There is nothin’ better.

Amigos, friends, people….I have to say….I have missed CAFFEINE far more that I would have ever guessed.  My little one is officially 1 year old.  Which means, bring on the caffeine.  Right?  I’m sorry.  I gave up coffee and tea … Continue reading

Terra do Sol

Oi, tudo bem galera? Hello there.  It’s been quite a while friends.  Life has been happening and I’ve been caught up in catching up to my life here in Fortaleza, Brazil.  They called it Terra do Sol because it is so damn hot all the time.  Adjusting to a new city, the weather and being a wife again has kept me away from the blog much longer than expected.  Here is another reason why I’ve been gone:

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Watching these two play together has been exactly how I dreamed it would be.  Lennox and I were in the US for 6 months while Daddy was taking care of business here in Brazil.  They had a lot of catching up to do.

We arrived at the beginning of June, we planned this of course to make sure we could all be together for Lennox’s first birthday!  Making the 24 hour journey by myself with the little guy actually wasn’t as bad as I expected.  The key to an easy trip was traveling late in the day so we could sleep most the way.  We got really lucky and had a row all to ourselves on the longest flight from Chicago to Sao Paulo.  We both slept most the way.  A huge difference from our last trip – which consisted of NO SLEEPING at all.

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Lucky me, my husband works in produce.  I have an unlimited supply of yummy fruits and veggies coming my way everyday.  Sounds dreamy right?  Here is something delicious we had the other day:

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Chu chu com cenoura e cebola.  Chayote squash with carrots and onions and my favorite assortment of spices called tempero Baiano.  Yum yum.

As our house gets more in order I should be posting more and more.  Until next time!

Beijos!

I need your vote in YumUniverse’s The Big Kale Contest

Good morning my dears!  One of my favorite websites YumUniverse is having a recipe contest called The Big Kale Contest – fun right?  One of my yummy kale creations is in the running.  Check out my recipe for Kale, Red Cabbage & Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter and vote for me on their Facebook Page!  While you’re on Facebook “like” Vegan Familia on Facebook.

Kale, Red Cabbage and Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter

Don't forget to vote on YumUniverse on Facebook

Kale Contest Entry: Crystal’s Kale, Red Cabbage & Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter

Ingredients:
8 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped red cabbage
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (divided)
2 Tbsp coconut butter
1/2 cup roasted salted pistachio pieces

Directions:
Sauté chopped onion in 1 tbsp coconut oil for approx 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and sage. Add remaining coconut oil and cabbage. Sauté till almost tender. Add coconut butter and mix well. Add chopped kale and cover until slightly wilted. Stir in pistachio pieces and enjoy.

Hello, my name is Crystal and I’m a snack-aholic.

Looking back on my posts I’ve realized that I am a snack-aholic.  It seems like all I post are yummy vegan snacks or treats.  I swear I do eat actual meals {shocking I know}.  Since I have most of my fun in the kitchen when the little one is napping it’s usually snack time – not lunch time or dinner time.  Here’s another one of my yummy snacky creations:

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup roasted red peppers

2 drops doTERRA basil oil

pinch of salt

Sriracha hot sauce to taste {I like it HOT}

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whizz.  Wah la!

I ate half of this myself with raw broccoli in one sitting – ok, it was my lunch that day.  I also had some with my homemade kale crackers.  Yum!

What do you like the pair your hummus with?

Way Delicious Vegan Tacos

Have you ever tried millet?  I had never even heard of it until yesterday while browsing the health food store.  I decided to give it a shot.  That has to be one of my favorite things about becoming vegan.  I’m trying new things way more often than I ever did before.  Food is so exciting to me.  If I had the time, I would spend all day in the kitchen trying new things {I’d probably get nice and plump too, good thing I don’t have the time}.

Yesterday I followed the directions and made some very bland millet.  Simply not impressed, but I knew that with some additions is would be a fun new staple.  I found some inspiration in my Thrive Foods book by Brendan Brazier and decided to make some tacos.  All I can say is YUMMY!

You can barely see the millet hiding under the black beans, but it's there I promise.

Way Delicious Vegan Tacos – with Green Millet, Black Bean, Guacamole, Tomatoes, Yellow Peppers and Pine Cheese Sauce

Green Millet

1 cup millet {cooked according to package directions}

2 Tbsp coconut butter

1 small clove of garlic

3 Tbsp spirulina

3 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos

First, I took some cooked millet and sauteed it in coconut butter {my new favorite thing}, with a small clove of garlic.  Then I added spirulina and  Braggs liquid aminos.  This idea came from Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier.  I added the coconut butter and garlic and toned down his recommendation for the amount of spirulina – this stuff is just stinky.  I have to admit this was way better than I expected it to be.  Even my totally NOT vegan step-dad tried it and he said it tasted good, although I couldn’t even get my mom to try it.

Yellow Pepper Pine Cheese – from Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier

1 yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup pine nuts

3 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp tarragon {I didn’t have any so I used 2 drops of doTERRA thyme oil}

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp agave nectar

1 small clove of garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly.

 

Once you have made the above items.  Make some guacamole as you wish.  Dice some tomatoes and slice some bell peppers. 

Then, fry your tortillas {I used Trader Joes organic blue corn tortillas} in coconut oil. Build your taco and enjoy!

The combination was heavenly!  Let me know if you agree.

xoxo,

Crystal

Too lazy to chew

Today is an off day. Getting to the gym at 9:45 {at night} is no longer a good idea. Home by 11:00, I was all wired up. Lennox usually wakes for a feeding at midnight – and last night was one of those nights where he just doesn’t wanna go back to sleep. Needless to say I wasn’t tucked in myself until after 2:00 and he was ready for another feeding by 4:00. The older I get the more I realize the importance of sleep. No more late night workouts for this gal. I would have been better off skipping a workout.

So, it’s lunchtime and I feel too lazy to chew. Here’s my lunchtime smoothie.

Spinach Basil Lemongrass Smoothie

2 cups spinach
2 handfuls frozen peaches {time to go shopping}
4 drops doTERRA Lemongrass oil
2 drops doTERRA basil oil
1 1/2 cups apple juice {just a guess}

Whizz in blender. Pray for burst of energy!

Raw Zucchini “Pasta” Salad

I’ve decided to do a raw challenge…I’m challenging myself to eat at minimum two meals a day raw.  Keeping a raw conscious mindset throughout the day and to eat only raw snacks.  Sounds do-able doesn’t it?  I’m starting with a week goal.  With upcoming travel plans I don’t want to set myself up for failure.  Here’s a yummy raw meal.  Rawr!

Raw Zucchini “Pasta” Salad

1 zucchini

1 tomato

handful of sliced mushrooms

cilantro

apple cider vinegar

olive oil

doTERRA lemon oil

sea salt

pepper

chia seeds

Directions:  Julienne your zuc.  Chop your tomato.  Toss in your mushrooms.  Chop some cilantro. Now mix your dressing – ACV, OO, S&P and doTERRA lemon oil. Sprinkle with chia seeds. Wah la!

Green Choco-Peanut Butter Smoothie

Do you ever wake up craving chocolate?  Today I had a craving for something chocolatey and peanut buttery.  First thing in the morning – really? I believe you need to listen to your cravings –  it’s your body telling you something.  So, I listened…

Green Choco-Peanut Butter Smoothie

2 handfuls of frozen peaches

2 heaping Tbsp natural peanut butter

2 heaping Tbsp raw carob powder

1 tsp chlorella

1 tsp maca

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (more or less)

raw cacao nibs

Directions: Whizz in blender.  Sprinkle with nibs.  Yummy!

Peachy Carob Smoothie

To make room for a photo of this morning’s breakfast creation I had to purge some photos from my iPhone.  With well over 300 photos and videos taking up space it was time to clean house.  I hate it when this happens.  The photos are all saved on my computer but it still breaks my heart to delete photos of Lennox.  Scrolling to the top, I always delete the oldest first – it’s become my ritual.  Seeing how much the little guy has grown in such a short time makes me more sad and just plain proud. That little boy has grown from a little speck in my tummy to a speed crawler –  gosh – that still amazes me.  Now someone remind me why I chose to get the 16gb and not the 32gb iPhone.  I woulda had much more space to keep those precious snapshots of my little monkey.  When this phone dies, I’m goin’ big on the next one!

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Peachy Carob Smoothie

1 1/2 handfuls of frozen peaches (such scientific measurement I know)

1/2 banana

1 tsp chlorella

1 tsp maca

2 Tbsp raw organic carob powder

1 cup coconut water (just guessing, I didn’t measure)

Raw cacao nibs to sprinkle on top

Directions:Whizz in blender till peach chunks are gone.  Pour into a fancy glass and sprinkle with cacao nibs.  Drink some and go back for more cacao nibs.  Repeat.

Read about the benefits of raw carob powder here.

Read about the benefits of chlorella here.

Read about the benefits of maca here.

Read about the benefits of raw cacao nibs here.

Raw Red Pepper Dip

Since I ate all the kale chips I was planning to bring to my family dinner I had to come up with something.  I had three red peppers that needed to be eaten so I thought a dip would be nice.  Served with carrots sticks, most of the family gave it a try.  I added it to my salad instead of dressing and it was yum.  We all agreed it would be best served on bread or crackers.  There were leftovers so I’m gonna have to come up with something manana.  Stay posted for that one…

Raw Red Pepper Dip

1 cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked for an hour)

2 red peppers chopped

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 clove of garlic

1 drop of doTERRA oregano oil

sea salt

cayenne pepper

Directions:

Add all ingredient to food processor and whizz. Salt and pepper to taste.

Learn about the benefits of soaking nuts here.