Kale and Purple Cabbage Salad

I’m on a mission to eat healthier. By healthier I mean increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables, decreasing dairy and decreasing animal protein. Where will I get my protein do you ask? The right kinds of veggies and superfoods. For example, I just started using spirulina (it’s not in this recipe but could have been now that I think of it!) Here’s some info on it if you’re interested. Spirulina info. It’s loaded with more than just protein. 

Not only is this salad full of veggies and nutritional value, it’s all raw and looks so pretty. The key to eating raw kale and Cabbage, in my opinion, is time. Give it time to soak in however you decide to dress it. Two to three hours and tossing it every 1/2 hour is how I do it. They’re both tough and hearty so soaking them softens them. 

What you’ll need: 

  • One bunch of kale, coarsley chopped
  • 1/2 head purple Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced small and thin
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sixes small and thin
  • 10 dried figs, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw hemp hearts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup (or more depending how much you like) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • S & P

What to do:

    1. Prepare and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. 
    2. Cover and refrigerate for a total of 2-3 hours minimum, tossing every 1/2 hour the first 3 hours. 

    Enjoy!

    Portland, OR

    I visited Portland for the second time this past September. The first time was a little over a year ago. Although the city itself has changed slightly in regards to its infrastructure, my experience was far better than the first. The reason? There are several. 

    No. 1 – I met my beautiful niece for the first time šŸ˜ She made me an aunt!! #WednesdayFiona Isn’t she cute?!?!

    No. 2 – The Pearl. I fell in love. The district is full of life with shopping, food, breweries, coffee, parks and more right out your front door. 

    Check out that delicious, fall off the bone lamb shank from Deschutes!! Wow was it amazing! This was their special that day. My husband got the Elk Burger, which was excellent as well. 

    And the parks!

    No. 3 – The lifestyle. The housing and apartment we stayed in was beautiful. We rented a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment on Hoyt Street in the district. It’s owned by a company called Stay Alfred. They own several properties across the US and I will vouch for this one. Also, everything in Portland is family friendly.  A lot is pet friendly too. 

    We like our craft beer!! Although Deschutes was my favorite all around when considering both food and brew, Rogue is a must try as well as 10 Barrel and Fat Heads close behind when in the immediate area. 

    One final thing I’ll say about the lifestyle is the city’s and it’s residents commitment to the environment. Great job Portland!!

    No. 4 – Culture. There’s a little bit of everything and a true melting pot. My favorite melting pot is, no surprise, the shear number of food trucks you will find that literally took over a whole city block. If the group can’t decide what type of food they all want…Portland’s food truck alley has the solution…Thai, Chinese, Iraqi, Mediterranean, African, Israeli, Mexican, Vietnamese to name a few. There’s a host of vegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten free, paleo and other options available as well. 

    I could not write this post without talking about Pok Pok. I’m salivating at the very thought of their chicken wings. OMG. 5 stars. This is a must when visiting and I will go here each time I’m in the city. 

    Back to culture…this Chinese garden we found…

    We ended our trip by relaxing on our roof top terrace the last night…of course with an adult beverage in hand…grilled some chicken to put on top our organic salad and called it a week. And what a week it was.

    My husband and brother in law put the cherry on top by buying a gigantic box of Voodoo Doughnuts (balancing out the organic salad). This is one more thing you have to do/eat/visit while you’re here. Holy crap! I’ll miss you Portland and hope I’ll be back soon!

    Cast Iron Vegan Chili

    I made this for all my vegan and vegetarian friends and family. Not all meals have to have meat and some taste even better without it. If you are a carnivore, just give this a try and you’ll realize what I mean.  Look at the vibrant colors! You see onions and red, yellow and purple bell peppers. 

    Add the carrots for some orange…

    Put everything together…

    I’m really enjoying a local farm stand this summer that’s right down the road from me. All ingredients came from there and I believe one of the reasons this dish tasted so delicious. The fresher the better! 

    Serves 8

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 cup each dry black and pinto beans, rehydrated according to the instructions (or use canned beans and will equal about 3 cups total after draining)
    • 2 ears corn (or 1 can of corn)
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped small
    • 3 bell peppers, largely diced 
    • 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
    • 13 oz can of diced tomatoes
    • 3 oz Tom paste
    • 28oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 tsp coriander
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tsp ground mustard
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
    • 2 Tbls olive oil
    • Pink Himalayan Salt
    • Fresh ground black pepper
    • 2 jalapeƱos, roasted and diced small for garnish
    • red onion, diced small for garnish
    • cilantro or parsley, for garnish

    What to do:

    1. If you’re using the dried beans like I did, you’ll need to start this the night before or follow the instructions for the quick cook. 
    2. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium. 
    3. SautĆ©e the onions and bell peppers with some salt and pepper about 5 minutes until slightly soft. 
    4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the the carrots and garlic. SautĆ©e another 5 minutes stirring frequently. 
    5. Add the fresh tomatoes, a little more salt and pepper, stir and simmer until you see the liquid expel from the tomatoes. 
    6. Boil the corn, let cool, slice off with a knife and add to the pot. 
    7. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and paste, stir until combined and add all the spices and nutritional yeast. Reduce the heat to low and stir again. 
    8. Simmer on the lowest heat for an hour to hour and a half stirring occasionally. 
    9. Serve in a bowl with the garnishes listed or whatever you choose. Feel free to add some hot sauce for some heat if you don’t do the jalapeƱos šŸ˜‰

    Side note: You can roast your own jalapeƱos directly on your stove top. Be sure to char all sides, let cool, peel the char and diced away. Very simple and can be done with any kind of peppers. 

    Enjoy!

      Tomatillo Verde Sauce

      Talk about a versatility…this sauce is the epitome of it. You can put this on top of tacos, eggs, salads as your dressing, dip, you name it. 

      What you see above is the Verde Sauce on top of a salad I threw together with the various things I had in my refrigerator. I also had left over shredded pork from pork tacos the night before (which also had verde on it šŸ˜‰) that you see on top. 

      The pork tacos were quasi tacos because I’m really trying to cut carbs and sugar from my diet. I used Boston Bib lettuce for the wrap but a mini romaine lettuce would also be perfect. The recipe for the pork is here. I topped everything with tomatoes, avocado, red onion, fresh cilantro, carrots, and a little extra salt and pepper to the pork. 

      As for the Verde Sauce itself…

      What you’ll need (and remember I make in bulk to freeze some for future so feel free to cut it in half):

      • 18 Tomatillos 
      • 2 jalapeƱos 
      • 4 cloves of garlic
      • Juice of one lime
      • fresh cilantro to taste
      • S & P

      What to do:

      1. Boil a pot of water that will hold tomatillos and jalapeƱos. 
      2. Remove the husks off the tomatillos and run them under water until clean.  Also, clean the jalapeƱos.
      3. Boil the tomatillos and jalapeƱos for 10 minutes and strain. 
      4. Place them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. 
      5. Pulse until smooth. 

      Use it for whatever you want and enjoy!

        Feta and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

        Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I guess I’ve been busy!!  I’m really glad summer is here. There are so many healthy and yummy things to eat this season. Here is one of them, although, I make them year round šŸ™‚ This is great for vegetarians and could even be converted to […]

        Vegan Wrap w/ Quinoa Bean Avocado & MORE!

        You want a vegan friendly, vegetarian and/or a plain healthy meal? Here it is! Recently, I’ve been making a lot of vegan food; I love it!!  This is so simple and with just 7 ingredients. 

        Here’s what you’ll need:

        • Whole wheat fajita size wraps
        • 1/2 cup Quinoa 
        • Avocado
        • Black Beans
        • Feta “cheese”
        • Swiss chard leaves (or your choice of greenery)
        • 1 cup Vegetable broth 

        What to do:

        1. Heat  small sauce pan on high adding the broth and bring to a boil. 
        2. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, add to the boiling broth and reduce to medium low heat stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. 
        3. Remove the pan from heat and put the lid on until the rings appear. 
        4. Rinse the beans in a strainer. 
        5. Lay out the wrap, add all ingredients and wrap it up.      

        Enjoy!

          Vegan Tofu Breakfast Scramble | Start The Day Off Right

          This recipe is certainly a keeper. I will definitely be making this again. My husband even asked me to and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t typically like tofu. With tofu, it’s all about the spices and the amount of them you use. It’s also about the quality. I used Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu which is organic and non GMO. 

          Here’s what you’ll need:

          • 1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu
          • 3 large leaves Swiss chard
          • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
          • 1 red pepper, chopped
          • 1 can black beans
          • 1 tsp garlic powder
          • 1 tsp chili powder
          • 1 tsp turmeric
          • 1/2 tsp season all salt
          • 1/4 tsp black pepper
          • Cheddar “cheese”, shredded 
          • 1 tsp olive oil

          Optional (shown in my pic):

          • Avocado
          • Blackberries
          • Sprouted Grain Bread

          What to do:

          1. Heat a large sautĆ© pan on medium and add the olive oil. 
          2. Add the mushrooms, pepper and Swiss chard and sautĆ© about five minutes starring every minute.  
          3. While you wait, remove the liquid from the tofu. Place 2 paper towels under and 2 above and press lightly. Repeat as necessary. You’ll need several paper towels to absorb it all. 
          4. Mix the spices in a bowl.    
          5. Add the beans to the sautĆ© pan and the whole block of tofu in the middle. 
          6. Break the tofu into small pieces while mixing everything together.  
          7. Add the spices and mix. SautĆ© another 5 minutes. 
          8. Add the “cheese” on top and melt. (Check out Daiya)  

          Enjoy!

            Veggie and Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

            Do you have an abundance of vegetables from your garden and not sure what to do with them?? Well, find the biggest zucchini or yellow squash you have and stuff it with a mix of vegetables, quinoa and little cheese and call it a day!  This will take about 1/2 hour to prep and 1/2 to cook. 

            I can’t take credit for this coming from my own garden; it actually came from my sisters. Great job Em! I was unsuccessful this year, however, I did benefit from others šŸ™‚

            In my version, I used a number of vegetables and white quinoa. You can honestly use whatever you have available if you don’t have exactly what’s in this ingredient list. 

            What you need:

            • 1 large zucchini
            • 1 orange pepper 
            • 1/4 sweet onion
            • 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
            • 1 tomato
            • 3 carrots
            • 5 collard green leaves
            • 1 cup quinoa
            • 1 cup vegetable broth
            • 1 cup water
            • 2-3 Tbls olive oil
            • Grated Parmesan cheese
            • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
            1. Chop the carrots, onion, pepper, collard greens and tomato. 
            2. Heat the olive oil in a large sautee pan on medium high heat. Preheat the oven to 375. 
            3. First add the carrots and let simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the onion, garlic, pepper, and collard greens and simmer another 5 minutes (or until veggies are soft) stirring every minute. Add the S&P also. Lastly, add the tomato.
            4. Add the broth, water, and quinoa. Mix well and reduce to medium heat. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. 
            5. While that’s cooking prepare the zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise, remove the skin and scoop out the center. 
            6. Remove the lid, stir and simmer another 2 minutes or until the liquid has been dissolved and the rings show on the quinoa.
            7. Stuff the mixture into the zucchini, top with parm and bake for 20-30 minutes. It really depends on how big your zucchini is. It will look and feel soft.   

            Enjoy!

              Overnight Oats, Chia, and Then Some

              Overnight Oats, Chia, and Then Some

              Recipes for overnight oats are all over the net. Oats are pretty bland, for the most part, so I like to spice it up. The more I put in the better it tastes!  There are so many goodies you can include in your overnight oats including seeds, nuts, and/or fresh and dried fruits. Don’t stop there! You can use any kind of milk and a bit of your favorite sweetener too (just stay away from anything artificial). My point is, don’t limit yourself to just one recipe. Switch it up, put some variety into it and add some flavor!

              This is just a side note but I like making these on a work night so I can grab my breakfast and walk out the door in the morning. Plus they’re a healthy way to start the day!

              Make your own favorite combination out of these ingredient ideas. I would suggest only using one type of oats at a time and one type of milk with or with out yogurt. Put as many fruits, seeds, nuts and sweeteners in as you’d like. Take it easy on the sweeteners too, you don’t want a sugar high. 

              Types of Oats:

                1. Organic rolled quick oats
                2. Steel cut
                3. Regular rolled oats
                4. Scottish oats

                Types of Seeds:

                  1. Chia
                  2. Sunflower
                  3. Pumpkin
                  4. Hemp
                  5. Flax
                  6. Sesame

                  Types of nuts:

                  1. Almonds 
                  2. Cashews
                  3. Peanuts 
                  4. Pecans
                  5. Pistachios 
                  6. Walnuts

                  Types of Fruits (fresh or dried):

                  1. Blueberries
                  2. Raspberries
                  3. Strawberries 
                  4. Cherries
                  5. Currants
                  6. Pomegranate 
                  7. Acai berries
                  8. Bananas
                  9. Blackberries
                  10. Dragon fruit (so pretty to look at and packed with nutrients but not much flavor)

                  Types of Sweeteners:

                  1. Agave
                  2. Raw sugar
                  3. Brown sugar
                  4. Honey
                  5. Maple Syrup

                  Types of Milk:

                  1. Traditional cows – whole, 2%, or skim (try to stick with organic)
                  2. Plain Greek Yogurt in addition to your choice of milk (again organic)
                  3. Almond
                  4. Coconut
                  5. Soy
                  6. Rice

                  I’ll share my personal favorite combo to give you a better idea. I put 2 Tbls of oats and chia and 1 Tbls of the other ingredients in a mason jar. At the end, I fill it up with milk. 

                  • Quick oats
                  • chia seeds
                  • sunflower seeds
                  • pumpkin seeds
                  • flax seeds
                  • almonds 
                  • fresh blueberries
                  • dried cherries
                  • agave
                  • organic milk
                  • Greek yogurt

                  P.S. All of my ingredients are organic even though I don’t always say it and highly suggest you do the same.

                  Enjoy!