This soup is packed with all the good stuff of Broccoli we tend to toss away. This root to stem recipe is a delicious and economical way to get the most out of your vegetables. [More]

I've shared these a few times on instagram and now I've finally put pen to paper to write the recipe. These sweet potato enchiladas are about the most comforting meal I cook, without an overload of cheese. The sweet potato and beans provide the filling while and easy homemade enchilada sauce brings it all together.

Sweet Potato Enchiladas: Components

This recipe is involved, there’s no two ways around it. While I’ve tried to limit the amount of prep by relying heavily on pre-ground spices and garlic powder, this meal is heavy on components.

The great thing for you, however, is that all these components can be made ahead of time and used not only in this meal but meals across the week. For example:

The sweet potatoes

Sweet potato puree, during the cooler months, is an automatic go-to. I make wraps, pasta dishes, risottos, and even my morning toast with a little help from a simple sweet potato puree. Make a couple-potatoes worth by simply roasting whole potatoes and scooping out the potato once cool. The sweet potato puree will last for up to 5 days.

Don’t want to use sweet potatoes? Any puree will do. Pumpkin or butternut squash would be my next two choices. You can also add in greens, sweet corn, or roasted tomatoes during the spring and summer months.

The Beans

When it comes to beans, these are a riff on my spiced pinto beans (made a little easier in this enchilada recipe if you’re making the night-of). I love these beans as taco filling, as a toast topper, or as a topping to a creamy polenta bowl. I usually batch and use them twice in one week: once for these enchiladas and once in a grain bowl.

The Enchilada Sauce

Similar to the beans, I make a much more involved enchilada sauce that uses dried chilis, toasted whole spices, and a slower cooking time. However, I wanted to keep this recipe as close to weeknight friendly as I could (I realize a 60-minute ordeal isn’t super weeknight friendly but these are so good!)

Enchilada sauce is a good batch and freeze project. Make triple of what I have here and freeze it in 2-cup increments. I love using this sauce to cook eggs in too.

Make-ahead

Beyond the idea of prepping the components ahead of time, this is also one of my favorite meals to make for other people. Think new families! The entire dish freezes after assembly so the only thing left to do is bake (which will take about 20 minutes longer but other than that-everything stays the same!)

[tasty-recipe id="37893"]

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The post Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas appeared first on Naturally..

The dates are fast approaching. NYC, Nashville, Chicago (sold out, thank you!) and Napa, I am coming to feed you. Because the NYC February 1st date sold out so quickly, we’ve added a second date on February 2nd. I’ll be preparing a 4-course dinner on stage at City Winery, while telling the story of each dish. You’ll be eating a 4-course dinner with wine pairings. Part dinner theater, part pyrotechnic arena rock, part Borscht-belt comedy. All totally delicious.

From my early years in Brooklyn just learning how to make my own tamales and create vegan translation of my favorite foods, to my adulthood as a cookbook author taking over the world with cupcakes, and finally, my current life in Omaha, opening a vegan restaurant – Modern Love – in the heart of cattle country, these recipes will tell the story of my life. Along the way you’ll also learn about the intriguing properties of coconut oil, the secrets to achieving perfect grill-marks, how to make eggs out of anything and the fastest, easiest way to mince a lot of garlic. And don’t worry, no matter where you are sitting you won’t miss a thing, because there will be video screens showing the action on my cutting board.

PS Sorry, there won’t really be any pyrotechnics.

The Menu
Act I
Caesar Salad With Brussels
seared brussel sprouts, grilled tofu, tahini caper dressing, toasted pine nuts

Act II
Tamale
lentil chorizo, mole rojo, guacamole

Act III
Chickpeas & Dumplings
creamy chickpea stew, rosemary biscuits

Act IV
Chocolate Mousse Cupcake
pistachio dust, coconut whip, raspberry caramel

Tickets still available:
February 2nd NYC Buy Tickets
February 4th Nashville Buy Tickets
February 8th Napa Buy Tickets

Hope to see you there! Oh, and here’s a little peek at the first course, Grilled Caesar Salad.

Brunch for a group. Inexpensive dinner. Cook once, reheat through the week breakfast. Put a slice in a tortilla or between toast and you’re off. Frittatas are just the best. Especially for some who...

Please visit Sprouted Kitchen to view this Recipe.

Hellooooo! I’m alive, I’m alive! Did you think after my 10-year blogiversary post that I decided to take a 10-year break? lol. It’s been a busy month with a lot of fun events going down. I just returned from WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women celebrations, and I’m still riding the high of winning an award in the Entrepreneur category and meeting so many incredible people. So many happy tears this week. It felt (and feels) absolutely surreal. I’m super inspired by these amazing Canadian women to keep going forward, doing my part to give back, and creating meaningful change in this world. I’m grateful to you all who support me and what I do…truly, thank you.

Here’s a snippet of the interview I did with WXN (the rest is found on their website):

SUCCESS all comes back to love. Do I feel love deep in my soul for what I’m doing? Are my kids and my husband happy and loved? Am I taking time to enjoy the process rather than allowing perfectionist thinking to take hold? My definition of success has grown so much since starting the blog, writing my two cookbooks, and becoming a mother. Today, success is knowing that I have the power to push through challenges while taking the time I need for myself to balance and stay healthy. After struggling with illness this past year, one of my biggest wake-up calls was realizing that it’s okay to take a break even if that means letting go of a professional goal for the time being.”

As an introvert, big social events tend to tucker me out (anyone else?!), and I find myself looking forward to my first day without any commitments (aside from, umm, two hyper toddlers, I suppose…). This creamy 3-ingredient steel-cut oatmeal recipe is the one I’ve been making once or twice weekly since fall hit. It may sound strange, but I find it calming in a way. I just love that I can throw a few ingredients in my Instant Pot, stir it up, and walk away until it’s done cooking! No stirring or watching…woot, woot. I’ll often throw it on and then get ready for the day or feed the kids and come back to a hot pot of oats. It’s a good feeling…a darn good feeling!

Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot because I also provide a stovetop version below—your oatmeal will turn out the same either way, but the stovetop version just requires monitoring and stirring as it cooks.

This time of year I love to top a hot bowl with toasted walnuts, chopped dates or raisins, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and seasonal fruit like pear or pomegranate. So cozy! Walnuts or pecans with maple syrup, cinnamon, and peanut butter is another dreamy combo.

Before I go, a quick note that we’ll be participating in Giving Tuesday this coming Tuesday November 27, 2018. Here’s a bit about the cause:

“GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday.”

This coming Tuesday, we’ll be donating 100% of that day’s OSG recipe app proceeds to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank as our way to take part. I hope you’ll consider participating in #GivingTuesday too! 

   

4.9 from 15 reviews

The Creamiest Steel-Cut Oats

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

My goal was to create the creamiest bowl of steel-cut oats using just a few ingredients...and this is it! This luxuriously chewy steel-cut oatmeal is the perfect base for all of your favourite topping combinations. I love adding pure maple syrup, cinnamon, seasonal fruit, toasted walnuts, and chopped dates or raisins. It doesn’t get much cozier on a cool fall or winter morning! I’ve also provided cooking instructions using both the stovetop and Instant Pot (I prefer the Instant Pot method as it's so easy). For the Instant Pot method, please see the Tip section.

Yield
2 3/4 cups or 4 servings
Prep time
2 Minutes
Cook time
25 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the oatmeal:
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1 cup (172 g) uncooked steel-cut oats
Serving suggestions:
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Dash fine sea salt, stirred in
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisins or chopped pitted Medjool dates

Directions:

  1. STOVETOP METHOD: Pour the can of coconut milk and 1 cup (250 mL) water into a medium pot and bring to a low boil over high heat.
  2. Add the steel-cut oats to the pot and stir to combine. Immediately reduce the heat to low (low heat is important or they’ll burn) and gently simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring four to five times during cooking and reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning. This method produces a thick pot of oats. For a porridge-like consistency, stir more water in to your liking. I like to stir in about 1/2 cup (125 mL) water after cooking.
  3. Portion into bowls and top with your desired garnishes—I love the combo of pure maple syrup, toasted walnuts, seasonal fruit, fine sea salt, cinnamon, and raisins or chopped dates, but feel free to get creative and change it up depending on the season. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or you can freeze them for up to 1 month. I store cooled single portions in freezer-safe bags and lie them flat in the freezer for easy stacking. Reheat refrigerated or thawed leftovers on the stovetop in a small pot along with a splash of water or milk over medium heat.

Tips:

INSTANT POT METHOD:

 

  • Add the coconut milk and water to the Instant Pot, followed by the oats. Stir to combine.
  • Secure lid in the lock position and check that the Steam Release Handle is pointing to the “Sealing” position.
  • Press the “Pressure Cook” (or “Manual”) button and set the cook time to 7 minutes on high pressure. After 5 seconds you’ll hear a couple beeps and the screen will say “on”. The cooking process has begun!
  • Once finished, you’ll hear a few beeps letting you know that cooking is over. Now let the Instant Pot do a “Natural Pressure Release”—I wait 10 minutes for most of the the pressure to release on its own.
  • Carefully release any remaining steam before removing the lid. Stir the oatmeal until combined, adding more milk or water if you’d like to thin it. It’ll be oh-so-creamy and continue thickening as it sits!
  • Portion into bowls and top with your desired garnishes—I love the combo of pure maple syrup, toasted walnuts, seasonal fruit, fine sea salt, cinnamon, and raisins or chopped dates, but feel free to get creative and change it up depending on the season. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or you can freeze them for up to 1 month. I store cooled single portions in freezer-safe bags and lie them flat in the freezer for easy stacking. Reheat refrigerated or thawed leftovers on the stovetop in a small pot along with a splash of water or milk over medium heat.

You can also make pre-portioned servings so all you have to do is dump it in a pot in the morning and quickly heat it up with a splash of milk! 

Here’s our super tasty Spanish Roasted Vegetable Paella that serves 6. We used roasted vegetables and herbs in place of seafood and served it with short grain brown rice to keep your heart smiling. Here’s [More]
Next up in the one pot wonder series is Paelle. One of our favourite dinners! Topped with one of our favourite toppings, Olives! This one is super easy to make and it’ll make you look [More]
Enjoy this light, colourful and super-tasty dish, great for a dinner with friends: the vegetarian paella! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English) http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8 *** Today we’ll be [More]

I love working with food, but one of my other passions is home decor, so I hope you’ll humour me with this post! I’ve caught the decor bug in recent years, and I just love every stage of putting a room together. The only problem is that I don’t have much time for home decor projects (I’ve completed 2 nurseries and an office in 5 years…lol), so I’ve been chipping away at this office at a snail’s pace. But I’m quite happy with how it’s come together. My goal was to create a serene and elegant home office with a lil’ bit of drama!

When we first moved into this house, we painted the office grey. We were going through a huge grey phase, but over time it started to wear on me, and I found the office was less than inspiring. I started to feel blah whenever I was in there (I also regret painting the basement grey…ugh!). One of my blog readers actually warned me about picking grey for an office, but I didn’t listen…you guys are always right! After going back and forth over what colour(s) I wanted to paint my office (I tested everything from spa green to super soft blush pink and, yes, even yellow!), I finally settled on a navy–charcoal blend and blush pink.

When I pictured my white office furniture popping off a dark, dramatic wall, I was sold. I didn’t want the whole room to be dark, so I kept the rest of the walls white for an airy feel. I’ve gone back and forth over whether I should do a bit of wallpaper on one wall (maybe the front wall where the windows are?), but I’ll most likely just leave it alone!  

The only thing missing is the light fixture above my desk. The electrical needs to be put in and I need to pick out the light…any ideas?? Should I go with a chandelier…or a semi-flush or…?

First, I’ll kick things off with my TWO bosses…they are fairly new to their “directing” roles, but it’s like they’ve been doing it their whole lives…. ;)

 

And here’s how it looks during the month of December! Lately I’ve loved getting up extra early for some “me time” in the morning—I turn the Christmas lights on, sit at my desk with my coffee, and do some writing, reading, planning, etc.

By the way, just in case you missed my big holiday newsletter, you can find a round-up of my favourite festive vegan recipes here! If I don’t chat with you again before signing off for Christmas, I hope you have a fantastic holiday! Thank you for all of your amazing support, thoughtful comments, and for making and sharing so many of my recipes this year!

Office details:

Paint colour (dark wall) – Blue Note (Benjamin Moore)

Paint colour (white) – Distant Gray (Benjamin Moore)

French doors – Wrought Iron (Benjamin Moore)

Desk and two filing cabinets – Crate and Barrel

Blush rug – Pier 1 Imports

White shelf – Wayfair (discontinued)

Elsie desk chair – World Market

Floral storage boxes on shelf – HomeSense (Guess what’s inside? Toys!)

Two white faux leather chairs – Wayfair

Rose quartz slab (on desk) – Anthropologie

Basket – Zara Home

Grey mug – Crate and Barrel

Blush pillows – HomeSense

Dark floral pillow – The Bay

Large floral framed print – Minted

Prop shelf with dishes – Wayfair

Mirror – Zara Home

Mountain print – SisiandSeb on Etsy

Profile art – SaltandPrinter on Etsy

Desert scene art – SisiAndSeb on Etsy

Pink Blue Abstract Print – LittleValleyStudio on Etsy

Taurus print – SaltandPrinter on Etsy

Inhale Exhale print – ParadigmArt on Etsy

White vase on desk – HomeSense

Blush pouf/ottoman – Restoration Hardware

Pink vase – Anthropologie

Grey letter A – HomeSense

Pink “crystal” tealight holder – HomeSense  

I used to write about digestion all the time on this blog, but it’s been a while since the topic came up. It’s not that my interest in GI health has waned—it hasn’t—but it’s become more of a professional focus and less of a personal one, mostly because my own struggles with IBS have receded over the years. Why? Hard to say, but I suspect that consistent eating patterns (as opposed to the extremes of my eating disorder years), plenty of soluble fiber, and better coping skills with stress and anxiety have a lot to do with it.

In recent years, mental health and emotional well-being have been a bigger focus for me than digestion; the physical ailments I cope with often have a strong psychosomatic overlay, which means that mental health gets a lot of my attention even if I’m presented with immediate physical complaints. This is all my way of saying that digestive health has taken a backseat to the stuff that feels more urgent to me, even if my intellectual curiosity about it remains strong.

This week, I started my 5-week GI rotation. I was immediately reminded that the gut is really what sparked my interest in health and healthcare to begin with. I was also reminded of the fact that, to date, supporting people through digestive illness is some of the counseling work I’m most proud of. I suspect it’ll stay that way.

I’ve learned a lot already; my preceptor is a great dietitian and a true digestive health expert, but she’s also an excellent preceptor. She likes teaching, has a knack for it, and is generous with her time and expertise. Writing notes under her tutelage is humbling, but I’ve learned a lot from it already.

In addition to rekindling my interest in all things gastroenterological, this rotation is also bringing me back to my own experiences as a GI patient: first the long, drawn out struggle with IBS and digestive woes post-anorexia, then the long and mysterious bout of gastroenteritis (or so it was labeled—two GI doctors and I never figured it out) that I had in the years following my post-bacc. It is reminding me of how profound digestive illness is, how vulnerable it has made me and makes anyone who’s affected by it.

Digestion is the process that converts food into nourishment; when it’s compromised, the whole business of eating becomes vexed. Digestive ailments can cause particular kinds of anguish around food, and the fear and anxiety they cause can linger long after symptoms are actually resolved.

In my own work, I’ve often seen how digestive struggle and disordered eating are, or become, intertwined; yes, eating disorders usually leave a person with GI trouble, but it can work the other way, too. Years of GI illness can make people prone to all kinds of disordered eating.

Next year and in the years beyond, when I’m working one-on-one with people again, I hope that I can make a small difference in the lives of the many folks who are coping with digestive distress. I hope I can do this not only because I want to make a difference in my clients’ day-to-day quality of life, but also because there’s symbolic importance in helping people to heal the channels that allow them to take in food.

Here’s to four more weeks of learning more about how to do this. And here’s to a new week. Here, too, are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

One of my nutrition goals for this year was to get more servings of fruit into my diet. I’m doing a lousy job so far, but at my last rotation a colleague of mine made a fruit salad with mint and ginger that reminded me of what a good vehicle a snazzy fruit salad can be! I love Liz’s colorful fruit salad with maple dressing, and she’s got some great tips on assembling fruit salads in general.

The ever-talented Eva is inspiring me to try my first-ever, vegan Massaman curry.

A delicious vegan pizza with naan as a base. Can’t wait to try this, especially once summery produce is in season.

This vegan pasta and bean salad with tahini orange dressing has my name written all over it.

Finally, I make a point of never saying no to a vegan blondie. All the better if “cookies n’ cream” is part of the description 🙂

Reads

1. The hospital where I did my oncology rotation was starting to offer CAR T-cell therapy, which is a relatively new treatment for leukemia and multiple myeloma. I found the process—in which the body’s own T cells are converted into killer T cells that can attack cancer—fascinating. This article details how it might be an option for the treatment of solid tumors, too.

2. An interesting new report has listed some of the best foods that we can eat regularly in order to promote biodiversity. NPR reports.

3. Speaking of biodiversity, The Atlantic has an interesting article on Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), the fungus that has decimated frog populations and condemned more species to extinction than any other pathogen.

4. Very important reporting on how clinical trial data can be misrepresented to patients.

5. I try to remind myself each day that a little bit of kindness never hurt anybody, least of all me. US News & World Report explains how acts of kindness benefit both the giver and the recipient.

In kindness, I’m signing off. I’ve got a creamy, nutritious, and very simple soup recipe to share with you this coming week!

xo

The post Weekend Reading, 4.7.19 appeared first on The Full Helping.

Creamy kale pesto white bean dip is a delicious, super savoury, slightly cheesy, naturally vegan, and nut-free appetizer that everyone will enjoy.

The post CREAMY KALE PESTO WHITE BEAN DIP appeared first on The First Mess // Plant-Based Recipes + Photography by Laura Wright.

Could you tell the difference between vegan and real meat while blindfolded? GMM #726! Good Mythical MORE: http://youtu.be/XGb0GLQaHrI SUBSCRIBE for daily episodes: http://bit.ly/subrl2 **** PREVIOUS episode: https://youtu.be/8Chg_EswCeA?list=PLJ49NV73ttrtQP_nY7NTldYfEsYmlCV2L NEXT episode: https://youtu.be/qPypsmtOpAM?list=PLJ49NV73ttrtQP_nY7NTldYfEsYmlCV2L Get the GMM Coffee Mug! [More]
tofu, and plants, and happiness. ((to everyone saying that milk isn’t vegan. i know. that’s why we bought NON-DAIRY MILK. calm down. i didn’t get milk)) james’ vegan challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_2000553449&feature=iv&src_vid=uQZf2uEjt_0&v=kGZQopQTkfA&ab_channel=theodd1soutcomic ———————————————————————————— SUBSCRIBE for more animations! [More]

How is 2019 treating you so far? Scrolling through Instagram would have me believe that we’re all killin’ this New Year thing, but something tells me I’m probably not seeing the less than stellar starts to the year. I know ours was nothing like we expected. Emotionally draining to say the least, and I had to give myself a break from the shiny social media highlight reels for a bit. Half-way into January, I’m now feeling ready to turn this year around and I’m hopeful it will be a really great year. 

Maybe you, like me, were more than ready to leave 2018 in your dust, but the start to the year hasn’t gone as you hopedplease know that you aren’t alone! Life challenges don’t adhere to a calendar format and they certainly don’t pause for holidays. All that we can do is put those lessons in our back pocket and carry them with us going forward. Progress, not perfection…am I right?! 

My passion for chickpea pancakes has reignited lately. I forgot just how quick and easy these savory cakes are to whip up for a light lunch or dinner. While I don’t see myself burning out on soup and toast anytime soon, these are a pleasant change from the usual winter fare. I’ve also been really into the bright and tangy combo of lemon-dill lately (must be that drab winter weather!) so I decided to make those the standout flavours in this recipe. Served with a rich Lemon-Garlic Aioli, crunchy chopped dill pickles, green onion, and fresh dill…this dish brightens up any day. Even though my brain can’t quite comprehend it, I know not everyone is a big dill pickle fan. If that’s the case, I’d recommend trying my reader-fave Jumbo Chickpea Pancake recipe instead! 

4.8 from 12 reviews

Crunchy Dill Chickpea Pancakes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Calling all dill pickle fans! Chickpea flour, which forms the base of these easy-to-throw-together savory pancakes, is an earthy-tasting flour, so I like to brighten it up with fresh lemon and dill. Chopped dill pickle gives these pancakes a delightful tangy crunch, and grated carrot lends a touch of sweetness as well as an extra boost of nutrition. Topping them with my 3-ingredient Lemon-Garlic Aioli is a must for mega flavour and richness, so don’t skip it. (Uh oh, I'm getting bossy again!) Ready in 30 minutes or less, these pancakes make a light breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe is adapted from my Jumbo Chickpea Pancake.

Yield
7 (3-inch) pancakes
Prep time
16 Minutes
Cook time
14 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli:
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy-free vegan mayo
  • 1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, grated on microplane
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste (I use 2)
For the pancakes:
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup (42 g) grated peeled carrot (1/2 medium)*
  • 1/3 cup (47 g) finely chopped dill pickle (2 small)**
  • 1/2 cup (63 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste (I use 1/4 teaspoon)
For serving:
  • Sliced green onion, chopped dill pickle and fresh dill, aioli

Directions:

  1. For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli: In a small bowl, stir together the vegan mayo, minced garlic, and lemon juice (to taste). Set aside.
  2. For the pancakes: To a large skillet, add the oil and sauté the garlic for a couple minutes over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, and being careful not to burn. Add the grated carrot and finely chopped dill pickle and sauté another minute or two until the carrot has softened a bit.
  3. Preheat another large non-stick skillet (I use a flat pancake skillet) over medium heat. Or, simply use the same skillet as before if that works for you! 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt, pepper, and sautéed veggies. Whisk until combined and let the batter sit for 1 minute.
  5. When a drop of water sizzles after hitting the pancake skillet, it’s preheated and ready to use. Spray the skillet with oil.
  6. To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Use the tablespoon to spread the batter out until it’s about 3 inches in diameter. Space the pancakes an inch or two apart on the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. I prepare the toppings while the pancakes cook.
  7. Place the pancakes on a cooling rack, grease the skillet again, and cook the remaining pancake batter using the steps above.
  8. Serve the pancakes warm with a big dollop of Lemon-Garlic Aioli and generous sprinkling of minced fresh dill, chopped dill pickle, and sliced green onion if you’re feeling fancy! We haven't found these to freeze or reheat very well, so I recommend making and serving the pancakes fresh.

Tips:

* I use the standard-sized grate hole on the box grater.

** It’s important to finely chop the dill pickle as larger chunks feel a bit too chewy in these pancakes.

Want to increase the garlic flavour even more? Use garlic-flavoured dill pickles for a fun twist!

If you're using fresh dill as a garnish, feel free to also add a bit of minced dill to the batter.

Enchiladas is the definition of comfort food, it’s so easy to make and so satisfying. The rich sauce, creamy cheese and amazing flavours makes this the ultimate dish to make for friends or to have [More]
These vegan enchiladas are cheesy, spicy, smokey, and super delicious! This is one of my favorite comfort food recipes…and it happens to be healthy 🙂 Visit my blog for the full recipe: http://goo.gl/6Ic4w8 Learn more [More]
Op vrijdag werk ik ‘s ochtends thuis en ga ik sporten. ‘s Avonds ga ik naar een borrel van B-Academy. Klik verder voor linkjes naar items uit deze vlog! ☆ PRODUCTEN DIE JE VOORBIJ ZIET [More]
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They are four and a half and almost three. My babies are potty trained, can buckle their own car seats, and clear their plates from the table. The crib will be passed to a friend next month and I’ve...

Please visit Sprouted Kitchen to view this Recipe.

Today is a big day for my friends Jack and Jeanine—it’s book launch day! I hope you’re familiar with their blog, Love and Lemons. It’s one of my very favorites, and I’ve been looking forward to their second cookbook for a long time.

Their new book is called Love and Lemons Everyday (affiliate link), and it’s absolutely stunning. The new book offers “more than 100 bright, plant-forward recipes for every meal.” Jeanine’s cooking style is super fresh and often inspired by the farmers’ market, and it shows.

I love how she weaves tips between the recipes, like how to freeze quinoa, and colorfully displays seasonal variations for recipes like fruit crumbles (four ways)! She even offers a giant visual grid of salad dressings, which I’ll be referencing often.

To celebrate their new book, I’m sharing Jeanine’s recipe for whole-roasted cauliflower slathered in seriously delicious turmeric-spiced yogurt sauce. Somehow, I’ve never prepared cauliflower in this fashion, and it was both fun to make and fun to eat. Want to see how it’s done?

Continue to the recipe...

The post Turmeric-Spiced Whole Roasted Cauliflower appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Full Recipes: https://richbitchcooking.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/9-vegan-pasta-dishes-dinner-for-one Vegan Peanut Butter Sauce (almond butter), Vegan Basil Avocado Pasta, Vegan Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Vegan Macaroni Salad, Vegan Buttered Noodles, Vegan Thai Coconut Pasta, Vegan Kung Pao Pasta, Vegan Lemon Cream Pasta, [More]
Aloo Gobi Masala is a popular and one most delicious vegetarian curries. So if you are looking for a vegetarian/vegan curry recipe, this is the perfect one to give a try. Goes well with poori/chapathi/roti/naan/paratha [More]
Open for recipes & important info! First “Vegan Recipes For Lazy Days” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELVRsQEwNSw Subscribe to my second channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL4XJVj4PPOdecb2J5w3z8A Download my Simple Vegan Eats Ebook here: https://www.livshealthylife.com/shop/ RECIPES: Lasagna Soup: 1 1/2 cups pasta [More]
60 RECIPES E-BOOK NOW AVAILABLE – http://www.thecheaplazyvegan.com/ebook ANOTHER FULL WEEK MEAL PREP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tPYw9jjhhk In this vegan meal prep video, I attempt to make a full week worth of meals (5 days) for 20 dollars! [More]
Get the recipes: https://tasty.co/compilation/one-pot-vegan-dinners Shop the Tasty kitchenware collection here: http://bit.ly/2IooLS4 Check us out on Facebook! – facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty Credits: https://www.buzzfeed.com/bfmp/videos/49845 MUSIC Licensed via Audio Network
What do I eat in summer? Well, ICE CREAM, of course?! This is one of my fave ice cream recipes – it’s healthy, yummy, raw, AND vegan. You have to try it!! And after you [More]
MY NEW EBOOK IS HERE!!! Filled with 40+ health VEGAN recipes, health tips, encouragement, inspiring content and beginner vegan tips!!: http://ellenfisher.com My INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/ellenfisher/ My “Tips for Successful Breastfeeding” BLOG POST: http://ellenfisher.com/tips-for-successful-breastfeeding/ Where I get [More]

As we wait patiently (or not so patiently) for spring, I’m sharing what feels like a bit of a last-hurrah for winter recipes. This pasta with walnut cream sauce came out of one of my instagram recipes. People liked it so much, I felt like it deserved a place on the site. It’s rich sauce is vegan, but I think that makes the creaminess even more amazing.

Walnut Cream, the real star

In all the nut-based alternative creams/cheeses, walnut cream reigns supreme in my life. I love the warm flavor and how nicely it purees into a smooth sauce. The softness of the walnuts is also your friend here. I find the walnuts only need a good hot soak for about an hour.

Of course, if you’re not on the walnut-wagon, you can use a more milder cashew cream or even an almond cream.

Sweet potatoes (and other veg)

I realize that as I’m posting this recipe, you’re probably over sweet potatoes and ready for spring. I’m with you, but I have a few more to use before I dive head first into spring. Swap the sweet potatoes for winter squash or try it with some steamed greens like kale or chard.

Grain Bowls

Finally, if pasta isn’t your jam, you could turn this into a delicious grain bowl. I’d plan to cut the sauce in half and use more as a drizzle and less as a sauce. Use a hearty grain here, like sorghum or wheat berries.

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All things considered, I’d say I have a pretty moderate relationship with sugar. I love homemade dessert, and I bake with sugar, be it refined or natural. As a longtime nutrition student and RD-to-be, I’m mindful of how much I use and I keep in mind that treats are special. But I’ve never avoided sweetening.

This works well for me, but the most common question I get asked about my baked goods here on the blog is whether the sugar can be reduced, and how. I do my best to give good answers, keeping in mind that reducing sugar (or using a liquid sweetener in place of granulated sugar) can change the texture and taste of a finished product (less moisture, less rise, etc.).

Now that I’ve spent a few months working with diabetic patients, I’ve gotten savvier and more knowledgeable about lower sugar baked goods. In my last two rotations, my counseling was almost entirely dedicated to diabetes management. I saw firsthand how much vigilance goes into monitoring and carbohydrate intake and covering it with medication, if appropriate. We never advised our patients to avoid dessert, but we did encourage them to be mindful about how much and how often. And we spent plenty of time chatting about how to create pleasurable desserts at home with less sugar, or with alternative sweeteners.

I’ve never used alternative sweeteners because they haven’t been necessary for my own health needs. When I do reduce sweetness of baked goods, I generally just use less cane sugar or maple syrup. But my winter rotations made me remember being a student in medical nutrition therapy, when our professor taught us to take our own blood sugar in class. As we were pricking our fingers, she told us that the purpose of the exercise was to better understand what our future clients—some of whom would surely have Type I or II Diabetes—experienced each day. Months later, she asked us to try liquid supplements, so that we’d know what patients who relied on them for nutrition support were tasting (there weren’t any vegan options, but it did get me thinking about how great a need there is for them).

I appreciated my professor’s perspective. There’s a big difference between abstract guidance and firsthand knowledge. Before telling any client to do something, I’d rather have a some lived experience of what I’m suggesting. And now that I’ve spent so much time with diabetes management, it’s important for me to understand the dietary changes that need to accompany a diagnosis—enjoyment of lower sugar sweets included.

Just as I was wrapping up my rotation at the Institute for Family Health, the folks at who produce the In The Raw® family of sweetener reached out to me about sampling their Monk Fruit In The Raw®. Monk fruit (also known as luo han guo) is a type of gourd that traditionally grows in China, and it’s been used medicinally for centuries. Monk Fruit In The Raw is a zero calorie sweetener that’s perfect for sweetening beverages and baking.  Plus, the bakers bag conveniently measures cup for cup, just like sugar.

Having never tried the product—and especially since I was in the middle of diabetes counseling—I was excited to sample it. I had a much better experience with it than I’ve had with other alternative sweeteners, especially for baking! It has a pleasantly fruity taste, and the signature baking bag makes it easy to add to cookies, cakes, and more. In my experiments so far I’ve used a combination of the Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag and sugar to reduce sugar while retaining texture and rise. Folks with diabetes who prefer a truly sugar-free dessert could use all monk fruit instead; the brand recommends using about half the amount of monk fruit for the amount of sugar called for.

The baking recipe I’m sharing today takes even more inspiration from my internship, as it was inspired by something I made in my last rotation. I was working with kids, using hands-on cooking experiences to teach them about food and nutrition. My supervisor and I shared a chocolate beet cake, which was an easy and delicious treat for them to make and also a great opportunity to teach them about beets (watching their little faces light up as we cut the beets open and showed them the electrically colored interiors was so sweet).

An upside of using pureed beets in baking is that they add a lot of natural sweetness along with moisture, which means that it’s easy to cook with reduced sugar and fat. The beets add plenty of vitamins and minerals, and they sweeten while also contributing fiber, which helps to control the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Today’s chocolate beet cake uses a combination of beets, monk fruit, and a small amount of granulated sugar to create something that tastes completely like dessert, but has a balanced ratio of sugar and fiber. It’s also relatively low in fat (only 1/4 cup of oil for the whole recipe), and—thanks to the beets—packed with fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. I based it off of a Martha Stewart recipe, and I’ve made it repeatedly already, so that I could recommend it to patients and clients.

For diabetics and those who are being mindful of sugar intake for any reason, I like to use a 50/50 combination of monk fruit and coconut sugar here (6 tablespoons of each). This gives a nice rise with less sweetener. If you like, you could use all monk fruit, which would yield a denser and fudgier texture—think cakey brownies 🙂 And of course, you could also choose to use all granulated sugar of choice, which will give you a very similar cake, but a little more fluffiness and rise.

No matter how you make it, this one is really a keeper. It’s plenty chocolatey, and the beets give it a wonderful moistness and rich flavor. It’s super fun to make with kids (they love the beet purée!) and nutritious enough to serve as a special snack/treat as well as a proper dessert. Here’s the recipe.

Lightly Sweetened Vegan Chocolate Beet Cake

This lightly sweetened vegan chocolate beet cake has a moist texture and just the right amount of sweetness. Perfect for snacking!

  • 4 beets, trimmed and washed*
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (substitute all-purpose, unbleached flour or a 1:1 combination of all-purpose and whole wheat or spelt flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons tablespoons coconut or cane sugar**
  • 6 tablespoons Monk Fruit In The Raw®
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar
  1. First, make your beet purée! Preheat your oven to 400F. Wrap each beet in foil and roast for 45 minutes, or until the beets can be easily pierced with a fork. When the beets are cool enough to touch, run them under cold water while you slip off the skins. Roughly chop the beets, then add them to a food processor or blender. Blend or process the beets until they make a smooth purée (a couple minutes). Set the purée aside; you should have 1 1/2 cups or so.

  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 square baking dish (or an 8 or 9 inch round baking dish).

  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cocoa, sugar, and monk fruit in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beet puree, oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix the ingredients till you have an evenly mixed batter; a few little clumps is fine.

  4. Transfer the batter to your baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is firm and set and a toothpick emerges clean (or nearly clean). Allow the cake to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing it from a pan and transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Cut into pieces and enjoy.

*In place of roasting beets from scratch you can use one of the pre-cooked beet options on the market these days! You’ll need 4 beets, which is usually about 1 lb (12-16 ounces).

**Substitute 12 tablespoons sugar for the combination of sugar and alternative sweetener if you wish.

A word about the beets in this recipe: it’s nice to make the purée from scratch, but nowadays it’s not too hard to find pre-cooked beets that are ready to eat. My local grocer usually carries one or two options, and it makes adding beets to salads really easy. It also cuts the preparation time of this tasty cake considerably, so don’t hesitate to us the option (or canned, cooked beets) if that’s more convenient for you. You need about 1 1/2 cups beet purée, which for me has been about 1 lb cooked beets.

This cake is lovely with a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, or a glass of non-dairy milk. If you’d like to dress it up for a special occasion, you could easily add glaze or vegan frosting to it. As it is, it’s a perfect snack cake. A little sweet, a little nutrient-dense, and very satisfying. My work encourages me to learn and experiment all the time, and I’m so glad to have found an alternative sweetener that has a taste I like, a texture that works well for baking, and is low sugar enough to be appropriate for a lot of the folks I work with.

Here’s to nutrition work that gives me firsthand experience and makes me more able to meet people where they are, day by day. Wishing you a good rest of the week; hopefully it’ll include something sweet 😉

xo

This post is sponsored by Monk Fruit In The Raw®. All opinions are my own, and I love this natural alternative to sugar. Thanks for your support!

The post Lightly Sweetened Vegan Chocolate Beet Cake appeared first on The Full Helping.

Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, but you’re not quite sure how you’ll do it? This has been my mindset lately. I’ve been so inspired in different areas of my life to create meaningful change with things like personal growth, career dreams, family life, etc. You could say that a little self-help inspo has struck me! I’ve felt stuck with indecision and fear for a while now, and the motivation finally hit me to actively do something about getting unstuck. It’s easy to just go through the motions each day.

For most of my life, I’ve always been trying to “fix myself”…this can be a positive thing (such as when I’m trying to be the best version of myself I can be), but it can also turn into a very toxic mindset. It’s easy for me to veer to the dark side of self-improvement and lose sight of my qualities and self-worth. Anyone who suffers from this tendency knows that it’s not a particularly fun way to live. You never feel “ready” because there’s always something to fix or a goal to achieve before being worthy of your and others acceptance. I’m working to make progress in this area. It’s kind of hard to explain, but maybe you can relate?  

I have Dr. Brené Brown to thank for my recent bout of inspiration. I first became enamoured with Brené after watching her TED talk on vulnerability years ago and listening to her on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. I’ve read The Gifts of Imperfection twice, and plan on reading it a third time soon (it’s a quick read and easy to devour in a couple evenings). There’s so much wisdom to soak up, and I learn things each time I read it. Currently, I’m reading Daring Greatly (which I’m finding slower, but still learning from it), and hope to read this one and this one next. I’ve been carving out some reading time in the evenings lately, and it feels so good to get back into it! I’m also (late to the party) using my Kindle reader on my phone and love how I can read a few pages here and there while I’m waiting for an appointment or when I have time to kill. I’d love to hear if you’re reading anything inspiring lately too!

“As children we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished, and disappointed. We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as weapons, and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear. Now as adults we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connectionto be the person whom we long to bewe must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen.”

~ Daring Greatly, p. 112.

  

5 from 7 reviews

Game Night Crispy Potato Bruschetta

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

The first time I made this healthy comfort food recipe, Eric and I had the song Ave Maria playing (Michael Bublé version...so hypnotizing!), and we fell into a trance as we ate crispy round after crispy round of potato bruschetta. Needless to say, we heard the angels singing and I think you will, too! This recipe serves two hungry people as a main or five as an appetizer. The best tip I can give you when making these is to serve it directly on the baking sheet (if you can!) as it keeps the rounds a bit warmer compared to transferring to a platter, and also to top the rounds and serve them right away. If they sit for longer than 10 minutes, they’ll start to lose their fantastic crispiness and soften considerably. This recipe is inspired by the Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (also a delicious appetizer option!) and Potatoes USA.

Yield
30 potato rounds
Prep time
15 Minutes
Cook time
30 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:
  • 2 large (500 g total) Russet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
For the Avocado-Tomato topping:
  • 2 medium (7 g) garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups (344 g/12-ounces) grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large (240 g) ripe avocado

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220ºC) and line an extra-large (or 2 medium) baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Make sure they’re not any thinner than that, or they might not be sturdy enough to pick up with your hands and the edges will burn more easily while cooking.
  3. Place the rounds into the centre of one baking sheet in a mound. Toss with the oil until all sides of the rounds are fully coated. Spread into a single layer, spacing them a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Roast the potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes (I do 30), flipping once halfway through baking, until tender and golden brown in some spots. I prefer these slightly overcooked so they’ll crisp up a bit around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large food processor, mince the garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulseonly 10 to 14 timesuntil the tomatoes are chopped into almond- and pea-sized pieces. Remove the bowl, take out the blade and set aside, and stir in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
  6. Five minutes before the potatoes are ready, dice the avocado very small into almond-sized pieces. Fold the diced avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. The mixture will look quite juicy/watery, but this is normal!
  7. After removing the potatoes from the oven, add another generous sprinkle of salt on top. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon avocado-tomato mixture onto a fork and strain out the juices by tapping the inside of the bowl. Place the strained mixture onto the centre of a potato round and repeat this process for the rest of the rounds.
  8. Serve immediately, directly from the baking sheet(s)I find serving from the baking sheet keeps them warmer, but if you prefer you can transfer the rounds to a platter before adding the topping. If the potatoes sit they will soften and lose their crispness, so I don’t recommend letting them sit around for longer than 10 minutes (usually not a problem in this house!). If you have any avocado-tomato mixture leftover feel free to polish it off with some tortilla chips!

Tips:

Up the glow factor: Sprinkle my Vegan Parmesan Cheese on top.

 

Should your potatoes become soft from sitting for too long, these reheat well on a sauté pan, preheated over medium heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. This results in slightly browned bottoms and revives the firm texture without affecting the toppings.

Oh Eric, what a sport for being my food photography model, hah. There were some heavy sighs when his arms got tired…no one said being a model was easy! Okay, maybe they did say that…but just ask Eric about the struggles!

In case you’re wondering – these “photoshoot” potato bruschettas were SO COLD by the time we finally got to eat them. Sniff, sniff. But they were still worth eating! And we’ve enjoyed them many times piping hot out of the oven which is simply the best. If you try them out, I’d love to hear what you think and see your photos, so don’t forget to tag them with #ohsheglows on social media! 

Green Sauce

When it comes to experimenting with recipes, sauces are up there as a favorite. It can be easy to completely shift a dish (or many dishes) with one simple sauce. I don’t use a lot of kale outside of a few recipes but using it in sauces ensures I use it all before it goes bad.

Saucy Kale Omelette

You can swap the kale for other greens such as spinach, chard, or collards. If you’re using spinach, drop the time for blanching. Spinach takes much less time: usually around 30 to 60 seconds.

Tarragon

I know tarragon isn’t everyone’s favorite herb. You could swap it out for chives or if it’s summer, use fresh basil.

Omelette vs Frittata

I love a solid omelette for my morning breakfast but if I’m making a dish to feed the family, I usually stick with frittata. You can easily use this same concept in frittata form. I like to use this base recipe and right before I transfer the pan to the oven, I swirl in the kale sauce.

Add some Grains

Leftover grains? Add a few to the omelette. I really like using cooked grains in the omelette or as an omelette filling. This also works if you’re making the frittata (as mentioned in the previous paragraph!)

Veg Bulk

Depending on the time of year, add fresh or cooked vegetables to the filling. During the cooler months, roasted squash or sweet potatoes. For spring, try some pan-fried asparagus then during summer, blistered tomatoes!

Vegan-it

Finally, since the sauce is vegan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add a vegan option for the omelette. Use the kale sauce in a tofu scramble, make a grain bowl, or there’s the new ‘just’ product that uses mung beans as a base.

[tasty-recipe id="37936"]

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Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.

Before spring starts to show, I wanted to share one last cozy pasta meal. This lentil rotini pasta features easy garlicky kale, a no-cook goat cheese sauce, and Barilla Red Lentil Rotini. The spirals in the rotini are perfect for soaking up that saucy-goodness!

All the Greens

When it comes to greens, I’m constantly swapping different ones in and out of recipes. One of the reasons I love recipes like this is because it’s forgiving. Happen to have chard or collards on hand? Those would work just as well.

I’ve also been known to make a similar pasta and add roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and/or sweet potatoes as a replacement or in addition to the greens.

Goat Cheese: love it or leave it

I love goat cheese and I’m not shy about my love. However, I know that it’s not everyone’s favorite cheese. This pasta can work well with any softer-type cheese. Cream cheese or farmers cheese would work as well.

Vegan? Yes!

Never fear, vegan friends. You can easily make this vegan. I like to use my favorite cashew cream or sunflower cream with a little bit of onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast in place of the goat cheese sauce.

Barilla’s Red Lentil Rotini Pasta

When I was writing my cookbook on grinding flour, one of the biggest surprises came when working with red lentil flour. It’s such a good, protein-solid flour. Because of this, I’m not surprised to see this great, one-ingredient Red Lentil Rotini from Barilla. You can find this and all the other varieties of the new Barilla legume pastas on Amazon.

[tasty-recipe id="37907"]

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. continue reading

The post Lentil Rotini with Garlicky Kale and Goat Cheese Sauce appeared first on Naturally..

and WE SAW MICHAEL BUBLÉ.

My LOVE

(I’m not even going to hide my creeper status. And don’t worry, my mouth didn’t actually touch the poster.)

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I’m just getting back from a whirlwind trip to Phoenix for the Beautycounter LEAD conference… and to see Michael Bublé, my favorite ever.

I got into Phoenix on Thursday morning, and met up with Arsy and Tina at the adorable Airbnb where we’d be staying. It was my first Airbnb experience and I was beyond impressed with the whole thing.

Check out the cuteness! 

Phoenix house2

Phoenix house3

Phoenix house4

It was in a neighborhood filled with unique older houses, and they completely gutted and redid the interior. The wood floors and tiling in the bathroom were gorgeous, along with exposed brick, modern art, and unique touches (like the book selection in each bedroom). 

Phoenix house5

Arsy surprised us with little goodie bags on each of our beds, with Hu chocolates, travel Cote nail polishes, Bee’s wrap, the best hair ties, a Beautycounter pen, and a sweet card. She also stocked the fridge with some healthy essentials, cold brews, and waters.

Goodies

I’ve been working with Arsy for almost 3 years and it was my first time meeting her in person. Of course, she was just as kind and lovely as I expected, and I had such a great time hanging out with her and Tina all weekend. 

W tina and arsy

Thursday night, we had our team dinner at True Food, and then Friday morning, it was straight into the official festivities. We had quite a few sessions on Friday, and each one left me feeling more inspired, motivated, and grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work for such a respected and innovative company. (Beautycounter is the #1 Googled beauty brand of 2018 and the top clean skincare brand in the world.) They generally care for the health of all living beings on this planet, and are constantly working to impart change in the beauty industry, which is severely unregulated. The last federal safety law for cosmetics was passed in 1938!! We’re actively working to get this changed and make clean products accessible to everyone. This means no matter what store you go to and what brand you purchase, you should be able to have have the confidence that they were manufactured without endocrine disrupters, known carcinogens, and harmful preservatives. 

Conference

My very favorite quote from the weekend:

– The greatest gift you can give anyone who loves you is your own wellbeing 

While there was a lot of motivational talk, they also addressed burnout and importance of paying attention to what truly matters: your family, your health, and your relationships. I love how much they emphasized balance and taking the time to share your life with those you love and make yourself a priority. 

We also had the opportunity to hear Gregg Renfrew speak. She’s our CEO and the Founder of Beautycounter and she’s so.darn.real. The entire room of 1700 was captivated the entire time she was talking. She was so encouraging, humble, and generously shared her knowledge and inspiration with us all. 

They also had some pretty solid snack breaks and lunch in between the presentations.

Friday afternoon, the Pilot picked us up from the conference and we headed to the house to get ready for the evening. The girls went to another team dinner at a downtown hotel, while the Pilot and I enjoyed a sushi date at Moira Sushi before Michael Buble.

Date night2

(Shoes are here // dress is here — got it from Rent the Runway and was so pumped it actually fit. I feel like it’s so hard to tell what will work from the sizing but the S was just right)

We arrived at the arena, ordered wine in a can for me + beer for him, walked to our awesome seats (!) and I buckled up for the best concert experience of my life. I’m a HUGE Michael Bublé fan – I sporadically listen to his music all year and just switch to his Christmas album for November and December – so I was expecting a lot, but it was beyond anything I could have imagined. His perfect voice, the set design, the orchestra, his backup singers, everything. Just.SO.freaking.good.

Michael buble phoenix

(He started off with “Feelin’ Good” and I screamed like a teenager at a BTO concert.)

#1) He is HILARIOUS. He was cracking a ton of jokes in between songs, many of which were gloriously inappropriate, and the Pilot and I were laughing our faces off. I had to keep myself from breaking into the full-on dinosaur cry during Home and one of his newer songs, Forever Now. If you want to get a glimpse of what I was feeling, listen to the song, and then picture in your mind a child’s bedroom and how it changes from when they’re born (a nursery with sweet printed wallpaper, a crib, and a rocker) until they MOVE out (a large bed and a room strewn with moving boxes, to completely empty room). That’s what they flashed on the arched screen above the stage and I think they pretty much wanted to pull my heart out of my body. Of course, all of his lighthearted jokes and the fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously kept me from crying too hard.

2) He is so grateful to all of his supporters. Multiple times he thanked us for spending our money and our time to be at his concert. He said that his supporters lifted their family while they went through something absolutely heartbreaking, and was so heartfelt and genuine in thanking the audience. You can just tell he’s a really good guy.

3) I tried to meet him but I failed. So here’s the thing, in college and my early 20s, I got backstage after concerts if I wanted to meet the band or singer. It’s not because I’m cool or had a VIP pass, but I’d just casually go to the side of the stage and ask security if I could just go back and get a photo with whomever. You’d think it would be a fail but it worked every time! I would just be chill about it and I think they saw a young non-threteaning kid and were like, “Go. Live your dream.” I didn’t know if I would work for Michael Bublé because, I don’t know, I’m like 15 years older now, BUT I figured this was my only chance and went for it. Unfortunately, they did all of the meet and greets before the show, not after. So when I went to ask if I could pleeeeeease go back and take a pic, security told me they did all of that stuff earlier. It’s NBD, but I did try. #shameless #dontcurr

The Pilot and I stayed at Westin, which was lovely, and then Saturday morning, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Coronado (a cute vegetarian cafe!) before he hit the road back to Tucson and I headed back to the conference.

I got there just in time to learn about the new products from our Product Development team, and get excited! There’s so much good stuff on the way, including a face cream that supposed to feel luxurious and gorgeous like La Mer, but with clean ingredients. So pumped about this! I’ll definitely share more info when it’s on the way, but our new line was modeled after Asian skincare rituals (yas yas yassss) and is going through clinical and client trials now. I’ll also have the chance to try it out before it’s released and will absolutely share my experience.

Beautycounter is also transitioning to more glass, less plastic, and are going to include refill options. 

We attended sessions on social media and coaching, and then had a delicious lunch. 

Tacossss

When I left the conference, I felt energized and excited to implement various action plans in my team and with my business. As you guys know, I’m very particular about brand alignments. For everyone I say, “Yes” to, there are at least 20-30 “No, thank you”. When I first joined Beautycounter, I knew I liked the products and I loved their mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone. I didn’t know that it was so much more than that, and that it would have such a huge positive impact on my life and business.

Lead conference

(Jumpsuit is here // shoes are here. Jumpsuit is also from Rent the Runway and I wish I could have kept it!)

Behind this mission, there are thousands of women working hard to change the beauty industry, sharing the products with those they love, and taking their success into their own hands.

Team lunch

I was so thankful to FINALLY meet Teri, who feels like my BFF after all of these years and I still hadn’t met in person! I also got to chat with Lexi, Juli, Cassy, and so many lovely women on our team.

Having this blog has been one of the biggest blessings in my life because it’s enabled me to connect with a motivating, incredible community of women (and dudes!). One of the best parts: I can do it anywhere! As a military wife, this was critical since we were moving every 2 years or so, which this makes it very hard to get and keep a traditional job. Beautycounter gives that same flexibility to those who want to work on their own schedule, wherever they want, and carve their own path. It has been one of the best things I’ve added to my business, and it’s fun, easy, and I get to meet with connect with new people. The money potential is bananas – if you want to talk about it, please email me – and it’s cool to be able to make an income while supporting a company that’s championing for change. If you’d like to make a transition to safer skincare products, or a tiny voice is telling you that consulting may be for you, please email me: gina@fitnessista.com

Well, I’m off to unpack my suitcase, only to RE-pack it for a short trip to Portland for a brand meeting. I hope you have a happy Monday!

xo

Gina

Tell me, friends: first concert experience? If you could see anyone live, who would it be?! My first concert was Boyz II Men in 5th grade. “Motown Philly back again….” Also, has anyone met Michael Buble?! Please tell me everything. 

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I can’t do strict diets. They inspire an otherwise absent rebellious streak in me and I go headlong into a sugar spiral. I remember trying the master cleanse many years ago, fully stocked on all the...

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