Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paleo breakfast pudding

I've been on a vegan kick lately, and really enjoyed my new meals. However, my doctor was concerned that although my weight gain is on track for this pregnancy, I tend to gain my weight at the end. I also have a big boy in there apparently, and since I'm going for a much-needed VBAC and I'm a small person, I should focus on the baby gaining the weight necessary for him to be healthy, and not in excess of that. Therefore, I need to slow down and try to cut out all carbs other than fruits and vegetables. I don't have an issue with sugar, since I just put honey in my tea and that's about the extent of my sugar intake. My problem is rice and quinoa pasta. So, paleo it is for the rest of this pregnancy. I'm still keeping it at plant-based and all of my meat and eggs will be organic/grass-fed/free range. I'm not sure why people think paleo is all about meat.... or who came up with that bogus chart with meat on the bottom of the pyramid. You can be Vegan and Paleo if you wanted, it would simply cut out a ton of food groups and wouldn't be incredibly healthy. So anyway, here's to a Paleo rest of my pregnancy!

This is delicious. I actually meant to go a particular store to get coconut yogurt, because it's the only one that carries it. However, I got lazy. As I was making my delicious pineapple smoothie with coconut milk, I saw a recipe on the back of the carton for pudding. I modified it quite a bit, but the end result turned out great! I decided to use this instead of yogurt, and I'm glad I did.

1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup tapioca starch (next time I'm using coconut flour to make this truly Paleo)
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups coconut milk (you could also use 5x protein almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup ground flax seeds

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the sugar, starch and salt together. Add in the milk slowly and whisk constantly until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and continue to whisk until the pudding thickens. Stir in vanilla and flax seeds and cool. Store, then top with berries or fruit of your choice (I chose berries and walnuts) when ready to serve.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Vegan Black Bean and Microgreen wrap

This was the most delicious lunch I have ever thrown together in my life. Well, make that the most delicious, easiest lunch I've ever thrown together. You don't even need the wrap, but I'm trying to get some calories into my life so that's why I ate it this way. You have got to try this!

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
pinch garlic powder
black pepper
pinch cumin
1/2 jalapeƱo, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
pinch chili powder
rice (brown is the best option)
I used gluten free Fiesta Wraps made with sorghum flour
cilantro would be a great addition

Sautee the beans and the rest of the ingredients before rice is listed for about 8 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. On a wrap, layer the rice, then beans, then microgreens and fold. So perfect!

Fit Baby Food!

I figured since maybe I looked to others for guidance and did a ton of research on baby food while Kai was tiny, maybe other parents would like some recipes. I read recipes a good bit, to make sure I wasn't giving my baby something that would make him sick. We started feeding him solids just before he was 6 months old, and he was quite ready for it. I love making baby food. It is so incredibly cheap and easy, I can't imagine spending so much money on the jarred stuff at the store. Of course, I really love the convenience of the bags of food for when we are on the go or traveling to pop out when it's meal time and I have no way to prep food.

6-9 months: I usually prepared about 1 month or so worth of food, froze it in little cubes (I used a brand from New Zealand and can't remember the name of it, but ice cube trays are fine too), then popped them into a gallon sized bag and stuck them in the freezer until I was ready to warm them up.
pears, baked and pureed
apple baked and pureed (Red Delicious as they are apparently the most nutritious)
avocado mashed with banana
sweet potato, baked and pureed
green beans steamed and pureed (with skins)
butternut squash roasted and pureed

9 months +:
Pretty much anything you eat, cut into tiny pieces or mashed or pureed.
old fashioned rolled oats with mixed berries (breakfast)
red beans and rice with kale and mushrooms(recipe follows)
peas, carrots and sweet potato (recipe follows)
eggplant, zucchini, mushroom, spinach and red bell pepper mash up (recipe follows)
tuna, peas, and rice (recipe follows)
chicken and sweet potato with rice (recipe follows)

Red Beans and Rice:
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
handful mushrooms
handful kale
pinch chili powder
black pepper
1/2 cup rice

Sautee the beans with garlic and broth for about 4 minutes, add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients excluding the rice for another 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and all of the liquid is absorbed. Add the rice at the end. Mash some so the beans and mushrooms are soft and not whole.

Peas, Carrots, and Sweet Potato:
1 sweet potato, baked, skin removed
bag of frozen peas and carrots

Steam the frozen peas and carrots until they are soft, about 5 minutes. You may want to mash this some in order to soften the carrots. Mix with sweet potato and store.

Eggplant, Zucchini, and the rest of the kitchen sink:
Chop the vegetables into small pieces, then steam until tender. Store and serve.

Tuna, Peas, and Rice:
1 can tuna
1 bag peas
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup rice, cooked

Sautee the tuna with peas and broth until peas are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in rice and store.

Chicken and Sweet Potato with Rice:
I either use the crockpot for this or the oven, whatever you prefer. If using the crockpot, throw in 3 organic chicken breasts, 1 cup broth of choice, 1 cup water, 2 sweet potatoes and green beans or vegetable of choice. Set the crockpot to high and cook for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Bigger chicken breasts will take much longer to cook through. Either chop or puree the finished product and store.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vegan Eggplant Lasagna

It's not beautiful, but it's delicious and healthy! I posted a recipe a while back for vegetarian lasagna, which was great, but here is the vegan-ified version. I loved it, and my son was all over it, so it's a winner!


1 medium eggplant, sliced length-wise


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

black pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

28 oz. can tomatoes

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more as needed


1 tablespoon capers

12 ounces GF lasagna noodles, cooked

1 pound soft tofu, drained

2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend tomatoes, onion and garlic in a food processor until smooth, then simmer in a small pot on medium heat. After about 15 minutes, add in bay leaf, red pepper, capers, and parsley, and simmer until you are ready to use the sauce. 
With eggplant spread out on a baking sheet or plate, sprinkle with salt on both sides (not generously). In a pan with olive oil heated over medium heat, layer in the eggplant and cook on each side for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Blend the tofu, salt and black pepper until it resembles ricotta cheese. Set aside.
In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer the sauce, then noodles, then tofu, then eggplant then repeat. Finish with the sauce on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vegan Tomato and Kale Soup

On an incredibly cold day, tomato soup is just perfect. I'm not a fan of tomato soup with chunks of veggies normally, but this was delicious.

28 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 1/4 cups rice, cooked (you could also use quinoa)
1 cup frozen pea + sliced carrot blend, organic
2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
1 heaping tbsp chili powder
pepper/salt to taste 
1 tsp garlic powder 

pinch cayenne pepper

Blend tomatoes in a processor until smooth, then pour into a large pot. Add vegetable broth and cook on medium-high until boiling. Add spices, bay leaves, and peas and carrots until vegetables are cooked through. Add rice and kale and serve!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vegan Garlic "butter" Pasta

This dish is incredibly simple. So simple, I made it the night we got back from flying all day instead of ordering take-out. I always have quinoa pasta in the pantry, and the spinach was still fresh, surprisingly. I always say that if you load anything with garlic and hot pepper, it'll be delicious!

1 pkg quinoa pasta
heaping bunch of spinach, washed and drained
1 T Earth Balance vegan butter spread (soy free)
1/4 cup olive oil (you could get away with less, but I like good fats)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
crushed red pepper

Boil pasta according to package directions. Melt buttery spread with olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir for about 1 minute, then add spinach and stir until wilted. Once pasta is done, scoop noodles into pan with the spinach and add the spices to taste. So fast and so yummy!