Tag Archives: gluten free

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} – Another “Star Trek: First Contact” Party!

6 Apr

Yesterday, we celebrated another First Contact Day! Yep, it’s that time of year again, when we observe the future meeting between humans and the alien race from Vulcan. April 5, 2063 draws ever closer, which of course required another party. Check out this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about – it’s a Star Trek thing 🙂

Chris did a fabulous job setting the apartment to Red Alert; the Tribbles were multiplying out of control; Trek trivia was being thrown about throughout the night; food and drink were enjoyed by all.

We began by watching the two-part The Next Generation two-episode story “All Good Things,” which was a nice way to kick off what was to come of encounters with the Borg. Spoiler: Resistance is Futile!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Picard becomes a Borg and green shots reverse our polarity.

After settling into our seats on the Bridge, we turned on the movie Star Trek: First Contact. Collectively (no, not the Borg Collective), I think we had the movie memorized by now! This was, after all, our 4th annual First Contact Day party.

Aside from actually buying a replicator to make food for the party, we did an excellent job embodying all that is Star Trek for some eats and treats.

Of course the Tribbles made an appearance, in the form of paleo coconut macaroons!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Tribble Coconut Macaroons – I think Kirk would have preferred these to the actual Tribbles!

Odo’s baked Bruschetta was a popular snack. Picard’s cheese board delighted all. Isolinear chips & dip were nice to nibble on. Polarity-Reversing Gravity Bombs were sure to knock us back a lightyear or two. Alvinian Melons provided a fruity side, along with some Vulcan vegetables.

Science and Engineering cupcakes brought some sweetness to our away missions (you’ll notice the red shirts were mysteriously gone…). I made these paleo chocolate cupcakes, which are gluten- and dairy-free, and topped them with mint and orange versions of the frosting from last year’s Cellular Peptide cake!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Science & Engineering cupcakes!

Bajoran Hasperat gave us something spicy to enjoy. Traditionally, “it was made using a specially prepared brine, which if made correctly would cause the eyes to water and sear the tongue.” However, in an effort so spare our eyes and tongues, I simply made pinwheels using low carb tortillas, plain vegan cream cheese, hot sauce and sweet red peppers. Details below!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Bajoran Hasperat makes a delicious pinwheel appetizer!

Finally, I made “Mool,” which is essentially a pot of baked beans, but way better! This is a slow cooker recipe, which makes it perfect for chilly days or busy parties. These beans are vegan, with no added fat. Oh, and they’re made with a bottle of beer, so you know it’s gonna be good 🙂 See below for the recipe!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These beer baked beans are great no matter the occasion!

Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Makes 24 Pinwheels

  • 6 8″ low carb tortillas
  • 6 tbsp plain vegan cream cheese
  • 6 sweet twister peppers
  • 6 tsp hot sauce (more or less, to your liking)

Cut the tops and tips off of the peppers. Remove seeds and slice them thinly, lengthwise.

Spread one tablespoon of cream cheese onto a tortilla. In a line down the middle, drizzle/spread a teaspoon of hot sauce. Lay one pepper’s worth of slices onto the tortilla and roll it up tightly, as you would sushi. Slice off the ends of the rolled tortilla, then cut each tortilla into 4 equal pinwheels.

Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with toothpicks on the side. You’ll notice that I made half of mine “mild” – I left off the hot sauce because not all of our guests like spicy foods.

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb dried Navy beans
  • Water to cover, plus about 2 cups to add halfway through
  • 1 bottle beer (such as a Maple Scotch ale)
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 tbsp German mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except* the two extra cups of water, into your crockpot. Turn it on high and let cook for 8-10 hours.

About half way through, add the extra water and stir. This is necessary so your beans don’t burn, and they become cooked through.

*If you will be gone for the duration of cooking time, just add the extra water at the beginning with everything else.

Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta

22 Jan

Have you ever added up how much you spend on food? The daily coffees, lunches out with co-workers, dinner dates, picked-up meals and weekly groceries all add up to a LOT of money. Whether you’re working on a New Year’s goal related to spending habits, or just want to be able to cook more frugally, the Recipe Redux has you covered this month!

We’ve been tasked with creating a recipe that costs less than $3 per serving. Now, as a vegetarian, this is much easier for me than my meat-eating friends. I noticed the drop in spending immediately after I gave up meat – both at the grocery store and at restaurants. But the bill can still add up and sometimes in a less than healthy way.

Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So I wanted to develop a meal that was not only low cost, but high in flavor, protein and fiber. Have you seen those legume-based pastas that are available? Black bean spaghetti, red lentil rotini, even chickpea penne! Yes, they sound a little crazy, and the first time you make black bean spaghetti, I guarantee you will be weirded out by the color of the cooking water. But these are such an incredible alternative to traditional pastas. (Which I totally have nothing against, especially since I began making my own!) Sometimes, you just need a high protein meal that comes together quickly and can be easily dressed up.

This Alfredo delivers on all of the above. Red lentil pasta, which clocks in at a hefty 21 grams of protein per serving, is tossed with a simple yet flavorful goat cheese sauce. Dress up the finished product with a bit of balsamic glaze and voila: a healthy, quick, delicious meal that only costs $2.22 per serving.

Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta

Serves 2

  • 6 oz red lentil gluten free pasta (can substitute for black bean pasta, or another favorite) – ($1.50)
  • 2 tbsp butter ($0.15)
  • 1/2 C soy milk (or other preferred milk) ($0.12)
  • 4 oz garlic & herb goat cheese or chevre ($1.99)
  • 1 oz parmesan, freshly shredded ($0.36)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic glaze, to garnish ($0.32)

Grand total: $4.44. Per serving: $2.22!

Cook pasta according to package directions. These legume-based pastas have pretty specific directions, so it’s best to follow them!

While the pasta boils, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Once melted, stir in the milk and then the cheeses. Keep stirring to melt all the cheese into the milk. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Drain the cooked pasta and immediately transfer into the skillet with the hot Alfredo sauce. Toss to coat completely. Serve and drizzle with balsamic glaze (this is optional, but the sweet tang of the glaze makes the creamy sauce pop!)

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Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground

29 Dec

I’ve shared a few pasta recipes lately, but I know that’s not everyone’s jam. Ok, who am I kidding – everyone loves pasta, be it gluten free, whole wheat, vegan or covered in meat. But sometimes you want a meal that’s a little bit lighter. Something that is purely plant-based and fully of vitamins.

Shortly before Chris bought me the pasta machine, I bought myself a new spiralizer. The first one I owned, a handheld one, broke on the first try. That was pretty off-putting and I gave up on all variety of veggie noodles. But reading everyone else’s recipes with zoodles and the like was inspiring enough to get me to buy a new one. A better one! This is no paid endorsement, but the Brieftons Spiral Slicer is pretty freakin’ awesome. Super easy to assemble, use and clean. And it comes apart for storage wherever you have space.Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This single-serving meal is quick to assemble and cooks in less than 10 minutes. Spiralize a sweet potato, saute in coconut oil with tomatoes, beefless ground and some seasoning, and you have a simple, delicious meal that’s full of all the good nutrients.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground

Serves 1, can be doubled

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 C beefless ground (this is a soy-based product and could be replaced with mushrooms)
  • Dash or two of your favorite spice blend
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar, to serve

Begin by cutting the ends off the sweet potato so they are flat. Use your spiralizer or some mad knife skills to make noodles out of the potato. Don’t throw out the leftover core! I sliced this into thin, tiny disks and used it with the noodles.

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high in a skillet – preferably a cast iron skillet. Saute the noodles for a few minutes, tossing frequently.

Add in the tomatoes and beefless ground, tossing to incorporate. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the noodles are done to your liking. Sprinkle in the spice blend and black pepper. I used this local blend of onion, garlic, and other allium flavors for a great umami quality!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Serve in a bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar on top and grind more black pepper, to your liking. Enjoy!

Kiwifruit Coconut Granola {gluten free, oat free}

11 Aug

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Zespri Kiwifruit and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Overnight oats, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and homemade protein bars… these are a few of my favorite hot-weather breakfasts. Because when I’m rushing around, getting ready in the morning for work, the last thing I want is to eat warm food that just increases my internal temperature.

Granola is another one of those favorites. I like to mix it up by serving with yogurt, milk, or just on its own as a snack. This granola bakes up quickly (for minimal oven time), and tastes absolutely amazing!

Kiwifruit Coconut Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

It’s grain free, which makes it naturally gluten free, and has just the right amount of sweetness thanks to honey and dehydrated kiwi.

Yep, I dried out some SunGold kiwifruit to pair with this granola! My boyfriend recently surprised me with a dehydrator, something I’ve wanted for a long time but never did the research. Luckily, he did for me, and one day I came home to a brand new dehydrator sitting on our kitchen table!

My mind began racing, planning out what I would dehydrate first. Fruits? Veggies? Snacks? Pantry staples? It was so overwhelming in the best way! And then came along the Zespri kiwifruit challenge, and it seemed so obvious that I should dehydrate these gorgeous yellow fruits, and mix them in with a nut and seed-based granola.

Kiwifruit Coconut Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This granola is packed with all the good fats, can easily be made vegan by using maple syrup in place of honey, and is versatile, so you can use whichever nuts and seeds you prefer or have on hand.

The kiwi add a vitamin punch, as they’re high in both C and E, and when dried, have an amazing chewy texture, which pairs perfectly with the crunchy granola and creamy yogurt. Enjoy as a breakfast, lunch, or hearty snack!

Kiwifruit Coconut Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Kiwifruit Coconut Granola

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 C chopped raw almonds
  • 1 C chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/2 C pepitas
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 C cooked Quinoa
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 C raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled, halved and sliced thin. Dehydrate 18 hours in a dehydrator or a low oven

Dehydrate your kiwifruit ahead of time. Fresh kiwifruit baked with the granola will burn. Alternatively, you can serve the baked granola with fresh sliced kiwifruit if desired.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (except kiwi).

In a small bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, honey and extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to coat.

Spread the granola in an even layer on the prepared sheet – don’t break up any clumps, as these will be extra delicious!

Bake at 300 for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove and allow to cool completely on the pan. Stir in the dehydrated kiwi and store in an airtight container in your pantry, up to two weeks.

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Staying in the theme of bright colors, SLS3 sent me a pair of neon running socks to test out. I love colorful running shoes, so the added color from these socks are so fun! They held up great on my 6 mile run last night, and despite the heat, didn’t leave my feet feeling sweaty. That’s because these were created with dual layer moisture removal technology, to help keep feet dry and reduce the chance of blisters. SLS3 wants to give all my readers a discount: order a 3-pack of the socks from Amazon and save $5 with this exclusive code: DKJIJERK.

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