Tag Archives: Eating Vegan

Butternut Squash Soup

This simple and delicious soup is a staple in my home, a favorite amongst my friends, and a recipe I give out often. It’s a smooth, warm and satisfying meal that can be made in advance. For a heartier version, serve with flax crackers.

Ingredients
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (approx. 1 medium squash)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons ghee**
1-quart organic vegetable broth (Imagine or Pacific brand)
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 pinch of saffron threads or powder (optional) Flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend for drizzle
Directions
In 4-quart saucepan, sauté onion and butternut squash in ghee until vegetables sweat, but do not brown. Add vegetable broth, saffron, and sea salt. Cook on medium/low heat until vegetables are tender and soft, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. Place immersion blender directly in a pot and blend until pureed, or to desired consistency.
If you do not have an immersion blender, cool and transfer mixture to a standard blender and puree for 20-30 seconds. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring back to desired heat. To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend.

**Ghee is clarified butter without solid milk fat particles, this lactose-free. It can be found at most health food stores. Feel free to substitute coconut milk for a 100% vegan version.

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese with Lentil Pasta

If you are familiar with my original Naked Macaroni and Cheese  (my daughter affectionately named “Mac-a-faux-ni”) you really love this updated version.  I’I’m currently obsessed with red lentil pasta, it cooks ups nicely and really holds it shape, I find most gluten-free pastas get mushy. It also is loaded with protein, so a small serving is very fulfilling.  I know the recipe calls for Ghee, which is not vegan but has all the milk solids removed. That’s why I love using it, it has the buttery flavor without the inflammatory dairy reactions. Please feel free to use coconut oil for a completely vegan version.

Ingredients

2 heaping cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tomato cubed

11⁄2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil for a 100% vegan/dairy-free version

11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup almond milk (freshly made of course!)

1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons soaked and drained cashews

1 tablespoon lemon juice

12-ounce package lentil penne pasta

Directions

In a 4-quart pot, prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook al dente (test by chewing), strain, and run under cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. Pour cooled pasta back into pot.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt
ghee or coconut oil and gently sweat
the sweet potatoes and tomato, do not brown.
Add sea salt and almond milk (for recipe please watch this VIDEO)  and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Carefully pour hot sweet potatoes into blender and add
drained cashews, nutritional yeast, and
lemon juice. Blend on low with the center cap on lid
removed to release the heat while blending. Slowly increase speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour over pasta and stir.

Raw Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

One bite of this special dessert and you’ll say, “No way is this dairy free! No way is this free of processed sugar and gluten and wheat! And it’s good for me?” Yes, it is! It’s full of “good” fats that can actually lower your cholesterol and help your body burn fat. Plus you’re getting all the nutrients of raw pumpkin, raw nuts, and carrot juice. It’s a super-delicious super-dessert!

pumpkin-cheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw pecans
3 dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients until they start to stick together. Pour ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Pumpkin filling
Ingredients
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1–2 hours, drained, and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1½ cups carrot juice
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil, melted in hot bath
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pan on top of crust. Using spatula gently spread toward edges of pan until even. Place in freezer while making next layer or for 1–2 hours.
Coconut topping
Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut milk (1 young coconut)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons lecithin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Pinch sea salt
Directions Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until light and fluffy. Carefully spread on top of cheesecake filling. This should be at the very top of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 4–6 hours until completely set. Use thin knife to scrape around edges of pan before removing cake from pan. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Tart

This beautiful and creamy tart melts in your mouth. It has a chocolate crust and a creamy filling made with the unique pili nut, which is a rainforest nut from the Philippines. They have the highest vitamin E and magnesium content of any nut and add a creamy, buttery texture to recipes.

Mexican torte

Chocolate “Graham Cracker” Crust
Ingredients
1¼ cups raw walnuts
1 cup coconut cane sugar
¾ cup raw cacao nibs
1 cup raisins or cranberries
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Place all walnuts, sugar, and cacao in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and process until it is finely ground. Add raisins (or cranberries) and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Do not over-process. Transfer crust mixture into a 9-inch round or rectangular tart pan. Spread evenly and press down with hands to compact and bring the crust up the sides. Set aside.
Creamy Filling
Ingredients
2 cups whole pili nuts; shelled, brown skins left on
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Directions
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to use a plunger or scraper to get the best consistency. Spread filling evenly over crust and let sit to set. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a month.

Vegan Spiced Cupcakes With Orange Cream Frosting

How do you make cupcakes without flour, eggs, and milk? Easy! This is a fun recipe with a delicious sweet orange frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.
SpicedCupcake
Spice Cake
Ingredients
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup shredded dried coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans
½ cup medjool dates, pitted & packed
1 teaspoon orange zest (1 orange)
½ cup raisins
Directions
Place almonds, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in processor fitted with S-blade and process until finely ground. Add walnuts and pecans. Process until finely ground. Add dates, zest and raisins until mixture begins to stick together. Do not over-process.
Line a cupcake tin with paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full with mixture. Press down gently to compact each cupcake. Set aside.
Orange Cream Frosting
Ingredients
1½ cups coconut milk
1 cup raw cashews, soak 2 hours, rinse & drain
¼ cup raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon orange zest (1 orange)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lecithin powder, non-GMO
1/3 cup raw virgin coconut oil, melted
Directions
Put coconut milk in blender, add soaked cashews, agave nectar, zest and vanilla and blend until creamy. Add lecithin and oil until incorporated, using a spatula to scrape down sides. Place in airtight container, chill for at least two hours until set.
Assembly:
Use a pastry bag to pipe or spatula to spread frosting over cupcakes. Garnish with orange zest. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw as needed.

Cheesy Kale Chowder


Kale ChowderHot creamy chowders warm the body and the soul on the chilly days of autumn and winter.  And what better way to have your chowder than with Kale and dairy free creaminess.  If you have never tried one of my dairy free creamy soups, you are in for a big surprise. This one is at the top of my list for favorites.  

 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon ghee

1 cup leeks, diced (whites only)

2 cups celery root, peeled and diced

1 bunch of Kale, stemmed and sliced thin

4 cloves of garlic, minced

12 baby portabello mushrooms, sliced

1 QT Vegetable Broth

1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon thyme leaves

 

“Cheese Sauce”

½ cup raw cashew butter

¼ cup raw tahini

½ cup water

½ cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

Directions:

Melt ghee in 5 QT pot on medium-high heat.  Add garlic, leeks, celery root, salt and pepper and sauté to sweat, about 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and sauté until mushroom soft and slightly browned. Add kale and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

Pour vegetable stock over vegetables, add the thyme and then reduce heat to simmer.

While soup is simmering, prepare the “cheese sauce” by adding all ingredients in high-speed blender, blend for 30 seconds.

Pour the cheese sauce directly into the pipping hot chowder and stir.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup

My girlfriend on the East Coast just called and asked for a recipe for Pumpkin soup.

She always calls me when she wants to make something yummy and healthy.

When we were little girls growing up, she used to come over to my house after school and watch me play in the kitchen.

I was a latch-key kid and was in charge of making dinner for my brother and my mom.

And one of my specialties was soup.

So, I took one of my favorite soups and played with it a bit

here is the recipe I gave her:

Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup

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Ingredients

3 cups fresh pumpkin, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons ghee or (coconut oil for a vegan version)

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 quart organic vegetable broth, either — •

  • Store bought (e.g., Pacific Natural Foods)•
  • Homemade •
  • 1 quart water and organic vegetable bouillon cube

2 cups coconut milk, either — •

  • Homemade (see recipe below) •
  • 14-ounces of organic store-bought coconut milk

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

 

Directions

 

In 4-quart saucepan, sauté onions and pumpkin in ghee until they sweat but do not brown. Add curry powder, sea salt, and broth. Cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes until vegetables are soft. Take pot off heat and add coconut milk. Using hand blender, blend until desired consistency. (Or cool and transfer to blender and blend for 20– 30 seconds.) Stir in cilantro and serve.

Coconut milk

1 1/2–2 cups coconut water 8 ounces coconut meat (or meat of 1 coconut, depending on size)

Place both in high-speed blender and blend on high until ingredients are emulsified.

Soothing Non-Dairy Turmeric Milk

Not only is this warm drink delicious, it is also soothing for sore throats and stuffy noses. Ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. The black pepper boosts those properties. You can make this with any fresh nut-milk you have on hand or even store bought coconut milk. Make sure you heat it gently to not curdle the milk.

Non-Dairy Turmeric Milk

2 cups homemade almond, coconut milk, or any non-dairy milk of your choice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1″ piece of ginger sliced
raw honey to sweeten, if desired

Combine all ingredients and whisk on low heat until milk is warm but not too hot. Serve immediately.

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Soothing Turmeric Almond Milk

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!!!

You Are What You Eat

A slice of carrot looks like a human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye … And YES, science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

tomato sliceA tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

tomato sliceGrapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also a profound heart- and blood-vitalizing food.

tomato sliceA walnut looks like a little brain with a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

tomato sliceKidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and, yes, they look exactly like human kidneys.

tomato sliceCelery, bok choy, rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

tomato sliceAvocados, eggplant and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female — they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are more than 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

tomato sliceFigs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

tomato sliceSweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

tomato sliceOlives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

tomato sliceOranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

tomato sliceOnions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears, which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Awareness is a key element when pursuing any lifestyle changes! I know you have probably seen this before. But it never fails to fascinate me and I wanted to share! Nature is perfect!

In health & love,

Diana