Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Vegan Halloween!

Well, it seems we have made it through the storm and after today, it looks like we may be able to refocus on our week…and that includes Halloween. Weeks before the holiday hits, stores everywhere stock up from floor to ceiling with candy! Even stores carrying all-natural and local foods stock up on “healthier” versions of the most favorite sweets. And as a vegan, all these treats can be quite a tease. About 4-5 years ago, Halloween was a dread for vegans who had very little access to vegan candies and sweets minus the chocolates that you may have been able to purchase online…if you knew about them. 

I remember my very first Halloween as a vegan. I was still new to the whole vegan thing and so my thought process was, if it wasn’t obviously vegan, think fruit, vegetables and whole grains, then it wasn’t and I shouldn’t touch it. And I didn’t. Plus I had mad will power and determination to stick to my vegan lifestyle…temptation didn’t faze me. The next year I was better prepared. I had discovered PETA’s vegan candy list and you bet I stole a few pieces while going through my daughter’s stash. Soon after, veganism was beginning to become more mainstream and small businesses everywhere were popping up, creating and offering candy that was delicious and best of all, vegan friendly. Vegan dreams had been turned into reality…

So if you’re a new vegan, vegcurious or even a rawsie, rest assure this Halloween you will NOT be left eating apple slices and extremely dark chocolate..that’s of course, if you can get to the store within the next 24 hours seeing as this post is a bit behind and well, Halloween is tomorrow night. Sorry… :)

Vegan candy everywhere…what, what, what to eat!?

You have two options: buy your treats or make your treats.

If you prefer to buy:

For those looking for the candy that will bring on feelings of nostalgia and past memories of dressing up as a power ranger or princess and throwing up from downing too many sweets from your pillow case, then take a peek at PETA’s candy list and have away with your favorites (Psst…Skittles have recently gone vegan!!). This list may be a bit old so check the ingredients list before digging in just to be sure.  Don’t want to end up learning you just downed a bag of treats made with boiled down animal bones (gelatin) or beetle juice (confectioner’s glaze)…eww. But what about my favorite chocolates you ask? You mean Almond Joys, Reese Cups and Snickers? Haha well Go Max Go has you covered!
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to receive and try all the candy bars currently available from Go Max Go, including a prototype that isn’t yet available in stores, and boy was I in candy bar heaven! In order to save myself from a few extra pounds because I knew for a fact I would eat them all in one day, I kindly split each one in half and shared with Ms. K. We determined that the best one was by far the prototype, Thumbs Up, which is meant to be a vegan version of the Butterfinger: crunchy, sweet and salty and peanut buttery with just a thin layer of chocolate on the outside. Butterfinger lovers rejoice!!! Ms. K was ticked when I told her it was not yet available; apparently half wasn’t enough. As for the other candy bars, here they are in order of appearance in the photo above. 

  • Mahalo -  You guessed it! The vegan sister of Almond Joy! I totally love this name better! It was very similar from what I remember Almond Joys to taste like: tons of coconut with a bite of almond and chocolate. Seriously, it takes a lot to turn me away from coconut and chocolate, so there was no doubts I loved every bite of this one. 
  • Snap! – Love crunch? Grab a Snap! This is the only actual chocolate bar within this line of candy so of course it was a nice change in taste and texture from the rest of them. I have to say, I think this is actually better than a crunch bar. Not too sweet, perfectly crunchy and the chocolate actually melts in your mouth. I was never a fan of Crunch Bars, but this one I surprisingly enjoyed!
  • Buccaneer – This one I just couldn’t put my finger on. Chocolate coated chocolate nougat? Anyone? I’m not a fan of nougat candies so I wasn’t shocked when the first bite didn’t excite my taste buds. But we all like different things right? This one may for you! 
  • Twilight – Okay, I’m geeked over the name of it, but the taste? Again, not a fan. This time, it was a chocolate coated caramel and vanilla nougat candy bar. I want to say it reminded me a bit of Rolos. The caramel made it sticky and chewy which was quite fun to eat through. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a candy that makes your jaw hurt and teeth stick!?
  • Joker – Another nougat!? Yes, but this one has nougat, caramel AND peanuts!! Yes, my friends, a vegan Snickers bar. Chewy, sticky, crunchy, sweet and salty with a light chocolate coating…the Joker was actually my second favorite! Seriously, this one is a MUST grab!
  • Cleo – Peanut butter cups…shall I say more? The peanut butter was quite creamy and there was a good ratio between peanut butter and chocolate. As a peanut butter addict, this one passed with ease.
  • And of course, there lies the Thumbs Up…oh how I wished I would have savored you more.
So there you go. Looking for a vegan version of your Halloween chocolate favorites? Go Max Go has ya covered!

As a product junkie I do have a few more I HAVE to recommend…

Love Peanut Butter Cups? Yeah I know Go Max Go has one but so does Justin’s and I am a loyal customer (stalker and addict) of Justin’s Nut Butters. The dark chocolate peanut butter cups were my go to last Halloween and the Chocolate Peanut Butter is even better…it’s like they just took a billion mini Reese cups, melted them down and made an addicting spread that has been the demise of my waist line for the past 2 years. *Sigh* it’s impossible to cut the love between a girl and her nut butters…just have to live with it. So yeah grab one ;)

Want gummies? I adore Annie’s fruit gummies! They are not as chewy as the gummies you may be used to, but I love the super fruity flavors! Surf Sweets and Sharkies also make vegan gummies that are quite tasty…although Sharkies are more designed to be sports bites but hey you need energy to get through all that trick or treating right!? 

Lollipops? Forget Halloween, keep Yummy Earths lollipops stashed in your drawers for anytime a sweet tooth craving comes along or when you feel the midday crash is about to hit. These are by far the absolute best organic lollipops on the market. I recommend buying a big bag if you plan on sharing…

I just want chocolate! Okay, okay, you’re easy…if that is the case I recommend Nibmor’s. Nibmor’s chocolate bars have a unique flavor that isn’t present in just any chocolate bar. The cocoa really sticks out in a way that is desirable. In addition, they make a mean vegan chocolate cocoa mix made with just cocoa, coconut palm sugar and sea salt. Goodbye to the days when I had to pull out all the ingredients and whisk the cocoa til my arms burned! Thank you Nibmor gals! Why not make some hot cocoa and enjoy your chocolate in sips. Make it last :)

I am also purely, madly addicted to stone ground chocolate as well. Trader Joe’s sells an organic version that comes in Extreme Dark Chocolate and Salt and Pepper and Taza also makes a variety of flavors, my favorite being the Chipotle Chili. I swear I think it’s the texture that has me hooked. Each bite starts out grainy and crunchy and ends creamy. I know it sounds weird but I swear it’s the best! I actually have to force myself NOT to buy them because I eat the entire package in a day! It’s so bad I know. 

Of course, I couldn’t have forgotten my rawsies! After all, we have to have our share of nummy sweet treats too right!? 

There are tons of raw treats on the market right now and honestly, I’m still making my way through a lot of them. Here are some that I can honestly say I love and support:

Hail Merry’s Tarts – OMG! Yes, it’s an OMG food. Hail Merry makes the absolute best raw, vegan tarts, the best being the Chocolate Mint! They are so creamy and fudge like and the flavor of chocolate mint is one of my absolute favorites; a combination I have found very hard to find as a vegan. I have fallen madly, deeply, in love with these small little pies that they have become one my absolute must have in my fridge at all times, raw sweet treat. I mean seriously look at the line up! To die for!

Superfood Snacks – Okay, honestly, these little treats deserve their own post, but for now, here’s a piece of my undying love. Although these little treats are advertised as an energy snack, the chocolatey taste hands down can make them the healthiest, chocolatey treat for Halloween. If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, provide you energy to get you through the 500 kids that will be ringing your doorbell, yet keep your waste slim? Then these are just for you! Unfortunately, they’re only available online…and possibly in stores in Hawaii and California, but hey, see this as a heads up for next year…or if you need a new, raw energy snack for your workouts. 

Whew, can you tell I have a sweet tooth? 

Now, if you have time within the next 24 hours to MAKE your own treats well then I have a treat for you! :) A collage of treats!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Bon Bons! 
A few months ago the Spork Sisters shared with the vegan community their awesome, delicious recipe for Crunchy Peanut Butter Bon Bons! As a peanut butter addict, I knew I HAD to make these and I must say this recipe is in definitely in my go to pile…and seriously, there aren’t too many recipes in there.

You can find the recipe on Made Just Right (A great vegan community and place to find recipes!). I must note that I normally use fresh ground peanut butter from Whole Foods which ends up being a lot dryer than the creamy peanut butter you buy in a jar. With that, I usually end up adding extra melted butter and only 1 cup of powdered sugar as opposed to the 1 ½ cups the recipe calls for. Also, I make my own bread crumbs which I feel adds a better crunch then store bought ones. As for chocolate chips, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips are by far my favorite, but Ghirardelli’s and Trader Joe’s are great options too. Whatever you use, follow your gut. This recipe is very hard to mess up. 

In the end, you will end up with a round, crunchy, sweet and salty peanut butter cups…only way better!

Coconut Mounds!

So within my nut butter addiction is a coconut addiction. I’m sure my Filipino genes have something to do with, but whatever it is, I never, ever get sick of the flavor. So no shock I loved Mounds and Almond Joys as a kid. And then I transitioned to a vegan diet and the closest I got to a Mounds bar was eating a mixture of coconut shreds and chocolate chips. But then there was Babycakes

Two years ago, my family and I went to Disney where I was finally able to visit Babycakes located in Downtown Disney! As most of you may know, Babycakes is a very popular vegan and allergy-free bakery in NYC that makes everything from donuts, to cupcakes, to cookies...ooh and icing shots! It opened up its second shop in Downtown Disney a few years ago and you can only imagine how excited I was to hear that something vegan was being placed in my favoritest most happiest place on earth. Total win-win! 

While I was there, I tried their every day offerings of donuts, cookies, icing shots and breads. But one day they offered coconut mounds. Chocolate and coconut!? Together!? I bought one and literally fell back in bliss. It was the candy my vegan heart had been dreaming about for over 3 years. I had to pinch myself to make sure I seriously was tasting what I thought I was tasting! Of course, I ran back over and bought more to eat for later…which never made it to “later”…unless you consider 5 minutes and an hour later. But it was a bittersweet moment because I knew I would never taste them again until my next visit; and even when I visited them 8 months later, the coconut mounds were not waiting. And then a miracle happened…Erin, owner of Babycakes, posted her recipe online! **Awwww** yes heaven’s gates opened! I freaked; I shrieked; and I took my butt right to the kitchen to make them!

And wanna know when that happened? Today. Yep, October 30, 2012. 

So here is the recipe that I JUST tried. All I did differently was add a raw almond on top before I froze and dipped them in chocolate. All I have to say is…mmmmm. My Halloween this year is officially complete.

Mini Smore's!

Okay this one was a throw together. This morning as my daughter and I made vegan hot chocolate (yep, using Nibmors!) my daughter saw the bag of Dandie's vegan marhsmallows and asked for smore's. Unfortunately, I didn't have any graham crackers but I did have tons of bags of Home Free's Vanilla Cookies...so I thought..Mini Smore's?

I took one cookie, a couple of choco chips, a Dandie marhsmallow, which is perfect in size, stuck it in the microwave for 10 seconds, topped with with another cookie and Voila! Mini smore's!! Awesome right!?

So easy and perfect for tiny fingers..or when that smore's craving hits but all you want is just one or two bites!

As for the cinnamon rolls….let’s keep that for another post. You’ll need a day to make those. The picture is just there to add to your excuse for drooling.

Well, sorry for such a long post but I hope everyone now has some yummy ideas on how to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings tomorrow! Have a safe and happy Halloween and please share with us what your eating tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Raw "Cooking" Class with Gouter

I should open up this blog post right away by letting you know that this is written by Kerry and not Beth.  Our blog is called "The Split Plate not because one eats meat and the other doesn't but because we are both vegans and eat quite opposite!  Yes, there are large variations and levels of eating on a vegan diet.  In case anyone did not know the difference between our two diets:   Beth eats mostly raw and gluten free.  I, on the other hand eat a nice healthy salad every day for lunch or dinner and then swap the other meal out with vegan pizza, "chicken", tacos, and cheesecake.  Beth is much more motivated than I am to eat healthy.  In fact, Beth's main reason for following a vegan diet is for health reasons, with animal welfare and environmental impacts second and third.  My motivation for excluding all animal products from my diet and lifestyle is to avoid animal pain and suffering due to factory farming.  I do believe that a vegan diet is imperative for optimal health, however, I have a hard time putting down vegan fried "chicken" and Tofutti ice cream for whole foods such as broccoli, kale, nuts, and cauliflower.   I have to really plan ahead and force myself to eat healthy.

A few months ago Beth contacted me about spending a Saturday night in October attending a raw vegan "cooking" class at the Living Social headquarters in DC.  I of course agreed for several reasons:  #1 I love cooking classes, #2 I love "girls" nights out,  #3 I am up for any vegan event,  and #4 I need to eat more raw foods!  Beth does a great job of finding out deals in the DC area as well as any vegan events.  Between our busy schedules we had a hard time trying to figure out a good date to attend this class but we finally settled upon a Saturday night in October.  I wasn't really expecting much out of a "raw" vegan class but boy was I in for a nice surprise!

I looked up the "Gouter" DC on the internet - the host of this raw "cooking" event.  I had never heard of Gouter, with the exception of Beth mentioning her juice cleanse that was purchased from the Gouter booth at the DC VegFest.  According to Gouter DC's Facebook page they are a new business in the DC area that focuses on home delivery services for raw and organic vegan foods.  I probably had never heard of them because they are a new company and because I don't generally purchase raw foods.  I had already purchased my ticket for this cooking class and decided that it was a good idea to learn more about raw "cooking."  My instincts were right as this raw class was just what I needed!

I will admit that I was a raw food skeptic.  Beth raved about her raw food diet and the foods that she would prepare as I had already formed my opinion that I love cooked foods and having a salad with spinach, carrots, and sprouts was my extent of eating raw.  This class hosted by Gouter opened my eyes to a whole new world of vegan "cooking."

I will just begin explaining what we made with what was best - the Chocolate Chia Puddling.  I love sweets a  lot and I definitely love pudding!  We first created hemp milk out of hemp seeds which is awesome because for vegans hemp seeds provide a complete protein source as well as Omega 3 and 6, a ton of fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.  We ended up using this hemp milk for not only our chia pudding but for the creamy base of the main entree - zucchini pasta.  Please see the images below to have a better understanding of how awesome this food was to both create and eat!

We created the zucchini pasta with raw zucchini noodles mixed with sundried tomatoes and a basil pesto sauce.  Of course Beth being the raw food veganist that she is had already created a similar dish.  This dish brand new to me and I loved it!  I am happy to have participated in a "cooking" class that provided me with a recipe for a very healthy main course that I plan to make many times in the near future.  Moreover, the desert was amazing and a beautiful presentation.  As you can see from the picture the chocolate chia pudding was created from hemp milk and chia seeds with gave the pudding a very decadent and rich texture.  The desert was probably my favorite course to consume!    I had leftovers of zucchini pasta and the cauliflower soup but not the chocolate pudding.  I should probably backtrack to mention the amazing recipe for the cream raw soup that we made....

I  cannot forget about the amazing "cream of cauliflower soup" and I do not think that anyone else from the class can forget about this awesome soup either.    For anyone who has a difficult time eating raw/whole vegetables this creamy raw soup would most likely be a solution for incorporating unprocessed vegetables in their diet.

As a non-raw food vegan I can definitely say that these recipes presented by Gouter DC have enlightened me into the world of eating raw and I am convinced that this approach to eating vegan is not only healthy but very satisfying!  I am thankful toward Gouter DC for an enlightenment toward a healthier way of eating vegan and an easy approach in the direction of eating raw.  Their recipes were very simple, tasteful, and filling   The Living Social Class on raw food "cooking" has genuinely put me on the path toward eating less cooked and processed vegan foods by replacing these with simple, raw and "whole" vegan foods.  I am very thankful that Gouter hosted this class and I look forward to future raw "cooking" classes in DC!  If you are a vegan or vegetarian living in the DC area you should check out Gouter DC for the healthy juices and vegan snacks.  Also, don't forget to follow their Living Social classes - you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Apple Season!!!

I'll be honest, I am NOT a fan of the fall and winter when it comes to the weather. It gets way too cold for me, leaving me absolutely, insanely miserable. But what I CAN appreciate about this change in season are the holidays, which means lots of cooking, and new produce at the Farmer's Market! Especially apples! And there always lots of them!

Over the years I have become obsessed with eating apples. I love tasting the difference between each variety and each season, I seem to discover something new. Among my favorites are the Nittany and the Jonagold. When the apple season hits, we immediately crave one thing...APPLE PIE! I only make it once, possibly twice, every year when the season hits, so its a rare treat that gets a lot of appreciation.

Now, I am one to make everything from scratch, so baking an apple pie takes literally hours and days to do; but its so worth it. I just put my headphones on and get baking. To me, there's something satisfying about being in the kitchen all day and laboring over one or two dishes. Its my own form of therapy and in the end, I have this sense of pride and accomplishment. I love it! Last weekend, I got to experience those wonderful feelings when my husband and I discovered that I had finally perfected my apple pie recipe! The crust was perfectly crisp with no burns; the apples were soft yet still crisp and they held into place perfectly. And best of all? No watery, runny juice to ruin the bottom of the pie crust! I was ecstatic!

Of course, I had to share and while I wish I could bake for every single one of you, I can't. But what I can do is provide you the recipe. It is important to note that when it comes to baking, perfection comes with repetition, experience and trusting your instinct. Follow the recipe, but use it as a guide. There's no doubts you will have to make a few tweaks.

Remember, be patient and take your time...you'll need lots of it if you want it to be perfect!

If you have questions, please fell free to comment! I look forward to hearing how your vegan apple pie turns out!


My Dutch Apple Pie Experiment

Double Pie Crust
  • 4 oz. or ½ cup of cold vegan butter, cut into small cubes (Earth Balance sticks preferably)
  • 4 oz. o ½ cup of cold vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes (Earth Balance sticks preferably)
  • 2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tbsp. of vegan granulated sugar
  • 5 to 7 tbsp. ice cold water
Filling: (For 1 Pie)
  • 6-10 apples – pick a variety that are tart, sweet, semi-dry, and starchy
  • 1/4 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch

Crumble Topping: (For 1 Pie)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (or less) cold vegan butter, cut into ½ inch thick cubes
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the Double Pie Crust:

Sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Refrigerate the bowl and flour for at least 30 minutes.

Cut the butter and shortening into small ¼-1/2 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and place in the freezer until fully firm before using.

First, cut the butter into the flour (a food processor provides the best results). Add the shortening and cut the shortening into the flour mix until it resembles coarse meal. Be sure to keep everything cold! If it starts warming up, place it all back into the freezer and wait a few minutes before it cools down and is ready to handle again. Earth balance is touchy and melts quickly.

Next, add the water, beginning with 3-4 tbsp, and then adding 1 tbsp. at a time afterwards, mixing with your hands until the mixture holds together when squeezed. It may seem dry and crumbly, but if it holds together when pressed together, then it’s good to go. Pour the dough out onto your work surface, divide the dough in half, and shape each half into disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. The longer the better.

After 24 hours or when ready to bake, remove one disk from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so the dough softens and becomes pliable. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 12 inch circle. Gently transfer dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges, cover with plastic wrap and place back into the fridge until ready to bake.

For the Crumble Topping:

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the cold butter into the dry mixture until it resembles a course crumb. Note, you may not use all the butter. It should be similar to the pie crust where it’s crumbly, but will hold together when pressed. Place back in the fridge until ready to use.

For the Filling:

Core, peel and slice the apples into ½ inch thick slices. Place the apple slices into a large colander. Sit the colander over a bowl or pan to allow the apples to drain as they macerate. Mix the apple slices with the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Allow the apples to macerate between 30 minutes to 2 hours. After the apples have macerated and about ½ cup of juice has been produced, drain the apples thoroughly and pour the collected juice into a small saucepan. Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and boil the juice over medium to medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until it the juiced has reduced to about 1/3 cup and has becomes syrupy and lightly caramelized. Set aside and allow to cool.

Place the apple slices in bowl, add the cornstarch and toss til well coated. Pour the cool syrup over the apple slices and toss again til well coated.

To Assemble and Bake:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the oven rack in the middle.

Remove the pie crust from the fridge, unwrap, and fill with seasoned apples, making sure to fill in all gaps. Pour 1-2 tbsp. of remaining juices over the apples. Top the apples with the crumb topping, covering all nooks and crannies and pressing down to make sure it is settled in. Cover the pie crust with foil to prevent burning. Set the pie on a baking sheet and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the juices start to become bubbly, the apples feel tender when a toothpick is inserted, and when the crumb topping has become crispy and golden brown. 

Remove the Pie from the oven and place on cooling rack for about 3 hours before cutting and serving.

Store in the refrigerator.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Brad's Raw Challenge: Day 6 and 7

Day 6 (Saturday, October 20, 2012)

Sorry I missed my daily post! It was for a very good reason I promise. I spent some quality time with family singing, dancing and best of all, laughing. That’s worth missing a post right!?

This weekend has been very busy! Friday I was in the kitchen all night making apple pie; Saturday I was in the kitchen all day making cinnamon rolls; and Sunday I spent most of my day grocery shopping and doing tons of cleaning. So due to lack of time, everything I ate was unfortunately not as exciting as normal.

Morning Routine:

I skipped my lemon water and instead enjoyed one the most flavorful raw coconut waters on the market by Harmless Harvest. It honestly tastes like the water straight from a young coconut; sweet, refreshing and very coconutty. :)


I reattempted the Superfood Pudding using about 1/4-1/3 cup of young coconut meat this time and sure enough it came out smooth, creamy and perfectly pudding like. I love, love, loved it! I revamped it a bit by adding some raw cacao powder and a couple of teaspoons of honey to sweeten it up to make a chocolate version of the coconut pudding. I topped it off with raspberries, raw cacao nibs, some fresh coconut shreds and raw buckwheat. It was a super delicious and super satisfying breakfast! After all who doesn’t love choco for b-fast!? I definitely plan on making it again and next time I'll jot down the proper measurements to provide you a more accurate recipe because I did change it a bit.


I nibbled on an apple and drank kombucha while I worked in the kitchen.


Since I knew I was going to be enjoying dinner at my Tita’s house, I made my dinner in advance so I’d have something to eat while I was there. When it comes to Filipino cookin’, the words “raw” and “vegan” don’t exist; unless it is dessert and then well almost everything is vegan! Trust me, it was tempting to nibble on some coconut soup with bananas, sweet potatoes and tapioca...

I had a craving for chili after making chili for my husband Friday night. However, I didn’t have the mushrooms I needed to make chili like chili…but I did have the ingredients to make Mexican chili and so THAT is what I made! I placed it on top of a massaged kale salad and served it with some of Brad’s amazing raw, beet flavored chips. Nom nom. 

It was really flavorful. My dad even liked it!  

Raw Massaged Kale Salad
  • Kale leaves, cut into strips
  • Raw hemp oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  1. Place the kale in a bowl and top with a nice drizzle of hemp oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt. 
  2. Using your hands, “massage” or squeeze the kale together until the kale begins to darken, soften and wilt. 
  3. Taste and season as needed.

Raw Chili Sans Carne

I used the exact recipe from Young and Raw. Click here for the recipe. I did omit the yellow onion and replaced it with green onions. I also omitted the peas and instead added fresh, raw corn!

Photo by New Asian Cuisine
As for dessert, my mom bought my daughter a package of rambutan which I effortlessly ate a majority of. Rambutan is a samll, round hairy looking fruit that holds a white fleshed fruit that tastes similar to lychees.

As for rest of the night…I sang my heart out to old school songs. BSB, N'Sync and lots of Spice Girls for some reason! It was a hilarious and fun night!

And before I knew it, it was Sunday!

Day 7!!! (Sunday, October 21, 2012)


A nice juicy Matsu apple! My favorite part about fall is the variety of apples available at the farmer's market! My faves are the Nittany and the Jonagold. What's your favorite apple variety?


I was busy so I just grabbed leftover Zucchini Jalapeno hummus and some zucchini bites


I had a major craving for tacos and thus I made my favorite eggplant tacos! The eggplant serves as the tortilla, the flavor comes mostly from the guac and the veggies add seasoning and crunch!

Eggplant Tortillas
  • One very round eggplant
  • Salt
  1. Slice the eggplant width wise into thin round slices.
  2. Salt the eggplant and allow to sit for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  3. When the eggplant slices have begin releasing water and they are soft and pliable, rinse well and pat dry.
  4. Use immediately.
Your Favorite Guacamole

I make a mean guacamole but let’s be honest, one guacamole recipe doesn't fit all. Some of us like it with lots of garlic, some with none; lots of lime, no lime…It’s all about preference and thus no recipe will be provided. Just use your favorite recipe or buy it from your fave restaurant! (Like Chipotle!)

Mixed Seasoned Veggies
  • 2 tbsp of red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp of zucchini, diced
  • 2 tbsp of raw corn kernels
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp of green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Salt
  • ½ lime, juiced
  1. Mix all together in a small bowl.
To Assemble 3 tacos:
  1. Spread some guacamole evenly over each eggplant slice. Top with some of the veggie mix and some sprouts.
  2. Fold and devour! Promise me you will ;)

I had chocolate milk cravings so I made a bottle of raw chocolate hemp milk. I’m not one to drink a lot of milk in general but I do enjoy a couple of sips or so. Plus, chocolate milk has a ton of sugar in it so a couple of sips is all I need; especially at night or I'll be on a high forever and won't get any sleep. This creamy chocolate drink perfectly curbed my nighttime sweet tooth cravings.

Chocolate (Peppermint) Hemp Milk
By Gouter
  • 1 cup of creamy hemp milk
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp of honey (or agave)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Peppermint extract, optional
  1. Place all of them into a blender and blend on high speed for a couple of seconds until well blended. 
Just a note, the honey is bold in this recipe so unless you are a honey fan, I recommend replacing it with a more subtle sweetener like raw sugar or agave.

Sip and enjoy!

Lots of baking, sweet tooth cravings and peppermint!? I think Holiday fever is setting in and I am sooo ready!

Overall, the challenge..well, was a challenge, but it helped me practice self-control. I really focused on what I was eating, which is very important for us all to do on a daily basis to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy weight and in the end I felt great! Annnnd....I just learned the next challenge is November 12-18...who's in with me!? If I provide recipe beforehand will you take the challenge!?