Day 12: Lentils +Lentil Soup #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 12: Lentils

Lentils are one of my top favorite go-to foods. They are so versatile, I try and throw them in as much as possible because they add so much flavor, protein and nutrients to so many dishes.

Lentils make a great substitute for any dish requiring ground meat because the flavor and texture is very similar. Even more healthy than meat, less fat, great protein and added fiber! You can use them to make things like bolognese sauce, meatballs or shepherds pie.

Yesterday, I threw some black lentils in a slow cooker and made a big pot of delicious lentil soup. It was so easy and tasty I can tell it’s going to be one of those staples for the winter… #27DaysOfThanks for lentils!

 

Easy Vegan Lentil Soup

I made this soup in a slow cooker (or crockpot) but you can make it on the stove top as well, just follow the cooking instructions for the lentils, add veggies and cook until tender…

Ingredients:

One bag of any color lentils (I used black lentils this time but green, brown or red work great too)
Carton of veggie broth
Can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 potato (your choice, I used a gold but sweet would be good)
2 carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
One bag of cut up butternut squash (optional)
2 large garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
spices (I used a dash of cayenne & garlic powder)
Dash of salt/pepper

 Instructions

  • Wash and sort lentils – throw in the pot
  • Wash and chop all veggies – thrown in the pot
  • Add broth, chopped can tomatoes, garlic and spices
  • Put the lid on and you are done!
  • Follow slow cooker instructions or wait a few hours you will know when it’s done…usually 4-5 hours on high, 6-7 on low.

Enjoy a wonderfully nutrient dense delicious hot soup that should last a few days 🙂

Day 11: Why you should eat Kale #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 11: Kale

To be honest I haven’t always been a fan of kale…if it isn’t prepared right or just blended in a smoothie, it’s hard for me to get it down. It isn’t until recently that I’ve experienced a few amazing salads that have opened my pallet to this nutrient dense cruciferous green. The key is finely chopped, massaged kale with the stem removed, lightly covered in a tangy, garlic, lemon, dressing and a hint of a sweet dried fruit. This is exactly what I have created here and it’s the kind of salad hardy enough to stand on it’s own. It fills you up and makes your body feel good as if it’s been given the nutrients it craves. In fact, kale is among the most nutrient dense food you can eat. It has essential nutrients hard to get in other foods, for both vegans and non-vegans.

Why to eat Kale:

  1. Kale is low in calories and high in nutrients; eating more kale will quickly increase the total nutrient content to your food.
  2. Kale is a great source of hard to get nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, C, K and B6.
  3. Powerful antioxidants and other nutrients in kale can help with anti-aging and can fight against cancer cells.
  4. Kale also has protein! Mixed with it’s high fiber content and zero fat content, it can help you lose weight.
  5. Kale contains Omega- 3 which is anti-inflamitory and great for your brain.
There are tons more good things to say about kale, but this is a good start. Combine this knowledge with some tasty recipes and you are good to go!

 Edible, Tangy, Crave-worthy, Kale Salad

Ingredients:

Head of Kale
1 lemon
1-2 Tbls. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper
Cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Nut parmesan

Almonds (or any nuts you prefer, pecans, walnuts, cashews…)
Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

  • Clean and dry kale.
  • Peel (or cut) all the kale leaves from the stem. (You will not be using the stem)
  • Chop up remaining leaves as finely as you can and place in a large bowl. Or use your food processor to chop it even finer!
  • Mix half of your lemon juice with half your olive oil and a few sprinkles of sea salt and pour over your kale and begin to massage the leaves until they become slightly wilty. (About 2 mins).
  • Set aside.
  • Mix remaining lemon, garlic, olive oil and seasoning into a cup and stir to make the dressing.
  • Pour over Kale and mix thoroughly.
  • In a food processor chop up almonds until the the texture is fine, similar to parmesan cheese.
  • Plate your salad and top with cranberries, nut parmesan and nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow for letter “L.” ♥

Day 10: Reasons to love Jackfruit #27DaysofThanks

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Day 10: Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a sweet tropical fruit that is used in many desserts…but did you know it also makes an amazingly delicious meat substitute? As it cooks it begins to shred and pull apart similar to chicken or pork. When seasoned, it can be used in so many dishes from vegan tuna to tacos.
I’m kind of obsessed with the Jackfruit nachos from Sage Organic Bistro, they are so tasty and would really fool you for being meat…

Here are some reasons to love Jackfruit:

  1. It’s super easy to digest and instantly replenishes, revitalizes and energizes your body.
  2. Super low in calories and a great #lowfat all #natural meat substitute.
  3. Full of vitamins (like B-complex, calcium and folic acid), minerals (like potassium, magnesium and iron) and anti-oxidants (like vitamin A & C).
  4. Full of fiber and helps detoxify the body.
#27DaysofThanks for Jackfruit and the many ways to eat it!
Check back tomorrow for letter “K.”

Day 9: Ice Kreme #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 9: Ice Kreme

Sometimes you need a little ice cream in your life, and by “sometimes” I mean EVERY DAY 🙂

This is a simple to make tasty, vegan treat with only 3 ingredients and it’s healthy enough to eat every day!

Healthy Banana Ice Kreme

  • Frozen Bananas
  • Strawberries (peaches, blueberries, mango or any fruit you prefer)
  • Almond Milk (or Coconut Milk)

Blend together, top with more fruit and coconut!

This treat is great for breakfast because it will give you enough energy to start the day, and it has plenty of protein and minerals too!

Check in tomorrow for letter “J.”

#27DaysOfThanks

Day 8: 3 Reasons to Eat Hummus! #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 8: Hummus

Lowfat, protein rich, highly nutritions, guilt free  & delicious hummus!
Hummus is one of those super easy to make dishes that is an absolute essential for every vegan kitchen…or just every kitchen! 
It’s tasty on so many things from veggies, to sandwiches to salads to crackers to you name it! It’s super healthy too because it is low fat high in protein and full of nutrients.

3 reasons to eat hummus:

1.Chickpeas are full of fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, minerals and help balance blood sugar.
2.The fresh garlic in hummus is anti-infalmitory antibacterial and antiviral.
3.The fiber and protein in the chickpeas and tahini will fill you up and keep you satisfied on the go.

I made a pot of chickpeas today and blended this together in no time at all. The hardest part is planning when you want to eat them because I like to soak the beans for at least 24 hours; soaking beans breaks down the enzyme inhibiters that can cause digestive issues and gas, it also helps you absorb the nutrients more easily and it also cuts down on cooking time.
Simply food process together:

chickpeas
fresh lemon
tahini
garlic
paprika
cumin
a little salt

Add a little water and blend until smooth and fluffy. What other ingredients do you like to add to hummus?

#27DaysOfThanks continues tomorrow with letter “I.” ♥

Day 7: Ginger + Healing Ginger Tea

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Day 7: Ginger

There are so many wonderful things to say about this special root, I’m not sure where to start…Its not only delicious in so many recipes it is also a super powerful healing aid.

Here are some top reasons to give thanks for ginger:

  1. Soothing to your digestive track; it relieves gastrointestinal distress including upset stomach, gas and nausea. Its safe for pregnant women and very effective in reducing vomiting without any side effects.
  2. The gingerols inside of ginger are very anti-inflammatory, they have been known to reduce pain in injury and arthritis. Consuming ginger regularly can help keep you active and pain free.
  3. Powerful against cancer, its been known to kill ovarian cancer cells and colorectal cells.
  4. Ginger is Immune Boosting, it contains natural antibiotics and can kill bacteria!

I want to let you in on a little remedy that you may (or may not know about) that will knock out anything trying to attack your respiratory system pretty much overnight. This tea is so healing, anti-infalmitory and immune boosting you will be drinking it all winter.

 Healing Ginger Tea

  • For a one cup serving just boil water and a few inches of chopped ginger root.
  • After about 10 minutes pour in your teacup and add 1 tbls. apple cider vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, turmeric powder and/or honey (if you eat it/vegan honey). This has worked wonders for me when I feel a sore throat or cough coming on!

What’s your favorite ginger drink?

P.S. I want to thank @bebe_glow for her shout out today and for all the new followers on Instagram! Feeling blessed by all your support!! ♥

Check it tomorrow for letter “H.”

Day 6: Figs #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 6: Figs

I decided to make a yummy smoothie…

from the ripe figs I picked up this week…it’s been fun thinking up ways to eat them and shoot them with my iPhone, haha! I didn’t realize I would get this much enjoyment out of the process; it’s a trial and error for sure, but learning a lot!
Figs are so sweet and taste great on their own (you can eat the skin too), add them to a salad or throw them in a smoothie.

This one has bananas, figs, dates a small apple (or berries), chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon and almond milk.

Some awesome facts about figs:

  1. Eating a half a cup of figs gives you the same amount of calcium as drinking a half a cup of milk!
  2. Fig trees are a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness. They are considered a beauty food because of the antioxidants and hydration they provide.
  3. Eating figs can help you loose weight because they are full of fiber and help you feel full and satisfied while giving you energy!

What’s your favorite way to eat figs?

The #27DaysOfThanks series continues tomorrow with letter “G”

Day 5: Eggplant #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 5: Eggplant

 What I love about this challenge…

that I have laid out for my self, (#27DaysOfThanks for 27 different foods from A-Z) is that it is causing me to experiment and try foods that I may not typically eat, and learn a lot about them too. Case in point, Eggplant. I don’t usually buy it, but when I saw these cute little purple bulbs at the FarmersMarket, I new I wanted them to be “E.”

I ended up making this Asian inspired stir fry and I’m glad I did, the eggplant added a lot to the dish and I seasoned with some new ingredients. Here is the recipe…

Eggplant Stir Fry~

Ingrediants:

eggplant
green beans
2-4 garlic cloves
red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
gluten-free soy sauce
1 inch shredded ginger
lemon or lime wedge
1 tbls maple syrup
1 tbls coconut oil (or veggie broth for no oil)
fresh parsley
sprinkle of sesame seeds
white Jasmine rice

Directions:

Chop up your eggplant and green beans.

In a skillet combine coconut oil, red pepper, and garlic. Sauté on low/med heat for a few mins.

Add in your veggies along with a few splashes of soy sauce, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Sauté for a few minutes on medium heat.

Add a few tablespoon of water and cover for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Shred your ginger and add to a separate bowl with maple syrup, lemon, a little more soy sauce and another tablespoon of water.

Add sauce to your skillet and cook for another few minutes.

Add your parsley and pair with your Jasmine rice!

Enjoy!

Reasons to give thanks for Eggplant

  1. The anthocyanin in the skin acts as a powerful antioxidant, is anti-infamitory and helps detoxify your cells. This helps cognitive function, heart health, and prevents tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells.
  2. It can lower blood cholesterol because of large amounts of chlorogenic acid which decreases LDL levels and also is antimicrobial and antiviral.
  3. It is a #beautyfood that promotes a #healthy weight, glowing skin and #antiaging.
What are your favorite dishes with Eggplant?
Check in tomorrow for letter “F.”

Day 4: Dates #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 4: Dates

Dates are one of my top favorite foods, I really started to love them once I realized how nutritious they are and how many ways you can use them.
I recommend getting them from the Farmers Market because they are so fresh and tender…my favorites are from Bautista Family Organic Ranch.

Some reasons to be thankful for dates:

  1. Dates energize, revitalize and hydrate the body instantly.
  2. Then are full of vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and B-complex and are anti-inflamitory.
  3. They are rich in fiber, very easy to digest, promote digestive health and relieve constipation.
  4. They prevent stroke, lower blood pressure, boost heart health, brain health and increase sexual stamina!
  5. Dates also aid in a healthy pregnancy, delivery and are wonderful for kids.
Did you know dates did all that? That’s why you should eat them every day and at plenty, they are amazing in smoothies and make tasty Holiday treats too, like the ones above…here is the super simple, delicious recipe…

Holiday Date Rounds~

Ingredients:

dates

coconut

cinnamon

chia seeds

Directions:

Just pit dates and food process them with some shredded coconut and a few sprinkles of cinnamon.
Roll them into balls and then roll them over some chia seeds and more shredded coconut.
You can put them in the freezer to harden and Enjoy!

Day 3: Eat Carrots! #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 3:  Carrots

Can you believe I picked up these beautiful, organic, rainbow carrots at Trader Joes? These are perfect to add to your soups, stews, salads, or just on their own.

Carrots have come in many colors since the origin of the veggie, actually they were mainly purple until they were cultivated to be primarily the orange color we are so familiar with.
It’s great to see them available in various colors because each color has different nutritional benefits:
  1. Orange offers beta and alpha carotene pigment which helps promote vitamin A in the body, great for eyes and skin.
  2. Purple also have anthocyanin which is a flavonoid that offers antioxidants similar to #blueberries which is great for the heart, memory and are anti-inflamitory and anti-cancer.
  3. Yellow also contain Xanthophyll a yellow pigment, and Lutein which help fight cancer and are great for eye sight and eye health.
Eating all the colors of carrots is another great way to eat the rainbow, thanks to carrots!