Posts filed under lunch

Raw Veggie Spring Rolls + Peanut Sauce

These rolls are so fun to make! Perfect for a date night, an activity to do with kids, or as a Sunday night thrill in place of your weekly food prep. Even though you are getting your 5-a-day plus some, you will hardly realize it’s basically a salad in disguise. These raw veggie spring rolls are bursting with flavor and have limitless options for the types of fillings you can try. Please share any great variations you come up with in the comments below!

Because these are made with brown rice, you are getting all of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that come along with the whole grain. The white rice variety has minimal nutrition and the quickly digested carb will spike your blood sugar.

Brown rice paper + quality ingredients = healthy swap for your take-out favorite!

Raw Veggie Spring Rolls + Peanut Sauce

1 package brown rice spring roll papers -found at Whole Foods!
Raw veggies: any and all that you have! I used:
Purple and green cabbage, shredded
Carrots, shredded
1 Red pepper, julienned
Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Baby spinach
2 inches of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter, organic + smooth
1 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, pressed (1 tsp crushed)
1 Tbsp. Tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos (if you’re not GF you can use soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup hot water

First, wash and prep all of your veggies and arrange them out for easy access. Have a large plate, serving dish, tupperware, cookie sheet, or something to place all finished rolls on to ‘set’. You will also need a surface to roll on – I used a large cutting board but a clean counter would work!

Next, fill a large bowl-as close to the size as the rice paper circumference as possible-with very warm water. When you’re ready to roll, dip and submerge a sheet of the rice paper in the water for 7-10 good seconds (read back of package in case time varies with each brand). Remove from water and lay flat on your rolling surface. Add all of your fillings and roll like this:

Place on tray spaced an inch apart to set/dry. You can eat them right away or place in an air-tight container in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. Makes a great light lunch, appetizer, or snack!

Peanut Sauce:
Wisk all ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the hot water until you get to your desired consistency. Add in any extra spices to taste. The sauce will keep in refrigerator up to 10 days.


Cook Once, Eat Twice! Sweet Potato

Fast, healthy meals are like math. Base (grain or starch) + vegetables + protein + seasonings = a balanced, tasty meal. Even the FDA’s My Plate is a piechart! And despite my dark mathematical past, I’ve got this formula down pat. Because preparedness is ananswer to the problem of staying healthy throughout a hectic week, consider cooking once and eating twice your solution. Get it?! Hehe

Before we dive into the recipes, let’s get down to sweet potato basics. While searching through the pile of potatoes, look for ones with minimal spots, gashes, etc. In addition, select ones that are around the same size. This makes baking easier since they will all have the same cook-time. And if you have the choice…

Buy ‘em organic! Sweet spuds are on the Dirty Dozen list as a highly chemical-sprayed food. If you need further convincing to shell out the extra 60 cents, check out this girl’s science project video. This is also important because you should…

Eat the skin! There is a ton of nutrition loaded in the skin along with fiber that keeps you full. It also prevents blood sugar spikes by slowing down the entrance of glucose into your bloodstream. Eating the whole food in place of just part is a best practice in general. Think rice; brown is better because it’s the whole grain, and white is the grain stripped of it’s germ- aka nutritional rip off!

Cleaning & baking basics:

-Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
-Scrub well and dig out any dodgy spots with the end of a peeler or knife. I usually slice the tips off too.
-Give them some deep pokes with a fork
-Place in a baking dish, on a cookie sheet, or straight up on the oven racks. I personally place them on the racks and slide a piece of foil on the rack below to catch any droppings.
-Bake for 45 min then check them by sticking with a fork. Depending on size and your preference of consistency,  take out or leave in for 15 min intervals, checking as-needed.

So how can you eat thee? Let me count the ways..

1.) My all time fave… the stuffed sweet pot! Load ‘em up with veggies and vary flavor profiles for endless possibilities. From left to right: colorful cabbage, carrots, and  kale with garlic, ginger and bragg liquid aminos (GF soy sauce alternative), spicy black beans, broccoli, & feta, and spinach, mushroom, and onion! Get creative!

2.) Sliced and sautéed 2 ways: the left picture is a sweet version that was browned in a little REAL butter, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with cinnamon. The other an easy home-fry alternative to your breakfast plate!

3.)  Keep it naked as a compliment to a lighter meal or true on-the-go style by eating the whole potato as is! Wrap it up and throw it in your bag for a satisfying snack any time!

4.) Chopped up and added to greens! On the right it’s a warm dish with kale, and on the left it’s added to a hearty salad! Sweet potatoes add color which means added nutrients. Strive for as many colors as possible to get a wide spectrum of nutrition at every meal!

If you follow me on social media, you well know by now that sweet potatoes are a mainstay in my diet. Even though they are on their way out seasonally, we did just have a frost here in NYC so I’m hoping they’re still relative… at least for a little longer. I encourage you to bake a few and see how you can use them throughout the week when you’re short on time and in need of a healthy meal!


Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under cook once eat twice, dinner, lunch.

That’s a (collard) Wrap!

There’s some kind of novelty eating something that’s wrapped. It sounds healthy, reminds of us burritos, it’s convenient, and hey-you can eat it with your hands and what inner-kid doesn’t want that?? So instead of a doughy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth flour tortilla, let’s get our greens and enjoy them too by making a collard leaf wrap (or several).
Once you get the science of the collard wrap down, you can literally fill these babies with whatever you want. Last night’s leftover stir fry, Mexican style with your regular burrito fixins, shredded veggies summer roll style dipped in a peanut sauce (people also LOVE to dip things… you know you do too), and the list goes on. Check-out the recipe below on how to prepare your collards and get inspiration for your filling!

Collard Wraps

1 bunch collards – look for large leaves with minimal holes or tears

Filling idea:
1 can black beans
5 mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
fresh cilantro to taste
Green tomatillo salsa

Collards: First wash all collard leaves gently and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then you want to shave down that thick stem and trim it at the leaf. Take a small knife and carefully cut the stem down as close to leaf as possible so its more of a smooth wrap (see photo). Have a large bowl of cold water next to the stove to submerge leaf post-boil to stop cooking. Then, place the leaves in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes, dunk in cold water, shake off water and lay to the side. Repeat for all leaves.

Filling: Sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes over medium heat with some olive oil (if you use high heat make sure to use coconut oil or another high-heat oil). Cook black beans in a small pot seasoning them with a little salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne (whatever moves you). Have your fresh cilantro and salsa ready to top it all off after you add the other ingredients to the wrap.

When you’re ready to fill, lay the leaf down, place your filling(s) in the middle along the stem (the amount will depend on leaf size). Starting with the large end of the leaf, roll it over the filling tucking in the ends, like a burrito.

Note: You can also eat the collards raw without cooking them if you’re going for a more salad approach. I’ve done it both ways and just personally prefer the cooked version… maybe also because it’s the dead of winter and just thinking about too much raw food gives me the shivers. Either way, experiment and see what YOU like!

Have fun & bon appétit!

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under vegan, vegetarian, lunch, dinner.