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!

 

The Gift of Well Necessities

Is there anything better than getting a package in the mail full of healthy new, fun, and tasty snacks? I think not. It’s like Christmas all year round with The Well Necessities Collection, a bag full of *healthy* goodies hand-picked by a fabulous Registered Dietician and Doctor team!

“A seasonal surprise of functional foods and lifestyle essentials that protect and promote your health and well being,” The Well Necessities Collection is the obvious choice for a healthy holiday season and the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Use code OHH10 for 10% off!

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Subscribe to the collection to receive shipments quarterly, each with 10-15 full and sample size products to expand your healthy horizons. Everything is vegan and gluten-free, so whether or not you eat that way, you’ll learn something about what you put in your body. Who knew that pasta made of lentils and gummies packed with biotin can be just as delicious as the real deal?!

From a raw, guilt-free brownie to kale and jicama chips to satisfy your craving for crunch, everything is made of real, whole ingredients. You never know what you’re gonna get with The Well Necessities Collection, but you can rely on lots of fuel-filled food, the latest and greatest wellness products, and a straightforward explanation on why each product is good for you.

As if that’s not yummy enough, Lisa Hayim of The Well Necesities also includes exclusive discount codes so that you can order more of what you love at a reduced rate! TWN Collection is the perfect gift to give your health-conscious friends (and yourself too!) Every season, you’ll look forward to rummaging through the bag, reading about the goods, trying new healthy snacks, and feeling great as a result. Click here to read more about this nutritious, delicious offer and don’t forget to use code OHH10 for 10% off!

One Healthy Breakdown: we’re hooked on the Well NECESSITIES Collection!

Decadent Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate mousse…yum….  Healthy chocolate mousse? Hmmm…

Avocado is the magic ingredient making this mousse light and healthy, yet decadent and delicious. If you have a couple of avocados lying around getting super soft, that’s a great excuse to make chocolate mousse (and if not, go get your hands on some and make this!)

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Ingredients: (makes 3 servings)

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate or cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peanut or almond butter (omit for nut-free)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • dash of sea salt
  • optional: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder and/or collagen peptides for added protein

Instructions:

Combine and melt chocolate/cacao nibs, coconut oil, and honey/maple syrup together on stove or in microwave. Add all ingredients into blender/food processor and blend until consistent. Refrigerate at least 25 minutes and devour. Top with chopped nuts and/or granola if you’d like.

One Healthy Breakdown: there are many delicious ways to eat avocado, but this is the most decadent way by far!

Vegan Pesto Zoodles with Fresh Tomatoes

Zoodles are oodles of fun, especially during tomato season! Upgrade any pasta dish with veggie noodles for a healthier meal that’s low in carbs, calories, and high in fiber. This one just happens to be meatless, vegetarian, vegan, and you won’t even miss the meat or cheese one bit! I used the inspiralizer to make noodles out of zucchini and summer squash before adding fresh tomatoes and a vegan pesto that is out of this world. Ready to be inspiralized?

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Ingredients: (makes two servings)

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

Use Inspiralizer (or your tool of choice) to make noodles out of the zucchini and squash. Put noodles aside on a plate, sprinkle sea salt over noodles, and let sit to drain some of the liquid. For pesto, in a Vitamix, blender, or food processor, combine arugula, basil, nuts, avocado, 1 tablespoon olive oil, nutritional  yeast, and the lemon (remove seeds, optional to use juice or peel as well like we do.) Add a few spoonfuls of water if needed, so that mixture blends together.

Put zoodles in a pan on the stove over low heat and add remaining olive oil. Once they start to cook and soften, add pesto and cubed tomato. (For added protein and creaminess, you can also add one egg to the pan at this time.)

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Mix over heat a few more minutes until noodles are all covered in pesto and tomatoes have softened. Remove from heat and serve in pasta bowl, garnish with basil leaves. Bon appetit!

One Healthy Breakdown: There’s nothin’ wrong with a little healthy Italian.

Roasted Chickpeas Two Ways

Hummus takes a back seat to these crunchy sweet and savory roasted chickpeas. Roasted chickpeas are super easy, tasty, and healthy. Chickpeas are power packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whether you like sweet or salty, you’re in luck.

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Sweet Roasted Chickpeas: top with coconut oil, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt.

Savory Roasted Chickpeas: top with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, tumeric, sea salt, black pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper (optional.)

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Simply prep your sweet and/or savory chickpeas and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and pop ’em as is for a snack (great on the go!) or add roasted chickpeas to a salad for a full (vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, meatless Monday) meal.

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One Healthy Breakdown: pass on the potato chips, opt for roasted chickpeas!

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?!

Green Cream of Cauli Soup

The simple veggie soup happens to be tasty, hearty, and oh so comforting! Forget mashed potatoes, I give you Green Cream of Cauli Soup, the dish that bridges the gap between comfort food and superfood. Adapted from OHH’s Super Spring Cleanse, it’s like a green juice in a soup. For more detox-friendly recipes and tips, get your cleanse copy now!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into pieces
  • 1.5 cups bone broth, chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large handful organic arugula
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds, nuts of choice, or 1/4 cup Greek yogurt for protein
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Here’s what I did:

  • Boil cauliflower in bone broth
  • Add garlic and basil and continue to cook on medium
  • Once cauliflower is soft, transfer entire mixture to your Vitamix or high-powered blender (you may have to wait until it cools depending on what you have)
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Serve warm, garnish with basil leaf

One Healthy Breakdown: the cleanse-worthy cream of!

All About Meal Prep

Meal prep is a great way to set yourself up for success. With no time to make a healthy meal when we’re hungry, we’re likely to resort to processed food, take-out, fast food, mindless eating, and overeating. With a kitchen full of healthy snacks and balanced meals on hand, it’s a lot easier to eat healthier. With one simple change, healthy eating becomes a whole lot happier.

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  • Schedule one or two days a week to prep. While it doesn’t have to be the same day each week, plan to take some time to prepare some meals and snacks to last you throughout the week. Think about the times when you cave and come up with some good preventative strategies. For example, if you’re always starving mid-afternoon, pack an extra snack to tide you over until dinner. This will keep your energy, blood sugar, and mood in check and help you to slow down and enjoy dinner because you won’t be famished when you finally sit down. If you struggle with breakfast, prep something simple that will fuel your day, like yummy muffins, berry bars, a frittata, or healthy bread.
  • Have a plan, make a list, and stick to it. Whether you’re using a meal template (google what you’re looking for, like “family meal plan” or “paleo meal plan.”) or creating your own, be sure to map it out. You’re less likely to throw those impulse cookies in the cart when you shop with a clear grocery list. Start collecting recipes that you’d like to make; use Pinterest or collect magazine pages so that you remember them. Another fun tip is to use themes, like taco Tuesday or breakfast for dinner. Lastly, remember to check the weather because it often impacts our cravings (think soup on a chilly day and BBQ when it’s warm.)

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  • Get your nutrients. Be sure that your plan includes carbs, protein, and healthy fats. For example, your energizing carbs could be oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Protein may be a chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and/or tempeh. Maybe you make individual portions of trail mix and some guacamole for healthy fats. Cater to your personal preferences, but be sure to prep produce, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats in bulk.
  • Leftovers are your friend. There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ L/O. Leftovers come in super handy, so double your recipe or make a little extra knowing that you can have it the following day or freeze it for another time. You can even make leftovers ‘like new’ by adding them to a fresh bed of greens for a big salad or reinventing the meal.
  • Have fun. Prepping is not miserable! Turn on music, get your fam involved, and have fun!

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One Healthy Breakdown: if you care, P R E P A R E !

*For more meal prep tips, check out the queen of food prep, theleangreenbean.com

February’s Tiny Change: Eat More Plants

*This post is part of Kale and Chocolate’s year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one small, super doable change-over a year it really adds up! Read about all changes here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges!

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You’ve probably heard about the health benefits associated with eating a plant-based diet, like reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering your blood pressure, and adding years to your life. Food experts, nutritionists, and dietitians may disagree about the right diet, but amidst these debates, they have always been able to agree on at least one thing: MORE PLANTS = GOOD.

This month’s tiny change is just that – tiny. No need to cut foods out, restrict, or diet. Simply add more plant-based foods and recipes to your cooking repertoire. If you’re already eating a largely plant-based diet, wonderful! Try something new and interesting like DIY nut milk. If you’ve yet to dip your toe into plant-based cooking, start easy with something like chia seed pudding.

You don’t have to eat less or cut out anything. Just add more vibrant colors, nutrients, and variety to your meals. If a few of those delectable plant-based dishes happen to replace the less-than-healthy ones in your repertoire, that’s just a bonus! So what constitutes “plant-based,” exactly? Great question! Fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, and oils are all fair game – all things that originally stem from plants (pun intended!)

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Here are five ways you can make this tiny change easy and awesome!

1. Incorporate these plant-based foods into the way you already eat

The best thing about plant-based foods? You can fold them into absolutely any eating style – they’re totally inclusive! Eating Paleo? Vegetarian? Gluten-free? Locavore or seasonal eater? Great, simply add more plants to your daily routine!

2. View this as an opportunity to experiment with new recipes + types of food
Consider this a little nudge to explore new recipes or make reservations at a new restaurant. Asian, Indian, and Ethiopian cuisines include lots of plant-based dishes, many featuring interesting spices and flavor combinations. Give them all a try!

Instead of trying to plant-i-fy existing dishes, why not try something totally different? We’re much more likely to enjoy a recipe (and make it again) if we eat it with an open mind…rather than thinking “this was much better when I made it with a whole stick of butter…” This tiny change gives you the perfect excuse to push yourself toward easy experimentation and more adventurous eating.

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3. Know that this isn’t just about smoothies and salads
Gotta love a good green smoothie, but there are tons of luscious, decadent plant-based foods out there. In fact, if you want to try just one new plant-based recipe a week this month, how about some delicious oatmeal, hummuscookies, PB & J, sweet chocolate avocado mousse, and even ice cream?! Plant dishes can be sweet, savory, warm, chilled, and satisfy just about any craving!

4. Swap in one plant-based dish for one meat or dairy dish

Rather than overhauling your entire meal, try just swapping one dish. Munch on a batch of homemade veggie burgers and sweet potato fries for your Friday night Netflix marathon or warm up with butternut squash soup for meatless Monday. Whip up a balanced meal, use DIY nut milk in your smoothie or make guacamole instead of french onion dip. Just one tiny swap at a time; you’ll be amazed how easy it is to eat more plants!

5. Choose plant-based dishes when you’re eating out or grocery shopping

Now, you know I’m a huge advocate of DIY-ing, but most of us are short on time and long on obligations. Who among us hasn’t picked up dinner on the way home from a hectic day?

Remember, there are a surprising number of plant-based options at your local grocery store, and maybe even your favorite restaurant. Grab a tub of guac, baba ganoush, hummus or even black bean dip. Check out the salad bar for freshly prepared veggies, grains, and plant-based proteins to add to a bed of greens.

When you’re eating out, soups, salads, and vegetarian entrees are often plant-based, (and delicious) so give it a try. To help kickoff this tiny change, you could win amazing prizes and tools to fill up your plate with as many colors and nutrients as possible. You’ll be amazed by how simple it is to eat more plants. And the best part? This easy, delicious tiny change can set you on the road to a healthier heart, longer life, and happier body!

One Healthy Breakdown: Crack open you cookbooks and get ready to veg out!