MindBodyGreen(dot)Com Recipe Feature- Decadent Vegan Strawberry Basil Cheesecake

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Today, I am celebrating because my recipe for raw, vegan strawberry basil cheesecake is featured on MindBodyGreen.com. It is a crazy good feeling seeing it up on their homepage. Like so many of you, food blogging is not something we do for a living, but something we do because we love it and we want to share good eats with the world. I really do have a healthy obsession with food (finally) and want to help the people in my life, near and far, to take better care of themselves. Having a recipe published on a site that I read regularly is, well awesome, and motivation to keep doing what I am doing because of the joy it brings. I’d love if you headed over there to check it out and shared it with your cake loving friends! 
xoxox, Cara 

Strawberry basil cheesecake

Vijitas- Vegan Fajitas with Cucumber Salsa, Avocado, Sour Supreme and Pickled Red Onions

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Tacos are sort of an instituion in Los Angeles and it really is no surprise considering there is such a large population of hispanics living in this city. I have always been a fan of their food and their culture but to be completely honest, I do not know too much detail about it except from what I have experienced here in Los Angeles. My mexican vacations have consisted mostly of body shots and bikinis in Cabo on spring break when I was in college. Thank god I am past that phase. phew.

Although I still love a cerveza from time to time, what I love most about mexican food is the use of herbs and spices to flavor the food. Chipotle peppers, chili pepper, cumin, cilantro, garlic, onions, I love it all. One of my all time favorite things here in Los Angeles are the mexican street vendors who sell fruit with spices and lime juice or better known as Ensalada de Frutas con Chile. It is like the best deal in town! You get a massive serving of watermelon, cucumber, mango, pinneapple, jicama with fresh lime and spices for $5-$7. I refer to these vendors as “the fruit man” and I always get so excited when I see their rainbow umbrellas on the street. #delicious    

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Butternut Squash Pizza, with Brown Butter Brussels & Carmelized Leeks- Vegan

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Its a couple of days before October so according to the calendar it is fall but the weather is only changing slightly so it is hard to really notice except by the date on the calendar. However, as I look out the window into the cloudy Sunday morning, listening to the birds churp, it feels like fall and I am calm and happy. I am house sitting at some friends for the next couple of weeks while they are in Europe which means I get to enjoy all the benefits of an actual house that my studio apartment does not offer including: washer and dryer, backyard with hammock, garden with organic vegetables, a TV, a driveway to park in, and two KITTIES! Oh, #lifeperks! Yes, I just started a new hashtag. Hopefully it catches on more the Gretchens attempt at making “Fetch” happen. 

Speaking of happenings! This pizza, although is still a work in progress, is delicious and I wanted to share the recipe. I was attending a potluck with my girls and I knew I wanted to bring something with brussel sprouts and butternut squash. I had planned on making a roasted dish of veggies but decided to step outside of the culinary comfort zone and turn my dish into pizza because really, what is better than wine and pizza with your girlfriends? nothing. 

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Cara’s Cabbage Salad- Vegan, Gluten Free

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Cabbage is under rated in my opinion. It might not be known as super healthy when compared to kale or spinach but it helps prevent against cancer, is great for weightloss and is food for your brain. Cabbage is also very hydrating and the crunchy texture has me grabbing for it whenever I want to make a delicious and refreshing salad. I tend to keep it pretty simple and balance out the flavors and textures with fresh herbs, almonds and avocados. 

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Blueberry Babe Smoothie- Raw, Vegan, Delicious End of Summer Recipe

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Who doesn’t love smoothies? Clearly that is a rhetorical question because I am hoping that everyone likes a good smoothie from time to time. Its a great way to get all sorts of nutrients into your body in an easily digestable way. By blending up the fruit and veggies, you are in a way starting the digestion process by breaking it down in to a liquid form. One more reason to love smoothies!

This is a smoothie I tossed together with some summer fruits that are unfortunately on their way out of season! I am really sad for summer to slip away but fully ready to embrace fall as I love everything it brings. 

What you need: 
1 1/2 cup blueberries
5-6 figs
1/4-1/2 cup water – for desired consistency
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 big mint leaves
juice form one lemon
pinch cinnamon

Method:
Combine everything in a blender, turn on high until smooth and creamy. Garnish and serve. 

I hope you love this end of summer smoothie! What do you love most about transitioning to fall?
Xoxo,
Cara

Raw Food Recap- 3 Day Raw Vegan Food Cleanse

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I, like many passionate foodies, have been inspired by the crazy beautiful energy that is Fully Raw Kristina. I am inspired by her committment to what she believes in and her constant generosity towards all life. I recently was watching a couple YouTube Videos of hers and decided I wanted to give raw food a try. My boyfriend and I decided to do a 3 day raw food cleanse together. What I learned not only about my diet, but about myself was surprising.

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Movie Theater Concessions Caras Way- Raw, Vegan & Healthy

Movie theater Concessions

Growing up I used to go the movies almost once a week. I absolutely loved every aspect of seeing a movie from the massive screens, buttery popcorn, a soda as big as my head and a box of my favorite candies; usually Snickers, Milk Duds or Raisinets. Unfortunately, I rearely make it to the theater at all anymore but last weekend my boyfriend, Jaime treated me to Gardians of the Galaxy. It was awesome and I got so inspired that I wanted to remake all my childhood favorites in the CaRawr’s way: raw, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and delicious! Obviously the popcorn is not raw, but I made it vegan and healthy!

movie theater popcorn

Movie Theater Butter Popcorn

What You Need:
-3/4 cup popcorn kernels- organic
-2 Tbsp vegan butter
-1 tsp coconut oil
-pinch pink salt to taste

Method:
1. In a large pot that has a lid, melt the butter and oil then add the kernels put on the lid and let the magic happen.
2. As the popcorn is popping shake the pot to mix up the kernels and prevent them from burning.
3. Once the popping is 1-2 seconds apart turn of the heat and leave on the lid until the popping completely stops.
4. Transfer to a bowl, spinkle with pink salt if you’d like and enjoy!

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Rollin With The Homies- Rice Paper Rolls

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Do you remember that part in Clueless when Ty hits her head on a light at a party and Elton helps her feel better by singing “Rollin with the Homies” to her? She sings it back to him and creates a wave like motion with her hands. Its the moment when Ty totally falls for Elton. Everytime I make rice paper rolls this scene runs through my mind and then I really want to watch Clueless. I sort of feel like Clueless is the 90’s cult classic that Mean Girls has become of the early mellinial. It’s one of those films that resonates with us Generation WHY-ers and reminds me what a special place in time we all grew up in. 

We have more freedom than any generation before us and an abundance of information is only a touch screen away. I also think about how lucky I am to have an abundance of healthy food available almost all the time. Maybe that readiness of organic vegetables is unique to sunny California where farmers markets occur daily but instagram sure makes it seem like organic veggies are accessable around the globe all the time. Either way, I am so grateful everyday for it; Healthy food is the key to a healthy life. 

So getting back on topic: Rice Paper Rolls…

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Rice Paper Rolls are like a more healthy and trendy version of a sandwich. Everything taste good and makes sense between two slices of bread just as everything tastes good and makes sense in a rice paper roll. Seriously, think outside of the box and put sweet potato in a rice paper roll and chances are I am gunna say “cool, I want to eat that.” Heck, I do want to eat that. If you want to put doritos in the rice paper roll more power to you. (I don’t actually eat doritos but who remembers those kids at lunch who put french fries and chips in their sandwiches? I can’t be the only one who had friends who did that)!! Anyways, I have become obessed with these things. Anything that is mean’t to be eaten with your hands is a favorite food of mine.

rice paper rolls
 This post is an ODE to the Rice Paper Roll!

Lets be real though, rice paper rolls are gluten free, lower in calories and carbs then a slice of bread. They might not have the nutritional value of some whole grain, sprouted varities but the ingredients inside can surely make up for it. These little guys are gaining traction and I sware it is only a matter of time before they are available next to the egg salad sandwich at 7-Evelen. Ok, that might be a stretch but it’s totally possible.

Some of my favorite rice paper roll ingredients:
The Greens: Romaine, Spinach, Red Lettuce, Micro Greens, Sprouts
The Veggies: Cucumbers, Avocados, Carrots, Beets, Jicama, Sweet Potatoe, Zuchinni , Bell Pepper
The Grains: Quiona, Rice noodles, Brown Rice
The Herbs: Basil, Mint, Cilantro
The Protien: Tofu, Shrimp

My Favorite Dipping Sauce:
4 Tbsp tahini or raw peanut butter
1 Tbsp raw honey or agave
1 tsp sesame or peanut oil
1-2 Tbsp boiling water
whisk vigorously until emulsified

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Neapolotian Ice Cream Cubes & My FIrst Recipe Feature on Empowered Womens Channel!

 

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It is with great excitement and joy that I write this post.  Today, for the very first time, a recipe of my mine is featured on another site (not including instagram). I am so happy to finally share this recipe with you all! Its one of my favorites.

Empowered Womens Channel has a mission and vision similar to that of my own. I want to inspire women (and men, heh) to live a life that they love where they are free to fully express themselves. I want to inspire people to treat their bodies with care and love making sure to feed it with beautiful, whole foods. Neapolotian Ice Cream Cubes fits the bill for the mission wholeheartedly! It is a fully raw, vegan, gluten free & paleo recipe that will not dissapoint.  You and your body will smile as you eat it.

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Grilled Peanut Tofu & Cabbage Salad- Vegan, Gluten Free

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Without doubt I have more friends, family and colleagues born in the month of August than any other month. I mean that does make sense if you think about it. Subtract nine months and you get December aka the holidays aka parties and alcohol and love and other stuff. So over the last few weeks we have had many birthdays to celebrate and that mean’t cake. Lots and lots of cake. Jaime, my pastry chef of a man friend agreed to make some beautiful cakes for some VIP’s in my life so I wanted to make him a healthy and light dinner to enjoy after licking several bowls of cake batter clean. I came across this recipe on Food52 and thought it would be great. I made slight variations that I think improved upon it massively. Its sweet, salty, tangy, and refreshingly delicious. We enjoyed it outside with some wine as the sun set over the pacific ocean.

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Grilled Peanut Tofu and Cabbage Salad
Serves 2 really hungry twenty-somethings


What you need:
Two 12-ounce packages extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 tsp chili flakes1/4 cup tamari
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp raw honey or agave
2 tbsp peanut oil or sesame oil
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

1 persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1 avocado

Method:
1. Drain the tofu, wrap it in a layer of paper towels, and press it with heavy objects, I used a bowl and a book, while you prep the other ingredients. Chop the garlic, add it to a blender with the tamari, peanut butter and honey/agave, the sherry, and the peanut oil. After the mixture is well blended, add the chili flakes and blend. Add a handful of cilantro to finish.

2. Slice each block of tofu into 1/4 inch thick pieces and add it to a plastic bag with the marinade and put in the fridge while you make the cabbage salad.

3. Make the dressing first by whisking together the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, more honey (to your liking). Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of boiling water while whisking. Drizzle in 1/4 cup of sesame oil while whisking vigorously, until everytihng is emulsified.

4. Cut the cabbage into thin slices and slice the onion very thin as well. Slice the herbs and add eveything to a large bowl.

5. Remove the tofu and place on a medium-hot grill (or grill pan). To avoid the tofu sticking it might be a agood idea to light brush the grill with oil. Grill for 2 minutes on each side. Combine the cabbage with 3/4 of the dressing. Arrange the avocado in slices on top and then drizzle the remaining dressing or save it for later to dip veggie sticks in. Topp of the salad with the grilled tofu and any extra marinafe on top. Dig in and enjoy this insanely delicious salad!

xoxo
-Cara

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