Raw Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

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Happy Halloween!!

Eek! I’m so excited! I just love this holiday. Not only does it mark the beginning of the big holiday season, but it’s also simply a wonderful time for everyone (adults included) to dress up, let loose, and enjoy eating TONS of treats!
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Healthy Oat Bars with Nutella Frosting

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I could NEVER go without breakfast. Completely skipping a meal just isn’t an option for me because whenever I do my body simply shuts down. I’m pretty uncoordinated so simple functions like walking and talking (especially at the same time) are hard for me anyway, but when I don’t have anything for breakfast, I become catatonic. Usually it doesn’t matter what I eat in order to snap myself out of the stupor, just so long as I eat something.

But because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I like for that something to be special. Unfortunately, with the crazy school/work schedule I’ve got going on right now, I rarely have time to make my wonderful big breakfasts in the morning. In fact, I don’t even have time to properly dress myself. Just between you and me, there have been a couple of instances recently when I’ve put my clothes on backwards or inside-out–because I often dress in the dark so as not to wake the hubs–and end up realizing it, undressing, and fixing my mistake in the car. Don’t worry, the corrections are made at stop lights or in parking lots :) At the time, I just pray that those around me aren’t taking pictures of the half-dressed crazy lady (me) in the car next to them.

So since I’m obviously a big mess in the morning, I decided to prepare a yummy, healthy, and portable breakfast that I can simply grab from the fridge to take with me on those hectic mornings. That’s how these Healthy Oat Bars were born.

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Raw Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Macadamia Nut Pate

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Once the weather began cooling down a few weeks ago, I went into full-on nesting mode. I’ve been staying home even more than usual lately so that I can get things done around the house, watch movies, and engage in some non-stop baking. Roasting veggies, making casseroles, and baking cookies, cakes, and muffins–you name it and I’ve done it in the past few weeks. At this point, my poor oven seriously needs a break.

And my body needs a break, too. As much as I love eating warm baked goodies, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gone a bit overboard (especially since “cool” here in Dallas is still pretty warm). Unfortunately, heating foods at high temperatures kills off many of the natural health-promoting enzymes in fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. While warming foods are actually good for us when the weather cools down (which is why we crave them), we have to be sure that not everything we eat this time of year is baked, roasted, or sautéed beyond recognition. It’s still important to incorporate fresh, uncooked fruits and veggies into our diets, preferably at every meal.

So, last night I decided to make my favorite Raw Macadamia Nut Pate to mix things up and enjoy a raw meal for a change. This pate is amazingly delicious and quite filling. Not to mention, macadamia nuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, and palmitoleic acid, which helps to lower cholesterol. As if that’s not enough of a reason to eat them, they taste flippin’ awesome!! I happened to have some portobello mushrooms in my fridge, so I decided to marinate them and stuff them with the macadamia nut pate.
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Healthy Nutella (dairy-free, sugar-free)

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Holy cow.

You’re going to have to trust me on this one: drop everything you’re doing right this instant and go make yourself some of this Healthy Nutella.

Actually, maybe you can stick around for just a minute more–at least until you get to the recipe–but then you better hurry! :)

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Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds

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This past weekend was perfect! Saturday consisted of football, my stepson’s school carnival, and watching Halloween movies (Hotel Transylvania–so cute–and The Nightmare Before Christmas–a classic). After years of working in retail and having random days off, I so appreciate my free Saturdays and being able to spend them with my boys.

Then on Sunday, I finally had time to sit down, relax, and finish reading my favorite magazine: Whole Living. I would say that I’m obsessed with the magazine, but that wouldn’t do it justice. I have a subscription, and each time I find a new magazine in the mailbox, I run inside and find a quiet corner to myself, scour every recipe and article, and dog-ear practically every page for re-reading later. Yesterday provided me with some free time to really read the magazine and look back over everything I had dog-eared. There are SO many recipes that I want to try, but the first one that caught my eye was a raw Brussels sprout salad with avocado, pumpkin seeds, and a Dijon mustard, lemon, and olive oil dressing.
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