Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday readers!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, filled with walks outdoors and warm, hearty meals. I thoroughly enjoyed my first week of “Switch Off Sunday” and honestly, I can’t wait to do it again!

But have no fear, I got right back to work today and created a list of internet good stuff:

The raw cherry bombs from The Wellness Warrior are the bomb! Vegan and with no refined sugars, this is a recipe I will keep coming back to for the holidays.

“Spirit Junkie” Gabrielle Bernstein has some great advice about the 24-hour rule.

Yet another raw + vegan holiday recipe…spicy pumpkin cookies! Rawmazing is an incredible resource and these babies don’t disappoint.

And speaking of the holidays, Gluten-Free Goddess has a helpful guide to Thanksgiving for gluten-free folk.

Zen to Fitness posted a great article on 5 fitness tips we can learn from kids. So true!

And I will leave you with a chilly-weather song that has been on repeat around here:

[painting by…i don’t remember and can’t find the source! Took my breath away, though]


Radiant Recipes: Overnight Chai Steel-Cut Oats!

:the best overnight oats – dressed up with some walnuts + vegan chocolate chips!:


I can’t believe it has been so long since I posted a recipe! Sorry y’all, things have been busy and honestly, with all the detoxes + other food-related issues around here, recipes haven’t been at the front of my mind.

But enough excuses, onto something fun!

First, a story: I had never even heard of oatmeal before moving to Chicago and upon seeing it for the first time, I declared it the most revolting thing and swore never to eat it (although jowar porridge is a millet dish I grew up with that is somewhat similar now that I think about it). Fast-forward ten years to a brunch date with my husband at the adorable + delicious Milk and Honey cafe in Chicago. After much argument, I finally caved and agreed to having one tiny bite of oatmeal to prove that I had been right all of these years.

You can imagine what happens next.

Oh my, the oatmeal! It wasn’t slimy + mushy as I had feared, but instead was warm, hearty + comforting! It had been cooked with dried cherries and raisins and smelled of cinnamon! I was completely shocked that I had been missing out on something so easy to make. I made a vow then and there that I would welcome oatmeal into my life.

These days, I cook oatmeal every weekend when my husband and I have the mornings together. We take the extra time to make steel-cut oats because they are healthier for you than rolled oats (although I love making oatmeal bakes, cookies + smoothies with the rolled kind). Steel-cut oats are from the whole oat kernel, whereas rolled oats have the outer shell removed (which is where most of the fiber is!) and are more processed than their steel-cut counterparts.

The main issue with steel-cut oatmeal is how long it takes to cook. On our mornings off, spending half an hour preparing oatmeal, letting the breeze flow through the kitchen window and listening to some folk-y tunes is a lovely way to start the day. During the week when we are rushing to work and/or school, however, it is just too much of a bother.

So what can a steel-cut oat fan do? Bring out the overnight oats approach! Overnight oats hit the blogging world a few years ago and showed us how easy it was to “set + forget” rolled oats until the morning. Angela from Oh She Glows has posted some great vegan overnight oats (or “VOO”) resources including recipes for 12 VOO parfaits!

I have used a similar approach for this recipe, swapping rolled oats for the nutrient-packed steel-cut babies…and made it like a cup of chai tea!


(Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Nut-free)


  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup hemp milk (or any non-dairy milk that you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • optional: a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of black pepper and/or 1 tablespoon of natural sweetener


  • In a jar (such as a mason jar), combine all ingredients.
  • Stir to combine, secure lid and refrigerate overnight
  • In the morning, stir once more and enjoy!

You can also add a number of toppings right before eating, such as nut butter, dried coconut or (my favorite) chopped pistachios!


NOTE: As a (future) Ayurvedic Practioner, I have to remind my readers that cold food is strongly discouraged in Ayurveda. Not only do these oats get stored in the fridge, but they aren’t heated up before eating! In Ayurveda, food needs to be cooked to release certain healing properties for nourishing the body (which definitely goes against the raw food trend!) I love my green smoothies + breakfasts such as this one but I just needed to get that out there 🙂

Motivational Mondays!

Hey there folks,

Well, this week has started off in the most frustrating way…

Lost packages (damn you, UPS!), heel wounds (which can make walking extremely painful) + ridiculous library fees (I would much rather spend $6 on a green juice, thank you very much) have made today not so great.

So what did I do?

1. Put on some old Real Estate (the band) and flip through home magazines

2. Listen to a lecture (Enemies in Blue: Crime Cops and Capitalism) from a recent conference

3. Make these chocolate fudgy brownies (still waiting for them to cool…)


Ah, the little pleasures in life. Onward to the virtual fun!

Robin Robertson (of Planet Vegan fame) posted this delicious-looking (and easily gluten-free adaptable) recipe on One Green Planet for walnut-crusted artichoke hearts.


And you can always expect some great reflection from Cris Karr, this time about alcohol.


I love finding new blogs on healthy living (or at least new to me) and The Sensitive Pantry is my recent favorite! Vegan, gluten-free and nutritious, she has some great recipes – including this one for a red velvet smoothie (just sub agave/maple syrup for the brown sugar and you are good to go!)


Living the Nourished Life wrote a great article on the root causes of acne.


And last but not least, a story about a new kind of chef gaining popularity in Egypt post-uprising: one that actually cooks food most folks can afford!


Have a great week!

radiant recipes: balela

hello readers!

well today was rainy and gloomy here in northern california so we spent the day inside, working and cooking hearty food. i wanted to highlight a recipe that i often turn to when a) i don’t have much in terms of groceries b) i don’t want to waste tons of money on creating an expensive dish and/or c) i am too tired to make anything difficult. here comes…balela to save the day!

balela is a middle-eastern bean salad (palestine respresent!) which is easy, quick and super yummy. it takes only minutes to put together and you then wait half an hour for the flavor to deepen. it has tons of protein due to the garbanzos and black beans, lycopene from the tomatoes and healing qualities from the herbs. i sometimes add garam masala or curry to the dish to infuse a little indian flavor but you could add other spice combinations and i am sure it would taste great. also, if you don’t have access to the fresh herbs, omitting them from the recipe is totally fine.

BALELA:  (vegan and gluten-free)

* 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzos

* 1 can of black beans

* 1 can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

* extra-virgin olive oil

*  1 lemon

* a few sprigs of parsely

* a few sprigs of mint

* salt and pepper to taste

* other spices such as garam masala, curry, turmeric and/or ginger (optional)

1. drain and rinse the chickpeas and beans thouroughly and pour into large mixing bowl

2. drain tomatoes and add to bowl

3. pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few tablespoons of lemon juice into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste

4. tear the leaves from the herb sprigs, break apart with fingers and add to dish

5 if using, add amounts of other spices to taste

6. toss and mix well and let stand for 30 minutes

and that is it! so simple and so tasty. you can also serve it on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, wrap it up in tortillas or stuff it into a pita. so many options, although it tastes great enough to just enjoy with a spoon!

radiant recipes: raw vegan mixie

hello there!

i wanted to start my new series called “radiant recipes” where we will talk about meals, snacks and drinks that taste good and make you feel great!

yesterday was our 8 month wedding anniversary (we are dorks so we celebrate our anniversary every month because…why not?) so we celebrated with some amazing pizza. as great as it was, when we got home i was feeling really lethargic from all that cheese and fat so i wanted to make something fast and healthy for dinner.

one of my favorite new go-to meals when i am wanting something that is yummy and totally customizable is what i call the RAW VEGAN MIXIE.

this creation first saw the light of day when one day i was terribly hungry and had only a few ingredients to use for dinner. i started looking through the refrigerator and pantry and decided that i would put my food processor to the test. i used some greens (since they are healthy), some nuts (they are always great for making vegan dishes more “meaty”), carrots (to add some moisture and beta carotene), olive oil (to bind everything together), spices and some salt and pepper. it was so yummy and i had enough for two meals! the best part about this recipe is that you can make it with so many things and eat it in so many different ways!

THE VEGAN RAW MIXIE:  (vegan and gluten-free)

* 1 cup of greens (you can use spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula or whatever green you fancy)

* 1 cup of nuts (i usually use walnuts but you can use almonds, cashews, peanuts or sunflower/pumpkin seeds if nuts are too pricey)

* 1 cup of carrots (i put these in since they have a lot of moisture and crunch but if you don’t like carrots you could add celery instead or bell peppers)

* a few sundried tomatoes (these add oil and general tastiness)

* a pinch of whatever spices you choose (i like to add garam masala, curry and turmeric but you can mix and match your favorite spices and herbs!)

* a splash of olive oil (or sunflower/safflower oil) to get things moving in the machine

* salt and pepper to taste

1. toss all of the ingredients into a food processor (or strong blender) and pulse until mixed. depending on the strength of your machine, your mixie will be between the consistency of a cole slaw and a pate. don’t worry, either way it will be tasty!

2. at this point, you can either eat it as is (with some chips or baked pita triangles) or you can wrap it up. i usually wrap it in these amazing local chipotle tortillas but you can also wrap this in lettuce, collard greens, nori or stuff it in a pita) so many options!

as you can see, this recipe is very versatile and can be made just about anyway you want. it is easy and quick to make, tastes good and is good for you!

(just a note: ayurveda traditionally discourages a raw food lifestyle since it is believed that the healing properties of foods are enhanced through cooking but i have no problem promoting some vibrant, live food from time to time!)