Apricot Buckwheat Bites

LVV MoFo 2014 mainOne of the best parts of MoFo this year has been discovering new and unexpected nutrition sources. The internet is full of top-ten lists, touting the best ways to get various nutrients on a vegetarian/vegan/paleo/gluten-free/whatever diet. But those lists only take you so far—I’ve found plenty of great protein and iron sources simply by rifling through my pantry. Today’s mostly raw recipe combines a few surprising sources of iron into a super satisfying snack.

Apricot Buckwheat Bites

Apricot Buckwheat Bites
Makes 20 balls about 1.5″ in diameter

  • 1/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup raw buckwheat groats, divided
  • 8-10 medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 2/3 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (measure before chopping)
  • 2 T raw shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Dash sea salt

Add the hazelnuts and half the buckwheat groats to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the dates (start with 8), apricots, and vanilla extract and process until all ingredients are combined—the mixture will be a little sticky, but it should hold together. If it’s too dry, add the remaining dates. Add the remaining groats, hemp seeds, and sea salt and pulse a few more times until all new ingredients are incorporated.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls about 1.5″ in diameter. Store in the refrigerator for best results.

Note: Vanilla bean seeds would work great here, but I couldn’t find mine… so, vanilla extract it was.

Apricot Buckwheat BitesThese little bites have a satisfying crunch to them thanks to the raw buckwheat groats. If you’ve never used raw buckwheat, do yourself a favor and try it. Just be careful not to buy toasted buckwheat accidentally—that satisfying crunch will be much less satisfying and a little more unpleasant in that case. (Toasted buckwheat is also called kasha, and it makes a nutty replacement for your favorite cooked grain.) Raw buckwheat is—surprise!—a great source of iron, as are the apricots, dates, and hemp seeds. Four of these bites will give you 13% of your daily value of iron, along with 4 grams of protein and 6.4% of your daily value of calcium. Impressive!

Have you tried raw buckwheat groats? How do you like to use them?


Chocolate-Covered Baby Balls [Or, Multiple Weeks’ Worth of Food, Mostly Dessert]

Okay, I swear this post isn’t a chocoholic pedophile’s fantasy (I feel gross just saying that)! Hear me out and I’ll explain – it’ll be worth the wait, I promise!

Tonight I had the most satisfying, amaaazing, and simple dinner ever. My hungry belly loved this meal!

Hello, summer deliciousness!

I channeled Angela‘s hot-over-cold approach to dinner with this dish, and I was surprisingly delighted by the result. I sauteed a yellow zucchini, some spinach, chard, and spring onions and piled that on top of a bed of a cold Southwestern Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa salad I whipped up a few nights ago. Paired with lots of raw sugar snap peas and hummus, this meal screamed “SUMMER!” to me, especially since the veggies came straight from my CSA share. My roommate and I have a half-share (every other week) from a local organic farm, and they deliver the boxes straight to our work. It’s pretty much the most convenient thing ever! I didn’t get a chance to photograph this week’s haul since my roomie picked up the share, but here’s last week’s deliciousness:

First share o' the year!

That box included arugula, broccoli, cilantro, garlic scapes, head lettuce, kohlrabi, radish, Red Russian kale, salad mix, spinach, and strawberries. Holy freshness, Batman!

Anyway, after tonight’s dinner, I desperately wanted something sweet to round out my fabulous meal. Too bad I didn’t have any chocolate-covered baby balls left!

Oh, my.

Yeah, I know that photo is grainy, ugly-colored, and badly composed, not to mention a little nauseating. But its subject is so damn delicious that I’m posting it anyway. A chocolate-covered baby ball, you see, is born when two awesome bloggers’ recipes collide; more specifically, when Averie’s No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls take a dip in Katie’s Pseudo Magic Shell. This chocolate covered hunk o’ peanut butter is a totally Katie-inspired dessert, hence the “baby” in its name. :)

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t have any baby balls left for dessert tonight. Nor did I have its flattened cousin:


Yep, that’s essentially a homemade peanut butter cup comprised of the same ingredients as the baby balls. Freakin’ amazing. ‘Nough said.

So without baby balls or peanut butter cups ready for my sweet tooth, what could I eat for dessert tonight? Not these cupcakes, sadly:

Multicolored brethren.

I made these for my roomie’s birthday last week. Using some VCTOTW recipes as a base, I made Peanut Butter Cupcakes with chocolate frosting aaand Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with vanilla frosting. The vanilla frosting is dotted with – get this – accidentally!vegan mint chocolate chips I discovered at Woodman’s recently. Score!

Sadly, though, those cuppers are no more. I considered devouring the only fruit from today’s CSA share…

(Okay, this photo is from our first share, but whatever!)

…but decided to save them for tomorrow. Instead, I went with a perfect dessert for a hot day – banana soft serve, of course!

Very soft serve.

It was a little more soup than soft serve, but that didn’t detract from its cool deliciousness. I made Averie’s vanilla variation, and used maple syrup for a sweetener, and it was almost too sweet! Now that I’m the ripe old age of 23, I find myself much less able to tolerate eXtReMe sweetness. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

So – that’s pretty much a summary of the foodie happenings in my life lately. What’s the most delicious thing you’ve eaten recently?

Raw Wednesday: A Lack of Novelty

I failed to diversify this Raw Wednesday, by which I mean that I ate the exact same thing I had a couple of weeks ago. Maybe that makes me super lame and boring, but I appreciate a dish I can depend on, one that I know is going to satisfy me and taste delicious. If a raw meal can count as a comforting standby, then that’s a good thing, right? I think so, and Gena‘s Zucchini Marinara is well on the way to achieving that status. My meal tonight was both beautiful and delicious, as ever.

Raw deliciousness.

When I made this dish two weeks ago, I enjoyed mixing avocado slices with my zucchini noodles. Tonight, I used sliced mushrooms instead, and found that the marinara complemented them quite well. I wasn’t extremely hungry, so I had leftover sauce, and my brother ended up mixing it with some bottled marinara sauce and using it over regular ol’ pasta. We both enjoyed our dinners, and now I’m going to wrap up this short ‘n sweet post to go do some shopping with the aforementioned brother. Ciao!

Hooray, it’s Chocomole Day!

…sorry; I couldn’t resist the stupid rhyminess of that title.

After my big Raw Wednesday fail, I knew I had to make amends this weekend. The two extremely ripe avocados sitting on my kitchen counter this morning seemed to be looking at me reproachfully, asking why on earth I hadn’t cut ’em open and whizzed them into a bowl of chocolaty deliciousness yet. So who was I to resist their call? I quickly set to work whipping up a batch of Gena’s Chocomole.


Dudes, it took a heckuva lotta willpower to resist eating this for brunch. But in an impressive feat of resistance, I put this in the fridge and decided to save it for dessert. All that anticipating and waiting just makes the final satisfaction so much better, don’t you think? (That’s what she said!) Whatever the case, this was one yummy dessert. I was surprised by how rich and filling it seemed! I could barely finish this smallish serving. It was creamy, sweet, and just slightly avocado-y. I used a mix of my favorite extra dark cocoa powder and carob powder, but I think I’ll stick to straight-up carob next time. I’d love to get my hands on some of the raw cocoa powder Gena used, but we’ll see about that. For now, I’ve got at least one more serving of Chocomole sittin’ pretty in my fridge, waiting to be gobbled up next time I get a chocolate craving. Mmm, mmm, good. :)

Raw Wednesday: Choosing Raw’s Zucchini Marinara

It’s Raw Wednesday, people! Get excited! I know I sure did. Today I realized that I haven’t used Sallie the spiralizer in a few weeks, and that’s just a darn shame. So I liberated Sallie from her hiding place in the cupboard and set her to work making zucchini “pasta” for my raw lunch.

As I was debating what to use as a topping for my zucchini noodles, I remembered hearing various bloggers rave about the Sweet Pepper Marinara from Choosing Raw. When I checked out the recipe and realized that I had everything I needed to make the famed raw marinara sauce, I just couldn’t resist. Into my trusty ol’ blender went all the ingredients, and the result was a thick, beautiful, brightly-colored marinara sauce that tasted as good as it looked.

Pretty colors, no? I followed Gina’s suggestion and added some avocado slices to my zucchini noodles, which helped bring some variety to the bowl. Unpictured is a big handful of mung bean sprouts I also threw in there; we had some in the fridge that needed to be eaten and I figured, what the heck? They’re noodle-y enough! And the marinara sauce tasted just wonderful over all my veggies. I’m glad to say that the sauce lived up to the hype; I really loved it. I think I’ll be sure to add more sundried tomatoes next time, though, because I was eyeballing my measurements and I think I skimped in that department. Ah well.

Now I just need to get me some dates and whip up some of that Chocomole that looks so enticing! Mmm, dessert… :)

Zucchini for You, Zucchini for Me…

Given the fact that spiralizers are also known as “saladaccos,” I’ve christened my brand new spiralizer “Sallie.” A few days ago, I tested Sallie’s capabilities by making perhaps the most obvious spiralizer dish possible – zucchini “pasta” noodles.

My spiralizer test started off with a minor hitch. I thought we had a zucchini in the vegetable crisper, but apparently cucumbers are easily confused with zucchinis when viewed through plastic refrigerator drawers, and I got a nasty surprise when I attempted to remove my “zucchini” from the fridge. This minor setback was remedied by an impromptu trip to the grocery store, where I was pleased to discover locally grown zucchinis on sale. Score! I picked up a few lovely specimens and headed home.

The poor little zucchini didn’t know what hit him – Sallie’s blades made fast work of the little devil and reduced the sucker into a surprisingly large pile of gorgeous green noodles. Needless to say, I was quite pleased with the results. Although I’d wanted to make a raw marinara sauce to top my pasta, necessity (and a lack of certain ingredients) proved once again to be the mother of invention and I instead came up with a fairly tame broccoli pesto-type topping for my pasta. Mixed with some fresh cherry tomatoes straight outta the garden, this was one of the tastiest and simplest lunches I’ve had in a while.

Zucchini loveliness.

Holy delicious vegetables, Batman! Doesn’t this look so pretty? And the broccoli-basil pesto was super simple to make. I love having basil plants sitting on the backyard deck; I can go harvest basil whenever the need strikes! :) I’m going to include the “recipe” for this pesto, but it’s super simple and could definitely benefit from any sort of spice you’d like to add.

Super Simple Broccoli-Basil Pesto (makes a large batch, more than enough for one bowl of zucchini noodles!)
2 heads broccoli
1 large handful basil (adjust to taste)
~1 T olive oil (again, adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

First, steam your broccoli for about a minute or two, just to soften it up a bit and to give it that lovely bright green color. To keep this recipe 100% raw, I’m sure you could skip this step and still have it turn out just fine. Then put your broccoli in a food processor and give it a few whirls until it’s in noticeably smaller pieces. Add your olive oil and basil and process it ’til everything’s pretty finely chopped. Add spices to taste and pulse the whole shebang a few more times to mix it up. And that’s it. Super simple!

Now, you’d think I would’ve gotten my fill of zucchini at lunch time. But oh no, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, especially with those gorgeous local zucchinis sitting pretty in my fridge. So that night I whipped up a batch of the St. Patrick’s Day Zucchini Muffins from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Muffin love.

Susan never steers me wrong. These were moist, flavorful, and delicious. They’re completely fat free since I didn’t include the crumb topping; I just sprinkled them with a little bit of cinnamon sugar. I also used a flax “egg” in place of the Ener-G, since I don’t have any egg replacer.

These muffins went fast. My decidedly non-veg*n brother was home for the weekend, and when I caught him munching on a muffin after lunch, he told me that he actually prefers my vegan muffins to “regular” muffins! I’m not gonna lie; that made me feel a little melty inside. Three cheers for delicious vegan baking!

Raw Wednesday

I suppose it’s not technically Wednesday anymore, but better late than never, right? I meant to post earlier, but I got tied up with family and friend type activities and you know how it goes. Anyway, I’ve got a doozy of a post planned for tomorrow, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. And that’s fitting, really, because my eats today were simple and unassuming yet undeniably satisfying.

In the spirit of Raw Wednesday, I put together a magnificent raw lunch that filled my tummy and made me smile thanks to its colorful appearance. Check it out:

Raw delight.

Lovely, no? My lunch was comprised of two dishes. First, I decided to try a recipe from Choosing Raw that I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Although I’ve never been a huge tomato soup fan, Gena’s chilled Basic Tomato Soup looked like the perfect way to use some delicious tomatoes from my dad’s garden. And it performed that function perfectly.

Avocado and tomato goodness.

Although it ended up being a little avocado heavy (and thus turned a borderline unappetizing green-brown color), the tomatoes fought back and let their garden fresh flavor shine through. The result was a delightful mix of creamy avocado and sweet tomato goodness. My only problem with the soup was the slight tangy balsamic vinegar aftertaste I noticed with each spoonful, but that’s just because I seriously dislike being able to taste or smell any type of vinegar in my food. Even though I did cut down on the amount called for in the recipe and added the smallest of splashes, I should have left it out entirely to tailor the soup to my personal tastes. Other than that, however, it was a perfect summer soup, and it paired so well with the more substantial part of my lunch.

Lovely lettuce wraps.

These lettuce wraps were filled with matchstick zucchini slices and generous scoops of the Sunflower Pate I made a few days ago, and they were fantastic! Although Romaine lettuce may not be optimal for wrapping, it was the only type we had in the house and worked fairly well. I had another helping of pate on the side with more zucchini for dipping, and I also enjoyed three delicious heirloom Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes. I love these little guys; they’re so amazingly sweet and smooth and rich. They’re truly a treasure and I love popping them in my mouth right off the vine. They complemented the meal perfectly, and I washed everything down with some Santa Cruz Mango Lemonade. It was a wonderfully refreshing lunch on a hot summer day.

Although I planned on enjoying a big ol’ massaged kale salad for dinner, my wonderful father ended up making a potato-leek-mushroom hash and I just can’t resist his cooking. There’s always tomorrow, right?

Soft Serve on a Sunday

Remember when I thought I broke the family food processor whilst attempting to make Gena’s banana soft serve? Well. I didn’t break it.

In fact, it’s so very unbroken – and apparently so full of contrition for its previous failure – that it graciously allowed me to succeed at my soft serve-making endeavors. But more on that later, because banana soft serve wasn’t the only raw part of my day.

I’ve been eyeing Gena’s sunflower seed-based pate ever since she posted the recipe, and today I finally got around to trying it. You see, my sister has a fairly severe allergy to nuts, and because I don’t make or bake food that she can’t eat, I’ve not tried out as many raw recipes as I’d like since so many of them are nut-based. Although I personally feel that peanut butter is akin to the wheel as one of the greatest inventions of all time, VeggaSis wouldn’t appreciate it if I baked huge batches of peanut butter cookies every night and gobbled them down in front of her, so I tend to tone down my nut consumption in her presence. After all, sharing is almost the best part of baking and cooking! Almost.

So when Gena posted a recipe for a pate made from sunflower seeds, I was ecstatic. The recipe has been at the back of my mind for a few days now, so when I happened upon a tub of raw sunflower seeds at the grocery store last night, I knew the moment had come. I didn’t realize Gena uses dates in her recipe (to add thickness, I imagine), but since I didn’t have any in the cupboard I just left ’em out. Actually, I added a tiny scoop of raisins, since I figured they’d function similarly. I don’t really like raisins, but my dear friend the food processor chopped them into oblivion, so all’s well that ends well. And end well this recipe did.


As you can see, I used the pate in a mini “rawsagna,” nestling the spread between thick slices of zucchini. And since I ended up deconstructing the rawsagna and eating it slice by slice, the extra mound of pate served as a perfect dip. It made for a truly delicious meal; the pate was a little tangy from the lemon, slightly salty, and just substantial enough to fill me up without making my tummy feel uncomfortably full. With a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar for dessert (hey, I never said I didn’t eat single-serving nutty items!), it was a perfect raw lunch.

And then came the soft serve. Oh, the soft serve. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. First of all, my food processor is obviously temperamental. That’s why I let my frozen banana chunks thaw out a bit before attempting to make this tasty treat. Also, I’m not the hugest fan of banana-flavored things. Never would I ever choose banana flavored ice cream, that’s for sure. So yes, I was skeptical.

But then my food processor decided it was in the mood to do its job. And then I made the soft serve. And then I tasted it.

Soft serve ho!

And reader, I loved it.

Seriously. I was so surprised to discover that not only did the soft serve taste good, but it had an amazingly creamy, light, and fluffy texture! So that’s why the blog world’s been going crazy about Gena’s ingenious invention! I liked this stuff so much that I decided it was perfectly acceptable to eat dessert before dinner. Even if it kinda “melted” and got a little runny when I took it outside for a photo session, it was truly enjoyable. Next time I’ll be sure to keep it in the food processor a little longer.

All in all, today was a super successful Sunday, and I can’t wait ’til Raw Wednesday to eat more sunflower seed pate and try even more delicious raw recipes!