The Balanced Soul

Your Soul's Place to find Its Way


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Sunday Musings and Bean Mash

Hey Hey lovely Balanced Souls…

I am writing from the cozy quietness of a Sunday, happily full of a weekend of heavy food, sweet time with my Love, and the foggy air that blew in with warm(er) temperatures for a few days.

All this lovely grounding and fresh air has me waxing introspective, which I wanted to share with You.  This past week I experienced the physical effects of lapsing in my affirmation and gratitude practice, and a true Ebb in the Ebb and Flow consistent in the world of seeing patients and owning a business.

When I first opened, the Abundance of the Universe poured into my doors: new patients, busy and full schedules, and deep contentment.  I had a daily practice of affirming this flow and offering gratitude for it all.  When the holidays (especially the solstice) unfolded, all of my practices got quiet, passive, and turned inward and quiet.  I was no longer exuding energy and I didn’t want (particularly) new patients flooding into my doors.  And now I am noticing the echoes of that Inward Time.

My practice is in Ebb, which means more time for me personally, quieter mornings, and WAAAAY more time for affirming and offering gratitude for the Flow I know is already occurring on energetic levels.

This back-and-forth, busy-and-quiet flow is typical in a new practice, and that is something I Know and Respect, deeply.  The trick is to not attach negative reaction, Fear, or Anxiety when income wanes temporarily.  I think I am learning that we must not attach to either times of busy or of quiet, but rather understand and plan accordingly for each, Knowing that no matter what, It Will Change.

For me, owning this business is full of deep spiritual lessons, that I may have been showed before, but now (as I am the only employee at the moment), there is a magnifying glass on these lessons and my ability to learn them.  Can I Know, deep down within me, that the Ebb and Flow are both totally about what I am affirming and attracting while simultaneously not about me at all? Patients getting sick and cancelling appointments, patients getting better and not coming to the office as frequently: these are the natural progression of their lives, and don’t necessarily imply positive or negative about me. I cannot take credit for someone else’s healing, nor can I take credit when someone decides to cancel, or to NOT take responsibility for their journey and use me as a crutch.  I do my best to shed Light for patients, but the outcome and what they do with the Light are not mine to dictate.  Non-attachment to flow is a pretty lovely lesson.

I have also found profound discomfort in learning of details that I missed or overlooked when first starting, and having to get those things done ASAP.  That acronym, ASAP….bothers me.  As soon as possible? Well, but what if my priorities are different than (the proverbial) your’s? Does that mean that I can take my time and feel my way, or that I should assume that I am under your paradigm of “ASAP”? I know it’s the latter, and I find that more often than not, I am at odds with such dictation.  Ah, c’est la vie.  Seeing “weakness” or “mistake” is fine with me, and I know that each time I am being offered an opportunity to make mySelf better, to ensure the success of this Thing I am doing, but man-oh-man, was ego in check a fair bit this past week.  Humble is a good lesson, too.

And throughout all of this, I am in the midst of Unconditional, Sure Love….from my Family, dear Goddess Sisters, and HeartSpace Partner. How absolutely beautiful, to be found worthy of such loving arms and conversations, caresses and inquiries.  I know that we are all, of course, perfectly Worthy, but at the end of a week where you felt rather defeated most days, these safe spaces are incredible Blessings. I am worth Unconditional Love: a third lesson to learn.

And now for the Bean Mash!

my latest and greatest deliciousness that I wanted to share with you! I have been making this about twice a week for lunch or dinner lately, adding different spices, vegetables (or not) and being satisfied every darn time.

For either one HUGE serving that will leave you feeling like maybe you ate too much, or 2 smaller but happier servings, use:

1 can of pinto, black, or kidney beans

1/2 -3/4 cup salsa

a sprinkle of garlic powder and chili powder

and 1/4 cup or a few good scoops of sour cream or Greek yogurt: full fat!

Mash all that up in a warm pan so it’s not eating cold bean dip with chips.  You can add chopped avocado, tomatoes, scallions or black olives for extra goodness, as well as whatever other spices you think sound yummy!  This is the basic recipe that will get you fed and nourished in under 15 minutes.  Lots of protein, good fat and fiber :) To make it fancy, I suppose that you could layer the beans with the veggies, and maybe add some meat.  I never get that far. I dump it all in a bowl, and start scooping it with large chips!

Happy Sunday, Loves.  I hope it’s snuggly and sweet and that my lessons help shed Light on your Path.

Blessings and Ease,

R

 


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The Final Black Bean Recipe

Black Bean BROWNIES!!!

YES.

Have you done this before?  Um….go do it, either again, or for the first time.  I know, it’s the day before Christmas! That’s ok!  Make these and eat them for dinner, and start a new family tradition! Or for breakfast tomorrow!  I mean, if you’re going to eat a brownie for a meal, it might as well be gluten-free and full of nutrient-dense black beans!

No-Flour Black Bean Brownies

(gluten-free)

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See “nutrition facts” link for all substitution notes.)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

And if you want the full post, follow this link.  She has TONS of great dessert ideas.

Blessings, full bellies, and happy holidays

-R

 


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Slow Cooker Black Beans

 

I know, Balanced Souls…I cook a lot of black beans.  It’s a black bean imbalance! Hahahahaha.  Well I hope you giggled…I certainly am.

 

The thing about black beans, I think, is that they are small so they don’t take very long to cook, once you have soaked them overnight, or done the quick-soak method.  I mean, small in comparison to kidney beans.  That might not mean much to you, but I think it’s nice!  Also, I LOOOOOVE how they taste. Other beans are stronger tasting to me, but black beans, for whatever reason, I feel just kind of take on whatever flavors I want!

 

English: Close up picture of Black Turtle Bean

English: Close up picture of Black Turtle Bean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So here is a link (I know, rather lazy of me, but seriously: delicious idea) from eatliverun.com .  The recipe is not only VERY simple, but totally satisfying and easy to change and add to as you see fit.  There really isn’t anything quite so lovely as creamy, spicy black beans on a chilly autumn evening.  My latest favorite way to eat these guys is on baked sweet potatoes, with extra butter and salt, maybe a touch of Greek yogurt.  I get a bit slobbery just thinking about it!

 

I’m also so so curious about other ways people make all sorts of legumes.  I don’t eat a lot of grain, but as the weather gets chillier and raw, as is wont in November in the Northeast, I DO find myself wanting heavier food with extra carbs to store for energy later.

 

Incidentally: weight loss, right now, is not going to be easy.  Physiologically, we are meant to add pounds AND KEEP THEM ON in the colder months. Thank old survival mechanisms!  I’m not telling you to stop working out, or to let yourself go to pot (an expression which, I feel, is vastly under-used these days), but just to lay off of any judgmental stuff that might be floating around in your head about needing to lose just one or two more pounds.  Now is the moment to simply appreciate your strong, healthy body, and know that come spring, extra weight will shed like…I dunno…something that sheds easily.  Dogs? Your extra weight will shed like a Golden Retriever!!

 

AHAHAHAHAHA.

 

I managed to do it again!  I am really on a funny roll today. I hope you’re enjoying it, and me, even if it’s to roll your eyes!

 

Blessings, laughter, and plenty of deep nourishment

 

R

 

 

 


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Grain-Free Pancakes

Well hello hello Dear Ones!

I just made a truly innovative pancake recipe, and thought I must share! 

Quite simple, and quite nourishing: it’s a GREAT breakfast idea for those of us releasing grains from our diets, one step at a time.

Pancakes, it turns out, really only need 2 ingredients.  Well, an amendment, 3 is better.

For my pancakes, I used 2 eggs and 1 ripe banana.  Now, that’s all the recipe called for, but I think that adding some shredded zucchini, or another food that could take down the intense BANANA MUSH flavor, that might help.  Admittedly, my first go with these didn’t meet expectations….BUT! I see potential!! Hence the share.

So here it is, a slightly more involved (not much) pancake recipe that I feel shall EXCEED expectations, at least in my kitchen:

1/2 zucchini, shredded (or grate, or julienne… make tiny pieces!) 

1 moderately ripe banana, well-smashed up with a fork

2 eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or a bit less, but I LOVE cinnamon)

a pinch of salt

Mix it all up in a bowl, and get your griddle ready…medium hot will do nicely.  Scoop it out with 1/4 cup scoop and flip after about a minute on each side: they cook quite quickly.  Make sure that your griddle or pan is well-buttered, but not excessively so: these pancakes do not absorb any oil, so you might get away with less than you usually use?

This makes about 4-5 pancakes and is enough for 2 servings, at least, for my belly.  I didn’t drizzle anything on top because they are plenty sweet (banana) on their own.  Some fresh fruit, or even Greek yogurt might be yummy, a bit like crepes.

I encourage you to find different additions, bases and the like…what about adding quinoa, or spinach, or…I don’t know…people out there are immensely creative, so let the ideas roll!

Have fun, be nourished, and big Blessings

R


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Easiest Black Bean Soup Around

 

A lovely, Bright, and rosy-cheeked hullo, dear Ones!

Autumn, for me, heralds the return of Soup Weather.  During the summer, I have neither desire nor patience for slow-cooked food, or the open flame glowing along all afternoon.  For some reason, as the air gets cooler, my patience increases: I begin to hunker down, to harvest and give each process of reaping the Time it requires to make wonderful, delicious things.  I slow down, enjoying the cool air and splashes of sunshine.

And I start to make miraculous soups.

I don’t mean to boast in an annoying way…I learned from the best!  One of the strongest childhood memories I have is pots of lentil soup bubbling away: vegetables being chopped, butter melting in cast iron skillets, and garlic: the aroma of garlic cooking when I walked in the door from dance class, or rehearsal: soup is part of the fabric my mother knit us together with.

I have since taken on this tradition, and expanded my repertoire each year by finding a new soup to play with and obsess about for the season.  This season: it’s black beans.

I don’t know why!  Last year it was white beans, and the year before, I’d say lentils, and butternut squash.

In the spirit of infusing your home with a wonderful scent, and your day with a slow-process of chopping and soaking, boiling and rinsing, I want to share my rough recipe that I discovered yesterday.  It’s a nice sort of be-at-home, work-on-projects-and-soup kind of thing to become enamored by.

So here it is, loves.  Feel free to add, improvise and increase!

Nota Bene: I started this process at 2 in the afternoon and it was ready for dinner at 6. Ta da!

I started with 1 cup of dry black beans in a big soup pot: cover with an inch of water, bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, nix the heat, cover, and let sit for 2 hours. Then drain the water, and re-fill with water (cover again) and cook for about 45 minutes. NOW they should be tender and yummy.

Rinse, and toss back into your big soup pot. Chop up an onion and three tomatoes while you’re waiting and add them to the pot, along with 2 tblsp of butter.  YES.  Butter.  Awesome.

Add about 2-3 cups of water (or stock, I suppose), and bring up to a boil.  Season with 1-2 tsp cumin (or more. In my world, more cumin is always better), a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, and 4 cloves of garlic – crushed (again, or more…more garlic never hurt a soul). Toss in some salt (about 1/2-1 tsp?) and let it all simmer together for about 30 minutes.

Ta-da! Yeah, that’s it.  3 ingredients plus spices.

And awesome.

You could add: carrot, spinach, celery, or whatever other veggies (kale? potatoes? sweet potatoes?) that you have around.

I served it with a sprinkle of raw cheddar cheese on top, and corn chips (non GMO, of course), and  I WANTED another bowl, even thought I didn’t HAVE one, because I had really aimed to have it another couple of times this week!  It was wonderful.  Next batch I’ll probably double the original recipe and maybe share with someone else.

Blessings, Full Bellies, and crisp apples.

R

 


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Easiest Snacks Around…

 

I know, I know…I have had a lot of food posts lately.  Well, the thing is, I’m hungry a lot.  And, I suppose, I have been finding great information all over the place for some reason; lately more so than recent months  (eesh…thanks Pinterest!  You can follow me here!).

Here is some wonderful inpiration from Atune Foods, which I find realistic and practical.  I find that these are foods I keep in my fridge anyway, but don’t necessarily think to snack on.

Edamame: Cook the pods, add salt while they’re still warm so it will stick to them, put them in the fridge and then snack on them for days.

Sweet Potato Wedges: Cut a sweet potato into 8 pieces length-wise, drizzle with some oil and salt and bake on a cookie sheet for about 30 mins or until tender. They will last for about 4 days in the fridge. (The dip shown in the photo is simply Greek yogurt with some pepper flakes.)

Beet Chips:  Slice a raw beet quite thinly with a mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and bake on a cookie sheet until crisp.

Kale Chips: Don’t even think about buying these at the store as they are insanely expensive!  Instead, buy a head of curly kale, remove the stems, cut each leaf in three, coat with a little oil and salt, bake for about 20 minutes on low heat and that’s it!  You’ll be snacking on them like they’re kettle chips.

Curried Almonds:  I accidentally stumbled upon this “recipe” when I tossed some almonds into a cast iron pan that had remnants of a curry dish I’d cooked the night before (and out of laziness not washed the pan…Add some oil to a pan (cast iron preferably and a clean pan is fine!), heat, add whole raw almonds, some salt and a dash of curry. Shake the pan to get both sides brown.

Maybe my recent influx of food ideas is also coming because I need more ideas for on-the-go nourishment.  What are your favorite snacks that keep your energy sustained and consistent throughout the day?

Bless and Nourish

R

 


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Cheesy Quinoa and other Gateway grain recipes

 

Hello dear Balanced Souls!

Sometimes, we WANT to try new foods (especially awesome grain-like seeds that are PACKED with nutrients and flavor), but we don’t know what to do.  Improvising, in these cases, I have learned over and over again, is not necessarily the best idea.  Why? Well, I think it comes down to the fact that we need to educate ourSelves in new ways on HOW to prepare new foods.  It’s not difficult, it’s just a necessary step to making AWESOME things.

This idea has lead me to search and explore what I term “Gateway Recipes”.  Sorta like a gateway drugs….only…fantastic, not scary.

Quinoa is first on the list.  I actually really LIKE it, just cooked up with some veggies in the place of rice or in a minestrone soup, but some people don’t.  So here is what I do to make it AH-mazing.

Cook 1/2 cup in water (light boil) for about 15 minutes. In a separate pan, cook (in butter or coconut oil) whatever veggies you have on hand: bell peppers, onions and mushrooms are always a winning combo in my kitchen.  Then, when the quinoa  is finished, drain any excess water, and stir in a couple tablespoons of cheese.

Yeah, I said it.

and it is MIRACULOUS!

Toss some salt and pepper in there, mix it all up, and dump in a bowl (or two, but honestly…I never want to share this recipe) and munch.

If you aren’t eating dairy, then try some nutritional yeast, or making a vegan cheddar cheese.  Easy, delicious, and rich.

Next up! Amaranth!  It’s ALSO a seed, and it is PACKED with iron and protein.  It’s actually best to mix it with another whole grain or seed…like quinoa, or barley.  You can cook it up and use it with barley in a tabouleh, or toss some in with your morning oatmeal for extra protein and bulk.

OR! You can add some coconut milk (or cow milk…I’m into coconut these days), vanilla, cinnamon, and a scoop of pumpkin or apple butter. A drizzle of maple syrup or honey and pinch of salt?

well, Hello writing home to mama about that one!

It’s a great breakfast grain, or dessert piece, especially as the weather is getting cooler and you want to have heavier foods in our diet more.

What have YOU been exploring lately?  Other bulk foods? I’m so curious to know what your go-to recipes are for bulky, fantastic grains and seeds.

Massive blessings and deep nourishment, dear Ones.

R

 

 


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Latest Food Finds

Well it seems to me, dear readers, that I like to alternate Types of Nourishment I offer you.  I find mySelf writing in the pattern of offering Tools for your Process: emotional and mental foods to get you moving and feeling and flowing in ways that REALLY ignite you…then ebbing in to Physical nourishment:  Foods and Movement Delights that I hope light a different sort of fire.  I don’t intend to make this a blog about anything except Living the Life you Imagine for yourSelf.

And a delicious life, in my book, means lots of the following:  deeply fulfilling relationships, laughter, amazing food, self-expression, and room for mistakes.

So here is what I have been making lately, on the food front:

Quinoa Cakes:

OOOOOOH miraculous!

Cook some quinoa…let’s say, 1/2 cup.  While it’s cooking, chop half an onion, and cook it in BUTTER or coconut oil until it looks a bit brown around the edges.  Toss the onion in a bowl with 2 T nutritional yeast, some salt, some oregano (or any fresh herbs…pretty sure you can’t go wrong here) and 1/4 cup of grated, sharp cheddar cheese.  The cheese isn’t totally necessary, but it elevates the cakes from awesome to lie-on-the-floor-and-unbutton-the-pants.  Oh and an egg.  Mix all of that up.  And then your quinoa is cooked, so dump that in, too and stir it all up up up.

In the pan you cooked your onion in, cook scoops of the quinoa mixture so they are golden brown on each side.  Medium heat-ish, a minute or two on each side.

Serve with a gigantic raw vegetable salad. Bless me in your happy-full-belly-ness.

 

Remember the deconstructed omlette?  Well this link is to Baked Eggs…which is another way you could go about the deconstruction thing, and I am floored by the flavor possibilities it presents.  It begs for farm-stand greens and maybe some goat cheese.  Or sun dried tomatoes and olives.  Or or or…infinite possibilities.

And of course salads laden with every vegetable PLUS marinated artichokes, hard cooked eggs, gorgeous olives, and capers.  Maybe a bit of animal protein if it’s around, but mainly:  ALL of the gorgeousness of the season.

 

And then there’s Brown Rice and Seaweed Salad:

Ok, it sounds a little odd, but it’s my version of “Decontrsucted Sushi”

Cook some brown rice, and soak some seaweed in a bowl of water: I use Dulse, or Wakame usually.  You can usually find dry seaweed in the Asian part of a grocery store, certainly all health food stores these days.

In the meantime, chop up the other veggies that sound good to you:  carrots and cucumber usually make the bulk of mine.

Then make a peanut sauce of Peanut Butter, Sriracha (or another hot sauce you love), and some lemon juice and water to thin it out a bit.  Mix all of that up, and again, bless me.

 

Ok!  I know it’s not quite as much as I sometimes offer, but I feel like each of these ideas has lots of room to play :)

I hope it’s a fun mess you make!

Blessings and sunshine

R


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Fantastic Food Finds

Happy Today, Balanced Souls!!

Summer is here and showering Her Abundance on us in full force.   My heart sings when I drive by road side stands with signs touting, “Organic Strawberries  $3.50″.  My father’s garden is bursting and happy, fruit trees and green things, vines and leaves that exude HEALING for us to breathe in when we’re all gathered on weekends.

Summer is one of my favorite food seasons…well who am I kidding: all seasons are favorite food seasons.  I love food.  the bounty and freshness that overflow all the baskets are an amazing reminder of the Abundance of the Universe, and that we are here to (responsibly) enjoy it!

With that in mind, I thought I might share some fun recipes that are easy and will keep your clean, whole foods diet on track.  There are so many options, sometimes we don’t know where to begin…So, as always: start here, right where you are.

Corn and BeanRelish‘:  I don’t know why it’s called a relish.  Eat it with a spoon, chips, on lettuce wraps, or piled on a salad.  Whatever: it is AWESOME.

You need some either a couple of cans of black beans, or 1 cup of dry beans (and do you know the quick soak method?  AMAZINGLY easy:  cover the dry beans with at least double their water in a big saucepan and bring to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes.  Let sit for 2 hours.  Drain, rinse, and cook them the rest of the way  thanks MOM!!), an ear or two of corn, half a red onion, and a jalapeno pepper.

While the beans cook (if you’re using canned beans, just rinse them off and dump them in!):

Chop up the onion, pepper, and corn (off the cobb, I didn’t cook it first, but I guess you could, if you want) and put it all in a big bowl.  Already it looks like this was a good idea, doesn’t it?  WASH YOUR HANDS AND CUTTING BOARD after the pepper.  Trust me.  Wash a lot.

THEN make the dressing:  some cilantro (in my world, it’s about 1/2 bunch), some garlic (2 cloves?), half a lime, some olive oil, some raw honey, some salt. BLEND ‘er up!   NOM NOM NOM.  You are thinking “wow, she’s so right, this is going to be great!”  Toss it all together.  I think that if you let it sit for some time on the counter, things will get Awesome-er, but I never wait for that type of thing.  It’s awesome without the wait, too.

When I’m eating large bowls of it (incidentally, this makes about 3 cups or so…you may want to double that recipe if you want it to last more than one person for two days), I throw on some tomato, avocado and maybe black olives. OHMYGOODNESS.  Perfect.  Make it a lot.

 

Quinoa and Greens with Peanut Miso Sauce:

(I know, the sauce sounds a little weird.  It’s not.  It’s heavenly.)

Cook quinoa.  Throw some butter in for extra fat.

Cook some greens.  Like an entire pile of whatever is at the farmer’s market.  Just make lots.  Toss a little lemon juice on there.

Make the sauce while the quinoa cooks:

2 giant spoonfuls of peanut butter,  1 giant spoonful of miso, some raw honey, some hot sauce (optional) and some water, to loosen it a little bit…

Make double the sauce.  Believe me.  Tangy, peanut buttery, a little sweet and a little spicy: it makes the quinoa and veggies into a gourmet, genius sort of meal.  You can add other things, but I haven’t.  I’m too amazed at how much I love this stuff.

 

Salmon and Egg Salad:

Well I suppose you could use tuna, or whatever other fresh fishy you find…the point is protein, and yummy.

Hard cook a few eggs (cover them in water, boil for a minute, turn off heat and let sit for 14 minutes covered…again, thanks Mom) and mix up your (cooked) fish with the following:

lemon juice, capers, salt, celery and cucumber

You could leave the cucumber out, and use it to scoop the salad, or serve the salad with chips or on bread, if you eat grains.  It’s really satisfying and yummy, and feels a little more grown up than plain ol’ tuna.  It’s a great way to use left over fish.

Ok!  good, right? Please share your variations for all of these things, and whatever your favorite recipes are, in the comments area :) Whole foods and minimal effort are keys for great summer cooking, and using foods in new ways, to keep intrigue and fun in the mix!

Bright Blessings, Belly laughs, and more strawberries than you can eat on  hot afternoon

R


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My Favorite (nourishing) Indulgences

Namaste’ DarlingHearts!!

So often, when we consider changing our diet and lifestyle, we get worried or wrapped up in the things we “cannot” have or indulge in on a regular basis.  I have played that game in the past, and it’s a big stumbling block: no one wants to keep thinking about the things they cannot have!!  It’s discouraging, even when we DO feel better eating and living in different ways than previous patterns support.

So let me take an opportunity to share a few of my most favorite ways to indulge.  I LOVE good food, that tastes amazing and satisfies deep hunger.  I also have a sweet tooth, a fondness for pizza, and a love of Guinness.  Can’t help it.  I recognize, though, that my body and psyche are much happier when I’m not eating gluten (or lots of it), and I know how abrasive sugar (especially processed, white sugar) is to our systems.  What’s a girl to do?  EXPLORE her options!

I like cooking things/making foods that are EASY, with few ingredients.

Favorite Brownie/Fudge recipe:  (more raw food wonders can be found here)

Ingredients:
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw cacao powder

Directions:
In your food processor, grind walnuts to a fine powder.  Add the cacao powder, and pulse to combine.  Next you’re going to add the dates (make sure they’re pitted!) and process until a sticky crumb like consistency is reached.  Press this mixture into the bottom of a pan, and place in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.  Cut into six even squares, and serve.  Eat them for breakfast, with a few berries on top.  Or really, whenever.  They are delicious.  Don’t like walnuts?  Me neither, really…So I do half walnuts and half cashews (which makes them creamier and…well…just lovely).  Sometimes I add some cinnamon, or coconut shreds, or peanut butter, or dried fruit.

Favorite Thing to Put Butter or Nutella On:  

(ok, so Nutella isn’t that great for us…but you can make you own, or get another chocolaty amazing spread to use with less sugar)

The base for this bread was inspired by Elana’s Pantry, but the bread I make actually seems to come out more fluffy and lovely than the pictured Paleo Breakfast Bread on her site.

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp-1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

1-2 Tblsp raw honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and toss the almonds in a vitamix or food processor and grind up into a fine grain.  Put the almonds, coconut, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a bowl and mix together.  Add in the eggs and honey, and mix more! The consistency should be that of a brownie batter, maybe a bit thinner. You can add coconut milk or almond milk for extra moisture if it seems dry.   Grease an 8 x 8 pan and pour the batter in.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it’s set in the middle and a knife comes out clean!

This bread is delicious as it is, but I have experimented with extra ingredients and truly love the variations:

Try each of the ideas below in addition the the above recipe and see what you love!

1 T cocoa + 2 T peanut butter (may need to bake a bit longer)

1/2 c dried cranberries + 1/2 c chopped walnuts or cashews

juice of 1 lemon + 1 tsp grated ginger

1/2 can pumpkin + 1/2 tsp ground ginger +1/4 tsp cloves

Favorite things to make things creamy and wonderful: 

Ground Cashews

Avocados

Olives

Garbanzo Beans (any beans, really…)

Favorite Gluten-Free Mix Brand:

Namaste Foods…I wish this was more of a list.  Honestly, though…the pancakes are amazing, the pizza dough is wonderful, the brownies are sinful, and there are OTHER mixes I haven’t tried from them, and I want to…a lot.

Most Brilliant Substitutes for Gluten:

Instead of using pasta (there ARE good gluten-free pastas out there, but I find them to get expensive, and it’s not a place I HAVE to spend money, so I don’t),  I make grains or seeds, or (yummy) potatoes.

Brown Rice

Quinoa

Polenta (although this is cornmeal, so if you’re sensitive to corn…stay away)

Potatoes:  either baked whole, or roasted, or whatever.  I make a few potatoes at once, then top them with things I would love to put on pizza or pasta:  sauteed vegetables, sauces, cheese (raw, organic), Greek yogurt (plain, organic, full-fat)

I often make the base of a salad quinoa, or brown rice, then add peanut sauce or other dressing, and bunches of stuff I would normally eat on a sandwich.  The great part about this is that I end up eating more of the amazing stuff ON the sandwich, and I get full from the rice and fat in the dressing or nuts I add to the salad.

BEST dinner when I have  5 minutes:

Well, one of 3 things:  These all include eggs.  Eggs, I love.  I buy eggs from local, ethical, organic, happy places.  Please find out how you can do that, too, if you eat eggs.

1.  Egg drop tomato soup: 2 tomatoes, diced + 3/4 c water + salt + butter (simmer all of that) + 2 eggs, beaten.  Stir the eggs in, they cook almost instantly, and then BAM!!  You have egg drop tomato soup.  Take a bow, get a spoon, and eat up.

2. The deconstructed omlette: throw whatever vegetables you have in a pan in some butter.  Cook them up until they look yummy, then crack 2 eggs on top.  Cover the whole thing, cook another minute or two, until the eggs set.  Scrape it all on a plate, maybe add some cheese, ketchup, or salt.  Get a fork.  Yummmmm.

3. Fried Rice:  put some diced veggies in your pan, and cook ‘em in butter for a minute or two.  The toss in some day-old rice or quinoa.  Stir stir stir.  THEN throw an egg in there, and stir more.  You can add some garlic, or ginger, salt, or hot sauce.  I also like Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  Put it in a bow and get a spoon.

 

So there you have it, love bugs.  I hope that these ideas get your Creative Kitchen Selves all excited and riled up, in a good way!  Remember, small changes you can LIVE with and LOVE yourSelf for, are the name of the game.

Be well, Be Blessed, and may your Belly Be Full

R