Warmed Portobella “Steak” Salad…yes it’s Vegan!!!

Warmed Portobello “Steak”  Salad

1456028_735938756420890_1958745254_n

Ingredients:

2 Portobello caps (stems removed) and cut into 1 inch sections

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tbsp. tamari (or soy) sauce

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar

Mixed greens salad (romaine, spinach, anything you want!)

Cucumber diced

Tomato diced

Half of an avocado

Dressing:

1 tbsp. of each: rice wine vinegar, tamari and sesame oil, sunflower seeds.

Directions:

1. Take first 5 ingredients and sauté or wok for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This will create a nice glaze on the mushrooms but not turn them into mush.

2. Take the next 4 ingredients and toss together to make the salad.

3. Take the dressing ingredients into a glass jar and shake to mix.

4. Pour dressing over salad mixture, then top with the warm mushrooms. Garnish with some sesame seeds and cilantro. Eat immediately. The warm mushrooms will start to melt the avocado and it’s so yummy!!!

Juicing!!! Great times!

Hi all!

I recently got invited to partake in a 3 day group juice cleanse that someone does every season change, and as  you all know, I recently moved to a state that actually has seasons, so I thought I would celebrate the changing leave colors with a good fall juice cleanse as well! Over time, I have formed my own few recipes that I prefer, but some of the rules are the same for me:

Rules of Juicing for me!

1. 70/30 veggie/fruit mix. This means that I make 70% of the juice out of veggie and 30% out of fruit. This helps me from upset tummies and weird sugar rushes.

2. I store the juice in glass, air-tight containers for no more than 48 hours. So I basically do a large batch of juicing at one time every two days. I know this raises the question “well how long does this crazy girl just drink juice!?!?”. I have found that a week, 7 days, is fantastic for me. It helps me clean out bad eating and stop any cravings that I may have had for bad stuff too! 3 days is too short for me, but works for most. Anything longer than 7 days and I start to not have the brain power and don’t feel as strong. But to each their own! There are people who do 28 day cleanses and it works perfectly for them!

3. Drink the juice! 4-6 of them a day. don’t let yourself get so hungry you cheat!

4. Drink the water too!!! Water will help all around!

5. Meditate during the cleanse, really feel what your body is going through. Tune into your feelings and thoughts.

Now onto  some recipes!!! You can play with these to find the right mixtures that you like, but here are some of my favs!

Greenie!

Greenie!

Greenie:

Lemon

Cucumber

Celery

Spinach

Kale

Parsley

Pear

 

 

 

 

  Bright Morning!

 

Bright morning:

Carrots

Apples

Ginger

 

 

 

 

 

 

juice 3

Kitchen Sink

 

Kitchen Sink Juice

Green Grapes

Pineapple

Pear

Apple

Cucumber

Lemon

Carrots

Kale and Spinach

 

 

YUMMY

YUMMY

YUMMY

carrots

celery

pineapple

ginger

pear

apple

 

 

And when you are done, they look like this!!! Enjoy the colors!!!! Enjoy the added energy and body cleanse too!

juice

 

 

 

North Carolina Summer Harvest: Rainbow Swiss Chard!!!

HI all!!!!

Long time no talk! I so super duper apologize for not blogging sooner, but I have been absolutely loving my new locale: North Carolina. Today I heard tons of people complaining it was hot out…yeah it was 84 with a mountain breeze. That’s pretty much heaven to me!!! And this state actually has seasons!!! Big change from Florida. Along with the seasons are SEASONAL VEGGIES!!! A girl can’t ask for much more than that! I get to drive past THREE…count them….THREE different local farm stands on my way home from work everyday. Today I stopped by and this huge bunch of rainbow chard was talking to me. It was exactly like those Pier One commercials where the sock monkey talks to mid-20 something fashionable girl into buying him. Only mine situation was rainbow swiss chard screaming at this 30 something saying “damn I would look good in your saute pan with some garlic!”.

 

RainbowSwissChard-1-2-590x825

 

GARLIC RAINBOW SWISS CHARD

2 tablespoon of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (ok you can do two cloves if you are whimpy!)

1 teaspoon of red pepper flake (I know, I know! almost all my recipes start like that!)

1 large bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and chopped, leaves roughly chopped

Sea Salt

Splash of red wine vinegar

1. Add the oil to a large saute pan with the garlic and red pepper flakes.

2. Cook over medium heat until the garlic turns golden. Remove the garlic and discard. Be sad because you just discarded garlic!

3. Add the chopped Swiss chard ribs and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.

4. Add the Swiss chard leaves and season with salt, to taste. Cook until the leaves are wilted.

5. Stir in a splash of red wine vinegar. Serve immediately.

swisschard

Easy Vegan Dessert: Banana Pudding

OK who knew vegan dessert could be so easy!!! I’m not big on sweets, but I do crave them every once in a while.

Vegan Banana Pudding

banana pudding

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups raw cashews, soaked at least one hour or overnight. Drained and rinsed
  2. 1 cup unflavored almond milk
  3. 1 medjool date, pitted
  4. 2 bananas sliced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1/2 cup maple syrup (or any sweetener you love. agave would work well, too)
  7. pinch of sea salt

1. Throw everything into your blender and blend. Let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but it’s best to set over night.

You CAN choose to lay this over vanilla wafers which are normally vegan, You can add more bananas to the top…but this tastes good as is…so why mess with it! Here I am in Puerto Rico for my 30th birthday! best bananas ever!!!

bananas

Reflection!

Hi everyone!!!

Running the Greenway in North Carolina 5/26/2014

Running the Greenway in North Carolina 5/26/2014

Most of you follow this blog for the vegan recipes, but some of you know that this blog was originally created as a way to replace my old school “Fat Diary” that I was keeping as I was on my journey to a healthy lifestyle. Let’s face it, these days kids don’t know how to write…but they can type faster than most adults. I am one of those…my handwriting says I should be a doctor, but my spelling and grammar ability says I should go back to third grade :-) None the less, I would like to litter this blog with more reflective moments while continuing to give good food recipes.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a reflection in this blog, so I’ll give you the quick readers digest version of what’s going on with me. When I was 29 years old, I was approached by the owner of Zen Fitness to be filmed for a weight loss documentary called Unsupersize Me. You can see the film at Unsupersize Me. Film was completed and premiere and have inspired many. Numerous proud moments happened along this journey…but then what?!? I have completed a marathon, made friends, lost friends, changed jobs a few times, inspires some, and made others upset. Guess what, life goes on

Yes I continue to journey to inspire others to be healthy and happy and I have quite a few upcoming speaking engagements to do so. I love telling the story of how I went from 345 lbs to a much healthier weight now (see how I didn’t mention what that was?!?!?- tricky!).  I’m SO VERY HONORED to be speaking at the 2015 SuperHero Weekend in LA,  to talk about my villains and my “superhero powers”! Vegetarian Summerfest will be a blast too! I’m also excited to speak at the local running group about how I went from not being able to run a block, to completing marathons. BUT….I think the #1 thing that people need to realize is that SO MUCH more goes into being healthy than what you can do in the gym and at the dinner table. So I’m just gonna spit some stuff out for all to read and maybe digest a little.

1. I will gain weight. I will also lose weight. And I KNOW exactly how to do both. You also know what to do to as well, there are no secrets.

2. Weight is NOT a reflection of my happiness. I will have happy days, sad days, crazy days, sane days, mad days and glad days. The challenge is to find out what makes each day happen and embrace them.

3. No one can tell you what you should be, ought to look like, how to act, who you should be friends with and what type of job you should have, but yourself.

4. EVERYONE makes mistakes. Mistake making is easy….figuring out how to not do it again, is the tough part.

5. You do not have to follow the crowd. You also do not have to lead them. You just gotta move ahead at your own pace.

6. Friendships and relationships should never have limits or barriers.

7. And finally if you are reading this and saying “heck yes!” you should make a list of your own. Don’t follow exactly what I say or do.

 

Since losing weight, I have had much time to grow as a person. I moved to another state and refreshed my eyes. I’m making new friends and allowing myself to be vulnerable in relationships. Most of all, I’m realized that I have accomplished an extraordinary goal, but that it continues. My weight will always fluctuate but my happiness does not have to follow. Inside of my happiness being a result of the weight, I’m going to turn it around and make my weight a result of my happiness. And with that, I wanted to sincerely thank every last of your who follow my blog (I’m about to hit 5,000) and to warn you that my next recipe will be a dessert. HAHAH! It’s ok, I ran 6 miles today!

Much Love and Positive Energy to you all!!!

 

Curry Lentil Risotto: Slow cooker recipe!!!

I love Italian risotto…but wanted some Indian heat. Enter Curry lentil risotto!

Lentil Risotto

Lentil Risotto

Ingredients:

2 cup lentils

1/2 cup jasmine rice

3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth

1/2 cup of marsala or red wine

2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

4 large garlic cloves minced

1 cup of frozen peas

2 tbsp of yellow curry powder

1 tbsp of red curry paste

1 tbsp of garam marsala

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. In medium saute pan, over medium heat saute onions and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil until clear. Add the remaining oil and the lentils to the pan and saute these to slightly toast them.

****this is typically how you start a risotto but you should not try to toast the jasmine rice in this recipe. It is too thin and delicate of a grain, it will burn.

2. Add wine to the saute pan while hot and use this to “deglaze” the pan, ok this is the fancy pants term that really means to add fluid into the pan to scrap the goodies from the bottom of the pan, haha.

3. Add everything from saute pan, and all remaining ingredients (except the peas) into the crock pot. You have a few options to cook this and honestly it’s impossible to mess up a crock pot recipe. You can cook it on high for 2 hours, or low for 4-6 hours. Just make sure the lentils and the rice aren’t crunchy. The more you let those Indian spices cook, they better they are!

4. About 30 minutes before you want to serve the lentils, throw in the peas (trust me…don’t put them in early..they turn to brown mush).

I like to garnish this with fresh tomatoes, but I think I just put tomatoes on everything.

LENTIL LESSON:

So I used yellow lentils for this….but look at the whole rainbow of the variety of lentils…test them all!!!

lentils

 

 

 

 

 

Kale and White Bean Soup

This is a very simple and basic recipe that is tasty and holds well. It’s actually better the second day!! I love kale especially from the farmers market this time of year. And kale love me…it told me to make it into a soup today.

kale1INGREDIENTS:

6 cups of de-veined and stemmed kale

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 large yellow onion choppedkale20

2 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 cans of northern white beans (or any other bean…honestly you can use of them and it will still be tasty

Salt/pepper/red pepper flake to taste

Directions:

1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are clear and soft, in a large pot.kale21

2. Add all other ingredients to the pot and simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until kale is soft.

3. EAT!!! I like to add some garlic salt and red pepper flake at the end. Some even liked some nutritional yeast on it. kale22