Category Archives: vegan

grilled bruschetta

An appetizer that just screams summer to me is bruschetta. Once the tomatoes are good (ie not mushy and tasteless like they are in January) you can be sure that bruschetta is showing up on our plates on a regular basis. Always partial to my Mother’s recipe, although my friend Anna makes a delicious version with mozzarella, simplicity is key with bruschetta and nothing is better than tomatoes, basil, garlic and some olive oil.

This was the first time I’ve tried bruschetta grilled and as with most foods, grilling just takes it to the next level. The tomatoes were slightly roasted, the bread imparted with a smoky flavor that just can’t be replicated in the oven.

Grilled Bruschetta

  • Whole grain baguette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh basil, julianned

Cut bread into 1 inch pieces and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Set aside. Rub tomatoes with garlic clove.

Thread alternating bread pieces and tomatoes on skewer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side until bread is toasted.

Remove from skewer and put on a plate, and sprinkle with basil.

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Filed under appetizers, herbs, in season, Recipes, tomatoes, vegan, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

ask the nutritionist: eating for bone health

One of the things I love about “nutrition” is that you can change and improve your diet to protect your health and actually see the benefits making a difference.

One of the many health topics women need to be aware of is bone health. I will admit, it is a topic that I’ve kind of ignored in the past, but because osteoporosis runs in my family, it is a topic that I can no longer be ignorant of. We often think of just getting enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and while that is certainly part of the prevention plan, having a glass of milk won’t cut it on its own.

Osteoporosis literally means “porus bones” and it causes bones to become very fragile and brittle.  Low bone density is also problematic and can lead to osteoporosis.

What can we do to protect ourselves against it?

“How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attained in your 20s and early 30s (peak bone mass) and how rapidly you lose it later. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.” source

I have a few years left to build up my bone mass and then its all about the maintenance. This is one of the reasons it is so important to be aware of bone health now – later in life, you can only maintain it, not build it!

The three main ways to build up and maintain bone mass are:

  • calcium: the recommendations change throughout a lifetime, if unable to reach these levels through food – a calcium supplement is recommended

Up to 1 year old — 210 to 270 milligrams (mg)

Age 1 to 3 years — 500 mg

Age 4 to 8 years — 800 mg

Age 9 to 18 years — 1,300 mg

Age 19 to 50 years — 1,000 mg

Age 51 and older — 1,200 mg

source

  • vitamin D: helps your body absorb calcium – your body can make on its own with sunlight, and it is also present in some foods but I also take a supplement because I don’t spend that much time in the sun. Optimal amounts are not yet known, aim for about 1,000 IU’s/day

  • exercise: helps build strong bones as well as slow bone loss – aim for weight bearing exercise and strength-training in addition to regular cardiovascular exercise

So what do we eat?

We all know that most dairy products are a good source of calcium, but many of us can not tolerate dairy or avoid it entirely.

  • Good sources of Calcium: dairy products, fish, tofu and tempeh processed with calcium, calcium-fortified foods, greens like kale, collards, mustard greens

Vitamin D as we know can be produced in our bodies with natural sunlight but there are also a few food sources that contain Vitamin D:

  • Good sources of Vitamin D: milk (most milk in the US is fortified with Vitamin D), eggs, fortified foods

Do you take precautions to ensure your bones are healthy?

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Filed under ask the nutritionist, cheese, eggs, salad, vegan, vegetables, whole foods

in my cupboard: jalfreezi sauce

As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. We all have the nights when spending an hour to make dinner is just not an option. One of my favorite “after soccer, before next activity meals”  growing up was tortellini with pesto. My Mom always makes batches of pesto when the basil is blooming and then freezes it to use throughout the year. I have very fond memories of those rushed, but always finding time to eat as a family, meals.

Unfortunately I don’t have any home-made pesto to toss with tortellini, but I have something that comes pretty close, with an ethnic twist. Jalfreezi Simmer Sauce makes dinner taste like it’s been simmering away for hours, instead of minutes. When served with some naan, brown rice and tofu, you can almost pretend that you are at your favorite Indian joint.

The sauce is delicious and the ingredient list is real. Does it get any better than that? I’ve had pre-made sauces in the past and was never thrilled, but this I can say will be making it to my pantry again.

The Makings of a fast, delicious Indian meal at home:

What is your go-to quick meal?

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Filed under coconut, food reviews, great meals, in my cupboard, product review, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

roasted edamame

These little morsels are perfect for topping salads, adding to stir-frys or just eating straight. Considering that they are full of protein and fiber, these salty soybeans make a healthy, filling and satisfying snack. Much better than those potato chips out of the vending machine! Make a batch, but I would double the recipe, 1 cup just wasn’t enough!

Roasted Edamame

  • 1 cup frozen Organic edamame (not in shell)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt & red pepper flakes

Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Increase time if you want them crunchier.

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Filed under appetizers, gluten-free, in my cupboard, protein, Recipes, Snack of the Day, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods

guacamole with basil & shallots

This twist on the Mexican staple encompasses everything that an appetizer should be – easy, healthy and delicious. Really, what more could you ask for?

We took this over to a friends house (Thanks Taster for making, food styling and photographing!) and it was a very fun change from the typical guac and tortilla chips. We served it alongside some whole-grain bread that was toasted, carrots and radishes. The only downside? Guac just never tastes as good the day after – all the more reason to eat it up right away!

Guacamole with Basil & Shallots adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 4 medium sized avocados, taken from skin and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • salt & pepper

Lightly mash the avocado, stir in shallots and basil. Season with salt to taste. Serve with toasted whole-grain bread and crudités.

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Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, fats, herbs, raw foods, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

avocado & lime coleslaw

I had planned on quesadillas for dinner but wanted a veggie side or salad to go along with them so I decided to make a Mexican-inspired coleslaw. I had the various ingredients that I might want to use but the end result came to me during yoga. Great, my mind is supposed to be clear and I’m thinking about food. Shocking, isn’t it?

Maybe it was the clear yoga mind, or maybe not, but regardless, this dressing was creamy, bright and full of lime flavor. Perfectly refreshing after non-focused hot yoga. We served it alongside quesadillas but it would be amazing as a topping for fish tacos or nachos.

Avocado & Lime Coleslaw

  • 4 cups chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced (if desired)
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • water to thin dressing as needed
  • salt, pepper

Combine cabbage, red onion and 1 Tbsp of minced cilantro. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed. Toss with cabbage mixture with dressing and let refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.



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Filed under antioxidants, fats, herbs, raw foods, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables

afternoon tea

source

Afternoons always call for something salty or something sweet – but always something. As of late, I’ve been on a sweet kick and as much as I love a good soy chai tea latte, I’ve got a close contender that is much lower in sugar, calories and $$. Is it exactly the same? Of course not, but you can have this every day!

Combine all ingredients for that perfect afternoon tea break.

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Filed under antioxidants, coconut, herbs, Recipes, tea, Uncategorized, vegan