Dessert, Featured, Food

Almond Flour Snickerdoodles

December 14, 2017
Almond Flour Snickerdoodles

After weeks of grasping onto the last of fall festivities, I’ve found myself finally getting swooped up in all the Christmas fervor. The season simply cannot commence without baking. More specifically, cookie baking. Which brings me to these divine Almond Flour Snickerdoodles. Rolled in a tantalizing blend of cinnamon and sugar before baking, and coming out of the oven with little cracks on top, these nutty gems are bound to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and set rack in the middle of the oven. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients. Set aside.
  • Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  • Place one-to-two inch balls of batter onto greased and parchment-lined baking pans and lightly press down.
  • Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
Entree, Featured, Food

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘N’ Cheese

November 24, 2017
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac 'N' Cheese

Once you make this dreamy twist on your classic mac, there’s no going back!

Creamy Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/5, 15 oz cans of pumpkin puree 
  • 4-6 garlic cloves,
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2, 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons organic miso paste
  • 4 cups gluten free pasta shells or penne, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the pan

Herbed Bread Crumb Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the canned pumpkin, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, salt, miso paste and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the garlic is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  3. Carefully place the pumpkin mixture in a blender (Blendtec works best!) and purée until all ingredients velvety smooth.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water, remove all excess liquid.
  5. Spread out the pasta in the prepared pan, and pour the pumpkin–coconut milk purée over the pasta. Gently fold in the nutritional yeast and mix well to combine, ensuring that all noodles are coated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping.
  7. Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, uncover, and sprinkle the top with the herbed bread-crumb topping, followed by a sprinkle of the remaining 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Transfer to the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until brown and bubbly.
Fashion, Featured

5 Sustainable Alternatives to Black Friday

November 22, 2017
5 Sustainable Alternatives to Black Friday

Hailed as the biggest shopping event of the year, Black Friday is estimated to draw 164 million Americans to retailers this Friday with predicted sales at $682.0 billion dollars. Originally an American phenomenon, Black Friday has spread its tendrils across the globe carrying with it its many negative connotations.

We’ve all seen the images; frantic shoppers lining up before dawn, massive crowds aggressively pushing their way through storefronts, and customers physically fighting over televisions and tablets. The most perplexing element of this barbaric scene; it takes place just hours after a holiday based on gratitude.

The effects of Black Friday spread far beyond the embarrassment of frivolous human behavior. Rampant consumerism and mindless consumption have devastating consequences for the environment. The most effective way to stop environmental destruction is preventing it from happening in the first place. And the easiest way to prevent human consumption patterns from doing colossal damage is to cease mindless consumption.

Below, I’m sharing a few ways you can get into the holiday spirit sans crazy crowds and environmental destruction.


BUY NOTHING DAY

Founded in 1992 by Canadian artist Ted Dave, Buy Nothing Day encourages society to examine the issue of over-consumption. This symbolic day invites people to stop shopping for a day and reflect on what is truly necessary.

HEAD OUTSIDE

“Let’s make a new Black Friday tradition,” says outdoor co-operative and retail chain, REI. The company is closing it’s doors on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday and encouraging customers to #OptOutside instead. REI’s website even provides a search engine where you can type in your zip code and find outdoor actives near you.

PURCHASE WITH PURPOSE

If you feel compelled to participate in Black Friday, take the ethical route and shop secondhand. By purchasing a gently used item, you’re helping to keep things in circulation that would have gone into a landfill.  You can also consider purchasing from brands that give a portion of their Black Friday sales to charitable causes. One of my favorite tea brands, Pukka Herbs, is donating 100% of their sales to The Forest of Avon Trust and The Matthew Tree Project this year.

GET ON BOARD WITH THE SLOW FASHION MOVEMENT

In a recent blog post I talked about the devastating impact that fast fashion has on both the environment and the garment workers lower on the supply chain. The slow fashion movement encourages consumers to think before they purchase. Slow fashion is (you guessed it) a slower process taken to design, source, produce and sell garments. In the process, companies often use eco-conscious materials, fair trade practices, pricing and sourcing transparency, all while challenging the traditional retail model.

GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME

If participating in the holiday madness is not your cup of tea, consider spending the day, or even just part of it, volunteering. Websites like Volunteer Match connect people to service opportunities based on their schedule, interests and skill set.

Featured, Food, Sides, Snacks

Sweet Potato Fries with Lemony Tahini Sauce

November 4, 2017
Sweet Potato Fries with Lemony Tahini Sauce

If you’ve got a hankering for fries that can’t be tamed, you’ve stumbled upon the perfect recipe! These Sweet Potato Fries with Lemony Tahini Sauce are loaded with skin-beautifying vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber. The next time a snack crisis strikes, these sweet and salty gems are sure to satisfy even the most persistent of cravings.

Ingredients

Fries:
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 rounded tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Sauce:
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup tahini 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Melt coconut oil and pour onto the potatoes and sprinkle on the garlic powder and salt. Toss to coat.
  5. Spread out the coated potatoes evenly on the lined baking sheets. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, blend together mayonnaise, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a high speed blender.
  7. Slowly drizzle in warm water and continue blending until mayo becomes smooth and creamy.
  8. Once sweet potatoes are finished roasting, remove and let cool on a plate. Meanwhile, pour tahini sauce into a small bowl and top with fresh herbs and a pinch of black pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!