Category Archives: Food

My Favorite Stew: Chicken Sausage Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Now that fall is here I’m finally getting back into my cooking groove. It has become my “yoga” on Sunday nights. A great way for me to stay in, recharge for the week and do something relaxing. Here’s one of my favorite recipes: Chicken sausage, lentil, sweet potato stew. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Ingredients:
Package of Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage
Package of Trader Joe’s brown lentils
2 Boxes of Trader Joes’s Organic Chicken Broth
5 ribs of celery
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potatoes (use 4 small ones for recipe and use others to for baking)
2 bunches of kale
2 tablespoons of thyme

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Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil in pan on medium-high heat.
2. Chop onion and add to pan for 5 minutes.
3. Add chopped celery and thyme. Let sit for 4 minutes until onion is slightly brown and clear.

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4. Add chopped chicken sausage, lentils and chicken broth.

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5. Bring heat to high until it boils and then bring heat down to medium low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

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6. Add in chopped sweet potatoes (used about 4 small ones and baked the remaining in the oven with oil olive and salt). Let simmer for 12 minutes.
7. Add in kale and let simmer for 3 minutes.
8. Add in salt and pepper for taste.

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Enjoy and let me know what you think! Cheers & Namaste!

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Warm & Toasty Chicken + Vegetable Curry

It was a cold and rainy Saturday and all I wanted to do was lay around the house and COOK. So I did! I got this great slow cooker recipe from Sara Dussault. It was easy to make and all the ingredients were super easy to buy and find. Feel free to omit the chicken if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Cheers & Namaste!

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For my version of this recipe I used 1 cup of coconut milk opposed to 1/2 cup to make it more stew-like.

Ingredients:
– 1 onion
– 1 cup of peas (frozen, added more in compared to the original recipe)
– 1 red pepper
– 1 sweet potato
– 1 head of califlower (small)
– 1 cup of brussel sprouts
– Coconut milk (used 1 whole can to create more of stew like dish, 1/2 cup according to Sarah’s receipe)
– 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
– 1 can garbonzo beans (make sure you rinse before you add)
– 1/2 cup of chicken stock
– 2 tablespoons curry powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– Chicken (used 1.5lbs)

Instructions:
1. Chop up onion, sweet potato (peel/dice), red pepper and cauliflower and place in bowl.

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2. Place all ingredients into crock pot.
* I then chopped up my extra sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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4. Then add chicken, brussel sprouts, coconut milk, tomato sauce, chicken stock, curry powder, salt, cayenne pepper and garbonzo beans into the crock pot.

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4. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours and add frozen peas in during the last 30 minutes.
5. Enjoy and have LOTS of leftovers for the week 🙂

Sunday Funday Home Cooking: Turkey Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Fall is here! One of my favorite seasons. It not only brings crisp cool weather and Sunday football, it also brings some of my favorite seasonal dishes.

Here’s one of my go to fall recipes–turkey, lentil, sweet potato soup. A perfect dish to eat on a chilly Sunday night while cuddling up in a blanket and watching the Patriots. It’s not only yummy and filling, it’s so easy to make!

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I got this recipe from Williams Sonoma’s Weeknight Fresh & Fast Cookbook. Find recipe below. Vegetarin? Feel free to forget the turkey and use vegetable broth.

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For my take on this dish, I used vegetable broth, added in more celery (1 whole stalk), used baked turkey cutlets instead of smoked turkey and used kale. See a picture of some of my ingredients and a full list of the ingredients I used below:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 whole stalk of celery chopped
– 3/4 onion chopped
– 1.2 lbs of turkey (baked in olive oil)
– 1 3/4 cups of brown lentils (used Trader Joe’s precooked lentils)
– 1.5 lbs of sweet potatoes
– 64 ounces of vegetable broth
– 3 bunches of kale (chopped kale from Trader Joe’s)
– 3 tsps of thyme
– salt & pepper for taste

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1. I chopped up my celery and onion (only used 3/4 of the onion opposed to the whole thing) and placed in this mixing bowl while the oil warmed up in my sauce pan.

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2. Instead of smoked turkey, I baked Trader Joe’s organic turkey cutlets in olive oil with pepper for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

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3. I added the celery and onions to the sauce pan and once the onions were browning (around 5 minutes), I added in 2 tablespoons of thyme, turkey, lentils and vegetable broth. I boiled the mixture and then let it simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes

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4. After 30 minutes, I added in the sweet potatoes and 1 tablespoon of thyme. I gave it another 15 minutes to simmer so the sweet potatoes could soften. I then added in kale and after 3 minutes, this dish was ready to eat! Enjoy!

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How to Indulge Without the Bulge When You Travel

I’m so excited to feature this guest blog post by Brooke Roberts, Founder and CEO of YogaTravelTree.com. Brooke shares some essential tips on how to enjoy your next vacation and also be healthy while doing it.To learn more about Brooke and her incredible company, find her bio and company information below.

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Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, it can be very easy to slip into unhealthy habits. Grabbing a bag of chips instead of baby carrots at the gas station on a road trip. Opting for another heavy craft beer when you’ve had your share. Lounging an extra three hours on the beach instead of joining the optional snorkeling excursion. Whatever it is, we make many choices when we travel that can leave us feeling energized and ready for more adventures…or a little lethargic and soft around the belly.

Here are some tips to keep the good times rolling while also making healthy choices you won’t regret when you’re traveling.

1. Plan Your Indulgences
When I travel to a new city or country, there’s always a restaurant, beer, pastry, or some other kind of delectable treat I’m excited to try. And so I make sure that’s part of my plan. I know when I’m going to enjoy those indulgences so I’m sure to make healthier choices for my other meals and snacks. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s often difficult to enjoy something wonderful when you’ve spent the day indulging in a lot of other treats. 😉 Plan your indulgences, put them on the schedule. And you’ll have a lot to look forward to when you’re sitting in hours of meetings or all day exploring.

2. Pre-pack and Portion Control Your Snacks
Since I always know when I’m going to indulge a little on every trip, I also pre-pack and portion control healthy snacks to take with me when I travel. Whether I’m stuck sitting on a delayed flight, racing to catch the last ferry, or my meetings are running late, I always have some all-natural snack bars or small snack-size bags of almonds and dried fruit (unsweetened) to satiate me between meals. This also prevents me from grabbing a bag of chips or a danish when I need a quick bite to eat.

3. Plan A Physical Activity Every Day
When I’m traveling for work, I always try to book a hotel that either has a gym or is in a location where taking a morning run is safe. Of course, I always try to do a nice cleansing yoga sequence in the morning to get the blood flowing and my brain ready to take on the day’s challenges. For vacations, in my experience, the best way to explore and experience a new place is to get out there an engage with it. Find a local walking tour or rent bikes to visit the local sites. Do you love yoga, rock climbing, pure barre, cross fit, etc? Look up a local studio or gym to pop into a class or session. If you enjoy running, look up a November Project meet up in your city and join the early morning fun. It doesn’t have to be crazy outside the box, but it that’s your thing, research what the best outdoor activities are in that area and try it out. Deep sea fishing? Never done that? Give it a whirl!

4. Work vs Vacation
Staying healthy when you travel is also a mindset thing. When we go on a trip, our minds are wired to think “I’m going on vacation! Whoohooo!” When in reality, you just have a two-day work conference in Boise. So when you go on vacation remember that it’s your time to have some indulgences and enjoy yourself. But when you’re traveling for work, remember that it’s work and even more important that you take care of your mind and body so you can be on your best game. No one wants to be the guy that’s sluggish/overstuff/hungover when you have important presentations to give and clients to meet. So just like you’d take care of yourself at home with balanced meals and some physical activity, make sure you prioritize this when you travel for work.

5. Fast Food May Be Your Friend
As much as it pains me to say this, some times going to a proper “sit down” restaurant may be more glutenous than grabbing something from a “fast food” place. Think about it. Most adult entrees with a side dish and an appetizer come in at about 1,500 calories. If you have a drink and share dessert with that, you’ve now surpassed 2,000 calories (the recommended daily allowance) with just one meal. Try to hit up a fast food place like Panera, Chipotle, or the new Urban Taproom for less dense meal options that are also easier on your bottom line.

6. Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation
But at the end of the day, remember that you only live once so remember that moderation is absolutely crucial when maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But maintaining a happy life might include a little over indulgence from time to time. So eat up, drink up, and life it up…on occasion. 😉

About Brooke!
Brooke Roberts is the Founder and CEO of YogaTravelTree.com, a wellness and travel company specializing in health and wellness resources, experiential yoga adventure retreats around the world, practical and powerful yoga teacher trainings, and soulful business coaching. She’s spent the better part of her career traveling around the world making meaningful travel experiences more accessible to the masses. Hailing from Kansas and Colorado, you can find her nomadically exploring the US with her pup named Barnaby. Learn more about YogaTravelTree and Brooke at http://www.yogatraveltree.com/about/ and you can follow Brooke on Twitter and Instagram @thenewdorothy.

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Yoga Travel Tree social media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/yogatraveltree
Twitter: www.twitter.com/yogatraveltree
Instragram: www.instagram.com/yogatraveltree
PInterest: www.pinterest.com/yogatraveltree

 

 

It’s a Wrap!

Spinach peanut butter honey wrap.…you eat things like this when you literally take everything you have left in your refrigerator and hope for the best. BUT this lunch dish was surprisingly good so I had to share. You have your veggies, your protein and even have just a touch of sweetness. Enjoy!photo 1 (10)

Ingredients:
– Wrap (Joseph’s Flax Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Bread)
– Handful of fresh spinach
– 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (Teddy’s unsalted smooth)
– 1 teaspoon honey

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Instructions:
1. Spread peanut butter on wrap and place spinach on top
2. Drizzle the honey on top of the spinach
3. Roll the wrap up and place the wrap in the microwave for 20 seconds (this allows the spinach to wilt and the peanut butter to blend nicely).
4. Eat and enjoy!

Homemade Veggie Burgers

I’ve always been a huge fan of the veggie burger. First of all, they’re filling. Secondly, they’re a great way to get your veggies in and most importantly, you can eat them (for the most part) guilt-free.

I was inspired to make this recipe by Vegetarian Times but I took my own spin on it. Try it and let me know what you think!

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For sides, I stir-fried spinach and mushrooms in coconut oil and cut up some mango. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 15 oz. BPA free cans of unsalted chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive hummus
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 cup red peppers (chopped, preferred roasted)
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms

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Instructions:
1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Cover baking pan with foil or non-stick cooking spray.
2. In your Vitamix or food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, spinach, hummus, oil, salt, cumin and coriander (be careful of over-mixing, try to leave a few chunks of chickpea in mixture).photo 2 (5)
3. Transfer mixture to large bowl and fold peppers and mushrooms in.

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4. Shape mixture into 6 equal patties and transfer to baking sheet.

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5. Bake for 40 minutes. Done!

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Warm Up the Soul & the Stomach

One of my biggest challenges with my lifestyle as a teacher is eating healthy. Sounds funny, right? Teaching at 4 different places and also seeing clients in their homes, it’s tough to have a home base where I can store my food in a refrigerator or heat it up in a microwave.

For awhile, this caused me to eat A LOT of peanut butter and banana sandwiches, sometimes eating multiple a day! I also found that I was eating way too many processed protein bars and other processed snack bars to keep my hunger away. The unfortunate fact was that these foods were yummy but were not providing me with any energy, just a stomach ache.

This past March, I got an Ayurvedic consultation from Kate O’Donnell, and she provided great guidance around my lifestyle, what to eat and tips on how to eat based on my constitution of Pitta Vatta. Since our meeting, I have made some of the following changes that has made a big impact on how I feel. These changes have been great for my stomach and my energy!

1. Eat warm meals and bring them with me in a thermos. One of my favorite warm meals to take on the road with me is oatmeal. I heat it up, put my toppings in, mix it all together and spoon it all into my thermos. Peanut butter, honey, banana oatmeal is a favorite as well as oatmeal with berries, honey and greek yogurt.

2. Eat Mindfully. I take at least 10 minutes to sit and do nothing but eat. Kate and I first discussed this time being 30 minutes but it was tough to stick with so I have cut it down to 10 which I’ve been able to do. With the weather being nice this has been much easier! Nothing beats eating outside on a 70 degree weather day!

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eautiful view of the Charles River, Boston

3. Avoid raw foods. This sounds a bit odd (we should always be eating our veggies, right?!) but given my constitution of Pitta Vatta (fire and air), I need grounding foods. Some of my favorite foods are grains and root vegetables (love my sweet potato mac-n-cheese). One of my favorite meals to have on the go is a rice bowl at Sweetgreen. SO Good! I also love making a brown rice dish and woking up some veggies in coconut oil and milk. Be on the lookout for some recipes!

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weetgreen Wild Rice Bowl

4. Avoid dry foods. Bread is not good for me. This makes sense of why my peanut butter and banana sandwiches were leaving me hungry an hour or so later and also why I was feeling tired. This again goes back my need for grounding foods. So if I’m craving something sweet and bread like, I whip these blueberry muffins together or my granola bars.

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ome of my baking faves! Granola bars and muffins!

What are some lifestyle tips that you have found to be helpful?

 

Chile-Lime Noodles

Nothing is better than a home cooked meal on Sunday night, especially if you were away for the weekend and am settling in back at home. I gave these chile-lime noodles a try. I found the recipe in Vegetarian Times.

Here are details and pictures of my cooking adventure.

The picture of the dish

The recipe and directions of how to make it

Recipe change #1: Brown rice noodles instead of cellophane noodles

Step 1: Put the noodles in hot water

Step 2: Mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce and lime juice. I would reduce the amount of soy sauce. I felt like this was a little too over powering.

Recipe change #2: Tofu instead of seitan (hubby is not a fan of seitan)

Step 3: Put sesame oil in skillet with tofu and mushrooms. Then add a little bit more oil and bok choy and bean sprouts.

Step 4: Combine everything together! This is where things got a little crazy and I made a mess and had to mix everything together a big mixing bowl. See aftermath of mess below:

Finishing touches: Honey roasted almonds (instead of peanuts) and basil.

What do you think? 🙂

Dish review: 

  • Filling?: Yes, very! Perfect for a cozy Sunday night.
  • Taste?: The soy sauce was a little over powering and I did not taste much of the lime juice or chili sauce. If I were to make this again, I would play with the sauce ingredients measurements.
  • Healthy?: Yes, you have your protein (tofu, almonds), carbs (rice noodles) and vegetables (bok choy, mushrooms, bean sprouts).
  • Calorie conscious?: You have to be careful with this one. It is 400 calories per serving and the serving size is a bit smaller. I think I definitely eat 2 servings by accident! Opps!

Warm Your Heart with Mac-n-Cheese: The Cauliflower Way!

On this cold, drizzy spring day all I want is WARMTH. I found a delicious looking recipe in Vegetarian Times Magazine that used cauliflower instead of macaroni. Interesting, I know! I decided to take a chance and try it.

I LOVED  dish and it got major thumbs up from the hubby! Here is my mac-n-cheese cauliflower cooking adventure! Click here for the cooking instructions and ingredients. Enjoy!

The Scene: All the ingredients to make this yummy dish! Yes, I might have staged this!

The Magazine Picture: Be the judge to see if my dish came out like this one.

Step 1: Cooking cauliflower in boiling water. I put too much water in the pan and so I was not able to put the lid on it. Therefore, it took longer than 10 minutes to cook. Note to self on this one.

Step 2: Butter and flour. Be careful with this step. You need to constantly mix them together. I found that the flour just got clumpy in the butter.

Step 3: Combine the butter, flour, cheese, milk, butter, water, eggs, minced garlic, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper together in the pan.

Step 4: Then fold the mixture into the cauliflower. This is the fun and messy part 🙂

Recipe change: Used wheat germ instead of bread crumbs and I added some croutons to sprinkle on top of the dish.

Dish pre-baked: This is what it looked like before baking.

The final dish! Look like the picture? I think it’s close!

Dish review: Would make this again!

  • Filling?: Yes, very! I think I only ate 1 serving which is a good sign!
  • Taste?: Nice and creamy but not hurt your stomach creamy. My stomach can sometimes act a little funny when it comes to dairy and it felt fine.
  • Healthy?: Yes! You have the veggies through the cauliflower and the protein from the milk, eggs and cheese. This dish does have butter but I substituted it for earth butter which is a vegan butter replacement.
  • Calorie conscious?: You do have to be careful with this one. However, I felt full after 1 serving so I was not tempted to over eat and felt very satisfied.

Teriyaki Pasta & Chicken Dish

Another weekend has flown by. There’s never enough time! I spent most of my weekend outside enjoying the sun so that left no time for recipe prep for the week. It did however, make me innovative in creating my own dish.

Here’s what I came up with: Teriyaki pasta and chicken. All ingredients, instructions and pictures are below. Vegan or vegetarian? Ditch the chicken and you’re good to go! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Soyaki (see picture below)
  • Califlower (1 bag from Trader Joes)
  • Spinach (1 bag of pre-washed from Trader Joes)
  • Quinoa brown rice pasta (Trader Joes)
  • 1 red pepper
  • Chicken (organic, Trader Joes)

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To Make Chicken:
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Wash/prep chicken and marinade in Soyaki sauce until oven is heated.
3. Bake chicken anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

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To Make Pasta Dish:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in pan on medium.
2. Cut califlower into smaller pieces and place into pan.
3. After 5 minutes, cut red pepper into pieces and add to pan.
4. Add Soyaki sauce. Make sure all veggies are covered.
5. Add spinach and place heat on low to a simmer.

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6. Boil water in boiling pan. Once boiling, add pasta. Cook for 8 minutes.
7. Drain pasta and return back to pan. Add all marinaded veggies into pan, including the sauce.
8. Stir and serve!

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