Mango Soup

Sleep quality has improved ten-fold since getting my new bed. I love it. I feel rejuvenated in the morning. Heck, I’m bright eyed and busy tailed at 6:45, which is quite the feat! This morning was no exception, and I was a busy bee in the kitchen making kale chips for my yoga comrades (Saturday is teacher training day) and some raw soup to take to class. My last foray with raw soup—the carrot recipe—was not the greatest, but I have made a few variations of this one, so I knew I wouldn’t be terribly let down.  If you love mango, you must try this.

Cold Mango Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango, peeled and destoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1-2 small chilli peppers, minced (or to taste)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger

Preparation:

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding a bit more or less water as needed. Chill before serving. Makes two servings.

You’re in and out in 15 minutes max, and if you put your onion in the refrigerator the night before you’ll cut down on the teary-eye factor. If you don’t have whole chili peppers, approximately ½ a tsp of pepper flakes is equal to one pepper. Adjust accordingly. I’m a wussy and should have done a few less flakes, but it was still darn tasty.

Simple Salad

Today was an exceptionally naughty 8 hour shift at work. One of my co-workers , Allyn, is a regular Betty Crocker. On a weekly basis he makes cupcakes and brownies for us Goodwillers to gobble up. All except me. Which is good, because I’d totally own that brownie pan! Phew, sometimes being gluten free is a blessing in disguise. Allyn is also known for making some exceptional fudge, so I finally worked up the courage to put in a dietary restriction related request.  I was elated to find a full Tupperware container of chocolate fudge this morning. I had a piece here. I had a piece there. I had several pieces everywhere. End of shift=Commencement of unbuttoning pants.

I was still very full when dinner time rolled around, which worked out perfectly tonight because we were making some salmon with a light accompanying salad. I held off on the salmon—tomorrow, stomach, tomorrow—and ate a large bowl of this simple, cooling, and  soft textured salad.

I got the idea from the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, and she got it from a NY Times article on 101 Simple Salads.  I love these sorts of meals because the measurements don’t have to be exact. You can mix and match whatever you like and tinker with amounts to get the best flavor.

Recipe

1 Avocado

4 Small Peaches (or 2 big)

1 Roma Tomato

½ Red Onion (I actually had used the red onion for a previous meal, so I went without this time, but I think it’d be an excellent addition)

Splash of Lime Juice (fresh squeezed or bottled. I went with the bottled this time, because I didn’t feel like getting out my juicer)

Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes.

Cut the avocado, peaches, tomato, onion, and put them into a bowl. Because these are soft ingredients, gently mix them together. Pour (or squirt) the lime juice on top and sprinkle on the red pepper flakes. Gently mix again. Savor.

This is a perfect snack (or meal if paired with some added protein like chicken, steak, beef, or vegetarian/vegan substitute) on a hot summer’s day. And, for anyone of you getting your wisdom teeth out in the next few months, since summer seems to be prime removal time, this would be a hearty, yet soft snack for you to eat while you ice your cheeks and dose off in a (RESPONSIBLE) pain killer induced haze.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

The Meals That Got Away

Everything in the kitchen isn’t all sunshine and daisies; sometimes you create  meals that are real stinkers. And, as luck would have it, these off meals are generally the ones you’ve poured the most time and energy into. Nothing sends me into a frenzy of emotional eating  more than taking the third nope-this-isn’t-going-to-work bite of a meal that flopped. By then I’m running to fill the void in my heart (and stomach, duh) with something terrible.  Oddly enough, I got both these recipes off the same blog. Maybe it just isn’t the place for me to get some foodie advice.

Last week I was on Bex Life (I love listening to her talks!) and she had a guest blogger who was giving out a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza. My gluten free heart sang as if it was battling for the win on American Idol.  I love cauliflower and the fact that I didn’t have to utilize any of my insanely pricey gluten-free flour blend made my wallet hum a ditty as well.

Looks are deceiving! The inside was complete mush!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (serves 3)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano

Toppings:

  • Sauce (I used a box of crushed tomatoes)
  • Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse cauliflower until it’s well processed. Scrape down the sides as needed. Lay cauliflower out on a baking sheet, pre- sprayed with non-stick spray or using a slipat. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, grated cheese, flax and spices. Mix together well. Spoon “dough” onto a pizza stone, covered pizza pan* or baking sheet. Bake for 16-17 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon sauce onto dough and season with spices. Add fresh mozzarella. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I mean, look how awesome and clean that recipe looks. I managed to find the particular brand of tomatoes—Pomi—she mentions in her video. I even went authentic and sprung from the fresh mozzarella, like any good Italian Mamma would do. Wait, there’s more, I even bought the really shnazzy Boars Head pepperoni. Man, I had high, high hopes, but I knew something wasn’t going right when, after taking the ground up cauliflower out of the oven for the third time, it wasn’t the golden, crispy brown as seen on the video. Mind you my food processor is a fraction of the size of hers, so it took be 12 painstaking batches. I baked the pizza for 30 minutes and had to accept the crust just wasn’t going to set. I was bumming.

The next recipe I tried was a raw vegan carrot soup with a few simple ingredients: seven carrots, two cloves of garlic, one whole avocado, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

You may know I’m a huge fan of making a batch of soup at the beginning of the week during the school year. Now that summer is rolling around I can start looking towards raw, cold soups, which are perfect for the temperatures we’ll (hopefully) be getting in the near future. I had tried out this recipe a few months back, prior to my juicer, and my blender couldn’t handle the pureed carrots. It sputtered, it grumbled, it said “no smooth soup for you!”  I was left with a chunky, off tasting mess. This time I was so ready, but to no avail it still tasted funny. I wanted so desperately to like it, and I’m sure it’s not a bad recipe, but my taste buds just weren’t feeling it.

Needless to say, I was at least able to salvage a few pictures from the creation.

Yup, making food you don’t end up liking sucks. You’ve wasted time, you’ve wasted money, and if you plan out your meals like I do you probably don’t have much lying around to calm those tummy grumbles. Sometimes all you can do is grab a banana, slather it in some peanut butter, and deal with your melodramatics by watching a C-rate Netflix movie while drinking a glass of nice wine that you had been saving for the ill-fated, extravagant meal….I’m not bitter or anything!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Video: Cleaning house through fasting!

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I made a video, so I’m very excited to bring you this one. There is a lot of information and I figured you’d rather listen to me while you have some down time than read a tome like post 😉 This is all about cleansing/fasting/detoxing! Living off liquids for a few days (or few weeks in extreme cases!) is a way to let your body heal. Digestion is one of the most labor intensive processes our body goes through on a regular basis. When it isn’t busy digesting our body can go to work “cleaning house” and taking out impurities and toxins from neglected areas. Unfortunately, cleansing is typically not spoken about as a healing process in magazines or television shows. Instead, it is seen as way to get rid of some vanity pounds, so people are very apt to put it down. Obviously, it is way more than that! I encourage you to listen to this video to learn about how to prepare for one, break a fast safely, and be ready for the up and down physical feelings you’ll go through. It may not be something you decide to undertake, but at least you’ll have some information and know that this process goes far beyond the “Master Cleanse” and celebrities trying to fit into an award ceremony dress!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

And I said: Darling, I don’t drink bottled orange juice anymore

I’ve really been putting my juicer through the paces, and I gotta say: I love the results. I decided to share my 2 favorite recipes. One is super simple and even though the other sounds intimidating, it’s absolutely brilliant.

 

The classic- Orange juice.

You haven’t had orange juice until you’ve had fresh squeezed orange juice. Tropicana ain’t got nothing on it. When it’s fresh squeezed it tastes like your drinking an orange, which, duh, seems really obvious, but if you’ve only been drinking from concentrate your taste buds have been horribly deceived for years. If you (or your family—for all you mom & dad readers out there!) go through a lot of orange juice, I’d strongly consider buying a juicer just so you can make your own. At my co-op I can get 15 Valencia oranges (which are made for juicing) for a little less than $5. That’s 3 glasses of prime juice without all the added sugar. Plus it’s an absolute morning after must if your friend takes you out for a night of (several) drinks at the nice bars downtown…

Recipe

5 oranges

Cut in half and press over the citrus attachment of your juicer.

If you’re a texture person like me, you may not like the left over pulp. I know, I know pulp is amazing, but I just cannot stomach it. Have no fear! If you have a fine strainer pour it over a bowl and then pour the bowl back into our cup. Pulp problem solved in 30 seconds or less.

Sip deliberately.

 

Getting fancy—Beet and Company (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Miracle Drink.”)

With juicing you sooner or later have to move away from the “just fruit” recipes and dabble in the world of vegetables and greens. I feel like this is a great beginner drink for people whose taste buds are still hardwired for soda and bottled juice. I admit the first sip is a tad tart (I love all things tart), but power through and you’ll feel better afterwards.

(I found this recipe on Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog called GOOP.  I know she isn’t exactly the darling of Hollywood, but this drink is good, she practices ashtanga, and she “appears” to have a youthful glow. Yeah she’s the symbol of nepotism, and yeah she’d rather let her kids do crack than eat canned cheese…but if you’re so perfect raise your hand!—convincing? No? Just try the damn juice anyway!)

Recipe

2 Beets–When cutting beets wear an apron or shirt you don’t care about getting dirty. Those tasty buggers stain!

2 Large Carrots

1 Apple–The site suggested gala. I used either that or a pink lady. We bought an assorted bunch this week

1 inch slice of ginger

½ lemon juiced– If you have a citrus attachment for your blender than use it. If not you can use a manual citrus squeezer and stir it in afterward

This stuff is rocket fuel—as my poetry teacher would say.

Again, sip deliberately. This juice has a fair amount of heft to it and should be savored over a decent amount of time.Me thinks a juice fast might be in order this summer!

 

I don’t think I”ll be posting every juice recipe on here, but if you want to see what I drink on a day to day basis then check out my FB page for this site.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

So Juicy I’m Making Couture Jealous

This baby is older than me!

After working at Goodwill for 15 months, I’ve come up with a  sound theory on donated items. If someone has donated an appliance that is very old (from the early 90’s or 80’s and back) one can assume two things.

1 The item at hand was really amazing, but the person/family decided to upgrade after 10-20 years to the newer version of the appliance.

2 The item at hand had been stowed away for years, and the person/family had decided to donate it  because it had been collecting dust for 10-20 years.

One should always be weary of more recent or seemingly brand spankin’ new appliances that have been donated. For example, several months ago I bought a Sharper Image juicer at said store. I was beyond miffed to find out how inefficient it was (I could practically drink the left over pulp that should have been dry!) Thus, I realized the excited person/family must have used it once after the 30 days they had bought it, been unable to return it, and had driven to the Goodwill in anger and donated it. My Kitchen Aid mixer from the 60’s has proven to be an absolute tank, so when my eyes settled upon the Tefal Juicer from 1989, my heart fluttered like a twitterpated song bird.

Note: The day I left early to buy the juicer was the day I was forced to block one of my neighbors in…oh the drama, but it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been into green smoothies for more than a year. In fact, they were what catapulted me into a more sound and healthy diet. However, I’ve always been intrigued by juicers, as it’s nice to add something new to the mix. Unfortunately, you are way more likely to find affordable  blenders than you are affordable juicers. The cheapest, reputable one is Jack Lalanne’s at $100, and most others can cost around $200 and up. Sadly, $200 was something I was unable to magically pull out of thin air, so I jumped when I saw the juicer at GW for $12.99 (they rarely come in.)

Juicing is great because it allows you to liquefy vegetables for easy consumption. My blender is not super powerful, so when I make green smoothies I can really only incorporate greens like spinach, collard greens, and the occasional Swiss chard. There was a whole land of carrot, beet, celery, and apple juice that I was not privy to, sigh. Plus, when you make your own juice there aren’t any added sugars and chemicals that are found in store bought juices. Yup, you heard me, this is juice you can actually drink on a regular basis!

When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down and your body has a far easier job of digesting them. With smoothies (which I will be writing a post on), since you don’t strain anything you are able to maintain the fiber. With juicing, the fiber is removed in the form of pulp and you are left with what I like to call: the essence. I don’t think one is significantly better than the other, though, I will admit that smoothie-ing is less of a process than juicing—there are so many parts of a juicer to clean! However, I think you do miss out if you are only able to do one. So, if your finances allow you, buy both!

So far I’ve made three awesome juices with my juicer (which has yet to be named!) I made a lot of stinker green smoothies at the beginning, so perhaps this learning curve is a lot better.

Recipe #1- I decided to try out a really simple juice so I could acclimate my taste-y buds

4 Oranges

2 Carrots

Teeeeny, weeeeny piece of ginger

I bought some Valencia juicing oranges at my local co-op for 30 cents a piece! Carrots are great because they do yield a large amount of juice and oranges are a sweet punch of vitamin c. The ginger was for some pizzazz and to make me feel a little hard-core.

Recipe #2- Getting a little green!

3 Oranges

3 Carrots

2 Kale Leaves + Tiny bit of spinach

I was really excited to use kale, because it doesn’t blend so well in my little Proctor Silex Blender. I first put in the carrots, then the kale, and finally the oranges. If you decide to use greens make sure you have something to add afterward to push through any leftover pieces and juice that might be sitting in the spout! I’ve noticed that when adding greens you can definitely taste them initially, but if you have something sweet in the drink (like the oranges) that is the taste you’ll be left with.

Recipe #3- Just Beet It

2 Beets

3 Carrots

2 Oranges

Chris and I don’t get many things at the co-op (wayyyy outside our budget for a full trip), but when I saw a bunch of 4 beets for $2.99 I had to get them.  This definitely wasn’t as sweet as the other juices, but still palatable. Because of that, I wasn’t able to slurp it down as fast as the other recipes and the rest is in my fridge for tomorrow morning. Here are some ones to tips, recipes, and nutritional facts on this voluptuous purple root veggie.

When you are showering, making breakfast, or have a few spare minutes, listen to this video on juicing. You’ll pick up great tips on what fruits/vegetables will fill your cup up and what greens won’t leave you feeling like you bought a bunch for nothing.

Some things to remember with green juices:

If you aren’t used to eating fruits and vegetables tread lightly into the realm for the first week or two. Most of these recipes have topped off my 12 oz mason jars. That’s a lot of fruits and vegetables to be drinking in one sitting and can cause what is kindly called “runny tummy.”  Your body will soon adjust, trust me, but you might find yourself having to go to the bathroom if you sip it down with the same amount of ease as Tropicana Orange Juice.  Finally, freshly prepared juices start to lose nutrients quickly. It’s advisable to drink them immediately or within 24 hours. As the video above mentions, grapefruit and orange juice can last up to two days if properly stored.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Be ready for a delicious hip opening sequence tomorrow!!!

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Like. A lot. Id say at the very least 7 hours a week. That’s pretty impressive for a college student! It’s where I bring together breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also log in some time scraping dishes, which is the less glamorous side of eating, though it does allow me time to  catch up on some Netflix watching. Last weekend I decided to make some raw vegan strawberry ice cream. It was delicious, which I knew it would be, but I was super surprised with how Martha Stewart I went with the presentation. Damn, it could have been featured in some home making magazine. See for yourself!

It all started with some cute little strawberries who had their eye on some bananas that were giving them the frozen-for-24-hrs-in-the-freezer shoulder.

 

But they had a plan, which involved me whipping out the food processor attachment of my Cuisinart blend stick. How awesome and transformer like is that?!  Blennnderrrrrr activate!

 

After a thorough puree job, the strawberries were starting to feel saucy ❤

...starting to feel saucy, much like Rosie Huntington Whitley in Transformers.

 

“Oh, didn’t think I’d see you here.”

 

 

Senorita Stir chaperoned the mix and mingle.

 

Uh-oh! Cinnamon wanted to get in on the action. Hey, this is a PG-13 page!

 

 

 

After some quality time in the bowl, the three ingredients settle down in some awesome wine glasses.

 

Chris approved!

 

 

This ménage-a-trois was not incident free.  A splooge of epic proportions!

 

All smart cooks wear their “whatever” clothes in the kitchen!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Recipe:

4 bananas. Slice and freeze for at least 8 hours. Up to 24 is fine, though. (Slice before freezing to make your life easier)

2 handfuls of strawberries.

A dash of cinnamon.

Blend together.

Easiest thing ever. And it’s just strawberries and bananas, so you can totally eat this for breakfast.

 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for raw vegan ice cream!!!

I don’t care that winter is nipping at my heels up here in VT, because I’m still going to be making ice cream. I find ice cream to be a food group people either love to a point of unhealthy obsession or simply dabble in. Living in VT means swearing your allegiance to Ben & Jerry’s. They’re the iconic ice cream company that created Cherry Garcia and more recently Schweddy Balls, along with several other flavors. What tasty calorie and sugar-laden treats. And then there are the “creemies” (Vermont-speak for soft serve ice cream) that stand not so erect in the summer heat; ah, delicious. But should we become so complacent with these treats? Can we not make our taste buds go “woo hoo!” and our intestines go “thank you”? I know for a fact that we can, and it doesn’t involve buying the low-fat, high sugar brands companies are hocking at us.  It’s time to push those sleeves up, break out the appliances, and prepare our taste buds for ultimate tantalization!

This past summer I discovered the joy of raw vegan ice cream. For every really hard-core never stray from the most natural raw vegan guru on Youtube, there are 10 more who lead perfectly healthy lives that have no qualms about having a little (sweet) fun in the kitchen. What I love about making your own “ice cream” (it really isn’t ice cream because we won’t use cream) is that it is fast, simple, healthy, and just as decadent as the brands we’ve become accustomed too. My first foray into these scrumptious treats was with avocado & coconut. I enjoyed it—still do – but lately I’ve been craving something naughtier, and thus the peanut butter and banana ice cream was born!

What you’ll need:

–          Food processor. Only use a blender if you’re fortunate enough to have a really powerful one like a Vitamix or Blendtec and want to make a big batch

–          3 really ripe bananas. Throw them in a drawer for a few days to speed up the ripening process. If you have an apple throw it in as well, as apples make other fruits ripen faster

–          2 Tablespoons of all natural peanut butter

–          2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

–          Patience: it takes awhile for a banana to freeze!

Note: All these amounts, besides the bananas, can be tinkered with to your liking. Use more or less of either to get the taste you desire the most. You can also taste-test during the mixing to see what you want to add more of.

Directions:  Slice the bananas, put them on a plate, and pop them in the freezer. Make sure you slice and then freeze or else life will be very miserable. I froze my bananas for about a day. If they chill that long then let them sit out for 15 minutes before you throw them in the food processor. If you only have them in the freezer for 6-8 hours then don’t or else your ice cream might get a little soupy.  After you’ve gotten them off the plate (you might need a knife to slide them off) put them in the food processor with the other ingredients. If your appliance is really struggling you might want to add a spoonful of yogurt (if you don’t mind it being a little non-vegan) or a splash of almond or rice milk. The bananas will first hit a crumbly state (remember those awesomely overpriced Dippin’ Dots?) and then it will become creamy like ice cream. Scoop it out. Place it in a bowl. Share with a friend for guilt free pleasure. This is just as decadent as store bought ice creams without all the additives, preservatives, and sugar. Go us!

 

Now peel away those banana peels and get to scoopin’

Jocellyn

 

Ps: In all honesty I think the most fun I have with this blog is making up the “peel away” phrase at the end 😉

Shameless Baiting: Why you should check in later this afternoon

I have an AWESOME recipe for guilt free ice cream coming up later today. Honestly, everyone should get a mini Cuisinart food processor and try their hand at raw (mostly vegan)  ice creams. They’re creamy, decadent, healthy, and just over all amazing. This treat will be full of dark, lusty desire.

I’ll also be popping in a super informative post on either why it’s important to kill the idea of three meals a day or an angry rant on sugar: the white devil. Comment if you have a preference (the other will be posted, no worries.)

 

Now I’m off for a 10am meeting with my work-study boss. Start your day off right, and I”ll see you later!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn