Tag Archives: vegan

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.

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta

30 Mar

One-pot dishes have clearly taken off recently. What’s not to love about healthy meals cooked in one pot (with usually just one cutting board and one knife for prep), that are ready in a half hour from start to finish?

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Not all meals need to be multi-part gourmet dinners that are composed of five dishes! This one-pot pasta is too easy – whole wheat pasta joins a pot of water with black beans, bell pepper, onion, celery, and seasonings for a protein- and fiber-packed dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or after a workout. Kick up the spice factor by stirring in some hot sauce before serving!

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta

Serves 4

  • 2 C water
  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta, such as penne, macaroni or shells
  • 1 can or 1.5 C black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic, or 2 cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • Shredded cheddar, option, to serve

Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, remove lid and let cook about 8-10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.

Stir in the hot sauce and serve into bowls. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Bloody Mary Lentils over Roasted Onions

28 Mar

Good ol’ Bloody Mary’s – the perfect hangover drink for that Sunday morning after a party-hard Saturday night. Or perhaps the base for a humble weeknight dinner? Yep! Lentils are given a kick in the pants when cooked in spicy Bloody Mary mix. Sure, you could use plain tomato juice, but where’s the fun in that?

We keep Bloody Mary mix on hand, always. I have had great luck with the brand that Aldi’s sells, and it comes in several flavor varieties. But what happens when you crack open a bottle of the good stuff on a Sunday, and don’t use it all up? With all the spices, it *can* sit in your fridge for a while. Or it can help make a delicious dinner when you’re tight on time.

Split red lentils cook up quickly and really soak in the flavors of the spicy tomato mix. Add some sauteed celery to mimic the hangover cure, and serve atop roasted onions for a meal that’s quick and delicious. No vodka necessary.

Bloody Mary Lentils over Roasted Onions | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Bloody Mary Lentils over Roasted Onions

Serves 4

  • 4 medium yellow onions
  • Olive oil, for roasting
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 C split red lentils
  • 1.5 C vegetable broth
  • 1 C Bloody Mary mix
  • Hemp seeds, to garnish

Preheat oven heat to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with PAM.

Cut onions in half and remove skins; rub with oil and place cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast at 425 for 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add celery; cook for 5 minutes. Add the Bloody Mary mix, broth, and lentils; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve two onion halves into each bowl. Spoon the stewed lentils over the onions and garnish with hemp seeds. Enjoy with a cold beer!

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets

7 Mar

I received free samples of Toufayan Pita mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Bring the BBQ indoors, and into winter, with these cheesy BBQ tempeh pita pockets! This quick weeknight meal will satisfy everyone, and evoke flavors of warm summer evenings.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Toufayan Pita pockets are a great way to bring the sticky mess of BBQ inside – simply roast everything together in the oven, melt some cheese into halved pita pockets, and stuff with the sweet and savory BBQ goodness.

I used Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat pita pockets for this recipe, to add an earthiness to the BBQ flavors. If you’re looking for something simple, delicious and healthy for a dinner that the whole family will love, this is the solution!

What’s better is that Toufayan Bakeries is a family-owned bakery that makes more than 100 delicious products available across the nation. It is the largest Pita company in the U.S.! Toufayan Bakeries uses old-world recipes with only top quality, wholesome ingredients, making Pita that are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets

Serves 4

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 C prepared BBQ sauce – I used Stubb’s
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • 4 Toufayan Sprouted Grain Pita breads, halved into two pockets
  • 4 oz gouda, thinly sliced (use vegan cheese if desired)
  • Hot sauce, to serve – optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with PAM; set aside.

Slice the tempeh into two thin squares. Then cube into bite-sized pieces. Toss this with the diced veggies and halved tomatoes. Stir in the BBQ sauce, oil and sea salt; coat completely. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In the meantime, halve the pita breads and fill each half with a layer of cheese slices. Place on another lined baking sheet and heat through in the oven for a few minutes – long enough to warm the bread and begin melting the cheese.

Remove both baking sheets. Transfer pita breads to four plates. Use a spoon to fill each pita half with the BBQ tempeh mixture. Top with hot sauce if desired. Serve and enjoy hot!

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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