Thursday, May 31, 2012

Itty Bitty {but loaded} Energy Balls

My first marathon is in 3 short days! I must say my favorite part has been tapering, but ....Ahhh!....the restlessness! Less running seems to increase my nerves and apprehension. I've been cooking and creating more often to keep the butterflies at bay.  

I guess it doesn't take much; turned a few ingredients into healthy balls of fun. Fun and full of energy. Energy for running 20 miles, running errands, or running around the playground, these energy balls are totally athlete, kid, parent, and dietitian approved. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tempeh and Kale Stir-Fry

Tempeh is my new favorite plant protein source. It has an earthy, nutty texture that tends to take on the flavors it's cooked with. It's a fermented soy product (that means you'll get probiotics!) that comes in firm blocks that you can cut, crumble, or leave whole to cook. I have to admit though, the real reason I'm blogging about tempeh is because the nutrition geek in me loves that it's a metabolic motherload of nutrition.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Easy Black Bean Burgers

     So, when it comes to late summer/fall meal planning, it's no wonder we turn to minimal time meals. We're transitioning into new schedules and responsibilities and sometimes cooking takes a back seat. Well, time to jump into the front seat!

     These black bean burgers are a fantastic meal solution. Other homemade bean burgers have an annoying long list of ingredients. Or once I made them, they might as well be called bean crumbles because the whole thing falls apart at the first bite...super annoying. When you can't find what works for you and your family, create something that does. Although, I'm convinced these burgers will get pretty darn close. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

ACDC (Apricot, Cranberry, Date, Cinnamon) Muffins

I'm by no means an ACDC music buff. About all I can tell you is they were all about heavy hard rock and roll. That's exactly what this muffin creation reminded me of; they are heavy, dense and will have your bowels rocking and rolling (in a good way!). Plus, they are incredibly moist thanks to the applesauce and fruit without using any added oil. 

So, if you are an ACDC fan, enjoy while rocking out. If not, still enjoy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Tostadas

If you're like me, weeknights are crazy. If dinner isn't planned, there's a good chance cereal or a frozen Amy's meal will be calling my name. Apparently, I'm not alone as millions of Americans rely on prepackaged and fast food for their dinner every night. I don't know if you've heard the fat forecast this past week, but by 2030, 42% of us are supposed to be obese. Not even overweight, straight up obese. Mainstream convenience is conveniently making us fat.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Penne with Vodka Sauce

This week I really tried to think of a 'Mother's Day' recipe, but quite honestly this recipe reminds me of my sister in oh so many ways. See, she loves vodka sauce. We weren't a pasta family growing up, but every time I visit her she has a jar of vodka sauce nestled neatly along side spaghetti sauce and canned beans. The dietitian in me mindfully says, "Oh lovely, vodka sauce...cholesterol and fat lathered sludge." I know it may taste good, but it hardly gets near ranking on the healthy scale.

Well, wait until you discover this plant based version that uses cashews for the cream. Absolutely unbelievable. My sister has yet to try this deliciousness (I promise it's MUCH better than that Shepard's Pie I so horribly failed at), but I know she would be wooed and wowed.
Penne with Vodka Sauce
Serves 4-6

1 pound whole wheat penne
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup water

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add cashews and boil for 10 minutes to soften before blending. Drain and reserve 1 cup water.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add whole wheat penne and cook according to package. Drain and reserve.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in crushed tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper, adjust to taste as needed. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vodka and cook 10 additional minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
4. While sauce is cooking, add cashews and reserved water in a blender. Blend on high until cashew cream is very smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Stir cashew cream into tomato sauce and turn off the heat. Adjust seasonings as you need and pour over hot pasta. Enjoy!

Note: I added 1/2 onion and 1 cup mushrooms while garlic was cooking as we like chunky pasta sauce. Feel free to do the same or omit for a more authentic vodka sauce.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco de Mushroom Tacos and Festive Mango Salsa

Like many Americans, in just a few short days we will be celebrating Mexican culture and heritage with Cinco de Mayo by eating tacos, enchiladas and washing it all back with a Corona or margarita. Cinco de Mayo is one of those holidays that commercialism has taken it to new heights of popularity. You know, like how everyone comes out of the woodwork to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Irish or not.