lemon cranberry summer squash muffins

Sweet and tart, a perfect way to start the day!  

lemon cranberry summer squash muffins ~vegan, gluten free~

I’ve been hearing from a lot people that their gardens are overflowing with summer squash and zucchini!  Adding shredded summer squash to muffins  is a great way to decrease the fat content all while keeping the taste and texture similar (or better) than regular muffins!   It’s also a great way to get more veggies into your day!  I took my zucchini muffin recipe and altered it by adding lemon and cranberries.  To balance out the tartness I topped each muffin with a small pinch of raw cane sugar.  I used gluten free all-purpose flour however, you can use regular wheat flour if you prefer!

lemon cranberry summer squash muffins ~vegan, gluten free~

Lemon Cranberry Summer Squash Muffins

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons water

1 cup shredded yellow summer squash

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup agave

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I used trader joe’s brand)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

raw cane sugar for topping

-Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease using an all-natural cooking spray.

-Combine flax meal with water in a small bowl.  Let sit for a few minutes.

-In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, agave, shredded summer squash, vanilla, lemon and lemon zest.  Add flax “egg” and mix together.

-In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.

-Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Gently stir in dried cranberries.

-Pour batter into muffin tins, sprinkle each muffin with a pinch of raw cane sugar.

-Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly brown and knife comes out clean.


lemon cranberry summer squash muffins ~vegan, gluten free~


almond date bites and why I love running


I did it!  I signed up for a half marathon!!!  The Zooma Cape Cod half marathon on September 28th, which leaves me 6.5 weeks to train…gulp!

I used to run a lot…hours on end.  It’s my moving meditation.  Running clears my head, gives me energy, grounds me and helps me to remember how lucky I am.

I was born with a congenital dislocation of my right hip.  My hip-joint was deformed leaving my thighbone to “slip” out of the socket.  When I took my first steps as a baby my mom knew something was wrong.  It took years of doctor’s visits, traction, hospitalization and multiple surgeries to repair my hip-joint and return the bone to the socket.  My worried mom asked the surgeon if I would be able to walk without a limp.  He assured her I would, but stated “she won’t be a marathon runner.”  Kids are put on this planet to prove adults wrong and I did just that!  In 2005 I ran my first marathon, the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon.  I didn’t break any records, but I finished and that was good enough for me!  Since then I was hooked.  Every time I start out for a run I remember how lucky I was to be born in a time of modern medicine and in a place where healthcare was accessible.  If I didn’t, my life would be very, very different then it is now.

My love for running started as a teenager.  In high school I was on the field hockey team.  I was bad downright horrible!  I was granted the “best team spirit” award each year which translates into “the coach feels bad she never played you and needs to give you some kind of award to make up for it.”  I didn’t care that I didn’t play.  My best memories are from the friendships I made (and still have!) from that field hockey team!

Since field hockey wasn’t my thing, I tried cheerleading.  Big mistake.  I knew I wasn’t athletic, but I soon found out that I sure as hell was not coordinated!  (thank you to my friends and family who supported me in that endeavor! I know it was painful to watch!)  Simply put, I can’t dance.  My best and only dance move, the chicken dance comes out at weddings after one too many drinks (ok,  it only takes one drink).  It’s ugly.

I knew I couldn’t play sports and couldn’t dance, but I could run!  One foot in front of the other and you’re doing it Peter!  I’m not fast, I’m not graceful, but my two feet can cover some miles!  Since becoming a mom, it’s hard to find time to run.   I haven’t clocked many miles since before I was pregnant….I miss it.    Some days I’m too worn out from chasing Noah around to even think about going for a run!  But, when I do, I feel great!  That’s why I signed up for the half marathon.  I’m setting a goal for myself, leaving no excuses as to why I can’t go running.

I’m super excited for this event!  I have my “crunch-time” training schedule all planned out and I checked a 7 mile run off the list this past monday…it feels good to be back!  The Zooma event benefits a charity called “every mother counts” which was started by Christy Turlington.  Maternal wellness is something that I am very passionate about.  Proceeds of the event will help mothers around the world get the care they need for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Every two minutes, a woman around the world dies from complications due to pregnancy or childbirth, creating a rippling effect that devastates children, families, and communities. But 90% of those deaths are preventable.  

I’m not one to ask for donations, but if you have a little extra to spare you can donate here

And, if you don’t have money to donate download this app and get moving to raise money for a charity of your choice!  For my training, I will be running for every mother counts!

Ok…enough about running!  Here is a recipe for almond date bites!  The combination of carbs and protein make them a perfect pre-run snack!

almond date bites ~raw, vegan, gluten free~

Almond Date Bites

6  dates, pitted

dash cinnamon

12 raw almonds

dried shredded coconut

-Place pitted dates and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until a paste is formed.

almond date bites ~raw, vegan, gluten free~

-Use your hands to cover an almond with a small spoonful of paste, mold into a ball.

almond date bites ~raw, vegan, gluten free~

-Roll in shredded coconut and store in the refrigerator.

almond date bites ~raw, vegan, gluten free~



sweet & spicy sesame cucumber salad

It’s cucumber season!  The farmers’ markets will be overflowing with cucumbers these next few weeks!

I’ve always wanted to make real fermented pickles, but can’t seem to get my act together!  Besides from making kombucha I’m a little afraid of the whole fermentation process.  I had a disastrous attempt last year with a fermented cabbage slaw.  So until I gain the confidence to tackle it again these quick and easy cucumbers will have to do!

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad ~vegan, raw, gluten free~

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon agave

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 red jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)

sesame seeds for garnish

-Thinly slice cucumbers.  (I used a mandolin for uniform thin slices)

-In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, red onion, cilantro and optional jalapeño pepper.

-Wisk together rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, agave and salt.  Pour over cucumber mixture and toss to coat.

-Let sit for a few minutes to allow flavors blend.

-Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!

SInce I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep Noah away from this salad I left the jalapeño out…hence no red pepper in the photo!  We simply had a sweet sesame cucumber salad last night  :)