April 20, 2012
Power Breakfast

As a vegetarian, you learn to scoff at people who question whether your diet provides sufficient protein.  Beans, eggs, dairy, fish (for those of us that are pescatarians), whole grains, tofu — the list goes on and on.  Sometimes, though, it can be difficult.  I find breakfast the most challenging.

I don’t want to eat eggs more than three times a week, and that includes when I eat eggs for lunch or dinner (which is far more often than I eat them for breakfast).  I have a package of Morningstar veggie sausages that I can nuke as I run out the door, but I rather eat those only on an absolutely necessary basis — they’re processed and greasy and salty and can’t be all that great for you.

A piece of fruit is always my go-to choice for “first” breakfast; something to fire up my metabolism and hold me over for an hour or so.  Late morning is when I have the real deal, typically around 10:30am.  It’s then that I’m really looking for something with protein and fiber and substance.  An egg over-easy with crunchy asparagus is a favorite of mine.  As are green smoothies.  But I tire of smoothies easily, and don’t often want them on consecutive days.

When Greek yogurt entered the mainstream several years ago, it was a game changer.  Since then, I’ve found second breakfast to be a cinch (even in an office setting).  Packed with tons of protein, I pair a couple heaping spoonfuls of Greek yogurt with a squeeze of honey, a handful of oats, and sliced fruit or berries.  A healthy yogurt parfait in a snap.

Today I opted for homemade museli: oats, goji berries, and cacao nibs.  Paired with Greek yogurt the museli made a gorgeous, nutritious breakfast.  Fresh sliced pineapple rounded out the meal.  Delish.

What do you eat for breakfast?  Share your (meat-free) protein and fiber fixes!

January 20, 2012
Curried Green Goddess Soup

Upon my return from New York I had a refrigerator full of rapidly-expiring produce and a hankering for something healthy and homemade.  That, and a jar of green curry paste I was itching to crack open.  Emboldened by my ginger miso carrot soup success I envisioned similar flavors with a green curry base.  And dove right in.

As with the original green goddess soup I made, this soup was quite the refrigerator soup: onions, carrots, zucchini, kale, spinach — anything we had on hand was added to the pot.  I even added a parmesan rind to the stock as it simmered for good measure.  As for the bright Asian flavors, I used garlic, ginger, green curry paste, and miso paste.  But not in that order.

First I sautéed a whole diced onion with two small carrots in some canola oil.  Once they were softened, I added a couple small cloves of garlic and about an inch of ginger, diced.  I then added two small zucchini (chopped), six cups of water, all the split peas I had on hand (about 3/4 cup), a heaping teaspoon of green curry paste, and a leftover parmesan rind I’d been saving for my next soup.  I covered and simmered for 20-25 minutes or so.

Once the soup was aromatic and all the veggies cooked through, I added 6-8 dinosaur kale leaves (chopped) and 4 gigantic fistfuls of spinach.  The kale and the spinach blanched instantaneously into a gorgeous vibrant green.  I blended the soup, added a heaping tablespoon of miso paste (stirring to dissolve and combine), and blended some more.  Voilá.

Served with a healthy dollop of Greek yogurt, a light dusting of cayenne pepper (I intentionally left chilies out of the soup in the hopes that the landlord might have some, but alas), and a drizzle of sesame oil.  The same bright and zesty flavors as in the ginger miso carrot, but heartier.  A gorgeous soup you can feel good about eating any day of the year.  Especially after a gluttonous trip to New York.

December 16, 2011
Preemptive Detox

Romaine, carrots, cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage, hemp seeds, and shaved raw gouda tossed with Meyer lemon olive oil and champagne vinegar.  My attempt at combating the one too many drinks I’ll likely have at a friend’s birthday bash this evening.  I hope my body remembers this tomorrow morning.

Huge, crunchy, satisfying.  I should have made two.

3:35pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZCzbQyDLY3kO
Filed under: salad healthy food hangover 
February 17, 2011
Bananas for You

Printable DIY valentines for fruit.  If only I’d seen this a week ago.


May 3, 2010
Marathon Cookies

The cookies I made for The Relay are derived from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks Marathon Cookie recipe.  Heidi writes that she didn’t want her cookies to be too sweet, and that she was looking for bright, crisp flavors.  I’m not a huge fan of the aniseed/licorice flavor, but wanted the “spice” pop she describes.

I subbed a generous amount (heaping teaspoon and then some) of cinnamon and a healthy dash of cloves.  I used a combination of brown sugar and agave for the sweetener, and played around with the flour, using half whole wheat pastry flour and half spelt flour.  I left out the citrus, but only because I didn’t have the lemon and at the last-minute decided to forgo my intended orange zest substitute.  I subbed figs for dates because figs are my favorite, and used chopped walnuts in lieu of sunflower seeds because I forgot to buy the seeds.  (Notice a trend?  I had jetted in and out of the grocery in a crazy rush and as a result ended up doing a lot of substituting.  Happily, it worked.)  Lastly, I chose navy beans because they had the highest protein and fiber content.  I wanted these bad boys to be as nutritionally dense as possible.

Oh!  And the most important substitution — nearly forgot.  I subbed plain soy (vegan) yogurt for the egg, so that these would be vegan treats.  The egg is the only non-vegan friendly ingredient in the bunch, so it was an easy conversion.  I asked around the internet for suggestions, and also heard a banana and something called Ener-G egg substitute, but I didn’t want the banana flavor and who wants to used a processed unknown when there’s an easy yogurt option?  So plain soy yogurt it was.  Used a full six ounce cup because I doubled the recipe overall, but I think if you do the standard recipe you use a mere 1/4 cup or so.  Just fyi.

All that being said, I do intend to try Heidi’s recipe as she originally made it.  I was pleased with my result overall, but they were a tad sweet.  After all those electrolyte-infused waters, the last thing I wanted was more sweetness.  I think the lemon zest and aniseeed would give them a good zippy kick — not too sweet, not too savory.

They were a big hit.  Dense, moist, more cake-like than cookie-like.  And full of “good stuff,” which made grabbing for them post-run guiltless.

Heidi’s recipe can be found here.  Even after all that talk about blending the oats to create a flour and pulverizing the beans to a paste, they were a breeze to make.  Don’t be daunted.  My least favorite (and messiest) part was rolling the dough into balls at the end, it kept sticking in big gloopy patches all over my hands.  I developed a single-handed technique, using a spoon to scoop the dough with my right hand and rolling them into a ball shape with my left hand.  I also found it easier to make a bunch of dough balls at once and then to roll them through the seeds; if you do it one at a time you use far more seeds, as they stick to your goobered fingers.

My last two tips:  first, I used more sesame seeds than I anticipated (so much so that I ran out) and second, the right amount of time for my oven was 16ish minutes.  Fifteen was just shy, the extra minute (or even two) definitely made a difference.  Heidi ballparks the quantity well with the one and a half-dozen guesstimate.

Yum.  Can’t wait for the next excuse to make them again.

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