Tag Archives: vegan

Spicy Asian Kale Salad

This is one of those posts when I really wish one of my talents was photography.

The beauty in this salad cannot be captured with my phone. Period.

If you want an amazing blog AND amazing photography, I highly, highly recommend following Oh She Glows. It’s just beautiful. She’s beautiful. The food is beautiful. It’s beautiful.  (Get it?)

I know, I know, I have so many photographer friends. But who has time to coordinate? Plus, I work at midnight.

I know, I know, I could learn.  But does it make me crazy if I don’t want to? You mamas with little ones know how limited time is….I have to pick…and right now, I pick music.

Ok, so that’s out of the way.

Here’s the picture.

Imagine this Kale salad tasting about 40 million times better than the picture can even portray.

The taste is strong and brilliant.

What I love about kale (I mean, can I really break this down to just one thing?!) is that is doesn’t wilt.  That means making kale salads ahead of time are perfect.  And in fact, they get better when marinated.

Oh snap, clean eating just took the lead.

Spend a few minutes making this salad and you’ll have dinner for two and some leftovers for lunch or a week full of lunches. Pair it with some soup or fruit, and what a wonderful, clean lunch you have!

This recipe will come in stages!

The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the things that need to be cooked:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Trim the bottoms of half of a bunch of asparagus and place on a pan.

3. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle salt and pepper generously.

4. Mix and roast in oven until browning, about 15 minutes.

5. While that starts roasting, put 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and 3 Tablespoons of crushed raw almonds on another pan.  Roast until browning and a nice aroma fills the room, about 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully so you don’t burn them.  These go from perfect to burned very quickly!

6. Meanwhile, chop the shallots. Heat pan and a small amount of olive oil on medium heat. Saute the shallots, stirring frequently, until soft & browning. Use a splash of water if they stick to the pan.

7. Cook 1 cup of edamame to package directions. Drain & rinse with cold water.

Next, while these ingredients are cooling, prepare the salad ingredients:

1. Wash, de-stem, and chop 8 cups of curly kale (for me, it was about 1.5 bunches)

2. Peel & shred 2 large carrots.

3. Chop 6 green onions.

4. Grate 3 small radishes.

5. Peel & dice one ripe avocado.

6. Peel, seed, and dice one orange.

Make the dressing (adapted from Detoxinista):

Put 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce), 3 T raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option), 1 T lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce, and 1/2 t garlic powder in a blender and blend until smooth.

Now, for the easy part.  Throw all the ingredients in a large bowl, and TOSS!  Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days, but it probably won’t last that long!

Asian Kale Salad w/ Spicy Almond Butter Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • (Refer to above instructions on how to prepare each step)
  • 8 cups curly kale, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled & diced
  • 1 orange, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 small radishes, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ bunch asparagus, roasted and chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked to packaged directions
  • 2 large shallots, sauteed
  • 2 t sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 T raw almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t sriracha sauce
  • ½ t garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Combine last 6 ingredients and place in a blender. Blend until creamy.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing on top and stir until well combined.
  4. Stir leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for a few days.

 

*You could make this recipe soy-free by omitting the edamame (soybeans) & using coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce!


What I Ate Wednesday 5-21-14

Oh, this day was glorious.  It was like the best of both worlds.  I got to work while the kids were in school, still hangout with them after that, go to McCall’s baseball game, eat dinner as a family, and hang out with my favorite man in the world 🙂

Here’s how it went down!

It’s no secret I’m starting music back.  I can’t share details quite yet, so until then, you get this teaser: an awkward selfie at a red light. In my minivan. I was on my way to a photo shoot….honestly, what a fun morning!  I mean, I got to wear fake eyelashes!

selfie

While this particular morning was a blast, it reaffirms my suspicions that I’ve got a serious problem.  I’m so socially awkward.  I mean, what do I do with my HANDS?!

I need classes at this. Or more practice. Or something!

I always get little butterflies every time I do something a little out of my comfort zone–and putting food on top of the butterflies makes it pretty bad. Stomach grumbles. Burps.

I decided just to bypass it all and be hungry for a bit.

So, I drank about 30 ounces of filtered water throughout the morning, and counted down the minutes until it was over and I could chow down.

I left here to run some errands, so I stopped by one of my favorite places to eat in Augusta, DiChicko’s Organic Cafe.

I got this Happy Goji Smoothie and sucked it down in about 10 seconds.

smoothie 1

I don’t mind drinking smoothies in the car, but I’m a firm believer in sitting still to enjoy eating food, so I saved my actual lunch until I got home from picking up the sweet babies from school.

Once they were down for naps, I relaxed for a bit with this huge bowl!  The original bowl has rice, red onion, tomato, black beans, avocado, chicken, and cheese.  But since I’m doing a vegan trial, I asked for no chicken and cheese and added all that grilled broccoli!

lunch

I’m not sure if you can tell, but this is a HUGE portion of food. I ate less than half of it for lunch! (But that was nice for the leftovers!!)

I spent the afternoon unpacking bags, and repacking for baseball.  Oh the little things that I love 🙂

I drank a classic smoothie (blueberries, banana, spinach, & almond milk) on the way to the ballfield.  I really do need nourishment, so I have enough energy to scream 😉

whatiatewed

I honestly can’t comprehend what it’ll be like when these little boogers play high school ball. I already feel like I’m gonna lose it, I never agree with the calls, and my baby always does EVERYTHING right.  And he’s in a 6 year old league. OH my.

Andrew’s been at his new job and on his new schedule for a couple of weeks now, and I can’t even describe how much it has already changed the dynamics of our family. There is a LOT less stress, and even more time together. It’s beautiful, and it feels normal.

God knows we need a little normal.

I no longer feel like I won’t make it. I feel hope. I feel possibility. I feel freedom. I feel like I can do something for myself (hence the perfect time to start music again.)

Oh thank you Lord for the blessing of time.  Just time to be together.

And to be around the dinner table together as a family, something we’ve longed for for years. These small, normal, simple things we’ve needed for so long…. The bliss.

We had five different dinners around the table, but this was mine (and Beckham ate this too, plus chicken & sweet potato).

dinner

I could not eat all of it…..but this Gluten Free Vegan Mac & Cheese is the best! It’s made with cashews, so it’s healthy AND filling! It’s perfect for people dairy free, especially kids who don’t want to miss out on mac & cheese!

Typically, I would rather eat many more leafy greens in a day, but I’m just like you. I’m on the go. I’m SO busy.  I don’t have tons of time to prepare.  I don’t beat myself up. I do what I can, and on not-so-busy days, I eat more leafy greens.

…Until next week 🙂


What I Ate Wednesday 5-07-14

This has been an awesome week.  I’m not sharing many details right now, other than to say I’m quickly discovering how I can fully THRIVE to live in my own life.  I have a LONG post coming in the next month or so about this.

All I’ll say is it’s got something to do with my former dream of singing country music and my friend Phil Lee, Jr.  (And of course my supportive husband and my favorite drummer–on the end!!)

Country

I’ve been so excited that I’m having trouble sleeping.  I know, it’s totally against my own rules, but my brain literally won’t turn off.  I’m breaking out my lavender oil and having to take baths at night just to calm down.

I’ve been super busy, fitting in regular life, doctors’ appointments, baseball, the website, and music, but y’all know THIS girl’s still gotta eat.

For breakfast, I made our Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal recipe, but halved it because I was the only one eating it.  I washed it down with a glass of 100% organic apple juice.

oatmeal

The previous night, I made some incredible stuffed peppers–recipe adapted from this one!

stuffed peppers

I had some leftover quinoa stuffing, so for lunch this day, I had a salad, grilled pineapple, and stuffing!

lunch

In the afternoon, I was “snacky” hungry so I ate a bag of these Kale Chips.  If you haven’t tried these, YOU HAVE TO!! This Mango Habanero kind is to die for (I found at Kroger).

kale chips

As I’ve been starting back singing, I have to get back in the routine of running–as it’s the one sport that really strengthens my lungs!  Ok, I have to admit, taking a selfie while running is not only difficult, but downright embarrassing.

But you know me, I’m all about being real. So here is my no makeup mid-run selfie. You know, thriving to live!

running

This particular night was a crazy one because we had a baseball game, and I was by myself.  I knew I wouldn’t get to eat dinner until everyone else was fed, bathed, and in bed (probably around 9pm!), so I prepared ahead of time, and took this Vanilla Milkshake Smoothie (made with frozen banana, maple syrup, almond butter, and almond milk) with me so I had a protein/energy punch to get through the game.

vanilla milkshake

So yes, my favorite thing about Andrew’s new job is that there’s no stress on baseball nights.  Because on nights like these when I’m by myself, I really, really see no light at the end of the tunnel.  It was almost 9 o’clock before I was able to eat.  I was exhausted and TOO TIRED to cook myself something.

So in desperate times, I always have a back up plan in my pantry–in the form of Amy’s Organic Soups.  These things ROCK and have all organic ingredients, and even vegan options for me, as I’ve been 100% vegan for about 2 months to see how I feel eliminating dairy and egg from my diet.

soup can

This Lentil Vegetable one is my favorite.  I served it with a toasted Food for Life Gluten Free English Muffin, and it was delicious!

dinner

I’m pretty sure I was too tired for dessert this night.  Hey–one benefit of a busy schedule?!

A note about being vegan:  I have been a vegan for about 2 months now as an experiment.  I am not against animal products, just promote local and organic options when available.  Andrew, my husband, still eats plenty of meat, and we coexist beautifully.  I just don’t want anyone reading to think that I think EVERYONE should be a vegan, because as of right now, my belief is that it DOESN’T work for everyone.  I think the stuffed peppers would be amazing with some local spicy sausage, and I’m always an advocate of adding some grilled chicken to any dish!

 

What are YOU eating today??


What I Ate Wednesday 4-16-14

Most times I try to protect myself.  You know, if I post something about me drinking something GREEN, I’ll justify it in some way so people don’t make fun or talk about me.  Seriously, that stuff happens over the color GREEN.

But today, I’m celebrating.  I love GREEN drinks.  I won’t justify it. I love them. Yes, I do.

So, here’s my beautiful breakfast:  a Power Green Smoothie.

Green Power Smoothie

Yes, it looks like grass. But it takes like apple & kiwi, with only a hint of grass 😉

The recipe will be here soon 🙂

For lunch, I made something incredible.  I’ve never liked tuna fish, even in my processed food days, but I love the idea of a cold salad.

This is a “mock” tuna fish salad, which means it looks like it & has the flavor of the salad but it actually contains no tuna.  There’s no crazy ingredients.  Not at all!

This was INCREDIBLE.  Even my husband who thinks some of my creations are weird, LOVED it.  AND he’s a tuna lover.

I served it over local buttercrunch lettuce!

lunch

For a midday snack, I had Mustard Roasted Chickpeas.  I shared with Beckham, and we devoured the whole thing 🙂

Chickpeas 4

These little boogers are addicting and flavorful.  Next time you want chips or croutons, try these 🙂

Before I explain dinner, I’ve got to explain this breakthrough I had.

spag dinner

If you’ve known me for a while or eaten a meal with me, you know I’ve got stupid food touching issues.  Anyone else like that?

As a child, I literally had the divider plates, not to be cute, but because I could not function if my food touched.  I have no explanation other than I was weird.  I also had a real phobia of people poking me.  Really?

So posting this picture with my side of Kale on  top of my spaghetti is monumental.  Like breaking chains kind of monumental.

I’m praising myself publicly for this one, y’all!

This is homemade marinara sauce (made with local tomatoes) over brown rice spaghetti noodles, topped with sauteed local kale and red onion.  It was tasty and filling!

In honor of the recent Milkshake post, I needed to test it out for dessert one more time to make sure I liked the recipe I posted 😉  So darn it if I didn’t have to have more chocolate 🙂

dessert

This is our Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Milkshake!

 

Have a blessed day 🙂


Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Milkshake

Allergen Information: Contains Peanuts (can be substituted!). Contains coconut.

Special Equipment: Blender

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Milkshake 2

I’ve been making a milkshake similar to this recipe for about a year now.  It inspired me to create something that my taste buds really enjoy.

Something with coconut. Something way chocolate-y. Something with Peanut Butter.

I know some of you are thinking: PEANUT BUTTER?!

Yes, we have a kid with an anaphylactic reactions to peanut butter.

So, this is my process: Make sure McCall gets to school (or to bed at night). Come home & make the smoothie.  Wash everything thoroughly. Wash my hands. Drink smoothie. Wash smoothie cup. Wash hands again. Brush teeth.  Sanitize toothbrush.

I know, I know it sounds crazy, but life-threatening allergies are no joke.

BUT, if I go to all this trouble just to drink this milkshake, it’s probably THAT good 🙂

Next time you’re wanting a milkshake, try this one out.  I don’t calorie count, but I can guarantee it’s better for your body than the ones from fast food joints that can have as much as 1,500 calories–and contain NOTHING good for your body.

This milkshake?  Cacao nibs, bananas, coconut milk–all nutrient rich foods.

So, yes, you can have your milkshake and eat it too!!

Substitution ideas:  If you don’t like peanut butter, or can’t have peanut butter in your household, try almond butter.  If you are on the top 8 Elimination diet, try Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter). For the milk, you could also use almond milk or rice milk.

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Milkshake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas, frozen & broken into small pieces
  • 1 T cacao nibs
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 2 T peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
  • ½ T maple syrup
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk (boxed variety)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary.
  2. Add more liquid if it won't blend well!