Tag Archives: fruits and vegetables

His Plate / Her Plate # 6 – Cilantro Lime Marinade

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This week, limes were on sale and I bought a ton of them.  I couldn’t juice them fast enough so I set out to figure out something to make with them for dinner.  I recently got a Vitamix  (!!!) and it came with a huge cookbook and I was looking through it for some ideas.  I found a cilantro lime marinade that sounded really good and simple.

All you need for the marinade is

  • 3 limes peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Throw that in your blender and blend until its smooth, then just pour it over your chicken and veggies.

I put Jake’s chicken breasts in a sandwich bag and marinated his chicken while we were at the gym and  for me I marinated vegetables and white beans.  I sautéed my vegetables but I would have rather grilled them on my George Forman grill.  The problem was I only have one grill and I was grilling Jake’s chicken so to save time I just threw mine in a pan.

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I also made a fresh salsa with avocado in it.  I don’t know why I never made my own salsa before.  It was so easy, and so much better!  for my salsa all I used was:

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 avocado
  •  juice of 1 lime
  • cilantro to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

All I did was dice the tomatoes and avocado, and the onion and jalapeño I chopped really fine squeeze the lime juice over it, stir and put it in the fridge for the flavors to come together.  Now I am going to start experimenting.

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Mine was so hard to make it look pretty so I ended up giving up and just put it on the plate.  We were so hungry and I didn’t want to dirty anymore plates.  Pretty or not it was really good but I think next time I might sweeten up the marinate for the veggies.  All that acid works well on meat and probably tenderizes it but the veggies tasted a smidge tart for my liking.

Some of you might be wondering what the heck that pile of rice is in the back.  Well its black rice.  No, it is not marinated with anything, it’s just simply black.  I was honestly nervous the first time I made it for Jake, but turned out he loved it and now I stocked up.

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So what are the perks of black rice aside from looking cool on your plate?  It is actually even better for you than brown rice.  A spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries.  It also has less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  Anthocyanin antioxidants can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other health issues.  Sounds good to me.  It is kind of sticky rice so I kind of want to try to make sushi out of it next.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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His Plate/ Her Plate #5 – Taco Bowls

There is no secret about it Jake and I love a good taco night.  But the problem with taco night is you can gobble down a ton of tacos before you even realize it.  Having all the fixings laid out in bowls ready to pile into our tortillas makes us forget about portion control which can be a problem, especially on my end.

To change it up, but still enjoy our mexican food I decided to bake tortillas into my own little bowls.  I am sure you have all seen the as-seen-on-tv gadget that bakes up perfect bowls in a few minutes.  Thats all good, but i decided why should I buy another thing to cook only one item, so brain storming I went.  I have heard you can just flip over muffin tins and put the tortilla in there to get the shape, but the problem is I baked vegan brownie cupcakes at Jake’s house over the holidays and have been to lazy to take the tins home, so what else did I have that was oven safe?  MASON JARS!!

tacoshellI know, that doesn’t look like it is going to work, I was skeptical but you’ll see.  All I did was take the jar and flip it upside down on a cookie sheet, then sprayed each side of the tortilla lightly with coconut oil.  Drape the tortilla over the jar and bake it at 350 until its crispy, usually about 10 min or so.  This would probably work better if you heated the tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds to get it softer, but this was the first time I tried it and I wanted to start with as few steps as possible.

Now for the filling.  Jake’s go to protein is turkey and chicken.  The poor guy seems to eat it every day.  I always ask if he wants to change the turkey for beef but he always declines, so don’t think I am a one protein wonder.

IMG_0573Sorry to the vegetarians on my page, I know yuck… I cooked the turkey in no oil and seasoned it with different taco-eque seasonings.  Jake says I do a good job seasoning it, I have never tasted it I just go by color and I never measure.

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My filling is a little prettier.  I cut up zucchini, red onion, and every color bell pepper you can buy.  I usually have a huge bag of this mixture cut up in my fridge, and I pretty much just add it to whatever I am eating that day.  It’s super easy and keeps me eating my veggies.

I also made a natural spanish rice mixture from a box, and unfortunately had to buy guacamole because none of the avocados were ready at the store I was at but it worked out because it was getting late and I honestly didn’t really need another thing to make.

Now for the good stuff!  Check it out all piled together

meatbowllabeledJake’s is rice, black beans, turkey, salsa, cheese and jalapeños that he picked off right after the photo was done.

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Don’t worry my bowl isn’t nearly as bland as his!

veganbowl2labelMine starts with raw baby spinach, a little rice, black beans, my sautéed veggie mixture, salsa, and guacamole, then I piled on more jalapeños when I was done lol.

veganbowlI baked the tortillas just a smidge too long, but I also think they also needed to go a bit lower in my oven to be more centered since the jar was holding them up.  So if you cook them as I did maybe lower your rack before you put them in.  I liked them super crispy though so they were fine for me, plus these were whole wheat so they are a little darker than the standard wheat tortilla anyway

Let me know what you think and if you try it!  It was so easy and really good!

 

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His Plate / Her Plate #4 Teriyaki Meatballs with Stir-Fry

It’s been a bit since I have done a his plate / her plate blog post.  I got a little uncreative for a bit and just started making our easy go to meals.  The other day I was in the grocery store and I saw these pineapple teriyaki chicken meatballs in the meat department and I thought that would be a cool thing to base a recipe off of so I grabbed them.

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Seemed healthy enough, plus the only calorie watching that Jake does is watching all the food go into his belly…. not fair right? Well I suppose its not that easy for him, he eats healthy but you know what I mean.

Anyway I figured I could make my own vegan soy-free meatballs and found a recipe online then I changed my mind and went to the salon and did a Brazilian Blowout on my hair instead (this girls gotta have frizz free hair for the summer!) So I did the next best thing, I took a Field Roast sausage, broke it into pieces, tried to roll it into balls (It didn’t really work too well) then I poured some teriyaki sauce over them and sauteed them.  Taste wise it was really good though!

veganrawmb_rtFor the stir fry I just took a ton of frozen veggies and threw them in a pan and cooked them until they weren’t frozen anymore.  Broccoli, snap peas, carrots, onions, corn, you name it it went in there.  Oh and some frozen pineapple chunks!  No oil, no sauce, no salt, no pepper just veggies… way healthier

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yes even my pans are pink!

Now here is the funniest part of the meal…. I was cooking the brown rice and I figured while I had everything simmering I would set up my light box and my lighting to shoot the food.  I didn’t realize how high I had the flame up for the rice and I burnt my rice while I was setting up to shoot it!  How much of a hipster fail is that!?!?

945564_10200817380852195_295174576_nand yes that went on instagram… of course, to many clichés to name.

Now for the finished product that I slaved over.

His Plate:

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closemeatball_rtHer Plate:

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closeveganmb_rtNot too shabby I’d say.  Our plates look almost identical and it really wasn’t too much of an extra effort to make both.  Of course it would just be easier if Jake would just be vegetarian, but then he wouldn’t be Jake, and as long as he doesn’t force me to eat meat, I will only force him to eat half of his vegetables lol.

 

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Sixteen Hours in the Gym This Week, and all I have to Show is this Blog Post.

This week, even though it has been a good one has been tough.  I probably worked out more this week than ever, 16 hours to be exact and was just 54 calories shy of burning 5,000 calories.  image

Yet I am still not losing weight.  Is my scale stuck?  Are my muscles bigger?  I have been talking to two trainers,  one that I am working out with, Alex and another that is vegan so she kind of gets my eating woes.  Alex wants me to eat more protein, the vegan trainer thinks I might just have to eat more in general.  I fell off the myfitnesspal wagon quickly.  It just drives me crazy I eat too many veggies to sit there and add it all in there.  Myfitnesspal is designed more for people that eat processed food, its so much easier to just scan everything, but my bell pepper doesn’t have a barcode.  First world problems I suppose.

I’m not letting it bug me… much.  I mean I am not going to say I don’t want to see results, but I’m not quitting either.  I feel like I am still seeing small changes in my body, but nothing huge.

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If there are any signs of my weight loss it is that so many of my workout pants don’t stay up when I run anymore.  It is kind of becoming expensive, and a pain to plan my outfits.  I have to make sure I wear the proper outfit for the workout that I am doing that day.  On one hand I get to keep up with all the spring/summer neon that is happening right now like with these Adidas pants that I just got but it is also killing my bank account.  Does anyone want to teach me how to sew in a drawstring to the inside of my pants?

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My quads look crazy

My food obsession of the moment right now is salads with carrot ginger dressing.  I am still trying to figure out the perfect recipe which is slowed by me not measuring or writing anything down lol.  But it’s super easy!  I make it in my Ninja in like less than 5 minutes!

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Basically it is

  • 1.5 carrots
  • about a 2-3 inch chunk of ginger
  • spoonful of miso paste
  • 1 tsp Olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

Obviously those can all be changed to taste, you don’t need to add salt because the miso paste is already salty.  But make sure your miso is non-GMO!image-2

YUM!

And Last but certainly not least, I am registered to run in MuckFest MS in Baltimore on June 29th!

MuckFestHeaderLogo_INTI did this last year and had a ton of fun! It is 5 miles with a ton of mud and crazy obstacles.  But the best part about it is that is raises money to help find a cure for MS.  If you have been a reader of my blog you would probably know that my mom has MS so this is definitely a cause close to my heart.  If you would like to help me raise money to reach my $200 goal.  All you have to do is click this link and it will put you on my personal page to donate!

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/KristinJackson

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Synchronized Crunching and Eating for our Abs

Yesterday was yet another gym and dinner date with Bianca.  This time she asked if we could do abs, so that is what we did, a ton of ab workouts and a half hour on the arc trainer to finish it off.  I also may have went early and ran 2.5 miles before she got there because, why not?

We did burpees, butt ups, bicycles, side planks, v twist sit-ups with a weight, planks, regular crunches, and standing side crunches with a 25 pound plate.  The only thing I couldn’t do was the planks because I still can’t put much pressure on my elbow.  darn… But that made it easy for me to make sure that Bianca didn’t lift her butt up to make it easier, and I got to smack it every time she did.

560068_10200625187567483_1799736067_nTired Bianca after her 3 one minute planks

photo copyif only we had a third person there to film us,  our reflection in the window was hilarious because we were synchronized the whole time.

After we were done working out we headed back to my apartment to have an entire dinner full of foods that are good for the mid section that I got from a Women’s Health article and a few other articles online.  After all they say abs are made in the kitchen don’t they?

I basically wanted to include greens, nuts, dairy, beans, organic soy, oats and whole grains, berries, coconut and olive oil, and chia seeds and I somehow did it.  Actually I shouldn’t be surprised that I did it, that is really just a balanced healthy meal isn’t it?

I saw a recipe in fitness magazine for a kale salad that actually incorporated a lot of the things listed and even better it actually sounded good.  I searched and searched online but could not find a link for the recipe so I had to take a screen shot of the magazine (thanks to my iPad subscription for making that easy)

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I added a bit of garlic to the tofu croutons however and lemon to the dressing because it was kind of flavorless.  I don’t know if I just didn’t get enough juice from the grape fruit or what, but the lemon kicked it up just right.  I also soaked my hazelnuts over night and dried them in my oven.  And for added protein added cannellini beans.

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i love that there are dollar bills in this photo so random

Also whoever decided that the cutting grapefruit over a bowl thing was an easy task is crazy, it was so hard.  I destroyed my grapefruit, no pretty segments for our salads.

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Yum!  but that salad is not complete!  We forgot the shaved romano cheese!

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kalesalad2-rtmuch better!  Thanks to Bianca for stopping at a fancy Manhattan cheese shop to get it, the salad wouldn’t be the same without it!

For dessert I made a mixed berry crumble.  I looked up recipes for an idea of how to make it but didn’t really follow one, so I will just list what I used, this is for two.

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Filling

  • fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds (1 tbsp for each)
  • quick drizzle of maple agave syrup (maybe 1 tsp tops on each)

Crumble topping

  • 1 packet of Kashi go lean hearty breakfast cereal
  • 2 packets of Monk fruit in the raw
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbps coconut oil

pack the filling into the ramekins very full as they are going to condense down then top with the crumble topping.  Mix the topping with your hands to get all the stuff mixed together, the heat from your hands will melt the coconut oil enough to make sure everything is well combined

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them so that you don’t burn the top.   Let it cool for 5 or so minutes, and the chia seeds will help thicken up the juice!

image_1A lot of the recipes I found online had you add flour and sugar to the berries.  Why!?  Aren’t berries sweet enough on their own.  I wanted to omit the flour so I went for the chia seeds and it worked pretty well!  I was also toying with the idea to put a little balsamic vinegar with the berries, but I totally forgot because we were so hungry, but I think I am going to try it next time!

imageoh no!  Bianca is done and I didn’t make extras!

No Bianca!  It's Mine!

No Bianca! It’s Mine!

Behind the scenes action shot!

image_2We only use the high-tech stuff here, poster board on a chair.  Thats how you get it done in a small Brooklyn apartment.

 

 

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Bianca Squats for Stuffed Peppers and Raw Carrot Cake

Tuesday Bianca came over for another gym day and dinner.  It’s fun to work out with her because she is gung ho for everything and fun to talk to during cardio.  We worked arms, and I made her do some squats lol. I even have proof!

64342_10200515996437773_525306358_nThe other best part about Bianca coming over is I get to try out recipes that Jake wouldn’t totally be into.  So I made vegan stuffed poblano peppers with fresh tomatillo salsa that I based off of a recipe I found in the Martha Stewart Meatlesscook book.  Her recipe included goat cheese, which I don’t like at all, and really it didn’t need it so I skipped it.  I also added the farro because i thought that would be a better addition.

64347_10200514537001288_1079918627_nI roasted the peppers on my gas stove which made my apartment smell interesting, luckily it was like 50 degrees outside and I could open my windows.  After I roasted the peppers and peeled them, I made a batch of farro and sautéed it with fresh corn and black beans with a bit of the salsa and packed that into the peppers.

What is farro you say? It’s a gluten free grain.  Now before you think I am hopping on the gluten-free diet trend I am not.  I wanted to change up my quinoa obsession and I figured a heartier grain would be good for this dish.  It has kind of a nutty taste and its just really good.

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For the tomatillo salsa, I boiled 5 tomatillos to make them soft then drained them and put them in my blender with a couple cloves of garlic, half a jalapeño, a ton of fresh cilantro, and the juice from 1 and a half limes.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper of course as well.

Of course no meal would be perfect without a dessert so I decided to try a raw carrot cake recipe that I found on a blog.  And by recipe I mean an idea because you know I didn’t follow it.

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For this I grated one giant carrot, then realized how juicy the carrot was, so I ran the second one through my juicer to get a dryer pulp.  But I think I liked how it had two different textures, a coarse grated carrot mixed with the finer carrot pulp so if you can do that I would suggest it.  If not grate both but squeeze out a lot of the moisture or it won’t stay together.  Then I added about a cup of raw walnuts (soaked and dried in my oven of course) about a cup of dates, and 3/4 cup of unsweetened dried coconut.  Blended that all together then pressed it into heart shaped baking cups.  Oh! and don’t forget the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg!  I did, and had to do it all over again lol.  I know a lot of people think carrot cake isn’t carrot cake without the raisins, but I can’t stand raisins so they were omitted in my version (and it was still carrot cake to me!).

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messy kitchen

carrotcake2-rtFor the icing, the original called for cashews, which honestly sounded really good, but Bianca unfortunately is allergic to cashews so I made this out of coconut milk instead.  Did you know that if you put coconut milk in the fridge over night it thickens the creamy part of the milk and it separates to the top.  It ends up almost like being coconut cream (only without all the added junk when you buy it pre-made)  I scooped out all the coconut cream put it in my blender with some maple flavored agave, vanilla powder and a little vanilla extract.  Then I whipped it together and it made a super fluffy icing kind of like a cool whip consistency and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I am totally making that raw carrot cake for like every occasion now, I think anyone would like it no matter what kind of diet they have, it didn’t need to be made with flour or baked, and it didn’t need any extra oil or hydrogenated fats to make it delicious.  Give it a shot, you will probably really like it!  Even if you are one of those people that don’t believe in mixing vegetables in with your sweets… you know who you are…

 

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His Plate/Her Plate #3 Chili Cornbread Jars

My friend Bianca introduced me to a website called The Kitchn (yes its spelled that way) the other day, and while I was reading it I stumbled upon this idea for chili topped with cornbread baked in mason jars.

I have a TON of jars, and I like all the other things so I figured I’d try to make them into a vegan and Jake suitable version.

I figure everyone has their own chili recipe, I kind of make mine up as I go along.  But the basics of mine is a can each of black, kidney, and pinto beans, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, and for this one I added chopped onion, garlic, bell peppers, and yellow and green squash.

chilicornbread3-rtFor Jake, I sautéed ground turkey with some chili seasoning in a separate pan then scooped some of the vegan chili and mixed it in, so it was super easy to make the veggie version into a meat-eaters version!

After I made my chili, I made a cornbread batter.  I was originally just going to make it from a boxed mix, but I only had time to go to a conventional grocery store and they only had the standard Jiffy brand and Betty Crocker.  Personally I like to only buy organic corn because corn is one of the most genetically modified foods that we eat and I try to avoid GMO’s.  On top of that did you know that the Jiffy mix had LARD in it!!! um ew.  It also had hydrogenated oils and a ton of other gross things so I left that on the shelf and walked away.  While I was at the store I googled for recipes and came up with an easy vegan recipe that I of course tweaked. hehe

chilicornbread1-rtBasically for this recipe you need

  • 2 cups Organic corn meal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (even better if its your own)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp of maple agave nectar or raw agave nectar
  • 1 cup of organic corn

First you want to add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and whisk it until it is foamy and set it aside,  then sift the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Once you have sifted the dry ingredients add the coconut oil and agave to the almond milk mixture whisk again then add it to the dry ingredients and stir them together.  Add the corn if you like corn bits in your cornbread and mix enough to get them mixed but be very careful to not over mix as it will make your cornbread tough.

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Once you get the cornbread batter mixed, fill the mason jars (i used 16 oz jars) a few inches under the mouth of the jar then top with the cornbread batter, just make sure that you leave about an inch of space for the bread to rise a bit.  After all, part of the cool thing about these is that you can just put the lid on the jar and take these to go so you you want to make sure the lid fits!

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After I filled my jars, I placed them on a baking sheet and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they were lightly browned.  Also make note, this batter makes more than what is needed for the 4 jars, so either make more chili jar, or just make muffins or a pan of the rest of the cornbread!

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Jakes turkey chili on the right and my vegan chili on the left

One thing is because the cornbread doesn’t have eggs in it, its not going to brown as much as a normal recipe would.  Jake liked it, but he did say that they were missing a bit of the creamy-ness that the lard gives to it.  Either way, he better get used to a lard-free life because thats just gross and bad for you.  I think if I make this recipe again I will make the salt 1 full teaspoon as I felt it was lacking a bit of seasoning.

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I made 2 for each of us so we each had lunch for the next day.  Jake took his to work and heated it in the microwave which is safe to do, just make sure that you take the lid off of course since its metal!

I have to say that I am a little obsessed with these now and I am already brainstorming what other jar dinners I can make.

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