Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cinnamon Vanilla Omelet and Sugar-Free Conclusions

Two weeks of being (almost) completely sugar-free have come to an end. I confess I had a few tough days with very limited options (major flight delays anyone?) but the whole of my two weeks went very smoothly. I’ve done a lot of sugar cleansing in the past and didn’t feel a terrible need for it but really appreciated the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and branch out beyond my standard dark chocolate. You will see an example of that here 🙂

Interestingly what I have been feeling pulled towards is a more raw and vegan style diet. I can’t say my mind is easily on board with this, I love, love, LOVE my goat cheese and occasionally being able to have some wild fish or free-range egg dishes…sadly, it has not been loving me back. I’ve done a lot of focused cleansing in various forms over the last couple of years and I’ve watched as my body often asks me to step it up before I emotionally want to. But alas, here we are. I’ve decided to join Marlena (again) in her vegan challenge for the month of July. I hopped on board last year with the Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MOFO!!) and concluded at the end of it that veganism just wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to admit how incorrectly I was doing it though. I used my vegan month as an excuse to dive head first into baking again and try out how my body liked beans, and grains, and tofu…it didn’t. I got puffy, put on some weight, and just felt tired. No good. These days, I find I’m naturally leaning into meals centered around big avocado salads with baked squashes or greens with delicious nut butter dressings, or the rarer meal that includes fruit or a small dish of quinoa. I continue to juice, implement my various cleansing tools, and this is feeling much nicer for me. I also, for the first time in my life, even though I was raised a vegetarian and played with veganism, feel drawn to it for ethical reasons as well as health. I know there are a million arguments out there but it’s started to feel kinda strange to bite into an animal, especially when it isn’t a need for the particular body that I live in. On the other side of things, I’m having a hard time with the idea of ever embracing a labeled way of eating or living. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I’m excited to once again embrace a new avenue of kitchen creativity and experimentation in the coming month!

This is obviously NOT a vegan recipe and I realized I had to get it posted before next month 😀

Ingredients:

2 free-range eggs
NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
sea salt
cinnamon
goat feta or chevre (optional)

Heat a small pan on medium high and melt a pat of organic butter into the bottom. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk together with vanilla stevia and a pinch of sea salt. Pour eggs into pan and let cook thoroughly on one side before flipping to the other. Once both sides are cooked, slide out of pan and top with cinnamon and feta or chevre.

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Filed under eggs, Goat Cheese, Recipes

Zucchini Noodle Stir Fry with Almond Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

a pat of coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
a chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
4 zucchinis, spiralized into “noodles” with a spiralizer

Sauce:

2 Tbsp. maple syrup or sugar free maple
1/4-1/2 cup coconut aminos
1/2 cup raw almond butter
a handful of raw jungle peanuts or raw almonds, chopped
sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Heat a pat of coconut butter on medium high and add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Saute for a minute or two and add the remaining ingredients. Continue to cook, adding some veggie broth or water to avoid using more oil, until soft to your liking. Mix together sauce ingredients. Remove veggies from heat and toss with sauce.

For those of you who joined Ana and I in the Sugar-Free Challenge– how did it go? I’ll be posting an update in the next day or two!

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Filed under nuts and seeds, Recipes

What I Ate Wednesday

I felt like having something chewy earlier than usual so a couple spoonfuls of bee pollen did the trick.

My two favorite coffee-reministent teas are Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma and Dandelion tea. Today I mixed them!

Britney and I went to a new-to-us coffee shop down the road that serves all organic with some local options. I got an orange spice black tea in hemp milk.

Brit is leaving for the next three weeks (major sad face) so we soaked up as many hours together as possible this morning!

No pics for this (so many of my WIAW’s look the same) but I had some Cinnamon Ginger Green Juice and a batch of Casey’s Pumpkin Pie Chai.

I nibbled on some cherry tomatoes and zucchini slices while I made dinner:

Zucchini Noodle-Almond Butter Stir Fry! Recipe to come 🙂 I ate it tossed with kale salad and had a Lily’s Coconut Bar for dessert.

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An Interview with the Blogger Behind Jen’s Food Challenge

When I was in New York recently one of the biggest treats of the week was getting to meet Jen of Jen’s Food Challenge who was also there to take Natalia Rose’s Advanced Training. We got along so well and I loved hearing all about her transition into a detox lifestyle. I hoped I wouldn’t scare her off by asking her to share with us here, thankfully she was glad to do so! If you enjoy getting to know Jen here, go check out her delicious blog and her most recent recipe for Faux-jitos!

Tell us who you are and a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in NY with one side of the family being from an Italian background so this way of life is still a bit of a shock to them. I love art and always drew and painted since I was young, but I also loved science. This way of life works so well for me because I love reading about different nutrition philosophies and then I get creative in the kitchen (including re-working Italian dishes).
I’ll let you in on a couple of silly little things I do. So in order to relax sometimes without dragging out all the art supplies, I color with crayons in a coloring book. No kidding – it’s fun, try it out. A couple of month ago, I walked into a store and a box of hula hoops were next to the counter. I bought a bright pink one – sometimes you want to feel like a kid. I don’t use it very often because it confusing the poor dog, but for $5 and something that takes up no room – why not?

Jen and her animal friend Bella

What brought you into a detox lifestyle and how long ago did it first catch your eye?
My husband brought home Natalia Rose’s book years ago. I read it, and although it made so much sense to me, I didn’t understand how I could manage the lifestyle at the time and the book went onto the shelf. When I was told I had to do a yeast free diet a few years later with a lot of supplements, the yes/no list of food and other things that didn’t seem to feel right, I decided there had to be a better way. I began researching candida, picked up the dusty book on the shelf which made sense years before, read more and more books and my journey began. I was already a vegetarian, so my next step was figuring out how I could go further and part of that was getting creative in the kitchen re-working old favorite comfort foods.

What positive changes have you noticed in yourself since you started (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc)?

When I follow a more candida conscious diet, my face is clear from breakouts. I also have been able to maintain weight in a healthy manor verses previously when I would drink sugary chocolate shakes and eat tons of pasta and breads. I also have tons of energy. I now crave things like tomatoes and avocados and not cookies – WOW.
My taste buds definitely changed as well. Ripe strawberries are an amazing treat. I now like olives, which I never did before.
I feel much calmer in stressful situations – which is awesome!
One of the coolest change is I used to suffer terrible cat allergies leaving me sneezing, teary eyes, and congested with breathing issues. I recently discovered this to not be the case anymore. I was around a couple of cats for hours and had a minor stuffy nose – much improvement.

What have been the hardest parts of living this way and do you have any tips to share?

The hardest thing at first for me was when I did an initial Candida cleanse. I had no idea how severely addicted to sugars and breads I was. The cravings for pasta, bread, cake, and cookies were so strong and really put my will power to the test. If you are doing a Candida cleanse, just hang in there because the pay off is worth it! I now can sit in a restaurant and have no desire to have a piece of bread – amazing. And if you slip up a little, it’s ok, just keep going.

When I first began, eating out was a bit of a challenge for me more on a social level. One time we were going to a buffet style private party at a bar where I knew there would be nothing for me to have. I prepared by eating ahead of time. I knew I would want a little something when I smelled and saw food, so I threw carrot sticks and a dark chocolate bar in my bag. When I wanted something, I grabbed a plate from the buffet, added a bit of salsa that was available, pulled my carrot sticks out of my purse and put them on the plate. I didn’t feel left out and I had something healthy. When dessert time came, I had a piece of my chocolate bar. So my tip is be prepared and don’t be afraid to get a little creative.

What inspired you to start your blog?

I wanted other people to realize that healthy meals are colorful, delicious, full of flavor and can be as simple or complicated as you want. I hope my blog will inspire people to experiment with vegetarian and properly combined dishes, even if they don’t follow that path on a regular basis. People ask me all the time what I eat and are always surprised about the huge variety in my diet. I am never bored with meals, even salads. I wanted to showcase healthy eating is fabulous with endless possibilities. I applaud you and your blog for showing people this as well.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with the Veggie-Centric Kitchen readers?

My favorite recipe at the moment, which is on my blog is definitely Avocado Salad. It’s my husbands favorite as well and he does not follow a detox lifestyle. I think I’ve made it 3 times in the last week! I love this recipe because it is so versatile, takes no time to make, and you can change it up depending what you have on hand. Here’s the basic recipe and some options you can do with it. The quantities below make enough for 2.

3 Avocados
1 cucumber
1 red pepper (or any color)
Handful Orange cherry tomatoes (or any kind you have)
1 lime (or lemon)
1/2 small red onion (optional, made it before with and without)
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
Sea salt to taste

Open avocados and add large chunks to a bowl. Chop cucumber, pepper and onion and add to bowl. Zest garlic and add tomatoes. Squeeze juice of one lime and add sea salt to taste. Give a gentle toss to combine all ingredients. Feel free to omit or add any ingredients you want. I change this up all the time.

Some options: eat avocado salad alone, add to kale (yummy, makes creamy kale salad), add to your favorite greens and sprouts, add to buckwheat soba noodles, have it in a cabbage or lettuce leaf with your favorite salsa, and my husband’s favorite is with corn chips. So many possibilities! I hope you enjoy this one.

Jen is also joining us on the Sugar-Free Challenge this month, hope it’s going well for you all!

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Filed under Avocado Based, Guest Post, Other People's Recipes, Recipes

Creamed Green Juice- 3 Ways.

If I want to have a very light-feeling day with just a little more density than just fresh veggie juices, I like to have a “creamed” version of the original recipe. Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl is my usual go-to but here are 3 other options along with my “classic” every-day juice.

The Vegetable Centric Kitchen’s Classic Green Juice:

2-3 cucumbers
1 head romaine
2-3 leaves of kale
1-2 lemons or limes
1 chunk of ginger (depending on how spicy you like it)
Nunaturals Vanilla, Lemon or Original Stevia, to taste

Run all ingredients through juicer and sweeten to taste.

Creamed Variation 1:

1 batch Classic Green Juice
1/2-1 ripe avocado

Blend until creamy.

Creamed Variation 2:

1 batch Classic Green Juice
1 cup fresh nut milk

Mix ingredients together.

Creamed Variation 3:

1 batch Classic Green Juice
2 free-range egg yolks

Blend until creamy.

You can really “cream” any veggie juice- Cinnamon Ginger Green Juice and Mexican Chocolate Milk Juice are also favorites of mine to prepare this way!

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Filed under Avocado Based, beverages, eggs, Juice, juice fasting, nuts and seeds, Recipes

Mini Eggplant White Pizza’s

Here are the delicious eggplant pizza’s recently promised!

Ingredients:

thin slices of eggplant (for however many pizzas you want)
a log of chevre
a handful or two of baby spinach
1-2 cloves raw garlic, minced
a few leaves of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425. Place thin slices of eggplant on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Heat a small pan on medium-low and slowly melt cheese. Add spinach, garlic and basil until everything is wilted and well mixed. Spread cheese mixture over toasted eggplant slices.

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What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Thank you all SO much for your sweet comments on the engagement, they have brought many smiles to this household 🙂

How goes the Sugar-Free Challenge? I’ve been doing quite well even with some minor “slip-ups”. I am feeling infinitely thankful for stevia-sweetened chocolates.

Today:

24 oz. spring water with food-grade hydrogen peroxide and a little lemon stevia (I’ve been taking the peroxide all throughout the sugar detox).

16 oz. carrot/romaine juice with NuNaturals Cocoa Extract and Vanilla Stevia

24 oz. Creamed Green Juice* with some carrot sticks and fresh raw corn

Pre-dinner snack of more carrot sticks and raw corn on the cob.

Massive salad with (let’s see if I can remember everything) baby spinach, raw corn, green onions, garlic, cucumber, steamed broccoli cooked in tomato sauce, steamed beets, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, sugar-free maple, apple cider vinegar mustard, and Italian Seasoning.

Mini Eggplant White Pizzas*

A couple ounces of 100% cacao bar, melted with some vanilla stevia

*Recipes to come.

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