Recipe-A-Rama

Since coming back from the Lomilomi retreat, I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals for dinner.  My goal is eating vegetarian 3-4 times per week.  This is challenging since I really enjoy getting a lot of protein and don’t enjoy the gassiness from most legumes but I’m giving it a go.  Since I’m also dairy-free, most of my veg meals are vegan, though I do use ghee or eggs in some of my dishes.  It is not my intent to become vegetarian or vegan, both due to how my system does well with meat and that I have access to local meats from small farms that I trust.  BUT, the American diet has definitely become a meat-fest and I think I’ll both be healthier and will eat more sustainably for our planet if don’t eat meat in every meal and eat it in smaller portions when I do.

Last night I was particularly pleased with the concoction I made up.  I bought some great organic veggies at Sweet Pea in Waitsfield, VT, which included tomatillos, a veggie I’ve had in Mexican dishes but hadn’t really cooked with.  I decided to see if they worked in a Coconut Curry, and holy crap I think tomatillos might be a perfect pairing for Indian food.  I can’t wait to try them in my bhindi masala once my okra is ready to pick!  This is an easy recipe with a lot of warmth and a good mix of tart and sweet.

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Tomatillo Coconut Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-7 sliced baby bella mushrooms (or 3 portobello mushrooms)
  • 6-7 tomatillos, sliced thin
  • 1 handful of snap peas
  • 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry powder
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of cardamom powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: toasted coconut flake (throw some coconut flake under the broiler or in the toaster oven for just a few minutes, watch it, it burns fast!)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the flax and mustard seeds, once they are starting to pop add the chopped onion and cook for just a minute or two.
  3. Before the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms (this is if you like your mushrooms well done, like I do, otherwise wait until the onions are translucent).
  4. Cook mushrooms to desired doneness, then add tomatillos, garlic and all spices.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tomatillos have softened and there’s some juice in the pan.
  5. Add snap peas and broccoli, cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add coconut milk and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring, then reduce heat to low.  Adjust spices as desired.  Simmer covered on low 5-7 minutes or until veggies have softened a bit but snap peas still have some crunch to them.
  7. Serve over rice or quinoa, optionally top with coconut flake.  Enjoy!

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This morning I finally tried making almond milk from scratch.  It was not only incredibly creamy and delicious, but it was also SUPER easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked 8-12 hours and rinsed (optional: remove skins by pinching then after they’ve soaked*)
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • Optional: 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. honey (or sweetener of your choice, or 3-4 large dates)
  1. Toss all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender.  Blend on high for two-minutes (if you’re not using a Vitamix you may need to blend longer and also may need to strain the final result for optimum creaminess).  
  2. Enjoy!  

Now, wasn’t that easy?  Why have I been buying pre-made almond milk with preservatives and cane sugar?!  Well, now I know. 😉  I also have to brag and say that I’ve found many store-bought brands are watery and either too sweet or flavorless.  This was a nice mild nuttiness, very rich and creamy, and for me it was just the right sweetness.  

Next up, making my own coconut milk!  Now that I know how easy it is, the sky’s the limit!

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Day 48, 4320 Burpees, 25 Miles, Healthy Meatloaf!

I’m past the halfway point on my 90 day challenge and the burpees are starting to get easier, but they’re still pretty terrible.  My running is getting better and yesterday I was really reminded how much I prefer running outside to running on a treadmill.

ImageI hadn’t been running outside due to my extreme distaste of the cold.  Ok, maybe not “extreme”, I mean I do live in Vermont, but running in minimalist shoes outside hasn’t been a fun experience for me in the past.  However, after a very trying week I woke up yesterday craving something new.  It was beautiful out!  Fresh powder on the ground and the sun was pouring down.  I decided to buck up and head out trail running.  I popped on my Injinji socks and my Vibrams and downloaded ZombiesRun! to my iphone.  I was waiting for Spring to try that game out but this seemed like the perfect time, plus they were having a 50% off sale on it this weekend!

I won’t lie, my feet got cold, but not too cold to stop me.  Plus once I got about half a mile in they seemed ok, though when I got home and popped my shoes off my toes were pretty icy.  The Zombies game kept me motivated and I ended up running farther than my goal and, what’s more exciting, I ran continuously instead of taking speed-walking breaks like I do on the treadmill.  While the game may have helped motivate me, the soft snow and fresh air is really what kept me running and engaged.  It was just beautiful out and I was finally able to bring my pup running with me again; we both had a great time!  I’m excited for real Spring to hit VT so I can get out there more often.

Lastly, let’s talk meatloaf!

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I’ve had many people ask me what I can eat on my elimination diet.  Really, I’ve been eating very similar to how I was eating before: smoothies and then a protein and veggies for dinner. The thing I have to be strict about is not adding gluten or dairy to my meal, along with the slew of other allergens that I mentioned in my previous post.  I’m also still watching my full nutrition intake and keeping things low-carb since I was doing that before I found out I had a bunch of food allergies.

Meatloaf is definitely a comfort food, but with the millions of meatloaf recipes out there it’s important to remember you CAN make a healthy version of it.  I spliced together a few recipes and made this omgyouwillwanttoeatthewholepan meatloaf that’s less than 300 calories per slice and packed with veggies and protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2lb Lean Ground Beef (I used local grass-fed beef and highly recommend you try to do the same)
  • 2 large carrots shredded 
  • 1 zucchini shredded
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (try to choose a low-carb version with no or low sugar, or make your own!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sautée carrots, zucchini, onions, and garlic in olive oil until soft (~10 mins).  Set aside to cool, or put in the fridge for a few minutes.
  3. Beat eggs/egg whites in large bowl.  Add veggie mix, all herbs/spices, ground beef and 3/4 of pasta sauce jar.  Mix well.
  4. Form mixture into a loaf (it will be wet and won’t hold shape very well, that’s ok!) and put in large loaf pan.  Top with remaining pasta sauce.
  5. Cook for ~1.5 hours or until thermometer reads at least 165ºF.  Let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Now I’ve made a lot of meatloaf in my day and I have to say in full honesty that this was the most delicious meatloaf I’ve ever made!!  It trumped my cheese-filled bacon-wrapped meatloaf…seriously.  Granted, my boyfriend (who is not on my diet) fried the leftovers in bacon fat, so obviously the recipe could be improved on if you’re not counting your calories.