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

Feeding my soul

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I am a music junkie. I love all genres and what I choose to listen to each day changes with my mood. Music is like clothes for me. I have a great big closet full (aka my phone with playlists). Its like I get to pick out my outfit for the day, right? According to my mood and energy, thats my musical outfit.  I may want to change what I’m wearing in the middle of the day, sometimes three times a day like a five year old, or add a crazy hat and scarf to the mix because my feelings and moods may change throughout a day. I like to go back and re-read that…”my feelings and moods change.” It is reassuring, especially on the days that I am feeling icky, uncomfortable feelings. They do change. Like a wave washing over me. Music helps me with that. Especially, when I am in a big wave that is tossing me around and around, my face slams into the sand, I swallow a mouthful of salt water, and I all I do is fight to reach the surface. But then, I come up. I reach the surface.

Music feeds my spirit, connects my heart, and makes me wana move! I learn from music, identify with it, cry to it, scream to it, play with it, feel with it, move with it, heal with it, and connect to it.

Another thing that feeds my soul, literally and figuratively, is food. Especially, the food that I create on my own. It is environment and Earth friendly and I feel good on a cellular level when I put it into my body. I also feel like I can connect with all living things on a higher vibration when I eat vegan friendly meals. By creating it on my own, I am channeling my energy into my food, which is just so cool to me. Before I started eating this way, I was never one to sit down and create a meal. It was irritating to me, actually. But, since I made the switch in my diet, I never feel that way anymore, ever. I feel like there is an art to this and I love creating things. I also love to eat. So, to have found a way to channel my creative juices, eat my masterpieces, and then share it with you is beyond me. I owe that to the universe for taking me here.

Today, I have two delicious desserts to serve you. They are both raw, vegan, gluten-free, and even beautiful to look at! They are also both Raw Cheesecake Bars. One is fruit based and the other incorporates your veggies! So, you have choices here, or you can make both, like I did in a matter of a couple days a part from one another, because my taste buds were screaming for more!

Raw Blackberry Cheesecake Bars, inspired by choosingraw.com.

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For the crust:

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts

1 cup dates, pitted

1/8 teaspoon of salt

For the filling:

1 cup blackberries

1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 2 hours & rinsed/drained

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted so it is liquid

1/3 cup maple syrup

To Prepare:

In a food processor, blend all of the crust ingredients together. It should be ground up as much as possible and sticking together.

Lightly grease a casserole dish or baking pan with coconut oil. Then press the crust ingredients into the bottom of the dish. My crust ingredients did not fill the entire bottom of the dish. I formed it into a square by using a wooden spatula to press down the crust and even the edges. You can make the crust as big or small as you’d like. Keep in mind, the bigger you make the crust, the thinner it will be. So, if you like a medium to thicker crust, like I do, trim it down. After you have your crust set up, put it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

In a food processor, process the filling ingredients till smooth and creamy-like. Feel free to taste test, I always do, just to make sure you are satisfied because you can always add more of something if needed.

Then bring the crust out from the fridge and gently pour the filling mixture on top of the crust. Again, I used my wooden spatula to spread the top layer evenly over the crust and evening off the edges.

Put the dish in the fridge for up to 2-3 hours. You could serve sooner than that, but keep in mind that the bars will be a little softer. Cut into bar shapes when you are ready to serve. Store in the fridge. Enjoy!

My second set of cheesecake bars I am just so tickled about! I created them myself, with a little inspiration from the blackberry cheesecake bars. I have been racking my brain for some fall recipes and I finally landed with these babies. These are bound to bring the holiday cheer out of your loved ones in the upcoming holiday season! Again, they are raw, vegan, and gluten-free, weeeeeee!

I give you…

Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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For the crust:

1 1/2 cups of raw walnuts

1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 cup dates, pitted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, rinsed & drained

1/4 cup water (or less, maybe. choose your consistency)

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup carrots, shredded

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 or more teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, to taste ( this spice makes it. I was just adding ingredients, not exactly keeping track of the measurements. So, keep taste testing till you land on your taste.

2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste (again, taste test!)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger, to taste

3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil

Few splashes of almond milk (optional)

To Prepare:

In a food processor, blend all of the crust ingredients together. It should be ground up as much as possible and sticking together.

Lightly grease a casserole dish or baking pan with coconut oil. Then press the crust ingredients into the bottom of the dish. My crust ingredients did not fill the entire bottom of the dish. I formed it into a square by using a wooden spatula to press down the crust and even the edges, just like the blackberry bars. You can make the crust as big or small as you’d like. Keep in mind, the bigger you make the crust, the thinner it will be. So, if you like a medium to thicker crust, like I do, trim it down. After you have your crust set up, put it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

In a food processor, process the filling ingredients till smooth and creamy-like. Feel free to taste test, I always do, just to make sure you are satisfied because you can always add more of something if needed. Especially with this one, I kept adding more of the spices, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, until I was satisfied!

Then bring the crust out from the fridge and gently pour the filling mixture on top of the crust. Again, I used my wooden spatula to spread the top layer evenly over the crust and evening off the edges.

Put the dish in the fridge for up to 2-3 hours. You could serve sooner than that, but keep in mind that the bars will be a little softer. Cut into bar shapes when you are ready to serve. Sprinkle some cinnamon or the pumpkin pie spice on top. Store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Well, that’s a wrap. I hope you love these bars as much as I do. I think I have eaten one, or more than one every day over the past week…I have also shared them with friends, too…which is the best part!  Who knew I would be vegan and eating “cheesecake,” right? I thought those days were over. Ha!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Sunshine Starters

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Hello! I hope the weekend treated you well. Mine included lots of sunshine, therefore, I thought that this “bring your own sunshine” picture was necessary because that is how I felt.  And I know there were a few rain clouds that passed through my weekend, but it didn’t mean that I kept my own sunshine tucked away…I brought it wherever I went! I love knowing that I do have that choice available to me. I can bring my own sunshine and spread it to others! Or, sometimes, I have others who bring their own sunshine to me when mine has temporarily gone behind a rain cloud, right? Bring your own sunshine!

I like to think that I bring my own sunshine in my blog posts. And in turn, they help you to find your sunshine and bring it to others! I have been on a smoothie kick lately, and in today’s post, I’m spreading my light through some extra groovy smoothie recipes! Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Get your sun screen on, ’cause these smoothies are just full of light!

Yogi’s Sunshine Smoothie

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In a blender, add one banana, one kiwi, some strawberries, and some frozen mango chunks. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds and added some water and blended it all together. Yum!

Pink Karma Smoothie.

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In a blender, blend together one banana, a handful of frozen (or fresh) strawberries and two tablespoons of chia seeds with water. Blend for a few and pour into your favorite glass. Top off with some shredded coconut flakes! Enjoy!

Green Drishti Smoothie

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In a blender, blend one banana, a handful of spinach, one kiwi, a handful of some mango chunks (frozen or fresh), and one peach (frozen or fresh) with some water. Blend it up well and your yogi drishti will be set in motion for sure!

Buddha’s Choice Smoothie

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In a blender, put in one banana, one peach (frozen or fresh), a handful of carrots, some cinnamon sprinkles (to taste), and some almond milk and blend that magic right up! Sprinkle some cinnamon on top for extra fun!

Chakra Tonic Smoothie

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In a blender, add a handful of fresh kale, one kiwi, some mango chunks (fresh or frozen), one banana, and two tablespoons of chia seeds. Blend that baby, sip it up,  and you will feel your energy zones line up and light up from your crown all the way down to your root chakra!

Om-Shanti-Shanti Smoothie

 

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In a blender, add one banana, one teaspoon of maca powder, some sprinkles of cinnamon (to taste), two tablespoons of chia seeds, two tablespoons your choice of nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter here, but peanut butter or almond butter would be divine, too), a little ice, and some almond milk. Blend it up! Serve it up! Drink it up! And FEEL the sunshine! Sprinkle some cinnamon or some shelled hemp seeds on top for some extra sunshine.

And there you have it. Your sunshine starters. I know that they are mine. I have been kickin’ off my mornings with one of these divas and some times my lunches, too. They get my body and my mind flowin’ and full of good vibration that I can take out and spread into the world! La la la la!

 

Light & Love,
Amanda

Brownies with oomph!

Hello and Happy 4th of July, my friends! Happy Freedom! Happy Love! Happy Life!

Today, I introduce you to a brownie recipe that I happen to stumble upon, and grateful that I did, er, maybe that’s my belly talking. 🙂

Anyway, these babies were inspired by a post on minimalistbaker.com. First time I had ever been to this site and it is full of lovely pictures and vegan recipes that I will be trying out because this one came out so perfect.

And let me warn you, this is no ordinary brownie. This is a brownie with some extra oomph! The best brownie my taste buds have ever laid their eyes on…and I’m not just saying that. And, they have a healthy kick to ’em! The cacao, black beans, and flax offer some fiber and protein! Nothing better than eating dessert and knowing that there are some benefits aside from the sugar rush you may have get, right?! These brownies have black beans in them!!! I know what you’re thinking. But, I ask you to be open minded and willing here and I promise, if you do those things, these brownies will take you to the moon! They did for me and the lucky people I shared them with! Let’s get started…

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Gluten Free Vegan Black Bean Brownies

1 15 oz. can or 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed well & drained

2 large flax eggs (2.5 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder (I love cacao!)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 heaping cup of sugar

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

Toppings: walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips, whatever you like! (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan

3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax & water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple of times and then let mixture sit for a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the toppings, and puree the ingredients (3-5 minutes) while scraping down the sides, as needed. Texture should be smooth, kinda like frosting. If it appears too think, add a little water, but you don’t want to be runny.

5. Evenly pour or scoop out batter into the muffin tin and smooth over the tops with a spoon.

6. Add your toppings you desire.

7. Bake for 20-26 mins or until the tops are dry and edges are pulling away from the sides.

8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

9. Taste. Enjoy. Smile.

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And just a little side note…while you are waiting for your brownie babies to cool for those 30 minutes or so, do something to get your chakras moving. Raise that juju! Do a head stand, sing a crazy song, run around outside barefoot (it grounds you!), dance with your animal…Me, oh, I did yoga poses on my kitchen counter!

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Light & Love,
Amanda