Archive for March, 2013

March 31, 2013

Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Leeks and Sweet Peas

This is a green spring favorite, and since I am also a self diagnosed mushroom addict, I added those as well. Frittatas are a fabulous way to enjoy your veggies and get in a fabulous dose of spring for breakfast. I don’t usually make sweet breakfasts because I am more so a savory person in the morning, but breakfast food is so versatile to me. This is something that would be great paired with a fabulous side salad with massaged kale (balsamic, dijon and black pepper are great together) for a quick easy to reheat lunch (super work  and school friendly). I love delicious meals that have some great nutritional power because who doesn’t love those meals that taste great and do great things for your body? With some green superstars like leeks, peas, asparagus, and mushrooms, you cannot go wrong. Get a gorgeous wedge for breakfast with some soothing mint tea, some coffee with cinnamon and some orange slices or some slices of toast if you want.

Ingredients

Serves 4

5 eggs

2 leeks, cleaned and diced

1 cup fresh English peas

1 /2 cup asparagus spears, cut into bite sized pieces

Goat cheese crumbles, as desired, or cheese of your choice

Fresh herbs, assorted, I used fresh flat leaf parsley and basil

1/2 cup nonfat milk, or whole milk (But I never keep this around the house so I use nonfat and I don’t taste much of a difference)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, plain

Sea salt as desired

Freshly cracker black pepper, as desired

1 cup baby spinach leaves, julienned

Mushrooms, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish, in your desired shape (round probably looks the prettiest). Spray the baking dish with PAM or coconut oil or olive oil. Whisk eggs and then add all ingredients except the cheese. Pour egg mixture into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture has set. Keep an eye on this in case the edges brown quicker in your oven than mine.

Happy spring cooking everyone!

xx

R

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March 27, 2013

The Black Swan

This one is inspired by a cocktail, but hey this is the most antioxidant filled juice I have come up with in a while. There’s a smoothie version to for all of you guys that like smoothies over juices or for those who don’t have a juicer!

JUICE

2 cups fresh blackberries

1 wedge or 2 wedges lemon, depending on how much you love lemon

1 beet, skin removed, washed 

1 apple

Directions

JUICE ME. Best when you drink this as soon as possible after it’s made but put in a mason jar filled to the top if you want to keep it for a day. I would drink this within 24 hours.

SMOOTHIE

1 1/2 cups coconut water

3 tablespoons almond milk, unsweetened

5 almonds

1 cup frozen blackberries

1 tablespoon coconut oil. melted

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

Directions

Blend me.

xx

R

March 27, 2013

A Love Letter

Dear Body,

It hit me recently that you are the only thing in my life that I own completely, unwaveringly, in its complete entirety. I think every part of you is absolutely beautiful. I am sorry that I don’t tell you how beautiful I think you are every single day. I know that sometimes I focus on the negative. I focus on the bloating, the image of the cheeses (and sugars and cupcakes and wine) I had last night, the image that social media has trained me to see instead of appreciating that you, body, you’re perfect. You power me through prisoner’s squats, through six mile runs, through every long yoga session, through backbends, through headstands (Congrats bod, you can hold them much longer than you used to be able to!), through down dogs and up dogs, through arm balances, through lunches, through warriors, through boat poses, through deep stretches, through down dog splits, hip openers, planks, push ups, dead lifts, sit ups dancing alone to music in earphones, walking me to every destination that my heart pleases, and carving all the muscles I am so ecstatic I worked for. You’re strong, and you have those beautiful curves that make me feel like a million bucks. You make clothing look incredible.

I am utterly perfect the way I am. You are a temple, so when you want chocolate, nutella covered pancakes or chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, or cookie dough, or plates and plates of cheese, I will give you everything you want. I will give you some great stuff too, like kale and greens and all that organic produce that I invest so much money into giving you. And I promise I will let you sleep more. Seriously. I know I can be a bad owner, but I promise to do everything I can to keep you looking incredible. I love your stretch marks, your scars, your gorgeous complexion. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thanks for always going to battle for me. I would be nothing without you.

Love always,

Me

March 26, 2013

Quinoa Polenta Pizza Bites

This is the fastest dinner for those days you just want to do something other than cook. From start to finish, these are ten minutes. Great with a kale massaged salad or spinach and some nice shavings of Parmesan Reggiano and tomatoes, with a touch of balsamic. These work better on a stove than baked, and most students have access to a kitchen in their dorms, so hopefully these let you do the whole easy eating on a budget and quickly thing. I feel the pain of the college student. As someone who loves to cook, it wasn’t very realistic for me to prep meals throughout the week, and using a meal plan quickly backfired. It was extremely difficult to find healthy choices. Even the salads were extremely processed and low quality. For someone who didn’t have  car, I had to rely on other people going to the grocery store to pick up something healthy, and even then the easiness of a green smoothie or a green juice in the morning wasn’t always realistic.

Cooking has been a learning process for me, and there have been many mistakes along the way. My tastebuds have changed throughout the years as well, which has inspired me to cook more with veggies I wouldn’t normally give a chance to. I am happy though that I had this revelation at a young age, rather than waiting till I was 42 and realizing I was giving my body, the only one I have, the worst treatment.

From the melty cheese to the tangy tomato sauce, to the precut quinoa polenta slices, these soak up all that cheesy pizza flavor that screams comfort and nostalgia. I don’t know what it is about pizza, but it is one of my favorite foods. Maybe it is because it is the perfect vessel to showcase beautiful veggies covered in a light blanket of awesome sauce, or maybe it is because it is a childhood staple, but these do not disappoint.

Ingredients

Serves 2

1/2 package quinoa polenta, I found this prepackaged, which is why it is such a fast meal

1/2 cup tomato sauce, (I used a jar for this mostly because I don’t love anything drenched in tomato sauce, but please adjust according to your tastes)

1/2 cup low fat mozzarella, or regular shredded mozzarella (Get the block and shred yourself if you have the time, always tastes better)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 3 fresh basil leaves

Turkey bacon, optional

Sautéed mushrooms, optional

Turkey pepperoni, optional

Pineapple chunks, optional

Sliced sautéed ham, cold cuts, optional

Soy chorizo or turkey sausage, optional

Freshly cracked black pepper

Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

Pan saute the quinoa polenta, sliced.If you don’t want to use oil to sauté them, feel free to wet sauté with some veggie or chicken broth. After you have a good sear on both sides, about three or four minutes on medium heat, top with warmed tomato sauce and your desired toppings. This can be really fun because you can make individual polenta pizzas and make this for a crowd if you want. Everyone is different about pizza, but if you ask me, the best way to have this is margarita style. But I am a mushroom fan as well and that also settles a craving like no other.

Enjoy!

xx

R

March 26, 2013

Pesto Scrambled Egg Whites

Personally, I like my eggs whole. I love that egg whites give you so much protein, but the yolk houses so many awesome benefits for you. However, I do understand that people want to lower their cholesterol and if you are eating your eggs from other sources like baked goods or breads, you may want to stick with some egg whites to give you the energy you crave in the morning rather than break two eggs. I buy the carton egg whites instead of using actual eggs in a carton because I don’t like to waste. I have read that egg yolk is called nature’s most delicious sauce, and I could not agree more. Avocado is nature’s butter. Look at nature giving you all the things you need. Go nature!

Pesto is amazing and adds so much flavor to everything. I will not like that it is one of the most addicting sauces. I prefer pesto to red tomato sauce any day. You can add the jarred kind, which is still delicious albeit a tad high in oil and sodium, but making your own is incredibly easy if you have basil, walnuts (cheaper than pine nuts), parmesan, pepper, and olive oil. Simply pulse 2 cups fresh basil leaves, or kale, or spinach (let’s get some nutrition in there), and add 1 cup walnuts and some parmesan and olive oil until it is a sauce like mixture. Keeps well in a glass jar for a week or two (if it ends up lasting that long)!

Here is the pesto recipe if you are interested! I used kale and garlic because I like that tangy taste and it was a tad too mild for me the first time around.

PESTO

5 leaves, dinosaur kale or flower kale, or any kale that is on sale (See what I did there?), stems removed and washed

2 tablespoons parmesan

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil, I used light olive oil because I like the taste a bit better, since it does not overpower the dish

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

Directions

Process in a food processor. I used a blender that is high powered and it did the same thing, and add more olive oil until you get the right consistency. This is more of an experiment than anything as well, and please feel free to use fresh basil leaves instead of the kale, I am just a kale addict.

Take the freshly prepared pesto and toss with egg whites (I used 2). Serve with whole wheat toast or your favorite bread with a side of avocado sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt if desired.

Breakfast of the gods, no?

xx

March 26, 2013

Let’s Be Honest

March 26, 2013

Creamy Scrambled Tofu with Fresh Herbs

Tonight was productive. I watched Lars and the Real Girl (incredible by the way, why Ryan Gosling does not have a national holiday named after him is beyond me), planned some recipes to make this week, juiced, went to a meditative but also physically challenging yoga class, perused for the perfect thank you card, found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe I need to test out on my office before mailing to a dear friend in Chicago, and now I am in bed with a cookbook and some fictional reading to ease my mind before I have to get up and do it all over again. Tomorrow should be exciting though because I am going to a happy hour at one of my favorite places in Philadelphia, Tria, with some college friends, Andrew and Allyson, and maybe I can catch a yoga class before a late movie. Even though I am very very sick of Philadelphia, it is home, and I need to explore as much of it as I can before saying goodbye to it once and for all. I am not sure when that will be, but I never imaged living here for a long time. It isn’t where I want to put roots down, and maybe that is normal for someone who is 23 and can’t imagine being rooted down anywhere, but living here for most of your life really makes it one small town instead of a city. It is the perfect place for some people, it just isn’t the perfect place for me. It’s taken on that charmless charm that only comes about after staring at something too long. You stop seeing the beauty of it. To fix this little dilemma of me underappreciating my little town city, I made a list of happy hours to hit soon with one of my crazy gorgeous best friends and decided to take advantage of the free Art Museum nights coming up.

My family does not eat much of my cooking. They adore my baking mostly because it is sweet and they are suckers for that sort of thing, and surprisingly enough they also like my lightened up baking.

My mom doesn’t enjoy most of my plant centric foods, and she would rather slap a small child than drink one of my green smoothies, even though she needs it more than any other family member. This is one dish she can’t get enough of. Her arteries are thanking her. So for all your picky friends, this one is a winner.

Ingredients

1 package silken tofu

Assorted fresh herbs, I used thyme, parsley, cilantro

Juice of one lemon

1 dollop plain greek yogurt

Chevre, about 3 ounces, or any other soft creamy cheese

1/2 cup jarred red peppers, rinsed

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

Drain silken tofu and cut into rectangles, and then halve them. Preheat skillet and add olive oil. Add tofu and all ingredients except pepper and cheese. Cook through, about six minutes or until the tofu is browned and golden. Add pepper and cheese and serve with a side of fresh spinach salad or wheat toast.

Good as a breakfast, lunch or dinner.

March 26, 2013

You know those things you know you’ll do forever?

Yoga is that for me.

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March 25, 2013

Eziekel French Toast with Sliced Berries and Cinnamon

Dear Breakfast,

I am utterly obsessed with you.

Often, the mornings are hectic for me, and with Septa being difficult as usual, my mornings are definitely times I want to be left alone for the most part. When I don’t have to rush to work, which probably will never happen because I am probably never going to be a morning person, this is the go to breakfast. 

I have had to settle for making it on weekends.

But this French toast makes my life complete. You can substitute the ingredients you like, but I am going to give you the vegan version.

Ingredients

2 slices original Eziekel bread, or cinnamon raisin if you are feeling fancy (I get mine from Trader Joe’s but it is a gluten free bread made with rice and lentils, and it is a sprouted whole grain) Feel free to use any bread for this, I just go gluten free because my body hates me if I don’t for the most part, so I save the days I suffer for when I am not cooking at home.

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk 

1/2 banana

A pinch of Pink Himalayan salt

A pinch of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

6 strawberries, washed and sliced

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

2 teaspoons orange blossom honey or pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Earth Balance or PAM, for skillet

Chia seeds, optional

Directions

Mash banana with the salt, nutmeg, milk, and cinnamon.Toss in bread to the wet mixture, if you want a nice crunchy toast, feel free to toast the toast first. Grill in a skillet until both sides are nice and brown. Top with more cinnamon and honey or maple syrup if desired.Top with berries and prepare to watch the rest of the world disappear, until  you finish this awesome breakfast.

xx

R

Happy mornings!

March 25, 2013

Garlic Kidney Beans

Beans are creamy, filling, and they are so versatile.

My go to lunch for this week, until I get bored. These cheap, flavorful beans make a great addition to a salad, wrap, or you can mash these up for a great dip.

Ingredients

1 cup kidney beans, washed and drained

1 tablespoon minced garlic, feel free to add more if you are a huge garlic person

1/2 teaspoon red chili flake

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Freshly cracked black pepper

Pink Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons vegetable broth

Directions

In a skillet on medium heat, add all ingredients. Cook through for about five minutes, or until the skins of the beans are browned. Keeps well and reheats even better. Great with a splash of sriracha. Kidney beans not your jam? Black beans works just as well.

xx

R