Living in a Multivore Household (including a kick-ass vegan enchilada recipe)

Maternity4
Photographed by Rebecca Coursey



Hi-my name is Dori, and I live in a multivore household. What’s that, you ask? Well, that just means that I’m a vegan (herbivore), and my husband, Joey is well, not a vegan (he’s an omnivore…well, more of a carnivore actually, lol). Little baby Alana is vegan as of right now because she doesn’t have a choice, but when she can make her own decisions about what to eat, I will do my best to educate her on what being an omnivore means and let her choose for herself.

I admit, living with a meat-eater has its challenges. First off, ethically, it took me a while to accept and to accept him as he made his choice to start including animals again (see, my husband was vegan when I met him, albeit, for a really short amount of time–maybe so I would go out with him, ha ha ha–kidding!). In his defense, he *is* from Texas, ha ha, the land of BBQ. I love him dearly and cannot and would not expect him to succumb to my way of eating. That’s not what marriage is; it’s about acceptance and compromise. It’s not about you conforming or making your spouse conform to your belief system, as much as you may want them to.

So, what do you do when you have a baby together and you want to feed this kid? Well…you talk about things openly, for starters. My husband has always respected the fact that I wanted to have a vegan pregnancy and raise a vegan child. See this awesome interview I just did about my vegan pregnancy here. 

Right now, as our daughter consumes nothing but mama’s milk, we have no issues, and when we introduce food in 3 months, the foods that are recommended to start with are naturally vegan anyway (avocado, banana, sweet potato, peas, etc.–yay!). I have a few friends who live in multivore households, and they somehow make it work. I intend to as well. I look to my vegan community for support and answers to questions on what they would do or how they would handle certain situations.

So, how do we get by?

“Veganizing” recipes is one way we get through our day-to-day. I make many foods and just prepare vegan versions of them (subbing things like meat/poultry, eggs, milk and cheese with vegan counterparts such as almond milk, Beyond Meat, or Daiya cheese).

Also, my husband eats what he wants, and I eat what I want. During the day, when he goes to work, I have no idea what he consumes, but my guess is, it ain’t all salads and meat substitutes. I stopped asking what he had for lunch because I usually don’t want to know, ha ha!

We try to respect each other’s choices. I used to have a rule about “no meat in the house”, and I still do not prefer storing animal products (although, we do have eggs, cheese and sometimes fish in our home), but he may bring in something very rarely that he enjoys. 99% of the time, he eats vegan while at home. He would never expect me to cook animal flesh for him. If he’d like animal products, he’s responsible for purchasing and preparing them, for the most part.

We always cook vegan when having company over for dinner. This has never been an issue. In  fact, Joey has never once asked me to cook animals for guests. We love hosting, and I love cooking, and Joey is sweet and eats whatever I make on these (now, rare) occasions.

Another way we get along is going to restaurants that have foods for us both. Living in LA, there are a multitude of delicious plant-based restaurants, and I have pretty much tried them all. At one point, that’s all we did was go to strictly vegan restaurants, which I know bothered my husband. There is only so much kale a man can take, ya know? Thankfully, LA also provides plenty of “regular” restaurants with vegan options–more and more each day! So, going out has gotten a lot more interesting and fun for us both.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to veganize most recipes, and so I wanted to include one of my husband’s favorite meals here: enchiladas! I think my vegan version is beyond just acceptable as an alternative, but also pretty darn good, and I’m hoping one day in the not too distant future, my daughter will enjoy them too.

2016-07-11 18.17.39-1

VEGAN BLACK BEAN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS (inspired by Oh She Glows)

For Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-12 corn tortillas (how ever many fit in your casserole dish)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use a cast iron skillet to make my enchiladas, but you can use a regular 8×12 baking dish, as well.

2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the black beans. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see recipe below).

6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop filling into each tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, scoop it on top of the enchiladas.

7. Sprinkle your Daiya chedder lovingly over the top of enchiladas.

8. Bake the enchiladas uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red color, cheese is melted, and the enchiladas are heated through.

For Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use coconut flour)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 scant cup (8 ounces) tomato paste (or you can use an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt
  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat or add the oil and increase heat to medium.
  2. Stir in the flour until a paste forms (depending on your type of flour, it may be thicker or thinner).
  3. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cook for a couple minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste (or sauce) followed by the broth. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until thickened for about 5 minutes, or longer if desired.

Are you living in a multivore household? What are some of your tips and tricks to keep the peace? Also, if you’re vegan, would you consider dating or marrying someone who was not vegan and why? Chime in!

For personalized nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’ll give you a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation so we can chat about your goals and come up with your plan!!! Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Meringues Made with Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)

Chickpea Brine

So, have you ever heard of aquafaba? I hadn’t either up until a couple of days ago, when my mom forwarded me an article about it. It turns out, it’s very handy as a vegan egg white substitute! …and it’s the water you typically discard from your can of chickpeas! I suppose “aquafaba” sounds a lot sexier than “chickpea water” or “bean water”, but it makes sense: aqua (water) faba (bean). So, as you may have guessed, I had to try this; immediately. I actually took a trip to Trader Joe’s today specifically for a couple cans of chickpeas (I like to make my own hummus as well, and needed to make that, too–win/win!).

I was also thrilled to be able to break out my KitchenAid mixer to make these meringues! I like, NEVER use the thing. It just sits there looking all pretty and fancy on my counter.

Okay, so this recipe couldn’t be any easier! It was so fun, too!! I hope you’ll give it a try!

VEGAN MERINGUES

Meringue2

  • 6 tbsp chickpea brine (water from canned chickpeas–room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar (I used organic cane, but you can probably try it with xylitol or other sugar alcohols to keep them sugar free–please don’t use Splenda or any other artificial sweeteners)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add chickpea brine and cream of tartar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
  4. While it’s mixing, add sugar and mix until it dissolves completely.
  5. Add in salt.
  6. As your mixture becomes thicker, drizzle in your vanilla.
  7. Continue mixing until it looks glossy and stiff peaks form. This should take about 7-12 minutes.
  8. Scoop out about a tbsp of your meringue and drop onto your cookie sheet (you can get fancy and use a pastry bag, but I don’t have one).
  9. Bake for 45 min, and then shut oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN. Leave the cookies in the oven for an hour to dry out.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in airtight container.

Meringue3

Also, big thanks to my daughter, Alana for napping and then “allowing” me to play in the kitchen today! She’s an excellent sous chef!

AlanaMeringue

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

PuddingThe interesting thing about this recipe is that I first tried it nearly 9 years ago when I attended Bauman College getting certified in Nutrition Education.

My colleagues and I each had to each do a couple of food presentations during the course period, and one of my classmates presented her version of this recipe and I became OBSESSED. I had never tasted anything like this before…or truly, I HAD tasted something like it before (something quite unhealthy), and I loved the familiar, chocolate-y, seems-like-it-was-bad-for-me, taste! I loved Jello chocolate pudding as a kid–you know, the one that comes IN A BOX that you make with milk, lol? Man, I would go crazy for it…and top it with Cool Whip?!? TROUBLE!

I kinda love that this recipe (or similar versions of it) have become so common! I adore naughty looking recipes that truly present no need for guilt at all! Okay, true, you may not want to eat the entire batch (I admit, I’m always tempted!), but it’s sure a heck of a lot cleaner than anything that comes in a box, ha ha! It’s raw, vegan, easy and soooooooo yummy!

I hope you enjoy!

AvoChoc Mousse

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 3 Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes, then pitted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup regular almond milk (start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed if too thick)
  • Topping choices (optional): fresh, organic berries, cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, raw nuts, banana slices, shredded coconut…go wild!

Blend all ingredients in food processor. Devour, guilt free!!

Learn to prepare guilt-less treats and more by working with me one-on-one! Contact me via phone or e-mail to schedule your complimentary 30 minute phone consultation!

 

 

Top 5 Benefits of Doing Yoga with your Baby

DDBaby

As a new mom with a 10 week old, I barely find time to brush my teeth, let alone get my yoga practice in! Before I had my baby, I was in class on my mat 4-5 days/week at my home-base studio, The Yoga Collective, in Venice, CA. I even got my 200 hour yoga teacher certification with Lauren Eckstrom and Travis Eliot, the creators of Holistic Yoga Flow and authors of Holistic Yoga Flow: The Path to Practice, when I was 12 weeks pregnant!  It was an amazing and heart-opening experience to take my practice deeper in a time when I truly was connected to my body in a very profound way. Obviously, I wasn’t able to do all the same poses I had done prior, but that became another good lesson for me in patience and in honoring my body.

Just recently, I started to roll out my mat again at home and start to flow–with my baby! Since she’s not crawling or even rolling over yet, she makes it pretty easy to practice with! She seems to enjoy it as much as I do!

I think there are so many benefits to practicing yoga with little ones, but here are my top 5:

1. Bonding. Doing yoga together just creates another opportunity to bond with your baby.  In between poses, you can gaze into each other’s eyes, or hopefully catch some smiles from them! It’s so fun to include your kid in something YOU love to do! I believe they are intuitive enough to sense when their parents are happy and in their element, and this makes them happy, too. Yoga is a great opportunity for baby and mama (or papa) to get to know each other better.

2. Movement. It feels great to get the body moving again after going through labor and delivery! Blood flow to your tired limbs and sleepy brain is so helpful and energizing for you, and actually helps create more settled behavior in baby.

6 weeks is a good time to start experimenting with yoga again, but you’ve got to listen to your body. It will tell you when the time is right (usually, when you’ve stopped bleeding it’s a sign that it’s okay to resume physical activity). Movement for your baby is good, too, so including them in your flow keeps them engaged and happy (hopefully)!

BabyBridge

3. Strength. Including your baby in your practice is like using free weights (my kid currently weighs 11.5 lbs!), and if you lift them up multiple times during your flow, you’ll definitely see an increase in your strength! Also, in one short session, baby receives as much physical activity as if they were handled for hours!

4. Ritual. How beautiful to carve out some time just for you and your baby outside your normal “mom duties” (i.e. changing diapers, nursing, tummy time, etc.). You may not get on your mat every day, or at the same time each day, but by setting an intention to practice how ever many days/week that seem realistic to you and your baby’s schedule, it can and will happen, and it will become a habit and eventually, a ritual you’ll both honor and cherish for years to come!

5. Major developments for baby. During a session, all of baby’s bodily systems are stimulated, including the digestive system and nervous system, and this type of tactile stimulation has been shown to contribute to brain development as well. It also helps reduce baby’s frustrations from transitioning from one developmental stage to the next.

If you’re in Los Angeles, and would be interested in private or small group Mommy & Me yoga classes, as well as nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’d love to flow with you and your little and help get you on the path to a holistic lifestyle!

Namaste!

‘Souper’ Easy Red Lentil Stew

RCLentilSoup

This stew literally took me 5 minutes, yes 5 minutes to prepare! After it was prepped, I threw everything into my rice cooker and BOOM, it was ready in 30 minutes! It’s one of my favorite soups to make because 1. I LOVE red lentils and 2. It’s way too flippin’ easy!

Lentils are like a vegan’s dream since they are packed with protein, but whether you’re vegan or not, you’re sure to enjoy this!

How to Make:

  • 1.5 cups dried red lentils (rinsed thoroughly)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into discs
  • 1 potato (any variety–I like red ones), cut into small chunks
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Throw everything in your rice cooker. Hit start and enjoy once done! My rice cooker has a “porridge” option, so I go with that one and it takes about 30-35 minutes to fully cook.

Looking for more easy, plant based recipes such as these? Contact me for food coaching! I can help you easily and sustainably transition to a plant based diet, or simply incorporate more plant foods into your current diet. I always offer a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and see if HTF is right for you! I look forward to helping you eat clean and enjoy more plant foods!

Healing Thru Food Had a Baby!

AngelAlana

Greetings, healthy beings!

I know it’s been a really long time since I have logged on, but I HAD A BABY! On April 2, 2016 at 9:19 am, Alana Rose Lancaster was born! She was all of 6 lbs. 15 oz. and super healthy!!!

I had a vegan pregnancy, so my little sprout has begun life as a mini vegan herself!

Going through a vegan pregnancy was not that challenging, and although it’s met with some suspicion by those who may doubt the ability to provide proper nutrition to your growing baby, it is definitely becoming more widely accepted and understood, as many more woman choose to do it this way. I focused on a lot of plant protein such as beans, lentils, organic tofu and tempeh, and I also supplemented with a vegan protein powder (SunWarrior) as well as a green superfood powder (Amazing Grass). I also drank tons of water, and kept a log of my foods, just like I ask my clients to do; since my midwife wanted to know exactly what I was eating.

I gained 25 lbs. during pregnancy, which all but 10 lbs. have already melted off just from breastfeeding! That is a totally appropriate amount of weight to gain. (25-30 lbs. is normal)

Being plant based, and keeping up with a vigorous vinyasa yoga practice 4-5 days/week surely helped this mama to stay fit during my pregnancy journey. I also got my yoga teacher certification during my pregnancy!! The program started when I was just 12 weeks preggers, and I was 28 weeks when it ended! So, Alana is an honorary yoga teacher, too. 😉 (Contact me for private classes if you’re in Los Angeles!!)

Although this post isn’t directly related to food, I wanted to share (and hopefully inspire) others to choose plant based pregnancies! It can be done safely, if you have the right guidance. Think about it; how is most of the junk people eat when they are pregnant LESS harmful than plant foods? Some woman be CRAY when they are preggers and eat just about anything they want (healthy or not), and people don’t bat an eyelash. When people find out you are pregnant and vegan, the interrogation begins.

I am here to advocate for plant based to-be mamas and plant based mamas who trust and believe in plant foods for their bodies and their little one’s bodies!

I am totally here and available to help guide you through your pregnancy in a healthy, sustainable way that will not harm your baby. I am so thrilled to have been able to experience a vegan pregnancy, and now I can share my experience and knowledge with others! I look forward to being of service to you or your loved ones!

I’m also here for any questions about my pregnancy or labor, and additionally, here to help you lose those extra pounds after labor!! I’m learning first hand how crazy life is with a newborn, but I’m still making eating healthy a priority! You can, too! You don’t have to be a “convenience food” eating mama! Let’s rock it and carve out that hot mama bod hiding underneath the breastmilk-stained t-shirt and raggedy ol’ sweat pants you’ve been living in! A goddess lives within you!

Food coaching is of course available for anyone who is not pregnant or has a newborn as well! 😉

Contact me at healingthrufood@gmail.com or 323.905.4483 to schedule a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation!

Yours in health,

Dori (a.k.a Alana’s mama)


AlanaBlue5

Dori The Healthy Donut Baker

AshleyDonut1

Hey all!

Wow! I feel like a jerk for not blogging regularly, so I apologize for that! I know it’s been a while, but hopefully you’ve been staying in touch on my social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

If you’ve been kind enough to follow me there, you may have seen recently, that I’ve taken up baking healthy donuts! Kinda random, I know, but it’s been super fun, and those babies have been keeping me pretty busy! Last month, I was honored to participate in a Lululemon event in Brentwood for the Manta Movement bracelet launch, my buddy’s open house for his amazing natural therapy clinic Pure Vitality Rejuvenation Center and a Meatless Monday event in Long Beach where my donuts were in the swag bag with some delicious vegan fave samples provided by Beyond Meat, Daiya Cheese, Upton’s Natural’s and Field Roast! I was blown away and so stoked to have my little donuts handed out with such BIG names in the vegan world! #grateful

I just wanted to tell ya about the donuts since I don’t have an official website for them, so you won’t find much about them online, unless you’re following my social media.

The donuts are vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free. They are made with gluten free oat flour and contain chia seeds, for added protein. They contain roughly 10 g of sugar per donut (varies on the topping choice), and the sugar source is a teensy bit of pure maple syrup. They are all topped with a chocolate glaze, and that is sweetened with malitol, which is a sugar alcohol (and thus, less than 1 g of sugar and zero calories).

I started playing around in my kitchen, and posted a photo of them one day, and it all started with one friend asking me to make her a batch and then POOF, it’s now “my thing.”

You can find them weekly in my office at Lotus East-West Medical Center, and they can be ordered privately via email: healingthrufood@gmail.com. Currently, I am only servicing Los Angeles, and this helps to keep them local, fresh and “eco-friendly”. 😉

My philosophy behind them is that you do not have to give up tasty, fun food if you want to eat healthy. Eating healthy *should* be FUN!

Speaking of fun–it’s 4th of July weekend!!! Hope you have plans to do something SUPER fun (and healthy). A few healthy tips:

  • Stay hydrated (travel with a refillable water bottle)
  • Bring your own food to parties (something fun to share–a big salad, a gigantic watermelon–it doesn’t have to be complicated to be great)
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Graze all day–even if it IS a holiday–especially if you *are* drinking

Stay safe and have fun, you guys!! …AND, if you’re local and would like to order donuts, shoot me an email! I’d love to connect with you over some truly healthy, delicious, guilt free treats!

 

Passover & Easter Vegan Recipes

seder2

Hey everyone!

Happy Spring and happy (almost) Passover and Easter! What are your plans and do they happen to include food? I am going to guess that they do! Mine sure do, and even though there are lots of things a Jewess like myself cannot (or should not) consume during Passover, there are still TONS of things to eat! …and if you celebrate Easter (or both!), not to worry! I’ve got you covered, too! There are way more choices than hardboiled eggs or ham! Let’s create some newer, more conscious traditions, shall we?

During Passover, Jews do not consume “chametz”, which includes any of the following grains:

Wheat
Oats
Rye
Barley
Spelt

These grains are prohibited if they’ve had any contact with water or moisture for longer than 18 minutes, which leads to rising or “leavening.” Leavening agents, like yeast and sourdough, are also considered chametz and should not be consumed.

Although technically matzo (which is what we eat during this time) is made from wheat, it is an unleavened bread, so it’s okay.

Ashkenazi Jews also refrain from consuming rice, corn, millet and legumes during Passover.

So…WHAT can we eat, if we cannot eat any of the above?? Veggies would be a great start!! 😉 Also, QUINOA is totally allowed!! So, if you’re already consuming your quinoa and veggies, the upcoming Passover menu shouldn’t even phase you! Just don’t overdo it on the Manischewitz wine! 😉

The following recipes can actually be interchangeable for both holidays, if you so please, or if you live in a mixed faith household such as myself.

I assure you, these recipes will make you (and your family) very “hoppy.” 🙂

Deviled “Eggs”

I used to go crazy for these as a kid and have not had a “real” one in many years because these make an amazing alternative that is animal and cholesterol free!

Ingredients:

  • 6 small, organic red potatoes
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup plain hummus
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Dash paprika
  • Dash Cholula, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • Dash black salt (which you can find at an Indian market–it has a sulfurous taste, which makes these seem more “egg” like)

Boil potatoes until tender with a fork, then let cool completely. In the meantime, mix hummus, mustard, garlic and onion together, plus a pinch of black salt, stirring to combine. Add in hot sauce, if you prefer spicy deviled eggs. Add more Dijon or black salt to taste, then set aside. Once potatoes cool, slice in half long-ways and use a little spoon or melon baller to scoop out a small circle of the potato flesh to resemble an “egg”. Spoon the hummus mixture into the hole and garnish with paprika.

Spring Quinoa Salad

This is nice as a starter, or as an entree and it’s bursting with bright flavors and colors!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 small bunch asparagus (FYI, asparagus is on the “Clean 15″ list, so if you cannot find organic, you’re safe!), about 15 spears, washed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl or medium Mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake jar with tightly sealed lid. Set aside.

If your quinoa is pre-cooked, reheat on low on stove by adding just a bit of water to your pot. If you’re cooking quinoa at this time from scratch, cook quinoa by using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Boil for 5 minutes, and simmer for 15 until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, for about 5 minutes–be careful not to overcook, as you don’t want mushy asparagus. You want it to be bright green! Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the fresh basil and serve.

Matzo Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3½ cups broken matzo (use gluten free matzo, if desired)
  • ¾ cup Daiya mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
  • 3 flax eggs, beaten (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1¾ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1¼ cups Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream
  • Fresh dill, to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and saute onion until golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients, reserving ¼ cup of the Daiya mozzarella.

Pour into an 8×8 dish and top with reserved mozzarella. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. If you like, sprinkle with fresh dill. Serve hot.

Cauliflower Leek Kugel with Crusted Almond Topping

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads cauliflower)
  • 6 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (use both white and green parts–about 3 large leeks)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted matzo meal
  • 3 flax eggs (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped

Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat in flax eggs, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.

Brush 11×7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining 7 tbsp parsley, 7 tbsp dill, and 2 tbsp oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Raw Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 5 tbsp raw cacao, or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place pecans in food processor and process until they become tiny pieces. Add in your dates and process again until the mixture sticks together, almost like a paste.

Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture turns dark brown. Do not over process.

Add mixture into a glass brownie pan, and press down firmly using your clean hands or wax paper.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Cut into brownie squares once chilled.

Chocolate Matzo Squares

Ingredients:

    • 6 (about 6-inch x 6-inch) lightly salted matzo crackers
    • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 3/4 cup your favorite dark chocolate, chopped and melted
    • 1/3 cup minced pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange matzos on 2 large baking sheets in a single layer, breaking some in half to fit, if needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vegan butter and coconut sugar and generously brush on top of your matzo pieces.

Bake until the sugar is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Use a fork to drizzle chocolate and then sprinkle pistachios over the top.

Briefly refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Break into about 24 pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.

So, there you have it!! I hope these recipes will inspire a healthier version of your holidays, which ever you celebrate and I hope your holidays are joyful!

For more recipe ideas, or for personalized nutrition coaching that is specific to unique and amazing YOU, contact me!

 

 

Plant-Based Protein Sources

eatmoreplants

The majority of people I come across and work with do not always understand where they can find alternative sources of complete plant protein and some will argue that a plant-based diet is lacking and one cannot survive without eating animal flesh. Hogwash!

Also, in my humble opinion, I think we are truly a bit “protein obsessed” in this country! On average, we only need about 20-30% of our calories to come from protein and our bodies can really only absorb about 20 grams of protein per sitting, so consuming globs of whey powders of pounds or grilled chicken breasts won’t do us any good since the body does not maintain a store of excess amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Once your daily protein needs are met, your body has two options for dealing with any excess protein. Option 1: If your calorie intake is low that day, your cells may convert it into fuel. Option 2: If you’ve had plenty to eat that day (i.e. met your caloric intake), your body will convert the extra protein to fatty acids (a.k.a. FAT).

Many argue that plants are not a source of “complete” protein. The term “complete protein” refers the building blocks of protein: amino acids.  There are 20 different amino acids that form a protein molecule, and there are nine that the body cannot make on its own. These nine are called essential amino acids and since the body does not produce them, we need to get them from food sources. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in mostly equal parts.

So, animals products such as meat and eggs are naturally complete proteins, and plant sources such as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are not. But I’ve got news for you; we don’t need every single essential amino acid in every bite of food in every meal we eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. So, if you are consuming a diet rich in nutrient dense plant-based foods, and grazing all day, your body in its infinite wisdom, is smart enough to do its own combining and you’ll get what you need! So don’t worry too much about that and get your butt to the farmer’s market!

As you browse the list to follow, you can see there are plenty of healthy, nutrient dense, plant-based protein choices listed (that are not just soy-based—with the exception of organic tempeh, which I like on occasion!). A lot of these things can be thrown into smoothies, which I believe is the tastiest way to consume things like blue-green algae, for instance.

Most supplements can be found at your favorite health food store, or online.

POWER PACKING VEGGIE PROTEIN SOURCES

  • Green-leafy veggies (spinach, kale, bok choy, collards, green cabbage, arugula)
  • Good quality plant-based protein powder (my fave is Sun Warrior)
  • Goji berries
  • Mulberries
  • E3 Live (amazing blue-green algae product-this can be extremely powerful for mental clarity!!)
  • Blue-green algae such as chlorella and spirulina
  • Hemp (raw hemp seeds and hemp protein)
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Fresh olives
  • Grass powders (wheatgrass, barley grass, etc. I like Amazing Grass’s products)
  • Maca powder
  • Brewer’s yeast (not recommended for people with candida)
  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Raw almonds
  • Sprouted grains
  • Sprouted wild rice
  • Sprouts of all types
  • Nut butters
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, black, adzuki, etc.)
  • Lentils
  • Organic, non-GMO tempeh

As you can see, there are plenty of foods to choose from! If you need more specific help incorporating them into your diet, contact me! I can help you come up with some very tasty ways to start consuming more plant-based protein, and I promise, you won’t even miss that burger!

Homemade Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub

Do you ever notice how 1. expensive beauty care products are and 2. how many unpronounceable ingredients they contain? Well, did you know you can easily make your own beauty products with a few simple ingredients on hand? I have been trying to weed out all the toxic crap for a while now and I finally started making my own simple scrubs like the one I am going to share with you here! It’s so easy, smells delciously divine and makes your skin so incredibly soft! Ready to try it out?

Scrub

{Homemade Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub}

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 tsp. jojoba oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 10-15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 wide mouthed glass jar

What you need to do:

Mix all your ingredients in a bowl and store in your glass jar.

Boom! As easy as pie and as delicious as it, too! …but don’t eat it! All that sugar is not good for you! 🙂

This will store for up to 2 months!

Tell me…what is one beauty product you cannot live without? If you don’t make it yourself, do you think you would attempt to do so?

Share your DIY experiences with us!

If you’d like to know more about how to clean up your body and natural skin care, contact me! I’m the expert in healthy living and would love to personally coach you!