Archive | October, 2011

Fall!

30 Oct

Ginger Sage Butternut Squash Soup (from Happy Healthy Life)

Makes 6 cups-I halved to 3 cups which serves about 2.

  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 4 cups butternut squash cubes (I used half butternut, half acorn squash)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger or 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread-I used coconut spread
  • 1/2 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon-or more
  • dash of nutmeg

 

  • 4 leaves fresh sage, torn
  • 1/2 cup+ plain almond milk

Bring water and butternut squash to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Boil until squash is tender, but not falling apart.
Drain the squash and add to a Vitamix or high speed blender. Add in the pumpkin, spices, and all the remaining ingredients. For the almond milk, start with 1/2 cup and keep adding until your soup reaches your desired thickness.
Blend and Serve immediately – warm. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with sage leaves or pumpkin seeds.

 

Enjoy one of the most beautiful times of the year (:

Quinoa & Butternut Squash

19 Oct

So right now in my sociology class we are watching a movie on drugs (for the third class in a row) so it is the perfect time to update the blog! I got this recipe from: http://www.gastronomersguide.com/2011/01/red-quinoa-with-roasted-butternut.html

I changed it up a bit…

 

 

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Cup of dry quinoa

1 Large Butternut Squash-peeled and cut into cubes, roasted at 375 in a little coconut oil until tender, but not mushy

1-2 sweet or white onions (however much you prefer-but I love onions) cut in segments

1/2-1 Cup of cubed granny smith apples

2-4 garlic cloves minced

2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Handful (or 2) of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Cracked salt and pepper

Greens of choice

Rinse quinoa thoroughly to rinse off residues and remove any black hard grains. Combine 1 cup of quinoa (white or red) with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until tender.

Saute onion, garlic, apples and ginger on stove in a little coconut oil until tender and golden. Combine cooked  butternut squash cubes, roasted apples, garlic, ginger, onions, cooked quinoa, and add the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Toss with 1-2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 Tbs of olive oil, and some agave. Start off with a little vinegar, and you can always add more. I had mine over a mix of arugula & spinach. Although it would be great over kale. Serve warm over greens & enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVED this dish, mainly because of the ginger, apple, squash combo.

new Whole Foods!!

17 Oct

So the same day of Vegfest I also got to go into the brand new Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom! Yes it was the best day ever. I knew there was a  new one in Foggy Bottom but didn’t even think about how that was the metro stop we were getting off at to go to Vegfest at George Washington University. Colleen and I stepped off the escalator from the metro and there it was right in front of us, a block away. I screamed with excitement.

 

This is the best Whole Foods I have ever seen-it was crazy. My goal is to go to all the Whole Foods on the east coast

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was bulk/dispense-it-yourself EVERYTHING from organic maple syrup & agave to apple cider vinegar & 3 different grades of honey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I buy as much as possible in bulk. It is almost always cheaper, less processing, you get exactly how much of something you need-so it’s not wasteful, and no packaging-so its way more economical and helps with less waste to go in landfills. Packaging materials make up 30% of all our waste. This is sooo preventable, and such an easy solution! Remember to re-use your bags as much as possible! For spices and dried herbs you save a TON of money. Here when I go to Eats you can just bring your empty spice jar and fill it up with organic spices for maybe a couple of dollars opposed to $10 or $12 to buy a whole new jar. Why don’t more people do this??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the upper floor there is an abundant spread of vegan (and non-vegan) breads, pastries, and desserts. There is a huge espresso & GREEN smoothie/juice bar!!!! I was thrilled. Then there is a huge prepared food section with a cold and hot bar with an array of different kale salads and raw veggie platters to steel cut oats and fresh fruit. They have a mini food court but it is all actually REAL food offered! It was just so exciting. There was actually a huge sign hanging from the ceiling above the place where you could make you own custom sandwich that said “REAL FOOD SERVED HERE” with a giant arrow. They have electronic ordering stations (like at Sheetz).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I do not prefer to support huge chain grocery stores, to keep the local health food stores in business, Whole Foods is my one exception. If there has to be monopolizing companies and agrobusinesses, Whole Foods is okay, because they are doing things right. They have standards they live up to, holding their employees to these, as well as their food. They support other local business and make it a point to always have local produce available. They make the effort to bring farm to fork a little closer. There are signs of the stories & information about some of the local farms right above the product, explaining the farms background and where they are located. Plus they strive to educate consumers where their food comes from, how it is produced (sometimes), and the nutrition. Most locations offer free classes ranging from raw foods & bone scans to proper skin care & cooking with kids. I’ve always said I wanted to work for Wholefoods.

My updated dream= be an RD in integrative and functional nutrition for Whole Foods, traveling to all the locations across the country to educate the employees & customers and make sure the store is living up the standards they set. (This role does not exist right now, but it could happen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen’s coco green smoothie & my wheat grass shotCheers to good health!

Vegfest 2011

8 Oct

I went home 2 weekends ago for many reasons, but Vegfest 2011 in DC was one of the main contributors. This was just like a mini version of Green Festival! My friend Colleen first found out about it and told me, so I couldn’t miss it. I seem to drop everything to go to events like this, who knows when I’ll be able to go again? This was a Vegan/Vegetarian festival at George Washington University with a ton of exhibitors/vendors from mainly the DC area. There were many different businesses, food places, animal activists, and TON of vegan bakeries-including Sticky Fingers Bakery which is a famous vegan bakery in DC that was on Cupcake Wars on Food Network many times! We talked to the owner Doron Petersan who has a cupcake cook book, and was so so nice! (How awesome is it to have vegan representatives on food network!?) She gave use sample of her chocolate cupcake winner and it was the best chocolate I have ever had-even before my pre-vegan days. That is a big statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhh coconut delight!

We got so many free samples and informational handouts. Throughout the day there were different speakers, book signings (cupcake eating contests), and cooking demos. Dr. Michael Gregor was there, who is a M.D. and puts out nutritional videos that people can subscribe to. He takes the medical literature/articles, and summarized them to make it easier for people to understand and apply. He talks about the data and facts behind studies and findings, and it is just amazing how everything points back to how human are meant to be eating a plant-based diet today. He went through all the medical schooling and has all the credentials of a doctor and is brilliant. And he chooses to not put animal products into his body because he knows it is not good for us. I feel like he has so much more “pull” with people than those in the integrative/functional/holistic/homeopathic field. They are certified in some way, but clearly not the same way as doctors. Part of the reason is that when someone gets sick or when something is wrong with their health, they must “go to the doctors”. When in reality doctors often treat the symptoms and not the cause. I am so glad there are vegan doctors like Dr. Greger, so he can reach those people who only listen to “doctors”, and may be positively influenced in their way of eating. This is mainly why I am going through my Undergrad in dietetics/ a dietetic internship to get become a RD (registered dietician). Although I could go to school for two years and become certified in integrative nutrition (which I really just want to do sometime),  I’ve decided to go through the 4 years then a 1-2 year internship to  become more “recognized” and “accredited”. I am not saying that people certified in integrative,  holistic, homeopathy, or osteopathy are not accredited, because they most definitely are-just not in the same way as other people view it. But it is very hard sometimes to be learning things and told to implement certain habits and guidelines which I am completely opposed to and know it is harmful to one’s health. But that’s a whole new story.

I was asked the other day by a good friend, if I could do anything in the world for my career, what would it be. I couldn’t answer because there is just so much I would love to be doing and combining so many areas of interests. After I become an RD I want to go into integrative and functional nutrition, and some homeopathy, with a focus on sustainability. The nutrition content of food is so important, but there is so much more to just that. (which many RDs do not stress) I am passionate about being a mindful eater, caring for the environment, eating local and organic, and making connections with your food. So much is lost from our food system today, and I want to help bring some of the community and meaning back to the way we eat and how we treat our bodies. I want to help people realize how important it is to treat your body right and how they can do so to live their best life. So I am praying for direction on where I can go with all of my passions, and how I can best use these to serve the Lord, most importantly.

Sorry for that long tangent, but anyways….I waited in line to get my cholesterol checked by Dr. Greger and it was 156. I was a little surprised, but he immediately said it was the coconut products I eat. Yes coconut oil, coconut butter, and coconut milk increase your cholesterol because it has a type of saturated fat, but not in the same way that red meat does. I am doing more research on this subject and will definitely do a blog about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think many people can relate with me when I say that there is nothing like being at a place where everyone there has a similar mindset and passion as you. It is exhilarating for other’s to be on the same page and understand where you are coming from. I have to say there was a huge proportion of animal activist exhibitors, which is not the main reason why I choose to eat vegan, but I was pleasantly surprised to also have a fair representation of environmental as well as  health advocates. Colleen Goudreau is a vegan author and health advocate-author of a ton of books! She was hilarious and did a 30-day vegan challenge. I loved her. She writes The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, and Vegan’s Daily Companion

There was AMAZING food here, with 18 restaurants represented, so many of them completely raw!

Here was lunch…. Raw lasagna (zucchini noodles, cashew cheese, roasted tomato sauce and other veggies- it had ridiculous flavor), raw gingery sprouted black rice, and a lemony garlic kale salad. Honestly, was in my top 10 best meals ever list. I even got a vegan pumpkin whoopee pie at the end of day as a super special treat. When will I ever get a change to get a vegan one of those!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested here is a list of all the food exhibitors that were there!

Amsterdam Falafelshop – sponsor

Bakeshop

Bread and Brew – sponsor

Burrito Bandits

Cafe Green – sponsor

Curry Mantra

Dama Ethiopian

 Dama Pastry

Everlasting Life Cafe

Fojol Bros. of Benethiopia

Fojol Bros. of Merlindia

Mojo Juice

Saveur India

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats – sponsor 

Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant – sponsor

Sweet and Natural

Vegan Treats

The day was so amazing and enlightening. Events like this just pump me up and inspire me to work hard to be able to do what I am passionate about in the future.

The second best time of the year is here!

1 Oct

Okay so Christmas definitely comes 1st, but the 2nd best time of the year is fall! It is by far my favorite season for so many reasons. I love the weather, the trees, the colors, the months, and of course  pumpkins, squash, apples, chestnuts and sweet potatoes! (I have had a baked sweet potato with raw almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped pecans for lunch every day the past week haha)  I am obsessed with pumpkin (and sweet potato)  everything, literally. I use the 2 interchangeably in different things.

I have already made pumpkin lattes, vegan pumpkin bars, walnut pumpkin butter, pumpkin granola, pumpkin overnight oatmeal , and I have such a long list of pumpkin things to make.

I’ve had pumpkin overnight oats for breakfast three days a week, on the morning I have 8 am classes. It is perfect breakfast the night before I throw in some oats, chia or ground flax, unsweetened vanilla almond milk. cinnamon, nutmeg, some pumpkin pie spice, walnuts or almond, raw pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin! It saves so much time in the morning, I just pull it out of the fridge and take it to class. Sitting overnight the oats really soak up the flavor of the spices, and the almond milk to become so creamy.

I made pretty much the same version of the oats into granola!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients (I didn’t measure so just eye it)

Oats

walnuts & almond soaked overnight

pumpkin seeds

ground flax

quinoa flakes

puffed millet

apple sauce

A little coconut oil

A lot of spices–cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pumkin pie spice

vanilla

pumpkin!

I baked at 350 for about 45 minutes! Perfect on top of some almond yogurt!   Amande

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkins are part of the cucurbit (gourd) family. The cucurbit family includes pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, luffas, watermelons and melons. They are technically a fruit with over a cup of seeds on the inside! A more detailed post to come about the nutrition of this awesome orange gourd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had some freshly made hot mulled apple cider this morning at the farmers market! There was no sugar added, and was not needed at all-it was perfectly sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BB farmers market is just amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie and I enjoying our cider and taking in the beauty of the farmers market!