Tropical Temptations

I bit into the tender flesh of a nectarine this morning.
The first of the season.
The sweet nectar ran down my lip and I smiled.
Summer is waiting in the wings for her cue.

As I wrapped myself in a furry sweater on this chilly mountain morning, I smiled at the irony. Shaking off a late-Spring shiver while devouring a summer gift.

I am not a patient woman, as we all know. And the recent warm spell has had me in full-on tropical mode. 

So I've been concocting.

Inspired by “A Taste of Puerto Rico”
snagged from my dear friend, and borrowed indefinitely (thanks, Carlito), I've been playing, adapting classic treats from this fascinating food culture traditionally overflowing with dairy, wheat, deep frying and sugar...but nonetheless blossoming with colorful culinary delights.
I actually relish a challenge like this...l love to delve into regional cookbooks and find ways to Vixen-ize beloved, but usually unhealthy dishes.

My first offering to you? An exuberant, luscious cold soup that you can whip up in an instant as it makes your heart sing out like a vibrant bird of paradise...

Sopa Fría Diosa

Serve chilled.

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic papaya, peeled/seeded and chopped
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped, skins on
  • 1 C organic orange juice
  • 1 C unsweetened almond or cashew milk 
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • A good pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Celtic salt

Just blend it all until it's smooth as your cocoa-buttered skin, and let it chill for a while. I've been obsessed with my new NutriBullet Rx, if you're looking for an excellent blender that doesn't require the existential (and financial) leap that, say, a Vitamix would. 

And, yes, Lovers, you heard me: leave the skins on the garlic. Not the outer papery layers, but the tight one closest to the clove. Why? Because that's where the volatile oils live, the ones with all the natural antibiotics, the ones with all the flavor. You can get away with it when you're high-speed blending, so try it.

Orange foods boost immunity, so together with the garlic, you have a recipe timely for a change in seasons, and the sniffles that sometimes come with them.

Behold a sweet, refreshing potion with the savory bite from the garlic tickling your taste buds and giving you unbridled pleasure with every spoonful. 
The magic ingredient? The almond extract gives it a hint of rum, my Darlings.

Garnish with fresh mint, and maybe a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Pair it with my Cheeky Ceci Pane for a more curvaceous feast. This is Goddess-worthy, so ladle it with love into a gorgeous bowl honoring the sun and sea, warm Summer breezes whispering, the sultry rhythms of voluptuous lands...

Honor the healing power,

Open up,

It's your time to SHINE!

My heart to you,

xxx Alise

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Taste The Sun

There is the tease,

and then

there is the diabolical.

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

Here in the Northeast, climate change has given an over-the-top performance,

as we cheer wildly for a rare day above freezing.

Of course, early Spring often plays with us,

coyly giving us a warm spell,

only to revert to her old Winter habits.

But this time around, 

it's much more intense.

Cabin fever happened ages ago.

We're way beyond that.

And, with all the respect due to Nature

(as she's been given a lousy script, and a far worse production crew,)

isn't it time we make some heat?

That's more like it!

That's more like it!

Bossa Nova has been filling my rooms.

Island flavors mingling in la cucina.

Bright colors dancing front and center from a forgotten recess of my closet.

You know what I mean?

TIME. FOR. ACTION.

I'm calling in the Sun King, honey.

And I've got one hell of an offering.

Do you know about sun butter? Beasties, you've got to get on this. It tastes like creamy peanut butter, but is made from sunflower seeds. That's right! So it's wicked nutritious, nut-free, and absolutely the tastiest thing ever. Sunflower seeds are the gifts of the deliriously happy-faced sun flowers, and are loaded with beauty nutrients. They have insane amounts of vitamin E, Lovers, which your skin adores, crazy high amounts of B vitamins and beloved minerals, one of whom is magnesium, which has the ability to calm your nerves. 

Stress-busting, beautifying, AND delicious? I'd call that a purrfect food.

Let's make a Vixen-ized version of the classic peanut sesame noodles, with a spicy mango salad as its date.

Sunshine Noodles 

  • 1 9oz. package of pure buckwheat noodles (or quinoa noodles)
  • 3/4 C sun butter (available in your health food store. If they don't carry it, they can order it.)
  • 3/4-1 C pure water
  • 2 Tbsp Nama Shoyu
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated or chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped super fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, as you like
  • 1/4 raw cashews, chopped
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Celtic salt, to taste

Spicy Mango Salad

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 organic carrots, julienned
  • 1 organic cucumber, julienned, skin on 
  • 1/4 raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • handful of fresh organic basil, chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • Good pinch of Celtic salt

Make the salad first, so the flavors have time to mingle. You want to make the buckwheat noodles at the last possible moment, because they become wallpaper paste if they sit too long.

Combine all the ingredients in a pretty bowl, toss, and let it do its thing.

Now, in a large bowl, whisk together all of the Sunshine Noodles ingredients except the salt. Keep working the sun butter into the water, adding a little water at a time, until the mixture had a fairly thin, creamy consistency. Add more water if you need to. I like mine drowning in sauce, but you may prefer it a little thicker.

Make the noodles. Drain and set aside. (**You can make this totally raw by using zucchini noodles if you like. Just run them through a spiralizer or use a potato peeler.)

Add the sauce to the noodles. Using tongs, toss the mixture together, making sure to coat all the noodles. Taste it. Mmmm. Add your salt here, and adjust the fire from the pepper flakes if you desire.

Top it with the chopped cashews, and enjoy. Eat the salad first for proper digestion. Always raw before cooked. Remember that. 

It is sooo good, you won't believe it's healthy.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

Bring on the tropics, Mama.

We're all waiting. 

Impatiently.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland