Tag Archives: healthy

30-DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE: Week Four

19 Oct

Well, I made it.¬† Sorry for not blogging last week…I have been SO BUSY with my new job ūüôā It’s vegan week 4,¬† and right now I see no reason to stop.¬† I haven’t counted calories in a month which has been AMAZING, and I feel generally lighter, happier, and healthier. Getting brunch this past Sunday in Fort Collins was a total pain, but that aside it has been pretty easy being a vegan in Denver, Colorado.

Breakfast Fun:

Vegan Potato, Green Chilli, and Black Bean Burritos

Lunch:

Same ole story…LEFTOVERS!

Dinners:

Vegan Quiche with Lemony Cucumber, Almond, and Arugula Salad

Barbecue Seitan, Broccoli and Bok Choy with Quinoa and Artichoke

Spinach Linguine with Zucchini, Portabellos, and Tomatoes in Edamame Pesto

Vegan Pizza: vegan cheese (Daiya), sautéed mushrooms and sweet onion, organic tomato sauce, and homemade olive and kale tapenade

Noteworthy Sweet Treats:

hehe, that’s right….animal crackers…nomnom

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30-DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE: Week Three

6 Oct

The third week has come to an end and I feel even better than last week. I feel lighter (lost 5lbs) and definitely have more energy. I feel healthy, I really do. One negative-i feel like i’m running out of recipes and ideas. This week I experimented with tempeh…it came out really good. This coming week I’m going to give seitan a shot. I’ll keep you all posted!!

The books that have been inspiring me:

This is what my fridge looks like after a weekend of grocery shopping vegan-style ūüėČ

Breakfast this week:

English muffin and peanut butter, oatmeal with almonds and raisins, english muffin and avocado with tomato

Lunches:

Leftovers!!! My favorite lunch was a wrap I made with my leftover buffalo tempeh, spring mix, avocado, YUM!

Dinners: See the best from the week below…

Vegan Pad Thai with Toasted Peanuts

Buffalo Tempeh ‘Wings’ with Steamed Asparagus

Mushroom Tibs with Steamed Broccoli and Wild Rice

I have been super busy at work so I will post the recipes this weekend!! If you want them beforehand just send me a message ūüôā Enjoy!

Lentil, Mushroom, and Eggplant Chili Mole

29 Sep

Ingredients:

Thanks again Appetite for Reduction for this great recipe and inspiration!

serves 6, active time 15 minutes, total time 1 hour

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dried green lentils, washed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • One (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1¬†package of diced baby bella mushrooms!
  • 2 teaspoons amber agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Process:

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell pepper in the oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, using nonstick cooking spray or a splash of water if it’s sticking. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Add n cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder, and cook for about 1 more minute while stirring to dissolve the cocoa. 

Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, keeping a close eye on it. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Mix in the agave. Taste for salt and seasoning

Let the chili sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like. 

Serve with Vegan Cornbread  (I added jalapeno and scallions to this recipe for a kick!)

For more Vegan inspiration and recipes, check out my 30-day challenge!

Vegan Week 1

Vegan Week 2

30-DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE: Week Two

29 Sep

Weekend one was a little rough, but I made it!¬†Watching people eat pizza was slightly agonizing, but now that I am back into the weekday routine, vegan eating has been¬†a breeze! It’s mid-week and I’m feeling energized, healthy, and really positive. I have also¬†been cooking a¬†TON which has helped keep¬†my meals fun and¬†interesting- I think that may just be the key to long-term vegan eating.

If you havent heard of her already, Isa Chandra¬†Moskowitz is an amazing author and¬†vegan cook.¬†Several of the dishes below are tweaked versions of recipes from her book, ¬†Appetite for Reduction. So far I am very pleased with everything I have cooked from this book- it’s a total winner!

Breakfasts:

Van’s vegan waffles, raspberries, agave

  • Ezekiel english muffins with tofutti and heirloom tomatoes
  • Oatmeal with stevia, almonds, and raisins

Lunch:

  • 89% Leftovers!
  • I also have had a few salad-like roll ups with vegan Boca burger¬†in a¬†tortilla

Dinners:

Lentil and Eggplant Red Mole Chilli with Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread

Cauliflower ‘Ricotta’ and Spinach Lasagna

Deconstructed Veggie Sushi Bowl with Poki Sauce

Olive, Zucchini, and Mushroom Soft Tacos with Guacamole

Recipes to follow!! ūüôā

30-DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE: Week One

21 Sep

I decided to embark on a vegan adventure this month because I wanted to know how I would feel with all animal protein eliminated from my diet. Seeing the movie Forks over Knives originally ignited my interest in a plant-based diet, and I was intrigued by the theory that food and diet can help reverse disease.  So cheers to a month of healthier eating, Ill keep you posted each week! 

Typical Breakfast:

Oatmeal, Stevia, Almonds and Raisins OR

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain English Muffin with Tofutti, Basil, and Tomato

Lunch:

My mid-day meal has been primarily leftovers from dinner the night before. I have also been snacking on apples, berries, nuts, hummus, carrots, and arugula with balsamic mmm

I also made a quick chickpea, tomato, basil, red onion and balsamic salad for a hearty snack

Highlighted Dinners:

Night One: Soy and Balsamic Marinated Portabellos with spicy stewed tomatoes tossed with brown rice pasta

Night Two: Hearty Vegetable Soup with Garlic Flatbreads and Lemony Arugula

Night Three: Spaghetti Squash, Vegan Sausage, chickpeas, stewed tomatoes

To keep me  feeling refreshed and pampered: Chilled Lemon Mint Water

How do I feel? Very positive¬† about this experience, and I ¬†haven’t craved cheese yet.¬† I also seem to have a bit more energy ūüôā

Greek Salad with Summer Salata and Baked Vegan Falafel

1 Aug

For this salad I made the following :

Summer Salata

Baked Vegan Falafels

Tahini dressing

To accompany the salad I bought:

Whole wheat pita bread, hummus, kalamata olives, feta cheese, red onions

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This is a light and delicious dinner, and great for lunches during the work week. Loaded with good protein and monosaturated fat; it is healthy, delicious, and great for a meat-free day.

Baked Falafels
Makes about 16 balls

Preheat oven to 375 and cover your baking sheet with foil and some EVOO spray

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)

1/4 c  onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped fine

1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped fine

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

2 TB flour

1 tsp baking  powder

Food process  above ingredients until smooth or mash all ingredients together with a fork (though not entirely, it’s nice to have a little texture) Shape mixture into balls or flatten into small patties and bake about 15 minutes per side in your oven. YUM!

 Greek Vegetable Salad (My Summer Salata)

1 c plum tomatoes, diced

1/2 c red onion, diced

1 c cucumber, diced

1/4 c kalamata olives, minced

1/4 c feta cheese

2 TB mint leaves minced

juice of 1 lemon

splash of red wine vinegar

1 tsp EVOO

Toss all of the above ingredients together and chill until you are ready to serve.

Tahini Dressing

1/2 c tahini (sesame seed paste)

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp  salt

2 TB olive oil

1/4 c lemon juice

Food process all ingredients and add water to loosen up the texture as needed. Chill until you are ready to serve.

Lemony Linguine with Seared Scallops and Asparagus

27 Jul

THIS ONE IS EASY PEASEY LEMON SQUEEZY!

I’m serious, it’s easy and it really leaves you feeling good after-fresh, light, and filling. This is a great dish to put together on a work night for your loved one or to impress guests when you are short on time. I hardly ever eat pasta, so when I do I don’t mind splurging on interesting varieties. If you have access to flavored pastas, try one out. I got my pasta at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market this past weekend from Pappardelles.
This recipe will work with several pasta flavor varieties… plain, lemon, garlic, sun dried tomato, or spinach.

Feel free to substitute free range chicken or fish for the scallops. If you choose chicken I would season it simple with EVOO, S+P, and lemon, and pop it on the grill. My scallops were cooked simply as usual…seared for about 2 min per side in a hot HOT pan with a little butter, S+P, and lemon juice.

Serves 4

Lemony Linguine
8 oz Pappardelles lemon pepper linguine (feel free to use any linguini you like) cooked al dente, about 8min
1 ripe organic tomato, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 TB EVOO
1/4 c freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley
A little salt
Fresh grated black pepper to finish

Toss all ingredients together and create a pasta ‘nest’ for your protein on the plate. Serve dish with steamed farmers market asparagus (or any other vegetable in season) and chicken, scallops, or fish!

Roasted Zucchini and Garlic Soup

18 Jul

Serves 2(with leftovers)

3-4 zuchinnis (I used a variety from the farmers market, see picture above)

9 cloves of peeled garlic

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 cups of organic chicken stock

2 TB fresh chopped basil

S+P+ginger powder

2 TB Earth Balance olive oil butter

Cornstarch to thicken

Preheat oven to 425

Cut up squash into big chunks, peel garlic, and lay them on a baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with EVOO, salt, pepper, and a little ginger powder. Roast in your oven for 40 minutes.

When the vegetables in the oven have about 5 minutes to go, chop up your onion and sautee in a deep pan with a little EVOO until translucent. Once vegetables are cooked, take them out of the oven, chop them up, and add to the pan with the onions. Add your chicken broth and chopped  basil into the same pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove mixture from the heat and food process it in batches until smooth. Put mixture back into your pan and season with S+P if neccesary. If  you would like your soup a bit thicker, take  about a cup of soup and place in a small side bowl. Whisk in 1TB of cornstarch, and then return the thickened liquid to the main soup pot and bring to a boil. This method will prevent any lumps from getting into the soup. Also, bringing it to a boil is key to the thickening process, so make sure you do this first before adding more cornstarch. Finish soup off by whisking in about 2TB of earth balance olive oil spread(optional).

I served this with¬†brie cheese and a¬†loaf of sage¬†& sea salt bread from the Crested Butte farmer’s market

Grilled Swordfish con Salsa Criolla

11 Jul

South American inspired. Simple and delicious.

Serves 2
For the swordfish:
(2) 4-5 oz swordfish steaks
Season with lime juice, S+P+EVOO
Grill for about 5-8 minutes per side. Let steaks sit for 3-5 minutes after cooking before cutting

Salsa Criolla:
3/4 c of red onion sliced very thin (half moons)
1/2-1 diced jalapeno pepper
about 2 TB of fresh cilantro, chopped
about 2 TB of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp red wine vinegar
S+P to taste

Let marinate for up to 30 minutes before serving.

Buen Provecho!

Tart Cherry Lemon Spritzer

8 Jul

Did you know that tart cherries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of ALL fruits and vegetables? Or that tart cherries contain anti-inflammatory anthocyanins that help with muscle and back pain? All you need is 2 TB of cherry juice a day to start receiving the benefits.
Tart cherry juice is, in the words of my mother, “absolutely delicious, indulgent to drink, and reminiscent of a fruity glass of red wine!”

This simple SIMPLE cocktail is great with lunch or dinner. It is healthful, low calorie, and refreshing.

TART CHERRY LEMON SPRITZER
6oz soda water(sodium-free)
2oz tart cherry juice
Juice of one lemon
Sprig of Thyme for garnish (optional)

A few things to look for when buying your juice:
Make sure the TART cherry juice you buy has:
NO sugar
NO apple juice
NO added anything. Just Cherry juice and filtered water.

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