Sexytown Maca and Chia Chocolate Pudding

What’s this Maca stuff?  Maca powder comes from the maca root.  Maca root comes from high in the Puruvian Andes.  It has a long history of medicinal use and you’ll soon find out why.  This herb is off the hook:

  1. Vitamins and Energy:  Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.  The high B vitamin profile means that maca energizes.  Plant based athletes are all about it.
  2. Sexual Function:  It balances hormones in both men and women, increases LIBIDO and endurance (oh Heeeyyyyyyy), and has be shown to support healthy fertility.
  3. Woman’s Mood:  Because of the hormone balancing, maca alleviates menstrual symptoms and cramps as well as helping with menopause symptoms.
  4. Skin:  It is also used to clear up acne.  I mean, this makes total sense as it is a hormone balancer!

So, Maca is good for you. How the heck do you use it?  Well, today I’m going to share a pudding recipe with you but you can also add it to smoothies, oatmeal, homemade energy bars, sky is the limit my dears.

Sexytown Maca and Chia Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

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1 1/4  cup non-dairy milk (I used homemade almond)

4 dates

1 1/2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chia seeds

Instructions

Blend the almond milk and dates in high speed blender under completely smooth

Place all ingredients in a mason jar and put a lid on it

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shake it up–best done dancing

Place in the refrigerator of at least an hour

Cover with berries of your choosing

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Mocha Protein Power

Love Coffee?  I do!  I’m quite thankful I’ve gotten my stomach back for a little morning joe.  The thought of it made me sick during my first trimester.  Coffee is often not encouraged during pregnancy and some believe it causes miscarriages.  While I think that high levels of caffeine are not healthy at any time in life, the research seems to suggest that a couple cups of coffee each day during pregnancy does not increase your risk of miscarriage nor have negative effects on development.  In her book, Expecting Better, Emily Oster points out that women who are more nauseated during the first trimester, often drink less coffee (because they feel like crap).  Women who experience nausea in the early phases of pregnancy are less likely to miscarry.  Her conclusion is that its the nausea factor, not the coffee factor that makes a difference.  At any rate, I’m comfortable with two cups a day.  I try to stick with organic and I use homemade almond milk to sweeten it up a bit. Keeps me happy and sane.

This morning I whipped up this coffee/vega protein combo that is just to die for.  Actually, I wouldn’t die for it…but it is REALLY yummy and has added nutrition!   Get yo’ Mocha on, folks.

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Ingredients

I cup brewed hot coffee

1 cup Almond Milk (I used homemade pumpkin spice-bomb)

1 TBLS Almond butter

1/2 serving Vega One Mocha Protein Powder

Dash of cinnomin

Instructions

Blend it up

Top with Cinnamon

Drink it up.


Avocado Pesto

Who doesn’t love pesto sauce?  I’m yet to encounter someone who doesn’t.  My pestos often involve seeds and nuts but this go-around, I tried something new.  Avo pesto hit the spot and requires little to no added oil since the avo is so creamy and wonderful.

We tossed this with quinoa-brown rice pasta, sautéed greens, cherry tomatoes, and tofu.  It was divine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup mixed dark leafy greens (I used spinach and kale, stems removed)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • process in food processor until smooth
  • mix with favorite pasta, grain, or spread it on a pizza base.

Shitake and Brussel Sprout Tacos

I don’t even know what to say about these.  They were quite possibly one of my favorite dinners I have ever made!  And I did it without the flavor enhancing help of oil making these bad boys 100% whole food.  I originally set out to make nut tacos but things got a little carried away and I ended up using the nut “meat” as more of a topping than the main filling.  I do apologize to those who like to follow recipes to a T because all of the spices in this yumminess are “to taste”.  Leif dug this and I even got our exchange student to eat his first round without Siracha–which is quite frankly a miracle since he puts it on EVERYTHING (including oatmeal and peanut better sandwiches).

Shitake and Brussel Sprout Tacos

Ingredients:

  • water for sauté
  • 2-4 cloves diced garlic
  • 8 oz Shikate mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups sliced brussel sprouts
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne
  • salt
  • pepper

For Walnut “meat”

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne
  • chili powder

Other:

  • guacamole
  • cabbage for “shells”
  • grain of choice–we had a wild rice and quinoa mix
  • shredded greens of choice

Directions:

  1. Heat water in a large skillet and add garlic when the water begins to simmer
  2. once garlic is slightly browned, add brussel sprouts and sauté for a few minutes
  3. Add mushrooms and spices and sauté until soft
  4. While mushrooms and sprouts are cooking, Put walnuts and spices in food processor and pulse until crumbled, set aside
  5. Mix up some guacamole–I just mashed some avo with lemon juice and garlic salt but make it however you like!
  6. Peel cabbage leafs to make “shells”
  7. To assemble, place bussel sprout and mushroom sauté in cabbage shell, add toppings–walnut meat, gauc, grains, and shredded greens.
  8. ENJOY!


Banana Buckwheat Pancakes

We are on a breakfast roll!  Both Leif and the 4 year old gal I care for from time to time enjoyed these pancakes.  They are very filling and nutritious. Leif managed to finagle his diaper off before coming downstairs this morning so I just went with it and he ate his breakfast in the nude–best way to eat pancakes if I do say so myself.

check out those cheeks.

check out those cheeks.

While it’s name is misleading, buckwheat is not wheat!  It is actually a seed from the rhubarb family.  It contains eight essential amino acids including a high amount of tryptophan–a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin–which helps to enhance mood!  It is also high in vitamins E and B, Calcium and manganese!  Hip-hip hooray!  Happy and Healthy Pancakes!  Ours turned out extra thick, which I dig, but if you want a bit thinner of a pancake, just add more water or use a bit of almond milk! This is another Thrive modification!

Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder
  • 1/4 cup maca powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 dates
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup barley flakes

Directions:

In a bowl, mix buckwheat flour, flaxseed, hemp protein, baking powder, maca, and cinnamon

In a blender–blend water, banana, and dates until smooth

Slowly pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix well

Stir in barley flakes

Lightly oil skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium heat.  Pour pancake batter to desired size an cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!


Black Bean Brownies

There’s no way around it, I LOVE CHOCOLATE. It is truly one of my weaknesses. Fortunately, veganism does not mean you have to give it up, just be more discerning about what kind and in what form you are eating it. These brownies, adapted from allrecipes.com, are not only gooey and chocolaty, they are jam packed full of fiber, protein, and omega 3’s—making them ideal for a not-so-sinful treat.
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Rosemary Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Dressing

This is one of our favorite dishes. It is especially delectable in the colder months—we probably eat it a few times a week during the winter. It’s filling, healthy, and easy. It’s a great way to use up the veggies in your fridge that are on the cusp of becoming inedible. To my demise, I don’t have access to butternut in Korea so I substitute with pumpkin and it’s delicious. Don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe and try different types of veggies, squash, and potatoes.


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