Motivational Monday – Investing in Yourself

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Don’t use cost as an excuse to eat poorly. We spend money on clothes, make-up and personal hygiene products for the outsides of our bodies, but complain when we have to pay a little more for organic produce or grass-fed beef. Why not splurge on the things that are going inside your body? After all, it is the only body you have.

Most long-term health issues can be prevented by making healthier choices at the grocery store and when dining out.  Start today by investing in your long-term health! You are worth it!

Here are some startling statistics provided by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) regarding the cost  of obesity in America.

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FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley

In case you haven’t noticed, I love SkinnyTaste.com! The site offers so many healthy recipes that at times I struggle to choose just one. I made this recipe as a last minute side dish when we had dinner guests and everyone loved it! My husband ate all the leftovers and requested I make it again very soon.
The mangoes give the salad a refreshing flavor and the crispness of the red peppers and onions add a nice crunch! This dish is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate and lutein.
The recipe makes generous portions so there will be plenty for leftovers.

For more information on the health benefits of mangoes, click here.

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Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 6  Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 164 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 6 g • Carb: 27 g • Fiber: 7 g • Sugar: 11.6 g
Sodium: 93 mg 

Ingredients:

  • 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (according to package directions)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • juice from 1 medium lemon or lime
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Directions:

Mix together the beans, quinoa, corn, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Drizzle over the mixture and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

My new favorite snack!

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Let me begin by saying I did not receive any product or compensation for this endorsement. I think it is important to mention that because I am about to sound like a commercial 🙂

My friend Jill and I have a weekly dinner date at Whole Foods. They have a fantastic deli with healthy foods for a reasonable price. Inevitably, we always end up shopping after we eat. On one of our trips I came across Justin’s Nut Butter. They sell individual packets so you can try all of the different flavors. Another great selling point for the packets is that you cannot sit down and eat the whole jar at once (which is exactly what I would do).

There are several different flavors, but my two favorite are Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut. They both taste like Nutella, but nutritionally are much better for you. Their products are vegan, dairy-free and GMO-free!

If you are looking for a tasty treat that won’t make you feel super guilty after eating it, try Justin’s Nut Butter. Seriously though, don’t buy the whole jar unless you have exceptional self-control.

Greeny Mac’n Beany

This looks so yummy!

Honk If You're Vegan

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I don’t think I could have come up with a cheesier name for this super easy, super pleasy dish. But the cheese is only in my wording, this Mac’n Cheese knockoff gets its rich creamy sauce from cashews and coconut milk.

I altered this dish from a recipe from The Great Vegan Bean Book. I bought this cookbook on a whim when Amazon suggested that I might like it when I was purchasing another book. Damn their marketing practices!

I’m not disappointed, however; I think I’m going to like this book. I love the allergy modifications. Most of the recipes can be altered for nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free and no oil diets. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to use these recipes.

And not only is this book perfect for those on special diets, but the first recipe I made was a success. For me to call a recipe successful, it…

View original post 280 more words

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Vegan (Tofu shhh…) Spinach Lasagna

Before you completely ignore this post because you saw the scary “t” word, hear me out! The vegan cooking experience is new to me. As I have mentioned in previous posts my husband and I are participating in the Engine 2 Diet – 28 Day Challenge. During this challenge we have had to try new ingredients so we do not end up eating salad, rice and beans for 28 days. These new ingredients include tofu. I am not a huge fan of tofu, but it doesn’t scare me like some people who shall remain nameless. My mother-in-law was coming over for dinner and I wanted to make a meal that would provide leftovers for my husband’s lunch. This recipe made enough for dinner for four plus a couple of lunches!

The flavor and texture of the “ricotta” mixture could fool anyone and we did not even miss the cheese!

To all the meat and cheese lovers: If you are brave enough to try this recipe, you will not be disappointed!

Vegan Tofu Spinach Lasagna

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Photo: The Vegan Table

SERVINGS

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS
1/2 to 1 pound (225 to 455 g) lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 ounces, or 280 g, each) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 package (16 ounces, or 455 g) firm tofu (not silken)
1 tablespoon (13 g) granulated sugar (optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml) nondairy milk (such as rice, oat, soy, almond, or hazelnut), or as needed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 peeled garlic cloves
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons [30 ml])
2 tablespoons (5 g) minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt (or to taste)
4 to 6 cups (980 to 1470 g) tomato or pasta sauce of your choice

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4).

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions or use “no-boil” lasagna noodles. Drain and set aside.

Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible and set aside. (If using fresh spinach, blanch first.)

Place tofu, sugar (if using), milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. The tofu “ricotta” should be creamy but still have body.

Transfer to large-size bowl, and stir in spinach. Continue tasting until you get amount of salt just right.

Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of noodles). Follow with half the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half the remaining tomato sauce and noodles, and all remaining tofu filling. End with remaining noodles, covered by remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS
Add meatless meat crumbles to your tomato sauce for more texture and body. For more cheesiness, add shredded nondairy mozzarella cheese to each layer.

This recipe is also great for making stuffed shells. To do so, stuff pasta shells with the tofu ricotta from this recipe, place them in a baking dish, pour on tomato sauce and bake in a 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4) oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Excerpted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009