve this right away or I also like to let it cool off in the refrigerator and set for about an hour. 

 It's hard not to eat all of it, but I promise you, you will be licking your bowl clean! 



Tempeh and Vegetable Rice Rolls with Thai Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

This recipe is refreshing and perfect to make when its hot outside. The dipping sauce is addicting and you can use it with so many other recipes! Feel free to make this into a salad as well instead of making the rice rolls. 

I made this for a large group of people, and it was devoured in no time! Hope you enjoy!


Dragon Fruit Smoothie

I've been making smoothies without bananas or dates lately to decrease my sugar and carb intake especially earlier in the morning. Using coconut meat or avocados instead of bananas emphasizes on eating more healthy fats, which are still filling and low-glycemic. 

Avoiding sweet and high carb foods in the morning will help decrease sugar cravings throughout the day. This smoothie does contain fruit but not a lot of high carb fruits and the dragon fruit packets are unsweetened. 

The best part about this smoothie is that it's naturally bright pink! Dragon fruit is naturally bright fuschia pink. It's also filled with iron, fiber, and magnesium, which should be incorporated into our daily diet. 

The cocao powder makes this smoothie taste like a chocolate milkshake, for all you chocolate lovers out there. Hope you enjoy it!



Ingredients:

2 packets of Pitaya Plus

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup mango

1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

1 Tbsp. Cocao powder

1/2 Tbsp. Maca powder


Instructions:

1. Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Add more almond milk if it needs to be less thick. Enjoy!