Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie


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Avocado Chickpea [Eggless Salad] Sandwich

My morning started out with a needle to my hip joint. Perhaps it was silly to think that I wouldn’t need any sort of injection before getting an MRI, but I was pretty shocked when I found out I would need two!
Alicia Marie Health Blog

I injured myself over-training for the cross country team back in college. Then I re-injured myself training for my half marathon last June. To recover from hurting my hip the first time, I worked on strength and cross training with fabulous results. I was able to build up my mileage to 9.5 miles and run frequently before I hurt it again (same mistake, building on those miles too quickly under the self-inflicted pressure of racing.)

Unfortunately this time around recovery is not so easy. I am experiencing a difficult time running more than three to four miles a couple times a week without feeling my hip start to go. I can recognize the symptoms pretty quickly when it starts to get weak. I’ve been doing the stair climber, squats with weights, exercises learned in physical therapy, p90x here and there, pilates and more. Nothing seems to help for very long and it’s making me nervous. I’m hoping this MRI will give me some [encouraging] answers.

One of my newer strategies is to focus on building muscle. I am a total cardio junkie, but for my hip to heal, I am going to try replacing some of my cardio days with strengthening work.

I am eating all kinds of plant-based proteins, spoiling myself with delicious, hearty recovery meals and getting back into the smoothie-grind!

One of my very favorite dishes is this amazing, super tasty Avocado Chickpea Sandwich. I was sold by the preparation time of 10 minutes and leftovers for at least a couple of days. Very inexpensive too!

Eggless Salad Sandwich Alicia Marie Health Blog

Here’s the best part: it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (healthy fats that are good your skin and brain–always a good thing!) and it tastes just like an egg salad sandwich (it’s true–I blind taste-tested my father.)

Avocado Chickpea Sandwich

  • Your Choice of Bread
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • ½ Can of Chickpeas
  • 2 Tbs. Minced Green Onion
  • ½ C. Chopped Celery
  • ½ Tbs. Minced Dill
  • ½ Tbs. of Salt
  • 2 Tsp. of Pepper (I used garlic pepper—maybe add some garlic powder if you don’t have garlic pepper)

Directions:

Cut up your veggies and set aside.

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slice up your avocado and place the slices into a medium sized bowl. Drain your chickpeas and then pour  ½ a can into your bowl with sliced avocado. Mash your bowl of avocado and chickpeas with a potato masher, fork or spoon until all of the chickpeas are successfully smooshed within the mashed avocado. (I switched off between a spoon and a potato masher. One didn’t necessarily seem to work better than the other.) Mix your veggies, salt and pepper into the bowl of avocado and chickpeas.

 

 

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slather your avocado-chickpea mix onto your choice of bread. Place spinach on top of the bread with the avocado-chickpea mix.

**I used my all-time favorite gluten free white sandwich bread by the Fancy Free Bakery. I attached the link, but often I find that their website is down so feel free to contact me for any details about the bakery.

A fun fact about avocados snipped from FitDay.com:

“Avocados contain the highest amount of beta-sitosterol amongst fruits. This is a plant-based fat that plays a vital role in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. It blocks absorption of LDL cholesterol from the intestines. This helps to improve the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol, which promotes cardiovascular health.”

Did you know that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in our heart’s arteries and makes you prone to heart attacks?

A plant-based diet prevents plaque from building in our arteries. It makes it easy to stay lean. And it enhances performance as demonstrated by professional athletes such as Scott Jurek and Rip Esselstyn.

I have provided a short interview below in the chance that you may be interested.

Interview with Rip Esselstyn

Happy eating and reading!

Alicia Marie Health Blog

 


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Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the cookie baking, spiked holiday eggnog drinking and dessert obsessing begins. And if you are a victim to gluten, this time of year is starting to become torturous. I feel you. I usually avoid gluten 90%, but after visiting with three different types of doctors for a peculiar rash, it sounds like I need to commit to a gluten free diet 110%. I am still not convinced that that is what my body is reacting to, but I need to feel like I am doing something to stop my incessant scratching.

So I have my tunes playing (It is a Frank Ocean kind of week), I am laying in bed enjoying my three day weekend and I am sharing a bomb gluten free raw strawberry cheesecake recipe. I shared it with friends, family, and coworkers. Everyone loved it. It tastes quite similar to cheesecake, but it is fairly guilt free and it does not leave your stomach twisting and stretching the limits of your pant buttons. Who can say no to that?!

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

*Do note that you can substitute strawberry out for any kind of berry according to your preference.

Prep (Do this the day before you make these)

Soak your cashews in water the night before.

Soak your dates in water the night before or an hour before. 

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust

½ Cup Raw Almonds

¼ Cup Raw Pecans

¼ Cup Raw Cashews

4 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped)

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

2 Tablespoons Date Water

Place dates in a glass of water for at least an hour. Take the dates out of the water and set aside. Refrigerate the date water. Place nuts in a food processor and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. Add the dates and coconut. Coat muffin pans with coconut butter or earth balance. Press the nut-date mixture into the muffin holders. (Doing it over I would use the back of the muffin pan as they would be much easier to take out!) Press mixture evenly and place in freezer for two hours.

Gluten Free Raw Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Filling

½ cup Raw Cashews (soaked over night)

1 Cup Strawberries

2 Tablespoons Date Water

2 Pumps of Liquid Stevia (or other sweetener of choice)

Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon Raw Coconut Butter (melted)

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Remove cashews from water and add to food processor. Pulse cashews until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients except for the coconut butter. Gradually pour the melted coconut butter into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is consistently smooth and creamy.

Remove crusts from muffin pans and spoon strawberry mixture into the crusts. Freeze strawberry cheesecakes for at least an hour. Garnish with berries. Fill your tummies happy.

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe


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Easy Fall Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

My first instinct was to create something yummy with pumpkin since it is fall and I am a fanatic about that flavor right along with everyone else. Instead, I thought I would move outside of my comfort zone. This is where cinnamon raisin scones came in to play. I was walking through the baking isle at Whole foods when it occurred to me that it would be super easy to take a pre-made mix and transform it into something entirely different. Bob’s Red Mill makes a variety of gluten free mixes. I noticed the cinnamon raisin bread mix, and so the experiment began!

They turned out wonderful if I do say so myself. The pictures are of the regular vegan, gluten free scones. I also made a plant based version that replaced the added sugar and earth balance butter with a couple medium sized bananas. The plant based scones still taste good, just different. It is an adjustment, just like going gluten free. And I will warn you that they also look different than regular scones. Don’t let that deter you if you are trying to be healthy. You could also substitute apple sauce instead of bananas. They may have a more uniform appearance that way.

 

Vegan Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

3 Cups Bob’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix

1 Tbs. Baking Powder

2 Tbs. Potato Flour

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

8 Tbs. Earth Balance Butter

1 Tbs. Chia seeds + 4 tbs. water

3 Tbs. Almond milk

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

1. Mix the dry ingredients cinnamon raisin mix and baking powder in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the earth balance butter with a pastry knife or two regular knives.

3. Mix the chia seeds and water together for a minute before mixing with almond milk.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir.

5. Sprinkle potato flour onto a surface such as a glass pan for kneading the dough.

6. Knead the dough 8 times.

7. Form a circle with the dough.

8. Divide the circle into 8 scones. *

9. Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

10. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.

If you want a thicker scone you can make the circle of dough smaller.

Plant Based (Also Vegan Gluten Free) Cinnamon Raisin Scones

3 ¾ Cups bob’s cinnamon raisin bread mix

1 Tbs. Baking Powder

2 Medium Size Bananas

½ Tsp. Stevia

¼ Tsp. Cinnamon

2 Tbs. Potato Flour

1 Tbs. Chia Seeds + 4 Tbs. Water

3 Tbs. Almond Milk

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

Enjoy!! 🙂

xoxo,

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