diet

Skinny Mediterranean “Pasta”

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I spotted this colorful recipe on Peace Love Shea’s blog, and it just looked so yummy! It definitely delivered, with serious flavor. It’s a great Spring dish, I highly recommend throwing on your ruffled apron and getting your bake on.

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To speed up your time in the kitchen, I recommend piercing the spaghetti squash and microwaving it for 6 minutes, flipping it over and microwaving another 6 minutes, until tender. (You may want to check on the squash in intervals, since some microwaves are more powerful than others.)

This “pasta” can be served hot or cold, making it the perfect party dish! I paired it along with a balsamic baked portobello mushroom and steamed kale.

Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday

I have a serious weakness for Mexican dishes! I put a healthy spin on your typical Taco Tuesday, minus the calories, but full of flavor. The superfood loaded dish makes it a guilt-free indulgence.

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Yields 1 Entree Sized Serving

1/4 C Quinoa, dry

2 C Hearts of Romaine, chopped

1/2 C Black Beans, no-salt added or dried & cooked

1/4 Avocado, sliced

1 Roma Tomato, diced

1 T Salsa

Juice of Fresh Lime

Wow-A-Chihuahua (Whole Foods) or your own blend of cumin, cayenne, garlic, chili, cilantro, onion & red pepper

Fresh Cilantro

  • Place quinoa in a pot with 1/2 C water, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, cover and let simmer, until the water is absorbed.
  • Once quinoa is finished cooking, mix in Mexican Seasoning and lime juice, and stir well.
  • Chop romaine and place in a bowl.
  • Scoop the seasoned quinoa onto the greens.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, and top with salsa.

IMG_4603If you’re craving delicious tacos, this south of the border recipe brings all the flavor.

2-3 Small Organic Corn Tortillas

1/4 Avocado, Chopped

1 Small Roma Tomato, Chopped

1-2 T Daiya Pepper Jack

2 t Wow A Chihuahua

Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime

Layer ingredients on tortillas, and bake in toaster oven until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Dishes

Sticking to healthy eating during the holidays can be tricky. Luckily, there are numerous holiday inspired recipes that can keep us in check, without missing out on the flavor. These vegan and gluten-free dishes are some of my favorite!

Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Delish Squash Bisque

East West Baked Vegetables

Rainbow Stuffed Peppers

Veggie-Tumeric Quinoa

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Pecan Crust

No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Cookie Balls (Vegan/Gluten-Free/Sugar-Free)

Delish Squash Bisque

Right around this time last year, I read The Beauty Detox by celeb nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder. It’s an amazing approach to healthy eating and the order of food consumption. Her book is filled with tons of yummy recipes that are antioxidant filled to promote a radiant glow. With cold, rainy weather the last few days, I’ve been craving her Delish Squash Bisque. It’s the perfect Fall soup for a chilly day. I made it today, along with Tone It Up’s 3 Ingredient Cookies. What are some of your favorite comfort dishes for cold weather?

Delish Squash Bisque

1 medium acorn squash
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 Tbs. coconut oil or vegetable broth
3 celery stalks, cubed
2-3 full carrots, cubed
1 tsp. ginger, grated
½- 1 Tbs. of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt, as needed to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 cups of water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  1. Cut the acorn squash open, remove seeds and peel, and cut into cubes.
  2. Heat coconut oil or vegetable broth in a large cooking pot.
  3. Lightly sauté the garlic, then add the onion and the grated ginger.
  4. Do not overcook! Use medium rather than high heat.
  5. Add salt and black pepper and stir in.
  6. Add the rest of the vegetables and gently cook over low heat, until they lightly start to soften.
  7. Add water and cover, simmering the vegetables for 30 minutes or so, or until tender.
  8. Pour mixture into blender and puree. Add the unsweetened almond milk. *(I use an immersion blender instead, to avoid transferring the soup back and forth. Great investment!)
  9. Add back to the cooking pot and keep on low heat.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 I made these simple cookies (with a not so simple taste!) from the Tone It Up blog for a mid-morning snack. I added cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and carob chips. They’re delicious! If you follow the Tone It Up Program, they’re a great option for Meals 1-3.

Tone It Up 3 Ingredient Cookies

2 Medium Ripe Bananas
1 Cup of Oats
1 Scoop/Packet Perfect Fit Protein Powder (or other favorite brand!)

*Optional: I added Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice & Carob chips

  1. Mash your peeled bananas in a bowl with a fork ~ mash well! Add in the scoop of Perfect Fit and keep mixing. Depending on how ripe your bananas are, you may need to add a few drops of almond milk or water to make your dough the right consistency. Lastly, mix in the oats.
  2. Use a spoon to drop the dough on your cookie sheet ~ be sure to coat it with non-stick cooking spray ~ and lightly press down to flatten. This helps it bake better!
  3. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown! If they are still a little mushy, just bake for a little bit longer.

Other great optional add-ins include: raisins, pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree, cranberries, walnuts, slivered almonds

National Pancake Day

It’s no surprise that I love breakfast foods, particularly pancakes. I’m always in search of trying new healthy/vegan recipes sans the loaded sugar and butter. With September being National Breakfast Month, and today being National Pancake Day, I wanted to share a healthy pancake recipe from the current issue of Fitness Magazine.

I was excited to see a vegan pancake recipe in the October issue of Fitness Magazine. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is the amount of sodium in the recipe, which I omitted completely. I recommend adding a packet of Stevia, or any other add-ins such as blueberries, nuts, or chocolate chips.


Banana-Oatmeal Pancakes

Makes: 8 Pancakes (Using 1/4-Cup batter servings, mine made 14)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2-C Soy Milk (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1 C Rolled Oats
  • 2 Bananas, chopped
  • 1/2-C All-Purpose Flour (I used Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
  • 1 T + 1 t Baking Powder
    1. In a blender, puree soy milk* and oats until smooth. Add bananas, flour, 1/2 t salt*, and baking powder and puree a few seconds more. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.
    2. Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Mist with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop batter into pan in 1/4-Cup increments. Reduce heat to medium low and cook pancakes until air bubbles appear and underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more. Top with sliced bananas and maple syrup if desired.

Nutritional facts per serving if recipe makes 8 Pancakes (2 pancakes): 235 Calories, 8g Protein, 46g Carbohydrates, 3g Fat, 5g Fiber, 780 mg Sodium (with salt) 23 mg Sodium (without salt)

October Fitness Magazine, Recipe from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin

This Week in Meals

I have a strong interest in maintaining a whole foods lifestyle and the benefits it provides. I’m always researching and reading new books on different approaches and diets to see which ones work best for me. It’s important to me to incorporate super foods into my diet, because of their amazing benefits.

Lucy Danziger, the Editor-in-Chief of Self Magazine, created the Drop 10 Diet: Add to your Plate to Lose the Weight. The basis of the diet is incorporating one or more of 20 super foods into your daily meals. The 1600-calorie per day diet includes Breakfast: 350 calories, Lunch: 450 calories, Snack: 150 calories, Dinner: 450 calories, and 200 Happy Calories per day. The book includes recipes and meal ideas, but is completely flexible, not sticking to a particular “meal plan” or eliminating certain foods after a specific time. I began following the concept of the diet this week. The recipes are very filling, and don’t leave me feeling hungry in between meals.

As I have shared before, as much of a health nut as I am, I have a serious “faux” sweet tooth. The 200 “happy calories” per day let’s me get my sugar fix and stay satisfied. The perfect balance! Depriving myself of any “junk” foods, only results in whipping up a batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies and having one too many. (i use the term “faux” sweet tooth; though the sweets I eat are vegan & whole foods (no processed ingredients here!).. as like any other food, they aren’t exactly healthy when they aren’t consumed in moderation.) The Drop 10 Diet leaves plenty of room for creativity, and even lists possible options to choose from at a variety of restaurant locations. Once you learn which foods have great “fat-burning” properties, it’s simple to incorporate them into any type of diet. The Stuffed Sweet Potato was delicious! I from a recipe on Happy Healthy Life.

Don’t forget about dessert! I was excited to find that the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie from Chocolate Covered Katie rings in right around 200 calories, making it the perfect “happy calories” treat. It’s pretty amazing.. would you believe that the main ingredient is chickpeas? Trust me, you wouldn’t believe if you tried it.

Garlicky Kale Salad

After trying the Garlicky Kale Salad at Whole Foods, it became an obsession. It’s the kind of salad I could eat everyday. I had to recreate it. This similar recipe is fantastic. It’s simple to make, and can be made ahead of time since it’s recommended to let the leaves marinate. Aside from the amazing antioxidant benefits of kale, it is also rich in fiber.