This has to be one of the most convenient recipes that you can start incorporating into your lifestyle, not only for the simplicity and ease on how to make it but also the affordability and health benefits it offers.
The store-bought almond milk (unsweetened vanilla by Blue Diamond) I drink is fairly healthy compared to dairy based milks, however it still contains some unnecessary added ingredients. What better way to fix this problem than by making your own. You know the source of your product, you know what you’re putting into it, and you can adjust the ingredients to suit the flavor profile that you’re after. This almond milk recipe is your baseline. It has just a little bit of sweetness, which I recommend keeping in the recipe, although you can substitute or remove it if you like.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups raw almond (*soak overnight)
- 3 medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients into Vitamix or high-powered blender.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to its high power.
- Blend for 40 seconds or until desired consistency.
- Pour almond milk into a sieve or nut milk bag to remove the almond pulp.
- Pour the liquid into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
*Soaking your nuts, seeds, or any type of legumes will help with the digestion process in your body. Not only will it make the nutrients easier to absorb into your system, but soaking or sprouting activates the enzyme. The more enzymes in your body, the better your body works! Soak them the night before you plan on making your milk so that they are ready to go first thing in the morning.
Now the only thing left to do is to figure out a recipe for the almond pulp. Any ideas out there? I’m thinking of making a raw cookie or energy bar with it. If you know of a recipe, please send it my way or email it to me at email@example.com I’ll make sure to feature you or your blog with the link!
My alarm was set for 6:50 am, workout clothes laid neatly on the floor, and my body was warm and cozy deeply hidden amongst a mountain of blankets. My intentions for the morning were to rise and sweat my tush off at the gym. The stair master has been my choice of cardio equipment for the past few days since I re-introduced the kindle fire back into my life. I loaded up Netflix and Hulu Plus onto this godsend of a gadget and it has me completely consumed and distracted while I torch away calories and build up sweat puddles on those endlessly revolving steps.
The alarm goes off. I’m one of those rare breeds that doesn’t prefer to smash down the snooze button and I don’t have the need for my alarm clock to sound like a fire engine five inches from my face. However, today was a different story and I wasn’t ready to get up and get moving. I’ve been busting my booty, literally, in the gym and outside everyday and this was just my body telling me that I needed rest. I decided to sleep in, have a relaxing morning, and make a comforting breakfast.I burried my way back into the sheets and shut my eyes for what seemed to be another hour. Soon enough fall aromas were going to be perfuming my kitchen and creeping their way throughout the remainder of the house.
Butternut Squash Fall Waffles
These waffles are perfect to share between you and your significant other on a cold and quiet morning. A sprinkle of nuts, a handful of dried fruit, and a ladle of maple syrup on top will be enough to give yourself a foodgasm. Their fall flavors are the perfect match to a steaming, hot cup of coffee.
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash
- 1/2 cup pecans (optional: sauté pecans in a little bit of coconut oil prior to mixing with batter. It will bring out the flavors in the nut)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 egg + 2 whites
- 4 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- pinch of sea salt
- coconut oil/butter (to lubricate the waffle maker)
- Combine all ingredients, except for pecans, raisins, and coconut oil/butter, into mixer and mix until thoroughly combined. The temperature of your kitchen could change the consistency slightly. Adjust the coconut flour and/or almond milk to suit the desired consistency. You want your batter to be thick, but a little liquidy. If it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more flour.
- Add pecans and raisins to the batter and continue mixing just until combined.
- Heat your waffle maker and lubricate with coconut oil/butter.
- Add batter to maker and cook until done.
- Serve warm, flooded with toppings, and right alongside a mug of your favorite morning beverage.
Topping options: Pure maple syrup, Walden Farms syrup, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews), nut butter, coconut butter, powdered sugar…
Also, I finally made the switch from the url of muddyfootsteps.wordpress.com to muddyfootsteps.com . It’s easier to access, remember, and hopefully share with your friends and family. To make reading my blog posts and having access to new recipes easier, subscribe to my blog and you will receive an email each time I make a new post.
Protein pancakes have been around the block for a while now. I’m not too sure why I was so timid to jump on the bandwagon, but I’ve made my leap and I’m whipping up these pancake recipes left and right. I started out with a basic recipe, finding the right combination of ingredients that produce a quality pancake. I wanted the flavors to stand out, the recipe to be simple, and the pancake to have a decent amount of protein.
I’m constantly playing around with different ingredients and a variety of flavors. Such subtle changes can produce a completely unique pancake to keep you entertained each day of the week. Perhaps my next project will be to create a menu and recipe for a different pancake/waffle every day. How would these flavor profiles sound? Salted maple bacon, pear ginger, spiced chai, espresso, spicy coconut mango, and maybe a chocolate lovers (chocolate waffle dipped in chocolate/coconut sauce.). They’re all just ideas, and I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to find some guinea pigs to taste the recipes.
To be honest, I’m not a pancake kind of girl. I like a crispy, slightly crunchy, moist bite of a waffle. I want to be able to dig my teeth into the surface of the crust and feel a mix of textures. Pancakes seem too flat and soft for my palate. However, I’m not trying to exclude any of you pancake lovers out there. These recipes are easily interchangeable. Cook your flapjacks on a skillet if you prefer more of a soft, smooth texture. If you’re looking for something with a little more crunch, ladle your batter over a waffle maker. Either way, your taste buds should be happy and your belly full.
(Servings: 2 pancakes/waffles)
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 whole egg + 2 whites
- 1-2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon flax
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Mix all ingredients together and cook with your prefered method. Ideas for toppings: almond butter, maple syrup, Walden Farms syrup, roasted pecans/cashews, fresh berries, coconut butter, sea salt, chocolate shavings, banana slices, bacon, coconut shavings and mango… Be creative with your ingredients and see what you can come up with. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to toppings.
I used to work at a coffee shop & café when I lived further down south. We made breakfast and lunch with food items ranging from egg sandwiches on croissants, a variety of salads, apple chicken sandwiches, chili, and quesadillas. We had a great selection of meals, but one of the greatest things that interested me when I first applied there was the incorporation of vegetarian and vegan meals. Their vegan chili was excellent, hearty, and could please even the regular meat-eater. The veggie sandwiches were loaded with sprouts, spreads, cucumbers, avocado, and the rest of the garden vegetables you could think up. However, there were two dishes in particular that caught my eye. The baked tofu sandwich, and baked tofu salad were staring me straight at me. I think the idea of this foreign, white, spongy ingredient scares most people (rightfully so), but if you know how to play with the ingredients in the right combination and the correct cooking methods then you found yourself a winner.
It’s been about a year since I’ve worked there, but I’ll go in to order the salad or sandwich every once in a while so I can enjoy those meaty tofu slabs.
Servings: 24 tofu slices
-2 packages of medium firm tofu
-3 Tbs balsamic glaze
-3 Tbs liquid aminos (soy sauce works if you don’t have liquid aminos)
-2 tsp teriyaki ginger rub (combination of garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce powder, chiles, spices, and sea salt)
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp coconut oil
1. TOFU WILL NEED TO MARINADE FOR 8+ HOURS, so keep this in mind when you decide to make the recipe. I like to marinade at night so that it’s ready to bake in the morning.
2. Completely drain all liquid from tofu, press in between towel or paper towels to push more of the excess liquid out.
3. Slice each tofu block into 12 slices (slice with your knife parallel to the shorter side of the tofu).
4. Mix all ingredients, except tofu, in a bowl and then pour into a flat dish (You will be marinading your tofu in this overnight so make sure the dish is a suitable size to allow all pieces of tofu to be coated).
5. Place tofu slices into marinade and let sit in the fridge, covered, for overnight or up to 8 hours. (The longer it sits, the more flavor it absorbs. Also, the more liquid pressed out in the beginning of the directions, the more flavor the tofu will be able to absorb as well.)
6. Once completely marinaded, lay the slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
I’ve been on a spree of making these quiches lately. The cost, efficiency, and nutritional content of these suckers make them undeniably one of my favorite recipes. Once you get the basic idea and recipe down, you’ll have a bounty of ways to change up the flavors simply by altering the ingredients to what you have in the kitchen. Well that’s pretty much my take on these ‘egg baskets’ (what my dad likes to call them), use whatever ingredients you have in your house.
Garden Crustless Quiche
- 3 eggs
- 2 stalks kale; stripped from the stem and chopped finely
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 zucchini; chopped
- 1 Tbs pine nuts
- Spices: Salt/Pepper, curry powder, cumin, red chilli pepper, and garlic powder
- Coconut oil (*substitute-butter or earth balance)
- Pre-heat your oven to 450.
- Take the coconut oil and rub the inside of a muffin pan so that the quiches slide out after they are done cooking.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Scoop out equal portions into the muffin pan.
- Cook for 15 minutes (this time may be different depending on the size of your pan-mine was a medium pan)
And that’s it! Just some of the reasons why I love these so much: Inexpensive, easy to make, nutritious, portable, delicious, the variety of flavors are endless, and anyone can make them! You can also sprinkle feta or your favorite cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Stay posted on the blog for the recipes for these beauties…
..or possibly neither are an option for you. I’m talking about rice cakes. For some strange reason, I’ve developed a liking to them and my palate for rice cakes are enjoying them. They have a minimal amount of ingredients and they are a great vehicle for sauces, spreads, and well..practically anything.
They’re not the first thing I reach for when I make a meal, but they suit my fancy when I’m craving some carbs and want something with a bit more substance. For breakfast, try spreading almond butter, sliced bananas and flax seeds on top. For a treat you can spread melted dark chocolate, a little greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, and a sprinkle of chia seeds on a cake. For a small meal I like to add homemade smashed black beans, hummus, red onion, and any other vegetable that I find in the fridge.
Honestly the variety of meals, dishes and treats you can come up with are endless. Rice cakes don’t have to be bland. Add a little zing, flavor, and spread and you can turn them into something great. They’re cheap, easy to carry and you can find them at practically any supermarket.
This cake was somewhat of a last minute idea. I was at Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa and I put together my own mix of veggies from the salad bar. I topped it on a tamari and seaweed rice cake and wallah!
This was the same tamari & seaweed rice cake but it was topped with an olive and tomato tapenade, avocado, fresh basil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
What meals and treats can you come up with a rice cake? Do you hate it or love it?
Currently the kitchen table is flooded with an assortment of things I’ve stacked on. Multiple water glasses, cup of rooibos tea, a sheet of paper with a few new recipes, a vase full of red roses, a handful of colorful highlighters and my computer.
This morning seemed to follow in the footsteps of my previous morning; good vibes, delicious food, and friendly conversations. My best friend, Jaclyn, came into town today and headed to my place. We talked, laughed, ate some homemade pizza and discussed our plans for the summer. A road trip is in order and we couldn’t be anymore excited. We began working out some details, but decided to save a majority of the planning for winter vacation. We are still in school right now and that needs to be the focus. Once winter break hits, it’s time for fun and time for planning.
I woke up this morning, laced up my shoes, and headed out the door for a 3.5 mile run. An hour later I sat in the kitchen, showered and began digging into a fresh grapefruit. I’ve found myself in a grapefruit craze, trying varieties from all over the city. I’ve tasted ones that I picked right off the tree, I’ve tried ones fresh from the farmers market, ate them from Henry’s grocery store, and sampled from other local growers. They all seem to have a unique flavor in themselves. Some are plump and juicy. Those that are, spray a rainstorm of fruit juice on the countertops. Some are dense, making it difficult to puncture in, even if you are using a serrated spoon. Some are just so perfect that you must go back for seconds.
Music plays on and the sun keeps migrating. I’ve been drowning myself in tea and water. I ate a small slice of homemade vegetable pizza. The herbs were from the garden, the sauce- homemade, and the pizza cooked with a thin crust. I spent time in Italy this summer and I know when I taste a good pizza. The crust must be thin, the flavors standing strong, the ingredients minimal, and it all must be fresh. A plate and napkin are optional. A hand can do the trick. It’s even okay if some of the sauce drips off the pizza and slides down your hand. Food doesn’t always have to be proper, eaten delicately and wiped up with a crisp, white napkin. Just enjoy it.
The clock ticked and lunch seemed to crawl right on by. I seemed to be too lazy to make a salad, not interested in anything warm or cooked, and had a craving for cucumbers. A sandwich solved the problem. Rich sourdough bread, homemade sun-dried tomatoes, pungent mustard, peeled cucumbers, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a light spread of tofutti completed my sandwich. Nothing too fancy, but just right.
You know those peaceful days where your house is shaded by the large oak trees. Where the wood floors in the living room bring a sense of comfort. When the soundtrack to your day is Bon Iver and artists with similar voices. Where a gentle smoke is rising from a warm, earthy tea steeping in a blue mug. When even though you’ve already ran, showered, and started your day, you end up back in pajamas. When your conversations are nothing but good thoughts, future plans and filling each others lives with hope. When the food is good, homemade and healthy. Today was like this..and I couldn’t be happier.
Saturdays have to be my absolute favorite day of the week. I wish for nothing more than waking up early to a warm cup of coffee, ladled with a small serving of almond milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Whether I’m sipping my joe while listening to music, catching up on television episodes, reading the paper, or keeping up to date on my favorite blogs, it’s always an enjoyable time. Breakfast usually follows with a grapefruit split in half and savored slowly with a serrated spoon. A handful of raw almonds find their way into my mouth to hold me over while I make the main course for breakfast. I tend to create a new recipe, eat it everyday for a week, and then move on to another. Last week it was oatmeal, the previous week it was green smoothies and now I’m on to tofu spinach scrambles.
These big daddies are loaded with protein, fiber, an assortment of vitamins and packed with flavor. I’m hooked on nutritional yeast at the moment, so I’ve been adding it to possibly everything. It gives your dish a cheesy/nutty flavor. Who wouldn’t want that, especially if you are vegan and miss your cheese? Plus, many brands fortify it with B12 nowadays so you get an extra bonus.
Today has been such a wonderful day. It’s only 3:20pm. There is still so much left. I met my dad and friend at the farmers market earlier this morning. My town’s farmers market is getting bigger and better as the weeks go on. We did a few laps around the market to find the best prices for what we wanted. Earlier in the week, we did a lot of bulk vegetable/fruit shopping so there wasn’t too much for us to get today. I grabbed a few grapefruits. Not that I don’t have a giant container of them at my house already, but I can always use more! We tried samples, bought bee pollen, rubbed avocado oil on our hands, listened to live music, and then met up with my mom and step-dad. We all met at the cheese shop, and sat outside enjoying fine wine, aged cheeses, olives and a variety of fruits. I opted out for the cheese, but I must admit it did look good. My next recipe experiment is working on quality nut cheeses. But that’s for another day.
The five of us sat outside on the patio with this wonderful spread of ingredients just enjoying each others company. My mom and dad might never realize this, but for me , it’s so wonderful to spend time with both of them together. Today I had a wonderful afternoon with them. My mom even brought me a green smoothie over from the market.
After we all finished off the treats, we headed to the spice store to smell, taste, and check out the latest spices. This store is filled with such pleasant teas, salts, chocolate, spices, grains and everything you could possibly want to fill your kitchen. After navigating through the spice store we headed our separate ways. ‘Goodbyes’, ‘Thank-you’s, and ‘Have a good day’ were exchanged.
Unil next Saturday.
Oh hey! I remember you.
It’s been a while. I can admit to that. Life has been keeping my feet running and my brain pumping to its full capacity. School is in session and it’s taking a wild beating on my body and brain. I’m struggling in a few ways, where education isn’t the first of this matter. On that note, I’m actually doing really well in school. I’ve never done this well in biology, being one of the top students in a 60+ class.
I’m struggling with my life and my outlook on everything. I’m living back at home and back to the urban lifestyle. As much as I wish to admit that I’m not on the computer or watching television (like I wrote about in an earlier post) I must confide that I have been swimming in a mass of media. It’s not that I need it all for school. Heck, I spend 98% of my time with this technology just for the sole purpose of pleasure. Not that kind of pleasure.
I’m wasting my hours, days, weeks away and I can’t dig myself out of it. This is actually the first time I’m admitting all this. I’m hoping that this will spark a fire in my head and get the ball moving in the right direction. Like I said, I’m struggling. I’m struggling with my life in social terms as well as happiness. I work and do school. I workout. Eat. Sleep. Then do it all over again. I can’t say that I don’t have time for other things, because obviously I do. I’m using my free time sitting on the couch hovered over the computer, massaging my iPhone keyboard obsessing over twitter, re-winding/pausing and repeating episodes of Biggest Loser. I need to figure this out.
Needless to say, I have some priorities I need to re-arrange in my life. I feel somewhat stuck in this urban life. I’m doing great in school, finally, and saving a lot of money living at home. I’m focused here and able to succeed in my classes. But I’m not truly happy. Some people may think that college isn’t a time for happiness but determination and a difficult, demanding period in your life. I have to disagree. I think happiness is finding the balance between succeeding in school, work or whatever you are dealing with in your life, and finding peace in the rest of your life. I haven’t figured out that balance yet. I plan on doing another semester or two here and then figuring out a bigger plan for my life. I’m planning on transferring to a bigger school, moving out into my own place, and establishing myself again. I’m ready to meet new people and try new things.
I apologize for the mush of emotions and thoughts throughout this post, but I needed to get them down. They might not flow together as one would hope but I think the message comes across clear. My friend Lacey recently replied to one of my messages stating “Niki, why are you so perfect?” Oh boy, is that far from the truth. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. According to the tweet, my strength happens to be in the form of health. I’m cool with that. I’m passionate about health and it shows in the way I choose to live my life and the foods I consume. I’ve got that down. But I have so many other things I need to work on in life. As we all do.
I just need to learn to take a deep breath sometimes, step back from the computer and get outside for a walk. Sometimes you just need that fresh air to screw your head back on straight. I know I’m not going to get rid of twitter or using the computer for personal sources, but I can manage my time a bit more wisely and live my life to a fuller potential. I know this is the temporary and things will get better from here.
To end this on a slightly positive note, I’ll show you a little something I’ve been feasting on lately. This my friends, is kale. Super green filled with so many vitamins, enzymes and nutrients your body screams with excitement. When eaten in its raw state, it can provide you with a substantial amount of nutrients for optimal health. I eat this super green every single day. I have no recipes for you today but I can give you a lineup of what I eat on an average day.
Breakfast: Grapefruit & a Tofu scramble Organic spinach, organic firm tofu, carrots, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Snack: Carrots/Hummus & Nuts Either a small handful of raw almonds or a small serving of walnuts mixed with craisins.
Lunch: Kale salad- Huge kale salad filled with sun-dried tomatoes, sprouted lentils, sprouted quinoa, mushrooms, lemon juice, sea salt, and raw apple cider vinegar
Snack: Fruit- Usually some type of fruit, whether it’s a peach, banana, apple, or grapefruit
Dinner: Variety- Usually a combination of lunch, with cooked lentils, quinoa, spinach, and/or sweet potatoes.
That’s just a sample of what I generally eat on a regular day. Things vary but that’s the majority of it. I do make green smoothies a lot, green juices, veggie burgers, oatmeal, and hummus. I drink coffee on occasion, but it’s very acidic on the body so I try to limit myself.
Well I’m going to stop feeling sorry for myself, get my butt of this couch, sign off twitter, yahoo, wordpress and any other accounts I have and run to the gym. I’m going to try to prioritize more efficiently and make better use of my time. I’m hoping to make blog posting a bigger priority while not letting it consume a large portion of my time.
So I know I’ve been jumping back and forth a great deal on vegan food and foods regarding animal products. This is mostly in result to flying out to Europe. Generally if I’m on my own, it’s fairly easy to continue eating vegan food, whether I’m making it for myself or going to a restaurant. However, when I’m staying with a family or large group of people, I don’t want to be a hassle. I transition to vegetarianism and eat as much vegan food as I possibly can get my hands on.
Fast forward one month later and I’m back to the states and back to my comfort food. One of my favorite dishes are the Spicy Quinoa Cakes with a Sweet Mustard Sauce. The only downfall is that they are not vegan. So my quest is to veganize them. This version of quinoa cakes are a bit different. I used some similar flavors, but added cashew cream to the mixture to give it a unique texture. I made them thinner and flatter than the original version, hence the name, Quinoa Flats. They are also baked (healthier & more nutrition) instead of pan fryed. Don’t be fooled by the list of ingredients. Most of them are very common household spices. Besides the preparation of soaking the quinoa and cashews, this recipe is very simple and easy to make.
- 3 cups quinoa; soaked 3 hours-overnight; cooked
- 1 cup raw cashews; soaked 3 hours-overnight
- 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 8 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
- 5 tsp diced jalapeños
- 2 tsp olive oil; infused recommended (garlic, herbs, sun-dried tomatoes…)
- 3 tsp tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 400.
- After your quinoa has been soaking, you want to rinse thoroughly through a small strainer. If you don’t have a strainer with small enough holes, lay a cheese cloth on top of the strainer and rinse through that.
- I like to cook my quinoa with a 1: 1 1/2 ratio. Some recipes call for more or less water at a desired time, but I find that this gives the grain a perfect consistency. Depending on how long you soaked your quinoa for, your measurement will be different because of the water absorption. If you soak your grains overnight, you will have a larger product of quinoa. I ended up with 3 cups of soaked quinoa. Combine your quinoa with water, according to the ratio 1 quinoa: 1 1/2 water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and rinse them thoroughly. Blend them with the water and vinegar.
- Combine remaining ingredients, except for quinoa and 3 tsp diced jalapeños, with the cashew mixture and liquify.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and combine quinoa and remaining jalapeños.
- Spoon flat cakes on lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Drizzle Sweet Mustard Sauce on top of flats.