Friday, August 29, 2014

The Very Best Slow Cooker Ratatouille + MoFo

Things have been a little quiet on here as I prepare for my first Vegan MoFo since 2010. Very exciting! So until September 1st, I leave you with this shareable recipe for The Very Best Ever Slow Cooker Ratatouille:


We're eating this for dinner tonight with lots of gnocchi.  It's not even lunch time, and I'm ready for dinner! 

See you September 1st!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Samoa Bliss Balls

Select products mentioned in this post were provided for free from Nutiva. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


It's 2014. All cookies should be vegan at this point. Samoas are my all time favorite Girl Scout cookie, but I haven't had one in over 10 years. There are recipes out there for vegan samoas that tend to be a little time consuming, and the question on making them really becomes "How badly do I want these suckers?". Usually not enough to spend forever in the kitchen.

Thank goodness these Samoa Bliss Balls completely satisfy my cravings for chocolate, coconut and vanilla cookies. They are so much healthier for you than the real deal, and even contain lots of good-for-you fats, fiber and protein.


Like my Thin Mint Bliss Balls these were developed when Nutiva sent me their Organic Hemp Protein Shakes. This recipe uses the vanilla flavor which is my favorite of the two. Combined with mildly flavored nuts and dates the vanilla flavor really comes through in the bliss balls.

Superfoods in every sense of the word!

These powders are so good and good for you. Just as a refresher, here's what the Nutiva website states about their super powders:
  • Delicious flavors
  • Plant-based protein
  • Made from raw hempseeds
  • Certified organic and non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential
  • Essential fatty acids (omega 3 & 6)
  • Good source of dietary fiber
  • Gently cold-processed
  • Never hexane processed
  • Non-irradiated
  • Always chemical free
  • non-BPA container

Every time I eat one of these I have to smile at how good I'm being to myself. The toasted coconut makes them decadent while the nuts and dates give you energy that lasts and lasts. We've been eating them before bootcamp, and just one or two sustains us through lap after lap, burpee after burpee, lunge after lunge, box jump after box jump...you get the idea! We're hooked, and you will be too.

Samoa Bliss Balls - Makes about 22
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 4 fresh, pitted dates
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder (I highly recommend Nutiva's Organic Vanilla Hemp Protein Shake)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used Nutiva's amazing Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - More on that later)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sweetened coconut onto a small baking sheet or skillet and toast for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown.
2. While the coconut toasts put the unsweetened coconut, cashews, dates, and hemp powder into a food processor and process until coarse. Add the agave nectar, and coconut oil and process until combined.
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and fold in the toasted coconut and cocoa nibs.
4. Roll the mixture into balls by the tablespoon, and place them on parchment paper. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

* Full disclosure, I rolled a few balls in toasted coconut for the food picture. It's not necessary, but if yours look different from mine that's probably why!