Super Simple Vegan Chick Pea Curry

It’s Monday and I feel awesome! This past weekend Mike and I climbed two 14’ers – Torrey’s & Grays – and man what a rush! After 8 hours of climbing (this was a legitimate climb, not a hike!), we were wiped. Sooooo, no grocery shopping for us Sunday. Plus, my car is in the shop, so I couldn’t have gone shopping after work anyway (thank goodness I work from home!).

Grays & Torreys
Grays & Torreys

So, what the heck do I cook for dinner on Monday?! DAMNIT!

Perfect solution: Chick Pea Curry.

There are a few staples I always keep around and chick peas and lentils are two of them. I’m a huge proponent of using what you have on hand to create a weeknight meal – and this was a two dish-er (meaning I only used a pot and a cast iron skillet, which translates to minimal dishes!) Nailed it!

Voila – dinner is served!

Simple Vegan Chick pea Curry
Simple Vegan Chick pea Curry

Simple Chick Pea Curry

1/2 small onion, diced
3 garlic gloves, minced
3 tablespoons of vegan butter (it tastes JUST the same! I use Earth balance)
4 button mushrooms, sliced thin
1/4 can of whole tomatoes, sliced crudely or 1 small can of tomato puree
1 cup of diced carrots
1 handful of green beans
3 tablespoons of curry powder
1 tablespoon of ginger powder (if you don’t have ginger powder, onion powder would be just as good!)1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup dried green lentils
1 12 oz can of organic chick peas, drained and dried (you can even bake for 10 minutes at 400 if you want)
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Heat the butter – when melted, throw the onion and garlic in for about 2-3 minutes. Then throw the carrots in for another 3-4.

While that is sauteing, put 2 cups of water with 1 cup of lentils in a pot. Boil rapidly, then turn down the heat (uncovered pot) for about 20 minutes.

When carrot mixture has cooked for about 7-8 minutes, put in the coconut milk, tomato, spices and salt. Cook until the mixture boils, stirring occasionally, then simmer. Throw in your chick peas, green beans and mushrooms and cook for another 4-6 minutes. I like my veggies al dente, so cook longer if that’s your preference!

Spoon your lentils into a bowl and top with your curry goodness! I put sriracha on mine (as I put that on everything and have killed my taste buds!) but Mike had his plain and loved it!

Happy Dinning!

Wheat Soba stir fry (and Mike helped!)

Soba stirfry, with a spicy coconut sauce!
Soba stirfry, with a spicy coconut sauce!

Happy meatless Monday!

For those who don’t normally leave out the land animal, today is a great day to give plants a chance. Or hell, at least switch it up!

Why not try this next time you’re feeling spicy? Wheat soba noodle stir fry with a spicy coconut sauce. Yup, that’ll get your motor running!

What you’ll need:

1 package of wheat soba noodles (Mike and I used 2/3 of the package)
Lots o’ veggies (we used 1 onion, 2 green onions, 9 baby carrots, 1 large head of broccoli, garlic, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 squash)
1/2 cup of peanuts

Sauce
Sesame oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons chili paste
1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon real peanut butter
2 tablespoons amino acids (soy sauce)
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar

Dice garlic and onion (leave green onion for later) & throw in wok for 2-5 minutes. Dice carrots, throw in. Cook another 3-5 minutes. Mike helped with this and all the veggies were the same size! Gotta love a carpenter!

Cook the noodles – don’t over cook! Soba noodles get pastey quickly.

When the veggies are feeling a bit softer, throw in peanuts, zucchini, squash & broccoli. Cook another 5 minutes. Add green onions at the end.

Add all ingredients for the sauce and mix well (I mixed in an almost empty peanut butter jar, cause I’m ghetto).

Add cooked noodles to wok, toss with sauce (not all, save some to add after you scoop!)

Enjoy!!!!

Happy cooking

Balance: Day 2 of the #ckyogachallenge

Today is Day 2 of the #ckyogachallenge and the theme is Balance. Such an important area to shed focus on, both in your physical life and your nutritional life. Keeping a well-balanced physical life will not only help you atheistically, but will help strengthen your bones, release endorphins (happy chemicals!), increase your flexibility, help decrease your risk of diseases (heart disease, dementia, hypertension, type II diabetes just to name a few). The benefits list goes on and on! That being said, pairing balancing exercises with flexibility/strength exercises is just as important. Stretching after a long run, alternating which muscles you’ll work one day verse the next, holding yoga poses to work on stamina.

Today’s pose, Half Moon & Revolved Half Moon, takes balancing to the next level. Not only are we focused on lifting our legs in this pose, we’re raising our arm and opening ourselves. It’s quite the balancing act between balance & flexibility. Check out my Instagram account for my Philly Half-MOon. Head on over to Mamaste Yoga’s page for a great explanation of this pose; she’ll give a step by step on how to properly balance here.

Eat more Greens! My Bryn & Dane Green Smoothie
Eat more Greens! My Bryn & Dane Green Smoothie

Nutritionally speaking, balance is essential in your diet. I’m going to focus on the balance of animal verse plant and how limiting the latter and increasing the former helps balance more than your health. It’s no secret I’ve given up eating land animals and while I would never try to convince anyone to follow in my footsteps, I do like to point out the amazing benefits of adding more plants to your diet and in turn, decreasing animal consumption. Again, it’s a balancing act that has far greater benefits than people may realize at first. What are those benefits, you ask!? Well, let me just name a few:

  1. Hard to stomach: Animal protein is tough to digest and can reek havoc on your internal organs. From hypertension to clogged arteries
  2. Meat & Cancer: The high fat content of meat increases hormone production, increasing the risk of hormone-related cancer
  3. Leaves you feeling sluggish: Animal protein takes a massive amount of energy to break down, thus your body feels drained, bloated, just sluggish.
  4. Huge Carbon footprint: While this doesn’t have anything per-se to do with nutrition, the environmental impacts of meat production are massive. Meat production produces more emissions than all other modes of transportation combined.

And I won’t even discuss the cruel conditions the for-consumption-animals are kept in. Promise, I’m not preaching!

Strictly health-wise, adding the veggies, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds in place of the meat can make huge improvements. Since it’s Meatless Monday I thought I’d bring some balance to your table and tip the scales in favor of the plants. So, here are three recipes (breakfast, lunch & dinner) to nosh on that incorporate the plants, not the meat.

 

Avocado, Sunflower & Pumpkin seed Toast

Raw sunflower seeds
Raw pumpkin seeds
1 Avocado
Whole wheat/gluten free bread

Toast a piece or two of your favorite bread (avoid the processed, enriched white flour breads)

Half an avocado & spread on your toast – top with raw sunflower & pumpkin seeds
Happy Breakfast!

 

Lemon Hummus Salad Bowl

2 organic carrots, shredded
½ cucumber, sliced
4 radish
1 cup of spinach, kale, or dark leafy greens

Hummus
1 can of Garbanzo beans
2 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1 lemon

Combine all in a food processor or blender.

Put greens in a bowl, top with carrots, cucumber, radish & hummus and enjoy! You can serve with pita chips or rice cakes for added crunch.

 

Brown Rice & Black Bean Tacos with cilantro & lime Guacamole

1 can vegetarian black beans

Brown rice (cooked as directed)

Package of corn tortillas

Bunch of cilantro

Lime wedges

2 large avocados

¼ red onion, diced

Chopped organic tomatoes (depending on the season, canned may be better)

Shredded lettuce or spinach to garnish

 

Guacamole

Scoop both avocados into a large bowl
Add diced onions, juice from 2-3 lime wedges
Mix

Drain the can of beans, then heat on the stove – add cilantro to taste
Cook rice as directed

Assemble tacos with beans, rice then top with guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce/spinach & guacamole. Enjoy!