Huevos Rancheros

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



Avocado, eggs, beans, homemade tortillas, the whole shebang! I don’t mess around when it comes to Mexican food. It’s one of my favorite things to make, because there’s so many spices, flavors, natural and fresh ingredients to use!

I’ve never made tortillas before, but now that I know how easy they are to make, I have no excuse ever to buy store-bought ones again. You can also add different flavors to your homemade tortillas like, spices, cheese, or lime juice like I did.

The tortillas came out soft and warm and made the perfect base to the huevos rancheros.

You know how sometimes you go out for brunch and think to yourself  “I could have made these eggs better at home, and saved a ton of money.” Well these are one of those recipes you’ll want to use over the weekend, and treat yourself and even some friends too. 

Seriously though, because I’m such a foodie, I compare almost everything I eat when I’m out to what I make at home, and if its something I don’t normally cook and its out of this world, than I’m happy. However, if I’m overpaying for a dish that’s mediocre I ‘m not a happy camper, and I just give up on trying new places for a while.

Anyways I assure you won’t be left disappointed after tasting this recipe! Its simple, flavorful, filled with protein, and the perfect brunch or breakfast option.  You can impress your friends with your handmade tortillas skills (I assure you, they will be very impressed).

This recipe highlights good quality eggs, so what kind of eggs should you be buying? I know it can get overwhelming and confusing when buying eggs in the grocery store. “Do I buy white, or brown? Pasture raised? What the heck does that mean? Organic…” Believe me we all are confused. Let me break it down for you a little bit.

The eggshell being white or brown doesn’t really matter as much as the eggs being organic. Buying organic is important because this means the chickens were fed non-GMO food and therefore you won’t be consuming anything tainted by GMO’s.

Another great thing to know is that "free range" and "cage free" are terms not regulated in the US, which means anyone can label any egg "free range" no matter how the chickens were raised. The best way to determine how the hens are raised is to purchase your eggs from a farmer whose farm you can visit to see for yourself.  Pasture-raised eggs are the best kind of eggs to buy because this means the chickens were raised on a farm.

Hope this advice helps you out, and enjoy this recipe!



Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas:

  • 1 ¾ cups Masa Harina
  • 1 1/8 cups
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • juice of ½ lime

Spicy Black beans:

  • ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Huevos Rancheros:

  • 4 eggs, sunny side up
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa Fresca
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Micro greens for garnish (optional)


Instructions:

To make tortillas:

  1.  In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined, then mix in lime juice and salt. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, or in your hands, press each ball of dough flat.
  3.  Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds on medium-high heat until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, and then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.


To make spicy beans:

  1. Heat skillet with olive oil and add in the diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add in the beans and spices, if the mixture is a bit dry add a splash of water. Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3.  Mash ½ the bean mixture in a bowl and mix together. 


Assembly:

  1. Place handmade tortillas on the plate.
  2. Layer with the bean mixture, sliced avocado, and then one egg sunny side up.
  3. Top it off with the salsa fresca and garnish with the micro greens



Superfood Pumpkin Pancakes

What's one thing you crave in the mornings? This morning I found myself craving pancakes. I have so many pumpkin ingredients on hand, I figured why not make some pumpkin pancakes?! This thought didn't let me down. Bob's Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix is seriously the best, it always makes my pancakes fluffy and stay moist, which is a huge accomplishment for a gluten-free product. Mixed together with the pumpkin puree, spices, and nut and coconut milk, created pancake perfection.

I'm also super excited to announce that I will be co-hosting a yoga, meditation, and exploration retreat called Anzan on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala in April 2015. It will be a luxurious experience, where days will begin with freshly made organic juices, yoga and meditation overlooking the lake. The days will be filled with hikes, workshops, spa treatments and more. It will take place in a one-of-a-kind modern home right on the lake. Large open windows, a home that is one with nature, and quiet and peaceful. At night the sky will mesmerize you, the stars sparkle in the reflection of the lake. You will be able to enjoy this view while eating  fresh organic meals made daily that support your vitality and nutrition.

I've visited Lake Atitlan twice so far and every time I go, I can't wait to return. The lake is a spectacular and spiritual place, that will recenter and reconnect you to your roots and the roots of the Earth. Once you visit you will understand the tranquility and peacefulness I describe. I'll be posting more information soon and the link to Anzan's retreat website can be found on my website soon!

Until then, I'll be daydreaming about the lake and eating my fluffy pumpkin pancakes!

Yields 5-6 fluffy pancakes 

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cocao nibs
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Sliced banana

1. Mix together all of pancake ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Heat up about 1 TBSP of coconut oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet and cook on low until pancake is golden brown on both sides.

3. Repeat step #2 until the batter is used.

4. Top off your pancake tower with the superfood toppings and drizzle maple syrup on top! Enjoy!

Peach Fig Coconut Berry Smoothie

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Peach season may be ending, but don’t worry because frozen peaches are always available to buy! Did you know that frozen fruits and vegetables are sometimes more nutritious than fresh fruits and vegatables? This is because the frozen fruit and vegetables are picked when ripe and frozen immediately. Instead of being picked prematurely to ripen off the vine.

Tips to making the best smoothie:

1. Use frozen fruit: Whether you freeze your fresh fruit at home or you buy it in the store, adding frozen fruit to your smoothies will make sure your smoothies are icy cold. Adding ice instead of frozen fruit works as well, but it waters down the flavors of your smoothie and doesn’t make your smoothie as cold as frozen fruit does.

2.Use a liquid that goes with your smoothies flavors: Coconut water, and almond milk are the liquids I always choose to use. Water works as well, but I like the coconut flavor that the coconut water adds, and the almond milk provides a nice creaminess. I always use my homemade almond milk recipe, which is super simple and delicious! When making more tropical flavored smoothies opt for coconut water and when wanting a more creamy smoothie use almond milk.

3. Add in leafy greens: I love to add in fresh spinach or kale into my smoothies and smoothie bowls. Just a little goes a long way, and the sweetness of the fruits always cover up the bitterness of the greens. You smoothie will be rich in nutrients and you’ll get  a serving of greens!

4. Use nuts, nut butter, or vegan protein: Add more protein to your smoothies with protein rich foods like nuts, nut butter, hemp seeds, or vegan protein. After working out its great to drink a protein rich smoothie, because it digests easily and helps your muscles recover and grow. My favorite brand of vegan protein powder is Sunwarrior Protein, because all of their ingredients are plant-based and recognizable; no harmful additives, chemicals, or added sugars.

5. Use berries: Berries are lower in calories and sugars compared to fruits like mango, pineapple, and banana. They are also rich in fiber, and antioxidants.

This smoothie is filled with peach flavor, and the fresh coconut water gives it a tropical feel.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 smoothies

  • 4 small frozen peaches
  • 4 small fresh figs
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 dates
  • water from 1 small coconut
  • 2 TBSP homemade almond milk
  1. Blend ingredients together in blender until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Peach Pistachio Pancakes- GLUTEN-FREE and VEGAN

IMG_7360 These fuzzy fruits are in season and all over the place! Super sweet and delicious! I've been adding peaches to just about any recipe I can lately, and let me tell you, you can't go wrong.

These peach pancakes are super fluffy, gluten-free, and vegan. I made a pistachio milk earlier this week and added it to this pancake mixture which turned out to be a great combination! Not only will you save tons of money making your own nut milk, but you will also be able to control what goes in to it. There are so many chemical additives in store-brand nut milks, that its not as healthy as you may think.

Peaches have super healing properties! They are beneficial to your skin and eye health. Peaches are filled with antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. Peaches also aid in weight loss, they are full of fiber and keep you feeling fuller longer, and only contain 35-50 calories in one peach! They are also known to detoxify your body. Peaches are a diuretic, and help flush out any toxins in your body. Peaches are also known to reduce stress and anxiety.

Pistachios are filled with protein, fiber, and potassium. One serving of pistachios has the same amount of potassium as half a large banana! These nuts also contain more than 10% of the dietary value of fiber, minerals and vitamins like B6, thiamin, phosphorus, and copper. A serving is one ounce, which is 49 pistachios! So eat away at these nuts, you get to eat more nuts per serving than any other nut!

The sweetness of the fresh peaches, creaminess of the pistachio milk, and crunch from the whole pistachios will have you thinking you're eating dessert for breakfast. These are the fluffiest most satisfying pancakes out there! Be creative, you can substitute different fruits, and nut milks depending on whats in season!

Yields 4 large pancakes

Ingredients:

1. Mix together in bowl the gluten free pancake mix, pistachio milk, pistachio nuts, coconut oil,  and cinnamon.

2. Thinly slice peaches. Add to mix or add to pancake batter after pouring onto skillet.

3. Heat about 1 TBSP more of coconut oil in pan. Pour a little more than 1/4 cup of pancake batter, and place about 4 thin slices of peach into pancake. Cook on one side for about 4 minutes, until pancake batter begins to bubble in the center, and is brown.

4. Flip pancake over and cook on other side until pancake is cooke through and golden brown. About another 3-4 minutes.

5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all your pancakes are made. Top pancakes off with fresh peaches and maple syrup, and enjoy!

Nut Milk Recipe

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You may be thinking to yourself, why didn't I think of this sooner? Thats what I thought when I made my first batch of nut milk. Its super easy and simple to make, and you really don't need that many ingredients. So why do we keep buying store-brand nut milks?! Because its right there when you shop for your groceries? Okay I get it. Its "easier." But let me break it down for you. How much are you spending on nut milk? My boyfriend and I were going through 1-2 half gallons of nut milk a week, and in New York City it costs $5 per half gallon. Equalling $5-$10 of nut milk a week. A half gallon equals 8 cups.

Heres an example of what is costs to make almond milk. 1 pound of raw almonds from trader Joe's cost me $6.99. 1 pound of almonds yields 4 cups. With 1 cup of raw almonds I can make 4 cups of almond milk, so with 4 cups of almonds I can make 16 cups of almond milk! Thats twice the amount of almond milk that I would get for a half a gallon of store brand almond milk that used to cost me $5. Lets compareStore brand almond milk filled with harmful chemicals and additives cost me $5 for 8 cups. My homemade, pure, all-natural almond milk costs me $3.50 for 8 cups. WIN! Yes, different nuts vary in price, but I'm sure you will make almond milk the most, because it's super versatile. However, I tried experimented with making pistachio milk! I know right?! Sounds amazing, and it was! Super creamy, with a hint of pistachio flavor, and it came out a beautiful creamy pastel green. Many almond milks contain a harmful ingredient that you should look out for called carrageenan. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods.  

Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. All forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases, and cancer. When laboratory mice were exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan for 18 days, they developed a "profound" glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action, both of which can lead to diabetes.

This is extremely scary to learn, when carrageenan is being added to so many processed products on the market and it being consumed unknowingly. We think almond milk, a great milk alternative, yes. But companies still find a way to sneak in harmful ingredients into our products and body's. Would you consume something that could potentially cancer or diabetes? I didn't think so. If you do have to buy store brand almond milk, I recommend buying Silk's Unsweetened Original Almond Milk, because this does not contain carrageenan. But if you have the time, make it yourself! It tastes so much better, is better for you, and cheaper! Really can't go wrong!

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Yields 4 cups

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts,  or hazelnuts)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or 1 large date  (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
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1. Soak 1 cup of nuts for at least 12 hours in water.

2. Drain water that the nuts were soaked in.

3. Boil 4 cups of water.

4. Add the soaked nuts and 4 cups of boiling water to blender with salt, and sweetener (maple syrup or date), and vanilla extract if you like.

5. Blend until nuts have been liquified.

6. Strain mixture in a bowl with a fine strainer or cheese cloth to separate milk from the nut meat.

7. Store nut milk in mason jar, and use within 3-4 days.  

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Nice-Cream Sundae

1622246_10154462444155085_7125828081516435754_n In the summer I take advantage of as much seasonal produce as I can. Since strawberries and cherries are in season I figured why not create a nice-cream sundae jar of amazingness?!

Theres many ways you can take advantage of buying seasonal produce. Farmers markets are becoming more popular then ever, which is a great thing! However, those that can't make it to the farmers market on time may want to opt for something called a CSA. This is when you purchase a share in a farmers crop for a certain period of time. This allows you to receive a box of fresh fruits, vegetables, and sometimes even eggs. You have a set pickup point close to your home where you pick up your bounty and it should last you while! Here's more information about CSA's available in New York City. It not only provides you with extremely fresh local food but also switches up what you would normally buy every week, so you are forced to be more creative! Which I love!

There are also other organizations in New York City that deliver organic produce straight to your door. This organization called Go Organic NYC emphasizes on organic produce. If it's available and in season locally then thats where it comes from but if you order tropical fruit like bananas and pineapple they are still organic but haven't been grown locally of course.

Not only will buying locally support local farmers and your community but it will also allow you to eat a more plant-based diet. Buying organic is important as well, because the more we learn about how harmful pesticides are the more we realize we shouldn't be consuming them whatsoever. And lets face it, fresh fruits and vegetables that haven't been sprayed with pesticides just taste better! We shouldn't withhold flavor from ourselves!

Whenever I roam through farmers markets upstate I get inspired by all the colorful imperfectly shaped produce and the fresh jams, baked goods, and breads that all the vendors bring! Food should feed your creative juices as well as your body. Food is nourishment, but when we make that nourishment tasty and delicious, that's what keeps us coming back for more.

I see a trend in organic local food spreading, and the more we develop new tasty recipes and show people how delicious real food is, the more people won't be able to deny that fact, that fruits and vegetables taste good! I don't blame people who have eaten bad quality or poorly prepared vegetables and think that they all taste that way. But when they discover that cauliflower can be roasted, or made into a pizza crust and see how delicious it tastes, thats success!

Buy fresh bounty, spread the bounty, and get creative with your dishes! Maybe incorporate a different cuisine once a week, like Indian night, or Thai night, and from there discover different spices and flavors that you may not normally cook with.

Hope you enjoy this sundae recipe! Its creamy, naturally sweet, chocolatey and won't have you craving ice cream anytime soon!

Yields 1 Serving

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding:

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 to 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cocao powder

Banana Date Nice-Cream Layer:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates (chopped)
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

Black cherry Banana Nice-Cream Layer:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 frozen cherries
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

Layers in between:

  • 3 fresh or frozen cherries
  • 4 freshly sliced strawberries

Assembly:

1. Mix all chia seed pudding ingredients together well. Make chia seed pudding night before or allow mixture to sit for at least 3 hours.

2. Place chia seed pudding in bottom of jar and a layer of sliced frozen or fresh cherries on top.

3. Blend banana date nice-cream ingredients together and place on top of cherry layer.

4. Add in freshly sliced strawberries.

5. Blend black cherry banana nice-cream ingredients together. Add on top.

6. Top sundae off with dates, shredded coconut, and almonds. Enjoy this delicious masterpiece!