What a beautiful summer it is. The sunshine looks good on all of you.
I am hanging in there! I was able to escape NYC and head north to my family for a few days, which is always a rejuvenating experience to say the least (unless you consider cat naps, food comas, family movie nights, yoga in the sunshine, and puppy cuddles tormenting). I was also able to put my dad, the incredible chef, to work in the kitchen on these recipes with me! All weekend we joked that he was my sous chef (yeah right).
I am feeling awesome, actually! If I am being 100% honest with you and with myself, the burp queen is reigning again. I seriously cannot get to the bottom of it! Otherwise- all good. Before this diet I always jested that if I had to run for my life after a meal, I wouldn’t make it. I felt bloaty, uncomfortable and usually fatigued after eating. Now, I feel like I could run a marathon. I am serious! It is a complete 180! I feel full from all of the nutrient-packed meals I am downing, but never bogged down by them. If anything: reenergized. It is a marvelous feeling not to have food be my enemy. I really think it is the gluten and perhaps also the soy. Nixing those bad boys is sincerely life changing, and something I may stick with. But only time will tell for sure!
Here are some of my favorite recipes that I’ve played with over the past week, as promised via instagram (@lexirabadi)! Please enjoy them!
1. Chia Crust Pizza
One of my favorite GF options for pizza crust- it is so so so easy, healthy, and surprisingly yummy! Chia seeds are packed with 2 times more protein than most other grains, and 5 times more calcium than MILK! Not to mention omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and more. My great friend shared this one with me a year ago and I’ve been messing with it ever since. For this recipe, because fresh tomatoes are a no-no (sobbing), I decided to go a nontraditional pizza route, topping this bad boy with cauliflower hummus (see #3 below!), plus roasted beets, arugula and mushrooms! Nom. And so pretty!
- 1/4 cup Chia seeds
- 3 tbsp GF flour (I used brown rice flour)
- 3/4 cups Water
- 3 tbsp Chopped nuts (pine nuts are the yummiest but also most expensive…I used pistachios!)
- Any seasoning you want- oregano and basil give it that pizza kick! Salt and pepper are a must!
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir, stir, stir! It takes some time, but soon the gelatinous properties of the chias will get to work and you will have a dough-like substance. Spread it onto a greased sheet/tray, and viola! It will be thin and not too stretchy like regular pizza dough. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Add toppings and bake for a last 5-10!
2. Oh She Glows‘ Crispy Quinoa Cakes
Oh She Glows is my favorite vegan blogger! These are super easy to make, but it definitely requires some energy just getting the prep work done. Lots of ingredients, lots of shopping, lots of chopping! Also- lots of wiggle room ingredient-wise here. Make them yours! But once all of that is done (give that sort of work to your sous chef, hehe), it is a piece of quinoa cake (score). Here is the recipe taken from Oh She Glows!!!:
- 1/2 cups Cooked quinoa (like rice- 2 parts water to one part quinoa)
- 2 tbsp Ground flax + 6 tbsp water (mix those together first and set them aside to bind)
- 1 cup Finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup GF Rolled oats ground into a flour
- 1/2 cup Grated sweet potato
- 1/4 cup Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Diced onion
- 1 clove Minced garlic (I would suggest two cloves after having made them)
- 1 tbsp Tahini paste
- 1 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp Red or White wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- 3 tbsp GF all-purpose flour (super important to bind the mixture together!
Dump all of the ingredients into a bowl- yes, I mean all (don’t forget the flax mixture!). Mix it up real good. Grease a pan and flour your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick (as shown above…), and pack, pack pack it up into small cakes (not too big or they won’t cook through!). Line the cakes up on the greased pan, cook at 400 for about 25 minutes, flip those bad boys and give ’em another 5-10. Dunzo.
3. My Dad’s Hummus
Let me tell you all…my dad does not play around. When he makes something it is the real deal, and it is to die for. He puts so much heart into his cooking. His hummus is no exception. In fact, his hummus is the only hummus. The only. Hummus. I’ve been dipping carrot sticks and GF crackers in it as a snack all week and it is truly a life saver when I need to whip up something healthy and filling quickly! There is nothing like homemade hummus. If you are a hummus lover let me tell you something…go out and buy at least 5 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (you always need them lying around!), and a tub of tahini paste. If you do this right now, you will be saving yourself so much money in the long run! You will have your very own homemade hummus at your disposal, instead of paying over and over again for those store bought brands. Plus you know there are only wholesome, whole foods involved. No preservatives or anything else creepy. And maybe, like my dad, you can throw in a little heart, too. DO IT!
- 3 cups Garbanzo beans, cooked and drained (*this can be changed depending on what kind of hummus you are making! Black bean, white bean, edamame, or in the case for my pizza above, roasted cauliflower!!! Everything else almost always stays the same).
- 1/2 cup Tahini paste
- 3-4 Cloves chopped garlic
- 4 pinches White pepper
- 3-4 piches Salt
- The juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
- 6 pinches Cumin
- 1/2 cup bean juice (from can- or water will work!)
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- Sliced Lemon and parsley for garnish
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. I use my Nutri Bullet at home for hummus (and for just about everything else in the universe). Blend, taste, add, blend, taste, add. That is the method to the madness!
How’s THAT for a blog? My goodness. I hope you can soak it all in and give some of these babies a try! Don’t be afraid to experiment. This isn’t a science- it’s not like baking. Cook to your heart’s desire. It is that simple.
I have also been getting mega into smoothie bowls lately (they are SOOO yummy, filling and gorgeous for pictures). I will leave with one last picture of a plant, a smoothie bowl, and my dad’s cookbook. Think about this: how can you highlight, compliment, and maybe share someone else’s talents or best qualities this week? I challenge you to compliment someone not on how they look, but on how funny they are, how unique, how exuberant, how intelligent, how good of cook they are. And pass it on. Spread the love like you would spread delicious hummus- a heaping amount!