vegan

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Superfood Dip

Spiced sweet potatoes featured image

There's something about sweet potatoes. Don't you love them? I do! Sweet potatoes are the healthy alternative to regular potatoes because they actually pack a punch of essential vitamins and minerals. They are anti-inflammatory and help balance blood sugar. The words 'yams' and 'sweet potatoes' are often interchangeable. They are actually two different vegetables, but are both great options.

Staying clear of all whites is always best (white breads, flours, sugars, etc.), but there is an exception... Japanese sweet potatoes. They are white-light yellow inside and have a purple skin. These are actually the most nutrient dense of all sweet potatoes. So enjoy your sweet potatoes/yams, especially the Japanese ones!

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (I used yam & Japanese sweet potato)

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of cayenne

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place sweet potato wedges in an oven safe dish.
  3. Combine coconut oil and spices in a small bowl and drizzle over potatoes. Mix to coat well.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Turn broiler on towards the end if you want them crispy.
  5. Serve with avocado superfood dip (recipe below).
Spiced sweet potatoes

Avocado Superfood Dip

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

2 Tablespoons raw tahini

1 teaspoon spirulina (I use HealthForce brand)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup water, or to desired consistency

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.

What's your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Share your creations and recipes below or on social media with #apurifiedlife

Captures of Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop

What a wonderful weekend. We were so happy to share smoothies and knowledge with everyone at the Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop on Saturday. There was some great Q & A and hopefully everyone is trying out their new recipes this week! We're grateful for Dave Ford's yoga practice, our amazing helper, Maddy Smith, the beautiful well-lit space (aMuse Art Gallery & Meeting Place) in the Mission, and everyone who brought their good energy. It was pretty cool to do yoga in an art gallery. Let us know if you'd like to see a similar event, we'd be happy to host if there's interest - contact Regina at reginafelice@apurifiedlife.com

xx

Citrus Cream Tarts

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Taking advantage of the wonderful citrus season to make all creations possible. These little tarts are simple and sweet. I know you'll enjoy them.

Ingredients

Crust

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

15 soft medjool dates

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Citrus Cream

1 cup coconut cream

1 Tablespoon coconut nectar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Zest of ½ lemon

Zest of ½ orange

Juice of ½-1 lemon

Procedure

1. To make crust: Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture holds together when pressed with fingers. Line a small pie pan or 3-individual size pie pans with parchment paper and press mixture into bottom and sides of pan. Place in the refrigerator while you make filling.

2. To make filling: Place all citrus cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Pour cream over crust and place in freezer for about 30-45 minutes, until filling has set.

3. Once tart cream has set, garnish with desired toppings and slice to serve.

Beautiful pictures by Micaela Hoo.

Cozy Winter Vegetable Sauté

AsianWinterVegetableSautee FeaturedImage

I just can't get enough butternut squash and sweet potatoes this winter season. Who's with me? I like preparing meals that pack a punch of flavor and don't take hours to make. It's surprisingly easy to do so when using seasonal vegetables, herbs, and spices.

This can be made as an entree, side dish, or snack. You can enjoy with a side of hummus and crackers as a filling meal like I did (pictured below), or with anything else you please.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2-inch piece ginger, minced

3 green onions, sliced

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 bunch baby bok choy, ends removed

1 Tablespoon coconut aminos - Coconut Secret

Pinch of sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Pinch of dried chili flakes, to taste

Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

AsianWinterVegetableSautee

Procedure

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add garlic, ginger, and green onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add diced butternut squash, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
  3. Add mushrooms, baby bok choy, coconut aminos, and spices.  Cover to cook until greens have wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve and garnish with chopped herbs and lemon wedges.

Serves 4-6

 

Enjoy and share if you try this dish. What's your favorite quick and flavorful meal?

x,

Giovanna

Captures from January Brunch Club

The pictures from January Brunch Club are here! Our friend and talented photographer, Ana Kamin, did a beautiful job capturing the event. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who brought their wonderful energy to the brunch table. We hope you’ve been experimenting with your new quick and healthy breakfast recipes. (More photos on Facebook). The menu is set for the next Brunch Club and it’s another mouth-watering line up. Save the date 2/22 – more details to follow. Xo

APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_20 APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_1 APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_4 APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_7 APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_11 APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_12APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_3APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_24APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_34APL_BrunchClub_Jan17_31

 

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

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As we all know, the holidays can be a stressful time with traveling, cooking, gifts, and trying to remain calm through it all. I used to stress about buying gifts for my family and friends, until I realized that gifts don't need to be something expensive or even material. In my opinion, the best gifts are usually good company and sweet memories. That said, of course I still get the urge to gift my loved ones something, but it's different now. Now I gift things that I make myself because I know they will enjoy especially because they're made with love.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gifts that I've made in the past that will still make your loved ones smile, but won't leave your wallet hurting. Plus, you'll be giving them something nourishing that will support their health.

  • Dark Chocolate Bark - Find my recipe for 5-minute homemade chocolate here. To make into bark, pour mixture onto a flat dish lined with parchment paper and then add any toppings of choice to make it festive. Refrigerate until firm and then break into pieces. Recommended toppings: chopped nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cacao nibs, goji berries.
  • Lavender-scented Coconut Oil Moisturizer (or flavor of choice)
Lavender coconut oil
Lavender coconut oil

Ingredients:

1 cup melted coconut oil

Handful dried or fresh lavender flowers

A few drops of lemon essential oil (optional)

Procedure: Mix lavender flowers into coconut oil and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Drain lavender and mix in a few drops of lemon essential oil if desired. Place in a glass jar with lid and let sit on counter until solid. Use as you would any lotion. If too solid when ready to use, grab a spoonful and let it melt in your hand for a few seconds before applying it.

  • Coconut & Cinnamon Granola - recipe here - Never fails to impress.
  • Creamy Sunflower Seed Butter - recipe here.
  • Prepare a DIY gift for someone with all the ingredients they need - I did this last year and it was a hit. Simply choose a fun recipe and get all the ingredients together in a container along with the recipe for your loved ones to make themselves. Fun examples are chai (picture below), granola, baked goods, or homemade beauty products.
chai gifts
chai gifts
  • Coupon book! -  This one seems silly, but it can be the most fun. Make a coupon book for someone you love with coupons for special gifts they like such as a massage, a picnic, their favorite food/dessert, and day trip somewhere, a movie, or anything else your heart desires to give.

I hope you enjoy making your own loving gifts. Get creative, there are no limits.

Happy Holidays!

Giovanna

Miso-Glazed Eggplant with Cauliflower 'Rice'

Miso eggplant featured image

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, but one that I don't cook often for some reason. This recipe here took my taste buds to a whole other level of goodness. It's a great main or side dish for any dinner occasion. Treat yourself to this miso-glazed eggplant, you won't regret it.

Not only is it delicious, but eggplant has some pretty great health benefits:

  • High in fiber and potassium
  • Promotes hear health
  • Supports brain health

 

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons white or yellow miso (organic and non-GMO)

2 green onions, sliced

1 Tablespoon unrefined sesame oil

1 Tablespoon grade B maple syrup

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

1 large eggplant, sliced to 1/2 inch thickness

 

Cauliflower 'Rice'

1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

 

Miso eggplant

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except eggplant, to make a sauce.
  3. Place eggplant on a baking dish and drizzle sauce over it. Use a spatula or spoon to coat eggplant well. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cooked and tender.
  4. Cauliflower rice: place chopped cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until chopped into a rice consistency. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt to taste. You may also cook it on the stove for a bit with coconut oil to warm it up and make it tender.
  5. When eggplant is done, serve over cauliflower rice and garnish with fresh herbs and seeds. Enjoy!

 

What's your favorite way to eat eggplant?

 

 

Herbal Vanilla Latte

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Perfect for a chilly night, this herbal vanilla latte is calming and comforting. Besides the anti-inflammatory and digestive support properties of the herbal tea, I sneaked some extra superfoods in there to make it an even more nourishing treat. Recipe was created for Oh My Drifter.

Photography by Micaela Hoo.

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons raw hemp seeds

1 cup spring water

3 cups hot herbal tea (chamomile, mint, nettle, rose)

3 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

2 teaspoons maca powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 drops vanilla stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

1. Place hemp seeds and water in blender and blend until smooth to make hemp seed milk.
2. Add remaining ingredients to milk and blend until smooth and frothy.
3. Serve and garnish with extra cinnamon.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Tahini Cream

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This is not your typical baked dish. It's a healthy spin on a gratin that is comforting, nourishing, warming, and so satisfying. There's truly so much flavor in it, and so easy to make that it will blow your mind. I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter

Ingredients

Filling

– 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced by hand or using a mandolin
– 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced by hand or using a mandolin
– 2 cups spinach
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Tahini Cream

– ½ cup tahini
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic
– 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
– Juice of 1-2 lemons
– Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Topping

– 4 slices gluten-free bread, chopped
– 2 Tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
– Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Prepare filling: chop vegetables as directed and set aside in a large bowl.

3. Prepare tahini cream: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. If cream is too thick, add a bit of water.

4. Prepare topping: Place bread pieces in food processor and pulse until they reach consistency of crumbs. Add melted ghee or coconut oil and sea salt to taste and pulse once more.

5. Assemble: Add tahini cream and half of topping to vegetables. Toss to coat well and spread out evenly in a baking dish. Top with remaining topping.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through and the top has browned.

Photographs by the lovely Micaela.