Spicy Black Bean Spread

My dietary experiments have gone through multiple evolutions, taking twists and turns here and there, juice fasting, cleansing, branching out to try things I’ve never had before, and going through stretches of just not caring. I grew up vegetarian and some things that I really missed when I got into a simpler, ¬†cleaner way of eating were beans and tofu. So after several years of cleansing and leaving them out I started eating them again for a period…and it was alright. I don’t digest them well and they weigh me down after awhile but I can’t say I won’t ever eat them again. I’m currently avoiding them because fussing with digestive upset isn’t of interest to me and greeeeeeens and green juice are way higher on my list of things that make me feel good.

randall green juice

However, my wifey made a special request and cooking for her is one of my favorite things on the planet. I basically threw this together with ingredients we had lying around and it was a huge hit. In cases like this I always have to ask Is it good? Like blog-worthy good?” – and this one got the go ahead. Brit likes spreads ¬†like this for sandwiches, wraps, and pitas and today used a portion as dipping sauce for home baked potato wedges.

Spicy Black Bean Spread

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained

1 handful of cilantro

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt and cayenne, to taste

Blend to desired consistency.

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes all year round but especially during Autumn. These are syrupy sweet and oil free but you could also do a sugarless version by spritzing them with coconut oil spray and massaging in a sprinkling of stevia and a splash of maple extract.

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp chipotle powder

Preheat oven to 425. Slice sweet potatoes into fry shaped wedges. Coat with maple syrup and chipotle powder, massage with your hands to get them evenly coated. Spray a baking pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper, add the sweet potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

4 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or organic butter
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 packet or one dropperful NuNaturals stevia

Preheat oven to 400. Cut sweet potatoes into thick wedges. Melt butter or coconut oil and coat sweet potatoes. Add spices and coat evenly. Place in a single layer on baking sheets and bake 45 minutes.

Creamy Noodle Sushi, New Friends, and New Treats

Hello from my third week in Arizona (oh yes, and Happy St. Patty’s Day. Go eat something green)! Today I was lucky enough to have my feet firmly planted on the ground (airplane-free!) and to connect with a new friend from the detox community!

Meet Renae. Renae and I met over green juice (of course) and had an absolute blast comparing notes on our home colonic units, exchanging stories about being the oddballs in our relationships, discovered we had each been to the same kooky colon hydrotherapist at different points, sharing post-Rose Cleanse thoughts, and were delighted to find we were both going to Natalia Rose’s Advanced Training Course in NYC this Summer! Another highlight was comparing our purse stashes: stevia galore as well as other goodies!

The Combined Stevia Stash

The best news of all: my lady came to visit me this weekend :) I haven’t been able to make it home yet and having her here is absolutely wonderful. She got in around dinner time and I made her a kale/drunken goat cheese/avocado salad (in a bag!) that she nommed on with some Terra Chips. She managed to chew and sing a cute little ditty about “a-salad-in-a-bag-and-my-lovie-for-the-win”. She’s pretty much the cutest ever.

For myself I made a very un-Britney-friendly meal that included seaweed and tahini (two of her not-so-favorites). It was one of the best meals I’ve had since I’ve been here. I called it “Creamy Noodle Sushi” but “Seaweed wrapped in Seaweed with Sauce” would have worked too.

Ingredients:

1 package kelp noodles, soaked for an hour
1/2 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
juice of one lemon
water to thin
nori sheets

Drain the kelp noodles. Mix together sauce: tahini, garlic, dijon, lemon, and water, thinning to desired consistency. Pour sauce over noodles and wrap in nori sheets. Worth every messy bite.

Dessert was two fun new treats: a small chocolate tart from Hail Merry and a Yogi’s Caramel Bedtime Tea. The tart was yummy but didn’t live up to the hype I’d been hearing. Before we dug in Britney said “I bet this is gonna taste like coconut”. To her, all raw desserts taste like coconut because of the heavy use of coconut oil. She was right but we still ate every bit :)

Coconut Stir Fry and a New Adventure!

My tested-and-proven coconut opening method:

1. Place coconut on hardwood floor
2. Smash it with a hammer
3. Clean up mess
4. Nom

Seriously, if anyone knows something I don’t, I’d love your expertise (as fun as cleaning up the mess was…).

A few days ago, after cracking this baby open, I tweeted a cry for help. I wasn’t sure what to do with the thing! I’ve eaten fresh coconuts as-is before but I was hoping to do something more creative. Aubrey, if you’re reading this, you saved the day (and our dinner)! It had never occurred to me to put coconut in a stir fry but let me tell you: it was amazing!

Ingredients:

4 cups of your favorite stir-fry veggies (I used 1 bunch broccolini, 1 white onion,and 4 small zucchini)
a pat of coconut oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup nama shoyu (or soy sauce of choice)
1/2 of a mature coconut

Chop your veggies and begin by cooking them over medium-high in the nama shoyu. They will get soft this way and you won’t have to use as much oil. Add more nama shoyu, if needed, to get veggies to desired doneness. Add a pat of coconut oil and spices. Stir a bit longer to incorporate the spices and crisp up the outside a bit. Add chunks of coconut at the very end, stirring just until warm. Feel free to throw this over some parsnip rice like we did in the Eggplant Curry.

I’m off on a new adventure!
As I type this, I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight to Phoenix (ok, Mesa, but that doesn’t sound as glamorous ;)) for what I’m hoping will be a much warmer March than I would have in Washington. I’ll be living in a hotel room for the month and yes, my juicer is in my suitcase :). I’m leaving my beloved kitchen behind so you can expect recipes this month to be of the “travel-friendly” variety! I’m planning on posting a lot about travel and taking care of yourself when you’re in an unfamiliar space. I’ll share what I’ve packed, and what I stock my hotel mini-fridge with. The sunshine I’ve been lacking this Pacific Northwest Winter will (hopefully) be abundant and provide some inspiration for keeping things interesting around here!

Eggplant Curry over Parsnip Rice

It’s Indian food night at The Vegetable Centric Kitchen! I’ve been promising Britney for ages that I would learn to cook Indian food and this was my first experiment! I have a hard time eating at Indian restaurants, usually ending up with a stomach ache from all the oils. I also never seem to remember to ask for my dish without the rice, meaning I either eat the rice (which does NOT go well) or end up unsatisfied. Parsnip rice to the rescue!

Ingredients:

1 eggplant
1 Tbsp coconut oil (plus a little for coating)
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno
1 thumb-size knob ginger
1.5 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp EACH of cumin seeds and sea salt
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes or one large fresh tomato
1 big handful fresh cilantro leaves
2 parsnips

Preheat oven to 400. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, lightly coat with coconut oil, and place skin-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Over medium heat, warm coconut oil and saute onion, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger until soft. Season with spices.

Chop parsnips into a few chunks and pulse in food processor to a rice-like consistency.

Remove finished eggplant from oven and chop. Add chopped eggplant and tomato to pan with onion mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Blend in food processor and serve over parsnip rice.

Happy Chocolate Mint Day!

So yesterday was Chocolate Mint Day…Really, I don’t make this stuff up! I bought a box of Stash’s Chocolate Mint tea to celebrate- it’s a caffeinated tea so I saved it as a treat for dessert with a scoop of extra cocoa powder for a mint hot chocolate!

For the Love of Sweet Potatoes

Did you know that February is National Sweet Potato Month? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, we’re sweet potato freaks around here:

Sweet Potato Enchilada Salad
Sweet Potato Croutons
Smoky Raw Sweet Potato Hummus
Rosemary Black Pepper Sweet Potato Stew
Chili-Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potater Tots with Creamy Cumin Guac
Rosemary Black Pepper Sweet Potato Rounds
Sweet Potato Sushi (a guest post)
Vegan "Bacon" wrapped Sweet Potatoes (a guest post)
Salted Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake

Let the celebrations commence.

Questions for a Cleanser with Ana Zaharia

This is the last in the Questions for a Cleanser series and it’s brought to us by Ana Zaharia of Brave Lil Juicer! Ana’s blog is packed with drool-worthy recipes (you’ll find one below!) as well as health and detox tips. She has studied with Natalia Rose, and also gives health consultations.

Who are you?

I am an art school veteran, who discovered the vital importance of juicing and detox eating at a time in my life when most people would have considered “inconvenient”. I was running off 2-4 hours of sleep, and just like bathing, it was a luxury people in my program couldn’t afford. I started my blog to give people a place to go and find my tips and recipes that I would always go on and on about. Now I am halfway through my health councilor certification at IIN, and have taken Natalia Rose’s advanced detox seminar ! I have always been passionate about natural healing, but the past few years I feel like I have really found the key to all the “chronic” and “hereditary” problems that plagued me, and the rest of the world. I love helping people heal, and being able to spread the word about the deliciousness that is found in nature :)

What were your reasons: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc for embarking on the cleanse?

I was already juicing until dinner a few days per week, having been following the detox for women lifestyle for a few years now. I love the thriving energy and community spirit that is always found in the Detox The World events. People want to genuinely bring each other up and support one another. That is something that lacks in the design world, as well the place I grew up and the schools I attended. The genuine pure intent of helping and caring for others is probably a big reason why I was drawn to this work as well. With this cleanse I wanted to deepen my understanding of my body, and its interconnectivity to everything else. I also wanted to deepen my healing, having battled painful chronic UTIs and feeling self conscious about my “incurable” hereditary Keratosis Pilaris my whole life.

What detox symptoms, if any, have you experienced?

Hahaha… I feel like I have experienced every detox symptom in the book. If this cleanse did only one thing for me, I would say that it made me realize how much cleansing the body really has to do in order to reverse the damage of living in our modern world per its mainstream standard of normal and “healthy”. I have had crazy waking dreams which have left me feeling exhausted in the mornings; I have been moody and susceptible to intense highs and lows; I have had some bloating, and a few skin reactions; I have had all my old issues resurface so that they may leave, and some intense cravings after a really hmm.. “productive” colonic. It has a been a really wonderfully satisfying roller-coaster though.

What positive changes have you noticed?

1. I have become really in touch and attracted to nature

2. I have realized how the artist inside myself can help me visualize myself into a better place

3. I have created better communication between my physical, spiritual and emotional body and have been subconsciously adhering to my intuition;

4. I have developed a more loving relationship with myself, leaving some of the old self-hatred and criticizing self behind

5. The areas of myself that I want to keep working on seem much more attainable and within reach

6. My clothes fit better.. and I am more attracted to the colors vibrant green, soft pink and violet

7. I crave more vegetables (not having realized that was even possible)

8. I’m experiencing more genuine effortless happiness and gratitude for life

What was your lifestyle like (regarding food and health) prior to the cleanse and what are you planning for after the cleanse?

I have been on and off juicing until a well combined (mostly yeast-conscious) dinner on days that feel right. On most days I would enjoy a salad in the late afternoon or a green smoothie. I would occasionally go out for brunch and enjoy a veggie omelet, and have people over for home made cocktails and treats. I introduced colonics right before the cleanse and they have really taken my detox to the next level. This level has been kind of a solitary one, so coming off the cleanse I will be introducing some of the late mid-day meals again for the social aspect. On weekends especially it’s been hard to spend time with my boyfriend, family or friends without eating. I have found it hard to ground myself and socialize while juicing. This will also slow down the cleansing to a more manageable level which I know my boyfriend will appreciate ;) I will still allow myself the occasional high quality wine or cocktail but haven’t really felt the desire for it as much, so I will respect that. Mostly, I will be listening to what my newly cleansed and intuitive body tells me, and honor it with my best judgement.
I fully intend to spend more time outdoors, and in nature whenever possible. This has been a really nurturing aspect of the cleanse that hasn’t involved food. I especially want to go hiking!

Are there any tips or inspiration you would like to share with fellow cleansers or those curious in a cleansing lifestyle?

Cleansing is a really individual experience, so it’s hard for me to say. But also on the same note, I think it’s hard to cleanse with someone. Take plenty of time to be with yourself and explore the things that are coming up for you. At least take note of them. Also, really focus on the aspects of the cleanse that you are loving! Try not to linger in what you miss.. this is not helpful.
Overall, I have been inspired by the noticeable differences in my whole body and outlook and knowing that so many others are experiencing the same thing. Positive change and high vibration living has become so attainable, and it can be for anyone that will allow themselves to go down the rabbit hole!

My favorite recipe that I discovered during this cleanse is:

Raw Coconut Cream Yogurt w/ Chocolate Raspberry Crumble

Serves 1

Blend:

Meat 1 young coconut
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 vanilla bean scrapped
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 drops stevia
1/3 bio-k dairy free culture
Let sit for 1-3 hours

Top with mix of:

1/4 cup muddled frozen raspberries
1-2 crushed dark chocolate squares
3-5 drops stevia

Please check out my blog for more recipes and tips: BraveLilJuicer.tumblr.com

Questions for a Cleanser with Sarah Voiles

Today’s Questions for a Cleanser comes from Sarah of juice bar and dinner party fame ;) We’ve had a lovely time keeping each other updated on our cleansing experiences and I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did! Also make sure to take a look at the tasty spaghetti squash recipe posted at the end, I had it as part of my dinner tonight and it was delicious!

Who are you?

Hello! I’m Sarah Voiles. I am a nanny in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I have two very sweet kitties. I love to crochet blankets and scarves, read, watch documentaries and eat dark chocolate!

What were your reasons: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc for embarking on the cleanse?

All of the above! However, I was especially excited for the support and added information I would get from Natalia, her team and all of the other amazing cleansers on this journey.

What detox symptoms, if any, have you experienced?

I’ve actually experienced quite a few detox symptoms. I’ve had times of being very tired, cold, night sweats, disrupted sleep patterns, I even had a random sore in my mouth that only lasted 24hrs. Thankfully, much of my detox symptoms were in the first two weeks of the cleanse. I will occasionally have days where I’m particularly tired but not nearly as often.

What positive changes have you noticed?

I have noticed many fantastic changes! Physically, I’ve leaned out a little, the whites of my eyes are brighter, my skin is more clear and has a glow to it. In general, I simply feel better and even happier. I feel like I have more mental clarity, the ‘foggy’ feeling I would often have is gone. The largest positive change I have noticed has been emotionally. So many emotional wounds surfaced. Big, small, really old, newish… many things I had thought I’d forgotten about came up and out. I’ve done a lot of journaling and crying and feel as though I’m so much lighter just from releasing all of those suppressed emotions. That has been my favorite part of the cleanse :)

What was your lifestyle like (regarding food and health) prior to the cleanse and what are you planning for after the cleanse?

Before the cleanse I had been following Natalia Rose’s Detox For Women for a couple of years, but not consistently. There would be periods of time when I would stray but always came back. My goal is to make the detox lifestyle my own for forever. My plan is to add a well combined lunch back into my day and juice until dinner at least one weekend a month. Someday I hope to adopt the juicing till dinner as my everyday lifestyle.

Are there any tips or inspiration you would like to share with fellow cleansers or those curious in a cleansing lifestyle?

Allow yourself to rest as much as necessary, especially in the beginning.

Don’t let the fear of success and feeling good frighten you.

Be well prepared! I find it hugely helpful to plan out my juices and meals 4-5 days ahead of time and get to the store so that I have everything on hand as I need it.

Know that you are likely to deal with a lot of emotional detoxing as well.

Do incorporate body brushing, Epsom salt baths, and colon cleansing!

Be very gentle and kind with yourself.

Spaghetti Squash A la Sarah:

A delicious spaghetti squash dinner- my version was made with romaine- I was out of spinach!

Spaghetti squash
1/2 Tb coconut oil
nutritional yeast to taste ( I usually use about 1/4 cup)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped garlic clove
a handful or two of fresh baby spinach

Cook up your spaghetti squash and toss in a bowl. Stir in the coconut oil until the squash is evenly covered. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well incorporated and the spinach has had a chance to wilt slightly.

Thanks Sarah!