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.

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.

Back to School Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Today I had the opportunity to do a television segment for Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, because back to school is upon us and we want to give our kids a healthy start to the new school year. Well, I got you covered. Try out some of these recipes with your kids and see how going back school can be a fun and tasty experience for the whole family.

Here’s a few tips to get your kids into eating healthy:

1. Show the new ways to eat fruit and veggies: peanut butter on celery, hummus and red pepper slices, coconut milk with berries popsicle sticks

2. Get them involved in the process. Let them come up with healthy recipes ideas that incorporates more veggies .

3. Plant a garden.

4. Let them explore new fruits and veggies once a week. They don’t have to love it, just be open to trying new things.

5. Make eating healthy fun and not a chore. They are exploring and getting to know how to make good eating choices. So keep light.

If you want to check out the television footage just click this link: Good Day Atlanta Healthy Breakfast ideas .

Remember to always Set the Table with Love as you head into the new school year. 💕

Good Day Atlanta

Naleyla’s

Mango Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 Cup Mangoes, fresh or frozen, chopped

½ cup frozen blueberries

1-cup organic orange juice

A pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend and Enjoy.

Serves two happy little campers 

As a school snack or for the lunch box add this smoothie into a thermos keep drinks cool.

Coconut Chocolate Chip No Bake Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1-½ cup raisins

½ cup maple syrup or (honey if not vegan)

½ cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup mini chocolate chips or (cacao chips, if vegan)

2 cups rolled oats, gluten-free, for any sensitivities

Directions:

1. Process raisins in a food processor until small bits remain. You are looking for ”dough” like consistency.

2. Place the oats in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil and toast for 3 minutes on medium

heat. Add all the spices and stir.

3. Place oats and raisin “dough” a large mixing bowl – set aside.

4. Warm honey and nut butter or sunflower butter, if there is a nut allergy, in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir

and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the raisin “dough” to disperse throughout.

5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or

parchment paper so they lift out easily.

6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. I use another piece of parchment paper over top of the granola and smooth flat with a spoon.

7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.

8. Remove bars from pan and cut into bars of your desire. I cut them into small squares or 2 inch logs. Store in an

airtight container for 3-4 days. If you freeze them they will last longer and you can pop them out the fridge and add

to your kids lunch boxes each morning or as a great after school snack. Note: IF THE BARS ARE TOO CRUMBLY,

ADD A LITTLE WATER TO MAKE THEM STICKY. IF TOO STICKY AT MORE OATS.

Fruit and Granola at the Bottom Yogurt Cups

Ingredients:

1 small 4 oz. Mason jar with lid or 4 oz. BPA free recyclable plastic cup with lid

¼ cup granola

Few strawberries and frozen blueberries, or any fruit of your choice. I love to add frozen fruit, because it will keep the yogurt cool.

¼ cup Greek yogurt

A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, cacao chips or granola to add on top as garnish

Directions:

Add the granola to the bottom of the jar. Top with your favorite fruit, then top with greek yogurt and garnish as you desire.

This is a great lunch box recipe and after school snack. For school I would suggest using a BPA free plastic cup with lid, instead of a jar class.

There’s more than one way to use vegetable skewers

How can you take 4 prepackaged vegetable skewers and make several meals?

What I love about using the skewers is they have all my favorite veggies, big plump portobello mushrooms, crunch red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and red onions. The first day I marinated them in a balsamic glaze with olive oil and herbs and paired it with a red quinoa vegan tabbouleh. The next day I took the two of the vegetables skewers and took off the vegetables and sautéed them in olive oil, herbs, sea salt and cracked black pepper. I put the veggies in a bowl, add kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, banana peppers and chickpeas. I added a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and toss. I chopped some fresh parsley over top and you have your second skewer meal. I took the last one and made a simple stir fry with eggs.