The Perfect Vegetarian Power Salad That Will Actually Fill You Up

I eat a pretty healthy diet in general, but lately I’ve been trying to clean up my diet even more. As a vegetarian, I eat a ton of nutrient-rich veggies and fiber-filled grains. On the other side of the coin, I also eat too many starchy carbs like beans and lentils. Don’t get me wrong, these foods have a ton of health benefits, but considering they make up a huge part of my diet and with all the talk about how we should be eating fewer carbs, I wanted to replace the starch with a few more leafy salads. The problem is, 9 times out of 10, I am left unsatisfied and bored after eating a salad and find myself hungry and reaching for salty, carb-filled snacks not long after. After a little bit of trial and error, I realized the key elements of a satiating salad: protein, fiber, fat and a variety of textures. This delicious salad is packed full or protein-rich tofu, calcium-filled feta, fibrous asparagus and a plethora of flavours and textures. It’s also super quick to prepare and can be made in large batches, making it an awesome option for Sunday meal prep. It’s low-carb as well, so it’s perfect for those on the keto diet. Say goodbye to dullsville piles of leaves and hello to flavour and healthy fats and plant-based protein.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

    1/2 Block Of Extra Firm Tofu
    1 Cup Of Mixed Greens (I like a mix of kale, spinach and arugula.)
    1-2 Tbsp Of Crumbled Feta Cheese
    1/2 Cubed Avocado
    1 Cup Chopped Asparagus
    1 Handful Of Chopped Cilantro
  • Dressing

    • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp Lime Or Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tsp Minced Ginger
    • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
    • Herbs To Taste (I like oregano and rosemary.)

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Celsius.

    2 // Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

    3 // Chop the vegetables (apart from the asparagus) and toss in a bowl.

    4 // Drain the liquid from the tofu package and chop the tofu into bite sized pieces. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper until golden brown (approximately five minutes).

    5 // Cut the bottom end off of all of the asparagus and place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender.

    6 // Once cool, add the asparagus and tofu to the rest of the salad and toss while slowly adding the dressing.

    7 // Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve and enjoy!

    Enjoy your healthy and delicious salad! I promise you won’t be hungry in half an hour. Try it and let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

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    Cheap & Easy | Protein-Packed Vegetable ‘Noodle’ Stir-fry

    As a student, there are times when I have to cut my grocery bill way, way down in order to afford life. When I can’t afford to splurge on the more exotic items I want (hello Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut Ice Cream and bubbly wine), I have a couple of go-to recipes that I turn to throughout the week to make sure that I’m not, quite literally, eating through my money. One delightful perk of my new-found vegetarianism is how cheap my meals can be if I just focus on whole foods. When you’re buying nothing but fresh produce and canned lentils, you can watch your grocery bills go from $60+ to quite often less than $30 in the blink of an eye. Still, no one wants to eat nothing but plain, raw veggies all day, so a little creativity is needed to transform them into delicious and nutritious meals that will leave you totally full for hours, while still craving seconds because it’s just that tasty. This particular recipe is chock full of satiating protein which will leave you satisfied until your next meal – without the bloat that comes from gulping down a steak. It’s also delicious, free of refined carbs and can be whipped up in 20 minutes. Read on to find out how to make this plant-based plate of heaven.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Large Carrot
    • 2 Large Zucchinis
    • 1/2 Can Beans (I love chickpeas, pinto beans, and black beans the most but the choice is yours!)
    • 1 Cup Extra Firm Tofu (chopped into cubes)
    • 1/2 Cup Tempeh (chopped)
    • 1/2 Onion
    • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
    • 2 Slices Vegan Cheese
    • * 1 tbsp Peanut Butter (or almond/cashew butter)
    • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder 
    • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
    • Chili Powder (to taste)
    • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
    • 1/3 Cup Soya Sauce 
    • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil

    DIRECTIONS
    1 // Wash and peel the carrot and zucchini. Use a spiralizer (follow the directions depending on which model you have) to cut both vegetables into long, noodle-like strands. Set aside.

    2 // Grease a skillet with a little bit of coconut or olive oil and add the vegetable ‘noodles’. Cook on medium heat.

    3 // Rinse your beans or lentils and add them to your noodles along with all of your chosen spices. The spices I have listed here are my favorite, but feel free to get creative with flavours of your choice – for example, curry, turmeric, cayenne etc. Toss the ingredients and turn the heat slightly down.

    4 // Add the diced tomato, tofu and tempeh to the stir-fry, along with the soya sauce and sesame oil. Stir all of the ingredients together. 

    5 // At this point there will be a lot of liquid in your stir-fry because all of the moisture will be cooking out of the vegetable noodles and tomato. One way to thicken it up is to add a bit of peanut butter (or any nut butter). This will also give the dish extra protein and enhance the Asian-inspired flavours. It’s totally optional but I really enjoy the creamy consistency and rich, nutty flavour it gives the stir-fry.

    6 // Continue to simmer the mixture on low-heat until all of the extra juices have been reduced. Feel free to add some vegan cheese for a little extra flavour and creaminess! 

    7 // Serve on its own or with some brown rice or quinoa for even more bite and protein. This dish is extremely filling (contrary to the popular belief that vegetarian and vegan meals leave you feeling hungry) and this recipe makes enough for two or three portions. Again, this recipe is totally customizable depending on your tastes. Swap out the spices and vegetables for your favorites. Don’t like carrots? Spiralize sweet potato or parsnips instead! Not a fan of tofu? Add some seitan and cut up portobello mushrooms! 

    I have really enjoyed cooking vegetarian meals and I find that because they do not have meat, the extra effort and creativity that goes into creating these dishes makes them even more delicious then some of the carnivorous meals I enjoyed in the past. It’s also nice not feeling bloated or lethargic after every meal! Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a vegetarian or vegan, keeping at least some of your meals completely plant-based throughout the week will have a powerfully positive effect on your health – as well as your cooking prowess! 

    Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Also, as always, I’m always snooping around for new veggie recipes, so please give me a shout my herbivore friends! 

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    My Go-To Green Smoothie

    green-smoothie-recipe
    When I’m in a pinch for time or simply want a super healthy meal on the go, green smoothies are one of my favorite breakfast options. They are packed with vitamins and can be made in minutes with minimal clean-up afterwards. Packed with chlorophyll and other essential plant-based nutrients, green smoothies have been praised for their many health and beauty benefits, such as glowing skin, shinier hair, a stronger immune system, and a decreased risk of heart disease. They are also a great way to sneak in extra greens without you even noticing them (kids love them)! There are a lot of great recipes out there that I enjoy, but this is my favorite green smoothie recipe of all time. Chock-full of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, this rich and creamy smoothie tastes like dessert but packs a serious nutritional punch. Plus it’s vegan!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Banana
    • 1 Avocado
    • 2 Handfuls of Mixed Greens
    • 1 Cup Blueberries
    • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries, Peaches & Pineapple
    • 1 tbsp Spirulina
    • 2 tbsp Matcha Powder
    • 2 Cups of Vanilla Almond Milk

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Add all of the fresh fruit and avocado into the blender and add one cup of almond milk. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

    2 // Toss in the leafy greens and frozen fruit along with the almond milk, spirulina, and matcha powder. Blend on high until the smoothie is entirely mixed and has a frosty yet creamy consistency.

    3 // If you prefer your smoothie to be sweeter, add a drizzle or honey or real maple syrup and blend on low to mix it in.

    4 // Enjoy your delicious and super healthy green smoothie!

    Have you tried green smoothies and, if so, are you a fan? If you give this recipe a try, let me know how you felt about it! It’s my fave but I’m curious about what others would think. Until next time!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Healthy (And Vegan!) Pancakes


    There are few things I love more than breakfast and I especially love pancakes. The lazy Saturday mornings I spend making chocolate chip pancakes with my boyfriend are something I really look forward to and cherish.  That being said, lately I’ve decided to put more effort into my health and eating right. I’ve also started eating a vegetarian diet. Although I am not vegan and do eat dairy and eggs, I try to keep portions of those foods small and so I really love the idea of making dishes vegan whenever I can. This pancake recipe came from a friend and colleague and is as delicious as it is nutritious. It leaves out all of the things that could conceivably make pancakes unhealthy (refined sugar, dairy, white flour, eggs) but keeps the flavor and fluffy texture of the pancakes you’ve grown up eating. It’s also filled with energizing vitamins so you won’t feel sluggish after eating these like you would with a stack of flour-made pancakes! They are incredibly quick and easy to make – all you need is a blender and a mere handful of ingredients. Here’s how it’s done!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Cup Apple Sauce
    • 1 Mashed Banana
    • 2 Cups Oatmeal
    • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    • * Extras ( I like raspberries, blueberries, and matcha tea powder)

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat a pan or skillet on medium heat. Grease the pan with a bit of coconut oil.

    2 // Measure out the ingredients and dump them into your blender or food processor.

    3 // Blend on a low speed until the ingredients are blended and have a consistency that resembles batter. If the consistency is too thick, add a little bit of coconut or almond milk.

    4 // Use a soup ladle or 1/2 cup to scoop up the batter and pour it onto the hot pan.

    5 // Cook the one side until small bubbles start to form. Flip the pancake and cook the other side (approximately 2 minutes). 

    6 // Repeat until all of the batter is used up. Garnish with fresh fruit, whipped coconut cream, and a touch of syrup!

    If you give these a try let me know how they turned out for you! Also, I’m on the look out for other good vegetarian or vegan recipes so if you have a great one, please share! 

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Vegetarian Enchiladas


    Photo via WeHeartIt

    For a long time I have wanted to adopt a vegetarian diet and I have finally decided to take a leap and just do it. I know that there are going to be challenges ahead of me – mainly battling temptation while eating with my family and boyfriend, all of whom love meat and think I’m a bit of lunatic for trying to give it up again. Maybe now that I have put this out into the webosphere I will feel like I’m held even more accountable for my eating habits. I’m super stoked to try more vegetarian dishes and I decided to try and replicate one of my favorite meals – enchiladas – without using any meat. I made this for my boyfriend the other day and he said that he couldn’t even tell that it was meatless. It was flavourful and filling, and a lot lighter in calories than the enchiladas I used to make. It was also super easy! Whether or not you are a vegetarian, I am pretty confident that you will enjoy this dish!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 6 Whole Wheat Tortillas
    • 2 Cups of Veggie Ground
    • 1 Onion
    • 1 Bell Pepper
    • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 tbsp Chili Powder (or to taste)
    • Dash of Salt
    • Dash of Pepper
    • 1/2 Cup of Enchilada Sauce
    • 2 Cups of Shredded Cheese
    • 1 Can of Lima Beans


    Photo via WeHeartIt

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (Celsius).

    2. Chop the onion into small cubes and sautée with olive oil and the veggie ground. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Sautée for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

    3. Grease a baking dish with a bit of olive oil (or coconut oil) and lay out tortillas.

    4. Pour enchilada sauce into a bowl (I used pre-made sauce) and scoop a spoonful onto a tortilla and spread the sauce from edge to edge, covering the tortilla. Scoop a couple of spoonfuls of the veggie mixture into the tortilla and sprinkle cheese on top. Roll the wrap and place into the baking dish. Repeat this and line up the enchiladas until all of the mixture is used up.

    5. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas and spread it as evenly as possible across. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the enchiladas.

    6. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, cilantro and guacamole. Enjoy!

    If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Also, if anyone has any vegetarian recipes you think I should try, let me know in the comments!

     

    xoxo,

    Alicia