Category: Dinner

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post a Buddha bowl or two…ha who am I kidding? More like every other day. They’ve pretty much become a staple in my diet and for good reason. Buddha Bowls are super nourishing, full of wholesome, real ingredients that are both good for you and believe it or not, taste REALLY good too.  They keep me satiated and leave me feeling energetic, not bogged down (which let’s be honest, is crucial when you’re eating lunch at 12pm and need to get through the rest of the work day without hitting that “afternoon slump”). If all of that isn’t enough reason to start introducing Buddha bowls into your diet, than how about the fact that so long as you meal prep, you can throw these together in less than 5 minutes AND keep it exciting each week with new/different creations?!

I wanted to provide you with my quick & dirty tips to building your own Buddha bowl each week and share some of my favorite recipes with you!

Pick a Base

I like to mix up my greens as much as possible or choose 1-2 to mix. My favorites are spinach, baby kale, romaine, and arugula. I use about 2-3 heaping cups of raw greens.

Choose a Protein

The key to feeling satisfied longer after lunch is to load up on protein. This can come in many ways. I choose not to eat meat, so my go-to protein sources usually come from the following (but obviously, feel free to add meat!):

  • Hard Boiled Eggs (I love making a huge batch of these on Sunday for meal prep. So easy, filling, budget-friendly, and are perfect for either a quick breakfast, snack, or to add to a salad bowl.
  • Veggie Burgers. I love Hilary’s Eat Well burgers. They’re super filling and taste delicious! They also have smaller; bite-sized veggie bites that I LOVE as well. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own!
  • Plant-Based Protein. This can come as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, white beans, black beans, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, grains* (see below).
  • Salmon Quinoa Balls. This is a recent recipe of mine that I LOVE and it’s packed with protein, easy to make a batch of, and guess what? I use canned salmon and no, it doesn’t taste bad! I feel like canned fish gets a bad rep, BUT it’s all in how you use it. It’s important to make sure first and foremost that the can fish you’re buying is non-GMO, sustainably wild caught, and tests for mercury. Whole Foods usually has a few trustworthy brands in stock.
    • In a small bowl mix the following ingredients: 1 can of salmon + 1 full egg + about 1/3 cup pre-cooked quinoa (or more if you choose) + ¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder + Himalayan salt & black pepper to flavor + 1 heaping TBSP of Sir Kensington’s mustard + 1 heaping TBSP of Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo.
  • Mix evenly throughout and store in fridge for 30 minutes (this helps to harden them before forming small balls to cook on the stove top). Heat a sauté pan with 1 TBSP of ghee (I find this works best for frying). Form small balls (~ 2 tbsp each) and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, checking periodically. Remove once golden brown.

 

 

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Pick a Healthy Fat

Following the Fab 4 mindset from Kelly Lovaque’s book “Body Love” has really helped me to understand how to breakdown my meals and ensure I’m properly fueling myself. FATS are KEY for feeling full, longer. I find I’m soo much more satisfied with my meals when it’s backed with healthy fats.

  • Avocados (usually use about 1/3 of an avocado)
  • About 2 TBSP of Nuts or Seeds, or a combo of both (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. – pick one you love and stick with it!)
  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil – make a yummy dressing with any of these!)
  • Tahini (sooo yummy in Buddha bowls – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic)
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Salmon
  • Cook your veggies in Oils and/or Ghee.
  • Hummus
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)

Load up on the Veggies!

 

This is my FAVORITE part! I love seeing how my Buddha bowls change with the season. I love choosing veggies that are in season – they’re usually more affordable, they’re usually FRESH and LOCAL, and they’re really what your body needs. *hint* think about how our bodies crave starchy root vegetables in the fall and winter because they’re warming, nourishing, and keep us grounded (quite literally they are pulled from the ground). Ayurveda (eastern medicine) talks alllll about this if you’re interested in learning more!

For the Fall and Winter, I typically like to include 1-2 root vegetables in my bowl and then 1-2 other vegetables (more details below on some of my favorites). Details on meal prep tutorial at bottom of page.

Root Veggies:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Delicata Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash

Additional Veggies:

  • Broccoli or Broccolini
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower (white, purple, yellow – they’re all great!)
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Mushrooms
  • Heirloom Carrots

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Pick a source of Fiber

  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Chia seeds (although I’d recommend soaking them typically, rather than adding them raw)
  • Flax seeds
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Chickpeas (I love adding crispy chickpeas for a nice crunch on a salad!)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Broccoli sprouts

Probiotic Rich Foods (optional, but recommended!)

 

  • Sauerkraut is ABSOLTUELY my go-to. Farmhouse Cultures or Wildbrine are both great brands.
  • Tempeh

 

Grains (optional)

 

I don’t always add grains to my Buddha bowls  – it usually depends on what my protein looks like. If I’m only adding 1 egg, I typically like to pair that with a grain that’s high in protein. Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, wheat berries, barley, wild rice, etc. are all fairly high in protein.

 

Choose a Dressing!

Though a minor step, your dressing can really pull your Buddha bowl together! A lot of what I choose to dress my Buddha bowls in, I’ve mentioned under “healthy fats”.

  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)
  • Tahini – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Hummus (sometimes a HUGE dollop of hummus w/ a squeeze of lemon juice is all you need!)
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon Juice + Olive Oil
  • Make your own Honey Mustard (1 tsp honey + 1 tbsp Dijon mustard + 1 tbsp olive oil + a squeeze of fresh lemon juice + Himalayan salt + black pepper)
  • Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto (fresh basil, olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, fresh minced garlic, handful of spinach, Himalayan salt, black pepper)

 

 

 


 

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Now, I know that was A LOT of information, but I wanted to show you just how easy it is to diversify your buddha bowls and mix it up each week! My recommendation to you is to choose 1 or 2 from each bucket that you’ll use for the week and meal prep it all on Sunday. Each week, choose something new and different from each bucket that way you’re always keeping things exciting!

Here’s an example of what I’ll prep on Sunday:

  • Roast vegetables. Set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut my sweet potatoes into wedges, coat in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, & rosemary. Cook for ~ 20-25 minutes & once soft, throw on broil for about 2 mins or until slightly charred.
  • I’ll also roast 2 heads of broccoli & one head of cauliflower at the same time. Coat them in coconut oil & add adobo seasoning from Primal Palate. I’ll cook them for a shorter amount of time (usually about 15-20 mins).
  • Let both of these sit & cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
  • While the above is cooking, I’ll boil a large pot of quinoa & hard boil about 6 eggs for the week.
  • The above should only take you about an hour in total! This alone makes prepping lunch each day SO much easier!
  • If I have extra time in my day, I may make my quinoa salmon burgers & whip together a vegan pesto that I can use in my Buddha bowls each week.

That’s it! Each day you make your bowl it should easily take less than 5 minutes to throw together and build your gorgeous, nourishing Buddha bowl!

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

Wow, can’t believe we’re already into October! I swear this summer flew by faster than most. Though it technically is the Fall, it still feels like Summer here in Boston…and I definitely don’t hate it! That being said, I can certainly feel my body craving the warmer, seasonal foods. It’s so important to listen to your body and give it what it needs with the change of season. Our bodies are smart and are VERY much aligned to nature and the universe. Sadly, that means I won’t be drinking my smoothies everyday (though I certainly will treat myself every now and then). Rather, I’ll be substituting it with warmer foods like oatmeal, warm chia pudding, eggs, toast, squashes, etc.! This philosophy comes from the Ayurveda practice which I’ve talked about in the past.

“Ayurvedic philosophy holds that eating warming foods in the fall and winter is vital in order to keep the body healthy and balanced. It suggests that the metabolism works harder to keep us warm in the winter, and therefore the “digestive fire” must be adequately fueled with heavier foods. Ayurveda says that cold, damp foods like salads and smoothies, which might seem delicious and perfect in the summertime, can sap the body of energy and even leave it vulnerable to illness during the fall and winter.”

This article shares with you some warm fall & winter foods to incorporate into your diet! Anyway, shifting gears slightly towards the topic of today’s blog post! This was actually inspired by my mom who has made some major shifts in her diet and adapting some of my health tips. This is not to say she was eating poorly by any means. She’s super lean, healthy, and eats a very balanced diet! However, she’s made simple swaps like using coconut oil to cook instead of olive oil because of it’s higher cook point. Below are some simple swaps you can make in your pantry and fridge. Though these swaps may seem minor, they go such a long way in your diet!


1.) Oil and Butter.

First, let’s talk about why VEGETABLE Oils are a big, fat NO…

This includes all processed oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others out there. These oils “contain very large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful in excess.” The way in which these oils are processed “involve pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents.” This article from Healthline goes into even more depth on this topic.

So, what oils/butters SHOULD you cook with? See below:

  • Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (butter with all traces of dairy proteins and sugars cooked out)
  • Coconut Oil (virgin or expeller pressed)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin olive oil should stay unheated, but normal olive oil that isn’t extra virgin is a good cooking oil as long as you aren’t cooking at high heat. Extra virgin olive oil is still great for you; just add it after you plate your food.) – BulletProof Article (more details on smoke points and oils)

2.) Sweeteners.

Let’s chat about the difference between Refined Sugars and UnRefined Sugars. “Refined sugar is sugar that has gone through a refining process, or chemical process to remove the molasses that’s naturally found in it.” – Ambitious Kitchen

Here are some staples I always have on hand:

  • Dates
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Organic Honey
  • Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Organic Coconut Nectar
  • Organic Vanilla Bean

3.) White Flour.

Let’s start REAL basic here. Ditch anything with white flour. White flour has been stripped of literally all the important vitamins and nutrients (i.e. the parts of the wheat kernel that slow its digestion), making it extremely easy for the body to turn white flour into blood sugar.

So, that being said here are some of my favorite options I usually have on hand:

  • ANY lentil or bean based pasta. My favorites include Eat Banza Chickpea Pasta (literally can’t tasted a difference between this and the real thing). Tolerant Foods is another one of my favorites.
  • Lentils
  • Wheat Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Black Rice
  • Farro
  • Amaranth
  • Oats
  • Bulgur

Some of my favorite Flours Include:

  • almond flour
  • oat flower
  • cassava flour
  • coconut flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Rice Flour

One thing I will say is that I certainly treat myself to a really nice Italian meal every now and then where I can trust I’m getting REAL, HOMEMADE pasta, with no preservatives or chemicals. It’s about balance. Just when you’re at home and cooking, try to have the above alternatives on hand!

Start with those three tips above and keep an eye out NEXT week for 3 more healthy swaps! 🙂

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Hi all! For this week I wanted to chat about buddha bowls. Let’s be honest, it would be wrong of me to deny any kind of obsession with these since I make them on the REG. They’re SO delicious, yet they keep things exciting, while nourishing my body with REAL foods and nutrients.

Too often, I hear people say “I hate salads”, “salads never fill me”, “I get bored of salads”, and so on – you get the point AND maybe you’ve found yourself saying this every now and then! I know I used to. Once again, I’ll pick on my boyfriend as a perfect example of this. I’ll start by saying, HUGE credit to him for even taking a stab at making his own salad for lunch. The toughest part is making that commitment to yourself to take the next healthy step. However, his salad turned out to be a (small) handful of mixed greens, a few diced up cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of bland chicken, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic – sounds exciting, right (cue the sarcasm)!?! Maybe this works for you, and if so, that’s great! However, I know with my active lifestyle and my need for good tasting food, I would not be able to get by with a salad like this everyday for lunch. Again, this could totally be personal preference, BUT, if you’re feeling like your in a rut with this, then maybe it’s your time to try building your own buddha bowl!

I broke my steps to building a buddha bowl down into a few easy play-by-plays.

1.) Building your base & and mix with a sauce/dressing.

– This can be mixed greens, grains, or a mix of both! See suggestions below.
– Mixed dinosaur kale (rinsed, leaves peeled off of stems, chopped up) + 1-2 TBSP of a lemon tahini dressing (recommend Whole Foods 365 Lemon Tahini OR Annies Homegrown Lite Goddess dressing OR make your own!) + a sprinkle of garlic powder + black pepper + dash of himalayan sea salt + sprinkle of hemp seed shells (for an extra nutty flavor).
– Recommended grains: quinoa, barley, basmati rice, wheatberry, etc.

2.) Pick 3-4 (warmed) veggies / roasted / steamed / sautéed.

– Recommended veggies to roast: butternut squash, sweet potato (fries), cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, purple or fingerling potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash.

* Coat & season veggies in coconut oil, or avocado oil, or olive oil + top with optional seasonings like garlic powder, himalayan sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, basil, paprika, etc. (these are typically my go-to options)
* For root veggies or potatoes: roast at about 420 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
* For other veggies: roast at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

3.) Pick 3-4 cold or raw veggies.

– Recommended veggies to eat raw (I prefer the balance of cold & cooked): Radishes (purple & watermelon radishes not only look pretty, but they add a really nice crunch), cooked beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, microgreens, etc.

4.) Pick 1-2 protein sources and healthy FATS.

– Recommended PROTEIN options: 1/4 cup cooked edamame, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup roasted/crunchy chickpeas (I LOVE biena foods sea salt chickpeas or Saffron Road Foods chickpeas), 1/4 cup of any type of beans (black, white, kidney, etc.), 1-2 hard boiled or fried eggs, veggie burgers (I recommend Hilary’s Eat Well or Engine 2 Diet for real ingredients/good tasting veggie burgers)

– Recommended FAT options: 1/2 avocado, handful of either roasted/sprouted almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc., 1 TBSP olive oil, avocado oil, or flax oil, 1 TBSP Kite Hills cream cheese (made with almonds), salmon, tuna, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

5.) Pick a fermented food option (optional) but GREAT for good GUT-HEALTH.

– Recommended options: Sauerkraut (LOVE Wildbrine or Farmhouse Cultures), Kimchi, Tempeh, pickled veggies

6.) Optional (extra) toppings – because why not?!

– Recommended Options: Hummus (homemade or from one of my faves like Hope Foods Hummus – so many fun variations), homemade pesto (check out my vegan pepita recipe here), drizzle of tahini, dollop of salsa, drizzle of Sriracha, etc.!

Enjoy!!

Vegan Pepita Pesto

Vegan Pepita Pesto

I’m quite frankly OBSESSED with pesto. I will literally eat it on everything. Ok, maybe not everything but I will say it is most certainly an accessory on my buddha bowls, my breakfast toasts, or my pesto pasta dinner dishes. I love pesto because it instantly brings your meal from 0 to 10 in my opinion. It has the powerful flavors of garlic and basil. It’s a bit salty, slightly cheesy, and definitely zesty! I always say you can EASILY take a dull salad and add a flavorful sauce or dressing to take it up a notch and actually create a dish you’re looking forward to eating!

Try this quick & easy VEGAN pesto sauce / Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil (tightly packed) / 1 cup fresh spinach (tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP nutritional yeast (vegan replacement for a cheesy flavor – PS this acts as a antibacterial immune-booster!)
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves (I like my pesto EXTRA garlicky)
  • a few parsley leaves (optional – I had fresh ones on hand!)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Add a huge dollop of pesto on your buddha bowl or salad!
Here’s why pesto is SO simple. All you need is a somewhat decent food processor! (If you don’t own a food processor – It’s 100% a worthwhile purchase – so many possibilities with one)! Add all above ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to blend for 30 seconds – 1 min and then take a spoon and push ingredients down along the side to ensure it’s all captured & well blended! You can store the pesto in the fridge – It’ll typically keep up for up to 5 days or you can store it in the freezer and pull out for future use.

PS – this pesto is a bit thick. If you’re looking to use it as a dressing, you can add more water or lemon juice into the mix and whisk until it’s reached the desired consistency.

Lets talk TURMERIC / Part 2!

Lets talk TURMERIC / Part 2!

Hello! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was not exactly the IDEAL way I’d like to spend my weekends, but I certainly feel refreshed, healthy and rejuvenated following my Liver Cleanse! I definitely plan on sharing details on that cleanse later in the week, but for now, I wanted to chat some more about Turmeric!

Turmeric obviously seems to be the hot topic lately and for good reason! When we look at superfoods from around the world, turmeric is one that is so incredibly powerful and beneficial to our health, yet is also so affordable. I also find it overwhelming to a) figure out which superfood I should be eating and b) to then spend a lot of money on that particular superfood. Unfortunately, because some of the well known superfoods out there are super labor-intensive, 100% organic, rare to find, and being shipped from across the world, the prices tend to rise. Luckily, turmeric is definitely a number 1 superfood on my list that is easy to find and also affordable, so why not take the leap and begin to add this into your daily diet?

As a recap – some of the AMAZING benefits include:

  • Has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory to help combat a number of health conditions.
  • Strong Antioxidant
  • Supports healthy digestive and cardiovascular system
  • Brain Function (clears that brain fog!)
  • Liver Function
  • Joint Health
  • and can even help fight cancer cell growth!

One brand I’ve fallen in love with lately is Temple Turmeric. They truly believe in providing a powerful superfood blend that is prepared with love and authenticity. They certainly resemble what it means to honor your body and nourish it with care. What I love about their products is that they make it easy to incorporate turmeric into your daily diet in a way that tastes good and is packed with so many essential nutrients, including turmeric of course.

Two of their more recent products include their turmeric shots and their vinegar drinks. The shots are great for grabbing on the go and fueling up post-workout. I know I talked a lot about anti-inflammation in my last blog post on turmeric and I really want to stress that again, especially for athletes or anyone who is regularly active! I see so many people go for the sugary post-workout drinks, when they simply could recover more naturally and quickly by incorporating powerful anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric! I love doing high intensity workouts like running and HIIT but I also enjoy lower impact workouts like yoga. Either way, participating in any of those above activities will certainly lead to inflammation in the muscles, tendons, and joints. What I love about these shots is that they’re also packed with a number of other nutrients and adaptogens like ashwaganda, organic ginger, and organic yerba mate to name a few!

As for their vinegar drinks, I’ve found these to be really great substitutes for liquids in some of my meals, such as a vegan chili I made recently! Their “Pure Fire Tonic” for example, is loaded with ingredients like apple cider vinegar (which promotes healthy blood-sugar levels & cholesterol to name a few!), ginger, turmeric (of course!), horseradish, and ghost pepper. These ingredients make for a perfect tart & slightly spicy liquid base that can be added to all kinds of soups, sauces, or even just sautéing vegetables! One way in particular I love to sneak these drinks in is by using it with either quinoa or rice. For example, I’ll boil 1 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of the vinegar drink & 1 cup water. This way the quinoa absorbs all of those yummy & nutritious flavors! PS – your local Whole Foods Market should be stocked with Temple Turmeric – so keep an eye out for it!

I know I named a few ways to add turmeric into your staple foods, but here are just a few more ideas!

  • Soups, chilis, stews (pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, beans, coconut curry, etc. – all would be a great compliment to the turmeric)
  • Vegan meatballs (use the turmeric shot to blend w/ garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, panko bread crumbs)
  • Smoothies (pair it with something sweet like coconut milk, frozen peaches, frozen banana, frozen cauliflower, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Savory Oats, pancakes, or waffles
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Homemade Hummus (blend w/ garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, black pepper, a bit of olive oil)
  • Other dips for chips & crackers
  • Tahini based salad or buddha bowl dressing

…if you have any recipe ideas, feel free to share & comment below! Hope you had your TURMERIC today 🙂

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, Veggie, & Squash Buddha Bowl

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, Veggie, & Squash Buddha Bowl

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog all about Turmeric. If that post didn’t convince you enough to introduce turmeric daily into your diet, check out this one from Positive Health Wellness. Some of the main benefits they talk about include the ease of inflammation, cancer preventative, improved brain function, lower the blood sugar, reduced joint paint…and oh, the list could just go on! An interesting thing I learned from their blog was that you should try to incorporate black pepper when you’re consuming turmeric to help with the absorption & increase the potential benefits!

Anyway, the reason why I bring up my fave new spice again is because of this weeks buddha bowl! Typically I’ll add quinoa as my base, however this week, I opted for cauliflower rice as a fun alternative! I’ll be honest, I took the lazy way out and bought the bag of already “riced” cauliflower, but HEY, anything I can do to cut down the time of my Sunday meal prep, right?!

Ingredients for the bowl (yields enough servings for 5 days):
• 3-4 cups of brussel sprouts
• 2 large Broccoli florets
• 1 Bag of Cauliflower Rice (most grocery stores stock brands like Green Giant OR if you’re feeling ambitious you can make your own by following a recipe from the Minimalist Baker)
• 1 clove of minced garlic
• 3-4 cups of butternut squash (Whole Foods typically sells these pre-cut as well in small, cube-sized pieces)
• Coconut oil
• Lemon juice
• For the Rice – 1 TBSP of turmeric, 1/2 TBSP of curry powder, shake of black pepper & salt
• Additional spices include: cinnamon, paprika, rosemary, nutritional yeast
• 5 eggs (to prep & make hard boiled eggs for the week)
• For additional “buddha bowl” toppings …scroll to the bottom of the page for some of favorite brands/toppings!

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For the bowl –

• Start by setting the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, begin slicing your Brussel sprouts in half. On a baking sheet coated lightly in coconut oil, add your Brussel sprouts and layer another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, mixing in a pinch of salt, black pepper, and rosemary. You’ll want to follow the same steps for your broccoli – however, I choose to coat it in salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast for a “vegan cheesy” alternative. Once those are lathered evenly throughout, place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, checking on them/mixing them around every 5-10 minutes. I personally like my brussel sprouts charred and slightly burnt, so I tend to keep them in for 20 minutes (just make sure to keep an eye on them as they’ll cook fast in the high heat)!

• Next, either dice your butternut squash into bite size pieces or if you’ve bought the pre-cut, you’ll want to cover a baking sheet lightly in coconut oil. Layer your squash evenly on the baking sheet. Add another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and paprika. Using your hands, spread the oil & seasoning throughout the squash. These may need slightly longer than the brussels & broccoli – I tend to let them cook for about ~ 20-25 minutes.

• While the Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and squash are cooking, take out a large, stick-free, sauté pan, add your minced garlic with about 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil. Let that cook on low heat for about 1 minute. Next, add your bag of cauliflower rice to the pan. Add in your turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, & salt. Let cook for about 5-10 minutes. If you find it sticking, rather than adding more oil, I’ll usually add some lemon juice which adds a nice flavor as well! The cauliflower rice really only needs like 10 minutes to fully cook.

• While everything else is cooking – get a small pot, fill it with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Then add your 5 eggs into the pot, slowly bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, take the pot off of the heat, let it sit for 10-12 minutes. Then rinse it under cold water for a few minutes. Finally, using a spoon, you can crack the shell and peel off. The hard boiled eggs are fine being stored in the fridge for the week.

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• Now for the fun part – bringing your bowl together! I personally like to top my bowls off with 1 hard boiled egg, a heaping spoon of sauerkraut (GUT HEALTH Y’ALL), 1/2 an avocado (because I LOVE my healthy fats), a sprinkle of crispy chickpeas (because I love a little bit of crunch & they’re a great added protein source), and lastly, feel free to drizzle some lemon tahini dressing to top it off!

Here are a few of the products I use for the above ^ toppings:

Biena Foods Crispy Chickpeas
• SauerKraut – either WildBrine (they’re cauliflower & curry flavor is to DIE for) or FarmHouse Culture KRAUT (huge fan of they’re garlic & dill flavor)
• Annie’s Homegrown has an awesome “Lite” Goddess Dressing that tastes SO GOOD on top of these bowls

Hope you enjoy these bowls as much as I do! 🙂

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

If you follow me on Instagram @eatrunandallinbetween , you’ve likely seen me post about turmeric at least once a day and may be wondering, what is all of this hype around turmeric? Let me fill ya in!

It started with a podcast I listened to on Rich Roll (of course), while interviewing Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Rhonda is CRAZY smart and so interesting to listen to. If you’re looking to get your GEEK on, I’d definitely recommend checking out either interviews with Rhonda or some of her own personal video’s she shares on various topics. Her resume is QUITE long, so rather than me trying to summarize it, I’ll send you to this link! Anyhow, during the podcast with Rich Roll, she went in PRETTY deep on turmeric and curcumin. She explained in depth on why anti-inflammatory foods are SO important for the mind and body – turmeric being one of the most critical sources for anti-inflammatories.

Before I go into the research I’ve found, a quick disclaimer is that I’m NOT a registered dietician nor am I practicing in any field of nutrition, medicine, or holistic medicine. This is purely information I’ve found and have been hearing about for quite a while now, which is why I wanted to share this with you…but more importantly, inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate turmeric into your diet!

Research is now proving to us why adding yellow spice to your daily meals is a HUGE benefit. There have even been studies showing the potential possibility of incorporating turmeric into your diet to help prevent dementia (i.e. Alzheimer’s) and certain cancer. According to the article by bodyandsoul , “Cancer researcher Ralph W. Moss believes so. He says turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and it’s a powerful antioxidant.”

To break it down a bit further for you – Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is a member of the ginger family and extremely powerful in its benefits. You may hear turmeric and curcumin used interchangeably. Curcumin is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these two factors, there is strong evidence that suggests the following can be preventable by incorporating turmeric (or if you can find a supplement with purely curcumin) in your diet.

-Alzheimer’s Disease – According to Alzheimers Society, they say that “curcumin has been shown to break down amyloid-beta plaques in lab-based studies.”
-Can help to prevent Cancer – again, coming back to the chemical curcumin, there have been studies done on animals, showing how it could help in “either reducing the number or size of tumours or the percentage of animals who developed them”.
-Anti-Inflammatories – as mentioned above, the most powerful factor in combatting inflammation is by incorporating curcumin into your diet. Try swapping out your ibuprofen next time for a daily dose of turmeric and see if you notice a decrease in headaches after consistent consumption!
-Arthritis – Because of curcumin’s high ant-inflammatory characteristics, there have been studies done showing an improvement with those experiencing arthritis or other variations of joint pain.
-Improved Brain Function – when curcumin is eaten in combination with healthy fats, signs of improved brain function have been shown according to Positive HealthWellness.

These are just to name a few. Again, I have no background in medicine, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out some of the hyperlinks I added in the above paragraphs.

turmeric

Alright, so for the fun stuff – how can you start incorporating turmeric into your diet?

  • Add it your Quinoa or any grain you typically cook with. Usually I’ll make a huge pot of quinoa on Sunday to use throughout my meals for that week.

Directions: I’ll add 1 cup of quinoa & two cups of water into the pot. I’ll also add a LOT of turmeric spice, some cumin, and onion powder to the pot. I’ll then cook the quinoa as I normally would – bringing it to a boil, then letting it sit on low heat for 15 – 20 mins. I love adding my spice early on in the recipe so that my quinoa cooks with it and absorbs all of the tasty flavors!

  • Roasted Veggies – Most of you know my meal prep also consists with roasting a crap ton of veggies on Sunday. I personally love to sprinkle turmeric on my roasted cauliflower with a little bit of curry spice as well. Obviously turmeric tastes great on all veggies, but cauliflower is my fave!
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    P.S. – turmeric does have a tendancy to stain – so either cover your baking sheet in aluminum foil or use a baking sheet you’re not terribly tied to ☺
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  • Add it your bullet proof coffee. On days when I work from home, I make a pot of coffee. Then I add about a mug full of coffee to my nutribullet, I’ll add a TBSP of coconut oil, a TBSP of non-dairy creamer (loving the califa coconut milk one lately), add a sprinkle of cinnamon, TURMERIC, and honey. Blend for 30 seconds, then pour into a mug. It’s like your own, at home frothy latte, but with way more benefits 😉

  • Another hot trend is “golden MYLK”. If you’re not up for crafting your own golden milk, Rebbl has their own delicious flavor to chose from and can usually be found at your nearest Whole Foods or other organic markets. Otherwise, check out this 5 minute, tasty recipe from the Wellness Mama. Enjoy!
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  • Make an egg scramble with it! Add a tsp of turmeric to your usual go-to egg recipe – so delicious and an easy way to get your daily dose in!

  • Add it to a stew or soup!
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Lastly, Make a Face Mask! If you just can’t get enough of turmeric, try using it as a face mask! This helps with “dullness” and can help clear scars, acne, and other inflammation. However, I will warn you, you may come off looking like you just went for a spray tan 😉 That being said, the slightly orange tint will fade after 2-3 face washes!

Directions: You can either add it to one of your own face mask remedies or you can make your own concoction by mixing a tablespoon of turmeric with either a TBSP of fresh cream & a TBPS of whole flour; a TBSP or 2 of yogurt, or of course any facial moisturizer you have on hand. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing off.

My Favorite Boston Health Finds

My Favorite Boston Health Finds

So I decided I would do a post for those who are either local to Boston or looking to book a trip to this beautiful and active city! I grew up 30 minutes outside of Boston, but rarely made the trip into the city unless I was heading to the Reggie Lewis Center for track meets or the North End for some hearty Italian food with the fam! Otherwise, I would not have ever considered myself a true Boston native.

Fast forward several years later, post my 4-years spent in Baltimore for college and my 9-month stint in Palo Alto, CA …I’ve now spent a full year and counting with my boyfriend, living in one of the neighboring Boston towns. So far I’d give this city a healthy 8 out of 10! Honestly I’d say the two biggest downfalls are the harsh winters (I’m VERY much so a summer girl) and the lack of health food joints when compared to the Manhattan’s and San Francisco’s of the world. Otherwise, I’ve seem to fallen for this city! Now, I most certainly DO NOT consider myself a Boston pro by any means, but I figured I’d go ahead and share a few of my insider tips for those who are looking to come to the Boston area for healthy food and indoor/outdoor activities!

Health Boston EATS –

Dig Inn – This is a brand new café in Boston, however, if you’re local to NYC, you’ve probably seen a few of these in passing. It’s a cafeteria style café serving seasonal and locally sourced breakfast, lunch, & dinner items. Their grain bowls are out of this world.
o Located on 557 Boylston St., Boston, MA.

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Whole Heart Provisions – Luckily for me, this vegan-style café is located just a few minutes down the road from me! They offer the most BOMB vegan “Buddha Bowls” – not to mention their “street style” Brussel sprouts & seared avocado are out of this world.
o Located on 487 Cambridge St, Allston, MA.

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Live Alive “Urban Oasis & Organic Café” – All around great vibes at this place! They offer a huge variety of nourishing, super food smoothies, as well as grain-based, customizable bowls & sandwiches – something for everyone!
o There are 3 Locations – 194 Middle St, Lowell, MA , 765 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA , and 281 Essex St, Salem, MA. {not my photo}

Mother Juice Boston – They’re your go-to for nourishing smoothies, fresh juices, acai bowls, almond butter toasts, and more!
o There are soon to be a total of 3 locations – 625 West Kendall St, Cambridge, 100 Hanover st, Boston Public Market and new location opening on 291 Newbury St, Boston! {not my photo}

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Energize Boston – Brand new location just opened up in Brighton, MA. Great atmosphere, offering customizable salad bowls, nutrient/superfood packed smoothies, juices, and acai bowls.
o Located on 618 Washington St, Brighton, MA

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FoMu – If you’re craving something sweet AND vegan – this is your place. “Ice Cream” that’s completely coconut milk based, but tastes AMAZING.
o Located on 481 Cambridge St., Allston, MA {not my photo}

Tatte Bakery – their Avocado toast on sourdough w/ a poached egg is BAE. Also love their matcha lattes. Perfect place to meet a friend for coffee, a pastry, or just to chat! Outdoor seating on Beacon St. is IDEAL too.

Pressed Juicery – Fro-Yo Style “juices” and freshly made juices. So many options to choose from! All ORGANIC and CLEAN. Their “froyo” is the best guilt-free dessert you can get your hands on in the summer.

By Chloe – You know when you’re craving something deliciously unhealthy, but healthy at the same time? Whether you’re recovering from a night out or just need to please your growling belly, By Chloe is the place for you. This trendy, fast-casual, vegan restaurant, is still fairly new to the Boston neighborhood (locations in both Seaport and Fenway), yet the buzz around these tasty eats is still going strong, and for good reason! By Chloe is a burger-joint from the 50’s meets New York late-night diner, all with a modern, clean, and crisp spin that makes you want to hang out on their swinging chairs all day long, while overhearing the roaring cheers from the neighboring Red Sox Game. As if things couldn’t get better, By Chloe has their liquor license and conveniently offers beer and wine for those who are feeling a little more wild and are looking to pregame before the big sox game. So while the boyfriend chows down on pizza and beers, you’ll pride yourself on a healthy meal to hold you over, all while getting your buzz on before the game.

**Two Locations – Fenway and Seaport

Additional Boston Juice Bars (Fresh pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, etc.) Include:

Pressed Boston – 120 Charles St, Boston, MA
CocoBeet – 100 City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA
Liquiteria – 1430 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
Jugo’s – 145 Dartmouth St., Boston , MA
Juice Press – 33 Boylston, St, Chestnut Hill, MA
Pure Cold Press – 326 Harvard St., Boston, MA
Revolution Juice – 150 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA

Juice Press / Build you own Salad

Feel free to comment if you have any healthy suggestions! I love discovering new places 🙂

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Hi everyone! For today’s post, I thought it was only appropriate to share my tasty, veggie-filled, buddah-bowl inspired lunch from this week. I’m not one to brag about my lunches, because let’s be honest, they’re usually not THAT exciting. But this one HIT the spot and was actually a lunch I looked forward to chowing down on, even after eating it all 5 days (and that says something)! So if you’re looking for a meal prep option that you can prepare in under an hour and that will last you all week, you’ve found the right recipe! Plus it’s entirely vegan, loaded with yummy seasonal veggies and a whole lot of nutrients to keep you fueled each day!

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See below for the ingredients you’ll need…

Ingredients for the bowl (yields enough servings for 5 days):
• 1 (small) sack of purple potatoes
• 2 sweet potatoes
• About a pound of Brussel sprouts
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 2 heads of kale (I bought curly kale & dinosaur kale)
• Coconut oil
• 2 TBSP of lemon juice
• ½ yellow onion
• 2 packages of Lightlife Tempeh
• Hope Hummus (Kale Pesto)

And for an absolute favorite recipe of mine from the the amazing Oh She Glows…(seriously check her site out for some delicious vegan recipes & inspiration)! Check out the ingredients needed and simple directions for the vegan green goddess dressing on her site: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing . If you don’t have the ingredients to prep this dressing, a great & tasty alternative can be a lemon tahini dressing – another favorite of mine 🙂

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For the bowl –

• Start by setting the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, dice the sweet potatoes & purple potatoes into bite size pieces. Cover a baking sheet lightly in coconut oil. Layer your potatoes evenly on the baking sheet. Add another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, a pinch of salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon. Using your hands, spread the oil & seasoning throughout the potatoes.

• Set aside and begin slicing your Brussel sprouts in half. Similar to the potatoes, you’ll want to get another baking sheet and layer it in coconut oil. Add your Brussel sprouts and layer another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, mixing in a pinch of salt, black pepper, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Once those are lathered evenly throughout, place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, mixing them around every 5-10 minutes. I personally like mine charred and slightly burnt, so I tend to keep them in for 20 minutes (just make sure to keep an eye on them as they’ll cook fast in the high heat)!

• While the Brussel sprouts & potatoes are cooking, take out a large, stick-free, sauté pan, add your garlic and onion with about 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil. Let that cook on low heat for about 3 minutes. While that’s heating up, strip out the hard stem of each kale leaf. Chop them slightly smaller, so they’re easier to eat. Once the pan is warm, begin adding your kale in small increments. The kale will wilt quickly, but if you add it all in at once, you may have trouble cooking it & coating it evenly in the oil. Add your seasonings of choice – I chose to add a pinch of salt, black pepper, dried dill weed, and a small amount of cayenne. Add lemon juice slowly as you’re cooking the kale to help it wilt more quickly so that you can add the remainder of your kale. Once the majority of your kale is shrunk in size, you should only cook for a few extra minutes in order to retain most of the nutrients and avoid overcooking!

• Once your sautéed garlic kale is complete, put that to the side. Use that same pan, add ½ TBSP of coconut oil, add your chopped tempeh and sautee until it reaches a nice golden crisp on the edges. At that point, lower your heat, add about 2 TBSP of the pesto hummus and mix in well before setting aside.

• The last step is to prep your Oh She Glows Green Goddess dressing. Make your way to the following link: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing.

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As mentioned, you should have enough prepped for 5 large bowls for the week. Heat up in a microwave-safe dish for about 2:30-3 minutes. Feel free to top your bowl with additional toppings such as my favorite – Biena Foods Crispy, lightly salted, crunch chickpeas! Or sprinkle your bowl with hemp seeds & some nutritional yeast – get creative and enjoy!

Healthy Stir Fry in 20!

Healthy Stir Fry in 20!

Lately I’ve been obsessing over this simple, yet healthy stir fry combo that can be prepped and ready to eat in just 20 minutes! Whether it’s for lunch or dinner – this meal is sure to make your taste buds jump for joy. Not going to lie, when it comes to cooking these days, three things come to mind 1) Taste 2) Health and 3) Convenience. As part of my Sunday Meal Prep, I always make sure to prep a ton of fresh veggies. I never go to the supermarket with any particular plan. I tend to just browse the produce aisles and pick the veggies that look the most fresh to me. Having a ton of veggies chopped and prepped for the week make my stir fry combo SO easy and it’s great to switch it up weekly.
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What you’ll need:

  • Your choice of fresh veggies. My go-to? Brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, yellow & red bell peppers, yellow onion
    ** Did you know that eating vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts are EXTRA good for your nutrition? They’re known as cruciferous vegetables and are considered to be suppressing to your thyroid and can help prevent cancer. However it’s very important to eat these vegetables cooked – so back sure to sauté or roast them in some form!
  • 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic.
    ** Make sure to let the garlic sit for at least 10 minutes once you’ve minced them to get the most nutritious benefits from it!
  • 1 TBSP of coconut oil
  • 1/4 bag of “Explore Asian – Gluten Free” Edamame & Mung Bean Pasta
  • 1 TBSP Less Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  • 6-10 pieces of shrimp (I tend to buy cooked shrimp, tail on)
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    Directions:

  • You’ll want to make sure to defrost your shrimp first and foremost. Start by boiling a pot of water for your “pasta”. Follow directions on the back of the bag accordingly.

  • Meanwhile, take out a large non-stick sauté pan and your TBSP of coconut oil. Add your minced garlic and warm the pan on low heat. Make sure to spread the coconut oil evenly. Then add the rest of your vegetables to cook and turn up the heat to about med-high. Add in your seasonings all to taste (Himalayan salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and a dash of paprika).
  • Now that you’ve started up your veggies. Take out a smaller non-stick pan, add a 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil. Then add your shrimp with some fresh minced garlic and a few shakes of paprika for spice. You’ll only need to cook these for about 5 minutes on low/med heat.
  • Make sure to stir occasionally, keeping an eye on your veggies. If they begin stick, turn down your heat and add a little more coconut oil or some lemon juice. Let those cook for about 8-10 minutes. I tend to like my veggies extra crunchy and I try not to overcook them to the point where they lose their bright greens. In the last minute of cooking your veggies, add your teriyaki sauce and stir well.
  • Serve yourself the pasta, topped with a heaping serving of veggies & lastly your spicy shrimp.
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    Enjoy!!
Easy meal prep in 1-2-3!

Easy meal prep in 1-2-3!

Hi everyone,

So today I’m going to talk to you all about meal prep! Though most Sunday mornings I wake up feeling on edge because of “all the errands I have for that day”, I’ve some how come up with a plan that has drastically cut down my meal prep time. If you’re like me and get a serious case of the Sunday scaries – let’s work on changing that first and foremost! My boyfriend and I have agreed to begin looking at Sunday differently. Rather than a day we’ve come to dread, lets turn it into just another full day of the weekend and try to enjoy it!

That starts with not dreading meal prep anymore and while we’re at it, let’s cut down on our meal prep time! For those of you who aren’t yet sold on meal prep – here’s a non-exhaustive list of all of the benefits of meal preppin!

  • End up saving time and money $$$
  • Cuts down on the anxiety you feel driving home from work (especially if you struggle with an hour long commute like myself!)
  • Obviously helps to avoid making any unhealthy choices
  • And if you’re super indecisive like myself, you avoid any question of what to eat for breakfast/lunch/and dinner that week!
  • Makes keeping track of your macro’s easier!

So now that we’ve established the obvious importance of meal prep, let me share with you what mine looks like! Keep in mind, everyone’s is different. You’ll eventually find what works for you and stick to that.

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal jars – check out some of my overnight oatmeal recipes for ideas (Baby food & Oats, Blueberry Maple Walnut Oats, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin)!

  • Basic Ingredients Include: A batch of bananas, oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • Why? These are so quick to make, they’re easy, healthy, and last all week! Combining 1/2 cup of oats, with 1 cup of almond milk, & a sliced/mashed banana = instant satisfaction! Then feel free to get creative from there and combine it with optional ingredients such as blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, stevia, etc.!

OR Green Smoothies because they ROCK. I’ve been getting mine to-go from the cafe at my gym 🙂
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Lunch:

  • VERY large Salads or “Buddah Bowls” – you certainly have some options here and I tend to switch it up a lot!

  • Basic (optional) Ingredients: Frozen Veggie Burgers (Amy’s California, Dr. Praegers, and Engine 2 Diet are all my fave choices) or canned tuna, Kale or Spinach, Frozen Edamame, Frozen Corn, Avocado, a bag of Shredded carrots, Sweet Potato or Brown Rice, Lemon Tahini Dressing
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  • Why? If your salad is big enough (this is key people! no whimpy salads allowed here!) than you’re golden! I start with my base of spinach or kale, then I defrost frozen edamame and corn to add to my salad, then throw in some carrots, tomatoes, and 1/4 – 1/2 an avocado, and lastly I’ll either prepare a bag of sweet potatoes in the micro for the week (I buy a bag of about 5 from wegmans which I can just throw in the micro for 8 minutes to cook – so fast and easy) OR I’ll make a batch of brown rice for the week. Lastly for the protein, I either throw a veggie burger in the toaster oven to broil for about 10 minutes or I’ll mix a can of tuna with dijon mustard, lemon, salt, shallots, and olive oil to add for my protein.
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    Dinner:

  • Veggie/Carb/Protein Loaded Dinner – I really love prepping a bunch of vegetable options, along with shrimp for protein, and rice for carbs!

  • Basic Ingredients: Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Brown Rice or Banza Pasta, Frozen (cut and peeled) Shrimp, and Low Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
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  • Why? Stir Fry is SUCH an easy go-to and tastes amazing. I’ll typically sauté my shrimp in olive oil & lots of cayenne pepper to give them a little kick. Then I’ll make a batch of brown rice for the week which I can easily reheat for dinner. Lastly, I’ll always make a large batch of roasted vegetables for the week. Lately, my go-to has been cauliflower roasted in curry, tumeric, and coconut oil ; brussel sprouts and asparagus in olive oil, rosemary, salt & black pepper. Throw these in the oven at 420 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.
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    **A quick tip for reheating: When you put all ingredients into one bowl, cover with saran wrap and heat for about 1:30-2 minutes.
Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
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  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
    Almond-butter
  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
    coconut-oil
    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
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  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
    almond milk
  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
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  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
    shrimp
  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
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Enjoy!

Banza Pasta Topped with a Curry Butternut Squash Sauce

Banza Pasta Topped with a Curry Butternut Squash Sauce

For some reason, pasta isn’t always a product that lands on my grocery list. It’s not that I necessarily stay away from pasta, it’s just not typically a meal I plan for during the week. I tend to treat pasta as a “special” meal, which is crazy to me because let’s be honest, I could easily eat pasta every night and be content with that.
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When it comes to pasta, I’ve tried quite a variation. I’ve had quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, zucchini “pasta”, basil pasta …I seriously thought I tried it all! Up until recently when a friend (thanks jackie!!) introduced me to Banza Chickpea Pasta (high protein pasta made from chickpeas). Now let me tell you, as crazy as this sounds, you would never realize you’re eating pasta made from chickpeas! The texture, taste, consistency, shape – everything about it is easily comparable to any other regular pasta! Not to mention the taste is on point!
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Anyway, I was inspired by a few of my favorite fall squashes – butternut squash! I was craving comfort food. So, why not create a creamy butternut squash sauce for this pasta! Healthy, filling, and warmed with all of those delicious fall flavors. Try out the dish below and let me know what you think! It’s the perfect mix of sweet and spicy for this time of year!

Ingredients:

– Banza Chickpea Pasta
– 3/4 can of butternut squash
– 2 tbsp Olive Oil
– 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
– 1/2 cup large yellow onion finally chopped
– 1 tsp curry powder
– 1/2 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– A shake of black pepper (add based on preference)
– A dash of cayenne pepper
– 1 cup chopped Mushrooms

Directions:

  • Bring water to a boil and follow the Banza Chickpea directions accordingly.
  • While your water is coming to a boil, begin with a large skillet and add your olive oil as it warms on a medium heat.
  • Add your chopped garlic and yellow onion. Let that cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next you’ll add your mushrooms to sauté. Let those (and any other additional vegetables you wish to add) cook for about 5 minutes.
  • As this is cooking, add your seasonings of curry, chili powder, salt & black pepper.
  • Lastly, you’ll add your butternut squash directly into the skillet. Mix this well into the pan and let cook for an additional 2-4 minutes on low heat in order to warm the squash up in the sauce.
  • It may help to add about 1 TBSP or more of warm water to help soften up the sauce and thin it out if you wish to do so. You could also choose to add some heavy whipping cream or plain greek yogurt to the sauce if you’re looking make it creamier and thicker. Totally up to you and your preference!
  • Once your pasta is done and drained, you can add that directly into the large skillet with the sauce and mix well so that the pasta is completely covered. Enjoy and serve warm!

*If you decide to store over night, make sure to keep in an enclosed container. I’d suggest you add about 1-1.5 TBSP of water when re-heating your pasta & sauce as it will have a tendency to clump and harden a bit when sitting in the fridge. I reheated mine for about 2 minutes.

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Mango Salsa (with a kick)

Mango Salsa (with a kick)

Ever in that mood where you KNOW you want something for dinner, but LITERALLY have no clue what it is? Well, earlier yesterday, my boyfriend and I were strolling around the Whole Foods produce section, trying to get inspired by something…ANYTHING. Mexican? No.. Spring Rolls? No.. Fish? No… Pasta? No…

You get the point. Clearly both of us were as indecisive as it gets. Luckily, after circling the obstacle course of what the Whole Foods produce section is, we stumbled across the mangoes. Ahh mangoes. This beautifully delicious fruit can at times, be disappointing if served too soon before ripening. However, when served right, one can’t help but dig into it, juicy bite after juicy bite, instantly teleporting you to the clear blue waters of the Bahamas. Point is, the second my eyes caught that mango, I knew what had to happen. Mango salsa. The perfect summertime meal. Without any hesitation, I knew what had to happen next. A Fresno pepper, jalapeño pepper, red onion, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and more. With a sweet & spicy salsa like this, a blander, white fish would do the job. Freshly caught tilapia was next on the list. Lastly, some perfect asparagus spars for our side dish to top of this summer-inspired meal.
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Serves 2 people.

Ingredients for the Salsa:

  • 2 Soft Ataulfo Mangoes diced (these are the golden yellow ones)
  • 1/2 finely diced red onion
  • 1 small Fresno Pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño Pepper
  • A small handful of fresh cilantro (about 1/4 cup and then chop the cilantro into small bites)
  • 2 tsp of Honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Lime Juice
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    Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets

  • Mrs. Dash Caribbean Seasoning (enough to fully cover the fish)
  • Curry Powder (A few shakes on each fillet will do)
  • Paprika (to taste…)
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil

  • A batch of Asparagus

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1-2 TBSP)
  • 1-2 finely diced garlic cloves
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

We’ll start by prepping your salsa first (the further ahead of dinner you can do this, the more juicier and flavorful your salsa will be later). Take all ingredients (chop or dice according to above ingredient directions) and mix together in a small bowl. Set this aside in the fridge.

Next, set your over to 380 degrees. Place your tilapia on a lightly sprayed baking pan (I use Coconut Oil spray)…I also like to spray the fish lightly with the oil as well. Then shake each bit of seasoning onto the fish, should be fairly covered. Once the fish is in the oven, it should only take about 12-15 minutes. Make sure to check periodically, fish should be flaky when ready to be taken out.

For your asparagus, simply sauté the spars in a non-stick pan with the olive oil, garlic cloves, salt & pepper. This process should take about 15-20 minutes. I find it helpful to cover the pan to help the asparagus soften quicker.
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When you’re ready to serve, top your fish with sliced avocado, then top it with the mango salsa and a side of asparagus. Enjoy!! And Happy ALMOST Summer! 🙂

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Rosemary Baby Potatoes

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Rosemary Baby Potatoes

Hello!

I’m sitting here drinking my morning coffee, dreaming about my roasted rosemary potatoes. Ah as much I would love to take credit for this wonderful creation, I owe it all to my momma. I got it from my momma, my momma. But for real, with out her as my cooking inspiration, I certainly don’t think I would have been as creative in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure I was whipping up pasta, sautéed yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, garlic and onion with EVOO at the prime age of 13. Not only that, but I watched my dad cook up his Sunday morning pancakes every week of my childhood. It’s funny because I even recall them bribing me with $5 to try my FIRST bite of PANCAKES. Crazy.

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Anyway, getting side tracked here. My point is, a lot of my inspiration comes from the kitchen activity I saw during my childhood. Ideas and recipes I’ve carried with me throughout those years, only to recreate them with a healthy spin. One side dish that my sister and I ALWAYS begged my mom to whip up were her roasted rosemary baby potatoes. The second you pull them out of the oven, you can smell the delicious strong scent of the rosemary, all the while hearing the sizzling of the just perfectly golden potatoes. These roasted potatoes are SURE to be a crowd favorite and can be perfectly paired with any dish!

Ingredients:

– Colorful baby potatoes (purple, white, yellow, red): these are typically sold in a small bag and I would suggest to use the entire batch if you’re cooking for more than 2 people!
POTATOES
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1-2 TBSP): enough to lightly dress the potatoes
– Rosemary (1-3 TBSP)* please note this depends on your taste, all potatoes should be lightly covered in rosemary spice
– Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

Set your oven to 400 degrees on “bake”. Cover a large baking sheet in aluminum foil. Spray it lightly with coconut oil (or any other form of baking spray). Cut all of your baby potatoes in half just once. These potatoes are fairly small, so no need to cut them into fourths. Next layer your baking sheet in all of the potatoes. Next take your olive oil and lightly dress all the potatoes. Add in your rosemary, salt and pepper. Next, make sure your hands are clean…you’re about to get a little down and dirty! Now dig in and massage the potatoes, shuffling them around. Making sure they’re all nicely covered in everything.

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Now toss your potatoes in the oven. Depending on how hot your oven gets, they should only need about 15-20 mins. Test the potatoes my sticking a fork in them. They should be fairly soft. Once they are soft and beginning to look a little golden, switch your oven to broil to get that nice crispyness. I typically leave my potatoes in for at least 5-8 minutes on broil, checking them periodically. Personally, I love mine VERY crisp, so just make sure to keep an eye on them and don’t let them burn!


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