Edamame, Okra, Pumpkin Stew

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 3 cups of soup

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup raw pumpkin

1/2 okra, sliced

1/2 edamame, shelled

2 tbsp seaweed kelp, raw or dried

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp salt

all of the vegetables and spices

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Moist Double Chocolate Whole Grain Vegan Muffins

My internship in the city ends soon, and I wanted to thank my mentors and all of those at the office who helped me learn so much this summer. So, I decided to make some delicious double chocolate vegan muffins! You can never go wrong with chocolate! These muffins are SO moist, omg you won’t even believe they are vegan. Even more, they are whole grain, butterless, eggless, dairy-free, and melting-in-your-mouth delicious!!! What can you want more from a healthy chocolate muffin? Like seriously. I told my sister that these were vegan and her eyes grew wide because she didn’t believe me. Now, a ten-year-old who is obsessed with chocolate desserts saying that means a lot. Try beating this recipe with a healthier muffin – I dare you! Yummmm, I’m literally eating one now. Enjoy!! Let me know how you and your friends/family enjoy them!

 

my sister caught by surprise eating the muffins !

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The Recipe

Yields 12 large muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin


DRY:

2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

 

WET:

3/4 cup canola oil

1/2 – 3/4 cup almond milk (you can use soy or hemp milk too)

1 cup vegan carob chips

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line twelve muffin tins on a oven-safe pan or a muffin pan. Spray with PAM or line with a little oil (if you have tin muffin pans, they are already nonstick).

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

3. Add the wet ingredients except for the carob chips and stir properly till it becomes like a batter – consistency. Add less/more oil depending on if you want it to be less cakey (less oil) or more moist (more oil).

5. Fold in the carob chips and mix to distribute evenly.

6. Fill the twelve muffin tins evenly and place into the oven.

6. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes and check if your muffins are cooked using a toothpick. Enjoy! I topped my finished muffins with a few extra carob chips when they were still hot so the chips melted slightly on top (completely optional – it just looked pretty!)

yumm the finished guilt-free muffins!

ahhh so chocolate-y and moist!

Fresh Radish Chickpea Salad

Wellll, today’s Monday, and I know we all dread getting out of our cozy beds. So, for lunch today, I decided to try something new to give myself some motivation to look forward to the rest of the day. This weekend, my mom brought me some fresh produce from a local farmer’s market – I got tons of radish, collard greens, dandelion, kale, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes. I plan on experimenting a lot this week with my new diet plan. And, I started today! My goal is to focus on having a protein, a whole grain/starch, and fresh vegetables with herbs in every meal. For today’s lunch, I choose my favorite grain (quinoa) and fresh chickpeas as my base for the salad. The toppings included some radish, tomatoes, collard greens, and parsley leaves all topped with a delicious, but simple balsamic vinegar dressing. I have to say that this salad not only look delicious, but also tasted delicious. On top of it all, it’s full of great protein, whole grain, fiber, and vitamin sources! Plus, quinoa is a complete protein, perfect for all of you vegans and vegetarians who know how difficult it is to find complete protein sources without mixing up different ingredients! I hope you like it as much as I did! It’s a really simply recipe – just chop and cook all of the ingredients ahead of time, mix together in a bowl, swirl in the balsamic vinegar, and eat cold (or warm if you prefer)! I ate this, as I said, for my lunch entree, but you can even split the serving up into 2 and enjoy as a side salad to any meal or an afternoon snack! It’s packed with several nutrients so it’s perfect for any time of the day.

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving main dish (or 2 Servings side dish)

Serving Size: 3 cups of salad

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 cup collard greens, chopped or diced

5 cherry or grape tomatoes

2 large radishes, diced or 1/2 cup radish, diced

2 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 garlic clove, shredded or 1 tsp garlic powder

1 – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt

 

Stopping Short During the Challenge

I talked to my parents about this cleanse and they recommended I start it once we are back from our trip so I guess I’m stopping after two days, unfortunately. In these two days, I felt pretty light-headed and weak so I guess it’s good that I don’t do it during our trip so I have energy for all of the traveling and adventures. I decided, however, that I would focus on a healthy diet that I would have achieved from this challenge anyhow – no processed food or added sugars, no corn, etc. the list goes on. I’m going to focus on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts/seeds. Let’s see how it goes! Thanks for all of the support thus far and sorry to those of you who were following my challenge – it’ll be coming shortly!

Two Different Pasta Dishes & Homemade Tomato Sauce

pasta with fresh tomato sauce

pasta with fresh vegetables

Soo, I’m still doing the cleanse – first day! For dinner today, I plan on eating a raw salad made from shredded zucchini, carrots, bok choy leaflets, and broccoli. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was as easy as shredding vegetables and mixing together with a little lime juice. However, for a dinner recipe today, I wanted to share the meals I made for the rest of my family, and especially wanted to share the homemade tomato sauce I made. It was really easy and delicious – tasted just like Italian tomato sauce but with more fresh tomatoes! My siblings ate the pasta with tomato sauce only, while my parents enjoyed the pasta with some fresh vegetables. Therefore, I broke down both recipes below. I hope you enjoy! They’re both easy, healthy, and delicious recipes for a simply Italian family dinner.

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Tomato Sauce Pasta: The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

5 – 7 medium tomates, sliced

1/4 cup of fresh basil

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves grated 

2 tbsp oregano leaves

Salt and pepper depending on much you want

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Tomato Sauce Pasta: The Directions

1. Cook the pasta on the side while you make the tomato sauce.

2. Place the olive oil on a saucepan and sauté the garlic cloves in the oil. Then, place the sliced tomatoes on the saucepan as well and cook for ~ 5 minutes, stirring to get them to boil completely. Mash the tomatoes a little as well to make it more saucy.

3. Take your entire mixture and place it into a blender or food processor. Add in the basil, oregano, and salt/pepper. Blend till all of the ingredients create a tomato sauce consistently.

4. Mix into your cooked pasta after you have drained out the water and serve warm with some extra basil on top!

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Vegetable Pasta (no Tomato Sauce): The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 2 cups

2 cups cooked pasta

1/2 squash, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 cup broccoli, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 cup green beans

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove grated

1 tsp – 2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp oregano leaves

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

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Vegetable Pasta (no Tomato Sauce): The Directions

1. Cook the pasta on the side. Drain out the water when finished.

2. Mix all the chopped vegetables, spices, and olive oil together in a saucepan and sauté.

3. Throw in the pasta once the vegetables are done and serve warm!

Day 1 of Challenge: Raw Antidetox Juice

Well, like I said a few hours ago, I am starting my 28 Day Mind and Body Cleanse Challenge. For breakfast today, I made a raw antioxidant detox juice from beets, carrots, apples, and ginger. Ahh it was so good! The beets and apples gave it a really nice sweet juicy taste and the ginger added a fresh morning zing to my body. I loved it so much. The drink blended ruby red – you cannot miss the benefits of this drink just because of it’s color! Red beets are considered antioxidant superstars. Why? They have minerals and compounds that fight inflammation in your body, detoxing your organs by making toxins soluble, and helping them to flush out. Carrots provide the same benefits! It’s unbelievable how strong these simple vegetables are. I am more than satisfied with my first meal of this cleanse! I highly recommend you trying this recipe out even if you aren’t doing a cleanse because it’s tasty, refreshing, and detoxing! The ruby red drink will purify your blood!

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup of juice

3/4 cup raw beet

1 carrot

1 apple (I used Gala, Granny Smith is perfectly fine too)

1 tbsp ginger root

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Directions

1. Place all the ingredients through a juicer or blend them together like I did. Drink fresh.

sliced apples, chopped carrots, peeled beet, and a tbsp-sized ginger root

Next 28 Day Cleansing Mind & Body Diet

http://www.skindermatology.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/acne-detox.jpg

Hey readers! For the next 28 days, I’m committing to a 28-Day Cleansing Mind & Body Diet. It’s going to be hard, no doubt, but I’m hoping it will help me change the way I think about food and mentally feel about life in general so I can be prepared to take on my second year of college with less stress and pressure, which we all know is not good for our health. I also wanted to try to curb my cravings for certain foods that I know I won’t have access to in college or will have too much access to (such as desserts, chocolate, cakes, certain cookies, certain juices and fruits). I was hoping to use this cleansing diet as a way to change my staple, daily diet. Most diet plans and detox plans are crazy, no joke. They take you on a yo-yo diet where you drop 7 – 10 pounds of water weight, but gain it all back when you start eating normal. Therefore, I’ve been doing a lot of research on healthy ways to diet and detox as a vegetarian and/or vegan. And, from all the reading, I decided to combine different detox plans to make my own! I based mine mostly around Whole Living’s 28 Day Mind & Body Challenge because I really liked what the purpose of their detox was – it aligned with what I wanted just right. What I tweaked was basically the first week of the detox plan since I wanted to also try to incorporate trying a raw vegan diet during this plan. My goal is to keep you all updated with what I eat and drink daily, how I feel and how the detox is working/not working, in addition to any recipes or dishes I make for friends and family. So, hopefully, some of my daily recipes will inspire you to try a cleanse out! Cleansing/detox diets and plans are healthy for you in terms of flushing out excess toxins or just feeling more clean, but I highly don’t recommend insane detox diets for long periods of time because (1) it will become a yo-yo effect, (2) you will feel really ill, weak, and sick and (3) your body already naturally detoxes toxins so you don’t need a crazy detox plan – all you want is a simply jumpstart to a healthy eating lifestyle! This is the plan I came up with. I’m starting today so look out for what I eat and make during the day when I update the blog every evening! 

28 Day Mind and Body Detox Challenge:

– 4 to 6 meals daily
– Start every morning with 2 to 3 glasses of water made overnight with some cucumber, ginger, lemon, and/or spearmint leaves (The Sassy Water recipe from the Flat Belly Diet)
– Use natural spices as a detox (especially garlic and turmeric)
– Drink detox tea (green tea, dandelion tea, ginger tea, etc.) especially before exercise
– Focus on trying to follow daily lifestyle (exercise, sleep, daily chores, etc.)
– Tip: soak your nuts for several hours before eating to reap their benefits

What’s Not Allowed:

– Added sugar
– Processed foods or beverages
– Alcohol
– Caffeine
– Wheat/gluten
– Eggs
– Dairy
– Peanut products
– Processed fruit juices (very high in sugar so make natural)
– Soy, including soy sauce
– Corn and other heavy starchy vegetables

Week 1: All Raw (Focus on Juices/Soups 2x-3x)

Fruit, veggie, nuts, plant-based fat and oils, legumes and lentils (sprouted or raw only) one meal only, no grain products at all, allow Raw SunWarrior, allow raw cacoa nibs (natural sugar only), only cook carrots since I am allergic to raw carrots

Week 2: Add in Beans/Legumes and Soy and Raw Grains (Focus on ~ 50% Raw)

Fruit, veggie, nuts, plant-based fat and oils, raw grains (sprouted or raw only), Raw SunWarrior, raw cacoa nibs (natural sugar fat), add cooked beans/legumes/lentils to one meal only, organic soy

Week 3: Add in Eggs and Grains (Focus on ~ 50% Raw)

Fruit, veggie, nuts, plant-based fat and oils, Raw SunWarrior, raw cacoa nibs (natural sugar fat), beans/legumes/lentils, organic soy, add in eggs and all grains

Week 4: Regular, Staple Diet

Follow week 3 diet and focus on eating; this will become the regular diet

Wish me luck!! I’d love to hear if any of you have ever done something similar to this since this is going to be my first time!

Sweet and Zesty Coconut Lentil “Granola” Snack

You may have noticed from my past posts, but I love love love crunchy snacks. My all-time obsession food is granola! Well, if I buy store-bought granola, I end up eating like four times the serving requirement and that’s like more than 3/4ths of my daily calorie intake, which is ultimately a problem since I eat granola everyday. So, I started to experiment with making homemade granola since I’m home from college for the summer. Today, I made one that has a blend of Indian spices so it’s has a nice zesty spice to it. If you like salty, sweet, and spicy snacks, this recipe is perfect for you because it is a blend of them all! I used lentils instead of your atypical oats and made it coconut flavored! I’m also going to try out making a different recipe for granola with actual oats later on today so look out for that recipe too! This recipe is really simply but delicious – the lentils give you the crunchiness of granola, but give you a healthy dose of protein as well. Moreover, coconut is just a beautiful fruit and flavor in general. It works really well with the spicy zest, balancing it out with a nice blend of sweetness, so I highly recommend you use that combination if you like savory snacks! Lastly, I added some ground flaxseed since I didn’t have whole flaxseeds, but really wanted to add some healthy omega-3 fatty acids to the recipe so that worked out perfectly. Let me know how you like this if you try it out! 🙂 It’s really perfect for like a breakfast side or an afternoon snack with some hot tea, and the best part is that it’s an easy on-the-go snack too that you can pack and enjoy whenever you want some zesty crunchiness!

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The Recipe

Yields 6 – 8 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

2 cups red lentils, soaked overnight

1 cup shredded coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil, melted

1 tsp masala powder or 1 tsp curry powder

3/4 – 1 tsp salt

**Other possible add-ins: raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate or carob chips, nuts, granola, dried fruit (berries, bananas, peaches, apricots, etc.)

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Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Mix all of your ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Feel free to add any other ingredients you want (I suggested some other add-ins above).

3. Spray a pan with PAM or line with some oil. If you have a nonstick pan, you don’t have to spray it. Another option is lining your pan with some parchment paper. All these options will work – you just want to make sure your lentils don’t stick to the pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan and mix around the granola so it doesn’t get burnt.

5. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and let the granola cool for about half an hour. Store in an airtight container (it will last fresh up to a month!). Enjoy whenever!

Awakening Green Juice

This juice is probably my favorite breakfast drink of the summer. Why? It’s so refreshing, perfect to wake yourself in the morning. It’s made from pure fruit and green vegetables! The reason it’s so awakening is because of its unique blend of ingredients: grapefruit, cucumber, and spinach. I also added some flax seeds for my daily omega-3 fatty acids and some ginger to get the morning zing. If you’re not a huge fan of ginger, just put less than what I recommended. I simply blended all of the ingredients in my BlendTec, but you can use a juice too! What I love about this recipe is that it’s full of vitamins and minerals that are great for the morning and it has 11g of fiber in just one serving so it’s the perfect juice to flush toxins out, especially if you feel sluggish or bloated. You don’t even taste the vegetables or the grapefruit, it’s actually more of a blend of just delicious ginger cucumber with a nice touch of grapefruit sweetness at the end. I love this juice recipe, and I hope you do too!

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 2 cups of juice

30 baby spinach leaves

1 cucumber, with peel

1/2 grapefruit, peeled

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Raw Chocolate Peanut Banana Balls (Gluten-free, No Added Sugar, & Protein-Packed) <100 calories each!

My daddy loves banana bread, but I’m trying to encourage my family to eat less sugar and baked goods so instead of making your typical banana bread, I decided to make him raw chocolate peanut butter banana cookies that are gluten-free and protein backed! Sounds too good to be true? It actually kind of is because I couldn’t even believe how good they tasted when I finished. They taste basically like a peanut butter nutella bananas! NO ADDED SUGAR what so ever – my dad didn’t believe me when I told him as I served it to him as dessert this afternoon. Well, it’s true. These raw cookies are not only high fiber, high protein, low calorie, and healthy, but they are also low sugar (all natural!). There seriously is not a healthy cookie that tastes this good. The cookies are bite size too so it’s perfect for breakfast, snack, dessert, post-workout recovery snack, or late-night treat. It even fits perfectly into any diet plan because all of the fat calories in this cookie are from healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in comparison to your store-bought cookies that are always high in saturated fats. Everything in this recipe is natural and raw! So easy to make too – only 6 ingredients and takes less than thirty minutes to make! So good – even my little siblings loved it. I broke down the ingredients and calorie per cookie just for fun to see what I really had put together, and it blew my mind. Take a look: 

Calories: 99

Protein: 3.5g
Carbohydrates: 11g
Sugar: 4.5g (all natural)
Fiber: 3g
Fat: 4.5g
Saturated Fat: 0.6g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.6g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9g

It’s healthier and tastier than your typical shop-bought peanut butter cookies too so make a batch today!! I’m going to eat one now haha, hope you enjoy!

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The Recipe

Yields 18 Servings

Serving Size: 1 cookie/ball

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

6 tbsp creamy organic peanut-butter (if you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute with cashew, sunflower, or almond butter as well – basically any nut butter you want!)

1 scoop SunWarrior Chocolate Warrior Protein Powder (can substitute with your own protein powder and 2 tbsps of cocoa powder if you don’t specifically have chocolate flavored powder)

2 ripe bananas, peeled

7 deglet noor dates, pitted

4 tbsp chia seeds

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Directions

1. Place all of your ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

2. Use a masher to mix all of the ingredients together, focusing on mashing the bananas and the dates properly.

3. After you’ve mashed as much as you can, place the batter into the blender and blend on a high pulse for 5 minutes if you think your batter is still not even (the way to tell is if you see date pieces or banana pieces that aren’t fully mashed). 

4. Take all of the batter out of the blender and place it back into the mixing bowl. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for about 10 – 15 minutes to harden a little. Be warned that your hands will get very dirty because the batter is sticky – it’s all peanut butter yum!

5. While your batter is in the fridge, line a serving plate or platter with parchment paper.

6. Remove the batter and use your hands or scooper/spoon to make 18 evenly-sized balls. Place them on the parchment paper. You can press down on the balls with the back of a spoon if you want them to be more cookie-shaped.

7. Place the parchment paper into the fridge and eat whenever you want! The cookies will stay fresh in the fridge for about 4 – 5 days. You can enclose them in an airtight container too to store but make sure you line the bottom of the container with parchment paper or your cookie will stick to the bottom of the container.