You Give Me Fever

Driving through the winding roads this morning

I rode a sharp turn

and beheld a most mystical sight:

White, flickering clouds

that danced the mountaintop

breathtaking in their undulations

like fierce flames

yet not foreboding,

not a warning to heed

but rather an invitation

like veils dancing in the wind

a reminder

stirring the awakening fires

"Time for action, " they whispered.

I wish I had captured it,

but like all magic,

it wasn't meant to be held.

Yes, my Beasties,

Spring has sprung.

Have we?

I want to give you a sexy gift.

A rising volcano inside,

ready to burst with all the secret plans we've made

under Winter's white cloak.

The passion is ignited,

the candle lit.

Feed your fire...

Chai Love You Cakes

  • 2 C raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C dates
  • 1 large organic apple (Pink Ladies work so well), finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 pinch ground chili or cayenne pepper

Darlings, you can usually get the garam masala, which is a divine Indian spice mixture, at your health food store in bulk. If not, McCormack actually makes a version, though I doubt it's organic. If you have an Indian grocery near, you're a lucky soul! And then there are always online exotic spice merchants...

As with so many of these amazing raw food recipes, all you really need to do here is pulse your ingredients (minus the apple) in your food processor until the mixture clings to the center and looks dough-like. Then scoop it into a bowl, and add your apple. Save some for the topping! Press it all into a brownie pan, adding the apple on top and pressing down with your sweet paws so they anchor in there.

Score into 12 cakes, and pop it into the freezer for about an hour. Take the pan out, lift the cakes with a spatula, and nibble away! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Let the spices rev you! And let all those powerful nutrients and living enzymes give you the momentum you need to make your plans REAL.

Put your pirate ships out into the river, Fierce Ones, and see which return to you bearing jewels...

Spring has got your back,

and so do I.

xxx Alise

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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

 

C'est Parfait!

Well, hello there!

You caught me in the act.

Not that act, Dirty Things. That was earlier.

*ahem*

I was just in the middle of obsessively checking the L.A. apartment listings, as I do on a daily basis. It has become a favorite pastime.

Only those bedecked with balconies will do. 

And a courtyard.

And a pool.

Mind you, I don’t even swim in pools. I avoid chlorine like the plague.

But I love to lounge beside them.

See the redhead in the Bond-girl bikini, oversized hat, and a pitcher of homemade sangria, blissfully doing nothing? That would be me.

And so, I day dream about my balcony.

(For the record, I’m not delusional.  I’m creating my future space.)

I imagine low benches covered in Turkish cushions and plush pillows. Palm trees in Moroccan pots being delicately tickled by the breeze. Colorful glass lanterns reflecting cosmic light. Homemade incense spiraling upwards to the stars, releasing whispered plans...

A nest worthy of a great dragon. One with exotic tastes.

And I must have sunflowers. They remind me of Spain.

(Your ladyfriend here was up at 3am maniacally scanning the internet for "drought resistant sunflower container garden care." After an hour of sleepyhead searching, I'm still not sure it exists. But if it does, I'm gonna find it.)

Sunflowers. 

Giant happy faces I just want to kiss.

I want them surrounding me, in terra cotta pots.

Releasing their darling seeds to the ground in a sweet exhale of abundance.

And what a superfood!

I sang the praises of sunflower seeds recently, and have been playing with them quite a bit as a source of nutrition and a pleasurable nut-free alternative to vegan sauces. I'm so glad you all loved my Sunshine Noodles!

I've conjured up a new delight for you: a creamy vegan yogurt with delicate flavors, layered with a fruit pureé and lightly touched with a sensual surprise...

C'est Parfait

This recipe easily makes 6 servings, and keeps three days in the refrigerator.

For the Yogurt:

  • 1 C raw cashews
  • 1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 C coconut water
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 3-6 drops Wild Orange essential oil
  • 1/2 C pitted organic dates
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • Stevia, to taste (optional)

For the Fruit Pureé:

  • 1 C frozen or fresh organic mango flesh
  • 1 tsp raw coconut nectar, or stevia to taste
  • 1 Tbsp orange flower water

Begin, my Loves, by creating the yogurt. Grind the cashews and the sunflower seeds into a fine powder, using a coffee grinder, food processor, or NutriBullet blender. The trick is to get it to a powdery texture. (My food processor is on its way out, so mine was kind of on the crumbly side. It still tastes out of this world, but I would have liked an ultra-smooth texture.) Once you have it super fine, transfer it to a high-speed blender, an add in one cup of the coconut water. Blend it until you get a thick mixture. Now add in the remaining cup of coconut water, the dates, miso, and cinnamon. Blend it on high until it looks creamy and well mingled. 

Taste it. The dates should make it sweet enough, but add some stevia if you like. You could start with, say, 1 tsp powdered stevia or 1 dropper of liquid, and go from there. Either way, you're on a low glycemic, healthy sweet, so enjoy it!

Now add the Wild Orange for that extra touch of magic, stir, cover it with a cloth, and let it rest on the counter top for 3 hours. I know you're saying, "Whaaat? Miso! In yogurt? Gross!" but, Beasties, trust me, you don't taste it at all. It's there to allow the yogurt to culture. Just relax and let it do its thing.

I know miso can be pricey, but if you are willing, it actually has many uses, from delicious soups onward, and it keeps quite a while in the fridge, so you don't have to panic about using it all at once. Adding fermented foods to your repertoire is brilliant for your belly, because they provide the body with probiotics aka beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, when ingested, populate the intestinal tract and begin to interact with the body in a good way by training the immune system, manufacturing vitamins and keeping scheming, opportunistic bacteria away from your precious self. So it's not just me telling you to eat bizarre things. There is a point to all this.

Plus, I'll have a wildly sexy recipe for you in the next couple of weeks using that same white miso, so stay close...

On to the Fruit Pureé: Just blend the three ingredients together. That's it! If you're using frozen fruit, let it thaw first, otherwise the icy goodness will get way too melty way too quickly, and your Parfait will be a slurpy mess. 

When the yogurt is finished its divine transformation, check the consistency. It should be thick and creamy, but, if you find it too watery somehow, just cover it in cheesecloth, rubber band the top, turn it upside down into a bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This will drain any extra liquids.

Find a gorgeous glass and layer the lusciousness. Mmmm!

This is a basic blend that works really well, but don't stop here! Use this recipe as a template for exploring all kinds of flavors: Try a spiced vanilla version, add Lemon or Lime oil in place of the Wild Orange, play with cacao, different fruit blends, anything that excites you!

You have a fabulous treat here. It's both light and filling, easy to digest, energy-boosting, beautifying, and crazy delicious. The orange flower water really puts it over the top, with a depth of sensuality that must be experienced. 

I haven't toyed will a seed-only version yet, but if you are allergic to nuts, by all means, give it a whirl around the dance floor. Use your creativity, and your inner Kitchen Witch will meet you there. Promise.

Now, won't you join me on my balcony?

It's warm

and fragrant,

and there's a very good chance I'm not wearing anything.

*wink*

Tell me what YOU daydream about.

I can't wait to hear.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland



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

The Art Of Undressing

There are times when it’s all about adornment...

And then,

there are those moments

when taking it all off

becomes poetry unto itself...

Naughty things.

I’m talking about salads.

"Eat lots of salads."  Yes, we know.

We are more than familiar with that mantra.

"Dark, leafy greens." 

Then what?

Let’s glance down the neckline of what we’re really getting at here.

What goes onto our salads is as important as what goes in.

We all know to avoid the super trans-fatty, commercial glop that calls itself salad dressing on a market shelf.

Ok, fine.

So we saunter into the natural foods store.

Everything here is clean and healthy, right?

No way, baby.

I become incensed when I get on a label-reading jag in a health food aisle.

Sugars, soybean oils, strange additives...wtf??!!

Not cool.

In many moons of eating clean, I have discovered exactly two dressings on the market which pass my admittedly high standards. They are both made by Bragg’s, the company who so kindly introduced apple cider vinegar to the mass market.

They have two delicious ones: Sesame Ginger and Balsamic Vinigrette.

I don’t buy the Balsamic often, because it contains onions. Onions are fine, they just don’t work for me. Perhaps no coincidence that the ancient Egyptians did not consume onions either, as they do not grow in harmony with the lunar cycles...

"Darling, can you just picture those barbarian Romans, devouring... onions ?"

"Darling, can you just picture those barbarian Romans, devouring...onions?"

Which means I have bought TONS of bottles of Sesame Ginger over the years. Tasty as it is, after two weeks straight of it, I am BORED.

Shake off dietary inertia  with me, won't you?

Hit it, Niagara...

That's better.

So now we’re left with the classics: fresh lemon or lime and sea salt, with a drizzle of olive oil. Mmmm.

Or apple cider vinegar in place of the citrus. That’s nice too.

But then...you know what happens... 

So the Girl gets concocting.

How something really fun, zesty, slightly retro Thousand Island-ish, but with a kick?

Exotica Dressing

  • 1 C. raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 stalk organic celery
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of organic paprika or cayenne
  • Water, Celtic salt, pepper, and liquid stevia to taste

Smooth it all in a high-speed blender, adding water as needed for a consisitency you like. You can totally omit the cashews if you are allergic, or just want a lighter version, it just won’t be as creamy. Add less water at first, as the water in the veggies will thin the dressing as it sits in the refrigerator.

Add a little salt, pepper, and a few drops of stevia as you like. And as much red spice as you can handle...

This is amazing on crisp romaine, marinated mushrooms, chopped cabbage...on top of a veggie burger...in a salad wrap...mmm! 

Now, how 'bout a flirty vinaigrette loaded with beautifying properties?

Vampy Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, soaked 6 hours, rinsed and drained.
  • 1/4 C chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 C cold pressed olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried burdock root
  • 1 Tbsp fresh or dried nettles
  • 1/2 Tsp Celtic salt, or to taste

Blend everything on high speed until creamy. You may need to add pure water or more citrus to thin it out a bit, as much as you like...

You can find the burdock and nettles fresh, usually, in your health food produce section, or dried where they keep the bulk herbs. Both are high in silicon, as are the pumpkin seeds, a mineral essential to smooth skin, shiny hair, and strong nails.

If you’re pressed for time, all these ingredients can be tossed in your salad, as opposed to a dressing, and tossed with citrus and olive oil. The burdock gives a nice crunch with the pumpkin seeds!

A few thoughts, my Loves, on creating your salads. 

Besides the things you gravitate toward, the things you love, like tomatoes let’s say, keep these in your inner circle:

Organic cucumbers - Leave the skin on. It contains the mineral sulphur, considered to be the foundational mineral of beauty, as a good sulphur intake provides glowing skin and hair. Cukes are also a good source of B vitamins (a little pick-me-up), and extremely hydrating.

Radishes - High it silicon and Vitamin C, they also aid digestion and eliminate toxins.

Celery - Bloat-busting, anti-inflammatory, high in calcium, silicon, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin A.

Nutritional yeast - An excellent source of vegan B-12 (one itty bitty teaspoon provides a day's worth!), high in protein (as much as an egg or a glass of milk), high in fiber and folic acid.

Avocados - Rich in beauty fats, antioxidants they contain glutathione, which slows the aging process and boosts immune functions.

 

Salads are kind of awesome, after all...

Happy foraging, Bunnies!

 

xxx Alise

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