Recipe: 🦄 Pink Unicorn Smoothie ✨

Since we’ve had some ridiculously good weather these days (think 70 degrees in February), we thought it high time to hit the freezer to create vibrantly colorful and healthy smoothies. This one is #nofilters gorgeous and the magenta color comes from pitaya, also known as dragonfruit.

If this smoothie were a person, it’d be a ‘triple threat’ – in this case it’s beautiful, tasty and healthy. Kids and adults alike are drawn to this beverage; drinking it provides a plethora of nutrients. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

Ingredients

1.5 bananas, frozen

1/2 cup pitaya (dragonfruit)

1/3 cup macadamia nuts

2 cups non-dairy milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Instructions

Place all ingredients into a blender container and blend thoroughly.

4 Beverages for Cozy Weather

The weather here in the Midwest likes to engage in a bit of trickery. Last week, it was sunny and in the 70s and this week, well, it feels like winter. It’s time to pull out the hats and coats as well as the ingredients for making some warming, cozy beverages. Here are some recipes to fit the season:

  • Our Dairy-free Hot Chocolate was a staple recipe nearly every evening last winter. Whether we were reading a favorite book or magazine or watching holiday movies and the Great British Baking Show, hot chocolate was by our side.
  • For those who don’t want to have to choose between hot chocolate and coffee, we have a most excellent collaboration between the two: 5-spice Hot Choffee (choffee being a portmanteau of hot chocolate and coffee)
  • Celebrate with some Peppermint Eggnog! The egg-less, vegan version is included too.
  • Make yourself the Perfect Cup of Tea and head over to cuddle up on the couch. Increase your knowledge of teas and check in with yourself about which one you need.
  • Whichever beverage you choose to warm yourself up or celebrate with, enjoy!

    Why you Need to Eat Honeynut…Squash?!

    Truth be told, the only ‘honey nut’ food item we had heard of, before a couple of weeks ago, was of the breakfast cereal variety. Luckily, one of our favorite organic produce stands at the farmers market added to our lexicon AND our playing with a new, rather cute food in the kitchen.

    What exactly is honeynut squash?

    Honeynut squash is the ‘child’ of butternut squash and buttercup squash. This crossbreeding gives it a flavor and shape akin to butternut squash, but it is sweeter and more the ‘pocket-size’ version of its parent. Perhaps think of honeynut squash as your own personal butternut squash.

    Why you’ll want to eat it

    It’s delicious. As mentioned above, it is sweeter than butternut squash- and spoiler alert! – even more so if roasted. And we haven’t even dove into why it’s great for your health yet…

    What honeynut squash does for you nutritionally

    As with most winter squashes, honeynut squash contains a high level of vitamin A and beta-carotene (which gives it the yellow-orange color). It’s also a wonderful source of minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, calcium and zinc. Known for helping with energy production, B vitamins are in good supply here in this squash too.

    How to incorporate it

    One of the best, and easiest ways to cook honeynut squash, just like butternut, is to roast it. Then you can turn it into caramelized cubes of golden-orange sweetness that can be added to a salad. It can also be added to pasta and even turned into a quick, blended soup.

    Stay tuned! We’ll have an easy, delicious recipe for you coming up in the next few weeks.

    Recipe: Plant-based Taco Tuesday 🌮

    You definitely don’t need it to be a Tuesday to enjoy these tasty tacos, but “Sunday Tacos” doesn’t exactly have the desired alliteration. We like to call these the Anytime Tacos – the ‘t’ sound is still in there and it’s much more freeing – but social convention is a powerful thing. Regardless, have this crunchy, delicious, and nutrient-dense meal whenever you’d like. Remember the “Got Milk” slogan? Well, this calcium-rich meal actually does a body good. Enjoy!

    Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

    Prep time: 10-15 minutes, depending on number of condiments offered

    Serves: 3-4 people

    Ingredients

    1 package of 12 hard taco shells (we used Siete grain-free ones)

    1 head of lettuce, romaine or green leaf, chopped

    1 can, 15oz of black beans and/or our cauliflower & walnut crumble recipe (if time allows)

    1 tsp taco seasoning

    2 tomatoes, diced

    2 avocados, sliced

    1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

    1 jar of salsa to share

    2 limes, sliced (optional)

    Instructions

    Rinse beans from a can and then put in a small pot over low heat. Add taco seasoning and stir; simmer for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees for the tacos. While waiting, prep lettuce, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes and limes. Follow directions on hard taco shell box for how long to heat them up in the oven (about 2-3 minutes). Plate tacos and allow each dinner guest or family member to decorate their own tacos with the condiments provided. Lime juice provides a nice splash of flavor and acidity to the meal. Your taste buds might just shout ¡olé!

    Recipe: Homemade Chai Mix & Drink

    Photo by Lauren Emond

    It’s our inaugural guest recipe blog! So many of you have great recipes you’ve created – if you want to share your whole-foods and healthy recipes (especially the gluten-free, dairy-free ones), please reach out.

    This recipe is really two-in-one: chai mix itself and then the drink you make with it. It’s simple, creative, and warms the heart. With a week left until Christmas, you still have time to make a few gifts to be enjoyed by loved ones over these upcoming winter months. Here Lauren Emond (@heart_appetit) shares her love of crafting homemade gifts, especially those including food!

    “I may have ordered Chai from coffee shops over the years, but it wasn’t until I had a homemade cup of Chai, or Yogi Tea as she called it, offered by my Kundalini yoga teacher did I truly learn to slow down and enjoy this warm spicy beverage. After every class, she would pull out her mug of hot homemade Chai concentrate, and invite students to gather around in a circle and enjoy a cup.

    Years later, I learned something new about Chai. In Hindi and many other languages spoken throughout India and Pakistan, “Masala” translates to spiced. “Chai” translates to tea. Therefore, masala chai is spiced tea. So Masala Chai, or Chai for shorthand, is one of the homemade gifts I like to make for friends and family.

    I prefer to make a large batch so I can store it in my fridge and have a few cups throughout the week. This is what inspired my homemade gift for friends.”

    Photo by Lauren Emond

    Homemade Gift – Chai Mix

    Ingredients for 1 quart of Chai:

    • 1 T cardamom pods, crushed so they split open
    • 2 tsp cloves
    • 2 tsp of black peppercorns
    • 2 cinnamon sticks (I prefer Ceylon Cinnamon)
    • 1 black tea bag
    • *1/2 tsp fennel
    • *3 star anise leaves
    • Mason Jar and ribbon to decorate
    • Printed or handwritten instructions

    *Optional

    Add spice and black tea bag into a mason jar & add a ribbon or cloth to decorate. Include these instructions:

    Homemade Chai

    Makes 4 cups

    • Remove black tea bag and set aside.
    • Chop a 1 ½” piece of ginger root (washed and unpeeled)
    • Add spices and ginger to a pot with 1 quart water.
    • Bring to boil, then cover and simmer 60 minutes.
    • Turn off heat, add tea bag and steep 5 minutes.
    • Strain and store in a quart mason jar.

    To serve, heat chai and add milk of choice and sweeten with maple syrup or honey.

    Recipe: Savory Tahini Sauce

    savorytahinisauceoobw

    Savory Tahini Sauce

    Tahini, made from sesame seed paste, is a surprisingly versatile condiment to have in the kitchen. You can often eat and use it the way you would peanut butter – right out of the jar or with celery sticks. This five-ingredient savory sauce an be drizzled on top of salad, falafel, soup, roasted veggies or any number or dishes.

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Yield: ~1 cup

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup tahini
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    3 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp sea salt

    Instructions

    Combine tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt in blender or food processor. Pulse or blend until smooth. Enjoy it fresh though it does keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

    Recipe: Rainbow Chili

    rainbowchiliinslowcookersobw

    It’s the slow-cooker time of the year and we are using the Crockpot on the regular. It’s easy to make a basic chili or a fancier one with this beloved piece of kitchen equipment. We bought some rainbow carrots and decided to make our chili a bit fancy for a recent date night but it’s equally good to casually and lovingly feed yourself or a whole, hungry family.

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Servings: about 8

    Ingredients

    3-4 rainbow heirloom carrots. sliced
    2-3 ribs of celery, chopped
    1 jar organic tomato sauce
    5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
    1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
    1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
    1 can chickpeas
    6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
    2-3 bay leaves
    1 tbsp cumin (with all these beans, you’re gonna need it :D)
    1/2 tbsp dried oregano
    1 tbsp chopped parsley for topping

    Omnivore option: add 1lb cooked ground turkey

    Instructions

    Chop all vegetable ingredients and add to slow cooker container, along with tomato sauce and rinsed cans of beans. Add bay leaves, cumin, and oregano. Optional: add 1 lb cooked ground turkey for omnivore option. Add water as needed so slow cooker is halfway to two-thirds full. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove bay leaves, scoop into bowls, top with fresh parsley and enjoy this colorful, plant-based meal!