Raw Pesto Pasta

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Traditional pesto pasta is incredible. A perfect comfort food with such an intense punch of flavor. But a giant bowl of pasta and cheese leaves me wanting to do nothing but take a long nap. So let’s take the unhealthy stuff out of the equation and substitute them with more vibrant and nourishing ingredients. This raw pesto pasta dish is delicious, light, and leaves you feeling fueled and invigorated.

The basil works as a fantastic anti-inflammatory, the zucchini is hydrating, the garlic boosts your immune system and the nuts are a great source of protein. Plus, this recipe is an absolute breeze to make and is ready to eat in minutes. enjoy it as a side dish or as an entree.

You will need:

3 large zucchini
1 cup of basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 lemons
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of black pepper
two large cloves of garlic
1 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes
1 cup sun dried tomatoes

To make the noodles, run your zucchini through a spiralizer or cut into long pasta like strips with a sharp paring knife. Squeeze juice of one lemon on noodles along with a sprinkle of sea salt. Mix and set aside in the refrigerator.

For the sauce, put basil, oil, almonds, garlic, and juice of one lemon in the food processor along with salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse until smooth.

Remove noodles from refrigerator and mix with sauce. Roughly chop both sun dried and fresh tomatoes and add to mixture. Toss and enjoy!

(Makes about two hearty servings)

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Detox Smoothie

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Holiday festivities and New Year cheers-ing got the best of you? Every bit of indulgence was worth it, but now it’s time to get yourself back on track. 2015 is your year! Time to take your health into your own hands. No idea where to begin? No stress- simply show your body love and respect and everything else will fall into place. Incorporating a smoothie into your daily routine is an effective and realistic goal for 2015. To help you with this, we have a super easy detoxifying green smoothie recipe that will flush out the toxins, cleanse your system and nourish your body.

We like to make our smoothies as simple, nutritious and delicious as possible by using an MJF juice as the base. Our cold-pressed raw juices are tasty, satisfying and packed with the most amazing variety of micro-nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that nature has to offer. This smoothie is made with The Ditch, our detox drink that hydrates, alkalizes and cleanses your body.When you combine The Ditch with the purifying power of fiber-rich leafy greens, you are left with a smoothie that will leave you feeling replenished, rebalanced and ready to tackle all of your resolutions!

Detox Smoothie

  • 1 16oz. The Ditch (celery, green apple, pineapple, coconut water, lemon, burdock root, dandelion root)
  • 2 cups (1 large bunch) organic leafy greens (spinach, parsley, kale or Swiss chard)
  • 1 frozen organic banana or avocado
  • 1 small handful of ice
  • Chia seeds (optional), to garnish

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy right away to get the maximum benefits from the nutrients.

*** If your primary focus with green smoothies is cleansing, then it goes without saying that organic fruits and greens should be used for ingredients. You are being counterproductive if you are using fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides!

Roasted Beet (aka FUCHSIA) Hummus

 

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Don’t buy hummus. There’s no point. You can make your own in just a few minutes. It’s cheaper, healthier, and much more rewarding than buying the packaged stuff at the grocery store. Hummus is a great source of plant protein and fiber. It’s the ultimate snack. I always make my own and I like experimenting with different flavors. The most beautiful of them all is the roasted beet. The beets turn the typically beige dip to this gorgeous fuchsia color. It’s the perfect little dish to bring to a party. Here’s what you need to make it:
 
2 small beets
2 15 oz cans of cooked organic garbanzo beans
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons
sea salt and black pepper to taste
 
Slice and roast your beets at 350 degrees until soft. combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Chill in the fridge for like 30 minutes. That’s it. You’re welcome.
 
(Feel free to add more or less of everything depending on your own personal palate. I like things super bright tasting so you may wanna add a bit less lemon or oil. I also don’t include tahini in this recipe although traditional hummus does call for it. Feel free to use it if you want to, but it’s not a necessity.)
 
Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Staying Seasonal: Roasted Fennel with Heirloom Tomatoes

I have two rules about grocery shopping:
 

1) Don’t go when you’re hungry and
 

2) always make a list.
 

Going to the grocery store or market for me is like going to a carnival for a kid. It’s a real rush of excitement. But that excitement 100% of the time leads to over spending, and since I’m a kid on a budget I try to avoid that by staying as organized as possible.  I make sure I’m not hungry when I go so I don’t end up with stacks of frozen pizzas (just because the picture on the box looks good) and I make a list so I know I’m leaving with everything I need. But when it comes to produce, I play a wild card game every once in a while. I love going to the farmer’s market without any reconceived notion of what I’m going to make for dinner and I base my purchases solely on what’s gorgeously in season.

 

 

It’s late July, so when it comes to seasonal eating we’re really in the thick of something lovely. I went to my farmers’ market today to play the game.  I came home with fennel and some cute little heirloom tomatoes. It made for a really incredible roast.

 

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One fennel bulb sliced
One cup cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt

 

That’s it. Broil for about 30 minutes in the oven. Eat as is, on a bed of greens with lemon juice, or on Ezekiel bread or pita with a bit of pesto or mustard. It’s so good. But you can choose anything.  It’s always a surprise and it works for every season.  Yes, I have my staple groceries that are always in my pantry, but sticking with seasonal produce always makes for the most beautiful meal.  Enjoy bending the rules.  

You deserve it.

 

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Honey Cinnamon Face Mask

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Honey Cinnamon Face Mask

 

The honey cinnamon face mask is a quick, easy, all natural mask to help exfoliat your beautiful skin! This mask softens and tightens skin, as well as reduces redness.

 

  1. In a bowl add 1 tablespoon honey

  2. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  3. Add 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  4. Mix all together

  5. Apply to skin and let it sit for 20 minutes

 

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Sleepyhead Breakfast

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Sleepyhead Breakfast

 

Breakfast is good. It’s 90% of the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, my daily grind rules, I just like sleep more than most living things probably should and the promise of putting something in my belly that makes me feel awesome and is totally delicious is what stops me from hitting the snooze button that 18th time. While breakfast should be delicious, I believe it should also be easy. It’s the first meal of the day… we’re too groggy to show off any serious culinary skills. Family’s in town and coming over for an AM gathering at your place?  Someone spent the night whom you want to impress with your domestic side?  Fine, but in my book that’s brunch. Brunch is special and is done after a weekend’s night sleep which is significantly longer than a weekday one. When I have to wake up early with a full day ahead of me I need something nourishing and satisfying and I need it on the go. But just because it happens quickly doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic. Here are a couple of my favorites:

 

Vanilla Spice Chia Pudding

 

Oh man.  This one’s serious. Honestly, it’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.. without the crunch.  Great for breakfast.  Also great for dessert.

In a blender combine
one cup coconut milk
half a vanilla bean*
a few dashes of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend
(which is mostly made up of cinnamon and nutmeg)
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup

blend for a few seconds and pour the mixture into a bowl with 1/4 cup chia seeds.  mix, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  It will be perfect and ready for consumption by morning.

*I know real vanilla bean is expensive but it’s really worth it. You can use extract if you’re on a seriously tight budget… but slicing that bean open and scraping out the good stuff… oh man, there’s nothing quite like it.

 

Savory Oatmeal

 

Yeah I said it.  Everyone loves oatmeal.  It’s good for you and it fills you up real fast. perfect breakfast food.  Cool.  But I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, so here’s my alternative to the traditional oatmeal bowl.
After you’ve made your oats (stove top, slow cooker, instant, overnight, whatever) mix in some nutritional yeast, put it in a bowl, and make a little nest out of it.  Then, fill that nest with whatever your crazy little heart desires.  Think omelete ingredients:  peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, spinach, garlic, tofu.  Here’s a good one to start out with:

 

1 cup of:
Shiitake mushrooms, baby portabello mushrooms, crimini mushrooms
2 sprigs of thyme
2 chopped shallots
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Sautee and serve inside adorable little oatmeal nest.

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Another thought: I think juice is vital for the morning.  Especially a green one.  It’s not that I never drink coffee… It’s just that, I don’t know… maybe I’m a wuss, but a caffeine buzz sometimes gets me too anxious for my liking.  Juice on the other hand gives you a real energy burst instead of an artificial one, and it fills you with the essentials you need to wake up and stay focused.  I recommend experimenting with kale, bok choy, spinach, apple, pear, ginger, and absolutely any citrus fruit for a perfect morning juice.  I also recommend making it the night before so it’s ready to go when you wake up.  And first and foremost, before you ingest anything in the morning, start with a giant glass of water.  I’ve found that hydration wakes me up more than anything.  I hope these ideas help to better your morning ritual.

 

Sincerely,

 

The girl who would prefer to stay in bed till noon

 

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Delicious Raw Zucchini Noodles

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Raw Noodles

I just bought a spiralizer and holy hell is it awesome.  It’s so fun to use that all I want to do lately is crank out veggie noodles all day every day.  I think it may be turning into an issue.  I just keep making noodles out of zucchini and carrots and cucumber instead of doing important things like calling my mom and socializing and paying my bills. But I mean, c’mon… raw pasta is a really cool way to switch up how you consume your vegetables.  Like Homer Simpson said, “you don’t win friends with salad,” and let me tell you, all my friends who have tried these raw noodles think they’re way cool and super delicious.  So if you wanna eat well and you want all your friends to think you’re totally hip you gotta make these.  And you know what?  If you don’t want to dish out the $25-$45 on a spiralizer that’s okay!  You can always slice your vegetables with a very sharp knife or peeler instead.  I’ve been playing around with zucchini noodles in particular this week so here are two stellar recipes you should try out.

 

Zucchini Puttanesca

For those of you who don’t know, “spaghetti alla puttanesca” actually means, “spaghetti a la whore”… so there’s that… Basically it’s a traditional Italian pasta dish that’s pretty salty and bold and I’m totally in love with it, so here’s my raw spin on it:
 

One large zucchini
Two medium sized tomatoes
A handful of basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
one clove of garlic
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
A handful of kalamata olives
1/2 a handful capers
Black pepper to taste
 

Send your zucchini through the spiralizer or carefully cut it into thin strips and set aside in a large bowl.  Combine medium tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic and pepper in the food processor and pulse until it’s at marinara sauce consistency.  Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in olives and capers.
 

Assembly
I know my measurements are far from exact but this recipe makes enough Puttanesca for about two (whoa super romantic!) so divide noodles into two portions and pour sauce onto both.  slice cherry tomatoes and throw them on top for garnish. That’s it.
 

Creamy Artichoke Walnut Noodles

Calm down, there’s no dairy.  But the walnuts in this one make it lovely and rich like a cream sauce.
You’ll need:
 

One large zucchini
A half cup artichoke hearts in oil
A half cup walnuts
The juice of one lemon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
 

Make your zucchini noodles and set them aside.
 

Throw the rest of the ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour onto and mix with noodles until they are coated, plate, and serve.
 

Zucchini is a great vegetable to use for raw noodles because it easily absorbed whatever you dress it in, but I’ve been toying around with some others and I’m really excited to share more of my raw noodle experiment.  I’ll keep you all posted for sure.
 

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Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

3 Ingredient Easy Peasy Vegan Fudge Pop

 

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It’s rare you meet a person who isn’t a fan of the Fudgsicle – especially during the summertime. Hopefully you’re part of the majority… because these vegan fudge pops taste just like the real deal. No joke. And they’re good for you.

 

imageVegan poppps

 

Ingredients:

5 bananas

1 cup raw cacao powder

2 cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

Coconut flakes (optional)

Almond slivers (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Combine your bananas, cacao powder, and almond or coconut milk in a blender and mix until smooth. If you want to add in coconut flakes, almond slivers, or any other extras, do so after blending, then mix with a spoon. You can also sprinkle some of these into your empty ice pop mold – when the pops are done, the add-ons will show up right on top! Pour your mixture into ice pop molds and freeze a few hours or overnight. This will make about 10-15 pops, depending on the size of your mold.

Enjoy!

 

 

Follow Brigitte Muller on @hummusbirrrrrrd to follow more of her amazing adventures. She’s a thrifter, decorater, photo-taker, food eater, nature lover, hysterical laugher. just trying to find dat beauty wherever she goes.

http://hummusbird.blogspot.com/

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I’ve Got a Spring Fever Smoothie


Mmm spring is here

 

There’s a balmy breeze in the air and this baby has all the goods to get you feeling great

 

 

1 frozen banana

1 cup of frozen mixed berries (I used strawberries but feel free to use anything!)

1 cup of raw coconut water

1/2 cup of raw, shelled hemp seeds

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp ginger, if you’re feeling sassy

 

Throw in blender until smooth. Drink up.

Ready to Dye (Naturally)

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Blueberries, beets, onions, red cabbage, curry, turmeric and chili are all rich in hue and will saturate the shell without doing any harm. And it can all be done in 2 quick and easy steps.

 

1. Bring water to boil, add your chosen ingredient, allow to cool.

 

2. Soak eggs in the water for 3 hours and then enjoy your all-natural, totally egg-cellent rainbow (sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

 

And, voila, your result.

And, voila, your result.

 

Superfood Supastars: The Beauty of Coconut Oil

 

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Coconut oil is a superfood and does wonders for your health. But it is also a serious weapon in your beauty department arsenal. The list of benefits is abundant but here are the ways you can use coconut oil to stay looking GOOOOD. Naturally.

 

It increases energy and helps burn fat. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
Wait, not just any fat but belly fat… A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 1 ounce of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks. No change in diet or exercise: just adding coconut oil.
Reduce cravings. The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. Feel fuller, faster.
Healthy skin, hair, and pearly whites. Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
And, last but not least, it helps reduce scars and stretch marks. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil act like a antioxidant- fighting free radicals and reversing damage. Free radicals attack the skin’s connective tissue and reduce their ability to regenerate. Coconut oil combats this while softening the skin.

 

Coconut also does loads more- this is just the beginning. Grab a scoop and see for yourself!