Pumpkin Bars (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Oil-free, Gluten-free, Clean Pumpkin Bars

 

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This recipe is the wonderful creation of my instagram pal Alex (@The_oc_fab_life ). Her food always looks so yummy and healthy that I asked if she might submit a recipe for my site. She is a busy woman and has found that she is even more concerned with health now that she has a little one who depends on her. It’s awesome to see a mom who works hard to make the food both healthy AND delicious! When you try this recipe, do not leave out the whipped cream. It’s a must! I’m personally experimenting with using coconut cream to make vegan whip, but you can use whatever you like!

  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and diced (about 1 cup diced)
  • 3⁄4 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups rolled gluten free oats, ground into flour in blender/ food processor
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond milk
Place the 10 pitted and diced dates into a small bowl with the 3⁄4 cup of water and soak for 15 minutes.Put flour and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a blender, blend the soaked dates, the date soak water, vanilla, and almond milk. Pour this into the bowl of flour/spices, and also add the pumpkin, and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.Scrape batter into an 8×8-inch baking pan that is lined with parchment paper (or use a non-stick silicone baking pan). Cook for 25-30 minutes at 375ºF. (If you see a light browning and some cracks on the top, these are good indications that it’s done.) Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Add whipped cream as topping!

Check out the video demonstration. This is my first time making the recipe and it came out well!

Creamy Tropical Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are a trend of which I am a huge fan. In my kitchen, they will be sticking around. They provide an excellent way to achieve the recommended daily intake of fruits and veggies. The awesome thing about adding greens is that you cannot taste them. The flavor of fruit like bananas tend to overpower the smoothie with sweetness.

If you just can’t bring yourself to drink a smoothie that’s green or convince your children, add a small handful of berries to the blender. The smoothie will then take on a darker richer color and further mask the greens. Whatever you do, do not leave out your leafy greens. I love the salad like the next person, but to take in that amount of raw fruits and veggies is exhausting! Just think about with all of that chewing.

This green smoothie is full-bodied in flavor, creamy, and very thick. It’s one of my favorite ways to make a green smoothie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Take a look at the video below for the recipe.

 

Blueberry Flax Greek Yogurt Muffins

100_1439Many have gathered the notion that if a food is low calorie, it is healthy and if there are a lot of calories– it is not. It really is not this simple. We need a balance of vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, and of course the right amount of calories. The best foods tend to be really dense in nutrients, but also low in calories. Kale is a good example of this, but I didn’t use any kale in this recipe. 🙂  You will simply buy a good quality blueberry muffin mix (to me this means one that doesn’t use cheap ingredients like animal shortening) and follow the instructions, but with my additions and replacements. You will need:

  • Quality blueberry muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Coconut milk (replace water in recipe)
  • Flavorless oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • Water
  • 1 egg (other 2 eggs replaced with flax)

In a separate bowl, add 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal with 8 to 9 tablespoons of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes and you will see it take on a gel like texture. Mix all ingredients until flour lumps are nearly gone. Bake according to instructions, but note it may take 5 to 7 minutes longer to bake!  Watch this quick 2 minute video to see how it comes together!

xoxo,

Fifi

Tart Berry Froyo

This is the perfect summer time treat to beat the heat wave, but without expanding your waist line! I used berries, but there possibilities of fruits you can use are plentiful.

Eat like you love to live! ❤

The Divine Hostess: A Guide to Cooking, Hosting, & Healthy Living

Front Cover

After a lot of hard work, I am happy to announce the arrival of my first book! Thank you everyone for your encouragement and sharing in my excitement on this journey. The book embodies my philosophy of eating well and living well. It’s not simply a cookbook-but it is instead a cooking handbook that assists with understanding herbs and spices, cooking techniques, and simple ways to entertain in groups.This book is great to have on hand when cooking and makes a fantastic gift. I hope you enjoy reading it!

With love,

Fifi

How to Get the Book

The book is now available in my eStore at www.divinehostess.bigcartel.com

*Signed copies available. 

The book is also available at www.createspace.com/3888911  (Best for international purchases)

Nook, Kindle and iPad versions will be available in the next 30 days.

More about the book:

The Food Snob Society: A Blogger’s Rant

Terms like “healthy” or “diet” or “natural” mean little more than the start of controversy these days. We heard them when we were young and in school and we learned of the food pyramid, but as time has gone by, these words are tricky. Natural is little more than a battle of semantics because there are naturally derived foods that are probably no better for your body than illegal substances. What does “no msg added” mean? Does that mean there is already msg, but the current company who is preparing my food didn’t add any additional msg? Maybe I need a law degree to decipher what to eat.

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As I am deep in my thoughts while reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I can very much agree with his description of the way many of us eat in America: having a national eating disorder. One expert tells us kale is amazing and everyone clears the shelves of their pantries and fridges and runs to the supermarket to get it. Acai, gogi berries, olive oil, and whatever else was a trend is often forgotten about and the next new thing is what is marketed to us. I know business is business, but I hate to see people capitalizing on the gullibility of the masses. There’s no way one single power food can sustain us, so why does this keep happening? Does anyone actually care about our long term health?

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In social media there are visible trends for health as well, and I believe this is where the snobbery comes in. Can people just post their lunches and leave the snotty comments out? Example:

“Here’s my lunch! Low carb, gluten free, fat free, high fiber, high protein, and I added flaxseed meal to it! I just don’t understand how ANYONE can eat junk food! I eat NOTHING but pure ingredients!”

Do these people seriously not know how they sound?? They sound like someone I would not want to have lunch with, if you ask me! I don’t need a running commentary about what’s happening in your GI tract because you chose to buy your ingredients at Whole Foods! Okay, calming down now…promise. At some point we have a realization that we can eat healthier, work out more, sleep more, etc. That realization isn’t a cartoon light bulb that comes on. Someone has to teach us and we have to be willing to be taught. Therefore, those of us who get it, could be a little kinder to those who haven’t arrived yet. If I had more prankster in me I’d scroll through people’s profile photos and remind them of yesteryear when they were photographed diving into bacon infused pancakes and drinking diet Coke like it was water, but I won’t. 🙂

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I want you to know what my philosophy is: flexibility and moderation. I can occasionally enjoy a doughnut, and I also don’t have to go on a carrot flush, or a green food diet, or any other trend, though I do believe in cleanses. I simply live well and eat well. There are times when I have to modify, so if I’m in a place where I cannot get the nutrients I prefer, I will just choose the best option I can. I believe in giving the body a chance to have the shape it was designed to be, the strength it was designed to have, and the chance to live a very long time.

You will never hear me tell you the key to weight loss is to simply “get off your @$$ and workout!” because it isn’t. Just like when a person has financial struggles– there is always more to the story. Being over weight or having ailments are just symptoms. I am compassionate for others and their situation and I know it’s a life long journey. While we are on the topic of compassion– my vegetarianism is not about animal cruelty (though I really really love animals and do feel that animal cruelty is awful), but instead it is the diet that works for me as of now. I wear leather and I still eat cheese, and I often wonder if the term “vegan leather” is a great marketing term to get people to feel better about their overpriced fake leather.

I don’t judge people that come to dine with me and have bacon on their plates. Moderation is my logic when deciding what to eat and what not to eat. If I eat too much one day, I load up on the cleanest foods I can find to make up for it. I believe my quality of life has improved just by making more intentional choices– by planning.

So, that’s my philosophy.

xoxo,

Fifi

Oven Roasted Broccoli & Glazed Salmon

I’ve been a vegetarian for years, and I love it. But, I also love to entertain and cook for others. I think it’s important that I continue to have some non-vegetarian items in my repertoire. The key to delicious meat and seafood is savoriness and moisture level, in my opinion. Some people cannot stand things like the white meat of poultry, or fleshy fish like salmon, because too many times it has been prepared in a dry and lifeless way. Roasting food is a wonderful way to soak in flavor and make some of the toughest vegetables tender and flavorful. This recipe calls  for few ingredients, has minimal prep time, and very much healthy. My simplistic meal creation is made from Asian-inspired flavors and will be done cooking by the time you’ve set the table and slipped into more comfortable attire!

Ingredients

  • Salmon steak
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Minced garlic (I used garlic and ginger from a jar. They tend to fair well in the oven without burning)
  • Minced ginger
  • 2 cups of fresh broccoli
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Thoroughly wash broccoli and cut into smaller florets and place into a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 TBSP sesame oil, 1 TBSP chopped garlic, and 1 TBSP minced ginger and sea salt to taste.
  3. Evenly spread coated broccoli on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Mix 1 TBSP soy sauce, 1 TBSP sesame oil, 1 tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of ginger, and a pinch of sugar.
  5. Oil cookie sheet and place salmon down. Lightly sprinkle each steak with sea salt. Generously brush one side of salmon steak with glaze. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375F. Keep an eye on this. The times vary by the oven and size of the salmon steak.