Trip The Light Fantastic

It's a beautiful day!

Who has time for complications?

Not us, Babes.

Lets keep it simple.

And sexy.

How about a little mid-day getaway to your fave outdoor spot?

Bring a blanket, a date, and this dish.

A super-fast Vixen twist on a timeless Lebanese delight, bright and gorgeous, full of nutrients (and that ever-elusive vegan protein,) and, of course, lightened for bloat-free, easy digestion, which makes a behind-the-oak-tree tryst sooo much more fun...

Come on!

Tantalizing Tabouleh

Serves two.

  • 1 organic cucumber (skin on!), chopped
  • 1 organic zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pt organic cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 C organic hemp seeds
  • 1/2 C flat parsley, chopped
  • Celtic salt
  • Pepper

Toss your veggies in a large bowl. Juice the lemon into the mix. (I like to squeeze it through my hand, catching the pits, but still feeling the juice run down my fingers...)

Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, and hemp seeds.

Toss. Get dressed. Go.

No, dude, these seeds won't get you stupid high, but the quality of protein will send you flying.

Raw power.

Plant power.

It gets us where we need to be.

Vibrant Lovers, 

let's just spin,

and whirl...

I love you.

xxx Alise

 

The Way To His Heart

I know there are men out there who cook. 

Whatcha whipping up for me?

Whatcha whipping up for me?

Men with heightened palates,

tending to culinary details,

rhapsodizing over precious ingredients,

passionately understanding the subtle complexities of a fabulous meal...

Cuisine Man, you make me swoon.

To you, delightful creatures, I place upon your altar heirloom tomatoes, truffle oil, shitake mushrooms, and an exquisite little bowl of lavender sorbet.

I love that you exist.

There is, however, a more common species out there.

Sooo cute, but a disaster in restaurants.

Sooo cute, but a disaster in restaurants.

Yep, that's him.

Junk Food Guy.

Adorable and beloved, he's in your life.

Maybe he's your fella, your best friend, your father, or your brother...

but you know him.

Hell, he may even be YOU!

He loves all things processed, sugar-laden, covered in salt.

Often all at once, usually while watching The Game, or standing up at the kitchen counter, with a quick lean-over-the-sink-when-it-drips manuver. Animal friends love this guy. He drops crumbs like manna from heaven, and he's got the good shit...none of that health food business...

(It must be noted that, in reality, cats love clean food. Because they're cool. Pedro has been known to jump up onto the table and eat salad right off my plate. But I digress...)

Point is, Junk Food Guy has absolutely no interest is cuisine, per se. 

In all likelihood, he's been raised on Cheez-Wiz and Hostess products, and while he may enjoy a higher level of dining from time to time, when it comes down to it, the lightly braised artichoke hearts in a white wine reduction just doesn't do it for him. 

We try, of course….and this, ladies, is our fatal mistake.

The way to woo this fella is with fun food.

Food that makes his eyes big as teacups, and his smile irresistable.

So, because these guys do in fact rock our world,

I'm going to be conjuring recipes right up their bowling alleys.

I may even do it wearing a hockey jersey.

(In heels, of course.)

First contestant?

Pizza!

Oh, this is sooo good! Just wait until you sink your teeth in...

I've got a super-quickie, madly healthy flax crust, thin and crispy, and covered in flavor.

The genius is that it hits all the notes for Junk Food Guy (particularly when oozing over with melty vegan cheese), while remaining a most presentable dish for all the Cuisine Guys and Culinary Dames in your life. 

I kept this version a teeny bit on the fancy side, but it was still adored, wolfed down, and requested again by  a diehard lover of "real" pizza. Yesss!!!

Pizza Provocateur

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup organic ground flax meal
  • 1/2 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Celtic salt
  • 2 flax "eggs"
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water

For the adornment:

  • 1 C prepared organic marinara sauce, or your own homemade
  • 1.5 C artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 C Moroccan oil cured olives, chopped
  • 1/2 C unsalted sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • fresh basil or oregano

First, make your flax "eggs": Whisk 2 tablespoons ground flax meal into 6 tablespoons of pure water, and set aside.

While they're setting, preheat your oven to 425F, and line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper.

Now, combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl, and stir with a fork. Let it sit for five minutes, then spread it out on the parchment paper, flattening with a spatula until it's thin and about 12" round.

Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Take it out, flip it over, spread the marinara sauce over it in a thin layer, and add your toppings.

Bake another 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it. The edges can get overly done if you don't watch it.

Take it out, let it rest a few minutes, then slice and devour!

Although the crust doesn't attempt to resemble dough crust, it has a delicious flavor and a nice crispiness, with the added benefits of vegan omega 3 oils, and absolutely no bloating or digestion issues. You'll feel full and satisfied without any heaviness. It's awesome. And no rolling, rising, or resting needed as in a trad dough...so go ahead and make it often! It reheats beautifully.

I like to make this for a party, too. Just press it into a rectangle rather than a circle, and cut small bites for everyone to nibble on. I made another last night with fresh tomatoes, sweet peppers, and vegan cheese...mmm-mmmm!

And now, if you'll excuse me,

I have a game to...ahem...interrupt...

xxx Alise

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A Bombshell's Barbecue

It's officially here, my little morsels.

Cookout season.

And it has arrived in its usual way...gregariously, wearing a floppy hat of boisterous fanfare.

We can give it an eye roll,

this bit.

though secretly we know how its down-home charm can get to us.

 

Of course, our sophisticated selves hate to admit it.

At the first blush of sultry weather, we wax poetic about dining al fresco,

understated and elegant,

effortlessly tossing fresh, in-season goodies together in charm-filled dining chic.

But then,

that first whiff of smouldering charcoal  comes wafting under our noses,

and we...suddenly...crave...

Burgers.

No, not those kind. I haven't had an actual burger since I was a child.

But a delicious, seared, hot, mad-tasty veggie burger.

Not a heavy, oaty, lentil-y thing. 

And certainly NOT something frozen and full of fillers.

Give me something easy, packed with nutrients, and interesting.

Make my mouth water. Now.

I know you feel me, my succulent Summer lovers.

So, without further ado,

may I present...

The Vixen Burger.

The Vixen Burger

  • 1-1/2 C dried organic chick peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large organic sweet potato or yam, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tbsp curry blend
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (to bind it all)
  • 1-1/2 C raw organic greens, finely chopped (I used spinach and baby kale here)
  • Celtic salt and ground pepper 

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Coat a baking sheet lightly with olive oil, painting it with a little pastry brush.

Combine all the ingredients, except the sweet potato, in your food processor or high-speed blender, together with a good pinch and grind of Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper. Blast it until it's smooth and blended, so the chickpeas are well ground. Now add in the sweet potato, raking with a fork until it all mingles beautifully. 

Form into patties, and place them on the baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.

Now you can either grill them, cover and transport them to the nearest BBQ, or continue to bake.

If you're baking remove foil, and let it go another 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and a little crispy. Flip, then do 10-15 minutes on the other side.

The pre-baking with the foil seals in the juiciness, so they stay that way, but get crispy on the outside. Mmmmmm! And so full of protein, vitamins, and gorgeousness-inducing spices...what's not to adore?

Makes 6-8 burgers, keeping them plump, so they retain their amazing texture.

Now, my little nibbles, how about a sexy side dish?

Sassy Slaw

  • 1 small or 1/2 large head organic red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 2 organic carrots, julienned or peeled
  • 1 Tbsp ground mustard seed
  • 3 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 drops liquid stevia
  • Celtic or Salish salt, and pepper 

Mix the ground mustard, cider vinegar, stevia, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then pour it over the cabbage/carrot combo. Toss it all together well with tongs. And that's it.

I love the little zing from the red cabbage, kind of a slight horseradish flavor that I like to work with, as opposed to overpowering, hence the ground mustard. It's a delicious, super-healthy side you can bring anywhere. Red cabbage is a rockstar, by the way. In addition to being loaded with vitamin C, it holds a serious amount of vitamins A, K, B6, potassium and manganese, is anti inflammatory, great for your skin, and  boasts glucosinolates that prevent certain types of cancer. Don't you just love it? 

Have a blast, my Gorgeous Ones!

When you've made the kitchen entirely too hot,

take it outdoors,

and fire up a wild afternoon...

(Just always remember to use condiments...*wink*)

I'll see you there.

XXX Alise

 

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Luna Cucina: Surviving Your Own Moon Cycle

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This is beautiful.

But what I'm talking about...not so much.

You know what I mean.

That monster that overtakes Ms. Hyde.

That civil war that rages internally.

The black cloud overhead, pressing down on your sweet shoulders, heavy.

(Don’t run fellas. Stay and listen. You might learn something about the ladies you love...)

We all have our own cycles. Men and women. (Of you think men don’t have their hormonal ups and downs, think again).  Where we get messed up is in the bucking of those cycles. We are made to ebb and flow with the earth, the seasons, the stars, and the moon. But we rarely do. In a combination of human arrogance, societal pressure to perform, and a disconnect from nature, and therefore our bodies, we push. We push hard. 

So when we hit that hormonal volcano, we’re screwed. We have to work, go to school, tend to children, carry on with our lives, all with this excruciating condition.

We can't take a day off and we can't fall apart on the job, so how do we get through?

First, give thanks to your beautiful body. 

Thank it for being strong enough to weather these trying times, for its ability to cleanse itself, and most of all, for the creation energy. The life-giving force. This doesn’t always mean making babies. We nurture and birth our art, our work, ideas that begin as tiny little beings, then grow into beautiful energies and tangible gifts we offer to the world.

Next...prepare for battle.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead, way before the beast is unleashed.

Here, my sweet loves, is a Survival Guide:

Salt. No way around it, we crave salt like a mofo, don't we?

Simple. Kale chips.

Make a giant batch of these babies well ahead of time. They are super-easy to make, delicious, good for you, and a fraction of the cost of buying them. This version omits the nuts, keeping both calories and costs down. You may want to make more than one batch, 'cause I am telling you, they are addictive.

  • 1  bunch of organic kale
  • 5-6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons gluten free tamari, depending how salty tasting you like them
  • Nutritional yeast. Just pour on top and mix with tongs until leaves are coated. The more you add, the cheesier it will be...mmmm!

Remove stem from kale and place in a bowl. Tear large pieces of kale, as they shrink a bit when baked or dehydrated.
Pour the olive oil on top and mix with tongs until leaves are coated. Add the tamari and mix again. Add nutritional yeast and and mix again. 

If you have a dehydrator, awesome.

Dehydrate 3 or more hours at 105–110 degrees until crispy like a potato chip.

If you don't own one, it's no big deal. I haven't made that existential leap yet, either.

Simply set your oven to the lowest possible temperature. We're trying to keep these raw, so ideally we stay under 118 F. You can crack your oven door open too, that helps. If you get above that temperature, it's okay. They won't be technically raw, but still a hell of a lot healthier than any other salty nibble out there.

Sweet. Yessss. I am going to tell you to eat chocolate. As long as it's from Sacred Chocolate. Raw, vegan, pure, and created with love by the Cacao God himself. (And yes, I do believe he is a God, having created chocolate as an offering to the Goddess. It's the only sensible explanation.)

BUT...there's also something else I want to share with you.

Bananas and walnuts.

Bananas are a PMS superfood. Fact. Loaded with potassium, zinc, iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamin B6 and fiber, they have been called nature's perfect food. They may also be a perfect food for menstrual health. Bananas help relieve digestive problems, and replenish nutrients lost during our cycles. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood majorly.  If that weren't enough, bananas are rich in iron, which produces seratonin, which regulates mood. 

Now pair that with walnuts, which are anti-inflammatory, and full of manganese, which helps to alleviate PMS symptoms...and what do you get?

Uh-huh. It is SO damned good...

Bombshell Banana Bread

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 extra ripe Bananas (mashed)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup 
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 flaxseed “eggs”-(mix 1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tbsp. water, let it set about 10 minutes, whisk with fork)
  • 2 dropperfuls vanilla liquid stevia

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/4cup all-purpose gf baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic Cinnamon...at least
  • 1/2 cup of crushed chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 (F)

  1. Grease up a loaf pan w/oilve oil
  2. In a medium-large bowl mix all the wet ingredients well
  3. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mix until most of the lumps are gone
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (the top should be nicely golden)
  7. Allow to cool completely.

You can totally freeze this! Which makes it a teeny bit easier to eat just one slice at a time. Okay, maybe two...

I added in the chamomile for Kitchen Witchery. These delicate flowers have long been used in magical workings for protection and purification, both of which are needed at this time. They also act as a diuretic, eliminating extra fluids from the body. Best of all, their warm scent calms and adds a delicious note to the flavor of the bread.

Spirits.  That's right. I'm going to tell you to indulge in a little brew. Red wine or gin, specifically, which have both been known to alleviate cramps, while relaxing your stressed-out spirit. Red wine contains resveratrol, a polyphenol, which acts as a muscle relaxant. The juniper berries in gin are anti-inflammatory and help to flush fluids from the body. Of course, you could drink juniper tea, but this is much more fun.  Just keep it to a minimum, and you'll feel fine.

Banish The Bloat  A few surefire ways to minimize all that extra fluid: Natural water pills (found in your health food store-only take one per day,) water and chamomile tea, and eating lots of celery. 

Baths Settle into a good hot soak every night, adding some lavender oil and Celtic sea salt. When you emerge, rub your lower abdomen (keep going, lower...) with Clary Sage Oil from ContessaCreate to help alleviate your cramps. Now get some extra sleep, gorgeous. You'll feel better soon.

Mood Stabilizers Supplements that have anti-depressant qualities: Cat's Claw (herb), 5HTP (amino acid), L-Tryptophan (amino acid.) Incidentally, Tryptophan won't  make you sleepy, as the old story goes, usually in relation to Thanksgiving turkey consumption. In fact, it is the food/simple carb overload that makes people pass out on the couch after that holiday dinner.

Fashion Fixes  Have a few go-to get ups for puffy days, like an easy empire or A-line dress paired with great boots, chic little tunics, anything that gives you room to breathe, but still looks sexy and polished. 

Take the time for bright nails, pretty hair, makeup, foxy accessories...and don't forget scent. 

Now...breathe, drop your shoulders, get through the week imagining how hot and amazing you will look and feel when this is over.

Remember to say you're sorry to everyone you've snapped at. 

Be extra sweet. 

(As soon as you're able.)

Much love,

xxx Alise