It’s been so long since I last posted that I almost forgot my password! I made this for dinner tonight for myself, but it’s so good that I want to share the recipe.
It’s adapted from The Minimalist Baker — http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-green-chili-mac-n-cheese/
I didn’t think that just plain mac and cheese would be satisfying enough for me to eat for dinner by itself (although there is 19 grams of protein per serving! — it’s more mental than anything), so I added some organic ground turkey. It turned out sort of hamburger helper-ish, but way more healthy.
Hey! — So promise me you’ll give this a chance before you write it off as weird because it is so good (and really easy).
What you’ll need:
-1 head of cauliflower
-3 cloves of garlic
-1/8 cup-ish Soymilk (or non-dairy milk of your choice, or real milk if you really want to)
-Salt & Pepper and some parsley if you want to be fancy like me
1. Boil the head of cauliflower in a big pot of water with the cloves of garlic until tender (mine was pretty huge and took about 20 minutes) — aka your fork can go through it without much pressure
2. When it’s done, drain the cauliflower and garlic and put them BOTH a food processor
Note: If you have an immersion blender that would definitely work better and I am pretty jealous
3. Blend the cauliflower, garlic, S&P and an 1/8 cup of soymilk together. Start by putting only part of the milk in and then slowly add until you have the consistency you want. Blend until all of the chunks are gone but not so that it’s all runny.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh or dried parsley (because herbs have lots of antioxidants and are delicious)
Then voila! I had it as a side to some fish here, but also ate it with some stew on top later on. It kept in the fridge well for a week and reheated perfectly. Use it like you would any starch!
I’ll be writing a more extensive post soon, but today I just wanted to share one of my go-to recipes for when I don’t want to cook anything fancy: Peanut Pasta! It’s just pasta and vegetables tossed in a simplified version of Thai peanut sauce. Healthy, quick, dairy free, gluten-free and sugar-free (depending on your peanut butter)!
-1/2 pound of organic brown rice penne*
-Approx. 2.5 cups of veggies**
-1/4 cup of peanut butter
-3 tablespoons of coconut milk
-2 tablespoons of soy sauce
-1 tablespoon of sesame oil
-1 tsp of garlic powder
-1 tsp of onion powder
-1/8 tsp of cayenne (vary depending on how spicy you like it, this is a medium heat)
-Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: Fresh juice from 1/2 a lime, bean sprouts, peanuts, etc. for some fancy Thai action
*You can use any kind of pasta you want. A spaghetti or fettuccine may need more sauce to cover all of the pasta. If you’re not concerned with gluten, whole wheat pasta could definitely be substituted. Rice noodles are also really great with this recipe.
**You can use any vegetables you want (are you seeing a theme here?) I like to use the microwave steamable veggie packs because they’re too easy.
Directions: Cook the pasta and vegetables separately. In a big mixing bowl, toss together all of the ingredients. Top with bean sprouts and crushed peanuts if you’re feeling inspired!
Until next time,
You’ve all heard by now that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. It’s called “breakfast” because you are literally breaking your fast, waking up your metabolic rate that has slowed overnight while you were sleeping. Breakfast is also credited with weight control, better concentration and lower cholesterol.
So how to cram breakfast into an already busy morning? I thought I’d share my favorites with you.
You all know by know I love my Nutribullet smoothies, and I discovered a totally delicious new recipe the other day.
Blueberry Blast Smoothie
Blend all of the ingredients together and go!
(Makes one serving)
-1 cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries
-a handful of spinach (or whatever greens you have around)
-1 banana (I like to freeze them the night before — make sure you take the peel off before putting them in the freezer!)
-coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice, but the coconut gives it a really nice flavor)
-1/4 cup of walnuts — optional, but a good brain boost!
I often run out of time getting ready in the morning, so I take breakfast to work with me. I have some old fashioned quaker oats that I make in the microwave in a tupperware container. Add some sea salt and some cinnamon, put the lid on, and then I eat it at work while I’m checking my email and getting ready for the day.
On the weekends especially I make some version of eggs for breakfast. While I do try to reduce my consumption of animal products, I make an exception a couple times a week for eggs because they have so many great nutrients. Of course I always buy organic and certified humane eggs. Make them however you like — sunny side up in some grapeseed oil, scrambled or even put a couple over brown rice like my friend Tara. Here’s a great omelette recipe for you that I made this morning!
Avocado Pepperjack Omelette
-1/8 Red Onion
– 4 thin slices Pepperjack Cheese (or shredded if you have it)
-2 teaspoons cumin
-Sea Salt & Pepper
1. Scramble eggs with finely chopped red onion, S&P, and cumin
2. Roughly chop tomato
3. Slice avocado
4. Heat up a saute pan on medium heat for 2 minutes
5. Pour in the scrambled eggs mixture
6. Let the eggs cook for about 2 minutes or until the eggs start to solidify, turn down the heat to low
7. Lay the cheese on the whole area
8. On one half of the eggs, lay all of the fillings
9. When the cheese has started to melt, fold the half without the fillings over
10. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 1 more minute to steam everything together.
Don’t mind my messy omelette – this was my first attempt with my brand new omelette pan that my lovely sister bought me for my birthday 🙂
What are your favorite breakfast items? Feel free to share in the comments!
Until next time,
We have had some pretty crazy weather changes in the mid-atlantic. It was 80 degrees on Sunday and then yesterday it was snowing! This has not helped the cold epidemic spreading through the office and my co-workers are dropping like flies. I like to tell them that I have an immune system of steel, which is pretty true. But I also have some tricks up my sleeve.
Whenever I see people getting sick around me, or start feeling sick myself, I immediately crank up the defenses. This includes drinking lots of lemon water, eating vegetables with every meal and lots of green tea. I also whip up a batch of this cold remedy that I swear by!
All-Natural Cold Elixir
-4 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (raw is best, but you can use whatever you have)
-4 tbsp filtered water
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1 tbsp honey
Put all the ingredients together in a mason jar or other seal-able container and shake it up! (You can dance while shaking if you want… I do)
Take a tablespoon every few hours as desired until your symptoms subside.The only downside to using this elixir is that you may be the only one well enough to be at work. It gets a little lonely sometimes 😉
Until next time,
It’s apparent by now that nutrition and food is one of my passions. The more cookbooks, healthy eating plans and other resources I peruse, the more I notice that one of my favorite foods is almost always missing — potatoes! I’m going to stand on my soapbox for a minute and say that I just do not get it. I’m not suggesting that you have a hall pass to eat unlimited french fries, potato chips and sour cream smothered baked potatoes. BUT — Prepared well, potatoes are a wealth of nutrients, low calorie, and such a comfort food.
What do they have to offer specifically? Lets break it down.
One medium potato contains:
-Vitamin B6: 10% daily value of one of my favorite vitamins, known for reducing depression, insomnia, and PMS
-Vitamin C: approximately 45% of your daily value
-Potassium: more than bananas and spinach!
-Fiber: about 4 grams per potato, most of which is in the skin, so eat that too!
-Caffeic and ferulic acids: phytochemical that may fight carcinogens
-Complex carbohydrates: May help manage depression, heartburn and memory function
I do HIGHLY recommend that you buy potatoes organic if they are available to you. They are part of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen,” the top 12 foods affected by pesticide use. They retain pesticides even after washing and peeling them! You can check out the rest of the ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘clean fifteen’ here: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
One of my favorite ways to cook potatoes is skillet-style. Here’s a recipe for you:
-4 or 5 red potatoes, cubed (or any kind you have around)
-3 tbsp coconut oil
-1 tbsp dried rosemary
-1/2 tbsp dried thyme
Heat a large skillet and add the coconut oil until melted. Throw in the potatoes and coat with the oil, herbs and some salt and pepper to taste. Cover the skillet and cook on medium heat for 6 or 7 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
The potatoes get a nice golden brown on the outside and taste like pure comfort. Not to mention the coconut oil and herbs add their own health benefits!
Next time you’re craving some starch, skip the pasta and go the potato route. You will not be disappointed.
Until next time,
picture courtesy of oregonrural.com
Hi lovely people,
Sunday was made for crockpot recipes, especially Sundays that usher in a cold week. I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you, crockpot lentil stew. It’s healthy, vegan, economical and delicious!
Obviously, throw all of the ingredients in the crockpot. Make sure you sort and rise your lentils well, as they are usually very dusty and could contain some extraneous pebbles or other debris. I used a mix of green and red lentils, but you can use two cups of one kind or whatever mixture you fancy. Also this ends up pretty spicy; if you want it milder leave out the jalapeño.
Cook on low for 8 or 9 hours. If the carrots and potatoes are still too crunchy for you, give it another hour or two on high.
This recipe is great because its a nice base for other vegetables or spice blends if you want to change things up. It’s warm, filling and full of protein thanks to the lentils. Lentils are a big “bang for your buck” kind of food, as they’re really inexpensive and full of nutrition. They are low fat while still being full of protein, fiber, folate, iron, and plant sterols (these help reduce cholesterol levels). I think they’re underutilized in western cooking. As is turmeric, a spice known for its liver detoxing qualities!
A meal like this lasts me all week, is easy to take to work, and is way more satisfying than a salad when it’s freezing out. Don’t get me wrong, I love salads, but lately I’m trying to stay warm any way I can. We’re ready for you spring!
Until next time,
Happy Sunday! As I get ready for another week, one of the major items on my to-do list is meal planning! I usually pick a couple main items for dinners, and then buy a bunch of produce to make salads throughout the week. One of my favorite snacks to prep is hummus! I snack on it with lentil chips, carrots, snap peas, or sometimes even right out of the container…
Let’s get real for a second…hummus can be expensive! Especially if you’re buying it by weight out of a fancy Mediterranean bar at Wegman’s. The good news is, that you can make hummus in less than ten minutes for a fraction of the price. Here’s how:
You will need a food processor, or bullet-like blender for this.
-Organic chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) (1 can, 15.5 oz)
-Tahini paste (1 TBS)
-Garlic cloves (2)
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil (3 TBS)
-Sea Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Rinse the chickpeas off in a colander. Put all of the ingredients with a little water in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Enjoy!
The great thing about hummus is that it can be completely tailored to your taste, and you can even get crazy with it! Want artichokes in yours? Go for it. Roasted red peppers? Even better. What if you even got a little feisty and tried some cumin and cilantro for a Mexican flair? The possibilities are endless!
Until next time,
It’s been a crazy week but I finally have a night off and I’m excited to share my newest secret weapon with you all — green smoothies! My co-workers know all about this obsession of mine because they see me walking around with odd colored beverages every day. I was first introduced to the idea of the “green drink” while attending Hay House’s ‘I Can Do It!’ conference in Washington D.C.. One of the speakers was the amazing Kris Carr. If you haven’t heard of her, please check out her website crazysexylife.com. She’s an advocate of a plant based, vegan diet and has used nutrition and other wellness practices to combat her stage 4 “incurable” cancer. It’s an amazing story and she has continued to inspire me to make changes in my life.
Now I know a vegan diet may not be for everyone, but the great thing is that just adding green smoothies to your routine can drastically improve your health. It gives your body access to all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in vegetables (and fruit!) in a form that is the most easily digested and absorbed. Instant nutrition!
Here is my favorite recipe:
– 1 handful of baby spinach
– 1/2 of a cucumber (peeled if it’s not organic!)
– 1 banana (frozen if you want it a little creamy and cold)
– about 3 ounces of coconut water
-1/2 an avocado (optional)
Put it all in a blender and enjoy! While I’m not here to endorse random products, I have to say I LOVE my nutribullet blender. If you are going to make this a daily practice, I highly recommend that you invest in this or another great blender that will blend seeds, ice and other tricky items. It’s done in a flash, and already in a self-serve cup that I just screw the lid onto and then it’s off to work!
I drink a smoothie like this every single day for breakfast. You cannot beat the health benefits of fresh, raw produce. Anytime you can eat (or drink!) a vegetable raw, you maximize the nutrients that you receive. Spinach alone is full of beta-carotene, folate, lutein, plant sterols, as well as vitamins C,B &K.
If you have a juicer you can also make green juice instead of smoothies. Equally as healthy, I just don’t have one so I’ve stuck with my smoothies.
On days that I work out in the morning, and want a little more protein in my life (especially important when you don’t eat meat) I make this gem, my version of a peanut butter, banana, chocolate shake:
-1 handful of spinach
-1 banana (again, I love them frozen)
-about 3 ounces of almond milk
-a scoop of almond butter (like peanut butter, only more awesome and less likely to have pesticides)
-1 tablespoon of cacao powder
Yes you read that right cacao, not cocoa. Cacao is the bean of the fruit that they make chocolate from, and it full of health benefits in its raw form. Plus it tastes like dark chocolate! Cacao is high in antioxidants, magnesium, and flavanols. It has been shown to boost serotonin levels, increase circulation, increase mental alertness, and raise levels of good cholesterol. You can get it in health food stores, or just order it off of amazon like I do.
So friends, are you convinced yet?
I hope so. If you want more inspiration or great recipes check out this video by Kris:
Good luck experimenting and I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes! I’m always looking for great new combinations to try.