New Series: #12DaysOfChristmas Starts this Sunday!

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#12DaysofChristmas: Healthy Holiday Foods!!

Hey everyone! I’m starting a new series NEXT Sunday focusing on Pretty & Healthy Holiday Foods! I would love for you to join me…as a matter I’d love your HELP and inspiration!

I want to feature one of your healthy recipes OR pictures during my series! Just tag me (@healthhappyjess) in a healthy holiday inspired recipe and I will either try out your recipe and share your page OR share your picture and profile on my page, I will pick at least 2 people to feature…so let’s start cooking!!

 


Green Superfood Smoothie~ 

Handful of Spinach
1 cup of frozen pineapple
Dr. Schulze Superfood
Coconut Water

This will give you an afternoon burst of energy!!! ♥

Chickpea + Peanut Butter Cookies

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These are the easiest, healthiest, most tasty, unprocessed, vegan, gluten-free, protein cookies! If you’re ever craving something sweet, give them a try!

Chickpea + Peanut Butter Cookies

 

 

Chickpea + Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the easiest, healthiest, most tasty, unprocessed, vegan, gluten-free, protein cookies!


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Ingredients
  1. 1 can garbonzo beans
  2. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  3. ½ cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  4. ¼ cup maple syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor except for the chocolate chips, blend until smooth.
  4. Add chocolate chips (or smashed chocolate bar)
  5. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Take a fork and gentle press down to make ridges and more round shape (wet fork in between so it doesn’t stick).
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes (or more if you like them crispy). Store in the fridge, they taste excellent cold!
healthyhappyjess http://jessicaremmers.com/

 
As you can see, I make these quite often♥
Chickpea + Peanut Butter Cookies

Chickpea + Peanut Butter Cookies

My Vegan & Gluten-Free Thanksgiving! (Recipes + Preparations)

Posted on by Jessica Remmers in News, Recipes | 2 Comments

This was a very special Thanksgiving…

because it was the first time I’ve cooked an entire vegan + gluten-free meal for the entire family and shared with them just how delicious it can be, even on a Holiday!  Since I wouldn’t be cooking a turkey, I wanted to make sure each dish was nutritious, flavorful and extra special. I scoured the internet looking for what seemed to be the most palatable, tried and true recipes from some awesome websites. Some of the recipes I followed very closely and others I was more flexible. I will detail for you the preparation for each dish with pictures and lead you to the websites where I got the recipes…

I have to say, this dinner was an absolute success…the recipes were simple, no crazy mishaps in the kitchen, and most importantly everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food! There was a lot of gratitude going around that day and I think people felt really good knowing what they were eating was not only tasty, but healthy for them too. We all felt pretty awesome after the food, which is not how I usually feel after Thanksgiving. At the end of the day, it feels really good knowing that no animals where harmed in making this meal! 🙂

Okay! Let’s get to the menu:

  • Edible, Tangy, Crave-Worthy Kale Salad
  • Peas with Fresh Dill
  • Roasted Green Beans
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls
  • Food Babe’s Cranberry Sauce
  • Vegan, Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread
  • Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Pecan Crust

Snacks:

  • Organic Corn chips and Salsa
  • Olive Oil Potato Chips + Assorted Veggies with Organic Hummus

Side Note: We had about 8 people total for the dinner, it still yielded some left overs and I doubled or adjusted a few of the recipes as noted to accommodate everyone.

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

The Meal!

Preparation:

  • On Wednesday I hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and picked up all the ingredients I needed for the recipes.
  • When I got home I prepared the Lentil Walnut Mushroom Balls and set aside in the refrigerator to bake on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Next up, I made the pumpkin pies (the recipe recommended leaving them in the fridge the night before).
  • Lastly, I made the cornbread, which may or may not have been a bad idea because I couldn’t stop eating it the night before…shhhh 😉
The Night Before Baking

The Night Before Baking

Thanksgiving Day:

Kale Salad:  

  • Prepared the Kale Salad and set aside in the fridge until we set the table. This is a simple recipe and mainly requires de-steming the kale leaves and then massaging them with half the dressing before tossing the rest of the dressing and ingredients on top. I ended up using my food processor to chop the kale leaves instead of cutting them with a knife, either one works, I just wanted it to be as simple as possible.

Recipe on my blog: > Kale Salad Recipe

healthyhappyjess Kale Salad

Mushroom Gravy:

  • I prepared the mushroom gravy (while preparing the cranberry sauce) and set aside. This is the healthiest gravy you can get! This recipe makes a lot of gravy, it could even stand alone as a soup if you wanted it to. The recipe link below is for mashed potatoes and gravy but I only made the gravy from this recipe, I made my own mashed potatoes which are super easy, and I will post as well.

Recipe from Forks Over Knives: > Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Cranberry Sauce:

  • This cranberry sauce is such a treat! It’s so fruity and delicious it honestly could stand on it’s own as a dessert. I had fun munching on it while I was cooking everything else. I think I may have doubled the recipe so I’m not sure I followed it precisely, but it still turned out beautifully.

Recipe from Food Babe: > Food Babe’s Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

 

Peas with Dill:

  • Made the peas then set them aside. For this recipe I followed it pretty loosely. I got two packs of peas from Trader Joe’s (in the refrigerator section) and I used garlic instead of scallions. This dinner would not have been the same without them, they were so good, especially with that fresh dill!

Recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite: > Peas with Scallions and Dill Recipe

Peas

Roasted Green Beans:

  • I have never baked green beans before, I usually sauté them in the skillet, but I wanted to try it to help simply the preparation. Although, they were tasty I still prefer using the skillet to make green beans. I prepared them on the cookie sheet until right before dinner then baked them.
  • Note: This original recipe was not vegan, but I modified it to make it vegan by skipping the parmesan cheese.
  • Note: I also always add a bit of spice (cayenne or red pepper flakes) and a bit of GF low sodium soy sauce to my green beans as well as garlic.

Recipe from Skinnytaste.com: > Roasted Green Beans Recipe

Before Roasting

Before Roasting

After Roasting

After Roasting

Mashed Potatoes:

  • The very last thing (while simultaneously baking the lentil balls) was to steam the potatoes for mashing. I use the most simple recipe to make mashed potatoes and it is always delicious, low fat and healthy.
  • Recipe: Simply Steam Yukon Gold Potatoes (they are the most buttery and naturally creamy) then drain and set aside. In the same pot you steamed the potatoes add a few cloves of garlic along with a few tablespoons of Earth Balance and sauté for a few mins. Then add the potatoes back into the pot with a splash of unsweetened almond milk and then mash! You can add a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well.

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls:

  • All I had to do was pull out the balls I had prepared the night before from the refrigerator and bake them for about 30 mins. total. I baked them with the green beans while I was making the mashed potatoes. These balls are absolutely amazing! Such a treat, they are the perfect holiday main course and tasted delicious with the cranberry sauce.
  • Note: I did not make the cranberry sauce in the recipe below, I made Food Babe’s Cranberry sauce listed above.
  • Note: I doubled her recipe to make enough for about 8 people.

Recipe from Oh She Glows: > Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls

 

Cornbread

  • Since I made the cornbread the night before, all I had to do was cut it up in little squares and put it in a basket. I absolutely love this cornbread recipe. It had been so long since I had cornbread and this is truly delicious…I will be making it a lot more in the coming weeks!

Recipe from Keepin’ it Kind: > Vegan, Gluten-free Skillet Cornbread

Vegan, Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread

Pumpkin Pie

  • Last but not least we have my favorite part of the meal, the gluten-free, vegan Pumpkin Pie! This was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had and many other people agreed. In particular, everyone loved the crust! I followed this recipe pretty closely and I would recommend it to anyone…As a matter of fact, a few people are waiting on this so here it is! I will definitely be making this again for Christmas! As I mentioned earlier, I made it the day before and pulled it from the refrigerator before serving.
  • Note: I doubled the recipe and made two pies, you will definitely want to do the same 🙂
  • Note: I also made very simple Coconut Cream Whipped Cream to put on top. To make I used whole fat coconut cream that was chilled in the refrigerator the night before and with out any guar gum. Just whip the solid part (set aside water from can) with a little bit of vanilla extract and maple syrup.

Recipe from Oh She Glows: > Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie

 

I want to take a moment to thank my Mom and boyfriend for all their help! I would not have been able to do it without them! Thank you!!

And Thank you all for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or comments on your very own Thanksgiving!

I hope you try some of these recipes for, perhaps Christmas coming up? Or next Thanksgiving. I also hope you feel inspired to try doing your own cruelty-free, healthy, plant based Holiday meal!

Love,

Jess ♥

Vegan + Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast

Vegan + Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast

Day 27: Thanksgiving Dinner #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 27: Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day!
Last Thanksgiving I remember not feeling too hot after I ate…this was before I was completely vegan and gluten-free. I’m feeling so much better this year because everything was made from scratch, completely plant based, gluten-free & refined sugar-free…right down to the homemade pumpkin pie (which I will post soon). This was the first time I cooked everything for the family and it was awesome…although I’m pretty tired…;)
I will post a detailed blog with everything I made this year, by the end of the weekend. Mostly everything was from other sites, and it all turned out delicious! #27DaysOfThanks for family and healthy cruelty-free food! Love to all!! ♥

Day 26: Zucchini #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 26: Zucchini

Zucchini is another one of those staple veggies I always have on hand. They are perfect to add to pasta, tomato sauce or a quick stirfry. You can also make zoodles or zucchini fries like I did here, with no salt or oil. The possibilities are endless…

3 Health benefits of Zucchini:

  1. Zucchini is rich in vitamins A & C and minerals like potassium and manganese. This helps fight free radical damage and aging.
  2. Zucchinis have Omega 3 fats and are anti-inflamitory.
  3. The benefit of having the combination of antioxidants and anti-inflamitory #nutrients help to fight against cancer and viruses.
#27DaysOfThanks for zucchini and all the other foods in this A-Z series! This has been so fun and I’ve learned so much…Thank you all for your comments and likes on the posts, you all are awesome! I’m prepping for the big vegan, gluten-free, Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow…see you then with the results ♥

Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes

There are many varieties of potatoes, but one of my very favorites is Yukon Gold.
They are perfect for mashed potatoes because of their buttery, creamy texture.  I also love making baked fries because they come out so flaky and tender they melt in your mouth. I seasoned them here with a vegan curry sauce and didn’t use any extra oil.

 I eat a lot of potatoes…I believe they are one of the healthiest foods to eat and are a perfect staple for the high carb, low fat, plant based lifestyle.

Here are more reasons to eat potatoes:

  1. They will help you lose weight! Healthy carbohydrates are our bodies natural preferred #energy source. They digest very quickly and easily and make you feel more satisfied than eating high fat foods. You will end up eating more and weighing less!
  2. Great source of vitamins (like B6 and C) and minerals like (iron and copper) in fact the vitamin C in a potato will help your body better absorb the iron.
  3. Not only are potatoes a healthy #starch, they have a good amount of #protein!
#27DaysOfThanks for tasty healthy potatoes!
See you tomorrow for letter “Z.” ♥

Day 24: Xigua #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 24: Xigua

Xigua is another word for Watermelon! It’s actually the Mandarin Chinese name and it typically refers to the smaller rounder watermelons grown in China.
We are not in watermelon season at the moment, but I was still able to get my hands on one, thankfully!!

I don’t often post pictures of myself, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my very good friend, who also happens to be my hairstylist @patriceperrone.

She was the one who inspired me to do this series of #27DaysOfThanks, and I’m so glad I did! 🙂
She recently gave me a fresh bang trim and a few layers around my face! If you need a great stylist in the Los Angeles area, she is your gal!
Give her some ♥ @patriceperrone

 3 Reasons to eat Watermelon:

  1. Watermelon is 92% water which makes it very hydrating and refreshing. It also has loads of minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.
  2. Eating watermelon, or having a watermelon juice will replenish your body and provide generous amounts of vitamin C instantly. This can help boost your immune system when you are feeling weak.
  3. Watermelon is an excellent source of fiber and is anti-inflamitory.
See you tomorrow for letter “Y.” ♥

Day 23: Watercress #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 23: Watercress

After looking in to the health benefits of watercress, I’m wondering why I haven’t been eating it all along, or why I had no idea just how healthy it is…it’s actually ranked as the number one most nutritious vegetable! It’s so healing, Hypocrites himself made sure it was readily available to treat his patients! Study after study show the healing affects of this powerful plant and it’s amazing ability in disease prevention and beauty.

Here are a few more health benefits:

  1. Watercress is packed with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. More vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk.
  2. Powerful for #thyroid function because of it’s iodine content. It’s also used to treat/prevent Alzheimer’s.
  3. It’s loaded with vitamin K and anti-oxidants and is known to purify the blood, reduce the damage done by free radicals, improve skin appearance and limit neurological damage to the brain.
All that info made me hungry for a watercress & romaine salad…

 Beauty and Brain Salad

1 bag of organic watercress
1 head of organic romaine lettuce
2 organic carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
Handful of walnuts
1 tomato
Dave’s Miso Salad Dressing
This salad will keep you looking beautiful and youthful while replenishing your brain with essential nutrients!
#27DaysOfThanks for amazing watercress!
See you tomorrow for letter “X.” ♥

Day 22: Vanilla Bean #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 22: Vanilla Bean

Vanilla is a fragrant herb and spice that is used in foods, essential oils and aromatherapy. Not only does it taste yummy and smell delicious, it has many health benefits. Here are a few…
  1. The aromatic stimulation can calm anxiety, enhance your mood and act as an aphrodisiac.
  2. Vanilla Bean can increase mental performance because of it’s anti-infalmitory effects and antioxidants.
  3. It aids in digestion and can help alleviate nausea.
I stopped by one of my favorite vegan spots in LA today, Cafe Gratitude, to try some vanilla treats. I had a superfood smoothie with kale, coconut, almond butter and vanilla bean and a chocolate, almond, coconut, vanilla truffle! Needless to say, they were both delicious! I think I will be incorporating more vanilla into my diet! 🙂

 #27DaysOfThanks for Vanilla!
See you tomorrow for letter “W.” ♥

Day 21: Ube #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 21: Ube

I have to be honest…”U” was a tough one.
After considering a few options, I decided to go with “Ube” which is the Filipino word for Purple Yam. While I searched for an actual purple yam (not to be mistaken for a sweet potato), I had no luck. In my research, however, I came across a dehydrated powdered yam powder that is actually used in many traditional Filipino desserts. It provides a deep purple color naturally without any preservatives. I ended up picking some up at a local Filipino market, but you can order it online too. I was a little intimidated figuring out how I was going to use it, because there aren’t very many recipes available (in English) that are vegan and gluten-free at that! ha!
But once I figured out how to re-hydrate the yam powder (YouTube to the rescue), I decided to modify a few recipes to create Blueberry Purple Yam Muffins! They came out pretty tasty!

Of course, I’m sure you can guess the health benefits of a purple yam, all those added anti-oxidants! Next time, I think I’d like to try the actual yam itself…but what a fun adventure this was! 🙂

See you tomorrow for letter “V.” ♥