My favorite salad

My favorite salad

This one right here, as the title indicates, my favorite salad. I love it because I almost always have all the ingredients in house and it is the perfect lunch or light dinner. I use whatever lettuce I have on hand but my favorite is romaine lettuce for this combination. I add creamy cannelini beans, thinly sliced red onion and fennel, then, salt, pepper, lemon, and a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil.

Yoga Tuesday

I did really good with my menu yesterday, except I sneaked (snuck? snook?) a handful of Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips while I was making my salad for dinner. I created another menu for today that I have been following already – so far so good. Amazingly, I am not lighter (because I weighed myself this morning) but I feel lighter. On this track of feeling lighter, I am going to do yoga tonight and really push myself to let go of all my extra tension. If you have not already tried yoga, show yourself some love and give it a shot. It’s amazing!

I am also super excited about trying a new pose tonight, Parsva Bakasana (or side crane). I got some really helpful hints from another great blogger, standandfacethesun.wordpress.com, and want to try them out while they are still fresh in my head. The plan is to eat a light healthy dinner of miso soup, stir fried veggies and brown rice. Then, I will go relax and re-center at yoga tonight from 8 – 9pm. Plus, I have a really major interview tomorrow so I need to be at my relaxed best. Wish me luck!

Tuesday menu is as follows:

Breakfast: My favorite oatmeal of whole rolled oats, coconut milk, TJ’s golden berry mix, cinnamon, and raw walnuts.

Snack: Organic gala apple, almonds

Lunch: Greek salad made with romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, English cucumber, grape tomatoes, cannelini beans and parsley. All dressed with balsalmic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

***Tip: Babyfood jars are great for making and packing your own salad dressing. You just shake the little jar to mix it up just before putting it on your salad. I also use baby food jars to store spices that I buy in bulk.***

Snack: grapes and walnuts

Dinner: Miso soup, stir fried veggies (carrot, onion, mushroom, fennel, broccolini, spinach, celery, and edamame are what I have in my fridge right now) and brown rice.

Snap pea, radish, and edamame salad

Snap pea, radish, and edamame salad

This is another gem out of the Kind Diet book. I had these radishes in my fridge for over a week and needed to do something soon or they were going to start growing roots in my crisper drawer. This wonderfully simple recipe has a yummy lemon “butter” sauce that perfectly compliments the salad. I added some chopped fresh parsley and it was perfect. I ate a little of this salad with some brown rice tonight for a light dinner. I am going to do the same for my lunch tomorrow but more of it!

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

I absolutely love Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, where I found this fantastic recipe. Here is the final product of the recipe and trust me, it tastes even better than it looks. The recipe made a pretty large batch so I took my leftovers (this stew gets even better the next day) to our office potluck. It was a hit! Everyone was asking me for the recipe. I put it over cooked Arborio rice and topped it with fresh chopped cilantro. Even my carnivore boyfriend liked it and got full with one bowl.

Quick Tuesday night dinner

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Last night I was especially tired. I had gone on a long run yesterday morning and a ended up staying late at work. By the time I got home, I was hungry and wanted something quick to eat. Good thing that while I was out in the field for my job, I went passed one of the best Mexican bakeries in Tucson, Estrella bakery. This place has the best tortillas! They are so authentic and delicious. If you are ever in Tucson, you must go to this little, humble bakery. 

Armed with delicious tortillas and a can of vegetarian refried beans in the pantry, all I needed to make was some delicious rice for an amazing bean burrito. I am kind of on a saffron kick right now, so I decided to make yellow rice. I used Arborio rice because the brown rice I had in my pantry was just not going to work for this. Arborio rice is usually for risotto but cook it like regular rice and it is still has a nice tender texture without the creaminess.

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I started out with some oil in my pan and sauteed garlic, white onion and the rice until the rice was slightly toasted. Meanwhile, I steeped some saffron threads in salted water. Once the rice was toasty, I poured in the saffron water, brought it all to a boil, then covered the pan, and cooked like regular white rice. Yum! It came out sooooo good and it only took about 15 minutes.

I cut a tortilla in half then spread the refried beans, put on the rice, added some chopped cilantro, green onions, and fresh tomato – done! Delicious weeknight dinner perfect for taking in front of the TV to eat while I watch New Girl. 

I went ahead and made a burrito on a full tortilla with the same ingredients so I can have it ready for my lunch today. I am going to take some salsa in an empty baby food jar and I’m sure I’ll be the envy of the office. I skipped my morning run today for an extra half hour of sleep but will show my body some love later with an hour of yoga. Happy Wednesday!

Taste the rainbow!

Taste the rainbow!

Who needs Skittles when you can have Moroccan quinoa with butternut squash (from the farmers market), chickpeas, and saffron?

So good, so filling, and guess what? It’s vegan!

Vegan Breakfast To-Go

Whether you are a breakfast-eater or not, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I always try to eat something in the morning in addition to my coffee whether it is a slice of bread (bread not toast because toasting takes too much time on some hectic mornings), grabbing an apple and the whole jar of almond butter, or simply a few bites of cold left overs.

This morning, as many Monday mornings are, was hectic and rushed. I slept in a little later than I wanted to but I knew I still wanted the start the day of and the week off right witha nourishing, healthy breakfast. Cue: oatmeal made in the microwave. I used half a cup of whole oats and put them in a pretty big bowl with half a cup of hemp milk and half a cup of water. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave for 2 minutes, swirled the bowl then added another minute. I then dumped the oatmeal into a plastic container (wish I had glass) and topped with chia seeds, dried goji berries, dried cranberries, chopped raw almonds, and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Breakfast done in about 4 minutes – done! It would have taken more time in the McDonalds drive-thru to pick up a cup of their crappy oatmeal (did you know there ‘cream’ alone has 11 ingredients? – crazy!) and mine is much better.

Don’t know about Chia seeds? Well, they serve a much greater purpose than to make grass covered ceramic pets (remember ‘Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!’ ?). These little guys are packed with solubable fiber, protein, antioxidants, and the richest known plant source for omega-3’s. Sprinkle them on oatmeal and salads or add them to your next batch of granola. I used to buy them in bulk from Sprouts but now even Trader Joes is selling them (LOVE Trader Joes).

What about Goji berries? Also knows as the wolf berry, the goji berry has been used for thousands of years in China, Tibet, and India. They are full of antioxidants and have been linked to dozens of health benefits. Watch out though if you are on blood thinners, they have been said to interact with those medications. I buy them in the bulk section of Sprouts and I only get a handful that lasts me quite a while.

I ate my delicious, wholesome, and vegan oatmeal at my desk this morning but felt good that I was showing my body some love by making a point to eat breakfast. There is something about eating whole grains in the morning that make me feel really happy. Cheers to Monday! It is going to be a good week.