Super Easy Breakfast Carrot Cake Bites

After Easter feast, my body needed to cleanse. A raw vegan diet is the best way for me to get rid of all the pies and cakes I indulged in and not to mention, my mac and cheese that’s made with six cheeses.

But a girl still needs a little something sweet in her life. My Carrot Cake Bites does the trick every-time. Now on my blog I do have this recipe, but the bites are shaped into balls. To make them square bites, you will need to pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 -1 1/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried coconut and Enjoy. These go well with a cup of cinnamon tea. Remember to always Set the Table with Love. 💕💕💕💕

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 3/4 cup dried raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrots, peeled
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼  cup water or more if needed

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut  in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
  2. Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
  3. Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough,

4. Pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 – 11/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried shredded coconut

5. Enjoy!

Asparagus with a Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette

As I promised here is another healthy Easter side dish you can prepare super fast, but fast doesn’t mean you are skimping on flavor. Yes, I love how the shaved parmesan pulls this dish together. Enjoy and Always Set the Table with Love. 💕

Happy Easter.

TIP: The vinaigrette will last for a week in he fridge. Put it in an air tight container.

Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar

• 2 tsp ground mustard

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 1 small shallot, finely diced

• 1 tsp honey

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp pepper

• 1/2 cup olive oil

Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk vigorously until the dressing is combined.

Drizzle over the asparagus, right before serving or toss the asparagus in the dressing top with shaved parmesan (optional)

Asparagus

Ingredients :

• 1 bushel of asparagus or more based on how many you are serving.

• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1 Heat blanching water: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil.

2 Prep the asparagus: While the water is heating, prepare the asparagus. Rinse them thoroughly; break off any tough, white bottoms and discard.

Cut the spears into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

3 Blanch the asparagus: Add the asparagus to the boiling water and lower the heat slightly to maintain a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water.

4 While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with a generous amount of the Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette or plate the asparagus on a pretty platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over it and shave parmesan over top.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Healing Tuesday~ Good Food, Energy Work, lots of Laughs and some Wine.

Long title. Yes. I know, but I couldn’t put it any other way, because that is what Tuesdays are like with my good friend Loyale. She is this incredible Wellness and Lifestyle Coach. She has been on a journey of wellness for over two decades and she shares her healing with so many of us, I am grateful to be one of those souls. She keeps me open up in my body, mind and soul through reiki and massage therapy. I in turn, life coach her, feed her keto meals and reiki her as well. It’s a beautiful exchange of energy and love.

I am so grateful for our times together. Today, I think the energy was truly about clearing and allowing space for what truly suppose to be there within ourselves and our lives.

So let me allow you, into a Tuesday with Loyale and I. Are you ready? Well it begins with her unloading that huge massage table, she’s a small powerhouse with this amazing infectious smile, and let me tell you, she handles that massage table like no other. She comes in and set things up and my body instantly begins to relax. I am in the kitchen cooking up a keto friendly breakfast for her. Today I made a keto friendly eggs benedict, 86 the English muffin, add instead, avocado and sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs and it’s a magical morning and she’s a happy girl.

Keto friendly Egg Benedict with Tomatoes and Avocados
Egg Benedict with Tomatoes, Avocados and Potatoes

We sit and talk a bit about our lives and what we are moving through, over a delicious breakfast and her keto coffee and my chai latte. Life coaching begins, this time helps me with how to move in her reiki session. Healing is not just about what we put in our bodies, but also about what we put into our spaces and in our minds and hearts. We are always digesting life. The question is being conscious of what we are digesting and how we are digesting life. Does it all serve our highest good? Is it healing us or making is sick? These are important questions we need to ask ourselves, if were are to stay healthy spiritual beings.

After breakfast we get into more energetic healing. Our reiki and massage sessions are full of deep breath, aromatherapy, prayer and just allowing ourselves to let go and enjoy healing touch and positive intentions being sent from one soul to the other.

Once we are full of just pure bliss, we talk more about what was revealed in our individual therapies and how we can move more consciously in life. Now it’s time for lunch. Then I remembered, I have a roasted chicken in my fridge. Now, how can I make this special for her keto diet. I know, make a pan sauce with butter, white wine, fresh rosemary and garlic. Now we have a Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce. I also pulled out of my fridge some blackberries, homemade lavender infused fudge with sea salt, I made a few days ago for my grandkids and pluck some mint from my herb garden, now we have dessert.

Homemade Lavender Infused Fudge with Blackberries and Mint
Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce

Healing starts with the intention of what we are pouring into others and ourselves. In all that you do, pour love into it, pour compassion into it, pour your soul into it and you have all the ingredients of making people feel alive, awaken, loved, HEALED. This is what we do on Tuesday. I am grateful! Here’s an idea, start a healing day for you and your friends, by just exchanging your God giving gifts to bring a little happiness into their lives and yours. Thanks Loyale, until next Tuesday.

Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Parmesan, Mint and Lemon Zest

So in the state of Georgia we all felt last week that Springtime was coming a little early, that wasn’t the case, of course. But that doesn’t mean a girl didn’t get inspired by the warm days to whip up something little and refreshing.

This is one of my favorite spring/summertime pastas to make. Don’t get intimidated, it’s a pretty simple pasta recipe. I found this one on Martha Stewart’s website, it is wonderful with my roasted tomatoes. The mint and lemon zest, just says summertime in your mouth.

The great thing about making this pasta is you can use your imagination to create other version of it. I love to add chickpeas, sautéed kale or spinach to the recipe with a little bit of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Let your imagination go wild and while you are at remember to Set the Table with Love. 💕

Ingredients:

2 cups semolina flour, plus more for baking sheet

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup water, divided, plus more if needed

Directions:

1. Mound semolina and all-purpose flours and salt in 3 separate piles on a large, clean work surface.

2. Using your fingers, swirl ingredients together until combined.

3. Gather flour mixture into a pile, and create a well in center. Pour 1/2 cup water into well.

4. Gradually incorporate flour mixture into water using your fingers.

5. Once all the water is absorbed, continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture begins to form a dough.
6. Start to gather and knead dough, working it until no dry flour remains on work surface.

7. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

8. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, and cover them with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

9. Roll 1 portion of dough into an 18-inch-long rope.

10. Use a knife to cut and drag a 1/3-inch piece of dough from end of rope facing you — a grainy wooden cutting board helps grip the dough.

11. Holding knife at a 45-degree angle to work surface, press and roll dough toward you.
12. Unfurl each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour. Repeat with remaining dough. Orecchiette can be stored at room temperature in a single layer overnight; cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 pints cherry tomatoes

Good olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt

1 cup Parmesan cheese

12 -15 mint leaves

Lemon zest

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle at the end

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

3. Transfer the tomatoes to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Add in a little pasta water to help make a sauce, then add in drained pasta, lots of parmesan cheese, olive oil, mint leaves and lemon zest and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Winter Detox Soup

This is simple and super easy! But here’s the twist. You eat this soup for breakfast!! What?!! Yes, breakfast. Soup for breakfast has incredible health benefits.

Having soup in the am helps with better digestion and elimination. When we are cleansed from the inside , we have more energy and our immune system is able to function better. This will help us ward off all those yuckies that our kids lovingly bring home to us.

Here’s a few benefits:

1. They are quick and easy, especially when you are in a hurry. Pour it in a Yeti thermal and go.

2. They are loaded with lots of nutrients,. A super easy way to get what you need all at once.

3. They help with digestion, because of the high fiber content and the liquid from the broths, which also helps with elimination.

4. The options are endless. You will never get bored with soup.

5. You feel fuller longer, because they are nutritionally dense.

So, why not?

Here’s my go to:

Ingredient:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ginger, powder

1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 sprigs of thyme, remove leaves to use in the soup

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 large yellow squash, chopped

1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets

1 /2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup kale, finely chopped, fresh or frozen

32 fl oz. Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Directions:

In a medium pot or Dutch oven add the olive oil over medium heat. Next add all your spices, stir and cook the spices for 15 seconds. Add the aromatics and sea salt and pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and thyme leaves , stir and cook for 1 minutes. Add the vegetables except the kale, Stir and cook for 5 -7 minutes, until the pot starts to get brown pieces at the bottom. Add the broth, stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, add more of the previous seasoning, to taste , plus add more salt or pepper, if needed. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the carrots and cauliflower are soft, but still has some crunch. Add chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Beet Salad with a Parsley and Walnut Pesto drizzled with Orange Vinaigrette

I adore beets. They are loaded with lots fiber, vitamin C and they help with inflammation in the body, which mean they are good for you, but they also taste amazing. I love to add beets to my salads, smoothies, and they are awesome sautéed, roasted or just raw.

Today I was craving a salad, but not the lettuce type. I looked in my fridge and remembered, I bought diced beets already marinated from my favorite beet company, Love Beets ! They made this salad easy to make, because everything is seasoned and ready to assemble. I just had to slice the red beets.

I wanted this to look a bit fancy, so I used one of my metal rounds to assemble the dish, but you can easily, slice your beets, top with the pesto and drizzle some of your orange vinaigrette on top and toss. However you decide to do it, just remember to Set the Table with Love.

Beets Rock!!!

Ingredients:

1 pack of Love Beets diced marinated golden beets

1 pack of Love Beets marinated red beets thinly sliced

For the Parsley walnut pesto:

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces

2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch

1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese or if vegan nutritional yeast

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.

2. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredient:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. Cover and shake well until combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.

Place your metal round on a pretty plate. Inside the round, layer the thinly sliced red beets, then top with the diced beets, stacking them on top of the red beets slices, until you have no space left. Add some pesto, then start the process over, until you end with a layer of pesto on top of the golden beets. Place on fridge to set for 30 minutes. Gently remove the metal round and drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. 💕

Spicy Orange Ginger and Garlic Cauliflower with Orange Ginger Cauliflower Rice

This week it’s all about the cauliflower.

Here’s the recipe, running out for an event, but wanted to share this with you guys. Always Set the Table with Love.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

• 2/3 cup water

• 1/3 cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon

• 1/3 cup flour

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup onions, minced

•. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

• 1 large orange, zest only

• 1/4 cup orange juice, from zested orange

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

1 In a bowl, whisk together the water, 1/3 cup of corn starch, the flour, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

2 In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, ginger and onions, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a slight boil.

3 Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Whisk into the sauce and reduce heat to a very lower simmer.

4 Next, heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.

5 Coat each cauliflower floret in the flour mixture.

6 Carefully place each floret into the hot oil. Fry each piece until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

7. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture, pour into a bowl and spoon the remaining thick, hot sauce over top. Garnish with some cilantro or sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, (optional).

Serve immediately.

Fruit Skewers with homemade Chocolate Sauce and Yogurt with Fruit and Honey

Getting kids eat fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a bit challenging, but I believe these two dipping recipes will have them coming back for more. Keeping it simple and getting your little ones involved is the key. Whenever I pick up my grandkids the first thing that they ask me is, Gigi what are we making today? The second question is, Gigi what can I do to help? I noticed raising my boys, whatever they were a part of baking or cooking they would eat it all up.

This recipe is simple and will not take lots of time. You start with a skewer and their favorite fruit, cut up the fruit into bite sizes pieces, potatoes but big enough to place on the skewer. Allow them to pick which piece goes first. You can even talk about the health benefits of the fruit or where bananas truly come from. Now the dipping sauces:

Open up a container of plain yogurt. Chop up pieces of their favorite fruit. Add the fruit and yogurt in a bowl, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir and let the kids spoon some over their fruit skewer.

Next the chocolate sauce, this can be done two ways, first the non dairy recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate bark

1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTION:

1 Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2 Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3 Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4 Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using as your dipping sauce.

Non Dairy Chocolate Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Stir and bring to a very gentle simmer.

2. Slowly whisk in the cocoa powder and continue to cook on a low simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Let cool, pour into a bowl and let the dipping commence. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Chocolate Sauce ( Ganache)

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces chopped dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3. Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using it to dip for it drizzle over your skewer.

Easiest Stovetop Maple Granola on top of Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

Who doesn’t love granola ? Okay, put your hand down, Lol 😂. But for us granola lovers, here’s a keep it simple and a bit sweet easy recipe.

You can also find this recipe and others delectable pictures of yummies on my Instagram page Life with Lisa Washington:

Easiest Stovetop Granola: Maple Granola with Pumpkin Seeds: #nutfree

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup gluten free old-fashioned oats, not instant

1 tablespoon virgin-coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of molasses

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

A pinch of clove

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add seeds and oats. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats are golden and the seeds are fragrant, but not burnt. Add oil, maple syrup, molasses , vanilla, and salt, mix well to coat the oats. Cook 1 additional minute while string.

2. Remove from the heat and spread on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Allow to cool completely before adding to an airtight container.

Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red or purple hasselback potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 tbsp Italian seasoning ( optional) 

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning ( optional). Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy