Category Archives: Diana’s Post

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.

The Awakening of “The Mother” in Fathers (A tribute to the men who Love)

As a Happy Father’s Day to all, I want to shed some light on our ever changing view of the mother and father roles. I have been called the quintessential mother. I think that’s because I care for so many- not just my offspring, but on a grand scale. I’ve accepted that title, only because it would seem silly for me to refuse such a grand gesture. I am proud of the children I have raised, of the businesses I have birthed and the many people that I have helped and am honored as I have seen their value systems being placed into practical roles in the world.
In fact, I believe that whatever nurturing affect I have as a mother- I simply work that into my job.

And isn’t that the greatest gift, to give wings to fly on your own.

caribbean_love_by_egil21-d31r3kh-300x225

Now, I can only derive from experience what I am about to share. And its not just about me, it’s about everybody who is a mother, has a mother and or has stepped into mother someone.

This is in the end- really about the fathers of the world.

Because I have witnessed so many men step into the feminine roles that nurture and mold their babies, their businesses and their loved ones.
Lets first begin with the many definitions:

moth·er 1 (mŭth′ər)

There is, of course the obvious Mother, direct from birth to nurture, and then all the beauty of those who adopt or raise a child -not from blood. That is the NOUN Mother, specifically for women, female gender. Although I know many men who have stepped in as Mothers for their children or even take on the characteristics of Mother by nature. With our gender specific roles shifting and changing in the world, it’s very hard to use Mother solely for a Woman.

n.
a. A woman who gives birth to a child.
b. A woman whose egg unites with a sperm, producing an embryo.
c. A woman who adopts a child.
d. A woman who raises a child.

2. A female parent of an animal.

3. A female ancestor.

4. A woman who holds a position of authority or responsibility similar to that of a mother: a den mother.

5. Roman Catholic Church
a. A mother superior.
b. Used as a form of address for such a woman.

6. A woman who creates, originates, or founds something: “the discovery of radium, which made Marie Curie mother to the Atomic Age” (Alden Whitman).

7. A creative source; an origin: Philosophy is the mother of the sciences.

8. Used as a title for a woman respected for her wisdom and age.

9. Maternal love and tenderness: brought out the mother in her.

10. The biggest or most significant example of its kind: the mother of all battles.

11. Vulgar Slang Something considered extraordinary, as in disagreeableness, size, or intensity.

#11 Vulgar Slang??? Hey, I didn’t make these up, they are in the dictionary just as displayed. A “mother so and so” as a derogatory term is listed in the definition of mother. Which really shows you how we have evolved. But wait, the best part is about to begin in the descriptions of mother as an adjective. Because mothering is really the subject here, it is the nurturing aspect of men that I want to award here, the ever loving and giving way a man can care for something he loves.

adj.
1. Relating to or being a mother.
2. Characteristic of a mother: mother love.
3. Being the source or origin: the mother church.
4. Derived from or as if from one’s mother; native

v. moth·ered, moth·er·ing, moth·ers
1.
a. To give birth to: mothered three children.
b. To be the source of; create or produce: “Necessity mothered the invention of printing” (Irving Wallace).
2. To act as mother to, as in nourishing and protecting.

The greatest gift for anyone to achieve in this lifetime is to experience mothering as the expansion of motherhood reaches beyond the mother-child scenario.

As a Man at one time in your life you have probably experienced at least a moment of mothering:

• Birthing a company
• Raising an animal
• Being a (single)parent
• Nurturing a sick or dying friend
• Caring for your partner in a loving nurturing way

And whether you recognize it or not, it is your awakening of the female energy, that part of you that is most comforted and comfortable. It is the Special gift that all men are offered yet NOT all men can achieve. That softness that you bring when you smile upon the world, that warmth you expand when you wrap your arms around your child or loved one is the part that separates you from the neanderthal.

Men- you are changing. Like it or not, you are evolving into more feminine creatures.
And the women of the world thank you.

Cheers and gratitude to all the fathers in the world who have awakened to Motherhood.
Your presence is a gift.

In health and Love,
Diana

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!!!

Red Bean Ceviche

This recipe was developed down at The Retreat. Our whole philosophy down there is “Tico Fresh” and Farm to Fork, basically we want to give you the freshest foods from what we have locally available. And if you know me, you know I love taking familiar recipes and making them “Naked”. When you are craving something fresh and filling, this recipe is perfect. It’s also a great dish to bring to potlucks and picnics.

Red bean ceviche
Red Bean Ceviche
Ingredients
• 1 can of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed thoroughly
• ½ cup red onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup bell pepper, chopped finely
• ¼ cup cilantro, copped finely
• ½ cup fresh lemon juice
• ½ cup fresh orange juice
• salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow all the flavors to combine.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avo Choc Mousse
Did you know Avocados and Dark Chocolate are two of the most perfect foods? Avocados are packed with the good kind of fat that helps lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. So I’ve combined them into this decadent powerhouse of a dessert. This will have your whole family asking for seconds.

Ingredients
• 2 ripe Avocados, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
• ¼ cup Cacao Powder
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
• 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
• 2/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Directions
1. Melt dark chocolate in a double broiler. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in your saucepan. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens. When you have just a few small un-melted chunks, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).

2. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for 15-20 seconds. Add the melted dark chocolate and pulse for another 10-15 seconds. Spoon into 4 serving cups and chill for an hour before serving.

Essential Oils to Treat Addictions

 

essential oils and medical flowers herbs
essential oils to help addiction

When we hear the word addiction, we assume we are talking about the major addictions including drugs, alcohol, gambling.

But really addictions can range from sugar addictions, work addictions, to porn addictions.

We develop these dependencies to things that stimulate us.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we have these addictions, especially the less noticeable like food, work, sugar, caffeine.

These are addictions most of us have but don’t realize until we take a step back and look at the dependency we feel towards these things.

These dependencies lead to health problems, relationship issues,sickness, mood swings etc.
They have a huge impact on our physical and mental well-beings.

Whatever addictions you might have, essential oils can help you overcome these addictions.

Essential oils help not only with overcoming addictions but also with reducing the symptoms of withdrawals.

Check this list to see how to overcome your addiction with essential oils.

Alcohol: Basil, Chamomile, Frankincense, Rosemary
Anxiety: Lavender, Ylang Ylang
Caffeine: Basil, Grapefruit
Cravings:Cilantro, Cinnamon, Clove, Grapefruit, Peppermint
Drugs: Basil(for marijuana), Chamomile, Grapefruit
Eating Disorders: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Grapefruit
Food: Basil, Grapefruit
Porn: Frankincense
Sex: Geranium, Sandalwood
Sugar: Grapefruit
Tobacco: Basil, Black Pepper, Clove
Withdrawal symptoms: Orange, Grapefruit, Lavender, Sandalwood
Work addiction: Basil, Lavender, Orange, Ylang Ylang

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!

 

 

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