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Sunday, April 15, 2012

My First Kale Salad

Woah, sorry for my laze-induced absence from PLB!  I was on spring break for the last week and a half, so naturally I had BIG plans and an even bigger to-do list (i.e.: spring clean the apt., do portfolio, finish NYC teaching application, clean out the fridge...) Fast forward to today, and I only have a clean fridge.  I guess it's better than nothing, right?  Yesterday, though I came to the realization that things need to change around here.  As fun as it has been drinking fancy beers with J, catching up on Breaking Bad, and stuffing my face with carbs - I'm pretty sure my bod doesn't appreciate it.  I tried on my bridesmaid dress for my cousin's wedding, and it doesn't fit - HOLY CRAP, I haven't had anything not fit in at least 3 years!  So Erica - I'm doing this for you girl because I know you don't want a stuffed sausage in your bridal party ;)
After my heart attack trying the dress on I knew I needed a plan.  Here's how that went:

  1. Start crying
  2. Start feeling bad for myself and convince myself that I'm just one of those people that can't lose weight as a vegan even though I work so hard 
  3. Realize that I have eaten hardcore carbs with every meal (bread, bagels, pasta...) paired with at least 4 beers (and not light ones) every night for the past 10 days 
  4. Remember that I have slacked on cardio
  5. ...Admit that I have a problem - hey that's the first step right??
SO I am majorly upping my veggie intake, limiting wheat ...and banning beer :(  (Don't worry though we bought a large bottle of vodka and some seltzer last night - you didn't think I was going to stop drinking did you?)

My plan is to have carbs with one meal a day - let's see how that goes!  

One problem is that I am so not a salad person, I get super bored with them and need to mix them up all the time.  I decided to make a kale salad today because, well, I'm a fat cow right now - remember?

I was a little scared of kale salads, so if you are too don't worry I can now say they are pretty good!  

Fool around with the ingredients all you want, this my version of a kale salad I found on Oh She Glows with dressing from Veganomicon (amaz cook book!!)

Red Kale Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing
Ingredients - Salad 
  • About 4 cups red kale - chopped, rinsed & dried well
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots 
  • Handful of Gogi berries (can sub craisins)
  • Handful of walnuts - I just broke them up into the salad 
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds 
Ingredients - Dressing
  • 1/4 C white mellow miso
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1/4 (or more) warm water 
  • Wash and dry your kale - I chopped it up and threw it in a salad spinner
  • Put kale in a medium sized bowl
  • Chop up cukes and carrots - throw them in the bowl to hang with the kale
  • Make your dressing, so easy: put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up, add more water if you want to thin it out - this recipe is way more dressing than you need so you can transfer it to a container now if you want 
  • Pour about 1/4 cup of dressing over the veggies 
  • Massage the dressing in to the kale ;) 
  • Let it all come together in the fridge for about 15 minutes
  • Clean up that big mess you just made 
  • When you're ready to eat sprinkle in the chia seeds & walnuts 
  • Enjoy!!
Peas & Love,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Burgers

I hope you all had a happy Easter!  I don't know about you, but the day after holidays my body is in need of a serious detox.  Yesterday was filled with delish foods & an abundance of wine, which left me hurting a little today!   A green monster and a few gallons of water later, I'm back!  And just in time to post my recipe for the yummy sweet potato burgers we made for dinner, you're welcome ;)

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Burgers
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked or microwaved & peeled 
  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 C whole wheat flour
  • Any spices you like, I used:
    • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
    • 1 tsp chili powder 
    • 1 tsp garlic powder 
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bowl full o' panko bread crumbs
  • Bake up or microwave your sweet potato - I microwaved in (after poking some holes in in with a fork) for about 5 minutes, let it cool and peeled the skin off 
  • While you're waiting for your tater, throw the can of drained chickpeas into a food processor and turn it up!  It should be a little chunky 
  • Throw in the sweet potato, tahini, maple syrup and spices - give it a whir!
  • Separate into about 8 patties 

  • Coat both sides of the patties in the panko 
  • Add to a hot pan with about 2 TBSP of safflower (or any oil of your choice)

  • Cook for 4-5 minutes each side until they get nice and crispy

  • Toast up a bun (if you're ever in Whole Foods try the 365 whole wheat buns - trust me!!), top it with avocado and a good whole grain mustard - mmmmmmm!

I put the leftover patties in a freezer bag - not sure how that's going to turn out, guess we'll have to wait and see!!

Peas & Love

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Carmelized Onion & Mushroom Tomato Sauce

I haven't really missed meat at all since I went vegan (cheese, yogurt & eggs are another story... sometimes, but we'll save that for another day)  except in my tomato sauces.  Although I've never been a red meat eater, I always put either turkey chop meat or turkey/chicken sausages in my sauces.  I know that I could always use a fake sausage substitute, but you all know how I now feel about processed foods & fake meat.  I wanted to bulk up my sauce today - and what better way than with portobello mushrooms!?
Since I am in the middle of an insanely busy (3 DAY!) work week, there are no fancy progression pictures - I hope that you can forgive me, I know how much you all appreciate my iphone photography ;) 

Carmelized Onion & Mushroom Tomato Sauce

  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Sweat chopped onions for about 15 minutes in 1 TBSP EVOO (sweating = onions & oil in a saucepan over med/low heat with lid on)
  • Take lid off - turn up the heat! (med/high) and stir around another 15 minutes, until the onion is brownish but not burnt 
  • Add chopped garlic & mushroom to the pan for about 10 minutes, until they become nice & soft
  • Add tomatoes, spices & balsamic (gives it a nice tangy/sweet taste) 
  • Simmer for 20-30 minutes or longer, the longer you simmer the better it tastes!
  • Serve over your fave pasta :) 
Peas & Love,