Rise and Shine Green Lemonade

When my dad used to wake me up when I was little, he’d throw open the bedroom door, open the blinds, and sing “RISE AND SHINE!” Irritating, no? Well now I really do want to rise and shine. I want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, and drinking my greens helps me feel that way. Drinking your greens cleanses your body from the inside out and makes you feel amazing!

green lemonade

I’ve seen a lot of recipes for green lemonade out there, all of them slightly different. Most of them require juicing or straining, and in the morning, I like to keep it simple. I want something quick and easy. Some recipes consist of only green vegetables and lemon. I like a little sweetness. Some have celery (ick). Some have very little lemon, as in only 1 slice, which is a shame. When I want lemonade, I want to taste bright, cheery, zippy LEMON!

I came up with this recipe on my own a couple of mornings ago, not having found recipe online that satisfied me. I just used what I had, so you can do the same. If you don’t have kale or don’t like collards, use spinach or whatever you like. Cucumber would be a nice addition too. I just kept it basic.

I wanted this to be more like a juice than a smoothie, so I used more water than usual. It turned out perfect!

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1/2 apple (granny smith would be good, but I had gala)
1 large collard leaf, stem removed
1 large kale leaf, stem removed
1 lemon, peeled but with the white pith on (get those seeds out too!)
7-8 deglet noor dates OR 3-4 medjools, depending on how sweet you want it (I soaked the dates overnight in coconut water and used a bit of the resulting “syrup” that formed as well, but that’s optional if you have a high-speed blender)

Blend everything on high and chill. If you want to drink it immediatley and want it cold, just add some ice in when you blend or pour it over ice. If you don’t have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you might want to pour this into your glass through a mesh strainer.

Rise and shine! 🙂

A note on de-stemming your greens. With a high-powered blender you can totally leave the stems on. My Vitamix will liquefy stems, no problem. However, removing the stems cuts down on the “green”taste a little, so that’s why I do it.

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30-Second Chocolate Coconut Soft Serve (raw, vegan)

We’ve started buying a fresh, young coconut each week for a treat. We have the produce guy hack open the top and sip the coconut water through a straw while we grocery shop. It’s a treat I’ve really started looking forward to. If you’ve ever tried bottled (or worse, boxed) coconut water, chances are you didn’t like it. Chances are it tasted like sock sweat! Fresh, cold water from a young coconut tastes nothing like the stuff that comes in those paperboard drink box thingies (here’s looking at you Vita Coco and Zico – bleh!).

When I get home, I harvest the meat of the coconut and save it for a special treat during the week. It’s like two gifts in one! Tonight we were craving something sweet, so I came up with this awesome dessert you can feel good about eating. It has fiber, healthy fat, antioxidants, iron, calcium, and even a little protein!

This serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
the meat from 1 young coconut
2 frozen bananas

Put everything in a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend on high, pressing the ingredients into the blades with the Vitamix tamper, until everything is creamy. This will most likely take less than 30 seconds. Serve with dried, shredded coconut sprinkled on top, if desired.

soft serve

That’s it guys and gals! Just 3 ingredients and about 30 seconds is all you need for a sweet-tooth-satisfying, healthy raw dessert!

Moroccan Chickpeas and Couscous

I’m eating this as we speak, and it’s good. So no chit-chat today folks! I’ll get right down to it. This dish is easy, quick, simple, flavorful, colorful, and yum! It’s from Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap and the cost is less than $1.50 per serving.

moroccan chickpea couscous

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
1 10 oz box couscous (I used a 7.6 oz box and it made PLENTY)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons jalapeño, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups (or 15 oz can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup golden raisis
1 teaspoon sugar (I used agave nectar)
3/4 teaspoon each cumin and coriander
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds, toasted

To toast the almonds, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant (about 3-5 mins).

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once boiling, stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. I just set a timer and start the next steps while I’m waiting.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic, green onions, ginger, and jalapeños. Sautee for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, raisins, sugar, and spices and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through (about 5 minutes). Add the chopped parsley and almonds and serve over the couscous.

I actually love lemon with chickpeas and parsley, so I squeezed the juice of 1/2 lemon over everything. Delish! The leftovers will make a great chilled salad tomorrow for lunch!

Mushroom, Leek, & White Bean Breakfast Pie (Soy-Free Vegan Quiche)

I’m posting this recipe at the request of my dear friend, Jeanna. She’s eatten this twice now and liked it so much, she wanted the recipe. Even her meat-loving husband enjoyed it!

I’m pretty sure I got this recipe out of Isa Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. I scribbled it down on a piece of paper that’s been hanging on my fridge for a couple of years and it’s my go-to brunch recipe, although we’ve had it for dinner plenty of times.

I used to call this a “soy free vegan quiche” because what else do you call a savory pie eaten for breakfast? However, I found using the word “quiche” throws people off. This isn’t light or fluffy, and of course it doesn’t have eggs. It’s rich, creamy, and filling. If you like savory breakfasts, this will hit the spot. The flavors are awesome and leftovers are great the next day for lunch.

There are no pics for this one, unfortunately. I’ve tried to make this pie “pretty” enough to photograph, but the truth is that it’s just a dark brown color that isn’t very photogenic. It’s still fabulous though! 🙂

Filling Ingredients:
1 lb cremini mushrooms (you can also use baby bellas)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leaks (white and light green parts only)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 heaping Tablespoon fresh time, chopped (I don’t recommend dried for this)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup walnuts
15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 Tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup chilled vegan butter (I highly recommend Earth Balance)
6 Tablespoons cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Start the crust first – put the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse to mix. Then cut in the butter (either pinch small pieces off with your figners and drop them in or slice the butter and cut into small cubes and drop those in). Now pulse again until the mixture resembles corn meal. Next, add the cold water and run the food processor until a dough ball forms. Roll out onto a lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin (or a wine bottle- whatever you have) and then press into a lightly-greased 9″ pie plate. Press the dough up the sides and then prick all over with a fork. Pre-bake for 10 minutes.
3. Meanhwhile, thinly slice 4 of the mushrooms and set aside. You’ll use these to decorate the top of the pie.
4. Roughly chop the rest of the mushrooms.
5. Saute the leeks in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat in the olive oil for 3 minutes.
6. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms and saute for another 7 minutes.
7. Add the garlic, thyme, and pepper and saute for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
8. Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until fine crumbs form.
9. Add the beans and 1 tablespoon of water to the walnut mixture and blend until creamy.
10. Add the cornstarch and salt to the bean/walnut mixture (still in the food processor) and blend until the cornstarch isn’t visible anymore. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides once.
11. Add the leak/mushroom mixture into the food processor with the walnut/bean mixture. Go head and carefully fold everything together with a spoon. You’re going to be pulsing the mixture up, but not completely blending it, so it’s important to incorporate everything beforehand.
12. Pulse the food processor a few times, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until the leeks and mushrooms are chopped into small bits, but still visible.
13. Spoon the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust, pressing with your spatula, and smooth out the top. Decorate the top with the sliced mushrooms you set aside in step 3. I like to put one slice in the middle and then circle outward from there, clockwise, but you can make whatever pattern you like.
14. Bake 40 minutes
15. Let stand/cool 30 minutes

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I think it’s totally worth it. I also think it’s worth the few extra minutes to make your own crust. Once I made this a couple of times, it got faster, but I’m used to making things from scratch, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. I hope you take the time to make it because it’s really great at anytime of day or night, cold or warm.