Friday, October 24, 2014

Cauliflower Mash Bowls on The Lean Green Bean

Blogging has enriched my life in so many ways I never imagined when I clicked "publish" on my first post. It's forced me to learn and grow as a dietitian, cementing my personal food philosophy while expanding my knowledge of the field. It inspired me to follow my dreams and start my own private practice. It's brought incredible opportunities to my life both professionally and personally.

However, the greatest part of starting this blog has been becoming a part of a wonderful, caring and collaborative community of dietitian bloggers. I've seen, and sadly, been a part of so many workplaces where people compete for success, putting others down so they can get ahead. This beautiful community of health minded women (and men!) is exactly the opposite. If there is one thing I learned at Blog Brulee, community is the key to success and we definitely have a powerful and supportive community!

If RD bloggers are a community, then Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean is our model citizen! She is always sharing and promoting other peoples work to her massive following. She's the first to congratulate on successes. Lindsay even took time out of her busy schedule to give me advice on starting my practice way back when.

If you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely need to. She shares tons of simple, healthy recipes (including my personal favorite, blueberry cashew bars), workout tips, and tons of inspiration for Sunday meal prep. Lindsay is a pro at keeping things simple and efficient, so I know my mom or soon to be mom readers will gets tons of helpful info on raising healthy kids.

So when she asked if I'd like to guest post for her blog while she enjoys her time as a new mom to Baby Bean  patiently waits for a fashionably late little boy, I was ecstatic! Of course I'd help a sister out!

I went all out in creating this cheesy cauliflower mash bowl, topped with garlicky kale, white beans and a rich mushroom gravy. Vegan comfort food to the max! Although in hindsight, I probably should have created a spicy eggplant dish.

Now, before I have you head on over to The Lean Green Bean, a bit of sad news. Well, sad news for you, not really for me :) In light of spending a bit more time nourishing my soul as well as I nourish my body, I'm taking a little break from blogging next week as I travel with my family. We'll be going to the Dordogne region of France, basically recreating my first trip out of the country when I was six (hopefully minus the chicken pox and episode when I sat on a chocolate cookie and cried for an hour cause it looked like I pooped my pants). In hindsight, that first trip is a big part of the reason I'm a dietitian today - it's where I fell in love with food! Although I won't be blogging, I'll be staying active on the tweeter and instagram. Be sure to share all your soul nourishing pictures with me using the hashtag #nourishyoursoul.

Now, check out The Lean Green Bean for the recipe!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Five Simple Daily Steps to Nourish Your Soul

Five simple steps to nourish your soul

Guys, I've got a confession to make.

Lately, I haven't been nourishing myself the way I know I should. No, I haven't been shoving my face full of KFC while sharing recipes for kale salads. Minus a few (worth it) splurges for my husband's birthday earlier this week, I've been eating the same plant-centric, whole food diet I preach.

I've been nourishing my body...but not adequately nourishing my soul.

This past month has centered around deadlines, both real and self-imposed. I wake up, work nonstop, cook dinner, work some more, sleep. Although I've managed to squeeze in time for fun, like Saturday trips to Clemson for football and a few outings with friends, the whole time, I felt guilty thinking about what I could accomplish if I was at work.

The truth is, I probably wouldn't be accomplishing much. When you're exhausted and ignoring basic self-care needs, it's impossible to work efficiently. Looking back at my progress on monthly goals, that fact became abundantly clear.

Self-care is a crucial daily activity for living a healthy and vibrant life, but when you're busy, it's easily to view it as just another item on the long to-do list. That's definitely what I did.

Don't make my mistake. Nourishing your soul should be a basic daily habit, like (hopefully) brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.

Self-care can require no more time than brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. While it would be great to have time to take a yoga class or read a few chapters of an inspirational book each day, realistically, most people don't have time for this. Luckily, the most important and effective self-care activities can be done in less than five minutes.

Read on to learn five simple daily tasks to nourish your soul...

Five quick steps to nourish the soul

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Portobello Bulgogi Korean Tacos

A vegan twist on Korean street tacos using portobello mushrooms!

portobello bulgogi Korean tacos

With Halloween next week, this month's Recipe Redux theme is a scary one. They've got us dusting the cobwebs off those spooky spices we're afraid to use and conquering our cooking fears. Cue the Jaws theme!

This was a tricky challenge for me. As someone with an extensive spice collection and a close, personal relationship with each and every one, at first glance, none of my spices seemed all that intimidating. There are plenty of things that intimidate me, but spices are just not one of them. Every jar is already on regular rotation in my kitchen. Well, except for caraway, which I once bought for a cabbage recipe forgetting that it is the third most disgusting thing on the planet (right behind papaya and mealy red apples, of course).

portobello mushrooms for korean tacos

Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Build a Perfect Grain Bowl

how to build a perfect grain bowl
California grain bowl - instructions listed below

It's exciting when something I've been doing awhile suddenly becomes a thing. Like when Mumford and Sons became popular after I had been listening to them for almost a year or when everyone started selling owl necklaces similar to the vintage one passed down by my grandma. It all made me feel much more hip than I actually am, which is not very.

I got a similar sense of excitement when The New York Times published an article on How to Build a Grain Bowl. Basically a big, hearty salad built on grains, rather than greens, it has been my go-to lunch for quite some time. It's filling, portable, doesn't wilt, and is endlessly adaptable.

Since starting my little ole' blog, I've realized just how well-liked grain bowls are. Looking back at my most popular recipes, most are variations on grain bowls - Buddha bowl with marinated tofu, broccoli and brown rice bowl, Jamaican Jerk tofu bowl. Even my first post, the horrendously photographed but amazingly delicious sushi salad, was technically a grain bowl. The grain bowls I've included with personalized meal plans have received such rave reviews as "this is genius!" and "finally I found a salad that doesn't leave me hungry an hour later!"

perfect grain bowl with broccoli chickpea
Roasted Broccoli, Chickpea and Brown Rice Bowl with Soy-Miso Dressing

Clearly, everyone loves a good grain bowl. Well, everyone except paleo and low carb dieters. But hey, I've got an option for you too!

There's no right or wrong way to create a grain bowl. Often times, I'll simply throw leftover roasted vegetables over a small batch of grains and add canned beans or wild salmon. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and lemon juice and call it a day! 

Over the years, I've come up with a basic formula for creating the perfect filling and healthy grain bowl. It ensures that you will get a good balance of fat, protein and carbs, and allows you to mix and match to your hearts content. To build your grain bowl, start with a serving of your grain of choice at the bottom of a bowl or tupperware container. Then chose a protein and however many and however much roasted and raw vegetables, fermented foods and extras you like. Drizzle or scatter your choice of fat over the top and pack half a lemon, lime or a bottle of vinegar for dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature and either mix it all up, or do like I do and make each bite different! 

Build a Mexican grain bowl
Mexican Millet Bowl

Formula for a Perfect Grain Bowl

Pick a grain // ½ cup brown rice, quinoa, farro, black rice, barley, millet, spelt, wheat berries, rye berries, cauliflower rice (low carb/paleo option), sweet potato rice (paleo option)
Protein // 1/3 – ½ cup tofu or tempeh, 1/3-1/2 cup beans or lentils, 2-3 ounces wild fish, 2-3 ounces organic meat or poultry, 1 1/2 ounce grassfed or organic cheese, 1-2 hard boiled pastured or organic eggs, 2 tablespoons hemp hearts, 1 ounce nuts or seeds
Roasted vegetables* // zucchini, winter squash, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers
Raw vegetables // radish, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, fennel, corn, cucumber, snap peas, sprouts, salad greens
Fat // 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds, ¼ cup olives, ¼ avocado, 2 tablespoons guacamole, 2 tablespoons hummus, 1 tablespoon tahini, 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil or other nut oil
Fermented (optional) // kimchi, miso, naturally brewed soy sauce, fermented relish, sauerkraut
Extras // sun-dried tomatoes, nori, nutritional yeast, salsa, spices, herbs, flax seeds, chia seeds, capers, Bragg's liquid aminos, black olives
Dressing // lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar

*To roast vegetables, I simply toss them with about a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, spread evenly over a large baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until lightly browned and tender. Most vegetables take 20-30 minutes, but smaller, thinner ones may take less time while denser vegetables may take longer. 

California grain bowl how to
California Grain Bowl - recipe below

Here are some of my favorite combinations…

Mexican Millet Bowl:
Millet + black beans + roasted zucchini + cherry tomatoes + radish + guacamole + salsa + chili powder + chia seeds + lime juice

Sushi Bowl:
Brown rice + smoked salmon + roasted mushrooms + snap peas + carrots + sesame oil + soy sauce + nori + rice vinegar

Niscoise Bowl:
Farro + tuna in olive oil + roasted haricot verts + cherry tomatoes + olives + capers + parsley + lemon juice

California Bowl (pictured):

Quinoa + chickpeas + roasted Brussels sprouts + shredded carrot + avocado + hummus + black olives + sauerkraut + flax seeds + lemon juice