Monday, April 30, 2012

I bet you've never had this in your lasagna before...

I found this recipe for Mexican Lasagna through a Pinterest post (you can follow me here for links to delicious recipes... some that I have tried and some that are still on my "to try someday" list). 

I followed the lasagna recipe pretty closely except that I used cashew cheese instead of the shredded Mexican blend that was suggested since I'm trying to be vegan-ish (which means I am not fully committing to giving up cheese but I'm trying my hardest to eat much less of it). I used a recipe for cashew cheese that I found here.* I omitted the onion powder and the Dijon mustard because I didn't have any and I used water instead of vegetable broth but other than that, I followed the recipe* as written.

To be fair to my husband, I did put cheese on top of half of the lasagna. After all, it's my choice not to eat cheese and I don't want to impose that on him.... plus I thought he would then make the assumption that there was cheese throughout since I didn't tell him that I substituted cashew cheese for real cheese! It worked.

For some reason, whenever I make lasagna, it never seems to turn out in those neat little layered squares they show in the pictures alongside the recipe. Hmm... I'll have to work on that. It still tasted good though. Next time, I think I'll add more veggies... maybe some spinach, carrots and zucchini.

Tonight, I'm making Mexican Lasagna Stuffed Peppers... which basically just means that I'm going to stuff a bell pepper with the lasagna from last night. 

For those of you that didn't even click on the link for the cashew cheese because you think you won't like it, consider this... my husband loved it and he doesn't even like cashews and, as I said above, he didn't even know or suspect hat I had substituted cashew cheese for real cheese (Sean, if you're reading this, sorry for not telling but you did say you loved it). And for those of you that think it sounds too difficult to make, I promise you, it's really easy.

1. Soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes
2. Combine the balance of ingredients in a bowl

3. Blend in the food processor and Voila... you have Cashew Cheese!
This is what the final product looks like...

The cashew cheese recipe I used called for basil and lemon juice (perfect for a lasagna) but you can certainly use your imagination to flavor your cashew cheese to best suit whatever it is you're making.

In my search for a cashew cheese recipe to use for my lasagna, I came across these recipes that I can't wait to try!

If you make the lasagna or any of these cashew cheese recipes, I hope you will share your comments here or on the Fresh Equation facebook page.

Have a great week!

*when you click on the link for the cashew cheese I used, you will notice there is another lasagna recipe. I have not tried this one yet but it looks good!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Find Out How You Can Heal Your Body and The World… With Food!

I’m inviting you to join me in the first-ever Food Revolution Virtual Summit. 
Bestselling author John Robbins is personally interviewing 21 people who are leaders in movements for healthy, sustainable, humane and delicious food.  And you can join in -- for FREE!    
From April 28-May 6, there will be three interviews broadcast daily.  You’ll get cutting edge disease-beating, health-activating, age-reversing information.  These tools can help you and your family to thrive and to make a difference in the world.

Get more info on the amazing speakers, and register today:  The Food Revolution Summit

You’ll get training, inspiration and practical know-how from modern day heroes of health and sustainability.  You’ll get answers to burning questions, tools for dealing with family and peers, and practically useful insights, ideas, motivation and tips, all from the comfort and convenience of your phone and computer.  And the best part?  All of this is FREE.

Welcome Aboard,

P.S.  Please join us and discover what these fascinating people can share with you to help you and your family thrive.  2012 Food Revolution Summit

Monday, April 16, 2012

If you can't beet 'em, eat 'em...

I love beets but they do take some time and effort to prepare… and you can turn your hands and everything around you red if you’re not careful.  I was excited when I recently discovered Love Beets at Whole Foods because all the prep work has already been done.  They come peeled, pre-cooked and infused with different flavors like Honey & Ginger, Sweetfire and White Wine & Balsamic Vinegar.  My favorite ways to eat them are in salads, over quinoa or in smoothies or juices.  

Click here to read about all of the health benefits of beets.
Click here to find a store near you that carries Love Beets.

Have a great day!
PS- If you are preparing whole beets at home, I recommend using a plastic cutting mat or board.  Wood cutting boards stain easily.  I also put plastic sandwich bags over my hands so this doesn't happen...
photo credit:

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm a total sucker when it comes to...

I try to make the right decisions when it comes to my health but sometimes I'm tempted by things that I know aren’t very good for me… like fried rice.  I'm a total sucker when it comes to fried rice.  I can’t help it.  I ask for it to be made with brown rice when it’s available and I get the “vegetable” fried rice but let’s be honest, there aren’t many vegetables in there. 

So, when I do indulge in fried rice, I add some of my own sautéed vegetables to make it healthier. 

This way I’m getting more nutrients, I feel better about eating it and it increases the portion so I have some leftover for the next day.

Of course this only works if you make your fried rice at home, get take out or if you bring home leftovers when you dine out.  But, this philosophy of making an indulgence healthier can apply to whatever your weakness is.  For example, if you love spaghetti and meatballs, use whole wheat, spinach or spelt pasta and blend bell peppers, spinach, carrots, celery and fresh herbs into your sauce.  If you can’t live without ice cream, limit it to 1-2 scoops of the best organic ice cream you can afford and top it off with some almonds or almond butter so you’re getting some protein and fiber as well as slowing down the absorption of the sugar. 

We don’t make the best decisions all of the time, that’s just human nature, but we can try to make our less than perfect choices better.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The weekend in pictures.

This weekend, my sister, Meg, came to visit me and my sister, Bryn.  We had lots of fun... and lots of food!  The only thing missing was our oldest sister, Lauren.

We headed out to Maplewood, NJ...
for an amazing vegetarian dinner (portobello mushroom sandwiches,mixed greens and roasted sweet potatoes) with old friends...
and their new additions.

A train ride to Long Island for an Easter celebration with extended family.

Brunch at Bubby's in Brooklyn... Mom & Dad's treat.  Thank you!

A walk on the Promenade in DUMBO.

Ice Cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
I didn't have any but I found this sign amusing...

Manicures. We all got the same color. Color Club's Peace Out Purple...Love it!  We forgot to take a picture of all of our nails but here is one I found online to show you the color.

A quick stop at a friends rooftop deck.

Dinner on the roof at Alma
We shared vegetable fajitas.

Shopping.  Meg and I found a great dress on sale for $20 at the Gap and we all got the same shirt from Joe Fresh. Then, lunch at the New York landmark, Lombardi's...
and a bite-size treat from Baked by Melissa.

I made my favorite vegetarian tacos for everyone for dinner before heading off to Pier 40 to watch Bryn and Arnel play soccer.

Despite all of the eating we did, I still finished Week 1 down 2lbs and with 5 workouts logged.  I hardly checked my email all weekend (which felt amazing and liberating) but I have to admit that I do have some anxiety about catching up and replying to all of them now.  This would be a great time for me to start practicing that meditative yoga I was thinking about...

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Same Food, Different Meals

When I don't plan ahead, grocery shopping seems to take me forever because I just wander around wondering what I should buy. Then I always end up buying too much or forgetting something and having to go back several times in a week and let's face it, who really has time to go to the grocery more than once or twice a week?  I know I don't.  So, I've been trying to become a  more efficient grocery shopper.

When I cook a lot of different recipes that require vastly different ingredients I found that it cost a lot of $$$ and that we couldn't possibly consume everything before it went bad.  So now, I've been planning ahead.  Each week I choose 2-3 recipes/meals that I know I'm going to prepare and I make a list of all of the necessary ingredients.  Then, I select 3-5 items to supplement those ingredients.

For example, this week I knew I was going to be making green smoothies and vegetarian tacos which require:
Green Smoothies:  spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery, carrots, apples, lemon/lime juice.
Vegetarian Tacos:  black beans, refried beans, rice, grape tomatoes, spinach, olives, onions, avocado, lime juice, wraps
Supplemental Ingredients: portobello mushrooms, marinated beets and orange & yellow bell peppers. 

From these ingredients I was able to create multiple lunches and dinners:
Sunday Night- Vegetarian Tacos
Monday Lunch- Vegetarian Taco leftovers
Tuesday Lunch- Celery, Cucumber, Beet and Avocado salad (see recipe below)
Tuesday Dinner- Burritos w/sauteed Onions, Bell Peppers and Mushrooms with leftover Rice in a Wrap
Wed Lunch- Burrito 'salad' (the last of the Rice with the leftover sauteed Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms sans wrap)
Wed Dinner- Spinach Salad with grilled Portobello Mushroom, chopped Celery, Grape Tomatoes and Vinagrette
Daily- Green Smoothies
Daily Snack- chopped Carrots and Bell Peppers

Cucumber, Celery, Beet, Avocado Salad
  1. Chop celery, cucumbers, beets and combine in a bowl
  2. Add juice of 1/2 lime and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Let marinate for an hour (or longer) in the fridge
  4. Add sliced avocado and enjoy!

Vegetarian Burritos
  1. Cut onion, mushrooms and peppers into long thin slices
  2. Saute onions over med-high heat until they start to get soft and translucent
  3. Add peppers and mushrooms and saute for approximately 2 minutes
  4. Fill wraps with rice and then layer on the sauteed veggies.
  5. Add hot sauce (optional), roll up and enjoy!

  6. These aren't the fanciest recipes but they're simple to make, they taste good and we utilize all of the food we buy so it saves us $ and we aren't wasting food.   Just be creative with the ingredients you purchase and with what you have on hand at home. For example, if you have whole wheat pasta in the pantry, you could put the leftover sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers over pasta with chopped grape tomatoes, olive oil and salt & pepper.

Have a great day!