Archive | February, 2014

Weekly Round-Up and Another Vegan Taco Recipe (because I have a problem)

28 Feb

Happy March! So, it’s spring now right? Right?!

I decided to start a “weekly round-up” of meals, to give you all an idea of how I really eat. I do eat everything I make for this blog – indulgent, boozy, and otherwise – among other routine, boring but tasty things. It’s about finding not only balance, but balance that works for you and your lifestyle. I was very hesitant to go down this road at first because what works for me is not necessarily what will work for you and your goals. However I do want to give you all insight to meal structures and creating balance, so have a look and do what you will with it 😉

Breakfasts:

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Juice: fresh carrot+orange

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Lunches:

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I eat the same thing for lunch every week. Usually this, but not always. It’s easy, cheap, convenient, filling, and in all honesty I absolutely LOVE it.

Snacks:

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Raw protein shakes and raw whole-food shakes. Usually a base of: avocado, kale, and parsley.

Dinners:

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Chipotle’s new sofritas. Vegan. With guac (on the side!), pico de gallo, and lettuce.

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Kale and shredded brussels sprouts caesar salad (recipe soon!) Organic local chicken.

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Same.

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Night out. Loaded veggie sandwich on house-made rye. With good beer and great conversation.

Moving on: we all know my love of Chipotle knows no bounds. They recently introduced a vegan option: sofritas. Essentially “ground” tofu marinated in a spicy chipotle sauce. Tried it. Swooned. Went back the next day…and the day after that. Hey, it was the weekend.

Chipotle-Like Sofritas:

  • 1lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled ground meat-like
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted and seeded
  • 1/4 cup chipotle in adobo
  • 1tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs avocado oil

Directions:
Blend poblanos, oregano, cumin, 1 Tbs oil, and chipotle adobo until smooth.

Toss with tofu, 2 Tbs at a time. Taste-test as you go. More = spicier. I used about 7 Tbs. I love heat. Set in fridge overnight or at least for 2 hours.

Heat remaining Tbs oil in a skillet. Sauté sofritas until heated through. Use it as you would any taco meat!

We tried it 2 ways:
1) hard taco shells, avocado, red onion, tomato, cilantro
2) soft corn tortillas, avocado, pico de gallo, lettuce

And a squeeze of lime. Always a squeeze of lime.
Both were delicious. And will eaten in copious amounts throughout the weekend.

Try it! You won’t be disappointed.

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Sunday Quickie

23 Feb

I busted my finger Friday, so in light of that I’m not really digging the idea of hunting and pecking over a keyboard all afternoon. And I freaking hate blogging on my phone. Which I am doing right now, because thumbs.

But I must share something! So, I been sucking these guys down all week (that sounds…wrong) and let me tell you: my mood is better, my skin is better, and my body is LOVING these post-workout. Yeah, I can workout 1 handed. No excuses here 😉

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Green God(dess) Smoothie:

  • 1 handful kale
  • 1/2 handful fresh parsley
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/3 haas avocado
  • 1 squirt lemon juice
  • 2 clementines
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 8oz coconut water

Blend. Drink. Feel good about yourself.

Now I have to get back to my weekend of Chipotle – have you tried the vegan sofritas?! I’m making them for the blog this week. Because I think I do need them everyday for a while…and I’m on a budget – and a mega Mad Men Netflix binge. Don Draper, you make me forget all about my busted-up digit ❤

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Quickie: My Staple Breakfast

15 Feb

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I have been sick this week, with some kind of weird chest-cough sore-throat nonsense. Eating whole, nutrient dense foods is especially important when you’re under the weather. No matter how much you may be craving those cold frappuccinos and comforting from-the-box mac ‘n cheeses. Fight it. So you can fight whatever it is that’s ailing you.

I feel I have been in active recovery since Thursday, so that’s good. You know what else is good? My latest staple breakfast:

  • 2-3 handfuls organic spinach
  • 1tsp avocado oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 Ezekiel sprouted wrap
  • Cholula Hot Sauce – as much as you like. I am trying to burn this illness away, apparently.
  • Salt & pepper

Put the avocado oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until its just barely wilted. Remove, set aside. Cook you your egg whites. Slap it all on a sprouted wrap, douse in hot sauce, and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

And coffee. Always coffee. No sugar, no “sweeteners” (gah NEVER!). Just a splash of almond milk or organic 2%…cause that’s what’s usually in the fridge.

Need a little more before taking on the day? Add 2 clementine cuties…especially if you’re fighting something nasty.

Cheap and easy. Just like all the best things in life.

Happy Saturday!

Vegan Kale Chips with Spicy Red Pepper Cashew “Cheese”

9 Feb

Ok. I have not really understood the whole kale chips are amazing! thing for awhile. I’ve tried all kinds of recipes and none of them made me think “hey, this is a tasty snack!” No. Just no. BUT this time is totally different.

I’ve heard about nutritional yeast for years now. All the vegans I know proudly proclaiming “it tastes like cheese!” and so on. Well, okay. Now I believe you. It does. And that makes me very happy.

So, you’re probably wondering, “what is nutritional yeast and where can I find it?” Well that and probably, “why are you pushing this hippie fairy dust on us all of a sudden, Jessica?”

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is a powerhouse of B vitamins and is a complete protein. Its good for you, is what I’m getting at. It also kinda tastes like cheese. did I mention that?

You can find it at natural food stores, co-ops, and some grocery stores like Whole Foods, sometimes Winco, and Fred Meyer. Really just check any store that has a bulk section. Do not be put off by the price (usually around $10.99/lb). It’s feather-light flakes and I got a huge bag for around $3.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of raw cashews (soaked in water for 2-3 hours, to soften)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine everything except the kale into a food processor and pulse until smooth, creamy,  “jar of nacho cheese sauce” consistency. Put kale in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the kale and massage it together. Yes, massage. This will not only ensure the kale is evenly coated, but also tenderize it a bit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the kale out in a even layer. Do not overcrowd. They wont crisp properly if they’re touching or layered.

Bake. There are 2 ways you can do this:

The sorta “raw” way: Stick in 200 degree oven until crispy (about 90-120 minutes). Check frequently and flip once, halfway.

The “I want it now, that’s why I’m making it” way: Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping once.

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I am absolutely not vegan and I am telling you, this cashew cheese sauce is absolutely delicious. I’m going to start using it on nachos and tacos and whatever. So GOOD. Lick-the-spoon and finger scoop-the rest-out of-the-processor good.

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Let them cool. They should be light and crispy – think potato chip – in texture.

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How’s that for a healthy snack?

Bison Butternut Beer Crockpot Chili

6 Feb

It’s been so cold out lately. That kind of to-the-bone, can’t-warm-up-even-indoors kind of cold. And when it’s that cold all I want is hot, hearty, comfort food. Like chili.

Chili is also perfect when you want to stray from poultry. I have seriously hit a bird wall. I can’t even look at turkey, chicken, or eggs without gagging a little. So, this being the wild west and all (sort of), I switched it up to bison. No regrets.

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Bison Butternut Beer Crockpot Chili

(recipe adapted from katheats.com)

You Will Need:

  • 1lb ground bison (or beef or lamb)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Couple glugs of good beer (I used Pike Ruby Kilt Lifter. ‘Cause I love it.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

In a large skillet, brown the bison.
Put squash, bell pepper, and celery into the crockpot first, then the garlic, beans, meat, and seasoning. Add 2ish glugs of beer. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

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Serve in bowls, mugs, or glass Tupperware depending on 1) how fancy you are or 2) where you happen to be enjoying this meal.

Add avocado, pickled jalapenos, extra sharp cheddar, corn chips whatever you like!

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Fact: tastes 25% better in sweet old-school thermoses in breakrooms.

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