Peachy Blueberry Crumble

As you may very well know I LOVE making breakfast bakes, I mean LOVE!  Since I use what I have left in my house to make these I looked at my two beautiful peaches and decided to go for it.  There are so many good things about fall, including pumpkin everything, but I also happen to love peaches.  I saw them at the farmers market and it reminded me of when I was a kid.  My parents own a fruit orchard and one of the fruits on the orchard included peaches, including white ones which were delicious and you don’t see them anymore!

Anyway, trying to make anything these days is very difficult with a 7 week old baby and even more so when she will only sleep on me!  I carry her around in a wrap all day to help me get things done.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I love the cuddles and could seriously nap and cuddle with her all day but I’m starting to feel anxious and my life is slipping though my hands!  The days seem so long by the weeks just fly and it makes me a bit anxious to get back to being productive!

I always try to do various versions which include vegan, paleo and just a good ole’ healthy version (or Angie’s blended variation).  This one was a combo but I also added in some ingredients to keep the breast milk flowing for this growing baby girl!  My secret additions; Brewer’s yeast and fenugreek.  Oats are also a huge part of my diet, like I put them in everything these days, to keep my iron intake up and milk production on point.  You can take it or leave it with these variations but I always like to have options.  I’m a girl who likes options!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast *for lactation
  • 1 tsp fenugreek *for lactation
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup whole grain oats (for Paleo do one cup of coconut flour and almond flour)
  • 2 scoops Orgain Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice from 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk (or you can do 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup almond milk)
  • 2 large peaches
  • 1 cup blueberries

*optional: add the lactation ingredients

*optional: top with greek yogurt for a parfait and added protein

First step is to marinate your fruit.  In this case, because I only have 2 large peaches, I opted to add blueberries which I had frozen.  Cut up your peaches into small cubes and put into a bowl with lemon and honey and let marinate and set aside.  Do the same with the blueberries.

Step two is to mix all of your dry ingredients.  In this case, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla plant protein powder, fenugreek, brewer’s yeast and chia seeds.

After you have mixed your dry ingredients, add in the eggs, almond milk, water & coconut oil.  The mixture should be nice a lumpy (not to wet and not too dry) and crumbly.

Grease your baking dish and pour the marinated blueberries to cover the bottom of the baking dish.  Next layer add 1/2 of the crumble mixture to cover the blueberries.  Following that layer add your marinated peaches.  I topped the peaches off with drizzled maple syrup to ensure the sweetness was on point.  Finally add your last 1/2 of the crumble mixture to the top.

Now here is the tricky part.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350.  I forgot about it initially and left the house and ended up over cooking this first round, but it turned out great!  I was very surprised!  So my message here is that you can’t overdo it!

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Blueberry GF Breakfast Cake

I recently stumbled upon my new obsession for my favorite meal of the day.  I love breakfast and I especially love carb like breakfast items now more than ever.  Now that I’ve 3 weeks postpartum I’ve had a hard time breaking my carb obsessed diet  Not that they were all bad carbs but i wasn’t in a great habit and would have to give into my cravings for PB & J, egg sandwiches and etc. during pregnancy.  Now that I’m trying to get back on the right track I’ve really tried to find breakfast items that are healthy but also satisfy my cravings.

I thought of this recipe while laying awake in bed feeding my newborn and was fantasizing about my next meal.  After all breastfeeding give you a whole new level of hunger and I wake up each morning very excited for my next meal to begin!  However, I really have no time to prep.  The other morning I was just trying to make a simple oatmeal over the stove and had to stop mid cooking to nurse a fussy newborn.  In order to avoid this in the future and stop a hungry beast from raging my kitchen I decided I need to prepare breakfast meals ahead whenever possible.

I couldn’t decide what to call this recipe so would love your feedback/input on a name that’s fitting.  It can be made vegan, paleo, GF with just some simple modifications which I will provide below.  Would love to see your pictures and hear your feedback so if you end up making please tag me on Instagram @AngieRHart1!

First I like to prepare the blueberry compote mixture and set aside so it can marinate.

  • 2 cups unsweetened frozen or fresh blueberries (I used the frozen Wild blueberries from Trader Joes)
  • 1/3 cup Agave
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon (squeeze the juice from the entire half into the bowl

Mix well and set aside until ready to use.

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Next prepare the dry mixture:

Gluten Free Option:

  • 1 1/2 cups GF Whole Grain Oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 scoops Orgain Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients in food processor (if available it helps to grind up the oats to a finer consistency) or mix well in a large bowl.

Add in the following:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • *optional add 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt.  (I used in the recipe to provide a bit more moisture)

Mix well.

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Grease 8×8 baking pan fully and add 1/2 of the mixture to cover the entire bottom of the pan.  Should be about 1/2″ thick.  Pour blueberry mixture over top and fully cover bottom layer.  Top with remaining 1/2 batter mixture.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Let cool for approx 5 min before serving.  I couldn’t wait the full 5 min but it was absolutely amazing!  My hubby and I both LOVED this new recipe and have eaten it the past couple days for breakfast!

 

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Vegan Crockpot Tacos

Since I’m currently 36 weeks + 3 days pregnant I’m in major nesting mode between cleaning, organizing and cooking I’m trying to do everything I can to get ready for baby.  This includes some make ahead meals.  Now I certainly do not intend for these to last another month, but it does means I will be testing recipes that are quick, easy and can be made ahead prior to baby’s arrival.  It also means finding very simple recipes that my hubby can easily re-produce while I’m in resting, healing and taking care of baby mode.

So in an attempt to find a few more creative ideas I went to Pinterest and found a really tasty looking mexican quinoa crockpot recipe and thought I would give it a try. I stumbled across this really fantastic blog, Chelsea’s Messy Apron.  I wanted to give her tacos a try but of course add my own spin on them but it was a great base and thought starter for me.  She also has beautiful food pics which I always appreciate!

Super easy just throw everything in the crockpot.  PRep time is minimal and really easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 1 tbsp Spiceologist Chili Margarita Lime Seasoning
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (with seeds removed to take out the spice)
  • 1 fresh squeezed lime (1/2 for crockpot mixture and 1/2 for garnish when serving)

Instructions:

  1. In a large crockpot add the all the ingredients above. Make sure to rinse the beans, corn and quinoa prior to adding to the crockpot.
  2. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 – 3 hours.  Make sure to check this as all crockpots cook at different speed and temps.  You may want to add more time if needed.
  3. When quinoa is fully cooked serve on tortillas or alone.  I made paleo tortillas the other day and they are a huge hit with my hubby and I so we will probably use these rather than buying tortillas.  Link to the recipe here
  4. Lasty, garnish with your favorite toppings.   I love garnishing with avocado and fresh squeezed lime.

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Slow Cooker Paleo Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

One thing I try to keep in mind when shopping or preparing food is the number of ingredients and what type of ingredients are listed on the items I purchase at the store.  I have really tried in the past 7 years to simplify my food and really focus on simple ingredients and the most natural possible.  Most of this blog is vegan and vegetarian and I’ve really had to try to incorporate more paleo recipes as my husband is very gracious and eats vegan and vegetarian with me at times but really prefers a chicken or meat dish of some sort.  Its really been fun trying to find recipes he also enjoys as his palette is a bit different than mine.

You have to be creative and when you have a spouse or a family and you really have to try to incorporate so many different food preferences into one meal but also not over complicate as nobody has time for that.  Although I do not eat chicken I do buy hormone free, organic chicken and beef no matter what.  I gave up chicken and meat over 15 years ago because I just couldn’t stand  the amount of hormones that were pumped into meat and they way it was processed.  That being said, its a personal choice and by no means do I expect everyone to live by those same rules and extremes.  Hence why I accommodate my hubby since he is very tolerate and very accommodating of what I eat.  Don’t get me wrong, in no way is he demanding I make him meat.  If I make a vegan/vegetarian dish and he wants meat he will make his own if he feels he needs it.  We are a team and both want each other to eat what is filling and desired.  We do both however eat very healthy.  He and I both don’t eat processed foods and we limit our carb and sugar intake.  We only eat whole grain carbs if any, never refined.  I do really enjoy making paleo carb substitutions and now in 2017 there are SO many ways to get creative with all natural paleo ingredients.

Today I made these Salsa Verde Chicken tacos, which I’ve made in the past from a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I’ve tailored this to have my own creative flare and also made the taco shells from scratch, paleo of course and hubby likes it so much he had a couple servings!  That’s when I know the meal has passed the test!

When I have time, I really prefer to use a crock pot and this recipe is one that is so much better after simmering in a crock pot for 4-5 hours.  The juices just marinate and the taste is so much more flavorful.

Ingredients:

Salsa Verde Chicken Taco Meat

  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup organic salsa verde
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Spiceologist Chili Margarita seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *Hot sauce and cayenne pepper to add a bit more spice!

Coconut Flour Tortillas:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/16 baking powder
  • 3 egg whites + 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup warm water (stir to make sure consistency is not chunky and a bit runny to ensure you can spread in the pan)  Add more warm water if you feel its still too thick.

Directions:

Step 1:

place 4 chicken breasts at bottom of slow cooker.  Add all ingredients from above (except for hot sauce and cayenne) and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  If you want it to simmer a bit longer you can add another hour.  I actually left these on high for about 5 hours.  Otherwise, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Step 2:

After chicken has simmered for 3-4 hours take two large forks and begin to shred the chicken while in the crock pot.  Once its thoroughly shredded mix and make sure its marinating well in the juices.  Add in your hot sauce or additional spices if preferred.  I added in more chili powder and cayenne pepper because my hubby likes it really spicy.  Let simmer for another hour or two if you have the time.

Step 3:

While waiting on that final hour for the chicken to marinate you can prepare your tortillas or have them prepared ahead of time.  Keep in mind these take time to cool so you want to start them at least 30-45 min before you are ready to serve to also leave room for error.  These tortillas took some perfecting so give yourself time!

Start by mixing all the above ingredients for the tortillas into a bowl.  Use a whisk to ensure the mixture is smooth and not lumpy.  Heat a pan on the stove top on medium and use grapeseed/olive or coconut oil to ensure the tortilla doesn’t stick and also helps to form the edges.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of the mixture and immediately pick up the pan and circle the pan so the mixture smooths out over the surface of the pan.  Set back on the stove and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes or until the top starts to form bubbles.  Start by edging the tortilla with a flat spatula.  Once it isn’t sticking and edges start to come up place the spatula directly underneath the tortilla and flip very quickly!  I try to use the pan to quickly flip but it may take a few trials to get it!

Let the opposite side saute for about 1 minute and take the pan off the heat and very carefully slide the tortilla out of the pan on to parchment paper to cool.  Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Once you have the cooled tortillas take approx 1/3 cup of the shredded taco meat and serve on each individual shell.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Recipe makes approx 6-10 tacos depending on the serving size.

Finished tacos

 

Get Your Glow On Power Smoothie

For years I’ve been reading about how to not only eat foods for your health but also how to slow down or prevent the aging process.  Now there are a lot of things I do to prevent the latter, however food is one of my favorite topics and the easiest way to incorporate into your lifestyle.

There are more and more studies about the affects that food has not only on your skin but also your long term health.  If you can incorporate one thing into your life I would encourage you to incorporate more fruits and veggies.  And no, don’t avoid fruits because you think they have too much sugar!  What you should be avoiding is processed, refined and artificial sugars.  There are many diets out there and I go by the thought of I’m feeding my body the most natural foods to give me proper digestion to help regulate my body in its most comfortable and natural state.

I’ve been reading more and more on mitochondria and microbes and I’ll spare you the boring and tedious details, but there is something to this!  Its not about a diet, its about feeding your gut what it needs to operate your immune system and run most efficiently.  This in turn leads to a happy, functioning gut and a happy person.  The worst thing in the world is when your stomach is upset or not functioning properly after you just ate a meal.  Think about it, you can’t focus, you lose energy, you cannot resume normal functions until your gut is happily functioning.  Think of this every time you put something into your mouth.  Is this good for my gut?  Is this going to make me feel happy or awful?  Is this going to make me crash in a few hours or will it give me fuel to get through my day effectively?  Very simple questions that can guide you in your plethora of food options available to you.

I’m posting a green smoothie recipe today that is just that, good for the gut, good for the skin and good for your mood!  Not only does this smoothie have the nutrient dense ingredients, but it also provides unlimited amount of secondary benefits.  For one, its extremely nutrient dense with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that aid in glowing skin by preventing inflammation, which can cause all sorts of skin issues, and the phytochemicals in the fruits and veggies protect against cell damage that can cause wrinkles.  When you are drinking this, not only will it taste delicious, but just think of all of the benefits your body is receiving in ONE meal!  Now cheers to that and cheers to your health and glowing skin!!

Place all of the below into a blender and mix!

Ingredients:

  • 4 handfuls of organic power greens (spinach and kale)
  • 1 pouch Big Slice Apples
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (key for gut health!)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 scoops of Orgain Vegan Organic Plant Protein – vanilla
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

Blend and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t Beet this veggie burger!

If you love veggie burgers like I do then you are constantly on the hunt for the next best, freshly created burger.  If not, you opt to create you own.  The thing about great veggie burgers is they are mushy, messy and typically very hard to maintain in burger form which is ironic they are called a burger.  However, the point is that these delicious variations take some prep time and its certainly not something you want to make on a Monday night after work for dinner.  This is more of a weekend project where you have time, are ready to make a mess and stock up for the weeks ahead.

The wonderful things about pepping these burgers is you can freeze them and save them for months.  I have a constant stock in my freezer to take out at any given time.  I like to always have something available for a very quick meal on the go or a late dinner after a long day.  The other great thing is they are filled with so many veggies and beans they literally provide all of the essential nutrients and macros in one patty that you would need to create for an entire meal.  It makes it easy to everything at once on the go!  Now, who can resist making these after hearing that?  I mean, there’s no downside except the prep!

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These veggie burgers are also gluten free, vegan and all freaking natural just the way I like them!  Now, get ready to make you kitchen and hands a mess!  Have fun!!

  • 3 medium roasted red beets
  • 1 large roasted parsnip
  • 4 roasted Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 large roasted carrots
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup brown rice cooked
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp Spiceologist Greek Freak
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

First, roast the beets, carrots, parsnips & artichokes at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Set aside and cool.

Meanwhile, bring approx 2 cups of water to a boil and add brown rice.   Set aside and let drain and cool.

Begin sauteing garlic, onions and kale with olive oil.  this shold soften the onions and kale but shouldn’t be charred just golden brown.

Peel and chop the roasted veggies and set aside.

Drain and rinse the beans.

Add all of the veggies, oats and beans to the food processor.  You may have to process half the mix and then the second half.  Once you have processed lightly for about 5-10 seconds then combine in large bowl.  Add the brown rice, spices, egg & flour.

Heat a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil.  form mix into patties the size of your palm.  They  will more look like balls but that’s ok!  They don’t form right way and take a minute to simmer in the olive oil to form and brown.  Let simmer on each side for approx 5-8 minutes.  Make sure both sides are brown/charred and carefully continue flipping until the patties have hardened enough to remove from the pan.

Once you remove from pan, move immediately to parchment paper to cool.  Let set for approx 5-10 minutes and they are ready to eat!  If you are planning to store them, let cool for 30-45 min before packaging.  I like to keep them in the freezer and heat in the microwave whenever needed.

I hope you enjoy!!!  Until next time, I’d love to hear feedback or tag me in your pictures if you try the recipe @AngieRHart1 on Instagram!!

 

 

Best Ever Veggie Burgers with Flare!

When I decided to make these veggie burgers I got my inspiration from Pinterest and honestly there are a LOT of great recipes out there.  Because I had so many veggies in the fridge I wanted to use I created my own based on what I know I do and do not like about traditional veggie burgers.  First, I like mine to be so fresh the almost fall apart when they are heated up.  To me, that is the epitome of freshness.  I don’t like dry or bland veggie burgers so I made sure to add a lot of spice.  WARNING: the recipe while making it DOES NOT look inciting but if its made with real veggies and beans, it shouldn’t be.  So don’t freak out.

When making veggie burgers its essential to make sure you include all of your macros in the burger since this will be your primary meal with possibly additional sides.  Because I made a larger batch and wasn’t sure how I would use them I did just that.  Pack them with beans & legumes for protein, oats for whole grains, and of course loaded them with veggies.

First you will want to start with your mixture of vegetables.  I took what veggies I had in the fridge and chopped them up and put them in the food processor.  I like when the veggies are ground up with the beans, oats and flour so I prefer to use in a food processor, however, its perfectly fine to mix in a bowl.  Just make sure you get your veggies chopped nice and small.

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The veggies that I used include the following:

  • Carrots
  • Red Onion
  • Purple radish (however this is not necessary and you can use another crunchy veggie of your preference.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Red & yellow peppers
  • Green Onion

 

 

 

 

 

Once your veggies are chopped/diced/sliced every which way then place them in a bowl and put them to the side.  Rinse your beans if you are using canned, and rinse them well.  I use a strainer and let them set over the sink until all the water is drained.  This will helping the burger forming process later on.  Once they are drained, pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture and add them to your veggie mixture.

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Next, you want to prep all of your remaining ingredients and have them accessible – or at least that is how I like to have them.  That way you can mix and add as you go to ensure the consistency is on par.

Now because this mixture was a double recipe it was too large for my food processor so I took about half and mixed it then took the other half and did the same.  WARNING: if you are using a food processor just make sure not to over process your mixture.  It can become watery and just end up looking like mush.  You want it properly mixed but not over mixed, make sense?  I know, its a fine line with veggie burgers!

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Once you have mixed the beans and veggies combine into one large bowl.  Here is where you will add your flour, oats, spices and oils.  Below is what it looked like when I combined everything together.  Again, NOT PRETTY but trust me, delicious in the end!!!!

Step 1:

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Step 2:

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Step 3: Let cool.

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Final Step: Add toppings!!!

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Now its time for the fun to begin!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 5-8 minutes

Total Time :30-33 minutes

  • 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/4 large purple radish, chopped
  • 3-5 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 mini peppers (red, yellow, orange) or 1 large, chopped
  • 2-3 handfulls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 – 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free whole grain oats
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of SPICEOLOGIST Greek Freak

In a large bowl, combine veggies and beans that have been rinsed and drained.

If you are using a food processor, this makes a double batch so make sure to split the mixture in two, process and transfer into a new large bowl.  Take the second half of mixture, process and add to larger bowl with newly processed mixture.  Otherwise, you can process the veggies separate then the beans and transfer to the same bowl once both are processed.   If you are mixing by hand, make sure to mix well!

Once you have the mixture into one large bowl, add the oats, spices,and chickpea flour, egg and mix well.

Get your stove top ready on medium-high heat with about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.  Don’t worry you will be adding more as you cook more patties!  This makes about 16 patties, depending on the size of the patty you want.  make them as large or small as you like, just remember they are quite soft so the larger they are the less you can fit in your skillet.

Form into ball-like patties and drop them into your heated skillet.  The oil will help with sticking and forming the patties as they cook.  Don’t worry about making perfect patties before they start cooking, they will form as you cook.  Leave cooking for about 3 minutes then try to flip them.  Cook on the opposite side for about 3-5 minutes or until they are well-browned at the top.  I flipped mine a couple times as it became easier to flip as they hardened.

Set the patties aside on foil or parchment paper and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Continue with the remaining mixture and keep adding oil as you go as the pan will start to dry out.  You want to make sure you have enough oil so they cook and so you are able to flip them.

Finishing touches:

In this particular photo I cooked two fried egg whites and topped my burger with whole fat organic Monterrey jack cheese, the fried egg white, smashed avocado, chopped olives and sriracha sauce.  It was absolutely scrumptious!!!!

I posted this photo along with several other food photos on my instagram if you want to follow along @AngieRHart1.

 

 

 

 

Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas

There are so many types of breakfast eaters.  Those that can’t stand the thought of breakfast and therefore opt for their morning cup of joe, those that grab and go for the most convenient option (healthy or not), those that plan ahead and sit down to eat breakfast or pack something for on the go.  I’m definitely the latter.  I love when things are quick, easy, and healthy that power me through my morning.  It’s also very important that it keeps me satisfied until lunch.  Because I have morning workouts I don’t want to succumb to my ravenous hangry monster that may unleash if I don’t fuel my body properly. Therefore, I have my go-to breakfast options that are easy, healthy and delicious.

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Chocolate Protein Oats. This is pretty hearty so I mainly use this for post workout.  This is guaranteed to keep you full for hours.  I keep my ingredients at work and mix it together as soon as I get into the office.

  1. Ingredients include: 1 pkt plain whole grain oats, 1 scoop plant warrior chocolate protein powder, ½ cup water, ½ cup unsweetened or plain almond milk or coconut milk. Top with a drizzle of almond butter, bananas, or berries of your choice.  I mix up the toppings to keep it interesting:)

 

 

  1. Avocado Toast.
    1. Ingredients include: 1 slice whole grain bread, ¼ avocado smashed on top, sprinkle with hemp seeds.  Add some scrambled egg whites if you are at home and need more protein or hard boiled eggs for on the go.

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  • Smoothie parfait. This is a spin on a smoothie because I enjoy eating my food rather than drinking.  Some mornings I will drink a protein shake but there are days when I just need to eat food.
    1. Ingredients: ½ frozen banana, ½ frozen blueberries, 1 cup almond milk, ½ scoop plant protein powder, 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp granola

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  • Yogurt Parfait: plain 0% greek yogurt topped with fruit of your choice. Sometimes I’ll go berries and sometimes I’ll just throw whatever fruit I see on top.  Sprinkle a little granola and you are set.

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  • Overnight Coconut Oats: Prepare 1/3 cup plain whole grain oats, 2/3 cup milk, 2 tsp chia, 1 tbsp agave or honey, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp maca powder. Mix together and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Throw it in your bag in the morning and you are set!  *I’ll also add vanilla protein powder instead of the hemp seeds to substitute flavor and add more protein.
  • Nut Butter Toast
    1. 1 slice whole grain bread topped with 1 tbsp almond/cashew or peanut butter, ½ sliced banana, pinch of cinnamon and drizzle of honey. You can also substitute the banana for some toasted coconut and its delicious!

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  • Crispy Apple Slice (also a great snack midday!)
    1. 2-3 apple slices cut horizontally, 1-2 tbsp nut butter, ¼ cup granola to sprinkle on top

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Balanced Bowls

Spicy Tempeh Macro Bowl

If there’s one thing that I love to create the most, it’s BOWLS!  I love creating them because you can throw in a hodgepodge of ingredients and they always turn out great.  Some require more effort than others but overall the concept is the same.  Anything from smoothie bowls, salad bowls, macro bowls to just a bowl of freaking food, I love making bowls.

Since my recent trip to LA I’ve noticed the trend is really focused on Macro bowls.  I visited some of the hottest vegan joints from the Butcher’s Daughter, Café Gratitude, Gracias Madre & more.  I made it my mission to find as many possible raw, vegan, farm to plate restaurants as possible during my week long stay.  While the food was more incredible from one place to the next,  I noticed a common theme with a variety of bowls on the menu.  The spectrum is quite broad when it comes to the bowl themes.  If you are looking for a comfort bowl you can go for the southern food sampler with red beans and dirty rice, blackened jerk tempeh, barbecue sauce and some jalapeno gluten free biscuits, or you can go for the Mexican inspired bowl made with pinto beans, pico de gallo, salsa Verde, avocado, Portobello mushrooms and pickled veggies.  Whatever your taste buds desire, the bowl is got it made and you are sure to leave not feeling hungry!

The word macrobiotic is a diet in which an attempt is made to balance the yin and yang elements of food; this means that grains are a staple, supplemented with other foods such as vegetables, seeds, sauces & good fats.  When making a bowl you should start with these basic steps:

  • Grains – base of your bowl. These should make up about 40-50% of your meal.  You can use anything from brown rice, barley, millet, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, buckwheat & etc. are recommended sources.
  • Vegetables – Veggies are the most important part of your macro meal. Cooked and raw veggies should make up 30-40% of your bowl.  Leafy greens are key and using local and in season veggies are always preferred.
  • Protein – Anything from fish, tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, lentils & etc. should make up about 20% of your bowl. *If you eat meat you can certainly substitute here as well to make a bowl it just isn’t part of the macrobiotic diet.
  • Condiments/Oils – Oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil are great. Miso paste, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, tamari, tahini, brown rice syrup, veggie broth, avocado & etc. are great options.
  • Fermented foods – Tempeh is ideal but pickled veggies are a great option to bring lots of probiotics into your diet.
  • Sea Vegetables – Sea veggies like seaweed, kelp and etc. are rich in vitamins and minerals and great additions to your health and can be added as extra toppings.

Now that you know the basics, you are ready to start making your bowl!  I also love spices and have a variety on hand.

First I started with the rice, since that takes some time to sauté over the stove it’s nice to start it early so it’s simmering when you are preparing the rest of your ingredients.  Bowl making requires some juggling in the kitchen and I had 4 projects going on at one time so make sure you are equipped with space and you can set aside the ingredients to prepare a beautiful bowl at the end.

Second, I started the kale salad since I wanted to massage the kale to ensure it was nice and lathered making it more desirable when eating.  First I removed the steps from the kale then chopped it into smaller pieces and set aside into a colander.  Once I had filled the colander I rinsed the leaves and patted dry with a paper towel and set aside.  Meanwhile, it was time to prepare the dressing.  I made a vegan avocado “Caesar” dressing because it really does taste like Caesar dress, however it doesn’t look like it!

Third, start sautéing the onions & mushrooms with the tempeh.  You will want to put a small amount of olive oil in the pan and add in the chopped onion and mushrooms.  Let the veggies sauté and lightly brown and remove from heat.  Immediately following the removal of the veggies, I used the same pan and threw in the tempeh.  After slicing into 1”x 3” slices you can place them into the pan and lightly season.  Depending on your spice tolerance you can go plain or throw in more spice.  My recipe consists of a spicy tempeh.

Avocado Caesar Dressing

  • ½ avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water

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  • Chop garlic cloves and add to blender with avocado, vinegar, tahini, lemon juice and water. Blend until smooth and is liquid enough to pour.  It should be the consistency of a creamy dressing like ranch or Caesar dressing.
  • Pour over kale leaves and toss until fully massaged though the leaves.

Spicy Chickpea Croutons

  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp curry
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Rinse beans and place into colander to ensure they are fully rinsed. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet and top with oil. Mix the beans to ensure they are coated with oil to better absorb the spices.
  • Evenly distribute the paprika, curry, sea salt and cayenne pepper over the beans and shake the pan to evenly coat the beans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chickpeas are a bit crispy
  • Remove and set aside to let cool then top on kale salad when you have the bowl prepared.

Spicy Tempeh & Sautéed veggies

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup shitake mushrooms
  • ½ onion

Sauté in pan for about 5-8 min on high.  Remove from pan and set aside.

  • 1 pkg light life 3 grain tempeh
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika

 

  1. While pan is still hot, add in the sliced tempeh so they are flat in the pan so one side starts to sear and brown.
  2. While those are sautéing, add all of the spices (pepper, salt, cayenne & paprika) into a bowl and mix.
  3. Sprinkle on the spice mix so you use about ½ of the mix.
  4. Turn the tempeh to sear the other side and use the remaining spice mix. Both sides should be lightly browned and crispy.

Now that you have prepared all of your ingredients you can remove the rice from the stove, drain and set aside.  The last piece here is to take your seaweed paper and cut into 1×1” chunks.  I used about ¼ cup per bowl.

Now that you have all of the ingredients, you are ready to create your bowl!

  • Start with you base and add approx. ½ cup – ¾ cup of rice
  • Section out the bowl into quarters.
    1. Add your tempeh to cover ¼ of the section of rice. It will be approx. 4-6 piece.
    2. Add the sautéed veggies to cover approx. ¼ section of the rice
    3. Add kale salad to cover approx. ¼ of the bowl (depending on what veggie you want more of you can cover more or less of the bowl with the topping). Top with approx. 2 tbsp crispy chickpeas
    4. Add seaweed chucks to ¼ section of the bowl
  • If you want to add a topping, you can drizzle the avocado Caesar dressing or a dressing of your choice.

Now you are ready to enjoy your balanced Macro bowl! IMG_0829

Week 2 – Healthy eating on a budget

So last week I started a challenge for myself to really budget and see how far I could extend my groceries for the week and I did pretty good managing to use all of my groceries for lunch and dinner for a total of $141.05($78.47 for fresh direct + $62.08 for Whole Foods) I managed to make 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners averaging $10.85/meal.  Not bad for week 1!  Because I had a vacation planned for the weekend I started out with groceries delivered on day 2 and the total was $64.54 (which included a $5.99 delivery fee).

Groceries purchased on day 1 from Whole Foods for breakfast and lunches through the week.  The total spend at whole foods for the week for groceries to be kept at work was $35.16.  I also had leftover groceries and some dry goods such as PB2, oats, protein powder in the cabinets to start.  See below my week of eating, which also includes some meals out.

Grocery Items for Work purchased on day 2/week 2

  • Prepared food bar for (spaghetti squash and lentils
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • 2 – Kiwi
  • 2 – 0% Greek yogurt
  • 2 – Kombucha
  • Granola
  • Almond Butter
  • Raspberries
  • BluePrint cold pressed red juice (beets, carrots, ginger)

*I also had leftover groceries from the week before so I made sure to use what I had for lunches as well.

Monday (Rest Day)

 

Breakfast: Coffee + banana (early flight and not feeling breakfast)

Lunch: Spaghetti squash with tahini and brown rice & lentils from whole foods

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GT’s Kombucha

Snack: 1/2 sliced apple topped with 1/2 tbsp almond butter and sprinkled with ancient grains granola.

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Dinner: Yellow Tofu Vegetable Curry from M Thai delivered:)

Tuesday (AM Spin class + ab workout)

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Breakfast :Green spinach plant protein bowl made with Sunwarrior vanilla plant protein topped with granola and kiwi.

 

Lunch: Sprouted grain bread(week prior) topped with smashed avocado and tuscan white bean veggie burger (also from the week prior)

 

 

 

Snack: Greek yogurt mixed with PB2 topped with raspberries, granola & almond butter.

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Dinner: I was too focused on making my energy balls for the week and tailoring the recipe I ate too many to be hungry for dinner.  So, sadly I’m already off track and it’s day 2!  Sorry to disappoint!  But when you fall off track you just get back on the next meal, brush it off and move on!  It happens, life happens and its ok.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.

Wednesday (AM Leg workout + 30 min cardio)

Breakfast: Post workout with a coffee and one of my energy & protein balls.  These things are miracle workers and they keep me satisfied until lunch – and that’s after a workout!  This one is a peanut butter plant protein ball with chocolate chips!  Delish!

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Lunch: Hu Kitchen salmon cake and curried sweet potatoes.  Repeat but my favorite food ever!  This was close to a $15 meal, once again becuase I live in NYC, but either way it was a splurge becuase I was eating on the go in between appointments.

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Snack: Green smoothie topped with raspberries, granola and almond butter!  Quick, nutritious and delicious!

 

 

Dinner: quick ate 2 hard boiled eggs and sweet potato before I took off for a fundraiser.

Again busy life, this is what happens.  Plans change, we have to eat on the run and things don’t always go as planned.  It’s ok!  Some days are better than other and some weeks are better than other.  It’s about consistency and staying to course for the long haul.

Thursday (AM Arm workout with weights and PM spin class)

Breakfast: Red juice, sprouted grain toast with smashed avocado topped with hemp seeds.

Lunch: Tuscan white bean veggie burger (left over from week 1) topped with avocado + sprouted grain toast topped with avocado and 2 hard boiled egg whites(brought these from home).

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Snack: Greek yogurt topped with raspberries, kiwi, almond butter

 

 

 

 

Dinner: I prepared a very simple dish with groceries I had gotten for the week at home.  Thursday night was chickpea and avocado lettuce wraps.  It took about 15 minutes to prep and it was delicious!

 

 

IMG_0441Ingredients:

 

1 can smashed chickpeas (rinsed)

1 avocado

½ lime for lime juice

1 chopped garlic clove

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch of black pepper

*If you want added topping you can choose cherry tomatoes, tahini or I chose to sauté Brussel sprouts(from week 1) in coconut oil

  • Start with ½ cup quinoa with 1 cup water. I like to prepare with ½ cub of organic no salt broth so you have a bit of flavor.  Bring to a boil and sauté for about 15 minutes.  While you are waiting for your quinoa, smash chickpeas and add avocado.
  • Add the chickpeas and avocado into a large bowl. Mash with a fork until chickpeas are broken or avocado is creamy.  If you want the texture a bit smoother than I put in the food processor to mix well for about 10-15 seconds.  Once it’s chopped you mix in the lime juice, salt & pepper.
  • Add in the cooked quinoa and mix well.
  • Spoon into individual lettuce cups
  • Top with your favorite veggies or sauce and serve.

Friday (Rest Day)

Breakfast:Chocolate Protein Oats

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole grain oats

1/2 cup water

1/2 scoop Sunwarrior blend chocolate protein powder

1/2 tsp maca powder

1/2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 banana

1/4 cup almond milk or water to mix in after the oats are heated.  Either is fine, the almond milk just gives a creamier consistency.

1.) Mix oats, water, protein powder and maca together.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Add almond milk or water, stir and heat for another 30 seconds.  Top with sliced banana and drizzle with almond butter.

Lunch: 2 – chickpea and avocado wraps (leftover from dinner) + 1 hard boiled egg

Snack: Vega One Chai Vanilla protein shake mixed with 1 cup almond milk

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Dinner: Wild swordfish with a side of baked broccoli florets

Bake swordfish for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.  Top with lemon juice and black pepper.  with about 5 minutes remaining top with parmesan cheese.

Chop broccoli into florets and place on baking sheet.  drizzle with lemon juice and 1 tbsp coconut oil.  sprinkle with black pepper.  Bake on 400 for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with a glass of wine and enjoy:)  Cheers!

 

 

Saturday (AM 5 mile run + 2 hour biking through the city)

Breakfast: Post workout – 1 slice toasted sprouted grain bread topped with 1/4 smashed avocado and spinach egg white omelette(made with two egg whites).

Lunch: Brunch with friends mid-biking.  Smoked trout with potato cakes with creme fraiche.  Also had a glass of prosecco and a bloody mary!  It’s all in moderation!

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Dinner: Vegan Kale Salad with spicy curried chickpeas with some wine of course:)

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashew butter

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tsp dijon

freshly ground sea salt & pepper

2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (vegan) or parmesan cheese

Grilled chickpeas Croutons

1 can chickpeas rinsed thoroughly

1/2 tsp olive oil

pinch of garlic powder, paprika, oregano, thyme and cayenne.

Preheat oven to 400 .  Combine chickpeas, olive oil, and spices in a baking tray and shake evenly to coat.  Roast chickpeas for 30-35 minutes, or until chickpeas become lightly browned and crisped.

While the chickpeas are roasting, make the caesar dressing.  In the base of a blender or food processor, add in cashew butter, lemon juic, hemp seeds, garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard, and sea salt and pepper to taste.  Add in the water to achieve desired consistency.  Spoon dressing into a jar and set aside while you prep the kale.

Wash and chop the kale, removing thick stems pieces.  Place kale in a bowl and drizzle with caesar dressing.  Using your hands massage dressing into kale until thoroughly coated and leaves begin to feel smooth and silky.  Toss in roasted chickpeas and top with nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.  Serve & Enjoy!