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.

 

 

 

 

Healthy is a state of mind

I don’t know about you guys but don’t like to start the new year with all of these resolutions on how I’m going to be a better me, be more fit, take more vacation, excel in my career and etc.  Now don’t get me wrong, its great to have a plan and a goal, however I feel like when I continuously press the reset button it sets me up for failure as I resort to that excuse time and time again knowing I can just “start over”.

That use to be me pretty much my entire 20’s and possibly even into my early 30’s.  However, I’ve come to this discovery through my own personal journey that being healthy and fit is a mindset.  I know that sounds cliche but let me explain.  For example, if you look at the week ahead and say, “ok, on Monday I’m going to eat healthy all week and on Saturday I’ll have a cheat day and do whatever I want”.  That mindset, will set you up for failure – at least it did for me.  I would over indulge on the weekends and it would start to roll over into the next week.  Why, because I looked at my life as a payment/reward system.  Like if you do this, then you get to have this.  With dieting I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t have to be so hard.  Now my mindset is simply, I’m going to be as active and eat as healthy as possible everyday.  Does that mean I don’t splurge on some meals?  Absolutely not, but the splurging becomes less and less and the desire to be healthy and eat healthy food becomes greater and greater.

Now I will say, there is a way of getting healthier gradually, like I did overtime or there is a reboot that works for some people.  I’m not one of those people, however it does work for some.  By a reboot I mean juicing or detoxing of some sort to rid your body of sugar and processed foods.  Honestly, once that step happens you path becomes that much clearer.  It takes approx. 10-21 days to rid your body of sugar and the addiction to sugar.  Once you’ve won that battle, the rest is just up to you to stay motivated to be healthy.  Anyone can do it.  Many people of all shapes and sizes have done it and continue to do it, you have to want to change and then you have to make gradual steps towards your goal.

Being active is a huge part of this equation as it helps to stay motivated and it helps to keep your focus.  When you are active you are also more likely to grab for the apple rather than the candy bar because you just ran 3 miles.  Starting out is the hardest part but establishing a routine and making a date for yourself to do something active.  For example, I will start each week and plug in classes I want to take or pre-plan my workouts with a time.  If I miss a morning workout, I vow to make myself do something in the evening and visa versa.  It’s balance and its dedication to yourself to improve your well-being.

 

 

Back from a virtual detox!

I realized blogging is a huge passion of mine.   I want to share my thoughts, ideas and tips to the world.  I want to be able to say things and do things that can not only help me – because it does help me to write – but maybe, just maybe someone will get inspired by something that I have shared and decide to change something for the better in their own life.  If not, I’ll keep the dream and alive and keep writing for my own personal enjoyment:).

The reason I stopped for a bit was I’ve had a bit of a busy life since my last post this spring!  I’ve gotten married, attended a lot of other summer weddings out of state, started a healthy snack ball business with my husband, moved to Brooklyn and all the while been working a full time job in New York City.  Life is good but very busy!  Because I had a lot going on in my personal and professional life, I decided to let my little creative outlet go the wayside for a while until I realized it was a huge part of me that was missing!  Since then, I’ve come up with a lot of new ideas for blog posts.  Hopefully they will inspire you to be more creative with your food or workout programs or just give you something to read if you want to know about me!

You can now start to look for regular posts so get ready!  I’ve got some great posts lined up including some new health food products I’ve recently discovered, some great new classes I’ve discovered for tightening the tush, tips on getting into wedding shape, 2017 NYC Marathon qualification, quiet life in Brooklyn, my new found love of acupuncture and REAL life examples of how it has helped me and of course, new recipes!

Excited to be back and hope you all enjoy the upcoming posts!  Happy Friday!!!

 

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!

 

 

 

Mini Spinach Chickpea Burgers

I’m a huge fan of using up every last ingredient in the fridge before the next grocery cycle starts.  This week I had a ton of leftover spinach that I received from my local farm box last week and with as much spinach as I eat in my smoothies, I still had a few large handfuls left over.  I poked around in the cabinets to see if there was anything else that would possibly go together to create a patty and I found a can of organic chickpeas.  I also had onion, egg, fresh garlic and plenty of spices.

The first stage of this is prepping the base ingredients: spinach, garlic, onion, chickpeas.   First, rinse and chop of your spinach.  I like to also remove the stems but it’s not necessary.  Make sure you have at least 2-3 full handfuls.  All of the below ingredients you can throw into your mixer or food processor.  I prefer a food processor because the consistency is finer and the burgers turn out beautifully.

Picture disclaimer: these are iphone pics so apologies for quality!  I need a better food photographer because I’m too focused on trying capture the recipe than getting beautiful pics!:)

  • 1 can rinsed chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup flax seed or ground flax
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pea protein powder (optional for more protein)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (depending how much you love garlic – which I tend to go heavier here)
  • 1 tsp dill (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil (coconut or olive oil)

Slowly mix ingredients together, gradually increase speed as they form into a thick liquid texture.  Throw ingredients into mixing bowl.  Add in your egg, flax and spices of preference and it should start feel like oatmeal cookie dough.  If it’s still too liquidy, add some chickpea flour or flax to thicken the mixture.

Start your stovetop on medium.  Add in a tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil.  Form your mixture into small to medium sized mixture.  My mixture made approx 11 – 3″ patties.  For larger patties you should yield approx 8-9 patties.

 

Cook each side for approx 7-8 minutes.  They should be lightly brown and soft with a bit of crisp on the top of the patty.  Let cool in parchment paper or foil (whichever you have in your cabinets)

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These are great paired as a side with fish or another protein of choice, chop them up and throw into a bowl with other veggies and protein, or eat alone topped with a few slices of avocado.  They are great to just keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  I actually tested them after two weeks and they were just as good as when I made them!  They are great for grab and go lunches or dinner if you don’t want to make a full meal.  They can also be frozen if you want to keep them longer.

Nutrition calculation based on 11 patties: 82 Calories, 10 carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein, sodium 0g, sugar 1.5g, fat 2.5g

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Experimenting today with the ripened bananas I have left in my kitchen and decided to experiment with a few different ingredients to see how delectable and nutritious I could make these little muffins.  Given I had a craving for chocolate today, I decided to spice up the typical banana muffins and add in some more flare and protein.

These guys came out quite delicious and was a fairly quick and simple baking process with no more than 15-20 min prep time and 15-20 min baking time.  I decided to add protein because I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more protein into my diet.  These were the perfect delivery method for a grab and go breakfast or snack.

I first mashed the bananas and started mixing and whipping the liquid ingredients.  Second, I added the dry ingredients of coconut flour, oat flour, plant protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, hemp seeds and mixed it till the mixture was very thick and smooth. I ended up adding some coconut milk to the mixture to keep the consistency moist for pouring into the muffin tins.

After mixing very well I added about a cup of chocolate chips to the mixture. Depending on your love for chocolate or your craving for the day,  you can add more or less but I prefer to have a multitude of chips in my cookies and muffins!

Makes approx 12 medium-large muffins.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and line your muffin tin and set aside

In medium mixing bowl, mash your bananas and add in your honey, vanilla, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, coconut milk and almond butter.

Mix in your coconut flour, baking soda and oat flour and allow to sit for 2 minutes to thicken up. The mix will look runny at first but as the coconut flour absorbs the liquid the consistency will become more like a cake batter. 

Add in the chocolate chips and mix so the chips are evenly distributed.

Pour your combined mixture into your muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins start to rise and the top wills start to develop a golden brown color.  The muffins should be dense and fully cooked at this point.  You may want to do the fork test to ensure the muffins are cooked all the way through.  

Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Liquid Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 -3 ripened bananas
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbs melted coconut oil or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond butter

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 scoop of plant protein (I used plant fusion)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Here’s the end result!

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I hope you all enjoy!!

 

 

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

After a pumpkin craving struck I decided to take action and bake this weekend.  Just the smell of baked goods in the oven is enough to make you want to snuggle up on the couch with a fluffy faux fur blanket, sip on some ginger tea and indulge in delicious baked goods. When something tastes this good, it kinda feels like cheating but I call it, “clean cheating”.

Rather than add much dialog here I’ve outlined the recipe and ingredients below.  I also took some pics of the ingredients and the process along the way.  Don’t mind my photography skills as this are down and dirty shots intermittent with baking!  Hope you find these helpful!

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Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs (2 egg whites and 1 full egg)
  • 2 tbsp raw agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 scoops Plant Fusion Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together – depending on how dense you want the muffins you can add more almond milk/coconut milk as desired.

Once all ingredients are blended spoon mix into muffin tin so its fills approx 3/4 of the way.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean when put into a muffin.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with coconut sugar and almond butter topping(below).

Topping:

  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 2 tbsp well mixed organic raw almond butter

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7 tips to be a hydrated and healthy traveler

Staying hydrated and healthy can be a challenge in our daily lives, let alone while traveling. Whether you are taking a long haul flight across the world, hopping your next business flight or heading on a weekend getaway – you need to follow a few simple tips to stay hydrated and healthy.  These are my go to rules for flying the friendly, and sometimes not so friendly skies.

Hydrate

1.) Water, water and more water.  Grab your water bottle before boarding to ensure you can stay hydrated in flight.  To reduce waste and cut costs on expensive water bottles at the airport you can take your own empty bottle and refill at the numerous water bottle stations available. It’s nice to have something with you at all times because the minute you start to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  If you don’t plan to bring water, try to at least drink 8-12 ounces prior to flight.  However, don’t plan on the mini sips of water provided on the plane. Water in flight is barely enough to wet your whistle, let alone provide sufficient hydration.  Come prepared.

 

2.) Get your sleep.  Yeah you can get a mini snooze on the plane however that barely warrants sufficient sleep.  And what if you are lucky enough to be seated next to a chatty Cathy or a crying baby?  Your sleep time is over before it began.  So, do yourself a favor and get a good night’s sleep before jumping that flight or hit the hay a little earlier that night if possible.  Your skin will thank you.

 

 

Moisture

3.) MOISTURIZE.  There’s no such thing as over doing it.  To prep my skin before flight, I use an anti-aging serum, moisturizer and I also bring along a tube of ARTISTRY CC cream because is moisturizing and provides a light coverage.  Keep the makeup light and use extra moisturizer.  More on this topic to come….

 

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4.) Ease of up on the in-flight makeup.  I get you want to look good if you are heading to a meeting shortly after arrival, but use a good moisturizer as a base and avoid a heavy makeup or powder.  You can always add makeup once you land.  Keep it clean and your skin will return the favor.  I keep mascara, lip gloss, and ARTISTRY cc cream in my bag at all times.

 

 

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5.) Pass up the processed.  I know airports are carb and sugar haven’s but that doesn’t mean you need to subject your body to the destructive properties of such foods.  At the very least, reach for fresh ingredients like a piece of fruit.  I typically make and bring my own snacks, but no matter what airport you are flying to, you can find a banana, apple or orange.  Now fruit may not be your first choice but trust me the fiber will help the flying bloat and you will thank me for passing up the bloat inducing bagel.  Trust me, this is something you won’t regret.  Opt for fruit and grab yourself a plain yogurt or oats to go and your tummy and skin will thank you.

am 4556.) Lay off the coffee.  We all reach for the caffeine when traveling, especially for those early flights!  It get it.  Caffeine is necessary when you are up at 3:50am to catch a 6am flight.  I do early flights regularly where my eyes are still puffy and my brain isn’t yet functioning.  However, if you are going to do coffee, drink at least 8oz of water to compensate for the dehydration your body will experience.   Try to limit coffee and maybe try to drink tea, a green juice, pop a B12 vitamin or grab an XS Energy drink to help combat the morning haze for those early flights.

HAnds7.) Keep it clean.  Wash your hands!  I’m not a huge fan of antibacterial sanitizers but at the very least give your hands a thorough wash with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to kill germs that can lead to infections.  Laying your head on a germ infested pillow or blanket on top of being exposed to so many people keep your hands clean.  Not only will it help you stay healthy but if you touch your face you avoid spreading the germs to your skin.