Category Archives: Superfoods

Sunday

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Hullo!  How’s it going?  This weekend has been great but is going by way too fast, natch.  We’ve been eating well around here and I did a lot of food prep this weekend.  The Weekend Warrior routine is working out rather nicely!  Before we get to the food, have you seen the Will Travel for Vegan Food blog?  Writer Kristin has been eating her way across the country at every 100% vegan restaurant she can find.  Pretty cool!  I just learned that she has been in Texas for the last month, so I’m excited to read about her experience.

Alright, now on to this week’s menu!

Breakfast: this week’s breakfasts will include the usual granola, green smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, etc., and I have added Oh She Glows’ Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie to the list as well as The Fitnessista’s Breakfast Cookie.  :D  Soon it will be hot oatmeal weather!  I’m pretty sure that I’ll be making green smoothies no matter how cold it is outside- I can’t imagine a week going by without having at least one.

Lunch: For my usual monster salads, this week I made a double batch of one of my all-time favorite dressings, the Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon dressing from this recipe.  And instead of making hummus (my go-to source of protein for salads), I made a double batch of the Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

Dinner: Two awesome meals this week, with plenty of leftovers- Red Lentil Dal with kidney beans + Indian-Inspired Rice, both from Let Them Eat Vegan!, and the Old Fashioned (Tofu) Chicken Salad (which I have made before) on toasted sprouted grain bread with a side of roasted parsnips and brussels sprouts.  I’ve never roasted parsnips before and am pretty excited about it.  Highlight of my week, folks.  ;)

Tonight my sis is coming over for dinner and I decided to cut myself a little slack.  Instead of cooking yet another meal, I picked up an Amy’s vegan Roasted Vegetable Pizza, some Daiya mozzarella to sprinkle on top, and a mixed baby kale side salad.  That roasted veggie pie is the *best* frozen pizza I have ever tasted- the crust is phenomenal!

Sweets: I have a ton of Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge in the freezer as well as several Oil-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies left over from last week, so we are good in the dessert department.  :)  Woohoo!  Dessert makes me smile.

The pictures:

Lightened-up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

If you make this dressing, do yourself a favor and double the recipe.  Trust me!

Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas tossed in coconut oil, lemon juice, tamari, agave nectar and fresh rosemary, then roasted to crispy golden perfection…

Glorious!

If you don’t own Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (gasp!), Mama Pea has some awesome roasted chickpea recipes here and here.  So easy, and so delish!  Great for snacking on by the handful, sprinkling on salads, rolling into wraps or mixing with Vegenaise and mashing into a chickpea salad sandwich.  :D

Yesterday was on the cooler side, (almost) perfect weather for making the Red Lentil Dal and Indian-Inspired Rice.  While I cooked, I decided to try out my Trader Joe’s $3 Shiraz.

Thanks to my Mom for snapping pictures of me and my cheap wine.  ;)

Oh, I didn’t see you there!  Haha, you caught me.  I was just going to open this wine, would you like some!?

Try some of Trader Joe’s new $3 wine TODAY!  :D

I’m pleased to report that it was pretty freakin’ good!  I’ve definitely had my fair share of cheap wine.  I don’t care for Whole Foods’ $3 vino, and I’m not a big fan of Barefoot wines (Yellowtail is where it’s at for inexpensive wine, people!  They even note whether or not the wine is vegan-friendly on their website!), but I thought that TJ’s was decent.  I still prefer Yellowtail, but it’s good to have options.  ;)

Anyway, back to dinner…

This particular dal recipe called for a can of red kidney beans, which I thought was an excellent addition.

This made the whole house smell absolutely amazing!

I’m a big fan of those warm Indian spices- coriander, turmeric and cumin seed, along with allspice, fennel seed, a cinnamon stick, crushed red pepper flakes, mustard seed and fresh ginger.  The recipe also called for a little freshly squeezed orange juice, which added a nice subtle hint of citrus.

The Indian-Inspired Rice consisted of brown basmati rice cooked with coconut oil-sauteed onion, mustard seeds, cumin seed, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and a touch of lime juice stirred in at the end.  It was heavenly.

So, so good.  I’m looking forward to eating these leftovers all week.

This morning I kicked things off with the Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

One for me, and one for the kids!  I followed Angela’s recipe exactly except that I used 2 whole frozen bananas instead of just one.

The result was incredible- creamy, silky, cold, milkshake-like bliss in a cup that really did taste like a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.  The spices were just right, and I loved the little bit of blackstrap molasses in this recipe.

The kids went crazy for this, too.  When I told them where I got the recipe from, E kept saying, “How did she invent this?  How does it taste this good!?  I love it!”  We will definitely be making it again this week.  :)

Before rocking out some power yoga this morning, I threw together the Old Fasioned (Tofu) Chicken Salad.  I went bananas for this recipe the first time I tried it, and I’ve been dying to make it again.

Love it love it love it.

I’ll snap some pics of the complete meal when I eat it later in the week.  Does anyone have a good recipe for roasted parsnips?

And finally, I made a quick Breakfast Cookie to eat tomorrow morning.  I’m already thinking about making a pumpkin version with the leftover pumpkin puree from the smoothie!

I used 1/2 cup oats instead of 1/3 (can you tell that I like a big breakfast?), 2 T. vegan chocolate protein powder, a spoonful of sunflower seed butter, 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1/2 mashed banana and mixed it all together.  I also added a teaspoon of cacao nibs:

All hail the mighty CACAO!

Then I flattened it all out with the back of my spoon and stuck it in the fridge.

It’s supposed to harden slightly overnight and become cookie-esque, and of course I’m dying to try it.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What have you been up to this weekend?  I’m off to watch Corpse Bride with the kids (can’t wait for Halloween!!), do a little studying and wait for my sis to get here.  Happy Sunday:)

XO,

S.

What I Ate Wednesday + My Current Favorite Vegan Protein Powders

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Hey hey!  The weekend is in sight.  :D  I know you’ve been just dying to read another What I Ate post, and I am all about making your blog reading dreams come true.

(Heh.)

What I ate yesterday…

Breakfast

I love green smoothies and have one for breakfast 2 or 3 times per week.  I’m sure that number will increase soon just as the Texas temperatures as sure to.  Nothing like an ice cold smoothie packed with nutrition on a hot and muggy Texas summer morning!  I have two favorite recipes, both from the Choosing Raw blog: the Strawberry Pumpkin Seed Smoothie and the Power Smoothie.  Both are so good you just might cry.

(Aw, don’t cry.)

Whatever smoothie recipe I’m following, I always add 2 tablespoons of a vegan protein powder.  Vegan protein powders can get expensive, so I rarely add an entire scoop.  2 tablespoons seems like the perfect amount for an added protein boost of around 10 grams.  Currently, I use the following:

Garden of Life’s RAW protein powder

-or-

LifeTime Life’s Basics Protein Powder with Greens

The RAW powder is definitely earthy tasting, but it squeaks by undetected when blended with fruit and I don’t find it necessary to add any additional sweetener.  The Life’s Basics powder has added sweetener (fructose, xyltiol and stevia), and it is SO FREAKING GOOD.  One of my best friends C gave me a sample a few weeks back, and it knocked my vegan socks off.  So much so that I went out and bought some even though I had half a canister of the RAW stuff left.  Usually I alternate between the two, or mix them up and use a tablespoon of each.

I’m wild like that.

There are so many protein powders out there, it’s scary.  Do you use protein powder?  What is your favorite kind?

Anyway, yesterday for breakfast I had the Power Smoothie made with mango and RAW protein powder:

If you’ve never tried a green smoothie before because they look like swamp sludge, you totally should!  I, too, was turned off by the appearance, but you really can’t taste the greens in these, and they’re a fantastic way to start your day.  Cake Batter smoothie, anyone?  What about Peaches & Green?  Or maybe a Superfood Green Monster?

Good stuff.  :)

Lunch

Lunch was… you guessed it:

A giant salad.

Spinach, purple cabbage, fresh chopped veggies, steamed asparagus, artichoke hearts, avocado, hummus, creamy cumin dressing and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  I’ve had this combo a couple days in a row now because it is seriously delish.

Snack

I was still pretty full from my salad yesterday afternoon so I reached for a Citrus Kombucha instead of an actual snack.  And then I did a photo shoot with my drink…

No, I’m not sure why I’m making that face.  Yes, I realize the ridiculousness of posing for a picture with a bottle of mushroom tea.  Yes, my kids were watching and thought I was crazy.  But that’s nothing new, really.

Moving on…

Dinner

For dinner I made Gena’s Curried Chickpea Salad

(I added extra curry powder because I love it so!)

Plus a side of my favorite homemade spicy kale chips:

My easy go-to recipe (which serves 1 hungry Sara): take the leaves from a small bunch of Lacinato kale and coat them with a little olive oil, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, chipotle chile powder, sea salt and nutritional yeast.  Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 375° F for 10 minutes, toss around with a spatula, and then bake again in 5-10 minute increments until crispy, tossing as needed.

It’s like magic, I tell ya!

I like my kale chips really spicy, but of course you could season them any way you like.

They crisp up and resemble thin potato chips in texture, and they are ultra crunchy.  I usually eat the entire bunch of kale in one sitting when I make these- they’re pretty addicting.  If I do have leftovers, I have found that they keep well for a day or so in an air-tight container.  But very rarely do I have leftovers.  ;)

The meal:

I served the chickpea salad open-face style on two slices of sprouted grain bread and piled the kale chips high.

When I sat down to eat I remembered that I’d recently bought something I’d been searching high and low for, and decided to finally give it a try:

Sea veggie granules!

Sound odd?  Sea veggies like kelp and dulce are pretty much superfoods, but I always forget to look for them at Whole Foods.  Yesterday I turned a corner at Sprout’s and there they were, side by side, staring me in the face.  They’re a good alternative to salt with added health benefits.  I sprinkled some kelp on my chickpea salad sandwich and was pleasantly surprised with the results:

 

The granules added a mild, salty bite but I didn’t detect any kind of fishy flavor in the least.  Score!  I’ll definitely be using these often in the future.  The chickpea salad was SO good, and I’m going to use the leftovers on my lunchtime salads.  Yum.

Dessert

I usually have a little somethin-somethin sweet before bed, and last night I rolled with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillow (from this post) and glass of vanilla almond milk:

Welcome to Tasty Town

That’s a pretty typical day of eating for me.  In case you’re interested, yesterday’s workout was Cardio Supersets from Cathe’s Low Impact Series.  I rocked it at 6am before the kids got up.  :)  And while I’m at it, I’ll go ahead and mention what supplements I take daily:

What supplements do you take on a regular basis?

Of course, I’m no nutritionist so please educate yourself and talk to your doctor about supplements before going crazy with the pills.  :)  I recommend this book for the basics on plant-based nutrition at every age and life stage.  It’s a fantastic resource, and I refer to it often.

Happy Thursday, y’all!  Have a splendid afternoon.  :)

XO,

S.

Cooking Extravaganza (+ food pics galore!)

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Hey-o.  So the concert was awesome.  :)

We did in fact have VIP tickets and it was pretty freakin’ sweet.  I squealed like a jackass when the doorman to the VIP lounge put a sparkly green wrist band on me, so it was painfully obvious that I was new to that sort of thing.  It was a swell time- decent bar, free food, someone to hand you paper towels in the bathroom after washing your hands (though I secretly think she just showed up on her own to make money… I might start doing that everywhere I go and just carry a tip jar with me!), plus a super cute bartender and of course awesome live music- but in the end I decided that I am getting too old for crazy loud concerts.  At one point every bone in my body was rattling to the beat and I feared that my eardrums might burst, and I ended up going back to the bar before The Flaming Lips even started their encore of Do You Realize.  I was, of course, glad that I went, and so very grateful to my friend J for taking me!

I made those Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows for her as promised, and of course took pics of the bake-a-thon…

I doubled the recipe so that I could give one batch to J and keep one for myself and the boys.  It made a LOT of dough!  After doubling things, I started the process of rolling the peanut butter filling into balls per the recipe’s directions.  Except that the recipe says to roll the dough into 24 balls.  FOR A SINGLE BATCH.

And I proceeded to roll the filling for two batches into 24 balls.  They were like friggin’ golf balls.  Time crunched, I decided to go ahead and make a dozen gargantuan cookies:

Ridiculous.

While those baked I split the remaining peanut butter filling balls in half and made regular-size cookies with the rest of the dough.  Good grief.

I am happy to report that they all came out wonderfully, and J said she’s been munching on her batch all day.  :)

Still warm and gooey, straight outta the oven.  :D

Luckily, I just happened to have an extra cute little taste tester home with me on Friday.  (Rule of thumb: If my kids love it, I know it’s good!)

Two (unpictured) thumbs up  :)

Since I start summer classes tomorrow (boo!), I wanted to get lots of cooking done this weekend.  Now that I had a decent sweets stash in the freezer (the above pb-choco pillows + Dreena’s Troll Cookies), I moved on to breakfasts.  I picked two recipes from Let Them Eat Vegan!: Cocoa Goji Granola for me and Whole-grain Chia Pancakes with Warm Strawberry Sauce for the kids.  :D

The granola came together quickly and filled the house with a warm, rich, chocolate-y aroma.  It included shredded coconut, brown rice syrup, cocoa powder, millet, hemp seeds, orange zest and (duh) goji berries:

This granola is fantastic!

Subtle sweetness from the sucanat and brown rice syrup, a hint of bright citrus from the orange peel (which pairs beautifully with the cocoa!), crunch from the almonds, and a chewy bite from the goji berries.  Delicious, I tell ya.  The pancakes and strawberry sauce came together just as easily.  I was able to make the granola, pancakes and sauce in the short span of O’s afternoon nap. :D

The strawberry sauce was basically a pound of strawberries, maple syrup and pinch of sea salt heated in a saucepan.

Let it all simmer for a half hour or so and the fruit starts to break down.  It’s quite lovely.

I let the sauce cool slightly and then blended it to silky smooth perfection.  Perfect for pouring over pancakes!

This is a great alternative to straight-up maple syrup and totally healthy.  A fun way to get kids to eat their fruit, too!

The pancakes consisted of spelt flour, oat flour (though I subbed whole-wheat pastry flour because O was napping and I didn’t want to wake him grinding oats in the food processor), chia seeds, baking powder, non-dairy milk, canola oil and spices.  The mix came together in less than five minutes.

Packed with nutrition, this batter produced thick, fluffy, ridiculously springy pancakes.

I served some for breakfast this morning…

…and wrapped up the rest to freeze.

We can now look forward to delicious and nutritious breakfasts all week long.  :)

Dinner yesterday was another winner- Sesame Soba Noodle Salad from Daily Garnish.  I love Emily’s recipes because they call for all-natural, wholesome ingredients, they’re simple and quick, and everything I’ve made from her blog has been absolutely delicious.  This soba noodle salad was no exception!

This was such a great one-pot meal!  Complex carbs and fiber from the noodles, protein from the edamame, healthy fat from the sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil and tahini, and veggie goodness from the fresh herbs, green onion and bright red bell pepper.  Just before eating, I doused my serving in sriracha (I have to look up how to spell that word every.single.time.):

I look forward to eating the leftovers this week!

I’m off to cook dinner for the tots, prep for classes tomorrow (wish me luck!), and watch a new Mad Men tonight (woohoo!).  My goal is to post at least twice a week while I’m truckin’ through this first crazy month of summer classes.  Two of my four classes are only five weeks long, so things will get significantly easier after that.  The next five weeks are sure to be rough, but I WILL make it through.

(I hope.)

Have a peaceful Sunday evening.  :)

XO,

S.

Food, lately…

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Hi.  How’s it going?  Spring Break is over, so back to the grind it is.  I’d rather gouge myself in the eye with a pencil than study at this point, but there are only a handful of weeks left in the semester so I must press on.  I have a paper to write for developmental psychology today, but first I wanted to post some pics of what I’ve been cooking lately.  You’re welcome.  ;)

Whole-grain raspberry pancakes, from Chloe’s Kitchen

The recipe is called Pancakes for Dinner and uses regular white flour and blueberries, but I used whole-wheat pastry flour to up the nutrition factor and frozen raspberries because they were on sale.  These were a big hit with the kids and I froze a batch for easy breakfasts throughout the week.  Winner, winner, pancakes for dinner.

(DORK.)

(PS- You need her cookbook in your life, I promise!)

Random lunchtime salad alert… this one included spinach, cabbage, tomato, ‘shrooms, carrot, cucumber, green bell pepper, avocado, cannellini beans, and one of my favorite salad dressings in the whole world: Gena’s Outstanding Miso Sesame Dressing.

This weekend I made the Chocolate Walnut Fudge from Chloe’s Kitchen

(Canned coconut milk is the magic ingredient that makes this fudge creamy, rich and smooth while keeping it vegan!)

My helpers:

(I make that same face when presented with anything chocolate-covered.)

Ready to chill.  :D

Oh, boy…

This fudge is good AMAZING.

(Seriously!  Go buy Chole’s cookbook!  You won’t regret it.)

This is my new favorite breakfast in the whole wide world: Green Monster Vegan Overnight Oats!

I made two servings of this over the weekend for easy and fast breakfasts before class on Monday and Wednesday, and in all honesty I expected it to taste as good as it looks.  Swamp sludge, anyone?  I was thrilled to discover that it is actually quite tasty!  The texture reminds me of pudding, like a thickened up smoothie with a touch of chewiness from the oats.  I followed Angela’s recipe and added half a packet of stevia for extra sweetness.  It was perfect!  Not only is this stupid-easy to make, there’s the added bonus of starting your day with a serving of greens and an omega-3 boost from the chia seeds.

I topped my sludge with a tablespoon of goji berries.  Colorful breakfasts are the best!  ;)

One of the best dinners of the week: Chloe’s Crispy Orange Tofu!!!

The ‘fu is pressed, dredged in a mixture of arrowroot and salt, and then fried in canola oil until golden brown.  I was amazed at how crispy it got!  Then you simmer the tofu in a thick, syrupy glaze made up of orange juice, orange peel, fresh ginger, garlic, agave nectar and soy sauce.  This was some of the best tofu I have ever made.  B loved it, too.  :)

I served the tofu and sauce over a simple bed of soba noodles and steamed mixed veggies, then covered it all with sriracha sauce.

Another killer meal from Chloe’s Kitchen.  I wish I was getting paid to pimp her cookbook, but I’m not.  Everything that I’ve made from it- the fudge, pancakes, falafel burgers, cake doughnuts, and now this crispy tofu- has been just incredible.

I don’t think I ever posted pics of the doughnuts!  I made them a few weeks back and they turned out great.  My brother said they reminded him of those little powdered sugar-covered Hostess Donettes (only these are much, much better for you).

Last but definitely not least, dinner last night:

Tofu Omelets from the Post Punk Kitchen!!!

Good grief, these were sooo good.  I’m definitely having a leftover omelet for dinner tonight.  I followed PPK’s recipe exactly but left out the black salt (I just used 3/4 teaspoon of regular sea salt per Isa’s suggestion).  These omelets had a very egg-like taste and texture and were a cinch to make.  I stuffed them full of spinach and mushrooms that had been sautéed in olive oil with garlic and herbs, and whipped up my favorite vegan cheeze sauce to drizzle pour over top.  Some rosemary & garlic oven fries drenched in the world’s greatest condiment (ketchup, duh) completed the meal.

Winner, winner, omelets for…

(Ok, I’ll stop.)

That’s all I got, peeps!  What have you been eating and loving lately???

Today is grocery day and this is what I have planned to cook in the week ahead:

Now, would anyone like to come over and write my psych paper for me?  Can I twist your arm with some chocolate truffles!?

Happy (almost) weekend.  :)  Until next time…

xo,

Sara

Ch-ch-ch…

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One of my favorite Superfood brands, Navitas Naturals, is having a 30% off sale on their chia seed products!  I love chia seeds and incorporate a tablespoon or two into my breakfast most days of the week.  They’re a fantastic source of essential fatty acids and are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  (Tomorrow I’m testing out this yum-looking recipe for Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Pudding- stay tuned for pics!)

Anyway, if you’re running low or want to give chia a chance (and you should!), enter the coupon code CHIA30 when you checkout to save 30%.

Happy, uh, chia-ing!

See ya tomorrow.  :)  Have a fantastic Friday!!!

S.