Ellen’s No Bake Energy Balls

My sister Jill sent me an energy bar recipe and my other sister Karen was like- “Ellen, it’s OK for you to just follow a recipe, you don’t have to make it your own“…Ya…no, I really do. I made these with and without the protein powder- both delicious. You could make them with more raw, super antioxidant ingredients, like using raw cacao nibs in place of the chocolate chips, using  1/4c raw cacao powder in the dough, raw nut butter in place of the peanut butter etc…they are simple, quick and easy to make and great to have in the fridge for a quick snack before or after a workout or to get you to your next meal.

ellens-no-bake-energy-balls

1c (dry) gluten free oatmeal, 2/3 buzzed in a dry blender, 1/3 whole

2/3c + 1T dried desiccated coconut- reserve the 1T for later

1/2c peanut butter, chunky

1T chia seeds

1T hemp seeds

2T sesame seeds

1 scoop Raw Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder *optional

1/4c sprouted pumpkin seeds

1/4c crisped brown rice cereal *optional

1/2c vegan chocolate chips, buzzed in (the same) dry blender to a coarse meal with small chunks OR 1/2 raw cacao nibs

1/3c raw agave nectar

3T coconut oil

1/4t pink salt

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Spread into a shallow square pan.Sprinkle with more coconut. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least one half hour before attempting to scoop and roll or cut.

Once chilled, using a small scoop or spoon, roll into balls OR cut into chunks. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter)

In a bowl, add the reserved coconut, toss the balls or chunks to coat.

Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls or chunks.

Simple Broccoli with Lemon

BROCOLLI WITH LEMON.jpg

This is one of those dishes that I forget how easily simple fresh ingredients can be elevated to extraordinary with almost no work. Did you know broccoli is filled with protein, 11 grams for every 100 calories? This was my Nana’s recipe, who cooked her broccoli way too long (but was still delicious), then my Momma’s recipe, who cooked her broccoli just right, then leveled up by using all organic and local ingredients to hit this side dish/snack/salad/meal/accompaniment out of the park.

Simple Broccoli with Lemon

1 bunch broccoli, washed, trimmed, and sliced long into spears

1 lemon, juiced

2-3T extra virgin olive oil

1/4t pink salt

1/4t fresh cracked black pepper

1/2c water

bowl of ice water *optional

In a large pot, heat up the water until boiling. Add the broccoli and steam for 3-4 minutes or until bright green and tender.

Drain the broccoli, reserving the cooking liquid for veggie stock.

To stop the cooking, plunge the steamed broccoli spears into the ice bath and strain the excess water in the sink.

In a bowl, add the bright green broccoli and gently toss the floret spears with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The acid from the lemon will discolor the broccoli a little bit but be assured, it is filled with vital nutrients and crispness.

Serve either warm or cold- both are delicious.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

This soup is DELICIOUS! Just a perfect balance of savory, coconut curry love, and sweetness. The lentils provide a powerful punch of vegetable protein- I will be making this all the time from here on out. The sour cream offers a plain yogurt tang that completes the flavor profile- especially if you make it on the spicier side like I do! I used the beautiful little french lentils but any lentils will work magically.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

2c brown, green or french *lentils, cooked

1 medium onion, small dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

1 large clove garlic, smashed, minced

1 tomato, medium dice

1” piece of fresh ginger- grated

1” piece fresh turmeric- grated

1c fresh spinach*optional

1/4t black pepper

1/2t cayenne pepper flakes- more or less as desired

1T curry powder

1T agave, coconut sugar or other sweetener

3T coconut oil

5-6c boiling water

1/2 can blended coconut milk

1t salt or to taste

Garnish

Cashew Sour Cream

Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Bring 6c of water to a boil- in case you need more.

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until golden and soft. Add the celery, ginger, turmeric, salt, black and red pepper. Add the lentils, mixing them into the vegetables. Add the boiling water, and the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the coconut milk and cook until brought up to temperature. Add the spinach just before serving. Adjust the seasonings if neccessary.

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and place a dollop of the Sour Cream atop in the center and garnish with plenty of fresh, chopped, cilantro.

*To cook lentils ahead of time instead of using canned, take 3/4c dried green or brown lentils and wash, rinse, pick over and drain. In a large pot, place the lentils with 2 cups clean water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the lentils are tender. Let steam for an additional 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, soak the lentils overnight and rinse prior to cooking. This will reduce the cooking time by almost 1/2.

Grilled Tofu Caprese Summer Salad

*grilled tofu: caprese salad

So delicious and simple!!! Especially when you don’t feel like cooking in warm weather. I made the tofu this weekend and the basil pesto was from a couple of weeks ago stored in my fridge. I picked up gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the Greenfield Farmer’s Market along with a beautiful, tender head of green leaf lettuce and more fresh basil- making the assembly of my lunch today a breeze.

Simple Grilled Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu

2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced

1/2t pink salt

black pepper

Heat up the grill or grill pan.

Prepare the tofu:

Remove the tofu from the package and drain the water. Rinse and then place the tofu between to plates. Weight the tofu down in the sink with something over the top plate. Let press for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. This makes for a “chewier” end result.

Slice the tofu in ¼-1/2” slices, an average block of tofu should yield 7-10 slices.

In a large plate, add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the tofu slices in the oil and set aside.

Over medium high heat, place the slices on the grill or pan and close the grill or cover the pan. Let grill for about 6-7 minutes. The slices should easily flip and have gorgeous markings- if not, they are not ready for turning. Once flipped, continue to grill for another 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper the slices again to taste.

Serve hot or cold.

On a bed of clean greens (arugala would be amazing also), layer the fresh tomato slices, brushing each one generously with pesto. Add the cold or hot grilled tofu on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

Eat immediately!!!

Summer Quinoa Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

1 ripe avocado, pitted, and cubed

1 1/2c steamed quinoa

1T fresh basil

1/2c cooked, drained, chickpeas

½ tomato, small dice

2t fresh lemon juice or limejuice

1T Extra Virgin Olive oil

1/4t pink salt

Black pepper to taste

1T nutritional yeast

In a medium sized bowl, add the cooled quinoa (room temp is best), and all of the other ingredients. Toss well and season to taste. Serve with additional avocado and tomato slices. Summer Love.