Recipe | Brussels + Beans Nourish Bowl

vegan-nourish-bowl

The simplicity of checking macros off a list never ceases to amaze me. Carbs, protein, fat, all mixed together in one million delicious ways to create a nutrient-dense meal. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of unhealthy ways to combine those nutrients. But when they come together as colorfully and deliciously as this, it's pretty magical. Does anyone else get this excited about food? Just me ...?

This would be amazing with some chopped walnuts and green apple shavings too or whatever is fresh and in season at the farmers market! The beans and the gnocchi combine to make a really delicious, simple base to allow some of the extra flavor from the brussels sprouts and the lemon juice come through. What's gnocchi?

Gnocchi is basically a potato ball or potato dumpling. It actually means 'lumps' in Italian. It can be made with other ingredients like semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal but usually potatoes. They're delicious little pillows of dough that can be enjoyed with the same kinds of toppings you'd use on any pasta dish. Pesto, tomato sauce, butter, whatever your fancy.

 

Brussels + Beans Nourish Bowl

 

Ingredients

1 package gnocchi
15oz white beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
1 pound brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
1/4 cup sliced radishes
juice of 1 lemon
handful of sprouts (broccoli, bean, alf alfa are great)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
*optional red pepper flakes

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place brussels sprouts in a large cast iron skillet with a couple glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes until the bottoms begin to blacken. Shake the pan a few times and pop it in the oven. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes shaking the pan periodically to make sure even cooking.

While the brussels sprouts bake, cook gnocchi according to package (boil water, toss 'em in for a few minutes until they float), drain and place in a large bowl. 

When the brussels sprouts are finished, place with gnocchi and beans and add the rest of the ingredients. 

Toss together and add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

ENJOY!

vegan-nourish-bowl
vegan-nourish-bowl

Recipe | Simple Vegan Nachos

vegan-nachos

Simplicity is always my goal with meals.

I find myself with lofty goals of complicated home-cooked meals only to fall back on old simple favorites. Not to be disappointed, but rather, inspired and satisfied with what I've come up with. 

These vegan nachos are delicious, nutrient dense, simple, and quick to make. If you're like me and prep basics at the beginning of the week you'll already have rice and beans cooked and ready to go! If not, rice is simple to make and you can always use canned beans if the thought of doing it on your own is overwhelming (it took me years to finally get in the habit).

The beauty of these vegan nachos is that you can really dress them up any you like. Don't love radishes? Swap 'em for pumpkin seeds or more avocado. Add cilantro, more lime juice, or swap it out and toss in some ground turkey. This is a simple, quick base to which you can add or adjust pretty much anything!


vegan-nachos

Vegan Nachos

Ingredients

Corn tortilla chips
1 cup sticky white rice
15oz cooked black beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2-3 thinly sliced radishes
1 avocado sliced
a handful of fresh cilantro

Instructions

vegan-nachos

Cook the rice according to the package (I find adding 1/4 cup extra water makes the rice softer and thicker) and prep the beans.

Spread the chips out on a platter with enough space between so the toppings don't get too crowded.

Top with rice, beans, radishes, and lime juice.

Heat broiler on HIGH and place tomatoes on the top rack to broil for about 5 minutes (watch carefully!) or until they start to bubble and blacken a bit.

Add the tomatoes to the platter and top with the avocado and cilantro. 

Enjoy!

Recipe | Iron Pumping Smoothie

leafy-green-smoothie-recipe

At my last prenatal appointment, I had my iron levels tested. I've thought for a while I was slightly anemic but the test confirmed it and I've been looking for ways to increase my iron intake with and without supplements. 

The common recommendations are to eat leafy greens, cook in a cast iron skillet, and take an iron supplement. I started on a supplement and nearly always use cast iron when cooking but those leafy greens have always been my downfall. With five bags of mustard greens sitting in my freezer from last winters garden I've been mixing up smoothies to get some extra in my diet.

Curious as to how much iron is actually in the 'leafy greens' we're supposed to be eating?

Mustard Greens - 0.9mg
Spinach - 0.8mg
Kale - 1mg
Chard - 0.6mg

*amount in 1 cup

leafy-green-smoothie-recipe

Unfortunately, a smoothie of just leafy greens or even a plate of leafy greens can leave much to be desired. It's far tastier to mix in some extras to make your big green smoothie drinkable. Fruit can be super helpful in upping the taste factor but watch out for the sugar content. Being heavy-handed with the fruit can outweigh much of the benefits from the greens or anything else.

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get in essential nutrients - not to mention simple and delicious - for a well balanced diet. Much of my protein comes from nuts or nut milks or butters I add to smoothies as well. Following a plant based vegan diet, especially during pregnancy means taking a little extra time and thought to prepare and make sure you're getting everything the body needs. But even if you're not restricting animal products, you may still be missing key vitamins and minerals from your diet and fruits and veggies are always a good bet for where to find them!

So drink up!


leafy-green-smoothie-recipe

Iron Pumping Smoothie (serves 2)

1 cup leafy greens
1 inch of peeled ginger root
a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple or mango
1 banana
coconut water
juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon

I like mixing the greens and coconut water first then adding the frozen ingredients and then the rest. If you're using a good high speed blender, the order shouldn't matter much. Add more or less coconut water if needed.

 

Recipe | Nourish Bowl

nourish-bowl-hello-nourish

Getting creative in the kitchen lately has been tough for me. By the time dinner rolls around I'm too tired and achey to spend much time cooking and sometimes all I can muster is a big pot of pasta (no complaints from the kids!). Pregnancy is different for everyone and for each time I've experienced it but this one has really done me in. 

One of the best things I've done is batch cook beans and rice one day a week. I'd like to say I do it on Sundays but sometimes it's Tuesday or Friday or whenever I find time to get cooking and remember to soak the beans. With a stash of rice and beans in the fridge or freezer and lots of fresh veggies ready to roast or saute it's made meals so go much faster and way more nutrient dense than plain pasta.

It's pretty amazing what creative dishes you can come up with when you've got your bases covered already. Not having to think much about grains and protein since they're already made, leaves more room for fun with veggies and sauces and other toppings which is where I flourish in the kitchen! 

One of the biggest hits from recent weeks has been this big bowl of deliciousness was a surprise even for myself. I just kept grabbing things from the fridge and ended up with a truly delicious bowl of nutrient dense, yummy, kid-approved and colorful foods!


 

NOURISH BOWL

Ingredients

2 heads of broccoli
1lb brussels sprouts
2 cups cooked farro (or any rice will do)
15oz white beans, drained
1/2 shredded raw carrots
nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
parsley for garnish

Instructions

Roast the broccoli and brussels sprouts with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or whenever they start to get crispy. I often add nutritional yeast while they roast.

In a large bowl, mix rice and beans (reheat if pulling them from an earlier batch cooking day).

When the veggies are finished roasting, toss them with the rice and beans and top with the remaining ingredients.

I didn't use a sauce with this but a vinaigrette would be delicious or simply some lemon juice and olive oil with salt and pepper. As the weather cools, I'd swap the parsley for cilantro and add a peanut sauce with some extra heat!

nourish-bowl-hello-nourish
nourish-bowl-hello-nourish