Tag Archives: blueberries

Double Take + A Request

Since I’m behind on my lunch posts, today you’re getting a two-for-one special.

That’s double the lunches. It’s your lucky day. ;)

But you’re only getting one breakfast.

I was in the mood for cereal. In the bowl: a combo of Weetabix and Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, topped with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, banana slices, frozen blueberries, and a sprinkling of hemp seed.

I don’t eat cereal often, but sometimes it’s all I want!

Onto my last week in lunches. Which are really from the week before last. As well as the the week before the week before last. Okay I’ll stop now; I’m confusing myself. Ha.

MONDAY I

Apple. Wrap with Creamy Hummus, greens, cherry tomatoes, lentils, a couple chopped olives, and toasted sunflower seeds on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Trail mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raw cashews, dried tart cherries, and carob chips.

Lentils in a wrap may sound strange, but it is delicious. Trust.

MONDAY II

Mini Luna bar. Salad with greens, butter beans, carrots, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, chopped dinosaur kale, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with minced garlic, olive oil, a bit of balsamic, lemon, s + p.  Apple. 

The salad was a monster, and so hearty. 

I also packed a ball (one of these guys) for a morning snack. 

Chewy and subtly sweet. If you like coconut, almond, chia seeds, and dried tart cherries, you would most likely enjoy these.

TUESDAY I

A Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bar (recipe here). Tofu-Avocado Wrap (what else is new?). Apple. There was nothing about this lunch I didn’t love, not gonna lie.

TUESDAY II

Half a whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus. Salad with greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, toasted sunflower seeds, chickpeas–dressed in Gena’s hemp pesto + balsamic. Apple.

I also packed the last of my Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins (recipe here), fresh from the freezer (a little freezer burn never hurt anyone, right?). 

By the afternoon it was perfectly thawed and, smothered in PB&Co., delectable.

WEDNESDAY I

Plum. Tofu-Avocado Wrap (yes, again!). And the same trail mix as above.

If it works, it works!

WEDNESDAY II

Apple. Salad with greens, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds, chickpeas–dressed the same as the salad above. I heart hemp pesto. Another Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bar. 

I also packed some Creamy hummus with whole wheat mini pitas and carrots–but didn’t get around to eating this snack. So it became the appetizer to my dinner. 

Crunchy and creamy.

THURSDAY I

Thursday I was traveling, so instead of sharing my lunch here are some of the snacks I packed…

Pita chips, hummus, and carrots.

As well as the usual suspects: peanut butter packets and Larabars. Never leave home without ‘em. And a whole wheat tortilla with almond butter and banana slices

Classic.

THURSDAY II

The usual trail mix. Whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus, Gena’s hemp pesto, greens, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, cucumber, chickpeas, and toasted sunflower seeds. Apple. 

Okay, chickpeas are officially awesome in wraps. Scratch that: they are just plain awesome.

FRIDAY II

Don’t ask what happened to Friday I. I got nothin’. 

This is a total double take from Thursday’s lunch. Very fitting, no? More trail mix (obsessed much?). Pretty much the same whole wheat wrap as above. Apple. 

Whew. 

Had enough lunch? Well, there will be more. I’m requesting a picture of YOUR best packed eats so I can put together a post made up of reader lunches. I tend to stick with what works, which often means same old, same old. But I know you guys are full of yummy lunch ideas that I would love to see and share.

Email me at unmitigatedgrub@gmail.com with a photo(s) of a favorite recent packed lunch, and include a brief description of its contents. And you don’t have to be a blogger to submit. Yes, taking a photograph of your food might feel a little strange. It is, admittedly, totally awkward. But DO IT! ;)

I look forward to seeing your eats!

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Feeling Loopy

I’m behind in sharing my long runs with you. I’ve dutifully followed my training plan, but not my blogging plan. Oops. ;)

Since I last updated you, there was a 17-miler, a 13-miler, and last week the New York Road Runners 18 Mile New York City Marathon Tune-Up run in Central Park.

I won’t bore you with a detailed breakdown of each (yawn), so let’s cut to the 18-miler, yes?

Set up like a race, it is meant to serve as a training run for the marathon (although some people run it as an end in and of itself). I was strangely nervous and excited beforehand even though it wasn’t a race race. But I also felt ready to run the distance. I was up at 5:00 am, fueling up with a banana topped with a peanut butter-raw cacoa nibs-sea salt mixture of goodness. It was too early for pictures, but I will say it was perfect.

And then I was off to Central Park for not one, not two, but THREE loops around the park. Hilly ones at that.

I don’t know about you, but lots of loops are not my ideal running situation. The only thing worse would be the treadmill. But I figured it would be good training to really tackle Central Park (again…and again…and again), so that when I reach the finish during the marathon (if all goes according to plan, that is), I will be able to dominate those final 6.2 miles. (If you’ve run a marathon before, feel free to laugh at this last statement.)

Anyway. Bring on the loops.

I had a new gel to try–a chocolate Clif Shot Energy Gel–and hit this up around miles 9 and 14. It was great. I like the flavor of the chocolate Gu a little more (it seriously tastes like brownie batter to me), but this was tasty, too, and with better nutritional stats. There’s no bad chocolate in my book.

And I brought my water with lemon/agave. There were water stations along the course, but I figured since I’ve been training with my own, I might as well stick with it.

The run felt great–and the loops weren’t so bad; it became a mental game of creating goals for myself and passing markers. It was also nice to be a part of a group of runners. Even though I didn’t run “with” anyone, I wasn’t running alone.

And guess what? I actually placed! In a race with 3,800 runners. Who knew? I was 8th in my age group for women.

This pace was a titch faster than my long run norm–and to be honest, my goal has been to slow down to reach a more reasonable “marathon” pace–but it happened. Clearly, I’m still finding pacing a bit of a challenge; having never run a marathon before, it’s hard to know how fast or slow I should be running my long runs.

Pacing issues aside, the run was fun. Afterward I stretched my life away in Central Park and enjoyed a chia seed recovery pudding I’d packed.

It hit the spot.

Chia Seed Recovery Pudding

DIRECTIONS:

Mash banana in jar (or bowl). Add chia seeds, almond milk, Vega, blueberries, and almonds. Mix and refrigerate overnight.

Grab and go on race day!

Also enjoyed: TJ’s Roasted Seaweed. It makes for a fabulous post-run snack because it’s nutritious and salty (i.e., replaces your lost sodium).

I’m a fan.

So what about this week’s long run? For the first time since I started my training plan, I’m dropping a long run. I was scheduled to run 19 yesterday, but instead opted for 13. Along with the extra recovery time I needed from the 18 mile marathon tune-up, I also had a busy week with school and was exhausted. And I knew I didn’t need the 19; I trust missing it won’t negatively affect my marathon.

So, I listened to my body. And I think it was the right move.

Would you rather run in loops or, also challenging, complete a straight there-and-back run?

Roasted seaweed: tasty or gross? 

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Swing of Things

I’m starting to get into the swing of things as my new role as student.

And, really, my lunches are not that different from my days as a working woman. Aside from the fact that I no longer have an overflowing snack drawer available (which is, admittedly, a loss), I eat my usual.

Who knew? 

Before I share this week’s lunch post, breakfast. I kept things simple and delicious with a good ole’ Hippie Smoothie with kale.

A lovely start to the day. Easily digestible plant-based protein, lots of fruit, antioxidants, dark, leafy greens…you can’t go wrong!

In fact, this has been my breakfast almost every morning this week. I usually make it the night before and store it in the fridge because I don’t have the time or energy in the A.M. to use (read: clean) my food processor.

Grab and go.

And now on to my last week in lunches. Which is really my lunches from two weeks ago, as I missed posting last Monday. And this Monday. Ha.

Better late than never, right?

MONDAY 

Tofu-Avocado wrap (original recipe here) on a whole wheat tortilla with alfalfa sprouts.

Nothing new here, but tasty as always.

I also whipped up some back-to-school special no-bake granola bars, based on Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed Oat Bars

As much as I love Larabars, I like to keep my bar consumption to a minimum for a couple of reasons: 1) I prefer to eat real food where possible and 2) I like to keep my wallet in tact.

So I gave these bars a whirl–with a few changes of my own.

Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed and Oat Bars

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup raw cacoa nibs (can replace with carob/chocolate chips)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • generous 1/3 cup brown rice syrup

If this ingredients list seems slightly overwhelming, check out Gena’s version which is even simpler! And feel free to make the recipe your own; you can go a lot of directions with these bars.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix nut butter(s) and sweeteners, then stir into dry ingredients until well-combined. Press mixture down into a baking dish. Cover with saran wrap to really push down evenly without getting your fingers sticky. Refrigerate for at least four hours before cutting into squares and wrapping individually.

They are totally delicious. My only complaint is that they are a bit sweet for my taste–but it’s hard to get around this as the sweetener is necessary to hold the bars together. So they are a total treat.I store them in the freezer and by the time lunch (or snack time) rolls around, these are ready to enjoy! Yum.

TUESDAY

Half a sprouted grain tortilla with Creamy Hummus (recipe here). Salad with greens, white beans, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, leftover millet, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with Gena’s hemp pesto mixed with a bit of olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. No-bake granola bar. Apple.

WEDNESDAY

Veggie pasta salad. Apple.

The pasta salad was made from leftover whole wheat penne and veggies from the night before–with broccoli, onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. In the morning, I added white beans, toasted sunflower seeds, and dressed it with a bit of olive oil and balsamic.

Delicious–and such an easy lunch!

Dessert was a no-bake granola bar.

Yep, these are yummy.

THURSDAY

Apple. Salad with greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, white beans, garbanzo beans, leftover millet, chopped kale–dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, s + p. Half a sprouted grain wrap with peanut butter and banana slices.

This salad was simple–but so good. Sometimes everything comes together so well.

Here’s an inside look at the wrap. Love.

FRIDAY

TJ’s roasted seaweed snack. Almond butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. Apple.

I went with the AB&J sandwich because I was out of groceries–but it ended up hitting the spot.

A great note to end on.

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack to pack in your lunch lately?  

(Or am I the only one that gets super excited about snacks?! Feel free to sound the nerd alert. ;) )

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

All or Nothing?

Today marks my first official day of grad school.

I’m sure you’re all wondering what the breakfast of champions is (yes, I have deemed myself a champion)–and I will gladly share.

Hint: It’s not Wheaties.

If you guessed oats, you would be correct!

Look familiar? Clearly, yesterday’s breakfast was worth repeating.  The combination of blueberries and vanilla is reminiscent of a blueberry muffin. So. Good.

I did, however, make a couple of changes. I nearly doubled the frozen blueberries, replaced the almonds with a little sprinkling of walnut pieces, and ate it from a jar.

I don’t know why, but eating out of jars is way more fun.

Stir, refrigerate, and eat. (And, apparently, repeat. Because it’s that good.)

I’m counting on this jar to power me through class. And readings, homework, papers, exams. Wait–whose idea was it to go back to school??

Kidding. I can’t wait.

As the whirlwind that will be the next two years of my life begins, it’s only natural that I question where (if at all) blogging will fit into my new world.

One thing I do know is that I won’t be able to blog as much as I have in the past. In fact, you may have noticed that I’ve already started posting less frequently–and I’ve only had orientation so far. (Is that a bad sign?) School is my priority, my program is intense, and I want to be fully present in my learning.

I also want time to breathe, rest, reflect. Time to run. Or not. Time to spend literally days baking–and bake at ungodly hours. Time to shell chickpeas one by one, collect really tiny jars (?), and have a beer with friends once in a while.

I realize I won’t (and shouldn’t try to) fit all of these things in. The point is, I want time to have a life. I want balance. And I’m not sure I will have room for blogging.

The perfectionist in me thinks that if I can’t keep up with my blog, I should just call it quits now. It’s been real, I’ll miss it, but why continue to blog, half-heartedly? It’s got to be all or nothing.

(source)

Another part of me, however, believes a blog’s worth is not determined by the frequency of posts. And I know that I will miss blogging if I call the whole thing off. It’s something I’ve enjoyed. It may even become an outlet for me while I’m in school.

The dilemma I posed in my very first post (to blog or not to blog) remains relevant, and, again, I’m choosing to blog–but also to cut back on my posts.

(source)

Right? Right.

I’m not sure what this will look like week to week, or what posting schedule will be optimal, but I hope you’ll continue to stop by!

And in the spirit of less is more, I’ll leave you with a simple salad–one of the best I’ve had in a while.

In the bowl: mixed greens, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, onion, artichoke hearts, adzuki beans, toasted sunflower seeds, fresh basil–dressed with a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Gena’s amazing hemp pesto. Oh my goodness, what a dressing! If you have not used pesto as a base for a dressing, do it.

So tasty.

You know what else–besides jars–is really fun to eat out of?

Huge mixing bowls. No shame.

Bloggers: Have changes in your blog ever reflected changes in your life?

What is your Breakfast of Champions? 

21 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week of Wraps

Remember lunch posts? That little series of posts I dedicate to what is arguably the most mundane meal of the day: packed lunch?

Don’t feel bad if you have no idea what I’m talking about; I barely recall those weekly wonders. ;)

Well today I’m back to share my last week in lunches.

And apparently I’m really into wraps right now. I mean, I’ve always loved a good wrap–but last week I took that love to a whole new level with a wrap nearly every day.

But first things first: breakfast.

Overnight oats brimming with blueberries and vanilla.

In the bowl: 1 mashed banana, 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1 Tbs chia seeds, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries, a few raw almonds–all topped with a Tbs of almond butter.

Delicious!

Have you tried adding frozen fruit to your overnight oats before? Do it–it’s wonderful.

Anyway. On to lunch the wraps…

MONDAY 

A classic combo: whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus (recipe here), spinach, tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds.

Simple, but tasty–and highlighted the hummus so well!

I also snacked on an appleWhat else is new?

And in the afternoon, I picked up splurged on a Two Moms in the Raw bar–Goji Berry Granola.

Love. 

TUESDAY

Okay, you caught me: I splurged on two Two Moms in the Raw bars–and this time enjoyed the Blueberry Granola flavor. Essentially the same wrap as Monday–Creamy Hummus, mixed greens, tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds, served on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Apple.

It doesn’t get old.

WEDNESDAY

Carrot sticks with TJ’s edamame hummus. And for the wrap, I went with another classic: a Tofu-Avocado Wrap on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Apple.

Layer one: a titch of vegan mayo along with mashed avo, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. 

Layer two: greens, TJ’s savory tofu, and toasted sunflower seeds. 

Creamy, crunchy, and awesome.

THURSDAY

Thursday, I deviated from the Wrap Week. Lunch was to be provided by my grad school for orientation, and knowing that the vegan options would be limited, I packed an apple and blueberry muffin Larabar (amazing flavor, by the way)–which held me over perfectly.

When I got home in the afternoon, I enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner consisting of a salad beast and a sprouted grain wrap with hummus

A deconstructed wrap, in a way. ;) It was totally amazing. I could eat this every night in one form or another and never get sick of it.

The wrap was spread with more Creamy Hummus

And in the large-and-in-charge, protein-packed salad: mixed greens, cooked adzuki beans, carrot, chopped onion, cucumber, hemp seeds, peas, chopped olives, a dollop of leftover sundried tomato marinara sauce, and toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with a mix TJ’s edamame hummus, ume plum vinegar, minced garlic, and a titch of olive oil.

So. Good. Filling and full of varying flavors and textures. Hit the spot.

FRIDAY 

Apple + whole wheat wrap.

This wrap was a little more creative than the earlier ones. In the mix: more Creamy Hummus, a dollop of leftover sundried tomato marinara, cooked adzuki beans, chopped olives, cucumber, sliced tomato, avocado, and toasted sunflower seeds. Random, but totally hearty and delicious.

So am I sick of wraps yet?

Nope! I’m ready for more. :)

What’s a food or meal you never get sick of? Salads and wraps for me, because there are a million ways to create them–and change things up! I’ve also never gotten sick of oats or nut butter, and I can’t see that happening.

P.S. I survived the storm unscathed. Many thanks for your well wishes! 

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Spreading the Plant-Based Love

I love cooking for others when I get the chance, so I was ready to get my hands dirty in the kitchen as soon as I got home.

But what to make?

Instead of subjecting my mom to one of my kitchen experiments, I deferred to the pros–which, in this case, meant the lovely Gena of Choosing Raw. Ever since she posted her recipe for hemp pesto, I’ve been dying to try. I happen to love the subtle nutty flavor of hemp seeds–and the idea of using them in a pesto is nothing short of brilliant.

So my mom and I got to work, whipping up the pesto in no time (the only thing we changed was leaving out nearly all the water; we like a thicker sauce).

Heavenly. Hemp was made for pesto!

While the whole wheat spaghetti cooked, I put together a salad with greens, cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, steamed asparagus, and mushrooms–dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

And my mom made some garlic bread on a whole wheat roll, baked with Earth Butter and minced garlic.

The meal came together so quickly–and was just lovely.

It was full of protein (hemp seeds are a great source), whole grains, and veggies. And, most importantly, amazing company. What more could you ask for in a meal?

And it was delicious. I will be making this pesto again!

Mission accomplished.

Almost.

See, I also wanted my mom to try overnight oats–something she’d been curious about after seeing it on my blog. I was scrounging around for all the ingredients when I noticed this chai tea.

And remembered Elise’s mouthwatering recipe for Chai Chia Oat Pudding–which has been on my ever-expanding “to-make” list since she posted it a couple months ago.

Clearly, it was time.

So I prepped a batch for two.

Chai-Chia Overnight Oats

Adapted from Hungry Hungry Hippie‘s Chai Chia Oat Pudding; serves 2

  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 chai tea concentrate
  • titch of cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1 banana, thinly sliced (or mashed)
  • sprinkle of raisins, to taste
  • fresh fruit for topping (optional)
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter for topping (or other nut butter)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add oats, chia seeds, almond milk, chai tea, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins to a bowl. Stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least four hours).

2. Divide into two bowls and top each with blueberries (or other fruit) and the nut butter of your choice.

Enjoy!

The verdict? Amazing. Elise was right on with this one; chai-infused oats are just delicious.

And more to the point, my mom loved hers! Not just for the chai flavor, either (one of her favorites); she loved the texture as well.

In fact, she enjoyed the chai-chia oats so much I woke up this morning to find another batch soaking in the fridge. I took that as a good sign.

And then had a bowl. :)

Do you like cooking for others?

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s That Time Again

As in, lunchtime!

Okay, maybe not yet; it’s a bit on the early side. But in five or so hours it will be, so get. excited. 

Not that lunch is not the most exciting meal of the day, but we’ll go with it! ;)

Before I get into this week’s lunch post, let’s have some breakfast, eh? This morning I woke up randomly ravenous, so I was happy to have a simple chia seed pudding waiting for me in the fridge.

Lovely–and nothing you haven’t seen before.

In the mix: 1 mashed banana, 2 Tbs chia seeds, 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used coconut milk this time), 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)–all left to gel up overnight in the fridge. In the morning I topped with blueberries. Mmmm.

Okay, now it’s time for lunch.

MONDAY

Roasted seaweed snack.  Quinoa salad with cilantro-tahini dressing. Strawberries.

Let’s take a look at that quinoa salad.

I started with quinoa + chickpeas.

Then I added some chopped veggies.

Then I doused with cilantro-tahini dressing (recipe below) and topped with toasted sunflower seeds.

Yum! Fresh, flavorful, and filling. What more do you need in a meal?

And about that dressing…

Cilantro-Tahini Dressing

Adapted from Angela’s Tahini-Lemon Dressing 

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • juice from 1.5 lemons
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • about 1/4 cup water, or enough for desired consistency
  • sea salt + freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
  • generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Eat–on anything!

This was delicious on the quinoa salad, which I enjoyed for a couple lovely dinners, but it would also work in any salad, in wraps, atop veggies–the sky’s the limit. I’m pretty sure it’ll make anything taste even better. ;)

Okay, back to lunch. I’m getting carried away with this salad.

TUESDAY

Apple. Salad with mixed greens, carrot, raw broccoli, raw grated beets, cucumber, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds, and garlic sesame tempeh–dressed with a bit of olive oil, ume plum vinegar, and freshly ground pepper. Carrot sticks. Whole wheat wrap with TJ’s cilantro-jalapeño hummus.

Love this hummus.

And this salad was outstanding. It was underdressed, it wasn’t soggy (I love when I get the dressing just right!), and it had a lot of great textures going on. 

Perfection.

WEDNESDAY

Carrot sticks. Cilantro-jalapeño hummus. Apple.

And a repeat of Tuesday’s salad

Had to be done!

THURSDAY

Pear. Whole wheat wrap. Carrot sticks.

For the wrap I started with the usual: avo + hummus.

Then I piled on the toppings: mixed greens, carrots, beets, broccoli, cucumber, toasted sunflower seeds, and TJ’s savory tofu. 

A lot of crunch. :)

FRIDAY

I just brought an apple, as I had had a lunch date.

But when that fell through, I made a date with my usual Pret instead.

A little miso soup.

And a veggie wrap with hummus, avocado, beets, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, greens, and garbanzo beans. I don’t know how they fit it all in, but I like it. :)
And that wraps up my last week in lunches.

(Not only is that a really bad pun, but I’ve used it before. Recently. Ha. I can’t help it!)

What’s in your lunch box today? 

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Pretty in Pink

Aside from my Spiced Butternut Squash Smoothie, greens are usually my “secret ingredient” in smoothies: kale, spinach, avocado…even broccoli!

I love a good green monster in my life.

And I was craving one like none other after my 7-miler through the heat today. The problem was I didn’t have greens on hand. I did, however, have some leftover raw beets.

I think you can guess what happened next. ;)

But before I share the recipe, a word about beets.

  • Beets are pretty.
  • They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals; they’re very high in folate, an essential vitamin that helps in the development and maintenance of new cells. They’re also a good source of manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.
  • They are also high in fiber.
  • They are rich in a unique blend of antioxidants not common in other vegetables, including betalain antioxidant pigments which give them their color (and are good for cardiovascular health, among other things).
  • The phytonutrients in beets are also anti-inflammatory (great post-run food).
  • etc.

So let’s drink up!

Beets ‘n Berries Smoothie 

    • heaping 1/3 cup raw beets, grated*
    • heaping 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
    • a few frozen blueberries
    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 (scant) cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder; I used Sunwarrior (optional)
    • 2 tsp cashew butter (or other nut butter)

* Side note: beets are better for you the less they are cooked; the betalain content decreases as the length of cooking time increases. So do not overcook. And try enjoying them raw, too, in this recipe and/or in salads or wraps!

Directions:

1. Place ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender.

2. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Enjoy!

I kind of love that it’s hot pink.

Oh, and it tastes delicious. Sweet, smooth, refreshing. A subtle note of beets, though not overpowering. Mmmm.

What’s your favorite “secret” smoothie ingredient? 

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Simple Staple

I had big plans this weekend to make a fresh, summer-y, sprouted quinoa salad.

I was excited.

But let’s just say, the sprouting process did not go as planned. If you follow me on twitter, this is not news.

But fret not, friends–I have not given up! I just need a new plan of action before jumping back on the horse. I’m sure I’ll share the whole story as soon as it has a happy ending.

As this latest kitchen #fail came on the coattails of my baking mistake and immediately preceded a batch of garbanzo beans (soon-to-be-homemade-hummus) that soured while soaking overnight (grrr), I’ve been in need of some comforting, easy food.

My banana oat muffins help.

So does store-bought hummus.

I also turned to my go-to dinner meal. My staple. The meal I eat when sprouting goes awry. When I’m too tired to think. When I want clean, nourishing food. When I’ve run out of inspiration.

The meal I’ve been known to, at times, enjoy multiple times per week. (I go through phases.)

It’s brown rice (cooked, not sprouted ha) and steamed broccoli. That’s it. And it’s topped with toasted sunflower seeds and a few drops of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).

I told you it was simple.

The only thing that takes time is cooking the rice (and not even that long!)–but often I’ll have leftovers in the fridge from a batch I made earlier in the week.

If I have it on hand, I’ll add tofu (TJ’s savory) or tempeh. Last night, I added some garlic sesame tempeh to the plate.

Sometimes I’ll switch up the vegetable and go with kale or bok choy. And although fresh is always beter, if I have zero greens in the house, I turn to my frozen broccoli stash and steam away, making this a meal I can make when I’m low on groceries.

And it always involves toasted sunflower seeds–they really make the meal. I rinse and drain about a cup of sunflower seeds, placed them in a frying pan and toast on medium heat, stirring frequently, until they become fragrant and begin to pop. Then I remove them from the heat, sprinkle in a few drops of tamari (soy sauce), and stir to coat every seed.

I store in an air-tight container in the fridge and add them to everything–rice, salads, wraps.

Ever since learning this technique from The Kind Diet, there’s hardly a week I don’t have a batch of these on hand.

Simple, but sometimes that’s exactly what I want.

I’ve also been known to down a bowl of granola for dinner, or eat simply hummus and bread, but this is one of my favorite healthy staples.

Speaking of simple…

Dessert anyone?

Banana soft serve is back! Processed with a bit of cashew butter (yum!) and topped with lots of fruit and cacoa nibs, this is the perfect summer treat.

All is not lost. :)

What’s your go-to dinner staple?

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

If You Buy Them, It Will Heal…

Remember my running injury? The one from about six weeks ago?

Yeah, that hasn’t totally healed yet.

My logic today? If you buy them [new running shoes]…

It [the injury] will heal.

Was I hoping for a magic solution?

Maybe. ;)

But I was at my wit’s end. And I needed new running shoes anyway. Can’t hurt, right?

See, I don’t feel balanced without running in my life. I’m fine taking time off, it’s just hard not having an end in sight, always wondering if I’m doing the right thing to heal. I’ve gone to physical therapy sessions, walked, done a handful of short runs, some Jillian workouts, yoga, lots of stretching–which I learned is a pretty big deal–and taken way too many rest days for my liking.

I now try to stretch three times a day–including during work. To avoid looking like a weirdo stretching in my cubicle, I use the “Lactation Room.” Yeah, our office has one of those. Is that common? I had never seen one before starting this job. And it turns out, women actually use it for lactation–a fact I discovered when my stretching was interrupted by a woman needing the room for its purpose. Fair enough. ;)

The point is, I’ve done it all.

And a week or so ago, I started to feel a lot better. So I tried running and still felt pain. Grrrrrr.

So today, I set out to get new kicks at a running store. I was not messing around.

I tried on a few pairs of neutral women’s running shoes that are good for distance running and I liked the Asics Nimbus the best.

I’m not one to adhere to one brand of running shoe; I’ve tried and loved them all in my day–Nike, Saucony, Asics, Brooks, Reebok, New Balance, etc. I just go with what feels the best, and that happened to be the Asics today.

Laced up, I went running.

And you know what?

I didn’t feel pain!

For a little over three miles! I mean, there were twinges, but nothing compared to how it’s been feeling. I still have to be careful, but it felt good for the first time in forever.

I may or may not have kissed my new shoes. ;)

I wanted to keep running, but I did not want to push my luck.

I don’t think the shoes are magic; my injury had already been on the mend. But there is no doubt in my mind that the shoes lessened the impact and eased the pain.

I’m so excited, I’ve started to map out my marathon training plan as well. :)

Let’s just hope this run wasn’t a fluke!

As this is a food blog, I’ll leave you with my post-workout eats: another Hippie Smoothie–this time with spinach instead of kale, as that’s what I had on hand.

In the mix: 1 frozen banana, heaping 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (though any fruit would work), 1 big handful fresh kale (or spinach), 4 Tbs hemp protein powder (I like Nutiva), and 3/4 cup almond milk.

It’s kind of a Birkenstock brown ha, but oh-so-good. Trust.

How about a cheers to health? :)

Happy weekend!

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized