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Posts Tagged ‘clean eating’

With kitty’s diagnosis, the beau and I have had to make some changes in our daily routine. He needs to have his shots twelve hours apart, which can seem impossible for two people who rarely seem to be home. Six o’clock is the magic time and in result, I (we) are now forced to become morning people. I really don’t mind the mornings, I just don’t care for the darkness. And because I’ve found myself in a great routine of working out on lunch, I now cook in the early morning.

While the beau is in bed reading and sipping on tea, I’ve been in the kitchen either making lunch or prepping for that night’s dinner. We’ve both admitted that my meal planning has been great for saving on cash and inhibiting us from eating out too frequently. This morning I made a big batch of hummus and a chickpea salad. Lot’s of  beans protein for my post-workout meal.

Roasted Carrot Hummus adapted from The Gouda Life

  • Three monster carrots (from FG), washed and cut into 4 inch sticks
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • splash of EVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • tahini to taste (I prefer only about 1-1.5 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots and garlic in the EVOO and season with the salt, pepper and cumin. Wrap in foil and bake until the carrots are soft, about 35-40 minutes. Pour  the foil contents into a blender, along with the lemon juice, tahini and chickpeas. Blend until creamy and season with more salt to taste. I added a tiny extra splash of EVOO to make it smoother.

Chickpea Salad 

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • vegan mayo
  • finely diced red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed reed pepper flakes (if your heart desires)
  • few pinches of dill

Using a fork, mash the chickpeas but don’t puree them. They should be chunky with a few whole ones included in the mix. Add in a spoonful of vegan mayo and mix in your seasonings. If you have scallions, throw ’em in! If you have celery in the fridge, dice it up and throw ’em in! Really, anything goes. Well, except for gummy bears. Those wouldn’t taste good with chickpeas. But raw red peppers would!

I sliced open a pita, spread on some of the roasted chickpea hummus, stuffed in some raw spinach and filled it with the chickpea salad. Lunch was delicious! I don’t know why I haven’t made this within the last year; it really fulfilled my craving for tuna.

Be prepared for some more vegan recipes this year as I cook my way through the sunrise!

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It’s not all that often that the beau and I get more than ten hours together; eight of those hours spent sleeping. But with New Year’s Day being yesterday and the blizzard blowing into town today, we’ve been side by side for hours. And I kind of like love it.

No set plans. Records playing in the background. Little birds on the back porch feeding, chirping and hopping away. Good reads. Even better food ready to be prepared. Plenty of vodka and orange juice and winter ale on hand. 

We will have to venture out to pick up our Field Goods delivery but I’m happy to strap on my snowshoes and frolic in the snow.

For those of you that will have to shovel at some point over the next three days, I’ve got a dish that will fuel you for hours. Or if you’re crazy like myself and will attempt to *run* in this nonsense, this dish will fill your belly after you thaw out. Either way, it’s tasty, hearty and packed with nutrition.

Snow Day Scramble feeds two very hungry people or four with less of an appetite (thanks to the mimosas)

  • 1/2 red pepper
  • two big handfuls of swiss chard, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • turmeric (gives it that yellow egg-like color)

Saute your veggies in either EVOO, stock or water. Once the onions are translucent, crumble in the tofu and add your spices to taste. Sometimes we also add: curry, cumin, paprika and mustard. Also throw in a big handful of nutritional yeast and about a quarter cup of water/stock. We learned this trick from Sarah over at X’s to O’s Bakery (recognize anyone in their cover photograph?!) at the Albany Veg Fest this fall. If you add the water/stock, then the tofu will stay moist like eggs instead of drying out. Turn up the heat to let the liquid absorb/burn off, and then stir in another big handful of nutritional yeast. I’m telling you, don’t hold back!

Serve with homefries, Ezekiel toast, “sausage” and/or hot sauce and you’ve got yourself one kick-ass breakfy.

Next up in our kitchen: buffalo chickpea dip! Oh, it’s gonna be a good day!

 

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Here are three small changes that I’ve decided to make/have already begun to implement and love. ‘Tis the season for setting new goals and health(ier) habits!

  1. Duolingo Did you know that this app was named app of the year? Either did I until the beau brought it to my attention. I only use a handful of apps each day and now Duolingo is part of the mix. Bet you didn’t expect me to recommend an app for a new goal, did you? Well, I’m obsessed. See, this app will teach you a new language. It’s fun, easy and best of all, free. I spoke Spanish in high school and decided to try learning French this time around. Verdict: hooked. Each morning I get up and before I can check any other app, I sit in the living room and complete two French lessons. The first lesson is a repeat of the previous day’s and then I move on to the next new one. You don’t have to repeat lessons, it’s just easier for me to retain information that way. These two lessons take less than ten minutes a day and honestly, I could keep going. You speak the language, translate, and write it. Check the app out and let me know if you decided to give it a try.
  2. Planning our weekly dinners. The beau and I are very good at throwing a meal together last minute but sometimes these meals take longer than we’d prefer. Combine that with getting home after seven or eight o’clock at night and I come down with a case of being hangry. Solution: meal and/or prepare our meals ahead of time. This concept of planning meals is new to me and I love it because it let’s the inner organizer in me out! I use what we already have on hand and take into account what will be delivered via Field Goods on Thursday. I’ve been physically writing down the meals in my planner and making a list of what needs to be purchased per each meal (if anything) and what evening I plan on serving them. It’s been making dinner a breeze! And even if dinner will take 45 minutes to cook when we arrive home late, we’ve both had something to look forward to and know what to do when we walk in the door. Another perk: we’ve been trying new recipes. This upcoming holiday week will have us thrown off a little but I’m going to try and work in meals that the beau loves to cook (i.e. his homemade sauce).
  3. Since the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day, I haven’t ran a single mile. I haven’t set a new goal and now because of scheduling, I won’t have access to my regular treadmill situation until mid-January. (p.s… I woke up this morning at seven a.m. and it was still dark out! THAT is what is causing this funk!) So, because I’ve used the excuses of it being too cold, too dark, or too lonely outside in the morning, I’ve decided to give at-home workouts a try. Confession: I don’t like at-home workouts. I find that it’s hard to stay motivated and give it your 100% when there isn’t a room full of people to hold you accountable. I also feel funny about jumping around and potentially disturbing the downstairs neighbor. But I’m going to throw those excuses out the third floor window and give T25 a try. Don’t know what T25 is? Google it. I’ve had this program for a while now and have worked out to the cardio disk a couple of times and it is intense. The program is typically 10 weeks long, however, I’m going to aim for 21 days. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, right? Follow along on Instagram (my only form of photographs these days) and I’ll post a photograph after each day to hold myself accountable to you all.

Have you started making any changes this holiday season? Thought about getting a head start before the new calendar year?

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Tonight was one of those nights that I realized many things:

  • that our pantry, cupboards and fridge are pretty empty
  • I need to get back into the habit of running again in the early mornings, and
  • the dishes must be washed every single night.

I quickly washed two sinks worth of dishes after work and decided that I needed a healthy meal to ease my unexercised mind. Because of the craziness from this past weekend at the shop, we still had all of our veggies from last week’s delivery still on hand. I wasn’t in the mood for rice (again) and didn’t think quinoa would taste good paired with the veggies I thought about sautéing. I dug around and found some leftover lasagna noodles; and immediately put on a pot of water.

Random Veggie Roundup serves two hungry people

  • three or four  stalks of fresh curly kale (FG) [broccoli, brussels sprouts and zucchini would all work too]
  • EVOO
  • about three cups of sliced mushrooms (FG)
  • about two cups of sliced red cabbage (FG)
  • two cloves of garlic (FG)
  • about a cup of corn, fresh or frozen (FG)
  • veggie stock (my mom made this delicious batch!)
  • sriracha
  • Braggs liquid aminos
  • tiny splash of apple cider vinegar
  • optional: udon noodles, rice noodles, or any pasta on hand

Super easy: Cook choice of noodles as directed. I had four leftover lasagna noodles that I crumbled into bite-sized pieces.

Saute kale in a little EVOO until it is bright green, add a splash of stock if dry. Add mushrooms and cabbage and cook for just a few minutes until the cabbage becomes softer, but still snappy. Stir in corn and cook until warm.

Push the veggies to one side of the pan and cook the diced garlic in a little EVOO. It would also be delicious to add some fresh ginger (we didn’t have any on hand). Once it smells delicious, stir in with the veggies. Now add a generous splash of stock, about 2-3 tablespoons of Braggs, the tiniest splash of ACV and about two teaspoons of sriracha (less if you aren’t a fan of spice). Stir and let that start to simmer. Add in the noodles, stir and serve. Top with scallions if you have any- we didn’t, sadly.

Meals like this make me happy: they are simple and full of flavor. They also inspire me to make a shopping list!

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To piggy-back off of a previous post, instead of buying gifts for each other for the anniversary of our first date, the beau and I decided to take a day trip to Woodstock, NY. I had only driven through this little town after hiking once before but he was more familiar with it because his art had been featured in a gallery down there. I got up early to run my long run, shower, have a hearty breakfast at our regular spot and hit up the local car wash thanks to the HUNDREDS of crows that live in the trees outside of my apartment this time of the year. We were on the road by eleven and at the trail head by noon.

A co-worker suggested that we hike up Overlook Mountain, which I didn’t know the beau  would be interested in doing. Luckily, I was wrong! I think the short distance (just over a mile) combined with the fact that it was on an old carriage road were the selling points. We bundled up and started up the trail!

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We passed a bunch of people who were already heading back to the car, it was a gorgeous autumn day, and within no time had to stop to take our coats off. By the time we made it to our destination, it was getting a little grey out and snow flurries were floating in the air. We decided not to hike to the fire tower and just to the abandoned hotel because we wanted enough time to walk around town before dinner. I loved it! I read up on this old building and it was originally built in 1871 but unfortunately burnt to the ground in 1923. It was so much fun to walk within it’s walls and imagine what it had looked like over a hundred years ago.

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We spent quite a bit of time wandering around but it got cold fast, so back down the trail we went. And then decided to explore the Buddhist monastery across the street from where we parked! There was a retreat happening but we did get a peak inside of the meditation hall.

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Once downtown we shopped, visited a couple of galleries, dreamt about purchasing antiques and laughed plenty of laughs in a neat children’s toy store.

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Seriously, what are those naked baby angels? And did you ever get to dissect owl vomit?

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The beau had originally suggested a trip to Woodstock because he had found an all vegan restaurant for us to have dinner at: Garden Cafe on the Green. Reservations were at five and we had a cute little seat in the window.

I think we were both overwhelmed to have so many options! We both agreed that we should try as much as we wanted/could and that we did! Besides the wine and side salads, this is what we ordered:

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For appetizers: the caesar salad with toasted almonds and the quesadillas with roasted red peppers and kalamata olives. The salsa, guacamole and sour cream were a big hit in my book!

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Dinner for him: pasta with “meatballs” and garlic bread. A classic!

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Dinner for her: wild and brown rice mushroom saute, cornmeal crusted tofu with red wine fig sauce, butternut squash terrine with pistachio swirl and roasted brussels sprouts. Out of this world delicious!

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For dessert: warm chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This serving was huge! Bigger than my hand! My only criticism of this rich, creamy dessert is that it wasn’t a brownie; it was a cake. Of course neither of us complained!

It was a wonderful day. Not buying gifts for each other was a great decision and I enjoyed spending time with him rather than money on an object. I would highly recommend this small town to any New Yorker looking for a day trip, even with the winter weather pressing us. Just remember to bundle up and hold the hand of your loved one.

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In this week’s bag:

  • brussels sprouts: these will be roasted and then baked into a macaroni and cheese with soy chorizo.
  • spaghetti squash: gobbled up this afternoon with leftovers! I got up at 6 am to bake the squash and then packed them into our lunchboxes with lentil meatballs and homemade sauce.
  • yellow onions: will be used in the “cheese” sauce for the mac & cheese mentioned above and also the carrot soup below.
  • salad mix: all that talk about pasta requires at least one salad for dinner, tonight.
  • kale: while the squash was baking, I made a big pot of short grain brown rice. I picked up some shredded unsweetened coconut on lunch… you know what that means… all time favorite kale dish!
  • cameo apples: Sliced and dipped in peanut butter, simple but the best morning snack at work.
  • yellow carrots: all time favorite soup time!

I literally LOVE everything in this bag! And could repeat it for another three weeks before the frozen goods kick in.

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And while we’re on the topic of veggies, this weekend the beau and I will be vending at the Albany VegFest 2013. Stop by and check it out! There will be demos, speakers and samples galore! Make sure to say hi if you do pass through! Stay happy and healthy my friends!

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It’s been a while since I’ve been this productive on a weekend. I work for at least six hours on Saturday at the store during the Farmer’s Market and either have plans for the evening or pass out early because Sundays are typically spent hiking. But with the rain this weekend, I was stuck in Troy… in a very messy apartment.

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I slept in, we had a wonderful brunch at our usual Sunday spot after yoga (the beau’s class- I stayed in bed) and then he had to go into work to get a head start on this week’s work. I was bound and determined to make our apartment sparkle! When we both come home at the end of a long day, neither of us wants to clean; so we don’t. And with commitments on the weekends, cleaning takes the back seat then too.

So for almost five hours this afternoon I swept, mopped, scrubbed, washed dishes for what seemed like an eternity, dusted and organized. I think I only saw three mosquitos, possibly only two, and killed one in my closet. I added a little pour of my natural bug spray (made up of essential oils) to the mop bucket and sprays; I wanted to repel those pesky insects! I poured bleach down drains and made sure to check all indoor plants of stagnant water- we are in the clear! I think we just have to wait for the few remaining mosquitos to die! (insert evil cackle)

For the remainder of the afternoon I cooked up two meals: one for dinner tonight and the other for tomorrow. I still have a list of organizational stuff that I’d like to accomplish this week and having a clean apartment helps me focus. Having a meal pre-prepared really gives me a boost because then I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen cooking/cleaning up. Both meals came out delicious so I figured I’d share. You’re welcome.

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Hearty Mushroom Farro Serves two very hungry adults

  • 16 oz of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, diced
  • salt & pepper, onion powder, no-chicken bouillon cube to taste
  • fresh thyme
  • EVOO
  • crispy onions, optional

Boil water and cook farro according to package directions. Drain and set aside until mushrooms are done. (We love Trader’s Joe’s fast-cooking farro; it’s done within 10-12 minutes!)

In a pot, add EVOO and the mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat until tender and reduced significantly in size. Add a dash (tablespoon or so) of balsamic vinegar, the fresh thyme and the rest of your seasonings and stir until coated. You can add in the no-chicken bouillon at this point too if you aren’t using stock for more flavor. Add in the liquid and bring to a boil. Cook for about ten minutes. I used our hand blended to slightly chop up the mushrooms at this point, but didn’t liquify it. Stir in the farro and top each bowlful with some crunchy onions. Enjoy!

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I also baked up the chioggia beets from this week’s share by simply tossing them in EVOO, a little dash of balsamic vinegar, S&P and topped them with raw walnuts and fresh thyme.

lentil tomato soup

Tomato Lentil Soup Serves 2-3 adults

  • 3/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • shallot, diced
  • 2 big parsnips, diced
  • EVOO
  • paprika, salt & pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, bay leaves
  • ketchup or tomato paste

In a pot, add the EVOO, shallot and parsnips and cook over medium heat until the parsnips are tender. You could also use carrots- I just had parsnips on hand from last week’s delivery.

Add the lentils, bay leaves and liquid and cover until the lentils are almost cooked to perfection. At this point you could add a no-chicken bouillon for more flavor, I did not. Once almost done, add in the tomatoes (canned could work too if you don’t have fresh) and ketchup or tomato paste. I added about two tablespoons of ketchup. Mix in your other seasonings to taste (I like it with a little kick!) and cover to simmer for about another ten minutes. I used a hand blender on this dish as well (the beau doesn’t like chunky tomatoes) and serve hot, maybe with a chunk of bread and simple salad.

*I personally like thick soups- simply add more liquid if you like it a little thinner. The picture really doesn’t give it justice- the flavors are fresh and fantastic!

It feels great to have a clean apartment and to have clean meals prepared or lined up for the coming week. Do you practice better habits if your home is neat and tidy?

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