Tag Archives: vegan

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.

veggies

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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cilantroveggies

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.

blackrice

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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Healthy Tuesday: Animals Are My Friends, and I Don’t Eat My Friends

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I have been vegetarian since I was really young.   I started off omitting red meat, then slowly worked each type of meat out of my diet.  It was hard when I was younger.  My mom didn’t really like to cook in general, and I was really too young to cook for myself so I ate a lot of side dishes.  I wouldn’t totally call myself a carb-loading vegetarian, but it wasn’t a perfect diet either.  No one else in my family is vegetarian, in fact they all think I am a little crazy but they have embraced it now.

I honestly am not totally sure how I decided that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore.  I was never much of a fan of fish, and I would never eat veal.  In fact I still remember (sorry for throwing you under the bus mom) one night my mom made veal parmesan for dinner and actually took the time to mold my piece of veal into the shape of a chicken breast and tried to trick me into eating it, but I figured out as soon as I cut it open.  I suppose that is something I wouldn’t have done, but I get where she was coming from.  She was tired of chicken all the time and needed something new.  I mean really I am sure all of you parents out there have fibbed to your kid at one point, or realized that you as a child were tricked by your parents.

How about the time that my dad told me that an artichoke was a fish and I believed it and never tried it until I was in my 20’s.  I didn’t know he was joking, and he forgot he made the joke.  When I was a kid it made sense since he was eating the heart, I honestly thought it was like some weird living sea plant looking animal.  Sounds crazy now, but I didn’t even find out I could eat it until I was 22 at T.G.I Fridays when my friend wanted to order spinach artichoke dip and I told her I couldn’t eat it because I didn’t eat fish.  I can still see the look on her face when she heard me say that.  All those years I was missing out on just how amazing artichokes are.

anyway…..

Now that I am 31, I have a lot more control over my diet, and I am completely settled in my vegetarian lifestyle, I also know what things are vegetables and what things are meat (lol).  I can tell you now exactly why I eat plant-based and it is for a ton of reasons.  Firstly it is the most obvious reason, animal rights.  By now I am sure everyone is familiar with the horrors of factory farming and I really shouldn’t have to preach about it.  At this point you either care or you don’t, but I hope eventually everyone starts to care.  The animals that are suffering just so people can have a cheap fast food hamburger are astounding and heartbreaking.

In this month’s Healthy Tuesday articles I am going to break down the other two less obvious reasons that I am vegetarian into two parts.  This week I am going to cover the environmental reasons, next week I will be back with a his plate/her plate recipe, then on the 16th part two:  the health reasons of being a vegetarian and lastly I will finish off every month with a new smoothie or juice recipe.

The biggest reason for having a plant based diet is for the environment.  The meat industry has a huge impact on the environment that I choose to not be a part of, here is why:

 

Six  Environmental Reasons to Chose a Plant-Based Diet

  1. Our waterways are being polluted:  The waste, antibiotics, and pesticides from factory farms are running into our water supply.  A typical pig farm produces the same amount of waste that 50,000 humans do, but they don’t have the same sewer system to take care of it.

  2. Our Forests are being cut down at an alarming rate:  Since 1967 our forests have been destroyed at an estimated 1 acre every 5 seconds for cattle in order to keep a cheap supply of beef for our fast food restaurants.  At this rate some of our rainforests could be gone in as little as 30 years.

  3. We are using our land inefficiently: The amount of land needed to feed one person on a meat-based diet could feed 20 vegetarians.

  4. We are wasting our resources:  It requires 16 pounds of grains and 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.  Growing that amount of grain for human consumption could feed 16 people and only uses 250 gallons of water.

  5. We are wasting our energy:  It takes more than 10 times the fossil fuels to produce one calorie of animal protein versus the same amount of plant protein.

  6. We are destroying our oceans:  Commercial fishing nets catching everything in its path which destroys coral reefs, home to billions of different aquatic animals.

There are so many other environmental reasons for adopting a plant based diet, if these facts have sparked your interest start googling and you will see so many more.  Even changing one of your meat-based meals to a vegetarian meal can help make a difference! 

Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Tuesday article or recipe!

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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.

meatboel2

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

stirfry_rt

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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Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Protein Shake

I wrote this post a long time ago during girl scout cookie time, and I don’t know what happened but I never posted it!

I don’t know about you, but those little girl scout cookies get me every time.  The one good thing about living in Brooklyn and not having friends with kids is that I don’t really have access to them.  When I lived in NJ you could always find a troop of girl scouts sitting out side of a drug store, or a Walmart, or Target.  This year someone at Jake’s work was selling them so he got me my favorites, Thin Mints and Samoas.  The thing is they are full of crap ingredients.  Why have the girl scouts not caught on!  They are full of Hydrogenated oils, preservatives, trans fats, artificial flavors.  Just a ton of not good for you things, I really wish they would clean up their act.

Since they are only around for a short time, I figured I would make a shake inspired by my favorites, the Samoa.  The Samoa cookie is like a coconut macaroon, with chocolate on the bottom drizzled in caramel.  For my shake, I didn’t have caramel so I went with maple agave to get that sweet almost burnt sugar taste, it worked out pretty well.

samoaingredients-rtFor this shake you need:

  • 1 scoop of Vega chocolate protein powder, or your favorite
  • 1 cup of nut milk of your choice
  • 1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp Maple Agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 ice cubes

For my shake I used my home made cashew milk that is unflavored as well as unsweetened.  I really like cashew milk for these types of shakes because cashew milk has a really nice richness that makes your healthy shake feel a bit more decadent.  Coconut milk would work great as well, but I never have any when I want it.  I used sweetened coconut shreds in my recipe, mostly because it was what I had opened at the time, and since my nut milk is not sweetened and I used raw cacao I figured the little bit of added sugar wouldn’t make much of a difference.  Plus we are trying to make it taste like a cookie!

Just throw all these ingredients in a blender, and blend till it is smooth, add some extra coconut on the top to make it fancy and you are set, drink away!

samoashake2-rtSure it might not be a total replacement for the cookie but its still pretty good and calorie wise probably not that far off from a few cookies and you get so much more!  Give it a shot and see what you think.  Plus since girl scout season seems to be over, I am sure you are out of them anyway!

 

 

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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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