Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Beet Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries


Hands down the BEST veggie burger I've ever had! I found this recipe in one of my Natural Health or Yoga magazines and put it to the test when I was with a group of friends on a vacation in Colorado. The guys didn't want to admit that they enjoyed it ;) but my roommate and I have made them multiple times since. If 'beets' sound displeasing to you or you are not interested...at least give this recipe a try. Beets are great for detoxing your body and these veggies burgers will definitely meet your daily fiber requirement.

Makes 6 patties (I've doubled the recipe every time I've made them because I was either serving a large group or I saved some for leftovers)

Preparation time is about 60-75 minutes

Beet burger ingredients

4 medium beets - peeled and cut into small quartered pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coconut oil as needed
1 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 cup minced onion (sweet onion or scallions)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drain them)
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice (I've used both - I think the rice helps them stick together a bit better but for those who don't eat rice you can definitely use quinoa)
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (Optional: I've actually never used mustard before but it is included in the original recipe)

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Drizzle cut beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on baking pan. Roast until tender about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dice into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl
*Over medium-low heat add about a tablespoon or so of coconut oil to a frying pan. Add in mushrooms, onion/scallions, carrots, cumin, and paprika. Cook until the vegetables are tender (approximately 5 minutes). Add to the bowl with the beets
* Pulse cashews in a food processor or blender (I use my ninja blender!). Add to bowl of beets and veggies
*Pulse chickpeas in food processor or blender until it makes a thick paste. Add to bowl.
*Add cooked rice/quinoa, salt, pepper, and optional mustard to bowl and mix well.
*Press the mixture into 6 patties and refrigerate for at least an hour
*Grill on medium-high heat or sear patties in a hot, well-oiled frying pan (coconut oil is best for cooking at medium-high heat whereas olive oil is better on low heat or just as is like using it on salads) for 4-5 minutes. Be careful when flipping with a large enough spatula and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

I either place the burger on top of lettuce or just use a knife/fork to cut it. Top it with some fresh avocado or maybe some hummus and BOOM  - you've got one heck of a veggie burger!

My favorite side to have with ANY meal, of course, is SWEET POTATO FRIES

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fries

1 Large sweet potato (Depending on how many people you are feeding -  to serve 2 people I use one large sweet potato)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Paprika
Cinnamon
Garlic powder
Himalayan Salt
Pepper
Chili powder (optional)

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees
*Cut the sweet potato however you please (fry type, thin, long pieces or half circle type cuts) - just remember to keep them a bit thinner, maybe like a 1/4 inch thick, otherwise it will take much longer for them to cook.
*Place sweet potato pieces in a bowl and cover with olive oil or coconut oil. Just enough to give them a little glaze
*Sprinkle the spices in any way that you please. It depends on how you want them to taste but an equal amount of all that I have listed is honestly the best way to go :). Cinnamon gives them a sweeter taste, while chili powder adds a little zip, and you can never go wrong with some garlic. Keep it light on the salt/pepper.
*Use your hands to evenly mix around and spread the spices across all the pieces. Don't completely cover the sweet potato in spices, but enough to give it a decent dust.
*Cover a baking sheet with about a tablespoon of coconut oil and spread your creation evenly across. Check on sweet potatoes after 15 minutes, and flip if they are not quite done. In my oven it takes about 20 minutes. Poke with your finger and they should be soft when ready.
*Let cool and then SERVE/ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An 'Everything You've Got' Salad - Learn to Love it :)

My favorite part of my day when I have hours upon hours of class is when I get the opportunity to whip out my salad!!!! Sounds lame....and ridiculously healthy, I know. But seriously, when you make a salad THE RIGHT WAY (as in my way ;) ) you will get just as excited as I do.

A salad doesn't seem like a hard thing to make - in my opinion at least - because I literally throw in almost everything I've got in my fridge/cupboard (I try not to overdo it and switch it up from day to day :) ) But I always have people comment on my salads [as well as my boyfriend Justin - I can't take all the credit since he does give me a lot of ideas] and ask me how I do it. So here are some ideas!!!!


Start with your base:

Large serving of a spring mix or 50/50 mix (I usually buy the 'organic girl' bins @ Whole Foods)

Then add any combination of the following. I try not to include EVERYTHING. But it's nice to switch it up and use different vegetables - keeps it interesting:

Sliced cucumbers
Shredded carrots (instead of cutting the carrots into large pieces, use a peeler to give you nice stringy pieces of carrot - easier on your teeth/jaw :) )
Radishes
Tomato
Any color bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange) - cut into smaller pieces
Red onion - be careful because your breath will smell!!!!
Beets - don't be afraid to try! Gives your salad a sweeter taste and pairs really well with some sliced green apple
Raw broccoli
Hard boiled egg (although I don't use eggs because many people are allergic to them)
1/2 avocado
If you eat meat: a little bit of ground beef or 1/2 a chicken breast will taste great

Other interesting goodies that make my salad taste AWESOME:

Raisins
Hemp seeds - I absolutely love these! 2-3 tablespoons
Other Dried fruit - cranberries, blueberries
Sauerkraut - such a great probiotic!
Pumpkin seeds
Flax Seeds
Raw Cheese

Dressing/Topping ideas:

Olive oil and balsamic
Squeezed lemon
Hummus - 2 small dollops, not too much
Guacamole 
Salsa
*Sometimes I honestly have a little bit of each of these toppings on my salad [some of them may seem strange, I know!] and it makes it taste great but you definitely don't need to go overboard


Avocado and/or guacamole, and hemp seeds are a MUST for me. Can't do without! I'm also a huge fan of beets with apple slices and then some pumpkin seeds. Beets are intimidating, smell gross, and taste like dirt on their own but I absolutely love them in my salad. 

Don't be afraid to try new things - as foods sometimes taste different in combination with others and our taste changes as we age. 

You'll also be surprised as to how filling a large salad is and it won't give you that afternoon crash - you'll be feeling great and have a satisfied tummy all at the same time :) What a great combo! Enjoy. 





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Raw Nut/Date/Avocado/Cacao Cake



After eating this dessert you will NEVER go back to any of those tempting sugar filled treats and sweets that are harmful and addicting to your body! These are healthy...AND EXTREMELY DELICIOUS!

A shout out to my amazing roommate, Helena, for finding this recipe and letting Justin and I sneak them out of the fridge :) We can't resist!

Ingredients:

Base
1.5 cup nuts (mixed nuts or a particular nut of choice will do)
1 cup dates (make sure you remove the pits! Medjool are the best but can be kind of spendy so do what's in your budget)
5 tbs. cacao

Topping
1 Avocado
3-5 tbs. honey (raw, local honey is always the best choice)
5 tbs. cacao
2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt (we use Himalayan salt)
Pinch of cinnamon 

1. Finely chop nuts in a blender. Add dates and cacao. You may need to add a little bit of water if it is not mixing well or becomes TOO sticky (depends on the type of dates you use)

2. Press this base into a medium sized square glass pan lined with parchment paper (if you don't put down parchment paper it'll be impossible to cut pieces out of the pan!)

3. Put this in the fridge while you make the topping.

4. Using a hand mixer, mix the ripe avocado in a bowl. Add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cacao.

5. Remove the base from the fridge and spread on the avocado topping! To make it look pretty add some finely shredded coconut to the top and BAM! It's definitely edible at this point but you may want to put the completed project back in the fridge to let it harden up.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Some Favorite Inspirational Photos

You may have already seen these on my Facebook ...but I share them because I like them and I hope that they can inspire you. Everybody needs a little inspiration from time to time...some of us more than others :)









Friday, March 7, 2014

Morning Power Smoothie!


Ingredients that I use along with a picture of the final product!
Whether I'm headed to class, just got done with a workout, or simply craving something sweet, a smoothie in my still fairly new and awesome blender is one of my favorite choices! I want to share my little creation so that you can enjoy it too :)

I like my smoothies to be THICK so you may have to play around with it and add more flax/almond milk to make it the consistency you would like

Recipe:

1/4 frozen organic mixed berries (I get the large bag @ Costco - such a good deal!)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (in a can - see picture)
1/2 banana
1 scoop of raw protein, raw meal, or whey protein from grass fed cows
1/2 - 3/4 cup almond or flax milk (this will vary depending on how thick you like your smoothies - you can always start with less and add more)

Other ingredients that I like to add:
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
Handful of spinach or kale

Chia seeds are a good source of protein and Maca powder helps balance your hormones and boost your sex drive (if you need any help with that :) ). I recommend gelatinized Maca powder which you can learn about on this website.

Like I mentioned - a great smoothie to have on its own as a meal (especially when you are busy busy busy like most of us) or post workout. Loaded with good fats, protein, and carbohydrate that our body can utilize to rebuild tissues and give us energy!

Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Make your own bone broth

I've had quite a few people ask me how to make their own bone broth. There are plenty of recipes online but I will share how I made it myself (my mom had to help me because my first batch didn't turn out so well :) ).

You can buy bone broth in cartons at the grocery store but in most of them there is added sugar and 'natural flavorings' that you definitely don't want to be consuming when trying to fast, kill off bad bacteria, and repair your gut! Plus you'll get all the necessary benefits when using bones from healthy (organic, grass-fed, humanely treated) animals!

I got my bones from the meat counter at our local Whole Foods - they usually get their shipment of bones in on Fridays and some weeks they don't have any - so stock up if you can.
You could also ask a local farmer (you know that it will be from a good source and you'll be supporting local farmers :) )

I mostly use beef bones - it's best to get larger bones like the femur where all the good marrow resides.

Turn oven on to 450 degrees
Place about 3.5 to 4 lbs of bones on a greased baking sheet
Cook in oven for 30 minutes
Cut up  1 whole red onion (keep in larger pieces because you will want to later strain the onions from the bone broth mixture. You will NOT be eating them) 
Remove the bones from the oven after the 30 minutes, flip bones over and then add the onion to the baking sheet.
Return to oven for another 30 minutes
Mince 3-5 cloves of fresh garlic 
Remove the bones and onions from the oven, add bones/onions to a crock pot/slow cooker
Add in minced garlic and then fill the crock pot/slow cooker with filtered water (not tap water!) until all of the bones are completely covered (I fill right up to the top of my slow cooker)

I then let this sit overnight on low (~8-10 hours) and it's ready for me to go the next day!
Pour the bone broth through a strainer into a glass bowl so that the bones/onions/garlic get separated from the broth
Store in the refrigerator and reheat smaller portions on the stove

If you don't have a slow cooker you can use a big pot on the stove...bring everything to a boil and then let simmer covered for approximately 4 hours. I HAVE NOT tried this because I like just letting it cook overnight but it should work on the stove as well.

WARNING: Your house/apartment will smell very strongly! Hopefully your roommates/loved ones will understand :).


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Avocado Chocolate Truffles



So my roommate is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME and found this nut free dessert that I've totally fallen in love with! Avocado is my favorite - and what better to pair it with than some dark chocolate?!

Very simple recipe and doesn't take much time! The hard part is being patient and waiting for them to harden in the refrigerator :)

Recipe:
1 avocado
1 cup chocolate chips (solid)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla 

Optional: something to roll the truffles in - we used shredded coconut flakes but you could use something like mini chocolate chips or some finely chopped nuts

For the chocolate chips we used Ghiradelli 60% cacao dark chocolate baking chips but you could definitely use a darker or milk chocolate depending on how you prefer your chocolate (the darker the chocolate the better for you!) Organic is ALWAYS the best option when shopping for ingredients as well.

1. Mix the avocado in a bowl with a hand mixer (using a blender did not work out so well) - try to get out all of the chunks that you can

2. Melt the cup of chocolate chips preferably on the stove on a low heat (try to avoid using the microwave)

3. Pour the completely melted chocolate chips into the bowl of mixed avocado

4. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla . Blend all ingredients together with a wooden spoon or spatula

5. Let sit in the refrigerator until hardened (I'd say at least 45 minutes to an hour... original recipe said 2-3 hours but it seemed to work out just fine for us)

6. Remove from refrigerator and roll into bite size balls. Roll ball around in choice of  finely shredded coconut/mini choc chips/chopped nuts and place in some sort container or on a plate

7. Return to refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes and ENJOY!

I made this recipe x4 by the way (4 avocados, 4 cups chocolate, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla). I can't get enough of them.

Dark chocolate has some great benefits for our health (when consumed in moderation of course). Check out this article to learn a little more.