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

Clean Eating Cleanse- Day One

Image

Hello all! I hope everyone had as great a Sunday as I did!  Fresh food, great friends, and some little ducky friends wanting to swim with us in the waves!  Today was Day One of the Clean Eating Cleanse, and what better way to get excited about clean eating than heading to the farmer’s market for a little local produce? For me, farmer’s markets are heaven.  I’m like a kid in a candy shop.  Good thing I brought reinforcements!  My friends are good for many things, including carrying my bags when my eyes are too big for my strength!  I had everyone helping lug my treasures back home, and they were amazed when it all fit in my kitchen.  Check out my swag! (Yes, I did use an empty six pack to hold my lettuce!)

Image

I felt really good today, but that’s not to say I didn’t have my moments.  It hit home today that just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  I met up with friends at the water park and had to decline snow cones, chex mix, and french fries.  So upsetting!  That’s not to say I didn’t have fun though, and I had my banana shake with me, which pretty much tastes like ice cream!  Even though I fell asleep in the sun and got some pretty dark tan lines bordering on a crispy burn, I had a blast.  How can anyone not have fun on a day they get to spend NOT working and splashing in a wave pool all day?

Image

Once safely home and away from the temptations of onion rings and Coca Cola, I began food prep for tomorrow.  It’ll be my first day going to work while on this cleanse.  I can’t wait to share my green juice recipe with you tomorrow, and the banana oat shake I’m planning on devouring for breakfast!  I hope you’re all prepared!

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!

Image

 

Image

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!

Image

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

Image

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!

To Stay on Track? or Feel Like Crap? Hmmm…

First of all, I want to give a shout out to my friend Danielle, who is on DAY 2 of her first juice fast and still going strong!  You may be back in Toledo girl, but I’m still cheering for you back here in Cleveland!

Okay, now down to business.  It was a long weekend for Ethan and I, full of weddings, dance competitions, and lots of processed foods.  All I have to say right now is I MISS JUICE! And so does my stomach.  For the past four days, it’s been screaming WHAT ARE YOU PUTTING INTO ME!  STOP IT!  Sorry, stomach!  It’s amazing how different a person can feel just by what they eat.  5 days ago, I ran 6 miles.  This morning, I did a 15 minute weight routine and then went for a run, but after cheesy puffs, m&ms, and greasy lasagna all week, I only made it 2 miles before my body simply shut off.  And my dairy sensitivity has done nothing but heighten since I cut it out of my diet for good.  But when you haven’t eaten all day and you’re eating whatever the banquet food is, you take what you can get.  I did manage to avoid meat (go me!), but all the vegetarian options were stuffed, drizzled, or fried with cheese.  Ugh.  I was so starving on one of the days that I just had to suck it up and eat the cheesy ravioli, and then suffer the headaches and twistingly knotty stomach cramps. Joy.

4 days.  Only four days of not looking out for my body like I should, and it feels like it’s falling to pieces! I could have kicked myself for not making at least 4 miles this morning, but I didn’t even have the energy to do that!  Whole foods are seriously amazing, and I only now fully appreciate their worth in my life.  I was so happy this morning when I got back from running and got to drink a coconut water (nature’s natural energy drink!).  I made a really yummy smoothie this morning, too, from strawberries, carrots, apples, ginger, and blueberries, and I swear my stomach was grinning and humming.

I think I’ll opt for some raw carrot-ginger soup tonight, which means I have to pick up some more avocados!  I agree, carrots and avocados sound like an interesting combination, and when I say interesting I mean not so appetizing.  But don’t knock it till you try it!  I tweaked the recipe I found a little, first because it made too much for my blender, and second because I didn’t like some of the ingredients, like EVOO.  I’m trying to stay AWAY from that stuff!  Here’s what it boils down to (ha ha ha… soup boiling down… but this soup is cold, so no boiling!)”

  • 1 avocado
  • 1.5 cups carrot juice, courtesy of your juicer!
  • 1-2 tbsp. agave nectar
  • .5 inch ginger root skinned and chopped
  • A pinch (or two) cayenne pepper

 

Cut the avocado in half.  Throw one half into your blender, along with the carrot juice, agave nectar, ginger, and cayenne.  Blend for about 10-20 seconds (it won’t take long since everything is so soft).  Put your soup into a bowl (I prefer a mug).  Now cut up the other half of your avocado into little cubes and plop them into the soup for some texture/garnish/whatever you want to call it.  Stick it in the fridge to get colder or enjoy right away!  I prefer to eat it right away because when I decide to make it, it’s usually because I’m starving!

This is the easiest recipe ever, and I’m definitely no cook (just ask Ethan.  I’d starve without his kitchen smarts!).  If I can whip this dish up solo without supervision, I bet 99% of the population could, too!  Here’s the nutritional breakdown of just a few of the nutrients in this yummy bowl (or mug) of chilled soup!

  • 375 calories
  • 0 sodium
  • 29 grams sugar
  • 22.75 grams fat

 

I know what you’re thinking: look at all that sugar.  I might as well go get a smoothie from jamba juice and save myself the hassle.  This sugar is different, though!  While packaging doesn’t distinguish between refined sugars and natural sugars, it should!  The sugars in this soup are 100% unrefined, natural sugars, which are easier for your body to break down than that refined gunk.  The same goes for the fats: these are good fats, people! The fats in this soup, which mainly come from the avocado, are mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs.  MUFAs lower your LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol), as well as regulate blood sugar.  All in all, this soup (or just plain avocados) are a win-win food!