My Fav Sauce: Chimichuri!

photo-7I love sauces! They really dress up whatever is on your plate! One of the sauces that I just have to have on hand these days is my chimichuri sauce! I love it on grilled veggies, meats and even as a dipping sauce for my homemade sourdough bread. The possibilities are endless. I recently made a quinoa, sauteed veggie bowl and topped it with a poached egg and this chimichuri sauce. The outcome. So good!

Traditional chimichuri sauce recipes use a combination of parsley and cilantro, mixed with olive oil, white wine vinegar and some other spices and sea salt. I prefer to use cilantro without the parsley and really enjoy the flavor of balsamic vinegar. So here is my version of this yummy green sauce! Enjoy! Emma


1 bunch cilantro
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsalmic vinegar
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
a pinch or more of red pepper flakes


Place cilantro and garlic in food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and vinegar. Pulse for a couple of seconds. Add oil and pulse a little more until a sauce forms. Keep in fridge. It won’t last too long though….


Vegan? Paleo? Gluten Free? Have you shopped THRIVE MARKET?

Thrive_FB_BannerHello Ambitionista Readers!

If you haven’t heard about Thrive Market yet then let me introduce you. I was turned onto it a couple of weeks ago myself when they partnered with our children’s school! That is the reason I am sharing this deal right now with you!

Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online store offering the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. They carry over 2,500 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from over 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to your door at 25-50% off retail prices. Their mission is to make health living easy, affordable, and accessible for every American family.

This is why I wanted to share this deal with all of you! Essentially, they are offering a 2 year membership to benefit the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara for $60 (half off) and all proceeds benefit our gem of a school. Again, I have the membership and I love it! Wholesale prices on all sorts of things and shipped right to your door! Who could ask for anything more?! Right?!

See below for all of the details!

Thrive Market is partnering with the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara to reward those who support our school! They are generously gifting a free 2-year membership to the first 100 supporters to donate $60 or more to WSSB. The regular 2-year membership price is $120, but you can receive one as a gift if you donate as little as half of that amount to our school! Send this link to all your family and friends.

It is easy to sign up:

1. Go to the Thrive Supports WSSB Donation page and donate $60 or more.

2. You will be sent an email directing you to claim your Free membership.

3. Shop Thrive Market for organic and natural products at 25-50% off and get them delivered to your doorstep for free on orders over $49!

Remember, this is only available to first 100 supporters!
Happy Shopping! Emma

Vegan Caesar Salad Reinvented

photo-7Maybe it’s because the weather has been unseasonably warm this year in Santa Barbara. Maybe it’s because I love salads. Maybe it’s because my husband’s favorite salad is a Caesar salad. I am in LOVE with this Caesar Salad Reinvention!

I use to make a Caesar salad and dressing that just included olive oil and lemon juice without the anchovies or egg yolk and then sprinkled the salad with parmesan cheese.  However, recently I have been on a nutritional yeast kick! It has such a yummy cheesy flavor and you can’t beat it’s nutritional punch! It is chock full of stress reducing B vitamins. Can’t we all use a little less stress in our lives?!? In our family we sprinkle the yummy goodness over broccoli, eggs, quinoa, kale chips and even popcorn. In fact, Food 52’s recent post, “Nutritional Yeast: Better Than Cheese” by Posie Harwood highlights some of the ways we use nutritional yeast in our family.

So back to the salad. Here is what I have come up with! Enjoy! Emma


1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

water to thin


2 to 3 heads of romaine lettuce

1 large avocado, diced

1/4 cup capers, drained (optional)

generous sprinkle of hemp seeds

generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup bread croutons (cut up bread of choice and saute it in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)


1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chickpea croutons (saute cooked or canned chickpeas in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or jar with a lid and either blend or shake well until blended.

For the salad, combine lettuce, avocado and capers if using. Next toss with the dressing and sprinkle with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and croutons of choice.

Green Dream Smoothie

greendreamI made some almond milk the other day. After that I started fantasizing about a green dream smoothie that I had at Isla Vista Food Co-op recently that was superb and it contained spirulina! Now there are a lot of health benefits to taking spirulina (check out the herb profile here). But, and this is a big BUT for our household, there is no way our kids will just eat a teaspoon of spirulina. If you have never tried it just give it a whiff. I can’t even eat it straight up. So when I had IV Food Co-op’s green dream smoothie containing spirulina I wrote down the ingredients in hopes of recreating something at home for our family. Their smoothie used raw almonds and not almond milk, but I like the flavor profile and consistency when I use almond milk and a little bit of almond butter. It also contained kale -which is growing quite nicely in our garden – banana, dates, vanilla and nutmeg.

This is what I came up with:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (preferably homemade — I use the recipe here)

1 banana

1 bunch kale (you can add more or less depending on how many greens you want)

2 medjool dates

1/2-1 teaspoon spirulina depending on your taste buds, obviously

sprinkle of nutmeg up to 1/8 teaspoon

dash of vanilla

ice (optional, but our family likes how it tastes)

2 tablespoons almond butter or raw soaked and sprouted almonds (optional if want thicker consistency)

Blend all ingredients in your vitamix or poweful blender and enjoy!

Be well, Emma

caramel milkshake

Cashews_Raw  Sun_Dried_Apricotdates

Okay, I know I promised that my next post would be a sourdough bread recipe, but I have had more than one person ask me lately for a recipe that I adapted from Juice Well at The Public Market sooooo, here we go.

This summer when I stopped by Juice Well I noticed they had a caramel milkshake on their menu. Now, let me just tell you that one of my favorite things is caramel. It’s indulging, sinful and delicious to me. Especially if you mix dark chocolate to the mix. But this milkshake didn’t have any of the ingredients that “candy” caramel would have and it still tasted indulging, sinful and delicious. The ingredients were simple: coconut water, coconut meat, turkish apricots and dates.

I liked the milkshake but thought about replacing the coconut water and meat with cashew milk (true Cashew milk includes the whole nut, nothing is strained out so you are getting the entire creamy cashew nut) and add ice (I love to create the icy smooth consistency). The result. Pure yum!

1 cup cashew milk (store bought or I use this recipe but the only step I add is that I soak my nuts for 24 hours and then drain the water from the nuts)

4-5 turkish apricots

3-4 Medjool dates

1/2 cup of ice

Put everything in vitamix or powerful blender of choice and there you have it!



Raw Romesco Sauce


So, the other day, I was at Isabella Gourmet Foods and I sampled the most amazing thing. A sauce made out of raw almonds, sun dried tomatoes and sweet red peppers. Properly labeled it was an Romesco Sauce. The sauce itself can be traced back to Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain where it is typically made from any mixture of roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive or sunflower oil, nyora peppers. Some recipes call for adding crusty white bread and others do not. The bottom line: It was to die for.  This go to sauce can be used for so many things: A sandwich spread, pizza topping, pasta sauce, dipping sauce. The skies the limit.

So, the ambitionista in me decided to recreate a recipe that would be raw, vegan and gluten free. Here is what I came up with:

3/4 cup olive oil

2 sweet red peppers

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (re-hydrated, stock drained)

1/2 cup raw almonds soaked 24 hours then drained

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste

sprinkle of pepper to taste

Using food processor, process almonds, garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil til resembles a paste. Next, add the rest of the ingredients including olive oil. That’s it, you’re done! Enjoy!

Til next post, Emma



We finally did it. We converted our front yard into an edible garden this year. Thanks to my husband’s design savviness ( we took out our front lawn and added garden boxes with a modern twist.  Right now, our garden greens are flourishing. Of course that is the positive. However, there are only so many kale chips, kale salad, sauteed greens and kale pesto I can make (Oh, yeah, since this blog is new, that reminds me that those are all great posts that I will definitely share with you in the near future).


So today it’s warm outside and I want to eat some greens but I don’t want a salad right now. I want something cool and refreshing. Enter my “Pina-Maca-Lada” smoothie creation. I head outside to my garden and cut my greens (kale, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach really whatever you wish to add to your smoothie), about 2-3 cups worth (if you are not use to greens in your smoothie you can also tone it down to only one cup or just a handful). Yes, that much. You can also just buy your greens instead of growing them, just try to find farmer fresh greens. They really do taste better. Add the greens, 1/2 cup organic coconut milk, 1/3 cup organic frozen mango, 1/3 cup organic frozen pineapple, 1 organic banana, 1 tablespoon maca powder and a handful or two of ice (you can omit this, I just happen to love a really frozen smoothie).


Blend in Vitamix or blender of choice and the result is a “Pina-Maca-Lada.” The best part is my kids LOVE this drink. They ask for this green smoothie all of the time! Try it. I bet it will be your favorite smoothie too!


Til next post, Emma

Raw Vegan Ice Cream


Okay, I love ice cream. I mean I really love I cream. I grew up on a dairy farm, for goodness sakes, we had fresh dairy products all the time. And I have to admit, I still love my dairy. I still love my milk and cheese and ice cream and the list goes on. BUT, I like to mix it up. Especially for the kids sake. I believe in moderation. Too much of anything is well, too much. I have found I also love to play with making raw delights. And this one is super yummy!

You see, it’s my daughter’s 5th birthday next week and it’s kinda become a tradition that I make a cake and homemade ice cream for her birthday party these days. Her favorite, strawberry ice cream hands down. Done! Easy. Mine is simple. Just cream, milk, fresh farmers market strawberries and some honey and vanilla to taste, put in the ice cream maker and viola. Only catch is that a couple of her friends are dairy free these days. Which means I want to make them something they can have too!

Enter my search. I really did look high and low for a good recipe to use. I have tried the coconut ice creams in the past. Again, easy, two cans of coconut milk plus agave and vanilla to taste. But, something about the canned coconut milk I just didn’t like. I also tried the very popular almond milk with banana blended. Still, it was good but not great. So, after looking and looking, I decided to just make up my own.

Here is what I did. First, I soaked 1 cup of raw almonds and 1 cup of cashews overnight (really, you could use any nut of choice) with 4 cups water. In the morning I drained the nuts and added them to my vitamix along with 10 ounces homemade coconut butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice). Next, I blended the ingredients and then placed in the ice cream maker. The result. Rich. Creamy. Delish!!


Bon Appetit! Emma

Healthy Raw Power Balls

Pure. Simple. And ooh so good. These are a staple in our household. Way healthier than the conventional store bought energy bar. Makes 2-3 dozen balls depending on the size you choose to roll. Stores well in the fridge.

1/2 cup ground raw organic almonds (preferably sprouted and dried for maximum absorption*)

1/4 cup ground raw organic cashews (preferably soaked for a couple of hours for maximum absorption*)

1/4 cup raw organic hemp seeds

1-2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened dehydrated organic shredded coconut

1 tablespoon ground flax

5-10 dates depending on your sweet tooth

1/2 tablespoon organic cinnamon

1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

dash of organic vanilla extract

pinch of celtic sea salt

organic chia and sesame seeds for rolling (optional)

additions: organic pepitos, raw cocoa nibs, bee pollen, maca powder, honey or maple syrup for more sweetness, oats, goji berries, raisins, peanut butter, the list goes on and on!


First grind up almonds and cashews in food processor. Next add the rest of the ingredients except the seeds for rolling. Check raw dough. If not clumping together add more coconut oil until the mixture binds without crumbling. Form into tiny balls. Roll in chia and sesame seeds.

* It is thought that if you soak and sprout your nuts, you are lessening some of the phytic acid that naturally occurs and makes it more difficult to digest. Simply put, soak and sprout and your gut will be happier


Enjoy! Emma

Raw Power Balls

Raw Power Balls