Homemade Almond Milk

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Growing up I really hated drinking milk. Milk that was plain, milk that had chocolate in it, etc. I hated milk in my cereal, I always preferred eating the cereal plain, straight out of the bag, straight crunchy. But I was forced to drink it every morning before school, since milk has calcium, and milk is good for strong bones. I later discovered soy milk and almond milk as alternatives, and my life dramatically became better. Hah! So I went through a period of time where I made smoothies with and drank plenty of soy milk and almond milk. I bought them from Trader Joe’s, but always felt that the almond milk there was a little lifeless. Not very creamy or full body. So I set my sights on homemaking almond milk to see if there was a difference. And there is! Homemade almond milk is creamy and delicious, and when its homemade, you can add whatever flavors to enhance it. Almonds kind of got expensive, so I don’t make it very often, but if you want to drink the difference, give it a try!

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Fiery Jalapeno Kiwi Salsa!

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For some reason I have always thought of kiwis as an all season fruit – it’s in my house all year long and they seem to be in Costco, always fresh, year round! With the summer abundance of fruit, I have been looking for ways to use them! As decoration (see Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Tart) or as more savory options, like this spicy jalapeño kiwi salsa!

Kiwis have a unique history – surprisingly, they are native to China, where it used to be called Chinese gooseberry. No idea where the goose came from (although there are red core kiwis according to Wiki). Then the cultivation journey of the kiwi fruit went to New Zealand, where there are birds that are called kiwi birds…LOL but New Zealanders named these bright green fuzzy fruits the kiwifruit, and it stuck!!!

This salsa only takes 4 ingredients and can be used as a chips and dip or a topping for fish!!!

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Pitaya Bowl!

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HEALTH FOOD MEGA POST!!!! I love healthy foods as you all know- the weirder the better. I love the fascination with all this raw stuff lately and totally have toyed with the idea of going on a raw food diet for a week. Maybe when I am not about to study for finals and the bar. But anyway, if you haven’t heard, PITAYA has been popular for a year now – a very distant, more popular cousin in pop culture of the ACAI berry – but it is actually a DRAGON FRUIT! Dragon fruits are those pink crazy weird looking fruits you see at Asian supermarkets. My mom bought some once and eating the fruit inside of a real, fresh dragon fruit was totally meh. It was white on the inside with edible seeds, way slimy and lacked flavor. I had no idea that the famous pitaya was actually dragon fruit. The Asian ones however are white in flesh, whereas the Mexican and South American varieties have a red/pink hue. This is definitely a quality it shares with the acai berry: it has a big vibrant hue to it and is definitely the new craze of food health junkies. I tried a pitaya bowl for the first time a month ago at PB’s Rum Jungle and I loved it! The pitaya bowl is a lot less berry tasting, not sweet, and sorta has a slimy texture to it. Pitaya is normally paired with the same stuff as acai so they are both super interchangeable in terms of how you make them in smoothies and bowls. You can purchase pitaya packets at Whole Foods!!! Sprouts doesn’t have them yet (or at least at my local one doesn’t). I used to do a lot of those fun, fast facts about interesting food items so here are some about pitaya:

Fun facts:

1. Pitaya flowers only bloom at night so only bats and moths fertilize them. (kinda like how a bee polinizes flowers).

2. They originated in Mexico, but spread in popularity and cultivation in Southeast Asia.

3. There are many varieties- the Asian store bought ones have white meat with seeds dotted all over it inside; the smoothie pack variety is the pitahaya roja, which has a pinkish meat with seeds dotted all over it inside.

4. If you eat a lot of pitaya, your pee might turn reddish HAHAHA.

5. It has powerful antioxidents, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber and omega-3s. All awesome stuff to keep you healthy and sane.

Here is a pretty powerful pitaya bowl recipe that I used for my first homemade bowl! Acai and pitaya are fun in that it can be paired with anything fun and healthy and colorful in your kitchen. Try it today since it’s so hot outside!

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Garlic Cauliflower Fried Rice!

Just came back from spring break and totally in the spring mode!!! I love spring as it is one step closer to summer!!! I usually buy a bunch of florals, pastels, and light clothing during this time and I am so excited for my haul today! I didn’t do much during this spring break (as opposed to the epicness of Miami last year) but I did get to go home and visit some friends! I also learned this past week that nothing in life is super set- i.e. jobs, relationships, family, friends, and legal troubles. But I do believe that when faced with those life events, trust that everything will work out the way it should and that what you think might be the greatest thing of all may not be and a better opportunity or blessings in disguise are on the other side of the tunnel. 🙂 Thoughts to keep one happy and grounded- especially since there is so much we still have to live and when we look back at how much we are freakin out now in 10 years, it will all be so silly to us. Anyway, this still means lots of time to get in shape and eat healthy and stay active for the rest of our lives!!! I have been obsessed with cauliflower recently, for example, Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh and the Vegan Cauliflower “Alfredo” Sauce. There is so much we can do with this veggie!!! Today I made cauliflower fried “rice” and next time will be cauliflower pizza. So stoked! I am so happy everyone is just as excited about this veggie as I am!!!

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Vegan Cauliflower "Alfredo"!!!

Words cannot describe how excited I am to share this recipe!!! I am so in love with this cauliflower “alfredo”!!!!!!! I literally lick my bowl and spoon every time I eat it – yes, it is THAT good!!! I think it’s the perfect creamy to satisfy the “cream” texture that usually is made true by cream and butter. Cauliflower is seriously my new favorite veggie and it is so versatile. I can’t believe I am just gobbling down cauliflower – shame on me for hating it when I was a kid! But omg I can’t believe cauliflower can be made into vegan pasta sauces, cauliflower rice, Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh, and creamy vegan soups!!! I can’t wait to try more things with this beautiful vegetable!!! You can serve this creamy cauliflower with traditional things too like in place of starchy mashed potatoes or serve it as a creamy sauce with anything and everything. Trust me it is super duper good. I will be making this obsessively from now on. Okay, enough with my raving – here it is!!!

No guilt mashed potato substitute!

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Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh!

Following my cleanse, I made this raw cauliflower tabbouleh to ease back into my normal routine off the juices. LOL this ‘healthiness’ didnt last very long when I had ramen and my gluten free brownies later that day. Along with a weekend filled with alcohol and good food (including McDonalds breakfast and fries). I did counter those things with a 10 mile roundtrip hike in Azusa though! It is called the Bridge to Nowhere Hike! If anyone is interested, make sure you get a $5 Day Pass at the General Store in the little town you pass by before you get to the trail head parking area. Also, parking is difficult (took us an hour and still ended up parking a 1/2 mile away from the trail head). So arrive early (like 8am early) or come by at 12pm when others are leaving from the morning run. You trek through rivers walking on logs and walk on lots of rocks. However, it is a moderate hike, and only very little parts were incline. There isn’t a clear trail, but there are tons of people hiking it so just follow them or shout at the gold miners in the rivers for help of where the trails continue. I enjoyed it so much! It is pretty scenic all the way and you reach the Bridge to Nowhere where you can bungee jump! I did not partake in the bungee jump but it is pretty cool that you have to hike all the way there to do it. My legs are still aching from Sunday so it is a pretty good workout. Took me 5 hours to complete the entire hike to and back so you will get a good workout and burn some calories :). There are parts that had shade, but mostly it was pretty sunny so bring lots of water- I brought 3 bottles 🙂 Check it out and let me know how you liked it! Also, I am so crazy – I drove back from LA that same night and went to Bassmnt to see Dash Berlin and danced the night away so I had an incredible weekend!

Because of all the junk and the good food and alcohol I drank, I made this tabbouleh for the 2nd time this week. So addicted.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts Tossed with Cilantro, Mint, and Red Chilis

Recently I have discovered the art of roasting vegetables and how it gives it a subtle smoky, charred flavor to it. It’s SOOOO EASY!!! You just toss the veggies, ANY kind of veggies, with olive oil and some pepper, stick it into a 375-425 deg oven, and let it roast until it’s brown! It is easy for a quick meal and you can store roasted veggies for a few days in the fridge too! Toss the veggies with some garnishes or sauce and you have a fancy side dish! It’s awesome. And I think you should try it out, and maybe make a beautiful roasted veggie side dish for Thanksgiving!

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