Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

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With only six ingredients and no fancy kitchen equipment needed, the hardest part of this of this recipe is waiting for it to sit in the fridge overnight!  It might be my new favorite treat!

What you will need:

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1/3 cup chia seeds

4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup img_0556

I tend to find it easier to pre measure all my ingredients and have them in small containers. Especially because I can put all the food containers away and clean off any measuring tools and put them away before I start to cook.  That way i don’t have as much clean up after I’m done cooking.  This is obviously completely optional, but I find that it makes clean up easier in general.

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First, put the chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Using a fork, sift and combine the dry ingredients completely.  Keep stirring until all the clumps are gone and the mixture is uniformity combined.

Next, mix in the almond milk and maple syrup.  Mix completely, until you think that you have over mixed it pretty much.

Place in a clean glass container.  Let it rest overnight.

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When it looks like this it’s ready!

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You can enjoy it plain or add toppings such as blueberries, coconut flakes, or pretty much anything vegan!

enjoy!

Note- if the texture is not to your liking, simply put it in a food processor or blender.  It will have the consistency of regular pudding.

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Sometimes, presentation really is everything when you are trying to eat healthy

I really didn’t understand how important presentation could be until I went vegan and tried to be committed to eating healthy.  I didn’t understand why it seemed so hard at first.  I mean, yes, I was trying to go from a junk food filled vegetarian diet to a health food vegan diet pretty quickly.  That was a huge change, but I didn’t think that an educated adult would really struggle to make healthy choices as much as I did, especially in the beginning.

Anyone who has ever tried to make big life changes knows it’s difficult to stick to those changes.  It also rarely happens on the first try.  I didn’t understand how much the appearance of food influences us on concious and subconscious levels.  Watching documentaries about food made me aware of how food companies spend so much time and effort on brand colors, package colors, food photo shoots with inedible food doubles because they photograph better.

The point was driven further home when I would ask my omnivorous boyfriend to try something I made.  The first few dishes I tried were very simple, but I didn’t worry about how the food looked.  So he wouldn’t want to try the vegan dishes because he admits that he hates 90% of vegetables.  I started putting them on pretty plates and making sure that the food always looked really beautiful.  He tried every dish without hesitation.  He didn’t like all of them, but he didn’t resist trying any of them.

When I find myself eating junk food or just not always eating as healthy as I should I remember this and do everything I can to make my meals and snacks as pretty as possible.  It makes it so much easier to stick to eating clean and healthy if you are making it as enjoyable as possible on every level.

Here are a few things that helped me-

Buy cute plates and use sauce holders to hold dipping sauces or just to separate snacks to make grazing easier.

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imageOr- get creative and use natural snack holders like sliced bell peppers

imageThey make great and colorful edible snack holders!

imageThis would be a really adorable appetizer or snack!  

(Tip– if you make this, save the top.  Then, cut off the stem and place it back into the hollowed out pepper upside down.  If you place the slices of the other colors of pepper on that they will sprout out like in this picture instead of being the same height as the holder pepper.)

Don’t forget to use lots of colors!  I love putting all different colors of vegetables in my rice dishes.  It makes it pretty as well as nutritious!

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Interesting shapes can also make food look beautiful and make your meal or snack feel special. 

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Cookie cutters can make really cool shapes out of pretty much any fruit or vegetable.  A knife also works really well but is a bit more difficult.

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Don’t be afraid to get creative and to make your healthy vegan food something that you feel lucky to get to eat!

Vegan healthy fried cauliflower rice with beans and veggies

imageThis is by far my favorite meal I have ever come up with.

ingredients-

2 cups cauliflower

1/2 cup red bell pepper

1/3 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup peas (I used canned)

1/2 cup dark red kidney beans (again, I used canned)

pam cooking spray or olive oil

garlic

salt and pepper

The first thing you need to do is prep the veggies.  Dice the carrots, as well as the the red bell peppers and set aside.  Next, take a head of cabbage, and cut the tops of the florets off into one to two inch cubes.  Cook the cabbage and diced carrots until the cabbage is soft, but not mushy.  Drain.  Take the carrots, and set aside.  Take the cooked cabbage and cut with a knife until the size resembles rice.

next, heat up a skillet to medium high heat, and either use spray Pam or drizzle some olive oil onto the heated pan.  Place the diced red peppers into the pan, and let cook for about two minutes.  Next add the cauliflower “rice” and then the carrots, beans and peas.

Continue to keep stirring the ingridients around.  Add minced garlic (I added about two tsp but you can always use more or less to taste).

i kept it on the pan for about five minutes, but mostly because it smelled so great that I couldn’t wait any longer to eat it!

enjoy!  This meal was huge, but the entire dish contains about 280 calories.