Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

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Giving up gluten made breakfasts a bit more difficult. We often like to have pancakes on special weekend mornings so we knew we had to find a recipe that would work for us. We adapted the pancake recipe only slightly from hereThese are dense pancakes with a consistently similar to a donut and they are a wonderful treat for a lazy morning.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 C gluten free all purpose flour (sometimes we mix in a little coconut flour with mostly Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour)

1/4 tsp guar gum

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 eggs or 2 egg substitutes (we use 2 tsp ground flax meal mixed with 2 tbsp water for EACH egg)

1/3 C almond milk

2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)

1 dash cinnamon

1 quick dash of vanilla extract

Sprinkle of gluten free oats

Almond Milk, Dry mixture, egg substitute, coconut oil

Almond Milk, Dry mixture, egg substitute, coconut oil

Directions:

Mix together the egg substitute and set aside to set. Mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the egg or egg sub,  coconut oil (place it in the microwave to convert it to liquid form), almond milk, vanilla extract. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients and if the mixture is too thick add a bit more almond milk.  Pour the batter onto an oiled skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Gluten free mixtures are a bit more dense and therefore you may have to spread out the poured batter to the desired thickness after you’ve poured it. Sprinkle the oats on top of the pancakes, cook for approx 5 minutes on each side.

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Happy Weekend!

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We give that which we oppose power, simply by fighting it. It takes a certain amount of energy to fight, or resist something and often by giving energy to fighting something, we are giving it power. Of course, I am not talking about becoming a passive person and allowing social injustices to prevail unhindered, but often what we fight in ourselves becomes stronger. I have studied mindfulness meditation for some time now and one of the main tenets of mindfulness meditation is to simply notice what thoughts or feelings are coming up within you and not to fight them. The idea is that when you don’t resist that which comes naturally (such as feelings) they will fall away and pass through you much quicker than if you resisted them. So remember, often what you resist persists..and what you fight you strengthen.

Healthy Sweet Chews

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Hello everyone. As many of you already know Matt and I both love sweets. These little treats are vegan and gluten free. I got this recipe from here and adapted it only a bit. These little treats take about 5 minutes to make and then you keep them in your freezer for those moments when your sweet tooth needs a little hit. Here’s how I made them.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Puffed brown rice

1/2 cup of Creamy almond butter

24 Almonds, chopped

2 tsp Vanilla

4 tbsp Honey

3 tbsp cacao nibs (you could use super dark chocolate chopped up as well)

Directions:

Place the almond butter, honey and vanilla in a bowl and stir. Add the cacao nibs, chopped almonds and puffed brown rice and stir. Then, place a piece of waxed paper on a plate that you can place into the freezer and wet your hands. For some reason the sticky mixture won’t stick to wet hands so once your hands are wet you can roll the mixture into little balls, place on waxed paper and then put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before devouring. You should store these in a freezer in a sealed container.

The first time I had made these I put the bowl of almond butter, honey and vanilla into the microwave for 30 seconds and when I added the dark chocolate it melted into it. It was sooo good. The cacao nibs make it a little healthier and give the balls a nice crunch but if you really want these to be dessert-like, use dark chocolate, or mini chocolate chips. If you want them to be even more delicious, warm the almond butter mixture first so the chocolate melts into it. Mmmm.

Happy Weekend!

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It’s been a busy week for me and so I haven’t been posting as regularly. If you don’t know Kahlil Gibran, look him up because he was an amazing man. I think I have a special place in my heart for Kahlil Gibran because Matt used to read his quotes to me when we first started dating.

I think this quote speaks to those who believe we are all connected, and for those who feel this connection when we are out in nature. When I need clarity, if I’ve had a busy week or am feeling particularly stressed, I like to go out to this beach and walk to where there are no other people. When I sit on the rocks and look out into the ocean in solitude I am reminded that so little really matters. All the worries over the little dramas that go along with being human are suddenly put into perspective. I often believe, at that moment, that everything will work out and that these little worries of mine are insignificant.  I can’t get to that place unless I am out in nature and I think that speaks to the deep connection that we have with that natural environment. So when you are feeling lost or confused, don’t forget that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair. Give them what they want : ) Happy Weekend.

Sweet Potato Burgers

Several months ago our friends invited us over for dinner and made us our first ever sweet potato burgers and we thought they they were delicious! So we had to try our own.

Sweet Potato BurgersThis makes approx 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato baked

1 can cannellini beans

1 avocado

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Red’s gluten free all purpose flour

A pinch of guar gum (a little less than 1/8 tsp)

1 teaspoon pepper

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup gluten free pretzels

1 egg or egg substitute (we used 2 tbs water mixed with 2 tsp ground flax in a separate dish)

Directions: Wrap the potato in foil and bake at 450 for about 45 minutes to an hour (this can be done earlier in the day if you wanted). Rinse and drain the beans and mash them in a bowl well. Scoop the sweet potato out of the skin and mash it with the beans. Add the salt, pepper, flour, egg (or egg substitute) and minced garlic and mix together. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. While it is chilling smash the pretzels in a bowl to make the crust for the burgers. Grab the burger mix out of the fridge and make it into 4 patties (or however many you’re eating). Place them in the smashed pretzels and cover them with the crust. In a frying pan put one tablespoon of coconut oil in and turn it on medium. Place burgers in and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or however you desire. Once finished place on bread or bun and top with avocado and kale (optional). We used Udi’s gluten free bread because we find the buns to be a little too “bready” if you know what I mean. The slices of bread are much better. The original recipe also called for panko crumbs, but those aren’t gluten free so we used crushed gluten free pretzels that we had at the house. It’s totally up to you, but this recipe makes 4 burgers and so we often have them 2 nights out of the week (which is fine with me because they are gooood). Let us know how they turn out for you and if you have any questions.

All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner

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Kulae’s tpECO mat in the color monaco/poppy.

A new yoga mat calls for a new yoga mat cleaner! Our yoga mats were disgusting and had begun breaking down from the good use we put them to so I surprised my Matt with a new mat and bought myself one while I was at it. The color I bought was too pretty to pass up. In case you are wondering our mats are the Kulae tpECO mats and they’re perfect for Bikram or hot yoga where you work with a towel on top. These mats are closed cell so bacteria can’t get inside and sweat won’t go through. Closed cell mats are really the way to go when practicing in a heated room or if you’re the type of person who’s a sweaty mess during yoga. These are 100% biodegradable, recyclable and PVC and latex free. Matt got all black (because he’s boring like that) but I got Monaco/poppy! One side is navy blue and the other side is this bright, beautiful pinky orangey, well…poppy color. If you look at it online, the pictures don’t do it justice. If I’m feeling particularly boring I’ll practice with the navy side up and if I’m feeling a little wild and crazy, poppy will face skyward. You can check out these mats here. We bought them from our studio.

Anyways, because these mats are biodegradable, you don’t want to put them out in the sun so I thought I’d make a nice little mat cleaner we could use daily that would kill the bacteria. I chose teatree oil as the main bacteria killing agent in my spray and added essential oils to make it smell pretty.

ImageNatural Mat Cleaner

24 oz water

1/2 tsp teatree oil

1/2 tsp sweet orange essential oil

1/2 tsp lemon essential oil

Mix these ingredients in an empty spray bottle. I just give the bottle a little shake shake and then spray it on the mat. You could use any scents you want but I chose these because you can’t really go wrong with citrus, and because they were under 5 dollars at Whole Foods : )

This Gluten Free Journey

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So Matt and I have been gluten free for over three weeks now. It has been a journey, not always an easy one, but not too difficult either. There was one moment I had where, without thinking, popped two Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies into my mouth and then a few minutes later realized that they had gluten in them. Of course, not being gluten intolerant, I didn’t feel any effects from having those cookies.

Matt was talking to me this morning about how good it feels to be surrounded by healthy foods. When we open our fridge we see almond milk, vegetables, and healthy leftovers. In our cupboards we have added chia seeds, ground flax, walnuts, almonds, dried fruit and puffed brown rice. This journey has caused us to do research on foods, to ask at restaurants what their foods are made of (when in the past we would have just put it in our mouths). We’ve discovered how to make an egg substitute for baking (it’s 1 tsp. ground chia seeds or 2 tsp. ground flax with 2 tbsp. water). We learned little tricks to increase your fiber intake, like eating oatmeal, or adding ground flax to things. We started eating chia seeds and discovered how amazing they are for you and how easy it is to add them to ANYTHING. Finally, we feel a renewed zest to try new recipes, or to make up our own recipes (like the coconut curry soup I recently posted). We’ve also discovered how damn easy it is to be gluten free now.

If you live in the are (Monterey, California), Erik’s Deli will make any sandwich on gluten free bread at no charge, Pizza My Way offers gluten free crust for their pizza, Ambrosia Indian Restaurant serves a gluten free lentil cracker as an appetizer and brown rice tortillas can be found at any health food store. For breakfast First Awakenings can make any of their pancakes gluten free (and they have some AMAZING pancakes).

Finally, we feel really good. When we became pescetarians, we didn’t feel any different but we both can definitely notice a difference from cutting out gluten. We have more energy and we feel lighter and cleaner in our bodies (if that makes sense). In the past after having a big meal we would often feel bloated or overly full, but not anymore. We also don’t feel like we get highs and lows with hunger. I haven’t pigged out or mindlessly eaten, maybe because you have to be conscious of what you eat. We also feel much more flexible which has been a big plus in yoga. In the mornings we would be extra stiff, and AM yoga was the worst! However, now morning yoga is no big deal because of our increased flexibility. The yoga poses I would dread because of the pain they caused me in my hamstrings are fun, and it’s been such a wonderful journey that my parents have been inspired to cut out gluten.

We have committed to cutting gluten out for a full month so we have a few more days left. We will keep you posted on whether we decide to maintain this way of life (I’m thinking we will).

Happy Weekend!

ImageSomething that I learned through yoga is that so many things in our life are practices, not destinations. A practice is something you do regularly, like yoga, whereas a destination is a place to which you arrive. In America, especially, we think of things as a destination rather than a practice. Health, love, happiness…the things that are most important are practices. These states are not a place that we arrive to, because they are active, requiring consistent effort and intention. Health depends on the choices we make everyday and in the words of John Mayer “Love is a verb”. The same is true of yoga and of balance. Balance is not a place that we arrive to, but rather something that we can maintain through constant effort, movement, and change.

Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup!

This is a delicious recipe and you can add anything you want to it (potatoes, broccoli, tofu, etc). I was in a bit of a rush when I made this up because we had just gotten back from a 6:00 pm Bikram class. This soup is vegan and gluten free of course : )

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Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup

Makes 2-3 servings depending on how much you eat and how many veggies you add to it.

Ingredients:

1 white or yellow onion chopped

2 large cloves of garlic or 3 medium sized

11/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt pepper

1C coconut milk

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1C red lentils

olive oil

5C vegetable broth (we used bouillon and water)

1 handful of cilantro

Directions:

Add chopped onion to a olive oiled pot on medium-high heat, add salt, pepper, curry powder and turmeric. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the lentils and 5C of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and add the pinch of red pepper flakes and half of the chopped cilantro. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes and then remove from heat and add 1C of coconut milk. Use an immersion blender to blend soup smooth, or you could use a food processor or blender. Be careful whenever handling hot liquids. The immersion blender is really the best tool to use for this. Ladle soup into bowls and add chopped cilantro for garnish. Enjoy.

If you are wanting to add any more vegetables or potatoes, tofu, etc. You would add these to the soup when it’s reached boiling point (for vegetables maybe add them to the soup during the last  8 minutes to avoid overcooking them).

Enjoy!

Flaky Tilapia with a Carrot and Yam Puree

Yummm. This is one of Matt’s favorites. It’s delicious and healthy, packed full of flavor and fairly easy to make. The carrot and yam puree recipe was taken from here.

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Flaky Tilapia with atop a carrot and yam puree with a greek yogurt lemon mustard sauce.

Ingredients:

2 medium yams

1 white/yellow onion

2 carrots

olive oil

salt and pepper

1.5 fillets of tilapia/person

For the lemon sauce:

3 tbs greek yogurt

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tbs dijon mustard

1/2 tsp agave nectar

Directions: Turn the oven on to broil. Peel and chop yams into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. Chop two carrots to the same size. Give the onion a rough chop (you will be pureeing it later) and add it to a soup pot with olive oil over med-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent ( about 5 minutes). Add the yams and carrots and then fill with vegetable broth until covered. Boil for approx. 20 minutes until yams and carrots are fork tender.

Place the tilapia on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to both sides. Broil for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

While the tilapia is broiling away place the onions, yams, and carrots in the food processor along with a long drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 a ladle of broth. Give the processor a whirl until everything is pureed.

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For the sauce: Mix together the greek yogurt, lemon juice, agave nectar and dijon mustard and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Enjoy! This recipe makes enough for 2 ppl (Matt can be a bit of a pig).

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