(All photos taken by me)
Pictured Above: Green Curry in Chiang Mai, Spicy Thai Salad in Koh Tao, Cashew Stir Fry in Chiang Mai, More Green Curry from Chiang Mai, Thai Spring Rolls in Chiang Mai (not pictured: the ones I ate in Bangkok) Sea Food Glass Noodle Salad in Koh Tao, Green Curry (Its my fav, obv!!) Sushi to go in Bangkok, Veggies with Brown Rice and Peanut Sauce in Koh Tao, Pumpkin Wrap in Koh Tao, Seafood Green Curry in Bangkok, Cereal with Banana in Bangkok!
HELLO MASON JAR MADNESS! I buy in bulk for a lot of my dry goods and I really disliked the unorganized mess of plastic bags that appeared when I opened up my cabinets so I put everything in plastic containers (see image above). It only took a matter of time before I realized that in doing so I was not getting the results I was originally after: Clean, Eco-friendly, Easy to navigate. As I have gotten older I have felt the need for more organized and clean spaces; I find that it allows me to relax more. I love how my cabinet looks now! I bought the mason jars at Target and the 99Cent store. #score.
This is my first attempt at some gluten free vegetarian but not vegan flatbread. It is made with almond meal and garbanzo bean flour so it is actually a low carb high protein crust – which is something to smile about! Its ridiculously beautiful and it tastes insane. I was genuinely surprised with how delicious the bread came out. The creamy nutty flavor blended so well with the rosemary that I could have just eaten it by itself. It really didn’t require any toppings at all! How did we as society stray so far from whole plant foods? How did we ever even get to refined white carbohydrates. Seriously? There is no way in hell that they could ever have such a dimensional flavor and high nutritional value. Makes no sense. Anyways, make this bread and top with whatever your hungry heart desires!
Benefits of Gluten Free-
- If you are gluten intolerant or choosing a gluten-free lifestyle it can promote digestion health, help lower cholesterol, and increase your energy levels dramatically.
- Easily avoid processed foods as nearly all of them contain gluten
- Creative alternatives to wheat i.e. almond and garbanzo bean flatbread yay!
What you need:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 tsp course sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 large egg- preferably pasture raised, organic and vegetarian feed.
olive oil sea salt for topping
1/2 cup organic cherry or heirloom tomatoes, sliced in quarters
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup hummus- I used Whole Foods store brand
course salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sea salt, baking soda, rosemary and garlic powder. In another bowl mix the tablespoon of oil, egg and the vinegar. Then slowly add to the flour mixture and stir until well incorporated. knead the dough and form into a ball and flatten on the prepared baking pan. About 1/4 inch thick. Rub additional olive oil and sea salt on top, sprinkle some extra rosemary if you wish and bake 15 minutes. While it is baking, sauté your onion and red pepper in remaining until the onion is slightly translucent about 4-6 minuets. Remove the bread form oven and top to your liking! And enjoy this insanely yummy, gluten and almost guilt free flatbread with a class of chilled white wine!
Having been in Thailand the last 2 weeks I have had a massive change of heart towards coconuts. I was not the biggest fan of them; their flavor and the hype just wasn’t doing it for me. I mean it is just So LA to be drinking out of a huge coconut while wearing Ray-Bans and TOMS, right? Wrong. Its actually normal and acceptable and has probably been going on for centuries in Thailand (at least the drinking right from a coconut bit). I had some shredded coconut that was screaming to be used so I settled on some vegan, gluten, sugar and flour free macaroons. I added some banana so an even more tropical transcendent experience takes place in your mouth! I don’t think much needs to be said about the chocolate and almond. BRB, my Tuk-Tuk driver is waiting to take me to the beach.
Benefits of Coconut
- Great for immunity– antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. Great to put on pimples too!
- Has antioxidant properties that slow down the aging process. Keeps your skin moisturized and soft
- Metabolism booster- it helps with thyroid function, improv insulin use within the body and can help lower cholesterol
What you need: makes 12 Macaroons
1/2 small banana
1/2 cup xylitol (or sweetener of choice)
1/4 cup vegan milk (I used almond)
1 Tbls maple syrup (honey,agave, brown rice are other options)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup almond meal
For dipping chocolate: Optional
2.5 Tbls coconut oil
3 Tbls raw, unsweetened cocoa powder
Sliced almonds- crushed
Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl mash up the banana then add the sugar, vegan milk, syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Stir to mix well. Mix in the coconut and almond meal. roll 1 inch balls in your hands, place on your lined cookie sheet and slightly flatten. Bake for 10 minuets. Remove for oven and let cool. While macaroons are cooling prepare your chocolate by melting the coconut oil in a small sauce pan over low heat and stir in the cocoa powder. If you want to sweeten (stevia, xylitol) your chocolate add it in now and stir to dissolve. Transfer to a bowl. Lay your crushed almonds to the side on a flat service. Dip your macaroons in the chocolate on one side followed by dipping in the almonds. Lay upside down on the parchment paper. Once all are completed, store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. And start to feel a little nutty!
Happy 4th of July my fellow Americans!! I know, I know, its a few days away but that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited or potentially get you excited for (what should be) a glorious day! All the politics and drama aside we live in an amazing country and we truly are blessed. Blessed. Really, we have an abundance of freedom for exponentially amazing possibilities. So I decided to make a Raw, Vegan & Gluten Free ice cream cake to celebrate. Nom. Nom. Nom. It was good. I mean good as in great. And it is quiet pretty too! It is so much more fun to eat ice cream when you know it isn’t loaded with fat dairy. gross. This is actually loaded with super foods which should translate into super powers! (Yes, super powers)! Have a fun filled day!
Benefits of RawVegan Ice Cream:
- Brain Freeze inducing
- Contains vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and rays of sunshine
- Cruelty free creamy, cool, dreamy summer time delight
What you need:
Strawberries, cut in half to fill the edge of cake pan
White Ice Cream Cake Layer:
cashews, bananas, pitted dates, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, vegan milk (I used almond)
Blue Ice Cream Cake layer:
frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries (can use blueberries instead for a more true blue layer) vegan milk, dates, walnuts, banana
Independence Day is next week and this would be the perfect drink for the celebration! It is loaded with yummy berries and boozy liquors to make sure your 4th of July is one to remember. That is, if you don’t drink enough to forget. You’re following me, right? 🙂 Sangria is and probably always will be one of my favorite cocktails of sorts. Not only is it always made with two of my favorite things, fruit and wine, it really leaves room for your inner concoctress to come out (thats a word right, concoctress?)! I could not find a decent recipe for White Wine Sangria that mixed berries and ginger ale, which were my two requirements, so I did what I always do, got creative! Oh yeah, and this also has no added sugar. Bonus!
Benefits of Sangria 😉
- Taste really good & easy to drink
- Great to mix and match ingredients- allows for creative combinations
- Made with healthy, yummy, colorful fruit
What you need:
2 Bottles of White Wine (750 ml)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries – trimmed and cut in half
1 cup blueberries
2 cups homemade ginger ale
1 cup xylitol
2 oz white rum – I used Bacardi
2 oz Blueberry vodka- I used Stoli
If you are going to make homemade ginger ale then follow the recipe up until ready to assemble the soda. You will want to wait to make it so the carbonation hasn’t fallen flat. Then put wine, berries, xylitol and liquor in a pitcher or beverage dispenser and put in the refrigerator overnight (3-5 hours will work too). These both can be prepared one day ahead. Just prior to serving assemble the ginger ale with a new bottle/can of seltzer or soda water and add to the sangria. You can add ice to the pitcher or to the individual glasses. Watch fireworks and give kisses to the ones you love! Happy 4th of July!!
Again, Mother Nature you are awesome. period. Look at these string beans; I mean up until a few days ago I didn’t even know that string beans came in multiple colors. Did you? I found the organic beans at my local farmers market this weekend and had to have them even though I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them. I thought about it and settled on fries. I am a french fry lover (anything fried really) but lets be honest, one can’t keep her girlish figure in check if she is constantly eating fried potatoes. Insert baked string bean garlic fries! Nom, Nom, Nom!
I decided to play around with food styling a little and use the natural evening light that was coming through my kitchen window to photograph the beans. Kinda cool, eh? (pats self on the back). What do you think?
Benefits of String Beans
What You Need:
2 cups string beans, washed and ends trimmed (green is just fine, but tri-color is better, obviously)!
1 Tbls EVOO
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cloves garlic- one thinly sliced, the other chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated black pepper
2 Tbls almond meal
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and lay the garlic glove that you thinly sliced over it. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl except the string beans and almond meal. Stir to mix. Put the almond meal on a plate. Toss beans in the bowl with oil mixture and mix until well coated. Then roll the beans in the almond meal. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minuets and then broil for 3-5 minuets until brown and toasty. Then enjoy these garlicy strings of goodness and remember to thank me later!! 😉
Be sure to click the image below and follow me on instagram! @caracarin
(Fruit- photos by me, no filter. Runway shots SS13.)
The level of excitement that coats over me like a paint brush when I see food this bright and colorful is ridiculous. A similar reaction to a kid in a candy store might be a good analogy. Squeals, squirms and wiggles of joy. I mean SERIOUSLY, look at those blood oranges. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Why would we ever want to genetically modify anything when something so lovely is created organically? Natures Candy! I gathered these lovely ingredients at the farmers market and made a juice that I enjoyed with my bestie! This is a level of orange even Lindsey Lohan couldn’t replicate! #justsayin
Benefits of Rays of Sunshine Juice
- Oranges– Protects against certain types of cancers, lowers cholesterol, protects skin, lowers risk for viral infections and alkalizes the body
- Carrots- See my post here
- Tomatoes– Vitamin A, C, K, Folate, B6, and prevents risk of cancer
- Ginger- See my post here
- Nectarines– loaded with Lutein an antioxidant power source that is thought to slow cognitive decline, protect against free radicals
What you need: (any quantity is fine, no right or wrong here)
5 carrots, peeled
1/5 Tbsl ginger, peeled and sliced
4 nectarines, sliced and pit removed
2 tomatos, sliced
5 blood oranges
Gather ingredients and toss into a juicer! Feel free to use a citrus juicer for the oranges or slice in half and toss the whole fruit in the juicer! Feel the radiant sun absorbed into your body through this lovely juice!
Soda is one of those things that I have given up almost entirely over the last three years but there is something about Ginger Ale that seems less threatening then a coke (i.e. ginger). I decided it needed to be made at home using fresh ginger and xylitol instead of sugar. Sugar is another one of those things I try to stay away from completely (try being the key word) as well! Ginger Ale was first created in 1851 in Ireland but the well known Canada Dry Ginger Ale was created by John J. McLaughlin in the early 1900’s. I think it is the best of all sodas. Somebody grab the Makers, its time for a Whisky Gingers! Happy Sunday!
Benefits of Ginger
- Anti-inflamatory properties that can help with joint pain- AKA post night in high heels remedy.
- Remedy for motion sickness or upset stomachs
- Strengthens your immunity and helps fight against certain cancers
What you need:
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled ginger
2 cups water
3/4 cups xylitol (or sugar if you must)
1 quart chilled seltzer of club soda
3 Tbls fresh lime juice
Put ginger in a small saucepan with the water a cook at a low simmer, covered, for 45 minuets. Remove pot from the heat and steep for 20 minuets still covered. Strain the mixture in to a bowl using cheesecloth or a sieve. (I rubber banded a cheesecloth over a bowl and poured the liquid in slowly, see image above) Squeeze the ginger while in the cheesecloth removing as much liquid as possible. Then put the ginger liquid back in the sauce pan with the xylitol (or preferred sweetener), add a pinch of salt and stir over a low heat until xylitol has fully dissolved. Pour syrup in a jar with the lid on and chill in the fridge until cold.
Mix Ginger Syrup with Seltzer and lime juice. To make one drink use 1/2 cup syrup, 3 teaspoons lime juice and 1 1.2 cup seltzer and adjust to your own taste! Enjoy out in the sunshine!
Radish is an interesting vegetable that I would like to try to get creative with. Obviously, shaving and tossing into a salad is, well predictable but it’s a start. Today was the first time I ever even bought radish – and I bought a whole bag! I didn’t plan this salad out except that I wanted to shave a radish. As you can see, I am on a little bit of a shaved veggie kick. Check out my first two recipe posts here and here. No apologies for thinking I should add radish and mini bell peppers to the list. So Voila! This salad happened. It was so unexpectedly good that I had to post it. I photograph most of my meals but some don’t even make it to instagram, let alone on the blog. This belonged on the blog!
Benefits of radish
- Great for your liver and stomach because of their cleansing and detoxifying properties– Good, cause my liver hates me sometimes- read Wino
- Radishes are a natural diuretic- perfect for getting bikini ready 😉
- Red Radish contains high amounts of Lycopene which can dramatically lower your risks for cancer.
What you need: Salad
2 cups washed spinach
1/2 cup quinoa- I used red
1/4 cup shaved red radish
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup shaved sweet baby peppers
1/4 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 avocado sliced
What you need: Agave Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
combine all salad ingredients into a bowl to your linking. In a small bowl whisk together the mustard and agave. Slowly drizzle the olive oil and then the vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and use as much dressing as you want and maybe save some for later! Enjoy!