Vegan Butternut Barley Risotto || Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fat-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan

One grain I don’t see used too often is barley. I think it’s one of my very favorites and it’s really so easy to make. You can use barley in soups, salads, in place of rice or meat in just about any dish, or just by itself it is so nutty and delicious! Barley is high in fiber, and has been proven to help prevent type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and gallstones. It’s among the list of the world’s healthiest foods.

I came up with this recipe the other day playing around with a few of my favorite vegetables and flavors, creating a super creamy, savory, satisfying sauce to coat my cooked barley creating a “risotto”.

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Ingredients:

1 cup hulled barley
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup steamed butternut squash
4-5 steamed baby carrots
1/4 cup drained rinsed chickpeas
3-4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 clove mined garlic
1-2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped steamed broccoli
parsley flakes (optional)

Instructions:

To cook your hulled barley, add 3 cups of stock to 1 cup barley in a large pot with a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling stir well and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and cover for 10 minutes, then “fluff” well.

To make your sauce, add all ingredients to your high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour sauce over your barley and stir well.

Add in your chopped broccoli and mix well. Salt and pepper as desired!

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I also added parsley flakes on top. It would be great with fresh parsley mixed in! My husband enjoyed this so much, I think it will now be part of our Christmas meal.

I hope you all are able to enjoy this week and the holidays with the ones you love! I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

xo Sarah

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Raw Vegan Coconut “Snickers” || Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to hibernate in my kitchen and whip up a storm of vegan treats! One of my favorite things in the world is creating something new and delicious with my little girl, and being able to teach her about the beauty of real foods and the transformation they can take when manipulated the right way. Cooking is an art, and I hope to pass that passion on to my daughter!

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Yesterday we came up with our own healthy vegan version of one of my husband’s all-time favorite candy bars – Snickers. The minute a Snickers hits your mouth you can no doubt identify it! Melting chocolate, gooey creamy caramel, crunchy peanuts.. what’s not to love?! Oh yeah, the fact that they’re packed full of unhealthy fats, added sugars, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservative. But there is a way to still enjoy this classic “junk food” in a way that won’t sacrifice your health or your waist line!

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Ingredients:
ALL ingredients used (aside from the dates and almond milk) are from Vitacost – I love their brand, and they ship straight to your home for a low cost. If you have trouble finding any of these ingredients I highly suggest ordering online from them!
For the chocolate –
1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
2-3 tbsp raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on how much of a “dark chocolate” flavor you like)
2 squirts of vanilla creme stevia

Melt the coconut oil and stir in the rest. Pour into small round containers and pop in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until solid.

Caramel –
10 large pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup raw almond milk
2 squirts of vanilla creme stevia or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Soak your dates in the almond milk/vanilla blend for 20 minutes and then blend in your food processor until completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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(This caramel is awesome for dipping, spreading, or drizzling on desserts!)

Mix a spoonful of your caramel with raw peanuts and add a dollop on top of each chocolate. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and enjoy!

These are 100% husband approved, which is not always an easy task! He has a very picky sweet tooth, and absolutely loves these little mounds of gold.

Today Maizy and I decided to use the leftovers to make “coconut snicker sandwiches” – they were a little bit incredible. Okay, maybe a lot a bit incredible.

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I hope you all try and enjoy!!
xo Sarah

Vegan Cinnamon Berry Fig Bars | Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fat-Free, Dairy-Free

Well friends, it is officially the first day of fall. I am so looking forward to all the things this season brings – chunky knit sweaters, homemade soups, cool evenings at the park, orange colored trees, and baking like it’s my job. This is such a comforting time of year. I wanted to kick it off with a new recipe, so I got my little 3 year old sidekick in the kitchen and we came up with these – cinnamon berry fig bars. The perfect “first day of Autumn” breakfast.

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Ingredients:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup mixed frozen berries
2-3 figs

To a large bowl, add:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder

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Pour into bowl and mash all together. Add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon.

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Mix well. Spoon half the oat mixture onto parchment paper and spread into desired shape.

Next, to your food processor add:

1 cup blended frozen berries (I used pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
2/3 figs (fresh or dried)
Blend on high until all if combined and easily spread.

Spoon your berry mixture in top and spread evenly.IMG_5904.PNG

Add the rest of your oat mixture in top and spread to cover the berry layer. Bake at 375F for 30-35 mins or until firm in top.

Let cool and then cut and serve!

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Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did this morning. Happy fall to each of you – from my little one and me!

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xo Sarah

Introduction – Vegan Zucchini and Squash Noodles with Cauliflower Sriracha Alfredo

Hello everyone! I’ve been wanting to create a new blog for awhile now – a space where I can connect deeper with the vegan community, and those of you who may have an interest in it. I have a genuine love for people and that’s where a lot of my passion to share this cruelty-free lifestyle comes from. I want each one of you to be able to exist in a way that gives you vitality and freedom, and a large part of that has to do with what you put in and on your body.

So for those of you who may not know me, I’m Sarah! My desire for this blog is not to be a place for one-way communication, where I share my recipes/thoughts and you read and go on about your day. I want to find inspiration from you as well! Please respond to me, by posts, by email, on instagram, facebook – anything! I love to connect and explore new ways of thought, new friendships.

I’ve been vegan for 2 1/2 years now, and I’m thankful for every day of it. It changed my body and my spirit in the best ways possible! I also raise my 3 year old daughter vegan, and she is the most full of life, healthy, vibrant little being I know. I am thrilled to share some of my family’s favorite meals, snacks, and tips to eating vegan in this fast-food world!

This recipe is one that is so fun to make! We eat zucchini and squash noodles ALL THE TIME. It’s a staple! If you haven’t already purchased a Vegettie (or similar device) it makes the process of making these “noodles” a complete breeze. You can purchase one here: http://www.amazon.com/Veggetti-Spiral-Vegetable-Slicer-Veggie/dp/B00IIVRB3W#

Vegan Zucchini and Squash Noodles with Cauliflower Sriracha Alfredo

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Ingredients:

2 large zucchini

2 large yellow squash

Cauliflower Sriracha “Alfredo”:

2 cups steamed cauliflower

1 tbsp sriracha (more if you like more heat!)

1 tsp liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp tahini

1-2 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk

1 clove minced garlic

salt/pepper

Instructions:

Noodle your zucchini/squash and lightly steam for 1-2 minutes. You don’t want them cooked – just softened a bit. Then be sure to drain them well, as they will release liquid.

Take all the ingredients for the sauce and pour into your food processor. Process until completely smooth and creamy!

Add to the sauce to your “noodles” and toss well. I sprinkled on some dried parsley flakes and a tiny bit of paprika.

This makes one very large bowl. You can easily double to make enough for a whole family!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you have time, please feel free to introduce yourself and how you came across this blog. I am anxious to get to know more of you!

I hope your day is blessed.

xo Sarah