Plant-Based Pesto Quinoa

If you follow me on instagram, you know that I set two goals for the month of September: 1. better meal prep and 2. daily meditation. Truth be told, the meal prep is going pretty well. Why it’s more difficult to find the time to  literally sit still than it is to exert effort into things like shopping, chopping, and cooking is beyond me. Meditation is a work in progress…but at least the meal prep is going well. Hey, nobody’s perfect, right?!

Anyway, I typically meal prep on Sundays and I usually roast some chicken and a ton of veggies. Last Sunday, I was a little sick of chicken, so instead made a big batch of quinoa to have throughout the week. I didn’t want the quinoa tasting like bland leftovers, so I decided to mix things up and pesto-fy my quinoa….because anything with pesto is delicious, no?! Plus, not that I’m into labels or anything, but this baby also happens to be vegan/plant-based, gluten free, dairy free, and choc-full of all of your macro-nutrients. Yup, you’ve got protein, carbs, fat, and a serving of greens too – all in this one super simple dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, or sub for parmesan cheese if desired)
  • 1/2 cup organic corn

*note: all of my ingredients were organic, but if you’re going to go organic on anything, corn is the most important because conventional corn is so highly GMO. I use frozen organic corn and just thaw it out beforehand.

Cook quinoa (cook however you like to cook your quinoa. I cooked it on the stovetop in 2-3 cups water and a pinch of sea salt.) While quinoa is cooking, make the pesto by combining arugula, basil, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts, and nutritional yeast in food processor (I use a Vitamix.) Toast the other tablespoon of pine nuts, but be sure to watch them because they toast fast! (Truth: toasting nuts usually takes me two attempts because I forget about them and burn them the first time. Don’t do this.)

Turn heat off, but leave pot on the warm stove and stir in pesto, corn, and pine nuts. That’s it! Enjoy for lunch or dinner…all week long!

One Healthy Breakdown: Meatless Monday…and Tuesday…and Wednesday…

 

Basil Guacamole Dip and Sweet Potato Chips

Since it’s been a hot minute (ok, a loooong while…blame it on my need to soak up every single waking second with baby girl…and the fact that she lets me get very little else done!) since I’ve posted a recipe, the big come back better be double good…and it is!

A creamy, zesty, bbq-friendly but good enough for a dinner party too chips and dip. If you can’t decide between pesto and guacamole, this recipe is going to be your best friend. Not that we’re into labels or anything, but it also happens to be diary and gluten free and vegan too.

The icing on the cake? The perfectly roasted crunchy sweet potato chips so good that they put sweet potato fries to shame. Not that you’re not already salivating, but allow me to also mention the fact that this is super simple and easy to whip up. In fact, I did it before baby girl’s attention span ran out…which is pretty damn quick! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 small or 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Blend everything together in a high powered blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix) until it’s thick and creamy. That’s it!

For the chips, take 1-2 sweet potatoes (I used one large) and cut into thin round discs. Roast in olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper at 400 degrees until crispy (about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.) Let cool and arrange around your dip.

One Healthy Breakdown: good luck making this one last more than a few minutes!

 

Zucchini + Oats = ZOATS

What’s a zoat?! Much like zoodles are noodles, zoats are oats made out of zucchini (plus, they’re fun to say.) While they’re not the prettiest of breakfast bowls, they sure are delicious and super, duper healthy, without any gluten, dairy, or sugar! What’s better than polishing off a cozy breakfast knowing that you’ve already gotten in a good serving of veggies? Nada.

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Breakfast Zoats (makes 1 large or 2 smaller portions)

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 heaping spoonful of flaxmeal
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts or nuts of choice
  • optional: 1 egg or 1 scoop collagen peptides or protein powder of choice

Grate zucchini into a saucepan on heated stove top. Add remaining ingredients, mix together, and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Transfer to bowl and enjoy warm.

One Healthy Breakdown: totes for zoats that taste like oats!

Watermelon Basil Summer Salad

What says summer better than salad watermelon?! This salad will instantly become a summer staple. Soon, any salad without watermelon will seem…incomplete? It’s true. You’ll get it once you try it. Luckily, this one is super simple (like five minutes simple) and the color palette is sure to impress even the most critical BBQ guest. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • dark leafy greens
  • watermelon (cut into cubes)
  • feta cheese
  • fresh basil leaves
  • balsamic vinegar

Simply make a bed of dark leafy greens (we used arugula here, but as long as they’re fresh, any type of greens will do the trick.) Add basil leaves, watermelon cubes, and feta and lightly cover with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle sea salt, black pepper, and toasted hazelnuts if you want to get really fancy. This salad is so fresh, light, and summery that you’ll make it all season long.

One Healthy Breakdown: the salad that screams summer is oh so simple!

One Healthy (or not so much) Paris Recap

Travel does wonders for the mind and soul, especially traveling to Paris! Here’s a quick recap of our trip along with some healthy tidbits we can all learn from the Parisians.

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Say this three times fast: fresh French food. Food is fresh in France. Whether it’s fish, fruit, veggies, meat, bread, or wine, fresh and locally made is the standard. You can taste the difference, from the simplest salad to a baguette to a gourmet meal.

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Restaurant menus change often because seasonal goods are preferred and expected. Everything is less processed. Interestingly, people sensitive to gluten or dairy often don’t feel the effects abroad, which leads us to believe that it may actually be the processing and not the food itself.

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During the cooking class we took, the first 90 minutes was dedicated to walking through the market, the butcher, the cheese vendor, and the fish market, seeking the freshest of fresh, which included dover sole, asparagus, tomatoes, and the herbs in the vinaigrette.

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As a nutritionist, I often encourage clients to grocery shop with a list; having a strategy as to avoid extras like Oreos sneaking into the cart. Interestingly, the people of Paris shop for groceries almost every day. Instead of stocking up on bulk items, they tend to buy just what they need for that nights’ meal, every day. Less freezing, thawing, bulking, and money. Smart.

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Regulations on meat and poultry are also more specific and there are simply no antibiotics or GMOs allowed…at all. Again, smart. As for wine,  there’s a push for biodynamic/organic wine, made without sulfates or chemicals. The wine tastes cleaner, goes down smoother, and doesn’t result in a headache or hangover the following day. Super smart.

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Being that we live in such a young country, it’s amazing to see such extensive history, like the palace of Versailles. Paris exemplifies the statement “worth the wait.” From the architecture to the wine and cheese, Paris is about the end result, not instant gratification.

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Cheese and refined sugar. Two things I rarely indulge in, but vacation (especially Paris!) calls for  complete indulgence. And with that, it’s time to get back on track with all things green.

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Last note: one thing we’ve far surpassed is our incidence of smoking. Ew. But if sitting is the new smoking, all of the walking around the beautiful city may just cancel it out? Definitely not promoting smoking – less smoking, more walking. And remember, Paris is always a good idea.

One Healthy Breakdown: travel, learn, drink, and eat your way around the world!

 

Peppermint Mocha Chia Pudding

Wow. Peppermint, chocolate, and coffee culminate to make this perfectly decadent combination. Did we mention it’s super healthy too? Nutritious and delicious anytime of day! With no added sugar, this dessert-like treat can even be enjoyed for breakfast!

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Ingredients: (makes one meal serving or 2 smaller snack/dessert servings)

  • 2/3 cup almond or coconut milk (make your own!)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2-4 tablespoons coffee (cool/room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons cacoa powder
  • 2 small drops peppermint extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Mixture will thicken to pudding. Remove, stir again, and serve chilled. Enjoy this decadent (super healthy!) sweet treat!

One Healthy Breakdown: who says healthy doesn’t taste good delicious?!

Super Summer Salad

If you ask me, summer supper is not complete without a super summer salad. I make a big salad like this at least once a week with dinner and use the leftovers for lunch salads. This makes the perfect crisp, colorful side dish or light dinner or lunch if you add some protein, like grilled chicken, shrimp, or beans. The best part is that the possibilities are endless with a summer salad!FullSizeRender(34)Start with a bed of leafy greens and add as many veggies/mix-ins as you’d like – best to use as much local, in-season, organic produce as possible! Here’s what I used:

  • mixed greens
  • chopped basil
  • chopped scallion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 green pepper
  • chopped radish
  • organic corn
  • chopped carrots

Additional options:

  • berries
  • cucumber
  • nuts
  • beans
  • onions
  • chicken
  • fish
  • lean beef
  • tempeh
  • eggs
  • edamame
  • cheese

Use a simple, homemade dressing to keep the focus on the fresh produce. Oil and vinegar, lemon juice, or a light vinaigrette works great (mix 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pepper, and a little salt.)

One Healthy Breakdown: eat the rainbow with a super summer salad!

One Healthy Shamrock Shake

Let’s forgo the fast food, skip the drive thru, hold the corned beef, and head straight for the shake. We’re talking a Shamrock Shake, yum yum. After all, a large shake at McDonalds will cost ya almost a day of calories, well over 100 grams of sugar, and a whole lotta other crap that is far from lean or green. This healthy version is delicious and nutritious enough to have for…breakfast! Lucky you!

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One Healthy Shamrock Shake:

In a blender, combine:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful spinach or romaine (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • A bunch of fresh mint leaves and/or one drop of peppermint extract (a little bit goes a long way)
  • 1 teaspoon cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • handful of ice cubes

Pour into a large glass. Top with extra nibs or chocolate chips and go to town!

One Healthy Breakdown: it’s a wish come true!

Cold Crunchy Chopped Asian Salad

This refreshingly crunchy salad is tasty, healthy, and super easy to make. With lots of veggies, healthy fats, and protein, it packs a powerful punch and tastes as indulgent as take-out! Makes a great lunch, dinner, side dish. Makes 2-3 servings and makes for great leftovers for the next day!

asianIn a bowl, combine:

  • 1.5 cup shredded cabbage (use red, green, or a combination of both)
  • 1 cup chopped jicama
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions

For dressing, whisk the following until mixed:

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dark miso
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

For more protein, add cooked egg, tofu, chicken, tempeh etc. Pour dressing over ingredients and mix thoroughly.

One Healthy Breakdown: easier and tastier than you think!

*Recipe adapted from The Ultra-Metabolism Cookbook by Mark Hyman

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

Hands touching a globeHappy Earth Day! Here’s how we can celebrate Earth Day today and every day by getting a little greener:

  • Carry a BPA-free water bottle everywhere you go. This is my top tip, I always have my water bottle with me. Helps the earth and helps yourself by staying hydrated!
  • Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, keep a few in your car.
  • Buy non-GMO produce and look local. Supporting local farmers, growers, and businesses as opposed to national conglomerates, not only assures freshness, but also makes the world, and the Hamptons, go round.
  • Give old ‘stuff’ to others. Instead of trashing old clothes or belongings, donate them if they’re usable. Donating supplies others with things they may not have and prevents waste.
  • Don’t litter…it’s that simple.
  • Use the most natural products around the house that you can, like cleaning products, paper products, food, etc.
  • Walk or bike more places – the weather is finally pleasant, enjoy it and save gas!
  • Borrow/rent items (like books, movies, etc.) instead of buying to save waste and money.

One Healthy Breakdown: Reduce, reuse, recycle (of course!)