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…

 

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.

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!

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!

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!

Labels Shmabels

I often get asked what I eat. “What are you? Vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo?” Nope. Nope. Nope. I guess I’d say I’m just a “happy, healthy eater.”

1620486_482742691837906_61031964_n*this may or not be me, happily eating

Yup, I love food, talking about food, learning about food, cooking food, and, most of all, eating food. We’re constantly learning about how food affects us – it’s an exciting time for the science of nutrition. Food is everywhere and keeping up with food trends is a full time job.

Pick up any food-related magazine or book or browse the internet for 5 minutes and you’ll get 17 different dietary suggestions…all negating each other. Gluten free or dairy free? Juice or smoothie? High carb or low carb? Plant-based or protein-packed? Paleo’s in, vegan’s out. Or is it the other way around? How do we know what rules to stick to and what rules to rule out?!

What if there were no rules? No labels? If there are no rules, there’s no restriction. There’s no bad vs. good or one size fits all…because there isn’t.  There’s only food and how it makes us feel. Every single one of us is SO DIFFERENT that there are no generalizations when it comes to food. Genetically, we are different. We live different lifestyles and have different goals, cravings, needs, bodies, and beliefs about food. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa and foods that make me feel good may make you feel not so good and vice versa.

One Healthy Breakdown: Do eat what’s right for you; what makes you feel healthy and happy.

Vegan “Lick the Bowl” Cupcakes

When Jackie McKay of McKay Kitchens mentioned this “to die for” cupcake/muffin creation, I knew they HAD to be shared on OHH! What’s not to love with an indulgent-tasting chocolate cupcake healthy enough to eat for breakfast?! This one’s packed with superfoods and super taste!

Jackie warns us that this vegan creation is very moist and healthy and taste like chocolate! We’ve confirmed that it’s absolutely acceptable to lick the bowl clean – enjoy!

10487382_10154373037745227_818886423355100688_nWet Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped boiled beets
  • 1/2 cup local maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped kale or spinach
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend all wet ingredient in blender, adding warm water last and slowly, observing texture. Look for a purée to form. Fold together and pour into muffin or mini cupcake trays. Bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size of tray. Check center with a fork to make sure they’re cooked through. When cooked, turn oven off and let dehydrate for another hour.

One Healthy Breakdown: From one healthy foodie to another, keep up the good work!

Soup’s On!

Brrrrr, baby it’s cold outside! You know what that means: layers, boots, tea, and warm SOUP! Who says comfort food can’t be healthy?! We bring you OHH’s three favorite soup recipes, made from whole foods of course, to warm the body and satisfy the soul. Plus, they’re vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, and can be made dairy free as well. Enjoy and stay warm!

photo 1Fresh Tomato Basil Soup: Makes four servings.

  • 5 chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash of sea salt & pepper

In pan, lightly sauté garlic and onion. Turn heat off and add basil. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy-free) and serve in a bowl, garnished with basil leaves, or even over pasta as a sauce!

Lean Green Soup: Warm and tasty enough for dinner, light enough for a snack, in just minutes! Makes one serving. In food processor or blender, blend:

  • 1/4 cup chickpeas (or beans of choice)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 zucchini or cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon miso (optional)
  •  1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup of water (more or less for desired consistency)

Heat and serve. Optional: top with a dallop of plain yogurt.

Hearty Crock-Pot Soup: Makes four servings.

Lightly sauté in a pan:

  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 1 chopped garlic clove

In Crock Pot, combine 2 cups water, 2 cups broth (chicken, beef, or veggie), 2 cups rinsed lentils, (can use barley, farro, or brown rice instead) sautéed vegetables. Squeeze juice of half a lemon. Cook 5-7 hours on low and serve warm.

One Healthy Breakdown: soup in a pinch!

So Fresh

“We are yoga-lovin’, health-food eating foodies with a background in high-end gourmet fare. This restaurant is what we’ve always wanted.” ~ freshhamptons.com

Need I say more? That’s pretty much One Healthy Hamptons’ heaven on earth. To tell you the truth, I was kind of embarrassed that I hadn’t yet been to Fresh. It seemed like I was the only one in town. People who know me or know of One Healthy Hamptons would immediately ask “have you been to Fresh?” Well, yes, folks, now I have officially been to Fresh! And, I will officially be going back again soon!

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The menu is extensive, to say the least. Pages and pages, which is fun to explore and not that overwhelming. You are first introduced to the full smoothie and juice bar and then walked through small plates, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. There is something, if not lots, for everyone. Fresh’s motto is that they serve every type of eater; vegan, those with food allergies, dietary restrictions, preferences, picky, and non, all-out carnivores, and everyone in between. Whether you’re in the mood for a simple cup of soup or a full four-course meal, Fresh has it.

Fresh is one restaurant a bride-to-be can frequent! I don’t know about you, but when choosing a restaurant, I look for a few key aspects. Most important is clearly the food. The food’s gotta be good, or what’s the point of leaving the house? “Good” to me is a combination of high-quality taste and satisfaction knowing you’re nourishing your body. Obviously, I like to know I’m eating somewhat healthy. I like when a meal feels light, not heavy. I like lots of greens. I like being able to attribute flavor to herbs, spices, or lemon, for example, rather than cream or butter. But, what’s the BEST? FRESH. When you can literally taste the crisp freshness in your meal, that’s the best. Knowing that the freshness is local and healthy? That’s the BEST.

photo 4The restaurant is rustic and cozy, with a low-key vibe. Since we went for lunch on a weekday, it was light out, pretty empty, and felt more casual. The space definitely shows potential for a dinner date, night out, or even bar scene. I love the option to sit at a table or bench seating, can’t go wrong. Lastly, the staff was very nice and welcoming, knowledgeable, and friendly.

One Healthy Breakdown: if you’re a One Healthy Hamptons reader, you’d be silly not to try Fresh!