Day 4- Clean Eating Cleanse: Roasted Cabbage and Fresh Salad

Image

I have to say, one thing I love about a fridge stocked with whole foods is the versatility I have with meals.  Combinations, portion sizes, and prep time are all totally in my control.  Sometimes, I get home and I’m ready to take on that intimidating new ethnic recipe I’ve wanted to try.  Other times, I want to branch out on my own and do a little experimentation.  And other other times like tonight, I just want something fast, light, and satisfying. Cooking from scratch means the fridge is always full, and the possibilities are truly endless.  While I did plan on tackling a particularly interesting recipe tonight, I came home from work mentally exhausted, and was able to throw together a dinner that was much more suited to my mood. 

Image 

Roasted cabbage is something literally ANYONE can cook.  All I did was pre-heat the oven to 375 and toss a couple hunks of cabbage in.  I lightly drizzled some olive oil, and completed the dish with some garlic and onion powder, pepper, and basil.  Pop those suckers in the oven for a half hour and you’re in business!

Image

I also threw together a salad with produce from my trip to the farmer’s market last Sunday.  Chopped romaine, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, & pepitas with a little balsamic drizzled on.  That’s the stuff.

All in all, dinner took about a 20 minutes to prep (the cabbage obviously took a little longer than that to cook, but prep time was super short!).  Yes, my salad WAS prepared in a pot.  I just threw all my dishes in the dishwasher and had to improvise!  Still tasted amazing though! 

I know foods I post sometimes have lengthy prep times, or seem complicated to reproduce, but hopefully today’s post proves to you that eating a clean, unprocessed diet can be both healthy AND simple! Food is either as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and tonight I ate a clean, vegan, totally unprocessed meal that I was able to enjoy less than 40 minutes after walking in the door after a long, crazy day of work. 

What healthy meals do you prepare when you’re short on time?

Advertisements

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!

Image

Image

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.

_______________________________________________________________________

Image

Tropical Smooth Dessert

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

Image

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!

Mango Coconut Breakfast Muffins

A good friend of mine came over the other day, and the first thing she said when she walked in was “Ugh. It smells like vegan in here.”  What do I even say to that?  Well, I had just finished making some vegetable soup, so while she said my apartment smelled like “vegan”, what it really smelled like were leeks and corn and onions and carrots and garlic and homemade vegetable stock, among other ingredients.  When I asked her if she wanted to try some, the answer was “Not in a million years.”  I can’t say I was completely surprised, since that seems to be the general reaction when I offer anyone food.  It’s like people associate “vegan” with “alien” food or something, when all I’m doing is eating fresh, natural foods.

Oh well.  It’s not like their opinion of my diet affects me at all; I know what I’m eating and I know my reasons for choosing those foods.  The food is SO GOOD though!  My decision to become vegan was for no one’s benefit but my own.  I’ve never been one to thrust my views or lifestyle choices on others, but seeing as I’m working towards one day having a Master’s Degree in Public Health, I feel like I should be inspiring others and sharing my awesome discoveries (hence this blog!).  I wish I could show people that healthy alternatives to their everyday choices like juicing and using fresh ingredients can taste just as good, if not better!

I think I found an awesome breakfast recipe that can make vegans and non-vegans alike super happy!  These mango and coconut breakfast muffins are so delicious, and when I make them, people think my apartment “smells like vegan” in a mouth-watering, can’t-wait-to-sink-my-teeth-into-this-awesomeness kind of way.  Recipes like this are good recipes while moving towards a diet of eating more raw fruits and vegetables than anything else.  

For all you vegans: Here’s one more recipe to add to your arsenal! For all you non-vegans: Try this recipe and let me know what you think of it!  I adapted this recipe from The Vegan Cookbook and simplified it.  I have to say, this is one of my favorite breakfasts!

Image

Mango Coconut Breakfast Muffins

  • 2 cups unbleached, unbromated flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup dehydrated, unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 very ripe mango, peeled and chopped 

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  For time-saving purposes, I placed all my dry ingredients into a mason jar the night before.  That way, I could sleep in a little longer and breakfast would get made faster!

Mix together the milk, oil, and mango in a separate bowl, and then add the mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix everything until nicely combined.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and get your muffin cups ready.  The batter should divide into the 12 muffin tins pretty well.  Sprinkle a little extra coconut on the muffin tops (this is totally optional) and then throw those bad boys in the oven for 25 minutes.  

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before enjoying delicious mango heaven!