muddy footsteps

Superfood Salad with lemon vinaigrette

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Protein by nicolejanaye on May 17, 2013

fooooodSuperfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This seems to be the perfect dish to bring to a BBQ, picnic, or just serve as part of your dinner. It’s light but filling, loaded with health benefits like protein/fats/vitamins, and is simple to make. The lemon vinaigrette is the perfect touch to bring all the flavors together. Get your grains soaking and start making this tonight!

*Follow Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats at http://iowagirleats.com for amazing recipes just like this one that she came up with! Thanks Kristin!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 orange, peeled, and segments chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper

For the lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 TBS sweetener (honey, agave…)
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Once soaked, rinse quinoa extremely thoroughly!
  2. Heat up a dash of oil in a pot and add quinoa. Let the quinoa toast for 2 minutes, then add 2 cups of water and bring to a rapid bowl. Once a boil has been reached, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let sit for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is done cooking, take a fork to the quinoa and fluff it. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the lemon vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top. Mix, serve, and enjoy!

*If you don’t have pomegranate arils, you can replace them with chopped strawberries, watermelon, or even jicama!

 

 

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Veggie tacos with black bean and corn salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 17, 2012

This past weekend my aunt whipped together this incredible dinner that had me going back for seconds. It was simple, easy, and delicious. The plan was to originally have fish tacos, but after cooking the fish we decided to toss it out. I don’t think it was the freshest batch at the store. So instead of fish, she grilled up zucchini, sauteed some onions, and sliced up avocado and tomatoes. The tortillas were an artisan brand that were handmade by a lady from the store. You can taste the difference, it was so much better. I topped my tacos off with some salsa and tapatio to give it a spicy kick. Along side was the famous black bean and corn salad. You would think it’s just a plain jane side salad, but it actually had a ton of flavor and the lime dressing with cayenne and garlic gave it a freshness with a kick.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • hot sauce (add to your liking)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 avocados- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed. In a salad bowl combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onions, mangoes, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetable and beans with dressing, and serve.

*I got this recipe from my aunt who found it on the internet, so this is not my own creation. Also, the recipe yields a very large portion. I would half or even quarter the recipe if you are making this for one-two people.

Salted Peanut Chocolate Protein Pudding

Posted in Dessert, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on July 10, 2012

 

Well that was a mouthful. I’ve been hooked on this pudding the past month and have been playing around with ingredients to completely change the flavor of the pudding. I’ve tried espresso, chocolate cherry, and salted pecan. The basic recipe is very simple and it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with new flavors. I’ve also been rearranging the sweeter ingredients so that I can have it anytime of the day without feeling a little guilty. If you crave some rich chocolate dessert near the end of the night, try omitting the chocolate chips and add more protein powder and cocoa.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  soy/almond/coconut milk
  • 16oz. firm tofu (drained)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Rainbow Light)
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all of the ingredients (except the peanuts) in a food processor. Fold in the peanuts after the mixture has been thoroughly combined. Pour into a mug, mason jar or any type of ceramic bowl and refrigerate. You can eat the pudding right away but I recommend waiting at least a few hours for the pudding to thicken up. It’s best eaten the next day!

Spaghetti squash and easy snacks for kids.

Posted in Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on January 21, 2012

I’m trying to get back into the blogging scene.

Instagram swept me off my feet. I was hooked from the first moment I laid eyes on him. We jumped the gun and tied the knot at the classy Vegas side strip. It’s been complete bliss since then, but I feel he is lacking some content. Maybe it’s the miscommunication, or the fact that one picture in his deep, brown eyes just aren’t enough for me. I need more.

Alright, enough of the goofiness. Truth be told, I got called out. I haven’t been the best at updating the blog and some friends of mine have noticed. (Yes, you Bre 😀 ) I’m here for the readers, to show some great food and tell you all about it.

For starters, here is what I came up with today. It’s simple, healthy and very tasty. The ingredients are minimal and it fills a craving that many people have. Spaghetti squash has a similar look to pasta and is easily replicable to any spaghetti dish. Whether you smear it with marinara, top it with pesto or simply add olive oil and salt to your dish, it’s going to taste great.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place the cut-side down on a baking sheet and fill the sheet with water until it rises 1 inch on the squash.
  3. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.
  4. Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to remove the ‘spaghetti’.
  5. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss until the ‘spaghetti’ is completely coated.

Along with the spaghetti squash, a vegetable wrap and glass of cranberry kombucha made its way to my kitchen table. Ezekiel has a wonderful brand of sprouted bread and wraps that they have created. They aren’t gluten-free but they do have a great list of ingredients in them that not only provides that satisfying carb craving, but is equally healthy for your stomach. If I’m on the go and in a hurry, I’ll slap some hummus and chia seeds on a wrap, fold it up and stuff it in a lunch box with some carrots and walnuts. Before I head to the gym, I’ll smear some almond butter on one side and roll it up. It’s great for kids, easy to eat and tastes great. Tofutti cream cheese or smart balance butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger is another great idea for a spread when you are thinking of snack ideas for kids.

Three sinful bites

Posted in Dessert by nicolejanaye on October 29, 2011

I have to admit, it’s not a common occurrence when I crave sugary candy, creamy desserts, and spoonfuls of melted chocolate. I mean, I’m not chewing on bark all day long,  but I stay pretty satisfied with the meals that I make. However, there are just sometimes when you need to dig into something a little sinful.

With Halloween around the corner, this dessert and my craving seemed to fit right into place. Chocolate was the only thing on my mind and the first thing on my plate. I propped open the fridge and began searching for well fit ingredients. Some type of nut butter sounded right for the job. I didn’t care for the peanut butter in the fridge and it just seemed too typical for this dessert. I needed something a bit more unique. I’m a big fan of almond butter, but I didn’t have any at the moment. I’ve been working my way through a jar of sesame tahini and figured that would suit this dessert just wonderfully.

As many of my readers know, I have this fascination with salted..well..anything. I think a little sprinkle of sea salt can do wonders for a dish. What’s slightly funny is that I use very little salt in most of my dishes, but when I use it, I make it count.

Back to the dessert. A dark chocolate cup was the starting point for this sinful bite. Layering sesame tahini, bananas, and sea salt was the simple works of this dessert. Two layers up and the tahini begins to drool off the sides of the chocolate. As your mind starts going numb, your thoughts becoming blank, I will say all you need to do is grab and bite. Yes. Put the whole shot in your mouth. Close your eyes and savour each and every flavor.

Repeat 3 more times.

Sprouted Veggie Wraps

Posted in Food & Recipes, lunch by nicolejanaye on September 30, 2011

I’m laying in bed right now, letting round two of these incredible sprouted veggie wraps digest in my stomach. Once I feel the stomach is ready for some intermediate action, then I’ll clip on my reflector belt, slip on my running shoes and hit the hills hard.

Since returning from Italy, I haven’t signed up for a gym membership yet. I checked out one the other day right around the corner from my house that looks promising. I’m not too picky when it comes to gyms. I’ve been a member at high-end clubs, and as much as I can agree that they are nice, I don’t need it all.

In the meantime of getting back into shape without keeping to the indoors, I’ve been doing a lot of running, especially night running. My days are filled with school and work and running at night has been fitting in perfectly with my schedule. I tend to have plenty of energy, it’s cool outside, and it ends my day on a positive note. No matter what day I went through, the people I encountered, or anything negative that could come my way, night runs always make me feel great.

Earlier today two of my good friends came over to catch up. We walked to the local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to grab some drinks and hang out for a while. After a few hours of catching up, they headed home and I headed to the grocery store. I saw a photo of a veggie wrap in Jamba Juice when we walked by that inspired me to get creative with lunch and break out from my traditional salads.

I threw on my backpack and peddled my way to Henry’s. I grabbed Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, not necessarily for this meal, but I needed it for other dishes and drinks I use in the kitchen. Alfalfa Sprouts found their way into my bag as well. I was searching in the ‘Wrap’ department and nothing stood out to me. All the Multi-grain claims, and high-fiber wraps are a complete scam in nutritional terms. If you flip those suckers over and read the long list of ingredients, you’re bound to find they aren’t quite what they claim, and you might recognize only half the ingredients. Save your money for high quality ingredients that will fill you up with the right nutrients.

I assumed their must be something better than these wraps. I headed into the freezer section and found Ezekiel Sprouted wraps! Amazing and exactly what I was looking for. Not only is the list of ingredients minimal, but they are all organic and raw. Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Unhulled Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Sea Salt. You can’t get much better than that when it comes to a store-bought wrap.

So these wraps were the big staple to today’s lunch and dinner. I stuffed them with: hummus, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, red and orange bell peppers, spinach, lentils, quinoa, black pepper and a dash of kosher salt. For a thin sauce, I mixed yellow mustard, raw apple cider vinegar, black pepper, cumin, curry and cayenne. I drizzled it throughout the wrap and gobbled it all down.

These will definitely find their way into my lunches throughout the week. I can make them the night before, wrap them in parchment paper, cut them down the middle and have a filling, healthy main course for lunch.

 What kind of wraps do you like to use? Try buying wraps that have a minimal amount of ingredients for a healthier dish.

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Spicy Quinoa Flats

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, lunch by nicolejanaye on August 26, 2011

So I know I’ve been jumping back and forth a great deal on vegan food and foods regarding animal products. This is mostly in result to flying out to Europe. Generally if I’m on my own, it’s fairly easy to continue eating vegan food, whether I’m making it for myself or going to a restaurant. However, when I’m staying with a family or large group of people, I don’t want to be a hassle. I transition to vegetarianism and eat as much vegan food as I possibly can get my hands on.

Fast forward one month later and I’m back to the states and back to my comfort food. One of my favorite dishes are the Spicy Quinoa Cakes with a Sweet Mustard Sauce. The only downfall is that they are not vegan. So my quest is to veganize them. This version of quinoa cakes are a bit different. I used some similar flavors, but added cashew cream to the mixture to give it a unique texture. I made them thinner and flatter than the original version, hence the name, Quinoa Flats. They are also baked (healthier & more nutrition) instead of pan fryed. Don’t be fooled by the list of ingredients. Most of them are very common household spices. Besides the preparation of soaking the quinoa and cashews, this recipe is very simple and easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups quinoa; soaked 3 hours-overnight; cooked
  • 1 cup raw cashews; soaked 3 hours-overnight
  • 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 5 tsp diced jalapeños
  • 2 tsp olive oil; infused recommended (garlic, herbs, sun-dried tomatoes…)
  • 3 tsp tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400.
  2. After your quinoa has been soaking, you want to rinse thoroughly through a small strainer. If you don’t have a strainer with small enough holes, lay a cheese cloth on top of the strainer and rinse through that.
  3. I like to cook my quinoa with a 1: 1 1/2 ratio. Some recipes call for more or less water at a desired time, but I find that this gives the grain a perfect consistency. Depending on how long you soaked your quinoa for, your measurement will be different because of the water absorption. If you soak your grains overnight, you will have a larger product of quinoa. I ended up with 3 cups of soaked quinoa. Combine your quinoa with water, according to the ratio 1 quinoa: 1 1/2 water.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the cashews and rinse them thoroughly. Blend them with the water and vinegar.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients, except for quinoa and 3 tsp diced jalapeños, with the cashew mixture and liquify.
  6. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and combine quinoa and remaining jalapeños.
  7. Spoon flat cakes on lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Drizzle Sweet Mustard Sauce on top of flats.
  9. Enjoy!
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Raw Vegan Cowgirl Ranch Dressing

Posted in Food & Recipes, lunch by nicolejanaye on August 23, 2011

I’ve seen all the hype. I’ve read all the recipes about it. But for some reason, it has never hit my palate quite right. Kale. I’m not sure if it was a bad batch I tried or I followed the recipes wrong but kale never seemed to agree with me. Dehydrated kale chips were and still are the big raw vegan crave going around. I decided to give them a try and I ended up with something that was semi-good, but not quite there. I plan on trying them out again. If you’re reading and have an amazing recipe for them, I would be so grateful for you to send them my way!

I’m not sure if it’s the post-vacation detox hitting me or if I was willing to give these suckers another chance. Either way, I’m happy I did. Kale is a power house of nutrition, filled with Vitamin C, A, K, antioxidants, detoxifying qualities and a huge supply of beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

Today I was craving something filling but also extremely satisfying for the maintenance system working hard inside my body. I combined romaine lettuce, spinach and a large handful of kale with a fresh tomato, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. I was foraging through the cupboard to make a dressing, but was growing tired of my usual oil and vinegar dressing. I remembered that I had some lovely raw cashews soaking for a couple of hours. Soaking cashews opens many windows for vegan recipes. Blending these raw, soaked cashews provides a sincerely creamy texture with a blank slate where you can turn this nut into anything imaginable.

I decided to use it for my salad dressing. It’s creamy like ranch, but has a bit of a kick; makes you want to yeeeeha!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews; soaked
  • 4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • juice of 1 small lemon

Simply combine and blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Drizzle on top of a kale salad or any salad for that matter. It’s a delicious dressing that’s incredibly easy to make and good for you too!

What’s your favorite recipe for kale? Do you like it/hate it? Tell me!

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Good To Be Back

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, Location by nicolejanaye on August 20, 2011

It’s not as if I’m continuously boozing the nights away while I’m abroad or that I’m carelessly shoveling my mouth with McDonald’s, but it seems that with each return to the states I sincerely crave an immediate detox. I want to rid my body of all the toxins that I might have consumed while in Italy. I want to flush my system so that I feel more energized, cleansed and obtain a healthier and happier wellbeing.

I was on vacation. A 3 week trip to the beautiful, delicious country of Italy. Turin, Pisa, Florence, Sicily, Cinque Terre were just a few of the many visits I stepped foot on. Let me just admit this; if you currently weren’t aware, I’m a very healthy eater. I eat a hefty amount of vegetables and fruit, drink gallons of filtered water, fill up with protein-packed and fiber-full grains like quinoa. I rarely consume desserts. I just don’t have the cravings for them. I exercise on a daily basis and enjoy taking in many of the numerous benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. However…

This vacation was a different story of how I was going to interrupt my daily lifestyle. I wanted to take advantage of everything I had available to me. I wanted to set aside my traditional eating habits, for once, and feast among some of the incredible food that other parts of the world provide. I wanted to divulge in desserts without feeling the least bit of guilt. I wanted to take joy in a complete vacation and feel happy about it.

So this brings me to the very beginning of the trip. 23 Day Gelato Challenge! Seriously? Uh huh. This isn’t the least bit in my character to even do a week gelato challenge, but this trip was going to be different. I was going to step out of my comfort health box and dive into anything and everything Italian. Keep posted on the blog for the infamous gelato post where I will company each day’s gelato flavor with a reciprocating photo. Trust me, It’ll be a good read.

Not only was I implementing a hefty amount of creamy, dairy-rich gelato into my diet, but I was lavishing in an endless supply of focaccia bread, an infinite assortment of pasta, as well as a complete lack of consideration on the time that I’m consuming these foods. Needless to say, it was all amazing, it tasted great, but I’m more thankful than ever to be back to my traditional food lifestyle.

With that being said, let me introduce the guinea pig of meals that would make its way back into my diet. This was my first healthy breakfast to get my body back on track and feeling better than ever. Before spooning into this lovely treat, I downed quite a bit of lemon water and numerous cups of green tea to get my digestion rolling.

This is a simple yet highly nutritious breakfast full of incredible flavors. The base, which isn’t too visible, is a coconut yogurt. A mountain of fresh blueberries and strawberries find their way to the bowl along with a variety of nuts and seeds. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are combined with the tart flavor of cranberries. A perfectly ripe banana was the last ingredient to top off this belly-filling breakfast.

It’s been roughly two days since this dish and I’m already feeling internally and externally cleaner, more energized, and lighter on my feet. I had an incredible time out there, but it’s good to be back.

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Vegan Overnight Oats

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, gluten-free by nicolejanaye on July 21, 2011

Why am I just finding out about Iron and Wine? I tend to be known for melencholy music and the likes of it. I enjoy all kinds, I just happen to have the majority of my ipod filled with it. Anyways, dinner last night, breakfast this morning and currently I’m being entertained to the lovely voices of this band. Love Vigilantes seems to be the favorite so far but there are hundreds of other songs that await my listening. On to breakfast.

I’ve seen twitter messages and endless blog posts about vegan overnight oats time and time again. I’ve never tried them but I’ve always been slightly curious. The process is to soak raw oats with a mixture of dairy-free milk, chia seeds and a smashed banana. Leaving this overnight will result in a thick batter that is pleasurable for the pallet and awaiting a load of toppings. The chia seeds add a punch of nutrition, the oats fill you up, the non-dairy milk combined with the two give you plenty of protein and fiber to keep you going through a busy day.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup raw oats
  • 1 banana; mashed
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Add wet ingredients and whisk.
  3. Cover and place in a fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, top with any kind of ingredients you think are plausable. Roasted sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecan halves, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, almond butter, cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, honey, maple syrup, agave…

Have a great day!