Tag Archives: vegan

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.
Spice Cake
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
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
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
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.
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


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



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.


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.


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.


These are made with Portobello Mushrooms and Cashew Sour Cream

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

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.


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
• 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
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.

• 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
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.


How to make grain-free bagels


Bagels have always been a go-to, easy breakfast solution. Before I went through my health transformation, my freezer was ALWAYS stocked with dozens of bagels for my kids and husband. They always wanted bagels and we always had them handy. They’re delicious and filling but every time my family would eat them they would complain of stomach aches, feeling tired and bloated. No one can disagree that a huge clump of bread and cream cheese makes them feel fat and sluggish.


I decided it was time to create a grain-free bagel recipe that my family would love and wouldn’t leave them feeling gross.


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Grain-Free Bagels

Yields ½ dozen bagels




Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt


Wet ingredients:

  • 2 pasteurized eggs
  • 2 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup



  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.

  • In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt and chia seeds).

  • In a small bowl whisk together eggs, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup.

  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.
  • (Note: the batter will be very wet and loose in texture. This is normal.)

  • Scoop 1/2 cup into your hands and roll into a ball.

  • Place on a greased cookie sheet and mold the dough into a bagel shape.

  • Use a toothpick to hollow out a center hole.

  • Transfer cookie sheet to oven for 15–18 minutes; check them periodically as the time approaches 15 minutes to make sure bagels do not burn.


You can top with avocado or tomato or any topping of your choice.


Also make a bagel sandwich by adding Paleo Cream Cheese, sprouts, avocado, onion and tomato.


10 steps to conscious living

Most of our reactions in life are a result of unhealthy lifestyles.  This goes beyond what we eat, but rather how we live.  Each choice we make affects the other,  staying Conscious in a fast paced world can be challenging.  And with these 10 steps we can remind ourselves how to stay connected for a more grounded life.


“A stupid person behaves mechanically: an intelligent person behaves consciously.” ~Osho

1. Live simply and live deliberately.  It is alright to allow yourself some space from the day to day grind.  It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of our existence.  By choosing some time to slow down and focus on self, you will discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Stay in touch with yourself. As most of our time is spent in the presence of others, we can very easily lose connection with ourselves.  Being alone is a gift allowing time to observe your own emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears.  Meditation and  journaling are a couple of excellent ways to discover self, but simply being alone without outside stimulation is enough to get you in touch with the real you.

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. My philosophy is that there are preachers and there are teachers.  True teachers are those who live their lesson.  Become the example of which you wish to teach.  This will allow you the  opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. Outside stimulation can draw us into a dramatic and chaotic place.  Media bombards our visions with death, war, violence and evil,  tainting your world with fear and pain.  Make choices of that which you wish to read, watch or listen too.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. It doesn’t matter where you are, there is beauty in everything.  Find the beauty that surrounds you, recognize it, and embrace it, each day.

6. Nurture your ties to others. Having the love , support, guidance  and companionship of others can be very rewarding.  Take the time to nurture the relationships that are meaningful for you and  reap the benefits of having loved ones in your life.

7. See the larger picture. Creating a broader perspective on life allows you a space to grow.   Educate, research, travel and discuss other ways of being and open yourself to the life you have always wanted.  Just because you choose to live one way, it does not mean it is the only way to live.

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. We all fall into a place of redundancy and routine.  It is easy to find comfort and boredom in the mundane.  Creating challenges and stimulation for ourselves through creativity, and knowledge it opens us up to a more fulfilling life.

9. Move your body. Rest and relaxation does not necessarily mean being sedentary.  Physical movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality. Make time for some conscious movement, whether it is walking, yoga, or swimming, it will enhance your lifestyle greatly.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. In today’s world, we find quiet time is hard to come by.  However, just moments a day of stillness and silence can invigorate the senses, calm the mind, and enhance well-being.   Being alone in a peaceful place can help you stay in touch with yourself.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~Albert Einstein



How much is enough Protein?

Many people, including nutritionist, still think that you cannot get enough protein without eating meat, fish, or chicken. But is this really true?  I don’t eat meat, I am in decent shape, my body is lean but not small.  I have good musculature and strong bones.  I walk/run 5 days a week, do yoga and lift weights at times.  I am always full of energy, don’t need too much sleep, unless it’s winter, then I hibernate. I am a over 80% raw and mostly Vegan.  Am I truly at a deficit if I am not eating animal flesh?   The question for me really is how much do “the experts” say we need, as apposed to how much we really need?  I  don’t have the answer, but if “the experts” are right, then I had better start eating MORE Spinach!

“The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has set the daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of protein for males, 19 years old and older, at 56 grams and for females, 14 years old and older, at 46 grams.  Pregnant and lactating women require an additional 25 grams of protein per day for a total of 71 grams.  Though not proven, athletes who are doing strenuous aerobic exercises may need extra protein. If you’re doing regular, strenuous resistant or weight-lifting exercises, your body is actually producing more of its own protein so you don’t really need to be eating an extra amount.”

However, this is mostly disregarded as a standard because the theory is that you need a a certain amount of protein in direct relation to your body weight.  Of course this number varies depending on who you are talking too   The basic formula is the number of grams of protein you need is your body weight (in pounds) multiplied by 0.37.   So, if you weigh in at 170 pounds, you need to eat 63 grams of protein a day (170 x 0.37 = 62.9).  Here is a handy chart to help you get the gist of how to plan your next meal:

Body Weight Proteins (Grams)

My Big Fat Greek Salad

  • 110            41
  • 120            44
  • 130            48
  • 140            52
  • 150            55
  • 160            59
  • 170            63
  • 180            67
  • 190            70
  • 200            74
  • 210            78
  • 220            81
  • 230            85
  • 240            89

But, what is a gram of protein and how do we measure that in pounds?

There are 454 grams in a pound.

The average cut of beef (T-Bone, Filet, Porterhouse, etc.) is about 25% protein.  So, if you require 70 grams of protein a day, a 10-ounce steak will take care of all of this. (454/16=28 x 10 = 280 x 0.25 = 70)  The fact is, anyone who eats meat, chicken or fish on a daily basis is probably getting enough protein when you add all the other sources and there are many.

A 10 ounce cut Top Sirloin has approximately 575 calories, 39.4grams of saturated fat, 191 mg of cholesterol, not to mention the addictive qualities, the difficulty in digesting, the inability to digest the proteins completely for lack of enzymatic activity, unless of course it is rare and all natural, then you may still have some live activity in the beef.  But our discussion is solely on Protein, so let’s focus!

Now, if you were to rely solely on spinach, which has 49 % bio-available protein,  you’d need to eat 12 cups of spinach to get your 70 gram requirement.  That would only be about 84 calories, no fat, with the added benefit of about 800mg of potassium. Many vegetables contain protein, but just eating a variety of them as your only source will probably not add up to the minimum requirement.  Add in some beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains though, and things start adding up.  Here’s a list of protein rich foods not including meat, chicken or fish, I also excluded dairy products, to stay true to my discussion:

Spicy Lentil Tostadas

  • Food                            Serving Size        Amount Protein
  • Avocado                           1                                5 grams
  • Spirulina                         1 Tbsp                   10 grams
  • Soybeans                         1 cup cooked         29 grams
  • Shitake mushrooms      8 ounces                  5 grams
  • Sesame seeds                  1 ounce                     5 grams
  • Black beans                     1 cup                      15 grams
  • Lima beans                      1 cup                      14 grams
  • Lentils                               1 cup                      17 grams
  • Kidney beans                   1 cup                      15 grams
  • Pinto beans                      1 cup                      14 grams
  • Navy beans                      1 cup                      15 grams
  • Tempeh                            4 ounces                 20 grams
  • Tofu                                   4 ounces                   9 grams
  • Oats cooked                    1 cup                        6 grams
  • Tomato                              1                            1.5 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds               ¼ cup                     8.5 grams
  • Peanuts                            ¼ cup                    9.5 grams
  • Almonds                           ¼ cup                      7 grams
  • Kale                                    1 cup                       2.2 grams
  • Mustard greens               1 cup                        3 grams
  • Spinach                             1 cup                        5 grams
  • Romaine lettuce              2 cups                       2 grams
  • Mushrooms                     5 ounces                  4 grams
  • Asparagus                        1 cup                    4.5 grams
  • Broccoli                            1 cup                    4.5 grams
  • Swiss chard                      1 cup                       3 grams
  • Collard greens                 1 cup                       4 grams
  • Cauliflower                       1 cup                       2 grams
  • Brussel sprouts                1 cup                       4 grams
  • Miso                                   1 ounce                   4 grams
  • Turnip greens                  1 cup                    1.5 grams
  • Green beans                     1 cup                    2.5 grams
  • Cabbage                            1 cup                   1.5 grams
  • Squash                              1 cup                    1.5 grams
  • Garlic                               1 ounce                 1.5 grams

Fresh Almond Milk

If you’re a vegan,or just getting Naked  it’s fairly easy to get enough protein listed on the chart above—2 cup spinach (Popeyes passion-12 grams), 1 cup lentils, tomato, avocado (Lentil tostadas in Get Naked Fast -26 grams), 1 quart green juice (18 grams), ¼ cup almonds (almond Milk-7 grams) 1 cup romaine lettuce, 1 oz sesame seeds (My Big fat greek Salad- Get Naked Fast-7 grams), and of course in these recipes are other sources of protein as well.

This being said,  it is all more complicated than you may think.  Protein is a complex molecule comprised of a combination of different amino acids, and not all proteins contain all of the amino acids.  Eight of these are refered to as “essential” because your body cannot manufacture them on its own.  The others are “nonessential” for the opposite reason. The menu that I have comprised above contains most if not all essential amino acids, based on the variety of vegetables, grains , seeds and nuts.  These plant-based proteins are bio-available for your body and easily digestible.

Now, we just ate a menu for a full grown man of 190 pounds, based on suggested protein- if the chart above feels accurate to you, modify for your body size.  Most important is quality of protein grams over quantity, for losing weight, maintaining healthy tissue, and keeping metabolism functioning at full potential.  If you are really interested in the most usable source of a complete protein, add fresh sprouts to every meal you eat.  Nothing promotes health and healing or contains more life force energy than fresh live sprouts!

And Bon appetite-  nothing tastes better than healthy food!


The Raw Vegan Religion

Is the raw vegan lifestyle a cult?

Well, of late it is starting to seem like one. Recently on a social media website, I responded to a raw vegan celebrity’s announcement that he was no longer vegan. I congratulated him for his honesty and shared my truth. My posting was met with disappointment and judgment. And then a debate began that brought out some very interesting insights. One post stated that the raw vegan cult is becoming very exclusive. Another posted that they began eating meat because they didn’t like the way vegan people were treating others who weren’t. And then I was reminded of my wedding day.

August 5, 1989.  I was 24 years old, and my soon-to-be groom was a good Catholic boy whose mother insisted we get married in a Catholic church. Since I was raised with very diverse religious backgrounds, I was easily swayed into this traditional valued Church. I did all the work — religious studies and homework — and even promised to raise my children as good Catholics. I was excited to belong to this “exclusive” group. But on my wedding day, I entered the church and the priest realized that although I did the work, I was not a confirmed Catholic. He refused to marry us.

Well, you can imagine my shock. Here I was trying to belong to something that mattered, that felt good, that felt like acceptance, that was meant to be about love, and yet I was met with judgment and exclusion.

One of my bridesmaids pulled the priest aside and gave him a talking to. She said, “You are the reason the Catholic Church has a bad reputation.” Then lo and behold, we got married.

What does that have to do with being raw vegan?

I believe that people are intimidated by the raw vegan lifestyle because if they don’t get it right, if they are not 100%, if they are not confirmed and accepted into the cult, then they fail. And nobody wants to fail. 

So the question here is: are you eating for religious beliefs or are you eating for health, vibrance and beauty?

If it is the latter, then you may just want to skip the cult and just “Get Naked Fast.” Because there is no judgment, there are no shoulds or should nots. “Getting Naked” is a meet-you-where-you-are approach to achieving a healthy, vibrant life. We connect with our bodies and learn to listen to what it wants and needs.

Getting Naked is not all about food, but is mind and body nutrition that feeds every part of you.

In health & love,