How’s your weekend going so far?  Mine’s been going well!  Scott got home really late Friday night after a week of business travel as I mentioned, and it’s nice to have my partner in crime parenting back home because to help with Skylar.  Today I decided to hit up Trader Joe’s, and apparently so did half of PhoenixWhat a zoo!  But even on a random Tuesday TJ’s can be a zoo, so really, it doesn’t matter when I go I’ve determined.   And the Contest for the Naturally Nutty Nut Butter for 3 Winners that I have going on has generated a cool 550+ entries in not even 24 hours so far.  So things in my inbox have been kinda busy but I love it!  I love that you guys are stoked for the nut buttahhhhs!!!  What have you been up to? I’m going to be cruising everyone’s bloggies here in a hot minute after I publish this post!  Can’t wait to see what’s been happening with my bloggie friends, but fill me in if you’ve been up to anything fabulous!

It’s Saturday, and it’s time to break out the Highlights of the Week in Food & Life.  If you missed Last Week’s Highlights, Check out This Post.

This Week:
Sunday I made Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites

Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites on dehydrator tray
Close up of Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites
Underside of Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites

Another Coconut Banana Bite: Top & Bottom Sides.  They are soft in the middle and just slightly crunchy on the outside.  Sweet and coconutty, but not overpowering.   Perfect, just the way I like them! They are Gluten & Soy Free, too!

Close up of Banana Bites
Hand holding banana bite showing underside

My Blogger-Meetup-Taste-Tester and Phoenix BFF Raved About Them

Two woman and young girl sitting at table
Woman smiling with coffee cup
 This is from Madeline’s Blog:
 


Some Green Food

Green salad with Vegan Slaw Dressing

Tossed with my homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing

Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing

Dessert was a Combo of Vegan Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate…

Two slices of Vegan Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up Vegan Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate
This Recipe takes 5 Minutes and Will Rawk Your Tastebuds! 
 

…And Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites

Close up of Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bite
Underside of Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bite

And Popcorn!
I Gave You My Super Fast, Easy, Healthy, No-Junk Added, way to Make Popcorn.  And I told you that I sprinkle it with Nooch, Cinnamon, Stevia, Cooking Spray or Coconut Oil Spray, and chocolate chips!

Nutritional Yeast Popcorn in bowl
Close up of popcorn in bowl
Popcorn with chocolate chips

And the Comments were Bustin’ Loose after I asked you If You’ve Ever Been Cheated OnWhat do you think of the Tiger Woods situation?  Would you stay or would you go, especially with kids involved?  It was Great Hearing Your Stories, Personal Experiences, and Thoughts!

Monday I Shared My Recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse!

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Four ingredients, including a Secret Ingredient, and 5 minutes later, this ridic thick, fudgy, decadent, but super healthy, chocolate mousse could be all yours! 

Tamper showing consistency of Mousse
Mousse in clear container

Just sayin’, you may want to give this mousse recipe a whirl!  

Close up of Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Mousse Close up in container

Thanks for also telling me if you’re a Carob or a Chocolate Person, and what you Fave Brands for Carob or Chocolate are.

And I Won an Oats Give Away!

Coach's Oats package

I love Oats and have an Entire Post devoted to nothing but Recipes Using Oats so I can always use more oats!  For My Recipes Like…

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on plate
Close up of Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

To Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (yes there are oats in them)

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls in container

I love the chunks of (vegan) chocolate chips in the high Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Close up of a few Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
I have never met cookie dough I don’t love, though!
Two Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls in container
Close up of sliced Vegan No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bar
Side of sliced Vegan No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bar

Green Food on Monday

Salad with vegetables and Vegan Slaw Dressing
Salad with vegetables and Vegan Slaw Dressing

With a Fresh Batch of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing

Jar of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing

High Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate for Dessert!

Two slices of High Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up High Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

More Popcorn!

Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast
Close up of Nutritional Yeast on popcorn

I asked you If and How You Believe the Foods You Eat Effect You.  From mood changes, skin changes, to digestion and sleep changes, I believe the power of food and how we nourish ourselves is manifested outwardly and in all aspects of the body.  I loved reading Your Comments and What You Think and What You Notice based on What You EatGreat Stuff, thanks everyone for chiming in!

Tuesday I Announced the Winner of my Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter Give Away

Organic Coconut Peanut Butter

Click Here to See Who Won…maybe it Was You!

And I Had a Blogger Meetup

Young girl with toys sitting at table
Woman and young girl playing with toys at table

 

Two woman standing with young girl in front

Got Some Goodies in the Mail

Heart Thrive Vegan Products in packaging
Heart Thrive Vegan Products in packaging
 

And I shared my Recipe for Homemade Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola
Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola in pot getting stirred

Granola spread onto parchment lined sheet
The way I (under)bake the Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola creates a similar texture to what I’d call Quaker Chewy Granola Bar texture.  You can bake it longer to make it crumbly if you prefer.
Finished Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola broken into pieces
Granola pieces in container
 Close up of Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola

Green Food included Brussles, Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Carrots, Cukes, Sugar Snap Peas

Mixed Greens with vegetables
Close up of Mixed Greens

Tossed with a newly made Batch of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing

Jar of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing
Close up of salad with vegan slaw dressing

And I made a Fresh Batch of high Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs ingredients in bowl
Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs in white bowl
Overhead of Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs in bowl

And you told me about your Favorite Snacks or On-the-Go-Foods

And It Got Steamy in the Comments! You Told Me If You Like to Sweat, Or Not, when You’re Working Out.  And if you can handle working out in extreme temperatures.

Wednesday I Had a Major Produce Haul at the Grocery

Various groceries on countertop

 

Various groceries on countertop

 Grapes, Bananas, Organic Carrots which were the same price as conventional so I Scored there!

Grapes, bananas and carrots

I’ve seen these bars on blogs and figured I’d pick a couple up for Scott’s lunches or Skylar.  Have you tried these?  What do you think of them?

Kashi GoLean Bars

 And I gave you my Recipe for Coconut Ginger Roasted Vegetables: Fennel and Potatoes
Dabs of Coconut Oil make the veggies extra delish!

Jar of Coconut Oil
Coconut Ginger Roasted Vegetables on foil lined pan
After an Hour
Close up of roasted vegetables
 Caramelized and perfectly Roasted Fennel!
Caramelized fennel

And the Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes in containerClose up of Potatoes in container
I tossed the fennel with other veggies: Sugar Snap Peas, Brussels, tomatoes, carrots, and mixed greens
Roasted Fennel with greens and vegetables
Close up of Roasted Fennel with vegetables
I love the anise flavor of fennel and the coconut oil and ginger went perfectly with it.  It was a really interesting flavor combo and I’m glad I tried it.
Overhead of fennel and vegetables
Close up of caramelized fennel with vegetables

And Scott Raved about his Ginger Coconut Roasted Potatoes, too!

Ginger Coconut Roasted Potatoes
 I was surprised to hear how many of you have never tried fennel or that you’ve only had it raw.   And as I mentioned here, It Does NOT Taste like Black Licorie to me, because I don’t like black licorice but I really like fennel!
Fennel about to be roasted 
Roasted Fennel
 Cooked with Coconut Oil and Ginger, Caramelized and perfect!
Finished Coconut Roasted Fennel

Lots of Popcorn with Nooch, Cinnamon, and Stevia Was Munched!

Nooch Close Up = Vegan Cheezy Goodness
Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast, Cinnamon, and Stevia
Cinnamon Stuck Nicely to the Kernel
Close up of cinnamon on popcorn
And Chocolate Chips Added!
Popcorn with chocolate chips

And I really savored your comments about if you feel you’re in charge of or the boss of your own lifeOr is your life in charge of you Many of you said that you do feel in charge, but that you’re people pleasers or that you’re struggling taking the reigns of your life back under your own controlThe are you driving the train of life, or is the train driving you, question seemed thought-provoking judging by your awesome comments, and it’s something I check-in with and evaluate where things are at to make sure life doesn’t get toooo offtrack, which can happen in a hurry! 

Thursday I went to Whole Foods

Coconut Oil Spray, Vegenaise, Nutritional Yeast and Maca Powder

And Scored Some Coconut Oil Spray!!
Perfect for my Popcorn Fests!

Coconut Oil Spray
Nutritional Information on Coconut Oil Spray

It’s Refined and if you missed the Difference between Refined and Un-Refined Coconut Oil, Click Here.

Bottom of coconut oil spray can

Got some more Nooch

Nutritional Yeast Container

Picked up Maca for the First Time

Maca Powder bag

And Talked About the Benefits of Maca and Gave You Lots of Links to Check Out

Back label of Maca Powder

You Told me Your Fave Ways to Use Maca, If You’ve Tried it Or Not, and What you Think of It

Then I Had Some Gifts in the Mail

Card and note pad

Including Agave 
I mentioned the Controversy Surrounding AgaveSome of You Told me If You Think Agave is Safe?  Or Not.  Is anything Perfect?  Nope, I don’t think so!

Bottle of Agave Nectar
Close up of label of Agave Nectar

And Flax Oil

Two containers of Flax Oil DressingFlax Oil Dressing in Mike's Special and Sweet & Sassy Flavors

And Flax & Hemp Crackers

Flax & Hemp Crackers
Flax & Hemp Crackers

And I talked about Superfoods.  I am inclined to believe that most natural, non-processed foods that grow in the ground or on trees, that are found in nature, can be called “superfoods”.  We don’t need to drive ourselves crazy sourcing the latest, greatest, and exotic berries from the Amazon.  Click Here For More of My Thoughts.  But, I wanted to hear about what you had to say and Your Comments About If You “Believe In” Superfoods were Great!

And I told you about How the Blogosphere has Influenced My Food Choices I loved Your Comments about How The ‘Sphere Has Influenced Your Food Choices and Cooking Thanks for telling me about everything from Soaked Oats, Chia Pudding, Green Monsters, and more!  It was so interesting to hear how the Blogosphere has helped Shape Your Foodie & Dietary Path!

There was  Green Food was a with some of the Roasted Coconut Ginger Fennel Mixed In 

Mixed greens with Roasted Coconut Ginger Fennel

Topped it with my Maple Ginger Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients for Maple Ginger Dijon Vinaigrette
Whisked up Maple Ginger Dijon Vinaigrette
Greens with Maple Ginger Dijon Vinaigrette

Dessert was Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse!

Bowl of Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse 
And yes, Popcorn with Nooch (nutritional yeast), Cinnamon, and Chocolate Chips! Perfect!  Especially about midnight!  I’m thinking this is my new go-to when I want crunchy, sweet, savory, all in one!  And my new Maca poured on it is good, too!
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn with chocolate chips

Friday I Began my Give Away for Naturally Nutty3 Winners will be Chosen and Each Winner Will Receive 1 Jar of Naturally Nutty!!!!

    Have fun everyone!  Thanks Naturally Nutty!!!! 
***The contest ends on Tuesday, March 2, 2010***

 

Have You Entered Yet?  There’s tons of ways to enter, and Naturally Nutty is Fabulous, so I hope you’ve entered!  Click Here to Enter Now!!!!!


Whew….That Was Massive!  Next Week I need to pare that down a bit for all our sakes…haha!

 If you’re still with me, today I wanted to give a major shoutout to April I finally jumped on her Protein Cookie Dough Bandwagon and she’s a Protein Genius!  Although I have been seeing her recipe all over the ‘sphere, I was a little skeptical for a couple reasons: 
First, most of the Protein Cookie Dough recreations that I’ve seen being made ’round the ‘sphere use whey or soy protein which I think is naturally “fluffier” and more voluminous than the Raw Vegan Brown Rice Sun Warrior Protein (or sometimes Jay Robb) that I use.  So I was fearful I wasn’t going to get good results because of the Type of Protein Powder I use.

And, secondly, I was worried that quantity was going to be too dinky.  Let’s call a spade a spade, I was wondering how one little scoop of protein could turn into something satisfying and called “cookie dough” no less?  This is what I usually call cookie dough:


My High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Close up of one High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough BallHigh Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls on plate
High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

But, I was totally wrong on both accounts!!!  April, Your Recipe Rocks!!!

I mixed 1 scoop which according to the can is 22g of Chocolate Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein with 3 Tbsp of Water
Note: April says to use 1 Tbsp, but I had a ball of chalk with only 1 or 2 Tbsp, so I upped the water to 3 Tbsp.  I also omitted the addition of any nut butter.

Chocolate Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein container
Label on Chocolate Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein
Stevia and Cinnamon added to Protein Powder

Then I added a few drops of my NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia and a pinch of Cinnamon

Bottles of Stevia and Cinnamon

Stirred…

Ingredients stirred up with spoon in bowl
 ...And I was in business with Chocolate Protein Cookie Dough
 

I transferred it to a clean dish and added just the tiniest drizzle of agave over the top of it!  Perfection!!!  Sweet enough, filling enough, and cookie dough enough to make me happy!

Chocolate Protein Cookie Dough in bowl

 

Bottle of Agave Nectar
Chocolate Protein Cookie Dough in bowl

 Thanks, April, Your Recipe for Protein Cookie Dough is Genius and sooo simple! 

Yoga Today is Kapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)Please do not try this unless your back is thoroughly warmed up as well as your quads.  Yoga is not a competition and so please don’t force yourself into a pose!  I don’t want you to hurt yourself.  This is a pose to work towards with patience, compassion, and mindfulness for any limitations your body has.  That said, it’s a beautiful pose, your heart opens, love and lightness enter, and peacefulness & calm ensue over me when I am in this asana!

Woman doing Kapotasana yoga pose

Tip of the Day:  First, Try iHerb.com and use Code AVE630 at Checkout to Save $5 Bucks on Your Order!!!! 

 

I get my protein powder (Sun Warrior) hello Protein Cookie Dough!, my probiotics (Jarrow), my supplements and natural food (Navitas Naturals when I plan ahead and don’t get them from WF where they’re twice the price!), and my natural body care products (Jason) or my Stevia (NuNaturals or Wisdom) iHerb.com is your One Stop Shop for it all!!!

The Code Again to Save $5 Bucks is AVE630

Second Tip: My Give Away for Naturally Nutty3 Winners will be Chosen and Each Winner Will Receive 1 Jar of Naturally Nutty!!!!

    Have fun everyone!  Thanks Naturally Nutty!!!! 
***The contest ends on Tuesday, March 2, 2010**

 

Have You Entered Yet?  There’s tons of ways to enter, and Naturally Nutty is Fabulous, so I hope you’ve entered!  Click Here to Enter Now!!!!!


Questions
What’s your Fave Thing You’ve Seen on Blogs Lately that You Want To Have to Try?  
One of mine has been April’s Recipe for Protein Cookie Dough.   And, I also wanted to try maca like I discussed Here.
And now I can cross those two items off my To-Make or To-Check-It-Out List!

Next up, I want to make Chrysta’s Banana Cigars
Banana Cigars
Piping filling into Banana Cigars

Because it’s a way I can use up extra ripe bananas and put my Dehydrator to Good Use.   

That’s if I don’t end up making my Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites again with my ripe bananas!

Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites on dehydrator tray
One Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bite
Underside of Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bite
My Vegan Coconut Banana Cookie Bites Disappeared Quickly Around Here!
 

There are sooo many other recipes I want to make!!!  More recipes than I have time or a big enough appetite for!  This would be a good time to be friends with the football team so I can make all this stuff, and then have lots of hungry kids to help me eat it!   Every day I see about 8767876 recipes in the sphere that I want to try!  haha!
What Do You Want to Make?

Do You Consider Yourself an Adventurous Eater?  Will You Try Anything at Least Once?  Or do you prefer to stick to your predictable grub?
I would say that I am adventurous to a point and am intrigued by the beauty, the artistry, and the creative mindset that it takes to create or make certain recipes.  I can appreciate Jessica’s Savory or Meat-Based Dishes because the recipes & flavor combos are lovely and the food is beautifully showcased and photographed, even if I would not eat that particular dish because that is not my dietary path.  But give me a veggie-based dish, and yes, I will definitely try anything once!   There are certain flavors, however such as garlic and onions that I do not enjoy no matter how many times I have tried to like them, and that’s just me.  So, that’s why I say I’m adventurous to a point…But I love, love, love to Create Recipes and am always onto the next thing…particularly dessert recipes!!! Yummy!
How about you? Adventurous or Predictable?  Or a Combo?  Do you like to be creative in the kitchen?  Or are you a recipe follower?  I am definitely the former and the later is next to impossible for me….haha!

Stay Tuned For a 3 Ingredient 5 Min Raw Vegan Dessert that actually doesn’t involve chocolate…

 

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