Plant-Based Chapters + CocoBeet Concoction Juice!

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What happens when a light sleeper gets bombarded with 23 texts at 3 in the morning?  An overly productive morning and a Rent sing-a-long.  Oh, and lots of juice!  I’m a big advocate for making use of everything in my kitchen, and that includes the stalks of broccoli I saved after using the florets for soup the other night.  Using broccoli stems as the base, I threw in some beets and carrots, and a whole bunch of cilantro.  To top it off, I added some coconut water to the end product. Holy yum!

CocoBeet Concoction

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 beets
  • 2 stems broccoli (or 1 whole head broccoli)
  • 8 oz. natural coconut water

Add the coconut water after juicing all vegetables.  Enjoy!

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Does your kitchen look like this at 3:30 in the morning?  I think my neighbors are hating me through our very thin walls right now.  At least Bran isn’t terrified of the noise anymore.

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I’m so chill while mom juices.  Sometimes I get to eat the pulp!

Last night, I had dinner & drinks with a good friend who has been a vegan for years, and we got to talking about things that changed for us when we made the transition.  She started talking about different “chapters” in the life of someone adopting a plant-based diet, and seeing as it’s been almost a year since I fully dedicated myself to adopting a plant-based lifestyle, I’m seeing truth to her theory.

One of the big changes we talked about was the amount of alcohol we consumed.  I thought I was just out of the “college phase” and that was the explanation for my abrupt drop in tolerance for cocktails.  Nope.  Turns out a plant-based diet can lower tolerance over time, and it makes sense.  Lowering processed food intake and eliminating animal products altogether makes for one very clean and efficient machine of a body!  Nothing to clog up digestion or block absorption of nutrients; this holds true for alcohol as well.

You can take one of two approaches with your attitude in regards to this.  You can be upset about the fact that keg-stands are probably not going to stand in your life much longer, or you can get as stoked as I was about not having to buy 3 or 4 beers since I’m satisfied with one or two now!

Sorry for the short post, but I’m off to enjoy my juice and save the world one puppy at a time.  I’ll be posting more this week, so don’t worry!

Happy Juicing!

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Coconut Raspberry Steel-Cut Oats

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Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!  With yesterday being a holiday, I actually got a break from my 7-day work/school schedule and it. was. GLORIOUS.  It’s back to the schedule today, though, and like I said last week, planning is key.  I made up my shopping list yesterday and hit up Earth Fare for some groceries and was able to find some really good stuff!  Am I the only one who gets more excited in a supermarket than a mall?  Possibly, but I’m okay with that!  I got home and wrote out all my meals on my kitchen board so there will be no meal confusion this week!

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As you can see, I’m a bit of an organizational…. “enthusiast”.  Yeah, let’s go with that.  With work, school, and everything in between though, being organized (especially in regards to nutrition) is what keeps me going!  This simple meal calendar only takes me about 15 minutes to create on Sundays during my lunch break at work (yeah for multitasking!) and it really 1)eliminates the stress of what the heck I’m going to eat each day on the go and 2) saves me tons of money, since if I didn’t pack my food, I’d be scouting out all the Chipotles and Pita Pits I could!

A wonderful surprise happened on Sunday: a ton of apples were donated at work for the horses.  Like, a whole big crate of them.  How is this beneficial to me?  Well, so many were donated that we weren’t going to be able to  use them all before they’d go bad.  I obviously volunteered to take them off their hands. Nothing beats fresh apple juice!  It’s like dessert!

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Okay, you’re probably wondering where the heck this steel-cut oats recipe is!  A little background first: so I bought a canister of oats a few weeks ago, not reading the label.  When I got home, I realized they were steel-cut oats, and when I opened the canister, it did NOT look like the oatmeal I was familiar with.  I was so confused!  I bought it though, so I was going to eat it.  I let it simmer for a half hour just like the directions told me to and….. They were insanely good!  I’ve been on an oat kick ever since, and I’ve found that a few unlikely ingredients have made for one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever made!

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Coconut Raspberry Steel-cut Oats

  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (make it yourself here)
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • small handful organic raspberries
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut butter (or coconut shreds)

 

  1. Bring the water and the milk to a boil.
  2. Add in oats and coconut and reduce to low/medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Do some yoga or paint your nails while you wait. (your kitchen will start to smell amazing)
  4. Pour into a bowl and add in pumpkin seeds and raspberries.
  5. Savor the foodgasm and sing my praises.

This breakfast is delicious, filling, and energizing!  It’ll keep you going till lunch, I promise you!  You can always experiment with different fruits, or added sweeteners if you’ve got a little sweet tooth going on in the morning. I’ve added apricots to this recipe before and it has been awesome as well!

Stay healthy and Happy Juicing!

Planning Ahead: a Plant-based Plan

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Happy Tuesday everyone!  Has it really been 4 months since my last post?  I sincerely apologize; with a full time job and a full time class schedule, life can definitely get in the way of everything else sometimes.  And I won’t lie to you: these next four months are going to be even more hectic and insane than ever, so bear with me.  We will make it out alive; I promise!  

Classes officially began yesterday, though I was in and out of meetings last week as well.  Some exciting changes in my life since last we spoke:

  • I will finally be getting out of this horrendously-lit apartment at the beginning of February!  Goodbye outskirts, hello downtown!  I can’t wait to be in the heart of this great city and take part in all it has to offer!
  • I adopted a kitten!  What’s crazy is that I’m a self-proclaimed “dog-lover” to a fault, and one day at work my heart just told my head that this little guy was mine.  His name is Bran (after the character on Game of Thrones).  I figured since Bran Stark is in a wheelchair and my little one is missing a leg, they had a bit in common!  My Instagram feed (Khaleesi_Kate) is now all food/health photos and tons of pictures of Bran.  Hashtag “crazy cat lady”!

Okay, now to the good stuff!  Balancing work, school, and a life are going to be more challenging than ever in these next few months, and I know that in order to succeed, I need to make sure I make things like meals and shopping as organized as possible.  I created a meal plan for the week and hung the clipboard next to my stove.  Now I don’t have to stress about “What do I bring to campus for lunch today?” or “What the heck am I having for dinner?”  It only took me about a half hour to write it all down, and that made the shopping trip 100x easier.  With a few staples already in my kitchen, I managed to keep the bill under 30$… not bad it I do say so myself!

The menu for this morning included my hot lemon water (as always) and a kale-banana smoothie with the almond milk I made last night.  I’m a creature of habit, and I always know it’s going to be a good day when I am able to stick to my routine in the mornings.  Again, planning is key.  My morning routine looks something like this:

Stumble out of bed and wander blindly to the kitchen to turn on the stove and heat my water.  glance at my meal chart and see that a banana-kale smoothie is what’s happening this morning.  Wash 1000 mg Vitamin C and 1000 mg niacin down with a full glass of water while I pull out everything I will need from the fridge.  My counter looks something like this:

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Bran wanted to help photograph the food this morning.  He’s hiding in most of my pictures now, so be on the lookout!  As you can see, I’ve already cut up lemon slices, and everything has been prepared (I did chop the kale this morning though).  If you look in the right corner of the picture, you can see the edge of my clipboard hanging on the wall!  I sip my hot lemon water while checking emails and once I finish, I head to the kitchen to make breakfast.  If I make something like an oatmeal bake or roasted apples, I take that oven time to get my yoga on. This banana was not nearly as ripe as I prefer (the browner the better!) but the smoothie was still delicious and I always feel good about making a meal from ingredients I have prepared myself.  The jar of brown stuff in the back is almond meal.  If you remember my post about making almond milk (refresh your memory here)  I talk about making almond meal from the leftover almond “pulp”.  It’s quick, easy, and I added it to my kale-banana smoothie to up the fiber content, which is never a bad thing!  Feel free to omit this if you are using store-bought almond milk, since prices of almond meal at the grocery store are a bit outrageous.  

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1 ripe banana
3-4 leaves kale, chopped
2 tbsp almond meal (optional)
1 cup almond milk

To reiterate what I said in my previous post about almond milk, I can’t stress enough how easy and effortless this process is!  Yes, the almonds need to soak beforehand, but I did that while I was in class.  And the almond meal has to go in the oven for an hour or two… which I just read and did work for my classes while that was happening.  All in all, you probably only will spend about 10-15 minutes doing actual work.

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Today’s menu includes brown rice & broccoli for lunch, mashed sweet potatoes and steamed kale for dinner, and some carrots and hummus as a mid-day snack.  I’ll try and post as often as I can this semester, so let me know if there’s a certain health topic you want covered or an ingredient/recipe you’d like to see on here!

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!