Tag Archives: vegetarian

Indian Tofu Mushroom Curry

I don’t know about you, but Hungry and I love Indian food: the flavors, the different textures,  the unique combinations. In fact, it’s our most often ordered “take-out” or “take-away” as they say in New Zealand. What better to fill a grumbling tummy than a beautiful heaping plate of curry, rice, and naan? I’m drooling just thinking about it. SO when we had a block of tofu that needed using, I decided to go with an Indian style dish. It’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s nutritious: our favorite three. We hope you enjoy this Indian Tofu Mushroom Curry–inspired by Honest Cooking.

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How to Be a Vegetarian

Often times, when people find out I’m a vegetarian, they look at me sadly like they just found out I have a terminal illness. Funny thing is that I choose to be a vegetarian. And many other people do too! Now, the transition into being a vegetarian isn’t always so heartfelt and easy. There are tons of books out there with the purpose of instructing one on how to be a vegetarian. This is going to be a much simpler guide. I’m not telling everyone to be a vegetarian, I’m just showing you how to in case you were ever curious–how to get enough nutrients in a plant-based diet. Sometimes people turn into starch-atarians when they go veggie, but fear not–there is plenty of protein when you come this way!
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Tomato Avocado Salad

In the past few weeks, Hungry and I have kicked up our fitness level to a certain degree. It’s been going fairly well, and we are a mission to achieve our goals and stay healthy! It’s not always easy. We have busy lives, a not-so-great neighborhood, and everyday troubles. However, we rise above and keep fighting for our passion! To go along with that are healthy recipes. Recently, our fridge and pantry have been chock full with delicious fruits and veggies. We’ve been getting great prices on avocados from Trader Joe’s which we’ve been certainly using to our advantage. We’ve been making different things like caprese salads, roasted tomato on toast, and yummy spinach recipes too. In this case, I simply combined a few ingredients to create something very tasty: a tomato avocado salad. 

Finished product

Finished product

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Powell’s Vegetarian Chili

It has been cold in Boulder. I know Chris likes it, but I’m not a huge fan of 30 or 40 degree weather. However, there are remedies to this! Such as hot chocolate…tea…oh and, VEGETARIAN CHILI! We would eat this a lot at home when I lived with my parents and it was always so tasty and gave that perfect sense of warmth and comfort. And I never realized how easy it was to make until I started cooking for my own. This chili lasted us a few nights and for a few lunches, keeping us warm against the turning seasons. This recipe comes from my family. It’s easy, healthy, and vegetarian-friendly.

  • Prep Time: 15-20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large green or red pepper
  • 1 package of mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika or chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 15 oz. can red kidney beans
  • 1.5 cups zucchini
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen corn
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Okay long list of ingredients, but it is super simple. First let’s chop up all the mushrooms, garlic, pepper, onion, and zucchini
Chopped veggieeees

Chopped veggieeees

  • Stir the garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and onions in a deep pot with oil until veggies are tender
  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, and cumin. Stir it and heat to a boil. 

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  • Reduce the heat to low. Then add the beans, corn, and zucchini. Simmer those until the veggies are tender

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  • Add however much cheese you want into the chili and stir until it melts. Serve hot with sprinkled cheese on top!
:)

:)

We usually have it alongside some cornbread. It always fills me up with a sense of home and happiness. I know I will be making it more as the days get colder. The second day we had it, Chris added some ground turkey into it and it was also delicious! This recipe is incredibly easy, delicious, and healthy. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuddle buddies forever

Cuddle buddies forever

The Most Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

So we ran out of salad dressing. I had collected a bunch of sungold tomatoes from our farm (the Longmont YMCA where I work) so I wanted to put a nice salad together with the fresh goodies. All my life growing up, my mum made a delicious dressing. It wasn’t balsamic, I think it was more red wine. But her work inspired me. Why go buy salad dressing when I could just easily make one right here in my kitchen for half the cost? I looked up a recipe from here to steer myself in the right direction and then let the ingredients flow! This recipe is incredibly easy, quick, and tasty.

My gorgeous salad

My gorgeous salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a bunch of twists of black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
Prepping

Prepping

Directions

  • Beat everything together except the oil. I used a fork to do this
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Oops, blurry

  • Then, slowly pour the oil in, mixing furiously the whole time
Un-mixed

Un-mixed

  • Don’t forget to shake it up before serving!!
Shaken, not stirred

Shaken, not stirred

And, ummm, that’s it. Really tough, huh? I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I made this dressing along with the salad, listening to some La Vie En Rose (Louis Armstrong version) alongside a glass of red wine. It turned out delicious. Simple flavors bringing the salad to life, with that extra kick of vinegar and garlic to give that lingering taste. YUM. I say don’t refrigerate because the oil may get hard. I keep it in the pantry where it gets used very often. Must make a new batch soon. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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End result of the salad. Couldn't resist going for more

End result of the salad. Couldn’t resist going for more

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CHIN RUBBBBBBBBBB

CHIN RUBBBBBBBBBB

Efrain’s Magical Mexican Food (Fit’s Restaurant Review)

 I think we may have found one of the best Mexican spots in Boulder. Yes, I’m excited too. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s a scenic drive through the Wild West (it seems like). You pass these old rusted buildings, lots of old mining spots, and such. Anyhow, we get there one night, and it’s packed. And it’s a Wednesday! Obviously, this place was popular. And it had good reason to be. 

The spot is called Efrain’s II as in #2. Yes, weird name, but there are actually 3 of these wonderful restaurants, one in Layfayette and Longmont as well. They obviously saw the good fortune in expanding, and boy are we glad they did! We get there around 7:30-8pm and wait for a table for around 20-30 minutes. I had a margarita while we waited and we watched some baseball. I was surprised how busy it was because it was a Wednesday. Come on, people! But it was a good sign. Chris had gone there with his friend a few weeks earlier and had wanted to take me because he knows my fervent love of good Mexican food (helloooo, I grew up in SoCal).

Great margarita!

Great margarita!

Mr. Muscles over here

Mr. Muscles over here

Chris' meal from a few weeks earlier

Chris’ meal from a few weeks earlier

Once finally seated, they were quick to serve us with some chips and salsa. The bad thing about this is that there were endless refills. So yes, I obviously filled up on chips and could barely eat my meal. No surprises here, folks! As I sipped away on my margarita, Chris got a Mexican Coke (he loooooooves them). He ordered the Steak San Lorenzo (a sizable meal that even he couldn’t finish) and I ordered the fajitas. Vegetarian, of course.

Mexican coke

Mexican coke

I couldn’t believe how big my portion was. For my fajita platter, I received three tortillas, a huge plate of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, beans, rice, guac, etc. and a huge pot of fajita-styled vegetables. I couldn’t believe it. Everything was cooked well with lots of flavor. Chris thoroughly enjoyed his steak and we left a happy couple. The atmosphere is kinda hectic, but once you get seated, you’re in your own happy bean-and-cheese world. I can’t wait to go there again and again. Good Mexican food with a good price? Don’t mind if I do. Load up on Mexican food to stay hungry and fit!

Chris' steak smothered in veggies

Chris’ steak smothered in veggies

My ENTIRE MEAL

My ENTIRE MEAL

Close-up because it's so pretty

Close-up because it’s so pretty

Hi

Hi

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading away

Nymeria kneading away

Vegan Nutrition Isn’t Rocket Science

Everyone knows that staying away from fatty animal products is a great way of staying fit and healthy. You avoid all that cholesterol and saturated fat, and keep your calorie counts down where they should be. Eating vegan makes it much less likely that you’ll develop heart disease or diabetes, and all those good antioxidants help ward off cancer.

However, people who aren’t vegans wonder where you get all your nutrients. They’ve been brought up with the idea that you need to eat from all of the five food groups in order to have a healthy, balanced diet.

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If anyone asks you about this, tell them they needn’t worry. You can get everything in plants that you can in animals, except for the bad stuff. Just take a look at the healthy vegan diets from organizations such as Weight Watchers that you can find on sites like healthy-dietplans.com

One of the first things that people worry about is how you get all your vitamins and minerals. They know that things like oranges are great for vitamin C, but what about everything else? Well, it’s actually pretty easy. For example, don’t you need calcium for strong bones? Yes you do, but cows are completely optional. Foods like collard greens, black-eyed peas and almonds are all a great source of calcium, and you can also get calcium from fortified soy or rice milk. The same goes for iron. Forget about a bloody steak, and think about Popeye. Spinach is absolutely packed with iron, as are beans, lentils, sunflower seeds and quinoa.

B vitamins are also a concern if you are vegan. The good news is that you can get lots of these from processed grains, as well as from potatoes, beans, bananas, lentils and molasses. These are all a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin and folic acid. The only thing you really have to worry about is vitamin B12, which isn’t found naturally in plants. However, you can get B12 by taking a multivitamin or yeast supplement, and it’s also added to some rice and soy milks, so it’s worth checking for this when you buy them.

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As for your other vitamins, vitamin A is found in things like liver and butter, but did you know that carrots and sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin A? 100 grams of raw carrots can give you all the vitamin A that you need in a day. Most of us get hold of the vitamin D that we need just by being in the sun, but you can also get vitamin D by eating things like shiitake and portabella mushrooms. Vitamin E is also a simple one – sunflower seeds, almonds and peanuts are packed with it.

Finally, you may get a lot of questions about complete proteins. The truth is, as long as you eat a good variety of vegan foods, complete proteins just aren’t a problem. For example, soybean protein is complete, and combinations such as beans and rice will give you all the amino acids you ever need.

A Healthy Take on Risotto: Mushrooms and Onions Please!

As you know, I’m in an extreme clean-eating phase right now, prepping for contest. Thus, I can’t always cook or bake what I want. I’m okay with it, I’m staying strong and working hard—and I actually enjoy the food, even though it may be bland to some. Anyhow, I found a delicious recipe that fit my macros with some to spare—without skimping on flavor. I used brown rice instead of risotto or white rice. Chris had about three servings of this—he loved it and made me promise I would cook it again. Did I mention this is vegan?

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The recipe I found here, was kind of intimidating. It was a lot of steps and different instructions for seemingly the same ingredients. However, I gave myself a good hour and next time I make it, it will take half the time. When I do something once, I learn quickly and usually adept the next time around. I learn by doing, just how I am. This recipe is extremely altered that I don’t even want to base it on that link, but that’s what inspired me. I can’t say I’m a genius, because I don’t come up with ways to make it better, I am just making do with ingredients I have (or don’t have). Alright, let’s get started.

  • Prep Time: 25-45 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 4 normal people (for us—fed me and Chris…3 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1.5- 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 package brown mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (use fresh if you can)
  • as much garlic as you want (I used elephant garlic, so…A TON)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F
  • Cut your onion in half. Put one half to the side and leave one half on cutting board.
  • Slice up your mushrooms and clean them. Put them into a hot-water-proof bowl and pour the boiling water on top.
Steeping mushrooms

Steeping mushrooms

  • Turn to the half of the onion on your cutting board and dice it up into little pieces. Mince or cut your garlic here too. What better combination than this?
Chop chop chop

Chop chop chop

  • Get a deep pot ready—one that can go into an oven. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in the pot on medium heat. Put the diced onions and garlic in. Cook for 8 minutes or until nice and soft. ENJOY THAT SMELL.
Best smell ever

Best smell ever

  • Drain the steeping mushrooms but save the liquid!
  • Push the onions in the pot to the side, turn on medium-high heat, and put the mushrooms in. Do not stir. Let them cook for 5 minutes and then turn them over, doing the same no-stirring and let cook on this side for 5 minutes. If a crust forms, that’s totally okay—kinda what you want.
  • Add in the rosemary, stirring so it gets in the mushrooms and onions.

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  • Add in the brown rice and let cook for 4 minutes

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  • Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, and steeped mushroom liquid

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Mushroom liquid

  • Mix around and get anything sticking to the pot up and off
  • Mix in salt and pepper to taste

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  • Bring to a boil, put on a lid, and then put into the oven for 35 minutes.
  • While the wonderful mixture is cooking, coat a pan with oil and start caramelizing the other half of the onion. Cut that onion in moon-slices and once oil is heated, put them in, and salt it. Do a low heat until the mixture is ready. Yum!
Onions caramelizing

Onions caramelizing

  • Take the risotto mixture out and let sit for a few minutes. Now, see, I get kind of impulsive when I cook and don’t always take everything into consideration when I convert a recipe for my own needs. Sure, I cut the onions from 4 to 1, but did I cut down the vegetable broth? Of course not. So, I’m sure the liquid was supposed to soak into the rice and just have solids left. However, ours had plenty of the liquid left—and we liked it that way (we used the delicious stuff to cook stuff the next day)
  • So, do it our way, use a spoon or some kind of utensil to scoop out the rice, onion, and mushroom mix out of the “soup.” Plate it and put the caramelized onions on top.

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Came out absolutely wonderfully

Came out absolutely wonderfully

Don't forget to have some greens on the side!

Don’t forget to have some greens on the side!

It looks like a lot of steps, but many of these steps take about 10 seconds. Please don’t be intimidated by this because it really is SO delicious. And easy once you get the handle of it. So it’s not exactly risotto because I use brown rice. However, this makes it healthier—a complex carbohydrate with plenty of fiber to keep you full and slowly digest and absorb into the blood stream. Let me know if you have any comments or questions. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Tofu Scramble

Now this is another recipe from the great book my lovely client got me: the McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook. It’s full of delicious, healthy recipes that don’t take the whole evening to prepare. My client encouraged me to try the tofu scramble and I finally did. I am very thankful I did so, and I was rewarded by having it for many meals since it makes plenty of servings. This recipe is healthy and easy to make, especially for those who take lunch to work. You can have it any time of the day with anything–toast, eggs, stir fry! It is SUPER easy.

Feel free to spice it up!

Feel free to spice it up!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 packet firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions

  • Put the water in a medium frying pan and turn on heat
  • Put in the chopped mushrooms and bell pepper
Ready to be cooked!

Ready to be cooked!

  • Once the mushrooms and peppers have been somewhat cooked, throw the spinach in as well. Feel free to season how you’d like

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  • While it continues to cook, take out your tofu and put it in a bowl. Mash it up, reeeal well. Keep going!
  • Put all your seasonings in with the tofu and mix it around the mash
  • Add the tofu to the veggies and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until you see fit.

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  • You can serve with potatoes, tacos, eggs–whatever meal it is and whatever you are in the mood for!
I, of course, opted for the tacos

I, of course, opted for the tacos

Feel free to spice it up!

Feel free to spice it up!

It  may not be pretty, but it is nutritious and delicious! It’s easy to whip up (I did it after a long workout) and it kept me fed for a few days after I made it! Definitely worth it. There’s so many ways you can change it around. The original recipe calls for onion, but I say whatever vegetables you have in the house, throw them in! This is the perfect recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Bed cuddles

Bed cuddles

Back to the Basics: How to Cook an Artichoke

Ridiculously simple post? Yes, but I find it necessary. The first time I approached an artichoke, I had no idea how to do it! It’s an intimidating vegetable with thorns to boot! So if you know how to cook an artichoke, pass this one over. You can go read about how to cook kale instead. Artichokes bring back good memories for me: sitting with my before-birth friend and her family eating a cooked artichoke with garlic butter. Memories like that always make the food taste better.

My cooking method for artichokes is to boil them. It’s actually easy peasy, so let’s start. I’m not going to even put an ingredients list because all you need is…ARTICHOKE. 

Directions

1. Wash the artichoke by pouring water over it

2. Cut the stem off, leaving 1 inch there.

3. Cut off an inch of the tip of the artichoke

Isn't it purdy?

Isn’t it purdy?

4. Pull off the leaves at the bottom, the very rough ones that you wouldn’t want to eat.

5. Take some scissors (or if you want to make your life awful, you can use a knife, yikes) and cut off the little thorns on the tips of the artichoke “leaves”

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6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and dunk that bad boy in there. Leave it in there for 25-30 minutes. You could always put salt on it here or even drop a clove of garlic in the water while it boils

7. Carefully take out the artichoke and let it cool so you can eat it!

8. While it’s cooling, why not make some melted garlic butter to dip it in? Just put a bit of butter in a bowl with some garlic and heat over stove or microwave. Or you could use hummus, salsa, any kind of dip you enjoy.

So I have this steaming vegetable, how do I eat it? Great question, imaginary friend. Once it’s cool enough to handle, simply pull the leaves off the body and drag your bottom teeth down it to get the “meat” off it. But don’t forget to dip it in your dip first! It can also be enjoyed just by itself. Once you get the meat off the leaf, put the discard (the hard part of the leaf) into another bowl (for garbage). Feel free to eat the artichoke heart at the end in the middle! Sounds like a sacrifice ritual–and those always turn out well! Eating artichokes is a great way to stay hungry and fit! Cheers! 

The remnants of my artichoke feast

The remnants of my artichoke feast