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It’s hard to believe, but my little angel turned one this past week! What an incredible, challenging and exhausting year it has been! We had his party this weekend and I was faced with the decision of what to do in terms of a birthday cake. I don’t want to be that parent who doesn’t let their kid eat anything “bad”, but I also am not ready to fill his body with sugar, dairy, gluten, etc., especially considering he has not yet been introduced to any of these potential allergens.

I elected to make him his very own CLEAN smash cake—free of all food allergens—using only foods he has been introduced to and we know don’t cause any adverse reactions. It was a huge success! In fact, almost everyone wanted to try the “clean cupcakes” just to see what they were like! I’ll consider that a win.

The recipe is below. Feel free to experiment with different proportions and different gluten-free (or other) flours. I personally started out just using quinoa flour but found I don’t really love the flavor, so I mixed it with a few others. Coconut flour on it’s own can be pretty dry and brown rice flour is okay, but mixing these together was perfect. We also have not yet introduced nuts, so almond meal was not an option.

I made these as cupcakes, but you could easily use a larger pan and make this a larger cake. Be mindful to adjust cooking times, and prepare the cake pan by lining with parchment paper or using coconut oil. On the other hand, if you use these as cupcakes, they make great breakfast muffins with or without the avocado on top!

Happy birthday baking!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: One small cake or about 6 cupcakes/muffins
  • Prep time: 10 minutes (if you cook the sweet potato ahead of time, 50 minutes if you don’t)
  • Cook time: ~15-20 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ baked sweet potato (no skin)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Dry

  •  cup quinoa flour (gluten-free)
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour (gluten-free)
  •  cup coconut flour (gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • A pinch of baking powder (optional)
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds (optional)

“Frosting”

  • 1 ripe avocado

Preparation

  1. COOK THE SWEET POTATO: You can do this ahead of time if you would like. Use a fork to poke some holes in the potato, wrap in aluminum foil and bake for ~40 minutes at 400°.
  2. FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 375°
  3. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine and mix dry ingredients
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. If mixture seems too dry, add additional applesauce. If mixture seems too wet, add additional flour.
  6. Coat the cake pan with coconut oil (and GF flour if you’d like). You can also use muffin tins to make muffins/cupcakes.
  7. Spread batter into pan
  8. Bake for ~15-20 minutes at 375° (baking times vary per oven). Remove from oven when the cake starts to brown on top.
  9. Let cool, then spread avocado on top of cake. NOTE: If you attempt to spread avocado on top of cake too soon out of the oven, you will smoosh the cake. I actually baked the cupcakes the night before and stored them in the refrigerator overnight. The morning of the party, I removed them from the fridge and let them sit out at room temperature until the party that afternoon. I frosted them right before we ate to keep the avocado fresh.

Feel free to be creative with the ingredients! Pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds, and nuts (if your child is OK with nuts) are nutritious additions! If you’re making these for yourself or other adults, I might suggest adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, (baking soda/powder if you want the cake to rise more) and possibly some coconut aminos if you want added sweetness. Also, I am very loose when it comes to measurements for this (and most) of my recipes. If you find you prefer more or less of something, please feel free to customize this recipe to fit your taste! Enjoy!

Peace, love and clean-eating babies,

Melissa

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan.

I absolutely love roasted vegetables. Cauliflower provides a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts immune function, as well as Dietary Fiber, which helps in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The basic roasting technique in this recipe can be applied to any root vegetable and seasoning options are up to you, although salt, pepper and olive oil is simple and delicious.

I like tossing leftover roasted veggies with fresh spinach, leftover cooked grains (such as brown rice or quinoa), and a simple Dijon & lemon vinaigrette. By adding nuts, seeds or beans to the mix, you can get extra protein in as well.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Heads of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Turmeric
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Yellow mustard seed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse cauliflower and cut into pieces (any size you like, just make sure they’re consistent in size).
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and all spices.
  4. Toss cut cauliflower in the spice oil and use your hands to make sure the spice oil is distributed evenly.
  5. Remove heated baking sheet from oven and spread the cauliflower evenly on the sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a side dish with Lentil Dal, or on its own with brown rice, chopped fresh spinach and chickpeas for a complete meal.

Happy Roasting!

-Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

For those of you who know my husband, you know that he’s quite a trooper. If I’m cooking, he’ll eat whatever crazy vegan creation I am making. He embraces healthy eating (for the most part) and in fact, he is the creator of this recipe, which has become one of my favorites! Also, don’t let the name or the ingredients scare you—as it is quite delicious. For those of you scared of greens, the broccoli or celery flavors are not strong at all. It has a nice, subtle taste and the lemon gives it a welcomed “zing.” I encourage you to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 bunches of broccoli (depending on their size)
  • 5-6 stalks of celery
  • 1 box (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • Filtered water
  • A small amount of unsweetened original almond milk (optional)
  • 1 lemon

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent ( ~5  minutes).
  2. Chop off ends of celery and pull off any obvious “strings”. Chop broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Add celery, broccoli, vegetable stock and water to pot. Add enough water so that the chopped veggies in the pot are covered (after the veggie stock has been added).
  4. Simmer covered on medium heat until veggies are soft (~20 minutes).
  5. Take portions of the soup and add to blender or food processor, blending until a creamy texture is reached.
  6. In the “old” version of this recipe, we would add heavy whipping cream to the soup to thicken it up and add “creaminess” to it. Since cream is no longer a part of our diets, we now use unsweetened almond milk (original) on occasion. It’s personal preference, however, as it’s not a necessity.
  7. Pour soup into individual bowls.
  8. Cut lemon wedges for each bowl, squeezing the juice of one wedge into each bowl. Mix juice in with soup and enjoy!

I can’t wait to hear your feedback on this recipe! It’s one of my favorites and I have to tell you, I’m not a huge fan of broccoli OR celery!

Happy Healthy Eating,

Melissa (+ Juan)

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free and vegetarian.

When shopping at my favorite local farm in Austin, I picked up a few baby eggplants and asked one of the farmers for recommendations on the best way to cook these beautiful little gems. She suggested to not cook them at all, but to slice them raw into thin slices to best enjoy they’re sweet, light flavor. Wanting to balance the sweetness of the eggplant, I paired them with quick-pickled onions and arugula for a slightly sour and spicy contrast.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 baby eggplants, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, pickled (see Quick-Pickling recipe below)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 10 oz. washed arugula
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Quick-Pickling Recipe

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 allspice berries (or ¼ tsp. ground allspice)
  • 5 whole cloves (or ¼ tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 small, dried chile pepper

Directions for Pickling

  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling.
  2. Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Transfer onions and liquid into a far and refrigerate until ready to use.

seasonal summer salad eggplantDirections for Salad

  1. Rinse quinoa and cook according to directions. Let cool.
  2. Toss arugula, eggplant, pickled onion (along with 1 tsp. pickling liquid), quinoa and oil in a bowl.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I made this salad part of a satisfying meal by serving it alongside baked sweet potato fries. For an extra flavor and protein boost, add shavings of parmesan cheese before serving the salad. Using local, seasonal ingredients like eggplant and arugula are a great way to ensure your getting the most nutrition and flavor from your produce, not to mention the environmental advantages of buying local!

If you like this recipe, try our Grilled Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad.

Happy Eating!

Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

In the hot summer months, I try to avoid using the oven at all costs. However, the other day I had a really strong craving for a homemade baked goodie and wanted to incorporate the sweet potatoes in my pantry for a sweet, yet savory treat. I went looking for recipes and came across several Sweet Potato Biscuit variations. I wanted to make them Vegan (or at least mostly Vegan) and use ingredients I had on-hand.

The following recipe was adapted from the Happy Herbivore’s Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Vegan Biscuits recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: About 12 biscuits
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Notes: I used a thawed, previously frozen banana, which added a little more moisture to the dough.
  • Notes: For a savory version, omit the sugar, honey and cinnamon and add a pinch of salt and a 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rosemary, dill or thyme.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil (optional, omit for vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 whole sweet potato
  • 1 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • a dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 whole banana, cold

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse, peel and cube the sweet potato, then toss in a bowl with olive oil and honey (skip the honey if you want Vegan biscuits). Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or mixer, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and optional cinnamon.
  3. Mix in the banana until dough starts to form, then add about 3/4 cup of mashed, baked sweet potato.
  4. Once dough is ready—should be wetter than most pizza dough, but dryer than cake batter—stretch out onto a lightly floured surface to about a ½ inch thickness.
  5. Use either a biscuit cutter or a half-cup metal measuring cup to cut biscuits. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 425° for 5-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and edges are turning golden brown.

These make a satisfying, yet healthy, after-dinner treat with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or as a  “grab-and-go” breakfast item.  The whole-wheat flour provides complex carbohydrates to fuel your body, while the sweet potato is rich in anti-oxidants and fiber.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and vegetarian.

This recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay’s, “Grilled Sweet Potato and Green Onion Salad.” I loved the flavors of Bobby Flay’s recipe and wanted to create a complete meal which included protein and vitamin-rich leafy greens.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Notes: You can parboil potatoes and cook quinoa up to one day prior to making this recipe.

Sweet potato quinoa saladIngredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, do not peel
  • 10 oz. washed spinach or mixed greens, or a mix of both
  • ¼ c. dried cranberries
  • 4 scallions, whole
  • 1 c. Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ c. balsamic vinger
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.

Preparation

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover by an inch with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until just cooked through but not soft, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from water and let cool.
  2. Cook quinoa according to directions and let cool.
  3. Rinse scallions, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice crosswise into ½-inch thick slices (must be fork-tender), brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill the sweet potatoes until slightly browned and cooked through, about 1½ minutes per side. Grill scallions until slightly charred and softened, about 4 minutes.
  6. Cut grilled potatoes into cubes and chop the scallions.
  7. Toss greens, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, scallions and cooled quinoa in a large bowl with the vinaigrette.

This is a great one-dish meal to serve at room temperature, which makes it easy to bring to a BBQ or as an easy week-night dinner. Sweet potatoes and spinach are packed with Vitamin A and C, providing antioxidants and fiber, while the quinoa is a delicious, protein-rich addition to this simple salad.

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I’ve grown quite fond of lentils lately. In fact, I am now searching through (and testing) every possible lentil recipe on the planet, and I will post the best ones. I made this simple lentil dal last night and was very impressed with it! Thank you One Green Planet for this recipe.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 c yellow lentils (I used red here)
  • 1 c green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or a dash of ground cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (buy from a glass jar, not a can)
  • 4½ c vegetable broth (low sodium, organic)
  • cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for ~2  minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, sauté for another  minute.
  3. Sift through lentils, removing any debris. Then rinse lentils, drain water and add to pot.
  4. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, turmeric, cumin, tomato paste and broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  6. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick, garnish with cilantro and serve warm. Enjoy!
One Green Planet has amazing recipes and other articles to help you live a greener life. Check them out here!

This recipe is: Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (or garlic salt/pepper)
  • garlic (optional)

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Halve each sprout lengthwise, then put in a large bowl for mixing.
  3. Drizzle the the olive oil over the sprouts, mix, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer sprouts to a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until deep golden brown, crisp outside and tender inside, 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. The leaves that are loose will be especially brown and crispy, and are absolutely delicious if you ask me!
  6. Transfer sprouts to a serving bowl and enjoy!

This recipe is: Raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

 

One of my favorites! Also known as “Homemade GU”.

I am absolutely obsessed with this recipe! For my longer workouts (i.e. runs lasting longer than 1 hour), it is CRUCIAL to replenish lost electrolytes. (Read more about The Importance of Electrolytes here). I say “crucial” because in the Texas heat, it truly can be a matter of life or death. Even without the heat, it is still extremely important). Not only will replenishing lost electrolytes make you feel better, but you’ll get a better workout in, as you will abe able to avoid hitting “the wall” as they call it, when you run out of energy.

There is a popular product on the market called GU that I normally would eat in order to provide my body with the electrolytes and carbs that it needs to push on. However, I hate the artificial ingredients it contains and it actually makes my stomach hurt. The ingredients in this recipe are truly delicious. The main ingredients are dates, agave nectar, coconut oil and hemp protein, and the combination of these glucose- and fructose-rich ingredients is the best answer for a quick, easily digestible, high-energy snack.

Dates

Dates are great because they are rich in glucose, which is a simple carbohydrate. This is what the body will look to burn first as fuel. Glucose goes straight to the liver for immediate energy (your body does not have to convert it to anything first). “Glucose-rich foods are the best primary fuel sources before or during a high-intensity workout. However, it burns quickly, which means that if glucose is the only carbohydrate source, it will need to be replenished about every 20 minutes after one hour of intense activity to keep the body adequately fueled.” (1)

When the body runs out of simple carbs to burn, it will turn to complex carbs, which consume more of the body’s energy to break down before they can be used as fuel. This gel is easily digestible, and the carbohydrates here will get to the working muscles super fast!

Agave Nectar

Fructose has a lower glycemic index than glucose. This means it kicks in at a slower rate once consumed, and it burns more slowly, prolonging its effectiveness. This is where the agave nectar comes in.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This form of fatty acid is excellent for quick energy, as it goes directly to the liver to be burned as fuel (just like glucose).

All of the ingredients above are fantastic for shorter, high-intensity workouts. However, for a longer workout, hemp protein is included in the Coconut Carob Gel because the protein will slow the rate at which you burn through those simple carbs, prolonging energy levels. 

I am so thankful to have found this amazing, all-natural recipe in the Thrive book. Now I eat some of this “homemade GU” before every workout, no matter how long it’s going to be!

Notes

  • Recipe yields: ~ 3/4 c., about 8 oz.
  • Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 dates (organic; Don’t forget to remove the pits!)
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa nibs (optional; A superfood and a natural stimulant)
  • 1 tbsp. hemp protein
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients; process until blend reaches a gel-like consistency.
  2. Save the gel in reusable flasks, or in small zip block bags. If you use the small zip block bags, you can cut the corner of the bag off, and squeeze the gel out of the corner of the bag. Very easy while you’re working out!
The gel will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but is best when consumed fresh. Enjoy!

This recipe is: Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I must admit, this combination, pineapple and avocado sounded a bit odd to me at first, but it is absolutely amazing! (Not to mention extremely easy to make).The best advice I can offer when it comes to this recipe, is do not cut corners. Use REAL pineapple and REAL lime juice. I mean, get a lime, and squeeze the juice out of it. Don’t use the juice out of that plastic green container thingy they sell at the grocery store. I cut corners the first time I attempted, and it didn’t turn out so well. Second time around…completely different story! What a difference REAL food makes! This is one of my favorite recipes. I actually ate this for dinner every single night for 3 weeks on the Clean Program, never got tired of it. I even had it for breakfast the other day! Recipe courtesy of CLEAN (4).

Notes

Recipe yields: 1 bowl or 2 small cups
Soak time: N/A
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: N/A
Equipment Needed: Blender

Ingredients

  • 2 c. pineapple, diced small
  • 1 avocado, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 – 1/3 c. water (optional, for thinner texture)
  • A couple pieces of diced pineapple for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except garnish in a bowl.
  2. Take half of that mixture, put it in a blender, and blend. Add water if thinner texture is desired.
  3. Pour blended mixture into the bowl and fold into diced avocado/pineapple mixture.
  4. Add optional garnish if desired, serve chilled and enjoy!