More smoothies, less bloat

Summer time is here and we’ve got you covered with easy smoothie recipes to help you “cool” down. I like to make my smoothies as a breakfast replacement or in between my workouts. It’s totally guilt-free, vegan friendly, and full of plant based protein to keep you looking lean and most importantly feeling good!

Recipe 1: Apple Smoothie

RECIPE:

DIRECTIONS:

Slice an organic apple into pieces. Add to nutri-bullet blender. Then, pour 1 cup of Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk in and 1 scoop of Plant Fusion. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

P.S. Throw some ice in there for a thicker smoothie!

Recipe 2: Banana SunButter Smoothie

RECIPE:

DIRECTIONS:

Add 1 banana and blueberries, strawberries, and spinach if you’d like. Pour 1 cup of unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk, 1 scoop of Plant Fusion protein, and 1 teaspoon of SunButter. You get your daily dose of antioxidants, iron, and blueberries to help with memory improvement. Enjoy!

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Go scrambleless with tofu eggs

I often like to change up my breakfast menu ranging from smoothies, tofu eggs, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, and french toast.  Vegan friendly food has become highly popular and can be found almost everywhere, but there is nothing like cooking your own food from scratch. You can control the seasoning factor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of tofu, firm or medium preferably
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (Califia Farms)
  • Handful of organic spinach (Earth Bound Farm)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Onion seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Tumeric
  • Olive Oil for the pan

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DIRECTIONS:

Open and drain the tofu. Place in a bowl and mash until it’s in smaller chunks. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk, Earth Bound Farm organic spinach, onion seasoning (or fresh finely chopped onions), salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and pepper. HINT: Turmeric helps to get the yellow scrambled egg color.

Mix thoroughly. Line the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with olive oil. Drizzle it but don’t drown the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes until soften. Get ready to enjoy!

You can put your guilt-free tofu scramble on a whole wheat english muffin with vegan cheese and ketchup, as a side dish with your toast, or even stuffed inside a baked potato.

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Featured a baked potato with tofu scramble with salt and pepper on top. Don’t forget to dip it in ketchup.

 

Brown rice noodles…THAIriffic!

I absolutely love Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food but I could never get my homemade dishes to come out the way it does as the restaurant, until…

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Now, with Thai Kitchen’s brown rice noodles, you can easily make a healthy vegan and vegetarian friendly dish. It comes with 4 individually wrapped noodles per box so you can always make 1 or 2 packs per serving or make them all for family style stir-fry dish.  I decided to make the whole package (I still have leftovers and I have a family of 4) and throw in some frozen veggies broccoli, corn, cauliflower, snow peas, and used Kikkoman’s Stir Fry Sauce and soy sauce for a little extra flavoring.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of frozen veggies
  • 1 box of Thai Brown Rice Noodles
  • 1 jar of Kokkoman’s Stir Fry Sauce
  • 1 jar of Low Sodium Soy Sauce

 

DIRECTIONS:

I’ll break it down for you. First, boil a pot of water and add a pinch of salt (it helps so that the noodles won’t stick together). Then, you can add your noodles, stir continuously until tender for about 3-5 minutes. Be careful because nobody likes overcooked noodles!

As you’re waiting for that, get your veggies ready. I decided to use a frozen bag of assorted veggies including broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and let them defrost while I waited for my noodles to cook. I had leftover corn and sliced that up to throw in as well.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

Once the noodles are fully cooked, drain them thoroughly until all the water is out. Set the noodles aside in a bowl. Then, add 1/2 cup water or less to your skillet, Kikkoman’s stir fry seasoning (you can decide how much you need), and soy sauce to your preference. Wait until it starts to bubble slightly.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

This is my favorite part. Throw them veggies in and get mixing. You can also add salt or any other seasonings that pair well. I stuck to the traditional route.

Cover and let cook until tender 5-7 minutes. You can test it by putting the fork through the veggies to see if they’re done. Keep mixing and once the veggies are ready add the noodles in. Now here comes the easy part, mix for a minute or two, and add more stir-fry sauce if needed. Cool a few minutes and get ready to EAT! Oh yeah, don’t forget to sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

Watch me stir it up below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Califia expands to new heights

Califia Farms is expanding it’s selection from Cold Brew Coffee, Coffee Creamers, Juices, Plant Milks, and seasonal flavors like my favorite Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I hope they open a coffee shop next.

Seriously though, I have an unhealthy obsession with Califia’s XX Expresso Cold Brew Coffee and don’t worry they have everyone covered. You can pick from a wide array of coffee including Cocoa Noir Cold Brew Coffee, Mocha Mexica Cold Brew Coffee, Dirty Chai Cold Brew Coffee, Salted Caramel Cold Brew, Cafe Latte Cold Brew Coffee, and others.

The non-dairy industry is on the rise as more people consume less and less dairy. Califia makes a naturally good quality dairy-free blend of milks and coffee. It will leave you wanting more.  It’s non-grainy, fresh, smooth flavors are magnificently addicting!

Cheers, 2 thumbs up!

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Photo taken by Christa Alexis

 

 

 

 

A whole grain pasta that leaves you wanting more…what?

Tinkyada  makes gluten-free, wheat free, and non-mushy rice pasta that adds a little health to your meal. Boil water and add your pasta, let cook for 10-12 minutes, and enjoy while hot. Pairs perfectly with tomato sauce, sauteed veggies, or as a lasagna dish.

I tried the ‘Brown Rice Pasta Fettucini’ style and added my own homemade Italian sauce using fresh seasonings like basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. I was reluctant to try a rice pasta since many of them usually come out “mushy” or taste “grainy.” The label clearly stated “Not Mushy” with two bunnies holding the pasta but I wasn’t convinced by it. I have to say the pasta was just right and I would have never guessed it was a whole grain choice. Let’s just say I could eat more than one serving and the taste was impeccable.

There’s millions of pastas and millions of ways to make your pasta different each time. You can view recipes at Tinkyada’s website here.

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http://tinkyada.com/

Front St Trattoria is a veg friendly hit!

Located in the heart of Red Bank, at the corner of West Front street, Front Street Trattoria brings Italy to you with fresh ingredients, spaghetti squash, meatless (eggplant filled) meatballs seasoned with marina sauce, and cauliflower pizza. It’s great for people cutting back on their carbs and serves a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Owners Michael and Valerie were inspired by their trip to Italy and learned what a “trattoria” was a small cafe that served pizza and pasta dishes. Luckily, they did since foodies can now dine at Front Street Trattoria and eat a taste of Italy. With an outside area with dangling lights, a quaint and cozy dining area with trendy modern aspects, or a front street lookout, there is something to please every customer.

I ordered the Meatless Meatballs made with eggplant and portabello mushrooms and substituted the pasta for spaghetti squash served over tomato sauce. The portions are a bit tiny but it was surprisingly filling. Each meal starts with brick oven bread and a side of seasoned olive oil with a touch of spice.

You’ll be certainly coming back for more.

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http://frontsttrattoria.com/

Say “Epiphany” To Vegan Face Masks

Epiphany Soapworks makes all-natural and vegan friendly products that are totally good for your skin without all that extra stuff. Soaps, face masks, and beard oils are perfect for all skin types.  Based out of Tennessee, each product is handcrafted with quality ingredients; forget the preservatives, animal by products, chemical induced mainstream brands, and order a feel-good face product. Better yet, you’r helping animals out too since proceeds are donated to ASPCA.

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What I like most about the face mask  (beside from the fact that no animals were harmed in the making) is the cute little jar it comes in. For me, it’s easily storable and great for on-the-go travels. You can make about 15 deep cleansing face masks using 1-2 teaspoons of the powder and 1-2 teaspoons of water, use more or less depending how thick or thin you want the consistency to be. Leave on for 15 minutes and wa la your fresh feels fresh.
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I loved the fresh mint smell that I could smell and feel working through my pores one step at a time. For $15 a jar, you get everything you ever dreamed of.  High quality vegan face masks are hard to find these days, but this one is pure magnificence. My face feels smooth, oil-free, and renewed using sea clay and yellow silt ingredients.

A ‘Hidden Gem’ in Arizona…

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I took a trip to Arizona last week and it was absolutely amazing. I visited Sedona, The Grand Canyon, and Tuscon. One of my favorite ‘hidden gems’ was The Tuscon Mineral and Gem World Store. The worker was originally from Brooklyn and a totally knowledgeable mineral miner. It’s a family owned store, which started in 1968 and continues to wow people until this day.

Each gem and crystal is specifically picked for quality. It describes what features each individual piece is known for. Visit the site to see what I’m talking about. Look here…I’m not kidding.

Many of the New Age and Holistic followers come here to find their perfect stone.  For instance, Emerald is used for both physical and emotional healing. Reiki practitioners often purchase crystals, pendulums, and use them for healing.

Check out this hidden gem if you’re ever in the wild wild west!

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Enter the store for more gems..

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Goodness greens!

Mixed Greens is home to the salads full of green goodness as soon as you enter. You can easily make your own salad with over 50 toppings including a selection of fresh vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Don’t worry vegetarians and vegans, we got you covered, make your own meatless and dairy-free salad. The inside is full of bright paintings and plants to go with the main message, “we like greens.”

I ate the ‘The Mediterranean’ salad which is made with mixed greens and plenty of toppings. It has falafels, lemon hummus, tahini, olive tapenade, roasted peppers, greens, and a side pita bread. I paired it with ‘Spinach Lentil’ soup which contains lentils, spinach, carrots, and onions. Grab a juice to go. I loved the fresh squeezed juices and my personal fav was the M.G. loaded with kale, spinach, pear, and a granny smith apple.

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Which foods contain the most iron?

High Iron Green Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians

Iron is an important component to a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. It’s important to make sure you know which greens have the highest amount of iron in them. Iron helps with blood flow and provides you with a sufficient amount of energy; however, if you don’t get enough you can become anemic or lethargic throughout the day. A well balanced lifestyle is the key to longevity. We all have busy schedules, but it’s important to be conscious about what you’re putting into your body.

Here’s a list of high iron green foods. Spinach, swiss chard, seaweed, pak choi, asparagus, arugula, and Kale are the top contenders with the highest amount of iron in each serving. With the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, we can ensure that we are getting the daily requirements for our bodies.

Coconut Greens is a way to make sure you get the extra greens in your diet. One single scoop contains 8-10 servings of greens. You get your essential vitamins and blended veggies in a powder form, which you can easily throw in your smoothie or water. It contains kale, apple, wheatgrass, spirulina, alfalfa herb, spinach, broccoli, and other supergreens. You can stay energized throughout your day with all of the essential minerals and vitamins.

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Green Smoothie (Photo credits: Christa Alexis)

 

 

Go green and stay ironized!