Que comemos

I’m writing this blog as my bf teaches himself spanish, therefore the title for this week. My sincere apologies for not writing last week – we were off from school and I was too busy enjoying time back in my hometown with family. That sounded more prude than I meant for it to. But, really, I get to see family about four times a year now… so when I’m there, I’m all there.

My time at home was very joyous – full of laughter and good food, as always. I of course did not take pictures of everything I ate while at home, but just a taste – I had roasted turkey with root vegetables. cashew cream shrimp alfredo with broccoli, cowboy caviar (this amazing bean salad that my mom makes that I love oh so much), my mom’s famous egg white omelets with kale and veggies, venison sliders, and Caribbean spicy chicken with rice and beans, and fried plantains while out to lunch with my bestie Rose – the only pictures of food I took while home. All of my pictures are of family and my DIY projects I worked on with my amazing step daddy.

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This week is going to be absolutely crazy with the move coming next weekend, Howie in town, magazine deadline for school, and continuing planning for our exhibition night – only a few short weeks away – oh jeeze, the chest pain increases in intensity as I write this. Gah! All wonderful things, happy things, successful things, but just a lot going on at once causes that all too known stress chest pain.

So anyways, for this week – on Saturday I made this:

Turkey sausage and kale soup, amaze-balls. A HUGE pot of it too, for lunches, dinners, and to share with friends. I started with a large onion, and 6 cloves of garlic (sounds like a lot, I know, but it’s needed!), and water. Sautéed these down and added 1/2 of it to the cooked down turkey sausage (super lean protein, no bovine, delicious when cooked down with sage, thyme, and rosemary – oh god, the singing commences). The other 1/2 I set aside to puree with the other vegetables – a trick my step mom taught me years ago and my friend Jess writes about in her blog when making her sausage and kale soup – which I stole the ideas from 🙂 PS- Happy birthday this week Jess!! Okay, so next up I added one container of vegetable stock to the pot with sausage and onions and garlic, sliced 3 small white potatoes super thin and added those in. Then sautéed mushrooms, again 1/2 in soup, 1/2 in blender. A small head of broccoli, 1/2 head of cauliflower, 1/2 stack of asparagus, cup of carrots, and two large sweet potatoes diced (all steamed first and then added to save on cooking time) and about 3 cups of baby kale all added into the pot. Pureed the cooked vegetables (broccoli stalks, asparagus stalks, onion, garlic, sweet potato, and mushroom) and added to pot for thickening. Slowly boiled for about 2 hours and Bam! Delicious soup that will last me and the neighborhood all week 🙂

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Today for breakfast – turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, potato hash with garlic and onions, and fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple and banana) for my love and I before heading out running errands for the day. Presentation is key – plated in the kitchen and my man walks in with a big smile on his face, “I hope you’re going to blog about this!” Of course, my love, of course.

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Then later on tonight I made this broccoli salad that I’ve made before and blogged about. I made it Thursday at Rach’s house – her and her hubby loved it oh so much because we added turkey bacon and horseradish – so I did that tonight too.

2 heads broccoli, 2 avocados, 3 scallions, 1 lemon (juiced & zested), 2 slices turkey bacon (chopped) and a few tbs of fresh horseradish. TO DIE FOR! So delicious!!

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Even though I have plenty of soup for the week, I know I’ll still be cooking other things – so in the fridge I’ve got portobello mushrooms (for roasting with goat cheese and balsamic tomatoes – inspired by Bacco’s dinner I had with my love a few months ago), salad greens and baby kale, and obviously a huge bag of bok choy for sautéing with mushrooms and Asian sauces 🙂

Check back next week – hopefully I’ll have time to blog about my new apartment and the first time cooking there! So excited I could scream… ok, maybe I really did scream. Like that little girl screech and everything, love it!

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If you give, you begin to live.

If you can tell me the band who sings those lyrics, I’ll give you some yummy food! This week’s blog is for my family and friends who have supported me through my journey as a nutritarian. Those of you who have changed your own lifestyle, including more vegetables and less processed foods. It takes a lot to make the change and I’m so happy that as a community we’re making it.

This week my students finished writing their recipe remix articles for the magazine we are publishing. Each and every one of them continues to surprise me – sharing their gained knowledge throughout our expedition in authentic ways – through remaking recipes to be healthier options, just as I have for so many years (even more so now). Their new found passion for healthy eating gleams through their writings. We’re going to start cooking some of their recipes in a few weeks to prepare for exhibition night where we will serve samples to the local community who joins us in celebration of our students’ learning. I can’t wait!

So, this week is dedicated to my handsome, loving, intelligent, funny, caring, compassionate boyfriend who is keeping tabs on what recipes he wants me to make for him next week when he is home for a few days. The last time he was home I showered him with full fat, full dairy, decadent foods that he loves – because what woman doesn’t cook exactly what she knows will please her man? As much as he enjoyed these treats, he too wants to eat healthier and is eager to try more and more of my nutritarian cooking. So, this week is for you boo boo – some recipes that meet you in the middle 🙂

Last month when my love was home, I made my famous au gratin potatoes – I used to make them for my family when I was growing up, they are really really good. So, today I made a nutritarian (also vegan and gluten free) version. Rutabaga horseradish gratin. I didn’t follow any particular recipe from pinterest or any other bloggers for these – just made cashew cream sauce and tossed it all together…

Rutabaga Horseradish Gratin –

(For the starch…)

3 rutabagas, peeled & thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

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(For the cream sauce…)

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs fresh ground horseradish (Thank you Michael Michael Motorcycle!)

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

ground pepper, rosemary & thyme for seasoning

*I put all of the ingredients for the cashew cream sauce in my ninja and pulsed until smooth.

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*I layered the rutabaga and onions with cashew cream sauce in between until everything was used – leaving cashew cream on the top layer.

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*Baked, covered, in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

I think he’s going to like this one. The rutabaga (Swedish turnip that is super high in vitamin C – a serving has 42% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C) has a bitter taste and mixed with the sweet taste of a cashew cream sauce and the bite of the horseradish… oh yeah, a winner for sure! Each bite is a burst of flavors that I never thought to put together and I am so glad that I did.

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Next up, spaghetti squash! I haven’t had spaghetti squash in quite a while and was dying to make some. With spaghetti squash, you wash it and simply put a few slits into the squash using a knife. Put it into a baking dish and roast in the oven for about an hour at 375 degrees. My farm share from the fall had a lot of spaghetti squash and when there was too much for me to eat I roasted it and froze it. So, today when I was craving it – bam – defrost and cook!

The first dish I made using the spaghetti squash was inspired by my best friend, Rach! Last night at her house we made paleo zucchini pad thai with shrimp from the 21 day sugar detox book. It was to die for and when I was eating it Howie called and was jealous with a capitol J.

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So, because the flavors left such an impression, I wanted to make some more pad thai dishes – to make it nutritarian I did all veggies with no meat. This recipe is also vegan as I did not use fish sauce.

So, here’s my vegan Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai-

Pad Thai sauce –

1/2 cup almond butter

1 lime – juice and zest

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs fresh  ginger (zested)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbs rice vinegar

1 tsp amino liquid (to give the salty flavor in replace of fish sauce)

1/3 cup almond milk

*Wisk all ingredients together and let set while cooking veggies (let those flavors meld together, yum!)

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Veggies- I literally used whatever I had in my fridge which was the following…

1 sweet potato, large cubes

1/2 onion

2/3 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

3/4 cup largely chopped asparagus

*In a pan, I sauteed the onions and sweet potatoes on a med-high heat, to let the potatoes really brown up. Then I added in the other veggies, a 1/2 cup water & covered the pan to let it all steam. After about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, I added in 1/2 of a spaghetti squash – which was about 2 cups. Placed the lid back on and let everything steam together.

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*After a few minutes I stirred all of the vegetables into the pad thai sauce in a separate bowl. Zest some more lime on top and done!

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Oh my god. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the flavor of this dish is. The vegetables melt in your mouth and the lime zest, fresh ginger and garlic give you a zing of fresh flavor that lingers on your tongue for what seems like hours. This made me a small bowl that I had to eat immediately, as well as two 1 cup containers for lunch this week and a dish (about 1 1/2 cups) that I put in the freezer to bring home to my cousin Ashley next weekend. Kudos Ash for your steps towards a healthier lifestyle, I am so very proud of you. I know you’re going to love this pad thai dish just as much as I am!

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Lastly, some pizza. Every man loves pizza – but what does a nutritarian pizza look like? Well, we come back to my good friend the spaghetti squash. I’ve made cauliflower crusts for pizza before that have turned out pretty tasty, but I don’t have any cauliflower right now, so I thought, hey, why not try squash instead. So, I followed this spaghetti squash crust recipe.After mixing the ingredients together (I added rosemary & thyme) I spread it out on a baking sheet that had been greased with a little olive oil. I baked it 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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Instead of using pizza sauce (as I always say, you never know what they put in things), I made my own tomato sauce from 3 roma tomatoes that were steamed down with garlic and onions.

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Then, I added sauteed mushrooms and asparagus and topped it off with some goat cheese (my man loves him some goat cheese). I put it back into the oven for about 10 minutes to let everything melt down together.

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Woah – delicious. The crust gets soggy quickly once you put the toppings on – which was my excuse for each both small pizzas that I made. That elliptical isn’t going to know what hit it tomorrow once I get on. Well friends, that’s it for this week. My costochondritis (read if you want to bother – it really sucks) is full blown this week due to high stress levels at work with the state ed dept coming in this week, and intensives (career exploration for students – two days away from the classroom – going to be fun, but not as prepared for it as I’d like). Oh and don’t forget about the personal life – moving in three weeks and my current apartment still hasn’t been leased out – possible extra months rent due at the end of the month is going to be a h    uge hit in the wallet that I’m not prepared for. Any ways, drinking tumeric ginger lemon tea (boil three ingredients in a sauce pan with water – it’s my miracle drug) and trying to relax in the last few hours I have before the craziness begins tomorrow. Until next time folks, happy eating!

Baby it’s cold outside, give me some greens!

This weekend was warmer than expected, but as the pattern has gone the past few weeks, it’s going to drop back down… only into the twenties for this week, much better than this past week’s negative degrees. But, I guess I’m still just internally frozen because my mind was made up today – make loads of greens! Not just collard greens, but all things green! Many nutritionists rave about the benefits of green vegetables – loaded with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting phytochemicals and fiber. They not only fill you up, but make your skin glow, given you calcium and vitamins needed for your body to repair the massive amounts of damage you may do to it every day – especially if you’re on a workout plan like myself getting ready for a bikini in Florida in T-minus two months (AH!). Also, maybe too much info, but swiss chard is loaded with magnesium which is good for us women when that time of the month comes around, or even if you just have a headache.

So for this week, I focused on my greens… and a few other things. First, something I made for dinner Saturday night that was to die for… brown rice with asparagus and mushrooms tossed with an avocado cashew cream. Obviously, this was inspired by the paleo breakfast I had which I’ll mention later, but otherwise… something I totally just made up. I love asparagus in everything, I love mushrooms in everything, and I love brown rice… so why not put them all together?

I sauteed the asparagus and mushrooms with onion and garlic – tossed them with the brown rice & then for the avocado cashew cream – 1/4 cup cashews, a splash of almond milk, and 1/2 avocado all in the ninja. Mixed the veggies and rice in the cream sauce and topped it all off with some fresh ground black pepper. With a glass of red wine, a winner!

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I also made some killer peanut butter banana granola last night – 3 cups whole wheat oats, 1/2 flax seeds, 1/2 almonds chopped, 1/4 cup pecans chopped, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 cup cashews. Then tossed with 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup applesauce, and 1 large banana mushed up, tbs cinnamon and tsp nutmeg. Baked at 300 degrees for 30 mins, stirring every 10 minutes. Nice and toasty with the perfect light peanut butter flavor. Served with homemade almond milk (oh you wait until you read on…) – perfect breakfast or late night snack!

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So today, I focused in on those greens. I started with the asparagus I had left. I wanted some type of salad so I made my own version of this roasted strawberry farro.  Instead of farro I used kamut – much higher protein content, with a 6g per serving (1/2 cup cooked kamut berries). My Auntie Lorie bought me the kamut for Christmas and it’s become one of my favorite go to grains!  I also didn’t have fresh strawberries so I used frozen and tossed it all together with a homemade lemon vinaigrette. It was truly yummy – a little fresh little flavor to go along with all of this heavy, filling cooked greens to come.  Put some over the top of arugula and spring mix greens for lunch tomorrow – increasing the nutrient content even more… always!

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Saturday morning at the market with my friend, Dani B,  we enjoyed a paleo breakfast from “Effortlessly Healthy” – hidden in the Boulder building. Amazing sweet potato hash with a fried egg and avocado cream. Delicious! A must stop from now on, for sure! While there, I picked up some organic collard greens and red chard – baby, it’s cold outside…still…and the ground hog saw his shadow (such a silly tradition I think), so it’s time for some soup! Time for some greens and beans…

My Greens and Beans…

*saute 1 chopped onion, 1 leek chopped, and 3 cloves garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil with black pepper, sage, and thyme. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock & simmer. Add this to 1 cup of mixed beans in crockpot. Add enough water to cover beans & cook on high heat for 3 hours.

*Triple wash collards and red chard by rinsing in luke warm water, cut, steam in steamer basket, rinse, steam, rinse, steam, rinse & then cut into smaller pieces (my momma’s method – always works, never had grit in my greens!). Simmer green in vegetable stock and Sriracha (really how ever much you want – I use about 1/4 cup) until tender.  Oh, and I had one bunch of collards and one bunch of chard.

*Add greens to beans in crockpot and let set for 2 more hours on low heat setting. And ta-da!

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I’m on a red wine kick if you couldn’t tell. It’s been a rough past few weeks. But, red wine is really good for you! I will always be able to justify a glass of red wine with dinner – full of nutrients and antioxidants that fight off disease and help my blood running smoothly through my arteries carrying that needed oxygen to my cells and returning that toxic carbon dioxide through my veins and out through my lungs. Oh, science. It is such a pleasantly wonderful thing.

So while these greens and beans were in the crockpot, I multi-tasked (even though many say it’s not possible… I’m superwoman and I can multitask like no other!) I made homemade almond milk! I’ve been dying to do this forever and finally grabbed some cheesecloth from the craft store the other day. PS- If you don’t have cheesecloth many bloggers have said to use new panty hose or paper towels (the paper towels scares me, what are they even made out of? what chemicals are in those things? ah, my mind goes wild) Anyways, I took 1 cup of raw almonds and soaked them in water for about 20 hours (again, bloggers say at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours). I rinsed them off and tossed them into my ninja storm with a cup of fresh tap water. I pulsed for about a minute and added another cup of water.

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I then set up mason jars with cheesecloth for straining. This got slightly messy but only because I was multitasking and on the phone with my mom at the same time… hey now, I didn’t say I was a perfect multitasker. The product, oh…my…god.

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I will never buy almond milk from the store again – again, what do they put in there!? I know it says almonds on the ingredients list, but come on, there must be some type of preservative and I just don’t like putting unnecessary chemicals into my body.  The flavor was super rich and I didn’t add any vanilla or sweetener like some people do. I cannot wait to have this on my granola tomorrow morning for breakfast! I may be even wishing for Monday to come sooner just because of it… well, maybe not.

The best part of making almond milk… you have almond pulp left over! And the endless possibilities for almond pulp on recipes… from cakes to cookies to almond butter to raw fudge to crackers to pizza crust. As I am a woman and I love chocolate, I obviously choose to make raw chocolate fudge…

In my ninja, the almond pulp I had left over (about 3/4 cup), 12 medjool dates, handful of goji berries (super high in antioxidants), 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and tsp cinnamon – yum, chocolate. Put this in mini muffin tin & stuck in freeze. Need to keep them here or in fridge as they are super soft and gooooooey!

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Lastly, but definitely not least… bok choy. Insanely high in vitamin A and vitamin C along with other phytochemicals, bok choy is very high on the ANDI list for nutrient density. Bok choy is a chinese cabbage that holds its shape and crispness like kale would, but has a soft sweet, yet bitter flavor. It’s one of my favorite new vegetables and I’ve started eating it every week. My typical dish for bok choy is sauteing it with mushrooms in aminos and Sriracha (obviously).

I start with onion, garlic and mushrooms in the pan with a bit of sesame oil. Cover and simmer – let everything really sweat out their sugars, and then turn the pan up so that they brown and caramelize. Then I add the aminos and Sriracha with some water and the chopped bok choy, cover and lower heat. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes & eat it just as it is, or over brown rice.

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I think I have more than enough food for the week. Although I did also get some rutabaga from the market and need to use that later this week – I’m thinking rutabaga and sweet potato fries 🙂 And just think, in all of this time of writing this blog post, the Seahawks have dominated the Broncos on the field. I mean really, Denver, how did you even get here?!