Chocolate Raspberry Cream (Vegan)

I’ve just posted a yummy and easy to make dessert that you’ll love if you love chocolate. It’s naturally sweetened with dates, and it also happens to be vegan! If you want the texture of the cream to be more firmed– just refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. I made more than I needed. so I used the cream for popsicles.

Easy Lunch: Sausage & Kale

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Now that I have finished graduate school and rejoined the working world, I shared the challenge that many working professionals share which is a lack of time but a desire to eat well. As I adjust to my new schedule, I find myself exhausted and definitely in need of healthy food on a budget.

This yummy meal required minimal prep and cooking, but was filling and healthy. If you aren’t a vegetarian, feel free to use real sausage. Some nonvegetarians still use Tofurkey sausage from time to time because of the low fat.

I used organic frozen Jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s, but you can use any variety. For rice:
*dash of sea salt
*1/4 tsp smoked paprika
* 1/8 cup petite green peas
* 1/8 cup white corn

For stir fry:
* 1 cup fresh kale (rough chopped)
* salt free seasoning
* pinch if sea salt
* 1/2 cup chopped sausage
* 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
* pan oil spray

Heat pan on medium high. Sautée sausage until browned. Add kale and bell peppers for only one minute. This is important when making a lunch in advance. Upon microwaving, the vegetables will otherwise be receiving too much heat.

Enjoy!

How Modern Moms Do It: Manisha on Home & Lifestyle

When I interviewed Manisha, I’ll admit I had selfish intentions. I wanted to know the secrets to her success since she stays fit, cooks amazing meals, and chases after a little one. She doesn’t do this in sweatpants. She wears an ecclectic combination of vintage clothes and trendy wear, and still finds time to be a writer. I wanted to share her insight with you, the readers since it’s not easy maintaining proper nutrition when you’re literally doing it all!
 
   

You’re a wife, a mother, a writer, and you have a big family. You are one busy lady! How do you find the time to cook?

Honestly?  My hair may not get that deep condition or my chipped nail polish may have to wait. Typically, I try to involve Arlowe, my 18 month old, as much as possible. He’s awesome at smashing things and mixing. Also, I like to buy staple ingredient items like onions, bell peppers and herbs in bulk.  I chop them all up the same day I bring them home, stuff them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer until needed. For garlic, I just chop it finely and store it in a glass jar with olive oil in the refrigerator. I also LOVE my crockpot!  This is probably a mother’s best friend because you basically ignore it all day and dinner’s waiting for you in the evening.

How do you approach nutrition as far as your son? There are so many cautionary tales; it is probably easy for a new parent to become overwhelmed.It’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed, especially for first-time parents.  Just try to remember that toddlers are probably not going to sit and eat three square meals per day. It’s just a fact of life!  Can you blame them?  There is just so much to see, so much to get into and not enough hours in the day. I follow the apple chart from www.wholesometoddlerfood.comto know how many servings of each food group Arlowe should be eating per day.  The chart is great because it breaks down amounts per serving your child should get at a certain age or weight/ height.  Examples of small meals and snacks are string cheese, rolled up deli meat, chicken sausage with cheeses & herbs (or tofu versions), smoothies, fruit/ veggie pouches (like Plum Organics tots), and homemade cereal bars.  

Following you on Twitter is always fun because I learn about so many neat tricks for food, and DIY projects from what you pin on Pinterest. What are your favorites?

Thanks! I love sharing food tips simply because I talk about food about half the time my mouth is moving, but also because they really work! I have recently really gotten into making EVERYTHING from scratch!  I can’t tell you how great it is to use your own homemade chicken stock, or  being able to control how much salt and fat go into your food and the pride you feel when your dough comes out perfectly for rolls or pizza!  I think my favorite food DIY so far has been making jams and sauces over the summer from the fruit in our back yard.

My favorite non food-related DIYs have been the pieces of home decor I put together for our new house.  I scoured thrift stores for weeks to found vinyl records featuring cover art of places my family has traveled which I’ve framed and hung on our living room wall.  I also made a simple mosaic from graphic iPhone covers left over from one of my husband’s engineering projects. That’s hanging in our hallway.   I’m really excited to decorate for the holiday season!
Last, any words of wisdom for someone trying to get their hubby to eat a little healthier?

You know, in my case it really hasn’t been difficult.  I don’t want to put my husband on blast, but he’s from the outbacks of the boondocks! [laughs]  So unless I try to feed him something like watercress sandwiches or a sparse salad, he’ll eat it without complaint!  My biggest concern is eliminating processed foods, sugar, sodium, and empty calories.  This means that I’ve had to educate myself, and I’ve had to learn to make a lot of things from scratch.  My husband briefly lamented the loss of his many-flavored Doritos, but with so many delicious alternatives I’m pretty sure he’s over it!

We eat a lot less red meat and, really important, adjusted portions of meat, veggies, and starch.  American plates tend to be half meat, a quarter starch and a quarter vegetables when they should be half vegetables, a quarter starch and a quarter meat.  That really put things into perspective for me. Another way we’re eating healthier is by eating at least one meatless meal per week. With the help of blogs like yours and the plethora of others out there, I’ve learned about other food sources of protein and healthy fats to turn into really delicious meals!

Berry Protein Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes? Usually, such a breakfast treat would be reserved for weekends when there is generally more time to cook, and a little leeway to indulge. I’ve long since wondered what mystery ingredients are in those “ready to pour” containers and have usually opted for a pre-made multi-grain mix or in most cases, settled for cereal.The protein powder and egg whites make this breakfast a great way to get a head start on your protein intake and start your day right. I’ve tried many protein powders, and I can always detect them in my smoothies. With this recipe, the protein powder goes unnoticed. I love this delicious pancake alternative because it is the perfect combination of naughty and nice; the high protein content makes it nutritious, yet the fact that it’s pancakes makes me feel like I’m actually getting away with something! The deep color of the pancakes reflects well the flavor o blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that have been blended well into the batter.I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Enjoy!Serves: 1

Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 1/4 Quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup mixed berres (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 serving protein powder
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Non-stick spray or cooking oil
  1. Overnight: place 1/4 cup steel cut oats in a container along with 1/2 cup water, or until the oats are covered. They will absorb the water over night. Refrigerate till morning (you may skip this step and just use instant oatmeal).
  2. In a blender combine oats, coconut milk, 1/4 berries, protein powder, egg whites, honey, and cinnamon. Blend ingredients well for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the consistency is like a smoothie.
  3. Heat skillet on high and once heated, coat skillet with cooking spray or oil and pour batter directly from blender. I found that my protein pancakes took a little longer on each side than normal pancakes. You’ll want to wait till the pancake is nice and firm before flipping.

 

Easy Turkey Rollups

In my last post titled, “Lean Abs“, I mentioned making good choices for meals and snacks. My easy turkey rollups are perfect for snacks, lunches or picnic finger foods. Not only are these rollups great for children, they are great for children to assemble. Fun, easy, and healthy? What is there to lose? I used Tofurkey for the demo, but feel free to use carved turkey, or any other sliced meat. They can also be wrapped in lettuce. Check out this quick video on how to put them together:

Individual Frittata

This morning I was really in the mood to make eggs, but something not as traditional. I have always loved quiche, but when someone told me about the Italian version–frittatas, I was intrigued. It takes less prep time because there is no crust, and leaving out the crust really saves a lot of calories. Frittatas come in many assortments and sizes, and are great for any meal of the day. In the oven, they have a beautiful rising souffle look, with nice golden brown coloring.  Nearly any variety of shredded cheese will work for this recipe, but I used fat free shredded cheddar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • 2 TBSP low fat milk
  • ¼ cup cooked vegetables
  • Sea salt as needed
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh or freeze-dried parsley
  • 21 seasoning salute or Mrs. Dash original
  • 1 3.5 ounce ramekin per serving
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a small bowl, scramble egg with milk, salt, crushed pepper, parsley, seasoning solute, and a small pinch of shredded cheese.
  3. Spray inside of ramekin with non-stick spray or coat lightly with olive oil.
  4. Pour egg mixture into ramekin. Add vegetables. I used French green beans and 2 asparagus spears that I quickly sautéed in the skillet. You may also use leftover vegetables you have from a previous meal.
  5. Top with the remaining portion of shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until frittata has risen and become a nice golden brown.
 

Asparagus Milanese

Egg lovers, this goes out to you….

Asparagus Milanese is essentially asparagus with a fried egg. It does not sound like much, but I have had it in restaurants and seen it in cook books and it is delicious! It’s a light meal, especially for those eating dinner a little later in the evening. I love Italian food so much, and this happens to be one of the faster to prepare meals. It was my main dish, but this should not deter you from serving it as a side dish alongside another protein. Personally, I do not like sunny-side up eggs. I prepared the egg sunny side up and then went a step further and prepared mine over easy. Since this is not really a recipe I can take credit for, I decided to bear all and show the imperfections of cooking. Some of the photos are a little rough, but in the end, the dish tasted great!

  • Coarse sea salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • 21 seasoning
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 small bag of frozen asparagus spears (I used grilled ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese-I prefer a good aged cheese (at least 18 months) such as Grana Padano
  • 1 lemon wedge



1. In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat.  Spread asparagus spears into pan and sprinkle them with 21 seasoning and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated well-through and no longer frozen.

2. Place onto plate and prepare to cook your egg. Practices may vary, but I use 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat, and crack the egg into the skillet. For sunny side up, the yolk will remain fluid. in order to cook the egg white, allow to slow cook but occasionally angle the skillet. For over easy, I flipped the egg over once the egg whites were nearly done cooking. The yolk inside will be just a little soft and richer in flavor.

3. Place the now cooked egg on top of your asparagus. Add 2 tbsp of finely grated cheese, ground pepper, and  a drizzle of lemon juice.

Enjoy!