Spirulina In My Smoothie

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Nutrex Hawaii.

I fell in love with spirulina many years ago now when I first started out as a health coach. I was actually looking for something for myself that would be an excellent source of protein, Vitamin B12 and Iron. As a vegan I have dealt with B12 deficiency and I wanted an easy way to get more in my diet. To be honest it’s not only vegans and vegetarians that often have a B12 deficiency but many omnivores do as well.I found that spirulina is not only is it an excellent source of those but also of Vitamins A, K1, K2 and manganese and chromium.  To top things off one 3 gram serving of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides 60% protein. It is also rich in phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD, and phycocyanin.

While I have tried other spirulina I have found that Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica is one of the top quality and provide so many amazing benefits. These benefits include:

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Boosts energy levels <– it really does! Take this for 3-5 days straight and you will see a difference.
  • Supports cellular health
  • Supports cardiovascular, eye and brain health <– this is why I give this to my vegan toddler (and why my husband and I take it as well).

Hawaiian Spirulina is packed with nutrients, gram per gram it has:

  • 2800% more beta-carotene than carrots
  • 3900% more iron than spinach
  • 600% more protein than tofu
  • 280% more antioxidants than blueberries


I prefer to add mine to a smoothie but on days when I don’t have a smoothie I love that Hawaiian Spirulina also comes in capsule form. My (and Edith’s) favorite smoothie is Banana Blueberry Spirulina and this is how you make it:

  • 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1-2 tsp agave

Blend until smooth and frothy! So easy right?

Have you tried Spirulina? What’s your favorite way to use it?

Pin-able Recipes: Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

Lately I have been cleaning up and categorizing my pinterest boards so that they are nice and organized. As I was going through this process I decided I should really start trying some of those recipes that I pinned and if I found any that I loved I’d share them with you. I finally tried my very first pinned recipe and it was delicious!


This recipe comes from the blog Vegetarian Ventures, a blog that I was no familiar with until  I tried this recipe. I love how easy this recipe is to prepare and how it is chocked full of nutrition . This was the perfect recipe for yesterdays rainy weather and I even warmed up with a bowl for breakfast this morning. Edith loved it as well so if you are looking for a toddler approved soup recipe this is a great one to try!

To check out the recipe for yourself head over here.

To check out other recipes and more that I have pinned head here.

Pumpkin Beer & Upton’s Seitan Bacon Pizza

For the past three years Neil and I have done a harvest beer/pumpkin beer tasting (2010, 2011, 2012) and this year was no different except we are now on the other side of the country where there is a major lack of pumpkin beer options. Anyways we decided to have our friends over and we did a blind tasting of 6 different pumpkin beers, or rather it was 4 pumpkin beers, one pumpkin cider and one combo or pumpkin beer and oatmeal stout.

Of course a pumpkin beer dinner party is complete without dinner so first I whipped up some appetizers of chips, salsa, veggies and hummus and then for dinner we had vegan caesar salad and pizza.  Now this post is really about the beer and the pizza so let’s first do a run down of the pumpkin beers (and cider) that we had and then I’ll share my recipe or a yummy fall pizza.

2013 pumpkin beer

Okay so the beers we tried were:

  1. Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale
  2. Elysian Night Owl
  3. Ace Hard Pumpkin Cider
  4. St. Ambroise Pumpkin
  5. KBC Pumpkin Ale (Trader Joe’s)
  6. KBC Pumpkin Ale + Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

Favorite of the night: Elysian Night Owl. Runner Up: Ace Hard Pumpkin Cider

Now on to the tasty stuff the pizza! As you might already know we are big fans of pizza around here and I really enjoy creating fun and new topping combinations. Last nights combination was a bit of a risk but I would say it was a success, a delicious success! I have been working on a few recipes using Upton’s Seitan products and this pizza uses my absolute favorite product of theirs, seitan bacon. Seriously this stuff is so good!

If you have experienced vegan bacon in the past you may have had what I like to call “cardboard” version, you know the one that you cook and it gets really hard and loses any flavor it’s just gross. Then there is the tempeh and coconut versions which are both tasty but not so versatile. Well now Upton’s has a seitan bacon and it is seriously so good. It cooks up well, it tastes great and I have used it for so many different recipes although I have to say a good ol’ BLT is my favorite way to use it, however this recipe is probably my new favorite way to use it now.

Okay, okay let’s get on to the recipe!

upton's seitan bacon pizza

Upton’s Seitan Bacon Harvest Pizza Pie

Preheat your oven (and pizza stone if you have one) to 550F. Roll out the dough cover with a layer of pesto and then top with all of your toppings. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove. Let rest for a few minutes. Serve. (Easy right?)

Little note about Upton’s (from a recent press release of theirs): Upton’s Naturals—a Chicago company specializing in a wheat-based meat alternative, seitan—has opened West Town’s very first 100 percent vegan establishment, housing their production facility, a top floor yoga studio, and Upton’s Breakroom: a vegan cafe with a modest menu featuring the company’s seitan, soft serve ice cream, and pastries created in-house by Chicago-area native Kelly Peloza (author of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and the soon-to-be released Cheers to Vegan Sweets).

So Chicago friends if you’re in the West Town neighborhood stop on by and check out Upton’s Breakroom and enjoy a yoga class or a vegan ice cream! I just checked out the menu and a vegan pastrami sandwich sounds so good. I am hoping we make a Chicago trip soon and this will for sure be on our list!

Disclaimer: I was provided coupons for free Upton’s Seitan products. All opinions are my own and I really am excited about their new location! 

You can check out my very first Upton’s post back in April 2011 here and my recipe for Upton’s Chorizo & Mushroom Potato Skins.

Q: Have you ever tried Upton’s seitan?



12 Soul Warming Soups

Winter seems to have arrived in Portland and we have been wading our way around town all weekend. It has been raining non-stop and I have fallen subject to a cold and so has Edith, which means Neil you’re next. We have been bundling up and snuggling under blankets as we try to ward off the cool, rainy weather. We have also been warming up with big bowls of soup because honestly there isn’t anything I enjoy more than soup on a rainy day. That being said I think I have a lot of soup recipes coming to you over the winter since well we are in Portland now!

Here are 12 of my favorite Soul Warming Soup Recipes.

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Pumpkin Mania & 12 Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkin patch

It’s pumpkin season once again and seriously everywhere I look there are pumpkins lining walkways, sitting on stairs just waiting to be carved and all over the blog-o-sphere in recipe form. Now over the years I have come to love pumpkin but as a child I HATED it. Well honestly back then the only way I ever had pumpkin was in pie form and after one Thanksgiving, when I was about 7 or 8,  where I over indulged in pumpkin pie I lost all interest in eating it ever again.

Then in 2007 I had been dating my husband and well he was hot for pumpkin pie.  So while he was home having Thanksgiving with his family I was at my house whipping him up a pie….err cheesecake rather. I figured that since the idea of pumpkin pie still made my stomach curl after all those years that maybe I could stomach a pumpkin cheesecake instead. So I went to making The Fat Free Vegan’s Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake (see slide show below). Neil arrived at my house and I brought out the cheesecake and he dug right in.  I was more hesitant but I decided to give it a try and honestly it was good. Really good.

After that I slowly started to incorporate more pumpkin into my life and even made and ate a pumpkin pie. Nowadays as soon as the crisp fall weather arrives you can find me stocked up with cans of pumpkin (Libby’s of course) and lots of fresh pumpkins as well. I make sweets, breads, curries and mac and cheese among other delicious things. Although I have to say my favorite pumpkin thing now is pumpkin beer – yum!

Check out some of my favorite pumpkin recipes in the slide show below!