Food, Vegan Recipes

Chia Seed “Crunch” Raw Chocolate

A week ago, I picked up a bag of organic chia seeds from Trader Joe’s.  I believe chia seeds first entered my consciousness when I saw a pic dream hampton posted on twitter a while ago.  It was a glass of water filled with weird looking gelatinous balls.  My knee jerk reaction was “yuck.. what the hell is that?”  But my curiosity was piqued. And I dig dream, so I figured there must be something good about these odd looking critters.

Anyway, I finally tried them myself and began doing a little research.  Apparently, chia seeds are the latest “superfood” , eaten by the Aztecs and renown for its protein, antioxidants and fiber.  There is some debate over whether their omega 3’s are actually beneficial.  Regardless, people seem to think that chia has all kinds of magical powers.  It’s supposed to provide an energy boost, assist with weight loss and soothe the body with its antioxidant properties.  And since the seeds expand into little balls of gel with a crunchy center, they can be used to thicken drinks or to make pudding. I now add chia seeds to my water and smoothies.  Tonight, I tried my hand at chia chocolate.
chia seed raw chocolate

As with all of my previous batches of raw chocolate, I’m using a basic recipe from the Rawtarian.  I was concerned that the chia seeds would begin to gel and expand in the chocolate, as they do in liquid.  But they remained hard and crunchy – probably because I put the batch in the freezer immediately after making it.  I must say, it turned out to be pretty fantastic.

And so it is that I’ve made the ultimate super food snack: coconut oil, raw cacao AND chia seeds.  Organic, vegan AND gluten free. I just might start speaking in tongues any minute now. Hallelujerr!

chia seed raw chocolate

Food, Vegan Recipes

Mediterranean Polenta with Kale in Tomato Sauce


I’ve been plotting on this meal all week and finally tried it out today. On my last trip to the market, I bought fresh kale and pre-packaged polenta for the first time and I’ve really enjoyed their variety and yumminess.

In Lieu of a Recipe:

I made the tomato/onion sauce in the Vitamix a few days ago and froze it. This morning I thawed it out, poured it into a small sauce pan and added a handful of shiitake mushrooms. I also added a teaspoon of agave syrup, a few capers and squeezed in a touch of fresh lemon juice.

While that was simmering, I massaged a big bunch of kale and sautéed it with a pinch of sea salt in a generous amount of EVOO. Then I added four slices of Roma tomato, which I sprinkled with basil.

In a small pan, I sautéed four slices of polenta in even more EVOO. (This is certainly not a low fat recipe). I then added the kale to the polenta and sprinkled it all with freshly ground black pepper. I left the slices of Roma tomato in the stir fry pan, but turned off the eye.

Meanwhile, I emptied my stove (which I generally use for storage) and set the broiler to low. I sprinkled the kale/polenta mix with 1/3 cup of Daiya vegan cheddar. I put the small pan in the oven and let it broil for about 5 min, until the tomatoes were a touch crispy and the cheese was bubbly.

To plate it up, I put a few spoonfuls of the sauce down first, then layered the polenta/kale/cheese mix, alternating with more sauce. Finally I garnished this delectable dish with the grilled tomatoes, capers and basil.

Words cannot describe how amazing this was. And it’s gluten free/vegan!


Lazy Gourmet: Habanero Taco Salad with Fried Plaintain


Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes


– 1 lb. of ground beef (grass fed, organic)
– 1 can of black beans
– Tortilla chips
– 2 ripe plantains
– Jalepeno peppers
– Crushed habaneros
– Shredded mexican cheese
– Pico de Gallo salsa
– Sour cream
– One small can of black olives
– 1/2 lime
– Romaine lettuce
– Taco seasoning
– Salt, pepper to taste
– Olive oil

1. Set stove to medium. Coat saucepan with 1/2 inch of olive oil.
2. Slice and fry plantains. Be sure to turn plantains frequently. Remove from heat when golden brown.  Drain on paper towel and cover with foil.
3. Cook ground beef and sauté with taco seasoning, salt, pepper and habaneros.
4. Prepare taco salad with two handfuls of romaine lettuce. Layer with cheese, beans, tortilla chips, peppers, black olives, salsa, sour cream. Garish with lime juice.
5. Devour.


Lazy Gourmet: Spicy Spinach Ravioli

Fresh ravioli with prosciutto, spinach & gorgonzola in a light butter sauce

Cooking time: 20 minutes

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil

2. Add fresh ravioli and bring to boil again until done

3. Drizzle EVOO in a saucepan with minced garlic

4. Drop two handfuls of fresh baby spinach into saucepan, along with two pinches of salt. Cook until wilted (about 2 minutes) and remove from heat

5. Drain ravioli. Add pasta to a saucepan (cooking on low heat) with spinach, two tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with gorgonzola, prosciutto, pepper and spices to taste

6. Devour.


Lazy Gourmet: Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Spicy Jelly

Fig Goat Cheese on Crusty Bread with Red Pepper Jelly & Chili Apricot Preserves

Prep Time: 5 minutes

On the left, crusty bread featuring Stonewall’s amazingly delicious red pepper jelly:

On the right, my own blend made from Bonne Maman’s Apricot preserves, chili pepper and a pinch of salt: