Teachers and Donuts

“Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move.” -Louise Hay

Happy weekend!!!

I am always looking for new teachers out there to inspire me, raise my vibration, and create new space in becoming the happiest person I know! My teachers come in SO many forms. They are everywhere and it just tickles me to say that because it just lets me know that the universe is always supporting me and sending me little friendly reminders that their is always more work that I get to do! My teachers include, books, audio CDs, Facebook posts, school teachers, movies, lectures, friends, parents, animals, children, my job, homework assignments, public figures, yoga, nature, the cashier at the grocery store,my boyfriend, and complete perfect strangers; the list just keeps getting greater and they always show up right on time.

Right now, one of my guiding lights has been author and spiritual luminary, Louise Hay. I am currently reading her book, How to Heal Your Life and it is nothing short of magnificent. Funny thing is, this book has been on my book shelf for almost 4 years and I just now I noticed it. See what I mean about the universe being right on time? Comical. When I noticed it, I felt a flutter through my body like every cell jumped up because I knew it meant I was ready to receive this information. Each morning I read a chapter and I sit still and meditate after. Louise has this way of gently breaking down the unproductive thought patterns that we have and how they create our external realities and then substitute those thoughts with uplifting-full-of-love affirmations that are rewired into the brain to replace the old thoughts.

The quote I posted at the beginning is one of my favorites! It rang so true to me. So many times when I am trying to implement a new behavior, it feels as if my body and mind are rejecting it at first and I tend to get really discouraged. One day this week, in particular, I felt this discouragement and it was coming out left and right all over my yoga mat and through my thoughts. But you know what, I remembered this quote and I just kept forgiving myself for the thoughts that came in that were not supportive of myself and I kept saying “I approve of myself” all throughout the class no matter what, and after that class came to an end, I felt lighter and even more ready to move forward as the spiritual warrior I am!

On that note, I will complete today’s post with a dreamy recipe that many of you have requested that I put up pronto! I love it & thank you for asking!

This recipe was inspired by another lovely teacher of mine, Oh She Glows I tweaked a few things to make it gluten-free, but these donuts will have your taste-buds shimmying and your tummy doing a little twist & shout dance!

Gluten-free/Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts

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You Will Need:
1/2 tsp apple cidar vinegar
6 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or white)
1/2 a banana or 3 tbs unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute), melted
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger, + 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 1.75 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other butter sub), melted (approx estimate only)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To Prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two mini doughnut pans or two regular sized doughnut pans with Earth Balance (or other butter substitute). Or if you’re like me and you don’t have a donut pan, take tablespoonful scoops of batter and find something to press into the batter to form your own hole in the center to creat a donut.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, milk, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce or banana, brown sugar (sift if clumpy), and melted Earth Balance (or other butter sub).
3. Stir in in the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flours). Mix until combined.
4. Using a ‘zip-lock’ baggie or pastry bag, spoon the batter into the bag and then secure it with the zip lock or rubber band. Twist the bag slightly and then cut off a hole at the corner to ‘pipe’ out the batter. Pipe the dough around the circle and gently flatten down with slightly wet fingers to smooth. Repeat. Or do the other way that I mentioned in #2 if you don’t have a donut pan on top of parchment paper.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F or until they gently spring back when touched. The bottoms will be brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully using a butter knife to remove. Place on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Cinnamon Sugar: Melt Earth Balance in a small bowl and dip the cooled doughnut top into the butter and then dip top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You could cover the entire donut but I felt like that was too much, so I just did the tops. Your choice!

I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends and I did!

I leave you with a lovely image and quote that was posted on Facebook by my fav spirit junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein.

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Light & Love,
Amanda

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Meditation music

Good evening, my friends! I am blogging at night, to shake things up a bit, with some moon light inspiration and some ooh-la-la recipes coming your way! 🙂

Before I get into the goodies, I just wanted to share some thoughts about waiting. Every year in October, my boyfriend, our group of friends, and I all pack up for a one night stay in Tampa, FL to attend Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream. Nothing better than screaming your tush off on night-riding roller coasters, losing your mind in  haunted houses, road tripping through the state of Florida, having a huge sleepover in a hotel, laughing, and romping around with the people you love for a weekend. Sounds like playtime to me! And that it was for us this past weekend. I bring this up because we all know what comes with the joy of amusement parks and rides, right? Yes, lines. Waiting. Patience. Which brings me to my solution for these moments when you find yourself digging for the patience to sit still and wait. Maybe its in the grocery store checking out, at a stop light, during commercials while you’re watching your favorite television show, while you wait for the oven to heat up to cook dinner, or simply in a line for a wild and crazy roller coaster. I was graciously given a solution for these moments. First, I change my thoughts about these moments. Instead of viewing them as irritating and challenging I view them as opportunities. Ah, it even feels good to type that out. Opportunities, I said. Opportunities to grow, giggle, observe your surroundings, notice your breathing, and create space inside your mind and soften your heart. Second, I was told that during these moments I could make the things around me a part of my ongoing meditation music. That’s right, the small child crying because mom said no to the candy bar in front of you at the check-out line in the grocery store, that is your music right there, my friend. Soak it up, or not, the choice is yours! And when you do this, think of me, right there with you, meditating to the sounds of people screaming and the roller coaster wheels clanking around the track as I wait in line for my turn. 🙂

To add to your meditation music playlist, I have a yummy treat for you that will let you meditate while you are waiting for them to bake in the oven!

I give you my gluten-free & vegan Carrot Surprise Whoopie Pies (how fun is that to say?) I am just so incredibly pleased by how these little darlings turned out. They are perfect for the upcoming holidays, pleasing to the eye, light on the belly, and soft to the taste buds! Mmmmmhmmm!

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You will need:

1/2 cup chick pea (garbanzo bean) flour

1 banana

1 large carrot or a handful of baby carrots, grated

2-3 tablespoons of water

1/2 tablespoon baking soda

A couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice

1 can of regular, unsweetened coconut milk, chilled in fridge, overnight preferably

Vanilla extract, to taste, optional

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, process you carrot, banana, chick pea flour, pumpkin spice, and water all together. Should be a smooth batter-like consistency.

Line a pan with parchment paper. Put tablespoonful scoops of batter on parchment paper and bake for about 10 mins. Should be on the softer-puffier side and golden brown on bottoms when finished. Let cool.

While your pies are cooling, take out your can of coconut milk to make some coconut whipped cream. Flip it upside down and open can with a can opener. When you first open the can, you will notice a clear liquid on top. Drain that top liquid and set aside, get rid of, or save it for a smoothie later. Then the more solid white underneath that clear liquid is what you will be working with. Spoon that out into a bowl and blend it up on high with some beaters or a mixer of some kind. Feel free to add a little vanilla extract, if you wish.

Once your coconut whipped cream is ready, that’s right, the fun part! Make your whoopie pie sandwiches. Put some cream in between two pies. Maybe sprinkle a little cinnamon on the cream. I like to put the cream in between the pies with some cinnamon sprinkles, and some cream on top of the pie with some more cinnamon sprinkles. And there you have it, heaven in your mouth! Enjoy!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Recess

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Hello! I hope your weekend was glorious! Did you find any time to play? Remember when we were children and in school we were given a recess? It was that time in the day that was scheduled in there and you did nothing but play. I can remember my play changing at recess as I grew up. In kindergarten it was about running around on the playground or playing board games if we were kept inside because of the rain. This continued through third grade, I say. Then, from like the third to sixth grade it was about getting curious about the boys, still being grossed out by their existence, but playing games that included them, usually games where boys chased after the girls. It was thrilling and engaging, but awkward because curiosity in the opposite sex was creeping in, and I remember wanting to know what that was about. Then in seventh and eighth grade it was about getting together with my girlfriends to chat (usually about the boys)  and hang out while the boys ran around and played football or basketball at recess. There was no more running around for the girls, but there was still that time that we were allowed to have out of our school day  to do whatever we wanted with. Then came high school and no more recess. What’s up with that?

I think it is important to give ourselves a recess no matter what grade or age you are. And that recess could be so many things for each individual. Whatever it is, I hope it allows you to let you inner child play, shine, sing, dance, run, jump, sparkle, rest, release, imagine, connect, or  bloom.

For this weeks recipe post I have another meatball recipe! This one is even groovier then that last one i posted not too long ago. This recipe is inspired by ohmyveggies.com. This recipe was not origially vegan, so I made some tweaks to make it so. 🙂 It is also gluten-free, weeeee!

Broccoli Parmesan “Meat”balls

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You will need:

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets & steamed (makes about 2 cups worth)

1/2 shredded vegan parmesan cheese ( I use the Go Veggie! brand)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons warm water)

Salt and pepper, to taste

A muffin tin

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To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make up your flax egg by whisking the flax and water together in a small bowl and setting aside to let it gel up.

Steam your broccoli.

In a food processor, process the almonds until they are coarsely ground (do not under or over- process the almonds). Then place your almonds aside in a separate bowl.

After your broccoli is steamed, add it to the food processor and pulse until it is chopped up. Then add the flax egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to the broccoli in the food processor and process until mixed together.

Then add the broccoli-parm combination to the almonds in the bowl. Mix together well.

Spray a muffin tin with a nonstick spray of your choice.

Form balls out of the broccoli mixture and place each one into its own spot in the muffin tin. Bake until the meatballs are golden on the outside and heated through; about 20 mins. Remove the tin from the oven and let cool before popping each ball out.

These guys can be eaten with pretty much anything. They are very flexible & I love how they taste! The day I made them I was in a hurry, so I just pulled them out of the oven and plopped them on top of some quinoa (sorry my picture above looks so plain). But they could be great with spaghetti sauce and noodles, or just plain with the sauce, in a sandwich, or on a salad. Have fun with them! I know I did and I can’t wait to make them again! Enjoy!
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Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

Pumpkin Magic!

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“When I am annoyed, sit longer.”

So, I have really been working on my meditation game the past few weeks. Just like my yoga practice, I always, always create some kind of space in my heart and mind and I gather some new awareness from it. There are many times I think, “ugh, i have things to do and I don’t feel like stopping to meditate or stopping to practice yoga,” right?! But, I have come to find out that is when I need them the most! When I am most irritated or annoyed inside my body is when I need the time to stop and be in my body the most and both yoga and meditation provide the space to do that.

I came across this quote, “When I am annoyed, sit longer,” during one of my meditations not too long ago. It was one of those mornings where I had so many different things tugging at me from all directions including my playful and full of life puppies who wanted all my energy on them, but I also wanted to have the time to meditate. I really didn’t want to meditate, but I knew I needed it, and I stopped everything for 15 minutes and did it anyway. My dogs were bouncing all over the place around me, my thoughts were restless, even all the different sounds of life outside my window were irritating me. I kept trying to bring my focus back to my breath, only to get bumped by one of my pups or slammed with a thought about one more thing I should add to my to-do list for the day ahead. Finally, like a top that is done spinning, one thoughts came through and I swear, it saved me, “When I am annoyed, I need to sit longer.” It was a clear thought and it was the truth. So, I did. I sat longer. And eventually, my dogs settled and my thoughts ran out of energy and it was just me, sitting there, with my breath, and a shift to gratitude.

And, if you can’t stop and sit to meditate, maybe you can stop to make up this sweet treat and I am almost sure you can definitely stop to taste it, as well. 🙂

I am still on my pumpkin kick being that it is October and I can’t get enough of it and the Halloween fun! This next vegan treat was inspired by Free People’s  blog.

I give you Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter Fudge

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You will need:

1 cup raw unsalted almond butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, softened

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon honey

dash of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 ounces of dark chocolate, or vegan chocolate of your choice

To Prepare:

Line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except for the chocolate. Mixture should be creamy and smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined baking dish and smooth it out to your desired thickness and texture with a spoon or spatula. Place in the freezer for an hour or two.

Just before you are ready to take the fudge out of the freezer, melt your chocolate either over a double broiler OR melt SLOWLY in a pan on LOW. Slowly because you do not want chocolate to burn…what a mess that is & not fun to sit there and clean later.

Take the fudge out of freezer and cut into square sizes of your choice. Using a spoon, gather up some melted chocolate from pan and drizzle over the fudge squares. Mine got a little messy, so I ended up just spreading the chocolate all around fudge. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, sea salt, or shelled hemp seeds if you wish for some extra fun. Enjoy!

*Store in freezer when not enjoying 🙂

My second pumpkin treat is my Pumpkin Lovin’ Smoothie.

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In a blender, combine one banana, 3/4 cup (give or take) pumpkin puree, some carrots, handful of kale, peach slices (I use frozen peaches), and a gracious amount of cinnamon with some almond milk and blend baby blend! This smoothie will have you lighting up like a jack-o-lantern in no time! Enjoy!

Speaking of Halloween, have you picked out your costume yet? I love nothing more than playing dress up on a night where its perfectly acceptable. I like dressing up when its not perfectly acceptable, too. Ha! Anyway, I am getting pumped for this Halloween and my costume is slowly coming together, piece by piece!

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Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

On top of spaghetti…

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Happy October!!! Ahh, i love October and it is refreshing to know that this month has begun! So many fun things are going on in my world this month and I am totally pumped! This month reminds me of being a kid more than anything! Halloween, pumpkin patching, apple orchards, corn mazes, scarecrows, skeletons, carving pumpkins, carmel apples, haunted houses, candy corn, hay rides, apple crisp, pumpkin pies, raking leaves, jumping into the piles of raked leaves, and the fall air. I live in Florida and unfortunately many of the things I just named I do not get to see anymore….but, I do have a mother that still lives up north and you better believe that I hit her up for a box of leaves just so I can experience the true season down here in sunny south Florida! Ha! And, you better believe I will be dressing up and hitting up the haunted houses this October! Oh ya!

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Ahh, isn’t this quote the best? And, the truth. Although, it is so easy for me to look at this quote on a happy October day and say, “Oh, that is so true and I love that!” But catch me on a day where my boat is just full of “visitors” and it is rockin’ me all over the place, hangin’ on for my dear life… it can be challenging. But, still a beautiful quote and after the initial freak out over a particle feeling(s), I can usually move to this place of just sitting down in my boat taking my “visitors” to shore, letting them off, and peacefully rowing away. I like that.

This all reminds me of my yoga practice this week. I practice Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is a style of yoga that is known for moving from pose to pose while linking the breath. It is about movement and flowing and breathing through it all. I learned this week that the Vinyasa practice  reflects impermanence and change and teaches one not to hold on to each pose, but let it go and move onto the next pose. Impermanence and change. Kinda like feelings, right? Kinda like life. I like that. Life is a series of poses. Each pose connected to the next and as long as we don’t focus too much on the pose we were in before, we can gracefully move to and experience the others all while riding on the currents of our breath.

Today, I have a vegan and gluten free meatball recipe! This recipe was inspired by the blog.fatfreevegan.com. They look an taste like real meatballs!! I altered the recipes a little and in the future I probably would alter it even more by adding more of the spices and taking out the kasha (which is just buckwheat groats). I like buckwheat, but sometimes it can overtake the other flavors because it has a strong earthly flavor of its own. BUT! It was still a fab recipe! Have fun with it!

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You will need:

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds

1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats or quinoa flakes would work

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup kasha (Also known as buckwheat groats…i think it can be optional, you decide!)

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons of dehydrated onion flakes (I could not find these, so I used onion powder instead)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tomato powder (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

To Prepare:

In a food processor, chop the nuts and oats . Do not grind the nuts completely; they should be the size of popcorn kernels. Remove combination and set aside.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and mix well.

Boil 2/3 cup of water.

Combine the nut/oat mix with the combination of all other ingredients you just made up in the food processor in a bowl and add the 2/3 cup of boiling water all together. Stir and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using wet hands, form little meatballs and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

While your meatballs are baking, prepare your choice of spaghetti. To keep the meal gluten-free, I used quinoa corkscrew noodles. Yum! Also, heat up your spaghetti sauce and prepare any other sides you may want with your meal.

When meatballs are finished, add a few on top of your noodles and cover with spaghetti sauce! You will definitely feel on top of spaghetti after this meal! Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda