BANANA COCONUT GINGER ICE CREAM

Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream

If you have followed my blog long enough, you know that I love my banana ice creams! The reason being is that I don't have an ice cream maker, or the space for one, so I make due by blending up banana's with all kinds of fun ingredients. They can be served as a soft-serve, or frozen for a few hours and scooped out like ice cream. The best of both worlds. Just blend your ingredients and enjoy now or later. Easy and done!

This recipe came about on a whim. I threw these ingredients together and it worked beautifully (of course, this combo is a no brainer!). My taste buds were extremely pleased and if you love these ingredients, yours will be too! 

Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream (soft serve) Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream (soft serve)Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream (soft serve)

 Get ready for summer with some of the easiest ice cream you'll ever make!

Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream (soft serve)

Soft-serve or frozen....you choose!

Banana Coconut Ginger Ice Cream

BANANA COCONUT GINGER ICE CREAM

Ingredients
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons coconut butter, coconut milk* or 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • splash or two of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Place ingredients into your food processor/blender, except milk, process, adding milk as needed through the feeder to help move the mixture around, blend until fairly smooth and creamy. 

For soft-serve: eat right away.

For ice cream: place mixture into a freezer safe container, cover and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. Scoop out like ice cream and serve.

Serve with mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut or whatever you like.

Serves 2 to 3...or one as a meal.

Notes: 

*Canned coconut milk should be chilled before using, store the remaining in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If using shredded coconut, place in food processor/blender and blend until finely shredded or creamy.

Try not to over blend, it will become almost frothy. I personally didn't care for over blending.

Adjust ingredients to suit your taste.


APPLE NACHOS

Apple Nachos

Gather some of your favorite apples and get ready to enjoy a simple, fun and delicious treat! I'm not sure why I haven't made this yet, I guess it's true that everything has its time. I've seen apple nachos here and there on the web over the last couple years, a quick google search will pull up all kinds of similar versions, but I never put it on my immediate to do list. With all the busyness going on in life right now, I was thinking of something easy to share here and this popped into mind. I'm so glad that the time has come because these are absolutely delicious! A well loved classic, and I can see why. It's fresh, sweet (if using a sweet apple), with bits of chocolate and coconut flakes all topped with warm nut butter and cinnamon. What's not to love?! I easily ate two apples and could've eaten more if in the end I felt like slicing up more. But really two was enough, and maybe one will be enough for you, but I highly recommend going ahead and slicing up 2 per person, just in case. If you don't end up eating all the apple slices, the lemon juice will keep them from turning brown so you can make it with the leftovers the next day. This is also a great way to get in some protein that everyone seems to fuse over about a vegan diet. Where do you get your protein? How many times have I heard that. ;) Have no fear, this treat will give you about 8 grams of protein for every 2 tablespoons of nut butter you use (different butters may vary). Not too bad at all! This is a great snack for kids, as well as adults. I can see myself indulging in this quite often!

APPLE NACHOS

If you can circle your apples similar to this, you'll be sure to have a little of everything on every apple slice without causing too much mess when eating. But I sure didn't mind liking my fingers clean and I'm sure you won't mind either!

Apple Nachos
APPLE NACHOS APPLE NACHOS

I was asked if I'd like to try out this gourmet raw almond butter from Dastony, and being that it's from a small family business I said of course. I must confess they sent this to me quite a few months ago and I'm just now putting it to good use (keep in mind I stored it unopened in my fridge). I feel terrible for te delay but like I mentioned earlier, everything has it's time. Even after this length of time, my almond butter was perfect. I'm pleased to finally put it to good use and share it here. I'm all about promoting small family run businesses, and they deliver a wonderful product that's smooth & creamy! They have a quite a few butters to choose from, even a couple sprouted ones that look delicious, all of which may work well in this recipe. Their butters are 100% organic, stone ground, raw, vegan, and free from additives and preservatives. If you're looking for that special nut butter as a gift or one for yourself to use every day, this is it!

APPLE NACHOS APPLE NACHOS APPLE NACHOS

APPLE NACHOS

Ingredients
  • 2 apples of choice 
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter of choice
  • small handful chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
  • small handful shredded coconut
  • small handful slivered almonds
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional toppings:
  • hemp hearts
  • cacao nibs
  • raisins or currants
  • ground cardamom
  • pure maple syrup

Wash, core and cut your apples into 1/4 inch slices. I like to cut mine into quarters, take a small paring knife and carefully remove the core and upper and lower end where dirt may still be collected (even after washing). Lay apple quarters on a flat surface with the inside of the apple facing up, carefully slice your apple into 1/4 inch slices, you may even be able to get them into 1/8 inch slices if your extremely patient, even 1/2 inch slices is good too. Whatever thickness you prefer, no rules here! Place apple slices in a small bowl with the lemon juice, toss to coat.

Heat your nut butter just until warmed and somewhat runny. I like to heat mine by using a small silicon bowl placed in a small pot with just enough water to reach half way up the side of the silicon bowl, heat water on low and gently heat the nut butter until warm and drizzable.

On a serving plate, lay your apple slices in a single layer around the outside edge, then layer another small layer over those but towards the inside center of the plate (like shown in the picture above). Drizzle the nut butter in a circular motion, from the middle of the plate to the outside edge. You can also just zig zag the almond butter from one side to the other if you like. Again, no rules...just do what you feel is best! Top with choco chips, coconut flakes, almonds and sprinkle of cinnamon (or whatever you've chosen to use as your toppings). Enjoy this simple yet delicious treat!

Serves one generously, or two as a small plate.

Notes: 

Use red or green apples, you may even consider using one of each for a combination of sweet & tart.

Make this 100% raw by using raw nut butters, raw cacao chips and unsweetened shredded coconut.

Live well & thrive!

I'd love to see your masterpieces...
#thesimpleveganista


MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD

MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD

Summer in California is setting in, the temperatures are rising and salads are always welcome. I've been on an olive loving kick lately, as well as a chickpea kick (I'll tell you why soon), so this salad hit the spot with some salty olives, fresh sweet grape tomatoes & red bell peppers, refreshing cucumbers, red onion and fresh cooked chickpeas. All dressed up with a light vinaigrette and nice dollop of hummus. This salad didn't start with a dollop of hummus, but half way through eating I added a scoop and decided it needed to be included in the recipe (and photo), although I list it as optional. It adds such nice creaminess and rounds it out the salad well. If you find raw kale too hard to eat, even after letting it relax in lemon juice, a dollop of hummus will definitely do a world of good for you. It adds a nice creaminess to the overall salad while masking some of kale's bitterness. Similar to the Every Day Nourish Bowl, we now have another option of whole hearted goodness to choose from when a craving for salads occur! It's simple, accessible, not too expensive and good for you. Cheers to all of those things! :)

I have some fun news to share! I'm going to be immersed in all things chickpeas the next few months. I figured this post is a great place to introduce a project I've been working so hard on called, CHICKPEA: THE CHICKPEA HANDBOOK/COOKBOOK. It's all you need to know about chickpeas, with chapters containing information on nutrition, history, types, sprouting, growing (gardening), storing & selecting, flour, cooking and a few other relevant chapters. Plus, it will include upwards of 100+ recipes (not sure where to stop since there's so many good ones I want to add), including pictures of each one. It will include all of the favorite chickpea recipes from the blog and a ton of new ones. I'm excited out of my mind for this project! I was asked a few months ago what was the one ingredient that was important in my kitchen and my answer was chickpeas. They are so versatile and I use them often, especially for my hummus which is so much more than just a dip. After toying around with a couple cookbook ideas, doing a chickpea cookbook seemed so right. I want to celebrate the chickpea in all its glory and showcase its versatility, all the way from breakfast to desserts. It's a perfect fit for me and I know it will be a useful addition to any kitchen library! It's meant to be used often and will have my signature simplicity with a few recipes to kick it up a notch. I'm shooting for the end of the year but am really in no hurry as I want this book to be amazing. I ♥ chickpeas and think we should all eat more of them!

Enjoy the salad, and of course, this will be in the book! :)

MEDITERRANEAN  KALE SALAD kale MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD

MEDITERRANEAN  KALE SALAD

Ingredients 
  • 3/4 bunch kale, stems removed and julienned
  • 1 large lemon, juice of
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/8 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • small handful cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or campari tomatoes, quartered
  • small handful cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • dollop of hummus, optional (but so good!), to serve
  • fresh chopped parsley, to serve
Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, optional
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Remove the stems from the center of the kale leaves, as least the thickest parts. Julienne kale leaves and place in a medium size bowl, add lemon juice, mix to coat the leaves and let set while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The lemon juice will help soften the kale leaves. Toss every few minutes or so.

In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk together until emulsified. It usually takes me about one minute, set aside.

Once you've prepped your other ingredients you're ready to assemble your salad. In a serving dish, add kale and top with bell pepper, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and chickpeas. Add your vinaigrette over top and a dollop of hummus anywhere you like.

Serves one generously.

Notes:

Depending on the size of your produce, amounts will vary. Adjust accordingly to suit your taste and situation. For instance, I used small Persian cucumbers here but used a whole small one. Typically, you'll be using a regular or English cucumber and will only use about 1/4 of it, as per the recipe.


Enjoy!


VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE

VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE

I never regret going to the gym, but I always regret not going! Case in point, I've been working very hard on a special project I have coming up and sometimes get lost in the passion of it all. It's enough to keep me from going, for which I always end up regretting. I make myself go in these times and always feel amazing when I'm done. The ideas open up and flow through me with ease, I've come up with some amazing ideas. Plus, it gives me time to break away from the intensity of the day. Even though the gym is intense in its own way, it's blood circulating and sweat producing, I find it so relaxing as well...maybe more so when it's over. ;) It really is essential to your overall good health and well-being. I agree to that 100%. Maybe some of you feel the way I do, or maybe you simply dislike it like a few people I know. Either way, I wish everyone the best of health! It's what I was thinking about today, how good it feels and I was so glad I went. Not to mention, coming home to make this vanilla date smoothie. It's a perfect sweet treat for a job well done!

VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE

Earlier this month, I picked up this big beautiful box of dates from my local Indian farmers market. How could I resist?! These are the extra fancy ones and they are the most tender, soft, sweet and caramely date I've had in long time. Fresh dates are simply the best, they are sweet and ready to be put to good use. As soon as I got home from the market I put together this vanilla date smoothie and loved every sip, especially those little date pieces that are like pieces of heaven to eat. If you've got some dates and frozen bananas on hand, I suggest you treat yourself to something simple and wonderful!

VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE
VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE  

VANILLA DATE SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 4 - 5 ice cubes or another frozen banana
  • 3 - 4 medjool dates, pitted (soft and fresh is best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, about two minutes. Add a splash or two of extra almond milk if needed.

You may have visually small pieces of dates within the shake. That's ok, and even with those I had no trouble using my straw without having to clear the bottom of it maybe once or twice....Those little chunks are so caramely and delicious!

Serves one.

Notes:

For the protein powder, I've been using the Garden of Life Raw Fit lately. I love the fact that Garden of Life has a few protein powders that don't contain stevia. I prefer to sweeten my shakes/smoothies with fruits and personally don't care for the stevia after taste. I'm not on a weight management program but do love the high protein amount in this powder. The Raw Fit contains 28 grams of protein, which is half my daily recommended amount. For me, one shake a day is a perfect treat! If using protein powder, you may like to add 1/4 - 1/2 cup more of milk or water.

Enjoy!

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

Wraps have been my thing lately! They're easy, economical and travel well. And let's not forget how versatile they are. Change up the spread using flavored hummus of your choice. Vary up the veggies, add spices and herbs to suit your taste. Layer and roll. Done and done!

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

I used kale, plain hummus, bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, mineral salt and red pepper flakes. All on top of lavash bread. You could easily use shredded cabbage (green or purple) in place of the kale, or any other leafy greens you prefer. I think these are a good combination of veggies here. You could try adding in some sliced avocado to the mix if you like. This just gives you an idea, you can take it from here and make it your own, or use this one...it was delicious!

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

Layer and roll...

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP: BROWN BAG LUNCH

Take it with you for a brown bag lunch! In this case, a blue bag since I like to recycle, reduce and reuse my paper shopping bags. It's kind of girly, so guys you can tote around your usual uni-sex lunch bag. It fits perfectly in this little reusable plastic container, they usually come in a set of four so you could make a few and tuck them away in the refrigerator for later. I paired my wrap with some mixed nuts & dried fruits along with a fresh apple. I eat at least one apple everyday, sometimes two or three and I always carry one with me. My favorite is the sweet, juicy Fuji apples. They are convenient, fit right in my purse along with my Nalgene water bottle. Next time I share a brown bag lunch I'll break it out for you. And if you doubt that I always carry an apple with me, I swear just look in my purse!

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP

Ingredients
  • lavash bread (or large flour tortilla)
  • kale or other leafy greens of choice
  • red bell pepper, sliced
  • yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1- 2 carrots, sliced lengthwise or julienned
  • cucumber slices
  • hummus, to spread 
  • salt, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

Lay lavash bread (or tortilla) on a flat surface, spread hummus over 2/3 - 3/4 of the wrap leaving at least an inch on both ends, layer with veggies, wrap one end up, over, and roll. Slice in half and enjoy now or store for later. 

Notes:

Make 2 - 3 of these wraps at a time storing them in individual containers for the next day or two as a lunch or snack. They will hold up well and actually allow the bread to soften a bit in the refrigerator.

I have my cucumbers in long slabs but you can cut them in long 1/4 - 1/2 inch strips instead. 



BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Today is a a muffin day, a banana chocolate chip muffin day! I had four small bananas, ripe as can be, and decided to put them into these muffins you see here today. I wanted to make them banana nut muffins, but since my daughter doesn't care for nuts I went ahead and added chocolate chips instead. Those are much better in her opinion, and I'm sure many of you will agree! Who doesn't like a little chocolate in their banana muffins!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

I based this recipe on my Banana Tea Bread. I did cut the oil a bit, only using 1/4 cup. They came out perfect, all soft and fluffy, and the chocolate chips are a welcome addition. These were even better after being covered a few hours, moist and perfectly tender. I'm super happy to share these muffin here today and know you'll love them too!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINSBANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINSBANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINSBANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINSBANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Eat them up...YUM!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups spelt flour, or flour of choice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or warmed coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 4 small or 3 large bananas (preferably overripe), mashed
  • 1/4 cup or so chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium/large size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix briefly, set aside. Mash bananas, you should have approx. 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups, add to batter and mix until combined. Spoon into a well greased or paper lined muffin tin, fill each muffin about 2/3 - 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. You can also do the toothpick test in the center of one muffin, if it comes out clean it's ready. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min.

Makes about 10 - 12 muffins. (I got 10 muffins but was tasting the dough, about 1 muffin worth. I could've got 12 if I used a tad bit less on each muffin and didn't eat the dough.)

Notes:

To make gluten free use gluten free all purpose flour or gluten free flour of choice.

If using coconut oil, be sure it's warmed and creamy or in its liquid state.

Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the batch for a different flavor.

Spelt flour is my favorite flour and I use it exclusively for my baking projects! If you are mildly gluten intolerant you may be able to use gluten flour without any adverse effects. It is unlike most of the wheat flours of today as it is not hybridized. Here is more info on the nutritional aspect and history of spelt flour from Whole Foods: Spelt if your not familiar with it.

 Enjoy !



BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

I've had my eye on this recipe from A House In The Hills since February of this year. I love her blog and taste in foods! I finally got around to putting my own version together and it's nothing short of delicious! I love every ingredient here and the pure simplicity of it all. It does take more than one pot to cook it all in but it's well worth the few extra dishes. I'm sure you can find a way to streamline my instructions even further to suit your needs and/or make it go a bit quicker if need be. I love this kind of cooking, minimal ingredients that come together creating a satisfying nutrient dense meal. Plus, anything called a 'bowl' and I'm all in! I hope you'll enjoy my version and check out the original too, it's a bit different as it doesn't have the miso soup. Either way you like it....cheers and enjoy your soba bowl!

Recently updated, in case you're a soup lover, is this Pasta and Bean with Kale Soup. It's super delicious and enough to serve six generously. You'll most likely have leftovers and you'll be glad you did!

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

I used 100% soba noodles but you can use the mixed flour soba noodles if you like. You can even use ramen or udon noodles if you prefer, just know they are not gluten free if you're following that kind of diet. I don't have to follow a gluten free diet but I love soba noodles and do try to limit foods containing gluten. I started using them for their nutritional aspect and came to love their flavor and versatility. The noodles contain 6 grams of protein per serving. I call for 2 servings of soba noodles per person giving you 12 grams. The tofu is optional and will add extra protein, about 9 grams per serving, giving this dish almost half of the the average persons protein requirements. If you decide to not use the tofu, have a protein shake for dessert or somewhere in your day if you feel you haven't met your needs elsewhere. The bok choy is a must here and has such a mellow flavor but I'm sure you can adjust using something else if needed.

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

I used dried mushrooms here since I have somehow collected three bags of them and decided it was time to put one package to good use. Feel free to use fresh mushrooms of choice, about 8 oz should be good.

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

Red miso is what I had on hand for this recipe, but you can use your favorite or whatever you have available. If you don't have miso on hand, sub in some low-sodium veggie broth. But I recommend having miso handy at all times, it's makes for great broths and soup bases! FYI, it will last up to one year in the refrigerator...a great incentive to add this to your refrigerator staples.

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL
BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL

BOK CHOY & WILD MUSHROOM MISO SOBA BOWL


Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 package (9oz) soba noodles (I use Eden)
  • 1 package dried wild mushrooms or 8 oz shitake, oyster or mushrooms of choice
  • 3 small bok choy
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons miso (use your favorite)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 - 4 oz. cubed tofu, optional
Garnish
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • sesame seeds 
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook your soba noodles according to package, rinse under cool water, set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm 4 cups of water over medium heat (do not boil), add dried mushrooms, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes. Add miso, stir to remove any clumps and continue to keep the soup warm over low heat.

If using fresh mushrooms, slice into strips, saute them in a bit of sesame oil and splash of tamari for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, add mushrooms to the broth while simmering.

Steam your bok choy. I used a bamboo steamer with the pot I cooked the noodles in. 

Build your bowl by adding half the bok choy and soba noodles to your serving bowl, ladle 1/2 of the miso broth and mushrooms over top. Top with cubed tofu, scallions, cilantro sprigs and sesame seeds.

Notes: 

If you don't have miso on hand, sub in some low-sodium veggie broth. But I recommend having miso on hand, it's makes for great broths and soup bases! FYI, it will last up to one year in the refrigerator...a great incentive to add this to your refrigerator staples.

A note on the Eden 100% Buckwheat Noodles and their price. It is a bit more expensive than most noodles but from my perspective, I eat basic, cheap foods most of the time so I consider these noodles to be my 'meat' if you will. You can always hunt the internet for cheaper prices and buy in bulk. 100% soba noodles are well worth the price considering I don't spend money on many other food items like cheese, meat, fish and poultry...all of which can cost just as much, if not more. I hope to encourage you to rethink food items and their cost when adapting to new foods...there is a trade off and I much rather spend my money on 100% soba noodles. Feel free to use other noodles as mentioned above.

Enjoy!