Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vegan Coffee Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Homemade vegan ice cream...and great coffee flavor no less. It's delicious and creamy! 

Vegan Coffee Coconut Milk Ice Cream

(made in ice cream maker)

Day before do the following:  Refrigerate 1 can of Coconut milk (full fat, not light!) overnight
Soak 1/2 cup of cashews in filtered water for 4 hours or overnight

Into you high speed blender add: 

1 can of coconut milk that was refrigerated overnight
1/2 cup of cashews (see above)
1/3 cup of cold coffee or cold espresso
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend for 2 minutes in your high speed blender until completely blended and smooth. 

Pour into ice cream maker. I use a cuisinart so 30 minutes in the ice cream maker worked great. Put into a container and store in the freezer. 

Substitutions for other flavors: 

  • You could also sub the coffee for 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder and make chocolate ice cream
  • You could add frozen strawberries or other frozen fruit

Cowspiracy Trailer

I got the chance to see this screened last month and there was a Q & A session afterwards with the directors/creators. It's a GREAT documentary that everyone should see.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why I eat a low fat, whole foods plant based diet

Yeah, I know...I can hear it already-"here she goes again". Karen is up on her soapbox. Yep, I am. I am because I truly want people to know the benefits of a healthy plant based vegan diet. 

A few months ago I found out that one of my customers who was a 49 year old woman dropped dead of a massive coronary while taking care of her mom who has cancer. Women often have little to no symptoms before they have a heart attack. Men typically do, but for women it's not always the same signs and they either are missed or they don't exist. I was shocked, flabbergasted and felt so sad that I'd never see her again. I didn't get up to see her very often, but she was a joy to work with and training was always fun when I went to her lab. 

I don't want that to be me...EVER. I don't have heart disease, I'm not sure if my customer was having issues or was on any type of medication. But the reality is, whether heart disease runs in your family or not, whether you currently have heart disease or not, you CAN reverse it. And most of can prevent it. 

I know, I don't have heart disease. You are healthy, why should you make a change? Well, in 50% of cases, the first sign of heart disease is a massive coronary that is fatal (yeah, you die and that is your first warning sign). So you may have heart disease and not even know it. 50% of cases...those are odds that I don't want to be part of. No, I'm not trying to live forever. I'm trying to live a healthy life, free of health issues, free of medication so that if I live to 90 or 100, I am still strong of mind, body and health. I don't want to spend my elderly years sick or feeble. I want to be able to live a long healthy life free from disease. 

I know people want to hear this but they also don't want to hear it because it means that they have to make changes. I know that you would rather take a pill instead of change how you eat. I can't say I understand that idea, but I know that the prevailing feeling is that it's easier to take a pill than to change your way of eating. Even though that pill may cause major side effects that cause you to have to take another pill to cure those side effects. I get it. I know that after all the years of eating the same way, it seems inconceivable that you could revamp what you eat and how you eat. 

But why wouldn't you? Here's what I have heard over and over again. 
  • It is too hard
  • My family would never go for it
  • It's easy for you, you are single, you don't cook for anyone else
  • I can't eat one way when everyone else eats another way
  • People would think I'm weird
  • It would be too hard to eat out
  • I would rater die 10 years earlier and continue to eat the way I eat than to never eat (insert your favorite here - "bacon" "cheese" "meat" "milk" "eggs" again)
We have known for over 100 years that meat consumption is bad for us. This isn't a new trend. It was published long ago. Here's an article from 1907: 
1907 New York Times article shows that meat causes cancer

We also know that you CAN prevent and reverse heart disease

No one can make the choice for you, I realize that. But maybe, just maybe you'll take the time to read, research and make a change. Whether you go cold turkey (like I did, pun intended) or you take baby steps, changing to a whole foods plant based diet is the way to do. 

For the animals, for your health, for the planet...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Smoky Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Roasted Corn soup

Made this last week and I loved it so much I had to make it again! Great for the chilly fall weather. 

Smoky Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Roasted Corn soup
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of baked, peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen roasted corn
  • 2 cups black beans (rinse first if using canned beans)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme (dried)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (I used Chile Molida)
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp. ground Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Lacinato kale (chiffonade style, add at end or just into bowl before serving)
  • Cilantro (chopped), added as garnish (as little or as much as you want!)
  • Cashew sour cream (recipe below)
  • Avocado (optional)
  1. Add onion to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat until it begins to become translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook another 3 minutes until softened.
  2. Stir in frozen roasted corn and let cook another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans (make sure they are rinsed well if using canned beans)
  4. Add the chopped cooked sweet potatoes. 
  5.  Add vegetable stock and add the following spices: cumin, thyme, smoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove 2-3 cups of the soup and puree in a blender (I used my Vitamix). Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the puree.
  7. Return to the pot and stir.
  8.  Add kale to pot and stir. Alternatively, you can just put some of the kale into each bowl, add the soup on top and then stir. This helps to soften the kale but not overcook it so it retains all its good nutrition! But if you aren’t keen on chewy kale, feel free to add it in towards the end and cook it a bit to soften it.
  9.  Add a dollop of cashew sour cream to the top, along with some chopped cilantro and chopped avocado and serve. Yum! 
    Cashew sour cream:
  • Soak 1 cup of cashews in water for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
  • Discard soak water and put cashews in a blender (used my VitaMix)
  • Add juice from 1 lemon
  • Add 1/4 -1/2  cup water (start with 1/4 and add more as needed)
  • Add ground Himalayan sea salt to taste (usually about 1/4 tsp.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yum, just yum...

Just had an amazing dinner (if I do say so myself!) 

Baked Cheezy Spicy Cauliflower 
Quinoa Falafel with Tahini Avocado Dressing (I didn't have Vegg so I used ground flax/water for the egg substitute - need to experiment with the right amount as they were a bit crumbly. I baked mine and left out any oils. The dressing was good, but I added more lime to mine.)
Green salad with cucumbers, tomato, red bell pepper, Caesar dressing

The cauliflower was seriously to die for. I almost at the entire thing! 

Baked Cheezy Spicy Cauliflower: 
Heat oven to 375
1 large head of cauliflower (wash and cut into bite size pieces)

In a ziploc bag add the following spices: 

5 TBS Nutritional Yeast
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp South African Smoke Seasoning Blend (Trader Joes' comes in a grinder) 
 - ingredients of smoke blend: paprika flakes, sea salt, garlic, basil
1 TBS sesame seeds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Shake up the seasonings in the ziploc bag, add the freshly washed cauliflower and shake away. 

Put coated cauliflower on a cookie sheet and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Delicious!