Posts tagged with vegan:
We’ve all been told a thousand times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many of us still find ourselves skipping it, as we rush in the mornings to get out of bed, ready for work, & out the door. Not a good idea at all! Raise your hand if you need a little help in the healthy breakfast, but short on time department.
If it’s raised, you’re in luck, as today my dear friend Chef Katie Gluck, of Katie’s Healing Kitchen is here to share her tips & a recipe for a delicious & nutritious “make-head” breakfast that can be thrown together instantly & effortlessly, even on the busiest days. Take it way Katie!
Winter Wellness … What does that mean to me?
Between managing work, family & friends, along with day to day life, it can be difficult to stay healthy. Exercise, meditation & smart eating choices can fall at the bottom of the to do list. And when time finally frees up in a hectic schedule, motivation can lack in starting (or restarting) healthy habits. I know the feeling.
Well I’ve discovered a way to stop stressing about eating healthy. It’s as simple as this: take a few hours a week to prep a few items. I designate one day a week to prep sauces, grains, lentils, pre-cut veggies & make a few other staples that make meal time a snap!
One of my favorite ways to start the day is with an acai bowl topped with a super simple nutritious granola that can be made ahead of time. Just the thought of this breakfast makes me roll out of bed in no time. I make the granola at the beginning of the week and keep it in tupperware on the counter. I double the acai smoothie mixture & stash it in a glass jar in the fridge. I simply pour the desired amount of acai in a bowl and top it with a handful of granola, chia seeds & plenty of fresh organic berries. In less that 2 minutes I have a healthy breakfast that keeps me satisfied until lunch.
We all get busy & our health can go on the back burner. But I’ve found that by taking an hour or two a week to prep quick & healthy meals, everything in life seems to go smoother.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not a perfect health guru. Some mornings I sleep through yoga, have cupcakes for dinner & I’ve never really gotten the hang of this mediation thing… but I do the best that I can under busy circumstances & try not to stress about the days when I fall short.
- 1/3 cup dates, packed
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dried fruit (goji berries, raisins, dried cranberries)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a high speed blender combine wet ingredients & blend until smooth (adding coconut oil last).
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (except dried fruit). Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Evenly spread mixture onto baking sheets.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, taking trays out & stirring every 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven & place in a large bowl, add dried fruit & enjoy!
*Keeps up to ONE week in a sealed container
"Antioxidant Acai Bowl"
- 1 sambazon acai pack
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1 cup non dairy milk
- 1 stevia packet
- handful of greens (spinach, kale, etc…)
- optional Garnishes: granola, sliced fruit, hemp seeds, goji berries
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Garnish with desired toppings.
I can confirm & attest that this is one yummy & healthy breakfast, as Katie taught & served this at her Brunch Class last weekend! It is definitely a recipe to add into the regular rotation. You can learn more about Katie, sign up for her newsletter, & see her upcoming class schedule at katieshealingkitchen.com.
Enjoy & eat your breakfast!
Last week, when highlighting the “re-integration” phase of my Ayurvedic cleanse, I shared a photo of a soba noodle dish I prepared as my final cleanse dinner. A soba stir fry was recommended, but I took the opportunity to use some of the produce from my organic delivery, & created a dish of my own. The result? This bowl full of buckwheat noodles, baby broccoli, & cabbage.
Soba bowls are high on the list of my favorite things. I love them chilled & tossed with tamari, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic & sesame seeds, or made into a more hearty meal with the addition of vegetables. Any variation of broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, snow peas, & tofu seem to be the typical & most favorable accoutrements. Even tahini & roasted cauliflower are wonderful with soba (note to self…make & blog!). The great thing about soba noodles is that, even though they are made from “buckwheat,” they don’t contain wheat, so they are perfect for those who wish to avoid gluten. Be careful & read the labels though, as wheat gluten can sometimes be added in as a trace ingredient. My preferred brand is Eden Foods whose noodles are 100% buckwheat, which I purchase from my local co-op. They’re a bit pricy, but I love them so much that I don’t mind forking over a little extra change.
This bowl was a welcome change after all that soup & kitchari, even though I enjoyed everything I ate on the cleanse. It was nice to “reintegrate” & step back into the normal routine with a meal like this.
"Soba Bowl with Broccolini & Cabbage"
- 8 ounces soba noodles (I prefer Eden Foods)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bunch broccolini, stems separated from florets & sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1 Tbsp. tamari
- 1-2 teaspoons of mirin
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1-2 tsp. sesame oil
- drizzle of sriracha
- cilantro & sesame seeds for garnish
- Cook the soba noodles in salted boiling water for about 8-12 minutes, they should be tender but still al dente.
- When soba noodles are finished cooking, rinse under cold water, drain well & transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add broccolini & cook, stirring occasionally until tender. Add garlic, ginger, cabbage, half the scallions & tamari & cook for another few minutes. Add the mirin to deglaze the pan & cook until everything is soft. Remove from heat & set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Add veggies to the bowl of soba noodles & toss with the rest of the scallions, & the rice vinegar & sesame oil. Top with a generous drizzle of sriracha, & garnish with chopped cilantro & sesame seeds.
Mmmmm….this is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. I always keep soba noodles on hand for when the craving strikes. In fact, I’ve worked up quite the craving just writing this post. I think I’ll be making this recipe from The PPK for dinner tonight!
Go get your soba on!
The other day I had a major hankering for vegan caesar salad, & in this house, a caesar salad is not complete without a generous sprinkle of vegan “parmesan.” A few months ago, after running out of my coveted "Parmela," I set out to make my own homemade version with walnuts, nooch, sea salt & garlic. Not only was it a snap to prepare, it was absolutely delicious. I am all about DIY mode these days - from almond milk & salad dressings, to bath salts & body scrubs - I just want to make it myself!
As I prepared all of the fixins for the salad, I realized I was fresh out of walnuts, having used them all for raw cheesecake making over the holidays. I sifted through all the nuts in my pantry - cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios & finally pepitas! Ding, ding, ding. I’ve been loving pepita pesto & pepitas on my salads, so why not make a “pepita parm?”
And since they are power packed with goodness, all the more reason to use them! Pepitas, a.k.a. shelled pumpkin seeds, are high in plant-based protein, & an excellent source vitamins, minerals & anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, magnesium & zinc. They are also said to be antimicrobial, anti-fungal & anti-viral. Because of their composition of antioxidant nutrients, studies have shown preliminary evidence of decreased cancer risk in association with pumpkin seed intake. (source)
"Raw Pepita Parma"
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink, or sea salt
- Place all ingredients into a food processor & pulse to combine. Continue to pulse until desired texture is achieved. Store in an airtight container & refrigerate. Lasts for 3-4 weeks.
My go-to vegan caesar lately has been the "Classic Vegan Caesar with Chickpeas & Avocado" from Post Punk Kitchen. I like to doctor it up to my own specifications by adding a squeeze of lemon to the tahini dressing, & tossing in additional toppings to the salad, in this case, sun-dried tomatoes & pepita parmesan. Mmmm…I could eat this salad for days!
While the sprinkle of vegan parm on a caesar salad is a given in my book, I also love this pepita topping on just about anything where a salty & savory bite is desired - sprinkled on pasta, in popcorn, on steamed or roasted vegetables - you name it! It just gives that extra bit of garnish & flavor.
Raise your hand if you’ve tried the chia pudding at True Foods Kitchen. Raise both hands if you’re obsessed with it! (Both of mine are raised!) Seriously though. It’s so creamy & rich & mouthwateringly flavorful. I’ve got to get to the bottom of it.
Last time I was there, I asked the waiter what was in it. "Chia seeds!" he exclaimed. I
replied thought cattily to myself, “Well, no shi*t Sherlock,” & then kindly replied, "Yes, I know that, but what do they soak & blend them with to make it so decadent?" Aaaand…crickets. So he wasn’t any help. And neither was google, at least in procuring the “one & only” recipe. Other bloggers had attempted recreation using, what I had suspected…coconut milk & mashed banana blended with the chia seeds. After an intense craving ensued, at 6 o’clock in the morning, I set out to make my own attempt, as I am sure True Foods would not appreciate me breaking in to the restaurant in a chia fueled frenzy. The only problem — no coconut milk on hand, & only 1/2 of a banana. Wayul…them’s the breaks. But I did have fresh homemade almond milk & chia seeds. So a basic chia pudding recipe, I settled to create. Well…basic with a little something special…a vanilla bean!
“Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding with Blueberries & Bananas”
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cups basic homemade almond milk (or any store bought non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 2 Tbsp. organic raw blue agave sweetener
- seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
- optional toppings: organic blueberries, sliced banana, toasted coconut chips, cinnamon
- Add almond milk, vanilla beans, & agave to a blender. With the blender on a very low setting, add the chia seeds, & blend. Pour into a large mason jar. Chill for an hour, then return to the jar & shake or stir. Let chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- To serve, top with banana, blueberries, coconut & cinnamon, or fresh fruit of your choice.
While I absolutely love True Foods’ chia pudding for dessert, this is a little lighter & works wonderfully as a nutritious breakfast treat. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, containing omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, & calcium. When mixed with liquid, they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water & expand into a pudding like consistency, meaning they also expand in your belly, helping to keep you sated & energized throughout the morning.
Oh & a fun & fancy serving tip….I love to layer the pudding with fresh fruit, & sometimes oats or granola, in a stemless wine glass for a festive parfait presentation.
Now isn’t that so sweet? And while it doesn’t totally hold a candle to the True Foods masterpiece, this does the trick for now. I’m off to the store for more bananas & coconut milk. I’ve got to crack the code!
Like many of my favorite food bloggers, I have an affection for a hearty bowl loaded with a grain, veggies, & a creamy sauce. This kind of creation commonly goes by the name of the "Buddha Bowl." Why? I’m really not sure, but I have a few ideas…
It is said that the Buddha embodies "grace, balance, compassion, wisdom, determination & courage." So, how can I liken that to a bowl of veggies & grains? Well, for starters, I think those principals apply to many who are exploring the path of ethical veganism. It certainly applies to what I am trying to cultivate & practice in my own life. I’m not saying that the consumption of said bowl is a one way ticket to enlightenment, but I think the popularity of the "Buddha Bowl" in vegan culinary circles speaks to the kind of gentle message of well-being that we are trying to convey through our thoughtful plant based diets. And I know I certainly feel more graceful & balanced when I consume a meal that is composed of organic, locally grown vegetables, whole grains, & plant based protein.
It also reminds me of the Buddhist & yogic principal of "Ahimsa." Ahimsa means kindness & non-violence towards ALL living things; it respects living beings as a unity, & the belief that all living things are connected. Ahimsa is something we practice daily when we refrain from consuming animal products. Not only are we not causing harm to animals, by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, we are not causing harm to our own bodies. We are what we eat, & when our diets are clean, balanced & compassionate, we are giving prana to that gentle spirit within us. Or, perhaps I’m getting a bit esoteric here, & maybe the name simply comes from, as Angela points out, the little “Buddha Belly” one will be rockin’ after consuming all of this goodness!
So, I guess I should get to the recipe, yes? Even though it hardly feels like winter around here, I’ve been craving comfort food! But, I’m also trying to consume lots of nourishing foods, & as ‘tis the season for flus, coughs & colds, I want to arm myself with healthy goodness to ensure winter wellness. When I received my latest delivery from Naturally to Your Door, I was instantly inspired by all of the brightly colored winter veggies that appeared before my loving eyes - purple cauliflower, chioggia beets, carrots, baby turnips & kale. Since my last roasted vegetable dish was so well received, it was only natural that I would strive to impress with another one. In the building of this “bowl,” I decided to use quinoa as my grain base (yes, yes, I know it’s actually a seed!), & included some steamed kale & sweet potato to serve along side the roasted veggies.
For a bit of extra protein, I tossed in some chickpeas. The dish was then drizzled with my absolute favorite "crack sauce" that was created by my good buddy, chef Katie. Seriously, this sauce. I can put it on EVERYTHING. I am also guilty of eating it straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Oh, yes, & for a final bit of goodness, I added a generous shake of gomashio.
"Winter’s Bounty Buddha Bowl"
***Serves 2 hungry people, or 4 as a side
Roasted Winter Vegetables -
- 1 small cauliflower crown, cut into florets
- 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
- 1 bunch baby turnips, peeled & cut into rounds
- 2 medium chioggia beets, peeled & quartered
- 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
- pinch of Himalayan pink, or sea salt
Seasoned Quinoa -
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 2 cups pure water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable “Better Than Bouillon” paste
Lemon-Garlic Tahini Sauce (courtesy of Katie’s Healing Kitchen) -
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink, or sea salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed & steamed until tender
- 1/2 bunch of kale, de-stemmed, chopped & steamed
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line one cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, carrots, turnips & beets, drizzle with oil & add a pinch of salt, mix well to coat. Place mixture on rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring once in between.
- While vegetables are roasting, add quinoa & water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Add bouillon paste, & turn heat down to low. Cover & cook for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed & quinoa is fluffy. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining tahini, lemon juice, oil, salt, & water in a blender, or shake together in a jar.
- Serve roasted vegetables on top of quinoa, then add kale, chickpeas, & sweet potato & generous drizzle of sauce on top. Add some gomashio if desired.
I am so thrilled with how beautifully this bowl turned out! I think it is my most favorite recipe creation to date. I could eat this, or any variation of this, everyday. So hearty, wholesome & satisfying. Who says vegans only eat grass, twigs, & berries. Not in this house!
I’d love to know what your favorite “Buddha Bowl” variations are, & if you try this one, please let me know how you enjoyed it!