Green Goddess Salad (Vegan)

food, Healthy Lunch Idea

Kale is a difficult vegetable to enjoy due to its rough texture and odd flavor that resembles the dollar weeds thriving in my back yard. Sauteeing or transforming them into kale chips are great alternatives, but nutrients for kale are at its peak when eaten raw, but the problem lies there… I’ve eaten kale salads but the plethora of toppings and dressing to mask the weed-like flavor defeat the purpose of eating kale in the first place. However, healthy fats, vegetables, and dressings can can easily turn the high fiber vegetable into a decadent, protein-packed meal that’ll have you wanting for more. I experimented with ingredients I had at home and whipped up a delicious kale salad that is definitely one for the books. Topped with avocado, pumpkin seeds, roasted brussels sprouts, soy protein, and an almond butter dressing, I seriously think even non-salad lovers would enjoy the flavors and health benefits of this magnificent bowl.


Green Goddess Salad (Vegan)

yield: 2 servings/bowls

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1/2 stalk kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 small avocado
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 8 large brussels sprouts, each one vertically cut into threes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 1 oz. soy protein like tempeh or tofu, I used a homemade soy product

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 c. almond butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened warm almond milk OR warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss the brussels sprouts with oil, salt, and pepper and bake in the oven for 30 min, turning the sprouts every 5-7 min.
  3. Pan fry the soy protein with salt or soy sauce.
  4. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour on top of the kale in a large bowl. Use bare hands to massage the kale for approx. 2 minutes to soften the kale and infuse the flavors.
  5. Toss the pumpkin seeds into the salad and combine.
  6. After the brussels sprouts have been baked, top them onto the salad or toss them in, along with avocado and soy protein.
green bowl

Green Goddess bowl

brussel sprouts

raw brussels sprouts

kale

dressed kale

On my journey to consuming less meat, this salad makes it difficult to not consume meat. While I know that I will never become full vegetarian since my parents do not permit it, it has been 2 weeks since I have eaten meat and it feels great. Additionally, kale is packed with fiber, iron, and has anti-inflammatory agents, so am definitely now a promoter of kale!

Healthy Lunch Idea #13: 3-Ingredient Vegan Sweet Potato Pizza Crust

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

So, sweet potato pizza crust doesn’t really taste like your typical pizza crust, but if you like sweet potatoes, you will fall in love with this recipe. It’s extremely filling and guilt-free, and for all you vegans out there… this recipe is completely animal friendly. For this simple recipe, you only need one large sweet potato, oats, and flax seed. Chances are if you are vegan or health-conscious, you probably have these ingredients in your kitchen right now. And if you do not have flax seeds, you could bind your dough together with other vegan options such as hummus or any vegan dairy product such as vegan cream cheese. If you are not vegan, you could use an egg or dairy products. Nonetheless, the outcome will still be more nutritious than a flour pizza crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3/4 c. oats
  • 2 tbsp. flax + 4 tbsp. water = 2 thick flax eggs (don’t put too much water because you want your crust to crisp up in the oven)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • Toppings: hummus, vegan cheese, and roasted asparagus

Instructions:

  1.  Peel sweet potato and cut into chunks. Place in a food processor and pulse until the chunks look like shreds.
  2. Add the oats, oil, salt and pepper, and flax egg and pulse until the mixture is well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir with a spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Spread onto a pan to where the mixture is 1/2 cm. thick. Place in the oven and back at 400 degrees for 30 min. Check on the crust once in a while to make sure the sides are not burned.
  5. Once the pizza crust has crisped up, meaning most the moisture has been taken out, place your toppings and back for an additional 5 min.
  6. Take pizza out and place out for about 5 min. Serve and enjoy!

This sweet potato pizza crust is a great way to get veggies into every single bite. I ate half the pizza in one sitting but no worries; it’s just like eating a baked sweet potato with toppings.

-Jamie

 

 

Healthy Lunch Idea #12: Shrimp Mango Spring Rolls

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IMG_2983

A fresh recipe is very enjoyable on a hot summer day in the South. A recipe that fit within the lines of easy and healthy are Vietnamese spring rolls that are traditionally wrapped with Thai basil and vermicelli noodles. I took out the vermicelli noodles and just added more vegetable because the vegetables fill me up anyways. I made spring rolls with shrimp and a vegetarian version using sliced fried eggs for my grandparents. Both with great flavor and a lot of protein.

FullSizeRender

Ingredients:

  • 6 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 c shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced mangoes
  • 12 shrimp, cut each in half from head to tail ( 2 per roll)
  • 1 avocado(thinly sliced)
  1. soak spring roll wrapper in water for about 3 seconds
  2. layer all ingredients on the wrapper with lettuce first and shrimp on top
  3. Folding a spring roll is like folding a burrito. Fold both sides in and roll until the end of the roll sticks to the rest of the wrapper.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp water (add more if a lighter consistency is desired)
  • splash of lemon juice

combine all ingredients

Because the spring rolls are low in fat and carbs, you can surely eat more than 1. Go for 3 if you are really wanting those vegetables!

-Jamie

Healthy Lunch Idea #11: Taiwanese Style Vegetarian Egg Sandwich

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IMG_2958

Recently, I have been eating a lot less meat, and although I savor turkey and beef and other flavorful meats in my sandwich, it is simple to create a vegetarian sandwich while still getting a ton of flavor and saltiness in each bite. This healthy Taiwanese style sandwich uses avocado as a replacement for cheese or mayo and the egg as a protein. I also used a cranberry, nut bread to create a contrast between the sweet and salty.

On a side note: Taiwan is one of the best places to eat cheap, delicious food. I have not gone back in 6 years but luckily, this Summer I will visit Taiwan, and I know I will put on at least 5 pounds. Sandwiches like this one can be found everywhere in Taiwan and are popular in gas stations such as 7/11. A gas station in Taiwan differs from a gas station in the US in that it’s more like a food stop and there are fresh foods made daily.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread ( I used a fancier bread: cranberry, nut)
  • 12 cucumber slices
  • 1/4 mashed avocado (I seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, and lemon juice)
  • 1 fried egg
  1. Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!

Healthy Lunch Idea #10: Basil Spaghetti

food, Healthy Lunch Idea

IMG_2528Planting your own herbs is extremely worth it because the most work you do is plant them, then let nature do the rest of the work. Because I live in the South, the weather is optimal as it rains often and there is plenty of sun. As basil is my favorite herb, I scattered plenty of seeds in my backyard and within a week or two, I was harvesting basil leaves and utilizing them in anyway possible. Today’s recipe is a simple spaghetti recipe with basil and parmesan cheese. Few ingredients, but plenty of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/3 c. tomato sauce
  • plenty of chopped basil, about 3 tbsp.
  • shaved pieces of parmesan cheese
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. garnish the top with parmesan shaves, using a fruit peeler to shave thick strips of parmesan cheese.

Healthy Lunch Idea #9: Bomb Bagel Sandwich

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IMG_2780This ultimate bagel sandwich is bursting with flavor and color as an array of vegetables are piled on top of each other. I added a few Zapp’s Voodoo chips (which are my favorite chips) for added flavor, but of course take away the chips and the sandwich itself is just as satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • any bagel, I used everything bagel, full of nutritious poppy, sesame, fennel seeds, and much more
  • 5 slices of lean turkey deli meat
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 small tomato, sliced
  • 8 thin slices of cucumber
  • 3 lettuce leaves, I used iceberg
  • shmear of mayonnaise
  1. Essentially layer all ingredients on top, but I start with mayonnaise on both sides of the bagel so it can hold on to the ingredients better.
  2. lay the cucumbers around the rim of the bagel
  3. then layer other ingredients in any order.
  4. Enjoy with a fruit smoothie on the side!!

 

Healthy Salmon Spring Roll

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img_2343.jpgI recently tried a fusion spring roll called Chicken Mango roll at a Vietnamese restaurant which had rice vermicelli, panko-crusted chicken, carrots, and lettuce served with a creamy mango sauce. The dish was $10, which is a bit pricey for a spring roll, but it was absolutely delicious and the sauce just really made the entire dish! I believe that the sauce is a combination of mango, mayonnaise, butter and mustard.. something like that, but I searched online for “Spring roll mango dipping sauce” and nothing alike the restaurant’s comes up. Personally, I think that a spring roll isn’t a spring roll without the sauce, so I decided to make my own spring roll at home… and disclaimer: Not Authentic at all, but 100% DELICIOUS. I began to make the spring roll, realizing that I lacked so many of the ingredients that I needed, but I made use of what I had and the outcome is absolutely the bomb!!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 rice papers
  • 1/3 c. roughly chopped salmon (I used store bought brown sugar salmon from Costco)
  • 1/2 sprig spring onion
  • 1 c. roughly chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 1 tbsp. barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp. asian hot mustard sauce
  1. soak the rice papers in water for about 4 seconds
  2. place some lettuce on the bottom, then add spring onion, avocado, and salmon
  3. Roll the paper by folding the right and left in, and roll it up like a burrito.
  4. Combine mayo, barbecue sauce, and mustard sauce

I came up with this sauce which pairs so well with the spring roll because the smokiness of the barbecue sauce and salmon pairs really well together. Ingredients that I wished i had were rice vermicelli noodles and carrots, but skipping out on the rice vermicelli makes the dish a lighter fare.

Healthy Lunch Idea #7: Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

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img_2045.jpgNutritional experts say to avoid the word “creamy” because of the high fat content that most creamy foods contain. However, today’s Creamy Mashed Potato is an all natural creamy consistency from cauliflower itself, and this mashed potato substitution is the greatest food swap ever!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp salt (add more if necessary)
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic (if you would like the garlic flavor)
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • splash of vegetable or beef broth
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil in hot water for about 7 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the remaining heat steam the cauliflower,
  2. Drain cauliflower and let it set for 5 minutes before putting it in the food processor.
  3. Process all ingredients until a mashed potato consistency.

Do you ever want to eat mashed potatoes again?

Healthy Lunch Idea #6: Chickpea Cakes

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photo (5)Similar to a crab cake but made with chickpeas, this savory treat will excite your taste buds! The base of this recipe was a no tahini hummus recipe, but as I was making the hummus, I changed my mind and decided to transform the pulsed chickpeas into a cake and it is absolutely divine!

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to flavor
  • 1-2 thick slices of deli ham (diced)
  • 2 slices of cheese or 1/2 c. shredded cheese (i used swiss)
  • 1/2 panko breadcrumbs
  1. add chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, garlic, water into the food processor and pulse until somewhat creamy but with slight coarse pieces
  2. combine mixture with panko, ham, and cheese
  3. form into 8 cakes and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees
  4. serve with any dipping sauce; I used an avocado greek yogurt dip: 1 tbsp greek yogurt + 3tbsp avocado

Enjoy this scrumptious recipe! Of course if you would like it to be vegetarian, you can absolutely take out the ham.

Healthy Lunch Idea #5: avocado wrap, sweet potato, and pistachios

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IMG_9160-0100% vegetarian and 100% satisfying! This simple avocado wrap is so filling because the avocado is rich and meaty like meat but it is so much healthier and easier to make! When you are on the go, make this quick wrap because it takes no more than 2 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • Half an avocado
  • 1 tsp. basil pesto
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Handful of pistachios
  1. Microwave the tortilla for ten seconds, spread pesto, and add slices of avocado.
  2. Place sweet potato in oven for 30 minutes on 375 degrees.
  3. Add a handful of pistachios on the side.

This is a great lunch on the go because you can bake the potato prior and enjoy it the next day. Also, the wrap is packed with protein and flavor. This is just one way to show that not every meal needs meat to be delicious!