recipes

Salad - The Right Way + Oil Free Dressings

salad

I love a big hearty salad. Call me crazy but my body actually craves vegetables and leafy greens. I typically have one big popcorn sized salad a day with a variety of vegetables, a piece of fruit and some healthy fats. I never add any oil to my salad (more on that below) and tend to mix up my ingredients all the time so i don’t really have my go-to standard recipe. Most if not all salad dressings from the store contain added oils, sugars, and chemicals that are high in calories and unnecessary providing little no nutritional benefit. I always keep a jar of Seasoned Rice Vinegar on hand to dress my salad, This light vinegar enhances the flavor giving it just enough subtle sweetness. I highly recommend trying out Nakano brand. More oil-free salad dressings below. These are some of my top tips and recipes to feel satiated and make sure its tasty. Enjoy! xx

my top tips

Go big. We’re talking popcorn size bowl! If you are going to enjoy a salad as a full meal then it needs to be big enough to make you feel satiated or full. Plants and leafy greens are nutrient dense but not calorically dense so you can eat a lot of them without going over calorie intake while also getting in all your vitamins and minerals. I typically use 1 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1 head of lettuce (about 3-4 cups), 1/4-1/2 avocado depending on anything else I add in. This feels me up and keeps me energized until the next meal. I always try to add some healthy fats to help with digestion of all that fiber and also satiety.

salad

Eat a variety. Change up the vegetables you use and mix and match different kinds. Instead of just one type of lettuce try mixing other leafy greens and herbs to bulk it up. Add tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, sauerkraut, kimchi, avocado, cabbage, mango, orange slices, bell pepper, celery anything and everything you have.

Add healthy fats. Healthy fats are needed to aid in digestion and help with mineral absorption. Incorporating these can lessen symptoms of bloating if you are not used to eating a lot of vegetables in one meal. They will also help you feel fuller longer. Roasted almonds, chopped peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cashews, avocado, baked tofu, edamame, chickpeas, lentils, and tahini are some of my favorites.

salad

Used cooked & raw vegetables. Raw vegetables are great but I’ve found that certain ones are easier to digest when cooked. I love to steam broccoli, brussel sprouts and mushrooms with garlic salt. Roasting chopped sweet potatoes, purple potatoes or yams with salt & pepper also add a lot of bulk to a salad and taste delicious with a tahini or peanut butter dressing!

Add fruit. Papaya, oranges, mango and apples are my favorite when I want to add some sweetness. I usually just add one type of fruit to my salad that will pair with the dressing.

salad

A note on fats…

The best fats to consume for brain health include Omega 3, Omega 6, and polyunsaturated fats. These nutrients can be found in many plant based foods and in highest amounts in chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. These nuts and seeds are rich in antioxidants and contain unprocessed natural oils that have been linked to improving joint, nerve, and bone health as well as overall bodily functions. In nature, there is no oil in its natural state- only man made oils that have been pressed and stripped of nutrients including olive oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and palm oil. These fats contain zero nutritional benefits and are extremely high in calories (around 120 calories for 1 tablespoon). Oils contain no healthy carbohydrates, protein, or fat and are not considered a whole food.

In nature there are no “free” vegetable oils; all are obtained by man-made processing. These important nutrients are bound within the substances of plants and in this complex form are essential for good health. When these oils are processed free of their surrounding fibers, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, they become medicines at best, and toxic at worst. Some of the common consequences of consuming these so-called “good fats,” even flaxseed and fish oil, are obesity, type-2 diabetes, bleeding, immune system depression and cancer.

When the oils are removed from their natural environments—for example, from the seeds of corn, soybeans, safflowers, or flax, or the fruit of an olive or avocado—they are no longer a food. Yes, they do supply concentrated calories—but the rest of the original nutrition found in the plant parts is absent. In this state, the free oils can display powerful pharmacological effects—some beneficial and some harmful. This would be analogous to removing vitamins and minerals from plants and making supplements. I don’t call supplements food, do you? However, the effects of concentrated, isolated oils are usually even more potent than those seen with supplements.
— Dr McDougall

oil free dressings

For any & every salad

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

salt & pepper

Lightly splash over the salad with salt and pepper. Toss and adjust to taste.

Honey Mustard

4 tbsps seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup dijon mustard

2 tbsps agave nectar

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend or whisk together in a small bowl. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Balsamic vinaigrette

1 cup of balsamic vinegar
4 tbsps of nutritional yeast
3 tbsps soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari
3 tbsps maple syrup
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Creamy Vegan Ranch Dressing

15 oz silken tofu, drained
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp celery seed
3/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp fine black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp maple syrup *start with 1 tbsp and add to taste

Place all ingredients into blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Caesar salad dressing

2 tbsps almond meal
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tbsps dijon mustard
3 tbsps nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbsps lemon juice

2 tbsps soy sauce
1/4 cup water

 Combine almond meal, garlic, mustard and nutritional yeast to make a paste, Whisk in the remaining ingredients.

Italian Salad Dressing

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 1/2 tbsps vegetable broth or juice pepperoncinis

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper

1 tbsp finely chopped chives

pinch of sugar

Whisk everything together and drizzle over the salad.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

2 avocados, peeled and pitted
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp lime zest
1 cucumber
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder

Blend all ingredients together until smooth, adjusting water to get desired consistency. Refrigerate unused portions. Makes 3+ cups.

Healthy Cookies with Gomacro

I can’t believe it’s already May! This year is just flying by and I am super excited to collaborate with GoMacro once again! Just about every month GoMacro partners with a charity and gives back by sending the proceeds at the end of the month. This month 10% of all proceeds from GoMacros peanut butter bars are going towards animal rehabilitation and rescue through both Farm Sanctuary locations in California and New York. Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, to inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and to promote compassionate living. GoMacro is a special kind of bar dear to my heart and they taste delicious too! The bars are organic, vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, non GMO, and just all around good for ya!

Enjoy them on the go or make these yummy cookies :) Enjoy!

Learn more about how to give back here.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with gomacro chunks

INGREDIENTS

1 peanut butter gomacro bar

3/4 cups oat flour

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

METHOD

  1. heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together the oats, oat flour, baking soda, chia seeds, and sea salt.

  3. Slowly add in the maple syrup and peanut butter and stir to combine everything forming a dough.

  4. Dice and chop the gomacro bar into small chunks then fold into the dough.

  5. bake for 12 minutes.

Plant Based Protein Sources

The biggest concern around plant based, vegan or vegetarian diets is always protein. Where do you get your protein if you don’t meat? The answer is simple because plants actually contain protein they are just more commonly known for their other nutrients. But they do indeed have protein.

What is protein and why we need it

Protein is an essential macronutrient made of amino acids that work as ‘building blocks’ for our cells and tissues. Protein is found in our muscles, skin, hair, nails, and just about every body part. There are 9 amino acids that we must get from the foods we eat. These amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Meat vs. Plants

When it comes to protein everyone immediately imagines animal products. Chicken, steak, eggs, and whey all contain protein but when you look at the total package these foods come with other side effects. Steak is high in protein but also contains a heavy amount of saturated fat. Ham is high in protein but is loaded with sodium. Plant based proteins are virtually cleaner than meat protein because they don’t cause any health detriments. Lentils, for example, contain 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber and literally no saturated fat or sodium.

Plant Based Protein Sources

Just about every plant based whole food contains some amount of protein. However, these are some of the major ones with the highest amounts.

Legumes (chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils , soybeans)

Tofu (made from soybeans)

Seitan (made from hydrated gluten. Not gluten free)

Tempeh (made from fermented soybeans)

Chia Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Quinoa

Edamame

Oats

Amaranth

Brown Rice

Nutritional Yeast (made from the Fungi family like mushrooms. Adds a delicious cheesy flavor to dishes)

Nuts (brazil, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews)

Complimentary protein

As mentioned above, protein is made up of amino acids. Plant based protein sources contain certain amino acids and lack the others. Therefore, pairing complimentary proteins to obtain a complete protein is necessary. As long as you are eating a variety of plant based foods you will meet your dietary requirements without even trying. An example of a complimentary protein is rice and beans. Rice has protein but is not a complete protein because it lacks lysine. To compliment the missing link you can add beans to your diet which is high in lysine. It’s important to note that you do not need to consume the complimentary proteins in the same meal or even in the same day.

Hummus and pita bread

Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread

Tofu with quinoa

Tempeh with brown rice

Yogurt with almond granola

Salad with garbanzo beans and almonds

Beans and rice


Chai Spiced Donuts with Svelte Protein Shakes

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Summer may be around the corner here in California, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some spiced chai! I am super excited to have partnered up with Svelte using their awesome organic plant protein shakes! I decided to get creative and turn a not-so-healthy breakfast (donuts) and make them packed with vitamins, nutrients, and most importantly FLAVOR! This was a pretty easy task thanks to the protein shake and its insane taste. Below you can find my recipe for half a dozen Spiced Chai Donuts.

A LITTLE ABOUT SVELTE

Svelte is a plant-based protein shake company with tons of yummy flavors including ChocolateFrench VanillaCappuccinoSpiced Chai, and their newest edition Banana Creme. All the shakes are organic, non GMO and packed with fiber, protein, and energy sustaining complex carbs. They are soy based and made right here in California! 

Shop Svelte Organic Plant Protein Shakes here…

I have never been a huge store bought protein shake type of person, but I have to say these shakes are addicting! They are a great alternative to almond milk or non-dairy milk to use in recipes adding flavor and more nutrients. They are also super handy after a workout when I don’t feel like mixing up powder. 

Now onto the donuts…

This recipe will make you half a dozen gluten free, refined sugar free, high protein and DELICIOUS batch of donuts. Go ahead and double the batch if you want a full dozen. The spiced chai shake adds a burst of flavor being thick and creamy so you won’t need a lot of sweetener. Maple glaze is homemade and smeared over the top using my caramel date sauce but I also added some maple syrup to give it that maple-y flavor, yeah know. You can substitute the glaze with almond butter, peanut butter, or glaze them with vegan butter, coconut sugar and cinnamon! 

A FEW FINAL TIPS…

Tapioca starch creates a soft, fluffy texture which is necessary when cooking without eggs. You can try substituting with potato starch, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch but I have not tried this. Oat flour is one of my favorite flours because it is gluten free and bakes similar to all-purpose flour so yes you can substitute with all-purpose white or wheat flour. Toppings! Dip your donuts in whatever you like. I went with salted pistachios and it was the perfect pair of salty & sweet.

Donut Ingredients

1 1/4 cup oat flour

1 cup Svelte Chai Plant Protein Shake

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar *substitute with lemon juice

1 tbsp tapioca starch

1 tbsp coconut oil *melted

2 tbsps date paste *substitute with maple syrup or agave

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

dash nutmeg, ginger, cloves *optional

Maple Glaze Ingredients

1 cup pitted medjool dates *soaked in water for 20 minutes

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together the Chai protein milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to form a “buttermilk”

  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and spices.

  4. Add the date paste (or maple syrup) and melted coconut oil to the buttermilk and stir.

  5. Pour the buttermilk into the flour and whisk until well combined. Spray a donut pan with non stick oil. Add a scoop of batter into each ring until they are full.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before adding the glaze.

Maple Glaze Directions

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender.

  2. Blend until the date chunks are gone and the glaze is nice and creamy.

  3. Using a butter knife, smear the frosting over the cool donuts and add desired toppings.