6 Ingredient Pancakes: Pumpkin. Chocolate Chip. Vegan. Amazing.

These pancakes are out of this worrrlldd!! Inspired by Deliciously Ella:

Makes about 9 pancakes:

1 cup pumpkin
1 cup plant milk
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour (or ground oats / any GF flour)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
Use non-stick pan preferably or use light coconut or avocado oil for greasing

  1. Mix together wet ingredients and cinnamon
  2. Gently stir flour until well combined
  3. Fold in chocolate chips
  4. On medium heat, place about 1/3 cup of batter for a pancake and spread into pancake shape with a spoon
  5. Flip after about 2 minutes
  6. Serve warm with berries and real maple syrup 🙂

Why I will NEVER recommend DAIRY + Tips to Bone Health

One in every two women and one in every four men over the age of 50 are going to break a bone due to osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It is up to you to take control of your bone health!

Eating a wide variety of plant foods in sufficient calories should supply the body with the calcium it needs sufficiently, without supplementation necessary.

According to the Academy’s Nutrition Care Manual:

Vegans can obtain calcium from a variety of foods, including (USDA, 2007; Manufacturer’s information):

  • Low-oxalate vegetables (see below for calcium content)
  • Calcium-set tofu (120 to 430 mg per half cup)
  • Figs (68 mg per five dried figs)
  • Soybeans (88 mg per half cup)
  • Tempeh (92 mg per half cup)
  • Calcium-fortified foods (300 to 350 mg per cup orange juice; 200 to 350 mg per cup soymilk; 55 to 1,000 mg per ounce ready-to-eat breakfast cereal)screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-24-54-pm

My Top 5 Tips for Bone Health?

  1. Exercise: Resistance training and impact activities like running and jumping improve bone mineral density, so be sure to incorporate these activities into your daily life. Recommendations are to resistance train at least 2-3 days a week for 30 minutes / day and to train aerobically at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes with moderate effort.
  2. Eat Plants: As shown in the video, antioxidants in plant foods have been shown to help bone health. The more the merrier.  Animal foods and animal protein have been shown to cause an acidic effect on the body that may interfere with calcium absorption and retention and could be associated with high rates of hip fracture in Western civilization where high amounts of animal protein from meat and dairy are consumed.
  3. Incorporate These Foods: Low-oxalate veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, as well as okra, figs, calcium set tofu, and fortified plant milk.
  4. Sunshine: Let your skin see the sun at least 15 minutes / day of direct sunlight. If you live in a darker, cooler area, I would recommend supplementing about 10,000 IU vitamin D and maybe even include mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods like cereals and plant milks to cover the vitamin D necessity.
  5. Take it WITHOUT A Grain Of Salt: Eat less sodium. Sodium effects our calcium retention. Try bringing flavor to dishes with lemon, lime, or even orange juice. Also, try fresh herbs and flavorful veggies that you like, like thyme, garlic, sage, cilantro, basil, or onion.

I hope this blog post helps to bring you closer to the optimal health and happy life of your dreams.  Much love! Reines and SHINE, it is wake up time.

References:

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

V Benetou, P Orfanos, U Pattersson-Kymmer et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of hip fractures in a European cohort. Osteoporosis Int. May 2013. 24(5): 1587-1598. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23085859

E de Jonge, F Rivadeneira, N Erler, et al. Dietary Patterns in an elderly population and their relation with bone mineral density: the Rotterdam Study. European Journal of Nutrition. August 24, 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-016-1297-7

M Hassan, A Rezabakhsh. Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health- Narrative Review Article. Iran Journal Public Health. June 2015. 44(6): 742-758. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524299/

BC Melnik, SM John, P Carrera-Bastos, et al. The impact of cow’s milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. Nutr Metab (Lond). Aug 14, 2012. 9(1): 74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891897

The Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life | Vegan, Cheap, Meat Eater Approved

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Last week I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Washington DC for a plant based dietitian job interview at the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.  They had me stay at their guest house, The Baker House, with interns who are occupants there for the summer.  If you haven’t already heard of the PCRM, it is an organization whose mission is ultimately to provide evidence based expertise to save the world. You can imagine how nervous/excited this wanna-be superhero was for this interview!!!

Back to the ziti- The ladies residing at The Baker House, Sofie and Catherine, are two brilliant, friendly, open minded vegans that became my close friends insanely quickly.  Catherine has made this dish a bunch of times and raved how it is always a win. Girl- you got that right!  Pool money to make dinner and eat it together!? Of course!!! Which lead me to enjoy the dish that I am sure will get anyone to give more vegan meals a try. Thank you ladies!

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Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life

Adapted from One Green Planet’s Recipe

Ingredients (total cost at Whole Foods: $21)

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 24oz jar marinara sauce (we used an organic fat-free option plus some that was already open in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds (we used 1 bag of daiya shredded mozzarella)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (we used 1/2 of a container of tofutti)

Steps

  1. Boil water and cook ziti to manufacturer’s instructions and preheat oven to 425*F
  2. For ‘ricotta’: crumble tofu in a large bowl and add in nutritional yeast (or parmesan), salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix fully with a fork or large spoon.
  3. Mix the cooked pasta, most of the marinara sauce, and ricotta in a large bowl
  4. In a large baking pan, add some marinara to line the bottom, transfer the mixture in, and spread it out evenly.
  5. Top with the rest of the marinara and finally the layer of mozzarella shreds
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake ~20 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Eat with a side of greens and those people who actually get you and still like you! 😉 xo
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Catherine, Sofie, and I eating takeout from ‘Hip City Veg’ on the Smithsonian Steps

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The Soup Everyone is Craving- Even in the Summer

Hope you had a lovely fourth!  Unfortunately, after the stress of the RD (registered dietitian) exam (yes! I passed! 😀), I have not given myself a break and managed to get a pretty nasty cold.  My 4th consisted of a couch, good books, and the most hydrating foods I could get my hands on.  I drank lots of boxed coconut water, ate an entire watermelon, and had a few oranges, cherries, and fresh picked raspberries here and there; that is all that sounded good to me.

This is what I made myself for breakfast today:

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Thai coconut curry veg amazingness.

Was going to make a green smoothie bowl of some sort, but was craving something hot and savory.  Holy **** it hit the spot. It would be a disservice not to blog about it.

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

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Serves ~6 people. 2 ladles per serving.

Ingredients:

Keep in mind I did not measure anything. I am amazed at myself- this is truly a special moment. Perseverance and practice make progress. ! Feel it out, use what you’ve got in the fridge, and at first tread lightly with the spices and continue to add until you’ve got the mastermind punch of spice that you desire. 🙂 Throw some fun in too. Makes it taste better.

  • 2/3 box of low sodium vegetable broth
  • half of a 1lb bag of baby carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic (used the tiny holes on the cheese grater to finely mince)
  • 1 large marble sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (used the tiny holes on the cheese grater to finely mince)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ~1/2 tsp cayenne (you can always add more if needed)
  • ~2/3 tsp turmeric
  • ~2/3 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 boiled potato, peeled and cubed (I always have boiled potatoes in the fridge, yum!)
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, rough chop
  • 1/4 can of Eden’s black soy beans (mom meant to get black beans, w.e)
  • 4 handfuls of baby kale, roughly chopped (I am so lazy I just ripped it up with my hands)
  • fresh mint and lime to top / garnish
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The products I used

Steps: this is how I made it, I am sure there are better ways…

  1. Pour the veg broth in a med/large pot and bring to a boil with the carrots. (If you decide to substitute winter squash or sweet potato for carrot, I still recommend putting these in first to boil, as well as maybe your cubed potato if it is not pre-boiled already). This allows the carrots to cook and get soft and sweet, as well as add some flavor to the broth.
  2. While waiting for the boil, with the smallest setting on a cheese grater (or just mince), grate the garlic and ginger into the pot. Add in onions, coconut milk, and spices. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes, and turn down heat to simmer.
  3. Add in the celery, boiled potato, cauliflower, and black beans. Let simmer about 2-5 minutes.
  4. I actually put the chopped kale in my serving dish and ladled the soup on top of the kale. I don’t want my kale to lose its beautiful green color or nutrients. Definitely add that in last, after you turn off the heat.
  5. Enjoy with fresh mint and a generous squeeze of lime! Yum!

Make it your own!

I did not plan on making soup today, I simply used the random veggies I had in the fridge and things I happen to find in the cupboard.  Play with different vegetables that you might have like bell peppers, zucchini, basil, idk, mm brown rice? Go crazy with it! Nom nom! xoxo much love and good health to you and to me!!

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Spring Rolls + Peanut Sauce. Whole Food Ingredients Only.

This peanut sauce though. Yum. !

I made these the weekend my beautiful friend Ally came to visit. She LOVED them! These rolls are STUFFED with nothing but veggies and whole plant foods in all their glory. I love this peanut sauce recipe because it tastes BETTER than the processed ish without all the preservatives, colors, oils, salt, sugar, or anything that might make me, you know, depressed! Only happiness fuel for every cell here ladies and gentlemen!

spring rolls

Vietnamese Soft Rolls + Peanut Sauce

Adapted from the Organic Garden Cafe

Spring Rolls:

  • Rice wrappers stuffed with:
  • Purple cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Red bell pepper
  • Sweet potato
  • Kale
  • Scallion
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Brown rice

Peanut Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (1 ingredient only: PEANUTS)
  •  juice of 1.5-2 limes
  • large marble to golf ball chunk of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 8 oz pitted moist dates
  • 2/3 cup simmering hot water
  • dash of chili flakes

Blend in high speed blender or food processor until smooth

Picky Eater Approved Macaroni and Peas: The Creamiest, Easiest, Healthiest Mac ‘n’ Cheese Recipe Out There

Mmmm macaroni and cheese.  …It always gave me a stomach ache. -_-  I remember as a kid (my mother and sister are cheese hounds!) my mom would make this incredible baked gourmet mac n cheese. The kind with like 7 kinds of expensive cheese in it and the perfectly herbed bread crumbs on top. Oh ya.. and I remember it used to give me such a bad stomach ache that I would actually only give myself a portion if it was on top of a pile of mixed greens, just too decedent for me I guess.  More power to you if you can stomach the stuff.  If you’re like me and would like to try a healthier alternative that the entire family will love, I am confident that this recipe will not disappoint!

ogmacnpease

This was the most popular special ever at the organic vegan restaurant I work at in Boston, Organic Garden Cafe. I made it for a friend for their family Christmas party (huge family with lots of kiddos!). Toss your qualms of handing over two massive casserole dishes of cauliflower based  “mac ‘n’ peas” out the window! This stuff is GOOD! Clean plate club, UNITE! (Just wait until after they tell you they love it to say each serving has 2 1/2 servings of vegetables 😀 )

Serves about 6:

  • 1 cauliflower, rough chop into large florets
  • 1 yellow onion, discard outer layer and chop into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ 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 soft and translucent (about 15 minutes)
  2. Combine steamed vegetables with salt, pepper, olive oil, and nutritional yeast in a food processor S blade or high speed blender and blend until smooth
  3. Boil macaroni according to manufacture’s instructions and mix with peas. Pour sauce over macaroni and peas and mix well. Transfer to casserole dish for serving
  4. Top with rawmesan:
  • 2/3 cup cashew
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 very small garlic clove (or 2/3 of a medium one)
  • Paprika to garnish
  1. Grind in blender to parmesan consistency
  2. Sprinkle on top of macaroni n peas
  3. Garnish with paprika and extra love ❤
1 Serving Mac N Peas with Rawmesan (based on 6 servings)
Total Calories 487 calories
Protein 17 grams
Carbohydrate 76 grams (5 CHO exchanges)
Total Fat 13 grams:
Monounsaturated Fat 7 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 grams
Linoleic Acid

Saturated fat

2 grams

2 grams

Fiber 7 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg

Orange Glazed Tempeh | Fat Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

Orange Glazed Tempeh

orange glazed tempeh

What even is “tempeh”???  It is made by cooking and fermenting soybeans and forming them into a condensed patty type thing.  I prefer its texture to its similar tofu brother, however, this is my first time actually experimenting with a soy product, so we’ll see!westsoytempeh  I love how it has a meaty texture and picks of flavors really well.  It has a slight bite of chewiness and is full of protein, calcium, and iron.  I used the WESTSOY Five Grain tempeh (which has gluten), but I’m sure any kind would be superb. Just be sure the version you get is GF if you have a sensitivity.

tempehr

Serves one. About 230 calories and 14g protein per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 block of organic “west soy” tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • juice of 1 key lime or about 1/2 regular lime
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • juice of 1 orange or about 1/3 cup orange juice

Steps:

  1. Using a knife and a cutting board, cut off 1/3 of the block of tempeh.  Turn this on its side and slice it in half so that you have 2 skinnier third pieces. Cut these two third pieces into triangles.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the orange juice, lime juice, maple syrup, and ginger, and mix with a spatula to combine
  3. Put the tempeh triangles in the pan and allow them to sizzle on one side, moving around while sizzling.
  4. Flip the tempeh when ready, and allow it to sizzle on the other side. Be sure to keep it moving so it doesn’t burn and add a little more oj (or whatever you’d like to add to make it even better!) if needed.
  5. When the tempeh has soaked it up, time to eat! I had a little orange glaze left over in the pan so I stir fried some rice in there, delish! Serve with kale, rice, scallion, avocado, sunflower seeds – whatever you got! 🙂 xx

Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes

My mother

(the brilliant gourmet food always from scratch 100% necessary organic plant based goodness genius)

has been flooding my email with recipes from Food52.  And the site is right, this recipe is easy! It is filling! And oh boy it is inexpensive!

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I know this ingredients list looks long, but don’t worry, it’s mostly from the spice cabinet 🙂 I just had to buy some lentils (cheap in bulk section) an onion, a bell pepper, and a couple cheap cans of organic tomatoes/ tomato paste!

Serves 6

  • 1cup brown or green lentils, soaked for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsed
  • 2 to 3cups water
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1green or red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 2teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1teaspoon mustard powder, dried
  • One15-ounce can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen brand)
  • 3tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon organic brown sugar or maple syrup (I didn’t add any sweetener)
  • 1tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I didn’t add vinegar)
  • 1/4 to 1/2teaspoon sea salt (adjust according to taste; how much is needed will also depend on the tomatoes and tomato paste you use) (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2cup vegetable broth (or more as needed) (I didn’t add any)
  • 6sprouted grain buns
  • Toppings of choice (Tabasco sauce, sriracha, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, coleslaw, avocado slices, etc.)
  1. Place lentils in a large pot, and cover with water (enough so that there’s at least a full inch or two of water above the lentils). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are chewable, but still have some firmness to them. Drain them and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, chili, paprika, and mustard, and continue cooking for another minute or two, until the garlic is quite fragrant.
  3. Add the lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add more broth as needed. Simmer until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 15 to 20 minutes (I like thick sloppy joes, but if you like ’em sloppier, that’s fine, too!).
  4. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Divide sloppy joes onto the buns and top with toppings of choice, including some Tabasco or sriracha for heat, if desired. Serve.

Doable and delicious!  I added a sweet potato, chopped into little cubes and steamed, have fun making messes with this recipe!

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