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MCLV Mange

MCLV Mange: Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

As much as I love making cookies I have to confess that my favorite desserts to make, and eat, are always raw. The Wannabe Chef’s Raw Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Torte is hands down my favorite dessert. It’s also the most requested by my friends and family.


So when I saw Taste Space’s Better Than Nutella Cheesecake (Almost Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake) it seemed like fate. A few little changes in the recipe due to ingredient availability and I ended up with a delicious, chocolatey cheesecake that was a big hit.


  • 1 Cup Almonds
  • 1 Cup dates
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cacao
  • Pinch salt


  • 2 Cups Raw Cashews {Soaked & Rinsed}
  • 5 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cacao


It was really rich and creamy, and tasted great cold straight from the freezer. It also wasn’t too sweet which I really liked – Sometimes too sweet on top of really rich can make a dessert a little over the top, but this was perfect!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Gluten-Free Protein Cake

After last week’s Coconut cookie cake I was in the mood to try my hand at a baking project that would be a little bit more on the healthy side. And thus, the mini Gluten-Free Protein Cake was born!



  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal/Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg or Flax Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree or Applesauce
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sweetener of Choice – I went w/ Maple Syrup
  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder {I love Sun Warrior}
  • 2 Tbsp Powdered Peanut Butter


  • Pre-Heat oven to 350
  • Mix dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients one-by-one
  • Transfer dough into two medium-sized ramekins
  • Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until cooked through – Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes prior to consumption


In addition to being a tasty little treat this recipe also packs 20+ grams of protein, depending on what type of protein powder you’re using, which makes it a much better choice than reaching for a cookie or some ice cream when your sweet tooth hits after dinner. Bonus? The single servings are a great thing for those of us who aren’t terribly good at the whole “portion control” thing. 🙂

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Coconut Cookie Cake

I made a new dessert this past Saturday and after putting up a picture on Instagram {you can follow me @moicontrelavie} it was clear that this recipe was going to need its own blog post. I based this on Purely Twins’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, but as I didn’t have chocolate chips or cacao nibs so I decided to make it a coconut cookie cake instead.


{This version was made with applesauce & served with peanut butter soft serve}


  • 2 Cups Flour {I mixed 1 cup of almond meal with 1/2 cup coconut flour & 1/2 cup flax-seed meal}
  • 1.5 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Flax Eggs {See the description here}
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Applesauce or Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut


{This version was made with pumpkin puree & served with cherry soft serve}

The original recipe called for applesauce or pumpkin puree and I was curious what the difference would be so I tried both. The batter was a bit runnier with the applesauce but otherwise I barely detected a difference in the finished product.

What’s your favorite healthy oil or butter substitute in recipes?

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Soft Serve Ice Cream

One of my favorite warm weather treats is banana soft serve. This raw, vegan, gluten-free treat is quick, easy, and guilt-free. And let’s be honest, is there anything more you need in a dessert?


{Blueberry: 1 Banana + 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries}

This recipe couldn’t be easier. In fact, I almost hesitate to call it anything as formal as a “recipe.” Whenever I have leftover bananas I cut them into thirds, seal them in ziplock baggies, and throw them in the freezer. Then when your sweet tooth hits throw as many chunks of banana into a blender or food processor as you want, blend, and add whatever flavors sound good.

It’s that easy! Just blend 1 banana + flavoring of choice + 1/2 cup water. Slurp!


{Peanut Butter: 1 Banana + 2 Tbsp Powdered Peanut Butter}

Some of my favorite ingredients are powdered peanut butter, coconut or peppermint extract, raw cacao, or frozen fruit. Whenever I have leftover fruit that I’m not going to get to before it goes bad I’ll chop it up & stick it in the freezer so I always have “fresh” fruit options.

The main danger with this treat is that it’s so easy you can make it all the time. Which I do.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Peanut Butter Cookies

Sweet treats and baking have become part of my routine in the last year – In fact, I actually I didn’t really start baking until after I transitioned to a gluten-free, vegan diet. However with all my traveling and my busy schedule I’ve essentially been out of the kitchen for the last two months. I was thrilled to have house guests this weekend and decided to break out one of my favorite recipes to welcome them to San Francisco.


These cookies are a variation of The Wannabe Chef’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and I’ve made dozens of versions of these since he published this recipe in October 2012. This most recent adaptation is delicious and peanut buttery, in addition to being vegan.

  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Applesauce
  • 1 Flax Egg {Check out vegan baker extraordinaire OhSheGlows’s description here}


And since they’re done in 15 minutes and throwing them together takes 5 minutes, they’re the ideal cookie for a busy day. I’ve made them with pumpkin and added a kick with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon & nutmeg, and I’ve made coconut chocolate chip versions with coconut extract, shredded raw coconut, and carob chips.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza

No matter how healthy we are there will always be cravings. Yes, the hope is that our cravings will change for the better as our diets become cleaner, especially since you know just how badly indulging will make you feel. But comfort food? Comfort food cravings never go away in my experience. So what’s a girl to do when the craving for pizza strikes?

Make pizza obviously!


Socca pizza to be exact. What is socca? It’s flatbread made with garbanzo bean flour that’s vegan and gluten-free. You can adjust the recipe any way you’d like, add any ingredients that strike your fancy, and even cook it in various ways. My go-to recipe is:

  • 1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Flax Seed Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • A sprinkle of salt, cumin & paprika

I’ve made socca pizzas that were traditional with tomato paste and cheese, I’ve made sweet versions with cinnamon and coconut, but my favorite is by far hummus and veggies. And luckily it couldn’t be easier to make.


Pour the “batter” into a non-stick pan coated w/ cooking spray or coconut oil, heat on low for 5-10 minutes, flip, and repeat until you get the “dough” to your desired consistency. You can make it thicker & doughier, or thinner and more like a crepe.


Then slather the socca with hummus or whatever sauce you’re craving and cover it in all your favorite toppings. From cheese & {faux} meats to sautéed veggies like I did – The world is your oyster! I mean pizza. 🙂

So tell me – What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Manage: Bacon Deviled Eggs

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, in my limited experience, the way to a man’s heart is through a related thing. Bacon.

Perhaps that’s not true for all men, but that definitely applies to my man. And what do you feed a man who loves bacon? Bacon Deviled Eggs from model Chrissy Teigen’s website So DeLuchious of course!

I was intimidated at first but this recipe didn’t end up being too complicated. The first thing that you do is hardboil the eggs – Obviously – But I have to admit that this was the first time I’ve hard-boiled eggs in YEARS so I asked for a little advice from my colleagues before I headed home to make these.

While your eggs are boiling you can start frying up the bacon and assembling the rest of the ingredients that you’re going to be using in this recipe.

And if you’re me and you already went to the store twice because you forget – say it with me – the bacon, you will decide NOT to go back to the store a third time for the mayonnaise that you also forgot and you will use non-fat plain Greek yogurt.

Stir stir stir – On her website the talented Miss Crissy says she used a cake frosting bag to fill her eggs but that was a bit too much effort for me to go through with a drooling boy peering impatiently over my shoulder.

 But I can assure you that a spoon works just as effectively – if not as prettily – for filling the hardboiled egg white shells.

Ta da!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Healthy Treats

There’s nothing that I like better than finding an excuse to eat desserts first thing in the morning!

I prefer to take my calcium and supplements first thing in the morning but since they’re fat-soluable they should be consumed with something fat-heavy. In the past I’ve taken them with Energy Bites (aka Protein Balls) which are nut and date based, and rich sources of protein, sugar, and fat. These also serve the unique purpose of fueling my morning workouts since I eat them on my walk to the office.

But I decided to mix things up recently and using The Wannabe Chef’s Copycat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabars as a starting point I made peanut butter chocolate chip bites. I mixed dates, almonds, powdered peanut butter, salt, and raw cacoa nibs in the food processor, rolled up the sticky dough into little balls, and finally stuck them in the freezer to harden.

So. Good.

I kid you not, this is one of the best tasting treats I’ve ever made. Quick, simple, and so good that I accidentally ate 90% of them the day that I whipped them up. I will definitely be making these again in the very near future.

The second dessert recipe I want to share today is a tasty raw, vegan chocolate cake from the aptly named Yes, I Want Cake. Before this year I rarely ever baked and raw “baking” was completely foreign to me – Whereas these days I bake (or “bake”) at least once a week. Baking has become something of a stress-relivier for me – As far as I’m concerned cleaning, cooking & baking could replace prozac! 🙂

As a rule raw desserts are primarily composed of nuts and dates, and this time I swapped the walnuts in the original recipe for these on-hand almonds and halved the recipe since I just wanted a little treat for my cousin and I after a day of shopping.

This is my baby three-cup food processor which has since been replaced. I know you don’t think of Bloomingdale’s as a kitchen appliance store – at all – but they actually have great sales on home & kitchen goods and I picked up an 11-cup food processor for a steal a few months ago.

Isn’t it funny in this electronic day in age when I can’t live without my laptop or smart phone that I still prefer to have a paper recipe in front of me? If not just to spill on it and make notes in the margins…

Finally I sprinkled the dense little chocolate cake with shredded coconut.

Et voila!

I highly recommend both of these treats – The peanut butter chocolate chip bites are delicious and the perfect snack before or after a workout, and this little coconut chocolate cake is quick & and oh-so-tasty, perfect for an after dinner treat.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

When I think about Thanksgiving I picture beautiful Autumn scenery, family time, and lots, and lots, and lots of food. Preparing and eating meals as a family is such an ingrained part of our country’s Thanksgiving ritual – Whether it’s your parents and sibling, your roommates, or the family you’ve created for yourself as an adult in a new city.

Whether you’re cooking the whole meal from scratch or bringing a dish or two for your host or hostess, here are some delicious, healthy recipes that you can try out – From savory entrees to mouth-watering desserts to fun twists on classic sides, there’s something for everyone to get excited about here.


Lentil Loaf 2 3   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited


drop biscuits 7978 thumb   Herb & Cheese Drop Biscuits… with a secret ingredient!


Detox Salad II 7417 thumb   Fall Detox Salad + Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Update


Still in the mood for more recipes? Check out these other sites for more delicious ideas: Gourmet chef Eat, Live, Run’s Thanksgiving Recipe Madness, The Huffington Post’s Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes, Purely Twins’s Starters – Sides – Sweets Holiday Ideas for a gluten-free Thanksgiving, Gluten-Free Holiday Baking, Modelinia’s Model Meal: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Meal, or if you have fussy children check out Fork & Bean’s 10 Kid (and Allergy Friendly) Thanksgiving Ideas.

What’s your favorite part about the Thanksgiving holiday? Do you have a specific Thanksgiving dish that you look forward to year after year?

MCLV Mange: October Smoothie Challenge

As I mentioned in my September & October Round-Up posts, I participated in a modified version of the Green Thickies October Smoothie Challenge. I decided on a week-long cleanse consisting of a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch, raw snacks when needed, and a healthy, nutritious dinner.

I tend to favor green smoothies first thing in the morning – I get up early and the blended spinach, ginger, lemon, and apple is practically a shot of espresso in the energy department. Here are my two basic recipes for my smoothies, though it’s easy to mix up the fruits and veggies based on what you have fresh on hand or in the freezer.

Green Smoothie:

  • Spinach or kale
  • Apple
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Wheat grass powder
  • Sun Warrior protein powder {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

Fruit Smoothie:

  • Spinach or kale
  • Frozen or fresh berries {strawberries or blueberries primarily}
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Wheat grass powder
  • Sun Warrior protein powder {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

I’m an avid snacker, sometimes work is too hectic to sit down for a full meal so I frequently count on snacks to keep my energy and blood sugar at optimal levels. Crudite and hummus is nearly a daily occurence in my office and/or house – carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas, celery, radishes, they all go perfectly with whatever my hummus-of-the-moment is. Fresh fruit is another good choice at the office, I will eat virtually anything other than mango. Weird, I know.

{Sautéed kale, zucchini & kale with quinoa, sweet potato with protein hummus, and Tuscan Baked Zucchini}

I’ve found that if I eat large, carbohydrate heavy meals close to bedtime, I wake up starving, so I try to keep my dinners on the light side. Sweet potatoes, squash, and zucchini are always in my fridge or freezer and I like to include them when I can. I usually chop veggies & make a big batch of quinoa or lentils on Sundays {for details see Sunday Prep} and I use those in my meals throughout the week.

Early in 2012 I did a juice cleanse {The Juice Cleanse} and while I’m not a huge proponent of fasting, cleanses, or detoxes in general, I have to admit that I enjoyed positive results from both the juice cleanse and my recent smoothie challenge. We put a lot of stress on our systems not only with unhealthy diets, but with stationery lives and not enough, or the right kind of exercise. By blending fruits & vegetables you’re breaking down the thick cell wall and making the nutrients more readily available thereby saving your body the trouble – i.e. energy that it takes – to break down the foods once you consume them. By reducing the stress on your system you’re able to use more of the energy from the foods that you eat and give your digestive system and internal organs a much-needed break.

If you’re interested in learning more about smoothies or other meal replacement options like soups, blended salads, or green juice, check out some of these articles:

Have you ever tried a cleanse or detox program before? What sort of goals did you have going in and what results did you see?

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I recommend speaking with a professional prior to making any dramatic changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise regime to ensure that any changes you make are done safely.

MCLV Mange: Indian Feast

I’m a huge fan of Indian food – it’s my all time favorite takeout indulgence – so I was thrilled when I saw Vegan Sparkles’s Vegan MoFo Tandoori Cauliflower & Cucumber Raita Wraps.

I couldn’t wait to give this one a try!

I adore cauliflower so I was excited that it was the base of this recipe and quickly picked one up at the Farmers Market, but as far as the other ingredients I mostly just used what I had on hand.

Luckily for me there’s a fabulous vendor at the Ferry Building Farmers Market on Saturdays – They carry great spices, sauces, marinades, naan, curries, tapanades, and anything else you might need to put together your own Indian feast. I picked up some tandoori marinade and smothered the fresh, organic cauliflower head in the fragrant sauce.

After marinating it for an hour in the fridge I threw the cauliflower into the oven – It smelled AMAZING while it was baking. Side note: You end up COVERED in orange – red sauce!

I served the tandoori cauliflower with curried veggies – A frozen bag of eight vegetable blend from Trader Joe’s that was in the back of the freezer combined with fresh kale. It was a healthy, delicious, hearty meal that really filled me up.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Mini Polenta Pizzas

I was in the mood for comfort food this week and couldn’t get the idea of pizza out of my mind. I considered making a garbanzo bean socca crust for my pie but then I saw this organic polenta sitting unused in my refrigerator door and opted to make mini pizzas instead.

These mini pizzas are a great snack because you can make up the recipe as you go along depending on what you have on hand. You start by slicing the polenta thinly and toasting the pieces – a low broil for 5-10 minutes each side should be sufficient.

Once they’re a little browned you load them up with whatever toppings you’re in the mood for. In this instance I went for a slice of tomato, Spike seasoning, and Daiya jalapeno jack shredded cheese. 10 minutes longer in the oven, or until the “cheese” melts, and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack.

I’ve used salsa and canned tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes in the past, as well as loading the slices up with veggies, soy cheese, or nutritional yeast. Like I said before, this is a great, versatile snack because you can put whatever you have in your fridge onto the polenta slices!

Have you ever made your own pizza before? What’s your all-time favorite pizza topping? Be sure to share your most creative toppings, I’d love to hear what you found tastiest!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Spicy Peanut Stirfry

After reading Hungry Hungry Hippie’s Simple Vegan Stirfry post I decided to try my hand at a similar, oh-so-simple dish. Something easy that can be thrown together with ingredients that are usually on hand and is quick enough for an after-work dinner when you come home from the office starving.

Rather than peanut flour and soy sauce I used powdered peanut butter and Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids as the flavor base of the dish. I was in a hurry (read: starving) so I sautéed some diced tofu in the Bragg’s and powdered peanut butter until it was browned and cooked all the way through.

After the tofu was done I added a couple of cups of broccoli to the pan. I’m definitely going to try this combination again and I’ll be sure to add some additional veggies – This is the perfect recipe to utilize that bag of frozen veggies that have been forgotten in the back of your freezer.

This is a quick, easy, healthy recipe that’s high in nutrients and protein. In fact, this is a perfect lunchtime meal that you could make in a large batch on a Sunday and reheat for lunch during the week.

Flavorful and filling but light enough that you don’t go into a food coma at your desk after lunch. 🙂

Be sure to stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Tuscan Baked Quinoa

Last weekend I made a tasty and versatile recipe that was adapted from one that I found in Women’s Health Magazine – Vegetarian Italian Cooking: Tuscan Baked Zucchini.

I made the dish vegan by substituting soy cheese for the parmesan and mozzarella as well as simplifying the recipe by using ingredients that I had on hand – i.e. excluding the artichokes and just dicing up extra veggies in their place. I also used quinoa rather than the orzo or couscous that they recommended in the magazine.

The first night I made the zucchini boats that the recipe called for and found that there was enough filling that I had quite a bit of left over quinoa for a second night.

I went to the Farmer’s Market the next morning and saw some gorgeous bell peppers so I decided that I would use the leftover filling to make a Tuscan quinoa stuffed pepper the following evening.

Both were quite tasty and offer an abundance of vital nutrients, but the zucchini boats were a little easier to eat from a mess-creating standpoint.

Are you a fan of versatile recipes like this that you can adapt for somewhat different dishes? Do you like to re-use your leftovers for a day or two after a big night in the kitchen?

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Hemp Salad

As I mentioned in my July Round-Up post my friend Arianna and I have gotten back into the habit of having a healthy dinner once a week. She walks over after work and we chat and catch up while I throw something together, usually based on what I was able to find at the Farmers Market the previous weekend.

For this dish I was initially inspired by the amazing OhSheGlow’s Speedy Summer Hemp Power Salad but my food processor was having none of it so I ended up just using the veggies that I had on hand and topping them with a handful of hemp seeds and my current obsession – Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Dressing.

And of course I had seconds…

And then there was dessert in the form of Purely Twins’s (formerly Pure 2 Raw) Hemp Protein Muffins made with Sun Warrior Protein Powder in chocolate flavor instead of hemp-based protein powder.

Super quick and easy, only a few ingredients, and the end result was, despite the less than flattering exterior, dense and chewy. You could tell that they were “healthy” and made with protein powder so I’m going to try to tweak the recipe in the future, but I enjoyed them.

And a second dessert of vegan chocolate ice cream made simply with blended frozen bananas, a splash of vanilla extract, and some raw cacao powder.


I have to admit, I think that both of these desserts probably deserve their own separate post… Oh well, I guess that means that I’ll have to make them again!

If you’re in the mood for a fabulous Summer salad like this one, here’s some inspiration: Eat, Live, Run’s Seven Summer Salads, OhSheGlow’s super creative 5 More Reader Favourite Salad Recipes, and Choosing Raw’s Salads Beyond Salads.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Sunday Prep

How did everyone like Kyle’s Paleo Lifestyle post on Tuesday? Not only do I love hearing from people who are also passionate about food, health, and nutrition, I love to learn about new ways of eating and the benefits people experience after making healthy lifestyle changes. So on that healthy living note, I’d like to share a little bit about how I prepare for my week on the food front.

One of the major changes in my routine that accompanied my decision to eat a healthier, gluten-free diet a few years ago was that I started to consistently spend Sundays shopping, cooking, and prepping. Once I decided that I wanted to make better, healthier daily choices, I realized how important it was to have healthy options available to myself at all times in my apartment, purse, and even at my office.

This means more than just keeping my pantry and desk drawers stocked with basics, it also means grocery shopping or going to the Farmer’s Market on weekends and preparing food to be eaten during the course of the week. Some of it is as easy and cutting up carrots and celery sticks to be eaten with hummus for snacks, while other times I cook batches of vegetables or quinoa, or make entrées entirely in advance.

I love sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, squash, celery, spinach & kale, zucchini, peas, corn, beans – basically anything fresh, organic, and in-season that I can get my hands on at the grocery store or the Farmer’s Market.

My usual way of preparing vegetables is to roast or sautee them in olive oil, Bragg’s Amino Acids, or Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki and spices. Sometimes I’ll just pile vegetable after vegetable into the pot, and sometimes I’ll feel like cooking everything separately.

During the week I subsist primarily on fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and nuts. For one or two meals a week I’ll eat either a soy-based protein source like tofu or another non-meat protein source like tempeh or seitan. I’ll also eat quinoa, brown rice, lentils, rolled-oats, and/or groats a couple of times a week, usually with lunch or an earlier dinner, so I’ll make batches of those grains in advance as well.

In addition to cutting up fruit & vegetables and cooking for the week, I also spend Sundays packing up my lunches, snacks, and the things that I need to take into the office to make sure that I don’t forget anything.

{Smoothie must-haves. Vegan, raw protein powder, lemon, and fresh ginger.}

Are you already taking care of business on Sundays but want to up your game? Check out the tips and recommendations of the experts – The Hungry Hungry Hippie & This Is What I Eat.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far below:

MCLV Mange: Energy Bites

Before making the delicious vegan, gluten-free mac n’ cheese two weeks ago I broke out my food processor and threw together some quick & easy energy bites.

These delicious, chocolatey little balls are somewhere between Choosing Raw’s Five Minute Raw Cacoa Snack Bars and OhSheGlow’s Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites.


The main ingredients for these flavorful little bites are cashews and pitted Medjool dates, and then you can flavor them as you like by adding whatever additional ingredients strike your fancy – Coconut flakes, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, peanut butter, carob powder, nuts, dried fruit…

The options are endless!


What did I use for this batch? Well I’d just spent some quality time with the bulk bins at Whole Foods so I went with the tasty mixture of carob powder, maca, and mini carob chips.

So. Good.

You mix the cashews and add the dates, and then the rest of your ingredients. Easy peasy!

At that point you can either make them into bar form like Gena from Choosing Raw or in ball form like Angela from OhSheGlows. After you decide you just pop them in the freeze – et voila!

Quick. Easy. Delicious. What’s not to love?

Since I made these I’ve experimented with some other mixtures and ingredients, trying to find the tastiest and healthiest combinations that I can, and I’ll plan to share even more healthy snack bite options with you soon.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Mac n’ Cheese

The Sunday before last was pretty darn perfect. A morning trip to Whole Foods, followed by a couple of hours of blissful cooking & juicing, and comfort food with a girlfriend while we watched a fun, girly movie.

And exactly what type of comfort food did I make you ask? My all time favorite, macaroni & cheese of course! Cooking classes at accredited online colleges have excellent mac n’ cheese recipes you can try as well!

Based on one of my favorite recipe by OhSheGlows. I’ve tried a number of fake cheese sauces, and fake cheeses, and this butternut squash-based sauce is far and away my favorite one.

You roast the butternut squash (40 minutes total, 20 minutes on each side) and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until it’s the right consistency.

I love it with a little kick so I always add some paprika, chili powder, and cayenne. I made two different types of pasta for Arianna to try her first vegan mac n’ cheese with.

Gluten-free oat bran penne for a more traditional mac n’ cheese, as well as spiralized zucchini for a healthy, raw choice. And you know what? Arianna preferred the zucchini! 🙂

With our delicious, gooey macaroni and cheese we enjoyed the new Footloose remake. Totally entertaining but about twenty minutes into it I realized that I only barely remembered the original, so I now need to add that to my Netflix queue as well…  

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

MCLV Mange: Cookie Monster

When I saw the delicious looking Super Charge Me cookies on Une Vie Saine a few weeks ago I knew that they would soon make their way into my life. The original recipe that Gabriela used was from Dreena Burton‘s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan – like these cookies that I made last year.

Oddly enough, a few days later, before I got a chance to make these, I stumbled on a recipe for Gluten-Free Kitchen Sink Cookies on FitSugar that were derived from the Une Vie Saine’s recipe. Small world!

What I love about these cookies is that not only are they simple, they’re chalk full of tasty, healthy ingredients like flax seeds, almond butter, gluten-free oats and unsweetened coconut. No eggs or butter or cups of oil to pack them with fat and calories like some other cookie recipes out there (or * gasp * store-bought cookies).

And with two cookie occasions coming up – a 3 year old’s birthday and a thank you for a colleague – I finally got around to making a couple batches of these cookies last week. Arianna and I happily puttered around my kitchen pulling various ingredients out of cupboards to use as the “mix-ins” in the different batches.

We ended up making three different, but not terribly distinct, batches. The first was closest to the original recipe with almond butter, raw cacao nibs, and almond chunks. For the second I switched from basic all-purpose gluten-free flour to almond flour and from maple syrup as the sweetener to brown rice syrup. Then I added walnuts, carob chips and more coconut flakes.

The final batch was based on the kitchen sink recipe that I found on FitSugar and without the oats the cookies unfortunately flattened out in the oven. Not. Pretty. They were quite tasty though – the dried cherries were an inspired choice if I do say so myself – so my boyfriend and I took care of them in private. 🙂

I highly recommend trying out this recipe. While they may not exactly be guilt-free, they are cookies after all, they’re a much healthier alternative if you’re already planning to make cookies or are in the mood for a sweet treat.

I even brought some into my office and passed them out around 8am, advertising them as breakfast cookies!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

And don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter the Spring Giveaway to win a $50 gift certificate to Bloomingdale’s!!!

MCLV Mange: Vegetable Lasagna

After our juice cleanse adventure my friend Arianna and I decided to make March healthy and scheduled a dinner for the two of us each week for the month. Not going out to eat for great, but ultimately greasy and unhealthy food, mind you. We decided to make dinner for ourselves once a week and rather than open a bottle of red, we’d accompany dinner with either a movie or a walk.

So after our Farmer’s Market Fare warm up dinner last Sunday, we broke out the big guns on Monday night and attempted the potentially impossible. Lasagna with no cheese OR pasta.


I saw a recipe for Gluten-Free, Vegan Zucchini Lasagna on the FitSugar website and despite the scary/intimidating/awful sounding recipe name, I decided that we should give it a try. I mean, the picture looked good and that’s got to mean something, right? Plus the ingredient list was reasonable and the recipe didn’t appear overly complicated, both necessities for a work-night meal when you get up as early as I do.

Honestly, cutting up the zucchini was the most challenging part of the food preparation for me. My mandolin was broken – um, again – so I had to slice the zucchini long-wise by hand. Not. Pretty. At. All.

We made a quick trip to my friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s for the few ingredients that I didn’t already have on hand and picked up both of the tomato-based sauces that the recipe called for. Next time I try this recipe I’ll probably take the time to make the marinara sauce from scratch in advance. Never hurts to have some extra sauce in the freezer!

Simmering the quinoa in the tomato sauce and onion mixture gave it a great flavor, more robust than when you cook it alone in water. Next time I make a pot of quinoa I’m definitely going to try something along these lines, it was quite tasty.

Layering the quinoa, onion & tomato sauce blend, zucchini slices and marinara sauce was actually sort of fun. I’ve never made lasagna before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was relatively easy to figure out this step, I can’t imagine that things could go terribly awry here regardless of your artistic talents.

Truth be told, I can’t remember the last time that I had “real” lasagna off the top of my head, but I though that this was an excellent dish. The tomato quinoa layer had a savory, nutty flavor, the roasted zucchini slices added a noodle-like texture but a hearty, fall vegetable taste, and the two types of tomato sauce added a great Italian flair to the meal.

And while it was really tasty right out of the oven, it was a bit messy and hard to plate well.

We each had seconds though and I happily ate the leftovers the next day. The lasagna held its form much better after 24 hours in the fridge though, it definitely looked prettier  and more photogenic the second day.

But we can’t forget, since it was date night we needed a movie to go along with our piping hot bowls full of lasagna. And we put a lot of thought into our movie selection for the evening of course, it wasn’t just what happened to appear at the top of my Netflix queue or anything like that…


How was it? Ultimately it was entertaining, but we decided we couldn’t take Taylor Lautner seriously as anything other than a werewolf. That’s some serious type-casting to deal with kid!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange episode or check out past installments from this series and see what you missed:

MCLV Mange: Farmer’s Market Fare

Welcome to the second installment of my new reader requested series called MCLV Mange, where I’ll be discussing quick, easy and healthy meal ideas, desserts and snacks, entertaining and even wine pairings. You can read the first segment of this series on using healthy coconut milk to cook your vegetables here. Please feel free to email me with any questions or topic suggestions.

Now let me ask you, is there anything more delicious than a simple meal made from fresh ingredients?

This past weekend I went to the Carmichael Park Farmer’s Market in Sacramento and picked up some fresh produce and when I got back to San Francisco Sunday I made a delicious dinner for myself and a friend.

So what did I make?

A massaged kale salad with Trader Joe’s hummus salad dressing. Your hands get pretty gooey when you massage the dressing into the leaves, but the end result is definitely worth the effort and minimal mess. Here’s a basic How To from the brilliant Gena at Choosing Raw. 

Some people find that kale is an acquired taste, but it is definitely one that you should acquire – kale is high in fiber, Vitamin A, easy to absorb calcium, antioxidants and smaller amounts of Vitamins C and B. Like I said, its worth getting to know!

Brightly colored vegetables are another extraordinarily healthy addition to any salad. Purple cabbage is high in Vitamins A, C, K and iron while radishes are rich in Vitamins C, K, B6 and dietary fiber. They are both also sources of antioxidants. 

Did you get a chance to watch the lecture by Dr. Terry Wahl’s that I included in Sunday’s Links You’ll Love post? If not you should take a quick look at her Minding Your Mitochondria lecture, which will explain just how beneficial kale and bright vegetables are for your health.

Since it was such a chilly night I also wanted to serve something warm so I sliced up some of the multicolored carrots that I had picked up and a sweet potato, and roasted them with extra virgin olive oil, cumin and Himalayan sea salt. Carrots are high in Vitamins A, C, K and potassium and sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamins B6, C, D, iron and magnesium.

What was the final product?

I hope that the simplicity of this meal inspires you to make a trip to your local farmer’s market and try a healthy, fresh, vegetable-based dinner as well.

MCLV Mange: Coconut Vegetables

Welcome to a new reader requested segment called MCLV Mange where I’ll provide a recipe or meal idea once or twice a month – Something quick, easy, and healthy. As always, feel free to email me with any questions, requests, or topic suggestions.

Let’s start with something extraordinarily basic – A healthy, simple vegetable dish. High in Vitamins A, B6, C, K, potassium, manganese, folate, magnesium and phosphorous – Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are extraordinarily healthy.

What do you need?

You can pick up veggies at your local market, anything fresh that you’re in the mood for, or even take the quick route and grab a pre-cleaned bag of mixed vegetables like I showed below. Any variety will do! I especially like mixes with sugar snap peas or I’ll get some brussels sprouts, chop them in half and throw them in.

{Trader Joe’s and Safeway both have great, inexpensive options to choose from}

Cook them however you’d like – Steam, boil, sautee – Personally I’m partial to steaming, that way they keep more of their nutrients, stay a bright vibrant color, and still have a slightly crisp texture. Now what is it that makes these veggies my favorite? Just add 1/4 or 1/3 of cup of coconut milk! Coconut milk is an excellent, easily absorbable source of vitamins and nutrients like phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber and antioxidants.

Once you’ve fully coated the vegetables in the desired amount of coconut milk, add your seasonings. Sometimes I leave them with just the coconut milk, but other times I’m in the mood for a more complex flavour. I know it may sound unusual, but garlic is a great accompaniment to the subtle sweetness of coconut milk.

Season to taste and you’re done! Sometimes I even add a little Earth Balance to top things off, though it definitely it isn’t necessary.

You can eat the veggies as part of your main dish and add a baked sweet potato on the side or eat them with a grain (brown rice or quinoa) or meat dish (lean chicken breast or white fish).

Want a pseudo-healthy cocktail idea to round out your evening meal? FitSugar has a creative, low-calorie idea to replace a traditional gin and tonic – an Elderflower Gin Cordial.

Happy eating & stay tuned for the next installment of this tasty new series!