Category Archives: Diana Says….

Mesquite Maple Cheesecake With Walnut Mesquite Crust

I’m a maple fanatic. I love maple scones, maple doughnuts, maple cookies, maple milkshakes, and maple cheesecake. But this one is the raw version of something fantastic. I know you will love this, too.

MapleCheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw walnuts
¼ cup mesquite pod powder
¼ cup medjool dates (packed)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Pour ingredients into a
10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Cheesecake Filling
Ingredients
4 cups raw cashews, soaked
1¼ cup almond milk
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Reserve 1 cup of filling for the Maple Butter Swirl. Pour remaining filling into pan on top of crust. Using spatula, gently spread toward edges of pan until even.
Maple Butter Swirl
Ingredients
½ cup medjool dates, packed
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup reserved cheesecake batter
Directions
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour over cake batter layer in one thick line about an inch away from the edge of the pan. Take a butter knife and place it into the batter where the two colors meet and begin a swirling pattern weaving in and out of the mixtures.
Top with fresh chopped pecans and place in the freezer for 4–6 hours to set.

Portobello Turmeric

Grilled Portobello with Quinoa Risotto in a Turmeric Ginger Sauce

Yet another mouth-watering creation from The Retreat. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free and is hearty enough to satisfy any appetite. I use freshly grated turmeric in this recipe for its anti-inflammatory properties but if you can’t find any locally, feel free to use powdered turmeric instead.

Portobello Turmeric

Mushroom Marinated
•2 large Portobello mushrooms
•2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
•1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
•2 garlic cloves chopped fine
• 1 tablespoon of tamarin (gluten-free soy sauce)

Directions
Fold ingredients together in bowl or resealable plastic bag. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, tossing and basting every few minutes. Grill on high for 10 minutes (5 minutes, each side).

Julienne Veggies
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 stalks of green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Sautée veggies on medium high in coconut oil until soft.

Turmeric sauce
•1 can coconut milk
•1 teaspoon shave and fresh turmeric (can substitute powdered turmeric)
•1/2 teaspoon lemon grass, chopped fine
•1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Directions
Combine in a high-speed blender and set aside.

Quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

Directions
Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well. This step removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa
Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 20 minutes
Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. This step gives the quinoa time to pop open into little curlicues, so it’s nice and fluffy. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

To assemble, toss hot quinoa in turmeric coconut sauce. Top with sautéed veggies and grilled Portobello. Drizzle with remaining sauce and enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Curd Cheesecake

I have seen so many Raw cheesecake recipes, but I have never been inspired to make any of them. One day while I was playing in my Garden , I picked a dozen Meyer Lemons and had a craving for something very tart and creamy …and this is what I came up with.

Meyer+lemon+cheesecake

Crust
1 ½ cups macadamia nuts
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
3 medjool dates
¾ t sea salt

Cheesecake Filling
3 cups cashews, soaked
1 cup meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¾ cup agave nectar
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ teaspoon sea salt

Meyer Lemon Curd layer
1 cup medjool dates
¾ cup meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
pinch of salt

Lemon-Coconut topping
1 cup coconut meat
1 cup coconut water
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon lemon extract/oil
1/3 cup coconut oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Crust:
In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process all ingredients until they start to slightly stick together. The texture should be slightly granular, but dough like. Do not over process. Place ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick spring form pan. Spread evenly with fingers and gently press down with hand until packed.

Cheesecake Filling:
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. (If using a vita-mix, you will need a plunger to help move the thick batter. If you are using a regular blender, you may need a spatula to keep momentum going.) Pour mixture into the spring form pan over top of crust. Using spatula, gently spread mixture toward edges of pan until even. Place the pan level in freezer to set while making next layer of cheesecake.

Garnish (Optional)
One lemon sliced in half lengthwise, removie seeds and then thinly sliced. Place thinly sliced lemons, round side up around the rim of the pan on top of the cheesecake layer.

Curd layer
In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process all ingredients until smooth and creamy. (This may also be processed in a blender) After cheesecake layer is firm enough,remove from freezer and layer curd on top of cheesecake. Using a thin spatula, gently and evenly spread the curd up to the edge of the spring form pan.

Coconut topping:
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Pour this mixture over the top of curd layer. Using a thin spatula, distribute and spread evenly over top of curd layer. This should be at or close to the very top of the spring form pan.
Place pan level in refrigerator for 4-6 hours until completely set.
Use a thin knife to scrape around the edges of the pan before removing cake. Unlock the spring form and carefully lift cake out of pan. Slice cake into the size of each lemon garnish. And serve.

*Second option is to place entire cake in freezer (covered), remove and slice when frozen and serve in pieces.

The Secret Ingredient in My Crème Brûlée….

Crème Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts.

The crunchy sugar topping, the beyond decadent cream.

It is my go to after a fancy meal at most restaurants.
It is a special occasion treat. An Anniversary dessert..
Well, I wanted to create my “Naked” Version, so it didn’t have to be a once in a while kinda thing.

It could be a whenever you want kinda thing.
I am really proud of these 2 recipes, they just turned out perfect.

This has become a permanent recipe item down at The Retreat.
And you’ll never guess the start ingredient…. Cauliflower.
That’s right, I created Cauliflower Crème Brûlée and it is perfection.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Caramel Crème Brulee

CremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup lucuma powder
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.

Combine the maple syrup and the lucuma powder in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

In a small pot preheat the coconut milk. Add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla and caramel paste made with the maple syrup and the lucuma.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit of coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.

Coffee Crème Brulee

CoffeeCremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower, mashed
3/4 cup coconut milk

½ cup concentrated coffee or espresso
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.
In a small pot preheat the coconut milk and then add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
Make the concentrated coffee using less water to make a stronger flavor or espresso.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and the coffee. Put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.

Tico Fresh Vegan Tacos

Have you ever hear of the term Tico Fresh?

Tico is short for Costa Rican, so when we talk about Tico Fresh food, it embodies all the beautiful things about this country.

It means the food is fresh, local, and scrumptious.

The food here is Farm to Table.

That’s why each recipe I develop at The Retreat is perfection.

The ingredients just pop!

And this Tuesday is no exception.

But you can enjoy these Vegan Tacos with Cashew Sour Cream any day.

FullSizeRender

These are made with Portobello Mushrooms and Cashew Sour Cream

Ingredients
Small corn tortillas
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced

Directions
Marinate vegetables in Nama Shoyu and cumin for 15 minutes.
Sauté veggies in ghee for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Warm
the tortillas on a flat sauté pan. Fill each tortilla with veggies and
Cashew Sour Cream (recipe below) , and top with diced tomatoes and avocado.

Cashew Sour Cream

½ cup cashew butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

Place all cream sauce ingredients in a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

Enjoy!!!

The Powerful Benefits of Gelatin and Collagen

As you already know, I spent many years eating a Raw and Vegan diet.

I loved it! I felt amazing.

Until I didn’t.

My nails grew brittle, my hair was thinner, and I was tired all the time. How could that be? I was eating a 100% RAW/Vegan diet.

I’ve found the need to incorporate different proteins into my diet. I occasionally eat eggs, sometimes fish.

The one ingredient that I absolutely love because it gives me the best results is gelatin.

In addition to the health benefits of balancing out amino acids and being a good source of protein, I take gelatin for its skin, hair and nail promoting effects. I noticed a substantial difference in my skin tone and smoothness.
As an added benefit, it is giving me extra protein and collagen and helps absorption of other minerals.

Top 4 Reasons to Eat More Gelatin

1. Gelatin heals your gut.
Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.
And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.
2. Gelatin makes your skin healthy and beautiful.
Gelatin is a known promotor of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.
3. Gelatin protects your joints.
Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.
Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.
4. Gelatin helps you sleep.
Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

One of my favorite way to include this ingredient into my daily diet is to create these delicious Summer Cooler Desserts.

This one I developed while in Costa Rica at the Retreat.

Fresh Grape Jelly

Ingredients
1½ cups of freshly juiced green grapes
¼ cup cool water
¼ cup hot (almost boiling) water
1 tablespoon of Kosher Pasture-raised Gelatin Powder
1-2 cups of fresh fruit mangos, green apples, grapes

Directions
Pour the cool water in a large mixing cup or quart sized mason jar and add the gelatin powder.
Stir briskly until mixed- it will start to thicken a lot.
Add the ¼ cup of really hot water and stir to mix- it should be thinner now.
Combine this with the juice and mix well.
Put the fruit into the container that you are going to make the jello in.
Pour the jello mixture over the fruit and stir lightly to make sure it has coated the fruit too.
Put in the fridge, covered, for at least 2-3 hours or overnight and serve.

Salad in a jar-the best meal on the go!

Salad-in-a-Jar-3-_-The-Blonde-Buckeye

Do you want to pack your lunch but find that baggies and glad containers are just unappealing?

And quite frankly…PLASTIC!

Packing healthy food to go isn’t always fun for some, but I try and make all my food fun, pretty, tasty and HEALTHY!

So, I introduce to you Salad in a Jar.  I’ve been doing the Mason Jar thingy for years, but now the new craze is the

Bringing lunch to work can feel like a chore — it requires planning, getting up early to pack your lunch or remembering to prepare it before you go to bed. It needs to be portable and it needs to be exciting, but it also can’t be smelly (sorry tuna fish or egg salad sandwich lovers. We’re fans, but we can’t handle the odor in the office). Not only is it difficult to motivate to bring your lunch and find the right thing, it’s also difficult to sustain the practice. After so many days of making the same thing, you inevitably tire of it.

Fear not. The mason jar salad is here to solve all your lunchtime problems. It’s portable, healthy, easy to make and offers room for plenty of variety. It’s the perfect solution, and it’s about to be your new best friend this summer. You can layer so many vegetables and grains in the jar, and mix and match so many different ingredients that you’ll never get bored.

Packing your salad in a jar is also an amazing way to solve the classic soggy salad problem. If you pack a pre-dressed salad for lunch, the greens will be limp and soggy by the time you’re ready to eat it. And who has a separate salad container to bring in addition to the salad itself? The mason jar salad keeps your greens from getting dressed until you’re ready to mix it up. All you have to do is put the salad dressing in first and layer in ingredients one by one, leaving the salad greens on top. You should start with the heaviest, most non-absorbent ingredients first.

Here are 12 mason jar salads to try for your next lunch break. Let us know what your favorite combinations are!

How do the greens not get soggy?

The basic idea when packing salads in jars is to start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing on the bottom of the jar and work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the salad greens themselves. As long as your jar doesn’t accidentally tip over you in your bag, the delicate greens will be well-protected from the dressing until you’re ready to eat.

How does everything get mixed together?

When you’re ready to eat your salad, just unscrew the cap and shake it into a bowl. Everything gets pretty compacted in the jar, so some vigorous shaking may be needed! This shaking also helps to toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Once the salad is in the bowl, you can toss it some more with your fork to make sure everything is evenly coated.

What’s the best jar to use?

Any canning jar can be used, but wide-mouthed jars are the easiest for both packing the salad into the jars and shaking them out again. Pint-sized jars are great for individual side-salads of mostly greens with just a few “extra” salad toppings. Use quart-sized jars for larger lunch and dinner salads that have a lot of extra veggies and salad goodies. Two-quart jars and larger are great if you’re taking the salad to a potluck or cookout.

How long will jars of salad keep in the fridge?

With the lid sealed tightly, these salads can last for several days in the fridge — up to 5 days or so. If you’re making salads with soft ingredients or perishable proteins, like avocados, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, or cooked chicken breast, wait to add those ingredients until the day that you plan to eat the salad. Also, if you have a vacuum-sealer attachment for your canning jars, vacuum-sealing the salads right after assembling them will keep your greens and veggies even crisper and fresher.

 

Build Your Own!

Layer 1: Dressing

Layer 2: Hearty Veggies

(Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Asparagus)

Layer 3: Beans and less hearty veggies

(Mushrooms, Sprouts, Zucchini, Corn, Edamame, Garbanzo Beans

Layer 4: Grains

(Quinoa, Couscous)

Layer 5: Protein and Cheese

(meat, cheese, eggs)

Layer 6: Lettuce, Nuts and Seeds

All Done!

 

 

8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body

juicing-detox-1

Detoxing your body doesn’t have to be difficult. Make these 8 simple changes and start noticing the difference right away!

1. Replace one meal a day with a detoxifying smoothie/juice

This is an easy, non extreme way to detox your body. I suggest switching our breakfast for a morning smoothie. It helps to kickstart your metabolism and digestive system.

Try this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ an apple chopped
  • 1 tbsp Flaxseed
  • ½ cup almond milk (or Diana Stobo’s Cashew Hemp Milk)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy.

2.  Drink more water

The importance of drinking water can never be overstated.  This is by far the easiest and most effective way to clean your body. Water naturally flushes toxins, helping your organs to function properly and giving you clearer skin.  Eight glasses of water a day should be a minimum amount, try to keep the intake up!

3. Replace coffee with green tea.

Green tea still contains caffeine and will give you the boost you need in the morning. Green tea offers so many antioxidants and health benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. It also helps us lose weight in the long-term.

4. Sweat it out.

Do something everyday that makes you sweat. Sweating allows your body to release toxins. Up your exercise routine and make yourself move everyday. Or sit in a steam room/sauna. Maybe take a hot, epsom salt bath. Just make sure you are sweating!

5. Get more sleep.

While we are sleeping our bodies are repairing themselves from the days activities. Our brains and processing all that we saw, learned, experienced. Our bodies are recovering from any harmful toxins it came in contact with. We need sleep to be healthy.

6. Cut out simple carbohydrates.

This is easy. There are so many alternatives to white bread, rice, pasta etc. Try quinoa or brown rice, ezekiel bread, sprouted bread. All of these alternatives will help your digestion, help your blood sugar, help you in so many ways.

We all love the starchy comfort of white bread and pasta, but its time to make the change!

7. Listen to your body.

It is amazing how far listening to your body can take you. When you eat something, see how your body reacts. Your body will react. It can either be positive or negative. If you eat fruits and veggies and feel energized then eat more. If you eat bread and pasta and feel tired, bloated, sluggish then cut it out of your diet. Your body is unique and only you can tell what it really needs.

8. Eat more fiber in its natural form

Fiber not only leaves you feeling more full and satisfied but it helps your digestion system release any built up toxins. Our digestive tract is responsible for moving everything that comes in to our body out of our body. This process is difficult and a lot of times our digestive tract gets stuck with left over food etc that it never really cleans out. Getting enough fiber and “going to the bathroom” everyday is very important for your health.

If you have a lot of issues with this, try a digestive supplement like Digestive Bitters. They are full of nutrients that will naturally help you release any toxins stored in your body.

Top 5 Essential Oils for Weight Loss

essential oils and medical flowers herbs

Essential oils are helpful for many different aspects in our life. Aromatherapy has been proven to have many healing and uplifting affects. Inhaling these aromas before meals or throughout the day can actually help us to lose weight.

1. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is beneficial for weight loss because of its ability to diminish ones appetite, improve digestion and speed up metabolism. It is also very useful in dissolving fat on our bodies.

2. Bergamot

Bergamot is known for its calming affect, helping to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. This helps to sooth our minds and curb cravings naturally. Take a bergamot bath by adding 10-12 essential oils to bath water.

3. Peppermint

Peppermints strong aroma has been proven shown to control your appetite and curb your cravings. Inhale before eating to help you eat less and feel more satisfied after your meal.

4. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is known for its ability to transmit messages to the brain involving control and resisting temptations. Inhaling sandalwood can help us resist the urge and temptation to eat as much as we normally would.

5. Ocotea

Ocotea helps to control blood glucose and cortisol levels. With balanced levels it helps us to control our appetite and control cravings.

10 Ways To Stop Overeating

overeating

1. Stay away from Fad diets that promise quick weight loss.
While it is possible to lose up to 10 pounds in one week it often isn’t healthy, or is only a lose of water weight and not a true indication of your real weight.
Also, once the fad diet ends, your body is depleted of real nutrients. This signals your brain to eat whatever it can to try and receive those nutrients. We often end up binge eating foods that aren’t nutritionally satisfying because we are listening to how our body feels not realizing what it needs.

2. Keep in mind portion sizes.
It is helpful to use your fist as a guide to portions.
Use your palm for the amount of meat you should eat
A handful is the amount of snack food aka nuts and berries you should eat
The tip of your thumb is one teaspoon. Use this to measure high fat foods such as Mayonnaise and Peanut Butter
Invision a tennis ball for the amount of fruits and veggies on your plate
Your entire thumb should be the size of the cheese or low fat dairy on your plate

3. Chew your food more before you swallow
When you chew your food more, you are eating at a slower pace allowing your brain to catch up to how full your stomach actually is. This will prevent you from eating until you are too full

4. Stop eating when you feel full.
It is helpful to serve a small portion, then wait until you reach for seconds to see if you are actually full. It takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain is full so if you wait and take your time you will realize you are more full than you thought.

5. Eat more fiber
Fiber makes you feel full faster and for longer periods. Because fiber takes the body longer to process you will feel full for a longer time.

6. Refrain from nibbling at the food while you are cooking.
People do this mindlessly and next thing you know you’ve eaten quite a large portion of food without realizing because you have only been nibbling on little pieces. This adds up, so be aware of what you are snacking on.

7. Control portions at Restaurants
Portions at restaurants can be pretty large, especially when you have been nibbling on appetizers. Ask the server to place half your meal in a to-go container before bringing the food out so that you are not tempted to eat the entire portion size in one sitting.

8. Take the time to appreciate your food.
Sometimes we become so hungry we eat our food so fast we aren’t even paying attention to the taste of it. Force yourself to eat slowly and enjoy your food. You will not only be more satisfied with your meal but you will automatically eat less by eating slower.

9. Try to avoid drinking alcohol and eating at the same time.
A glass of wine at dinner is preferred for most people but alcohol inhibits our brain from telling us we are full or stopping us from eating things we should not be eating. We have less control when drinking and won’t stop ourselves from the second serving or the desert when drinking.

10. Recognize what it is that is making you overeat.
Do you overeat cause you’re bored?
Do you eat your emotions?
Do you reward yourself with food?
Pay attention to what is causing you to overeat and try to control the impulse to do so in the future. Once you recognize the problem it becomes easier to control.

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