Recipe: Zoodles with Pumpkin “Creme” Sage Sauce

EDIT: I probably should’ve said in each recipe that I’ve made/posted thus far that these recipes are generally for 2 people! Anytime I do anything with zucchini noodles (AKA zoodles), I do 1 large zook per person.

I’m on a zoodles and sage kick, obviously. I got the base of this recipe from this blog, but revised it for my current diet, which is low-cal and vegan whenever possible. IE, lots of veggies, fruits and no dairy. My digestive system has been really happy with me for the past 10 days. πŸ™‚ Anyway, without further ado…

Zoodles with Pumpkin “Creme” Sage Sauce

Zoodles with Pumpkin Cream Sage Sauce

You’ll need:

  • Large zucchini (1 per person) OR Fettuccine
  • Half of an onion
  • Garlic cloves – 2
  • 1 cup of pureed pumpkin (DON’T GET PUMPKIN PIE FILLING! Not the same! πŸ™‚ )
  • Extra Virg Olive Oil
  • Rubbed Sage (I didn’t have any more of the real deal)

Make zoodles or fettuccine. I always opt for spiralized veggies because it saves you SO many calories!! Chop and sauteed half an onion and the garlic in some coconut oil or olive oil. While that’s doing it’s carmalized, yummy thing, add a couple dashes of rubbed sage. The bottle says 2 tsp = 1 tsp of fresh sage, so I did about 2 good shakes, however much that actually is…. that’s probably not helpful. Anyway, go with 2 teaspoons. After the onions are soft, add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin. Mix this all around until the pumpkin is warmed up. Now, this was a little too thick for my liking, so I added a drizzle of EVOO to loosen the consistency. Once the sauce is a nice consistency, here’s the money shot – pour the sauce into a food processor (I used my trusty NutriBullet) and blend the sauce. I found that this upped the flavor by blending the chunks of garlic and onion with the pumpkin-sage AND it really smoothed out the consistency. I love that you can blend veggies like onions and they make such a creamy consistency. Hence the “creme” part of the title. Ladle over your noodles and MANGA!

Okay, so I said that this recipe was for 2 people… and it is! But, that damn sauce was so good, I literally ate all of it. Ha. It’s definitely enough for 2 people, but if you’re a fan of the savory side of pumpkin, double the sauce for 2 people. πŸ™‚

xo – Jen

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Recipe: Soyrizo with Sauteed Cabbage, Garlic & Onions

Awwww jeeeuh, this one was a winner!! I picked up a package of soy chorizo a couple weeks ago, threw it in the freezer and forgot about it until my bank account was looking really piddly and I needed to raid the kitchen to find food. πŸ™‚ Now, usually, I do NOT get down with soy anything… I know what soy is, I’ve seen videos on how it’s made, but there’s something about it that just wigs me out. No me gusta, weird ass soy. BUT, I randomly bought this package of soyrizo with hopes that I could make something awesome out of it. And voila!

Soyrizo with Sauteed Cabbage, Garlic and Onions!

Soyrizo with Sauteed Cabbage and Onions

You’ll need:

  • A package of soy chorizo (I found this bad boy for cheapz at Walmart)
  • A head of cabbage (SO CHEAP! I only used about a quarter of it)
  • An onion
  • A couple garlic cloves
  • 2 packets of Sazon (in the reddish, orange box)
  • Low-carb tortilla (TJ’s has them 60 cal’s per ’tilla!)

I chopped the onion and garlic and started to caramelize them in a pan with some coconut oil. Then, I added the chorizo and made sure it was cooked through (…although… it’s soy, so would it get you sick if it’s “undercooked”??). I cut about a quarter of a head of raw cabbage, gave it a rough chop and threw it in the pan. Then, I added 2 packets of Sazon (you can find this in the “international” section of most grocery stores) because I’m obsessed with this stuff. Saute and stir everything together until the cabbage wilts a bit. Tada! Grab yourself a low-carb tortilla,, pile it on and enjoy!!

The soyrizo DOES have a solid amount of sodium in it.. and grease.. which kinda upset my stomach afterwards, and I’m not sure what to do about that, but overall, I’d make this dish again. The bulk of the calories here comes from the chorizo because cabbage is sooo low cal, so I guess it’s a trade-off? Anyhoo, enjoy!

xo – Jen

Recipe: Raw Vegan Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh. “Tuh-boo-leh”? Ta-boo-lee”? I cannot pronounce this word to save my life, but man, it’s good. This is one of my favorite recipes because it’s quick, easy, light and refreshing. Now, don’t get wigged out by the fact that the word “raw” is in the name! That just means it uses all veggies and you don’t need to cook anything. Get all the benefits from these veggies without losing anything from heating them. Boom. Optimum nutritional power!
Raw Vegan Tabbouleh!

Raw Vegan TabboulehYou’ll need:

  • Cauliflower (either “riced” in a food processor or just chopped up really small like I did)
  • Tomatoes – I used 2
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro (optional; I used it bc I love the flavor it adds to this)
  • S&P

After you “rice” or chop up the raw cauliflower, toss it in a bowl with all of the other ingredients. Literally. Plop that shiz altogether and mix it up. How easy is that??? I’m a big fan of one-bowl/one-pan/one-pot meals, because I hate, hate, HATE doing the dishes, as my sweet husband knows. πŸ™‚

This recipe cuts the cal’s from where the couscous would be.Β  Let me know if you make it or add your own twist.

xo – Jen

Recipe: Zoodles with Artichoke-Sage Sauce!

Today was my 4th day straight of my Bikram streak and I’m feeling pretty good!! Came home tonight and made this killer of a recipe… I was a little skeptical, but OMG SO GOOD! And vegan!!

Zoodles with Artichoke-Sage Sauce!

IMG_3269

This recipe is based on this blogger’s dish, but I didn’t have pasta OR mushrooms, so some improvising was needed.

You’ll need:

  • 2 zucchini
  • a 12-ounce jar of marinated artichokes (in oil or water)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (if your ‘chokes aren’t packed in oil)
  • 1/2 cup water (if your ‘chokes aren’t packed in water)
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • tomato

I made the sauce first by draining the artichokes and reserving 1/4 cup of the oil they were packed in – if they’re packed in water, you can use this for your 1/2 cup needed. Dump the ‘chokes into a blender (Nutribullet here), add 1/4 of the artichoke oil, 1/2 cup of water, 2-3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until that shiz is amazingly creamy. Seriously, no dairy?? Whoa. Set your sauce aside and make some pasta. To help cut calories, I spiralized 2 zucchini (which, can I say, I need a new veggie spiralizer. The knob on the one I have broke and now it’s stuck on only one kind of noodle shape.. super annoying considering how expensive it was!!), but you could just chop the zook’s up if you don’t have a spiralizer. Then I sauteed some garlic in a little of what was left of the artichoke oil. Toss the zucchini quickly to warm them through, add the sauce and toss to coat. I had a lone tomato waiting to be used, so I chopped that bad boy up and added it to the mix. If you’re not trying for a vegan thang, you could totally sprinkle on some parmasean/romano cheese here… mmmm.

Holy crow, was this dish delish!!! Vegan, SUPER simple, filling, DELICIOUS!! If you try it, let me know!

xo – Jen

2016

So, it’s safe to say that I’m not the best at regular blogging. πŸ™‚

A quick catch-up: Hubby and I moved to northern California, and I’m currenty teaching 1st grade math at a charter school! We’re planning on moving to San Diego at the end of this school year, so the job search will be on again soon.

Basically, 2015 came and went, and with it, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reevaluating my life lately. Reprioritizing, you could say. Thinking a lot about value-added relationships in my life and relationships that don’t bring anything to my life. Life is short and hard and weird, and I want to spend time with people that make me happy.

I’ve also been looking back on my eating and exercise habits that really fell by the wayside. My work hours are much longer than in the past, so I’m BEAT by time I get home. Plus, ever since J and I started dating, his work hours were really intense and we never saw each other. Now we get to spend a ton of time together, and I really want to take advantage of that. Because of family illness, J’s back in MD for a month, so my goal (to keep myself occupied and sane while he’s gone) is to get my healthy habits back on track!

I’m going back to a vegan/vegetarian diet as of today, and am hoping to find the time to blog some great recipes again. I’m also planning on doing a Bikram yoga challenge. The longest challenge that I’ve done in the past was either a 21 day or 30 day challenge (can’t remember πŸ™‚ ) , so that’ll be my initial goal, although my ultimate goal is completing a 60 day challenge. Scheduling is such a pain, which is part of my excuse, but I’m going to make it a priority, like a doctor’s appointment. My health and stress levels depend on it!

Anyway, so here’s what I made for post-workout din tonight:

Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Garlic and Rainbow Chard

rainbow chard

Sauteed some garlic in coconut oil, threw in chickpeas and diced tomatoes, then tossed the rainbow chard in. Super easy, healthy and filling!

Cheers to a new year and improving ourselves!

Getting Back on the Horse

Holy crow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Lots of things have changed since that last yummy recipe post: I got married, got a new teaching job in California for the 2015-2016 school year… gained some weight. 😦 Yep, I fell off the horse. Hard.

I could sit here and list all of the million little excuses I have for why I gained weight. My lowest was 152 and I’m currently sitting on 170. I’m pissed off at myself and, although I’ve rationalized it as being a mental break from working out and eating well, basically I’ve gotten really lazy. I started eating whatever I wanted – food that I KNOW makes me feel like crap: lots of dairy, greasy food, meat, alcohol – and stopped working out consistently. I used to hit yoga, the gym or the bike 5 times a week and I’ve ran once in the past couple of weeks. 😦

Anyway, no more use whining about it. I just got my Inspiralizer veggie/fruit spiralizer in the mail and I’m signed up for a 6pm spin class. Summer is coming, AND we’ll be moving to Cali in a couple of months, and I want to look better. So here’s to ditching the excuses (again) and buckling down (again). I’m hoping to start posting again at least biweekly with a good recipe or workout I’ve found so help keep me accountable, friends! :

Recipe: Raw & Vegan Taco Salad

Today is day 5 of my 10-day raw/vegan + Bikram yoga challenge! Day 4 as far as yoga was a bit rough; I’d say it was one of my less than stellar classes. I thought it would be a great idea to sit in THE only patch of sunlight (oh yeah, work on that tan while I workout), but I very quickly realized that this only raises the temperature in that spot (duh), makes the floor like the Sahara and makes me incredibly nauesous for most of class. No bueno. Anyway, lesson learned. Today’s class, though, was fantastic! I held postures a bit longer and was able to go a bit deeper into a couple as well. A great class, coupled with a fabulous recipe, made today a win overall. πŸ™‚

Anyway, on to the goods! After going to a great vegan restaurant in town, I was inspired to find a solid recipe for a vegan taco salad. A bit of Googling later, and I found this recipe – so good! It was super simple and quick, and both my boyfriend and I really enjoyed it. So much that I plan on plopping this recipe into my regular rotation of lunch/dinner go-to’s.Β  Check out the how-to below!

raw taco salad

Raw & Vegan Taco Salad

You’ll need:

Your favorite taco fixin’s. I used:

Kale for the base

cabbage, chopped

red or yellow bell pepper, diced (I wanted yellow for some fun contrasting color; Harris Teeter only had red and green)

tomato, sliced

cilantro, to top

salsa

guac (again with the HT fail – I wanted avocado, but theirs were all wayyyy underripe, so we went with some store-made pico-de-guaco)

tacoΒ  seasonings: I used cumin, onion powder, S&P; chili powder would be ideal here, but alas, I’m out, and didn’t feel like a store run.

Raw walnut, almond and sunflower seed “meat”

For the nut meat:

1 cup of raw nuts (I used raw almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds)

a splash of olive oil

a splash of San-J gluten-free, reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce)

taco seasonings

S&P

(I may or may not have read the ingredient list wrong at first and added a splash of apple cider vinegar, lol. Turned out great and you couldn’t tell it was in there! πŸ˜‰ )

Cashew “sour cream”

For the cashew sour cream

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours – this helps to soften them for blending!

1/2 lemon juice

splash of apple cider vinegar (THIS is where the ACV comes in, not the meat πŸ™‚ )

couple cranks of salt (I’m all about Himalayan pink sea salt)

1/2 lemon juice

2-3 tbsp of water

The original recipe says to use a blender, but since I don’t have one, I used my trusty Nutri-Bullet for both the nut meat and the sour cream! For the nut meat, blend ingredients until it’s all sticking together, but still sort of crumbly – you’re looking for a consistency kinda like ground beef.Β  For the sour cream, blend until it’s smooth. I added a teeny bit more lemon juice for this since Nutri-Bullets don’t liquify things. It was a bit thick, but still really tasty! My boyfriend and I were both impressed with how cashews, of all things, really did taste like dairy!! I still kinda can’t get over it.Anyway, once you’ve got your “meat” and “sour cream” made, stick your sour cream in the fridge for a bit to chill while you’re setting up your salads! This recipe made enough for 3-4 salads for sure – I’ve got the leftovers ready for tomorrow’s lunch! Since I didn’t have any romaine or big-leaf green to make taco cups, I used kale as the base of my salad, added the chopped cabbage (more of the green; again, purple would’ve been prettier, but that ish was like $2 more!), chopped tomato and red bell pepper, a splash of lime juice, a couple more shakes of cumin and onion powder, then the salsa and guac. Add your “meat” and “sour cream,” top it with some cilantro and S&P, and get ready for a fresh, delicious meal that’s packed with nutrients and is completely meat and dairy free! So good. (Another perk of this dish: it’s REALLY filling, so it’d be a great work lunch, since it’d definitely carry you until you clock out.)

Enjoy this recipe! I know I’ve been really recipe-heavy lately, and I’ve been meaning to post some of the workouts that I’ve been doing lately, so be on the lookout for that soon!