YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

Fresh Food – to go! August 14, 2012

While picking up a few staples at Whole Foods the other day I came across a sample stand……..I love samples.  It’s a great chance to try a product before you buy it.  On this particular day they were sampling a product called, Core.  It’s prepackaged raw food that you can take and grab on the go.  It caught my eye because it was a portable, food that contained whole foods.  This is perfect for me, because I feel like I’m always on the go!!!  And when you’re on the go the best food choices aren’t always being made……even if they’re intended.

I mentioned these bars are made with whole foods, so let me share the ingredients with you:  Whole Oats, Almonds, Raisins, Flax, and Ground Spices.  That’s it!  They are handmade and packaged, and they must be stored in the fridge, or they’ll sprout…..how about that, living food in a package that’s easy to grab and go!  I love it!!!  Core also claims that eating one bar with 2 glasses of water equals 1 full bowl of oatmeal.  This meal creates 3 hours of stable energy helping you to get through the morning task, or afternoon lows.  I’ve always tried to eat oatmeal, because I understand the benefits, but I strongly dislike the texture.  Core is giving me yet another chance to work oats into my diet, and it’s pretty darn good.

They offer 4 different varieties, along with vegan options too.  So if you’re looking for  a portable whole food option that packs a protein punch  Core just might be a great addition to your diet.  I invite you to find out more about Core, visit their website @ www.corefoods.com

All the best to your health and wellness!

 

THINKING OF GOING VEGETARIAN? (Part 1) July 5, 2012

A dear friend recently asked me, “I’m thinking of going vegetarian.  How do you suggest I start?”  I must admit I was quite flattered.  Although I am a novice at the vegan lifestyle with just ten months under my belt, I had been vegetarian for over nine years, so I feel confident I know a thing or two about it.  I am certainly no doctor, so you should always consult your own practitioner before making any big changes to your diet (gotta throw that disclaimer in there!) However I would be delighted to share my research and own experiences!

#1:  My first recommendation would be to START SLOW. Just having the interest in eating less meat is half the battle.  No one says you have to go “cold turkey” overnight.  Maybe opt for a bean burrito rather than chicken chimichangas. Substitute a minestrone soup for beef stew.  Skip the meatballs and Italian sausage on your pasta and try something like pasta primavera (food network.com has a delicious version at:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pasta-primavera-recipe/index.html.)  Just find a few recipes that appeal to you, and try them out.  There are numerous sites out there with ample recipes, including:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Everyday-Cooking/Vegetarian offers “top 20 vegetarian dinners”. 

http://vegetarian.betterrecipes.com  claims to be “a great resource for committed vegetarians as well as those of us who are looking to eliminate meat.”

http://vegweb.com is a site that boasts “the world’s largest vegetarian recipe community.”

I started my own Vegan Voyage with two free apps for my iPod.  One is the “21-Day Vegan Kickstart” that offers 3 weeks of menus.  The second one is called “Vegan YumYum”.  Both offer tasty plant-based dishes.

My favorite veggie blogs on my email list are:

http://www.veganbytes.com  (aka Vegan-Nutritionista), thrive30@myvega.com and http://chakra4vegetarianrestaurant.com/phoenix-vegetarian-lifestyle

All three are chock full of great health information and inspiration!

My “go-to” cookbook is one my sister, Belinda, gave me years ago, titled 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles.  Everything from appetizers to desserts is crammed in this 598 page book.  A newer book I also refer to often is Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love, by Sarah Matheny.  The author and one of her daughters are vegan, while the husband and second daughter are vegetarian, so the recipes aim to please both, making it friendlier to a wider audience.  The author’s witty dialogue makes this cookbook an entertaining read alone.  Both books are available through Amazon. 

My favorite magazine is Vegetarian Times.  The VT website, http://www.vegetariantimes.com, is great as well.  The magazine is delivered nine times a year, and loaded not only with vegetarian dishes, but a healthy dose vegan options as well.  You can save a few bucks on a subscription through Amazon ($12 for a year, or $20 for two years) as opposed to ordering directly through the parent site. 

I have recently discovered Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com) as another awesome resource for meat-less recipes.  Pinterest is an online pinboard that you can share and organize things you love.  You can explore everything from Architecture to Gardening to Wedding Idea pins, or type in whatever else you are searching for.  Personally, I mostly look up crafts for kids, travel ideas, and, of course, vegan dishes!  You have to be “invited”, which is very simple by logging on through Facebook or Twitter, or just by submitting your email address. You are typically “accepted” within 24-48 hours.  Then you can start pinning away!  You make your own “boards” (like “crafts”, “recipes”, “travel”, etc.) where you then “pin” the posts that interest you most.  That way you can easily refer back to your own profile to retrieve the ideas that caught your eye.  It is a lot of fun, but I must warn you – it can be addicting! 

I am relieved to see that restaurants are finally offering more meatless dishes, or at least happy to make changes or substitutions by request.  T.G.I.Friday’s, for instance, offers a delicious new Sedona Black Bean Burger.  You can order it sans the pepper jack and cheddar cheeses for a vegan version.  A few weekends ago we grabbed a quick bite at a place called The Pita Pit in Indianapolis, IN.  Basically a made-to-order sandwich shop, they offered an array of meats, cheeses and fresh produce.  I devoured my Garden pita on wheat, with hummus and avocado extras.  They had a Spicy Black Bean pita that I am eager to try, now that I know that they are a chain restaurant!  Seasons 52 is wonderful for finer dining (for patrons looking for an extensive wine list).  I especially loved that they have Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free menus on hand.  (See my earlier Seasons 52 Review post).

So here is a starting point.  The food you eat should be a lifestyle, not a diet. Again, start slow, and don’t judge yourself too harshly if you stray from your personal goals.  Remember no one is perfect, and there is always the next meal.  Do a little research from the plethora of resources out there, and select a few recipes that make your mouth water!  Over time, you might be surprised when there are more veg-based meals on your menu than meat! 

Coming up next:  Four more suggestions for persons looking to eat Vegetarian!

Yours in Health,

Krys

 

Zesty Spinach Soup October 4, 2011

I’m so grateful that the temperatures are cooler….fall is truly my favorite time of year.  It’s also the time when I bring out my big soup pot….another one of my favorite things is a meal that can be made in one pot.  Simple ingredients, minimal time, and oh so good yummines that just gets better as the week extends.  The first soup made this season in our family kitchen was Zesty Spinach Soup from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook.  This soup is great for a quick meal packed with vital nutrients, and most of the ingredients may already be in your pantry.  If you’re real hungry it’s nice to pair it with a green leaf salad, or a grilled provolone cheese sandwich on seeded bread.

This soup includes a hearty helping of spinach which contains high levels of readily absorbed calcium.  And let’s not forget the quinoa, which is a relative to the green leafy vegetable.  Quinoa  is a complete protein, which simple means it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.  It’s also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  But, even with all of that good health news….the bottom line is its good, and very satisfying. 

Let’s get to the YUM!  You’ll need the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 red onion, peeled and coarsely ( if the onion is large, half will work fine)

1 thick carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped ( 1-2 handfuls of baby carrots sliced on an angle will work fine)

3 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press, or finely chopped

1 tsp of sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

6 cups low-sodium chicken, or vegetable broth

1 14.5 oz can of low sodium, petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup of quinoa

2 cups white kidney beans, well rinsed and drained

1 tsp curry powder

Pinch of ground nutmeg

3 cups baby spinach

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot, add onion and saute until translucent.  Add carrots, garlic and salt.  Saute until vegetables are golden, about 5 minutes.  Add stock, tomatoes, quinoa, beans and spices.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.  Add the spinach and cover.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Enjoy!

Want more info on Quinoa?  Visit: WHFoods: Quinoa – The World’s Healthiest Foods

 

Chuck’s Yummy Egg Surprise August 17, 2011

My husband is not a chef, and he doesn’t cook often, but when he does we’re usually in for a pretty good treat.  We were looking for something to kick up the excitement with our eggs, and I think he went above and beyond the task.  This recipe takes some time to chop veggies, but after all that work is complete it’s pretty simple.  I love simple, especially when it’s tempting to the eyes and belly.

Let’s get to the YUM!  You will need the following ingredients:

3 egg whites

splash of non-fat milk

1/4 of a small red onion chopped

3-4 baby portabella mushrooms chopped

3-4 cherry tomatoes chopped

handful of baby spinach

feta cheese

salt and pepper

red pepper flakes

extra virgin olive oil

cooking spray

1 medium-sized ramekins

***ingredients are for an individual serving***

Drizzle a non-stick skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.  Cook the onions until they’re translucent.  Then add the chopped mushrooms and let them saute….the will shrink in size and caramelize a bit.  Last, add the chopped tomatoes.  Cook for 1-2 more minutes and set aside.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If you like a little kick add some red pepper flakes.  A little goes a long way! 

Combine the egg whites and milk, then pour them into a ramekins that has been prepared with cooking spray. The milk with make the eggs fluffy.  Add the cooked veggies to the egg whites.  Place a handful of baby spinach on top of all ingredients.  Place the ramekins into the microwave and cook 1-2 minutes.  Keep an eye on the eggs, so it does not overflow.

Plate onto a dish and sprinkle with feta cheese.  So pretty, and oh so good! Once again have fun in your kitchen and experiment.  Switch the veggies, cheese and spices to see what egg surprise you might come up with.  Also, you could make a large batch and cook in prepared muffin tins in the oven.  Then store them in your fridge for the week to come.  This would allow for a real quick bite to start off any day during the week. Or, add some fresh fruit and have a pleasant brunch for the weekend.

Enjoy!

 

Linguine with Zucchini and Chickpeas July 18, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — YouYoga @ 9:31 pm
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It’s truly summer, and it’s burning hot!  While it’s nice to eat the offerings of the season we don’t want to spend tons of time cooking, or heating our kitchens while we’re doing it.  So, I like to search for recipes that eliminate both issues.  I’ve come across this 20 minute meal from Real Simple magazine.  It’s fast and it calls for summer zucchini, but most important….it’s yummy.

Let’s get to the YUM!  You will need the following ingredients:

12 oz linguine ( I opted for the whole wheat version)

2 tbsp olive oil

3 small zucchini, cut into half-moons

1 15 oz can of chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rinsed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup grated parmesan

kosher salt

In order, to make this truly 20 minuets get your pasta water boiling before you start chopping veggies.  Cook pasta according to package and reserve 1/4 cup of water, drain and return to pot.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cook zucchini, tossing often until just tender, 4-5 minutes.

Add chickpeas to skillet, along with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.  Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta.  Plate and serve.

Imagine the possibilities of this dish.  You could interchange the veggies and the beans….maybe even the style of pasta to make a new and fun version that is still seasonal, quick and yummy.  Have fun with your food, and don’t be afraid to mix it up.  Who knows what new creations you’ll discovery in your own kitchen.

Enjoy!

 

Black Bean Burger Salad July 11, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — YouYoga @ 9:42 am
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This is one of my favorite go to quick lunches, and it’s so easy!  No real cooking skills required for success.  I came up with this one on my own, because I was in a mood for more veggies than bread.  I also wanted something that would sustain me for a few hours. 

Let’s get to the YUM!  You will need the following ingredients:

1 Morning Star chipotle black bean burger patty (I purchase these in bulk at Costco, but I’m sure you can find these at most local grocery stores in the freezer section)

1-2 handfuls of pre-packed spring mix lettuce

3 avocado slices

3-4 cherry tomatoes cut in fourths

1 scallion sliced

1 slice of provolone cheese

1 tsp of spicy mustard

While the bean patty is cooking (follow directions on box) I place the mixed lettuce on a plate.  During the last 15 sec of cooking I dress the bean patty with mustard and cheese.  This allows the cheese to melt bringing out a little more flavor.  Place the cooked patty on top of the lettuce.  Spread the avocado slices, tomatoes and scallions on top.  This is so enjoyable for such a quick meal.

I would recommend swapping the mustard for salsa, or maybe even drizzling the entire salad with lime juice for a little citrus kick.  Basically, have some fun and don’t be afraid to mix it up!  If you come up with something that makes you say YUM….please share your creation with us.

Enjoy!!!