Here’s our new M.O. on MMs: If we have great ones in the inbox, we’re gonna share them! And this one is bomb. Packed with healthy, yummy-sounding recipes… this is exactly the kind of menu we love to get! (hint, hint, send) Enjoy!
Dietary Leanings: This has been in flux recently. For 5 years I was 100% vegan, now I’m more ovo-vegetarian with an occasional serving of wild-caught, sustainable fish (once every 1-2 months or so). I don’t want to support factory egg production so I only eat eggs as I get them from family, friends or co-workers with (happy) chickens!
My Favorite Vegetable: Beets & carrots! So sweet and flavorful—I love them steamed in the summer, or roasted in the winter. Their greens are delicious too!
Breakfast is very seasonally determined for me. Where I live in California the summers are very hot (100 degrees) and the coconut oil on my counter is perma-liquefied. So when I wake up I want something cold and refreshing! First is a tall glass of water and a citracel pill (I was recently diagnosed with spastic intestines and this has helped immensely). Then I usually make either a protein-smoothie or a “Backyard-bowl” inspired puree. Anyone live in SoCal? My husband and I recently were in Santa Barbara and had the pleasure of eating at Backyard Bowl—so delicious! I wish they would open up a location in Northern California. My version of their “Diego Bowl” is to pour 1 cup of frozen blueberries into the blender, followed by ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons hemp protein, a spash of honey, 2 tblsp of peanut butter—and blend away! Add a tiny bit more water if you need to but you want the puree thick. Serve in bowl with a sliced banana on top—yum!
If I’m in more of a rush, I whip up a carob protein smoothie. 1.5 cups water (or almond milk) in a blender followed by 2 tblsp carob powder, 2 tblsp chia seeds, 2.5 tblsp hemp protein powder, 1 tblsp almond butter and 1-2 tblsp hemp seeds, ½ frozen banana and for extra sweetness— one pitted date. Blend and pour—and run out the door.
I usually munch on whatever fruits I have or if I’ve recently made almond milk—these tasty almond-pulp crackers (best use the pulp I’ve found! Recipe here.) To curb a sweet-tooth: 1 or 2 dates split in half and filled with either almond butter or P.B. If you sprinkle the top with cocoa nibs it tastes like a Reeses p.b. cup. :)
For lunch it’s…
I usually pack whatever I made for dinner the night before. Lately I’ve been enjoying these as mid-day meals:
California Summer Wrap with quinoa & tempeh. I also like these portobello mushroom burgers with cauliflower buns or this delicious pea hummus + steamed carrots, beets, recipe.
Since it’s definitely hot in the house in the evening I try to use as little heat as possible—steaming or light stovetop action is usually my routine.
Or if I want something heartier and don’t mind the heat, I whip up Sarah’s sunshine split-pea soup. Just make sure to soak those split peas overnight or it will take for-e-v-er (2+ hours) to cook!!
And for dessert…
Meet Briana, an often-vegan-sometimes-omnivore—which is kinda how we roll here at NMDL too. The best part about this menu though, aside from the delightful-sounding flavor profiles (you had us at caramelized onions!), is that Briana has included links to other sites with the recipes. Very thoughtful!
Hometown: New York, NY
My dietary leanings: My diet is mostly vegan, but I’m not a vegan. I will occasionally (though rarely) eat fish, eggs or chicken (super rarely!) and I don’t generally sweat it if I eat something, like a cookie, that has butter and eggs in it. So maybe I’m a mostly-vegan/sometimes-omnivore. I’m also really careful of how much sugar I consume.
My favorite vegetable: Tough call…I have to give it to onions, because caramelized onions are one of the most tasty things in the world, but beets and avocados are also frontrunners!
This morning I ate…
I had a very big green monster smoothie. I made it with almond milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, 2 bananas, a handful of spinach, and a blob of chlorella cream. I like to make them in the morning and bring it to work in a jar (today’s was an old spaghetti sauce jar) and it keeps me full all morning and into the afternoon.
Then for lunch it was…
Salad wrap! I make these a lot. I put an assortment of veggies (lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, sprouts, grated beets) in a whole wheat wrap with homemade hummus and a little sprinkle of herbamare (seasoned salt…yummy stuff).
I like to sip on green tea sweetened with agave during the day, and I drink a TON of water (I suspect people in my office may think I have a bladder-related problem). I snacked on a package of Eden Organics trail mix a little.
Finally for dinner I had…
Beet burgers! These are SO good. We put them on wheat buns with vegenaise, ketchup, pickles, lettuce & tomatoes.
Last but not least, dessert…
SoDelicious coconut milk ice cream…the one with chocolate and pieces of almonds. I don’t miss ice cream in the slightest!
We heart SoDelicious too—and if you have yet to try their chocolate and almond covered almond-milk bars, you’re in for a real treat. It also seems like chlorella is showing up in everything these days, from moisturizers (see my new fave Acure creams—and feel free to make fun of the fact that I’m posing with them!) to smoothies. I have yet to try chlorella as food but am super inspired by the My New Roots post linked above. Have you tried chlorella?
I’m on a big seed kick lately. It all started when I (successfully!) recreated my favorite salad in the whole entire world. It’s this carrot and avocado one* from ABC Kitchen here in New York, and despite how unspecial it sounds—carrots are carrots, avocados are avocados—it’s shockingly delicious. One reason: The sesame and sunflower seeds it calls for on top.
Since I like to take liberties with recipes, I decided to stock up on pumpkin and hemp seeds** and include those as well. Of course, whenever you make something at home that calls for a teaspoon of something you wouldn’t otherwise buy, you’re stuck with the “What do I do with the rest?” conundrum. Well, I’ll tell you:
I’ve been putting nuts and seeds on everything. Who knew simple seeds could make such a big difference on your old standbys? Not this guy.
Here’s why hemp seeds are good for you: They’re high in easily digestible protein, which means they don’t make you bloat like some other vegetable protein sources like whey and soy. They also have the 3:1 omega 3 to 6 ratio (that’s food-nerd speak for “good”), a nice amount of fiber, and more essential fatty acids than anything else in nature—including flax seeds, which I could never get into, frankly.
Here’s how to store them: In an airtight container or airtight resealable bag, in the fridge. Airtight is important; otherwise the natural oils can go rancid.
Here’s where to buy them: At any health food store, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc. Go with organic.
And finally, here’s how I like to eat them…
1. Raw in Greek yogurt or a warm breakfast cereal. Do this with some nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit and any other seed you have handy for a tasty breakfast high in plant-based protein and healthy fats.
2. As part of a nut-and-seed crust for fish or tofu. Dry toast your seeds together in a cast-iron skillet—no oil, medium heat, until they start to pop and crack. Turn off the heat, let them cool and them combine with a little dijon and honey for the most delicious crust ever.
3. In a smoothie. Just toss ‘em in there.
4. Dry-toasted with spices then sprinkled on a salad or some kale. Same dry-toasting method as above, but this time with spices you like. This brings out the nuttiness of the seeds and with a little cumin (or whatever), it can completely transform something as simple as steamed kale or salad.
5. Baked into homemade granola bars. I’ll admit that I have not done this yet, but I’m going to try this recipe from My New Roots, the best food blog in the world, for Totally Baked Hemp Protein Granola Bars this week.
Are you into hemp seeds? Some other seeds? How do you eat them?
* The recipe is in the new Jean-Georges cookbook, Jean-Georges Cooks At Home (a few more of his vegetarian recipes here), which I have been tearing through at an incredible clip. I swear I’ve made almost all the salads already—and there are many.
** Can’t get high off of them but yes, they are from the same plant.
Talk about inspiring. Many of you participated in our Fruit and Veggie Challenge, and your stories read like a resounding WOW.
You guys felt amazing! Many of you were more energized, less bloated, experienced fewer food comas, had better digestion, and even saw a perceptible difference in the quality of your skin tone (that famous veggie glow!).
Some of you were already on the fruit-and-veggie tip but still seemed to appreciate the extra kick. Excitingly though, not all of you started out as big plant-based food fans, so it was especially cool to hear about the changes you noticed and how much you enjoyed the challenge.
She told us that one of her favorites is Enlightened Eating by Caroline Dupont, so our intern Sylvie got ahold of Caroline who was kind enough to donate the book along with her DVD to our lucky winner.
And the winner is…
Sydney Skillen, of Middlebury, Indiana.
We didn’t pick out of a hat this time, but actually chose Sydney because she told us this was a tough challenge for her, but she noticed positive changes and wants to keep it up. So as a new convert to a heavily plant-based diet, we thought this would be good encouragement. Sydney, we will email you with more details!
As for the rest of you, thank you so much for participating. We currently have a big challenge in the works and we’re hoping that this one will actually have a prize for everyone… Because we’re all going to Australia!! Just kidding. But it’s going to be really awesome.
Happy Meatless Monday!