Recipe: Vegan Pad Thai

Another vegan recipe score!!! Yesterday, I made a great dressing with a tahini base, so I Googled a bit and found a phenomenal recipe for raw pad Thai. It’s so, SO good that I still can’t believe it happened in my kitchen!

vegan pad thai

Vegan Pad Thai

You’ll need:

-2 zucchinis, spiralized

-2 carrots, chopped

-1/4 cabbage, purple or green, chopped (I’m sure you could use 1/2 to stretch the recipe, but considering I’m just venturing into an all-vegan diet, I thought it best to tread lightly with the cabbage 😉 )

-a cup or so of cauliflower (I eyeballed it, used what I had left from a bag of mixed cauliflower and broccoli)

vegan pad thai sauce

For the sauce:

– 1/4 cup tahini

-1/4 cup nut butter (I only have natural crunchy PB here at the moment so that’s what I used.)

-1/4 cup tamari – this is basically organic, gluten-free soy sauce (I used San-J’s Organic, Gluten-free, Reduced Sodium)

-2 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup (I used my quickly diminishing bottle of VT syrup; gonna need to buy more online asap!!)-2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice (I did a tablespoon of both since I had a half of a lemon and a lime)

-1 teaspoon of minced garlic

-1 teaspoon of grated ginger (I used a couple shakes of ginger powder because I didn’t want to dirty up even MORE kitchen gadgets)
Put all of your sauce ingredients in a big bowl and whisk until smooth. Then, chop and spiralize your veggies, and toss them in the same bowl. Using a spatula, mix everything together. Lick spatula, because OMG, that sauce is killer. The nut butter mixed with the tamari and citrus… heavenly. This batch yielded 3 servings, but if you added more cabbage or another carrot, it’d easily stretch this recipe without making it dry because the sauce recipe makes a lot.

If you make this, let me know what you think!! And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow me via email to get the latest posts! 🙂

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Recipe: Kale Salad & Tahini-Turmeric Dressing

Happy July 1st! Before I get into the recipe, can I just say that I had an AMAZING time at the Bikram Retreat in Vermont?!! So amazing. The weather was perfect; the house we stayed in was gorgeous; friendships were formed; the yoga was inspirational and the food was heaven!! As I mentioned in my previous post, the food that was lovingly prepared for us was raw and/or vegan, and I’ve since felt so motivated to incorporate this lifestyle into my diet!

I’ve been keeping 80/20 vegetarian for the past several months, but I really want to make a shift into 80/20 raw and/or vegan. Since big hearty salads have been a big staple in my life, I wanted to first find some vegan dressing recipes; the following is one that a fellow yogini from the retreat shared with me!!

Kale Salad Beast with Tahini-Turmeric Dressing
You’ll need:
For the salad: Pretty much whatever you like! Today, I used…
-kale, chopped 
-parsley, chopped
-carrots, chopped
(can you tell that I had fun with my hand chopper today?)
-chickpeas (I used canned organic, rinsed and dried)
-BLUEBERRIES! (Aside from the dressing, this really makes the salad)

For the dressing, from MindBodyGreen:
-1 tablespoon tahini
-1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
-1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup (I used the real deal from my Vermont trip!)
-1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder (a little goes a long way)
-a pinch of cayenne, to taste
-salt/pepper, to taste
-optional: a pinch of garlic powder (Garlic is pretty much never optional when I’m in the kitchen)
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk. Inspired from the beautiful salads in jars from the retreat, I decided to stick my salad in a  huge mason jar, leftover from my canning and preserving period in my life.
I mean, check out the colors! The lovely yellow from the turmuric – so good for you –  plus all those yummy rainbow-colored veggies and fruit!! Happiness in a jar.
Between this salad and a great raw taco at a local restaurant for lunch, I’d say day one of my 10-day raw/vegan eating and Bikram yoga challenge is off to a fabulous start!
What are some of your favorite raw or vegan recipes?

Raw Vegan Goodness

Blogging from gorgeous Killington, Vermont during my 2nd day at my Bikram Yoga Retreat! Even though my day has been filled with reading (audiobook on the 8 hour drive up, Fault in Our Stars by John Green; currently, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn), Bikram Yoga (um, holy coal stove heat), and a super-informative posture clinic by the wonderful Lynn Witlow, I NEEDED to post about this raw, vegan food world that I’ve been slammed into!

I’ve had one experience with a vegan restaurant (JF – remember that time we all had simultaneous stomach catastrophes?!), and it was not amazing. I’ve been hesitant to try vegan since; not just the straight veggie aspect, but the whole nutritional yeast, nut cheese (seriously?! NUT. CHEESE.), etc. 
I knew coming into this retreat that there’d be an mostly-raw (hell, maybe all-raw? Clearly I’m clueless), all-vegan chef on-site that’ll be preparing all of our meals and snacks, with 10-mile-away locally-grown produce. If you’re friends with me on FB or Insta, then you already know that every meal thus far has been completely and utterly amazing. 
There’s something about eating primarily vegan and raw (meaning uncooked, or heated to no more than 110 degrees), that literally sits well with my stomach. Lactose intolerance and various other GI issues are a non-issue, and I have a feeling that, by time Monday rolls around, I’ll have a whole slew of recipes waiting to be tried out when I get back to Baltimore! 
In the meantime, here are some of the pics that I snapped from today’s lunch, dinner and dessert. Apologies for not having full descriptions – I was more concerned with stuffing my face than listening to what I was actually eating. (Eh, plants, I’m good with that.) 

 Lunch: a mason jar salad with cabbage, chickpeas, scallions, carrots, maybe flax seeds?, and a homemade dressing. 

Dinner – Appetizer: olives, red peppers, and marinaded artichokes. God, I love brined food. 

Dinner – Main Course: tabbouleh over greens, falafel, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes and macadamia nut “goat cheese” – honestly, if I didn’t know, I would’ve assumed it was real goat cheese. SO good!!!! Nothin nasty about nut cheese, after all!!! (……lol)

Dessert: raw, vegan dark chocolate chip cookies!!! Now, I am not the biggest dessert fan, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat 3 of these mamma jamma’s. Made from the meal leftover from homemade almond milk – LOVE this idea!!! -, vegan chocolate chips, dates, I think some coconut oil?.. Again, I couldn’t pay attention because I already stuffed one into my mouth, and they’re insanely good.  

I really can’t wait to see what new culinary adventures this week brings! 
Happy Tuesday from Vermont!  

Recipe: Zucchini Pasta

 Let’s just lead with the finished product, shall we?
Holy moly, this dish was (it’s already destroyed) fantastic! Keeping with my trend of meals that are fast, simple and low-cal, this zucchini “im-pasta” is definitely a keeper. 
You’ll need:
-1 zucchini (per person)
-your favorite pasta sauce (homemade is ideal, but I was starving and grabbed a jar from Safeway; just watch the calories, sugar and sodium content in those ready made jars. I got Eating Right 20% Less Sodium Tomato Basil, with 50 cal’s per 1/2 cup)
-non-stick spray (I use Pam’s Simply Coconut Oil spray – all coconut, none of the cal’s)
-onion powder, garlic powder, Himalayan Pink sea salt, pepper, etc.
-a veggie spiralizer (linked is the one that I recently purchased)
Wash that zook really well, spiralize it, plop in a pan with some coconut oil spray, add your favorite pasta seasonings – onion powder, garlic powder, HPSS for me – heat your sauce, plate those nood’s and add your pasta sauce! BAM! Start to finish, about 10 minutes flat. My kinda lunch! According to MyFitnessPal (a must-have for the calorie-counting amongst us), this dish weighs in at about 96 calories!!! Now, I just finished mine and I’m pretty full, but that measly less than 100 cal’s could definitely use some protein added into it. Cook up some boneless, skinless chicken breast, some seasoned tofu crumbles, or my proat standby, tuna steak. Whatever you add to it, know that you’re getting fiber, lutein (good for your eyes), vitamin C and more with this green veg!
Enjoy!

10 Minute Workout: Bi’s and Tri’s

While I’m killing time until I can leave to meet up with a new running group, I thought I’d sneak in a quick but effective at-home arm workout! This workout is led by celeb trainer Andrea Orbeck for FitSugar, and, although it’s a short ten minutes, you’ll feel it (during and) after! 

Here’s what you’ll need:
-3 lb and 5lb weights (I only have 5’s, 10’s and a few heavier ones, so I stuck with 5’s for the entire workout)
-yoga mat (I just laid on the floor next to the dog)

For some reason, the workout transcript link is dead, but you can find the video HERE! It’s a pretty basic biceps and triceps workout, but I love it when I’m short on time! Check it out and get those bi’s and tri’s poppin!

#sunsoutgunsout 

Weight Loss and Social Life

Here I am again. At the crossroads of sticking to my goals (since yesterday started my new 4-week summer challenge) and the temptation of everything wonderful that summer brings.

For Baltimore City teachers, the school year officially ends today, and tomorrow, heck, this afternoon, brings the start of much-deserved relaxation. For months, we’ve dreamed of sleeping in, lazy brunches, late nights and lots and lots of beer. And dammit, I love beer.

However, for one who’s still trekking through on his or her proverbial weight loss journey (I detest that phrase; I acknowledge that it truly is a journey, but ugh, so cliche.), summer presents all new challenges with so many different social opportunities. BBQ’s, staff end-of-the-year parties, out-of-town friends coming to visit, the fact that my gym has a pool WITH A BAR… I really struggle during the summer with maintaining my weight. Honestly, I’ve always cycled through these periods of extreme working out and motivation during the winter/spring, but once summer gets here, I lose control and give in to all of the glorious gluttony that’s synonymous with my summertime social life.

BUT! This summer, I’m really going to try to stay on track. Part of starting this blog was to have an outlet for accountability for myself. Notice I haven’t posted in a couple days? Yeah, my motivation has been in the hole recently. I’m giving myself until today, post-staff end-of-the-year celebration, to take it easy and go over my daily calorie goals. Working out isn’t my issue. I’ve been working out almost daily: Bikram yoga twice a week, running twice a week – just ran the Baltimore 10-Miler this past Saturday – run or workout dates/meet-ups planned out, etc. It’s, as it’s always been, my self-control with food and booze that’s starting to dead-stop my weight loss progress. Many of my friends have shared with me that they’re dealing with the same thing. We’ve fallen off of the proverbial horse, but that’s no reason to throw in the towel altogether (how ya like those mixed metaphors?)

With that, let’s keep ourselves motivated, friends! I’ve got a trip to Vermont coming up in one week and that’s keeping me focused for now. For my Baltimore friends that are around this weekend, check out this event – a double whammy of fun workouts AND social time! The 2nd Annual FIT+ Festival at Harbor East! Tons of free workouts, music, food, and if you register now, free parking! Let me know if you’re going and we can meet up 🙂