Simple, Sexy, Summertime Farro

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I’m in denial that summer is coming to a close. Seriously? Who decided it could end? Nooooo I’m not ready (yes, read that in a Kevin Hart voice, laugh, then keep reading).

Just because the seasons are changing doesn’t mean I have to let go of the awesomeness that the summer brings in terms of food. So I decided to come up with a simple, delicious and amazingly sexy farro dish to soothe my dissatisfaction. The best part about this dish is you can eat it ALL the time, regardless of the season. But I’m pretty sure you want to make the most out of your bounty of heirloom tomatoes right about now. So, let’s get cracking!

What You Need: 

  • 1 cup cooked farro (follow the package instructions, rinse and set aside)
  • 2 persian cucumbers, cubed
  • 1 cup of tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup of radishes, diced
  • 1 can of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional: Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese, crumbled

How You Make It: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Season as needed.
  2. Enjoy

Yes, it really is all that simple.

Do you have any recipe ideas that use farro? I would love to know!

Peace, love, no beef!

Guramrit

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Vegan Kale & Potato Gratin

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Cold weather equals comfort food. I’m all about the comfort when it’s easy to make and tastes delicious. Though it’s great to put in a great deal of effort, I’d rather save the effort for the eating and serving up yummy dishes.  This meal is great as a side or even as a main event, trust me you will want seconds. I even was able to get my carnivorous boyfriend and brother on board. I was inspired by a recipe on TheKitchn.com but you know me, I love to make it vegan! Well, here you go my foodies!

What You Need: 

  • 1 1/2 pounds of red potatoes
  • 1 bag of Tuscan kale (Trader Joe’s has a great bag of Tuscan kale, super cheap, super tasty-great in smoothies too!)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 cup of coconut or soy milk creamer (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup of cashew cheese
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs of vegan butter (soy free)
  • 2 tbs of gluten free flour (or wheat flour, your choice)
  • Breadcrumbs (optional)

How You Make It: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice potatoes into disks , 1/4-inch thick (skin on) and toss into salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour, stirring constantly. After a minute or so, add in the coconut/soy milk creamer. Continue to stir until it thickens. Once thick, add in nutritional yeast and cashew cheese (think cheese sauce for mac ‘n cheese, yum). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss  the potatoes and kale in the olive oil mixture. Add to a casserole baking dish, layering the kale and potatoes and adding the “cheese” sauce to each layer and sprinkling with bread crumbs, if you like.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the top is crispy. Feel free to add more breadcrumbs to the top layer for added crunch (suggestion: mix breadcrumbs with vegan butter to make the top extra golden).

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a mixed greens salad or with your favorite sautéed veggies. I love making roasted brussels sprouts with Grade B Maple Syrup, dried cranberries and slivered almonds. Perfection. Sweet and savory all in one dish, talk about a food-gasm (yes, that is a word).

I hope you get inspired to make something delicious for dinner tonight or any of these cold nights during the Polar Vortex.

Peace, love and NO beef!

Guramrit

Fab Dinner Ideas for Busy People

Hey there lovely readers!

I hope my fellow Northeast peeps are safe and warm from this past weekends snow storm. Luckily the Bronx did not get too effected. I have definitely dealt with worse in Syracuse. I remember tropping it to class in nearly 5 feet of snow. Now just imagine my 5 foot 2 inch self walking in snow nearly as tall as I am. Crazy right?

As I sit here on this lovely Sunday evening I have become inspired to leave you lovely peeps with some potential dinner recipes for the week! These are super easy and delish. You can whip these up in NO time.

Recipe 1: Veggie Pasta Salad with garlic & olive oil sautéed asparagus and bruschetta.

What you need:
(For Pasta Salad)
1 bag of vegetable pasta (available at Trader Joes), cooked to al dente and cooled. Set aside.
1 cup cooked broccoli (I prefer to sauté with garlic & olive oil until tender but with a nice bite to it)
1 cup sautéed spinach (sauté with broccoli)
1 cup sautéed kale
1 vine ripe tomato, diced (or a handful of baby heirloom tomatoes cut in half)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (NOT in oil. You can get them in a bag from Trader Joes!)
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of Italian dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

(For sautéed asparagus)
1 bunch of asparagus, stems trimmed
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

(For Bruschetta)
1 French baguette (or ciabatta bread), cut into one inch slices at an angle
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil (plus more to add to drizzle on bread)
2 cloves of garlic (for rubbing on hot bread)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes (I used multiple colors for visual pleasure)
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil

How to make it:
1. Combine all ingredients for pasta salad. Set in fridge until serving time to allow for flavors to combine. Feel free to use any extra fresh basil as garnish.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place slices of baguette. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Put in oven for 8 minutes or until slightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes before rubbing garlic cloves on the bread.

3. Prepare tomato mixture. Combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Toss in basil. Let sit aside until bread has cooled completely. (Note: sometimes I just LOVE adding diced shallot into this. Not very traditional but I love the extra crunch component).

4. Sauté asparagus in a skillet. Sauté until bright green. Do not over cook. The crunch really makes asparagus fab!

Recipe 2: Baked Purple Potatoes with roasted Brussel sprouts and Gardein Vegan Chicken Patties

What you need:
4 purple potatoes (or any other potato you like)
1 bag of Brussel sprouts, halved (the steam in a bag sprouts work great)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
2 tablespoons grade A/B pure maple syrup
1/2 cup slivered chopped almonds
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 bag Gardein zesty marinara vegan chicken cutlets (prepare according to package)
**Tip: prepare vegan chicken in a skillet with two teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and any dried herbs for extra flavor and a crunchy exterior**
Vegan butter, sea salt, pepper for flavor

How you make it:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the mean time prep your veggies. Wash the purple potatoes. Drizzle olive oil or rub vegan butter on the potatoes and sprinkle sea salt on the potatoes. Wrap potatoes individually in aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook until you can poke a fork in the potatoes.

2. On a baking sheet, arrange Brussel sprouts and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt. Place in oven when potatoes are half way done (after about 10-15 minutes). After about 5-8 minutes, remove baking sheet, drizzle maple syrup and scatter the cranberries. Cook until golden and slightly tender. NOTE: Do NOT over cook these. That’s what gives the sprouts an awful smell. After about 5-6 more minutes of cooking they should be done but this depends on your oven. Eyeball them.

3.Once golden, let Brussel sprouts cool and toss almonds with the sprouts and cranberries.

4. Prepare Gardein patties according to package instructions and my yummy tip. 😉

Recipe 3: Vegan Taco Tuesday/Thursday/Any ol’ day

What you need:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 leek, washed and sliced
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Cumin, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper to taste
Homemade guacamole (see my recipe here: http://goo.gl/PvxEX)
Your favorite salsa (I love Trader Joes Pico De Gallo)
Spinach, Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Red Onion diced (all your choice)
Whole wheat whole grain tortillas

How you make it:
1. In a sauce pan, over medium heat, sauté leeks with olive oil and garlic. Let leeks become translucent. Once translucent add black beans. Season with cumin, black pepper, sea salt and more garlic (if you’re a garlic lover like I am). Turn heat to low and let cook for 5 more minutes.

2. While beans are cooking, prepare guacamole, chop other veggies for taco assembly and set aside.

3. Warm tortillas in a skillet. Remove warm tortilla and place on plate and begin assembling tacos!

I hope you are inspired to create some delish dinners this week!

Peace, love and no beef!

Guramrit

(P.S. I actually LOVE Brussel sprouts)

625 Easy, Nutritious and Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Let’s face it, we are a society of convenience. If it isn’t convenient or easy, why bother? When it comes to your health, convenience doesn’t have to equal fast, greasy or gross foods. Those moments especially in the morning or even when you feel a craving coming on, why not opt for a smoothie? Why a smoothie, you may ask. Well, if you’re on the go like most people, you may not have the “time” or “energy” or even “motivation” to eat the right things for your body. A smoothie is a way to get all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and oils without taking hours to prepare. A smoothie, especially a green smoothie (yes, this means incorporating leafy greens), boosts energy, combats cravings, satisfies hungry, stimulates metabolism, cleanses you from the inside-out and improves overall wellness.

As I mentioned in an early post, I participated in a 30 day green smoothie challenge. At first I thought I was going to die of hunger but after 30 days I feel fabulous! I am making a green smoothie almost every single day. Those days when I don’t have a smoothie I feel odd and actually start to crave them. Out of my sheer love for green smoothies, I am creating an easy mix and match smoothie recipe. Pick one or two from each category (liquid base, greens, fruit, mix in) and create a fabulous smoothie without the hassle.

Tip for a great smoothie: 1-2 cups of liquid, 2 cups of greens, 1-2 cups of fruit, 1-2 scoops of protein powder/1-2 tablespoons of whatever other mix in. Blend. Also, blending the greens with liquid first makes for a better consistency.This yields two servings. Keep in a mason jar for air tight storage. .

Liquid Base:
1. Coconut Water
2. Organic Orange Juice
3. Organic Apple Juice
4. Organic Papaya Juice
5. Organic Almond Milk/Coconut Milk

Greens (Organic preferred):
1. Arugula
2. Spinach
3. Kale
4. Mixed Greens (available at Trader Joes)
5. Romaine Lettuce

Fruit (fresh or frozen works great. If using fresh, you will need 1 cup of ice):
1. Mixed berries (cherries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries- My favorite!)
2. Pineapple
3. Mango
4. Banana
5. Peaches

Mix-In’s:
1. Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds- great source of protein and Omega 3’s
2. Udo’s Omega 3-6-9 Oil Blend/Coconut Oil
3. Protein powder (try Spirutein Vanilla Tri-protein powder)
4. Bee Pollen (organic only! These little granules are jam packed with vitamins and minerals. Great for people who suffer from seasonal allergies)
5.Gary Null’s Green Stuff/any greens blend powder/spirulina powder (this adds extra green goodness without sacrificing taste or nutrition. I add one scoop to EVERY smoothie. I get a super green boost from the chlorella and spirulina).

These are just a few of my favorite combinations. Can’t decide which one you like best? Try: 2 cups spinach/kale, 1 cup of coconut water, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 scoop protein/green stuff or 1 tablespoon of flax/chia/hemp. Blend and enjoy!

I’m about to go make myself a pre-lunch time smoothie.

Peace, love, green smoothies and of course NO beef!

Guramrit

Simply Delish Braised Kale

Need a way to get more greens in your diet? Drinking greens in your smoothies not cutting it? Or do you simply crave something comforting that is tasty and good for you too? Look no further, this recipe is sure to please even the person who is not fond of kale. Trust me, this recipe is a winner. You will crave it! I have made it a few times in the last couple of weeks. I just love me some kale (Tuscan organic is my fave)! imageWhat you need: 1 bag Organic Tuscan Kale (pre washed and pre cut) 1 leek, washed thoroughly and diced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 large vein ripened organic tomato, diced 1/4 cup pine nuts (plus more for garnish) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (organic preferred) Sea salt, black pepper to taste How you make it: 1. In a sauté pan (or any small pan, a skillet can work as well), pan roast the pine nuts over medium heat. Keep your eye on these babies, they can burn easily. Once roasted (slightly golden brown), remove from heat and set aside. image 2. Add olive oil to a wok or sauté pan. Toss in leeks and garlic and cook until translucent and aromatic. Add a pinch or two of sea salt and black pepper. image 3. Add bag of kale. Toss leeks, garlic and kale together. Let wilt. image 4. Turn slowly every few minutes. The kale will get slightly charred and smoky. 5. Toss tomato in. Let burst slightly and season with pepper and salt. image 6. Turn off heat. Let sit a few minutes. Toss in pine nuts and serve immediately. image Enjoy this fab recipe! I’m sure you will love your greens after this dish! Peace, love, kale and no beef! Guramrit