I've been realyyyy busy lately with a bunch of new dance classes, performances and the holiday season at work. Some of my days during the week have been starting at 6:30am and end by 9:00pm - working all the way through. I'm not complaining! I actually love being this busy; but it does take away my time in the kitchen.
Being so busy also makes it very easy to get off track and make poor decisions with your food choices. The key to staying on track is discipline, planning ahead, and having healthy options at your reach. It's important to stock your kitchen with ready-to-go items that you enjoy; and are quick to put together.
Here are some of my must haves when I don't have time to cook:
1lb ready pack mesclun salad
1/2 lb bag arugula
1/2 lb bag baby spinach
whole grain or whole wheat tortillas
unsalted canned beans (in case you don't have time to cook your own)
oil free dressing (tahini, balsamic or avocado based)
Having these essentials allows me to whip together lunch or dinner in minutes. I can make things like wraps stuffed with salad and hummus spread, a huge bowl of salad with beans and sprouts, almond butter and banana wraps for breakfast, or a green smoothie meal replacement!
Now you know what my must haves are when I'm on the move, what are some of yours?
I came across a recipe from wholefoodsmarket.com for Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Apricots. It sounded like a perfect dish to welcome in the fall season. I thought I had apricots at home, but I didn't.. So I just used raisins. I also added in chopped celery, which complemented this dish beautifully. If you have left over brown rice in the fridge (like I did), this is a perfect way to repurpose your leftovers.
Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Raisins adapted by Sarah Farsh from wholefoodsmarket.com
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups chopped baby portobello mushrooms
1-2 cups chopped celery
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
splash of vegetable stock, for deglazing pan
pinch of cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Dry saute onions, then add in garlic, mushrooms and celery. Add in splashes of veggie stock when needed to deglaze pan. Add in all remainder ingredients accept for parsley. Saute well for about 10 minutes. Add in fresh parsley at the very end of cooking and toss well. Serve as a main dish or as a hearty side dish!
You wont feel bad double dipping into this creamy bowl of goodness.
Half the fat of regular guacamole, plus a boost of protein
It's good stuff that's good for you.
by Sarah Farsh September 23, 2012
Makes a lot.
2 ripe avocados
1 cup cooked chick peas (unsalted if canned)
half of a large juicy tomato
1/2 of a sweet onion
juice of 3 very juicy limes
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper (keep our if your a baby)
4 garlic cloves
pinch of red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
In Vitamix or food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth. You can also make this guac the old fashioned way, in a mortal and pistol. Enjoy with fresh slices of cool cucumber, baby carrot sticks or baked whole grain pita chips. It's also delicious to spread into a wrap, then fill with fresh veggies for a perfect lunch to go.
So during our trip to Hawaii, I became obsessed with Acai Bowls. I had to try one on every island, town and city we visited during our trip. It seemed like every place had a slightly different version; but they all pretty much consist of frozen acai berries blended with fruit and topped with granola, bananas and local honey. Some variations included an addition of mangoes, coconut and chocolate.
Acai berries (ah-sa-ee) are just another berry; similar to blueberries or blackberries. They are a super food and very high in antioxidants. If you've heard of these berries before, you may have heard that they promote weight loss... Although they are very healthy, they are no more magical than blueberries, raspberries or strawberries. There is no fruit, pill, or magical berry that will get you to loose weight - it's all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet (in my case, plant-based), and exercising. Acai berries should be enjoyed for what they are; a sweet and tart berry rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
I have found it a bit difficult to find fresh acai berries for sale, and I don't see them commonly in the frozen section either... I know that Whole Foods Market sells them frozen, but may not always have them in stock depending on which store you go to. If you cant find frozen acai berries - you can still make yourself a Hawaiian bowl of goodness! Just use a mix of frozen blueberries, raspberries and strawberries instead - you wont be able to tell the difference.
In a VitaMix or high powered blender, blend together frozen berries, mangoes and soy milk; using a tamper to get everything pressed and blended into the blade. Scoop out the blended berry mixture into a bowl and line bananas around the edge of bowl. Add granola into center and drizzle the whole thing with honey. Enjoy while listing to some Hawaiian music - this was Zach's favorite jam.