Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

I've been eating so clean lately in addition to working out hard. It feels so good. I eat less when I workout hard and I make better food choices as well. It's funny how that works. When I was pregnant I was the same way; I ate better than on a normal not-pregnant day. Often times I hear pregnant women say that they can eat whatever they want because they are pregnant and going to gain weight either way so what the heck! But I just couldn't get on board with that. I was growing a baby inside me and I wanted to give my body what it needed in order to work hard and do it right. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

Soups like this Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup nourish and feed the body and soul.

Fennel has a celery like texture but looks more like a bulb. It's known for its licorice-like flavor. This often under utilized plant food has wonderful health benefits. In fact, it has been used in natural remedies since ancient times. It grows wild and can be grown anywhere Fennel has a pale bulb and long green stalks. It can be grown almost anywhere. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds, are edible.

Personally I feel like fennel isn't often used in recipes because people don't really know what to do with it. I love fennel added to my pressed juices. It goes well with celery as well. Because it contains ample amounts of phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin K, it's been said to help with everything from hearth health to inflammation to blood pressure and bone health.

In addition to all these nutrients, it provides high levels of dietary nitrates. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup / Gazpacho
Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

My cleansing raw fennel asparagus soup combines the health benefits of asparagus, avocado and fennel together to create a very flavorful healing dish. 

And although it's technically a raw soup (meaning, no cooked) I did like the idea of blanching the asparagus to soften it. You can also add warm veggie broth (instead of cold) to make this more of a warm soup. Personally I prefer gazpacho style fennel soup. 

Garnish it with pretty plants or crunchy raw nuts. I added some salty popcorn to mine one time. It was a fun addition. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Gazpacho Soup

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup Recipe

Yields 1 large bowl or 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, skin and seeds removed
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb, chopped in large chunks (approx 2 cups)
  • 5 large asparagus stalks or 9 skinny ones, steamed or blanched
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broth (warm or cold)

Garnish ideas: shallots, cilantro, asparagus, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice or even a vegan sour cream. 

Directions

  1. Prep all your ingredients by chopping, removing tough stems, seeds and skins. 
  2. In a large skillet, fill the bottom with about 1/4 in water. Add asparagus and heat them until they are soft and bright green. Remove from water and put into a high speed blender. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender. 
  4. Blend up the ingredients until smooth. 
  5. Add garnish. Serve immediately at room temp or warmer. 
Cleansing Asparagus Fennel Soup

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles

Oh my goodness, today is my second day back from Cabo, Mexico. It's raining here in San Diego and kind of cold. I am happy to be home safe and sound with kiddos. I did miss them. But I have to be honest I am kind of missing the sunshine, pool time, warm air, ocean views and the no kid vibe. I had four nights away. That's four more than I have had in almost 3 years. Whoa!

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles | #glutenfree #vegan #rawvegan @julinovotny

But as promised to you all on instagram, I spent my first work day back perfecting my pesto for the kelp noodle dish. It's a little sweet, kind of tangy, definitely garlicy, toasty from the almonds but also super duper fresh thanks to the mint.

Usually pesto is super savory and oily but this recipe is more asian in style. I prefer this style sauce when working with kelp noodles. 

Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | @julinovotny #purektichen
Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | raw vegan gluten free
Kelp Noodles with Mint Pesto | Pure Kitchen Blog | @julinovotny

I have been making kelp noodle recipes for years now. But just the other day, the brilliant Meredith Baird shared a really handy dandy trick: soak the kelp noodles first in baking soda. WHAAAA? Why didn't I know this? It helps the noodles to soften. Kind of the same way marinating kale in lemon and a dash of olive oil helps them soften and become more palatable. I love all these vegan (raw) cooking tricks. Thanks Meredith!

Kelp Noodle Recipe with Mint Pesto. Delicious. Super healthy. Detox Food. Raw Vegan. Gluten-free.
mint pesto with ginger and toasted almonds.

Mint Pesto is so good. Like completely different than basil or kale pesto. But so freakin' good. It's unique in it's flavor. You really have to try it at least once to see what I'm talking about. 

I made my pesto with garlic and ginger and a bit of raw honey too. I like it a touch sweet. 

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MINT GINGER PESTO OVER KELP NOODLES

serves 2-3

cook time 10-15 minutes max

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (I used lime flavored but you don't have to)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped & toasted
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeño, chopped (or less if you don't like spice, but use a little for flavor)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Noodle Salad (or other crunchy veggies):

  • 1/2 cup raw carrots, chopped or shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels, cut straight from the cob
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1, 12 oz package, kelp noodles
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto:

  1. In a food processor add all of the ingredients. Note: You can use raw almonds or toasted. I like the toasty flavor so I toast my almonds first in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Process the ingredients by pulsing for about 1 minute. 
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside pesto. 

For the noodles + veggies:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the kelp noodles with juice of just half a lemon and the baking soda. This will soften the noodles. Using your hands you'll want to mix the noodles well until coated in lemon and baking soda. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the dish. Keep checking on them and mixing by hand so they continue to soften. When ready, you'll want to rinse them first. 
  2. After you are finished prepping the carrots and corn, add the avocado oil, sea salt, and juice of half a lemon. Toss until well coated. 
  3. Add this mixture to the noodles (don't forget to rinse them first and dry them). Top with the mint pesto. 
  4. Serve. Garnish with more mint and toasted almonds. 

Raw Vegan Alfredo Sauce Over Kelp Noodles

I've been meaning to test out a few vegan Fettuccine Alfredo recipes lately but haven't really made it a priority because to be honest, I don't even know if I have ever really liked the traditional sauce. I can't put my finger on why it always turned me off, because I was a macaroni and cheese addict. You'd think they would go hand in hand for me. But nope

Matcha {superfood} Frappe

Boy oh boy have things been busy. Between moving homes (which is really the worst thing ever), and renovating the house - summertime for us means three kiddos at home, and a bunch of freelance work. Things have been insane around here, to say the least. 

Somehow I still have some time to cook (we all have to eat at some point still, right?). And today I am on the Honest blog sharing my favorite Summertime cool-off drink: Matcha Frappe.

I first had something similar to this at a new juice bar in my neighborhood. It was $9 or $10 - yikes - so I thought I'd better start making something like it at home. Turns out it's really easy. Essentially it's just homemade almond milk {homemade is the key}, matcha, ice and sweetener of your choice. I love xylitol in this recipe. But coconut sugar works, agave, or even just sugar in the raw. 

For this complete Matcha Superfood Frappe recipe and more details, check out the Honest Company blog ----->

Flourless No-Bake Cookie Dough Balls

Holy cookie dough balls! These are flourless, vegan and gluten-free! What makes them even better is the they require NO BAKING! Woohoo! That's good news for me - the extremely pregnant mama over here. 

It's been a long long 40 weeks for me! I can't tell you how ready I am to be a mom of 3 little ones. I have patiently been waiting almost a month {I swear that's how long I've been in early labor} now to get this little girl out into the world! She is already testing my patience but I want her to come when she is absolutely ready! NOT when I decide. But, in order to do that, I must wait and wait and wait some more. And it's actually driving me bananas! 

What better to do than bake? Or no-bake in this case (hehe). 

I love this recipe because there are times when I just can't wait for the oven to preheat and the cookies to cook fast enough; I'm not in the mood for a ton of dishes or a hot kitchen. So, these cookies are perfect for this pregnant mama craving. 

No-bake Cookie Dough Balls are also perfect for a spontaneous play date when you want to impress the kids without any fuss! These are also the perfect go-to snack. 

Vegan, gluten-free cookie dough balls that taste anything but healthy! So what are you waiting for?

NO BAKE COOKIE DOUGH BALLS RECIPE {gluten-free / vegan}

vegan gluten-free no-bake cookie dough balls recipe!

yields 1 dozen

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heaping TBLS Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped {skin discarded}
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste {I like the salty flavor}

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a food processor. Blend/chop and pulse until everything mixes up and forms a ball. You'll want to pulse for a bit and then mix and then pulse. Keep going until mixture should be somewhat chunky but chocolate chips should not hold original shape. 

  2. Form small bit sized balls. Recipe should yield a dozen.

  3. Refrigerate for an hour or two before eating - OR eat the dough right out of the bowl. {wink}

  4. They should last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.