Sunday, December 29, 2013

VEGAN Red and White Lasagna

I LOVE lasagna!! I don't make it too often because it is a bit time consuming. BUT. This. Was. So. Worth. It.
I made a cauliflower alfredo a few days ago and I started brainstorming ideas for using the leftover sauce. Then BOOM. It hit me! A vegan lasagna made with alfredo and tomato sauce! I love this lasagna!! (I just sang that if you couldn't tell) :)





Ingredients


  • 12 whole grain lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed
  • 2 cups of shredded dairy-free cheese
  • 14 ounces of firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of dried basil
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of vegan parmesan (see note below)
  • 1 jar of marinara (24 ounces)
  • 3 cups of cauliflower alfredo (see recipe below)
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces and stalks removed (you can also sub one 10 ounce package of frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained)

Cauliflower Alfredo (adapted from this recipe at Pinch of Yum)

  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp of dairy-free butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, chopped into florets
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk

*To make cauliflower alfredo, sauté garlic in butter for several minutes, until fragrant, not brown. Set aside. Next place cauliflower with water or stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower has softened. Save 1 cup of cooking water or broth, then drain cauliflower. Transfer cauliflower, reserved cooking liquid, garlic butter, salt, pepper, and milk to a blender or food processor. Process or blend until smooth.

*This makes about 5 cups of sauce and the lasagna only calls for 3 cups of sauce. Bonus! You can make cauliflower fettuccine alfredo with the leftover sauce!

Method


1. If using kale, place kale in a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain very well. You may want to press out excess water or dry kale with a towel.
2. To assemble lasagna, preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
3. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the 13x9 pan.
4. Place 4 noodles on top of marinara sauce.
5. Evenly distribute mashed sweet potato on top of noodles.
6. Evenly distribute spinach or kale on top of sweet potato.
7. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on top of spinach or kale.
8. Place a second layer of 4 noodles on top of marinara sauce.
9. Mix oregano, basil, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper with crumbled tofu and layer over marinara sauce.
10. Layer cheese on top of tofu crumbles.
11. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on top of cheese.
12. Top sauce with the last 4 noodles.
13. Top lasagna with 3 cups of cauliflower alfredo.
14. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
15. After 40 minutes of baking, remove foil, top lasagna with vegan parmesan cheese, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.
16. Let lasagna stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with extra vegan parmesan, if desired.

ENJOY!

NOTE


You can definitely buy a vegan parmesan at the store and use it in this recipe. However, I highly recommend making your own! It is easy and tastes amazing!

Vegan Parmesan (From VeganBlogger.com )

  • 1 cup of cashews, unsalted
  • 1/4 nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
Process or blend all ingredients until a powder forms. Done. Store leftovers in the fridge.




Friday, December 27, 2013

Mile High Veggie Sandwich



I was starving after work and CrossFit today. I used ingredients I already had on hand to make this sandwich and OMG it turned out so good! I cant wait to make it and eat it again!


Ingredients


  • 1 whole grain bagel, cut in half and toasted
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into slices
  • 1-2 heaping Tbsp of hummus
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, de-ribbed and torn/chopped into bite sized pieces
  • handful of sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, etc.)

Method


Place kale in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and dry kale well. You may want to blot kale with a paper towel to fully dry it.

To assemble sandwich:


Place avocado slices on one half of the toasted bagel.
Place a generous amount of hummus on the other toasted bagel half.
Place kale on top of the avocado, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on kale, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place a generous handful of sprouts on top of hummus.
Place the bagel half with sprouts and hummus onto the bagel half with kale and avocado. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pumpkin Power Smoothie

Last night I was reading Carrots'N'Cake and she mentioned a pumpkin smoothie in one of her older blog posts. I pinned the image on Pinterest because it sounded so good!

Today after CrossFit I was ravenous and really wanted to get some good protein in. I immediately thought of this smoothie. I paired it with Amy's Gluten-free, Vegan Tofu Breakfast Burrito and it was such a great meal. I think I will definitely be held over until I get off work at 5.



 

 
 

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp of sunflower seed or peanut butter
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup of pumpkin
 

Method

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal

Merry Christmas!

Today I made my first Tofurky. I am often asked, "Do you eat Tofurky on Thanksgiving (Christmas, etc.)?". There is always a little bit of sarcasm in the person's voice when they ask me. Normally, I respond with a "no" then the questioner giggles or seems a little disappointed that they didn't meet a Tofurky eater.

Last week, I was at Whole Foods, Tofurky was on sale, and I bought one impulsively. Actually, I was quite excited. It seemed like a special meal for vegetarians to have during the holidays.



So Christmas Day was the day for my family's first Tofurky. I had Tofurky once before. One of my former co-workers in California brought one to work for Christmas. I remember thinking it was pretty good.

Not today. I will be honest in saying I don't like Tofurky. I am not one who is a fan of meat substitutes made to taste similar to meat. I had a hunch this may happen, but I wanted to go ahead and give Tofurky a try. The outside layer was meat-y to me. A little too chewy. Yuck. The stuffing on the inside was amazing. I would pay money for just the stuffing! So I ended up eating the stuffing, the carrots, potatoes, and onions I cooked with it. I also bought the Tofurky gravy (might as well go all the way, right??). I was not a fan of the gravy either. There was some seasoning that made me not want to eat it. I'm sorry Tofurky. I really tried.

My carnivore husband, on the other hand, liked it. He said it didn't taste like meat at all. He made a great point saying that Tofurky could never make me happy. He said if they make it too meat-y, I won't like it; and if it isn't close enough to the real thing, then it will taste fake. I think I will stick to making homemade lentil loaf and veggie loaf.

Since I had a lighter than expected Christmas lunch, come 3pm, I was ready for a snack. I had a major craving for peanut butter oatmeal.

I'm not a big hot cereal fan, but when the weather is cold, I eat it a little more frequently. This recipe is inspired by the blog Carrots 'N' Cake. She eats peanut butter-y oatmeal all the time. So even though sometimes I'm a hot cereal hater, I had to try it. She was right. So so good!








Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal


Ingredients

(1 serving)

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned/rolled oats
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • ~1 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • ~1 Tbsp of chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter and Co Brand)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of chia seeds
  • maple syrup for drizzling (optional)

Method

Add oats, salt, and almond milk to a saucepan. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer oats for 3-5 minutes or until most of the milk is absorbed/oats are tender. Transfer oats to a bowl and stir in chia seeds. Top oats with the two peanut butters and drizzle with maple syrup, if you like. You can mix it all together very well or just stir the oatmeal slightly. I prefer the latter, that way you get lots of big bites of melty peanut butter. Yum!


Bonus Info:



*cooking the oats and milk together the entire time creates a creamier oatmeal. Also, using milk instead of water ups the creaminess.

*This oatmeal is about 400 calories give or take. Unsweetened almond milk usually has 30-50 calories per cup. I think the taste you gain by using milk (not water) is worth those additional calories.

*Have you ever wondered what is up with all the different types of oatmeal?

 Here is the breakdown:

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/types-of-oats

Monday, December 23, 2013

Purple Almond Smoothie

I made this smoothie in my Nutribullet a few weeks ago and I have made it many, many times since. This recipe was inspired by one of the recipes in the Nutribullet recipe book, but I put my own spin on it.
You could also make this smoothie in a Vitamix or other high-powered blender. If you use a regular blender, your smoothie will not be smooth.



Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/2 cups of spinach or kale(de-ribbed)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen red grapes
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 10 almonds
  • 1 Tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (may need to use more or less depending on how thick/thin you like your smoothies)


Method

Combine all ingredients in a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or other high-powered blender. Blend until very smooth. Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

I Survived


So second week of Crossfit at a second location has begun. Today was definitely not as bad as I expected.

There ended up being four people, including myself, in the class. We warmed up by running 3 laps around a short track followed by 15 burpees. Then we were each given a PVC pipe to practice snatches.

First we practiced squatting with the pipe over our head. Then we practiced "jumping" into the squat while pushing the pipe overhead. Finally, we started with the pipe by our ankles, then lifting the pipe upward, simultaneously squatting, and thrusting the pipe overhead. 

After practicing that skill, we were ready for the WOD. 

The coach had me use the smallest bar (25lb).He had me start the snatches with the bar behind my head and just squat/overhead press. I wasn't doing something right with the "cleaning" of the bar so he had me focus on the second half of move. 

WOD was 8 rounds:

10 snatches
10 sit ups
10 double kettlebell press (on your back)
10 pull-ups (I modified w/ TRX strap pulls)

I ended up finishing 6 rounds. My arms feel worked, but I definitely was game for more. 
Again, I feel like there was only 20 minutes of real work. 


When I got home, I was starving so I drank protein powder mixed with almond milk and ate a leftover chickpea pattie from last night (so good!).



I, also, ate a few carrots with hummus while I was cooking. 
We ended up eating leftover paleo pesto and stir fried zucchini with red onion. My husband made the veggies and they were awesome! 



Probably gonna have some kind of sweet snack for dessert. Good night! 

Happy Happy Monday! :)

Hello and happy Monday :) I'm sitting in line at Starbucks feeling a little nervous about my Crossfit class tonight. I just keep telling myself, "I can do it". LoL. Fake it till you make it, right?

I got to sleep in this morning. Started the day off with iced coffee and a Z bar. These little bars are for kids, but I buy them because they are so good. They are around 100-125 calories so it's a great pre-workout snack, too. 


Mid-morning I was starving and snacked on three pieces of dark chocolate. 


Blogging about my work snacks makes me realize I want to try to keep almonds or something else in my work locker instead of always grabbing the workplace provided dark chocolate.

I had a late lunch of my favorite frozen meal ever, Amy's tamale verde. Also, had two clementines and a vitamin water zero. 


Now it's 25 minutes till the crossfit class so I just drank a half caf soy latte. 


Debating whether to eat half of a pro bar before the class. I don't feel hungry or ready for food at all. So probably will skip it.
 
I'm brainstorming dinner ideas. Last night, I did a rough meal plan for the week. 


I'm thinking I might change it up a little bit and do leftover paleo pesto with stir fried zucchini? 

Okay, time for Crossfit! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I can't write with a dog in my face

This morning I saw a post on Facebook about naughty dogs. The dogs are all wearing signs. The signs explain the bad things the dogs have done. I was crying I was laughing so hard. If you are in need of a good laugh, go here .

I started thinking about my dog, Buddy, and what his sign would say. I came up with this:

 "I took the biggest pee of my life on my mom's just cleaned Maggie Sottero wedding dress".

LOL, yes he did. After our wedding, I had just cleaned my dress and had it hanging from our basement ceiling to dry. I was doing some laundry and I heard some water running?!?! Went to see what was going on and my naughty dog had lifted his leg on my train. I'm pretty sure our neighbors heard me yelling at him ;).

Speaking of Buddy, I really meant to do more today, but he made it really difficult. He kept wanting to snuggle on the couch. Buddy:1  Rosey:0



 
 
Of course, I did manage to get all my meals in, despite lots of couch time today.
 
In the morning, I went to yoga. I had drank an iced latte prior to yoga, but wasn't really hungry for more than that. I grabbed a Larabar that I planned on eating when I got hungry.
 
After yoga, I had planned on running sprints on the treadmill because it is still snowy and cold outside. Unfortunately, my stomach felt kind of upset after yoga, and my left calf has been achy so I decided to take an easy day.
 
I did eat the Larabar to maybe settle my stomach. It tasted awesome. I love this Chocolate Chip Brownie flavor.
 
 
 
Lunch was a veggie sandwich (on wheat, no mayo, no cheese, add onion, add extra veggies, add vinegar and oil) from Jimmy John's, hummus and carrots, and Vitamin water.
 


 
 
I got hungry again around 5 and had one of the best apples EVER. It was an organic pink lady apple. So good. I ate it with white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and a few clementines.
 


 
 
 
 
 
Dessert was a Tofutti Cutie with organic, vegan chocolate syrup on top.
 
 
 
Tomorrow is going to be my first day of Crossfit at the gym I already belong to. I saw this quote today and told myself I will have to remember that tomorrow.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Today's Eats

PBJ and granola on a flat out wrap -Iced coffee not pictured :) 
 
 
Amy's California burger with husband's potatoes



 
 
Iced soy latte
 

 
Pad See Ew minus egg w/ veggies and tofu



Sauvignon Blanc
 



 Summer Rolls w/ dipping sauce
 

 
 
Oatmeal mixed w/ chia seeds, protein powder, and white chocolate wonderful PB
 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Paleo Spinach Pesto

So I drank the Crossfit Kool-Aid and I decided to go Paleo!

Just joking! ;)

BUT I did find this amazing recipe for Paleo Spinach Pesto. However, like a good vegetarian carbivore I quickly un-Paleo-ed this recipe when I served the pesto over whole wheat tomato basil flavored pasta.

Check out the recipe here. Note: I used a homemade vegan parmesan instead of regular parmesan. See pics below.

Now that I have digressed a bit, here is how my Friday went.


*breakfast*

 
 
Terrible pic, but in my defense it was 5 something in the morning. I had to get up super early because it snowed here.
 
Note: I hate winter and I hate cleaning snow, ice, etc. off my car.
 
Luckily, I had iced coffee, chocolate Nuttzo on a bagel, and pb/jelly on toast to make my morning better.
 
 
*Snack*
 
 
 
I think I ate these around 10:30.
 
 
*Snack*
 
 
 
"C" is for Cold.
 
 
 
*Lunch*
 
 
 
This was leftover brown rice, a bag of Asian veggies, and a handful of cashews. Simple. Easy. Good.
 
 
Crossfit was at 4:45 today. Honestly, I was feeling a little low energy in the afternoon. I was even contemplating staying home. I had many excuses.....too much to do...poor road conditions....too cold...maybe the box is closed...etc. Then I saw the box's facebook page had just posted one of my favorite motivational fitness quotes,"if you wait for the perfect conditions you will never get anything done".
 
So I brewed myself a half caf pot of coffee (I used Teeccino mixed with coffee) and started getting ready to go.
 
 
 
 
Today's warm-up was 1000 meter row (I really like rowing!) and 3 sets, 6 reps each of upright rows, snatches, thrusters, lat pulls. Then we did squats: 4 sets, 8 reps.
 
Our WOD was only 6 minutes and it consisted of AMRAP 3 thrusters, 5 pull-ups (I was band-assisted). I think I did 5? rounds plus 3 extra thrusters. Compared to yesterday's WOD it didn't feel too difficult at all except that my arms were really giving out when it came to the last few pull-ups.
And I'm a slacker! I should have taken a picture of the dry erase board and of my friend rocking the squats!
Next week I'm going to try Crossfit at another location. I really did like this box, though. Nothing bad to say at all other than the cost is high, but all boxes are pretty pricey.
 
 
*Snack*
 
When I got home from Crossfit, I was hungry. My husband got out some organic potato chips ( I sorta rubbed off on him!). I was really tempted to eat them, too. I talked myself out of it and drank almond milk with protein powder along with some fruit.
 

 
*Dinner*
 
While I was cooking dinner, I had a few carrots with red pepper hummus. I was pleasantly surprised by the hummus. I really liked it. I am usually kind of picky about red pepper flavored things and usually like plain hummus the best.
 
 
 
 
 
I LOVED this spinach pesto. It turned out so great in my new food processor. I love that thing!
 
 


 
 
 
I also want to give props to the people at Green Bean. They delivered our groceries on time in this nasty weather.
 
 
 
 
All of this organic food for $50!
 
 
 
The last exciting event of the day was the Christmas tree going up.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We decided to put this simple tree up instead of our usual tree just because we are a little late getting the décor up. This tree is so much easier to put up, but I will admit I kind of miss our regular tree. Who knows, though, it might make an appearance this weekend. :)

Now just for fun.....



 
:) These made me smile. Have a great weekend!