Vegan Indian Carrot Pudding

Deep frying has become a integral part of Indian cuisine in many households. It’s almost a obsession. I’m talking everything from appetizers to desserts being deep fried then glazed in sugar syrup. However, it can also be one of the healthiest cuisines with its use of Ayurvedic spices. I grew up with a mixture of deep fried everything and Ayurvedic food combinations, sometimes all in one sitting.

One of my favorite desserts was Gajar Ka Halwa or carrot pudding. It’s a sweet and satisfying but calorie dense dessert. This clean eating version is a guilt-free treat that can be enjoyed again and again by the whole family. It’s vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and paleo friendly with a simple modification

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Superfood- The Mighty Almond

The mighty almond that could. Almonds are a high nutrient superfood packed with protein, 12 different vitamins & minerals, and fiber. Bet you didn’t know the last one. The 4 grams of fiber per ounce of almonds helps keep bellies feel fuller for longer.

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Why are almonds my nutty superfood? It contains (per oz):

  • Only 129 calories per oz or approx 23 almonds
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 6 grams of Protein

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of calcium, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. Additionally they are a low GI (glycemic index) food.

  • Promoting: healthy bones, blood sugar, cholesterol, and energy levels.
  • Vitamins & minerals help to promote a glowing complexion and healthy hair

Availability of Almonds:

  1. Raw  – Alone or in a nutty mix. Available as plain, roasted, salted, seasoned, slivered, blanched, & baked
  2. Almond butter — Pure unsweetened, unsalted almond butter.  This stuff is quite addictive!
  3. Almond Milk — As a substitute for milk in oatmeal, smoothies, milkshakes, baking, or to drink. Bottoms up.

My favorite way to eat almonds are plain roasted. I also have many variations of almond butter at home, I spread it on toast and enjoy for breakfast with a smoothie or tea quite often.

Check it out below, be sure to follow me on instagram at Shot of Green for my favorite eats and healthy ideas.

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Avoiding the Sabotage & Food Pushers

It’s been a week since new years, a week into having made a resolution of some type to be healthy. Every body was on board the first few days, now everyone seems to be sabotaging your resolution. Sound about right?

A few ways friends, family, and work can be sabotaging your health:

1) Eating out to socialize

2) Pressure to “try” foods

3) Work snacks & breaks (i.e Donuts, cake, etc.)

4) The spouse/significant other pressure

5) The “its only one” phrase

6) Birthday & holiday celebrations

7) Ordering food at work as a group

say no

There is always something or someone that is going to challenge a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis. One of the things I didn’t list above is the biggest obstacle sometimes: You. Having a strong mindset and the ability to say no to yourself and others is the key. Learning to say no is hard when you really want to say yes.

Few ideas to help keep the healthy lifestyle going past the first week:

1) Suggest potluck dinners – Homemade meals are healthier, cheaper, and you can sample more things!

2) Go out for Tea or Coffee instead of a meal– Skip the desserts & opt for fruits on the side

3) Bring your own snacks to work — fruits, veggies, nuts & other healthy packaged snacks to skip the treats provided by your work or co-workers. Counter offer veggies when they offer you sweets.

4) Bringing meals to work– controls food, portions, cost and saying no when others are ordering in. Saying “I already brought a meal” or “I have these amazing leftovers but thanks”.

4) If you fall off the bandwagon, get back on right away. Don’t let it become a cheat day or week. Being healthy doesn’t have to start on a Monday, its already a hard enough day.

5) Talk to your friends & family — Why your new healthy eating is important to you and how you need their support. Also explain the details of your healthy eating, what you are cutting out and what you do like to eat.

6) When saying no doesn’t work try other phrases such as:

  • “Maybe later” Stalling isn’t saying no and food pushers are soothed to know that you will have it later.
  • “I don’t like […]” Less pressure for something you don’t like instead of something you “can’t” have

‘Tiss the Season for Gift Giving

Health enthusiasts are hard to shop for with every person having different lifestyles & health restrictions. Cue in head scratching. A lot of people have expressed confusion and the frustration they felt shopping for my birthday and even now for the holidays. They’re having a hard time understanding what is allowed in my healthy lifestyle. I always get the question, so can you eat chocolate, how about skinny popcorn, no? What about skinny cow? Ya, lots of explaining to people about my clean eating life-style, over and over again. So I can only imagine the trouble others go through. 

I’ve put together a few basics that should work for any health enthusiast or the aspiring ones. Vegetarian, vegan, paleo eater, the clean eater, and the kinda sorta health enthusiast. The perfect thing about holiday shopping is that New Years resolutions are around the corner, for many people every year thats includes some form of being more healthy. The Holiday Gift Guide features workout accessories and some essentials that everyone can use beyond yoga pants.

Examples below include a cute gym bag that can be stuffed with any of the other shown items. The same idea can be applied to a cosmetic or accessory bag filled with things like face wipes, hair ties, ear buds, dry shampoo, and lip balms. If you know they’re interested in a certain sport or workout feel free to buy items like stretch bands, yoga mats, workout DVD’s, or warm tech gloves. 

 

Workout Wishlist

Same concept for a healthy pantry,  get someone started by helping them start or stock up. It’s the sugar, spice and everything nice gift guide.

Consider these items for a healthy pantry:

  • Popular super-foods: chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs and hemp seeds.
  • Drinks: Tea, coffee or cocoa powder.
    • Don’t forget  a cute tea ball strainer or tea cloth bag with loose tea.
    • A cute themed gift basket centered around tea or coffee can easily be made with different tea varieties, honey, travelers mug & coffee or tea mug.
  • Seasonings: Pepper & salt mills, spices (cinnamon, cumin, basil, oregano, parsley, etc), Braggs liquid aminos, vinegar’s and olive oil.
  • Spreads & Nut Butters: Organic honey, pure fruit jams, nut butters (without the chemicals, sugars & preservatives).
    • There are many nut butters available including but not limited to sunflower, peanut free, cashew, pastachio, almond, and multiple nuts & seeds combined.
    • I love Nuttzo, Moxie, or grinding pure almond butter at whole foods or other health food markets.
  • Nuts & Seeds: Go nutty! Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.  Try to keep it simple & without the add-ons if unsure of diet type. Read the ingredients to make sure it’s without oils, too much salt, or other preservatives.
  • Kitchen Gadgets: If still unsure try a few things that can be useful in any healthy kitchen such as a compact veggie steamer, veggie spiraler, water bottles, salt & pepper mills, and eco-friendly BPA free storage containers for home or work.

Savory Spicy Holiday Popcorn

The holidays are centered around two things : family and food. This time of year delicious decadent recipes for the holidays are being cranked out. However, I’m going to present to you, my healthy holiday snack of homemade popcorn.

Did you know: The chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of a popcorn bag, is part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA.

Homemade popcorn is not only healthier but dirt cheap. At about .36 cents per serving you can’t go wrong! Simply pick-up a bag of regular or organic popcorn kernels.  A plain cup of popcorn is only 30 calories, the perfect way to snack without the guilt or harmful chemicals.

So I present to you my holiday special popcorn to enjoy before during or after the holidays. It’s a weird combination but I promise all those craving a spice kick will love it.

Savory Spicy Holiday Popcorn 

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of basil
  • Cooking sprayspicy popcorn

Did you know: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and fight bacteria.

Directions:

  1. Place popcorn kernels in brown paper bag and microwave on regular popcorn settings  or pop in covered skillet
  2. Spread popcorn on a small tray and spray with olive oil cooking spray
  3. Sprinkle all seasoning on popcorn and mix with hands
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Love cheesy popcorn? Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp parmesan cheese and 1/4 tsp chives.

eating popcorn

Enjoying my popcorn with some tea while watching the blind side with my mommy. ❤

Food Fight – My Weekly Eats

The title of weekly eats by itself sounded so plain, so run of the mill. I think I’ll be calling my weekly eats the food fight of the week. I figure its a fight with food, myself and others in my life to eat healthy and clean. I think its cute, but then again I’m corny.

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Breakfast foods (at work and home): starting at the top left corner spinach and mushroom omelette, oatmeal with half a banana, goji berries, sliced almonds and heaps of cinnamon plus fruit (repeatedly), and a loaded antioxidant toast with some chai.

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Dinner/Lunches: This week I played off a few foods that I prepared enough for a few days. Wrap stations with sauteed spinach, red beans, onions, spring mix, and veggie mix from Trader Joe’s. I probably did this for 2-3 days with carrots or beets on the side. I also made a stir fry with the veggie mix with some added broccoli one day and tofu one day in leftovers. Pictured bottom right from left to right is indian flat bread with dal (yellow lentil soup) and cauliflower in turmeric and quinoa with avocado and green peppers with a side of beets.

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Weekly Eats – October Edition

My weekly eats for the end of October are pretty redundant… I’m going through a phase with oatmeal.
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Pictured from top left to right is a bulk items (goji’s, dates, almonds, figs, and almond butter) and some pantry essentials from Whole Foods. Tons of fresh fruit, veggies and almond milk. Bottom left hand corner from Whole Foods is milk, bulk items, and eggs and frozen veggies. Then lots of fresh produce from the farmers markets… I kinda got happy with those apples.

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Eats at work (2-3 am) is almost oatmeal everyday with fresh fruit stirred in and one the side. Changed it up one day with a almond butter & jelly sandwich stuffed with bananas. I am going through a complete oatmeal phase right now.

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Meals before work so technically dinners consisted of: Quinoa with veggies and 1/4 of a avocado and beets, grilled avocado sandwich with veggies & hummus, grilled avocado with almond cheese and carrots and grapes, bowl of mung beans roasted corn and broccoli and a side of stauteed tindoras, tofu scramble with a plethora of veggies, grapes, and toast to spread, leftover tofu scramble on homemade indian bread with a side of beets, turmeric cauliflower wrapped in chapatti bread, salmon with veggies, beets, and potato biscuits at the Galamous Gala (desserts not pictured), and a tofu burger.

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Actual breakfast at home on some normal and abnormal times (ranging from 8am to 4pm). Starting from top  left hand corner: 2 egg omelet with homemade indian bread and tea, toast with almond  butter topped with a kiwi and antioxidant mix, toast with almond butter topped with half a banana cinnamon, honey, and dried fruit mix drizzled with honey and side of fruit bowl, oatmeal topped with strawberries, cranberries, and PB, toast topped with half a banana and dried cherries with cinnamon, Queen’s Saffron Milk, grilled plantains and side of fruit, and lastly some more oatmeal with raspberries & bananas.

 

I was pretty good but totally caved at the Glamorous Gala I attended for a charity benefit for my hospital, they had a fabulous dessert table that I completely indulged in.  I’ll being doing a post of my night out (one of the rare occasions) soon.