Powder Days call for Sustenance…Cashew Cheez

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Where I grew up on the East coast, snow meant that my mom would buy a gallon of milk, a carton of eggs, she’d fill the bath tub with water (in case the power went out, which it did), and we’d bundle up and wait out the storm. School was cancelled, the roads were closed, the town quiet.  Where I grew up in New York state, there were no “powder days,” only “snow days”, and my how things have changed…

Here in Truckee, California, a powder day seems to output more energy than every skyscraper in Manhattan. The bars are filled, the happy hours extended, the restaurants bustle, and this sometimes sleepy mountain time comes alive. Powder days mean setting your alarm to 6am so that you can shovel out your car, make a totally hearty awesome breakfast, and head up the hill to grab first chair. Powder days means reconnecting with friends, turning up the music, and getting ready to go out and play. 

Powder days require more fuel than we think, from waking up earlier to staying out later, shoveling your driveway, clearing your car, walking around in boots you haven’t worn in 8 months, being cold, oh, and shredding the pow – these things all require energy. For all my talk about eating lots of vegetables, salads may not be adequate fuel for a powder day.

…so tonight I’m breaking out Xena (the warrior food processor) to make some cashew cheez. 

Cashew Cheez Curry

  • 1.5 cups roasted salted cashews (processed into a cashew butter, this takes roughly 8 minutes)
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 3 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs red curry paste
  • 1 tbs yellow curry
  • 1.5 cups lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups chopped veggies sauteed in toasted sesame oil (broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms)
  • 1 cup diced tofu, or 1 pound chicken breast
  • 2.5 cups of brown rice (cooked) 

Directions: Serves 5 with leftovers, first process the cashews until they become a nut butter like consistency, then add basil, nutritional yeast, curry and tomato paste into the food processor and blend it all well. Put the nut butter mixture into a sauce pan and heat it slowly, adding the coconut milk gradually to form a sauce. If the sauce is too thick you can add tamari or fish sauce for extra salt and moisture. In a separate pot, cook rice (I’ll leave you on your own for that one), and in a separate pan, sauté vegetables in toasted sesame oil or coconut oil. Once everything is hot, bring it all together as per usual in an epic one pot meal. You can also put this sauce on noodles and pretend it’s mac n cheese, if you’re in to that kind of thing. I suggest saving yourself a tupperware’s worth (small thin tupperware, can fit inside ski jacket) so that you can have prepowder day dinner, AND a powder day lunch. Fuel is key. 

 

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Coconut Curry Egg Salad – hold the mayo

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I never liked egg salad. I think its because I never liked mayonnaise. I eat very deliberately, however if I did not make the conscious decision to eat deliberately, I would most definitely eat anything put in front of my face. I like the taste and texture of most things, with only three exceptions: celery, black licorice, and mayonnaise.

Recently I’ve found myself using coconut milk as a replacement for all sorts of things, and everything I put it in seems to be better because of it. 

So here is a recipe, for a gluten free paleo-friendly egg salad.

  • 1/2 dozen hard boiled eggs
  • 1 small or medium red apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup tamari almonds or roasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tspns yellow curry powder
  • 1 tspn red curry paste
  • 1 tspn tamari sauce
  • 2 tspns toasted sesame oil (only if it seems to be coming out dry)

Directions: Remove yolks from hard boiled eggs, and roughly chop egg whites. Add diced apple and almond to the egg whites. In a separate bowl, mash the egg yolks with the curry, tamari, coconut milk and toasted sesame oil (you can also use coconut oil, melted) – once everything is well mixed, toss the egg white apple and almond mixture into it. If it is too dry, you can play with adding more coconut milk, oil, or soy sauce. 

Wishes Won’t Wash Dishes

Some of you may know that I work for the best river trip company on the planet, ECHO. If you like floating down wild and scenic rivers while eating gourmet food and splashing through awesome rapids, then you’ll probably love ECHO.  This week I did a guest blog for them about the secret side of eating like an athlete, and that of course, is doing dishes like an athlete. Check out the post at ECHO‘s site.

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Happy Thanksgiving – Vegan Miso Ginger Coconut Mashed Potatoes

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It’s not too late to ditch the dairy in your mashed potatoes…

..ok, it might be a little late, you couldn’t pay me to go into a grocery store right now (just kidding – that’s my job!) – and if you’re having a traditional Thanksgiving then this recipe certainly won’t cut it, it’s like the mashed potato recipe that stepped on traditional mashed potatoes and then spit on it, not cool. But this recipe is Vegan, gluten free, probably make you feel ready to take on a sumo wrestler post turkey dinner. Worth a shot.

…but if you like Asian food, or you’re feeling saucy, maybe you’ll try this, or save it for a day that is not Thanksgiving.

I do 1 large potato per 2 attendees, so this recipe feeds 16 with leftovers and can easily be halved.

Vegan Miso Ginger Coconut Mashed Potatoes

  • 8 large potatoes
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (I just went for it, for all I know there was like, a half cup in there)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic (go big or go home)
  • 1/2 of a cup miso paste (I suggest either red or yellow)

Directions: Boil potatoes until a fork slices through them easily, (I cut them into quarters first) and then mash them with your masher or mixer or strong bare hands. In a sauce pot, on low, heat the 1/2 cup miso, gradually adding in coconut milk, stirring constantly, so that the milk almost dissolves into the miso or vice versa and there are no miso chunks. Add garlic and ginger into the sauce mixture, heat and incorporate. In a separate pan, melt 1 cup of coconut oil and then pour it onto your mashed potatoes and mix well. Once our coconut miso ginger garlic combo is warm, pour that over your mashed potatoes as well, and mix it up. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes to make sure they are nice and warm.

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Left Unders? Gluten Free, Dairy Free Sweet Potato Apple Cornbread Stuffing

Last night was gluten-free friendsgiving, that’s right- no family or gluten allowed. Sounds kind of rough at first, but turned out totally awesome. I made this Sweet Potato/Apple Cornbread stuffing with coconut oil and it turned out reeeally good.

It smelled so good that I decided to have some for lunch yesterday BEFORE I hosted the dinner, because I could tell we had enough and I really really wanted it. Really. It got me thinking, if you eat your leftovers before you even have the event what do you call it? A left-under…or maybe a leftover-eager…the leftover that didn’t stand a chance…

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Don’t let me get started on philosophy. How bout I just give you the recipe in case you’re in the mood for a different kind of stuffing this year. This recipe will serve 15 PLUS leftovers AND left unders…ha, you can easily halve it.

  • 9 cups of gluten free cornbread (I was in a rush, or a perceived rush, so I used 2 packages of Pamela’s Products GF Cornbread, adding coconut oil and honey to the mix, instead of butter and sugar) – After I baked the cornbread I chopped it into small crouton sized squares and toasted them in the oven at 350 until golden brown – it’s 9 cups of the croutons that you want, maybe 8, I started eating some of it, not sure what happened)
  • 2 large apples diced
  • 2 large baked sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 ridiculously large (2 medium) onions diced
  • 10 white button mushrooms chopped
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions: Bake your cornbread (I’m going to leave you on your own for this one) and then chop it into crouton sized squares that you toast until they are pretty dry. Then chop apples and baked sweet potatoes and put that a large bowl with the cornbread croutons. In a large skillet, start sauté onions and mushrooms in coconut oil, then add 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to the pan to allow your ingredients to heat and combine. In a separate small pan, heat 1 cup of coconut oil until melted and then add the sage and rosemary into the coconut oil so that it can soak into the oil (make sure you’ve turned off the flame before you add the herbs). After a minute, add the heated and herbed oil into the mushroom and onion mixture so all of the flavors can combine. Pour the stock, onions, mushrooms, herbs and oils over the crouton apple sweet potato bowl, and toss until everything is well incorporated. Make sure there is a fair amount of moisture in the stuffing, if you feel it needs more, add more stock or drizzle more coconut oil. This stuffing will be gluten free (presuming you used GF cornbread) and vegetarian (presuming you used veggie stock) until you aggressively shove it into your Turkey. What you don’t aggressively shove into your turkey, you should bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios (V, GF)

I may or may not have cooked over 15 cups of quinoa since Monday. I only personally consumed about a half a cup, meaning that I probably over quinoa’d a few people this week. I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.

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This recipe is simple, elegant, colorful, and keeps a fine balance between sweet and savory.

The first step is cooking quinoa, and then tossing it lightly in coconut oil, agave, curry and cinnamon.

The second step is adding pomegranate seeds and pistachios, in a ratio that makes the salad both flavorful and aesthetically pleasing.

…oh, and that just happened. (There were only two steps!)

Pistachios contain B6 which aids in the process of building hemoglobin and boosts nerve function. Pomegranate seeds are packed with vitamin’s C, K and magnesium.

simple, vegan, gluten free.

Powder days call for…vegan Pumpkin smoothies?!

Today the snow fell, and it was awesome. Even though I am totally ready to start playing in the snow, I am not ready to give up smoothies. So today was about compromise, I won’t hate on your hottie totties and cocoa, but don’t mess with my holiday vegan Pumpkin smoothie.

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“Girl, don’t you see it’s cold outside? Why you makin’ a smoothie” – Owl (clearly).

Pumpkin season doesn’t end on Halloween…especially if you found organic pumpkin on sale at the food coop for $1.59 and bought 8 cans of it. You name in it, and I’ve tried to put pumpkin into it, some attempts more successful than others…

But this smoothie? It’s worth goosebumps on a powder day.

Vegan Pumpkin Almond Banana Chia Smoothie

  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  2. 1/2 cup coconut vanilla yogurt
  3. 1 cup coconut water or vanilla soy or almond milk
  4. 2 tablespoons almond butter
  5. 1 banana
  6. 2 tablespoons chia seed
  7. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  8. 1 tspn cinnamon
  9. 1tspn nutmeg
  10. 1/4 tspn ginger
  11. 1/4 tspn cloves

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Pumpkin and chia seed fill this smoothie with fiber and keep you full for hours, chia and almond butter pack it with protein for your cold snowy adventure. Vegan, gluten free, bonus points for general festivity.

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Coconut Cashew Butter Cookies (GF)

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Anyone whose known me for a long time, or gone on a multiday river trip with me may know that my diet consists of three major food groups; vegetables, nut butters, and things that can go in, under, or around nut butters. Nuts are a great casein-free way to obtain protein and healthy fats, not to mention they make me ridiculously happy. Last night, mid nut butter flavoring experimentation session, I decided to make these.

Cashew Butter Cookies

Bowl 1

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 2 eggs (be sure to add the eggs once the mixture has cooled from the melted coconut oil)

Bowl 2

  • 2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tspn xanthum gum
  • 2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn baking powder

Mix Bowls 1 and 2 well, then add Bowl 2 to add 1. Once the dough is well incorporated, add the perfect amount of cashews, and the perfect amount of chocolate or carob chips (this amount is clearly subjective and I trust your ability to make the right choice for yourself. I went aggressive on both)

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Smoothie in a jar, and a note on my dream business…

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Smoothie in a jar, and a note on my dream business...

While I love what I do for a living, my true dream job is an imaginary business called “Mocktail.” I would really love to open Mocktail, however everyone consistently tells me that it is an absolutely horrible and useless idea, and I can’t disagree. Mocktail (in my dreams) is a bar, that stays open late, plays great music, has awesome bar stools, but does not serve alcohol. A place to hang out at night without the pressure to drink or negatively affect your health.

“Um…you want to open a bar…without alcohol? I don’t think that would work here. That’s just a bad idea.” (says every person I’ve ever told about this).

Fine. Fair game. Whatever.

…But if Mocktail opened, I would totally sell this smoothie.

Vanilla coconut yogurt, organic berries, coconut water, banana, almond butter and last but not least, chia seeds. Chia seeds are filled with fiber and protein and I swear every time I eat them I want to run a few miles, climb something hard, and then go tell someone how awesome chia seeds are.

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I never thought of smoothies as a make now eat later kind of food, but they really are. Keep them in a mason jar in the refrigerator and enjoy it whenever you want! This one is vegan and gluten free.

I mean, come on, I’ve had worse ideas.