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Foodophiles, Recipes

Papaya Lassi – Smoothie Recipes

July 8, 2015

Lassi is a popular drink in India that is delicious all year round, but perfectly refreshing in the summer. They can be made sweet and dessert-like or simple and healthy. Just like a smoothie, lassi is a great way to get the most out of your fruits by keeping them raw. What makes lassi different from a basic fruit smoothie is that they’re made with yogurt, but just like everything else – it’s super easy to make them vegan. Papaya_Lassi_Sm2

Papaya Lassi
Serves 2
A popular Indian fruit drink
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 medium papaya
  2. 1 cup non-dairy yogurt (I used vanilla soy yogurt)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 5 ice cubes
  6. Brown sugar if desired
  1. Slice the papaya in half lengthwise and deseed.
  2. Scoop out all the insides into a blender, leaving only the skin behind.
  3. Add yogurt, cardamom, vanilla extract, sugar and blend for about 1 minute.
  4. Now add ice cubes and blend for another minute.
  5. Pour into glasses (serve with a sprinkle of cardamom on top for flair)
Luna Gemme
papaya_lassi_sm4I really really love vanilla soy yogurt, but of course you can experiment with any type of nondairy yogurt you like. This lassi is so healthy for you – papayas are full of vitamin C, fiber and vitamin A – a great combination to keep your skin, nails and hair healthy as well as your insides.

In Cuban Spanish papayas are called “fruta bomba” and they’re called “papita (पपीता)” in Hindi.

Is this your first time having lassi? Let me know your thoughts or what tweaks you made to the recipe!


Foodophiles, Recipes

Vegan Cinnamon Apple Pie

June 24, 2015

Most food is comfort food to me, but there’s nothing like the smell of a fresh, homemade apple pie wafting through your home. Some recipes for apple pie can be daunting, so I’ve written down the simplest way to make a delicious pie under 2 hours.apple_pie_4Apple pie is so easily made vegan; this is a delicious dessert that’s both health friendly and animal friendly! Bring this dish to any event or serve it at your next family dinner, I’ve never met someone who doesn’t enjoy apple pie. Plus, the look on people’s faces after you tell them the dessert they just adored was vegan is worth way more than the hour it takes to make this apple pie recipe.
Vegan Apple Cinnamon Pie
Serves 7
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 2/3 + 1/8 cups cold vegan butter
  5. 3-7 tbsp cold water
  6. 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
  1. 5 cups sliced apples
  2. 1/4 cup cane sugar
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 tbsp of water
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. For the filling: peel and cut the apples into small slices. Mix them with cinnamon, flour, sugar and water and set aside.
  3. For the crust: mix flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Then add the butter and mix together until you get a crumbly texture.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of cold water to the crust mixture until a loose dough forms.
  5. Place the dough on a floured surface and begin kneading.
  6. Divide the dough into two balls, one larger than the other.
  7. Flour your rolling pin and slowly flatten the larger ball of dough so that it will cover the bottom and edges of your pie pan. Remove any excess dough hanging over the edges and roll it back into the other ball of dough.
  8. Add in the apple filling while leaving out most of the extra liquid.
  9. Now roll out the other crust. For a traditional look, lay the whole crust over the apples and cut open a few holes in center so steam can be released. OR cut the flattened dough into strips and create a lattice top as I've done.
  10. Press the edges of the top and lower crust together and gently brush the pie with a nondairy milk and sprinkle sugar over it.
  11. Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes until you see a golden color, taking care to watch that the edges don't burn.
  12. Important! Make sure your pie sits untouched for 2 hours after baking so the filling will thicken. Then garnish with fresh mint before serving.
  13. Enjoy!
Luna Gemme


Apple pie was one of the first recipes I learned to make as a kid. Cooking is fun, but my first love is baking. Pie recipes are so customizable, so experiment with your spices and filling. Let me know what your absolute favorite type of pie is or share a picture of your finished product in the comments below!


Foodophiles, Recipes

6 Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cookies

June 3, 2015

vegan cookies 6It’s time for me to break out the fall recipes and pumpkin pie vegan cookies seem like the perfect intro. This is the quickest cookie recipe I’ve made yet, and don’t feel guilty eating every cookie you make because the pumpkin in this recipe is great for you and of course, it’s vegan!

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup creamy almond butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or your prefered sweetener)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Line your baking tray with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350F. 

Now mix all your ingredients together until you create a smooth batter. If using chocolate chips, add in last to prevent smashing them.

vegan cookies 3Now take a tablespoon and drop batter onto your baking tray. Use a wet fork to lightly flatten the batter, the water prevents the batter from sticking to the fork.vegan cookies 4

Now you can set them in the oven and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Check on them at around 13 minutes; if the edges are all golden, they’re ready to go.vegan cookies 5

Now the hard part; don’t touch them! Let the cookies cool off completely before you remove them with a spatula. Once they’ve cooled, you can serve them immediately or chill them for a more firm cookie. I like to sprinkle some cinnamon and powdered sugar on top of them; feel free to experiment!vegan cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Yields 24
A quick fall cookie vegan recipe with only 6 ingredients
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1/2 cup pumpkin pureee
  2. 1 cup creamy almond butter
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  7. optional: 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Optional Toppings
  1. sprinkle with ground cinnamon or powdered sugar
  1. Line your baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until you get smooth batter. Be sure to add in the chocolate chips (if using) at the very end so they don't get smashed.
  3. With a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the tray and use a wet fork to lightly flatten cookies.
  4. Pop them in the oven and bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Now the hard part: Don't touch them! Allow them to completely cool off before using a spatula to scoop them up.
  6. Now enjoy!
  1. If you'd like them firmer, just chill them before serving.
Luna Gemme
Tips for Immortality

Eat Less Meat: A Starter Guide

May 20, 2015

fruits-veganWhenever someone asks me about ways to get healthy, my first response is automatic: eat less meat.  

Not only does eating less meat make a huge difference for your health, it’s easy. I’m not even saying you should never take another bite of meat from this moment on. I’m simply saying eat less meat.

The wonderful thing about your health is that any change makes a difference. If you cut meat from your diet just 3 times a week, youll still have results. Now of course there’s nothing like going all the way (where my vegans at?) but it’s important to just start. So let’s go through the basic nutrition needs and their vegetarian substitutes:

It’s just not that serious. On a western dietary pattern you’re actually more prone to over consumption of protein than the underconsumption stereotypically associated with plant based diets. Here are the top ten plant based sources of protein:

veganOther sources of protein include: peanut butter,  non-dairy milks, tofu, tempeh and dark leafy greens. Now you too can roll your eyes when someone asks “but where do you get your protein?

Surveys have shown vegetarians to be no more iron deficient than the general population, so put to rest the cliche image of non-meat eaters as sickly, pale people in want of a hamburger. Kale actually contains more iron than beef does. But let’s go to the chart:
veganVeggie Tip: you can bump up the iron in your meal by including broccoli, tomatoes or citrus fruit juices. Vitamin C enhances the way your body absorbs iron. Using cast iron cookware doesn’t hurt either.

 Vitamin B12
Another supposed obstacle to a plant based diet with another simple explanation.

You don’t need to consume animal products to get vitamin B12 anymore than you need to consume plant foods; neither naturally contain it. Only microorganisms create vitamin B12. So as long as your small intestine gets enough of certain nutrients (cobalt, calcium and protein), your body will successfully produce and absorb vitamin B12.

It’s actually animal products that are more likely to cause a deficiency by indirectly exposing you to antibiotics, which obstruct B12 absorption, along with alcohol, smoking and stress.

It doesn’t hurt to take a supplement every now and then, but just to keep things in perspective, the lifetime requirement for vitamin B12 adds up to about 1/7th the size of of an average aspirin tablet.  So don’t stress about it, lest you hinder your B12 absorption!

Vitamin D
You can get this vitamin from certain cereals, soy milk and eggs, though don’t forget it’s referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because sunlight on skin helps produce it.

Essential Fats
One food usually comes to people’s minds at the mention of omega 3 fatty acids: fish (particularly salmon)…and that’s pretty much it. Relying only on one source for an important dietary need is silly, especially when there are tons of different ways to get your omega 3s. 

Introducing a food group that’s conspicuously absent from the average non-veg diet: seeds.
vegan-omega-3Seeds are a cheaper, more efficient and easier means of keeping up with your Omega 3 and 6 needs.

I love hemp and flax seeds: just throw them on your toast, avocados, in a smoothie or in yogurt. You can’t argue against how much simpler a source of essential fats they are than buying an expensive salmon and preparing a whole meal to go along. It almost seems kind of natural doesn’t it?
You’re making an easy change that’s going to have a wonderful impact on your health and the environment too. Be proud! Now get started with my favorite recipes:

                           À la prochaine!
                              Luna Gemme

Foodophiles, Recipes, Tips for Immortality

Clear Skin Vegan Smoothie Recipe

April 29, 2015

tmb2I never saw a significant change in my skin until I started eating better, that means cutting dairy out and adding more fruits in. Clear skin is not just a result of the products you use, but what you put into your body. Start your day with a smoothie; it’s the quickest and easiest way to get fruits into your system and leaves you feeling clean and ready to keep making healthy choices throughout the day.

Berries for Beautiful Skin
A powerful fruit smoothie to rescue your skin!
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Total Time
3 min
Total Time
3 min
  1. one banana
  2. 3/4 cup strawberries
  3. 1 1/2 cup hemp milk (or almond)
  4. 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  5. 6 ice cubes
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Luna Gemme
  •  Bananas help to get rid of dark under eye circles while also helping you achieve clear skin.
  • Strawberries contain vitamin C, which helps you detox and can prevent breakouts.  Strawberries are high in antioxidants that lessen the damage caused by free radicals, like signs of aging.
  • Chia Seeds are full of vitamins, proteins and minerals that support clear skin, shiny hair and stronger nails.
  • Hemp Milk contains omega-3, vitamins A, E and B12 but what makes if great for you skin is that it’s simply not dairy. Dairy is an inflammatory food loaded with animal hormones. And what is a major cause of acne? Imbalanced hormones. Cutting out dairy is the best thing you can do for clear skin. 

3-11-14 008

Have you noticed a difference in your skin due to diet changes? I can never stop talking about the shift to clear skin I saw after cleaning up my diet. Share your favorite type of smoothie below!

À la prochaine!
Luna Gemme

Foodophiles, Tips for Immortality

Lemon Water: Weight Loss, Clear Skin & Fewer Sick Days

March 18, 2015

Drinking lemon infused water is a great way to add a twist to your hydration while making you healthier and it has quite a lengthy list of benefits too. Not only does it add a little kick to your water, it looks lovely when served to others!Lemon-Water-Benefits

Weight Loss

Yes, drinking lemon water helps with losing weight! There are actually two factors aiding your weight loss when drinking lemon water. Because lemons are high in pectin, they help to suppress appetite so you eat/snack a little less. Pectin is also a good source of dietary fiber and has powerful antibacterial properties, though it’s important to note it’s most concentrated in the peel and pulp.  The second factor in lemon water induced weight loss is how it helps your colon. Simply put; any toxins and waste build up you eliminate translate into weight loss.

Clear Skin

I will definitely testify that drinking lemon water regularly has helped make my skin noticeably more clear.  Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is important in healing acne scars and decreasing wrinkles and blemishes. Just take a look in any skin care store and you’ll find some of the priciest products tout vitamin C as a main ingredient. You don’t need to go broke buying vitamin C infused serums…one lemon contains a sizable 44.5 mg of vitamin C. Remember, real change comes by working from the inside first when it comes to acne; blemishes are just the symptom of internal issues.

Recall anytime time you’ve looked up remedies for healthy skin and you’ll know they always begin or end with “drink lots of water!” It’s because your body uses water to flush out toxins, so without plenty of water these toxins build up and cause trouble, namely breakouts. Adding lemon to your water boosts these benefits due to lemon juice’s diuretic properties, meaning you’ll end up flushing out those toxins at a faster rate; clear skin even quicker!

recipeImmune System

Everyone knows vitamin C is helpful for fighting off colds. But lemons are also high in potassium, which nourishes brain and nerve cells. I actually fell sick for the first time this year very randomly a few mornings ago with what seemed like the flu. I wouldn’t put it all to lemon water of course, but it only took a day in bed until I was feeling better! Which is so important to me; I’m for anything that cuts short the time wasted being miserable and sick.

A Short List of Other Benefits from Lemon Water

  • Balances and maintains the pH level of your body.
  • Good source of calcium, phosphorus, citric acid and magnesium.
  • Anti-inflammatory, thus reducing pain in the joints.
  • Strengthens the liver while also keeping it balanced and as such is helpful with heartburn.
  • Helps to freshen breath and fight gingivitis.
  • Maintains eye health and works against eye issues.
  • Aids in digestion by loosening toxins from the digestive tract.

recipeThere really is no reason not to infuse your water with lemon, so give it a try! I prefer to use a large dispenser so I can soak lemon slices in the water and have it pre-made, but it’s super easy just to make it a cup at a time too. Just make sure you soak the uncut lemons first to remove any pesticides or buy organic. You may also want to experiment with adding in other citrus fruits like limes and oranges for similar benefits. Feel free to share some of your mixtures below. Lemon water is one of my favorite drinks; it’s a minimalist mixture that just tastes like it’s doing your body good. Have you felt any benefits from drinking lemon infused water yourself?

 À la prochaine!
Salomé Luna Gemme

Foodophiles, Recipes

Vegan Pasta in Coconut Milk Sauce

March 10, 2015

2-4-14 035One of my first vegan pasta recipes!  This dish will become such a staple in your repertoire and is so quick to prepare and easy to customize. Once you’re comfortable with it, try changing things up! Switch the pasta type, add or subtract vegetables, and if you’re not vegan you can serve it with fish. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy this recipe; even people who don’t particularly care for coconut genuinely love this dish! Dairy is so bad for us and many people can’t even consume it so non-dairy based pasta sauce is truly heaven for all. Go on and indulge without discomfort or guilt, because cheese pasta is just kind of boring!

2-4-14 028


(serves 4-5)

  • 1lb rigatoni noodles (or fettuccine; I prefer to use pasta that is thick & holds up well under sauce)

For Sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk (or 1 & 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Parsley (for garnish)


  • 8 ounces of chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 2 heads of broccoli (chopped)2-2-14 003


  1. Cook your chosen pasta according to the instructions on its box. Be sure not to cook it too long, you want it to be “al dente”, so it retains its shape under the sauce.
  2. While your pasta is cooking, add the first seven ingredients for the sauce into your blender and blend until smooth (5-7 minutes depending on blender).
  3. Sauté the mushrooms and steam the broccoli.
  4. Add drained pasta and cooked vegetables into a sauté pan and slowly mix in sauce over low to medium heat.
  5. You’re done! Sprinkle some black pepper, garnish with parsley and serve hot.
Storage: Refrigerate in an air-tight container, leftovers will keep

CocoPastaLet me know how the recipe worked for you or what variations you tried out!

 À la prochaine,
Salomé Luna Gemme