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Valentine’s sweetness

A Valentine’s poem to set the tone for the day

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Whether you’re single or married or any which way.

A feast for the eyes and not bad on the heart

The true indulgence is how you start.

With vegan and gluten free pancakes and a pink mimosa or two

These recipes are sure to delight all and you.

Mix your gluten free flour, bananas, apple, and flax

Then cook on your skillet and just relax

These pancakes will cook quick

And don’t expect them to be fluffy

They’ll be quite thick.

Then juice up your blood oranges, ruby grapefruit, and lemons

Add equal parts champagne

It will taste like the heavens!

Now make a nice place setting for one or two

It doesn’t much matter

This dish is for you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Whether you like Valentine’s Day or not- most people cannot pass up a good mimosa/pancake combo.  I came up with this concoction from my recent juicing and vegan dabblings.

Pink Mimosas with Blood Orange

4 blood oranges

2 ruby red grapefruits

1 lemon

1 bottle of your favorite champagne

Steps

1.  Juice fruits in a juicer and add to glasses with equal part juice mixture and champagne.

The color is amazing and the taste is a great blend of tart and sweet.

blood orange

The first time I had a blood orange I was sitting down to breakfast my first morning in Italy. I sliced into this unassuming orange only to find this deep dark blood red color inside.  I did not know what to do with this thing- the waiter informed me that these blood oranges are very common in the area.  From the first taste, I was in love. They have a much deeper sweetness that normal oranges and I’ve lusted after them ever since.  I just happened to find them at Hannaford during my juice fast so I had to make something special for the occasion.

And now for the pancakes… These may not be for everyone, but I sure was pleased.

Vegan and Gluten Free Pancakes (makes 5 pancakes)

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour

1 banana

1 apple or 1/4 cup applesauce

1/2-1  cup almond milk

1/4 cup ground flax seed

real maple syrup

Steps

1.  Blend banana and apple or applesauce in high speed blender.

2.  Mix mixture with flour, flax, and milk.

3.  Heat skillet to medium-high and spray with cooking oil.  Measure about a cup each for the pancakes.

4.  Enjoy with real maple syrup.

These will be a little more dense than traditional pancakes, but well worth it if you have the dietary restrictions.

Hope you have a great day no matter what you do!  A little self care note to share:  my amazing business leadership coach, Britt Bolnick of In Arms Coaching, is doing a self care workshop on February 9th from 3-6pm.  Learn more here.

Props: from etsy

Paper orchid from Flower Bazaar

Japanese silk from Inji

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Thanksgiving in the Carolinas

This year I went to visit my Dad in North Carolina- I was literally flying solo. Sans my hubby who stayed with his parents and our pup this year.  I missed having him around, but it was nice to have some quality time with my Dad. I don’t get to see him very much during the year especially after moving to Maine.

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We made a Thanksgiving spread for two.  It was a lot of food for two people, but it was the preparations and tradition that made it special for us. We have our favorite dishes we like to see each year.  If you caught my blog about my vegan diet- I did excuse myself from it for Thanksgiving day especially since I was preparing the bird.

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I made these fun turkey name cards a few years ago when I lived in Brooklyn. I found them in Martha Stewart Living.

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We always have a great time walking around town and we were lucky to catch the gingerbread display at the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst.  The pastry chefs make remarkable replicas of the prominent buildings around town including, the Carolina itself.

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We also had a chance to have lunch at the country club in Pinehurst.  I hopped back on my vegan bandwagon with this amazing portobello and grilled veggie sandwich on foccacia bread.  It even had a long toothpick with a tee at the end.

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Happy Holidays!

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All Raw Vegan all the Time!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m back on my raw vegan diet.  I started a six week trial over a year ago and it was the first time in my life I didn’t suffer from stomach aches, fatigue, constipation (TMI?) etc.  There really is something to a plant based diet.  In addition to adding living foods I’ve also cut out lactose and gluten.  I always suspected that lactose played a role in my extreme discomfort and now I know it’s true.  Especially after reading about what our cow’s milk really is.  After my mom had similar severe issues she was told to go off lactose and gluten.  She’s been thriving ever since.  I figured it was worth a try for me too.  It definitely made an improvement, but for me it was hard to break 28 years of SAD (Standard American Diet) habits.

Enter Elizabeth Fraser of Girl Gone Raw.  A co-worker recommended her to me and though I was skeptical I was also intrigued.  Elizabeth’s knowledge and personal dedication to the raw vegan diet was inspirational and I looked forward to each week when we’d prepare meals together.

After the six weeks I was going strong until my husband and I got our first home and shared most of our meals together.  I gotta say it’s hard to eat a salad when someone is downing a burger next to you.  Alex was very supportive in my raw food journey he just wasn’t ready to hop on board.  The beer festivals didn’t help much either.  About a year later and 20 pounds heavier, I cannot sit back and let myself slide anymore.

This week I started working with Elizabeth and Maggie part time in their Kids Gone Raw kitchen and adopting the raw vegan lifestyle once again.

Here are just a few of the snacks they have to offer.  See more of their treats here.

I’ve already lost four pounds since Monday.  I like to keep track of the pounds I lose with this common items list.  Here’s another one.  I’m hoping to lose the average number of pounds of cheese Americans eat in a year (it’s 30).  Right now I’ve lost between a box of wine and a bag of sugar.

Sound intriguing? Here are some baby steps you can take:

1. Take 2 weeks each to eliminate meat, dairy, and wheat/gluten.

2.  What’s left you say?  Plenty!  The raw vegan diet is made up of plants, nuts, nut milks, nut cheeses, and coconut oil.

(These are just suggestions from my experience and are not meant to be thought of ask medical advice.)

3.  Use these resources to learn fun new recipes and faux versions of your favorites.

Girl Gone Raw

Alissa Cohen

Rawmazing

I’ll keep you posted- let me know if you’d like to try!

Free Vegetarian ebook!

The company where I spend my 9-6 each day, StockFood, is launching into the ebook world with its first ebook published in the US, Vegetarian: Simply Delicious.  It offers recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans alike as well as soy free and gluten free recipes.  It draws from various cultural backgrounds so there is sure to be something to suit your mood over and over again.

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This weekend we are running a promotion for free downloads until Tuesday March 12th.   No codes are needed, the ebook will be available in the iTunes store only for $0.00.  After March 11th the price will return to $4.99.  We want to get the word out so that many people are able to take advantage of the free download to write reviews in iTunes and share with others.

My fellow salesperson, Susan, and I have tested some recipes from the ebook- Here is her review:

Respect Your Food

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Here is the recipe I tested.

Rice Paper Rolls with Chili Dip page 40

(For 12 rolls)
Prep and cook time: 30 min​
​
For the rice paper rolls: ​
12 rice paper wrappers​
, 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips​
, 1 bell pepper, seeds removed & cut into thin strips​
, 1 carrot, cut into thin strips, ​
1 avocado, peeled & cut into thin strips, 1 3/4 oz pea shoots, ​
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (coriander)
For the chili dip:​ 
 1 red chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced, ​
1 green chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced​
, 2 1/2 fl oz olive oil​
,  2 1/2 fl oz lime juice​
, 1 shallot, finely chopped

To garnish: ​
scallions
METHOD
For the rice paper rolls: dip 1 wrapper in warm water for a few seconds, until just soft. Drain the excess water and place on a work surface.
Place a few pieces of the remaining ingredients on the wrapper, about 3 cm from the base. Fold up the bottom of the wrapper.
Fold in the sides and roll up to enclose the filling. Place on a tray and cover with a damp tea towel.
Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling ingredients.
For the chili dip: put all the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake vigorously. Tip into a serving bowl.
Tie a scallion around each rice paper roll and garnish with chives. Serve the rice paper rolls with the dipping sauce

Excerpt From: David Link & Petra Koch. “Vegetarian.” v1.5. Icook2day, 2013. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vegetarian/id585624189?mt=11

I’ve always been intrigued about working with rice paper wraps and decided this would fun to try.  They turned out to be a very light and satisfying snack.  I swapped zucchini for the cucumber and had to forgo the avocado- I had a bad one.  I also added a bit of agave to the chili sauce to give a sweet addition to the spicy kick.

For your free download of the ebook Vegetarian: Simply delicious- visit the iTunes store and download it for your ipad.

~Lauren

Super Bowl!

Superbowl XLVII was our first Super Bowl at home.  We usually hit the sports bars for the food, drink, and company.  Alex and I have no care whatsoever for sports, but we do get excited for the Super Bowl- mainly because we like to celebrate- anything.  I was especially excited to make many of the football staple foods and experiment with some new ones.  There were potato skins, buffalo chicken bites, guac and chips, and brownies.  The two crazy new recipes were the cheesy jalapeno cornbread poppers and the buffalo cauliflower  “wings”.  They were both awesome!

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Cheesy Cornbread Jalapeno Poppers

from  www.ohbiteit.com (check out her recipe here and below)

12  Med/Large fresh Jalapenos

1 Box of Cornbread Mix (I used the Honey variety for the sweetness)

1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar (1 cup for the batter..1/2 cup for sprinkling)

1 Cup Corn..fresh OR canned is just fine

Directions:

Slice each jalapeno down the center and carefully remove all the seeds and veins..set aside

In a medium bowl, mix up the Cornbread batter according to the box instructions, add in the Corn and 1 cup of the Cheddar.

Fill each Jalapeno half with some batter!  Eh-hem, don’t over fill them!

sprinkle them all with the remaining 1/2 cup of Cheddar.

Place them on a baking rack & sheet pan, bake them at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until the Cornbread is firm and cooked through.  They will be puffed and cheesy too!

Let them cool cuz they’re HOT!

Here are a few more pics of the spread 🙂

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It was a pretty interesting game.  We chose to root for the 49ers since the Ravens kicked out the Broncos, which made the game all that more exciting.  This was the first Super Bowl in my life that I actually watched all the way through- normally I’m milling about between commercials.

Not to mention another great highlight of the evening was entertaining Rick Parker, or I might say he was entertaining us.  He drew the Beavis and Butt-Head comic series in the ’90s.  Alex interviewed him for The Forecaster and they became fast friends over their mutual love of comics.  So, of course, they had to get a pic in Alex’s infamous Man Cave.  You can find Alex’s interview with Rick here .

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Excelsior!

Lauren

Eating RAW

Today signifies the end of my first week on my new raw diet.  I couldn’t have done it without the help of Elizabeth Fraser of Girl Gone Raw.  She is our local raw food enthusiast and helps others in the community reach their raw potential.

Elizabeth and her Veggie Maki Rolls

I have had many stomach issues since I was young and have tried many different avenues to help ease my pain.  It wasn’t until recently when my symptoms were spiraling that I decided to try something drastic.  I’d heard great things about raw food and Elizabeth in particular and decided to sign up for her 6 Weeks to a Healthier You program.  I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.  In just one week, not only have my symptoms have gone away, but I’m actually feeling great!

I was a little nervous about diving in and leaving all my hot, greasy, fatty, cheesy foods behind.  But, now I actually crave my raw creations.  Its unbelieveable! Elizabeth has been very helpful each step of the way.  We meet once a week to cook an entire meal complete with dessert and she also introduced me to all the raw food goodies at Whole Foods.  So far, I’ve learned how to make my own almond milk, nut cheese, yummy cashew burgers, and even a chocolate bars!

I’ve just come home from another wonderful evening of raw food making with Elizabeth and want to share all the goodies we created.

Veggie Maki Rolls

You’ll need:

-4 sheets of Nori

Filling:

1 cup of cashews, soaked for 2 hours

1 carrot

1 minced scallion

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

sea salt to taste (1/4 tsp)

Veggies to Roll:

1 carrot

1 avocado

1 cucumber

8 sprigs cilantro

1/2 cup of sprouts

Dipping Sauce:

3 Tbs nama shoyu

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs tahini

grated garlic or ginger


1. Chop and mix filling ingredients in food processor

2. Julienne carrot & cucumber, slice avocado & mango into strips.

 

3.  Arrange filling an inch from bottom of nori.  Place veggies on top.

4.  With dry hands, roll the nori up and over the filling, keeping the roll as tight as possible.  As you roll and see a half an inch left, wet the end like and envelope and seal the roll.  Set aside.

5.  Whisk your dip together. Slice roll into half inch slices and enjoy with dip.  YUM!

This might be my favorite recipe so far, the dipping sauce is so flavorful and a great compliment to the rolls!

Veggie Stir Fry

Rice:

2 medium parsnips

1 clove garlic

Veggies:

1 1/2 cups broccoli

1 1/2 cups mushrooms

1 cup snap peas

1 carrot julienned

black sesame seeds

Marinade:

1/3 cup of olive oil

2 Tbs nama shoyu

1 Tbs agave

1. Place broccoli, mushrooms, and marinade in a bowl. Stir to coat.  Let it sit for 1/2 hour.

 2.  Peel parsnips, chop, and place in food processor with cashews and garlic.  Blend until mixture has the texture of cous cous.

 3.  Julienne carrots and chop snap peas in half.

4.  Mix cous cous, veggies, and broccoli mixture in a bowl.  Enjoy!

(Modified from Rawmazing.com stir fry recipe)

Frozen Fruit Sorbet

2 frozen bananas

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/4-1/2 cup water or almond milk

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth & creamy- approx 1 minute.

Serve right away and top with fruit, nuts, coconut, or agave.

Thanks Elizabeth for guiding me in my raw food journey and for letting me share these great recipes!

You can find Elizabeth at http://www.girlgoneraw.com

~Lauren

Happy New Lear?

I’m new to the blogging scene and I will be new to a lot of things pretty soon.  In less than 5 weeks I will be a newlywed, a new wife, new home owner, and newly honeymooned.  On top of all that I’ve just started a 6 week RAW/VEGAN diet.  I love to try new things, so I thought I’d try blogging as well.

I took some time to think of the best name for my blog and I was hoping for newly.com for awhile, however, it was not available.  Just as I was about to purchase newlyblog.com, I thought of newlylear.com, Lear being my soon to be surname.  So, it hit me, happynewlear!  My betrothed, Alex, proposed to me on New Year’s Eve at midnight 2010.  Not only was that a Happy New Year, but I will soon be a happy new Lear 🙂  Yea!

Alex and Lauren 12/31/10

I hope to prove to be someone you look forward to hearing from weekly, whether it be about wedding prep, marital bliss, conquering new home chores/projects, DIYing, my new adventures with my raw diet, and cooking for my veggie loathing other half.

See you soon!

~Lauren

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