Meatless Monday – Comfort Food Lightened Up

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Today was rainy and chilly. I love a warm meal on a cold evening. But it doesn’t have to be loaded down with things that aren’t good for you. I took a variety of cubed squashes and golden beets tossed them with greens and some homemade dressing and had a great dinner that was satisfying.

Ingredients

  • Mix of your favorite root veggies – I used butternut, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot and golden beet
  • Olive Oil mister (
  • Fresh spices your choice (I used sage and thyme)
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  • Salad greens- (use the beet greens too! )

Salad Dressing

  • This is my basic salad dressing recipe and I love it.
  • Olive oil
  • Quality balsamic
  • Dash of honey
  • Dollop of dijon mustard
  • Garlic**
  • Splash of soy sauce (this is the secret umami ingredient)
  • Blend or whisk everything*

* To save time I make my salad dressing in my wooden salad bowl and then toss with everything. I also cuts down on having to wash one more thing. I know. Lazy yogi.

** Rub a clove of garlic around the wooden salad bowl a few times for some flavor. (I learned this from a now cancelled cooking show Master Chef)

Happy Meatless Monday!!

Namaste y’all.

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Vegan Diaries – Green Bean and Mushroom Stir Fry

 

green bean stir fry

A good stir fry is an easy meal. Grab what’s in the fridge and toss it in a pan! Green beans are great in a stir fry. The trick is to make sure they are steamed for a few minutes before they hit the pan. They stay crisp and soak up flavor.

 

 

Ingredients

  • green beans 1/2 lb
  • onion roughly chopped
  • shitake mushrooms 1 c sliced
  • fresh garlic minced 2 cloves
  • fresh ginger 1 T
  • scallions chopped 3 stalks
  • sesame oil 2 T
  • soy sauce (or Tamari) 2 T
  • veggie stock 1/4 c
  • water 2 T
  • juice from one lemon

Preparation 

  1. Steam green beans for 2 minutes (you can also blanch them if steaming isn’t for you).
  2. Set green beans aside.
  3. Begin to saute the onions and garlic in a pan with the oil stir for two minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, ginger and saute for three more minutes.
  5. Add the stock and soy sauce. Cook for three minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
  6. Add the green beans and scallions.
  7. Add water (if necessary).
  8. Add lemon juice.
  9. Cook for two more minutes and serve!
I had mine with a salad and carrot ginger dressing (my all time fave dressing, seriously. If I were 6 years old, I’d marry it)
That said, serving this over brown rice or quinoa would be tasty too.
Try a veggie stir-fry for friday instead of ordering take-out. It’s cheaper, tastier and better for you!

What’s in your favorite stir fry? 

Namaste y’all!!!

 

Cucumber Gazpacho

cucumber gazpacho

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Summer weather.

It’s my favorite time of year. Not just because I can zip around on my bike without a balaclava but because summer veggies make dinner easy and delicious. Gazpacho is refreshing dinner that can double as lunch the next day. Though traditionally made with tomatoes I decided to green it up a bit with tomatillos and cucumbers.

Whaaaaat? So good. So healthy.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers- 3 roughly chopped
  • Green bell pepper- 1 roughly chopped
  • Green chiles- 2 chopped
  • Tomatillos – 4 medium
  • Garlic- 2 cloves
  • Shallots- 2
  • Lime- 2 juiced
  • Mint- one bunch
  • Broth- 1/2 (I used veggie)
  • Balsamic vinegar (use a higher quality if you’ve got it- definitely can taste the difference)- 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro- one bunch
  • Black pepper
  • Coarse sea salt- Maldon is my fave

*Optional 1/2 cup of white wine in place of 1/2 cup of broth

 

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor or vitamix blend the veggies, mint, cilantro, balsamic, lime juice. (You’ll have to do this in batches as it won’t all fit.)
  2. Once one batch is done pour into a large soup serving bowl- if the soup is more smoothie like- add more liquid…
  3. Refrigerate for 45 minutes
  4. Stir before serving- I garnished with mango and cilantro- but whatever floats your boat will do just fine!
  5. Serve with salad!

What are some of your favorite cold soup recipes? I’m always looking for new ones!!

 

Namaste y’all.

Vegan Diaries- Collard Greens Get a Facelift

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In the world of southern and soul food, collard greens are a staple. They are typically cooked with ham hock and lots of fat. And since the leaves are fairly tough cooking greens long and slow is what is thought to make them delicious.

Not so it seems.

While doing training at Integral Yoga, I’d pop downstairs to their grocery store for some tasty food cooked with love. One afternoon I discovered sautéed greens and haven’t looked back. They take 15 minutes and have a fresh, vibrant taste. You would think that with so few ingredients these would taste boring. You would be mistaken.

Y-um.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Big bunch of greens – stems removed and shredded. (I used my bare hands and made it mini playtime)
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • coarse salt (Maldon is my fave)
  • 1/2 c water (or veggie stock)

 

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic by stirring constantly until it’s just about golden brown.
  2. Add the greens, baby!! Stir in salt.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add liquid.
  4. Cover and steam for 10 minutes.
  5. If liquid is left in the pan turn heat to medium and quickly stir until liquid evaporates.
  6. Et voilà!

These are so good I’ve been making batches and having them for lunch and with dinner. Tons of greens are available at farmers markets this time of year- so stock up!!!

 

Namaste y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

black women yoga

Food Yoga- Roasted Curry Potato Salad

This isn’t your grandma’s potato salad. Hey, don’t get me wrong- I love mayo. Alas, my booty doesn’t allow it very often. I’ve talked a lot about cutting carbs our of my life. It’s an affair that is hard to end (and quite frankly one of my most successful relationships, see: why I do yoga). But biking has taken over my life (in the best way possible).

It’s been a great addition to my yoga practice, but without carbs I’m crampy and crabby, a lethal combination to be sure. So I decided that once in a while I can splurge on carbs that are healthy yams, quinoa and beans. This potato salad has curry for a unique flavor and can be served warm or cold with lettuce added. I like it with lettuce because the cold lettuce, warm potatoes and honey mustard balsamic dressing- WOO HOO!!! I’m getting excited just typing it!!!

 

Ingredients 

(serves 4)

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes cubed
  • curry powder- I use a curry powder recipe that I’ve doctored up. I’ll include it, but those who really like curry know that it’s a personal experience. So I’m not here to mess with yours, but if you don’t care- use mine, because it’s awesome. Ok, onto the next thing.
  • your favorite lettuce – 4 cups (I used a spring mix)
  • salt – to taste
  • olive oil spray – (use a mister, you can use real olive oil and cut down on calories if you don’t like the spray!)
  • apples – 2 cups cubed (not to be a redundant but what I said about curry applies to apples so rewind and play that then, use what you like. Gala was on sale, so that’s what came home with me.)
  • golden raisins  1/4 cup
  • pistachios (optional) 1/4 cup crushed
  • onion – thinly sliced
  • broccoflower (or cauliflower, I was feeling daring so…) – 2 cups roughly chopped

Dressing

  • honey 1 T
  • dijon mustard 1T
  • olive oil 1/4 cup
  • balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup
  • salt and pepper to taste
Blend or whisk ingredients in a bowl

Preparation 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425
  2. Coast the potatoes and broccoflower with the olive oil and toss with the curry powder
  3. Spread the veggies evenly on an oiled cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  5. Toss veggies with apples, lettuce, raisins and dressing

 

 

Vegan Diaries- Building a Pantry

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A delicious, nutritious meal is easy to prepare on the day you come home from the grocery store. But as the food dwindles, the urge to order take-out or grab unhealthy frozen pizza grows. Unplanned meals are a way of life. You may not have a personal chef, but with the right pantry you can have great meals that are good for you at a moment’s notice! Great recipes start with a few key ingredients that you can pick up weekly. The secret is adding those ingredients with items already on hand.

A well-stocked pantry isn’t only conducive to a slimmer waist, but it helps fatten the wallet. Over time having supplies becomes more cost-effective. Also, you aren’t racking up extra dollars in the grocery column of your budget!

Feeling a little anxious because your cabinets are bare? Stocking a pantry doesn’t have to done all at once. Make a plan. Give yourself 8-12 weeks to get your pantry in shape. You can spread out the shopping accordingly.

You’d be surprised at how little you need to spend on groceries!

I realized how big a role my pantry plays in my cooking since cutting down my food budget to $5 per day.

Particularly if you live in an area that doesn’t have a ton of markets, a pantry that is properly stocked with things you’ll actually use can

15 items that will get your pantry off to a great start:

  1. Olive oil makes the difference in a recipe as well as adding good fats and antioxidants in your diet
  2. Whole grain pastas have come a long way in the taste department and cook in minutes
  3. Stocks aren’t necessary as a group, but keep at least one on hand- (I LOVE Manischewitz vegetable broth)
  4. Brown rice or whatever healthy grain appeals to you  (barley, bulghur, couscous, quinoa)
  5. Beans, beans and more beans (I keep dried) chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, pinto and black eye peas are currently in mine. They are perfect for soups.
  6. Lettuce like spring greens are appealing because they stay fresh and make any salad a bit more special, but romaine works just as well. And I found some iceberg for .99. Go with what’s on sale and seasonal.
  7. Vinegar like balsamic can be used in everything from salad dressing to roasted veggies
  8. Dijon mustard can be used as part of a marinade or salad dressing in an instant
  9. 1 or two  seasonal vegetables that keep well (With fall coming on the east coast- it’s all about pumpkin and acorn squash baby- cheap and good.)
  10. Canned tomatoes can be used for sauces, on tortillas etc…
  11. Frozen spinach or kale can be added to rice and pasta for an easy meal
  12. Onions are a quick (and cheap) easy way to add flavor without a ton of calories
  13. Garlic that is fresh jazzes up any recipe from salad to fish to grilled veggies
  14. Dried spices like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, kosher salt and pepper are critical. You can also add cumin, cayenne and tarragon if the basics are reside in your spice cabinet. Shopping at ethnic grocery stores can help you find good quality spices at very reasonable prices. Buying spices whole also last longer and retain flavor.

Bonus points for:

dried fruits and nuts, firm tofu, tortillas

 

Are there pantry items you can’t live without? Please tell me in the comment section! I’m always looking for new additions!

Namaste y’all!

Vegan Diaries – Spring Veggies Sprung

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I went to Trader Joe’s last Monay and spent 16 bucks on dinner groceries for the entire week. This is pretty awesome anywhere- but to manage this at a Manhattan grocery store is worthy of some kind of award I’m sure.

I have mixed feelings about this particular Trader Joe’s. It’s the former location of the first Barnes & Noble where I ever worked. It’s odd to look for soy chorizo in what used to be the Interior Design section- but I live for TJ’s soy chorizo and seaweed treats so screw sentiment.

I digress.

In the produce section I scored Brussels sprouts that had been halved and seasoned. Normally, I wouldn’t even bother looking- that kind of thing is unthinkable. Precut veggies are usually twice the price- strictly for suckers. These were priced the same as the pint- cuts down on time without spending extra loot.

Color me stoked.

And- lo what’s this? Crisp yellow string beans on sale as well? I say, I will take some!!!

The lines at this Trader Joe’s always seem to have about 100 people waiting, but there is barely a wait because the line management borders on brilliant. While waiting I spied Rice Bran Oil on a new item display. It has a smoke point of 430°. Perfecto for stir frying.

Yum.

This recipe is so easy and delicious you will want to slap somebody, but don’t because we’re about the non-violence ‘member?

 

Ingredients

  • Brussels sprouts (one pint) seasoned with fresh garlic and fresh black pepper
  • One small onion roughly chopped
  • Yellow green beans (one pound) trimmed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Bran oil (or some other oil that has a high smoke point like grapeseed)
  • pinch sea salt or flaked salt
  • heaping tablesppoon red pepper flakes

 

Preparation

  1. Prepare a marinade with the lemon juice spices and one tablespoon of the oil.
  2. Let veggies veg for 20 minutes or so.
  3. Heat a large pan or wok with the remaining oil
  4. Spoon veggies into pan when the oil is hot.
  5. After two minutes add the rest of the marinade
  6. Sauté for an additional 8 minutes
  7. Add a tablespoon of water or additional splash of wine if necessary.

Serve over quinoa.

Delish!!!

 

This is yoga, sprouted and sprung.

 

Namaste y’all.