Chia Fresca – A Prebiotic Energy Booster!

chia fresca2Here is a yummy and natural prebiotic energy boosting drink! I love downing one of these bad boys before AND after my yoga classes. It’s made with coconut water, chia seeds, lemon and a hint of agave nectar and is extremely effective in hydrating the body and balancing electrolytes after a good sweat. :)

I talk A LOT about probiotics on this blog and on mybody skincare’s blog, but on this post, I wanted to shine some light on prebiotics since they aren’t talked about nearly as much as the former.

You may be thinking, “Well, maybe they aren’t as important as probiotics. I have never even heard of them!” And you would be wrong.

In fact, prebiotics are essential to probiotics carrying out their duties. Simply put, prebiotics are food for probiotics and they help increase the absorption of minerals in our body while balancing the acid in our gut. Prebiotics are found naturally in foods we eat on a daily basis such as yogurt, kefir, onions, CHIA SEEDS, bananas, etc. This dynamic duo works hand-in-hand to carry out their immune-boosting and acid-balancing benefits.

Think about it this way: Your tomato plants can’t grow with just fertilizer (prebiotics), and they can’t grow if you’re only using seeds (probiotics) – the two of these items need to work together to allow that beautiful tomato plant to flourish! Here is an easy recipe that will ensure you’re getting your daily dose of prebiotics…

chia fresca1

Chia Fresca

2 cups coconut water
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice ( and a slice to make it pretty)
1/2 tbsp Agave Nectar, to taste (or any natural sweetener)

the method:

 Add chia and coconut water into a mason jar or a bottle with a lid. This is key because you will want to shake this mixture around for a minute or two.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up and soften.

Add lemon juice and agave nectar to taste. Shake well to combine and enjoy!

Sip Sip Hooray!!

pars salad

Parsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

pars saladParsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

the ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large bunch mint
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

the method:

  1. Pick the leaves from the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with the parsley and mint leaves.
  2. Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, then toss the dressing with the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.
zucc

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Pasta

zuccZucchini Noodles (V)(GF)
2 zucchinis, peeled
1 tablespoon coconut oil/olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Homemade Marinara Sauce or your favorite jarred brand

the method:

  1. To make the noodles, you have multiple options. You can use a vegetable spiralizer, a food processor, a julienne peeler – or if you’re REALLY patient and don’t have any of these tools, you can slice really long strips with a sharp knife. Personally, I do not recommend a knife. I have a julienne peeler and it is, by far, my favorite kitchen tool. It cuts the zucchini into perfect noodle strips. You can use it for stir fries, salads, slaws… everything! I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma and it was only $10 (it is in the picture). I even like it more than my Kitchen-Aid Mixer – I never thought I would love anything as much as my mixer.
  2. When making the noodles, make sure you don’t use any strips that have seeds in them… you will want to throw away “the core” of the zucchini. The reasoning for this is due to the high water content in the middle. Too much water = mushy, squishy noodles. Yuck!
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir zucchini in the hot oil for 1 minute. Add water and cook until zucchini is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. I served my noodles with homemade marinara, but these noodles would be great with any sauce. I am going to try a lemon-garlic sauce next! :)
tempeh-tacos

Meatless Monday: Simple Tempeh Tacos (V)(GF)

tempeh-tacosWho doesn’t LOVE 15-minute meals on a Monday?? You’re welcome in advance.

Tempeh Tacos (V)(GF)
2 tbsp avocado oil (or any high-temp cooking oil)
1 onion, diced
1 package tempeh, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
other taco fillings such as lettuce, tomatoes, lime juice
corn tortillas or taco shells
lime wedges for serving

The method:

  1. Sautee the onion in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.
  2. Add tempeh/chicken, gf soy sauce and cumin. Allow to cook for about five more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
  3. Fill your taco shells or tortillas with the protein mixture mixture and top with lime juice, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa or if desired.
rainbow1

Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)

rainbow1Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)
the salad ingredients:
large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
2 cups corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
rainbow2
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing (V)(GF)
the dressing ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar1 tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt

the method:

  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and onion.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired dressing and serve.

 

grilled veg

Meatless Monday: Grilled Veggies in a Tomato-Cilantro-Turmeric Sauce (V)(GF)

grilled vegGrilled Veggies in a Tomato-Cilantro-Turmeric Sauce (V)(GF)

The ingredients

2 large plum tomatoes, coarsely grated on a box grater
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 lemon, juiced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper

the method:

  1. In a food processor, combine the grated tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric and cilantro. Pulse until smooth. Add the veggies to marinade and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Light a grill. Thread the veggies onto metal skewers (if you’re using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them for 30 minutes prior to grilling), leaving a small space between each piece. Brush the veggies with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 10minutes.
  3. Use extra sauce for dipping. :)

Crispy BBQ Tofu (GF) (V)

tofuCrispy BBQ Tofu (GF)(V)

the ingredients:

  • 1 package super-firm tofu, drained and cut into triangles
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or any high heat oil)
  • Smoked sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of prepared BBQ sauce or your favorite bottled brand

the method:

  1. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and then carefully add the tofu. I recommend busting out that apron you never use… this oil WILL splatter.
  3. Spread tofu out into a single layer, season with salt, pepper, and fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until it turns golden and crispy. Be cautious when flipping the tofu triangles over – if you have tongs, use them.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the BBQ sauce to coat the tofu. Serve piping hot!

Enjoy!