The Perfect Kale + Brussels Sprout Salad (gf)

So… I’m a huge fan of this healthy restaurant we have here in Phoenix called Flower Child. I LOVE the concept of this restaurant because it allows even the busiest of people to have a  healthy meal. I wouldn’t call this a fast-food restaurant because I feel like that gives off the sense that there is unhealthy, crappy, unsustainable food involved… but you can order your meal and have it sitting in front of you in under 10 minutes. Another added bonus? They use fresh, local produce in all of their dishes!

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in Arizona, California or Texas… you won’t be able to bask in the glory that is Flower Child. However, I recently took a stab at recreating one of my favorite salads from there dubbed The Organic Kale. It’s simple. It’s colorful. It’s delicious. It’s filling. It’s literally amazing. So if you’d like to chow down on this at home, try out this recipe. I added some crumbled bleu cheese on top, but you can easily make this vegan by omitting it. 🙂

The Perfect Kale + Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette (gf)
makes 4 dinner-sized salads or 8 side salads

the ingredients:
for the dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard (I use this simply for texture)
1 shallot bulb, finely diced
salt & pepper to taste

for the salad:
1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded*
1 bunch dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and shredded*
1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded*
1 apple, cored and diced (I used Pink Lady apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries/cherries
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
crumbled bleu cheese to top, optional
salt & pepper to taste

*For convenience, you can also purchase the “Cruciferous Crunch” salad mix at Trader Joe’s!

the method:
make the dressing: throw the vinegar, oil, maple syrup, dijon, salt and pepper together in a mason jar along with the chopped shallot. Give it a shake to mix all of the ingredients together. I like to make this dressing the night before I use it to give the ingredients a chance to meld. However, you can use this dressing as soon as 10 minutes after making it.

make the salad: Shred the brussels sprouts, kale and red cabbage. Add dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, diced apple, bleu cheese (if using), and dressing. Toss to combine. You can eat this immediately, or you can make it ahead of time. If you store this salad in an air-tight container in the fridge, it will last for 1 day.

Happy eating, y’all!

 

 

Avocado Toast (gf)

Avocado Toast (gf)

Avocado Toast (gf)
This is my take on my favorite meal that I order from Kaleidoscope at the Madison Improvement Club. I could literally eat this everyday and not get tired of it! 🙂

the ingredients:
4 large eggs
4 slices gluten-free bread (I used Udi’s)
1 ounce micro greens
Juice of 1 lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of paprika
pink himlayan salt salt
freshly ground black pepper

the method:

  1. Fill a medium saucepan about two-thirds with water and bring it to a boil. Lower the temperature so that the water is at a rapid simmer then carefully lower the eggs into the water. Cook the eggs for 7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, coat each slice of bread with some oil then place on a grill pan over medium heat until toasted to your liking.
  3. While the bread is cooking, prep the avocados. Cut, pit, and peel the avocados then place in a bowl with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use a fork to mash the ingredients together.
  4. When the eggs are ready, drain them, and place them in a bowl of ice water. Carefully crack and peel the egg (slip a teaspoon under the egg shell to help you to carefully remove the shell) then halve. Top the toast with the mashed avocados, the halved eggs, some micro greens. Finish with a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl (GF)

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl (gf) (1)

Getting enough protein during the day can be a challenge when you are a vegetarian. My solution? Protein Smoothie Bowls!! As you can see from my blog roll, I have become quite obsessed with making “bowl” recipes for lunch. This particular recipe packs a hefty 33 grams of protein – thanks to a scoop of pea protein powder, some Greek yogurt and chia seeds. Since I fancy myself a pretty active person, I’m supposed to take in a minimum of 100 grams of protein every day. Having a protein shake in the morning and this protein smoothie bowl at lunch makes it easy to consume the necessary protein one needs during the day. 🙂

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl (gf)
the ingredients:
1  banana, divided
(1) 3.5-oz Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Smoothie Pack
2 tbsp Nutrasumma Chocolate Pea Protein Powder
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Toppings: 
sliced banana
granola
pomegranate seeds
Greek yogurt
unsweetened coconut flakes
chia seeds

the method:
Blend the banana, acai smoothie pack, protein powder, almond milk, blueberries and raspberries into a frosty, smooth mix.  Place a big scoop of Greek yogurt at the bottom of your serving bowl and pour the smoothie mix over it. Sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.

 

 

Berry Acai Bowl (GF)

berry acai bowl (GF)


Acai Bowls have been my go-to lunches for quite some time now – ever since I started experimenting with them at Kaleidoscope (formerly S.E.E.D.) at the Madison Improvement Club. It is the perfect post-yoga (or any workout, for that matter) meal because they are refreshing, nutritious, delicious and filling. I like to layer my bowl with a big heap of plain greek yogurt to punch up the protein factor. Here is my basic recipe:

Berry Acai Bowl (gf)
ingredients:

1/2 small banana
(1) 3.5-oz Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Smoothie Pack
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
toppings (optional):
plain greek yogurt
pomegranate seeds
strawberries
banana
granola
chia seeds

 

the method:

  1. In a blender, add banana, acai pack, strawberries, blueberries and a splash of almond milk. Blend until smooth, adding a splash of milk every so often.
  2. Place 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt at the bottom of your serving bowl and pour the acai puree over the greek yogurt. Layer your toppings according to your preference.
  3. Smile and enjoy!

Warm Green Goddess Rice Bowl (GF)

warm green goddess bowl

Warm Green Goddess Rice Bowl (GF)
serving size: 1 bowl
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 handful kale, stalk removed and leaves chopped
1 small handful baby spinach
3 slices of halloumi, sliced
1 Egg
1/3 lemon
1/2 ripe Avocado

the method:

  1. Cook the rice according to its package. I like to use the microwaveable pouches available at Trader Joe’s to save time. Plus, it yields PERFECTLY cooked rice in 3 minutes.
  2. You will need two frying pans on the go at once. Place some coconut oil in both pans.
  3. In one frying pan, add the garlic, and cook until fragrant. Place the kale and spinach in and saute in the pan till just soft. You want it to just start to pop in green color.  Remove the pan from the heat and arrange on your plate/bowl.
  4. In your other pan, place your halloumi in and turn once it become golden and soft. Keep the halloumi off to one side on the pan, and use the other side to fry your egg.
  5. Arrange your bowl, green mix on the bottom egg and halloumi, I serve mine with a wedge of lemon and avocado on the side.

Brussels Sprouts + Mushroom Penne (gf)

mushroom brussels sprouts pasta

Brussels Sprouts + Mushroom Penne (gf)

ingredients:
serves 4

8oz gluten-free penne pasta (I used quinoa/lentil pasta)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 jumbo shallots, diced
8oz sliced mushrooms
12oz whole brussels sprouts, trimmed then shredded
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup gluten-free veggie broth
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 fresh lemon
romano cheese, for topping

the method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add the shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring often and being careful as the oil may spatter a bit at the beginning.
  3. Add mushrooms and saute until they begin to shrink and release some of their liquid, 3 minutes. Add brussels sprouts then turn heat up to medium-high, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until brussels sprouts are cooked but still have a tiny bit of bite, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds. Add veggie broth then simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in chopped dill, ghee and juice from 1/2 lemon. Taste then add salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice and then combine mixture with pasta and stir well. Scoop pasta into bowls then top with freshly grated romano cheese.

Notes:
A vegetarian take on this Cooking Light recipe.

Meatless Monday: Veggie Stir-Fry with Quinoa Thai Noodles (GF)(V)

stirfry

 

Veggie Stir-Fry with Quinoa Thai Noodles (GF)(V)

the ingredients:
1 bunch of bok choy
1 large bunch of broccoli cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup snow peas
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 spring onions, sliced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
Thai rice noodles
1/4 cup tamari
4 tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 package of red quinoa thai noodles

the method:

  1. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While noodles are soaking, prep veggies and begin sauteing them. Heat wok or pan with sloping edges on med-high heat. Drizzle in sesame oil and saute the broccoli with garlic slivers. Toss in remaining veggies, excluding bok choy.
  3. Add tamari and add another dollop of sesame oil as you cook. 
  4. Add snow peas last so they remain deliciously crisp and sweet.
  5. Remove veggies and drain noodles. Toss in the same pan with a dash of sesame oil and tamari, and saute noodles until they turn a beautiful golden color. Plate noodles.
  6. In the same pan, lightly saute bok choy with a bit of tamari and sesame oil.
  7. Layer bok choy over noodles, then pile veggies on top of bok choy.

Late Night Veggie Scramble (GF)

veggie scramble

Ever since I started teaching yoga, it has become significantly harder to prepare creative meals every night. In fact, it’s rare that I get home before 8:30 each night – which makes quick, wholesome meals a MUST. My dinner of choice: SCRAMBLED EGGS. Extremely versatile, I like pack my scrambles full of produce to bulk it up and to give the nutrition factor a little boost. So I encourage you try out this version  – you’ll get a nice, steaming bowl of scrambled eggs to enjoy, and then a full, warm belly that will help you settle in for the night. Plus there is minimal clean-up afterward. 🙂

Late Night Veggie Scramble (GF)

ingredients

3 whole large eggs
3 tablespoons water*
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
1/2 whole onion, diced small
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
*You can use milk in place of water, but I find my eggs turn out fluffier if I use water. 

the method

  1. Crack your eggs into a mason jar, add water, salt and pepper. Screw on the lid and give the eggs a little shake. Set aside. 
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt the coconut oil/ghee. Cook the onions for several minutes, until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and spinach and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to begin to wilt the spinach, then pour in the eggs.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and stir, cooking slowly, until soft curds form. Add the cheese and continue stirring/folding until the eggs are cooked.
  4. I like to top my eggs with Frank’s Red Hot, but any hot sauce will do!

Veggie Burrito Bowl (GF)

fbvVeggie Burrito Bowl (GF)

the ingredients:

3 cups brown rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper (I used red)
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can black beans, drained
Salt
Black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp plain greek yogurt if desired

the method: 

  1. Cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the packet.  I use the microwaveable organic brown rice packets from Trader Joe’s – HUGE time saver.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, and cook the onions, garlic and pepper over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, along with the chilli powder and paprika, and cook for a few more minutes. Squash the tomatoes a little with your spoon to release their juices. Add the black beans, and season to taste.
  3. When the rice is cooked, drain it and add it to the bean mixture. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a dash of water.
  4. When the mixture is hot and well combined, serve topped with the grated cheese and fresh cilantro. I topped Nick’s with some slow-cooked pulled pork that I made over the weekend. 🙂 

Tempeh with Broccoli

beef with broccoliConfession: I’m kinda obsessed with Pioneer Woman.

I realize she doesn’t necessarily cook the healthiest of meals (she uses butter almost as much as Paula Deen), but damn, those dishes look goooooood. While I was exploring the recipes on her blog, I came across a pretty simple and yummy-looking Beef and Broccoli recipe.

Considering the fact that Nick and I order Chinese take-out all the time, I figured this would be an excellent meal to try – and if it turned out awful, we could always order in. J

I used marinated skirt steak for Nick’s and marinated tempeh for my dish – luckily, both of our versions turned out phenomenally. I thought I had way more broccoli on hand than I actually did, so I compensated by adding some mushrooms and asparagus. Now, the original recipe calls for Oyster Sauce – but I can’t eat that so I made my own version that is vegetarian and shellfish-free.

Tempeh with Broccoli/Beef with Broccoli

  • 1/2 lb skirt steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 6 asparagus spear sliced into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

Stir-fry Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons “oyster sauce” (recipe follows)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

“Oyster Sauce”

  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (just mix)
  1.  In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinade for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  2.  In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for “oyster sauce” in one bowl and the stir-fry sauce in another bowl.
  3.  In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus for 3 minutes. Then add broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.
  4. Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and tempeh/steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.
  5. Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.
  6. Serve over a bed of brown rice.