16
Apr 14

Hippity Hoppity….Easter’s on It’s Way!

Taking a quick break from my smoothie series to share David’s Easter basket with you. I’ll be back later this week with a new smoothie flavor combo though—follow me on Instagram, via email (subscribe on the right of the screen), or Bloglovin’ to make sure you don’t miss a post! Facebook is less than reliable these days.

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As Irving and I start to create holiday traditions with David, we are trying to be careful not to go on sugar overloads or put the focus on treats. Last year’s Easter egg hunt was for plastic eggs filled with stickers. And we completely skipped Halloween this past year because David didn’t even know it existed! I know that as he gets older it will be more challenging, but hopefully we can do a good job laying the foundation while he’s so young. I LOVE sweets, and always have a sweet tooth and am trying to help David to not have my same weakness! So for Easter this year David will get a basket with a few special candies and a few fun little toys (I’m also working really hard to not gift him with junk just because it’s seasonal, but that’s another battle!).

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^^^ Top L: 1st Easter—just 2 months old, with Grandma! Top R: Last year, 2 years old, egg hunt in the backyard, Bottom: 2nd Easter—Annie’s bunny cookies and The Hungry Caterpillar (yes, I use the same bucket each year!)

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^^^ New book about being a big brother!

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^^^ A carrot shaped bottle of bubbles from the dollar bin at Target and an egg shaped chapstick—one of David’s favorites (EOS chapstick is not entirely vegan, it contains beeswax)!

Speaking of treats…..

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^^^ love these fruity bears—they’re not sweet and sour, just sweet!

A few weeks back the nice people at Surf Sweets asked me if I would like to sample some of their candies. I’m already a huge fan of their products, and had sampled their Valentine heart candies in February, and also regularly buy David their sour worms—one of his favorites. I tried their Peach Rings in my Vegan Cuts box last year and loved them. So I jumped at the chance to try a few more products and said YES. Last week I got a HUGE box with all kinds of goodies in them!

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^^^ Irving gave me the go ahead to order a whole box of the peach rings—we LOVE them!

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^^^ the watermelon rings are pretty yummy too—a close second to the peach rings!  Sidewalk chalk for spring, and crayons (above)—fun activities for days at home once the baby is born.

I really like their products because they are made using only natural food colors, no corn syrup, and are non-GMO. They are still a treat, and meant to be eaten in moderation, but I feel good about sharing these with David. I even shared a bag of their Valentine hearts with David’s church class when it was my turn for snack. AND I used the gummy hearts to top his birthday cupcakes too. They are also gluten free, nut free, and soy free, so I can easily share them with my friends whose kids have allergies. I’ve seen their products in Whole Foods and PCC (local coop), as well as candy canes from their sister company Tru Joy at my local Kroger superstore.

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^^^ Love these little packs of gummy bears—I can give David the whole bag and not feel bad—just 10 little bears inside!

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^^^ These sour worms are great! I’ve already set aside a bag for David’s upcoming science class on worms—they’ll be using gummy worms (not vegan I assume) so I’m going to send David in with one of these little bags!

He’s also getting some Sweet and Sara peeps, mostly because they are so cute and I’m a sucker for anything veganized! I have had a hard time not opening them up to sample them (yes, I ordered myself a couple too!). I’ve had some of their other marshmallows and they are SO good!

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How do you navigate holidays typically overloaded with sugar?

This post is not sponsored.  I received the Surf Sweets goodies for free, I purchased the Sweet and Sara peeps myself.  All opinions are my own.

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15
Apr 14

24 Carrot Smoothie

This post is a part of a series of smoothie recipes.  Click here for the introductory post.

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Last week I shared an idea for making smoothie kits—either for a friend who is needing a boost, like a new mom, or for yourself, to help make getting out the door a little faster in the morning.  I started off with my Citrus Explosion smoothie, which is helping to keep this 37 week pregnant mama’s cravings under control.

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For those of you who don’t feel the need to have citrus pumped into your veins through an IV, I thought I would share a creamy dessert like smoothie.  You can totally have this one for breakfast though—packed with fruits, veggies, and protein!  I love this one, and David gulps it down too!  It tastes very similar to a Chocolate PB smoothie, but it is nut free!

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I got the idea to add carrots into a smoothie from a friend.  She said that Jamba Juice has some sort of secret menu and on it is a chocolate smoothie with carrots and it tastes like a butterfinger bar! I’ve never had it, and this smoothie doesn’t taste like a butterfinger to me, but it is delicious!  So here we go….

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24 Carrot (serves 1 hungry mama + a few kiddos)
1 Banana
2 carrots, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
1 1/2 c  Chocolate Hemp Milk
(or non-dairy milk + 1 T Chocolate powder)
2 dates
2 T Hemp seeds

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend.  You can add water or ice to thin or thicken the consistency to your preference.  Enjoy!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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10
Apr 14

Citrus Explosion

This post is a part of a series of smoothie recipes.  Click here for the introductory post.

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This is my go to smoothie almost every morning!  I have been obsessed with anything citrus during this entire pregnancy—I eat clementines by the handful, drink OJ every day (I NEVER drink juice normally), and make this smoothie all of the time.  It’s actually based on one of the demo smoothies I had at the Vitamix booth at Costco recently and I have been making it ever since.

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You can follow the tips on the Smoothie Kit post to prep several of these and keep them in your fridge, or you can grab the ingredients each morning.  Lately I always have orange juice on hand, so it’s easy for me to just reach in my freezer and grab a handful of each fruit that I need, pour some orange juice, and blend away!

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Citrus Explosion—makes 1 large smoothie, or enough for 1 mama and a few kiddos

Small wedge Lime with peel (small)
½ c Pineapple
½ c Mango
1 c Orange Juice
1 small Orange, peeled (a clementine/mandarin/Satsuma is great!)
1 Banana
1 cup (2 cubes—see Smoothie Kit post) Spinach or other greens

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Place all ingredients into the blender and blend.  You can add water or ice to thin or thicken the consistency to your preference.  Enjoy!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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10
Apr 14

Smoothie Kits

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Long post ahead, but today we’re talking smoothies, and how to prep them ahead of time so that you can literally dump a bag of ingredients into your blender each morning and be done! Read on to see how, and to see why I thought of this prep strategy in the first place!

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I think I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the things I most look forward to each week is my Moms’ Group at church. David and I started going when he was 3 months old, mostly because my mom kept bugging me to get more involved with my church now that I was staying at home. I kind of expected a group of frumpy, not very cool ladies, and went in with the lowest expectations. Turns out I could have had the very highest expectations and I still would have been impressed! I love my group of ladies—now some 40 regular attenders, plus more from time to time—and can’t imagine not going each and every week! Every stay at home mama knows how valuable 2 hours of kid free time with other adults is each week—not to mention having caring staff to watch your kiddos for free!

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Not only do I meet up with my group at church each week, we also meet for playdates, share advice with each other, and really look out for each other. And this is especially true when a new baby is born. Being that we’re a moms’ group for moms of babies and preschoolers, there are a lot of babies being born! I looked around a few weeks ago and counted up that 1 in 3 of us is currently pregnant. That’s crazy! And that’s also a lot of frozen casserole dinners being made! Often a group will get together and use our church kitchen to make bulk meals to divide among the new moms. Since they usually involve ingredients I don’t cook with, I do my own thing. Recently I had a friend who had a new baby and I knew she also has a Vitamix, so I made her a smoothie kit!

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So many people think to bring dinners for a family, but what about the rest of the day? Anyone knows that a newborn can make for some early and tired mornings, or the need for a quick afternoon pick me up. So I decided to make 8 different ready-to-go smoothies for my friend. I spent the better part of a week freezing ingredients in ice cube trays to prep for this project. To be a little more practical you could pick 1 flavor of smoothie and make a big batch. But I had to be fancy and try a whole bunch of new flavors so I could share them with all of you! Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing the recipes for different smoothies. You can prep them ahead of time and have ready to go bags in the freezer, or prep them at the time you want to make them—either way works. First I want to share some of the prep tips, then on to recipe posts!

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Liquids: You can freeze your liquids in ice cube trays so that each morning you can just toss a few cubes in and be ready, or you can just keep the liquids on hand. Some liquids I ALWAYS have like almond milk or orange juice. Others, like pineapple juice or hemp milk are not as staple, so for me it made sense to freeze those. If you’re giving a smoothie kit as a gift either freeze the cubes, or gift the remainder of the smoothie ingredients in a bag with a carton of orange juice/milk/etc.

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Fruits: I take advantage of Costco here and buy most of my fruits pre-frozen. They have huge bags of pineapple and mango that I love! I also found organic blueberries today! I freeze my own bananas, and I have found that Trader Joes is the very cheapest when it comes to bananas, but that Costco is only a few cents more. I also cut up a lime into small pieces and froze it—I don’t think frozen lime is a regular in the freezer section!

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Veggies: For the carrots I just peeled, diced, and froze a few. You could also buy them pre-frozen at the store. When I use greens in my smoothies I usually make a puree and freeze it. I place the entire 1 pound box from Costco of whatever greens I want to use, and maybe 1 cup of water to get it moving. I just puree, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze. I estimate that 2 cubes (of my particular tray) are about the same as 1 cup of greens.

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Tip: When freezing fruits or veggies, freeze them in a single layer, prewashed, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once frozen place them into a plastic zip top bag or container and label it with it’s name and the date so you know what it is.

Seeds: Because I wanted to make this completely ready to go for my friend I froze cubes of hemp and chia seeds! I mixed 6 T of chia with 12 T of water and allowed it to gel for about a half hour. Once they were soft I spooned them into an ice cube tray and froze them. For the hemp seeds I scooped 1 T into each ice cube spot and then filled with hemp milk before freezing. You could also throw them in dry into the same bag that is holding the rest of your mix if you wanted to.

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Powders: For cocoa and matcha powders I mixed them up with water before freezing. Mix in a separate container—trust me on this one! Then pour into an ice cube tray. A 1 to 1 ratio should be fine here!

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Blending:

  • If you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec this should be fairly easy. Add all frozen contents into the blender jar (including frozen juices or milk) and add 1 cup luke warm water and blend (it will help to thaw the ingredients a bit, but still be cold and icy).
  • If you chose not to freeze the liquids, add the liquids and frozen solids into the blender and additional water or ice as needed for desired consistency.
  • If you have a lower powered blender, place your bag of frozen ingredients in the fridge the night before and let them thaw. The next morning you can thin/thicken with water or ice as needed.

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Ready for some recipes? Click here to get to the first one—Citrus Explosion!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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01
Apr 14

Lemon Artichoke Pesto

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Gourmet dinners are getting a little few and far between over here—when I do feel like cooking I prefer to channel my energy into brownies or some other sweet.  My current fave brownies are these from Oh She Glows—so good!  I think I’ll make some more tonight since tonight has been declared leftover night.  We’ve had a lot of 90 second brown rice, bags of Gardein veggie nuggets of some variety, and frozen organic broccoli from Costco.  Costco is killing it right now with their frozen organic produce, already prepared brown rice, tofu, etc.—it’s a busy mama vegan girl’s dream!  The artichokes I used for this recipe even came from Costco!

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Despite the scarcity of true homemade meals, they have been delicious, and relatively easy too!  I’ve made this pesto a few times in the last couple of weeks, and have frozen quite a bit of the sauce too for post baby (everything that I make these days is done in double quantity—thank goodness for our extra upright freezer!)!

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This recipe was shared with me by a friend, and originally appeard on PaleOMG.  I’ve made a couple of tweaks to make it vegan, and suit my family’s tastes.  While we serve this on pasta—GF or regular—you could serve it with spaghetti squash, toss roasted potatoes in it, or even toss raw zucchini noodles in it in the summer.  I don’t see any reason you couldn’t even make the sauce raw by omitting the sauté steps if you wanted to, although I like the flavor created by sautéing!

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This recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta—either make the whole batch and freeze, or simply divide the recipe in half!  Trust me though, you will want more and will be so glad to have little cubes of frozen pesto sauce in your freezer!

Lemon Artichoke Pesto 
½ cup walnuts
1 jar of artichoke hearts (I get the 33 ounce jar from Costco in water, see above)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 veggie boullion cube (I like Rapunzel’s brand)
½ c warm water
½ cup fresh basil, super packed (this is 1 whole box of basil—the larger size you’ll see at the grocery store)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
3-5 cups of spinach (optional)

Toast the walnuts in a skillet.  Once toasted, place them in the food processor and set aside.  Place 1 T olive oil in the skillet and add the artichokes.  Start browning them.  Then add the garlic and let the garlic cook through.  Add the artichokes and garlic to the food processor.  Add remaining ingredients to the food processor.  Begin to blend, stopping to scrape down the sides.  You can loosen up the sauce to your preference by gradually adding more water or olive oil—your choice!  Once blended to pesto consistency—mostly pureed but not completely perfectly smooth—add to whatever you like—pasta, veggie noodles, potatoes, etc.!  This is a double batch, so I freeze half of mine in a silicone ice cube tray and save for a later use.  Just thaw and toss!  I serve my pasta with Gardein veggie nuggets.

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Enjoy!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

 

 

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