Jan 312016

People everywhere are predicting the big food trends that are coming in 2016. Things like poke, matcha, and acai bowls (or anything in a bowl for that matter) are definitely coming atcha this year. Another trend I’m particularly excited about? Breakfast salads.
I have to say it’s pretty brilliant. Why should salads be restricted to lunch and dinner? Why not start getting those greens in first thing? Nobody puts baby in the corner. Breakfast salads are here and there’s no end to the possibilities. Whether it’s a savory version with a fried egg on top or a sweet version like this one–with grapefruit, ricotta, almonds, chia seeds, and honey–breakfast salads are the perfect quick healthy way to start your day.
Nutrition Highlights: They say it’s the most important meal of the day, but breakfast can very quickly veer off the nutrition. The truth is most quick and easy options–like bagels, pastries, cheesy-bacony sandwiches and even many granola bars, yogurts and oatmeals–can be packed with added sugar and fat, and lacking in any real fiber or protein to get you going. A breakfast salad is the perfect way to make sure you’re getting a little bit of everything you need–fiber and vitamins/minerals from the greens and fruit, protein, fiber, and healthy fat from the nuts and seeds, and protein and calcium from the ricotta (or greek yogurt). The honey here is definitely optional and I would might omit it if I was using a sweeter fruit (like a pear), but with the tart grapefruit a tiny drizzle was perfect.
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Perfect Breakfast Salad Equation!
(a non-recipe recipe)
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What’s in it:
GREENZ- 2 cups (like arugula, kale, mixed greens)
FRUIT – 1/2 cup (like grapefruit, berries, mango, melon, apples, grapes, pears, pomegranate seeds)
NUTS- 1-2 tablespoons chopped, bonus flavor points for toasted (like almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans)
SEEDY THINGS- 1 tablespoon (like chia, flax, amaranth, sprouted buckwheat, sprouted millet, quinoa, hemp seed)
DAIRY – 1/4 cup (like ricotta, greek yogurt, or cottage cheese)
DRIZZLE – Tiny drizzle of olive oil and/or honey and a sprinkle of salt
Other fun options – 1/4 avocado, 1/4 cup whole grains (like cooked quinoa or farro), 1/4 cup cooked beets, anything else you can think of!

How to make it: Literally mix those things together and eat –> Breakfast of champions. Go.

Jan 102016

Resolution season is upon us–the gym is more crowded and the produce section is more picked over. While I’m not usually a New Years resolution fan (why are we waiting for January 1st, people?), I can get on board with cleaning up our diets a little, especially after the eating spree that tends to occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas (guilty). If you’re going to make one resolution this year, make it to eat more food that looks like this: mostly plant-based and exploding with color (and not the kind you find in sour patch kids, sorry).
The best part about this recipe is that it only takes about an hour to make and leaves you with 15 falafel, enough for 5 meals, so you lunches (or dinners) for the whole week are set. They may be cute and little but they have a HUGE amount of flavor and nutrition.
Nutrition Highlights: This recipe is vegan and gluten free but still packed with protein and fiber and is seriously filling. Here are a few of the key players:
-Chickpeas: high in fiber and protein so they keep you full and keep things moving along (if you know what I mean).
– Butternut Squash: get it’s bright orange color from carotenoids which turns into vitamin A in the body and helps support vision, immunity, and controlling inflammation. It’s also very high in fiber which helps keep blood sugar in check.
– Oats: Instead of flour, this recipe uses whole grain rolled oats to bind everything together, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber and may help with heart health and blood sugar control.
– Turmeric: SO hot right now. I’m not ready to jump on the crazy turmeric supplement train, but it does appear to have some pretty powerful anti-inflammatory effects (and thus may help with arthritis, IBD, cancer, and other inflammatory conditions), so I’m not against sprinkling a little bit more in our food.
– Hemp seeds: OK, it’s another trendy one, but for a reason! It’s super high in protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and several minerals. Plus they’re nutty and tasty and crunchy…all good things.
And although I could go on for days about the benefits of each nutrient in these foods, the best part is they’re all real foods with nothing processed. Go plants!
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Butternut Squash, Turmeric & Hemp Seed Falafel
makes about 15 falafel (5, 3 ball servings)
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What’s in it:
– 1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried well (*you can also soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in water overnight)
– 2 cups cubed butternut squash
– 1/2 onion
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 cup fresh herbs, looseley packed and roughly chopped (I used half cilantro and half parsley)
– 3/4 cups rolled oats, divided
– 3 tablespoons hemp seed, plus extra for sprinkling
– 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne (adjusted to you preference)

How to make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Put the butternut squash in a microwave safe bowl and cover (allowing a slight opening of steam to escape) with a microwave safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 5 minutes to soften the squash. **Alternately you could use leftover roasted/mashed squash or frozen pureed butternut squash.
3. While the squash is cooking, put half the rolled oats into the food processor or blender and blend into flour. Pour back in with the rest of the non blended oats and set aside for now.
4. Put the onion and garlic into the blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, butternut squash, and spices (turmeric, cumin, salt, red pepper) and blend until well combined. Add the herbs and pulse so they get chopped up but not totally blended so the falafel stays yellow rather than green (for aesthetic purposes only).
5. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and mix in the oats and hemp seeds. If the mixture is warm (from the squash), put in the freezer for a bit so it gets cold and is easier to form into balls.
6. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Form the falafel mixture into golf ball sized balls (about 15). Spray the tops with olive oil, sprinkle with a few hemp seeds, flip and repeat with the other side.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the falafel and bake for another 10 minutes or until they falafel are slightly browned.
8. Enjoy falafel in a big salad bowl with lots of veggies like this one (mine has beets, carrots, broccoli, cilantro, pita chips and a drizzle of tahini) or in whole wheat pita or just straight up. Really you can’t go wrong.
I think this is what they meant by taste the rainbow, right?