wp-image-51020002jpg.jpg

Baby Tessa…saved from slaughter in the Korean dog meat trade.

MEET CONTESSA BEAR SMITH (“TESSA”)

When asked to write the “success story” about Contessa Bear Smith, all I could think is that her rescue is a collaborative celebration in a series of devoted work and sacrifices of others. Tessa truly is a precious addition to my life as she is a thriving survivor rescued from slaughter in the Korean dog meat trade.

As a Korean-born naturalized U.S. citizen, I find a great deal of shame in the unconscionable appetites of those in Korea and around the world where cultural superstitions heap wretched atrocities and harm on those least able to protect and speak up for themselves. There is an absurd wives’ tale that says inflicting suffering upon an animal makes their brutalized flesh taste better and reduces the imbalance of heat in the consumers’ body.   How is that considered sound, rational thinking?

I honor those like Nami Kim, outliers of institutionalized power and social environs, who dare to take a stand against outdated, ignorant, and barbaric practices, often going stealth and enduring ridicule, abuse, and loss of all that are comforts in life for the sake of a greater cause. And what greater mission could there be than to champion innocence–bearers of pure love and the rescue and preservation of the same? Activists like Nami Kim lay down their own needs because they fight for others who can still have a chance at living a full life without the wounds of abuse, neglect, deep pain and in so doing call out to the best nature in every sentient being. To me, my baby girl Tessa and her fellow rescues are living testimonies that people can choose to walk out compassion and cherish all living things and therefore elevate our brief journey in this world.  Hats off with all my heart to animal activists like Nami Kim who worked with Wags and Walks to save not only Tessa but many others!

The numbers are out there…in the endless array of fact-finding you can do about the worldwide dog meat trade. I will spare you the staggering numbers, but suffice it to say that lack of conscience and over-consumption undergird the ongoing brutality. As a realist, I know the abuse toward others (human or not) will not cease in our current dystopia, but we can fight with and within current structures of governance to curtail much of its worst manifestations…and bring offenders to justice to help prevent others. I applaud Nami Kim’s approach – to save all she can with boots on the ground while using publicity and people en masse to apply pressure to enforce standing laws that are supposed to prohibit causing suffering of these animals. This is compassion in the real world with real effect–a place we can all begin to make change on solid footing until every human by their free-will educated choice make conscious choices that serve the great good than just their own gain.

Tessa is still getting adjusted in her new forever home with a big brother who was not quite ready for her. To be honest, neither was I!

IMG_20160820_1

Rocky the Rescue puzzles over his sister.

Completely happy with my only fur-kid Rocky Bear Smith who is also a rescue saved by Dogs Without Borders after someone threw his litter out in a garbage bag to die, my husband and I could not imagine adding another pup to my home. Also known as Rocky The Rescue for his on-set work in film and television and for contributions back to animal rescue through his book, I felt I could not have had a sweet and more content life with a dog.   However, in seeing how Tessa became my baby girl, it is a blessing from the Maker of all creation. I am reminded that the sweetest gifts are often unexpected, specific…swift to capture your entirety.

IMG_20160819_1

We were both watching the documentary about dog farm rescues.  See links below.

Thank you for reading this, and I would like to share links for you to explore ways that you are led to lend your support to rescuing most deserving creatures around the world. If not for the animals, themselves, think toward offering your boost of morale to activists who undoubtedly could use support to continue their relentless fight.

https://www.freekoreandogs.org/about/

http://www.dogsandcatsoffthemenu.com/

http://koreandogs.org/

http://savekoreandogs.org/

From cute to hilarious, Tessa is captivating!

Lots of blessings to you!

20160817_215320 (2)

2 peeps ‘n 2 pups: Jon, Tessa, Rocky, & me!

Jane Park Smith

http://rockytherescue.com/

http://www.janeparksmith.com/

 

wp-1467166981410.jpg

THE BEST Healthy CHOCOLATE CAKE with zucchini

wp-1467074447704.jpg

Light, not dense, but full of chocolate-ly goodness, this is a health food fanatic’s dream cake, if you like cacao, that is…and who doesn’t need a little chocolate in their life?  This healthy version was inspired by my time guest judging a food TV show where old-fashioned (not good for you) chocolate cake was a finalist!  This is my take on nostalgic chocolate cake…not sure what can get more family friendly for this 4th of July weekend…!

This has been the best way I’ve discovered so far to hide those greens and get them into your loved ones’ bellies!

wp-1467216576861.jpgCAKE INGREDIENTS: (half these ingredients if you are NOT making a double layer cake!)

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup dutched unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda (not powder!)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1 cup monkfruit granules
  • many dashes Himalayan pink salt
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 large happy hen eggs, separated
  • 1 cup almond mylk
  • optional: chocolate chips (2 cups or so depending on if you will use it decorate)

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unrefined maple syrup
  • 1 cup date paste
  • 2 ripe Haas or similar avocados
  • several dashes of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk (only the non water portion)
  • optional: shotglass portion of instant coffee

wp-1467074447707.jpgLET’S DO THIS!

  1. Use food processor to shred zucchini and immerse large Medjool (or favorite) dates in enough water to cover and soak (if you don’t already have date paste)
  2. Preheat over at 350 degrees and spray coconut oil around your springform round cake pans
  3. squeeze excess water from zucchini — very important so cake is not too mushy
  4. put dry ingredients together and sift, but toss in almond flour after sifting rest…mix it all together well
  5. Mix wet ingredients : shredded zucchini, egg yolks, almond milk, cider vinegar, and vanilla paste
  6. Beat egg whites in a stand mixer until soft frothy peaks form, not until too stiff…. we want bubbly and light, not formed and tough.
  7. Focus! Not kidding…
  8. Mix dry into wet ingredients… mix together well.  Once well combined, fold in egg whites with with spatula or spoon without delay. Then quickly pour this mixture into your baking pans.  If you walk away and lose focus during this part, the chemical reaction with the apple cider bubbling through the batter will finish and leave you a dud instead of a light and fluffy dream cake.
  9. Into the oven and check before popping out in 45 minutes!

WHILE BAKING… work on frosting!

  1. put all, except for coconut milk fat, into food processor and keep going until smooth. Add coconut milk fat and keep processing until fully blended and creamylicious.
  2. note: save the coconut water from the can for smoothies and just drink it up!  Putting the water in this frosting will make it too runny and not solid enough as frosting.

MARRY THEM!

  1. once the two round cakes are cooled, pop them out carefully and frost the center of the cake stand to hold the base layer of cake in place.
  2. Mix up the chocolate chips into the middle of the two cakes so there is nice texture to enjoy …and frost everything, decorating to your heart’s content!

EAT, GUILTFREE! This is a winner winner winner! …no one was the wiser and didn’t know the veggies were in the cake… and the texture of the light and fluffy cake is an absolute dream which makes it so amazing with the richness of dutched chocolate in the cake and the cacao kick of the frosting.

You can feel good about gifting this cake to anyone… (on that note, if you making this for a someone with any sweetener sensitivities, powder the monkfruit granules and try that in lieu of maple syrup…

THERE IS LOTS OF LOVE IN THIS CAKE...and it will make your recipient swoon!

wp-1467166981621.png

 

Semi-decadent Dad’s Day NO SUGAR goodie!

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of oat/quinoa flour (rolled oats and quinoa flakes freshly ground)
1 large zucchini, very thinly grated–no chunks yet, not too unsubstantive either
1 cup of chocolate chips (I used stevia sweetened ones)
2 eggs (can use flax eggs or egg substitute of choice
1/4 cup of erythritol or stevia
1/8 cup agave if eater is not sensitive liver-wise
3 teaspoons of vanilla bean gel/extract
couple dashes of baking powder
1 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup of cocoa and 1 packet or scoop of Vegan chocolate protein powder
2 tsp. of ground Korintje

HOW TO:
Turn on over to 350 degrees
Mix wet ingredients: eggs, zucchini, applesauce. vanilla bean gel/extract (and agave if you use it)
Mix dry ingredients: ground oats/quinoa flakes, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and stevia
Combine both. Then add in your cocoa until blended. Lastly stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter evenly into each mini muffin paper muffin shell.
Bake for 12-14, remove, sprinkle more chocolate chips if you want or add a frosting… or straight up your preferred nut butter… Chill a class of milk and enjoy!!! … or put with an ice cream of choice.

I made this in to a brownie a la mode for my dad and mom… they enjoyed the decadent nature of it without the over-sugary spike that a lower-fiber, higher glycemic standard chocolate cake or brownie would ordinarily have.

So, have your chocolate cake fix and eat (more of it), too!!
🙂

wp-1463252908918.jpg

PLAIN JANE COOKIES. Vegan & Paleo

wp-1463252908918.jpgwp-1463260214663.jpg

  • 1 CUP OF FINE ALMOND FLOUR (no skin) & 1.5 CUPS OF ALMOND MEAL (with skin)
  •  1/4-1/3 ORGANIC GRADE B OR DARK MAPLE SYRUP
  • 2 TEASPOONS BOURBON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
  • 1 HEAPING TABLESPOON BAKING POWDER
  • FEW DASHES OF CEYLON CINNAMON
  • FEW DASHES OF FRESHLY GROUND HIMALAYAN PINK SALT

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place parchment atop baking sheet.

I used my KitchenAid Machine to whisk the almond flours, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together and then use machine paddle to mix in maple syrup and vanilla. Mix only until a sticky dough forms — don’t over mix, especially if only using fine almond flour without skin.  I prefer using some with skin to give extra fiber and robust texture to the chewy cookie.

Use a small scooper to drop rounded balls of cookie dough onto parchment sheet and gently press with gloved hands or moistened spatula to make a bit flatter at top to be more cookie shaped and less of a ball.

Bake about 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned to your liking. Cool for 5 on the baking sheet and then let sit for a while longer off the sheet until cookies peel easily off parchment.

Options… top with dried fruits, chocolate chunk and banana slice, or any variety of craveable options.  According to my at home taste testers, the plain one won!… so I am calling this my fav PLAIN JANE cookie because I love when baking is easy and appeases discriminating palates.    oh… try adding vegan vanilla protein powder for more POW for healthy folks🙂
wp-1463261936791.jpg

wp-1463199278202.jpg

This is the pre-baked cookie dough with almond skin

FOR ALTERNATE VERSION, use only fine almond flour (no skin), press the cookie flatter and add your choice of dried fruit on top (I used goji berries)… makes it look like a chinese almond cookie, but so much better for you!  It’s an entirely different side of the same base recipe, so go with what floats your boat!

 

 

20160305_232906.jpg

HECK YA Healthy Brownies (GF, Paleo, Nut-free)

When you bake to give, you bake and get… really YUMMY, HEALTHY TREATS!!!

This was prompted by my dear mom’s birthday. She enjoys chocolate, but I don’t want to give refined sugars to those I love if I can help it.  The constant challenge? … reinvent standard, sweet-tooth comforts with good-for-you options that taste great!

and TA-DAAAAAA:

Introducing–HECK YA HEALTHY BROWNIES–all whole food ingredients you can feel great about baking with, devouring, and sharing (if you have any left!)  (Awesome carob version at bottom if you need to skip caffeine in raw cacao!)20160305_232906.jpg

Happy to be sharing this 1st time successful baking run of these Gluten-Free, Paleo, Nut-free, Soy-Free Brownies.  These are light in texture, but become dense and chewy as they feel like they are melting in your mouth.  These have no added refined sugars, especially if you omit the optional stevia-sweetened chocolate chips used in the topping-layer baked in.  DO NOT TRY THESE IF YOU NEED A SUGAR HIGH– you won’t get such a high except for the good for you happies from whole food sourced ingredients. Then, again, there is that cacao that can lift your mood, though.

What you need (go organic, local, farmer market sourced!):

  • 2 medium purple sweet potatoes 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup of date paste moistened with coconut milk and blended to thick syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder, sifted with next 3 ingredients (sift 2x’s) (replace with carob, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • Himalayan pink salt – few dashes and one dash cinnamon
  • Mix stevia chocolate chips (optional) into ½ cup date paste mixed with melted coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of mesquite (top later of brownies before baking)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 °F .
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, date paste and coconut oil in a mixing bowl and stir together until well mixed. Then add sifted powders cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut flour and hand mix. (I really like when the powdered ingredients are sifted 2x’s for lighted consistency.)
  3. Line springform pan with parchment paper and grease sides with coconut oil.
  4. Pour into 9×9 springform pan
  5. Cook for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, undo springform, cut into nice pieces. Add other toppings as you wish! This would be fantastic with raw banana ice cream or coconut ice cream.

So delectable!  I actually took a huge bite out of this fresh out of the oven.  I don’t have much patience to wait for baked goods to cool! LOL… It wasn’t a bite, it was several spoonfuls shared by a friend🙂

Note: if you are not a bittersweet, dark chocolate lover like me, replace raw cacao powder with dutch chocolate and omit baking soda.  Here’s an in-depth article explaining why: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/difference-dutch-process-natural-cocoa-powder-substitute.html why dutch cocoa

Regardless of whether you use carob, cacao, or dutch chocolate, ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!

Happy birthday to my beloved mom…🙂

Take 2!  I liked this version better because it was fudgier…the 1st version above was lighter and more cake like…

  • 3 1/2  cups of sweet potato grated
  • 1 cup of moistened (with coconut mylk) date paste blended to thick honey consistency
  • dollop of vanilla paste to mix into moistened date paste
  • 3 small eggs
  • add 1 teaspoon of lucuma and mesquite to batter
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¾ cup cacao powder; ¼ cup baking chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder and baking soda each
  • 2 ½ tablespoon coconut flour (sift all dry ingredients 2xs)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • For topping, use ½ cup of moistened date paste with vanilla paste and coconut oil, add 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and mesquite and mix in stevia chocolate chips… layer on top of batter…. follow ingredients above and bake!

Last, but definitely not least… I version with CAROB! … for someone dear with gallbladder concerns and was told she needs to avoid chocolate.  Keep recipe the same as first version, add 1/4 cup of Monkfruit granules to batter.  For topping to mix in just at top–soak 1/3 cup of raw Indonesian cashews, 5 medjool dates and roughly blend. Add thawed, mashed cherries…mix into top of batter and bake!  Just make sure the carob is raw and fresh!