Southwest Chopped Salad Platter

by letthegoodin on March 27, 2014

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Vegan Southwest Salad Platter Salads full of bright, fresh vegetables don’t need much help in the beauty department – but there’s something about laying out all of the components on a platter that adds a bit of elegance to the presentation.

This Southwest Chopped Salad Platter – kind of like an elevated taco salad – is nutrient-packed and very satiating. Definitely substantial enough to be a main dish. There’s nothing boring about this salad, with so many different flavors and textures complimenting each other. And the “chopped” preparation lets you fit lots of those different components into a single bite. Also, unlike some salads, it’s also REALLY good leftover the next day!

Two quick notes on the ingredients:

- The corn, sweet potatoes and “meat” can be served warm on the salad, or at room temp or chilled – whatever you prefer.
- I’ve been trying and testing different store-bought meat replacements to know what to reach for when the mood strikes and what to recommend when asked what brand/type I like best. Typically, I’m not a huge mock-meat fan (I do not put straight up tempeh, which is my favorite, or tofu into that category, as those are “whole” foods unto themselves and not transformed to be like something else) – but there are a few exceptions that I think are fun to enjoy once in a while. My biggest conditions are that it be non-GMO and/or organic, and as minimally processed as possible. Having tried many, many varieties – Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican is a pretty stellar ground beef/turkey replacement. It’s already a bit seasoned, but you can doctor it up more yourself (as I did). The texture is great – not mushy blobs, as some similar products tend to be. Definitely recommend this one!

Recipe: Southwest Chopped Salad Platter (makes about 4 servings as a main dish)

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The Daily Good – Dried Green Juice by Aloha

by letthegoodin on March 11, 2014

Aloha Daily Good Green JuiceFresh juice is a beautiful thing – refreshing, delicious and extremely nutritious. Green juice varieties in particular can be extremely revitalizing, detoxifying, nourishing, energizing and hydrating.

However, buying enough produce (especially organic) to make desirable quantities of green juice on a very frequent basis can get expensive – as can buying it made-to-order from Whole Foods or a juice bar. Fresh, whole green juices are also being sold bottled now – but come with a hefty price tag too (typically upwards of $6/per). While the cost may be well worth it on occasion, it simply isn’t feasible spending for most to maintain daily.

That’s where The Daily Good comes in – a new product recently launched by Aloha. It’s a small packet containing green powder that you can stir into water, juice or add to a smoothie to get your daily dose of greens. Dried green juice!

The ingredient list is impressive (and all organic): spirulina, spinach, moringa, green peas, wheatgrass, blueberries, raspberries, coconut water, lemon, king trumpet mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, ginger, alaea salt. And that’s it! NO added sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or chemicals of any kind. The list of ingredients – all whole foods – are simply dried (via a proprietary means) in a nutrient-preserving manner. Read more about the particulars of each ingredient here. For people who habitually avoid powders and supplements, especially those with complicated ingredient lists – and I tend to be one such person – this really does seem to be quite different and better than what else I’ve seen out there, so I encourage even those potential dismissers to give The Daily Good a try.Aloha Daily Good Juice Package

And it tastes really good! I’m a tough taste critic too, especially for things like this – very sensitive to and particular about subtle nuances in upfront flavor, aftertaste and mouthfeel – so even I was surprise with how much I love this. I tried it first simply stirred into water to get the full effect. It mixes in well with only a little bit of sediment, but that’s normal and expected with such natural ingredients. The flavor is pretty mild and tastes “real” – not fake or processed or chemical. It’s actually quite refreshing. I’ve been enjoying it the most as-is mixed into cold water, or with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice added.

Depending on what quantity is purchased, the price per glass of juice comes out to between $2.50 and $2.89. Which is potentially a third to a half of what would be spent on juice otherwise.

So – if you believe in the value of drinking green juice, but the cost of making or buying it fresh constantly is beyond your budget – this is a fantastic alternative. Is it truly as potent as making your own juice? Maybe not point for point – but it comes in a close second, plus you’re getting a slew of other super-nutrients that you won’t find as easily in home or store-made juices. And it’s incrediblyAloha Daily Good Juice Packet convenient – making it especially ideal when traveling!

This is also a company that cares sustainability (all packaging is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable – even dissolvable in water – leaps and bounds ahead of most packet products on the market) and quality (ingredients are clean and organically sourced, sometimes even wild-harvested, and as a bonus the packaging is beautiful and sturdy).

All signs point to trying this product and supporting this company. I’m excited to continue drinking this and recommending it to friends, family and clients!

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Peach Berry Cherry Super Smoothie

by letthegoodin on February 26, 2014

peach berry cherry super smoothie recipeWhen I concoct a smoothie I love, it tends to become my default somewhat indefinitely – like this berry-blend I wrote about not too long ago. But this morning I was forced to deviate, having unexpectedly run out of the mixed berries we usually have stocked in the freezer.

Luckily, we happened to have unopened bags of frozen organic peach slices and frozen organic tart cherries (both Costco!), just waiting to be put to good use. And, I also had a few dwindling fresh ingredients in the fridge needing to be finished and not wasted (greens and strawberries), and half of a banana left over from Peter’s smoothie. Voila, a new recipe was born!

I also just yesterday bought Pomegranate Powder by Navitas Naturals (from the local Natural Grocers, where it was much cheaper than on the Navitas website), my curiosity piqued after reading a few excellent reviews of this new product. It’s hard to discern whether I can actually taste it or not, but it blended really nicely into this smoothie, and I love the nutrient boost it adds! Navitas makes across-the-board consistently great products – some of my favorites in the superfood category – so I’m not surprised.

Recipe: Peach Berry Cherry Super Smoothie

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5-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Pudding

by letthegoodin on February 26, 2014

avocado chocolate mousse pudding vegan recipeThe “secret” ingredient? Avocado!

No excuse to let any avocados go bad again – the riper, the better for this recipe. Kind of like how bananas are to banana bread, so are avocados to this mousse pudding. And there’s no cooking involved – just blending – couldn’t be easier.

Deeply chocolate, rich and silky – minus the eggs, heavy cream or butter common to traditional mousse or pudding (you’ll never miss them). But don’t think this is some mediocre replacement just for vegans – trust me, this is going to more than satisfy ANY chocolate lover!

Recipe: 5-Ingredient (Avocado) Chocolate Mousse Pudding

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chocolate chip cupcakes raspberry buttercream veganCupcakes that taste like brownies masquerading as cake, topped with a fluffy raspberry buttercream and a dark chocolate drizzle. Eggs and dairy will never be missed.

I’m not usually a huge buttercream fan, but this one – maybe because of the splash of fresh raspberry – has me thinking twice. Time to get messy in the kitchen!

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TLAT (tempeh, lettuce, avocado, tomato) Sandwich

February 20, 2014

That may not be the prettiest photo, but it is a pretty delicious sandwich. One of my absolute favorite vegan (or any, for that matter) sandwiches, actually. Take your average BLT and swap out the bacon for some tasty (and MUCH healthier) tempeh and throw in some avocado, all sandwiched between two nutritious slices of [...]

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Recipe: Chocolate Covered Berry Super Smoothie

February 13, 2014

This has been my go-to smoothie recipe lately for breakfast – and the chocolate element makes it feel particularly apropos this week with tomorrow being Valentine’s Day! This is an uber superfood smoothie that tastes and feels great. Go get the ingredients today and make if for you and/or your sweetie tomorrow morning! What You [...]

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Creamy Corn and Kale Chowder

January 8, 2014

Happy New Year, dear readers! It feels fitting to start off with a steamy soup recipe, given the uber-wintry weather so many are withstanding right now. To me, “chowders” are one of the rare hot soups that are synonymous with both summer and winter (and everything in between). While hot soups may be at times [...]

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Yoga Yoga Yoga!

December 18, 2013

So. I have a love/hate relationship with workout DVDs, throughout the years often getting excited and high hopes at the prospect of some, but then only finding about 25% of them to really be great with the remaining 75% leaving some or much to be desired. I do think that even the good ones need [...]

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A Tour of San Luis Obispo

December 10, 2013

A recent trip to San Luis Obispo opened my eyes to a side of California new to me – that being a smaller “city” and sprawling surrounding area with a more laid-back coastal(ish) feel. Granted, I’ve been mainly exposed to the greater LA area, with a little San Diego and San Francisco thrown in – [...]

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