Kale-Navy Bean Mix in a Green Pepper Bowl

Plant-Based. Fast. Flexible. Delicious. Four principles I strive to bring to every Juice Junky post. And this meal hits the jackpot! A quick, delicious, vegan entree that doesn’t call for any fancy schmancy ingredients or some 50 hour prep time. … Continue reading

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Cauliflower Alfredo

caulifredo landscape

Two short days stand between me and my Clean Eating Challenge, and I have to say I’m getting pretty excited!  I’m so pumped for this coming week, and you should be, too!  I have some great recipes and juices to share, and I can’t wait to expand my foodie experience, not to mention feel like a beast! How do I know I’m gonna feel great?  It’s simple. “I feel bloated and sick and weighed down after eating all these vegetables”….. said no one ever.  Good food does good things for your body, and cutting out the bad stuff (refined sugars, white flours, etc.) just makes more room in the diet for the good stuff!

Okay, so in anticipation of the week ahead, I may or may not have pounded down half a loaf of bread last night while searching for raw food recipes.  Bread is my kryptonite.  Well, carbs in general, but mostly bread.  I purposely don’t buy bread or pasta because if it’s in the house, I can’t help but binge on the stuff!  I think it has some to do with the fact that my Italian heritage had living on a healthy diet of spaghetti and bruschetta throughout my childhood.  They’re two of my go-to comfort foods when I’m missing home.  Bread isn’t always the most nutritionally dense food, though, and come Sunday, it’s gonna be Adios baguette and hola okra.

With carbs on the brain, I wanted to share with you one last cooked recipe before the raw ones appear on Sunday.  One of the hardest things for me to give up when I went vegan was creamy Alfredo sauce to put over my pasta.  I found a pretty tasty alternative, though, using cauliflower as the base.  Even if you aren’t the biggest cauliflower fan, you should try this!  It’s very creamy and is so good on a bowl of whole wheat pasta!

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Cauliflower Alfredo

  • 2 cups raw cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tsp Earth Balance
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk (any other non-dairy sub will work, too)
  • ½ cup non-dairy cheese of your choice, or nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup broccoli florets

Throw everything except broccoli into a pot and bring to a boil.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.

Pour everything into your Ninja, Vitamix, or other blender and completely pulverize it!

Serve your delicious new sauce over whole wheat angel hair or elbow pasta, and mix in some raw broccoli florets while you’re at it!  Enjoy!

When life gives you Apples… You Better Get Your Juicer Out!

Ahhhhh…. Happy Lazy Sunday everyone!  Well, as lazy as it can be, anyways.  My idea of lazy still entails a run, some yoga, and, of course, blogging!  A quick 2-mile jog this morning was over before I knew it, and I had a successful trip to the Sunday Farmer’s Market. Yay! Now I’m home and I’ve got a pretty sweet set up on my couch: a huge salad on my left, my laptop to my right, and a House of Cards marathon on Netflix.  I’d say this is a pretty great day! 

A few days ago, a large donation of apples was dropped off at the animal shelter where I work.  I’m talking like a moving crate, full of apples and pears.  There was no way we would be able to use them all before they went bad, so guess who brought home enough apples to feed an entire elementary school? This girl!  

After washing and cutting everything up, my kitchen was beginning to look like an applesauce factory!  There were apples everywhere!  On my counter top, on the stove, in the sink, I was practically swimming in them! I have to say, it was probably the best apple juice I’ve ever had! At the end of the day, my fridge was full, and my apartment smelled like HEAVEN!  Here’s about half the apples in juice form, hanging out in my fridge!

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I’ve been getting a lot of comments and emails from people letting me know that my recipes look delicious, and they love the idea of juicing, but they just aren’t that savvy in the kitchen.  You wanna talk about kitchen savvy?  This girl, this girl right here, didn’t know how to cook pasta until she could legally drink.  I was 22 when my ex-boyfriend taught me how to cook rice.    And baking?  My mother still doesn’t trust me to use the oven without supervision when I come to visit.  How’s that for kitchen savvy?  Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can make health-conscious, proactive choices about what they put in their bodies!  Even the (sort-of) grown-ups who need parental supervision in their own kitchens!  I’ve learned a TON in the past year about food and how to prepare it, so don’t be discouraged!  I’m STILL learning the ropes, and I still mess up recipes on a daily basis!  It’s all about the journey though, and I would much rather be putting whole, natural foods into my body than a processed, refined frozen dinner. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m by no means an expert chef, and by no means should anyone feel intimidated, especially by me of all people.  In the beginning, it was so easy to get frustrated with even the simplest recipes and run down to Cosmic Dave’s for a sandwich instead.  Now, I would much rather stick it out in the kitchen and eat something made from scratch, where I know every ingredient I’m eating, rather than eat some questionable, pre-packaged whatchamacallit full of refined sugars and hydrogenated oils.  Cooking doesn’t have to be some stressful terror at the end of a long day.  It can become a de-stressor, something to look forward to at the end of a crazy day, if you let it.  Cooking can be calming, relaxing, an escape.  That’s what it has become for me, and I get more comfortable in the kitchen each day! Plus, fresh food just looks so gorgeous! Have a great Lazy Sunday, and remember that it’s never too late to make a change!

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Stay healthy everyone!

Kale Chickpea Curry & Tropical Smooth Dessert Smoothie

I started off my day right this morning with one EXTREMELY green juice!  Celery, cucumbers, kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, and an apricot.  Holy yum!  I felt great and was ready to take on the day!

No amount of juice could have prepared me for the weather though.  The weather today has been absolutely insane.  Most businesses in the area shut down around 3:00 due to a tornado warning AND a flash flood alert.  The sky turned an eerie green almost instantaneously and torrential downpour stranded me as well as the rest of the city.  Hail pelted relentlessly at my windows and I thought to myself “I had better cook some food while the power’s still on!”  The only question was what to make?

I don’t know about you all, but lately I seem to be on a Middle Eastern/Indian food kick.  Curry powder, cumin, and paprika have been my go-to spice trio for the past few months (My Italian mother is not at all thrilled by my lack of basil, oregano, and thyme).  I ended up throwing together a kale and chickpea curry, served over a bed of brown rice, and what’s better to wash down that tastiness with than a mango-papaya smoothie?  Enjoy both of these recipes.  Whether you make them together or separate, they will taste amazing!

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Kale Chickpea Curry on Brown Rice

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 can chickpeas, undrained
  • 1/2 bunch kale (4-6 stems), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • Unsweetened coconut shavings, for garnish (optional)

Start cooking the rice while you work on the rest of the dish on another burner.  Once your rice is simmering, pour the olive oil into a separate pan and cook the garlic and onion on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes after the onions have become translucent, and add in your seasonings as well (curry paste, paprika, cumin, coriander).  Let simmer for another 5 minutes.  Then add your can of undrained chickpeas.  The liquid should give the mixture a stew-like consistency.  Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes.  

Right before taking the mixture off the heat, add the kale.  Cook just until it wilts.  

Serve over a bed of brown rice.  Add coconut shavings for garnish.

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Tropical Smooth Dessert

  • 1 cup frozen mango, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen papaya, cubed
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

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Add all ingredients into your high-powered blender and blend on high until the consistency reaches that of ice cream.  You must freeze the fruit thoroughly prior to blending for this recipe to work properly.  

Enjoy!

Cilantro Rice & Black Beans + Guacamole Salsa

This Cilantro Rice and Black Bean dish is filling and simple, not to mention delicious!  For all you non-vegans, feel free to add a little chicken or other meats to this dish, but it is just as satisfying and filling without!

Good Morning, or should I say afternoon?  After a relaxing 30-minute yoga session this morning, I decided it was time to do some “spring cleaning”.  That meant organizing the shoe rack, vacuuming incessantly, scrubbing down stove burners, etc.  Needless to say, I worked up quite an appetite!  I’ve spent the last couple days grazing on things here and there, but haven’t spent too much time in the kitchen really preparing something great.  I’ve just been too busy with work, friends, and the need to be outside enjoying this amazing weather!  Not to mention it’s about time to head to the grocery store; I’m “down to the dregs” as my grandmother would put it.  So, what to make out of a cupboard not-so-full of food? I’ll tell you right now: My first thought was to drive over to Chipotle and reward my cravings with a delicious burrito bowl and call it a day.  The grocery store is right next door!  As I was trying to reason with myself and justify spending 7 bucks on a single meal, I realized I have just about everything I need for a little Chipotle knockoff!  To the lab… I mean kitchen!

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Brown rice, black beans, salsa… everything I needed was right here in my own kitchen!  I even had chips and a brown paper bag to make the “Chipotle” experience authentic.  If I had the foresight to soak black beans last night, I would have made them from scratch, but luckily I had a can just waiting to be rinsed!  The rice is a hard thing to recreate, but I threw in a pretty generous handful of freshly chopped cilantro and squeezed half a lime into the pot and it wasn’t half bad!  The rice and beans are the staple of any meal I order at Chipotle, and so is the guac and salsa. 

I didn’t have any premade salsa from the store, but I threw some tomatoes, scallions, onions, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro into my trusty Ninja and pulsed to perfection. What about the guac, though?  By this time, I was absolutely famished, so I threw an avocado into the salsa, squeezed the other half of the lime, and blended until I had a creamy, spicy salsa-guac hybrid.  Holy Katie was it delicious!  I added a few freshly chopped tomato slices on top of the concoction and voila! I had an amazing meal without having to leave the house unnecessarily! ANDDDD it saved me 7 bucks, and I am ALWAYS a fan of saving things… especially money!

The rest of my afternoon was spent hanging out with Seether, my ball python.  He loves to hang on me while I stretch and do lunges in my living room; he just soaks up the sun while I sweat it out!  We snuggled up on the couch after that (as well as a snake can snuggle) to watch The League on Netflix.  Here he is getting cozy in the blanket.  Then I got to take a relaxing nap before a gorgeous 5 mile run on the trails! All in all, it was a beautiful day.  There was no juice unfortunately, but a quick run to the grocery store later tonight will remedy that!

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Until next time, be well and eat well!

-K

Beans and Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ lime
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 small vine-ripened tomatoes (or one medium) chopped (I like huge chunks of tomatoes, but some people like them smaller)

Cook the rice as instructed (generally 2 cups of water per cup of rice and simmer for 20-50 minutes).  When the rice looks almost done, add the cilantro and juice from the lime.  Mix everything together.

Once the rice is completely cooked, add in the black beans and tomatoes and stir until everything is hot.  I also topped everything off with some salad greens after adding the guacamole salsa and mixed everything together.

Guacamole Salsa

  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 small/medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4-6 scallions, chopped
  • 6-7 stems of cilantro
  • ½ red onion, small
  • 1 large avocado
  • Juice from ½ lime

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Throw everything into your food processor, Ninja, Vitamix, etc. and blend until smooth!  Add generously to top off your black beans and rice, and use the rest as chip dip!