Almond Joy Chia Smoothies

Almond Joy Smoothie5 The Curvy Carrot

Smoothie time.

I have recently fallen in love with a chocolate almond milk-it’s like a secret treat in my fridge.  I’ve been eating it with cereal, in oatmeal, or even just plain (I never was a big milk drinker, even as a kid, so, for me, a whole glass of this stuff is a big deal.)  It’s also an incredibly good post-workout fuel.

Anyways, since I had some extra coconut flakes on hand from making these cupcakes recently, I figured I would try to come up with another breakfast smoothie recipe.  Inspired by one of my all-time favorite smoothie recipes ever, I decided to use some silken tofu as the base (Please don’t shy away from tofu.  I know it’s kind of icky looking and feeling, but if it’s prepared well, it’s really fantastic.)  Plus, knowing that I wanted a thicker, creamier texture, I figured adding the tofu might help.  And, of course, I added in some chia seeds….because smoothies are pretty much a perfect vessel (see here or here) for getting these little nutritional powerhouses in my system (otherwise, they just sit in my pantry, untouched.)  As a side note, though, if you’re not familiar with using the chia seeds, they will thicken relatively quickly and form almost a pudding-like consistency of whatever liquid you put them in.  So, if you don’t plan on drinking the smoothies right away, I would hold off on putting them in until you are ready.  I also used a sweetened chocolate almond milk and an unsweetened coconut milk beverage, so you can play around with the sweetness component here as well.

I played with this recipe and adjusted everything to taste as I went along.  Now, some people might have textural issues, but I actually like my smoothies to be thick and kind of chunky, in a way.  So I added in some toasted almonds and flaked coconut to the liquid base before I blended it-I personally really liked the addition of those things here, but I realize it’s not for everyone.  For a vegan version, substitute a vegan-friendly protein powder.

Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy your dessert-like chocolate drink.


 Almond Joy Smoothie2 The Curvy Carrot


Almond Joy Chia Smoothies

Servings: 2



1/2 cup silken tofu

3/4 cup sweetened chocolate almond milk (I used Almond Breeze.)

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (I used So Delicious Dairy Free)

1 scoop (1-2 tablespoons) vanilla protein powder (I used whey protein.)

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons chia seeds, depending on your desired thickness/consistency

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

For the topping:  toasted almonds, coconut, and bittersweet chocolate shavings


Almond Joy Smoothie4 The Curvy Carrot


1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy.


Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

April 24, 2014 - 6:21 am

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - They look so decadent, you’d never think something so delicious could be so healthy!

April 25, 2014 - 1:07 am

65 Healthy Vegetarian Snack Ideas - [...] Almond Joy Chia Smoothie - The Curvy Carrot [...]

April 25, 2014 - 4:32 am

Jo from yummyvege - They look delicious!

April 25, 2014 - 9:40 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I’m not particularly a smoothie-lover, but what I do love is the idea of letting this get all thick from the chia seeds and eating it like a pudding (haven’t tried using chia seeds yet but really got to!) Great idea to use choccy almond milk in something like this, too.

April 28, 2014 - 6:41 pm

Annie - These look fab! I have been wanting to make a smoothie with similar flavors but now I may just have to try this one instead!

April 29, 2014 - 10:33 am

Joanne - As a fellow almond milk obsessed gal, I am so excited for these! I recently bought excess dried coconut for a recipe that didn’t end up working out and need some way to use it up…foresee many of these in my future!

Roasted Vegetable Burritos


Veggie Burritos7 The Curvy Carrot


“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

- Albert Einstein

Happy Earth Day!

It’s not a coincidence that this post coincides with my monthly contribution and partnership with Earthbound Farm (click here or here for more information.)  As you probably already know, Earthbound Farm is a great company:  great products, great customer service, and a huge supporter of creating and maintaining a clean environment.  April (Earth Month) is a special month for this company….did you know that they are actually celebrating Earth Month by surprising customers all over the country by paying for their entire carts of groceries through the Every Cart Counts program?  (Probably one of the coolest things a company has ever done…can you imagine how awesome that would be?)  And don’t worry if you don’t live in an area with a participating grocery store, you can still enter the contest virtually!  (click the link for more details.)

Since I eat (mostly) a plant-based diet, I wanted to feature a meat-free recipe this month that won’t have you “missing the meat.”  I’ve loved the mainstreaming of Meatless Mondays throughout this country, and it seems like almost everyone is catching on:  grocery stores, restaurants, even some school lunch programs!

Although I had many reasons for going vegetarian several years ago, as I learned more about the environmental benefits about going meat-free, I felt reassured that I had made the best personal decision for me at that time.  I will eat meat from time to time now (thanks to a lovely trip to Argentina back in November when I decided to embrace everything about the culture..which included a steak and lots of wine.  And, no, I didn’t get sick, thankfully.)  If you’re looking for a way to help the environment, going meatless one day a week is a huge and incredible start-the environmental impact of eating lower on the food chain is staggering.  No, I can’t afford a new Prius or hybrid car.  But I can choose to eat from the bottom up, and not only is it good for the environment, but it’s good for me, too (and eating organic is especially good for me-I’ll pass on the pesticides and fertilizer chemicals, thank you).  I’ve included some articles and links with some pretty impressive statistics at the bottom of this post if you would like more information. :)

I still get asked from time to time when people realize I prefer not to eat meat “Aren’t you always hungry?” or “So, what do you eat…salads?”  Ummm, no and no.  I don’t need meat in my belly to feel full or satisfied.  In fact, I feel better if I eat a good mix of carbohydrates (fruits/veggies) with lean protein (eggs, beans, etc.)  My body is a machine and actually seems to run better with that sort of fuel.

And I’m a fan of “everything in moderation”.  But I’m also more of a believer in being fully educated in where my food (my fuel-the stuff that will eventually make up the cells of my brain and body) comes from.  Knowing that a meal has a story (not just an end point that results in my satiation) is incredibly powerful stuff.  And also knowing that my personal diet decisions can either negatively or positively impact the global population as a whole is liberating, in a way.  It’s another way to “pay it forward” in a way.  I can do my part, and this is how I personally do it.

So, for this post, I decided to make some giant, (gargantuan, actually) roasted burritos.  Baked with some spicy, homemade enchilada sauce, these will definitely fill you up.  And here’s a tip: use whatever veggies you have on hand (and use any leftovers as a side dish later on).  I basically cleaned out my crisper here: a couple carrots, some Earthbound Farm broccolette, Earthbound Farm spinach, a random acorn squash (or use thawed Earthbound Farm butternut squash for greater convenience), and onions.  Mash up some sweet potato or throw in some bell peppers.  Don’t skip on the sauce, though-it adds a whole dimension of extra flavor here.  If you are using a canned enchilada sauce and you like things spicy, feel free to add in some additional spices when you roast the vegetables.  And as far as beans go, I used some homemade refried beans as well as a can of black beans, but you can play around with your options.  Add some rice, too, if you like.

 Veggie Burritos6 The Curvy Carrot



Roasted Vegetable Burritos

Servings: 8



3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large white onion, chopped in wedges

1 medium yellow summer squash

One 8-ounce package of Earthbound Farm broccolette

1 small acorn squash, peeled and cubed, about 2 cups (or 2 cups Earthbound Farm butternut squash, thawed)

3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces

1 and 1/2 cups refried beans (check out this super simple recipe-it’s my favorite way to make beans-and it’s cheap)

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

Eight 10-inch flour tortillas

2-3 cups Earthbound Farm Spinach

One avocado, sliced

2 cups enchilada sauce (*I could only find dried chile guajillo and chile chipotle morita, so I used those in this recipe.  The sauce was spicy but not too bad.)

For garnish:  cheese (optional-I used a mixture of queso fresco and a cheddar/jack mix), Greek yogurt, black olives, cilantro, etc.


 Veggie Burritos3 The Curvy Carrot




1. For the vegetables:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a roasting pan, lightly drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and toss to throughly coat. *You can throw in additional seasonings here if you are skipping a spicy sauce.

2.  Roast the vegetables until softened and the edges of the onions are lightly browned, about 45 minutes or so.  Check the vegetables freqently to make sure that they are not burning.  I stirred mine about halfway through the roasting time.

3. Once the vegetables have roasted, let them cool slightly before assembling the burritos.

4. For the burritos:  Spray a clean roasting pan with cooking spray.  Ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the pan and spread to evenly coat.

5. To assemble:  Place about 1-2 tablespoons of refried beans down the center of each burrito (adjusting to your own preferences here).  Layer the beans with a healthy topping of the roasted vegetables, followed by 1-2 tablespoons black beans, a handful of spinach, and a few pieces of avocado.  *You can throw some cheese in here-in fact, I recommend it.  Tightly roll up each burrito, and place it seam-side down in the roasting pan.  Repeat with the remaining burritos.

6.  Drizzle the remaining sauce over the prepared burritos.  Top with cheese and a few black olives, if desired.

7.  Bake the burritos until heated through and the cheese (if using) is melted on top, about 20-30 minutes (watch carefully.)

8.  Garnish with additional black olives, cilantro, cheese, etc.  Enjoy.


Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.


Useful articles:

From Vegetarian Times.

From Chooseveg.

From Alternet.

From Peta.




April 22, 2014 - 8:37 am

Katrina @ WVS - I haaaate when people ask me if I’m hungry all the time!! NO! It’s such a silly question, but usually I just stare when I get asked that. Food like this is my total happy place. Love the recipe!

April 22, 2014 - 8:47 am

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan - I tooootally agree, when people ask where I get protein from or if I’m always hungry I always say ‘no way!’. Love the sound of these!

April 22, 2014 - 10:05 am

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - These sounds amaaazing. Seriously! Yum :)

April 22, 2014 - 10:28 am

Kelly Mitchem - These look to die for, I need to make them ASAP!
Excellent post!

April 22, 2014 - 3:24 pm

maria tadic - These look so good! Mexican style food is one of my all time favorite ways to eat vegetarian! You really never miss the meat!!

April 22, 2014 - 7:11 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I was not a big burrito eater until the past year. I liked them. I just always was lured away with some other dish. But NOW I am on a burrito kick. Veggie ones are among THE best. And this one takes the cake—well takes the burrito. Although if it took the cake, we would have dessert pretty easily.

April 23, 2014 - 1:29 pm

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - My goodness, that looks so unbelievably tasty! I used to eat far more vegetarian meals than I do now (since I got married … ahem). It’s trickier now, as hubby really does love meat, but I’m going to work on sneaking a few more veggie meals onto the menu. Love the idea of just throwing everything you have into this!

April 23, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Joanne - I had a burrito at Chipotle the other day that left my veg burrito craving largely unsatisfied. I think this baby will fill that void in my life!

April 28, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Annie - These look and sound incredible to me. Totally making them soon.

May 18, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Kelly Mitchem:roasted vegetable burritos. - Kelly Mitchem - [...] Recipe adapted from: The Curvy Carrot. [...]

Frou Frou Cupcakes

Frou Frou5 The Curvy Carrot

My little sister is getting married in a few months.  I’ll spare you the (eventual and inevitable) blubbering and tears of joy for now (still have a few months left, and if I start now, I won’t ever stop).  But what I will tell you is that I’m thinking a lot about parties: bridal showers and bachelorette parties in particular.

A long time ago, when I was making cupcakes with a much higher frequency than I am now, I came across this cupcake book in the sale bin at the Barnes and Nobles on the IUPUI campus.  Now, granted, my friend Ryan and I were supposed to be either going to somewhere or coming back from somewhere (it was right in the middle of a super busy work day), but we decided to stop in at the (then brand new) campus center and check it all out.  We spent probably way more time than was reasonably allowed (oh well, we both graduated residency in the end so it didn’t really matter).

When I saw this book, I flipped right to the page with the Frou Frou cupcakes and immediately thought of my little sister.  For whatever reason, I was reminded of her.  Cute, pink, fluffy, and extremely aesthetically pleasing.  I guess.  (Right, Sam?)  Anyways, I was intrigued by what this “Frou Frou” meant….basically a fancy-pants, elaborate combination of raspberries and coconut.  AKA a delicious concoction with an even cuter name.

Eventually, for whatever reason, the cupcakes went un-baked, and time went on.  A few weeks ago, while I was thinking about Sammy’s upcoming bridal shower, I remembered these cupcakes.   I decided to make a small batch as a sort of dress rehearsal for her upcoming wedding festivities.  Well, they passed the test.

You can’t go wrong here.  And, if you want, you can switch up the flavor combination as well.  There is no coconut flavoring in the cupcake base, so you could throw in whatever kind of frozen fruit you want.  Or some sort of chocolate/chopped nut kind of combination (I’m thinking along the lines of an Almond Joy cupcake.)  This recipe is a keeper.  And I think I’ll be back to making a lot more cupcakes.


Frou Frou6 The Curvy Carrot

Frou Frou Cupcakes

Servings: 12 cupcakes



For the cupcakes:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

5 ounces frozen raspberries


For the frosting:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 teaspoons coconut extract

3 cups powdered sugar


For garnish:

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Fresh raspberries


Frou Frou7 The Curvy Carrot


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with the liners of your choice.

2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add both of the flours, coconut, Greek yogurt, and frozen raspberries.

4. Divide the batter evenly among your prepared baking cup and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean,. about 30 minutes or so.  (Check them frequently-mine were done about 10 minutes before the stated baking time of 40 minutes.)  Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

5. For the frosting:  In another bowl (or in your cleaned standing mixer bowl), beat together the butter, cream cheese, and coconut extract until smooth, about 2 minutes.

6.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add in the powdered sugar, mixing until thoroughly combined and smooth.

7.  Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe frosting as desired.   Gently press or roll the cupcakes in the toasted coconut.  Top with fresh raspberries. Enjoy.


Source:  Barely adapted from Cupcakes by Pamela Clark.


April 17, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Kelly Mitchem - Mmmm, I love cupcakes!

April 17, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - Congratulations on your sister’s soon-to-be marriage! These cupcakes do look super pretty and the flavour combination is a real winner. :)

April 18, 2014 - 7:31 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I loved your comparision of your sister to these beautiful cupcakes. It got me thinking that we could probably find a cupcake to remind us of everyone special in our lives. Isn’t that lovely?!
Happy Easter!

April 19, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Joanne - Congrats to your sister!! I’m sure you’re going to have a ton of fun planning everything and auditioning recipes. That’s the best part of throwing any party, in my opinion. And these are just gorgeous. Totally worthy of a bridal shower!

April 21, 2014 - 4:40 pm

miss messy - These are so so cute :) Just lovely

April 24, 2014 - 5:00 am

Almond Joy Chia Smoothies » The Curvy Carrot - [...] since I had some extra coconut flakes on hand from making these cupcakes recently, I figured I would try to come up with another breakfast smoothie recipe.  Inspired by one of my [...]