Clean Miso Broccoli Salad - Vegan

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I just happened to make this AMAZING broccoli salad with whatever I had in the fridge.. It’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s vegan. I don’t know about you but I personally struggle with finding fun ways to eat broccoli. It’s just not one of those things I enjoy eating raw so my options are limited - steamed or baked. Meh… I love broccoli but sometimes it just gets old.

So I figured I’d venture out and attempt a broccoli salad - I used to enjoy the pre made one from whole foods but it’s loaded with crap I don’t really want to eat - canola oil, natural flavors, dairy, eggs, you name it. So obviously I take on the challenge to make a clean version myself… So here we go..

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp almond butter

  • 3 tbsp mellow miso

  • juice of 2 lemons ( between 1/4 - 1/3 cup)

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

FOR THE ‘SALAD’

  • 2 small heads of broccoli cut in small pieces

  • 1/4 head of red cabbage

  • 1 cup of raisins ( I would prefer golden but only had the black ones)

  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews or almond slivers

HOW TO:

  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a blender till nice and creamy.

  • Lightly toast your cashews on a dry pan for a few minutes till they turn ‘golden’

  • Cut your broccoli into small pieces and thinly slice the red cabbage.

  • Mix it all in a bowl & serve

*It works as a side or a meal by itself but you could also add in some cooked pasta to make it more fun as a lunch pasta salad.

❤ , Diana

Blackberry Crisp

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I currently find myself in Washington and blackberries are poppin' right now so I obviously had to come up with some sort of blackberry dish. I wanted it to be sweet/tart and simple so here's my take on a vegan/gluten free blackberry crisp. 

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRISP

  • 1/3 c gluten free flour ( I used a mix of quick and old fashioned) 
  • 1/3 c oats
  • 4 tbsp butter ( I use Myokos Vegan butter )
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon 
  • pinch of salt

    BERRIES
     
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 tsp arrow root
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
     

HOW TO:

  1. Add all the berry ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good stir till it's all well coated.
  2. In a bowl, add together all the ingredients for the crisp and mix till it forms a dry 'dough'.(use your hands for this. It may seem like it won't stick together but keep mixing - it will)
  3. Place the berries in a 9" cast iron pan or other small oven safe dish and pour/place the dough randomly on top.
  4. Bake at 350F for about 15-20 min

Thai Inspired Kelp Salad

Kelp noodles seem to be a hate it or love kinda thing. Kinda like brussels sprouts. But THIS kelp salad is GOALS!
I'm obsessed and I trust you will be too.

I made it into a Thai inspired thing because hey, noodles = asian so lets keep it somewhat native.
 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag Kelp noodles
  • 1/2 Bell pepper
  • Cilantro - as much as your heart desires
  • black sesame seeds

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • lemon juice
  • pinch of chili flakes & or cayenne

 

HOW TO:

  • Rinse your kelp noodles under cold water & drain. Pour over the juice 1/2 - 1 lemon to help draw out the water from the kelp. - If you skip this step you'll end up with a soupy dish. 
  • Mix your sauce ingredients in a big bowl (it makes it easier)
  • Chop up bell pepper & cilantro.
  • Add the kelp to the sauce and combine till coated.
  • Toss in the cilantro and bell pepper, sprinkle with black sesame seeds & serve

❤ , Diana

5 Things Being A Parent Has Taught Me

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Being a mother has changed me in so many ways but I think the one and most important way has been the increase in confidence. 

 

1. Confidence 

I consider myself a pretty confident person even pre baby, but once that little soul entered this earthly realm..oh boy.. 

Perhaps it was the mama bear instinct that kicked in, perhaps something else, but one thing I know for sure. I wanted to teach my daughter how to be confident in herself and for that, she need the best role model she could have. Who am I to tell anyone to be confident if I can’t be so myself? I got to live up to it and lemme tell you.. It feels pretty darn good. 

Though the days of being hyper insecure are just a faint memory of the past at this point, I quickly learned how to stand up for myself in ways I hadn’t considered before. Most importantly, with everything that I do, I remind myself that I am doing my best and that is good enough because that’s what I want my daughter to live by. 

 

2 Know what you want and don’t want

Having a child has made me stronger in so many ways but one weakness I’ve always had has been knowing what I want and stating it. She helped me with that one too. Seeing my daughter so fiercely expressive when it comes to what she wants and doesn’t want has taught me how to recognize my own desires and in that, giving myself the freedom and permission to be more vocal when it comes to expressing my own desires and needs. 

On the flip side of that. I find it equally as important to know and recognize what you don’t want. So often I come across people doing a lot of things they don’t want to do because they are scared of saying no. This is where I always tell people to treat themselves like they would their own children. I would never want my daughter to do anything she doesn’t want to do, and I’m not talking skipping bedtime here... but so many of us have learned that life comes with a whole list of ‘you have to, even if you don’t want to’ and as a result most of us don’t realize when we’re neglecting ourselves by doing things we don’t want. It often looks like an internal conversation of 'mmm I don’t really want to, like I reaaaaallly don’t want to but I should. She might be disappointed in me or get mad if I don’t.. but I really don’t want to.. I guess I’ll do it anyways’ and that’s the end of that. Have you ever seen how much resistance comes with a child that is being forced to do something they don’t want to? Yeah.. that should be you.. except for the temper tantrums.. know what you don’t want and trust your emotional guidance system on this one. 

The other day I read a post from a girl talking about how she looked up to this other woman because she would always prioritize everyone else before herself. Insert red flags!!!  ALARMS GOING OFF OVER HERE!!! 

I had to let out a deep sigh.. oh sweet girl... how can I tell you to prioritize YOU! Putting everyone else’s needs before your own is a sure recipe for a lot of bitter resentments followed by ‘I did this for you’ and ‘you owe me’ with a side of potential fatigue. 

Learn to say no guys, and ladies! No can be extremely healthy.. 

 

3 Self care is crucial

It’s 2018, unfortunately we don’t live in tribes anymore and often times raising a child is a one woman show. (Or shit show). In those cases. Self care is crucial. 

Finding the time for it though... I know I know.. good luck.. but finding ways to fill my own cup or should I say PRIORITIZING - filling my own cup whenever I can is an absolute necessity. Without it, I’m a horrible person! I’m far from the best version of myself which means I slack when it comes to being a good mother, wife, friend. I become a hot mess!! Angry & overwhelmed with the endless chores, tears and laughter that comes with being a mother. 

So how do I find the time to take care of myself and what do I do? I ask someone to babysit. In my case it's mostly just hubby that gets to do that. Husband, friend, family, whoever you trust, just call for help.. And for that hr, I will do something that I know makes me feel good! I know it can be incredibly tempting to just sit down in a corner or lay in bed and scroll on the phone for an hour but I try and do something that I know will pay off. 

I read a book, meditate, go for a loooong walk without the phone - or with it in case I want to listen to an audio book. (Motherhood teaches you to multitask on a whooole other level). I go for a run or go to the gym, preferably anything that gets me out of the house and do something different. But most importantly.. I BREEEAATH! I put that fight or flight feeling on pause for a bit and I breath through it all. 

In the past I would find myself procrastinating a lot because hey. I can always do it later.. Then motherhood came along... What does 'later' mean? if I have 10 min it's either now or never.

 

4. It’s the little things 

Noticing how water pours from a bucket, the texture of sand, turning a piece of paper into 50, squeezing a blackberry in your fist, eating with your hands, sitting in a drawer because you can, tasting new things, laughing more... The never ending beauty of this earthly realm that we find ourselves in is just breathtaking. 

When My husband was out walking with our daughter (before she could walk) he would always stop and smell the roses with her because ‘one should never be too busy to stop and smell the roses’. Today we can barely go anywhere without having to smell EVERY plant. I say plant because we have to smell the grass, the bushes, the dandelion, the rose and the dried up weeds. I mean.. how can you do anything but smile, and be late to your every appointment.. ‘sorry, my daughters had to stop and smell the flowers’.

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In those moments I’m reminded that everything at every moment is new. There’s always something new if only we stop and wonder with the eyes of a child. 

It’s the little things in life that makes it all worth while. The smiles, the tears, the hugs, the kisses.. they’ve become the big things. 

 

5. Be present - this too shall pass

I’m constantly reminded that no matter how trying it can be, good or bad, this too shall pass.. With each breath you take, every moment passes and becomes a memory before your eyes. Before you blink, you’re no longer pregnant but have a little human in your arms, blink, this little thing is now crawling, blink, walking, blink, mommy mommy can I.. blink, woa what happened... Time.. Time is what happened and yes, it flew by at the speed of lightning. 

having a little one makes it easier to see just how fast time flies and it’s forever a reminder to be in the present moment because if you’re not, you’ll be missing out on a lot. 

 

❤ Diana

Almond Milk

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I loooove making my own almond milk and If you've ever done it yourself, you'll know why. The store bought stuff just doesn't even taste like real almond milk. It's so simple that there's really no reason NOT to make your own. The only thing to look out for is that you use RAW almonds but TAKE NOTE; most raw almonds that you find in the store are actually not raw. They've still been either heat-pasteurized or treated with a fumigant as it's required by law and for some reason, this only goes for almonds? If they're not steamed, they must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide... soooo... Yeah.. basically my recommendation is to see if you can find some RAW almonds at your local farmers market which is what I do.  

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • Enough spring water to cover them ( no tap water here - or EVER, you should know that by now ;)
     
  • 5 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • Pure vanilla bean powder or vanilla essence ( I prefer the powder but it can be $$)
  • Sweetener of choice - (4 Medjool Dates or 1 tbsp Maple Syrup)
  • High speed blender and nut milk bag.* 

    I've tried quite a few and it DOES matter which one you use for the best outcome. 
    I HIGHLY recommend THIS ONE

HOW TO:

Soak your almonds in enough water that they remain covered and soaked for 8-12hrs.
Personally I soak them the day before and if I don't get around to making it, I'll store them (still covered in water) for an extra day or 2 and they're still fine. 

Once soaked, you could 'pinch them' I'm not sure what that process is called but basically remove the skin (Just squeeze the almond and the skin comes right off) which will leave you with a much more smooth milk. Drain the water and poor your almonds + 5 cups of water in your blender and blend for a solid minute or more on high speed. The less water you use the more creamy the milk will be so you could try with 4 cups if you want a thicker more creamy milk. 

Poor into your nut milk bag and strain the milk into a bowl.

If I'm using dates I personally prefer to just add 2 cups of the milk back in the blender along with vanilla, salt and dates and blend until there's no chunks left. I find it to be easier to get the chunks out this way rather than blending the entire batch. Pour it all into a glass jar and store for up to a week. Mine won't last that long but you can easily tell when it has gone bad as it will have a sour taste.

Go nuts and have fun.

❤ , Diana