Vegan Rootbeer Float

The other day when I was slow cooking some {{organic & local}} ribs I decided to throw some root beer on them while they cooked. This idea prompted me to make a root beer float. I love making miniature drinks. … Continue reading

Lemon Tart with Salted Pecan Crust

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Spring emits feelings of lightness; airy, warm days that bring flowers to our garden and happiness in our lives. Citrus season is here, so in that honor I have whipped up a very easy, wholesome lemon tart. This tart has an incredible nut crust that adds a salty crunch to the music. In the curd, I used Eureka lemons. They are notorious for being extra juicy and tart; exactly what I needed to contrast the crust. The curd is subtle in sweetness, so as to not be overbearing. I find that a lot of lemon curds seem to taste like sweetened custard. Being a culinarian, I like my sweets to have a luscious texture and sharp flavor a.k.a mouth confetti. Every sweet treat should be a cause for internal celebration!

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Lemon Tart:

1/2 c Eureka lemon juice

1/2 Lemon Zested

1/4 c Coconut sugar

6 T Earth Balance

3 Egg Yolks + 2 Whole Eggs

1/4 t cornstarch (or arrowroot)

Crust:

1 c pecans

1/4 c hazelnuts

3 T raw honey, warmed (or maple syrup)

1 t sea salt

1 dash cinnamon

1.5 c olive oil

Grind the pecans and hazelnuts. Add in the remaining ingredients and “rub” the crust together like you would a biscuit dough. If  it is too dry, add more olive oil until it can stick together. Press into the bottom of your tart shell and bake in the oven at 350 until slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove.

To make the curd, whisk the sugar, eggs and starch in a pot. I recommend making a slurry with the cornstarch, or sifting it on-top of your wet ingredients before whisking it in to prevent lumps. Once combined, add the lemon. Whisk constantly until it is thick and creamy. Once it starts to resemble a freshly made pudding, remove from heat and whisk in the earth balance. If you wait until it gets too set (too thick) you will overcook the curd. You should be able to coat the back of a spoon with it before removing it from heat. Strain it if you notice it has some lumps, or if you are in pursuit of curd perfection. Pour filling into tart shell. Pop back into the oven and allow the curd to set. About 20 mins.

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Detox Deliciously

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Detoxing, a culinary fad or a health trend? What once was seen as a retro crash diet has been newly deemed as socially acceptable and healthful! In fact, if you go to any of your local co-ops or Whole Foods markets, you’ll find dozens of different ways to detox your body and cleanse your corrupted colon. But, how do you know that your actually doing something healthy, or may just be shelling out dollars for the next big gimmick? Well, I’ve got the scoop on how to keep your money in the bank on the road to health, while also updating this retro food trend for the everyday health nut.

First, keep in mind the importance of your health. Detoxing is not something that should be done everyday. If you do decide to juice your days away, I recommend limiting it to three, maximum. Any longer could really derail your metabolism and very well cause you to binge for the next two weeks on unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. I usually limit my detox to two days, with a protein packed dinner on the second night.

A juice detox can be quite expensive, like that new Blue Print cleanse. Eighty bucks for juice? No thanks! Invest in a juicer, if you don’t already have one. They are well worth it and can be found at great discounts all over the internet. With one, juicing is much less expensive and you can control what you put in it, how it tastes, and how much you make.

For Breakfast:

I love starting my cleanse with a small bowl of fruit, hot lemon water, and juice! This one is a perfect wake up call.

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Simply, juice equal amounts of pineapple, carrot, and orange. Throw some mint in between, or pulverize it like making a mojito. This juice is full of carotin, vitamin C, and the pineapple & mint produce slenderizing effects.

Mid-Morning:

Feeling fatigued yet? Mid-Mornings are the worst for me. I always have to have a little something to perk me up and keep me going.

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Try broccoli, cucumber and mint, with a squeeze of lime! This juice has a lot of vitamin A & C. The cucumber is a fabulous de-inflammatory from too much salt in your diet.

For Lunch:

Protein time! By now, I’m sure that tummy screaming for something satiating. I am a true lover of smoothies. They are a great way to add protein and calcium into your cleanse. I usually try to keep mine low-sugar as well.

Simply blend fortified almond milk, soy protein, half of a frozen banana with a tablespoon of cocoa powder. For a little extra calcium and probiotics, I blend in half a cup of plain soy yogurt.

Mid-Day:

By now, my tummy pangs usually wear out, but to keep my blood sugar in check and metabolism revving, I resolve with some antioxidant dense beet juice.

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Juice equal parts of carrots and beets. Squeeze a touch of lime ontop for some acid to balance the sweetness. Yes, I said sweet! Im not sure why beets have such a bad rap. They are delicious and sweet, even more so then carrots.

For Dinner:

Don’t undo your day of wonderful detoxification with a scary midnight binge! I always end the day with a large salad of dark greens (like spinach, kale, and arugula) with roasted or steamed veggies. Ontop, I keep it light with a little Braggs apple cider vinegar, hummus or lemon. If your jonesing for some protein, try having a unsweetened soy or greek yogurt.

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A detox that involves mainly juicing comes at a price: hunger! Be sure to drink a lot of water all day to curb your hunger and prevent your blood sugar from jumping high & crashing quickly. Though you are drinking juice, that doesn’t mean you are getting enough of the stuff! I always carry a water bottle with me that is laced with lemon, lime and mint. It keeps me hydrated and helps me stay motivated. I also reccomend drinking green and mint blended teas. If slender is what you’re searching for, the tea will definitely help, while also helping curb your hunger. One last piece of advice I have is to remember to take your daily vitamins and probiotics. Though you are drinking in many different vitamins, you’re probably skimping out on a lot of them too (especially calcium), which can stifle the effects of your cleanse.

Though detoxing comes with an array of confusion and dilemmas, It is a great way to shimmy back into your bikini while also gaining a healthful, youthful glow. I hope I have saved you from spending a fortune on some miracle, slenderizing scheme. Feel free to ask me questions in the comment section.

Now get juicing!