This recipe might sound and look too good to be true, but it is in fact vegan (and raw!).  We had a family dinner party tonight before everyone heads off to school and I was in charge of dessert.  I found this recipe on one of my favorite vegan blogs called This Rawsome Vegan Life.  It features some seriously delectable desserts, many of them raw and filled with healthy ingredients like fruit, nuts, and superfoods- it's almost always my go-to place to find dessert recipes.  After having tried the vegan coconut cream pie from Jimbos (so delicious!) I was inspired to head in that direction.
Here is the adapted recipe I used:


1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 peeled, frozen bananas (save one to slice)
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
1/4 cup agave/maple syrup
1/4 cup nut milk (use as little as possible)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cacao powder

Coconut whipped cream:
1 can coconut milk, put in the fridge overnight
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1/8 teaspoon raw sugar

In a food processor, combine the walnuts and pecans until you reach a crumb-like consistency.  Add in the raisins and dates, then the vanilla.  Once all is combined, pour into a pie pan and press the mixture until it forms a firm crust.  Place in the freezer.  (Side note:  You can make the crust ahead of time and freeze it for as long as you need.  I made mine a few days early because I was going out of town, and left it in the freezer covered in plastic wrap.)

For the filling you will need a blender.  Blend 2 frozen (or semi-frozen) bananas with the rest of the ingredients for the filling until smooth.  Pour the mixture into your pie pan and lick your blender clean because that stuff is delicious!!  Slice the remaining banana and layer them over the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate for an hour.
If you have ever made homemade whipped cream, this coconut cream will seem very familiar to you.  Leaving the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight allows it to separate.  You only want to use the thick creamy stuff on top, not the watery milk beneath it.  So scoop out the white layer and whip with a hand mixer until it looks like whipped cream!  Add in the raw sugar and mix a little more.  I forgot to add in the vanilla seeds when I made this so now would probably be the correct time to do that as well.  It tasted delicious but I'm sure it would have been even better with a little vanilla!  Spread all over your delicious vegan pie and again lick your bowl clean if you haven't yet.  Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to go to town.

OH! Also I added cacao nibs and some sliced raw almonds on top.  Feel free to get crazy with fruit (blueberries would be yummy) or other goodies like goji berries or even more bananas!
You can leave the pie out for 15 minutes or so before serving so it will soften up a bit.  It's a little hard to get the pieces out but this should help!
RIP you beautiful pie.
My mom and I have been dying to go to Little Italy's farmers market all summer.  I conveniently have had work every saturday morning (or some other obligation to tend to) for the last couple of months so we never got around to actually going.  FINALLY we went this weekend- we had some family in town from the Bay Area and I was able to get my work shift covered, so the wait was over! (But definitely worth it!)
Looking at these berries makes me really regret not buying any... or even trying golden raspberries which I never have had!  After enjoying a green smoothie we left with a few peaches, green grapes and flame raisins.  The peaches are now perfectly ripe and so delicious- Spencer and I had a little after dinner- and I plan on using the raisins soon in some granola!  I have a grape addiction so those didn't last very long but they sure were yummy and so much better than store bought grapes (I still love you TJ's).

Dinner was our favorite- grilled pineapple and veggies, sweet potato and corn.  But this was no average pineapple...
We all got a good laugh after realizing how strange this pineapple was... I'm not so sure what happened during this little guy's growth process but he was a juicy and sweet pineapple either way, and made for a nice picture.
After going to THREE different stores we finally found corn.  It was a really stressful time and neither Spencer nor myself were about to have a corn-less grilled veggie night.  Apparently corn is on its way out of season (probably why it was on sale at Whole Foods).  So we bought five.

For the sweet potato, I half boiled it then cut it in half and threw it on the grill for a little.  It added some nice grill marks but wasn't dramatically different from just letting it cook all the way on the stove.  Also if you want to be a cheater (oops) you can cook your sweet potato in the microwave.  It sounds a little sketchy, I know, plus I really hate microwaves, but just stab that thing with a fork a few times, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave it for four minutes on each side and you're set.  The skin can get kind of chewy and that's my favorite part so it is definitely can be worth it to have patience and cook your sweet potato stove-top if you are like me.  But like I said sometimes you just can't wait for your sweet potato.  Hungry Kate doesn't have time for stoves.
First off this post is so late.  I don't know where the last few days went!

Spencer and I started off the day at the Kearny Mesa farmers market.  It was pretty small but we got a delicious fruit cup to snack on before lunch in Pacific Beach.
Cucumber, jicama, mango, and lots of watermelon!

After walking around and enjoying the very hot day we decided it was definitely pizza night- polenta pizza night!  I have been wanting to try out polenta pizza for a while (I feel like I always say this) so after the usual stop at Trader Joe's we were ready to go with all of our topping supplies!

As you may be thinking, pizza is absolutely not vegan- so feel free to leave out the cheese (this is what I did) and add extra veggies instead.  Also you can use a dairy-free cheese replacement like Daiya Food's Shredded Motzarella Style Cheese, which is actually quite tasty but not the healthiest thing in the world- but I guess "real" cheese isn't the healthiest either.  It is something worth trying though, Daiya cheese melts like normal cheese and tastes like it too.  We actually use this brand for quesadillas and bean and cheese burritos at the vegan restaurant I work at.

Also as a note this recipe is great for anyone trying to avoid gluten, because polenta is made from corn!

Individual Deep-Dish Polenta Pizza

1 Tube Trader Joes cooked polenta
1 jar organic tomato sauce
1c sun dried tomatoes
2c sliced mushrooms
1c spinach
1 red bell pepper
1/2c Kalamata olives
Dried oregano
Dried or fresh basil (fresh is tastier if you have it)
1.5c Feta cheese (omit for vegan, or cheese replacement)

You will need 4-5 oven-safe ceramic ramekins to bake the pizzas in.
Preheat your oven for 400 degrees.  Wash and slice your toppings.

To make the polenta crust, you need to get a little messy.  The cleanest way to do this would be to make homemade polenta from cornmeal and simply pour it into the bottom of the ramekins, but who has time for that (thank you Trader Joe's).  So I decided to be lazy and/or difficult and use cooked polenta, mash it up and press it into the bottom of the ramekins to create a crust.  It is a little tough to get it to stick at first but keep going and I promise you it will stay!  I got a little frustrated trying to do this (you can ask Spencer) but be patient!  
It should look something like this.  The little one was mine (and I was still hungry).

Next is the fun part.  Basically you pile everything on that your heart desires, starting with the sauce (duh) and ending with the dried herbs.  I regret not adding pineapple!
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.  As you can see we made enough for the whole fam and everyone (especially my grandpa) loved them!  It's always fun having individual sized portions too, just make sure you give the pizzas a few minutes to cool because the ramekins are super super hot!
Ended the day with a beautiful sunset!
Ever since my birthday lunch in Del Mar I've been wanting to make a watermelon-herb salad (that I could actually eat!).  After a long day of traveling from Los Angeles to San Diego, Spencer and I were happy to find a delicious looking watermelon and fresh herbs in the fridge.  We stopped at Trader Joes and picked up a bag of their Organic Herb Spring Mix.  This is one of my favorite salad mixes, and is filled with baby lettuce, cilantro, parsley, and dill.  It adds a little something extra to any salad, and is naturally high in Vitamin A and C! 
Watermelon Mint Salad

1 bag Trader Joe's Organic Herb Salad Mix
1/2 small watermelon
1 bunch of mint
1/3c raw sliced almonds
Balsamic vinegar

Optional Add-ins
Goat Cheese

Cut up the watermelon into little pieces and mix in with lettuce and mint leaves.  Top with sliced raw almonds and balsamic vinegar (or any dressing of your choice).  You really don't need a heavy dressing for this salad because the watermelon is naturally so juicy, but I'm sure any vinagrete would work well too.  Also, currants would be a delicious addition, as well as goat cheese if you want a creamier texture.
This salad literally takes 5 minutes to put together yet looks so pretty and colorful.  Summer in a bowl!