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Pure and Simple
Wholesome Food for Healthy Living
Interests: Kale. Chocolate. Yoga. Writing.
Recent Activity
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Chocolate Chip Cookies. Those just-out-of-the-oven, soft and chewy-in-the-middle darlings were my favorite dessert to bake and eat in my early twenties. I was very particular about their texture and flavor and would rarely eat them if they were not made by my own hands. If you came to visit me during my "Come Over, I'm Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies" phase, there's a good chance you were presented with and expected to devour more than a couple of my treasured confections. My affection for chocolate chip cookies exists even today. I've had to work around this allergy-friendly diet to get my fix, but I do still indulge when I find a grain-free cookie glaring at me from the kitchen counter. The past couple of weeks, I've made three batches of cookies while trying to design a recipe that is clean, delicious, refined sugar-free and paleo. I finally came up with something... Continue reading
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Capturing the essence of food on film is almost as fun as tasting it, so I'm journaling my kitchen creations over on Facebook and Instagram. Join me for daily doses of appetizing inspiration. Continue reading
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Some nights, all I want for dinner is a plate of fresh, warm vegetables cooked to perfection. In the past, before I discovered the magic of kale, collards were my favorite greens. I boiled the leaves for about an hour and added them to just about any dish I fancied, especially a fresh piece of wild salmon with sweet potatoes. That is still one of my favorite meals. Most recently, I've integrated swiss chard into my diet. I juice it, add it to my smoothies or saute it in coconut oil, as I've done with this dish. The Swiss Chard & Ginger Saute is so easy to prepare. It involves three ingredients and will take about 10 minutes to make. The combination of coconut oil and ginger root give it an Asian flavor and reminds me of a coconut curry I repeatedly ate while I was in Thailand. Leafy greens... Continue reading
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I recently heard a (hopefully fictitious) story that Chipotle's will possibly be removing the insanely delicious guacamole from their menu. That creamy, perfectly-prepared dip is by far the best thing they make, in my opinion, and the one reason I continue to visit their restaurant. Since that eye-opening information was released last week, I've been thinking about the precious fruit that has become a staple in my diet and a primary ingredient in so many of my dishes, including the chocolate pie I make all the time. I keep a stash of those green, vitamin-rich gems in my fridge and eat one just about every day, tossing it into my smoothie, salad or homemade guacamole. They are purely nutritious, great for the skin and contain anti-inflammatory properties. They also work extremely well with chocolate, absorbing the flavors of any food you add to them. A few years ago, I began... Continue reading
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I have been subsisting primarily on smoothies the past couple of weeks. They are super simple to make, easy to digest and loaded with all the nutrients I need in a day. I could probably live on my kale and cherry smoothies, but I've been feeling a little (ok, a lot) creative and began throwing together combinations that I had never tried before. The first one that swept me off my feet was this Blueberry & Avocado Smoothie that reminds me of Raw Blueberry Cheesecake. It is sweet, creamy, smooth, colorful and delicious, so it instantly became my new favorite brunch. I'm still in the mountains, enjoying the peace and quiet, practicing yoga, meditating, hiking, reading, writing, creating, photographing, and of course, whipping up the occasional chocolate treat. I'll be out here for a while longer but will be posting my newest favorites to the blog, as well as sharing... Continue reading
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I am retreating in the mountains and stepping away from my blog/social media. Enjoy your winter and I'll be back soon with some delicious recipes to share with you. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite recipes to keep you nourished for the next few weeks: Collard Wraps (loaded with veggies & a delicious asian sauce) Chocolate Milkshake (perfect for breakfast or snack) Sunflower Seed & Jam Bars (these just rock) Kale & Fig Salad (seriously the most amazing salad!) Chocolate Caramel Clusters (my all-time favorite candy) Maple Spiced Pecans (my out-of-this-world, insanely good, go-to snack) Chocolate Cashew Butter Brownies (the best I've ever had) Cherry Kale Smoothie (my favorite breakfast of all time) Chocolate Tart (simple, clean and mouthwatering raw dessert) Baked Apple Crisp (my favorite after-dinner dessert to make for guests) Continue reading
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There is magic in every season. Spring is a time for change and rebirth, providing us an opportunity to rearrange pieces of our lives and plant seeds for those things we would most like to harvest. Birds sing their songs, the sun radiates warmth, flowers bloom and the energy that has been restoring itself during the winter months finally comes out of hiding. Summer spawns a happy-go-lucky attitude with its long lit, carefree days urging us to travel light, take off our clothes and feel the sun on our skin while we bite into a sweet and messy watermelon. Autumn prepares us for the coldest months, encouraging quiet reflection and inner preparation. I always welcome this season with open arms. Winter is a time for letting go of that which no longer serves our spirit. It is a time for hibernation, restoration, silence and introversion. I truly love every season,... Continue reading
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Chocolate. Just the word itself looks succulent. Then you pronounce it and suddenly your day is a little brighter. Finally, when that creamy confection hits your lips, life is absolutely perfect. Is it just me that feels this way, or is there a whole gang of chocolate lovers somewhere in the world celebrating with other chocolate lovers just because they love chocolate? I will admit that I overdosed on the chocolate a few days ago. Yes, I had a chocolate smoothie for breakfast and then a slice of chocolate pie for lunch and then more chocolate pie later on in the day for good measure. And yes, I was up ALL night long from uncontainable outpourings of creativity running through my bloodstream. The euphoria I felt promised to last a lifetime, and in the midst of it all, I actually believed it would. But as usual, I crashed hard the... Continue reading
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After a week of travel, long work days and hasty eating on-the-go just to sustain my energy, I could not wait to get home and pour myself a tall glass of greens to replenish my body with a bevy of vitamins. The concoction I threw together is comprised mostly of veggies and spruced up with sweet, juicy pears so delicious I ended up eating half of one while cutting it up for the smoothie. I'm still thinking about that dang pear and wish my refrigerator was stocked with a dozen of them right now. After posting the first blog of 2014, I realized I just skipped right over the New Year without even mentioning it because 1) I don't ever really make too much of a fuss over it and 2) I like going to bed WAY before midnight rolls around. Staying up late is painful for this early bird.... Continue reading
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"The simpler, the better" is my general attitude toward most things. Life is captivating and perfectly satisfying when it arrives in its purest form. A genuine smile. Picking mulberries straight off the tree. Silence. An honest thought expressed with loving kindness. A quiet night with a loved one. A simple walk in the woods. A few words that completely shift your perspective...and sometimes change your entire world in the blink of an eye. A song that speaks right to your heart. A moment of clarity. The kind of peace found only in solitude. Feeling safe. Being understood by another. Walking away. Tears of complete surrender. Mountains just being mountains. Breath. A tree standing tall and strong, deeply rooted to the earth and graciously reaching for the sky. Truth. However scary or overwhelming or insignificant it may appear. Truth is exhilarating. And it unequivocally sets us free. With each year, each... Continue reading
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I'm not exactly sure when I stopped celebrating Christmas, but I don't think I was ever really a fan. The rushing to and fro, pressure to do and buy and accumulate, the impatient crowds and waiting in lines always seemed reason enough to retreat during this time of year. Now, it is the tender moments between loved ones, the luxury of just being myself in another's company, the gathering for good food, and the time to relax I want most out of life. A few years ago, I spent Christmas in Kauai with some of my favorite people in the whole world, walking the beach, swimming in the crystal clear water, riding bikes through town and sleeping in a cabin with a tin roof during the wildest, most exhilarating rainstorm I've ever experienced. That was one of my most memorable, joyous trips to date and maybe the first time I... Continue reading
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Some mornings I wake up briefly reminiscing about a bowl of nectarous cereal covered in cold milk, a favorite of mine from years past when dairy and grains were regular guests in my kitchen. Sugar-coated Corn Pops and Fruity Pebbles were my breakfast of choice, moments before rushing out the door to pile into my mom's suburban for the short ride to school. Those were the days I could eat a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart without much thought on its dire effects. When I am craving cereal now, which isn't too often, I throw together some seeds with dried fruit and smother it in homemade nut milk or yogurt. It satisfies my sweet tooth and sustains me for at least a couple of hours, before I'm reaching for another nourishing snack. For my Nut-Free Granola, I've traded out grains and nuts for a variety of seeds and sweetened them with... Continue reading
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I know I've been away from this blog much too long, and while I have missed the creative process of styling and photographing, I have spent so much time in the kitchen recently, creating and redesigning dishes for clients, that my desire to produce clean, wholesome food was being fulfilled these past few months. Sharing the recipes with you just kept getting postponed from one week to the next. However, today I have for you a long time favorite of mine. Peanut butter cups without the peanuts. I've replaced those allergy-inducing legumes with sunflower seeds. They closely resemble the taste of peanuts so I use them often in dishes like these and these. Covered in chocolate, these cute little cups consist of only five ingredients, making them very simple (and messy) to assemble. I've used raw honey to sweeten them for the disease-fighting antioxidants, blood-sugar stabilizing benefits and anti-inflammatory properties... Continue reading
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Join me for these two dynamic workshops at Urban Yoga in Ft. Worth, Texas. For questions, please email me at followyourownway(at)yahoo(dot)com. Continue reading
Julian is an amazing big brother.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2013 on A TRIP TO THE ZOO at BLEUBIRD BLOG
Sweet faces! And Sailor's little smile is so contagious.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2013 on 32/52 at BLEUBIRD BLOG
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I recently detoxed with a three-day juice fast and consequently curbed a few of my cravings, convincing my sweet tooth it does not need the amount of chocolate it carelessly believes it does. The cleanse was not necessarily planned, but after a week of travel, a month of continuous kitchen experimentation, and an unexpectedly hasty summer full of pie and such, my body needed rest and time to digest something other than food. While I was at it, I took a brief break from the blog because I needed to step away from the computer and let the ideas/recipes emerge organically. I feel much more relaxed and inspired with clear intentions and a fresh perspective. My nine-year old nephew is coming into town tomorrow to visit for a few days and I have promised him plenty of homemade sweet treats (healthy, of course) and all the kisses he can handle... Continue reading
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My love for avocado continues. On and on. And on. Whether I'm whipping up chocolate pie, key lime pie, chocolate milkshakes or a simple kale salad, I bite into one of these beauties every.single.day. Their creamy texture and skin enhancing perks are only two of the reasons avocados have become a kitchen necessity. They are pretty much the perfect food, go with just about everything, and take on the flavor of the food you add to them. This week, I have been eating them with scrambled eggs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and I am utterly satisfied. My friend, Jeff, now calls me Avocado Amy, after watching me devour every last bite of one at Kerbey Lane and witnessing my enthusiasm for the rich, green darlings. My affection for kale is no secret. My body begs for it and will revolt when I've gone more than two days... Continue reading
Dee, this will serve 3-4 people. I'll add it to the recipe. My contact is followyourownway(at)yahoo(dot)com
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Like most people, I tend to become a little leery when I hear the word salad. Many of my past experiences with a few lettuce leaves thrown into a bowl has been a little disappointing, simply because of the soy/sugar/dairy-laden dressings that accompany it or the lack of fresh vegetables I hoped would come with it. Most days, I get the greens I need in my smoothies and fresh-squeezed juice, but some days, dinner calls for a hodgepodge of crisp, freshly-picked, chopped up produce. This week, I chose brussels sprouts as my base for their anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting effects. For those of you who have never tried this cruciferous vegetable, the flavor is distinct and may take some getting used to, but I've spruced it up with Fuji apples, red onion, fresh ginger root, lemon juice, and hemp seed for explosive zest and unimaginable benefits. I've also added fresh... Continue reading
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Yes, this slice of chocolate you see here is just as delectable as it looks! My first attempt at a raspberry dessert turned out to be a winner. If you want to know the truth, it is inspired by my Raw Chocolate Pie, which I have been making once a week (twice when I'm feeling a little wild) these days. So, the need to change things up a bit and post a new recipe resulted in this ravishing Chocolate Raspberry Tart. It is so fresh and nutrient-rich with unbelievable flavor. I used the purest ingredients and kept it incredibly simple, producing a healthy, make-you-feel-good dessert. The crust is almonds, medjool dates and coconut oil. I use coconut oil in so many of my dishes and certainly consume it daily in my smoothie. The benefits are outstanding. It stabilizes blood sugar, improves skin, increases digestion, boosts thyroid function and helps to... Continue reading
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I will be teaching a yoga workshop and food demo next month in Longview, TX. For some fun and delicious food, register with Karen at lyogabliss(at)gmail(dot)com or call Longview Yoga Studio. Continue reading
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After living in Southern California for 10 years with unlimited access to seafood straight out of the ocean, I have been keeping my expectations close to the ground when looking for quality seafood in Texas. Don't get me wrong, amazing, off-the-charts food has been had by me many times over in both Austin and Dallas the past few months and I have never been more impressed by the multitude of options when it comes to great meals. However, I wanted an experience that reminds me of my days by the water. So, I asked an epicurean where I could find remarkable food made with fresh ingredients and the first thing out of his mouth was TJ's Seafood Market and Grill. A few days later, I showed up to the restaurant with an appetite at hand. I was greeted by owner, Jon Alexis, an absolute pleasure with a kind and gracious... Continue reading
I wish I was there to see him, Karin. Miss you all so much!!!!
1 reply
Angie, I have never used any dried fruit replacement. I would probably recommend you substitute raw honey or raw coconut sugar in the place of dates.