Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Free Ebook Launch!

Soooo it's finally here!

After some pretty intensive work days, I am happy to announce that 12 Quick and Decadent Smoothie Recipes is ready for you. I am loving the end product and I'm sure you will too.


All you have to do to get your hands on it is to sign up for my newsletter and you'll get it in an email today.

You can do that in the sidebar, simply enter your email in the newsletter form and click subscribe!

The recipes are geared towards a high carb lifestyle and have bigger portions than most. I highly suggest trying them out as is, but understand if you feel like scaling down the portions. Enjoy them in any quantity you want!




Monday, 24 February 2014

Meatless Monday's: Mushroom Gravy

I've come to realize that making otherwise non-vegan friendly comfort foods into healthy vibrant dishes is sort of becoming my thing. I'm loving that I can eat all these things without a deep-fryer, excess salt and all that jazz. That being said, I don't really want to box this blog into just being that one thing.


Challenges could also be considered my thing.

Although this gravy is barely a challenge since it's been around in the standard diet for quite some time and probably one of the easiest things to make without oil or animal products. I've had it over a million different dishes and now it's always a pleasant surprise to find many restaurants using mushroom gravy instead of their meat based counterparts.


Since I'll be reembarking onto the raw fruity wagon as of my birthday on the 7th of March, I'll be posting many more raw recipes: smoothies, salads, dishes, snacks... However I do have many recipes still in reserve so those will be popping up now and again as well.

Onto the food!





Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

- 4 cups sliced or diced mushrooms (I used portobellos)
- 1 medium onion, minced.
- 2.5 cups broth or water
- 2-3 tbsp gluten-free flour
- 2-3 tbsp Braggs Soy seasoning or tamari
- Generous pinch black pepper

In a deep pan, sauté the onion with a bit of water until translucent, add the mushrooms and cook until they start releasing juicy goodness.

Add in the broth/water, braggs and black pepper. Then whisk the flour in a bit of water until well combined and add it a bit at a time to the pan while whisking it continuously and waiting a bit between each addition until you've reached the consistency that you enjoy.

Serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, veggies... Whatever feels right!

Enjoy!

ALSO: as I have mentioned I have some plans to grow the blog. I would LOVE your input and have put together a short 2 minute survey. I would be eternally grateful if you could fill it out.
Here's the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YJ6PH75



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Friday, 21 February 2014

Top Ten Exotic Fruit of Costa Rica

Fruit is the best of foods.

Even better are fruits that are not typically found, or really found ripe or goof quality, in most of North America. I mean, don't get me wrong: apples and pears and grapes are great when they're in season but when you start on a healthy diet that include lots of fruit, variety makes it that much sweeter.

So, I dare you to expand your fruity horizons!

A few of these are not necessarily local and indigenous to Costa Rica, but they are amazing, delicious and grow very well in the climates available. Many are available in their imported forms and most definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on them. I suggest trying your local asian grocer or China Town to see what they offer.

1. Biriba


A sweet blissful fruit that tastes like lemon meringue pie. Best if picked ripe, and ready to eat. This is one that is worth the plane ticket since I've never seen them anywhere else.

2. Pineapple


I know, you can get pineapple pretty much anywhere. But nothing beats the taste of a truly ripe pineapple. If they're picked green and left to ripen, they lose most of their magic. Did you know it takes up to 2 years for one pineapple to grow?

3. Sour Sop (Guanabana)


was a massive outburst of information about the Sour Sop not too long ago, boasting about it's cancer fighting abilities. The taste of these is amazing, a sweet/soup juicy bite will lead you to devour the entire thing in one sitting!

4. Mangoes


Yes, again, mangos are available everywhere. Here, they are picked ripe and have a very large selection of varieties. The season starts soon and I expect to live off them for days!

5. Ice Cream Banana

An intriguing variety of banana, it is to be eaten when very soft, and massaged beforehand as well. It has a lemony creamy taste with an ice creamy texture.

6. Jackfruit


The source of the flavor they developed for juicy fruit gum! Jackfruit is a beast of a fruit, it can weigh up to 36 kg or 80 lbs. The insides are interesting and require some work to get out as the fruit has a natural latex that oozes out and gets on everything wh
en cut open. The trick is to oil up your hands a knife and dig in!

7. Granadilla


A large type of passion fruit that is sometimes sweet, with a tang. One of my most favorite fruits, it tastes even better when paired with mango.

8. Sapodilla

A feast that reminds one of brown sugar and cake. This little brown fruit is much more than it appears to be.

9. Maracuya

A super sour passion fruit that is often used here in drinks and juices. Many people like adding a little sweetness, but it reminds me of the sour candies I enjoyed as a kid.

10. Rambutan (Mamón Chino)

An alien looking fruit that tastes similar to the lychee, it is bursting with juicy flavor. Just peel away the colorful skin and pop the white fruit into your mouth, making sure not to chomp down on the pit!

 ALSO: as I have mentioned I have some plans to grow the blog. I would LOVE your input and have put together a short 2 minute survey. I would be eternally grateful if you could fill it out.
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Meatless Monday's: Creamy Chipotle Potato Soup

I think that the food group people worry about missing the most when going plant-based is dairy. Which isn't surprising because not only is it actually addictive, the taste and texture is seen as hard to mimic.



Nowadays, this couldn't be further from the truth.

With the development of nut cheeses as well as the soy and tapioca based ones, there is a wide array to choose from on that end. They are great transition foods, and a treat now and again.

There are some things that can make creamy delicious dishes without any of them AND be low-fat. The magic is in the potatoes! (or cauliflower, but that's for another post)

I also used a little homemade coconut milk to make it even more decadent, but it isn't essential if you want to keep this meal fat-free.

You can choose to top this with any vegetables, but I found that roasted broccoli was the perfect compliment. Any wilted greens would also work very well.







Creamy Chipotle Potato Soup

-       10-12 medium potatoes (I used a mix of red and yellow)
-       2-3 cup of water or veggie broth
-       1 onion, diced.
-       ¾ cup nutritional yeast
-       1 tbsp chipotle flakes (or more depending on how spicy you like it)
-       1 cup coconut milk (I used homemade)
-       S/P

Toppings:
-       1 head broccoli, cut into florets
-       1 onion, sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

On a cookie sheet, spread out the toppings and roast for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until tender. I always slice them into smaller pieces to speed up the process. Whole potatoes take an eternity.

Drain the cooking water and in batches, blend the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients, making sure to use enough liquid for each batch to get super smooth and creamy. Put it all back in the same pot, or soup container thing (see pictures, I can’t think of the proper name…). Either top the serving bowl with the broccoli mix, or each individual bowl.

Serve hot, with a simple salad.

Enjoy!!

ALSO: as I have mentioned I have some plans to grow the blog. I would LOVE your input and have put together a short 2 minute survey. I would be eternally grateful if you could fill it out.
Here's the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YJ6PH75



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Monday, 10 February 2014

Meatless Monday's: Lentil Sloppy Joe's

Lately I've been spending far too much time looking at party foods. Appetizers and mains of this kind were definitely my kryptonite, until I found sneaky ways to make them healthy. Not just kinda healthy, but follow all my guidelines healthy. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

I mean, yeah, there is a place for a little indulgence of a different kind now and again, but if you can make it just as tasty (or better) without the oils, salt and questionable ingredients, then why not?

And thinking of all this awesome food without being able to make any of it really sucks.

We've been having issues with keeping food stocks up. The place we're renting at the moment is literally at the top of a mountain, and we use our bike to get around. Since the road up here is getting more and more dangerous, bringing up 30-50lbs of fruit and veggies for dinner is not exactly easy. Thankfully, we are moving at the end of the month!

Although, we haven't decided where yet... Seems to be a theme with us. We're off to town today to get it all sorted.

Okay, back to food. I whipped this up a few months ago when I was still in Ottawa, working away at finishing school and in need of an awesome meal to keep me going. 

This is definitely one of those super healthy meals that doesn't look like one, heck I even put kale in these bad boys!






Lentil Sloppy Joe's
Ingredients:

- 1.5 cups dry brown lentils
- 1/2 cup finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/3 cup finely diced peppers
- 1/3 cup chopped carrots
- 1 medium onion, minced.
-  2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup organic ketchup
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Sriracha, to taste
- S/P to taste
- 1/4 head chopped cabbage or coleslaw
- Pickles of choice
- 4 ezekiel or GF buns (or cabbage cups)


Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the packaging.

In a large pan, water sauté the onions until translucent, add the carrots and cook about 5-7 mins. Add the peppers, tomatoes and kale.

Add in the spices and hot sauce and let cook for just about a minute, then add in the lentils, tomato paste and ketchup. Let it all cook until thick and saucy.

Assembly time! Bun, sloppy mixture of goodness, coleslaw or cabbage and pickles. I also prefer my bun a little toasted, gives the whole dish that perfect touch.

On nom nom....

Enjoy!


ALSO: as I have mentioned I have some plans to grow the blog. I would LOVE your input and have put together a short 2 minute survey. I would be eternally grateful if you could fill it out.
Here's the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YJ6PH75



Like what you see?

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Friday, 7 February 2014

Top Ten Foods To use on Your Body

I love food.

Which is pretty obvious I know.

But I don't only love eating food, I also love slathering it on various parts of my body to make them smooth, soft, heal and smell nice. There are so many benefits to doing this.

You have most of these items in your kitchen, so it's very accessible. It's also much much more affordable than those thousand dollar high-end products that are so full of chemicals and are mostly plant-derived anyways. So hey, just make 'em fresh in your kitchen instead and get amaazing results!

1. Coconut Oil:

Pretty much everyone has heard of the trendy coconut oil. It has amazing properties that help dry or irritated skin regain vitality and gets rid of itchiness. I love using it on my hair daily, on sunburns or rashes.

2. Fresh Aloe

This one is truly a lifesaver. When I get a bit too much sun, this in combination with coconut oil relieves the pain and tenderness overnight. It's also a great thing to add to your daily regiment for both face and body, leaving skin super soft.

3. Bananas

Bananas are an amazing hair mask, just mash one up very well, or give it a good whirl in the blender, and spread it out in your hair evenly. Leave it in for 10 minutes and rinse well. It cleanses and refreshes your hair while adding shine and softness.

4. Avocado


This powerhouse is great in a multitude of ways. Spread it through your hair for one of the deepest treatments, or as a facial mask.

5. Papaya


This fruit is great to tighten up skin, just mash it up and leave it on until dry. Rinse off with cold water and feel your skin getting tighter and vibrant.

6. Lemons

A great addition to the previous three treatments, lemons are also a great astringent used to clean your face of impurities. Start using it diluted with water first, using it pure can cause reactions to sensitive skins.

7. Oats

Combining oats with lemon, coconut oil or avocado and sugar gives you a great exfolliant that is gentle enough for both face and body. Use it once a week to gently but effectively cleanse your pores.

8. Mango


One of my favorite fruits, mango is a great toner and rejuvenator. Alternate it's use with papaya and have forever young looking skin.

9. Strawberries

The high levels of antioxidants in berries or any dark red fruits help protect your skin from the daily damage it is subjected to.


10. Watermelon


While eating the fruit is amazingly hydrating, if you need an extra boost in moisture, rub some on your face as you feast. It will help lock in moisture and keep your face fresh and flake free.

Monday, 3 February 2014

CTFU Creamy Beet "Soup"

Sometimes, when one experiments in the kitchen, the outcome isn't exactly what you were going for. On some occasions, that means a disastrous goup that is pretty much inedible.

Other times, it's a delicious masterpiece.

This is one of those times.

Going to the farmer's market anywhere in the world always gives you such amazing ingredients to work with that, for me anyways, it's hard not to be inspired to combine them to make simple yet delicious dishes.


I finally got to go to the big farmer's market in the next town/city over. The produce is so fresh and there is a decent variety. Most of which we can get at our local Fruteria, but with even better prices. We even got some ripe soursop to chow down on while waiting for our bus back.


Having a farmer's market nearby is a blessing. Taking advantage of it wherever you are is essential. You can speak directly to the farmers, ask what seeds they use, what fertilizers, pesticides if any... This means that you know exactly what you are eating. It's easier to avoid GMO's, support heirloom varieties and organic farmers. The produce is always cheaper too.


Even better? Get a CSA box! You are essential becoming an investor is a small local organic farm and getting amazing produce in return. This one also has the perk of providing you with new varieties of local fruit and vegetables to try out.


So they had these amazing beets at the market, and I've been daydreaming about making some kind of borstch like soup deal. I've never had it and it has always tickled me as something that would be delicious. Now I am far from following a traditional approach to this one. I like my meal carb heavy, so I added more potatoes and some rice to make it extra carbolicious.

The plates we have here are quite festive I must say.






Creamy Beet Soup

Ingredients:

- 4-5 medium potatoes, diced.
- 1 massive beet or 2 large, 2/3 diced, 1/3 shredded.
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, diced.
- 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded.
- 2 cups rice
- 4-5 cups of water or low-sodium broth
- 1/3 cup chopped chives or green onion
- S/P to taste.

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until tender, set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are boiling, prep the beets. When they are done and cooling, add the beets and tomatoes with the water or broth and bring to a boil, turn down to a strong simmer. Once the beets are about half done, add the cabbage and the rice with extra water if needed. About 5-6 minutes later add the potatoes back in and season. 

Let it all simmer until the rice is cooked through. Mine came out as much more of a stew consistency.

Garnish with chives or green onions and serve.

Enjoy!!

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