Archive | February, 2012

Weekly Menu February 25

25 Feb

weekly menu comin’ at ya!

photo courtesy of Thrive Foods

  • Golden Mushroom Soup w/ Caesar Salad and Veggie Stack Sandwich
  • Mushroom Stroganoff with Sauteed Asparagus
  • Acorn Squash with Wild Rice and Sage Butter
  • Roasted Garlic Quinoa and Spinach with Maple Root Vegetables
  • Mushroom Burgers with Twice Baked Potatoes and Purple Slaw
  • Chili Sweet Mango Noodles
  • Kale Salad
  • Blueberry Energy Bars

Rounding out this weeks healthy meals I am going to try and recreate an eclair – vegan style. Wish me luck… if this is successful I will be showcasing them at my friends birthday party!

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Eat More Kale

21 Feb

Did you see all of they hype about the Eat More Kale t-shirts and Chick-Fil-A? Long story short, Chick-Fil-A thought that Eat More Kale was a bit too similar to their Eat Mor Chikin campaign.

Well Chik-Fil-A, we are officially broken up. We had a good run for a while but I’m a different person now… and you haven’t changed a bit.

I no longer eat any of the items that you have on your menu and I am still resentful that you are closed on Sundays.

Eventually you’ll see that this is for the best.

I want you to know…

there will always be a special place in my heart for a Chicken Biscuit & Sweet Tea

BUT ONLY KALE CAN SAVE YOU NOW! HAHA!

I bet you are thinking that you don’t like kale

Well guess what, neither do I… with one exception

                        KALE SALAD

This is one of the best things I’ve ever made and I insist that you try it, it’s so delicious!

Kale Salad (adapted from Oh She Glows)

  • 4 – 6 cups of kale
  • 1/2 – 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded & chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mixed raisins
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds/walnuts (optional)

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2-4 tbsp broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Chop all vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. Reserve the seeds and nuts.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Combine vegetables with dressing and toss to combine. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve topped with hemp seeds and nuts.

It may look ordinary and sound unusual but it is nothing short of magnificent.

I’ve eaten it three days in a row… in fact, I’m eating some right now!

~ Healthy & Happy Eating

 

You can buy your very own kale t-shirt by visiting one of these websites Eat More Kale and Herbivore Clothing Company.

When You Eat Right You Feel Right

19 Feb

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I’ve been staying away from eggs and cheese like a champ! Since February 1st I have only slipped once – at breakfast today, actually, with some great friends. Let me tell you, the blueberry pancakes were to die for!

The bad news is that I’ve been indulging in Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (with skim & splenda) and sweets way to much. My body is angry with me and I am feeling run down.

All is not lost though, I have utilized today to get back on track. While doing laundry I decided to prep a ton of food to get me through the week.

It is also time to break out the food journal again, to help hold me accountable and continue moving towards my goals.

Breakfast

Problem: I’ve been relying on cold cereal way too often which is never a good idea for me, I am always left feeling hungry, and there is unnecessary sugar in it which negatively impacts my weight loss goals.

Solution: I’ve prepped some brown rice to make Breakfast Rice Pudding. It may sound weird to eat brown rice for breakfast but it is so yummy. I may also prep some overnight steel-cut oats if I have extra time, I’ve never tried it before but they are super easy and hopefully tasty.

Note: this is not my photograph or the recipe I use for my breakfast rice pudding

Morning Snack

Problem: I haven’t been prepared and therefore walk out the door empty-handed. This poses a bigger problem on days when I’ve eaten cold cereal because I am ravenous by 9am.

Solution: By eating a whole grain rich breakfast my need for a big snack diminishes, I will rely on bananas or small servings of homemade energy bar to get me through until lunch time, but only if I am hungry.

Tonight I hope to replicate my favorite of all energy bars! Wish me luck 🙂

Lunch

This is one area that is never a problem, there are always leftovers in the fridge from the previous nights dinner  – of course I plan it that way.

But just to spice things up a bit this week I made four layered salads from a great blog Oh She Glows.

Afternoon Snack

Problem: Lack of preparation has caused issues in the afternoon too, lately I’ve been coming home to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and snacking while I prepare dinner. Don’t get me wrong, a PB&J once in a while is delicious, but eating one everyday can sabotage weight loss plans and leave you as hungry as if you ate cold cereal.

Solution: This will depend on if I’ve had a morning snack – a banana or energy bar will work for me in the afternoon if I didn’t have it earlier or I can take some sweet potato chips or cut up veggies and  hummus.

Dinner

You know this isn’t a problem 🙂 I make dinner from scratch almost every night and am able to stick to my weekly menus by planning simple dishes, stocking up on ingredients, and using my time wisely when I get home from work.

But because I had some extra time today I prepared some side dishes that I know will keep in the fridge a few days (provided I can keep Jordan away… very unlikely).

Kale Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad

So for the rest of the evening I think I’ll make sloppy joes and while they are cooking I’ll throw some sweet potatoes in the oven to cook off and toss together that energy bar I mentioned.

You’d be surprised how much food you can prepare while you are preparing dinner… especially if you don’t have kids running around!

~Happy & Healthy Eating

Weekly Menu Feb 18

17 Feb

Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Here is this week’s menu a day early 🙂

  • Sloppy Joes w/ Tempeh and Pasta Salad
  • Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
  • Forty Cloves of Garlic with Chickpeas & Broccoli
  • Black Beans in Mole Sauce with Plantains and Kale Salad
  • Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki
  • Whole Foods Style Layered Salad for Lunch

Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki with Pineapple/Mango Salsa

Living In A Protein Obsessed World

16 Feb

If you work out regularly or are friends with those that do you probably hear people talking about protein all of the time. Between Eating Clean, Paleo, and Atkins it’s a wonder anyone is eating anything other than meat.

And if you are vegan I’m sure all of the omnivores you know have expressed concerned over your protein (and calcium) intake.

Does he look protein deficient?

Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke

Now I know what you are thinking – he is getting his protein from powders and supplements.  Maybe, but if you are consuming an average number of calories a day you are likely consuming all of the protein you need from a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Take an elephant for example, they don’t eat meat, drink protein shakes, or take supplements. They only eat leaves, bark, fruits, and grasses and look at how large and muscular they are.

So how much protein do you need?

  • According to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) only 10-15% of your total calories need to come from protein. 
  • The World Health Organization suggests that only 4.5% of your total calories need to be protein.
  • Many strength training/weight loss sources would recommend 35-40% of your calories come from protein.

Confused? Well why wouldn’t you be. All of these numbers are crazy! Not only that, but if you go back five or ten years you would never see a 40% protein recommendation for the average person, you’d see around 10%.

After doing research on the topic I believe that as long as you are consuming a wide variety of whole, plant-based foods you will get all of the protein you’ll need. 

One of my favorite bloggers & cookbook authors Lindsay Nixon recently posted about this topic. Rather than recreating the wheel I’d rather just reference her wonderful information 🙂

According to The Happy Herbivore  many plant foods have more protein than meat, per calorie. For example, a cheeseburger contains .05 grams of protein per calorie compared to spinach which has .12 grams of protein per calorie…soy beans are one of the best sources of protein, having more protein per calorie than all dairy products, eggs and most meats…Other protein-rich plant foods include quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, whole wheat foods, seitan,  bulgar, broccoli and potatoes.

If you are still skeptical check out Thrive by Brendan Brazier or this awesome table  that shows you just how easy it is to get all of the protein you need from a vegan diet.

Personally, I rely on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains to satisfy my protein needs. Occasionally I will eat seitan, tofu, and tempeh. And I do my best to stay away from processed foods (including fake meats), protein powders, artificial/ overly processed sweeteners, and supplements.  

The reality is that back in the day no one counted calories or worried about pairing foods, so maybe we all need to stop obsessing about the numbers and rely on eating  food as close to the source as possible.

My decision to rely on plant-based foods has given me wonderful results – while I am not always perfect (sometimes I have an egg or some cheese)  I would never consider adding meat back into my diet and I am working really hard to be done with eggs and cheese permanently.

Feel free to share your experience with protein consumption or ask any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer them or point you in the right direction. 

~Happy & Healthy Eating

Weekly Menu Feb 11

11 Feb

I came into some birthday money and decided to put it to good use

Another cookbook!

I think I am going to like this one even better than the original.

This weeks menu is almost entirely comprised of EHH recipes.

  • Cauliflower Manchurian with Chickpea Tikka Masala and Saag
  • Portobello Mushroom Steak with Asparagus and Maple Roasted Root Vegetables
  • White Enchiladas with Avocado Salad
  • NOLA Gumbo
  • Cuban Black Beans and Rice with Kale and Pico de Gallo
  • Dijon Rice and Broccoli with Chickpea Tenders

Leftovers have been had to come by lately so I have some bonus recipes in my back pocket just in case.

  • Grilled Cheese with Minestrone Soup
  • Mock Tuna Salad
  • Balsamic Strawberry Salad

~ Happy & Healthy Eating

Weekly Menu Feb 4

4 Feb

I’ve really sucked at sticking to a menu the last few weeks  so I’ll be cooking up some meals I didn’t get to last week and throw in some sandwiches for good measure.

  • Tofu Scramble, Homefries, and Blueberry Breakfast Cake
  • Vegetable Korma with Cransberry-Cashew Biryani
  • Pot Pie Stew with Caulipots
  • Portobello Mushroom Panini with Potato & Corn Salad
  • Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich
  • Red Thai Curry
  • BLT with Eggplant Backon and Ceasar Salad
  • Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Mashed Sweet Potato

Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Mashed Sweet Potato