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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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!

A New Tradition

First of all, let me just apologize for my lack of posting in the last 6 weeks.  I’ve been super frustrated about it, but my life has been a little hectic the past few weeks.  I’ve had to adjust to a new computer and its time restrictions (Ethan needs to use this bad boy, too now!), I quit my job, got a new job, my car broke down, had to drive 8 hours (16 round-trip) to North Carolina to get a new one, and had to deal with my university’s highly practical filing system which listed me as a dropout rather than a graduate.  Oh, the joys of being me.  So all of that put together  pushed blogging pretty far down on my list of priorities.  For that, I’m really sorry!  But all seems to be well and right with the world again, and it’s time to get back to the important stuff like health, happiness, and ridiculously delicious ways to get there!

Having said all that, I think a new Wednesday tradition is in the making, and I’m so excited about it!  Ethan’s mom decided to make dinner for everyone tonight, and then we plan on having a movie night (I say “planning on” because Ethan is still at work while I’m writing this, and he has yet to come home to this delicious meal!).  The theme of these dinners may not be explicitly “vegan” or “health=conscious”, but tonight’s dinner was both.  Not to mention it was sooo good!  Okay, so I only got one picture of my first helping, and I’m lucky I even got that much evidence.  It was like I blinked and both plates were magically empty, and my stomach was inexplicably satisfied.

Yes, I wolfed down like half a loaf of garlic bread, but can you blame me?  It was brown, perfect, garlicky crispiness!  The Alfredo sauce was my favorite part of the dinner, though.  Since I started (trying my hardest) to be vegan, I haven’t experimented with making any “fake” dairy foods.  Things like cheese or cream, I’ve just tried to dismiss completely, with no hope of feeling their loving warmth on my taste buds again.  Eating this Alfredo made me so happy on so many levels, I can’t even explain.  Okay, first, it was healthy, without all the fat from cream, not to mention the fact that it straight up was not animal or any byproduct thereof.  Secondly, my lactose intolerance has been getting worse these past few months, probably because I’ve cut out way more dairy products than I ever have before.  Now, when Ethan orders a pizza or brings home pepper jack stuffed pretzel bites (OMG yum), I spend 10 minutes enjoying these delicious, cheesy treats, and the rest of the night (sometimes into the early morning) is spent doubled over in immobilizing stomach cramps. Seriously immobilizing, like, I-can’t-even-make-it-from-the-couch-to-the-bedroom-so-just-leave-me-here-to-die stomach cramps.  Kind of puts a damper on enjoying crappy foods, huh?

So imagine my elation when I scarf down a plate of Alfredo, which usually banishes me to a state of torture (after briefly being delicious), and…. nothing!  Nothing but a full, happy stomach, and the ability to remain active for the rest of my day.  Needless to say, I’m super excited and ready for movie night! Let the night continue, and the Wednesday dinner nights, too!

Enjoying Workouts

Yesterday was an amazing Sunday.  I had a dance lesson with Ethan, saw the Dark Knight Rises, and went on a Khol’s shopping spree to get some new clothes that actually fit me!  I was like, hellooooo size 5, let’s be friends again.  I know it’s been a while, but I’m back! Seeing my progress visually has been the biggest motivator for me.  I see the scale, and it says I’ve gained a few pounds back since the juice fast, but my clothes continue to swallow me, so I just stopped paying attention to the number on that stupid scale and started looking in the mirror.  And I look damn good.

We got home yesterday, and I was itching for a run, so being the wonderful man he is, Ethan told me he would have dinner waiting for me when I got back.  2 miles later I had run a new personal best for the mile (9:15!) and Ethan was putting the finishing touches on sundried tomato risotto and pita.

Tell me how this man is not amazing?  Yes, there was cheese on this , and I realize that cheese is NOT vegan, but honestly, the man slaved over a hot stove to make risotto and pita with herbs and vegetables from the garden, so how could I resist?  It was absolutely amazing, and I wished he had made a double batch!

This morning, Ethan got up with me and we went for a run in the woods.  I’m so proud of him for putting the effort in and exercising with me.  He really is trying to be more active, and I love him so much for it! We made it 1.95 miles, then walked the rest of the way home.  I hope I can get him up and outside again soon!  Once you a person starts exercising on a regular basis, it becomes less of a chore and more of a hobby, which is what healthy habits should be! I love looking at my Nike+ account and seeing the graph showing me I ran 5 times last week.  I think to myself, Do I really want to sit on the couch right now, or do I want to sit on the couch an hour from now looking at my running stats?  Running wins the battle 80% of the time!