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.

IMG_2406.JPG

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!

cooked burgers.PNGburger.PNG

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.

61656c03-36e7-498e-9d66-455e8563bdcc

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.

215bf145-8941-45a9-9029-e03fafc6be3f-1

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!

1f6d2d25-5dae-42d3-8b71-c5e70c9e975d

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:

fa8e1646-5139-402a-b756-8ecc30a2a27b

Step 2:

db26397a-2630-4053-9202-9a6a4ca680a6

987fde38-8c72-43f3-b781-851940ea7ec7

Step 3: Let cool.

a15a57fc-1383-4544-97e1-16c5f9509f92

Final Step: Add toppings!!!

img_0062-2

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.

IMG_0169

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.

IMG_0850

  • 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

IMG_0914 (1)

  • 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.

IMG_0525

  • 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!

IMG_0888.JPG

  • 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

IMG_0405.JPG

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

IMG_0824

  • 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

IMG_0403

GT’s Kombucha

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

IMG_0405

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

Tuesday (AM Spin class + ab workout)

IMG_0409

 

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.

IMG_0413

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!

IMG_0416

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.

IMG_0421

 

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).

IMG_0438

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

IMG_0450

 

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!

IMG_0477

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!

 

 

 

Week 1 – Healthy Eating on a Budget

The great thing about being prepared is you don’t stress out about lunch and you know you are eating healthy.  I’m also saving a lot of money this week and it’s only day 2!  Beyond the groceries I have I would typically get a regular coffee for close to $3.  I generally would spend between $12-15 for lunch, at least 2, sometimes 3 days during the week.  For dinner, we always have a bottle of wine (averaging about $15-18) and for the past two nights we’ve been going wine-less.  In one day, I’ve saved over $30 which is pretty exciting!

Going back to my previous post on my groceries bought for lunch in my week 1 post, I had the following meals on Tuesday.

DAY 2 – Week 1

9:30 AM – Breakfast (at work post spin class)

1 pkt 365 Instant Original Oatmeal (150 cal/2.5g fat/27g carbs/4g dietary fiber/1g soluble fiber/<1g sugar/6g protein)

½ scoop Sun Warrior Blend Chocolate Protein Powder (which I keep stock in vanilla and chocolate at all times)

1 Tsp maca (I use as a supplement because it is rich in vitamin B, C, and E. It also contains calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids)

1 tsp PB2 ( I typically have in the house and this is just for flavor if I want to keep my fat content lower at a specific meal otherwise I would use the nut butter itself)

Mix in all the above ingredients.  Add approx. ¾ cup water (hot or heat in microwave for 1 min).  Stir & add in ¼ cup of almond milk until consistency is creamy.  Add more milk if needed.  Heat another 20-30 seconds, stir and enjoy!

12:30 PM  – Lunch

½ cup leftover homemade daal & ¼ cup brown rice (From Sunday’s dinner)

1 slice Ezekiel bread

¼ sliced/mashed avocado

1 bottle Kombucha – post meal.  During lunch I drink water

IMG_0172

3:30 PM – SNACK

Wallaby 0% Greek Plain Yogurt

1 Tbsp Almond butter

1 medium mango sliced

8:00 PM – DINNER

2 – Homemade Black Bean Sweet Potato Burger topped with ¼ sliced avocado & salsa (recipe to come tomorrow and will be linked)

*Made baked lemon pepper chicken for my fiancé so I’m including that recipe here since I don’t eat meat)

  1. Cut 2 large organic chicken breasts and divide into 2  (makes 4 pieces)
  2. heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in microwave for 20 sec or until melted.  Pour mixture over chicken breasts
  3. squeeze 1/2 lemon over chicken breasts and top with black pepper
  4. Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes or until cooked all the way through

1 Liter of water

IMG_0190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNACK – post dinner

½ cup wasabi peas (not recommended for a clean diet by craving them!)

 

DAY 3 – Week 1

10AM – Green Juice

12PM – HU Kitchen

This was a last minute lunch with an out of town friend who was in the city for 1 day. I went outside of my grocery list to meet her because sometimes there are things that just come up and you have to make exceptionsJ

  • 1 paleo wild salmon cake
  • 1 paleo curried sweet potatoes
  • Cranberry Kombucha

Jan 2016-April 2016 1438

3:30PM – Vega One Spiced Chai protein shake with almond milk

7:00PM – Dinner

  • Homemade sweet potato burgers from the previous night topped with sliced avocado, sliced tomato and a side of salsa

Jan 2016-April 2016 1441.JPG

DAY 4 – WEEK 1

8:30AM Breakfast (post workout lifting)

2 hard-boiled egg whites

1 slice whole grain bread

¼ avocado smashed on toast

1 tsp hemp seeds sprinkled on top

Jan 2016-April 2016 1446

 

LUNCH 12:00PM

2 slices of whole grain toast

¼ avocado smashed on top of one piece and lemon dill tuna on the other

1 hard-boiled egg white

 

Jan 2016-April 2016 1453.JPG

 

SNACK 3:30PM (need extra carbs for spin class at 6:30)

Bowl of fruit drizzled in raw almond butter.  (1 small mango, 3 strawberries & ½ banana sliced)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we are leaving for Miami tomorrow morning the goal was to clean out the fridge and that meant getting creative and mixing a lot of sides to equal a main.  It ended up delicious and very filling!  Best part is we cleaned out the fridge before we left for the weekend to start week 2!

Dinner 7:30PM (empty out the fridge night)

Sauteed brussel sprouts & tempeh  + leftover homemade sweet potato & black bean burger topped with a slice of avocado

IMG_0223

Breakfast on Friday pre our 8am flight was 2 hard boiled egg whites, leftover avocado and a slice of sprouted grain bread.

The weekend consisted of eating and drinking whatever we wanted.  We enjoyed wine, mojitos, gelato, chocolate desert, sushi, chips & guacamole, tacos and whatever we wanted.  We also were very active walking, running, biking and dancing the night away in little Havana.  We enjoyed the food, drink, culture and spent time with friends.  Life is about balance and its not worth it if you can’t enjoy yourself once in a while.  Next week goes back to eating clean.

 

 

 

 

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!

IMG_6804 IMG_6812 IMG_6808

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!

IMG_5782 IMG_5783 IMG_5785

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

IMG_5791