Category Archives: recipe

Reading This Might Change Your Life

I’ve been feeling antsy lately. More like amped up. I feel the need to go deeper with my clients—which will be no easy task since for many we’re already treating our sessions like therapy. But I’m screaming inside and can’t contain it any longer; the evidence is just too great, and so I’m going to have to talk more about the plant-based diet. Maybe even nudge a bit.

The results I see in my gym are astounding. My core-focused strength training program is undoubtedly successful—lives are changing with the exercise component alone. But the cholesterol might still be high. The blood pressure. The fat around the middle. I say I don’t judge you for eating animal products, and I don’t, but hear me now: If you truly mean what you say when you tell me you want to see change, you need to switch to a plant-based diet. I am convinced that you will see the results you want, and your overall health will improve.

Why plant-based as opposed to vegan?

I’ve never been a proponent of all-or-nothing choices. Deprivation doesn’t work because it causes pain (read: diets don’t work because they include deprivation). So “vegan” is extreme and not really necessary unless you decide it’s right for you. (Remember, vegan equals no honey, no leather, not even some wines.) Plant-based to me means that I eat a mostly vegan diet, but that I’m not a drag to have over for dinner (I won’t refuse to eat your birthday cake just because there’s butter and eggs in it).

But where will you get your protein?

If I had a dime for every time I’m asked that freakin’ question… So here’s the hard truth: you’ve been brainwashed by the agriculture and dairy industries to believe that you need mega amounts of protein to be healthy/have energy/be full. How is it then, that a protein shake is used by both the bodybuilder looking to gain weight and the middle-aged mom trying to lose weight? I know, right? Think about it. This might blow your mind, but there is protein in plants. I do not eat meat or dairy and I have so much energy I can’t even contain it.

The problem is, you’ve been planning your meals around a “protein” for so long, thinking about planning a plant-based meal is intimidating, even overwhelming. My suggestion is to dip your toe in and go slow. Maybe one or two nights a week you experiment with a plant-based meal. See how you feel, how you sleep. How your stomach doesn’t feel so heavy—or worse, reject your meal. Maybe you could pack your lunch and snacks a couple of days, too. Meanwhile, you can look into some new cookbooks, perhaps find a few new items for your pantry. Just test the water—you absolutely do not need to dive right in.

I will share our planned meals week to week to give you ideas. I’ll offer snack suggestions if you’d like, and will be glad to help you locate the weird ingredient you’ve never encountered in a recipe before. Slowly but surely, I almost guarantee you’ll fall in love with your new lifestyle—because that’s what this really is, a change in lifestyle. I always tell people, far from having less to choose from when we cook, we have more. So much more. Our plates are colorful (as you know if you follow me on Instagram), and so incredibly full of flavor. And the best thing is we stay inspired. We feel so good and love our food so much, we can’t wait to dig into the season’s latest offerings. I won’t lie—it takes some effort—but if it makes you feel amazing and leads to a greater enjoyment of life, isn’t it worth a try?

In our house, my husband is the chef. On Saturdays he flips through cookbooks and chooses our meals for the week, writing up a shopping list as he goes. He leaves two nights open for dining out or being spontaneous. Sometimes he bases his choices on leftover sauces or veggies, and sometimes he just feels like trying something brand new. Bowls are great for weeknights. It takes time to find a rhythm when you’re serious about this new lifestyle, but we did it, and you certainly can, too.

Here is the menu Mike planned for this week (clearly we’re way into our new Minimalist Baker cookbook!):

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/sweet-potato-chickpea-buddha-bowl/

Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/smoky-tempeh-burrito-bowls/

Plantain & Black Bean Tacos

http://minimalistbaker.com/spicy-plantain-black-bean-tacos/

Mediterranean Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/the-ultimate-mediterranean-bowl/

Roasted Butternut Alfredo

http://www.theppk.com/2012/10/roasted-butternut-alfredo/

 

Enlightened Miso Power Bowl: A Vegan Dish That Proves That “Rabbit Food” Really Can Be Filling

We are loving our new Oh She Glows cookbook! I’ve been telling people about some of the recipes, and it sounds like you might like to try a few of our new favorites. This one looks light, but boy, does it fill up the belly! Don’t worry that it’s not enough food!

As good as it looks: Enlightened Miso Power Bowl

As good as it looks: Enlightened Miso Power Bowl

Ingredients
(Comment from the Fitness Girl: Trade out veggies as you like. We used red peppers and broccoli once. And we leave out cilantro, green onion, hemp seeds and sprouts, so use what you’ve got!)

1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil, melted
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 medium carrot, julienned
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1/2 cup sprouts

For the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing:
3 tablespoons light miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon maple syrup

ASSEMBLE:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sweet potato rounds on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil, rubbing it on both sides to coat. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip and roast for 8 to 10 minutes more, until tender and lightly browned.

2) Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of quinoa with 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Cook for 20 minutes or so.

3) To assemble, divide the cooked quinoa evenly between 2 plates or bowls and season it with salt and pepper. Top with the roasted sweet potato rounds, edamame, carrots, green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and sprouts. Drizzle with Orange-Maple Miso Dressing and enjoy!

MAKE THE ORANGE-MAPLE MISO DRESSING:

In a mini or regular food processor, combine the miso, vinegar, sesame oil, tahini, orange juice, water and maple syrup and process until well combined.

Source: Oh She Glows Cookbook

Homemade-so-you-know-what-you’re-eating Energy Bars (that happen to be vegan)

Ever wonder if your “energy bar” is really more like a candy bar with a good marketing firm? If not, you should. Make a batch of these and they’ll last you for weeks (and won’t clean out your wallet like those bars).

Super-Scrumptious Homemade-so-you-know-what-you’re-eating Energy Bars
(Thanks to New Jersey restaurant Wildflower for this recipe, published in a book we love, Virgin Vegan)

3 c quick oats
6 oz chocolate chips (dairy-free if possible)
½ c shredded coconut
½ c sunflower seeds
½ c chopped walnuts
½ c sliced almonds
½ c dried cranberries or raisins
1 c nut butter of your choice
½ c agave syrup
½ c brown rice syrup
½ T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry; mix well. Pour batter into an 8” x 8” (or similar) baking pan and press evenly with spatula until mixture is well distributed. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until top is light brown. Remove from oven and cool.

What's in YOUR energy bar?

What’s in YOUR energy bar?

Can be cut into bars once cooled. Keeps at room temperature for weeks! (But can be frozen for extended time.)

Cleanses and Detoxes and Superfoods….and YOU??

What's in your stash?

What’s in your stash?

Where do you fit in with all these trends? Is it all hype to you? Or are you on Day 3 of your please-don’t-mention-food-to-me juice cleanse?

Does your diet have enough color, variety, antioxidants, nutrition, ahem, produce to keep you healthy? It is so hard to know in this age of powders and mega-nutrients packaged affordably and at eye-level, making us question whether we really are getting enough sea vegetables in our daily intake of normal-people food.

I myself have bought into it, to a degree. I mean, I have my shelves of nutritional supplements, including Spirulina, chia seeds and “Power Fuel.” I do feel good about these few add-ins, but in truth, I wonder if I even need to take my daily multivitamin anymore, now that I’m hyperconscious of every bite I take, and now that plants have become the largest slice on the pie chart that is my diet. If I consciously eat bell peppers simply because I haven’t had enough color in my diet yet today, I think it’s likely I’m at a point where my diet doesn’t need supplementing.

But what if it does? The constant barrage of news and findings in the media keeps us wondering, and there’s just something about second-guessing when it comes to your health. You don’t want to do it.

So, what’s my advice? As usual, everything in moderation. That means, if your heart is telling you it’s time for a juice cleanse, then try it. But don’t do 30 days; do 10 days. Take a look at the supplements out there, then take a look at your diet. Know that the supplements are not going to do the work of a good diet. They are not going to keep you healthy if you swallow them and then sit down to a greasy hamburger. My advice is to always eat consciously, aware of the nutrients you are consuming. Only then can you decide if your diet is lacking in something. If you scan the aisles at Whole Foods the sheer number of supplements available can be overwhelming…even enticing. But necessary? I’m not so sure.

Just a typical Thursday night dinner (aka thank G-d my husband is the cook)

The answer to “What do you eat for protein?” (Which is, by the way, the most tired question. A) Do you really still buy into the “man-beating-chest must have protein” way of thinking? and B) By now, you must know about legumes, lentils, tofu, nut butters……..)
Cast Iron Stir-Fry With Avocado, Basil & Peanuts from PPK

Cast Iron Stir-Fry With Avocado, Basil & Peanuts from PPK

I’m loving my citrusy summery juice

I’ve been enjoying my morning juice so much lately, I thought I’d share an updated summery recipe. Into the Vitamix, I throw:

About 6 oz water

A quarter of a grapefruit

1 whole Clementine orange

A light grating of fresh ginger

A handful of spinach or kale

A sprig of parsley

4-5 baby carrots

About 1/4 cup frozen mango or pineapple (instead of ice)

Add some green powder if you use it (we use Amazing Grass Raw Reserve), but even without, what a blast of nutrients in your glass! I hope you love it like I do.

 

Energy for a Rainy Day

Made another batch of my yummy version of energy bars this morning.

It was storming and the whole family was hanging out in the kitchen. What better to do than bake vegan cookies and roll up some energy balls to store in the fridge for the week? These little bite-size treats are made with nothing but real food–dried fruit, nut butter, and honey. The original recipe can be found here.

Energy Bites

Just two of these might take the edge off your hunger pre-workout.

Reacquaint yourself with these homemade “energy bars.” You can add flaxseeds, chia seeds, even protein powder if you like. Your body (and pocketbook) will thank you for making them yourself. 

My Mid-Morning Green Juice

My basic recipe for a little something green in a glass.

Throw these things in a blender, and you’ll feel amazing! Not to mention it will curb your hunger for pre-lunch snacks you shouldn’t be getting into.

  • 8 oz light/diet cranberry, grapefruit, or other juice–but make sure it’s VERY low sugar (maybe 5g). Better yet, mix a little water in with less juice.
  • A generous handful or 2 of spinach or kale (I use baby spinach or baby kale for a little sweeter flavor)
  • 4 or 5 baby carrots
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Arden’s Garden Power Fuel (or other green powder of your choice)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, or other fruit
  • 1/2 to a whole banana (to your taste!)

If you leave out the frozen fruit, just make sure to add some ice for texture. Play with the ingredients a little and you’ll find a blend that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!

Blood Type Diet: Does it hold any weight?

The era of always seeking a reason

I set out to do a thorough discourse on the blood type diet, but I just don’t care enough about it to exert the energy. Maybe that gives you a sense of how I feel about it.

If you know me or have read my previous posts, you can guess that I could take or leave the whole theory that you should eat according to your blood type—and it is just a theory, without much in the way of evidence to support it. According to the diet’s founder Dr. D’Adamo, I should “focus on lean, organic meats, vegetables and fruits and avoid wheat and dairy which can be triggers for digestive and health issues.” Well, isn’t that eye-opening. Who decided this guy had something enlightening to tell us?

Continue reading

#49 Squash-sta

Put a “spin” on your veggies

My kids call them snakes. Doesn’t bother me… as long as they eat those snakes. Check out the dinner Mike made tonight:

Squash Pasta

I got him a spiralizer for Father’s Day. That’s right. That’s what my sweet husband wanted for Father’s Day. Not an Xbox, but a spiralizer. So who am I to deny him?

What this newest kitchen contraption does is ingenious: It grasps onto the veggie of your choice (squash and zucchini tend to be favorites for this particular operation), and makes it into spaghetti-style noodles. Blended with a bit of real pasta and the sauce of your choice, you’ve got kids eating veggies. Not to mention an exciting new way to serve those veggies to grown-ups, too.