WIAW: DIY Smoothie Bowls

Okay so I know I am late to jump on the smoothie bowl train but over the last year I have just fallen in love with them. There is a local spot called Kure that makes the best acai and smoothie bowls I have ever had. They are super creamy and topped with berries, bananas, granola and most importantly cinnamon; seriously just something about that cinnamon that makes the bowl so good. The problem is we no longer live close to Kure so now I have to make my own.

Smoothie Bowl

DIY Smoothie Bowl:

So a smoothie bowl has two main components a base which is basically a thick smoothie, a spoony -a smoothie that needs to be eaten with a spoon and a topping(s). 

For bases I love:

  • frozen bananas, strawberries, almond butter, almond milk + optional add-in’s of vanilla protein powder and/or acai powder
  • frozen bananas, mango, pineapple, coconut manana and coconut milk + optional add-in’s of spirulina powder and/or baby spinach
  • coconut water, kale, almond butter, coconut sugar and banana

Toppings I love:

  • Fresh Berries
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Chia Seeds
  • Bee Pollen
  • Hemp hearts
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon 
  • Granola

For the bowl pictured:

Base:
– 2 frozen bananas
– 1 juicy mango
– 8 oz coconut juice
– 1 heaping handful of baby spinach

Toppings:
– chia seeds
– hemp hearts
– bee pollen
– slivered almonds
– pinch of cinnamon

What is your favorite smoothie combination? Do you ever make smoothie bowls? If yes, what are your go to toppings? 

Here is another recipe for one of my favorite acai smoothie bowls. 

Tip: let your bananas get super spotty before peeling and freezing. Waiting until their super spotty makes them super sweet and helps us to better digest them.

Recipe | Benevolent Bacon Mac & Cheese with Kale

mac After posting this dinner last night on my Instagram I had a few requests for the recipe so here it is.

We spent most of yesterday out of the house at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival about an hour south of Portland. It was luckily a beautiful day and we soaked up the sun and festival with friends.

March 2015 - Tulip Fest - My little tulips

After parting ways we headed to the outlets since they were on the way home and mama needed some new clothes. After two many hours of shopping we finally headed home. While in the car we got to talking about dinner and discussed grabbing dinner out but Edith insisted that we eat dinner at home and that we have mac and cheese. We agreed but first stopped to pick up a few provisions which included the ingredients to make said mac and cheese.
mac2

My original thought was to do a customize your own mac and cheese and then Neil said “you know what would be really good [in the mac and cheese] some of that Sweet Earth bacon” so his brilliant idea won. I added kale because kale + bacon is great and because greens. Everyone enjoyed it and it was deemed a must make again meal.

Benevolent Bacon Mac and Cheese with | Vegan
Serves 6
This vegan mac and cheese recipe features Sweet Earth Natural Foods Benevolent Bacon.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3/4lb of Small Pasta, cook according to package
  2. 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  3. 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  4. 1 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, room temperature or lightly warmed
  5. 1 Cup Shredded Dayia Cheddar Cheese
  6. 4 Garlic Cloves, divided
  7. 1 Vegan Chik'n Boullion Cube
  8. 1 Package Sweet Earth Natural Foods Benevolent Bacon, thinly sliced
  9. 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
  10. 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking saute the kale and 2 cloves of garlic in 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside; add the remaining olive oil and sautee the bacon until lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan heat melt the Earth Balance over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook on low for 90 seconds whisking the entire time. Whisk in the the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  4. Slowly whisk the almond milk into the Earth Balance and flour mixture and then whisk in the vegan chik'n boullion cube. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce coats the back a spoon.
  5. Add the Dayia to the sauce and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Once the pasta is cooked and drained return the pasta back to it's pot and add all the ingredients. Stir to combine.
  7. Enjoy!
http://runningwithtongs.com/
What did you do this weekend? We spent a lot of time out of the house at parks, festivals and doing a little shopping.

What is your favorite mac and cheese recipe? Do you like to add anything special to yours?

Recipe | (Kid-Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta

Raise your hand if you are a pasta-o-holic like me. I would say in an average week we have pasta at least twice and that’s only because I purposely don’t buy enough to have it everyday of the week – or we would. Edith requests pasta most days of the week and today I said YES and pasta is what we had. 

Nut Free Pesto

Most of the time I make some sort of vegan mac and cheese or a pesto pasta for lunches. Since Alder is now eating err…playing with solids I wanted to make something that he could taste too so I decided to go with a nut-free pesto. It was also the perfect way to get Edith to eat some greens because lately she has been a little more picky with her food. 

Anyways I made this pasta dish and it turned out fantastic. Even Edith who told me while I was making it that she wasn’t going to eat it declared that it was her “favorite best pasta”. So basically this pasta dish is a winner. Enjoy!

(Kid Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 servings pasta of your choice
  2. 1 cup broccoli (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  3. 1 cup peas (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  4. 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon white miso
  8. 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 Italian Field Roast Sausage (optional), diced and lightly bowned
  11. Reserve a bit of cooking water
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. To a food processor all the ingredients except sausage and cooking water; process until smooth. (If making for baby as well see note below).
  3. Toss pasta with pesto and sausage adding as bit of cooking water as necessary to reach desired sauce consistency.
Notes
  1. For Alder I added just the olive oil, peas, broccoli and nutritional yeast to the food processor and blended until smooth; I removed a few tablespoons to toss with a bit of pasta and then added remaining ingredients.
http://runningwithtongs.com/
Nut Free Pesto Fork

What is your go-to pasta dish or lunch dish?

Recipe | Celebratory Black Bean Soup (Panera Copycat)

On March 9, 2015 our dear friends K. and J. welcomed their second baby girl into the world. To say we are over moon thrilled for them and big sister K. is an understatement. I am missing those squishy newborn days so I can’t wait to head on over today to finally meet baby L. (as I type this I’m wondering if they planned on sequential first initials…hmm? Anyways of course I am bringing over a new baby dish for them and yesterday afternoon I said wait a minute I should share this recipe with you all! 

Running With Tongs - Panera Dupe - Celebrate

So K., J. & little K. are lovers of Panera, specifically the black bean soup so I thought why not attempt a copycat of one of their favorite soups? I have to say it turned out delicious and I am planning to make it again soon for ourselves.

Running With Tongs - Black Bean Soup - Panera Dupe

Celebratory Black Bean Soup (Panera Copycat)
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 Teaspoons Grapeseed Oil (or oil of your choice)
  2. 3-15oz Tins of Reduced Sodium Black Beans, drained
  3. 1 Medium Red Onion, diced
  4. 2 Large Carrots, diced
  5. 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  6. 1 Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow or Orange), diced
  7. 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  8. 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  9. 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  10. 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  11. 2 Heaping Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  12. 1 Vegan Chikn Boullion Cube
  13. 2-3 Cups Water, depending on how thick/thin you'd like your soup
  14. 1 Teaspoon Umiboshi Plum Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat oil a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper, sauté for 7-10 minutes until soft.
  3. Stir in the garlic and spices.
  4. Stir in the black beans (drained not rinsed), tomato paste, boullion and water.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium-low to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. (Optional) remove 1/2-3/4 cup of soup and puree until smooth; return to pot and stir.
  7. Stir in the vinegar and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. You don't have to use umi vinegar but I recommend it. I use it in basically every soup and sauce that I make because it just makes such a difference. Don't believe me? Try your soup or sauce before adding and then stir it in and taste again- taste the difference?
http://runningwithtongs.com/
I am pairing this soup with Beanitos aka my favorite corn-free tortilla chips, a Porter (beer) because L’s middle name is Porter, a session IPA (low alcohol for mum if she so desires), a dry soda and a batch of fresh lactation cookies and some for the freezer because who doesn’t prefer warm cookies straight from the oven and honestly it’s super easy to do. Hoping they enjoy this basket of goodies!

Running With Tongs - BabyMeal- Panera Dupe

Interested in more vegan recipe copycats? Let me know in the comments below!

What’s your favorite soup? I love a really good “cream” of tomato with crusty bread (obvs).

Recipe | Massaged Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing

Massaged Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs
I go through phases where I binge on greens and then there are times when I want nothing to do with them. Right now I am just loving greens, all day, everyday. I think it’s in part due to Neil’s juice til dinner cleanse he did at the start of this week. It really forced me to re-think dinners and make them a bit healthier and when I think healthy I think greens. Now I’m hooked and it feels so good to be back. I used the kale and some of the potatoes and garlic from our organics box to make this salad. Side note I say that this salad serves 2 or it could even serve 3 as a side but in all honesty I ate the entire thing myself for lunch. Seriously so good.
Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Dressing Ingredients Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Sauced Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Massaged Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Closeup

Massaged Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Dressing
  1. 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  2. 1/3 cup cashew butter or cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  3. 1 small lemon, juiced
  4. 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 2 teaspoons while miso
  7. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  8. 1/2 Tablespoon coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  9. 1/4-1/2 cup water, depending on how thick you'd like the sauce
For Salad
  1. 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and shredded
  2. 1lb new potatoes, diced and tossed with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. While oven is preheating place all of the sauce ingredients in the blender and process until smooth making sure to start with 1/4 cup of water and adding more if necessary/to your liking.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and seasoning and place in the oven for 25-28 minutes.
  4. While the potatoes are roasted massage 1/4 cup of the dressing with the kale; I find it best to massage for at least a minute (more if you'd like) to help break down the kale. Let it marinate while your potatoes roast.
  5. Once potatoes are done toss them with the kale salad and plate.
  6. Drizzle salad with a little extra dressing, a squeeze of lemon juice and if you like a little spice a few chili flakes.
Notes
  1. You can substitute tahini for cashew butter or if you'd like you could substitute almond or peanut butter and add a bit of ginger and swap lime juice for lemon for more of an Asian inspired salad.
  2. Can't find lacinato kale? Try it with curly kale!
  3. Enjoy your food a bit saltier? Just swap the coconut aminos for tamari.
http://runningwithtongs.com/
Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Munching Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing | Running With Tongs | Finished

Game Day Sweets with Blue Diamond Almonds

Blue Diamond Caramel Cups
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

While I tend to not be too interested in the game, I am all about the party and the snacks that go along with it. However, I feel like whenever I go to these types of gatherings there are tons of savory snacks but not too many sweets. And, certainly no salty sweets. I decided to change all of that this year and came up with this AMAZING (toot, toot) smokehouse caramel cup.

If I’m being completely honest, this recipe came from a failed attempt at making smokehouse almond brittle. I don’t know if it was the temperature, the use of coconut sugar or my fear of setting the stove on fire again (er… yeah It’s happened before while making brittle) but my sugar didn’t get to the right temperature so instead I made it into a yummy caramel instead. Since I recorded exactly what I was doing, I figured I’d try to rescue my failed brittle. I threw the caramel nuts into a blender, whizzed it together until it was smooth and then tasted. OMG. Amazing. Keep reading to see how to make these for yourself.
Blue Diamond Caramel Cups1

Smokehouse Almond Caramel Cups
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups coconut sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 6oz Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
  4. coconut oil or coconut oil spray
  5. 2 cups of chocolate chips
  6. 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  7. mini cupcake liners
Instructions
  1. Grease all sides of heavy bottom bottom pot with coconut oil or coconut oil spray. Place coconut sugar and water in the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally - you must stay with this so it doesn't boil over. reduce heat to medium for 2 more minutes and then stir in the nuts and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Once cooled place in a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. To make the cups: Lay out 9-12 cup cake liners. Heat 1.5 cups of chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave until melted. Quickly stir in the coconut oil and the remaining chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Add a large spoonful to the bottom of each of the cups. Spoon in a heaping teaspoon of the smokehouse almond caramel and then top with another layer of chocolate. Place in the fridge to set.
  3. You'll likely have extra caramel and I suggest eating it with pretzels, celery, apples or simply by the spoonful.
http://runningwithtongs.com/
Blue Diamond Caramel Cups8

What are your favorite game day snacks?