Popsicles!

I love popsicles. One of my favorite Chicago summer staples is the popsicle carts. Nothing is better than laying on the beach and then suddenly… the popsicle bell! A refreshing fruit popsicle in the hot sun is just divine!

I have begun dabbling in my own popsicle making! The combinations are endless and they are super low calorie.

popsicles

IKEA- $2!
I also purchased additional holders from Target for $3.

Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles

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Tangy and Tart!

1 c frozen strawberries 1 ripe kiwi Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

1 c frozen strawberries
1 ripe kiwi
Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

*You can use coconut milk or  coconut water instead of almond milk

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Veggie Quinoa Stir Fry

Whole ingredients! Veggies! Whole grains! Balance! Oh its good!

The detox greatness continues with this veggie stir fry recipe. I adapted this recipe and added quite a few veggies to the mix. It was filling, nutritious and super low calorie. One serving is only 190 calories!

Veggie Quinoa Detox Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 small bushel of kale
  • 2 small zuchinni
  • 1 c of quinoa
  • 3 c veggie broth
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
yum!

yum!

Directions:

1. Rinse veggies and chop roughly. Place ingredients in food processor and pulse.

2. Place veggies in deep saute pan (needs a lid) with 1 tbsp of olive oil and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

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3. Pour quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Mix all ingredients together.

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Bring to a boil and cover

4. Stir in spices.

5. Once boiling cover mixture, bring to a low -medium and cook for 15 minutes (or until moisture evaporates)

* You can serve cold or warm

She is such a Pitta

Balance. I need it, I want it, Im going to get it! I feel balanced in my mind, however my body has been a bit out of whack. I have been consistently practicing yoga and doing cardio but my digestive system and at times sinuses aren’t liking me very much. Recently I went to an ayruvedic lecture and it was incredibly interesting.

tridosha

What is an ayruvedic diet?

“Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state.” To find that balance you first identify which dosha aligns to you and then work to balance that dosha so that you feel great!  There are certain foods and activites that help to balance each dosha and should be exercised when a dosha becomes imbalanced. We each have a body and mind dosha, which can often be different.

I am bi-dosha, with a natural tendency towards Pitta. Inherently my genetic blue print is Pitta and I generally do align with this dosha. I am fire-y, passionate, aggressive  and medium build. However, my mind tends to align with the Vata dosha, in that I am always: go go go.

The Pita Diet

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I have been looking for the right motivation and plan to get my body back into alignment. I haven’t gained weight (in fact Ive added muscle) or anything drastic, but I feel YUCK inside. I know I am imbalanced and I yearn to feel clean inside. Its super interesting to read which foods cause imbalance in a Pitta because guess what… its the majority of what I consume. There was a week or two recently where I lived like a small squirrel and survived on nuts. Pitta’s are supposed to avoid all nuts which the exception of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, go figure!

What to avoid: 

Fried & steaming hot foods, salty, fatty, or sour foods (pickles, yogurt, sour cream, sour fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, and anything fermented). Avoid condiments and hot spices like mustard, cayenne, chillies, ginger, black pepper, and clove.

Avoid also hot drinks, yeast bread, aged cheese, red meat, potatoes, and reduce “heating” grains like brown rice and corn, and “warming” vegetables like carrots, beets, spinach, eggplant, onion, and garlic.

Stay away from honey and protein powder drinks, as they create hyperacidity. Pass up all nuts except coconut (shredded) and almonds (in small amounts). Any processed & fast foods are completely out of question, as they contain bad fats that create huge amounts of stomach acid and throw your Pitta dosha completely out of balance.

Gluten Free Oats with Apple, Cinnamon and Flax

I am going to try and maintain a pitta diet (I am up for the challenge) and try to track my results. My recipes for the next few weeks will align to the Pitta diet, enjoy!

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Protein Pancakes

April is here! I thought about taking a month hiatus from the ol’ blog because of the craziness that will ensue this month, however I just can’t leave! My posts won’t be as consistent this month but I will try my best. Posting recipes keeps me grounded as weird as that may seem. It motivates me to prepare fresh foods which ultimately makes me feel great inside 🙂

This month our business Smarty Pants Yoga Inc. launches, I graduate from yoga school, I am being honored in NYC, and we go to Florida for my sister’s wedding. The day we return we move and my students are competing in a city-wide competition. I am SO excited for all of the madness, and am trying to take each day as it comes.

My month in pictures:

Dottie - Basic Logo

florida_ref_2001 CorePower-Yoga-Logo nfte-silver-anniversary-gala-web1

To get me through I need to make sure I maintain a healthy diet. I am not eating any processed food or sugar and am making meals instead of snacking on nuts or dried fruit (a deliciously bad habit). To kick off the month of healthy everything I present protein pancakes (my new obsession). They are packed with healthy ingredients and super easy to make. Plus they are gluten free! Yay for pancakes!

Protein Pancakes

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2.5 tbsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
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packed with protein

Toppings: So many options!

  • Berries
  • PB2
  • Sugar Free Syrup

Image (51)Directions:

1. Mash banana in bowl.

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Leave no lumps

2. Place all ingredients in shaker cup. Place banana last.

best cup ever.

best cup ever.

3. Shake ingredients until evenly distributed.

4. Grease (coconut oil, PAM) non stick pan on medium heat. Pour mixture into pan. When it begins to bubble flip.

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5. Cook thoroughly and serve!

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For Real the Best Smoothie…EVER

I know each time I post I set up the recipe with “This is the best!” For real though, this smoothie is the best.

I ADORE my fellow yogis. Two weeks ago we had “Smoothie Sunday.” Smoothie Sunday was a magical affair that involved smoothie samples. A few of us brought our favorite shake to share! The combo that won my heart involved cinnamon. Two classmates used cinnamon in their shakes and my world changed.

One of my classmates brought an amazing smoothie that combined dates, cinnamon, and banana. That’s right… heaven. I’m sharing this recipe with the world because WORLD YOU DESERVE IT. Thank you Marvin for enlightening my taste buds. I of course changed it up to make a green smoothie, got to get that spinach in!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Cinnamon Date Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

Plus spinach

Plus spinach

1 tsp cinnamon
8 ice cubes
1.25 c of vanilla almond milk
1 banana
3 dates (pitted)
1.4 c of cold water
2 c of spinach

Directions:

Place ice in blender and pulse.
Remove pits from dates

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Place liquids in blender and then pile greens on top.

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Set to liquefy and blend until smooth.

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Pulsing the ice before helps with texture

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Looks scary, tastes amazing!

The Little Goat

Being gluten free is awesome. I feel cleaner and haven’t had a rash in 2 months (this has not happened since 7th grade). However, when going out to eat being gluten free can be the pits. I love salads, I do, but when it is your only option it can be boring.

Chicago has so many amazing restaurants. When we stumble upon a restaurant with a gluten free menu I am elated. I feel the world is open to me. I begin considering eating things I would never eat just because I can. I end up choosing something like a salad but I do appreciate the option.

Recently Stephanie Izard of The Girl and The Goat opened a trendy diner in the West Loop. The decorum is perfect! A blend of 1960’s and 1970’s fixtures and design elements fused with 1950’s diner classics.

Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard

The menu is robust. But despite all of this, what’s even greater is that availability of gluten free options. I don’t udnersrand why more restaurants don’t follow Izard’s model and add a gluten free bun to their menu. It opens up the availability of items to consumers. Izard also offers a daily gluten free baked good (YES!).

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Lots of vegetarian options

Stephen and I recently went to The Little Goat on a Friday afternoon (which I recommend if you don’t want to wait for 2 hours). We were seated in a two person booth towards the back of the restaurant. The lighting in the space is divine! The ceiling is a giant sunlight which makes even the gloomiest of days seem bright.

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The wall paper is perfect!

We started off with drinks!

We started off with drinks!

Stephen ordered a mid day cocktail (hes so cute and fancy) and I began with a black coffee. I could not decide what I wanted because the options were endless. Veggie burgers with all types of toppings, baked goods, omelets, salads… I could eat them all! I decided to move out of my comfort zone and get an omelet (I rarely get eggs anywhere).

SPANISH OMELETTEcheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato . sour cream

SPANISH OMELETTE
cheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato .

Stephen got a veggie burger. He was super excited about it. He also got fried pickles and onions.

So cute.

So cute.

KOREANkimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

KOREAN
kimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

We topped our meal with a delicious shake. It was so fresh and yummy.

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Coo Coo for Coconut

I have a new love in my life…. his name is Coconut.

I have had some digestive issues recently so I talked to my acupuncturist about it (she is the best). Things are going great with the gluten free business but I have had a hard time with my belly as of late. She has always told me I need to consume more fat but my problem has been finding a food that is low in calories but high in good fat. Well ladies and gentleman, my problems have been solved.

I told her what I was putting in my shakes and she suggested I add coconut oil. God bless her heart. Coconut tastes amazing and is the perfect solution.

Coconut Heaven: Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with Kind Gluten Free Granola, Coconut Oil from Trader Joes

Coconut Heaven: Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with Kind Gluten Free Granola, Coconut Oil from Trader Joes

I am also really into Coconut Yogurt. I love the flavor (could be served as a dessert), the low calories, and fat content. Great as an afternoon snack or paired with high protein granola.

Blueberry Coconut Yogurt, Vanilla Kind Gluten Free Granola, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Banana

Blueberry Coconut Yogurt, Vanilla Kind Gluten Free Granola, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Banana

And the grandest treat of them all, my shake!

Chocolate Coconut Protein Green Smoothie

(vegan and gluten free)

This shake is incredibly balanced. Here is the breakdown:

Calories: 351
Carbs: 29
Fat: 18
Protein: 26
This shake will leave you full and provide your intestines and kidneys the support they need to break down all of that fiber.

Ingredients:

1 c of kale
2 c of spinach
1 packet of chocolate Tera’s Whey protein powder (this is a local product, if you can’t find a gluten free chocolate powder use vanilla and add cocoa powder)
1/2 banana
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 ice cubes
1/2 c cold water

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Store the remaining banana in the fridge

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes, liquids, and powder into blender.

make sure to put the oil in the middle otherwise it will stick to the walls of the blender

make sure to put the oil in the middle otherwise it will stick to the walls of the blender

2. Layer greens on top of liquids.

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so balanced!

3. Place on liquefy and blend until forthy and even.

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Delicious lunch or breakfast, almost like dessert!

Fried Rice… without the rice

Eminem is by the far one of the best musicians to spin to. I am not kidding. The song from 8 mile has an amazing beat for high resistance…

Okay, now that I got that off my chest I can reveal one of my new recipes. I am not kidding about Eminem and I am not kidding about these veggies, both are life changing.

This recipe is delicious and packed with nutrients. I had gotten the idea from another blog, however I changed the recipe dramatically and the result is definitely worth posting about. I made this dish this past Sunday and it has held up quite well in the fridge.

You can defiantly add rice (small quantities) however I found that I didn’t really want any because the flavor was great on its on.

Fried Rice without the Rice

(gluten free and vegan)

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Ingredients:
Serving :4
Calories: About 150 without rice

  • 1/2 bag of frozen peppers and onions (I used trader joes because thats what I had)
  • 1/2 bag frozen asparagus (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 c kale
  • 2 c spinach
  • 1 bag of organic broccoli
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • small container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 c green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c Trader Joes quick cook brown rice

    fresh!

    fresh!

Directions:

Step 1: Split oil. In a small pan heat half of oil and cook egg whites. Flip for omelet  remove from heat and place on plate. Cut eggs into slices and set aside for later.

do not scramble

do not scramble

Step 2: In a large sauce pan heat remaining oil in pan. Add ginger and onions and saute for about 4 minutes.

74Step 3: Add broccoli, frozen veggies, mushrooms and carrots to pan. Stir consistently until veggies become tender (about 10 minutes)

75Step 4: Add  peas, soy sauce and spices to mixture and stir to coat. Continue to let cook. The veggies should produce juices which will help create a “sauce” with the soy.

Step 5: Add the spinach and kale. Allow for greens to wilt down and continue to stir with sauce. Add in eggs after greens have settled.

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Step 6: Place ingredients in air tight container and store for the week! I made the rice separate so that I could have less rice than my husband. If you want to combine them immediately add rice to mixture, stir and then put in container.

20 minute delicious chili

As stated in a previous post, we recently became subscribed to Vegetarian Times and it is awesome. This past week I made another one of their under 400 quick chili recipes and it was a hit. This recipe took maybe 2 minutes of prep and the rest of the time the ingredients were simmering.  Its simple, easy, and yummy… the perfect busy week combo.

Tempeh BBQ Chili with Slaw 

(vegan and gluten free)

simplicity is key.

simplicity is key.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of tempeh- crumbled (I just chopped them up)
  • 1.5 c of bbq sauce (gluten free)
  • slaw mix (we purchased the broccoli slaw mix from Wholefoods)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cans of pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • .5 c of water

Directions:

Place the crumbled tempeh and bbq sauce in a large skillet (have a lid ready). Mix the ingredients on a medium heat and then add beans. Mix in water (as much or as little was you want), cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. YES IT IS THAT EASY.

In a separate bowl mix the slaw and vinegar together and let sit for 20 minutes.

Serve chili layered with slaw and viola!

Note: You could add chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, mushrooms,  and/or onions to the chili!

Keep Calm and Cook on

Things are back to nutty and I NEED to maintain balance. This week I knew that I would have meetings each night after work so I planned ahead and made enough dinners for the week.

Stephen’s mom surprised us for Christmas and bought us two wonderful magazine subscriptions  She purchased us Vegetarian Times for the year which I am super excited about. Vegetarian Times has a lot of great recipes for under 400 calories. They also index all of the recipes by vegan and gluten free, making life a lot easier.

In anticipation of the craziness I prepared Moroccan Stew and Chipotle Chili. The calories listed in the magazine don’t seem to match MyFitnessPal. I am going to presume MyFitnessPal is correct because it considers the actual brands I used. Both recipes are really great and are perfect for when you are in a pinch.

Moroccan Potato, Carrot, and Chickpea Stew

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Not plated because I haven’t served it in a portion yet 🙂

Ingredients:

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so fresh and whole.. nom!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato- cubed
  • 8 oz. baby carrots
  • 2 large shallots- chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 can of 15.5 oz low sodium chickpeas (drained, reserve liquid, divide portion of beans)
  • 1/3 c dark raisins
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbs lemon juice, lemon wedges for serving
  • 2 c of fresh spinach

Directions:

1. Heat oil in large non stick skillet (have lid handy) on medium heat. Add potato, carrots, shallots, salt, and pepper, saute for 3 minutes.

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2. Add chickpea liquid, raisins, cumin, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss, and then cover to let simmer for 8 minutes on low heat.

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3. Mix in 1 half of chickpeas, cover and let simmer for an additional 3 minutes- make sure carrots and potatoes are tender, if they are not continue to let simmer.

4. Mash remaining chickpeas in a shallow bowl and mix with lemon juice.

5. Mix mashed chickpeas into skillet and pile spinach on top. Toss mixture until spinach begins to reduce in volume.

spunach

6. Add water to the mixture if you would like it to be soupier and serve. * Since I was not serving right away I added water and let the mixture simmer off of the lit pilot for about 4 more minutes and then placed it in a air tight container.

Nutritional Information:

stew