MCLV Mange|Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins

I can’t seem to stop baking. Our shelter-in-place has been filled stress baking and since I seem to have no self control when it comes to indulging in my homemade treats, I decided I needed to dedicate some time to making healthier recipes.

Enter these delicious vegan, gluten-free blueberry chia seed muffins. They’re light and just sweet enough, filled with tangy, antioxidant packed blueberries. You could easily substitute another berry if you have them on hand, or add nuts or shredded coconut. You can also play around with the flour and find a mix that you like.

{Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffin Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour {I used a combination of buckwheat flour & almond meal}
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 2 Chia “Eggs” {2 Tbsp Chia Seeds + 4 Tbsp of Water}
  • 1 Banana – Mashed
  • 1/4 Cup of Plant Milk or Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl make chia eggs and set aside {~5 minutes}
  • In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients including the chia eggs, which should have gelled.
  • Combine the wet and the dry ingredients. Add in blueberries. Don’t over mix.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tin
  • Bake for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
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Self Care in the Age of Quarantine

It’s easy to dismiss self care as Instagram models applying face masks, but in reality it’s something that everyone could use a little of right now. For some, self care just means doing nothing. Letting their brain turn off an enjoying a movie or video games or a book. For other, they need to turn inward and think a bit about how they’re feeling, what is impacting their moods, and how they can improve things for themselves.

Below are some of my favorite ways to give myself a little boost:

Working Out: I wouldn’t feel like myself without a chance to move my body every day. It’s an ingrained part of my life and while it’s changed and may not look the same, I am able to move each day. While treadmills and weight machines aren’t part of my daily life any longer, I’m able to stream workouts online and go for walks in the sunshine. Not sure about workouts? Check out this post – Home Workouts & Apps.

Journaling & Gratitude: I’ve been doing daily affirmations and maintaining a gratitude journal for years. It’s a great way to check in with yourself and start the day on a positive night. I also like to draft little to do lists before bed so that I’m not kept awake thinking about what needs to get done the next day.

Meditation: Apps like Calm can be lifesavers right now if you’re someone who benefits from daily meditations. It’s a great way to clear away the crazy in your head and release some stress. Sometimes I’ll just type 10 minute guided meditation into YouTube and try a new one before bed.

Create a Routine: One thing that I’ve heard a lot the past few months is people feeling listless or unsure what they’re supposed to be doing. Getting thrown off your routine can cause a lot of stress so try reestablishing a home routine. And stick to it! That means getting up at the same time, scheduling your workout or walk for the same time, eating at the same time, and most importantly, trying to go to bed at the same time each day.

Find Enjoyment: You may feel as though nothing can help right now, but put some time and effort into finding alternatives to things that make you happy. Miss restaurants? Try a cooking Masterclass or ordering a do-it-yourself kit from a local restaurant. Miss socializing or your family? Trying setting up Zoom dinners or Houseparty cocktail events. Not exactly the same, but you can feel connected. Miss group workout classes? Join a live class at an online studio.

If you’re facing abuse or violence please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You can go to their website, chat online, or call them – 1 800 799 7233

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Lemon Ginger Tonic

Since my work-from-home setup is on the island in our kitchen – The perfect standing desk height – I discovered that I was drinking cup after cup of tea throughout the day. Herbal teas so not the end of the world, but I wanted to make a conscious effort to drink more water as well.

Enter the lemon ginger tonic!

Great for digestion and a lovely way to start the day, you can drink it three different ways.

I’ve been drinking it with warm water, you could also take it as a shot, or put it over ice on a lovely sunny day.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of grated or minced ginger root
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 lemons juiced

Directions:

  • Peel and grate or mince your ginger root. Add to a pan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Juice the lemons
  • Once the ginger has boiled, drain and retain the liquid (run through a sieve to get out pieces of ginger) and add the lemon juice
  • Save in a mason jar or sealed Tupperware for a week

You can add some honey if you’d like to sweeten it, but it’s a great way to start the day.

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MCLV Mange|Vegan Taco Casserole

This is one of those hearty, satisfying dishes that feels super indulgent, but has some sneaky health benefits. Packed with veggies & micronutrients, it’s also high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

It’s also a great dish to play around with. You can add whatever veggies you have on hand, try different protein sources, give it a new twist with a different kind of pasta.

{Vegan Taco Casserole – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Taco Casserole Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Bell Pepper – Diced
  • 1 Small Zucchini – Diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Squash – Diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion – Diced
  • Gluten-Free Pasta – 340g {I’m a Banza girl – Chickpea power!}
  • 3/4 Cup Broth or Water
  • Taco Seasoning – 25g
  • 1/2 Cup Salsa
  • Beefless Crumbles or other ground vegan meat – 340g
  • Black Beans – 19oz
  • 1 Cup Corn
  • ~2 Cups Vegan Cheese {I used this delicious Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheese Sauce}

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Sautee diced onion, pepper, zucchini & yellow squash in olive oil until tender in a large pan or wok
  • Boil water for pasta of choice and cook to desired consistency. Drain pasta.
  • Clean pasta pot and return to stovetop – Add broth or water, salsa, and taco seasoning and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and add the beefless crumbles, breaking it up into a smooth, saucy texture.
  • Add the black beans and corn to the first pant of veggies and mix to combine. Add in second mixture and combine. Add in half of your cheese substitute, reserving half for a topping. Finally, stir in your pasta. This is why I used a wok, lots of ingredients to add!
  • Pour the mixture of veggies, beefless crumbles, and pasta into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese substitute. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top starts to brown or the cheese starts to bubble.
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Skin Care Junkie | Sephora Spring Savings Event

It’s time for the annual Spring Savings Event at Sephora and since shopping online is one of my FAVORITE quarantine activities, I thought I’d share what products I’m going to be picking up during the sale.

I know that Sephora doesn’t have a ton of sales, but I really love their selection of products and their website. It’s so easy to select down to exact what you’re looking for, it makes the whole shopping experience better.

So, without further ado, here’s but Spring Savings Event Must Have List:

Skin Care:

Hair Care:

Make-Up:

While I’m not wearing any makeup these days, I thought I’d stock up on some new nontoxic products.

What’s on YOUR must have list?

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