Beet Hemp Falafel

Falafel is a relatively new food to me. I had my first falafel experience in New York City at a little vegetarian nook in New York City called Chickpea. It was love at first bite! In case you’re new to the falafel world, they’r essentially little baked or fried chickpea patties. This food has Israeli origins and is typically served in pita with a creamy tahini sauce and fresh veggies.

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I’ve seen a few recipes for falafel and it seemed relatively straight forward, so I decided to give it a try… Of course I had to put a few spins on the traditional recipe! My desire to incorporate some powerful, nutritious foods led to a pink falafel packed with protein and omegas! Yum!

If you try this recipe, or any for the matter, let me know what you think! I thought these little guys were devious and enjoyed them on my salads for the week as well🙂

P.S. don’t forget to eat the beet greens! They’re lovely sautéed and very nutritious as well!

– Ingredients –

1/2 beet (baked)

1 3/4 cup chickpeas (soaked & boiled) or 1 can

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/2 small onion

2 cloves garlic

juice of one small lemon

1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp thyme

– Recipe –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high sped blender or food processor and blend thoroughly.
  3. Use a cookie scoop, or tablespoon, so scoop uniform balls onto a lined baking sheet. Gently press down on each scoop to create a patty.
  4. Bake the falafel for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are just slightly crisp. Rotate halfway through for even cooking.
  5. Enjoy with yogurt sauce (coconut yogurt + lemon rind)

Crispy Carrot Fries

Carrots are awesome. They’re delicious eaten raw dipped in hummus, or lightly boiled and drizzled with honey or…sliced like fries and roasted! I went through a phase in my life were a ate carrots every single day, maybe even more than once. I love them that much.

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While I no longer feel compelled to munch on these beta-carotene loaded veggies everyday, I still have my carrot-cravings. I knew when I bought my last bunch that I wanted to slice them up and roast them. It’s my new favorite way to enjoy carrots!

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These are best served (in my opinion) with mashed avocado for dipping. It just doesn’t get any better than that. After admiring my carrots fresh out of the oven I topped mine with morrocan spiced lentils, sauteed zucchini and spinach, and (of course) mashed avocado with lime and red pepper flakes. Enjoyed outside accompanied by my cat…

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This might be the simplest and adaptable recipe ever – but I promise it doesn’t disappoint!

– Ingredients –

1 bunch of carrots

Paprika

Thyme

Tumeric

Olive Oil Spray

– Recipe – 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel and slice your carrots into strips, like french fries.
  3. Place the carrots on the lined baking sheet, spray lightly with olive oil and toss with desired amount of spices.
  4. Roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are tender and the ends are crisp – Enjoy!

Cacao Overnight Oats

I’m a little late to the overnight oats party; I’ve been seeing recipes for this simple breakfast for ages! I tried them once before and just didn’t love it… well now that’s changed! Overnight oats are such an easy and quick meal that you can make the night before. All you have to do the next morning is dumb them into a bowl and sprinkle on toppings. Even simpler than a smoothie! I love making these when I know I have a busy day or very early start, it saves me time and ensures I’ll still get a wholesome breakfast.

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These particular oats are made with cacao powder, which I’m really love right now! This incredible superfood is actually ground up raw, cacao, which is the purest form of chocolate. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate for breakfast? Whole rolled oats are perfect for this recipe because they absorb everything and become really creamy and soft but don’t turn into mush. They’re a great source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber – this combination will keep you satiated for while!

I’m looking forward to playing around with new flavor combinations for overnight oats, so if you try and enjoy this recipe, be on the lookout for those!

– Ingredients –

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp ground flax meal

1 tbsp cacao powder

1 mashed banana

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp coconut nectar (or other sweetener)

1 cup almond mill

jar or tubaware

– Recipe – 

  1. Chop and mash your banana in a separate bowl.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a jar or tabular and mix well, making sure all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Cover with a lid, or foil, and let the mixture sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. The next morning, pour the oats into a bowl and top with extras – I love adding some extra fruit! You can also eat them right out of your container on the go!

Orange Vitality Smoothie

I love starting my day with a big, nourishing smoothie loaded up with lots of fruit, quality protein, healthy fats, and superfoods! This particular combination developed out of my desire to really reap the benefits out of a few foods and spices I’m really loving right now!

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Everyone knows oranges are a prime supplier of Vitamin C, but did you know getting your Vitamin C from an orange is way more effective than getting it from a packet? While there’s a lot of speculation that Vitamin C plays a role in sickness, such as the common cold, there isn’t much evidence. Eating healthy however, plays an enormous role in the condition of our immune system. By eating the whole orange, you not only get Vitamin C, but also fiber and other vitamins such as B6 and Magnesium and that will definitely help you ward off sickness.

Chia Seeds contain polyunsaturated fats and protein, making them the perfect addition to a smoothie heavy in fruit! They are also a great source of Iron, which absorbs best when combined with Vitamin C.

Turmeric, the star of the show here, is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. It comes from a root, but so far I’ve only found it ground into a powder in the spice section! It has a particular flavor and a bright orange color derived from curcumin, a curcuminoid with medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, making it immune boosting and especially valuable during cold season.

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Finally, I’m really loving ginger lately. I love its light, yet pungent fragrance and the spiciness it gives to dishes, and in this case, smoothies! I buy whole ginger and chop it up as I need it; I notice a huge difference between the powdery ginger found in the spice section and the whole root itself. It promotes gut health – which as someone with a sensitive tummy, I’m always trying to do! It too has anti-inflammatory effects, which protects against diseases small and large.

Enjoy this smoothie that tastes delicious and has loads of health benefits!

– Ingredients –

2 frozen bananas

1 fresh orange

1 cup almond milk

1/4 inch ginger

1 tbsp chia seeds

Sprinkle of turmeric

ice

– Recipe – 

  1. Peel and chop orange, leave the white, stringy rind on – that contains nutrients!
  2. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend for about 45 seconds, adding liquid and ice as needed.
  3. Pour into glass and sip happily known you are nourishing your body!

Energy Mix

During the school year, I’m in a million places at once. Between school, work, coaching, an internship, daily workouts and social activities, I definitely need snacks ready to go. This energy mix is ideal because it’s easy to make, can be made in large quantities, is filling, and tasty.

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Have you ever purchased a pre-made trail mix? Essentially, trail mix is a bunch of tasty bits tossed together. Don’t assume what you see is what you get though, check out the ingredients of the mix. Is there added sodium? Preservatives? Oils? Are there candies mixed in? Sugar? There’s not need for all that extra hoop-la, just simple nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate chips (yes, these are a must) does the job!

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By simply adding one nut ingredient, in this case 1 cup of pistachio meats, that is roasted and salted, you get just the right amount of saltines. Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients support brain function and promote satiety. The addition of raisins contributes quick, fruit derived sugars for an energy boost. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants (see my last post) and are delicious of course.

Enjoy this simple recipe for a tasty trail mix treat!

– Ingredients –

2 cups raw almonds

2 cups raw cashew pieces

2 cups walnut pieces

1 cup pepitas

1 cup roasted, salted pistachio meats

1 cup mixed raisins

1 cup dark chocolate chips

– Recipe –

  1. Dump everything in a bowl and mix it up.
  2. Pour into a pretty jar and enjoy on the run!

Superfood Almond Butter Cups

Chocolate is my kryptonite. Life without it sounds like pure torture to me; it’s my favorite indulgence. I particularly love dark chocolate, which is fitting since it’s definitely healthier than the milk chocolate alternative.

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and fiber as well as minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese. Do a quick search on the internet for the benefits of eating dark chocolate and you’ll get a variety of pleasing results. Cardiovascular health, brain function, skin protection, improved blood flow…the list goes on and on!

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However, as Sarah Wilson explains in her quick comparison of cocoa and cacao; these studies fail to mention that they are using pure, usually unprocessed chocolate – cacao! Unfortunately Hershey’s, as well as most brands, don’t fall into that category. Look for DARK dark chocolate (I’m talking 70-80% cacao people!).

Your other option? Make it yourself! Invest in some quality cacao powder. This powder is the ground up seeds and is easily found in health food stores or online. I love adding it to a banana smoothie for a protein, healthy fat, and antioxidant boost as well as a chocolatey flavor!

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These simple almond butter cups were the result of my constant craving for chocolate. I decided to throw some tasty, nutritious ingredients together and my creativity was rewarded – these are delicious!

I named them superfood almond butter cups because they also contain coconut oil, a more popular superfood. I’ll save all my blabbing about that for another post😉

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Enjoy these! I take no (ok, full) responsibility for their addicting qualities!

– Ingredients –

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp coconut nectar

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 tsp almond butter

– Recipe –

  1. Heat coconut oil and coconut nectar over low heat in a pan. Mix continuously and remove from heat as soon as they have combined.
  2. Add in cacao powder and stir furiously. This needs to be quick because you don’t want the ingredients to burn!
  3. Use a spoon to ladle chocolate sauce into a chocolate mold sheet, filling each mold about halfway, then drop 1/4 tsp almond butter into the center and cover with chocolate!
  4. Freeze for 2 hours or until you can’t wait any longer…Enjoy!
  5. I used a small peanut butter cup mold and this recipe made about 5 for me! It can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled…but do so at your own risk!!

Lemony Kale Pesto

Summer is, sadly, coming to a close and I of course made the wise (not wise) decision of taking an accelerated 3 week course to finish mine off. Needless to say I am occasionally overly ambitious, but I’m suffering through and hoping the quick 3 credits will be worth a little extra stress and time spent indoors. I’m swamped with work, so everything I’ve been cooking falls into the little effort and quick category. Such as this delicious pesto sauce!

This recipe has been in my head for a while; I first decided I wanted to make a pesto when I feasted on gnocchi coated in it’s green goodness while in Paris. I didn’t want to make just any pesto though! I was considering how I could amp up the nutrition in an already pretty healthy sauce. Sneaking in another green in addition to basil seemed like a simple way. So I made one composed of my boyfriend’s (healthy) favorite things – lemon and kale!

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This recipe requires little time and effort – which made its preparation the perfect study break. I’ve had it on pasta, tossed with sautéed  veggies, and as a spread on a sandwich – all simple and tasty dishes!

– Ingredients –

2 cups chopped Tuscan kale

1/2 basil packed tightly

1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (2 small lemons)

1/2 tsp lemon zest (1 small lemon)

2 tsp nutritional yeast

pinch of sea salt

sprinkle of black pepper

sprinkle of red pepper flakes (for a little spice!)

– Recipe –

  1. Toast your walnuts by chopping them up and heating them in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned.
  2. Juice and zest the lemons.
  3. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and process until a thick green paste forms.
  4. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and enjoy!