Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Chips

So I finally caved and I’m putting out a Pumpkin Spice recipe! I felt like it was selling out just a bit but I can assure you it was worth it! Although this time of year pumpkin spice emerges in far too many places I felt the need to share my first pumpkin spice creation this season: Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chips. Why bread pudding? And why add chocolate? First off I love bread pudding.

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Spicy Peanut Kelp Noodles

Spicy Peanut Kelp Noodles

Noodles. Is there any other form of sustenance more comforting? I personally love how many different cultures around the world have their own version of a noodle. Some of my favorite meals I’ve ever had have involved a form of carb-y, often saucy noodle delight. Despite the fact that most of us love these dishes, they do tend to receive a bad rap due to their carb/gluten content. Enter kelp noodles. I’ve tried so many noddle and pasta variations and have a few strong options at the top of my list of favorites and kelp noodles are definitely among those top. I love how versatile these are and how the texture changes when introduced to a sauce to create a slightly chewy bite. Simply put, these provide what you want when you’re looking for a noodle dish without all the carbs, gluten and calories. 

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The Ice Cream You Can Eat For Breakfast

The Ice Cream You Can Eat For Breakfast

I’ve decided on calling this the ‘Ice Cream You Can Eat For Breakfast’ because that was the first thing that came to mind when I finished making this and tasted how delicious it was, realizing that all of the ingredients are socially acceptable breakfast items. Even if they weren’t socially acceptable, who cares? You’re an adult and can eat chocolate for breakfast if you like, especially if that chocolate ice cream had protein, actual fruit and sustainable slow-burning carbohydrates in it. I also didn't want to call it specifically chocolate because theres some room for adaptation here as with almost all of my recipes. What can I say? I like to live a free spirited life and some days you may want this to be a vanilla ice cream or peanut butter ice cream, or matcha, or mixed berry….I can go on all day like this but you get the point, there’s lots of ability to play here. 

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Easy Green Coconut Curry

Easy Green Coconut Curry

Let’s talk all things curry. No doubt about it, I am a huge curry fan. Never tiring of the big, bold, creamy, spicy flavors curries hit you with. Just so you have the full picture I always go to Thai or Indian restaurants with the intention of “I will eat until I’m just satisfied and take the rest home” and that idea goes to hell real quick and before I know it I’m drinking the last drops of coconut milk like some sort of fiend. Not even sorry. This leads to being somewhat of a curry snob. And to break it down there are somany different types that stem from different regions around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to go to India and also to South East Asia and try curry and its an absolute mouth-gasm when done right. Honestly, I could die happy eating curry. So I learned how to make my own just the way I like them (and despite making them frequently I still enjoy to hit up a traditional hole-in-the-wall restaurant and get the real deal with no clean up required). And now I want to teach you (and everyone else). 

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Answering the questions: How do you travel so much? Do you want a REAL job?

Answering the questions: How do you travel so much? Do you want a REAL job?

Let me start this off by saying one thing: I do not have a lot of money….or possessions….or a fancy car. And yes I live in Orange County, Ca. But I can also say with confidence I am content with the person I am and the things I do within my community. Ultimately, I don’t see my job(s) as a paycheck anymore, no, I see my work as an extension of who I am as a person and what I feel my purpose is in this life. Granted, these things can always change. I have never been one to believe that we have to settle for ordinary and in fact I think that word should be banned from our repertoire of wonderful words we could use to describe what we do and who we are.  I don't typically like to give others advice on how to live their lives but just some food for thought (and I do love food!): If your life in any of it’s facets has become Ordinary, contemplate trying something new, yes, radically new and exciting. Challenging our Ordinary and finding areas of discomfort opens up new pathways, creates new connections, keeps us thinking and wards off the curse of boredom. Each day is a gift, our very lives a miraculous circumstance that none of us have 100% figured out (email me if you have). 

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The Best [Vegan] Banana-Nut Muffins (or Loaf) Ever

The Best [Vegan] Banana-Nut Muffins (or Loaf) Ever

This is the best reason to let your bananas get overripe. I've caught myself intentionally letting them get covered in brown spots until there almost covered in them and at that point I have no choice but to say "I'm either freezing these or making banana bread today". Freezing bananas is great as they make easy additons to smoothies, nice cream and exceptional banana bread when thawed out... who doesn't love options? I play with my banana bread recipe, mixing up the add-ins, the cook time, etc. You can also make this into a loaf or muffins, they are both great, loaf is nice to make little dessert sandwiches (peanut butter in between!) and muffins make a great breakfast-on-the-go. 

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Quiche-off; Plant-based vs. Traditional (Spoiler: Vegan wins!)

Quiche-off; Plant-based vs. Traditional (Spoiler: Vegan wins!)

I am so stoked. There are certain foods that I never thought I would see veganized when I became a vegetarian almost 10 years ago now (I have always strived to be as plant-based as possible) but now more than ever I see Vegan products popping up all over the place! There is bound to be pros and cons with the growing trend but I know that this shift is extremely beneficial for our society and our planet and as a result, I have transitioned into a being totally Vegan and I am so incredibly stoked! 

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Why a Home Practice is Rad (& why it's worth trying!)

Why a Home Practice is Rad (& why it's worth trying!)

What brings you to your mat? What is the driving force behind advancing your yoga practice? If it is in some way shape or form to get to yourself better then taking uphome practice is something to consider! I mean, maybe what you need to obtain from the practice you are perfectly receiving from your teacher(s) in a class setting but there is something potentially magical you could be discovering on your own. 

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Sweet Potato-Chai Spice Scones w/ Cinnamon Glaze (Vegan comfort food!)

Sweet Potato-Chai Spice Scones w/ Cinnamon Glaze (Vegan comfort food!)

I definitely have a thing for making up my own recipes, I love experimenting but sometimes its nice to find inspiration via someone else's recipe and adapt that to be your own creation. Even if I try to stick to a recipe, more often than not I will add or subtract a little something here or there, it's just part of making it my own and it's fun! 

About the scones, I came across a Thug Kitchen recipe (check them out if you haven't already!) and I have not made any of their recipes yet but heard good things and when I saw Sweet Potato Chai Scones well, I just knew I had to try them out! I LOVE chai, which in India really just means tea but here in the Western world it means creamy, spicy, sweet delight and it is basically the equivalent of an ice cream cone to me! Plus, sweet potatoes are amazing. I pretty much scrapped any plans for the rest of the afternoon that day and decided making these was higher on the priorities list.

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Vegan Bao w/ Teriyaki-Jackfruit Filling

Vegan Bao w/ Teriyaki-Jackfruit Filling

I have always loved all types of ethnic cuisines, probably because I grew up in America eating the traditional foods here and I had a good case of “the grass must be greener on the other side”. As a teenager there was a phase where I tried all types of cuisines I could get my hands on with an open mind and an always hungry stomach. There is something so fun about trying something I never have before and this is an aspect of myself which only continues to grow as I experience more. This curiosity for all things culinary is important to me and I feel a hunger for more (pun intended) always. When I was 15 I transitioned into a vegetarian lifestyle (best decision I made as a youngster), it is to this date one of the things I am most proud of and will stand by always. That being said this lifestyle means that I cannot simply drive to L.A. and eat at any trendy ethnic restaurant and have whatever is on the menu, not because I physically can’t but rather I don’t want to, these things do not align with my morals. Someone wise once said “if there is a will, there is a way” and that is how I choose to look at it. 

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

As I mentioned in the previous post desserts have never been my strength but I love them nonetheless! I was super excited that this vegan version of pumpkin pie not only turned out but I think tastes better than conventional, not to mention it was super easy to throw together! I always liked my pumpkin pie with whipped cream, it really doesn't seem the same without it so I am truly thankful for coconut whipped cream and it is truly a no brainer to whip up! The crust is really just a traditional crust just using Earth Balance buttery sticks (the stick part is important) vs. regular butter and the filling is actually easier than traditional, you just need to remember to soak your raw cashews overnight! 

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Veganizing The Holiday's!

Veganizing The Holiday's!

Happy Holidays to all! As I was preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner it occurred to me the need to share all of the easy and accessible ways to veganize traditional holiday dishes. As my family typically has a traditional American Thanksgiving I had to keep all of the main dishes nearly identical to how they always have been and I added in a couple new things to the menu as well. I think everyone was a little surprised at how easy it was for me to make a few simple substitutions without sacrificing the integrity of any of the feast, really, anyone can do this! With so many more holiday festivities just around the corner I thought I would share my favorite tips, no recipes per se because I really like showing people how to make things your own, trust your inner chef and go with the culinary flow. 

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The Importance Of Taking Time Off (& the changing of seasons!)

The Importance Of Taking Time Off (& the changing of seasons!)

For the sake of getting straight to the point I will say this: I have been very busy as of late with all great things! All the while though I forgot to be grateful for it all (oops!). Amongst all the work, family, work outs, keeping up with friends, more work and other menial duties I really didn’t stop to think abut the fact that I have had the honor of carrying out all of these tasks and I am in fact very grateful for it all. However, the caveat with all this positive busy-ness is that I have begun to neglect myself and my needs and I have found myself on-edge a lot more than usual, worrying about all the things I need to get done, what I’m not tending to, how short the days can seem, how long others can seem, who I haven't connected with, how many things have gone less than perfectly…you get the point. But none of that actually is THE POINT; sed point is much larger then any of my trivial worries can ever amount to and with this knowledge one should be able to chill out and relax right? Well, yes but finding this sense of inner peace during times of chaos (good or bad!) I am finding this is an artfully composed dance, a dance around BALANCE. Give and take, ebb and flow, positive and negative; always in life there are existing forces of opposition and it is our greatest task to find something in between the two forces that inevitably take us in two totally different directions. All of this is good if we can somehow refrain from attaching “the story” to our emotions and situations that continuously occur throughout our lives, meaning when something, anything happens to us we immediately attach a story to it telling ourselves how to react and at that moment we decide if we are holding onto this emotion and story we have told ourselves. We do this constantly! And we are supposed to, we are human after all; perfection is not something we are going to be attaining anytime soon. 

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Rhubarb & Black Cherry Crisp (vegan)

Rhubarb & Black Cherry Crisp (vegan)

I love fruit, all kinds, I don't discriminate. I love fruit fall, winter, spring and most definitly summer! That being said it's not surpirsing that I try to combine fresh fruit into dessert as often as I can, they bring vibrancy, lightness and the right amounts of sweet and sour flavors to complete an otherwise heavy dessert. It's important to have that balance of flavors, it leaves you satisfied! 

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Creamy pesto linguine (vegan!)

Creamy pesto linguine (vegan!)

Who doesn't love creamy-herby-pestoey pasta?! No one. Everyone loves pasta. In this recipe I combine my love for pesto with a walnut-basil pesto, alfredo with a lovely cashew cream, my favorite seasonal veggies and toss them with some whole wheat linguine! The best part? IT'S VEGAN. Boom.

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Learning to adapt, allowing for change and being totally calm about it!

Learning to adapt, allowing for change and being totally calm about it!

Just a few years ago if you had told me I would be writing my first official blog post on being calm during major life changes I would have been confused, amused and probably laughed about it. But the truth is I have learned to be okay with changes however big or small and the fear of not knowing what the outcome may be no longer phases me.

How did I get to this place? To be perfectly honest I'm not sure I can accurately describe it but what I do know for certain is that I began to trust. I trusted that when I felt inclined to do something, talk to someone, go some place I felt that for a reason and I needed to go for it! The problem with this listening to myself thing is that it got in the way of my routines, my structure and the way I had designed my life to be very calculated; long story short I realized this perfectly structured way of living was quite frankly awful! 

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