Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free

Grain-free Tempeh Reuben

Hii y’all, I’m back!!!! It’s been centuries, or so it feels. You know how life can get crazy and before you know it it’s been over half a year since you posted a recipe? Gosh. As you may have noticed, Strawberries and Sage is now officially A Heartful Harvest! Strawberries and Sage needed a name change. It served its purpose for years when I was going through my strawberry craze phase (it’s OK, I still LOVE dem strawberries 😋). So nothing against the S&S name itself, I just had outgrown it, in a sense. More importantly, though, I feel “A Heartful Harvest” more accurately reflects my food ideals, which is driven by my compassion for the suffering and wellbeing of my fellow animals, and feeling strongly opposed to causing any harm to any living being. Oxford dictionaries definition of Heartful best echos how I feel about eating and using animals –

Characterized by deep emotion or sincerity of expression; genuine, sincere, heartfelt. Of an emotion: deeply or acutely felt; intense.

I think everyone would agree with me if they allow themselves to just be heartful. If people would put themselves in the places of the innocent animals that are tortured and slaughtered every second because of the demand for animals foods. If they truly opened themselves up to feeling what those animals feel, the pain, the despair, the terror…everyone in the planet would be vegan. If people were heartful of the fact that in today’s world, most of us have access to plant based foods, making murdering animals for food completely obsolete…everyone would be vegan. Humans are not meant to get sustenance from animals anyhow, but that’s a topic for a whole other post!

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Today I’m sharing a recipe for a grain-free tempeh reueben which can be eaten as a starter or feautured as the main entree. It may not look like much, but tempeh is very substantial on it’s own, providing 15 grams of protein for 1/2 a cup! The fermented soy (tempeh), and the fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) are a gut-loving duo, so eating this will benefit your tummy- and therefore your overall health.

You can, of course serve this within two slices of vegan, gluten-free bread and eat it more like a traditional reuben…and feel free to add tomato, leafy greens, sprouts, whatever you fancy. For serving as an appetizer, I’d cut the tempeh into cubes and put a toothpick in the center of the stacked cube and voila!

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Grain-free Tempeh Reuben

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free Recipe

Serves: 2-6

Ingredients:

•8oz tempeh, original or flaxseed
•Vegetable broth or grapeseed/avocado/canola oil
•Sauerkraut
•Fresh thyme leaves, optional

{Maple Mustard Sauce}
•Maple syrup
•Dijon mustard

Instructions:

Splash a couple tablespoons of vegetable broth or oil in a medium sautée pan over medium heat. Cook tempeh for 2-4 minutes on each side.
Stack tempeh and sauerkraut and garnish with thyme.

For the maple mustard sauce mix equal part maple syrup and mustard. Drizzle over tempeh. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

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Autumn/Winter, Cakes/Cupcakes, Gluten Free Vegan

Spiced Streusel Coffee Cake

imageFirst off, I’m soooo sorry I haven’t written a blog post in forever! I myself can’t believe it’s been so long…where does the time go? I’ve been consumed with medical appointments and dealing with one flare-up after the other. I haven’t been getting all the regular treatment I need due to lack of fund$ and unfortunately I’m paying for it in other ways (my health). It’s ok though, I won’t bore you with the gruesome details, well because I’ll get through it somehow, I always do! Instead I’ll just get into talking about this lovely recipe I’ve had up my sleeve for some time now.

For the longest time I use to think coffee cake had coffee in it. I mean after all it is called coffee cake 🙃. It wasn’t till just a couple years ago I realized coffee cakes weren’t actually made with coffee in it, but are meant to be eaten alongside a cup of coffee! Hah! If you’re thinking “duh where has this girl been all her life?”, yes I know I’m so, so very deprived, but it’s just that I’ve never been a coffee drinker. In my early 20’s I had maybe 5-10 cups of cold coffee one year because I thought it was “cool” to drink coffee, but I didn’t even really consider it coffee since it was cold 😂

As tempted as I was to put coffee in my coffee cake I refrained so I wouldn’t look like a coffee nut (or just a nut). I did however put nuts in the streusel to give a nice crunch which balances the soft, creamy, melt in your mouth cake. The brown rice flour makes this coffee cake light and pleasantly delicate, although you can use gluten free all purpose flour which won’t be as light and airy, buts it’s equally as enjoyable.

Make this healthy, delicious coffee cake with any fruit or vegetable your heart desires – pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, pear, let your imagination run wild! My coffee cake goes great with tea, cold coffee, and of course a regular ol’ cup of joe 😉

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Spiced Streusel Coffee Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-free, Yeast-Free Recipe

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients:
•1½ cups brown rice flour (or gf all-purpose flour for non gain-free option)
•1 tsp baking soda
•1½ tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground ginger or nutmeg
•1/8 tsp ground cloves, optional
•1/2 tsp salt
•1 cup of puréed fruit/vegetable – such as pumpkin, apples, pear, sweet potato, etc.*
*3/4 cup brown rice syrup, coconut nectar or maple syrup
•1/2 cup vegan milk or purified/distilled water
•1/3 cup coconut oil or grapeseed oil
•1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•1 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

{streusel}
•1/3 cup coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple sugar
•1/4 cup gf flour of choice 
•1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
•1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
•1/4 cup vegan butter, melted 

*Note- the pics are pumpkin coffee cake. i’ve also made this with apple and pear, and they’re all delicious. You can use canned purée or purée fruit/vegetable in the blender.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 pan with parchment paper, or grease if desired. This isn’t required, but if you wanted to pull the whole cake out of the pan to place on a serving tray, it would make things a ot easier.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the fruit purée, sweetener, milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar/lemon juice. Mix together by hand, don’t overmix. Pour into pan. In a small-medium bowl add streusel ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for 40 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Enjoy!

Dinner, Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Lunch, Spring/Summer

White Bean Veggie Soup

 

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This flavorful, hearty soup was one of the first recipes I created when I started cooking for myself. I was throwing things together in a frenzy one evening when I just so happened to create something pretty delicious, and it has since become a favorite recipe of ours. I never get bored with it.

Until my mid 20’s all I knew how to “cook” was pasta and ramen. When I found out about all my food allergies I knew that had to change. I was clueless about how to make a healthy, simple recipe that wasn’t packaged or processed, the result of growing up with the SAD (Standard American Diet). I grew up with my Brazilian mom always cooking beans, but for some reason my picky childhood, and young adult self shied away from all beans for admittedly way too long.

Now beans are a staple in my diet, as they probably are in most vegans diets due to the high protein, fiber, and array of nutrients beans so generously provide. Plus, they’re so good! I seriously missed out on some yummy bean recipes over the years, but this is one of the many bean recipes that makes up for that.

This soup can be made with any white beans- navy beans, great northern beans, cannelini beans, it’ll all be good. With all the incredibly healthy vegetables and spices that accompany and compliment the beans, this soup is as darn delicious as it is darn nutritious


White Bean Veggie Soup

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

ingredients:

•1 cup navy beans, soaked overnight (or white bean of choice)
•3 cups vegetable broth
•2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•2-3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 onion, diced, optional 
•1-2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
•1-2 zucchinis &/or golden squash, quartered
•1 red bell pepper, diced
•1 green bell pepper, diced
•2 tsp ground turmeric 
•2 tsp ground cumin 
•2 tsp dried thyme 
•salt & pepper to taste
•2 bay leaves

instructions:

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and seasoning, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add drained beans; stir to coat well with the veggie mixture. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender; around 60-120 minutes. Enjoy!

Cookies, Grain Free, Raw, Snacks

Grain-free Cookie Dough for One and a little on my battle with chronic illness

I’m so sorry to admit that I’ve seriously neglected this lovely lil blog of mine…but for a good reason. Let me explain.

Last year in June I was diagnosed with chronic late stage neurological lyme disease. At that time I’d been suffering for years with persistent symptoms since age 4. It started with childhood asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines with nausea and auras, IBS, and chronic fatigue. Later it progressed to severe brain fog, (like forgetting which side of the faucet is hot or cold, and finding myself in a room and not realizing how i got there…), stuttering, disorientation, hallucinations,, panic, rage, mood swings/irritability and general delirium, along with physically disabling symptoms like severe body wide musculskeletal pain, seizures, vasovagal attacks, tachycardia, arrhythmia, dizzy spells, fainting, loss of balance, severe chronic nausea, bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, profuse sweating, shaking chills, swollen painful lymph nodes, irregular body temperature regulation, trouble with vision and hearing, twitches, fasciculations, tremors, low grade fevers, constant exhaustion that feels as if the air around me is a constant weight of 1,000 bricks pushing down against my body, I could go on and on with my close to 200 symptoms. In recent years I’ve developed/been diagnosed with a chronic form of leukopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count) which makes it difficult for my body to fight off infections, bacteria and other harmful stuff…POTS (a severe condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, adenomyosis (type of endometreosis), multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple food allergies, ovarian cysts, numerous infections such as chronic UTI’s, liver and kidney infections, low natural killer cells and more. I’m now intolerant of heat, alcohol, makeup, lotions, shampoos, etc. and hypersensitive to light, sounds and especially smells (MCS). Anything and everything seems to send me into a flare-up these days. I should really just live in a bubble lol. I also lost 25 lbs rapidly and despite pushing myself to eat through the pain I dropped down to about 85 lbs at my sickest (I’m 5’5″, so no bueno). Being so underweight created a whole slew of other serious health problems as well.

It took literally millions of dollars on different specialists and extensive testing, and decades went by before I got the correct diagnoses, the ones that explained it all and connected the dots (dots being symptoms and also disorders/syndromes/conditions). I thought that was it when I was diagnosed with late-stage chronic neurological lyme, as well as HH6 virus, and an acute form of chronic pneumonia. I really had no clue what I was in for and that there was more to it than lyme. When my LLMD told me I’d have a long, tough road ahead of me, I had no idea just how true that was.

6+ months of loads of antibiotics and a PICC line, and I had gotten so sick that most days I was completely bedbound. I could barely walk or talk, I would lay in bed in agonizing pain, none of the prescription pain meds would be of relief, and my herbal meds were just not enough. At times I was so weak I needed to be fed. I was losing the little bit of myself was left, including my hope. In November I took a break from antibiotics since it was destroying my digestive system and did 5 months of low level laser therapy and detoxing, which helped some symptoms but others are now worse. I was getting so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep for weeks and I ended up in the ER with a mass in my large intestines.

I was so weak and riddled with pain, but then the universe intervened and my Dr. suggested a mold test for our house. Turns out we were living in a house which in my dr.s words were “unliveable conditions” due to extremely high infestations of toxic mold, including black mold (all the mold was invisible.) Once the mold toxins (mycotoxins) colonize in the body it becomes a multisystemic neuroimmune disease and never ending war. For the unlucky people like me who don’t have the necessary antibodies in their immune systems to fight off the mycotoxins, even a brief exposure to indoor mold can lead to mycotoxicosis which is full blown systemic disease, where the mycotoxins invade and attack every single living cell and organ in the mold exposed victim. Mycotoxicosis is fatal if left untreated, or if the treatment period begins too late and the mycotoxins have already destroyed organs, or crated cancerous tumors. We now know I have been battling this dreadful disease for years. My mycotoxin test came back positive even after 4 1/2 months of moving from the moldy house. I was told this means the levels of mycotoxins in my body were really high since people with mold illness generally have to “provoke” the mycotoxins to be released from fat cells in the body. This is often done with sauna and heat detoxing, and since I’ve been so sick I sweat almost constantly which sucks but it’s a natural detox. Unfortunately I will always get very sick from mold, but with A LOT of intensive treatment, detoxing and time I should get better, and many of my mycotoxicosis symptoms should go away.

Long term exposure to toxic mold damages the brain and leaves behind permanent complications after even after years of treatment. Unfortunately, I lived in the “moldy house” for over 5 years, and we suspect most of the previous houses I lived in had mold due to my progressive mycotoxicosis symptoms throughout my life. My fibromyalgia is from the mold exposure I’ve been told, and a lot of people with fibro actually have mycotoxicosis. My father bravely battled many forms of cancer before he finally died from brain cancer. I believe his death could’ve been mold related, since mycotoxicosis commonly leads to brain lesions and tumors, as well as cancer (the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins; highly carcinogenic toxins, and trichothecenes; dangerous neurotoxins which are the most fatal of all the mycotoxins)

It’s estimated that 500,000 people in the U.S. die every year from mycotoxicosis, and it’s likely to be many more since it goes so undiagnosed. Many dr.’s don’t know to test for mycotoxins, and may even go as far as to say mold can’t make you sick! The fact is mold can make people very ill and myctoxicosis takes lives with organ failure, cancer, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), anaphylaxis, and more. I thank God and the Universe because I honestly don’t know if I’d be alive today if I’d stayed in that house the way my body was going, my organs were set to fail. As of now there is no telling the extent of the damage to my brain, I have to wait to get brain scan and lots of other tests. I still have progressing and emerging symptoms, and have been wheelchair bound for the past month. I had to get a port implanted in my chest for my regular IV infusions. There is no cure for mycotoxicosis, and I know I have a long, long way to go and it will only get harder from the toxin die-off as they slowly up the dosages of my meds and infusions, but I am determined to win this.  Now that I finally found the missing piece of my chronic illness puzzle, I have nothing but gratitude and a new sense of hope. My fiancé who lived with me for about a year also got very sick from the mold but not to my degree, fortunately. It’s so very hard to watch him suffer in some of the ways I do. After months of research we have found an environmental illness treatment center out of state which has a high success rate for mycotoxicosis. If all goes according to plan, we should be leaving in june to stay for a month for intensive treatment.

I will be honest, so many times I lose hope, but I know that there is a reason for me to go through this and giving up is just not an option. Being chronically ill is tough, but I am tougher! ❤

What Is Mold Illness? (Mycotoxicosis)

Mold Illness: “Mold Illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Some individuals have a genetic susceptibility to develop mold illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). The genetics are clear: occurrence of specific HLA types are found in about 25% of the population.”


Mycotoxicosis Symptoms

Lyme Disease

Lyme has surpassed AIDS as the fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S. right now. Lyme is relatively easy to treat if caught very early, however once it’s progressed to it’s late stages becomes chronic, debilitating and difficult to treat.
“It is caused by a type of bacterium called a spirochete. An infected tick can transmit the spirochetes to the humans and animals it bites. There is some debate to whether other bugs can transmit it, or if it is sexually transmitted. It is however transmitted in utero. It is a multi systemic inflammatory infection. If left untreated it will travel from your skin, through the bloodstream, joints, organs, and will establish itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms including neuropsychiatric manifestations.”

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Meanwhile, until I leave for treatment I have a healthy, easy and thoroughly enjoyable treat like cookie dough to turn to keep my spirits up 😉

Vegan Cookie Dough


Grain Free Cookie Dough

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free

{adapted from The Live In Kitchen}

yield: 1 serving | prep time: 5 mins | total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

6 tbsp almond meal/flour
2 tbsp virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted or softened 
2 tbsp coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt, to taste
vegan chocolate chips or carob chips, to taste

Instructions:

In a small bowl mix together coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla.
Add flour and salt until well combined, folding in chips last.
Chill for best results…or scarf down immediately. Enjoy!


Cakes/Cupcakes

Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

 

Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes - Vegan + Gluten Free

It’s Strawberry season!!!!

When I was a little girl, about 4 years old, I developed an infatuation with Strawberries. It may have been the adorable Moranguinha aka Strawberry Shortcake backpack my godmother gave to me when I started preschool in Santos, Brasil. I wore that backpack until I was way too old to. I grew up loving Strawberry Shortcake, the character but I wasn’t too fond of actually eating Strawberries when I was a kid. I always thought Strawberries were cute as heck to look at but they were far too sour for my tastebuds until I reached my mid twenties. Now I’m CRAZY about Strawberries, and it’s just an added bonus that they’re so darn good for you. It seems that every Strawberry season that goes by I grow more and more in love with them! Now that it’s Strawberry season once again, I’m inspired to make all sorts of Strawberry goodies.

Today, after a week of watching episodes of DC Cupcakes on Netflix with my fiancé (and aching to bake cupcakes all week), I finally got the energy to get to work and bake cupcakes! I wanted Strawberry flavor, of course, but also had a craving for Lemon Poppy Seed cupcakes, so I combined them. To make the cupcakes more Strawberry-y, I made a yummy Strawberry Buttercream frosting which tastes a little like a Strawberry Milkshake – something I haven’t enjoyed since becoming vegan. Mmmm the combo of the Strawberry icing with the Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed cupcakes is great, and since I just threw it all together, I was really excited it actually came out so well!


Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free optional

Adapted from Feed Me I’m Cranky

Ingredients:

1/2 cup-1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
3 cups gluten free all purpose flour 
2 cups granulated sugar or sugar substitute
2 tsp gluten free baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups purified/distilled water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest, optional
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup poppy seeds

**Note: To convert this recipe into a cake recipe, grease a 9×13 baking pan with oil & flour or non-stick spray. Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350°.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Fill a cupcake pan with 24-30 paper baking cups. In a large bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients, then add in your wet ingredients. Mix batter until blended well, then fold in chopped strawberries and poppy seeds. Once mixture is evenly blended (batter will be pretty liquid-y, this is good) pour into your muffin cups until 2/3 of each cup is full. Bake for 24-26 mins. Check the center of a cupcake with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean and dry, if it does than they’re ready! Allow your cupcakes to cool for about 30 mins (this is the tough part), and then top with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting or lemon buttercream frosting. Enjoy!