Little Bites and Horse Treats!

Hello! Long time no blog! August has been quite the month for me filled with trips to see family, family coming to see me, preparing for a new school semester, work, puppy play, and so much more! I find that when I am juggling so many different balls in the air that it is okay to give myself permission to let one or two or sometimes even three of them drop in order to keep the other ones going. Priorities, right?

Good news is, during all these things swirling about in my full life, I still have to eat! God knows that is a big priority for me. Ha! So, I am excited to get back on the blog wagon here and share with you some of the new things I have been concocting. These two recipes I literally just prepared in the last two days and they were so off-the-wall tasty that I could not wait to share them with you. I hope they make you do three somersaults like they did for me!

I call these two recipes my Little Bites! But don’t be deceived by this title of these babies! They may be little, but they are packin’ a mighty punch for your taste buds!

The first of the little bites are for those of you who are craving something on the more chocolatey side. They are made with cacao, which I love because it is considered to be a super food because of the nutrients that are packed in it. Plus, avocado, one of my favorite foods ever, are one of the secret ingredients to this one which makes this recipe awesome!

Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cacao Bites (say that 3x fast!)

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You Will Need:

1 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand makes this)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup mashed avocado

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup almond milk

1/2 cup (or more…taste test, of course!) peanut butter

To Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cacao, baking powder, and salt. Set Aside.

In another bowl, blend coconut oil, ago, and sugars together until creamy and smooth (about 2-3 mins or so). Add you vanilla. With the mixer on low, add half of your flour mixture to the wet ingredients bowl. Add almond milk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until the flour disappears.

Form the batter into tablespoon size balls and place on baking sheet. Lightly press them down with a spoon (or form however you want!). Bake for 10 mins. They are finished when the edges are set and the middle is still a little soft. Enjoy!!!

And for those of you who are not craving chocolate, which never happens to me, might I add, these little bites are for you! The chia seeds, like the cacao in the other bites, are another super food packed with good stuff that’ll raise your cellular juju and make your tummy thank you!

Gluten Free Carrot Chia Seed Bites (again, say that 3x fast!)

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You Will Need:

6 tablespoons of gluten free all purpose flour of your choice (Bob’s Red Mill worked for me)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed plus 1 1/2 tablespoons water for your “egg”

1/2 cup grated carrot(s)

1/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance is what I used…coconut oil would work, too)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup gluten free muesli (Bob’s Red Mill) OR gluten free oats

1/4 cup pecans, chopped up

1 tablespoon chia seeds

To Prepare:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

In a small bowl, prepare your “egg” with the flax and water and let sit for about 5 mins to gel up.

Grate your carrot(s), possibly use a food processor to do this, too. Do not puree the carrots; you want them to be of grated texture, in pieces.

In another bowl, blend together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and the flax egg mixture. Then add your carrots and the flour mixture. Do not over blend. Add your muesli/oats. Chop up the pecans in food processor and add them last with the chia seeds. Put mixture in fridge for about 30 mins to set up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out your batter from the fridge and form teaspoonful balls and lay out on baking sheet a couple inches apart from one another. Bake for 10-12 mins until they turn a little golden brown and the edges become a little crisp. Let cool and most importantly, enjoy!

BONUS!

I am so tickled to share with you just a taste of what I did when I was visiting my fabulous family up in Ohio. Meet my energy horses and soul mates, Scarlett & Leon. Every time I go up north to visit, I must squeeze in a visit with these guys, sunshine or snow. Especially, Leon, for we have owned him longer and he has assisted me in many different healing processes. Leon is 13 years old and a Tennessee Walker. He is my most favorite horse EVER. He is laid back as can be, assists my mom in her business teaching individuals with special needs therapeutic horse back riding, and he is majestic as ever. Scarlett is also 13 years old and she is a Quarter Horse. She was given to my mom and I have really started to connect with her.  On one of my last days in Ohio on this recent visit I had the idea to combine my two loves, yoga & my horses. What’s a better combination than that, right? With the assistance of my two best good friends, Corie and Andrew and my beautiful mother, we made it happen. It was the most perfect string of moments that could have happened and I am so grateful to have the pictures to have captured it and the memories to hold in my heart forever. I am so grateful to have these opportunities to connect with my animal spirit friends and it will always be so special to me.

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Light & Love,
Amanda

 

Plant Based Lasagna

Let’s just jump right into this recipe today. I whipped up some plant-based lasagna this past weekend made out of zucchini. This recipe took a few steps to construct and prepare, along with moments of messy, but it was all worth it in the end. Whatever you do, let your inner child out to play with this one!

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The original recipe called for Toffuti Ricotta cheese for the “cheesy” lasagna filling. However, I could not find this ingredient at the store, they were all out that day. No problem, I got to jazz things up and make my own “cheesy” filling thanks to ohsheglows.com and her lasagna recipe.

Ingredients:

5 medium zucchinis

2 avocados

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup basil leaves, ripped into small pieces

salt & pepper, to taste

For the “Cheese”/ Lemon Basil Cashew Cheese:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup vegetable broth or water (possibly more as needed)

1 1/2 cups fresh basil

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

salt & pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the ends off your zucchinis and throw away. Slice the zucchini lengthwise about 1/16″ think (a mandolin may help with this, but a knife works fine, jut not as straight). Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until soft; about 10 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Smash up your avocados and put them in a food processor with half of your basil, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend this mixture until smooth. Set this basil-avocado cream aside in a bowl. Rinse out food processor.

For the lemon basil cashew cheese, drain the cashews and rinse. Then add the cashews to the food processor along with all the other ingredients (garlic cloves, veggie broth, lemon juice, mustard, basil, nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper) and process until smooth. Then set aside in another bowl.

To Construct Lasagna:

Line the bottom of a 9″ pan with a layer zucchini. Spoon in two heaping spoonfuls of tomato sauce. Then add half of  the basil-avocado cream by teaspoonfuls. Cover with another layer of zucchini and add in the lemon basil cashew cheese. Repeat until you are out of zucchini or pan is full. Then bake for 25 minutes. Let sit for 10 mins before serving. Serve with a little side salad and possibly some garlic bread. Sprinkle some shelled hemp seeds on top for some extra fun. YUM!

*For the constructing of the lasagna, I used 5 zucchinis, but they were kind of small, so I had less zucchini to work with. When I constructed my lasagna, I had to shrink my lasagna square down smaller than the size of the pan, but it still worked out fine.

*Also, you will probably have left over lemon basil cashew cheese, YAY! This is a raw and yummy all by itself. I put my extra cheese aside and had it the next day over some gluten free quinoa pasta and broccoli and it was divine! It would also make a great dip for anything.

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Enjoy, my friends!

Light & Love,
Amanda