Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins





So I am one of those people that like to know what exactly is in my food.  When I walked by a bakery a few days a go I saw what's labeled "Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins" and I LOVE PB & CHOC! and I also LOVE LOVE LOVEE MUFFINS! However I am a vegan first of all and I don't want to eat something that will make my waist line grow sideways :) lol. So I decided to experiment and make my own PB + chocolate muffins.  I mainly use spelt / sprouted flour for my baked goods but any flour is doable :) This is definitely more calorie and sugar friendly than most muffins sold at the stores! Like a skinny version of peanut butter chocolate chip muffin! :)


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
vegan, makes 4 big muffins

dry:
1  cup spelt flour / sprouted whole wheat flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
 1/3 tsp sea salt/himalayan salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup rolled whole grain oats

wet:
1/4 cup almond milk or water + 1 tsp chia seeds
1 large banana, mashed (or 1/2 cup apple sauce)
3/4 cup agave/maple syrup or stevia
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

warmed:
2-3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (or another veggie oil)
  5-6 tbsp cup of PB2 (after mixed in water)

fold in: 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan OR 
1/2 cup of crushed vegan chocolate bar, I used endangered species vegan chocolate
pecans or walnuts - optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the chia seeds + liquid, allow to sit and soak for a few minutes until seeds plump.
3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients including the chia seed mixture.
4. Warm the oil and peanut butter in the microwave until soft and liquid in texture. Pour into your batter and fold well. The batter should be about room temperature at this point - you don't want it too warm or it will melt the chips.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into muffin cups.
7. Bake for about 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm.or chilled :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Basil Sauce





I am a HUGE noodle / pasta fan so I was so happy when I discovered the wonderful zucchini pasta! Great option for those of you who are looking for a great quick easy healthy dinner recipe that is family friendly! <3 
Zucchini pasta - I used a potato peeler! easy peasy! :) then I soaked it in hot water for about two minutes to soften it.

Below is a recipe that I follow for my homemade sauce BUT I also LOVE Trader Joe's organic sauces! :) Courtesy of yummly kitchen! I add mushrooms to it as well! I sprinkled nutritional yeast on top as "cheese" or you can use vegan cheese or any reduced fat cheese :)


this is a great basic marinara to have on hand, and I'll be glad to have extra in the freezer the next time I'm making spaghetti or lasagna. If you're freezing in canning jars, just be sure to leave at least 1" for expansion.

Makes 3 quarts (cut this recipe in half if you don't want a huge amount)

15 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions 
8 cloves garlic
2 cups dry white wine 
1 large bunch fresh basil 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place tomatoes cut-side-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Roast for 10 minutes. Cool and peel the skins off and discard. Place peeled tomatoes in a large bowl. Crush with clean hands, or chop tomatoes. Discard any tough stems.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add white wine and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off. Add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat until reduced by one third to one half, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend with an immersion blender if you would like a less chunky sauce.


*A note on freezing - you can freeze sauce in a freezer-safe storage container with a lid, or in a mason jar like I did. Be sure to to bring your sauce to room temperature before freezing, and leave at least 1-inch of room from the top of the jar to allow the sauce to expand without the jar exploding.

Vegan Fudgey Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

BLACK BEAN BROWNIES! GUILT FREE!! :)


OMG! I've been wanting brownies for a while now! Thanks to the snow day today I got to spend some much needed quality time with my sweet ole' lil kitchen ;) and here's one of my products! planning to make Vegan Chocolate Blueberry muffins later tonight :

Fudgey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
vegan, makes 1 tray of brownies, 9" square or circle baking pan
*nutritional info below based on slicing up 12 pieces per recipe*

(2) 15 ounce cans of black beans (unsalted) - drain and rinse
7 large Medjool dates, pits removed
4 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted, organic
1/2 cup agave syrup - you can use stevia if you're worried about the sugar content :)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup spelt flour (or any flour to substitute)
1 tsp flax seeds (optional) - def try to get some though :)
2 Tbsp Maca powder (optional)
1/2-1 tsp instant coffee (optional)

Topping:
3 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 tsp coconut or safflower oil
1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips, vegan
(optional, not shown) 1/4 cup coconut flakes

Notes: The flax seeds add a bit of 'egg replacing' body to the brownies, but are optional. If you do not add them, you may want to add in an extra Tbsp of flour.

Nutritional info per piece (12 pieces per recipe)
Calories: 188kcal, Fat: 6g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 6g, Carbs: 31g
Iron: 11% RDA, Calcium: 5% RDA

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Add the dates (pitted), black beans, agave syrup, salt, vanilla extract, coconut oil (melted state), and optional flax seeds to a high speed blender (Vitamix) or a food processor. Start on low and blend until very smooth.

3. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl and fold in the cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, instant coffee and Maca powder.

4. Grease your baking pan and pour in the brownie mixture. Smooth out with a spatula.

5. Heat the peanut butter and oil together so that you have a very liquid peanut butter mixture. Swirl that over top the brownie batter and swirl into brownies with a knife.

6. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts over top that. (Coconut flakes are optional.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Allow to cool at least fifteen minutes before slicing - serve warm for more messy, soft brownies that kind of fall apart when you eat them. Or allow an hour to cool for more firm, slice-able brownies.

Store on the countertop if serving within one day. Or store in the fridge for up to one week. You will need to warm the chilled brownies in microwave or oven before serving. Bon Appetit guys! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pre-workout Shake

                                
Okay so I am a HUGE fan of Green Smoothies! My workout today is BBL High & Tight + Bum Bum. I have to be honest with you, I am not proud of how much I ate the past few days! They were all very healthy meals but I must've ate for two people! I think its because of the stress with classes starting back up etc. Anyways I was kind of hungry, lately I have been experimenting with my diet, a large portion of my food intake consists of raw fruits and vegetables.  I did not want to do my workouts hungry but I don't want to wait an hour either! So I decided to make this Green Pre-workout Shake :) I used a bit of clementine juice as well right before I had it. I love citrus!

Ingredients :
1. 1 cup almond milk
2. 1 tsb PB2 or all natural peanut butter (no oils added)
3. 1/2 banana
4. 2-3 cups of spinach
5. Spirulina vanilla protein powder  (or protein of your choice. I used Spiru-tein)
6. Lime juice - just a few drops if you want to give it some zest!
7. 1 tsp of agave (you can use raw organic honey as well :) ) or to your liking
8. pinch of stevia - optional

BLEND!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Black Bean Lettuce Sandwhich

Okay so some of you might think this looks a little on the weird side but believe if or not it tastes pretty amazing I gotta say!

Ingredients
> 2 tsb hummus (I used trader joes three layer)
> 2 romaine lettuce leaves
> 1/4 cup black beans
> 3 oz mushrooms
> 1/4 medium sized avocado - sliced thin and vertical
> 1/3 red bell pepper - sliced thinly vertically
> 1/2 cup of alfalfa and onion sprouts
> herbal seasoning (I use 21 salute seasonings from trader joes) and Bragg aminos

Direction:
Heat up mushrooms with NO OIL. Should take about 30 seconds, make sure your pan is hot!
Smear both lettuce leaves with hummus on one side, place avocado, red bell pepper then sprouts then mushroomsthen finally beans. Add a few drops of Bragg amino liquids and sprinkle herbal seasoning. Cover with the other lettuce leaf! Yum! :) you can add salsa to if you want! Spice it up <3


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato : Healthy comfort food

So hard to take an "a la carte" picture lol! it's definitely a messy dish but it's definitely amazing tasting! Comfort food made vegan (or lean ;)), clean and easy!
Clean eating does not mean you need to give up comfort food! This was an experiment I tried today and I gotta say its pretty damn delicious! Easy to and the vegan option comes out to be about 400 calories / serving but it depends on your potato. Mine was 300g :) try this out its simple and OIL FREE. Which means its low in fat to!

Ingredients:
1. 1 medium sweet potato
2. 1/2 cup cooked TVP (textured vegetable protein) OR ground turkey for non vegs :)
3. 1/4 raw yellow onions - chopped
4. 1/3 container of sliced baby Bella mushrooms
5. 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
6. Oil free spaghetti sauce (I used organic mushroom spaghetti sauce from trader joes)
7. 2 - 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
8. Herbal seasoning to taste (I used 21 solute seasoning from trader joes)
9. Basil leaf - optional but I think it would add an amazing flavor if had it! Unfortunately I ran out!
10. Chili powder to taste-optional

Direction:
1. Preheat over to 400F, pierce sweet potato few times with a fork / knife, bake for 35-45 mins.
2. Meanwhile you can soak your tvp for 5-10 mins
3. Heat up your pan. USE NO OIL. You can if you choose to but there is no need.
4. (Place turkey on the pan at this point if you choose the non-vegan option)Toss in onions and mushrooms, they have their own juices to cook in so you do not need to use oil. However if you are using turkey you might want to use a tiny amount of oil 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce ad in garlic and basil at this point
6. Vegan option : Drain TVP and add in to the sauce
7. Let it simmer while u add the herbal seasoning and chili powder.
8. Slice sweet potato in half the. Serve sauce on it :)






Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Truth About Breakfast Cereals





Ah! here's my own modified BIG RIP BOWL from the Engine 2 diet! SO DELICIOUS! argh!Here's what I put in it: 

1/4 cup Ezekiel 4:9 almond
1/4 cup Uncle Sam Cereal
1/4 cup raw old fashioned oats
1 sliced kiwi
1/3 of sliced bananas
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
2 tsb walnuts (had to crack them myself with a crowbar on my kitchen floor! LOL)
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp flax seeds
1/3 cup blueberries
1 raspberry
2/3 cup of almond milk

But here is the complete list of ingredients in the Engine 2's "BIG RIP BOWL"

1/4 cup raw old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup Grape Nuts or Ezekiel brand equivalent
1/4 cup bite-size shredded wheat
1/4 cup Uncle Sam cereal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 banana, sliced
1 kiwi, sliced
Segments of one grapefruit and juice
¾ cup milk substitute of choice

Notice how the cereals with refined sugars and artificial ingredients are decorated with vibrant colours and appear to be much more festive than the "healthier" section of cereal aisle? Hmm.. I wonder what Trix and KiX is trying to distract you from perhaps their poor list of ingredients?


So I usually never really crave cereal, but I was watching the movie "engine 2" from the makers of forks over knifes and they were talking about breakfast cereals so I went on boight a box of ezekiel cereal :). Did you know that most cereals are practically just a big bowl of sugar?  Don't be fooled by Special K. Even the ones that says "now made with whole grain" could be a trick.  The Special K Blueberry cereal was one of my all time favorites! And I actually thought I was doing my body a favor by solely eating that in the mornings! 
 



I'm sure most of us have seen the Special K commercials. It promotes having a small waist line and that its super healthy and much better than any other cereal out there.  Unfortunately, just like many other cereals out there it's all sugar.. :( and man made chemicals. Have you ever stopped and checked the back of your cereals beyond how many grams of fats, fibre, protein and carbs?  So lets take this Special K label for example, ok so  90 calories, great, 2g of fat that's ok, only 85 mg of sodium okay that's good, 7g of sugar... Hmmm probably from the blueberries you would think, 3g of fibre that's pretty okay right ? Sounds reasonable? So you put it in your shopping cart and you move on to the next aisle.  Unfortunately, it's not how many calories or fat the cereal has that matters, it is WHAT IS ACTUALLY IN IT that matters the most! Lets compare the Special K label vs Ezekiel 4:9 cereal. 


So the top label is Special K and the bottom is the Ezekiel cereal. Just look at the difference. The first label has a TON of additives! And the way the ingredients are usually listed is by what's in there the most. So right of the bat you can see SUGAR is one of the top ingredients.  And them noticed how it says "blueberry flavored pieces" so it's pretty much saying that there is in fact no real blueberries in the cereal itself BUT there are a ton of man made chemicals that are added to this cereal though and notice how many oil additives they're actually putting into the cereal? Soybean, palm, HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL... then lets not forget the fructose, dextrose, soy lecithin, milk, and along with some ingredients that you can't even pronounce and sounds like it belongs in a lab.. Note that there is a vast difference between natural sugars and refines/ processed sugars. Another common thing you might find on cereal boxes is the "HIGH IN FIBER" or "NOW MADE WITH WHOLE GRAIN" sign on the front of it. Again, NEVER go by the front of the boxes! Always check the ingredients! While one of the ingredients might be a whole ingredients and higher in fiber, it might also be a big cluster of sugar.  At that point, it wont even matter whether you have 4g of extra fiber or 6g extra because you are essentially fueling your body with refines sugars!

So here are some things to avoid in cereals:
1. If the word "whole" is nowhere to be seen in the ingredients list.  Look at the label on the Ezekiel cereal above, every cereal's label should resemble that label.  If the word "whole" doesn't appear behind each ingredient, then it's refined.  As with sugar, you need to compare the amount of whole grains to the overall serving size. If the serving size and grams of whole grains are close, that means the cereal is almost 100% whole grain. Although sometimes you will come accross a few execptions, some cereals out there actually do not have 100% whole grain ingredients in it because the cereal might be filled with other highly nutritious ingredients such as, nuts, flax seeds, fruits (REAL fruits) etc. 

2. IGNORE "HIGH IN FIBER".  Especially cereals that do not have the word "whole" before each grain.  If you notice, the Special K label above mentioned "soluble corn fiber".  These fibers such as corn fiber, soy fiber or even oat fibers that are in cereals made without whole ingredients are a form of isolated fibers which gives you ZERO benefits.  Stick with INTACT fibers from whole ingredients! 

3. Here is a list I got from CNN :)
-- Fake fruits: The "strawberries" in your Kellogg's Strawberry Delight Bite Size Mini-Wheats are most likely a mixture of food dyes and gelatin (yuck), according to Liebman. The "raspberries" floating in your bowl are likely to have more salt than raspberry powder. "If you see fruit on the front, you have to read the ingredient list and look for real fruit," says Liebman.
-- Yogurt clusters: Yogurt sounds like it should be healthy, but yogurt coating is essentially oil and sugar and has no health benefits
-- "Slimming" cereals: Many cereals, especially those that are "high in fiber," claim you can drop a pant size if you eat a bowl for every meal. Sure, people who eat more fiber and whole grains tend to weigh less, but most cereals can't claim to cause weight loss — especially not if most of the "fiber" in them is processed.
-- Low in saturated fat: Many cereals claim they're low in saturated fat and are, therefore, good for your heart. Well, duh. Liebman says any food low in saturated fat can make that claim.
-- Calorie counts: Cereals, especially heavier ones with granola, are higher in calories than people realize. Think about how tiny a serving size of a quarter-cup is. Are you really only going to eat that much cereal for breakfast? "Calories really do count," says Liebman. "People tend to fill up the bowl, eat it, and fill it again. They assume cereal is a low-calorie, healthy food."



Now here are things to LOOK FOR:
1. No refined/man made ingredients. Easy rule of thumb:  make sure you can pronounce everything on the back of the box.
2. Whole ingredients - make sure every grain that is in it has the word "whole" behind it. the first two ingredients, at the very least should be whole grains, fruit, (nonGMO) soy, or bran.
3. Look for 3g of fiber in lighter cereals and 6g on heavier cereals.  Remember though, the ingredients list should consist of WHOLE ingredients in order for the fiber to matter! 
4. No artificial sweeteners like aspartame or our best friend, the lovely high fructose corn syrup.


SAY YES TO THESE..

 
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1Wt5aGu08Ns/UOkJrX00yzI/AAAAAAAADQ0/FsDrtwxtbiE/s1600/IMG_6466.1.jpg 




AND SAY NO TO:
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Edamame Roasted Corn Succotash Wrap





Edamame-roasted corn succotash (courtesy of ultimate reset) :)

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup frozen edamame
  • ½ cup frozen corn, cooked and drained
  • ½ shallot, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • Himalayan salt and herbal seasoning (to taste)


Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F and arrange corn in single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, or until caramelized and beginning to brown but not harden. Remove and let cool. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and cook edamame for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. Sauté onion, shallot, and bell pepper in olive oil for 10 minutes or until soft.
Add corn and edamame to onion mixture; cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and remove from heat. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, salt, and seasoning. Serves 1.


Nutrition

  • 190 calories
  • 15 g fat
  • 2.5 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 770 mg sodium
  • 14 g carbohydrate
  • 6 g fiber
  • 5 g protein
  • 732 mg potassium

The wrap:
2 tortillas ( I used "engine 2" organic sprouted ancient grain tortillas - they have no added oil, wheat and flour free! Can be found in whole foods by the vegan cheeses section)
2 tsb of salsa (I used trader joes organic pineapple salsa)
2 tsb of humus - roasted red pepper / zesty cilantro 
1 cup organic baby spinach
1 lemon -juiced
1/2 avocado sliced

Optional:
Cayenne pepper
Chilli powder
Smoked paprika 

Directions:
Real simple! :) spread 1tsb of humus on your tortilla, the place 1/2 cup of baby spinach, 1/2 serving edamame succotash, 1 tsb salsa, 1/4 avocado, juice 1/2 lemon on it and sprinkle some of the optional seasonings if u love spicy foods! Serves 2 people (females), but if you're super hungry or a guy then eat the whole thing! Haha :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vegan Chick'n Stir Fry






The other day I was in a serious mood to get some Chinese food.  Because where I work, theres a Chinese food place the food smelled good but the smell of the grease and knowing that its practically all empty calories is just such a turn off :/.  The only thing I usually order is moo goo gai pan, steamed and brown rice on the side.  But why buy it for $6 when I can make a better one at home? ;) so I decided to make one myself! :) 

Ingredients:
1. 7 oz of chicken style seitan (I used west soy) /4 chicken breast
2. 3 oz of baby bella mushrooms
3. 1/2 cup chopped Bok Choy
4. 1 tsp of extra virgin coconut oil
5. 1/4 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
6. 1 tsp of Braggs liquid aminos or low sodium tamari
7. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
8.  1/8 tsp of asian chinese five spice powder (can be found in most Asian groceries or Asian aisles)
9. 1/2 cup broccoli florets
10. 2 oz of baby carrots - chopped or shredded
11. 1/8 cup of chopped yellow onions
12. 1 garlic clove finely chopped
13. 1 tsb of whole sesame seeds
14. 1/4 ginger powder
14. cayenne pepper (optional) - i like hot & spicy food! I added cayenne and Pukka hot pepper sauce with it!

Directions:
1. drain the seitan, chop seitan / chicken into strips or cubes whichever you preffern :)
2. heat up cocunit and olive oil on a pan, saute the onions and garlic, don't let it burn.  until fragrant.
3. add in seitan / chicken, along with carrot slices, ginger powder & broccoli. Saute chicken for about 3-4 minutes, seitan 2 minutes.
4.  add in bok choy and mushrooms, saute for another 5 minutes on medium / low heat, do not overcook.
5. add in braggs, garlic powder, asian five spice, sesame seeds. you can add more to taste :)
6. serve with 1/2 cup of cooked rice or quinoa.

Vegan version : serves 1, 280 calories

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eggplant or Chicken Parmigiana





I used this marinade recipe to marinate my eggplant and Joes chicken parmigiana :) so delicious! Definitely one of our faves! Didn't get to take a pic of the chicken because joe ate it right away!

Ingredients :
1. Eggplant - 9oz / Chicken - 8 oz
2. 5 leaves of basil - chopped
3. Himalayan salt to taste, I used a pinch
4. Oregano - 1 tsp
5. 0.5 lemon - juiced
6. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
7. 1 clove garlic
8. 1/5 cup diced onion
9. 3 baby Bella mushroom
10. Organic spaghetti sauce with mushroom - trader joes
11. 1 tsb extra virgin olive oil
12. 1/8 tsp garlic powder
13. Vegan gourmet cheese mozzarella - 1 oz
Direction:
  • Mix ingredients- basil, olive oil, oregano, Himalayan salt, lemon juice, garlic powder in a ziplock bag 
  • Shake the bag to mix all the ingredients
  • Place chicken / eggplant in the bag and marinate for 1 hour or longer 
  • Per heat oven 400 degrees
  • Meanwhile, use 1/4 tsp olive oil to sauté garlic, onion, and mushrooms add spaghetti sauce
  • Roll chicken / eggplant in bread crumbs
  • Bake eggplant for 17 mins , chicken for 19 mins
  • Place sauce on eggplant / chicken 
  • Sprinkle vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Place back in the oven to melt cheese- about 2 mins.
Enjoy! :) 



Monday, January 21, 2013





CHOCOLATE SHAKEOLOGY PIE! Omg! Honestly I didn't expect much at first but it is seriously AMAZING! <3 and its super easy to make <3

Ingredients: 
  • 2 scoops of chocolate shakeology (I used vegan)
  • 1 container of tofu (silken / firm) I used silken
  • 1/2 cup of natural PB / PB2 with water added
  • 2 tbsp of almond milk / skim milk - add more if necessary
  • 1 premade crust (whole grain / vegan crust - whole foods has a great selection!)
  • Whipped cream - I used rice whip :) <optional>
Directions :
Place all ingredients except for pie crust in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if you need to. Pour into your pie crust and refregirate until firm, takes about an hour or longer :) awesome for chocolate cravings!

Bon appetit! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easy & Quick Chili (vegan friendly)






So the other day I was at Trader Joe's looking for some tempeh when I came across "Soy Chorizo". Now personally prior to being a vegan, i have never tried a regular chorizo, let alone a soy version.  I looked up reviews on my phone to decide whether I should get it or leave it.  Being that there was nothing but good things said about it, I decided to give it a try! Then I made this dish, my chili.  You do not have to use soy chorizo obviously! You can use lean ground turkey or regular chorizo :) 

Ingredients:
5 oz soy chorizo/lean ground turkey
2/3 cup organic red kidney beans (drained)
2 oz of sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced onions
1 clove garlic 
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/8 cup of frozen corn or more
1/3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of tomato sauce (optional)
Cajun seasoning (optional)
Himalayan / sea salt
Chilli powder 

Directions:
1. Heat up oil, sauté onions and garlic until fragrant
2. Add in bell peppers, sauté for 1-2 mins, if you are making the non vegan version you may want to add the turkey now.
3.  Add in the rest of the ingredients, leave to simmer 10-15 mins
4. Season to taste
5. Serve with quinoa / brown rice 

Serves : 2
Calories (vegan option) approx : 260 calories / serving 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Easy Protein French Toast!

I saw French toast on the my meal planner from Team Beachbody today! So I decided to make a vegan alternative to it! But no worries this doesn't have to be made vegan! Substitute the vegan protein powder for whey, use skim milk, add eggs if you wish!

French toast batter:
- 1/2 scoop of protein powder of your choice (vegan options : Vega One, RAW, Sun Warrior, I used Spiru-tein)
(Whey: try gold standard ON!) :)
- 4 pieces of whole grain / whole wheat or Ezekiel bread.
- 1 cup of almond milk (or skim if you want
- 1/2 tsb of ground cinnamon or to taste
- 1 tsb whole wheat flour


Topping (optional you can use whatever you choose):

- 2 tsb of honey (I used raw organic honey)
- 2 tsb maple syrup / agave (I used organic maple agave from Trader joes)
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- pinch of nutmeg or more to taste

Directions:
1. Pre-heat over for 400degF, or heat up skillet with coconut oil.
2. Blend all the ingredients for the French toast batter (except for the bread ;))
3. Soak bread in batter
4. Bake / sear on skillet.
Baking takes about 4 mins each side.

Topping :
> if you use raw honey you may want to melt it on a skillet :) otherwise just mix, stir it up for a bit and enjoy!

Serving size : 2
Calories: 360 calories/serving (with the ingredients I used)
Vegan option protein : 13g




Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brown Rice & Chicken Bowl

Made these for my Joe so he can bring it to lunch the other day! :) it's like my version of Yoshinoya chicken bowl! He absolutely LOVED it and said that this was definitely one of his favourite things EVER! It's easy to make to! The only thing is I honestly don't really measure the seasonings, so please feel free to season it to your liking! :)


Ingredients:
1. 4 oz chicken breast
2. 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
3. 1/2 cup green beans
4. 2 tsb kernel corn
5. 1 tsb olive oil
6. 1 clove garlic - chopped finely
7. 1/2 tsb sesame seed
8. 1/2 tsp sesame oil
9. Slivered almonds (optional)
10. Nori gomasio (optional)
11. 1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp Ginger powder / finely grated ginger
12. Fresh lemon / lemon juice
13. 1/2 tsp tamari low sodium soy sauce / braggs liquid aminos(to taste)

Directions
1. Heat oil, sauté garlic until fragrant, add chicken
2. Squeeze lemon and add ginger and sesame seeds
3. Sauté until chicken is cooked
4. Add green beans and corn sauté for 3 minutes
5. Fold in brown rice
6. Add sesame oil and tamari to taste
7. Add remaining ingredients :) you can add Himalayan salt / sea salt if you choose to!

Serving size : 1



Monday, January 14, 2013

Amazing Roasted Butternut Squash!

Okay so not going to lie, the first squash dish in the reset did not impress me. But I figured maybe it was because I didn't like acorn, so I decided to give it a second chance with a different recipe and a different type of squash. Butternut squash! The recipe says delicata but I guess it's not a winter squash? Anyways this is absolutely DELICIOUS! To die for !! I was eating it straight off the skin because that was how amazing it was! Definitely going to have this meal again post reset! So glad I decided to try everything in the reset :)


1 small delicata squash (may substitute any squash) - I used butternut
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. Himalayan salt
½ tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
Lemon or lime juice (to taste)
Herbal seasoning or other spice (to taste) - I used 21 solute seasoning from trader joes

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out seeds and pulp; discard. Place squash in glass baking dish cut side down and add ¼-inch water. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until soft but not mushy. Remove from oven and season with remaining ingredients. Serves 1.


Nutrition
290 calories
14 g fat
2 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
820 mg sodium
45 g carbohydrate
6 g fiber
3 g protein
1,495 mg potassium

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tips to Avoid & Recovery Period From the Flu

So as of yesterday, a flu emergency was declared in the state of New York.  Many of us think that the cold weather is to blame, when in reality our body's equilibrium is responsible for our well being.  When the body is at homeostasis it is able to function optimally and protect us against viruses, bacteria and everything else that may harm us.  However, when this balance is tipped off, we become vulnerable.





Why do more people get sick in the winter?


Mall crowds

More people tend to stay indoors with the cold weather.  Being in an enclosed space with a large amount of people with poor air circulation, means more exposure toward EVERYONE's germs! Staying indoors also means people are getting less fresh air.  This sort of makes sense why I have been able to skip this season's flu during the Ultimate Reset. 
One of the supplement was called "Oxygenize".  I learned that viruses and bacteria has a poor survival rate in an Oxygen rich environment.  Thank you Oxygenize!

Cover yourself!

According to an NYU microbiology and immunology professor,  viruses circulate better in the cold weather.  Not just viruses but other viruses to.  This combined with people who don't sneeze/cough into a tissue and don't practice good hygiene equals more people getting sick.  Remember folks, sharing IS NOT ALWAYS CARING.

Travel
Travel is another big contributing factor, just like any other disease epidemic. For example, someone goes to California, and there is a small flu outbreak there, travels back to New York.  After sitting on a plane for about roughly eight hours, the virus would have circulated around that small enclosed space for quite some time.  Everyone in that plane is now exposed and when they land in New York, they all go to different parts of New York with that virus and share the love with everyone else in their area. A way to prevent this is to get the flu vaccine.  Costco is allowing people without membership cards to get the vaccine now for $16 :)

Take a breather!

Stress is often overlooked but it is a factor as well.  It's the end of the year, people have tons of projects, exams, responsibilities, Christmas shopping to do.  The list goes on and on! When someone is stressed, it spikes cortisol level in the body.  Increased cortisol means the more likely you are to get a nasty infection.  It responds to stress and in turn it lowers your immunity, you will be sick within 48-72 hours.  Sometimes stress is not avoidable but try to get enough sleep and hydrate yourself! Minimum of 64 fl oz a day.


Now that we know why people tend to get more sick in the winter, lets go over on HOW TO help yourself from this terrible trend.

Make these a part of your daily diet

1. Eat fruits & vegetables that are high in Vitamin C.  This includes but are not limited to oranges, papaya (highest in Vit C), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries,  kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, bell peppers, broccoli,  brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, cauliflower, mustard greens, and parsley.

Use a multi-vitamins / immune boosters


2. Take your multi-vitamins & supplements! Make sure they are GOOD quality not your regualr OTC garbage.  I will not say names but half of these OTC multi-vitamins are made out of ingredients that should not even be deemed legal on the "health" market. Try:
Always carry hand sanitizers!

3.  Practice proper hygiene, WASH YOUR HANDS! Make sure your hands are at a downward angle, luke warm water and wash for 20 seconds :) A good way to estimate the 20 seconds is sing happy birthday twice!

Get some shut eyes


4. Get enough sleep, to reduce cortisol level & HYDRATE! Minimum of 64 fl oz/day.  Take your body weight, divide by 2 and that is the # of fl oz water you should drink daily.  Water helps flush out toxins from your body making sure your immune system is able to function optimally.

Vaccinations are available in most pharmacies!

5. Get Vaccinated! $16 at Costco NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED! 
    For those of you who are already sick, here are some tips to help you get well soon :)

    • Get enough REST! it is so important for you to let your body recover! For those of you who are working out, I know it is hard.  But trying to workout through a sickness will just be a set back for you!
    • Eat extra calories.  Your body needs fuel to begin the healing and recovery process! No I do not mean go get a doughnut, I mean foods that are nutrient dense! Avoid refined sugars and alcohol! Shakeology is a great option especially with all the superfoods in it ;) 
    •  Stay positive! The more you think of how sick you are the sicker you will be! The human psychology plays a GREAT role in immunity! 
    • Keep active.  Unless you are absolutely in the brink of death, I suggest you take a walk, clean your room, cook or so something to move around.  Laying in bed all day will just leave you feeling groggy and worse!
    • Reduce stress. Maybe an epsom soak bath? ;) Stress will cause your muscles to tense up which will make you achy!


    Homemade Creamy Garlic Dressing

    I used to hate salads! But since the reset started I noticed that I've been liking it more and more and MORE!! Especially after I started making these awesome salad dressings to go with my microgreen salad! :) This one is definitely my fave! The creamy garlic dressing! If u love ranch this is a good one to try out :) serves 8, so u can make this for the rest of the week to!

    Ingredients
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    3 to 5 cloves crushed garlic
    3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
    1 tsp. Himalayan salt
    ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
    1 Tbsp. unfiltered honey or raw agave nectar

    Directions
    Place all ingredients in blender and blend on medium high for 30 seconds or until well mixed. Store excess in airtight container in refrigerator. If dressing solidifies when cold, let sit at room temperature until liquid, then stir. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


    Nutrition
    110 calories
    11 g fat
    1.5 g saturated fat
    0 mg cholesterol
    150 mg sodium
    2 g carbohydrate
    0 g fiber
    0 g protein
    12 mg potassium


    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Avocado - Cucumber Soup

    Looking for something quick, healthy and easy? ;) try out this avocado cucumber soup! It is absolutely delicious! And literally takes about 10 minutes(inc prep time) to make. YUM! Btw follow me on Instagram @flabs2abs :) especially if you love food, fitness and cats ;) and share recipes with tag #BeatTheTrend

    See you there!

    Ingredients
    1 medium English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
    1 large ripe avocado, cut in half, seeds removed, flesh scooped out
    4 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
    (plus extra for garnish)
    4 tsp. lime juice
    ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt
    ¼ small jalapeño, cut in quarters, seeded, and diced (optional)
    ¾ cup water (or more if needed)
    Bragg® Liquid Aminos (to taste)

    Directions
    Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if desired to thin soup. Pour into large bowl. Chill before serving if desired. Serves 1.


    Nutrition
    350 calories
    30 g fat
    4.5 g saturated fat
    0 mg cholesterol
    370 mg sodium
    22 g carbohydrate
    15 g fiber
    5 g protein
    1,217 mg potassium


    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Curried Cauliflower & Lemon Pepper Spinach

    This is tonight's dinner :) compliments of the Ultimate Reset phase 3 day 2! OH MY GOD!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVEEEE INDIAN! So ultimately when I tasted the curried cauliflower I was just in heaven! It was so good! Best part was it was so easy to make! Easy peasy! <3

    Here's the recipe to it :)

    Ingredients
    1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    ½ to 1 tsp. curry powder
    ½ large head cauliflower, stem removed, cut into large florets
    ½ tsp. Himalayan salt (or to taste)

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 400° F. In a small nonstick sauté pan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add curry powder and stir for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant (don't allow it to burn). Place cauliflower in bowl and add oil/curry mixture and salt; mix well. Arrange in single layer in a glass baking dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, stirring gently a few times. Serves 1.


    Nutrition
    190 calories
    15 g fat
    2.5 g saturated fat
    0 mg cholesterol
    770 mg sodium
    14 g carbohydrate
    6 g fiber
    5 g protein
    732 mg potassium


    Ultimate Reset: Phase 3

    Phase 3: RESTORE - GET READY TO FEEL AMAZING!

    So now that the body has been cleaned out of all the resident toxins, it is time to RESTORE your body!


    BYE BYE TOXINS!
    The third phase of the Ultimate reset is when you start to REALLY feel like this.....

    Free, light and energized!



    Instead of like this...




    sluggish, dirty and bloated
     Although, you do start to feel good midway around phase 2, it is not uncommon to still be on an emotional roller coaster on phase 2! So even though you start to feel amazing on Day 10 for example, Day 11 might be a totally different story.  But Phase 3 is when YOU REALLY START TO FEEL AMAZING! ! Oh.. and can't leave out the INCREDIBLE MENTAL CLARITY! WOW! Seriously on phase 3 you just feel like..
    Bradley Cooper on NZT in the movie Limitless.
    Bradley Cooper on NZT48 in the movie "Limitless". If you haven't watched it yet, watch it! It is a GREAT movie! But yes back to phase 3,  It is crazy how productive I was! I literally felt like I did so much during phase 3 more than the past year! I was much more organized and you know one of those days that you just feel foggy? Say GOODBYE to those days to!

    In this phase you are once again introduced to a new supplement, "Revitalize".  

    Lovely PRE & PRO-biotics
    I know what you are thinking! THANK GOODNESS FOR THE CAPSULES! :) Now what most cleanses out there forget is that after you get rid of your long term colon residents, you need to get NEW tenants in there for optimal function! These caps are full of essential PRO-biotics and PREbiotics needed to aid digestion! These microorganisms are naturally found in the human gut, they are what you call "normal flora" or "good bacteria".  They promote a healthy immune system and protect you against the nasty guys that will harm you!  

    See the problem that is often forgotten is that we might not realise it but we are slowly killing our good bacteria as we are mindlessly eating through life.  Antibiotics, while yes you can not deny that they are very valuable and great, but at the same time they are in most meats and dairy products that are on our supermarket shelves.  So even though you might not be prescribed on antibiotics, you are ingesting antibiotics by eating most meat /dairy products.  Unfortunately, antibiotics are non-specific to what it kills, it gets rid of EVERYTHING!  This leads to a depletion in good bacteria within your body itself which weakens your immune response and digestive function.  You take these 3x daily 30 minutes prior to meals with base supplements for the Restore phase :)

    Ultimate Reset Phase 2 : Release

    Phase 2: Release : Am I Going to Spend All Day In the Bathroom? 
     
    The second part of the Reset is the release phase! whoo hoo! Now that your body has been all dolled up,primed, and strengthen to the cellular level, it is time to KICK SOME TOXINS OUT!






    ITS EVERYWHERE!
    TOXINS!!! THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! Including our temple, OUR BODY! Uhm, sorry it is time for you to move out and get your own place toxins!

    The second phase, just like the name itself it basically aids the body to let go of the toxins that have been clinging on to your body! Did you know that toxins promote fat storage? Part of it is because that is how the body compensate itself with the presence of toxins in our body, it stores it in fat to protect the body.  Particularly the abdominal area (lovely).  So as long as the toxins are still in you, the fat WILL stay! This is why CLEAN EATING IS SO CRUCIAL!

    During the second phase of the Reset you will be introduced to MANY new foods.  So make sure you keep an open mind when moving into this phase! Unless you know for sure you hate wakame seaweed, try it out!

    In phase 2 like I said before, this does not mean you are entitled to a massive diarrhoea attack all day long on your toilet! That would have been too easy for the Reset creators!! During this phase you just spend more time in the bathroom, as your body is taking out extra stuff from your GI tract! It will be kicking out some long term nasty residents in the colon.  So be ready for strange looking bowel movements! If you see it pinkish or purple, fear not! It's beets! :) Some people may pee pink or red as well.

    There is a new supplement introduced in Phase 2, "Detox".

    Goodbye Toxins!
    How YUMMY does that look? This is probably a supplement that most people have a hard time with.  But despite the weird colour, texture and smell... and taste... It is very beneficial!

    The colon, does way more than just eliminating waste from our bodies! It plays an important role in hydration, nutrient absorption, and immune system function.  Turns out, they also absorb water, potassium, and fat soluble vitamins from the wastes before you "waste" them. ;)  So whenever the colon isn't functioning well, you will feel backed up, bloated and little to a ton of discomfort!

    Thank goodness for the Detox supplement! It contains bentonite clay which will draw toxic substances from the mucus lining of your colon.  What happens next is then chia fiber which is an insoluble form of fiber, will transport it out of your body.  So that is how you transport the nasty toxins out! Then there are also other cleansing herbs that makes up the Detox supplement.  This includes turmeric, garlic, aloe vera, pau d'arco, unda de gato, amongst many others, this supplement helps tremendously with gas reduction (GOODBYE BLOATING!)  It also stimulates the immune system , while soothing and detoxifying your colon! :) You take this supplement 3x a day with the base supplements 30 minutes prior to meals.

    My tip is : only use 2oz-4oz water and take it as a shot and have a small piece of fruit afterward if you have a nasty aftertaste you can't get rid of.  Try my famous Jolly Rancher : Jacky's Famous Jolly Rancher

    Ultimate Reset Basics: Phase 1 Supplements & Water

    THE BASICS OF THE RESET!

    I started the Ultimate Reset on a Thursday on a day when I was scheduled to work.  BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER!!! Pick a day to start that you know you can relax and be comfortable!

    So let me break it down to you. Before I actually started the Reset I had to learn a few things.  The first thing being that I can not depend on tap water for the reset.

    I got my 10 gallons of distilled water ready for the week!  My ultimate choice was Pocono Springs, only 79cents from shoprite! HA! Joe and I ran out to grab these real quick on Reset eve since it was a decision that was made on a whim!  THIS BECAME MY BEST FRIEND FOR THE REST OF THE RESET! Especially the first three days! They are what I like to call the "TRIFECTA FROM HELL" days!
    Meet my new best friend Mr. Poco

    The Reset recommends that you use distilled water. Why distilled? It's because distilled water is the PUREST water available without all the junk that comes with your tap water :).  You know all those nasty contaminants and God knows what chemicals were used to "disinfect" our water! Think of all the pollution its been exposed to! Ever drink straight out of the tap and get a "funny" taste? Especially that metal taste? YUMMY!!! ;)  Distilled water GUARANTEES that you  get solely the hydrogen and oxygen molecules without all the wonderful extras!  Many people are concerned about the taste and the minerals missing, no worries "mineralize" has our backs!

    When I woke up first thing in the morning. I need to take three "base supplements" of the reset. These are the supplements you will use for phase 1.



    Makes distilled water taste yummy! :)
    This one right here is called Mineralize.  You add about 1/2 tsp to every gallon of distilled water.  Okay I got to be honest with you, I WAS NOT a fan of the taste at first! But after a few gallons, I eventually just started to like it. Weird? But literally by day 2, I was like a fish swimming in "mineralized" water :).  So what this supplement is basically, himalayan salt.  Many people are under the impression that SALT = BAD.
    Table Salt!

    When in reality, our bodies actually need salt! That's right, YOU NEED SALT! But the right type of salt! NOT table salt.  The reason why salt has such a bad reputation is because salt that is used in most restaurants and found in most homes, and our lovely readily available boxed foods lurking in supermarkets is that THIS IS NOT REAL SALT! At least I would not consider it real salt.  They have been SO HEAVILY PROCESSED that all the good stuff is pretty much harvested! Then you're left with our friend..
    When the doctor says "we need to talk about your blood pressure"


    WHAT A NIGHTMARE, RIGHT?!  So what to do now? Thank goodness for Mineralize! As I have said before this is basically Himalayan salt.  This supplement contains pure crystal salt which was minimally processed and contains up to 84 different NATURAL minerals and elements.  This supplement will restore your body's pH to the perfect balance.  Then in turn it will help with digestion, regulate water content through your body, reduce & prevent muscle cramps and most importantly support optimal cellular function :) you take mineralize at least 3x a day with 12-32 oz of water. 30 minutes before your meal and 20 minutes after; NOT DURING! Still don't like distilled water? Try carbon filtered water as a second option and last option is bottled water preferably Penta or Smart.

    Optimize


    The second base supplement, Optimize! Our bodies, not only needs minerals, it also needs enzymes to survive.  Enzymes are responsible for almost ALL of your bodily functions! They work HARD daily to keep you functional! These includes vision, reproduction, growth and respiration.  Long story short without enzymes we JUST CAN'T EXIST!  Unfortunately, since we are not getting any younger and with all the lovely exposures we all have to environmental toxins and such, our enzyme level and activity will decrease.  As a result many of us are in state of enzyme deficiency, which many of us don't realize that we are in an enzyme - deficient state!  Which will cause decreased bodily functions.  Well OPTIMIZE TO THE RESCUE!  These wonderful caplets are filled with a ton of Vitamin C, flavanoids and amino acids to boost your immune system while reducing your inflammatory response! Can you say goodbye arthritis?   When everyone else around you is sick, NOT YOU! You've got Optimize! You take this 3x a day half hour before each meal in every phase of the reset :)

    Oxygenize


    Oxygenize! This is the third base supplement of the reset! The name is pretty self - explanatory.  It provides supplemental oxygen for the body! :) Oxygen is obviously CRUCIAL for our bodily functions! First of all we need this to breathe, then we also need it to transport essential nutrients into our cells.  In a way this also boosts your immune system as well, as it has been scientifically proven that NO DISEASE, bacteria nor virus can survive in an oxygen rich area. Trust me it is 100% true I am living proof.  I work with tons of patients everyday who come in with a cold, URI, flu, fever, all sorts of sickness, you name it.  Everyone at my workplace is pretty much sick this season but NOT ME! ;) On top of that, this supplement also helps your body to detoxify!  You take this 3x daily 30 minutes before meals throughout the 21 days :)You can also add this in your water instead if taking it straight on your tongue makes you feel too light headed!

    Last.. but not least!

    THE GREEN MONSTER


    Okay so is it yummy?? No not really but I honestly don't think it is THAT bad.  It may look like nasty green algae but this green monster helps your body to maintain alkalinity! This is so important to understand!  Your body with all those toxins is often put an imbalanced pH level which leaves it in an "acidic" state.  That means your body's pH is less than 7.0, when does being acidic sound good to you? It definitely does not sound appealing to me! Being in an acidic state leaves your body at vulnerable state to viruses, bacteria, congestion, inflammation and disease.  What alkalinize does for you is to help you restore that balanced pH level back in the body which will lead to optimal cell function which in turn will improve alkalinity and support your immune system! :) If you are concerned about how to take down the green monster, take it with 2oz - 4oz of distilled water only and take it like how you would take a shot! And don't worry, good news is you only need to take this once a day for the 21 days :)

    The Next big question is usually Can I work out? Unfortunately (or fortunately) the answer is a big 

    NO!


    The Reset suggests that we refrain from any strenuous exercise for the three weeks that you are doing the reset. For some of us that maybe a good thing, but for those of us who are used to hitting the deck hard it is DIFFICULT! But whatever you do try to refrain from it. Take a walk, do some yoga. The reason why is that because your body even though you are not physically sweating and dying because of Shaun T (LOL!), it is undergoing a strenuous workout ON THE INSIDE. You need to give your body all the energy that it needs to release toxins.  By working out you, it is counterproductive toward the reset.  If you are worried about loosing mass, NOT TO WORRY! You will not lose all your gains that you have been working hard for the past month, months, year or maybe even years! In turn it is actually a nice break for your muscles to recover themselves. Will there be an adjustment period? Of course there will be! But don't be bummed you will be back to 100% in the course of a week. Wait, did I say 100%? I MEANT 300%! Your system will work much more effectively than it ever did before the reset! and best of all, your muscles are well rested, recuperated and recharged!