Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce

It was several years ago when I found spiralizing forkfuls of what was an unlikely pasta alternative, shortly after discovering that the gluten version would be my arch nemesis. Zucchini as noodles?

What the...?! 

I not only like but love zucchini but as a noddle?

Even for me, this was really tough to wrap my head around. Now looking back at this very first moment of spiralizing zucchini, taking that first bite, and as my eyes widened, I couldn't believe how brilliant the idea of zoodles was. So began my love affair with this soul-satisfying dish.

Inspired by the foodie fixations of Anthony Bourdain, travel has always been a constant in my life, and even more so as an adult. With all of my travel, food is the main theme and source around where I go, and the experiences I have. This recipe was inspired by a dish I once had in Italy. Clearly, that dish was nowhere as healthy as this, and I'm sure it didn't involve nutritional yeast, avocado, and raw zucchini. But, for the sake of searching for a gluten-free, keto-friendly alternative, this dish is reminiscent of my travels. Truth be told, I think you’ll find this dish to be as satisfying as it is transportive. Like a passport on a plate.

Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce Keto friend recipe Plant-based

Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce

Gluten-Free, Keto-Friendly, Plant-Based

Recipe Makes 2 Servings

What You'll Need

Zoodles:

  • 1 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 tbsp pine nutes
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Hass avocado
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt 
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard seed, ground
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

What You'll Need

    1. In a high-speed blender or food processor add all sauce ingredients, except the parsley, and blend on the lowest setting until smooth.
    2. While the sauce is being blended, zoodle one zucchini and slice cherry tomatoes.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, add zoodles, tomatoes, parsley and sauce and mix together.
    4. Plate and top with pine nuts.

     

    Garbanzo Bean Burger

    There a few meals I have that I title as "life-changing" and this one was one of them. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t?

    A life-changing burger.

    And, not just any kind of burger but a plant-based burger. Trust me, never in my life would I think of describing a burger as life-changing, but it’s happening. I am calling a burger “life-changing.” And it’s happening with a recipe.

    It’s gluten and grain free, fully plant-based, nutty, flavorful, and delicious, and solves those Summer dietary conundrums that often have you feeling deprived of anything that remotely resembles crave-able guilty pleasures of Summer fare. Now, you can have that burger, and om-nom-nom your way to happiness. Problem solved, and life changed. See, I told ya so.

    garbanzo bean burger_4.JPG
    garbanzo bean burger_14.JPG
    garbanzo bean burger_19.jpg

    What You'll Need

    1/2 cup onion, minced
    1 shallot, minced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1.5 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    2 tbsp avocado oil + more for cooking shallot/burgers
    1.5 tsp cumin
    1 tsp ancho chili powder
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    3 tbsp hemp seeds
    3 tbsp sunflower seeds
    1 lime, juiced
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 avocado
    Little gem lettuce leaves
    green chilis (optional)
    Plant-based mayo (optional, i used Just Mayo brand)

    What You'll Need To Know

    Preheat oven to 359F.

    In a medium to large skillet, heat oil and add in onion, shallots, and garlic, sauteeing until soft and translucent. Once ready, transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in garbanzo beans. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash and mix together. 

    Add in cumin, ancho chili powder,  cayenne, salt, pepper, lime juice, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds. Mix together until you have a moldable dough consistency. 

    Mold out into 4 even patties. 

    Heat skillet to medium heat and add oil. Add two patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and add to oven for 15 minutes for extra crispiness. Serve on your favorite bun or lettuce wrap and top with mayo, green chilies, and avocado!


    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos

    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos Plant-based vegan

    I know what you're thinking...

    WTF is Jackfruit?

    If you’ve never heard of jackfruit before, don't worry, you're not totally out of the loop with this exotic fruit. This starchy member of the fig family is a staple in Southeast Asian and Brazillian cuisine and has become more popular especially with plant-based cooking. You can easily find Jackfruit in canned form, in pouches in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and om Thrive Market, or the actual fresh fruit at Asian supermarkets. 

    Jackfruit is packed with potassium, fiber, and anti-inflammatory benefits; it’s not only a nutritional powerhouse but when cooked and shredded, it's a pulled pork texture and flavor doppelgänger. How great is that? 

    The first time I had Jackfruit was over a decade ago when my mom found this larger than life fruit in China town in San Francisco. The fruit was so fragrant and sweet, very reminiscent to juicy fruit gum. Years later, I've enjoyed it raw and in its cooked form at Prasad, a vegan, entirely gluten-free cafe here in Portland. 

    This Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos recipe is inspired by the "pulled-pork" wrap I've enjoyed at Prasad.

    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
    This Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos recipe is inspired by the "pulled-pork" wrap I've enjoyed at Prasad.
    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
    Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos

    What You'll Need

    Brine: 3-4 cups water, 1/8 cup sea salt

    20 oz Jackfruit
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    1/2 purple onion, minced
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    3/4 cups water

    Toppings:
    1 avocado
    1 cup microgreens
    1 watermelon radish, sliced
    6 almond flour tortillas (I used this brand)
    lime, optional

    What You'll Need To Know

    In a small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

    Brine Jackfruit for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. If using canned Jackfruit, make sure to used brined not in syrup. Drain as well and pat dry.

    Heat coconut oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

    Add the shredded jackfruit, 3/4 cups water, apple cider vinegar, and spice mix and mix together. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

    Stir, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes or more, until the sauce is absorbed. 

    Prep the toppings and heat tortillas on a skillet. Add jackfruit. microgreens, watermelon radish, and avocado.  

    Recipe makes 6 tacos.

     

    Side Notes: If you are using fresh Jackfruit, check out this YouTube video on how to pick the right Jackfruit, how to cut, etc.

    Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad with Microgreens

    cucumber tomato mont salad with microgreens

    This Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad with Microgreens is literally Summer in a bowl. And, it is SO GOOD!

    It’s a cucumber-tomato mint salad tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt topped with rainbow microgreens, watermelon radish, and avocado sprinkled with black sesame seeds. It's light, so simple and easy to make, and it's perfect for Summer!  You can eat this as a main or serve it as a side to grilled shrimps or salmon.

    I've been loving the addition of microgreens to my meals lately. They are so good for! Did you know that researchers found microgreens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts? And, I'm sure you are wondering what they are exactly? Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. You can buy them at the grocery story or grow them at home through a kit like Hamama!

     

    What You'll Need

    2 tomatoes, chopped
    2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
    8 mint leaves, chopped
    1/2 tbsp olive oil
    sea salt, to taste
    juice from 1 lemon
    1 watermelon radish
    rainbow microgreens
    1 avocado
    Black sesame seeds

    What You'll Need To Know

    In a bowl toss together tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, watermelon radish with olive oil, seas salt and lemon juice.

    Divide into 2 or 4 portions and top with microgreens and 1/4 avocado sprinkled with black seasame seeds.

    Recipe makes 2-4 servings.

    Have you tried microgreens? How do you enjoy them? Share it here!

    7 Complete Protein Plant-Based Sources For Babes Who Want To Eat Less Meat & Dairy

    Regardless of what we all grew up believing, meat, dairy and eggs aren’t the only sources of complete protein. There are 20 amino acids in the human body: nine of which are essential, meaning your body can’t produce them on its own and eleven that are non-essential amino acids meaning your body can produce them without the help from food. The nine essential amino acids are what we know as a complete protein, which means they're more beneficial than incomplete proteins. Animal sources aren't necessarily the best options, so try adding some of these alternative sources of complete protein to your next meal and see what you think!

    7 Complete Protein Plant-Based Sources For Babes Who Want To Eat Less Meat & Dairy 🌱🌿

    SPIRULINA

    Spirulina is a type of algae and the best of all sources of complete protein. It is 60-70% protein compared to beef, which is only 22% protein. Per teaspoon, spirulina has 4 grams of protein, and a teaspoon of beef has just 1 gram. Not to mention spirulina contains more iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 than any other food. Use a tablespoon in a smoothie with some vanilla, a frozen banana, blueberries, and spinach with almond milk for a tasty treat that keeps you energized and strong all day long!

    HEMP SEED

    Hemp seed is especially rich in magnesium, B vitamins, omega 3 and omega six fats, iron, and potassium. Hemp seed contains 13 grams of protein per three tablespoons and a whopping 14 grams of fiber to go along with it! Sprinkle some on your next smoothie, oatmeal, or salad. You can also enjoy these nutty seeds as an alternative to protein powder if you wish.

    CHIA

    Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based protein sources of iron, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, and omega three fats. For only two tablespoons of chia, you’ll get 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber to keep you full for hours on end. Though the seeds are tasteless, you can enjoy them in so many delicious foods like smoothies, oatmeal, puddings, salad dressings, energy snacks, and homemade protein bars.

    Goji Berries

    These red berries are not only a source of complete protein with 18 amino acids but have 500 times more vitamin C per ounce of oranges. They have a strong, slightly bitter, but with some of that sweet berry aftertaste. Add them to smoothies, granola/ trail mix, and salads!

    7 Complete Protein Plant-Based Sources For Babes Who Want To Eat Less Meat & Dairy 🌱🌿

    BUCKWHEAT

    Regardless of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, nor does it contain gluten. It also isn’t even an actual grain, though it gets categorized in the grain family due to its nutrient profile. Buckwheat is the seed of a fruit plant and a rich source of complete protein, B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. Many people enjoy it as a gluten-free alternative hot cereal though you can also eat it sprouted or made into granola. It has a rich nutty flavor with a robust heartiness that keeps you full for hours.

    Bee Pollen

    These granules created by bees from flowering plants is another nutrient dense food that has 5 to 7 times more protein than beef. Other than all the immune supporting properties bee pollen is an excellent antidote for fighting off allergies, particularly sinusitis and hay fever. You can use them as toppings for smoothie bowls or blend them in, top them on salads or cereal!

    QUINOA

    This magical grain-like seed is a rich source of protein and one of the healthiest complex carbs you can eat. Quinoa is also a rich source of iron, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber. Cooked with some savory seasonings and veggie broth or even eaten for breakfast with cinnamon, bananas, and almond milk, quinoa is the perfect meal addition, any way you use it.

    All of the foods mentioned are a complete source of protein, and some have higher amounts of protein than any animal protein (i.e. Steak= 25% of protein).

    Blue Majik Chia Pudding

    blue-majik-chia-pudding.jpg

    Believe in the magic✨ If you saw my IG stories, you caught a glimpse of this beauty! this pretty blue hue comes from the blue-green algae. It’s a superfood that’s nutrient dense. It’s got a high concentration of nutrients… over 65 vitamins, minerals and enzymes and the complete spectrum of eight essential amino acids and 10 nonessential amino acids that are all easily absorbed by the body. Plus, who can pass up this pretty color?! 😋🌴

    What You'll Need

    Chia Pudding:
    1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
    1 scoop Vital Proteins marine collagen
    1 tsp blue-green algae
    1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp grade a maple syrup
    1/4 cup chia seeds
    1 tbsp coconut shavings

    Toppings:
    coconut shavings
    1/8 cup pineapple
    cacao nibs

    What You'll Need To Know

    1. In a high-speed blender add in 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk, 1 scoop vital proteins marine collagen, 1 tsp blue-green algae, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp maple syrup.

    2. Blend for about 30 second and pour in a bowl over 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1 tbsp coconut shavings. mix and stir and let it sit for 10 min and stir again to break up any clumping.

    3. Top of with more coconut shavings, pineapple, and cacao nibs.

    Coconut Lime Orange Cauli-Rice Bowl

    orange_cauli_rice_bowl.jpg

    Subbing cauliflower rice for the classic brown or white rice does not make healthified meals any less filling. Cauliflower tastes delicious when roasted whole, grilled like a steak, or mashed like potatoes, but the cruciferous and protein-packed vegetable at 11g a head which is an even better reason to eat it. It tastes great as a faux-rice and a grain alternative.  This is one recipe I'm loving. The slight natural sweetness of the coconut mixed with lime pairs extremely well with this Fall/Winter veggie.  

    What You'll Need

    Baked Root Veggies:
    1sweet potato (roughly 300g)
    2 beets
    1/2 tbsp coconut oil
    hickory smoked sea salt
    dried oregano

    Cauli-Rice:
    1 head of orange cauliflower
    1/2 tbsp coconut oil
    2 tbsp coconut flakes
    1 tbsp coconut aminos
    juice from 1 lime
    a pinch sea salt
    2 cups baby spinach
    1/2 cup radicchio, chopped

    Garnish:
    california golden raisins
    pistachios
    unsweetened coconut chips
    2 avocados, cut in 4 and sliced
    black sesame seeds
    fresh cilantro

    What You'll Need To Know

    1. Preheat oven to 400F.

    2. Wash, peel, slice in medallions a sweet potato and beets. Coat with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and season with hickory smoked sea salt and oregano. Cook for about 18-20 minutes.
    Rice 1 head of orange cauliflower. Add to a food processor and pulse 5-6 times or until it’s a rice consistency. Heat 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add in cauli-rice, 2 tbsp coconut flakes, 1 tbsp coconut aminos, juice from 1 lime, and season with sea salt. Cook for about

    3. 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups baby spinach and 1/2 cup chopped radicchio and mix in with rice.

    4. Plate and add roasted veggies and add to each plate: 1 tbsp california golden raisins, 1 tbsp pistachios, 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut chips, 1/2 sliced avocado with black sesame seeds and cilantro.
     

    Recipe makes 4 servings. 

     

    Purple Cauli-Rice Balanced Bowl

    purple_cauli_rice_2.jpg

    Live vibrantly, friends! Discovering that vibrant beauty of purple cauliflower feels like finding a unicorn. Sure, I've seen and have tried purple cauliflower before, but never really thought about buying it often and making into cauli-rice. You've heard it time and time before to eat colorful foods and lots of them. If you've never tried purple cauliflower, the taste is mild and slightly sweet with nutty nuances. Pretty much any fruit, vegetable, or flower with a significant amount of purple or blue gets that color from anthocyanins. Even some reds can be anthocyanin-based. The deeper the color, the more anthocyanins.

    Pretty much any fruit, vegetable, or flower with a significant amount of purple or blue gets that color from anthocyanins. Even some reds can be anthocyanin-based. The deeper the color, the more anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help in the prevention of the oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids in yourgut, and interacting with your body at the cellular level to produce beneficial antioxidant and/or hormetic effects.

    Okay, so now that you know a little more about purple cauli, is that enough to get you excited about this recipe?!

    Purple Cauli-Rice Balanced Bowl
    Purple Cauli-Rice Balanced Bowl

    What You'll Need

    1 sweet potato (roughly 150g)
    1/4 tbsp coconut oil
    hickory smoked sea salt
    dried oregano.
    1 head of purple cauliflower
    1/2 tbsp coconut oil
    1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes a
    lemon rosemary sea salt
    2 cups baby spinach
    2 tsp pine nuts
    2 tsp pistachios
    1 small avocado
    black sesame seeds

    What You'll Need To Know

    1. Preheat oven to 400F.

    2. Wash, peal, slice sweet potato in medallions. Coat with coconut oil and season with hickory smoked sea salt dried oregano.

    3. Rice 1 head of cauliflower. Add to a food processor and pulse 5-6 times until it’s a rice consistency.

    4. Heat 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add in cauli-rice and unsweetened coconut flakes and season with lemon rosemary sea salt. Cook for about 7-8 minutes. Then, turn off heat and add in baby spinach and mix in and let it wilt.

    5. Plate and sprinkle each plate 1 tsp pine nuts, 1 tsp pistachios, 1/2 a sliced avocado and sprinkle avocado with black sesame seeds.

    Bombshell Balanced Bowl with Purple Cauli-Rice (Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Paleo, Whole30)

    balanced-bowl.jpg

    This fresh bowl has all my favorites—mushrooms, sweet potato, and avocado. It's also got a coconut purple cauliflower rice that is mouthwateringly delicious! This Bombshell Balanced Bowl can be whipped up in under 30 minutes and it's Whole30 approved. Plus, a delicious lunch or dinner whipped up in 30 minutes? Yes, please! 

    What You'll Need

    1/4 tbsp coconut oil

    Lemon rosemary sea salt, to taste (I used SF Salt Company's Lemon Rosemary Blend)

    dried oregano, to taste (I used Simply Organics)

    1 head of purple cauliflower, riced

    1/4 cup coconut shavings

    2 tbsp coconut water

    2 tbsp coconut aminos

    sea salt, to taste

    1/2 tbsp coconut oil

    1/4 cup onion, chopped

    6 mushrooms, halved

    1/4 tbsp coconut oil

    4 cups baby spinach

    2 tsp apple cider vinegar

    2 tsp coconut aminos and sea salt

    1 avocado

    black sesame

    What You'll Need To Know

    1. Preheat oven at 400F.

    2. Peal, slice in medallions, and coat sweet potato with 1/4 tbsp coconut oil and season with lemon rosemary sea salt and oregano. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

    3. Using a iron skillet, heat up 1/4 tbsp coconut oil over a medium heat and cook up 1/8 cup chopped onion and 6 halved mushrooms for about 5-6 minutes.

    4. In a second non-stick skillet heat up 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and cook up purple-pink riced cauliflower with 1 tbsp coconut flakes, sea salt, and 1 tbsp coconut water. Let it cook for about 7 minutes.

    5. While this is all cooking, toss baby spinach with apple cider vinegar and coconut aminos and sea salt.

    6. Plate 2 plates with cauli-rice, sweet potatoes, veggies, baby spinach, and top with 1/4 smallish avocado sprinkled with black sesame.

    Makes 2 servings. 

    Fresh Zoodles With Sautéed Leeks, Mushrooms & Avocado Flower

    Fresh-Zoodles-With-Sautéed-Leeks-Mushrooms-Avocado-Flower_1.jpg

    If you are feeling a little bloated and full after the weekend-long festivities, this recipe is the perfect meal to get you back on track with your healthy lifestyle. It is so simple to make, and the fresh flavors pack a punch! You can add almost any of your favorite vegetables and if you are looking for some protein a grilled chicken breast goes perfectly.

    This is some lunchtime goodness that is not only a feast for your taste buds but your eyes as well.

    Zoodles with sautéed onions, leeks, mushrooms, al dente red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, heirloom radish, and avocado tossed in MTC oil, lemon, sea salt, and garlic.

     

    Fresh Zoodles With Sautéed Leeks, Mushrooms & Avocado Flower
    Fresh Zoodles With Sautéed Leeks, Mushrooms & Avocado Flower

    What You'll Need

    4 zucchini
    6 crumini mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup red cabbage, roughly chopped
    1 cup leeks, chopped
    2 radish, sliced
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    avocado (1/2 avocado for each plate)
    2 tablespoons MCT oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
    juice from 1 lemon
    1 garlic clove, grated
    sea salt
    1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

    What You'll Need To Know

    Place coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add onions and leek. Cook until softened, but they still keep their shape. Lower the heat to a low heat. Then add the mushrooms and season with salt. Let cook for 15 minutes.

    While this is cooking, spiralize the zucchini into a large mixing bowl.

    In a separate bowl add the MCT (or olive oil), lemon juice, salt, and garlic and mix together.

    Toss with the zucchini noodles, cabbage, radish, cherry tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and leeks and dressing.

    Top with an avocado flower. (You can learn how to make one here: Avocado Flower)
    Serve and enjoy!