Simple & Wonderful

It is almost SUMMER TIME! My favorite time of year. Summers in North Texas are hot, hot, hot and sometimes humid, so that usually makes me crave bright, fresh, mostly raw, whole foods. Here are some of my favorite (fairly easy) summer-time meals that are full of nutrients and good flavor!


LIGHT ASIAN RICE SALAD

  • Jasmine rice (1/2 frozen bag from Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • handful of radicchio
  • 1 can of corn (no salt added)
  • 1 stalk green onion (chive)
  • small bunch of cilantro (for taste)
  • 1-2 mangos
  • handful of cashews (unroasted, unsalted)
  • 1 lime

COLD ASIAN NOODLE SALAD

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  • homemade noodle sauce:
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1/2 stalk of green onion (chive)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • sprinkle of black sesame seeds
  • 1 pack of soba or udon noodles (after strained, rinse with cold water)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk of green onion (chive)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • top with roasted peanuts

 


HOMEMADE VEGGIE SUSHI 

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  • sushi nori (vegan, organic)
  • white sticky rice
  • 2 limes
  • sliced mango
  • sliced bell peppers
  • ribboned kale/cabbage
  • sliced cucumbers
  • sliced green onion
  • sliced avocado
  • Whole Foods pre-made pineapple salsa
  • Kimchi Sweet & Sour sauce (no oil)
  • soy sauce (optional)

 


LOADED KALE SALAD 

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  • washed, ribboned kale
  • washed, ribboned arugula
  • shredded carrots
  • shredded radicchio
  • broccoli
  • avocado
  • diced bell pepper
  • diced red onion
  • quinoa
  • Whole Foods | No Oil dressing
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Building a Mason Jar Salad

MASON JAR SALADS!

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This is the best invention EVER for those trying to eat well while keeping up with a busy schedule! Typically, they stay fresh for about a week, just know — angry greens + any types of beans will smell a bit rank after a short few days, but don’t be afraid!

They are still edible + nutrient dense!

 

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The best way to avoid your lettuce + other soft veggies getting soggy is to put the hard/wet things at the bottom, i.e. dressing, broccoli, cabbage, chickpeas, etc, so you end up stacking leaves/peas/peppers/fruit at the top of the jar. 

A 44 oz Mason jar is enough for a full lunch amount, but I typically end up adding extra leaves/greens once I dump it into a bowl because I literally can never get enough!


As far as dressings go, I like to change mine up. I don’t eat any/all oils, but Whole Foods has a few bottled dressings with no oil + they are DELISH!

The sesame ginger + pomegranate balsamic are my two favorites. Often times I’ll just mix in an avocado + drizzle lemon juice with a dash of pepper.

Once you develop your palette further + further, you will discover the amazing + unbelievable layers of flavor in vegetables + fruits! I’m sure I sound like a dork,

BUT I DON’T CARE!

THAT is how awesome plants are.


 

I’ve covered a few ingredients, but below is a full list of things to make sure you are getting a full rainbow of nutrients each day. And, the best part is, you can play around with different styles + flavors! Plants provide endless options!

Get creative!


 

And just look how pretty they can make your fridge look… Ugh. I just love ‘em.

 

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GREENS:

 

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (purple/green)
  • Green onion
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Spring mix
  • Peas
  • Lima beans
  • Edamame  
  • Celery
  • Brussel sprouts

 

BEANS:

 

  • Chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • Kidney
  • Black
  • Cannellini
  • Navy
  • Black eyed peas
  • Pinto

 

GRAINS:

 

  • Quinoa (color blend)
  • Barley
  • Farro
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Ground chia

 

VEGGIES/FRUIT/MISC:

 

  • Bell peppers (all colors)
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Apple
  • Red onion
  • Bokchoy

 

NUTS:

 

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pine
  • Pecans
  • Peanuts

 

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The food is amazing, yes, but the best part about it is having friends to enjoy it with you.

Culture + community have more to do with diet than I realized, + WOW! Jill Hawkins was the one to inspire me to make this transition, + has been the one who’s encouraged + (patiently) helped me get to where I am now!  

Find someone in your life who urges you on to greatness in all areas…you never know where you could end up! God has big plans for YOU!

Enjoy the ride, friends! 

Super Fun Super Foods

Think plant-based eaters can’t enjoy a good party or have fun eating at all? WRONG!! Our options are endless!!!

Hummus + ranch with veggies, Texas caviar + dipping peppers, chili, potato soup…the list goes on!

The saddest thing I hear way too often is that once you go plant-based, life gets boring + you can’t have fun anymore. DON’T BELIEVE IT! This simply isn’t just a diet or a fad or a craze; it’s a true lifestyle change.

I truly believe this is how we were created (in God’s image) to eat. Walking in the cool of the day, through the garden, yielding the fruit of the seeds He planted. He gave all of this to us TO EAT + prosper from (Gen. 1:29).

Ok, I won’t go too far into that, but you get the gist. Veggies are great. Plants are great. God is great.

So, here’s the deal – don’t be afraid!! I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid! Working with whole foods is not a scary thing. We have not been told for too long about how truly good the “good foods” really are for us! There are thousands of unidentified + undiscovered phytochemicals + nutrients in veggies + fruits…but just think about the ones we already know of!?! How crazy amazing is God!?!?!

Down to business…

I’m sure some out there are, so, if you’re concerned about, say, desserts and having to work with dates or anything that doesn’t come out of a box, don’t worry! Forks Over Kives’ (along with hundreds of other resources + magazines) website offers an easy + YUMMY Brownie recipe. I topped mine off with walnuts, + tastes even better served with a side of fruit!

That’s what’s fun about this—you can be CREATIVE! There are few vegetables or fruits or plants that I’ve put together and gone, “Meh, not so good.” But, you’ve gotta be willing to fail…you’re not gonna nail it every time, but that’s okay! Don’t give up!!

Today I decided to use up what I had in my fridge + pantry which was: 2 carrots, 1/2 white onion, 1 bunch bok choy, 2 green bell peppers, 1 hannah yam, and micro greens.

Instructions:

  • Pour 2 cups of veggie broth (Whole Foods brand) into pan with 1/2 tbsp of thyme until it’s warm. Then dump cubed potato + sliced carrots, simmer on med-high heat for roughly 10 min, covered.
  • Once soft, dump onion + green bell pepper in with a 1/4 cup more of broth, simmer on med heat for roughly 5-10 min, covered.

  • Then throw bok choy in with 3/4 cups veggie broth + a dash of black pepper.

  • Let that all sit for about 10 minutes on low heat, covered.

  • Serve hot + top it off with a small bunch of fresh broccoli micro greens.

This recipe took me about an hour to prepare + cook. Super easy, super yummy—who doesn’t want that!?! I had no recipe to follow but just threw everything into a pot + hoped for the best.

I really, really, really, really, REALLY love food. Like, really. So I hope this is helpful + encouraging to you! Just don’t give up…keep trying! You can do it!!

How to Eat Well On-the-Go

Over time I have noticed that the hardest hill to climb in achieving a consistent, healthy diet is the inconvenience of not having pre-packaged, on-the-go options. I know we all live so fast and busy, which can bump eating well down on the list of priorities, but I hope my tips and experiences are helpful and maybe even spark new ideas!

 


 

HOW TO GET YOUR VEGGIES IN: 

I looove my veggies (and I hope you do, too!!!). One of the easiest ways I’ve found to make sure I’m eating enough of them is prepping at the beginning of the week. I pre-wash everything so I don’t have to worry about doing so each time I have to leave my house and throw things in a Ziploc or get home late from work and need to eat as quick as possible so I can get to bed at a decent hour.

I typically will have carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, or celery, and a tub of hummus (I like Cedar’s but my family’s homemade recipe is my favorite) as a snack. I also throw blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries into a big tupperware bowl so they’re ready to scoop out and take with you wherever and whenever you need to go!

As for meals on the go, I make a big pot of either quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice to throw underneath some yummy roasted veggies or mix with spaghetti squash at any time of the week. Also having pre-cooked lentils, black beans, or garbanzos are a good option to have available to add to any meal.

Some favorite pairings of mine are:

  • asparagus, sweet potato, and red onion
  • bell peppers, brussel sprouts, and yellow squash
  • zucchini, sweet potato, and bell peppers
  • broccoli, bell peppers, and red onion

Oh, and mushrooms with EVERYTHING!!!

My all-time favorite seasoning is ‘Slap-Ya-Mama’s’. It. Is. The. BOMB-DIGGITY. Also, adding a splash of balsamic vinegar while sautéing your meals is life-changing. I promise. If you’re feeling Italian, though, Dave’s gourmet pasta sauce (sold only at Sprouts, I’ve found) is like heaven for your tastebuds. I haven’t ever been a huge spaghetti sauce fan, but this stuff is DELICIOUS!!! I will usually just chop up a lot of veggies (to make sure I get those nutrients in), sauté, and then dump on top of my spaghetti squash. It is YUMMY!

Whenever I’m prepping a fresh meal at home, I typically throw about 3 big handfuls of spinach or kale into a saute pan with other veggies. Health professionals say we need to be eating leafy greens 6 TIMES a day. YES- 6!!! That is a lot, I hear you, but you will feel so different due to the amount of fiber and nutrients you’re receiving. (If you are skeptical, you can find more information here)

 

FINDING WAYS TO GET THOSE GREENS IN: 

It may seem weird, but it honestly isn’t as bad as you might think…. Some mornings, I boil some kale and mix it into my oatmeal. Once I’ve added berries, nuts, flaxseed, and maybe some almond milk or coconut sugar, I can hardly even notice those greens!


 

PACKAGED OPTIONS THAT ARE NOT FILLED WITH CRAP:

I love, love, love Lenny + Larry’s Protein Cookies. Snicker doodle + Lemon Poppyseed are my favorites, but they are all verrrry tasty! Lärabars are also a great option if you only have time to run in whole foods and snag something off the shelf.

The things about those products is that they are not only protein dense, but also have a great amount of fiber. Our issue these days is NOT getting enough protein in our diet (we have WAY too much, to be honest). Our dilemma is that we simply do not get enough fiber. So, my main recommendation would be to ALWAYS have whole, fresh fruit available to take with you everywhere. It’s a great source of vitamins and nutrients to keep around.


I’m not gonna lie and say it will be easy at first but, with a little effort and elbow grease, YOU CAN DO IT!!!


Well, friends, that’s all I got for today….BUT STAY TUNED!!! Much, much more (along with pictures) to come!!!!!

Hope this information is helpful to y’all!

EAT MORE PLANTS!