Cooking up a storm!

3 Jul

You can always tell when I’m home…the refrigerator goes from unassuming to bursting at the seams with produce and “healthy food!”

For some reason I love going grocery shopping.  Even when I was in High School I took it on as my own little mission each week to go to the store and pick out the food we would have available in our house.  I was so excited when I went to our local Hannafords to find that they now sell Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk in the large containers and carry Extra Virgin Coconut Oil!  I was even more excited to pick up a large supply of my favorite hummus…Joseph’s!! Although I love my Trader Joe’s extra creamy hummus…there is something special about Joseph’s that I was starting to miss!!  I can’t get it out in California, so I will be enjoying lots of hummus and veggies while I am home!

Even though I am not home for very long, I have been taking full advantage of putting my Mom’s kitchen to use!  It is always so much fun experimenting here because she has many ingredients that I normally wouldn’t buy to play around with on my own. Even though most of my concoctions turn out extremely yummy ;)…there is usually one that doesn’t make the cut (enter my attempt at making vegan brownies last night…shouldn’t have tried using whole wheat flour…I think I got too adventurous on that one!)

Whenever I get into the kitchen my goal is to make my food as healthy and as yummy as humanly possible!  I have been following many vegan blogs lately, so I have had inspiration coming from many different places.  Some of my favorite blogs to follow include Oh She Glows, Chocolate Covered Katie, and Loves Veggies and Yoga.

MMMMM Agave!

I have had my eye on these “ball” concoctions that many people seem to be enjoying.  They are delicious raw vegan treats that I have been wanting to play around with!  I got out my big bag of nuts, coco powder, coconut oil and agave and starting my mad scientist project.

My first creation is what Averie from Loves Veggies and Yoga calls raw cookie dough.  I took her recipe and put my own spin on it.  Instead of using agave in my “cookie dough” mixture I used dates.  I also decided to skip the chocolate chips and instead made my own coconut oil dark chocolate which I rolled the balls in and covered in coconut.  Then everything went to the refrigerator to set…and the result was a little piece of heaven in my mouth 😉

Some with coconut, some without

It was hilarious to watch my family try my “creation.”  They usually feel like…if Sarah made it, it most likely has a veggie hidden or tastes like tree bark ;).  But they are always good sports because they know how excited I get to share my experiments!  My dad looked at me after downing one of my Lentil Burgers (more on those in a moment) and asked…”whats for dessert!?”  When I offered him a ball he responded…”I’ll try it if it will make you happy.”  He was soon eating his words and quickly asked if he could have seconds (I guess I’m the gate-keeper to the raw vegan cookie dough balls).  They are great little treats because it’s all healthy fats that you are consuming, and because the sweeteners are natural, you won’t experience a crash later on in the day!  I also love the fact that I can eat chocolate and still be getting in my dose of coconut oil for the day!

Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Snow Balls

  • 1/3 C  Ground Oats
  • 1/3 C Cashews
  • 1/3 C Walnuts
  • 4-5 Pitted Dates
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbs Dark Chocolate Coco Powder
  • Sprinkle of Stevia
  • 2 tsp Agave
  • 1/2 C coconut (optional)

In a blender add ground oats and nuts and combine until you have a nutty paste.  Add your dates and a couple drops of water and blend on high until everything is combined.  In a small dish microwave your coconut oil just long enough for it to melt (20 seconds?).  Stir in the coco powder, stevia and agave.  You will have a shiny chocolate sauce at this point.  Take scoops of your nut mixture, roll them into balls, roll in the chocolate and then cover in coconut.  Place them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and put in refrigerator until the chocolate forms a shell.  Then enjoy!

You can also simply make your own dark chocolate with the same recipe that you roll the cookie dough balls in.  I made a small batch and set them in small cup cake wrappers…best dark chocolate I have ever had!  I also love the fact that the ingredient list is so small, and technically, its raw!!Although I do like my sweets, I have been experimenting with savory ingredients as well!  My family has been planning a cookout for this weekend to celebrate a myriad of things, and since I don’t eat meat I have been coming up with alternatives!  

Before I share my AMAZING lentil burger recipe, I have to brag a bit ;).  I am so proud and excited to announce that my mom just finished her Masters in Nursing program after almost 3 years of working two jobs and staying up until 2am most nights to complete her homework.  She is such an inspiration to me proving that you can complete anything you set your mind to (even when it seems impossible!).  She also has a big birthday on the 13….hmmm, Ill let the picture reveal the mile stone we will be celebrating.  Not only is it my mom’s birthday but my brother’s aswell!  He turns 17 on July 4th, and I am so happy to be home to celebrate with him!  (I can’t believe he will be a senior next year…I feel so old!)  We also have lots of family coming to town and within that group there are many more birthdays being celebrated!

Back to sharing fun meat alternatives!  I don’t eat meat, but I am also unable to eat soy because of a thyroid condition I have.  After doing much research on the topic I discovered that soy actually inhibits my medication from working properly, so I avoid it completely.  That being said, most of my protein comes from beans and legumes.  I had some steamed lentils in the fridge just begging to be used, so I whipped up a new successful creation!

Lentil Burgers

  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper
  • 2-3 Large Carrots (or big handful of baby carrots)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3/4 C Ground Oats
  • 1 1/2 C Steamed Lentils
  • Cummin
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Process first four ingredients in a food processor and then move to a saute pan.  Allow ingredients to sweat until most of the liquid steams off.  When done cooking add to a large bowl with lentils and oats.  Mix all ingredients together and add spices and salt to taste (I like lots of cummin in my food!).  Then shape into patties and cook in a small frying pan with a touch of coconut oil.  

I served mine with sliced avocado on top which was delicious! It would also be very tasty on a bun with some salsa or ketchup.  Whatever your heart desires!!

I have more things in the works, but I’ll save them for a future posting.  For now I have to run to go get ready for our guests!   Happy Saturday!!

xo Sarah


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11 Responses to “Cooking up a storm!”

  1. healthnut July 4, 2010 at 2:17 AM #

    your gorgeous and i love how healthy you are.
    i admire how you dont starve yourself even though your a model and theyre infamous for that.

    if its not to personal would you mind maybe posting and sharing your diet? like what you eat to stay so slim? or how you eat in prep for a runway or photoshoot?

    thanks!
    xoxox
    goodluck

    • sarahnotsoplainandtall July 6, 2010 at 2:50 AM #

      Hi There!

      Thank you for your kind words!
      Models are pretty infamous for eating disorders, and so I am excited to show the world that that is not always the case.
      My diet really changes day to day, mainly based off of what my body is craving.
      I try to start everyday with half a lemon squeezed into water to help jumpstart my metabolism.
      Sometimes breakfast is just a bunch of fruit, others its some oatmeal with all the fixings!!
      throughout the day if I need a snack here and there it is usually fruit, nuts and veggies.
      My lunches and dinners are usually either an avocado sandwich or a large salad mixed with veggies, hummes, brown rice and beans!
      I tend to be a creature of habit, so if I like something I dont mind eating it over and over again!
      I do also like to treat myself to something sweet at the end of the day like some dark chocolate!!
      I cant stress enough how important healthy fats are for your body! So many people believe fats make you fat, but that is no t the case at all!! Hope this helps, and please continue to follow me as I will be sharing more about my diet and lifestyle!!

      xoxo
      Sarah

  2. Katharina July 5, 2010 at 6:22 PM #

    Hey girl!!! I’m so glad that you started a blog and introduced yourself 😀 I am the same way when I come home to my parents place. They always have something new to try, and all these different ingredients that I want to use! Plus it makes me smile when I come home to a few tubs of Sabra, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. I hadn’t tried those seeds before but I’ve seen so much about them on blogs and I thought it was so cute that my parents, unaware of their popularity, have them! My parents like to try my experiments as well, and I don’t really consider them good judges because my mom especially.. loves anything I make lol. Even when I think it tastes like crap hahaha. I’m going to have to try out your lentil burger recipe. I linked to some bean burger recipes I think you’d be interested in 😀 Have a wonderful day and enjoy the kitchen and experiments as much as you can!!

    XOXO

    http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

    • sarahnotsoplainandtall July 6, 2010 at 2:51 AM #

      Thanks so much!!
      It is so great to hear back from you!
      I hope to keep intouch as I continue my journey in the blogging world!!
      xoxo
      Sarah

  3. elisa July 8, 2010 at 1:39 PM #

    hi girl- love your blog, i think you are such an inspiration and such a positive role model for girls, especially young ones who want to transition into modeling… the business can be quite a rollercoaster!

    i was just wondering if you could do a post about your beauty regime/skincare? i feel like it’s definitely linked with diet and genes but i would love to know if you take vitamins, supplements and stick to natural skincare? ( i’m also sure you have some model secrets and backstage tips…) 🙂

    thanks so much, i can’t wait to continue reading your blog!

    -elisa

    • sarahnotsoplainandtall July 10, 2010 at 6:09 PM #

      Thank you so much!

      I am so glad you are enjoying the blog so far! I really think its important that people learn to take care of themselves from the inside out! I will make sure to do a posting in the near future about beauty routines! Mine is pretty low key, but I have struggled with skin problems in the past. I have found sometimes less is more!

      xoxo
      Sarah

  4. elisa July 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM #

    thank you so much sarah!

    i agree, i think it definitely starts from the inside.
    i’ve heard amazzzing stuff on Rosehip Oil and Evening Primose Oil (taken both orally and applied topically) they are all natural and that is definitely important to me!
    i have been breaking out like mad these past few months, so am trying to get it under control (hormones), and do not want to even consider BC pills, etc… so now just healing pigmentations/scars and trying to get it back to normal 🙂
    also i drink h2o like it’s my job!

    thanks again for answering and i look forward to your post
    i know models hear/see things from all of the top pro’s so i’m sure you have some fun things to share!

    have a wonderful week

    • sarahnotsoplainandtall July 12, 2010 at 10:53 PM #

      I am so sorry to hear that you are having problems with break outs…they are the worst!
      This past winter I broke out suddenly and tried everything. At one point I was even getting shots at the dermatologist…I was desperate for a solution! It was not fun. My miracle was Vitamin C. After reading an article on the wonders of the vitamin, I upped my consumption of fruits and veggies high in the nutrient and started using a Vit. C serum. The one I use you can purchase at Sephora, it is made by Ole Hendrickson. I highly recommend trying it, my breakout started to clear up after only a week!
      Good luck, and I will be sure to write a posting on more tips soon!

      xx
      Sarah

  5. elisa July 17, 2010 at 4:27 PM #

    hi sarah!

    thanks SO much about the info on vitamin C ( i LOVE fruit but i have to admit citrus fruits are not my favorite, i gravitate towards berries, melons and apples!!!)
    i must look into it – did you suffer from pigmentation ? i feel like my breakouts are starting to dwindle, but they are leaving nasty spots!

    can’t wait for your post

    hope you’re having a beautiful weekend

    X

  6. chloe July 26, 2010 at 11:18 AM #

    hope everything is ok!

    we miss your blog!

    come back soon,

    xoxo

    • sarahnotsoplainandtall August 8, 2010 at 5:51 PM #

      Thanks Chloe!
      I cant believe how quickly time flies! Once I got to NY I was going non-stop and before I could believe it…August was here!
      Im back now, and hoping I can keep up with the pace of life! haha
      Thanks a bunch, and hope you continue to read!

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