Monday, April 30, 2012

it's taco time

I love authentic Mexican food! I think I could eat it everyday. Fresh lime and cilantro... mmmm. I've started making a LFRV version of Mexican tacos and I must say, they are tasty!  BENNY APPROVED! This recipe is gluten free, vegan, and raw (except for the tortillas). Best of all, it is so colorful. For a completely raw version, sub out the corn tortillas for full red cabbage leaves.

veggie tacos:
corn tortillas (find these in the ethnic section of the grocery store)
chopped cucumber
chopped tomato
chopped bell pepper
chopped red onion
shredded red cabbage
sliced lime

Heat the tortillas in a pan on the stove and flip once it starts to brown. Then, fill the tortillas with the cabbage, guacamole, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

the best guacamole:
2 ripe avocadoes
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
Smash the avocado with a fork. Blend in onion and cherry tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir and squeeze with fresh lime.

cilantro lime "rice":
1/4 cauliflower
chopped cilantro
1 chopped mango
1 slice of lime
1 tsp. sea salt
Place the chopped cauliflower in a food proccesor and process until finely ground. In a bowl, mix in the cilantro and mango. Squeeze a lime on top and sprinkle with sea salt.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

sam's sundays

Do you have a Sam's membership? If not, go get one... now! It will save you so much $! Their produce is super fresh - it looks better than what I see at the grocery store. Buying in bulk keeps the cost down, while also making it easy to get large quantities of fruits and veggies. In the next few weeks, I'll start going to the farmer's market, but Sam's has been really great through the winter when the farmer's market was closed.
Ben and I go about every other Sunday to stock up. There are a few more things I'll get a Whole Foods throughout the week, but Sam's is an excellent place to load up on the essentials. The food I got today will easily last about 2 weeks. 

The most common thing I hear from people is that eating healthy (or raw, or vegan) is too expensive and too time consuming. From my experience, that is just not true. I hope this blog will give you some good shopping tips as well as some quick, easy recipes.

So, here is a breakdown of what I got at Sam's this weekend:
2 lb strawberries $3.98
10 lb bag of oranges $7.98
case of 17 champagne mangoes $6.98
bag of 12 gala apples $6.49
case of 11 grapefruit $6.98
box of  13 roma tomatoes
2 lb. box of dates $8.48
5 avocadoes $4.88
3 stalks of celery $2.48
spinach $4.48
2 large banana bunches $1.36
bag of 14 bell peppers $5.98
3 lb. bag of broccoli $4.39
3 large cucumbers $4.48

(the coke is Ben's!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

spring rolls for spring time

I love spring time. Flowers start blooming and it is slowly beginning to warm up outside. Everything just starts to come alive. Take some time to sit outside. Go for a walk, climb a tree, plant a garden. Spend time soaking up the sun. You will be better for it, I promise.

Then, make these spring rolls! Simple, colorful, and nutritious...what more could you ask for? These are gluten free, vegan, raw (except for the spring roll shells), and BENNY APPROVED!

spring rolls:
bell pepper
red onion
spring roll shells (found in the ethnic section of the grocery store)
Slice the carrot, cucumber, tomato, pepper, celery, avocado, onion, and spinach into long, thin strips. In a large pot, warm about 4 cups of water on the stove. Before the water boils, slowly dip a spring roll shell into the pot and take it out. It will be flimsy! Carefully place flat on a plate. Starting with the spinach, fill the shell with each ingredient and garnish with mint or basil. Roll it up until everything is covered in the shell.

tangy dipping sauce:
2 tbsp. raw almond butter
3 tbsp. raw soy sauce or nama shoyu
1/2 fresh squeezed orange
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sirachi sauce
Stir all ingredients together.

Friday, April 27, 2012

strawberry cream pie

I love hearing about famous people who eat a LFRV diet. I've read about anyone from Madonna to Ellen Degeneres to Drew Barrymore to Bill Clinton. What really encouraged me to eat this way was the number of professional athletes who have seen better results on this diet, too. I've read about body-builders, basketball players, cyclists, and Olympic runners who follow a LFRV diet.

But, I was really excited to here tha Jónsi is a raw vegan. If you don't know Jónsi, you must check out Sigur Ros and his solo project, Jonsi.

Jónsi and Alex have a cooking show on Youtube and it is awesomely cute. Their raw strawberry pie recipe looks delicious, so I decided to make one too! Of course, I changed a little bit, so here is my adapted version...

raw strawberry coconut cream pie:
1 cup dates
1 cup coconut
1 cup almonds
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan

2 cup coconut
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 cup raw agave
2 cup strawberries

Chop the crust ingredients together in a food processor and then press along the bottom and sides of the pan. Blend the filling ingredients well in the Vitamix. Pour into the pan and top with fresh squeezed lemon juice. Let it sit in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving. BENNY APPROVED!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

fettucini alfredo

LFRV fettucini alfredo? Say it ain't so!

If you're wanting some creamy, savory pasta - this recipe is for you. Sure, its low fat...but more importantly, it is made with real food. Nothing processed, no chemicals, and nothing you cannot pronounce. I am amazed at the stuff on the shelves at grocery stores labeled "low fat!" and "healthy!" when in reality, it has been so processed that it can hardly be considered food at all. Is there anything nutritious about it? Or is it just something that fills your belly until it is time to eat again? Your body will spend more time trying to digest this junk, and you will be left with more side-affects than if you had just eaten real food.

My "rules of thumb"...
If there are more than a hanfdul of ingredients on the box - don't eat it.
If you cannot pronounce an ingredient - don't eat it.
Better yet, if it comes in a box - don't eat it.
Eat whole foods (organic, unprocessed fruits and veggie) and do not consume dairy!

And yes, you can still enjoy savory dishes like fettucini alfredo. I adapted this low-fat, oil and dairy free recipe from Kristina at Rawfully Organic in Houston.

fettucini alfredo:
serves 2

4 large zuchinnis, peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts
1-2 garlic gloves (I use 2)
3 leaves of fresh basil
2 leaves of fresh oregano

Spirulize 2.5 zuchinnis and place in a bowl. In your Vitamix, blend the rest of the zuchinni, basil, oregano, garlic, and pine nuts. Pour sauce over your noodles and mix it up. Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan.

1 cup finely chopped cauliflower (use a food processor)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
*This parmesan "cheese" can last in a glass container in the fridge for about 10 days

Calcium Myths Debunked

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

cinnamon yogurt

As you know, I do not eat dairy. But that doesn't mean that I miss out on creamy treats and desserts. I've put together this yogurt/pudding recipe that is delicious!

Almond milk is rich in calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. It has fewer calories and less fat than regular milk and it is an all-natural and clean food.

Chia seeds are an amazing source of Omega-3 and they help regulate your blood sugar. They are also incredibly hydrating, they help prevent diverticulitis, and they will keep you energized throughout the day. The Indians would munch on these in the wilderness all day for sustanance. These tiny seeds pack a huge punch - they expand to 10 times their size in liquid. Eat em up!

I'm a huge fan of cinnamon and add it to whatever I can. Did you know that cinnamon is great for your body, too? It helps sooth arthritis pain, boosts your mental function, and fights bacteria in our food and bodies. It has even been proven to reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

Adding chia seeds and cinnamon to almond milk is an easy way to create a thick, creamy yogurt. This yogurt is easy to make and much more nutritious than anything you can buy at the grocery store.

creamy cinnamon yogurt:
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk
3-4 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in your Vitamix until thick and creamy. Serve immediately, or leave in the refridgerator overnight. The more you let it sit, the more it will thicken. This yogurt will last in your fridge for about 5 days. I topped with blueberries, a drizzle of honey, and more cinnamon.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

citrus in the morning

I cannot get enough citrus lately. Sweet and sour and juicy... mmm! The vitamin C is excellent, too. This morning's breakfast consisted of sliced grapefruit and bananas.


Monday, April 23, 2012

mercy for animals

I don't want to spend too much time getting "preachy" through this blog. Instead, my goal is to encourage you with fun recipes that will make a vegan life simple and exciting. But, today I feel like it is worth noting a little more on why I no longer eat meat.

It started as a calling into better health after my dad got cancer (read more about it here). But the more I researched on the meat industry, the more alarmed I was at the amount of animal cruelty that is involved. Short and simple, it is disgusting and I want no part of it. How was I so blind to this for the 25 years of my life? The truth is, I think most Americans are just ignorant to it. So much of it is kept secret, it is very difficult for us to learn what happens in factory farms and slaughter houses. We've grown up loving and trusting brands like Tyson and McDonald's. Why would we think otherwise?

Mercy For Animals is an organization that is doing a lot to expose the American meat industry. They work hard to get undercover footage with the hopes of educating us on what we are contributing to by eating meat. This video focuses on the achievements of the organization from the past year. I hope you can read more on my About section and follow the links on that page for other resources and links to documentaries.

This video below is very hard to watch - just warning you. I'll be honest, I only watched about 1 minute of it and that was enough. I'm only posting because I believe it is so important to be aware of what we are eating.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

roasted asparagus

I've been branching out with my veggies lately and eating more asparagus. You can slice asparagus in half and eat it raw in salads or sushi. Friday night, I decided to roast it and eat as a side dish with my dinner. Guess what... its BENNY APPROVED... I've now made it for him 3 nights in a row!

simple balsamic roasted asparagus:
coat bottom of the pan with coconut oil
lay asparagus flat across the bottom (about 20 pieces, depending on the size of the pan)
slice 3-4 cloves of garlic in half and spread the pieces around the asparagus
bake at 375 for about 20 minutes
remove from the over and top with about 1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
sprinkle with sea salt


Saturday, April 21, 2012

i have revolutionized the cookie

Seriously, this is amazing. This cookie recipe is so simple, so tasty, and so good for you. It is even BENNY APPROVED!

oatmeal cookie:
2 ripe bananas
almond milk as needed
1 cup oats (more as needed)
2 tsp. cinnamon

I put a piece of cacao in the middle of each cookie because I love chocolate. These would also be great with raisins, almond slivers, goji berries, or any other filling.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

I could eat these everyday.

Friday, April 20, 2012

green juice

It has been a crazy hectic week and I woke up feeling a little...well, off balance. My schedule has been hectic, I haven't been able to work out as much as I like, and I'm just really ready for the weekend. I think I need a little peace today. So what better way to start the day than with juice!

I have found that if I've had an "off" week like this past week, fresh juice can help me feel centered again. It can rebalance my body from the inside out. It will give me energy, detox the unnecessary junk, and fill me with the vitamins and minerals that I need.

So, here is today's juice.

lemon ginger green zing:
1 bunch collard greens
1 cup spinach
3 small lemons
2 golden delicious apples
1/4 inch

This made about 18 oz...but I like to drink it out of my coffee cup.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

hot pink juice

what could be better thank hot pink juice? straight from nature - this color is amazing!

fresh beet juice:1 beet with beet root
1 golden delicious apple
2 long carrots
2 stems of cilantro

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

carrot cake cookies

I've been making a lot of carrot juice lately, and I hate throwing away all the leftover pulp. I've heard about people using the pulp to make breads, so I decided to try something similar and make cookies! I added raisins to make these cookies more like mini carrot cakes. You can dehydrate for a shorter or longer time depending on the consistency you prefer (a shorter time will give you softer cookies, longer will be more crispy).

carrot cake cookies:
2 cups carrot pulp leftover from juicing
1/3 cup ground flax
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1-2 tbsps. cinnamon (I like a lot)
1/3 cup almond milk - more as needed
2/3 cup raw agave
1/4 cup raisins

Mix the ingredients in the order listed above. Shape into cookies and dehydrate for at least 2-3 hours (more depending on your desired texture). I dehydrated in my oven overnight at the lowest setting with the oven door cracked.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is completely raw! By not cooking it, you keep all the nutrients intact. It has a low glycemic index (won't give you a sugar rush), and it contains minimal fat.


Monday, April 16, 2012


I'm so excited we planted a green zebra tomato plant this year! This was a zebra tomato I got at the farmer's market. So pretty! I'm learning more about food presentation, so anything unique and tasty is interesting to me.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

aloo gobi mash

I love Indian food so very much.

This recipe from Spicie Foodie was so simple to make & so delicious to eat.

vegan indian cauliflower mash/aloo gobi mash:
1 cauliflower head
4 small potatoes
1 small onion
1 red chile
1 1/2 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground tumeric
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. coconut oil (I don't use any other kind)
salt & pepper
(directions here)

It was spicy, so I made fresh grapefruit juice to drink with it. I'm currently addicted to spicy food and citrus.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

garden day

Its that time of year again...the sun is coming out, leaves are growing, flowers is time to plant a garden!

buying our fruits, veggies, and seeds from Bate's Nursery...

This year we'll have a square foot garden for salad greens. We made a second square foot garden and filled it with carrots, collard greens, broccoli, red onions, strawberries, rosemary, cilantro, basil, cucumber, green zebra tomatoes, and black cherokee tomatoes. Then we planted 7 rows filled with cherry tomatoes, zuchinni, oregano, potatoes, beets, bell peppers, green beans, canteloupe, eggplant, and more! It is going to be a summer full of fruits and veggies.

This is a small harvest from last year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

pie for pi day

To celebrate Pi Day, let's eat some PIE!

I made this pie for a friend's birthday party and everyone loved it. No one even cared that it was "gluten-free-vegan-weird-tree-hugger" (yes, I have gotten that reaction before). Instead, everyone thought it was awesome - and a good summer treat.

I think I'll make it again for the 4th of July, yes?

blueberry chocolate mousse pie:

shredded coconut & dates (or 12 shredded coconut covered dates)
4.5 cups blueberries
25-30 dates, depending on the size
4 heaping teaspoons raw carob (optional)

Spread the coconut date rolls across the bottom of a cheesecake spring pan - this is the crust. In the Vitamix, blend the remaining dates and blueberries. Add the carob if you'd like it chocolatey. Pour the blueberry filling on top of the crust and let it sit in the freezer for a few hours. When you're ready to eat, open the spring pan and top with shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.

(recipe from Megan Elizabeth)


Monday, April 9, 2012

ginger citrus pad thai

Fresh, raw, nutritious pad thai courtesy of Megan Elizabeth.
This dish will definitely satisfy your cravings.

citrus ginger dressing:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh coconut meat
1/2 cup cilantro
1/3 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1.5 tbsp. raw tahini
2 sage leaves
1 quarter sized slice of ginger
blend all ingredients well in your Vitamix.

pad thai:
4 cups spiralized zuchinni
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 red bell pepper sliced thinly
mix the dressing in with the noodles
serve over fresh spinach and garnish with sprouts


Saturday, April 7, 2012


fido: This is my favorite coffee shop, hands down. They serve delicious meals and coffee, and they have an assortment of baked and raw goods - vegan & gluten free! This is a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner - and I highly recommend their coffee. Today I got the Vegan Morning Glory muffin (vegan, but not gluten free) and the Local Latte (made with local honey, cinnamon, and coconut milk).  

pm: This restaurant is located on Belmont Blvd, which is one of my favorite areas in Nashville. The chef was on the BRAVO TV show "Top Chef" and he always has new recipes on the menu. What I really like is that they mark which meals are vegan and gluten free - and they have a lot of choices! My favorites right now are the Veggie Fritters, Mixed Green Salad with Sweet Chili Sauce, and the Wild Mushroom Thom Ka Soup.
woodlands: This Indian restaurant serves and all-vegetarian cuisine. Their lunch buffet is insane, and they change it daily. They even label which foods are vegan, and their vegan Halwa dessert is amazing. Needless to say, I pretty much overeat everytime I come here.
mas tacos, por favor: 

mas tacos por favor: Hands-down, the best tacos...ever. Starting out as a taco truck, the owner would park around town and sell her delicious tacos. Now, she has a restaurant open 6 days a week in addition to the truck. You must visit! I got a sweet potato and quinoa taco, hibiscus tea (the watermelon aqua fresca and pineapple cilantro drinks are amazing, too), and cuban beans and plantains. Amazing!

the silly goose:

las paletas:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

beta carrot-ene

Beta-Carotene is a powerful antioxidant that is known to help eyesight, fight cancer, and benefit the heart and circulatory system. In our bodies, beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A where it asists in fighting infection as well as free radicals.

Carrots are one of the most BC rich foods on this planet. The average cup of carrot juice has about 25 miligrams of beta-carotene, so drink up! Nothing beats the sweet taste of fresh carrot juice.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I love beets. They are great for juicing, boiling, roasting, or even spiralizing.

Look at this huge beet I saw at Whole Foods. Not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it looks like an overacheiver to me.