Lentil and Kale Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Do you ever come home from work and just feel like giving up on the whole cooking process? Believe me I feel you on this...sometimes cooking and doing dishes are the LAST thing you want to do after a long day. However, this recipe is simple enough to make with only a few ingredients that you can easily whip up in 30 minutes. I PROMISE! 

The lentils provide a nice 'meaty' texture, the kale add a good amount of greens to the dish and the Pico de Gallo add TONS of flavor. The best part about making the pico yourself, is you can make a lot and let it marinate in the fridge, it tastes better each day...

Now, If you really want to master Mexican cooking, you can even make your own tortillas. I do this from time to time, and make a big batch to keep in the freezer. Here's a simple corn tortilla recipe you can use. The texture of freshly made tortillas is the best! Store bought ones will never do a traditional corn tortilla justice. 

I cooked these tacos with a group of people at a workshop I hosted this past weekend and not only did we have a lot of fun making them, they also received raving reviews. It's all about flavor! So I hope this recipe inspires you to make a new kind of taco, because who doesn't like a good taco?! Am I right?!  Also, I highly recommend snacking on some freshly made guacamole and chips while making these. Enjoy :) 

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Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups dinasour kale, esteemed and thinly sliced 
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil 
  • 1 yellow onion , sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pico de Gallo:

  • 2 ripe tomatos, deseeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of jalapeño (optional)
  • 2-3 limes, juiced

For the tacos:

  • 8 soft corn tortillas 
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • lime wedges

Instructions:

Pico De Gallo:

  1. De-seed your tomatoes by scooping out all the liquid seedy bits and discarding. Then, dice your tomatoes. 
  2. Then dice your onion and jalepeno and roughly chop the cilantro. 
  3. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 2-3 limes into mixture. I like my pico with a lot of lime, so you can add more lime juice according to taste. 

Lentil and Kale Tacos:

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown.
  2. Add the cooked lentils, kale, broth, maple syrup, lime juice and all the spices to the pot and cover. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the kale softens a bit, and about 1/2 of the liquid is absorbed. About 5 minutes.
  3. If your mixture is a little wet then allow to cook uncovered for a bit longer, and if it needs more liquid you can add more broth to your mixture. 

To assemble the tacos:

  1. Warm your soft tortilla shells underneath your oven's broiler for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly crisp and brown. When warmed, add a scoop of the lentil and kale mixture, and top with your Pico de Gallo and an avocado slice, a couple red onion slices, some cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. ENJOY!

Beauty Food Brunch

I had such a fun time hosting my first event, and Beauty Food Brunch with fellow health coach and foodie Maria Marlowe. This event gave people a real idea of what our food tastes like. Not only does it photograph well, and do we think about using ingredients that support optimal healthy, but we emphasize on making healthy food taste good!

It seemed that translated well because every plate was licked clean!


Heres a little recap of our menu with the recipes, so that you can make these at home yourself. 


Smoothie Trio made with Maria Marlowe's delicious Gold & Glow superfood smoothie blends.

Complexion Perfection 

Ingredients: 

  •  1 cup hemp milk

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 tbs. Complexion Perfection powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in Complexion Perfection:  Organic Goji Berry Powder, Organic Maqui Berry Powder, Organic Camu Camu Berry Powder, Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger, Organic Mangosteen.


Enlightened Energy

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups hemp milk

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 tbs. Enlightened Energy powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in Enlightened Energy: Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Maca, Organic Oats, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger.


Clean Green

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups hemp milk

  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 2 tbs. glowing CLEAN GREEN powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in CLEAN GREEN: Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Coconut, Organic Chlorella, Organic Spirulina, Organic Wheatgrass, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger. 


Garden Vegetable Frittata

Recipe:

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced into long strips
  • 4-5 cups button mushroom caps, sliced
  • 10 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • coconut oil or olive oil
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Saute vegetables one at a time: Start with the onion. Heat a pan, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then saute onions on medium low for about 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent, not browned. Remove to a paper towel lined bowl to absorb any excess oil.
  3. Repeat with mushrooms (about 5-7 minutes, until soft). Be sure to drain them well, as they release a lot of excess moisture, and then add to paper towel lined bowl.
  4. Repeat with baby spinach and olives together, until greens are wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add all vegetables to a 3 quart glass baking dish, lightly greased it with coconut oil.
  6. Beat 12 eggs together in a bowl. Stir in salt and black pepper. Pour into the baking dish. Then top with parsley.
  7. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, until puffed and set in the middle. Remove it from the oven before it starts to get golden brown, as that tends to signify the middle is overcooked and will become a little spongy-tasting.
  8. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the roasted chickpea croutons:

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 

For the dressing (makes 3/4-1 cup):

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small garlic clove (you can add another if you like it super potent)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Wizard's gluten-free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste

For the nut and seed parmesan cheese (makes 1/2 cup):

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste

For the lettuce:

  • 1 small/medium bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed (5 cups chopped)
  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce (10 cups chopped)

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least a few hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Roast chickpea croutons: Preheat oven to 400F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a tea towel and rub dry (it's ok if some skins fall off). Place onto large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on oil and roll around to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic powder and salt and toss to coat. You can add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F, then gently roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet, then roast for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Add the cashews and all other dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the Parmesan cheese: Add cashews into a mini food processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined. Salt to taste.
  5. Prepare the lettuce: De-stem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Place into extra large bowl. Chop up the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and then spin dry. Place into bowl along with kale. You should have roughly 5 cups chopped kale and 10 cups chopped romaine.
  6. Assemble: Add dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Now sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Whipped Coconut Cream and Seasonal Berries

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

Pancakes

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 4 Tbsp creamy thick coconut milk (from can) 
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400f. Peel two small beets and chop each one into 4 or 6 pieces. Place the chopped beetroot in a baking dish, together with a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through. Check the beetroot a couple of times, adding more water so that they don't dry out. Or you can just use beets pre-cooked in a can.
  2. Meanwhile measure out the other ingredients. Mash banana and mix together the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  3. Once the beetroot are cooked through, transfer them to a blender. Add the milk and blitz until the beets are completely blended with the milk and you have a puree consistency. Add this puree to the banana mixture and whisk until combined. 
  4. Finally, add the gluten-free pancake flour. Mix with a hand whisk until you have a classic pancake batter consistency.
  5. Melt some butter or coconut oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add some of the batter (the amount will depend on how thick or thin you want your pancakes to be) and cook for 2-3 minutes either side for thick pancakes.
  6. To make the drizzle simply mix together the coconut milk cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. You can either drizzle this on top of the pancakes and top off with seasonal berries. 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 Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Oh cinnamon..a beautiful fragrant spice that is reminiscent of the Fall, apple picking, and halloween. Cinnamon not only smells good, but has a plentitude of health benefits. In Chinese medicine  and Ayurveda, cinnamon is recognized as a superpower spice used to treat colds, indigestion, and cramps. It’s also believed to improve circulation and increase your energy! Here are some other benefits:

  1. Honey and cinnamon combined have been shown to relieve arthritis pain.
  2. When cinnamon is added to food it acts as a natural preservative, preventing food spoilage.
  3. Cinnamon is a natural and effective remedy for healing migraines and headaches.
  4. Cinnamon helps to stabilize your blood sugar, which is great for if you’re wanting to lose weight!
  5. Cinnamon is anti fungal and fights candida infections and makes your immune system stronger.
  6. Smelling cinnamon alone, improves memory and cognitive function.
  7. Cinnamon kills cancer cells by stabilizing blood sugars, and has been shown to help stop the production of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. It also is a promising treatment for tumors, gastric cancers, and melanomas.
  8. Just a 1/2 teaspoon a day of cinnamon can lower your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lower your blood sugar levels to help treat Type 2 Diabetes.
  9. Cinnamon is a natural E-coli disinfectant. You can mix cinnamon oil with hydrogen peroxide and spray your cutting board and kitchen sink especially after you have cut meats. Spray it in your refrigerator. It’s safe and natural.
  10. When you begin to feel that cold coming on, add some cinnamon to your tea and stop the cold in its tracks. Cinnamon’s anti-bacterial properties will kill off anything causing your sore throat, cough, or cold.

Now you can see why other cultures revere cinnamon as having super healing powers. But don’t overdo it on the cinnamon, eating too much of this spice can be toxic. It’s only recommended to ingest in small amounts. So add it to your smoothies, oatmeals, teas, or any other warming dishes. Include more cinnamon into your diet this season if not for its undeniable health benefits, than for its irresistible smell and taste!

Yields 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP cocao powder
  • 1 TBSO honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Toppings:

  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cocao nibs
  • 1 TBSP Peanut Butter
  1. Mash the banana, and cook on low heat with cinnamon, cocao powder, honey or maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond milk, and oatmeal.
  2. Cook on low heat stirring frequently until oatmeal is fully cooked and creamy, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve in bowl with an assortment of toppings! Enjoy!

Summer Vegetable Pasta

10514540_10154540624455085_6222907155270804160_n After I received my local organic food delivery I wanted to use as much of the produce as I could, so a pasta came to mind! I used practically all the veggies that came in my package.

I cooked  the vegtables lightly, so that they still had a nice bite to them, and the tomatoes add a beautiful tart and rich flavor. The dried spices bring this dish together, and the hint of red wine make you feel like your eating out at a restaurant. It's the perfect dish to make to use up all those summer veggies that are left in your fridge. Simple, easy, and delicious.

I always need to eat a ton of greens during the day, so I decided to place the pasta on top of a bed of arugula and massaged kale which I received in my delivery as well. The nutritional yeast adds a nice nutty flavor and "cheese" like texture to the dish, and tons of B vitamins.

Feel free to add in as many veggies as your heart desires! Hope you enjoy!

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 large zucchini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatos
  • 4TBSP red wine
  • 4 leaves of kale (stems removed)
  •  2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top
  • 1/2 bag of rotini pasta or pasta of your choice

1. Boil water and follow clocking instructions for the pasta you use.

2. Slice onion, garlic, and vegetables in long thick slices.

3. Heat olive oil in pan, and add in the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent.

4. Add in the carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and salt and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes.

5. Mix in the cooked pasta into the vegetables.

6. Add the red wine into the pasta mixture. Simmer until red wine has cooked down, make sure the vegetables still have a bite to them.

7. Massage kale with more olive oil, and mix in the arugula. Divide in to two portions.

8.Pour the vegetable pasta mixture over the greens and top off with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

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