vegan

Simple and Not Too Sweet Acai Bowl (Paleo + Vegan)

I love me a good Acai bowl! They are filling and often filled with good for you ingredients.

BUT a lot of the ones you can get at smoothie shops are PACKED with sugar. And while fruit is delicious, fructose has a very similar effect on your blood sugar that regular sugar does, so a bowl made with fruit and then topped with more fruit will still give you that blood sugar spike and crash!

Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Freezer Fudge (Paleo + Vegan)

Yes, I’m posting two fudge recipes back to back.

and I’m not mad about it. I don’t think you will be either.

After finishing off a batch of the chocolate freezer fudge during last weeks heat wave AND simultaneously seeing the rest of the country posting pumpkin recipes and photos allll over the place, I found myself both craving the freezer fudge AND all things pumpkin.

I had a lone can of pumpkin left in my pantry another batch of freezer fudge with pumpkin was really the obvious choice.

Mango Avocado Crunchy Slaw Salad (Paleo & Vegan)

I just started back up at work after three months off and I try to pack my lunch as often as possible. Usually on Sunday nights, I make a big batch of roasted veggies and a protein or two and throw them on top of some lettuce each morning and call it a day. It’s simple and filling and since I’m a creature of habit, it almost always does the trick.

BUT sometimes, salads are… BORING. And dark leafy greens is really not what I’m after. Ya know?

But I know when I eat a big sandwich or the big giant bowl of Gluten Free Pad Thai from P.F. Changs when the office orders from there, I’m usually ready for a nap about 30 minutes after lunch.

So to resist the salad boredom AND the post sandwich slump, I’ve been working on a few new recipes that are easy to whip up and a little bit different.

Enter this Mango

Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Pudding Parfait! (Dairy + Refined Sugar Free)

This chia parfait tastes like dessert but is a super filling and healthy breakfast or snack! It’s completely dairy, gluten, and refined sugar free, vegan and paleo friendly and the best part? It only takes 5 minutes to make!

 Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Since chia seeds burst on to the health food scene a few years ago, I still can’t help but sing the jingle from commercial for the Chia Pet from the 90s EVERY time I say the word chia. Is that just me? And pretty much on constant loop in my brain because I use chia seeds all the time! (The Pottery That Grows!)

Aside from growing pet plants, Chia seeds are full of fiber and they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, they are rich in antioxidants as well as calcium and iron too!

I use them in smoothies or sprinkle them on top of acai bowls but my favorite way to make them

Roasted Tumeric Carrot Fries!

I’ve expressed this before but I can’t say it enough:

To me, food is as a vehicle to consume condiments. And one of my favorite ways to do that?

The Fry.

I love me a fry. Thick cut steak fries, hand cut, wedges, waffle, curly, sweet potato- I’ve rarely met a fry I don’t like. But for me, traditional fries live in the “20” category of the whole 80/20 thing.

But! I still have the urge to dip dip dip. So carrot fries have been my new go to as of late.

Chocolate Caramel Slice (Gluten/Grain, Dairy + Refined Sugar free!)

These Caramel Slices look like they are full of refined sugar and other not so ideal ingredients but surprise! They are completely grain, dairy and refined sugar free… and totally addicting.

Though I got married just over a year ago (ah!) we waited to go on our honeymoon until March when I had a long break from work and it was summer in Australia!

I had been to Australia in 2010 when I was working for Oprah and loved every second- even the work related we-almost-took out-Hugh-Jackman’s-eye stressful ones (sorry about that, Hugh). I instantly knew I wanted to go back ASAP.

7 years later (ha!) we made it back for 16 days of pure amazingness. And what I didn’t realize back in 2010 (and maybe that’s because I spent a good part of those days in a hotel conference room), was that Australia KNOWS WHAT’S UP when it comes to incredibly healthy, fresh and delicious food that

Seriously Delicious EVERYTHING Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

But how can something that has nothing be so delicious, you ask?

I’m not sure but I think the answer lies in bananas & chocolate.

All I can say is – This bread is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Last week all of my college friends came in to town to celebrate and shower one of our friends who just had the most precious baby girl! We’ve done this for every one that’s had a baby- we all fly in for the weekend, we all buy a new book for the baby’s library and we all cook brunch together and spend the day eating and drink mimosas and we are usually asleep by 10 pm because well… it’s been TEN years this spring since we graduated college and those crazy late nights are noooo more.

Usually these brunches are filled with foods that are delicious but full of gluten, dairy, soy and the like. But my friend/the new mom is doing an elimination

I Scream for (Dairy-Free) Ice-Cream!

Some people are cake people. For others it’s cupcakes. Or cheesecake (looking at you, husband) Or pie.

I’m 100% an ice-cream/frozen yogurt (and chocolate chip cookie/scone) kind of girl.

Case in point: during my first summer hiatus at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I got a job working at a frozen yogurt shop. While all of my other co-workers spent their time off traveling & relaxing – I spent my summer spooning mochi balls and fruity pebbles on top of tart yogurt for $11 an hour at Berry Chill (RIP):

3076562958_314982ee06348s

It’s how I first discovered I was allergic to dairy. After consuming fro yo all day everyday for 3 months, my skin looked worse than a 14 year old in the midst of puberty and I felt awful.

So, after my Dr. delivered the devastating news, I cut out dairy and go figure,  my skin cleared up.

Flash forward to 2016.

On the Fence: Beef Jerky (Epic Honest Harvest Wholesome Trail Mix)

Hello!

This has been a very exciting week. The Boy and I celebrated two years together (crazy!), I found out that Backstreet Boys will be not only be the show “Undateable” next week- but they will also be on the same lot WHERE I WORK.  (Poll: Do we think it’s okay if I “coincidentally” wear my Backstreet Boys studded denim jacket to work that day?! “Oh, this old thing?”)

Oh AND I tried a new snack… Beef Jerky.

So much excitement, so little time.

Here’s the truth about Beef Jerky. When I think about Beef Jerky I think about growing up seeing Slim Jim commercials and those tubular things of beef at the gas station that looked (in my opinion), beyond nasty. 8th grade me thought why have that as a snack when you can have Gushers? or Teddy Grahams (chocolate ones, obviously). Or those yogurts that came with a thing of sprinkles to pour into it! Sprinkles in a