Who said pudding can’t be healthy? Especially when you add a power ingredient like chia—beyond healthy! From an Ayurvedic perspective, chia has several doshic benefits. It reduces vata—the air and space element, optimizes pitta—the fire element, and nourishes kapha—the water and earth elements.
Chia seeds are also sattvic, or pure in nature, meaning that they foster clarity and tranquility of the mind, while also nurturing the body. According to Ayurveda, the chia seed creates a natural warming effect within the body-mind aura, enhancing cognitive health, a balanced metabolism and even joy. What a superfood hero! This is just one example showing how our diet can affect the body and mind, one of the basic principles of Ayurveda.
Chia seeds support deep hydration and have high quality fiber, helping to improve and conserve our ojas (inner strength and vitality). Adding even more super power with their large amounts of Omega-3 oils, chia seeds help conquer inflammation and control blood sugar.
Don’t yet believe the benefits? The proof is in the pudding!
Protein Packed (Chia) Pudding
Makes 4 servings
1.5 cup carrageenan-free almond milk or homemade nut milk
1.5 cup pure coconut water (or just use double the milk if you have no coconut water)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp flax seeds (I like to grind my own in a coffee grinder)
1-2 tsp good cinnamon
4 scoops collagen peptides (the BEST protein boost, but optional if you are a veg. you can also use the marine collagen)
1. Combine all ingredients in quart sized mason jar, collagen last (or else it will congeal all your chia seeds).
2. Shake vigorously. then shake again after 5 minutes. Then shake again after another 5 minutes.
3. Stick it in the fridge overnight.
4. Divide into clear glasses or jars, top with berries, stewed apples, banana, coconut, and/or my favorite - paleo granola.
Yoga Journal: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/doshas-decoded-learn-unique-mind-body-type#gid=ci02075699b0132620&pid=woman-doing-chandra-bhedana-moon-breath-pranayama-nadi-shodhana
La Yoga: https://layoga.com/life-style/ayurveda/the-ayurvedic-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
Hi guess what? I love tacos. And I bet you do too because seriously how could you not? First, tortilla's are the perfect vehicle for food. Second, you can put any type of combination of food inside of said tortillas. And third, they're gluten free so that's pretty great because that means less inflammation in our bods!
I made myself tacos last night and tonight. No shame. Last night, I stuffed my tortillas with pan-fried zucchini, red pepper, portabello mushroom, and roasted butternut squash, topped it with tomatillo salsa, fauxmaggio cheese and then proceeded to house them. And I came to a realization.... tacos NEED to have some sort of protein in them. Without shrimp, fish, meat, or tofu something just feels incomplete. The ratio is all off. The texture is underwhelming. My belly is unsatisfied. Therefore, I created proper taco-Tuesday-style Spicy Shrimp Tacos. Read on for the recipe.
I typically buy my seafood fresh from my local Whole Foods but since I found out the shrimp at the fishmonger counter is previously frozen anyway, I bought myself a huge 5 lb bag of frozen shrimp. Might as well control the process myself. When buying frozen shrimp look for the label IQF which stands for "Individually Quick Frozen" which means the shrimp weren't frozen in one huge block and are most likely going to have a better texture and flavor. Make sure the only ingredient is shrimp; no preservatives, no additives.
So now with this new epiphany, I set out to make the perfect taco.
The Perfect Taco = protein + crema or guacamole + slaw or onions + cilantro + lime + optional cotija cheese.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, tell me what your favorite kind of taco is!
Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Avocado Crema
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
For the Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce:
¼ cup avocado oil
¼ cup water
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt (himalayan is my fave, full of minerals)
juice of 2 limes (or 1 lemon if you don't have limes)
½ cup organic greek yogurt
For the Shrimp Tacos:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 tsp each chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2-3 cups shredded green cabbage
6-8 soft corn tortillas (I used Siete Foods Cassava & Coconut tortillas since I'm trying not to eat corn right now)
Toppings: Cotija cheese (optional), cilantro, lime wedges
Blend all the sauce ingredients except the yogurt and avocado in a food processor. When mostly smooth, add the yogurt and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside.
Heat a drizzle of oil a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle with the spices. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and saute for 5-8 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.
Toss some of the sauce (not all) with the cabbage until it the cabbage is coated to your liking. It should resemble a coleslaw - you want it to be enough sauce so the cabbage is weighed down a little bit.
Add avocado to sauce and blend. This makes your sauce nice and thick and perfect for drizzling on top of the tacos.
To serve tacos, pile slices of avocado, 4-5 pieces of shrimp, coleslaw, and finish with Cotjia cheese (optional), cilantro, and lime wedges.
**Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yums Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw recipe**
My favorite thing to do on weekends is watch Food Network's The Kitchen (seriously my favorite show EVER, check it out if you haven't yet) and bake delicious goodies.
My weekly meals consist of mostly plant-based foods with the occasional boiled egg or roasted fish so when Sunday comes around it's my mission to try out a new good-for-you cookie, muffin, or other sweet treat recipe. Being gluten-free used to limit my breakfast and dessert intake immensely - there were little to no options available at restaurants, coffee shops, even grocery stores. That was 8 years ago and now the world has finally caught up which for me is a blessing and a curse. Hear me out here. I am so happy that the Celiac and GF population can now enjoy foods that they used to miss out on. Our previous avoidance of certain restaurants has gone down, and so has the envious stare-into-your-friends-mouth-as-she-takes-a-bite-of-stuffed-french-toast-from-your-favorite-breakfast-spot move. Not very classy.
But, have you noticed that all the gluten-free replacements are like 10 times more unhealthy than the gluten-full versions? Gluten-free pizza typically has 90 more calories, 4 grams less protein and 8 more grams of fat than regular pizza. GF sweet treats typically have more sugar and/or butter to maintain the gooey dense texture we've come to expect in a cookie or muffin. And I thought being gluten-free was more healthy. Not fair.
That's why I decided to try my hand at creating homemade treats. I know what's going into the batter, and into my belly. It's a win-win! Oh, and another positive is that each batch typically contains about 12 servings. Since I'm only feeding myself and my partner, the rest of the treats will either last us for a few days, get shared amongst visiting friends, or get frozen for later. My love of dessert is mostly a textural thing rather than a sugar-bomb craving so I can create a muffin that uses a small amount of sweetener and be happy. All I really care about is TEXTURE. And these muffins sure have a decadent gluten-y texture.
My sweet recipes use honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, coconut sugar or mashed bananas for sweetness and coconut flour, almond flour, oats and chickpea flour for texture. Each sweetener and flour has it's own place and is just as satisfying as using the "regular" version. I also like to enhance my foods with nutrient dense superfoods like prunes, chia/flax/hemp seeds and nuts. Nutritious and delicious!
This weekend I made dense and delicious Honey Oat Banana Muffins. Packed with healthy fats, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, protein and anti-inflammatory nuts these babies will melt your all muffin-guilt away. Take a bite knowing you are feeding yourself real, wholesome food.
Try this recipe on your own and let me know what you think!
It's April 1st and it's snowing... it's time to admit climate change is real if you don't already. I'm bundled up in my toasty home, spending the day doing yoga, chillin with my puggle Eva and watching The Kitchen of course.
This week I've decided to incorporate more local veggies, more greens, more soups and more living things in my diet lately. Not living things like humans or animals but living vegetables, fresh, raw and ALIVE. Cate Stillman shared an amazing recipe with our group on Body Thrive (an amazing 10-week Ayurveda program I'm deep into). Spring is Kapha season but it just started snowing where I live so I'm still eating Vata-balancing foods. I made this soup just now and it is so freakin' quick and easy. The hardest part was getting out of the house to buy ingredients. I just finished eating it and I am stuffed, happy, hydrated, and warmed to the core. I'm also surprisingly full! I love myself a warm grain bowl with protein but as I head into Spring I'm looking to let go of some heaviness so this is exactly what I needed. So, if you're feeling chilly or are Vata-dominant this soup is for you. If you aren't sure what your Dosha is you can take this quiz. Take your results with a grain of salt and use them more as a guideline. To find out what your Dosha is exactly takes a lot more than an online quiz. My teacher once told me it requires 7-14 visits everyday to an Ayurvedic practitioner who reads your tongue, pulse, etc every time you come in.
According to my quiz results, I am equally tridoshic which is a bit confusing and doesn't guide me as easily as someone who is predominantly Vata, Kapha, or Pitta. This is why I follow the seasons and listen to what my body wants. That's really what Ayuerveda is all about - listening to your body and eaing, moving, breathing in a way that is suitable for YOUR BODY. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. And if it's too raw for you, cook it up a little post-blend.
Basic Vata Green Living Soup
Prep & cook time: 10 minutes
Adapted from Cate Stillman's Basic Vata Green Soup Recipe
1 cup fennel
1/2 cup yellow peppers
1/4 cup fresh basil or dill chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1 veggie broth cube
a dash or two of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Blend with 4 cups boiling water. Garnish with fennel greens, dill, or sprouts.
And this is what you get... doesn't that color just brighten your day?
You can find this and other living soup recipes here.
Italian Veggie Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 package mushrooms, cut into quarters (portobella, baby bella, shitake, white button)
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
a few handfuls of Spinach
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tsp herbs: any ratio you liked of basil, oregano, parsley
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp allspice (optional)
grated parmesan cheese, freshly grated is best! (optional)
1. Preheat over to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating up, cut off ends of spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour water onto cookie sheet and place squash face down on sheet. Set timer for 45 minutes.
2. While squash is cooking, sautee onions and garlic in coconut oil with a little salt and pepper. Add in mushrooms, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in tomatoes, s&p and cook for 2 minutes or so. Add in spinach and tomato sauce. Let it come to a boil then cover and simmer while squash cooks.
3. After 40 minutes flip squash over and spoon sauce veggie mixture in the bowls of the squash. Set oven to broil. Grate parmesean cheese on top and put back into over for 5 minutes.
4. Carefully remove squash from over and place on a plate. Add more parm if you want.