Garlic White Wine Sauce (Vegan meal and Vegetarian Versions)!

Happpy WINES-day Healthy People!!!

I hope you had a wonderful Hump Day so far…Today inspired me to create a new recipe for both vegans or vegetarians and/or anyone who likes tasty good food!

WINE. Wein. Vino. вино. 酒. نبيذ. vin. wino. vang.

No matter what language you say it in, wine still tastes just as good 🙂

So tonight I decided to make whole wheat pasta with steamed broccoli and a garlic white wine sauce with pine nuts, the vegetarian version adds goat cheese!

Let’s Cook

To begin, set up your pasta and boil it.

Wash and rinse your organic broccoli and put it in a steamer of some sort (you can always microwave if you need to!)

mhmmm Broccoli!!!

Then start to make your sauce by getting a large sauté pan. MOST recipes say put in like a ridiculous amount of butter….

And since I wanted to make a vegan version of this/ I’m not a fan of butter I chose the following ingredients:

1.) Olive Oil

2.) White Wine

3.) Garlic

4.) Pine Nuts

5.) Almond Milk

6.) Basil

7.) Salt and Pepper

8.) Flour

early stages of sauce making...

So here’s the plan. I turned the burner on med high heat to begin drizzled some olive oil into the pan (maybe 1 tsp) and added 1 tbsp Garlic.

Coated the pan with the mixture, swirling it around.

Reduced Heat to Medium

Added 1 Cup of White Wine, I chose Chardonnay because I had it in my fridge…

Using a whisk, whisk it all up together.

Start to add seasonings, I had the salt and pepper grinders and would add as I went so it infused with the flavors.

I added 1/4 cup of pine nuts (this is for protein for all the vegans out there)

As I whisked I added about 1/8 cup more of olive oil, give or take…you don’t want it to be too oily because that’s fats although healthy fats you want to be aware of the amount!

Add more minced fresh garlic! I added a looottt because I love the flavors together. Up to you but I added about a tbsp more.

….might’ve added a little bit more wine…. (shhhh)

Then I reduced the heat to medium low and whisked in about 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (because that’s what I had, I’m sure the regular one would work just as well)

As I was whisking I sprinkled in about a tsp of flour to thicken it a little bit, but remember this is an oil base dressing like sauce so it’s not going to be thick.

I kept the heat on low and added the broccoli to the mixture soaking up the flavors. Once the pasta was cooked I added that too and swirled around.

Put it on a plate, poured a glass of wine and added a little bit more ground pepper.

Bon Appetit!

….BUT….

I decided since I’ve been craving goat cheese lately (I know weird, esp with this vegan thing…) I would make an exception and add some to this dish. IT was sooo delicious. I planned on adding sundried tomatoes but realized I didn’t have any at home… 😦 but next time I would definitely add them or even roasted red peppers. This dish can be enjoyed hot or cold which is great to make the night before and have for lunch the next day #winning !

So I hope you can enjoy this dish someday, always feel free to make it yours with different ingredients–that’s what I love about cooking: it’s like art and you are the artiiist!

Happy Eating and Exercising,

XOXO

Jess

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Remember when we had snack time at school?

Heyyy Healthy People!!!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thursday! I wanted to blog about SNACKS. Remember when it was so much fun to hang out during snack time in our grade school years? Pass the snacks, trade your mom’s cookies for someone’s mom’s other type of cookies. HA.

Well tonight I wanted to blog about VEGAN snacks since that’s what I have been eating and I think it would be great even if you don’t want to become a vegan to eat vegan option from time to time. Or maybe a way to transition into a more vegan focused lifestyle. Have you seen Forks Over Knives? You can rent it on Netflix and it’s a MUST see.

Here’s a few:

ANDDD for all of you non-vegan’s I hope your face isn’t like this:

1.) Veggies and Hummus…mhmm (I like to add fresh chopped up Garlic to my hummus)

2.) SOY Yogurt!!! Check it out: I get the vanilla and love to add frozen raspberries to it, SOOO good!

VEGAN!

3.) Handful of pretzels

4.) OREOS?? WHO knew these were Vegan?? Pretty cool/full of sugar so eat in moderation!

5.) Edamame!

6.) Vegan Trail Mix (Just look at the ingredients or buy at a specified vegan section, a lot have yogurt bits and chocolate etc…)\

7.) Rice Cakes…you can spread Natural PB on them or add garlic powder!

8.) Nuts and Sunflower Seeds

9.) Granola Bars or Protein Bars (just double check the ingredients, no eggs, dairy, butter etc etc etc)

10.) Organic Applesauce

11.) Banana Chips

12.) Any fruit Obviously!

13.) Or veggies mhmmm

14.) Smoothie!

15.) Veggies with  goddess dressing

16.) Dried fruit such as dates, mangos, raisins (beware a lot of these have added sugars)

17.) Popcorn! You can top it with nutritional yeast! (make sure it’s air popped, everything else has butter on it!)

18.) Banana or organic apple with Peanut Butter

So these are just a few options but you can get fun and creative with vegan cheeses and dressings and stuff! The whole idea is to not go hungry and have everything be tasty and satisfying!

As this week finishes I have exactly one more week of classes in my undergraduate career. Seems crazy to me how fast time has flown by! I look forward to moving back down to Florida and Working at my new job at Athletic Edge in Bradenton, FL. But I will miss JMU more than I can probably even imagine at this point. So blessed and thankful for all of these experiences and opportunities.

Have you been keeping up with this week’s fitness challenge?

Don’t forget to head over to my FITfloridian Facebook page and like it!!!

Enjoy your day tomorrow.

Happy eating and exercising!!!

XOXO,

Jess

“It’s Tricky” Meat vs. Veganism…video #2

Hey Healthy People!

Okay. So I played around with the imovie applicaiton on my computer and added some cool effects to my next video blog about meat and veganism/vegetarianism.  This is just a stream of consciousness concerning a few of the ideas floating around my mind as I research and educate myself on diet and nutrition. I hope you enjoy it!

I hope you laughed at least once. The focus here is incorporating healthier choices into your everyday lifestyle. Try eating more veggies and fruits. You will feel remarkable!!!

Let this not be us:

BUT RATHER: Make healthy choices. You will feel great and it just might secretly influence others around you. “It’s Tricky” how that works 😉

XOXO,

J

FITNESS CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: Workout for 30 min at least each business day of the week. Can YOU do it??? “Feel sore or feel sorry”!!!!

Breakfast > All other meals.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and therefore breakfast foods can be consumed at any point throughout the day… Breakfast for dinner anyone?  In the morning however, it is also substantially one of the most important meals because you are essentially breaking the fast. Waking up your metabolism and preparing for the day. If you skip breakfast you are more likely to have cravings and eat unhealthy throughout the day.

So this whole vegan thing is realllllly changing me. I’ve read a few books on it, watched a few documentaries and as my personal experience can confirm it is definitely challenging. But is it worth it? Almost two weeks into the process and I would say…yes.

I know in the beginning of the experiment I was almost pained by the difficulties of becoming a vegan.  I was naive in assuming it wouldn’t be that large of a change between being a vegetarian to a vegan (I mean we already both ate lots of tofu)… I even posted how ridiculous it is to confine yourself to something so restrictive.  But after educating myself on a lot of different issues I find myself leaning towards the vegan lifestyle completely. I mean we as humans are the only species that drinks another animals milk? weird huh.

 

Well anyways here are my top ten VEGAN Breakfast foods:

 

1.) Irish Style Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with berries and agave syrup

2.) Cereal (I prefer Hearty Bran) with Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I love unsweeted vanilla almond milk)

3.) Amy’s Brand Tofu Scramble-doesn’t taste like eggs but it’s good!

4.) Breakfast Burrito sans eggs, WW tortilla with black beans and veggies.

5.) Green Power Smoothie with Soy Protein instead of designer whey

6.) Vegan Pancakes: Apparently (Haven’t tried this yet) You can replace each egg with 1 T ground flaxseeds and 2 T water, and sub soymilk with a little bit of cider vinegar for the buttermilk.  Instead of all white flour I recommend subbing half for whole wheat and always topping with some fruit!

7.) Fruit Salad! All your favorite fruits. Sprinkle some Truvia (stevia naural sweetener) if you need some extra sweetness.

8.) Frozen Vegan Waffles! I like the Van’s Lite or Blueberry Kinds

9.) Soy Yogurt (check the labels, some have milk products, I prefer Silk in Raspberry)

10.) Vegan Breakfast Bar (when you’re on the go!)

 

So now that you have a few breakfast options, maybe think about incorporating more Vegan meals into your everyday routine. You too might find some benefits in veganism, one bite at a time.

 

 

 

Happpy eating!!!

xoxo,

J

P.S. Monday starts a new fitness challenge of the week, make sure you are keeping up with this week’s parking as far away as possible from any place you drive to! (ie grocery store)

Coconut Curry Tofu with Veggies, Vegan!

Aloha world.

Since I imagine you like this pondering over the tofu section at the grocery store, similar to how I was before this guide:

Plato, the great philosopher

I found this guide to tofu if you ever questioned which firmness to buy at the grocery store:

This has been my favorite vegan recipe so far! 

Whatdoyaneed?

1 can of UNSWEETENED light coconut milk

1 package of extra firm tofu, drain and cubed

2 “mississippis” of oil (either peanut, olive, etc) drizzled around the pan

1 small onion, chopped

minced garlic

2 tsps of curry powder aka take the lid off and just eyeball how much you want

chop up cilantro and add one tight fistful

seasonings: garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, turmeric

Veggies: anything youuuu want! I did 1 yellow bell pepper and brocolli

Howdoyoucookit?

Simmer, mhmm smells so good!

Begin by heating the large sauce pan on medium heat putting the oil, garlic and onion in and allowing it to simmer. Next add the can of coconut milk.  YUM.  Every time I say coconut I think of the song “put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up, she put the lime in the coconut called the doctor woke him up said DOCTOR is there nothing I can take, DOCTOR to relieve my belly ache”…not even sure if those are the right lyrics that’s like a decade old song…and now you all just witness my stream of conciousness.

Just ignore the can of bud light in the corner...not mine lol

ANYWAYS.

Allow for the mixture to bubble. Add as many spices as you want. I added the curry and tumeric, salt and cayenne–I like it spicy so I added some hot pepper sesame oil too!

Spice it up!

Add the veggies and put down to a med-low heat and cover. Stir every couple of minutes or so with a whisk or wooden spoon.

Why is tofu so weird looking?

Steam the veggies by covering with a lid….for about 6-8 minutes

steam it up baby!

Taste to make sure it is done before removing it from the stove! Aka it’s hot enough and tastes so good and doesn’t need additional seasonings.

I served it with organic Quinoa! THIS WAS SO GOOD. Seriously. Like a flavorful travel experience in my mouth.

So here’s to happy and healthy eating! Did you remember the fitness challenge of the week? Always use the stairs! Have you been able to defeat that challenge so far? Keep it up!!!!

xoxo,

J

The Eve of Veganism

Tomorrow I become a full on vegan for a month. The 12th to the 12th. The reason I am doing this challenge is in part because of the comments by a few readers who have some experience with veganism as well as just a cleanse for myself. Sometimes it is good to change up what we eat every now and then, at least in my opinion, to give our body a sort of detox from what it is constantly consuming.  So this weekend was a tad bit dramatic but included all of the foods I was going to go without.  Erego, the last supper (s).

Two Sushi Rolls for my Goodbye Dinner

 

 

Sushi might be one of my absolute favorite foods so I will be sad to see it go but I am really looking forward to noticing any changes in my body and energy. Tonight I had a sister FROYO date with my mini me.

Sydney ❤

 

 

My friends have had a lot to say or rather “laugh” at with this whole plant based diet I believe in. From jokes about how my future kids are going to go crazy when they hit their teens and rebel by eating McDonald’s hamburgers…to how I am out of my mind, our bodies NEED meat. I am a firm believer that healthy food is what fosters a healthy soul.  And what we eat greatly effects our susceptibility to illness, fatigue, diseases etc. For the most part I am really laughing too…I mean they all have great points that I can only fight to a certain degree.  And I understand that because I haven’t had red meat since I was four years old it is much easier for me to convert to what is deemed such a radical dietary change.

 

Essentially, this process is going to be an exciting month. I run the Shamrock Half Marathon next Sunday in Virginia Beach and for the first time in any race I will not be starting it off with a Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar.  This diet will take time to be thoughtful about and experiment within the kitchen and it will encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone when eating out. I plan on buying a cookbook as soon as I’m back in Virginia. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

 

Bring it on plant based foods!

xoxo,

J

To become a vegan or to not…that is the question

At four years old I decided to stop eating red meat because I wanted to be more like my mom. I kept eating chicken for a while but soon after gave that up too as a kid. In 8th grade I gave up eggs just because the thought of them freaked me out but started eating them again in high school because I needed “protein in my diet.”  I occasionally eat fish…so you could call me a “pescatarian.”  The Mediterranean diet has been noted by a lot of researchers and doctors of the health benefits to following a diet of lean proteins, no red meats, lots of fruits and veggies and very little breads and simple sugars.

 

But in this world, not eating steak or a hamburger is sometimes like having the plague. When I admit that I don’t eat meat….that’s usually the face I get (below).

YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN??? HOW?!?!?

Then there are always those people when asked why they are a vegetarian/vegan/raw dieter etc etc… act like the following:

 

 

But I try to explain myself. I used to think that if I could not physically kill the animal that I should not be allowed to eat it. I have caught and ate fish…I could not see myself killing a cow, or a chicken etc. But that argument was debated by so many carnivores that I sort of gave up on it. I have thought about starting to incorporate meat into my diet. Even my future boss (post-graduation) is convinced red meat is necessary in one’s diet for muscle strength and rebuilding tissues/fibers. However, how does a horse become so muscular and strong? Does it eat meat? no.  There is science that suggests that humans should be plant eaters due to the nature of our jaw. No meat eating animal has the ability to move its jaw side to side. Usually it is an open close, straight up and down mechanism. Look at alligators, dogs, cats, lions…they all have the carnivore jaw.

 

But this does not mean I can tell anyone what they should eat by no means. And I respect the same in return. I often say ohhh yeah I’m weird I don’t eat meat which serves as an ice breaker and also a way to not be served meat. Especially when it sort of grosses you out at this point (no offense but me and the meat aisle at the grocery store stay far away from each other).

 

So I am now contemplating the benefits of becoming a vegan. I know it is a difficult thing to do. I would have to give up my favorite things…omelets, greek yogurt, sushi, and feta cheese. Oh and ICE CREAM. But I am curious to see the effects to my body as a runner and athlete. So I am proposing a one month vegan challenge from March 12th to April 12th. I will post in a section called the “Vegan Diaries” about the recipes I use and the challenges I have. Nonetheless it should be an interesting experience. And the goal of adding more healthy foods to my diet will be assisted by the natural vegan constraints.

Just so you know Vegans must take a supplement called B12 which is only found in animals. Sometimes Vitamin D is taken as well but if you live in a sunny place…like Florida, you don’t need to have that as a supplement.

 

Happy Vegan-ing 

xoxo,

J