keeks in the kitchen: almond butter

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I recently discovered a new health food blog through an old ballet friend on trusty ol’ Instagram.  Naturally Sassy is written by a British ballerina who decided to go vegan a few years back in a (successful) attempt to cure her chronic eczema.  Since making the switch to a diet of everything diary, gluten, meat and sugar free, Saskia has discovered the many benefits of this new lifestyle.  Inflammatory and acidic properties found in these food groups can have short and long terms effects on your health, including weight gain, acne/dry skin, high cholesterol, lowering of the immune system and digestion and stomach problems. Yuck!  Reading the short bit of information on the vegan lifestyle presented on Saksia’s blog, I decided to give up meat, most of the dairy I currently consume, complex sugars, gluten, and all processed foods.  And what better way to kickstart this new lifestyle than by whipping up a batch of Naturally Sassy’s homemade almond butter?!

With just 3 ingredients and a food processor, you too can make your very own delicious, protein-packed almond butter.  I added mine into a smoothie with banana, medjool dates, flaxseed and almond milk and oh.my.god, you guys, it was so scrumptious.  That’s what has me hooked on this blog; Her recipes are so healthy, but also combine a range of flavors that I can totally get on board with.  Roasted sweet potatoes and avocados galore?  Yes, please!

So, granted I have enough time to actually cook and blog about it this season, expect to see a lot more of my kitchen experiments here on STB!  Other recipes I’m dying to try include the perfect kale salad, sweet potato salad with avocado mayonnaise, and the blueberry and baobab pancakes.

keeks in the kitchen: quinoa salad improvisation

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Last night, I decided to make quinoa salad, as part of my continued effort to develop skills other than pirouetting while I am on my ballet hiatus.  I didn’t have a particular line up of ingredients in mind, just a plastic cup full of uncooked quinoa and a fridge full of veggies!  So I got to work, and here’s what I came up with…

1 cup of quinoa (I used this cooking tutorial)

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1/2 can black beans

1/2 chopped red bell pepper

1/2 chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing, I used this amazing recipe (also where the inspiration for the salad itself came from), omitting the ginger and using agave instead of honey.  This dressing is AMAZING you guys, and I’m not the biggest fan of peanuts or anything remotely tahini-flavored.  This quinoa came out delicious!  Can’t wait to eat a little bowl of it for lunch today!

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Bon appétit!