5 Vegan Barbecue Family Favorites | Burgers, Mac N’ Cheese, Cornbread, Fries, Grilled Veggies

VEGAN

The thought of grilling gatherings used to give me the heebie jeebies! As a vegetarian / vegan / high raw / w.e., I try to stay away from the classic American foods. ¬†These recipes are absolutely perfect for meat heads and vegan, gluten-free, even nut-free health nuts alike ūüėČ . ¬†Last year I made my favorite Watermelon Mint Salad. Check out the recipe video honoring my Grampa here.

1. BBQ Black Bean Burger

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This is my favorite¬†black bean burger that I have made so far – adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers. My adapted version of the recipe is here. ¬†I love it served with cucumber and avocado because the burger has so much flavor! The cooling veggies help to balance it out perfectly.¬†These babies are:

  1. Easy
  2. Cheap
  3. Quick
  4. Healthy*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I have learned in my nutrition classes that vitamins are lost when cooked in excess water or when water is drained off. ¬†Thiamin, (aka vitamin B1) is lost as temperature or pH rises but it is more heat stable in acid, so it would be a good idea to cook rice with some lemon or lime juice, adding acidity to help retain nutrient content. Cook in amount of water that will be absorbed during cooking : 1 cup rice, use 2 cups of water.)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp each: chili powder, cumin, and paprika
  • 1/2 tsp each: salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed, and drained
  • 1/3 cup ground rolled oats (throw some oatmeal in the blender)
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan BBQ sauce*(Look for a BBQ sauce that¬†is free of high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, >300mg sodium / serving. I used Annie’s Organic Original BBQ Sauce. I also really liked Sprout’s brand Pumpkin BBQ sauce that I got in the fall. Check out http://www.fooducate.com to compare BBQ sauce products to find a healthier option.)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (These also work well cooked on skillet or grill)
  2. Heat a skillet over medium with 1/2 Tbsp oil, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To a high speed blender or food processor, add walnuts, chili powder,  cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and blend until smooth, but not butter.
  4. Either mash black beans with fork/mashed potato masher in a large mixing bowl or pulse them in blender or food processor.  It is nice to leave some whole beans for good texture
  5. Add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sauteed onion mushroom garlic mix, maple syrup, ground oats, BBQ sauce, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until moldable dough forms.  If too dry, add a tad more BBQ sauce, if too moist, add more ground oats.  Taste and adjust seasoning as you’d like.
  6. For larger burgers, divide into 5 patties (~1/2 cup in size) or form 10 smaller burgers (~1/4 cup in size). To help form the patties, line your 1/2 or 1/4 measuing cup with plastic wrap and pack with burger mix. Press down to pack firmly, then lift out by the plastic wrap’s edge, and use hands to flatten slightly on the parchment paper, forming a 3/4 inch thick patty.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes on each side for a total of 30-40 minutes cooking time.
  8. Serve over a toasted bun with all the fixin’s like thin cucumber, avocado, tomato, and red onion ūüėõ

2. Creamy Macaroni and Peas

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This is adapted from the star item special at my home base Organic Garden Cafe ‚̧ It is unbelievable. My sister, (the cheese hound who without shame scrolls through #macncheese on IG on the reg), asked me to make this for her the¬†very day I got back from my 10 day road trip from grad school in Texas. ¬†Yup it’s that good. And it happens to be¬†gluten free, nut free, low fat, high fiber, cheap, and¬†effortless!

Serves about 6:

  • 1¬†cauliflower, roughly chop into large florets
  • 1 yellow onion, discard outer layer and chop into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 12 oz dry elbow macaroni pasta (I like using brown rice pasta!)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  1. Steam onion and cauliflower until super tender (about 30 minutes) and boil elbow macaroni to manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Combine steamed vegetables with salt, pepper, olive oil, and nutritional yeast, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor S blade or high speed blender and blend until creamy creamy baby
  3. Pour sauce over macaroni and peas and mix well. Transfer to casserole dish for serving.
  4. Garnish with paprika, parsley, and serve to the cheese lovers in your life!

In the photo above, I used 12oz bag bionaturae brand elbows for the gluten free pasta, I thought it was pretty good! I always try new brands, what is your favorite??

3. Blueberry Corn Bread

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My mother adapted this recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen’s Sunny Corn Muffins and she usually serves it with chili as in the recipe here. My mom puts in less sugar and apple sauce instead of yogurt.

Yield: 24 mini muffins

  • 1 C gluten free all purpose flour (I used a brown rice GF mix)
  • 1 C corn flour
  • 1 Tbl baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 3/4 C non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbls apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C blueberries
  • fine grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F and grease 2 mini muffin tins with coconut oil
  2. Combine dry ingredients (except blueberries) and wet ingredients in separate bowls and whisk separately.  Fold into dry and halfway through mixing, add in blueberries and distribute well.
  3. Pour in 8 inch pan and sprinkle a little sugar on top.
  4. Bake for ~18-20 minutes. Mmm sweet cornbread perfection

4. Sweet Potato Fries

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The image above is one sweet potato and one purple potato.

  • Cut into fries.
  • Thrown in a bowl
  • Tossed with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and a few dashes of cinnamon
  • Baked on parchment paper at 410* F for mm 30-40 mins? ¬†Nope, didn’t even time it. Just make sure they’re soft to perfection.

It is that easy. I LOVE cinnamon on my sweet potatoes but you can certainly get creative and use paprika, or herbs.. spice it up to match your flavah. Ginger powder would have been bomb too.

5. Grilled Vegetables

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I have never and will never operate an actual giant grill. These were made in the panini press at 375*F. (Thank you college life #necessity=invention). Just greased the press lightly with coconut oil, and threw on some sliced mushroom, eggplant, and peeled asparagus, and BOOM! ¬†Nope, didn’t ¬†put any spices. ¬†Feel free to show me up and let me know what you did! ¬†If you are capable of operating an actual grill, my favorite veggies on a skewer are onions, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Yumm. !

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Well, there you have it! Let me know how your memorial day weekend festivities go. Feel free to comment below, follow me @reinesandshine on instagram / twitter, and contact me anytime at reinesandshine@gmail.com. Cheers to life in good health! Enjoy!

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Rainbow Ginger Citrus Zoodles | Raw, Vegan, Simple, Delicious.

The research I am doing for my graduate program is on plant foods and cancer- I am on cloud 8374378457 with all the EUREKA WHATT research that is out there!! Sulforaphane in broccoli, sweet potato protein, flavanols in cacao, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, the plant kingdom cures cancer!! Amazing! The best is to get organic and picked ripe because plants produce natural components called salvestrols¬†to protect themselves from harm similarly to how the plant foods protect us. ¬†It. Is. Unbelievable. Potent cancer killers without harming the body, truly healing it. Mind, body, spirit, immunity, vitality, sustainability ‚̧ Eat the rainbow, reap the success, love, beauty, and happiness *starstruck*

Rainbow Citrus Zoodles

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The Noodles:

  • 4 small zucchini, spiralized
  • 2-3 medium carrots, spiralized
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 purple cabbage leaves, sliced thin

The Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh scallion
  • a quarter sized chunk of ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini
  1. Combine noodles in a large bowl
  2. Blend sauce ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth
  3. Drizzle over noodles, mix and devour with some people you love!

History in the Making: Dietitians of South Texas Tour Their New 100% Organic Grocery Store

In a city of McDonalds, Whataburger, Wal-Mart, obesity and diabetes, a world saving beacon of¬†health and sustainability opens; fully equipped with the highest quality produce/products,¬†demonstration kitchen, vitamins/herbs/supplements, beauty products, books, and,¬†it’s love!

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Natural Grocers 100% Organic Grocery Opens March 15, 2016

Today, I had the opportunity to get a tour of the store with the Corpus Christi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics group lead by the wonderful dietitian there, Kelsey. I was extremely impressed by this tour. A grocery store tour to dietitians? Please, as if they could learn anything more, but we all did! Like how Kelsey pointed out that the hemp seeds, walnuts, and other unstable fats are kept in the refrigerated section (polyunsaturated fats become rancid very easily, creating free radicals, so they must be kept cool). I have learned this previously but I have never seen a grocery store actually put their nuts and seeds in the refrigerator!

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The sign above us says, “100% organic produce,” yes, I am the obnoxious intern that made everybody get in front of the produce section and asked the cashier to take our picture ūüôā

The Tour~

Kristen gave us all a LONG list of things that Natural Grocers will NOT carry.  Including ingredients that I am quite familiar with like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), bleached flours, parabens (mimic estrogen and cause reproductive disorders), dairy products from cows given rBGH (recombinant  Bovine Growth Hormone), artificial sweeteners (all of them), and artificial colors and flavors, as well as so many that I have seen before but even I (a nutrition nerd grad student studying nutrition) have seen but no clue what they are!

Ingredients like DBP (dibutyl phthalate) which is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent that is a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin. ¬†Also, BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that have been shown to be carcinogenic and cause allergic reactions in humans. ¬†I could go on..This place doesn’t even carry chemical based sunscreens or antibacterial soaps! Amen!

A few more reasons why I’m in love with this place:

  • No bags, you have to bring your own! (or they use a cardboard box)
  • GF (gluten free) items are all marked clearly next to price on shelf
  • Local is emphasized and marked clearly with a Texas flag on shelf
  • Lots of cheap “Health Hotline” sale items
  • Bulk specialty items from mulberries and goji berries to raw buckwheat groats
  • WIDE variety of vegan items
  • Reverse osmosis water filter, only $0.25 to refill a gallon
  • Nutrition experts- these people¬†know their¬†stuff!
  • To reduce waste and cut cost of items: no deli/freshly prepared items (ever wonder where all the fresh baked goods from Whole Foods goes at the end of the day? Yup,¬†in the trash #wasteful. !
  • No self serve bulk bins but still has large packages of items in bulk – reduces contamination and food waste
  • Huge wall of shelves with high quality nutritional reference and cookbooks

They even have cool events like this Saturday they have a gluten free tasting expo and health fair! Aw chocolate avocado pie food demo, and “How to live an alkaline lifestyle” is on Monday April 11th. Check out their website for more info on events.

A little bit about my internship…

I can’t believe it, I completed my food service and community rotations last semester and am now half way through my clinical rotation! Eeek! As a snob from the Boston area who ¬†works at a raw vegan cafe called “Organic Garden Cafe” back home, I was nervous that I wouldn’t get to learn new innovations of nutrition while working as an intern in a program that emphasizes the low income communities of South Texas.

I could not be more pleasantly surprised and excited about my feelings towards this internship right now. ¬†It brings me such joy and¬†power to have worked with the people of this community. Diabetics who do not know what a carbohydrate is, teen mom’s going out for a cigarette, and people who are truly afraid to lose weight because they have (and their family and friends) have always been big, so if they lost weight, what would they think!? Many of these people do not¬†want¬†to change, and even if they did, where to even start?¬†As my sister, the writer, put it, “You need to learn the script before you can re-write a new one.

My clinical preceptor now, Shannon Aguilar, has helped me to not only be a much more confident clinical dietitian, but to take it a step further, too.  It is one thing to study nutrition, it is quite another to actually care enough to reflect on our own lives and practice what we preach.  My preceptor, Mrs. Aguilar, is more than a dietitian, she is also a health coach, and helped me to see how important it is to learn who our audience is before we try to help.

Seeing a grocery store like this open in Boston or Vermont would have been a, yawn. Another natural grocery? But, HERE! I get to see history in the making. These people having access to this kind of world saving expertise is dream come true for me.

There is something really cool about the idea of helping people who¬†really need it¬†AND¬†want it. I could talk coconut oil and kale to the organic junkies back home all day every day, but that doesn’t reverse our obesity epidemic now does it? I may have thought that my second round match was a mistake, but actually, it was the best eye-opening and invigorating experience. ¬†To be able to explain what a carbohydrate is to someone who has no clue? Check. Next: to¬†reverse their disease through diet and lifestyle! No matter where I end up, I hope to make a positive impact and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all that I learn from the experience.

Spicy, Cheesy, Black Bean + Sweet Potato Quesadillas

It’s funny- I ¬†really don’t like foods that are too spicy. ¬†Currently giving myself a lil pat on the back for successfully making a dish with some definite kick, that I can eat without, you know, crying. This is one you’ve got to share with friends. Have fun, sizzle sizzleee

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Makes about 4 quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 8 whole grain tortillas, 9 inch (I used¬†these gluten free brown rice ones)
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, boiled and skin removed (save the skin to eat later)
  • 3/4 cup no-salt-added canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if using canned)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced tiny
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • oil for cooking (like unrefined coconut or olive oil)

Steps:

  1. Using a large frying pan, heat ~1 tsp. oil over medium and sauté onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and red bell pepper and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl when finished cooking
  2. In the meantime, using a large bowl, mash boiled skinless sweet potato with a fork with diced tomatos and add in nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder and mix well to combine. Stir in black beans, jalapeno, and cilantro.
  3. Using the same frying pan as before, heat and spread ~1 tsp of oil over medium heat. Place a tortilla flat on the frying pan and spread ~1/2 cup of sweet potato mixture evenly over the tortilla, then spread ~1/4-1/3 cup of sauteed onion vegetable mix on top of that so it looks kinda like this:20160124_123241
  4. Place another tortilla on top, flip after ~3 minutes of cooking (to flip I placed my plate on top of the second tortilla and flipped it into my plate and slid it from the plate back onto the frying pan)
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 4 sections.  Serve with salsa and guacamole.  I made avocado cream with 1 mashed avocado and the juice from 2 limes, mixed well.  So good! Go pats!

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How to Sprout and Cook Beans: Cheap Protein Packed Magic Foods

Cooked or Sprouted Beans?

Which is healthier? ¬†Nobody says it better than Dr. Michael Gregor of http://www.nutritionfacts.org. ¬†Watch his video on the topic here.¬†The main takeaway: America should definitely eat more beans, no matter sprouted or boiled. One protein and fiber packed disease fighting food that is literally $0.45 per pound?! Is this real life!? Buying dry beans in bulk not only stretches your dollar ridiculously (sprouting is seriously a garden on steroids), but beans are an important element in our diets.¬†If you do buy canned, be sure that it is low sodium. I recommend purchasing the Eden’s brand.

The Nutrients

According to USDA’s supertracker¬†¬†1/2 cup of pinto beans cooked from dry contains 6 grams of protein (as much protein as an egg) , 4 grams of fiber (recommendation is about 25 grams / day), and about 20% the daily recommendation for folate. What supertracker doesn’t mention is that many studies have shown that phytates in beans are incredible magic cancer fighters. The fiber and antioxidants in beans also help promote healthy gut bacteria, weight goals, decrease inflammation, the list goes on. Enjoy!

Recipes

All of these recipes with beans from Forks Over Knives¬†, the Post Punk Kitchen¬†and Pinterest look awesome! My personal favorite recipes with beans are Black Bean Brownies and my mom’s EPIC Chili! Although these recipes call for canned, I use boiled and it works just as well. ¬†Hummus with chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, ohh baby there are SO many kinds of beans!!! I CHALLENGE you to try them ALL!

Step 1. SOAK

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1/4 container with dried beans
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Fill the container with water and let sit for about 6 hours or overnight

Step 2. RINSE

 

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Dump out water and they are ready to boil!

Step 3. BOIL OR EAT RAW

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Rinse 1-3 times a day for 1-3 days to sprout. Keep on countertop or in a warm and dry place. To cook, just boil for about 30 minutes, feel free to add a garlic clove, bay leaf, or other spices. Low sodium vegetable broth is good too.
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To stop the tails from growing, put them in the fridge. ūüôā Yum!
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Eat your medicine ‚̧

What I Ate Less Than $4 / Meal Nutrient Breakdown

Save money and eat a healthy diet? Easy!

Click here to watch video
Click here to watch video

Saving money on a vegan diet is simple, as long as you’re willing to eat simply, haha. Every day is different and variety and adequate hydration are important. It doesn’t matter what I eat, what matters is what you eat and what makes you feel good. Just because I eat this way doesn’t mean you have to to be healthy. (I happened to get 3 boxes of bananas for free and feel great eating them!) The nutrient breakdown of this day will be on my blog to see what vitamins and minerals are lacking. I recommend that you log your food every so often to see what vitamins and minerals you might be low in so that you can research what foods contain those nutrients and begin incorporating more of those foods in your balanced vegan diet.

Today, I am definitely vegan for the animals after seeing a cute kitty smeared on the side of the road. Hope he didn’t know what hit him, unlike all the mass produced animals for food these days. I hate to be a vegan pusher, but I really can’t stand to see people supporting that business, it breaks my heart.

According to supertracker.com. I color coded green = good, yellow=warning to look out for, and red = do something about this! warning:¬†these recommended values are based on a 2200 calorie diet and I wasn’t that hungry today so I only ate 2045 calories. ¬†I am sure I would have met pretty much everything based on a 2000 calorie recommendation. Had I eaten more calories – I would have had higher numbers. Kapeesh!?

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Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.
Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.

Reds:

Vitamin B12: I take a supplement and normally like to drink fortified hemp milk that has B12 in it (I ran out).

Vitamin D: Sunshine baby! I spend at least 30 minutes in the sun everyday exercising, or just sitting, haha ūüôā

Yellows:

% Protein: This is up for debate considering I clearly consumed plenty of protein.  I am only 1% low as well, 10% is recommended and I ate 9% of my diet from protein.  Should have eaten a few more lentils, huh!

% Carbohydrate and % Total Fat: Clearly I ate a high carb diet today. ¬†I feel good and energized eating mostly carbs and have noticed though documenting food in the past that a higher fat percentage for me makes me sleepy. ¬†I used to enjoy peanut butter sandwiches and handfuls of nuts but I honestly noticed they slowed me down a lot, both in my digestive tract and just throughout my day. ¬†So, this is a personal thing, but just shows it wouldn’t hurt me to consume less calories from carbohydrates and more from fat.

Linoleic Acid: This is a very important essential fatty acid that is necessary for formation of hormones, brain function, and cell membrane stability.  It is great for me to see how my high carb diet is effecting my intake of essential fatty acids.  Looks like I need my hemp milk!

Calcium: Also a little up for debate, it has been questioned whether clean eating vegans really need that much calcium since fruits and vegetables have been shown to increase the absorption and utilization of calcium. However, this tells me I could stand to of course eat my fortified hemp milk that I love (the chocolate version is SO GOOD!), as well as more okra, figs, broccoli, almonds, collards, and kale in my diet to get some more calcium.  Calcium is in lots of plant foods, even oranges!

Iron: I was a little low in iron today, 16/18mg. Lentils and greens and beans are great sources of iron.  This worries me a little because plant based iron (non-heme iron) is less readily absorbed than iron from animal products (heme iron). To absorb it better, it is necessary to combine it with a source of vitamin C like red bell peppers, lemon juice, oranges or tomatoes.  Last time I got my blood checked I had more iron than my doctor, so I am not too concerned about it.

Selenium: a little low 46/55. I like to eat brown rice which is a decent source for me, (1 cup has 19 micro grams) also brazil nuts are high in selenium and I like to eat a couple of those once in a while when I get a few from the bulk section at Sprouts.

Vitamin E: This should definitely be higher.  I usually eat more greens, (5 cups of spinach has 6mg vitamin E) I am running low so I am trying to make my last bunch last me for the next two days.  Greens are a great source of the essential cell membrane saving fat soluble vitamin antioxidant vitamin E! I could stand to eat a few more sunflower seeds and almonds too.  Even fruit has vitamin E, 1 ripe mango has 2mg.

Choline: Pinto beans (which I have been loving lately) are high in choline, as well as soy products like soy milk and tempeh, also quinoa, broccoli, and green peas, even oranges, bananas and dates have choline. ¬†I should try some tempeh next week to get some variety ūüôā

There you have it! Hope this helps, and I hope you do the same once in a while to make sure you are on track! Not to get obsessive! I don’t record what I eat everyday! Very rarely do I actually measure out my food unless I am doing something like this. ¬†There are lots of sites out there these days, I use http://www.supertracker.com because that is the USDA’s website affiliated with RDs. I like http://www.loseit.com and http://www.cronometer.com and http://www.myfitnesspal.com as well. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

Texas A&M University in Kingsville- My New Home

From Purdue to green Vermont:

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to working at the Organic Garden Cafe in Massachusetts:

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to yoga on the edge of the North Shore:

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To¬†Paoli to Pcutie and Kyle gettin’ hitched!

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Congrats P Cutie and Kyle <3 !!!
Congrats Pcutie and Kyle!!!

to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky:

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to Chi City climbin’ and eatin pizza and burgerz:

Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin's from the salad bar
Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin’s from the salad bar
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100% Vegan Native Food’s Chicken Bacon Avocado Club and Chili Cheese Fries

to lots of hope in Hope, Arkansas

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Finally to my new home:

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Doesn’t it look like paradise? Texas is another country! ¬†Palm trees and massive flat nothingness, random watermelon stands and banana trees.

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Class began on Monday, July 6th.  There was lots of review, but what I got out of it most was the negative vibe of what working in the hospital as a dietitian is like.  The professor made it clear that a hospital is not where you can take the time to cure a person completely, it is where you get them well enough quick enough to leave as soon as possible.  It was made clear that the hospital food is awful, and that no matter what condition a person has, whether cancer or colitis, they all have to get the same hospital food, just modified in different ways.  He also made it clear that it is all corruption because the longer kidney patients need to go to a dialysis center like Devita, the more money Devita will make.

Bottom line: Hospitals are a business, and sick people make that business happen.

I could feel the frustration spewing from my grad professor with every detail he said about his experiences. ¬†You just don’t have enough time to talk to all of the patients. ¬†So sad.

I was personally most frustrated to hear that a lot of patients think the food sucks so they won’t eat. ¬†Not only do they think the food sucks, but the food isn’t being prepared by dietitians, it is being prepared by average Joe’s who don’t really know what the different patients need.

Maybe in the future, they will have Raw Vegan Chef, RD’s working in the hospital kitchens ūüôā

For now, I am so excited to make a difference in the Kingsville/ Corpus Christi area, and it is fun making new friends and adventuring to new places.

tx4Click here to see my 4th of July experience!

Cheers to adventuring! xx

A New Easter Favorite AND Kosher for Passover: Moist Chocolate Chip Carrot Morsels

What’s up, Doc? Carrots are surprisingly sweet. The vibrant orange color offers beta-carotene, which converts to the fat soluble antioxidant vitamin, vitamin A. ¬†Ever heard carrots are good for your eyes? ¬†That’s the truth! ¬†Vitamin A from carrots may improve night vision. ¬†These scrumptious morsels are sweetened with potassium and fiber-rich dates, and stuffed with brain-power boosting essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Preheat oven: 350F. ¬†Place 9 Cupcake Liners in 3×4 Muffin Tin. ¬†Makes 9 Morsels

Ingredients I Used: (Feel free to play around with this, I rarely have all of the ingredients or measure)

  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups steamed carrot (try grated carrot!)
  • 1 cup dates (pitted)
  • ¬ĺ cup brown rice flour (try oatmeal- might be favorable texture!)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (or cinnamon sugar)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 crystalized ginger pieces (or 2 tsp fresh or dried ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax in 6 Tbsp water (two flax eggs)
  • ¬ľ cup walnut pieces
  • ¬ľ cup dried cranberries (or raisins, optional)
  • ¬ľ cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Steps:

  1. Combine dry ingredients: flour (or oatmeal), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, walnut pieces, chocolate chips, and craisins
  2. Blend wet: steamed carrot, dates, crystalized ginger, ground flax egg mix, vanilla in a food processor or high speed blender like a vitamix. Transfer to large bowl
  3. Fold mashed banana and dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well combined.  Be sure not to over mix.  Mixing too much can cause a tough product from the proteins formed depending on the flour used.  Still- practice minimal stirring.
  4. Divide mixture evenly amongst the muffin liners.  Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Enjoy in good health!

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5 Tips From a Vegan Dietetics Student

Four years ago landing at Purdue University in Indiana, I didn’t know what to expect. ¬†I had lectures about the incredible GMOs and dairy products, and labs visiting meat processing factories. ¬†I learned the hard way how to stay¬†true to myself. ¬†Nothing could bring me more joy than providing fitness classes, newspaper articles, and my own series of vegan food demonstrations. ¬†Today, I know so much more about myself, the dietetics profession, and the stereotype that I am associated with. ¬†Hopefully, you can dodge a few bullets with some advice from my experiences.

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1. Don’t Tell Them You’re “Vegan”.¬†Well, at least not right away. ¬†It is much more accepted to say “I feel good eating plant-based” or “I just don’t like meat and milk gives me gas!” ¬†The word “vegan” instantly gives people that “oh… you’re one of those weirdos” kind of vibe. ¬†And, trust me, you’re only saving yourself. Once they find out you’re vegan, then you get the, “oh, so do you eat ___” and “wait, can you eat __” questions.. which, at this point, are beyond irritating.

2.¬†Haters Gonna Hate. If your “friends” are mad at you for not going out with them, they are not your friends.

IMG_20150207_171122 I learned this one the hard way. ¬†But when I did make this realization, I can’t believe the incredible friends that came along! ¬†I have so much fun spending true quality time with my friends, being nerdy, and doing what I love most like run, cook, dance, yoga, and eat ūüėČ ! I don’t plan on becoming an alcoholic…that doesn’t mean I didn’t have one to many mimosas at PQ’s bridal shower…but still…I love my liver. Also, there are definitely disbelievers out there. And it is really fun to prove them wrong.¬†Snapchat--750773866263956008

3. Share BOMB food with your friends.  Everybody wants delish healthy food these days.  Share your vegan favorites with as many people as possible.  Try these brownies, they are easy, healthy, and beyond ooey gooey and amazing.  You gotta try them on your friends. Black Bean Brownies S/O Anna Lawler

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4.¬†At the end of the day, you know you’re going to save the world.¬† IMG_20150307_200447Just check out what the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says: veganevidence

5. Blog!¬†Now that I am a senior, I almost forgot why I started this blog in the first place. ¬†If only I had a penny for every time I was asked, “what do you eat!?” and “where do you get your protein!?” ¬†This blog was made for an easy one-liner answer, “check the blog.” ¬†And what a fantastic tool it has been. ¬†I can’t wait to take the time to make a professional, beautiful website in the future like my current inspiration¬†Nutrition Stripped.¬†

If I can make it through, so can you!  Put yourself out there, and be sure to do what makes you happiest.  If you have any questions or comments please comment below or email me at k.reines1@gmail.com.  Enjoying every minute! xx

Raw Japanese Recipes

What a fun interactive demo!  Everybody learned how easy it is to make raw veggies taste delicious, and got to roll their own sushi!  We made Miso Soup, Ginger Citrus Zoodles, Jicima Rice, Sushi, and Green Tea Nice Cream!

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Miso Soup: adapted from minimalistbaker

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • ¬Ĺ cup kale, chopped
  • ¬Ĺ cup green onion, chopped
  • ¬ľ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3-4 Tbs white miso paste
  • 1 sheet nori cut into rectangles

Steps

  1. Bring water to low simmer
  2. Add nori and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes or so
  4. To ensure miso doesn’t clump, stir it in through the strainer
  5. Taste and add more miso if desired. Serve warm

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Ginger Citrus Zoodles: Adapted from Megan Elizabeth

Noodles

  • spinach
  • ¬Ĺ cup spiralized or shredded carrots
  • ¬Ĺ-1/3 small red pepper sliced thin
  • 3 ¬Ĺ – 4 cups spiralized zucchini

Dressing

  • ¬Ĺ cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • ¬Ĺ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup scallions
  • 2 Tbs lemon or lime juice
  • 2-3 big sage leaves
  • Quarter sized slice of ginger
  • 1 ¬Ĺ Tbs raw tahini

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Steps

  1. Put noodles in a big bowl together
  2. Blend all dressing ingredients until creamy
  3. Massage dressing in noodles and let sit 10-15 mins
  4. Put greens on plate (spinach, mixed greens), noodles on top of greens, and garnish with sprouts.

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Jicama Rice Papaya Sushi: adapted from Megan Elizabeth and The Life Regenerator

Ingredients (whatever veggies you want!!)

  • Nori sheets
  • 2 jicamas
  • Papaya spears
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Green onion
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Bell pepper
  • Medium ripe avocado
  • Lime

Steps

  1. Grate jicama and squeeze out excess water using nut milk bag
  2. Layer rice and veggies on nori sheet
  3. Using 2 fingers, wet the end of the nori sheet with lime or water to get it to stick
  4. Slice sushi with very sharp knife
  5. Serve with gluten free soy sauce or Ginger Citrus Dressing

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Green Tea Nice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping Tbs fresh roughly chopped peeled ginger
  • 1-2 Tbs hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 serving packet of matcha green tea powder (like $1.00 each packet at Sunspot)
  • 3 ripe peeled and frozen bananas (freeze for at least 6 hours)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • water as needed to not break your blender or food processor

Steps

  1. Using a food processor S blade, or high power blender, put in the ginger, hemp seeds, and mango chunks
  2. Sprinkle in the green tea powder I like to put this in the middle so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container, but no biggie
  3. Break up bananas into fourths and throw in container
  4. Blend until smooth