Maple Alps

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Well, Instagram has done it again! This post is brought to you by my IG page, after you all wanted the recipe for dinner I made earlier this month! According to my story, I made this yummy artichoke and spinach flatbread and we enjoyed it on the deck with some homemade lemonade for dinner. It was all great. And the weather was perfect, thanks for asking. Well, you all asked for the recipe, and since you asked, you are now receiving. The power of overwhelming me with the question on social media, hehe! This flatbread is seriously simple for summer, and can easily be grilled too!

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Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

This recipe uses my favorite Alfredo sauce recipe. My mom used to make a very similar one, and I definitely had to keep the tradition of homemade Alfredo alive. It just doesn’t taste the same out of a jar. Plus, this one is vegan, so a much better option that still tastes yummy. I decided to go with a creamier sauce rather than the typical tomato-based one (or plain olive oil) I often see on flatbreads.

I’ve also had this almost obsession with artichokes lately and have been eating them up. I don’t hesitate to pick up a jar while browsing the aisles of the grocery store. Seriously so much yum! It’s not just the taste, it’s the texture too! Just. So. Good.

But I needed something to put them on. A few years ago, we went to this amazing Italian-Indian fusion place and had this delicious naan pizza with Indian inspired toppings. It was so good.

Enter naan.

Seriously, writing up this post is making me hungry, so I’ll get to the point.

You can use any naan or flatbread you want. If you want to do this on a pizza crust, by all means, do so! There probably won’t be anything left over once you serve this up!

And pro tip: eat it outside. It’ll make you feel fancy.

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread

what you need for the Alfredo:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour

  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1/2 cube vegan seasoning (I have used this one from amazon)

  • 1 1/4 cup water

  • about 2 tsp dried basil


what to do:

1) Add first five ingredients to a blender and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Add mixture to pot, add basil, and bring to a slow simmer - constantly stirring until thick

what you need for the flatbread:

  • Your favorite Naan bread or flatbread

  • 1, 6oz. jar of artichoke hearts

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh spinach

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Optional garnishes:

  • your favorite shredded vegan cheese (optional)

  • roasted red peppers (optional)

  • red chili peppers (optional)

  • sea salt to taste (optional)

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 425ºF (I do so with a pizza stone in there - optional!)

2) Mix the garlic and olive oil. Brush mixture on one side and put the bread oil side down on a prepared pan (or on pizza stone) Bake for about 2 minutes and set aside.

3) Put the remaining garlic and oil mixture into a pan. Add artichokes and spinach and cook until spinach starts to wilt, being sure to not overcook the spinach. Remove from heat.

4) Top naan with Alfredo sauce and artichoke mixture.

5) Sprinkle some vegan cheese on top (optional) and place in oven.

6) Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and if you want, broil the top for a minute.

7) Garnish with some red chili, red peppers, and sea salt.

8) Cut and serve fresh! Enjoy!

 
vegan pantry | www.maplealps.com
 

Do you enjoy a good smoothie? What is your go-to? Let me know in the comments!


 
 
Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight Smoothie (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Have you ever just craved something sweet but didn’t want all of the calories? Well, I have a treat for you today! Seriously!

You didn’t think I was going to start sharing smoothies and skip out on my favorite dessert ingredient, did you?

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Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie | www.maplealps.com

We love having popcorn and smoothies and Saturday nights, and this is our usual go-to for it. It’s sweet, creamy, tasty, and hits all the right spots. Plus, it isn’t one we usually have in the mornings, so it feels like an extra special treat.

This recipe will make enough to share with your favorite friend - or you could just enjoy it on your own. I’ve been know to add flax/or chia seeds to my smoothies for some fiber too. I know someone who even puts spinach in this smoothie! It’s optional for you, however. Just know that you can’t actually taste it if you choose to add it (chia seeds you will be able to feel the texture).


By the way, we never add any ice to our smoothies, because we find that it takes away from the creaminess of them (that, and we never used to have ice on hand!). Instead, we use frozen fruit to achieve a thicker smoothie. Feel free to use a few blocks of ice if you prefer, however.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight Smoothie (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight Smoothie

what you need:

  • 2 cups non-dairy beverage (I use soy milk)

  • 1 large banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker smoothie)

  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder

  • 1 TBSP peanut butter

  • 2 tsp ground flax seed (optional)


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a blender and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Do you enjoy a good smoothie? What is your go-to? Let me know in the comments!


 

Making Long Distance Relationships Work

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

A while ago, I wrote about the truth (according to me) of long distance relationships (LDR). For a while after that, I got a few emails asking for some practical tips to making LDRs work. Since I can’t really speak for anyone else, I decided to share my personal experience and the things that helped us stay [mostly] sane during our season of long distance. It really can work out! J and I were 7000km and 8 time zones apart. Actually, both sets of our parents also spent time doing long distance in the era of no Skype! Maybe it runs in our blood?

I’m sharing some things that will help your long distance relationship be successful!

Are Long Distance Relationships Successful? | www.maplealps.com

Set Goals

The whole goal of our relationship from the very beginning was marriage, and because it was a mindset of ours, long distance, though annoying, wasn’t too terrible a thing.

Communication

THIS IS KEY! And something I personally had to work on (and still am….). Because you’re so far away and can’t see each other, being able to communicate and express yourselves is important. Bonus: when all you can do is talk and communicate, you get to know each other so, so well.

Do Things “Together”

Well into our relationship, the most irritating thing to me was the feeling that we were both living separate lives. When we talked, we would just fill each other in on things we had done that day and talk about things we were going to do with others, etc. It was pretty depressing at times. We decided to start doing more things “together.” You can get creative with this, but some ideas are reading the same book or working on a project together. A friend and I used to stream shows at the same time while skyping. I’ve even studied and skyped. It was like having the person in the room - just not.

Snail Mail

Never underestimate the power of snail mail. Seriously. I love putting together packages and mailing cards. I also love receiving said things. Chances are, you do too - and so will your significant other!

See Each Other as Often as Possible

It can be hard to see each other, especially when you are far apart and wallets aren’t very full. But make the effort to do it as much as you can. Plan your next visits; make bucket lists of things to do and eat while you’re together. And countdown to make it extra exciting.

Set Boundaries

Not seeing each other for long periods of time and then suddenly getting a large dose is sometimes like letting a candy-deprived kid loose in a candy store - it could end up with a tummy ache and a lot of regret. Avoid these after effects by setting boundaries and holding each other accountable for them. Maintaining purity can be hard sometimes, but not impossible. Set boundaries so you can honor each other and ultimately God.

Get creative

We’ve celebrated birthdays and anniversaries over skype. Light a candle and blow it out. Send a CD with instructions. Send flowers from the local flower shop. The ideas are endless!

Prioritize Your Relationship

Need I say more? You will get out what you put in. If you want your relationship to work, don’t constantly put it on the backburner. If you don’t intentionally approach your relationships, they won’t be beneficial to you or the other party. This does not only apply to long distance relationships, or even romantic ones, by the way! Cultivating relationships is what makes them last!

Have God as the Center

We can’t truly love the way God loves, if His love is not in us. Having God at the center of your relationship is key.

 

Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Did I tell you about the time my husband won a year’s worth of free smoothies? The first 50 customers at an opening smoothie shop was offering free smoothies (one a week for a year). He went out at 5am as kind of a joke to see if it would even work out, and ended up being #48 or something like that. Crazy, right? The sad ending of this story was that he was greatly disappointed in the quality of the smoothies and we ended up moving away anyway.

Why did I share this story? I don’t know. But…

One thing that is sure in our home is that the blender will be whipping up a smoothie every day. It’s part of the reason we had to upgrade our blender early on (that, and I kinda of made our old one die…). We love experimenting with different combinations of flavors and textures, but there are smoothies involved. Smoothies are a great way to get some nutrients in and even stay somewhat hydrated. They are also easy to customize to your own specific needs. ALSO, they taste way better than any of the ones we’ve bought from stores and they don’t cost $6/smoothie. Yikes.

This summer, I’ll be sharing some of our favorite smoothie recipes with you, starting with a classic.

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Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Strawberry banana was probably one of the first smoothies I ever made on my own way back when. It has remained an easy favorite.

It was kind of weird to measure out exactly what we put into this smoothie, but I think it was worth it to be able to share it with you. Honestly, eyeball the heck out of this smoothie, because it will still taste great! This is a great smoothie to start out your day with or to end it - I won’t judge.

This recipe will make enough to share with your favorite friend - or you could just enjoy it on your own, I suppose. I love adding flax/or chia seeds to my smoothies for some fiber too. It’s optional for you, however. Just know that you can’t actually taste it if you choose to add it.


By the way, we never add any ice to our smoothies, because we find that it takes away from the creaminess of them (that, and we never have ice on hand!). Instead, we use frozen fruit to achieve a similar effect. Feel free to use a few blocks of ice if you prefer, however.

Strawberry Cream Smoothie | www.maplealps.com

Strawberry Cream Smoothie

what you need:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I use soy)

  • 1 large banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker smoothie)

  • 1 cup strawberries (use frozen strawberries for a thicker smoothie)

  • 1 tsp ground flax seed (optional)


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a blender and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Do you enjoy a good smoothie? What is your go-to? Let me know in the comments!


 

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Whenever I envision the perfect summer break in my mind’s eye, whether I picture myself sitting somewhere peaceful like a nice deck or on the beach enjoying the sunshine, I also see myself sipping on some lemonade. It’s almost as if I can’t have summer without lemonade! Or some cold iced tea. But mostly lemonade!

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Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

I’ve done all different types of lemonade over the years. I remember one summer I was obsessed with putting ENTIRE (yes, whole) lemons into the blender with ice and agave. I mean, it was tasty, but I think my system couldn’t handle all of the rind by the end of it. Huh, just telling you about this is making me want to retry this episode of my life story! I also used to mix some other fruit into lemonade - usually blueberries, because I loooooove blueberries!

But this recipe is super easy. All you need is some lemons (duh), water, ice, and simple syrup (find the recipe here)! The simple syrup bit, you may have to plan ahead since it requires some cooling down, but it’s worth the wait, truly!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

The best part about this lemonade is that it’s quick and easy to make. That, and there are no instant lemonade granules in the bottle of your glass or jar. Seriously a pet peeve of mine! I like my lemonade natural and freshly squeezed from a lemon.

Use still water or swap it out for sparkling if you’re feeling fancy! Sip it out of your reusable straws (these are the ones that are picture that we use from Amazon!) and feel really good about what’s in your glass!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

what you need:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup simple syrup

  • 1 cup water (OR sparkling water)

  • Ice


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a small pitcher

2) Stir well, until mixed

3) Serve immediately with ice and enjoy!

 

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Are you a lemonade fan or an iced tea fan? If you liked this recipe, share it with a friend or on Pinterest! Did you try it? Snap a quick photo and tag us on Instagram @maplealps!