Copycat Ella’s Nibbly Fingers (vegan and gluten free)

After a long while of not buying anything for my kid that comes in a package, I succumbed to a few pouches (Trader’s has the best deal IMO and they are organic!), and a few cracker-type products. …and Ella’s. Oh, damn, they are so good (well, at least I believe this is what Alana thinks about them anyway), and although they aren’t too pricey, they seemed pretty darn easy to replicate. So, I finally went for it! …and they are probably a fraction of the cost of the real thing!

I looked around for some recipe inspo, and didn’t find much, so I truly just took the portions recommended for the flour (I used gluten free oat flour, since I try not to give Alana too many foods that contain gluten), and fruit portions, but then totally went rouge! Here’s what I came up with, and by the look on my daughter’s face (and the fact that she had one in each hand at one point) tells me they were a success! ūüôā

Copycat Ella’s (Blueberry Banana Raisin)

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 handful fresh organic blueberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teensy pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp flax meal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, puree the oil, raisins, blueberries, and banana. Add sea salt (if using) and flax meal.

Move contents to a medium sized mixing bowl and fold in oat flour.

Shape about a tablespoon of your mixture into a “bar” shape (I used a little water on my hands because the mixture is a bit sticky) and line them up on your baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 min. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

I gotta say, I enjoyed the taste of them too (since I had to try them for myself). I love the feeling of making healthy foods for my daughter to enjoy. I know exactly what goes into them and I can be confident she’s eating clean and vegan!

What are some of your favorite plant based DIY kid’s snacks to make for your littles?

Are you a plant based mama, or want to be? Want to transition your family to become plant eaters? Are you pregnant and want to confidently grow your baby on a purely vegan based diet? Need guidance? Contact me! Alana is living proof that kids THRIVE on plants! Just look at those rolls! ūüėČ

 

 

 

Living in a Multivore Household (including a kick-ass vegan enchilada recipe)

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Photographed by Rebecca Coursey



Hi-my name is Dori, and I live in a multivore household. What’s that, you ask? Well, that just means that I’m a vegan (herbivore), and my husband, Joey is well, not a vegan (he’s an omnivore…well, more of a carnivore actually, lol). Little baby Alana is vegan as of right now because she doesn’t have a choice, but when she can make her own decisions about what to eat, I will do my best to educate her on what being an omnivore means and let her choose for herself.

I admit, living with a meat-eater has its challenges. First off, ethically, it took me a while to accept and to accept him as he made his choice to start including animals again (see, my husband was vegan when I met him, albeit, for a really short amount of time–maybe so I would go out with him, ha ha ha–kidding!). In his defense, he *is* from Texas, ha ha, the land of BBQ. I love him dearly and cannot and would not expect him to succumb to my way of eating. That’s not what marriage is; it’s about acceptance and compromise. It’s not about you conforming or making your spouse conform to your belief system, as much as you may want them to.

So, what do you do when you have a baby together and you want to feed this kid? Well…you talk about things openly, for starters. My husband has always respected the fact that I wanted to have a vegan pregnancy and raise a vegan child. See this awesome interview I just did about my vegan pregnancy here.¬†

Right now, as our daughter consumes nothing but mama’s milk, we have no issues, and when we introduce food in 3 months, the foods that are recommended to start with are naturally vegan anyway (avocado, banana, sweet potato, peas, etc.–yay!). I have a few friends who live in multivore households, and they somehow make it work. I intend to as well. I look to my vegan community for support and answers to questions on what they would do or how they would handle certain situations.

So, how do we get by?

“Veganizing” recipes is one way we get through our day-to-day. I make many foods and just prepare vegan versions of them (subbing things like meat/poultry, eggs, milk and cheese with vegan counterparts such as almond milk, Beyond Meat, or Daiya cheese).

Also, my husband eats what he wants, and I eat what I want. During the day, when he goes to work, I have no idea what he consumes, but my guess is, it ain’t all salads and meat substitutes. I stopped asking what he had for lunch because I usually don’t want to know, ha ha!

We try to respect each other’s choices. I used to have a rule about “no meat in the house”, and I still do not prefer storing animal products (although, we do have eggs, cheese and sometimes fish in our home), but he may bring in something very rarely that he enjoys. 99% of the time, he eats vegan while at home. He would never expect me to cook animal flesh for him. If he’d like animal products, he’s responsible for purchasing and preparing them, for the most part.

We always cook vegan when having company over for dinner. This has never been an issue. In  fact, Joey has never once asked me to cook animals for guests. We love hosting, and I love cooking, and Joey is sweet and eats whatever I make on these (now, rare) occasions.

Another way we get along is going to restaurants that have foods for us both. Living in LA, there are a multitude of delicious plant-based restaurants, and I have pretty much tried them all. At one point, that’s all we did was go to strictly vegan restaurants, which I know bothered my husband. There is only so much kale a man can take, ya know? Thankfully, LA also provides plenty of “regular” restaurants with vegan options–more and more each day! So, going out has gotten a lot more interesting and fun for us both.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to veganize most recipes, and so I wanted to include one of my husband’s favorite meals here: enchiladas! I think my vegan version is beyond just acceptable as an alternative, but also pretty darn good, and I’m hoping one day in the not too distant future, my daughter will enjoy them too.

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VEGAN BLACK BEAN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS (inspired by Oh She Glows)

For Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic¬†cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-12 corn tortillas (how ever many fit in your casserole dish)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use a cast iron skillet to make my enchiladas, but you can use a regular 8×12 baking dish, as well.

2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the black beans. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see recipe below).

6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop filling into each tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, scoop it on top of the enchiladas.

7. Sprinkle your Daiya chedder lovingly over the top of enchiladas.

8. Bake the enchiladas uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red color, cheese is melted, and the enchiladas are heated through.

For Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use coconut flour)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 scant cup (8 ounces) tomato paste (or you can use an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt
  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat or add the oil and increase heat to medium.
  2. Stir in the flour until a paste forms (depending on your type of flour, it may be thicker or thinner).
  3. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cook for a couple minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste (or sauce) followed by the broth. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until thickened for about 5 minutes, or longer if desired.

Are you living in a multivore household? What are some of your tips and tricks to keep the peace? Also, if you’re vegan, would you consider dating or marrying someone who was not vegan and why? Chime in!

For personalized nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’ll give you a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation so we can chat about your goals and come up with your plan!!! Can’t wait to hear from you!

Plant-Based Protein Sources

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The majority of people I come across and work with do not always understand where they can find alternative sources of complete plant protein and some will argue that a plant-based diet is lacking and one cannot survive without eating animal flesh. Hogwash!

Also, in my humble opinion, I think we are truly a bit “protein obsessed” in this country! On average, we only need about 20-30% of our calories to come from protein and our bodies can really only absorb about 20 grams of protein per sitting, so consuming globs of whey powders of pounds or grilled chicken breasts won’t do us any good since the body does not maintain a store of excess amino acids (the building blocks of protein).¬†Once your daily protein needs are met, your body has two options for dealing with any excess protein. Option 1: If your calorie intake is low that day, your cells may convert it into fuel. Option 2:¬†If you’ve had plenty to eat that day (i.e. met your caloric intake), your body will convert the extra protein to fatty acids (a.k.a. FAT).

Many argue that plants are not a source of “complete” protein. The term “complete protein” refers the building blocks of protein: amino acids. ¬†There are 20 different amino acids¬†that form a protein molecule, and there are nine¬†that the body cannot make on its own. These nine are called essential amino acids and since the body does not produce them, we need to get them from¬†food sources.¬†In order to be considered ‚Äúcomplete,‚ÄĚ a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in mostly equal parts.

So, animals products such as meat and eggs¬†are naturally complete proteins, and plant sources such as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are not. But I’ve got news for you; we¬†don’t need every single essential amino acid¬†in every bite of food in every meal we eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day.¬†So,¬†if¬†you are consuming a diet rich in nutrient dense plant-based foods, and grazing all day, your body in its infinite wisdom, is smart enough to do its own combining and you’ll get what you need! So don’t worry too much about that and get your butt to the farmer’s market!

As you browse the list to follow, you can see there are plenty of healthy, nutrient dense,¬†plant-based protein choices listed (that are not just soy-based‚ÄĒwith the exception of organic tempeh, which I like on occasion!). A lot of these things can be thrown into smoothies, which I believe is the tastiest way to consume things like blue-green algae, for instance.

Most supplements can be found at your favorite health food store, or online.

POWER PACKING VEGGIE PROTEIN SOURCES

  • Green-leafy veggies (spinach, kale, bok choy, collards, green cabbage, arugula)
  • Good quality plant-based protein powder (my fave is Sun Warrior)
  • Goji berries
  • Mulberries
  • E3 Live (amazing blue-green algae product-this can be extremely powerful for mental clarity!!)
  • Blue-green algae such as chlorella and spirulina
  • Hemp (raw hemp seeds and hemp protein)
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Fresh olives
  • Grass powders (wheatgrass, barley grass, etc. I like Amazing Grass’s products)
  • Maca powder
  • Brewer’s yeast (not recommended for people with candida)
  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Raw almonds
  • Sprouted grains
  • Sprouted wild rice
  • Sprouts of all types
  • Nut butters
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, black, adzuki, etc.)
  • Lentils
  • Organic, non-GMO tempeh

As you can see, there are¬†plenty of foods to choose from! If you need more specific help incorporating them into your diet, contact me! I can help you come up with some very tasty ways to start consuming more plant-based protein, and I promise, you won’t even miss that burger!