Monthly Archives: March 2013

Caribbean Baked Sweet Potatoes

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This just might be my favorite after-yoga dinner. So easy. Great flavors. Tons of nutrients and protein to refuel the body.

I usually take yoga classes in the mornings. I’ve always believed I had my best energy then. And, it’s just a lot easier getting class in once my kids are out of the house and at school.

But this evening, I took a power yoga class from my friend Beata. She is a beautiful yogi and has gone through the same training program that I am doing. Her class is fun, rigorous and builds a lot of heat. When I finished, I was relaxed, energized and well, pretty darn hungry.

So, I made this little meal for myself. I cheated and baked my sweet potato in the convection oven. If you have one, try cutting the potato in half and then baking it for about 6-8 minutes. It comes out crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside…so awesome. Otherwise, just bake the potato in the oven the way you normally would. Try cutting it in half, though. It cuts down on the cooking time quite a bit.

While the potato was cooking, I made a topping with onions, red pepper, carrots, collard greens and black beans. I seasoned it all with a caribbean jerk seasoning. I mashed down the cooked potatoes a little and softened them with some coconut oil.

You and your hungry yoga self are going to love this…

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Creamy Dreamy Broccoli Soup

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It got down into the 50s this week in Houston…brrrrrrrrr. This is when we all get our puffy coats out, if we even own a coat.  So it was the perfect time to make a batch of soup to have around.  I love just about any kind of vegetable-based soup. And ever since I got my Vitamix, I like any excuse to put stuff into it.

This recipe could easily be creamy dreamy asparagus soup or pea soup or spinach soup or whatever-you-want-to-put-in-it soup. The formula is simple: steamed vegetables + cashews + vegetable broth + almond milk.

Start by steaming the broccoli and then the potatoes:

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Yoga Meal

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Started my 200-hour yoga teacher training (YTT) this weekend and my head is exploding with so much exciting new information. We talked about the history of yoga, the eight limbs, meditation, asana practices and one of my favorite things, the yoga meal.

Of course, my area of interest is the intersection between food and yoga (have you noticed the title of my blog?). So I couldn’t wait to learn more about a yoga meal. Were we all going to bring in sprouts and granola or something? That would be fun.

But no, a yoga meal is not what you eat, but how you eat it. It’s having an awareness and appreciation of your food and how you consume it. It’s about slowing down and actually tasting what goes into your mouth. A yoga meal is a simple, yet profound experience.

Here are the general guidelines:

  1. Sit at a table. Don’t eating standing up, on the run or in your car.
  2. Refrain from talking while you are chewing your food.
  3. During the meal, eliminate external distractions like TV, music or reading.
  4. Chew and swallow your food completely before picking up your next bite.
  5. Place only about two handfuls of food on your plate. When you have finished that, wait 3-5 minutes before putting more food on your plate.
  6. Wait until your food is completely digested (2-6 hours) before having your next meal.

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Hummus 3 Ways

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Don’t know about you, but hummus is a staple in my house. Yes, I buy store bought hummus and I admit it is pretty good. But, I like to make stuff myself when I can so I know what’s going into it. Even the really good brands have preservatives, stabilizers and natural flavorings. Ew.

On a recent trip to San Antonio, I had a fabulous pecan hummus at Green Vegetarian Cuisine in the Pearl Brewery complex. So like any good foodie, I came home and tried to make it myself. I think what I came up with is pretty close and super delicious.

Things are cooler in threes, so I made an avocado hummus based on a recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen and a red pepper hummus that I made up by throwing a bunch of ingredients in the food processor to see what would happen.

Any one of these would make a great appetizer or snack with carrots sticks and cucumber slices. I also love rice crackers with this and of course pita chips if you do gluten.

I made all three recipes with one and a half cans of chickpeas…a little goes a long way here.

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Eat More Kale

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I’m obsessed with kale. There, I said it. I eat (or drink) it practically every day. It’s loaded with tons of nutritional benefits. Google it.

But true confession, I haven’t always been a fan. Several years ago, when I lived in Cincinnati, OH, I belonged to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. And no matter the season, it seemed like we always had lots of kale included in our share. At the time, I didn’t really know what to do with it and frankly had not acquired a taste for it.

Not sure when I turned the corner, but when I began eating more clean vegan meals, I reintroduced kale to my diet. I started by adding it to my smoothies and have branched out from there. Here are a few ways l like it. Once you get hooked, you won’t go back. Trust me.

Green Juice:

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Korean BBQ Tempeh Tostadas

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One of my favorite things about moving to Texas is getting a chance to spend some time in Austin, which very well may be the coolest city in America. SXSW was in full swing when I was there this past weekend. I stumbled upon SouthBites, a curated food truck area. Yes, curated! Each truck was especially chosen by Austin Top Chef Paul Qui just for SXSW.

This recipe is inspired by the menus I saw at the various food trucks. Funky fusion is in and everything just seems a little hipper if you add Korean BBQ to it.

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Portobello Steak + Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

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I stopped eating meat about ten years ago. In the beginning, just like a lot of transitioning vegetarians, I relied on meat alternatives, like frozen veggie burgers and “chicken” patties. I admit I still have a Morningstar Griller every now and then…gasp.  They do seem to satisfy the primal cravings I occasionally have.

But, they really are processed food and I’d rather get my nutrition from whole foods.  So when I’m looking for comfort food, I love grilled portobello mushrooms. I even season them with a steak rub (I use Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning) and serve them with mashed potatoes and a homemade steak sauce.

For this recipe, I roasted a head of garlic and steamed yukon gold potatoes. For an extra nutrition kick, you could use sweet potatoes. I mashed the garlic and potatoes with Earth Balance and almond milk. Then I made the steak sauce. You could use a store brought brand, but check the ingredients because it probably has high fructose corn syrup — which is just yuck. Next I seasoned the mushrooms and grilled them with the asparagus. I sauteed some spinach in olive oil and then arranged everything on a plate.

So, I think even my diehard meat-eating friends would be happy with this meal. I know I love it!

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