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Breakfast/Brunch

Mashed Avocado and Peanut Butter Banana Bagels

 
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So you don't have time to make anything "fancy" for breakfast? 

Not to worry. This plate will satisfy your sweet and savory cravings while providing a great combination of healthy fats, carbs and protein to get your day started. 

 

Gather the ingredients and in 5-10 minutes you can have a delicious and gorgeous morning meal to dig into!

 

INGREDIENTS: (two servings)

  • 2 toasted bagels, plain are pictured above
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt/pepper
  • 1 mango, sliced in skin
  • Berries 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spread almond butter on one bagel and top with bananas, cocoa nibs and sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Spoon mashed avocado and press onto other bagel. Place tomatoes on top, drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with mango in skin sprinkled with cinnamon and garnish with berries!
 

Banana, Pumpkin, Apple + Cranberry Fall Loaf

 
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Hello, FALL!!!

In honor of the beginning of cozy sweaters, pumpkin farms and chilly nights- I bring to you the most delicious fall loaf!

This version is completely vegan, made with quality ingredients and has a crunchy/sweet top with a moist center. I included all my favorite aspects of the season including: Honeycrisp apples, pumpkin, cranberry, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.

 

Whip up this yummy bread and your entire home will smell delightful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup flour, white
  • 1 cup flour, whole wheat unbleached
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium apple, diced (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

*Topping- 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk together very well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, pumpkin, maple, almond milk and oil.
  4. Slowly add wet ingredients into large bowl and mix.
  5. Stir in diced apple and cranberries.
  6. Pour mixture into loaf pan. 
  7. In a small dish use a fork to combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of batter. 
  8. Bake in oven approx. 55mins-1hr. (I pulled the loaf out once it was risen, the top was browned and a toothpick came out almost clean as a little underbaked results in a really moist bread!)
 

Green Protein Power Smoothie Bowl

 
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Let’s talk about calories and nutrition for a second—

First off, I’ve never been a believer in counting them lest you drive yourself neurotic or risk under feeding your body and slowing metabolism. Here’s a sample morning bowl and it’s only ONE part of my first meal. I’m 5’ 1” tall and a size 2/4.

Below is the breakdown:

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This first half of my breakfast has 553 calories and according to a lot of “women-focused” diets that would be far too high for someone my size. It’s not!! My body craves and thrives on at least 3,000 per day, often more depending on activity.

Also, this entirely plant-based bowl has 442% daily vitamin A, 237% vitamin C, 64% iron, 107% calcium and a whopping 38g of protein.

(Not to mention healthy fats).

Start your day with more foods from the earth... nature will provide you with all the nutrition you need!! Oh, and give you amazing skin to boot.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1.5 cups mango, frozen
  • 1.5 cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 0.5 banana, frozen
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Amazing Grass Protein Superfood, or favorite vegan protein powder
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp raw pistachios, shelled
  • 0.5 tbsp, chia seeds
  • 0.5 tbsp, cocoa nibs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add frozen banana and mango to bottom of blender, top with spinach, then powder and pour in almond milk.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Pour into bowl (a cold one is even better), top with sliced banana, pistachios, chia seeds and cocoa nibs.
  4. Spoon this delicious frozen treat for a refreshing breakfast, mid-day break or anytime you need a boost of energy!
 

Tropical Fruit Salad

 
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I need to share with you an ultimate vegan find: So Delicious CocoWhip!

CocoWhip can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store and it is an airy, delightful, sweet and decadent dairy-free topping. The taste is better than other options such as "Coolwhip" and holds its form quite well.

 

This dessert plates calls for sunrise-hued fruit, chia seeds, raw cashews, cinnamon and CocoWhip for dipping. 

Plant-based diets do not have to mean deprivation and once you are finished with this amazing dish, I know you will agree. I have eaten this for breakfast, dessert and a hefty afternoon snack. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 banana
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup CocoWhip
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice banana, strawberries and oranges.
  2. Cut mango into parallel slices and then do the same vertically. Push the center of the flesh to separate cubes. 
  3. Arrange fruit onto plate, sprinkle with cashews and chia seeds.
  4. Top CocoWhip with cinnamon and get to dipping!
 

Blueberry-Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl

 
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Hello from the Positive Palate!

This recipe today is my morning snack/meal of choice: SMOOTHIE BOWL.

You can top them however you wish, they taste like a treat and can be prepared in 5 minutes. What's not to love!? My favorite vegan protein powder is by Amazing Grass, and I have a hard time finding this in stores. I recommend purchasing on Amazon for the lowest price!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 banana, frozen

  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen

  • 8 oz. almond milk (sub cashew, flax, soy, coconut)

  • 1 serving of Amazing Grass Pure Vanilla Protein Superfood

  • 1 tbsp, flaxseed

  • 1 tbsp, cacao nibs

  • 1 banana, sliced

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend together frozen banana and berries, almond milk and protein powder.

  2. Spoon out into a bowl and quickly arrange your favorite toppings.

  3. DEVOUR!

 

 

Irresistible Protein Milkshake: Almond Butter

 

I am jumping up and down excited to share this with you today!!!

Recently, I have decided that dairy isn't my stomach's best friend. After completing my first Whole 30, my body is rejecting yogurt, ice cream and cow's milk. This intolerance also includes whey protein. 

 

My quest to find the most delicious plant-based protein led me to Amazing Grass' Protein Superfood. I am already a fan of their Green Superfood powders and was impressed with the ingredients in their protein blend. It is touted as an organic, all-in-one nutrition shake that includes:

20g Plant-Based Protein

7 Alkalizing Greens

2 Full Servings of Fruit and Veggies

<1g of Sugar

 

This shake has everything from wheat grass, alfalfa, spirulina, broccoli, hemp protein, chia, acai, goji......

The list goes on. 

 

However, I am completely sold on the taste!! Seriously. I have tried upwards of 20 types of protein powders and this one takes the cake. I typically use my protein for blended drinks and there wasn't a hint of chalkiness, artificial sweetness or medicinal flavor. 

 

The recipe I am sharing tastes like a decadent dessert, but somehow has all the benefits of superfood greens, raw nuts and antioxidant-rich fruits. Please give this one a go and let me know your thoughts!

 

I plan on creating more delicious shakes recipes to help spice up your morning routine on-the-go or provide a sweet end to your day in lieu of ice cream and cupcakes. 

<3, 

Jess

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. almond or cashew milk, unsweetened
  • 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Pure Vanilla Protein Superfood
  • 2 tbsp unsalted almond butter
  • 1 c. frozen mango
  • 1/2 c. frozen cauliflower

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender, keeping a bit of almond butter to drizzle on top.
  2. Pulse until smooth. Top with remaining almond butter. 
  3. Devour this protein-rich treat!
 

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Coconut Almond Pancakes

 

This morning I had a hankering for pancakes, and didn't feel like leaving home to get them. 

I also wanted to take on the challenge of making healthier cakes than the white flour and sugar-laden versions in most restaurants. These are about as nutritious as you can get while still being thick, fluffy and delicious topped with berries and a warm drizzle of agave nectar or 100% maple syrup.

 

In place of cow's milk, I used an unsweetend almond/cashew blend. 

In place of sugar, spices and vanilla were added for flavor.

In place of nutritionally-void white flour, I quickly made oat flour with rolled oats and a blender.

In place of oil or butter, I used almond butter for healthy fat. 

 

 

Hoping you and your family enjoy these dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes for breakfast or brinner. Please let me know what you think and experiment with good-for-you toppings!

- Jess

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups oat flour (blend rolled oats until flour-like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond/cashew blend)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • Coconut oil or coconut oil spray for pan

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Add all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until just combined.
  2. Heat pan or griddle with medium heat. Add a spoon of coconut oil or cover with coconut oil spray.
  3. Spoon batter by the 1/4 cup into pan. 
  4. These do not bubble the same as traditional pancakes when it is time to flip. Look for the bottom starting to firm and flip about 2 minutes each side.
  5. Pancakes are done when lightly browned on either side. Top with a warm drizzle of agave nectar/maple syrup, berries, bananas, nuts or any of your favorites!
 

Get Glowing Juice: Carrot, Ginger & Pineapple

 

This past week I made the ultimate purchase that I've wanted FOREVER: a juicer!!!

I know it might seem like a trivial excitement, but I remember seeing the Jack Lalanne juicer commercials on TV as a kid and wanting to throw combinations of my favorite fruits and veggies into it and make my very own drinks. So, a mere 20 years later here I am with a brand new kitchen toy and I couldn't be happier. 

 

There will be a series of juicing recipes to follow, as I discover the healthiest and yummiest blends. 

One note, I am making a habit of drinking these first thing in the morning before consuming any food. Why? Because your body is able to easily digest the nutrients in juices because it does not have to breakdown the fiber. Prime time for absorption of these vitamins is on an empty stomach!

 

I do not recommend having juice replace food, but it makes a nice prelude to breakfast. You can start your day energized without caffeine and knowing that you are giving your body a major boost of nutrition and antioxidants before the sun rises!


Side note: consume juice immediately if made with a centrifugal machine. Cold-pressed juices (masticating) are able to keep a bit longer, but those made with a spinning blade should be drunk as soon as possible to avoid loss of nutrients. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 slices of lemon, peeled
  • Sliced ginger, add to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slowly add ingredients into machine. 
  2. To get the most of your greens, put them in between other "juicier" ingredients such as pineapple and celery.
  3. Stir to combine and drink up!
 

Summer Smoothie: Rhubarb, Watermelon & Berry

 

My favorite farmers' market just opened yesterday and I could NOT BE MORE THRILLED!

We live in Milwaukee and this market is stretched along a park next to Lake Michigan, with beautiful city views, a playground, beer garden serving farm-to-table fixings, live music and dotted with vendors selling:

fresh produce/meats/homemade items/coffee/hot food! 

It is a food-lover's PARADISE.

 

Shopping healthfully is possible in grocery stores, but nothing compares to the local and seasonal goods you can find at your farmers' market. I bought a few stalks of rhubarb and couldn't wait to experiment with them. Most recipes containing this tart fruit also have a lot of added sugar... but my challenge was to create a tasty drink that did not require any added sugar (natural or refined). 

The result? This summer smoothie was a hit

 

Head down to your local market and whip up this delicious drink PACKED with antioxidants, healthy fats and nutrition minus any preservatives or sugar. This recipe makes enough for two snack-size drinks or one larger smoothie as a meal!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup watermelon, frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1.5 cups spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup rhubarb
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Ice to desired thickeness

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add melon, berries, spinach, rhubarb, coconut water and almond butter to blender. 
  2. Pulse until smooth. Add ice and blend until desired thickness is reached.
  3. Pour into glass and sprinkle chia seeds before serving!
 

Warm Apple-Pecan Steel Cut Oatmeal

 

Warm and filling bowls of oatmeal are not reserved for chilly months.

In fact, I enjoy steel cut oats year-round for breakfast, or even a late night snack! 

 

This recipe was what got me through my challenge of 10 days without refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the cinnamon, apples and swirl of agave nectar. (aka nectar of the gods). 

 

Avoiding added refined sugars can be a breeze if you prepare your own meals and a steaming serving of these steel cut oats will keep you satisfied for hours too!! Be sure to serve in an elephant bowl. (Not required, but can be found at World Market). 

 

In addition, making steel cut oats ahead of time is a great meal prep routine for breakfast all week!

Let me know what you think. <3

 

 

INGREDIENTS (serves four) :

  • 1 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 medium apples, diced (prefer Honeycrisp or any variety with tartness)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk (prefer cashew, but feel free to use another nut milk or cow's)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare oats as instructed on container, and 5 mins before they are done, add apples.
  2. Once oatmeal is cooked. Stir in milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.
  3. Transfer to bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with pecans, swirl agave on top and garnish with apple slice if desired. 
  5. If prepping for the week, put oatmeal in container prior to adding pecans and agave.
  6. Once re-heated, then top with nuts and agave nectar!

 

 

Acai & Watermelon Superfood Smoothie Bowl

 

I am extremely excited to share this recipe with you!!!

This exquisite and beautiful bowl is packed with SUPERFOOD goodness and is you guessed it... is so easy to make!

 

For this particular bowl I chose to utilize a watermelon I had frozen as well as other berries. 

If you find other types of fruits that you fancy in your freezer, then substitute away!

However, I would be sure to include the banana for the sake of texture. 

 

Also, choose the milk that suits your tastes and dietary needs best. Dairy-free nut milks work wonderfully (I prefer unsweetened cashew)!

 

As you can see below, I chose the one on the left as coconut is not my friend! On the right is my four year-old's dish who enjoys fruits and honey without the nuts and could be convinced that the Chia seeds were from the kiwi!!

Shhhhhhhh ;)

 

I can't wait to see your own unique take on this nutritious bowl!! 

INGREDIENTS (per full-size bowl):

  • 1 4-ounce Acai frozen puree packet
  • 1/2 cup frozen watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut
  • Sliced fruit: strawberries, kiwi and banana
  • Drizzle of honey

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Run Acai packet under warm water for 10 seconds and break up into chunks.
  2. Add acai puree, frozen fruit, and banana to blender or food processor. 
  3. Pour in half of the milk and start to pulse the mixture. Continue to pulse and slowly add remaining milk.
  4. Blend smoothie to a thick and smooth consistency. Then, spoon into a bowl.
  5. Top your smoothie with sliced fruit, walnuts and coconut.
  6. Sprinkle Chia seeds and drizzle honey as desired. 
  7. Dig in quickly and savor this delectable frozen treat for breakfast, dessert or as a mid-day snack!
 

Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

 

Fruit is nature's candy, but sometimes I like to switch things up a bit!

 

One of my favorite ways to add some variety to a fruit salad is with a honey-lime dressing. The topping takes less than 5 minutes to mix together, adds no refined sugar and a ton of flavor!

My four year-old had to be cut off from digging into this. 

 

I typically create a fruit salad with a couple substantial options such as melons, pineapple or grapes then add berries!

The leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day or two, otherwise you can freeze and use in smoothies. 

Please let me know what you think!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 small pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small dish zest an entire lime and then squeeze juice into dish. 
  2. Whisk in honey and cinnamon. Set aside. 
  3. Layer fruit in large bowl.
  4. Spoon over honey-lime mixture slowly over fruit and lightly toss.
  5. It's best to allow 30 mins to chill and marry flavors, but can also be enjoyed immediately!
 

Best Ever "Candy Bar" Protein Balls

 

Adults love candy bars just as much as kids. 

Case in point: the hand trying to snag one pictured above belongs to a 30 year-old :)

It's not difficult for me to eat the things I should eat (ie: veggies, fruits, healthy fats.) However, it's a challenge for me to avoid sweets... enter: PROTEIN BALLS!! 

This treat is creamy, crunchy, sweet, chocolatey and guilt-free. 

Chopped dates add chewy sweetness that mimics caramel. Eating one or two should be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth while holding you over to your next meal. 

Hungry? Grab a protein ball!!

 

INGREDIENTS (makes 20-24 balls) :

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats

  • 2 1/2 scoops plant-based protein powder

  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • 3/4 cups natural creamy peanut butter

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  • 6 tbsp almond milk

  • 5-6 dates, chopped

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1/8 cup peanuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir together dry ingredients in medium bowl.

  2. Add peanut butter, maple and almond milk. Mix well and use hands if necessary.

  3. Sprinkle in nuts and dates and combine.

  4. Use hands to roll into balls of desired size and place on cookie sheet.

  5. Place in fridge to cool for 30-60 mins before eating.

  6. Enjoy as the perfect, portable snack!