Fresh, Seasonal Cherries πŸ’

Stopped by the Union Square Green Market today and picked up these beauts πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

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I love cherries but they are usually so expensive at the grocery store. Buying these at the farmers market is not only so much more affordable but also comes with several health benefits.Β 

Eating local means that the produce was picked at its peak ripeness vs. non local produce which is picked before it is ripe so it will ripen during its long travel or once it’s sitting at the grocery store. Eating local also means eating seasonally and eating produce at at its optimal nutritional levels.

Red, White, and Blue Overnight Oats

May be a couple days early, but couldn’t resist these red, white, and blue overnight oats! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

1/2 cup gf rolled oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk. Allow to sit over night and top with flaxseed, chia seeds, a scoop of almond butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup

Colorful Asian Salad with Soba Noodles

I’m so glad to have an extra few days off this holiday break and I can get back to cooking! I actually really enjoy cooking. I love food and something about making it yourself makes it so much better. I’ve only been back in NYC for a few days now and it’s crazy how much better I feel eating at home versus eating out. I’m eating such yummy food and much diverse meals compared to when I eat out. I’ve been on my project for several months now and I tend to go to the same places over and over and order the same meals. It took me awhile to find healthy places and understand the ingredients in each of my meals so I stick to what I know, but I’m feeling much more satisfaction with the diversity of meals and ingredients I’ve been eating while cooking at home these past few days.

I made this colorful Asian salad tonight with soba noodles. I like to cut up all of the raw salad ingredients before hand and place them in containers. I’m so glad that I made the switch to glass tupperware containers a few months ago. They’ve really come in handy and I don’t have to worry about any interactions with plastic- plastic interacting with your food is a real thing! The raw ingredients will be more than you need so this separate makes it super easy to prepare this recipe with the leftovers!

This salad has an Asian food type flavor. For the salad dressing, I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. This still gives it an Asian- like flavor, but without the soy. I generally avoid soy or treat it as a “treat” when I do have it (i love tempeh!), so this makes a great substitute.

Salad ingredients:

2 cups spinach

1/9 gf** (important to check because not all soba noodles are gluten free) packet of soba noodles

1/4 red pepper

1/4 mango

1/2 avocado

1/2 large carrot

Few slices of cabbage

Few slices of red onion

 

Salad dressing ingredients:

1 date

Spoonful of almond butter

Juice of 1 lime

Sprinkle of ground ginger

A couple drops of coconut aminos

1/2 clove of garlic

Water to get the right consistency

 

Directions:

  1. Heat up a pan of water on the stove.
  2. As you are waiting for the water to boil, place 2 cups of spinach on a dish.
  3. Prepare raw vegetables and place to the side: Cut a few pieces of red cabbage, cut the red pepper, peel the carrot using a vegetable peeler, cut mango, cut a few slices of red onion, cut avocado in half and dice the half of avocado.
  4. Once the water is boiling, place soba noodles in the boiling water.Β  Refer to packaging directions, but they typically only cook for 4-8 mins.
  5. Prepare the salad dressing- add ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add water a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
  6. Remove soba noodles from boiling water and allow to drain.
  7. Add soba noodles on top of the lettuce.
  8. Add the salad dressing on top of the soba noodles.
  9. Add raw vegetables to dish

 

 

 

Farmers Market Eggs, Sweet Potato, and Avocado Breakfast Bowl

Avocados for breakfast. Avocados for lunch. Avocados for dinner. I loveeee avocados. Got a chance to stop by the Union Square Green Market yesterday and pick up some farm fresh eggs which are sooo good. It’s crazy the difference you can taste in eggs depending on where you buy them. This morning’s breakfast bowl was very easy to make:

Ingredients:

2 eggs (from the farmers market, they are seriously so much better!)

1 sweet potato cut into cubes (used the leftover sweet potatoes I had from my sweet potato fries yesterday)

Avocado Oil

White Onion

Cilantro

Red pepper flakes

Guacamole ( see recipe from sweet potato fries and guacamole post)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg
  2. Add a few spoonfuls of avocado oil to a baking pan (I use a glass bake dish because no nasty toxins from non stick pans leak into your food!)
  3. Add cubed sweet potatoes on top of the oiled pan and sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper, and place in oven for 25-30 mins. Make sure to watch your sweet potatoes because they will burn depending on how far apart they are spaced on the baking pan.
  4. Prepare guacamole and place off to the side.
  5. Remove the baking pan from the oven and mix the sweet potatoes around. Place back in oven for 20 mins.
  6. Remove the baking pan from the oven and add a few slices of chopped white onion.
  7. Place back in oven for 5-10 mins or until onion softens, but without burning the sweet potatoes.
  8. Cook 2 eggs sunny-side up.
  9. Plate the 2 eggs and sweet potato/onion combo. Add guacamole to plate. Top with red pepper flakes and cilantro and enjoy!

🍳πŸ₯‘πŸ˜‹

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Currently munching on some baked sweet potato fries. They are soo good and super easy to make. Only need 4 ingredients- avocado oil, 2 sweet potatoes, Himalayan sea salt, and black pepper. I like using avocado oil for this recipe because it has a high smoke point for cooking and a neutral taste. The smoke point is when an oil is heated to the point that it begins to β€œsmoke” and releases toxic fumes and harmful free radicals. Olive oil is better suited for topping on salads and avocado oil is a great option for cooking at higher temperatures. See recipe details below:

Ingredients for sweet potato fries:

2 Sweet potatoes

Avocado Oil

Himalayan sea salt

Ground black pepper

 

Ingredients for guacamole:

1 ripe avocado

1 clove of garlic (minced)

Small slice of white onion (diced)

~ 10 pieces of cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg
  2. Peel the skin off the both sweet potatoes.
  3. Microwave each sweet potato for 1 minute to slightly soften. You do not want the sweet potatoes to be too soft or they will be hard to cut and maintain shape.
  4. Cut sweet potatoes into fries.
  5. Add avocado oil to grease the bottom of the baking dish. (I like to use glass baking dishes because they are safer to use vs. nonstick, which releases chemicals when heated.)
  6. Add sweet potato fries to pan and coat with salt and pepper.
  7. Put the sweet potato fries in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove the fries from the oven and flip them.
  9. Make the guacamole- place all ingredient in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  10. After 20-25 minutes, remove the sweet potato fries from the oven.
  11. Allow to cool and enjoy with the guacamole!

πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘

 

Fresh Gazpacho πŸ’ƒπŸΌ

I love gazpacho over the summer it so fresh l and hydrating and super easy to make. See recipe below:

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes

4 stalks of celery

5 slices of cucumber

1/2 red bell pepper

small slice of red onion (one of those things you want to add a little at a time and check for taste)

1 garlic clove

2 dates

juice of 1/2 lemon

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add dill to taste.

Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour to let all of the flavors come together – so worth it but also so hard to wait! πŸ˜¬πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

4 Watchouts for Eating at Vegan Restaurants

I’m not a vegan, but I lean towards the plant-based side of the spectrum. My favorite type of quick food places are raw vegan/ juice bar type places. When I first started consulting, I was disappointed to largely give up cooking, but then got over this quickly when I started researching all of the raw vegan juice bar esq places in my first city of work travel.Β 

I got into the daily routine of eating β€œhealthy” vegan food for every meal. At first it was great. I was trying all new kinds of vegan meals, getting great recipe ideas to cook at home, and eating delicious plant-based sweets that would require me so much more effort for me to make at home. I was ecstatic, until I started not to feel well anymore. I started gaining weight. I felt super full but was still hungry at the same time. I was lethargic. I was off. I wanted to get back to feeling good so I knew I had to make a change. But I wasn’t quite sure where I went wrong? I was eating at the most seemingly healthy types of restaurants I knew. Shouldn’t I be feeling great? I took a step back and made a few observations at what I was eating. These learnings have helped me flag certain items on the menu and have enabled me to order more wisely:

1. Skip dessert

Β When I first started traveling, I was ecsatic by all of the delicious, plant-based dessert options. I am obsessed with my homemade vegan cheesecakes, but the option of having healthy plant-based desserts readily available and such a wide variety of options was incredible. I found myself tacking on a vegan brownie or carrot cake muffin to my orders. They were made out of raw nuts, oats, dates, etc. so I didn’t sweat wondering if they were healthy. However, while all of the ingredients may be healthy, the quantities present are much more than you would normally consume. I was eating waayyyy too much fat. Nuts are great for you, but in small quantities because they are super high in fat and calorically dense. Dates, although a fruit, and very heavy and high in calories, so you do need to watch the amount you are consuming. And lastly, the sugar. These seemingly healthy desserts are loaded with sugar- maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar, etc.- it doesn’t matter what type! Sugar is sugar. It all reacts the same in your body. If I was eating at home, I wouldn’t be eating vegan treats on a daily basis. These extra calories add up quickly, so it’s overall better to skip..

Β 2.Β Watch your grain consumptionΒ 

Grain bowls are a staple of several raw vegan places. I tend to skip the bread and overall avoid gluten, so quinoa bowls are a natural go-to for me. I know ketogenic diets are big right not, but I’m personally a fan of grains. However, not too much, a small portion of grains to add some filling to your salad is great, but the salad should be veggies by a large portion. I’ve noticed several vegan places really pile on the grains in their meals. Not only will this leave you feeling ill, but it also takes away the flavors of the produce in the salad! Grains are bland. I do not want my bowl to be primarily grains, I’d really prefer it to be primarily greens from both a health and taste perspective. In order to avoid a heavy dose of grains, I usually ask when I order for more greens than grains. If the portion is still off, I generally skip the grains if I order again. It is not worth feeling like crap afterwards.

Β 3.Β Watch your fat consumption

Β As a stated above, vegan desserts are largely composed of nuts and thus, high in fat. Not only is this seen in desserts, but vegan entrees as well. Most meat and cheese substitutes are often nut-based. Depending on what you order, you could be eating really high amounts of fat. I love healthy fats- I mean avocados, come on. Healthy fats are a regular part of my diet. However, I’ve found that when I eat too much fat, I feel terrible. I feel super full and experience unwanted weight gain and the worst part is I’m gaining weight when I’m trying to be healthy! I’m sorry, but no. I will accept weight gain from a slice of pizza. I will accept weight gain from happy hour margaritas. I will not accept weight gain from a meat-less, cheese-less, salad bowl.

4. Focus on raw, plain, hydrating produce

Last, I’ve noticed that I often feel dehydrated after meals. When eating out, restaurants often incorporate far more salt into their meals than I would add on my own. Because of that, I try to focus on ordering dishes with raw, plain, and hydrating produce. Smoothies are a great option. Stick to smoothies made with fruits and veggies, often places have the option to build your own. Try to avoid the addition of fruit juices to smoothies- fruit juices strip the fruit of its natural fiber and just leaves behind sugar. Try instead subbing in cocounut water or an unsweetened nut milk. For bowls and salads, choose options that contain fresh produce. I tend to avoid sateed vegetables because it may contain excess sodium.