Posts filed under easy

Tahini Dressing… I put that ish on everything

Being a huge fan of simple cooking, it’s not uncommon for me to have a meal that consists of only an ingredient or two. This also has made me super crafty when it comes to flavoring these dishes; and because my simplicity often stems from being really hungry and having no patience, the seasoning has to be quick too. This tahini dressing is crack. And you WILL want to put it on everything. It’s perfect on steamed greens, roasted veggies, big salads, as a dip, really on anything you eat. Replace that ranch or packaged dressings with this delicious and nutritious legal condiment drug.
The one, the only….

Tahini Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Generous shakes of: pepper, basil, oregano, red chili flakes,
and/or any other spices you fancy

Directions:
Fill an empty jar with all ingredients and shake well to thoroughly combine. Taste your creation and add seasonings to taste. Seal jar and place in fridge to enjoy over the next 2 weeks (I wouldn’t keep it longer than that-not that it will ever last that long). Just like a fine wine this dressing gets tastier the next day as the flavors fuse and have time to mingle.

Next time you’re starving, whip up a grain, a green, and top it with this. You’re welcome 

Cook Once, Eat Twice! {Topping/Filling edition}

The secret to a healthy diet is truly getting into the kitchen and cooking for yourself. When you control the ingredients and are apart of the creation process, not only do you LEARN a lot, but also feel so much more pleasure and satisfaction from the act of eating- which helps you stop when you’re full. Sometimes scarfing down takeout  leaves you feeling jipped so hell yeah you’re going to go for seconds or even polish it all off!

So let’s talk about an easy method that helps us when we are super busy or just starting out in the kitchen; cooking once and eating twice. I do this quite a bit so let’s make this a series. Leave me your cook once, eat twice recipes, ideas, and questions in the comments below!

Cook once: Spinach, onion, mushroom, garlic mix
1 bag baby spinach
1 medium yellow onion
4-5 baby bella mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic- hey, it’s cold season
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pep

It’s as easy as: chop, sauté, season, and use. Heat up a large pan (or wok) over medium heat and add in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and your chopped onion. Once they look a bit translucent, add in the shrooms and garlic. Then handful by handful, add in as much baby spinach at a time as it wilts down until the whole bag is in. Remove from heat and dress with the other Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Eat twice: for lunch I used this to stuff my baked sweet potato and it was SO good! Healthy, filling,and absolutely delicious. Because we kept the seasoning so neutral you can flavor the mixture to fit whatever dish you’re using it in. I kept it as-is for this one.

For dinner I baked a spaghetti squash and added my mixture to the sauce not only to just add more veggies, but a whole lot of flavor! To this I dashed in oregano and a little parmesan cheese! YUM. This is a great example of ‘sneaking’ greens or extra veggies into meals that don’t usually have them.

You could even eat this mix alone, as a side dish, in an omelet, mix into a bowl of rice or quinoa… possibilities are endless.

Cooking healthy doesn’t mean re-learning the craft along with a slew of new recipes, it just means getting creative and intentional about adding in more nutritionally dense foods to your meals. You got this!

Please let me know how YOU cook and eat twice or any tips that could help us all stay healthy on the go!

MYOG (make your own granola!)

Granola is one of those things that’s great to have on hand butttt is a little pricey and often packed with sugar. You cook at home to control the ingredients, so why not add your favorite breakfast treat into that category?! Save some bucks, get wild with the flavors, and gather your nutritional ingredients- because you are about to make this over and over again. Below is a basic vanilla almond recipe that could easily be supped-up or ingredient-swapped into anything you can imagine. For Christmas I like to do a gingerbread version where I add chopped candied ginger and loads of spices- it’s a real hit.

As always, the quality of your finished product will depend on the quality of ingredients you use. Buy organic when possible and be weary of extra sweetener added to dried fruits, etc.

Vanilla Almond Granola

Ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
2 cups brown rice crisp cereal (Erwhorn is a good brand)
1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds and/or hemp hearts
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt

Directions: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil and agave- especially if the coconut oil is solid. Place the oats in a large bowl and drizzle over the agave and coco oil mixture while stirring to coat the oats. Then throw in your cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and stir that up.

Line 1 or 2 baking pans with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Spread granola out in a thin (1/2 inch) layer and sprinkle on the chia/hemp to stick on the wet oats. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly turn over granola and move the outer portions into the middle and vice versa for even baking. Bake 8-10 minutes more until all is a golden brown. If not dried out enough, reduce oven temperature to 250 and bake for a final 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven when mostly dry- it will crisp up more as it cools down so don’t fret if its not completely crisp right out of then oven.

Let cool completely. Toss in brown rice crisps, raisins, and almonds to cooled granola and store in air tight containers or jars. Will keep 1-2 weeks.

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under breakfast, holiday, gluten-free, easy, vegan, vegetarian.

Healthy is Cheap! {lentil soup recipe}

f I had $1 for every time I heard “eating healthy is too expensive”…I would probably spend the bounty on my favorite overpriced healthy groceries (I’m a sucker for $10 raw honey and almond butter). Because it’s true, some healthy items are crazy expensive and totally unreasonable when you’re watching your pennies. However, it’s also NOT expensive to eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains. It’s because everyone is comparing the ‘healthy’ packaged food, that they are getting this unshakable notion. Which is ironic, because eating healthy means eating away from the package whether it’s organic or not.

There are many degrees and ways to scale the cost of healthy food. Just because you can’t afford the local organic broccoli doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat broccoli at all. Get the conventional non-organic or even a bag of frozen florets- its whatever you can do to get those veggies in. We make over 200 food related decisions a day so just be aware of how you can always choice healthier even if you need to be cheaper.

Below is a no-fail simple, healthy, and cheap soup recipe I always make when I’m tight on cash but want to nourish myself all week (it makes a lot). Switch up any component to give it a different flavor profile each time. You can do that with the broth, beans, veggies, and seasonings so get creative!

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 32oz box of chicken broth
1 16oz bag of lentils, rinsed & soaked over night
1 bag of arugula or baby spinach
Seasonings: sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, chili flakes, (whatever you want!!)

Directions:
In a large pot sauté onions and carrots until onions start to get translucent. Toss in the broth and lentils {that you rinsed and soaked in a large bowl filled with lots of water the night before}. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat, shake in some seasonings, and simmer for 30 min. If lentils have absorbed even more of the liquid, add in 1 cup of water as needed. At this point stir in the bag of greens handfuls at a time to wilt and incorporate. Now give it a taste! Add in any salt, pep, or other additional herbs or spices.

After the soup cools I usually portion out into single serve tupperware for meals that week. If you don’t think you’ll eat it all, put some in a larger one to freeze! This is the best for accumulating healthy frozen options when you’re pressed for time later that month. You can eat the soup alone or pour over some brown rice for a heartier meal (and complete protein!).

Sometimes simple is best. And simple doesn’t have to be a box of mac and cheese. I hope this inspires you to get creative while eating healthy on a budget!

Sweet Potato Coconut Macaroons

To paint the picture of my childhood, I was raised in a home where my parents sold Nature’s Sunshine supplements out of our living room. Bookshelves of herb bottles are what you’d see if you walked through our door. So naturally, junk food was not usually present and we ate pretty clean. My Mom now tells me stories about how she would slip a vegetable ingredient into almost every recipe she used. A few revealed included zucchini in our pancakes, turnips in the muffins,  and any pureed veggies in pasta sauce- you know how kids hate the chunks. Because, (reluctant to adolescent wishes) I am becoming my mother more and more every day, this recipe that sneaks a veggie into your dessert is kind of like my rite of passage.

Sweet Potato Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon stevia powder
2-3 dashes pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 cup sweet potato mash
1 (8-ounce) package unsweetened shredded coconut
Dash salt
5 ounces (or 3 bars) dark chocolate

Directions:
Bake sweet potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour or until very tender. Let cool and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Once cooled, remove skin and puree potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.

In a food processor or with a hand mixer, whip egg whites and salt until they become white and begin to stiffen. Add stevia and agave slowly. Then add your sweet potato puree and mix until combined. Transfer mixture to large bowl and gently fold in 90% of the coconut shreds. Place the remaining coconut shreds on a plate. Use a little scoop or tablespoon to scoop out balls of the mixture and then roll them in coconut.

Place the macaroons on a parchment lined baking sheet or whatever baking dish you have! They do not tend to stick to the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The outside should have some golden brown toastiness but the insides should still be moist. Allow to completely cool.

Place your favorite chocolate in a small saucepan and create a double boiler by placing it in a larger pot filled half-way with water. Put the burner on medium heat and allow the chocolate to melt. Then dip your macaroons into the chocolate and place on parchment paper to set. You can even get creative and do a chocolate drizzle on top!

Enjoy

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under dessert, easy.