Protein Vegetable Muffins

It’s hard to believe the recommended fruit and vegetable intake for an athlete is 13-20 servings (8-12 for the average person)!  How in the world can that be done? Plus it is recommended to EAT FROM THE RAINBOW. I personally fall back on my juice plus to assure that I get these in and then I try to have a serving of vegetables for each meal and 2 additional snacks.  Fruits are easier for me but breakfast is also really hard to always get a vegetable included.  So here is a recipe that has 2 vegetables plus some protein to start your day off right!

2 scoops Vanilla Juice Plus Complete Protein Powder
9 Egg Whites (I saved the yolks and scrambled those)
3/4 Cup Pumpkin
Pumpkin Pie Seasoning to taste
3/4 cup Oat Flour (gluten free)

2 medium yams/s. potato ( steamed and soft with skin)
1 TBL Vanilla
Cinnamon to Taste
3/4 tsp Baking Powder

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all the ingredients,  place in muffin tins, Bake @ 350 for 18 – 22 minutes.

Adapted from : www.muscleandfitness.com

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Vegan Queso

This recipe went over great when we had company this last week.  The 3 collage age boys devoured it!  I hope you enjoy it too!

  • 1½ cups cashews, soaked for at least an 1 hour, drained
  • 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning or seasoning of choice
  • 2 15 oz. cans, black beans cooked
  • 12 oz. fresh salsa
  • Optional garnishes: cilantro.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  2. Place the cashews, orange bell pepper, milk, chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a high powered blender Puree until thick and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan, add the minced onion, taco seasoning, black beans and fresh salsa over medium heat. Stir constantly until heated through, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add in the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  5. Season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.
  6. Garnish as desired and serve.

Adapted from: http://delishknowledge.com/

Mac and Cheese Gluten Free and Vegan

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese adapted from :http://thevietvegan.com/
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp almond flour + 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp H. sea salt (to taste, you may need to up it to 1 tsp)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened or vanilla almond milk (or other milk alternative)
  • 2.5 cups macaroni elbows (gluten free)
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • sauteed spinach
Instructions
  1. Melt oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add in flour, garlic powder, and chipotle pepper and stir until butter is absorbed into the flour. Add ⅓ cup of milk and stir until incorporated. Add the remaining milk and stirring occasionally until completely incorporated and thickened.
  2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni elbows in a pot of water at a rolling boil until cooked to preference (al dente or otherwise). Strain and rinse under lukewarm water to get rid of the starch.
  3. Stir in the nutritional yeast and salt to the sauce, tasting and adjusting as necessary. For more thick and cheesy flavour, add an extra tbsp or two of nutritional yeast. Pour over cooked macaroni elbows, add in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.  Black pepper to taste.

Vegan Eggplant Queso

INGREDIENTS
  • 7-9 rounds of eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick (~half of a medium eggplant)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1.5-2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (see instructions)
  • 1/4 tsp finely minced fresh garlic (I used crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening | sub another thickener if desired)
  • 1/4 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained (OR 1/4 10-ounce can of Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies)
  • OPTIONAL: Smoked paprika and hot sauce for added color and flavor upon serving.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch), then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
  2. Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
  3. Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
  4. After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it will be almost 1 cup.
  5. Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups (to start) almond milk, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
  6. Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
  7. NOTE: If it isn’t looking as thick as you want, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch by adding an additional 1 tsp cornstarch to a small bowl with a little almond milk and 2-3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture. Whisk to combine and then stir back into the pot. This should thicken it right up.
  8. Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in DRAINED salsa or Rotel. Don’t put the liquid in or it will make it runny. Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavor/color.
  9. Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Keep warm in a mini crockpot or over a tea light warmer if you have one. Microwaves well.
  10. Refrigerate and cover leftovers. Reheats extremely well in the microwave or in a saucepan. Will keep for up to a few days, but best when fresh.
NOTES
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 6 servings.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: ~1/4cup Calories: 55 Fat: 3.5g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 4.7g Sugar: .7gSodium: 326mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 2.3g

Milk and increased fracture

This is a great article and once again proves that we need to eliminate dairy from our diets.   Main from the fact that we are exposed to hormones and antibiotics through diary products but also how it effects the chemicals in our body.  This article does suggestion using dairy products aside from milk which I would disagree with.  I would suggest using coconut/almond yogurt and avoiding cheeses. There are so many nutritional yeast cheese recipes you can use instead!

 

Here is one for my nut allergy friends.  Vegan Queso

I have not tried this recipe but I will be trying it soon.  Look, it even has a vegetable in it.  What better way to get a vegetable than in the form and flavor of cheese!

 

Science has once again shattered the myth that milk makes strong bones.  A new Swedish study links drinking milk to higher rates of bone fractures and even death.[i]

The study tracked the eating habits of over 60,000 women for 20 years and over 45,000 men for 15 years. Researchers found that drinking more milk did NOT lead to lower risks of bone fracture.  In fact, women who drank three glasses of milk per day broke more bones.  Compared to women who drank less than one glass per day, heavy milk drinkers had a 60% greater risk of breaking a hip and a 16% higher risk of breaking any bone.

But it gets worse.  People who drank more milk also had a higher risk of dying from any cause.  For every glass of milk they drank every day, women had a 15% higher risk of death and men had a 3% higher risk.

Why does milk lead to more broken bones and higher death rates?

Researchers found that milk drinkers had more biomarkers for oxidative stress and inflammation. They suggested that high levels of two sugars in milk – lactose and galactose – were the cause.  In fact, they noted that low doses of D-galactose are often used in animal studies to induce signs of aging.  Studies link D-galactose to a shortened life span, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, decreased immune response, and gene transcriptional changes.  The dose used to obtain those results in animals is equivalent to a human drinking one to two glasses of milk per day.

Milk may be high in calcium but too much calcium can break your bones.

If milk doesn’t build strong bones, what does?  Here are 10 foods proven to be a better choice for reducing your fracture risk and keeping your bones strong.

1. Yogurt. 

The Swedish study found that fermented milk had the opposite effect on your bones as drinking plain milk.  For each serving of fermented milk products women reduced their hip fracture and death rates by 10 to 15%.  Examples of fermented milk products include yogurt, kefir, and sour cream.  Fermented dairy was also linked to lower oxidative stress and inflammation.

2. Cheese.

Like fermented dairy the Swedish researchers found eating cheese also lowers fracture and death rates.  Cheeses are also rich in vitamin K2 which is essential to strong bones.  The best choices with the highest levels of vitamin K2 are Gouda, Brie, and Edam.  Other good cheeses for your bones include Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, and Gruyere.  Stick to traditionally made cheeses and stay away from Velveeta, soy cheese, and other modern processed “cheese products.”

3.  Natto

A traditionally fermented soy product popular in Asia, natto is another food high in vitamin K2.  In a study of 72 premenopausal women, researchers found that those who ate more natto had better bone formation.[ii]  And a University of Tokyo study concluded that natto consumption may contribute to the relatively lower fracture risk in Japanese women.[iii]

4. Green Tea. 

The Mediterranean Osteoporosis Study showed that drinking up to 3 cups of tea per day was associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of hip fractures in women as well as men over 50 years of age.

And researchers from Texas Tech University showed that 500 mg of green tea polyphenols improves bone health after three months and muscle strength at six months. That’s about what you get in four to six cups of green tea.  The green tea compounds support osteoblast activity (bone building) and suppress osteoclasts activity (bone breakdown).[iv]

5. Prunes.

Florida State University tested bone density in 100 menopausal women over 12 months.  Half were told to eat about 10 dried plums a day.  The other half ate dried apples.  Researchers found the prune eaters had significantly higher bone mineral density in the forearm and spine.  Other studies showdried plums slow bone loss.

6.  Pomegranates

Pomegranates are known to relieve symptoms of menopause including bone loss.  In a 2004 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, rats who had their ovaries removed suffered accelerated bone loss, a typical symptom of menopause.  But when they were fed an extract of pomegranate juice and seeds for just 2 weeks, their bone mineral loss reverted to normal rates.[v]

7.  Oranges.

Osteoporosis has been called “scurvy of the bones” because lack of vitamin C has been linked to brittle bones.  In animal studies feeding rats orange pulp significantly improved bone strength. Other studies show bone mineral density is higher in women who supplement with vitamin C.[vi]  Eat fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C for bone health.  Choose oranges, strawberries, papaya, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi fruits, and cauliflower.

8.   Black Seed (Nigella Sativa)

In animal studies researchers showed that nigella sativa can reverse osteoporosis.

9.  Cumin

A 2008 animal study showed that cumin seeds inhibit loss of bone density and strength as effectively as estrogen.[vii]

10.  Chocolate

Bone density is linked to magnesium intake. [viii]   But magnesium levels in the bone decrease with age. [ix] Your body needs magnesium to convert vitamin D to its active form and absorb calcium. Only about 20% of Americans get the recommended daily amount of 420 mg of magnesium for men and 320 mg for women.

Dark chocolate has a healthy 176 mg of magnesium in a 3.5 ounce bar.  Look for chocolate that is organic, fair-trade, and as dark as possible with at least 70% cacao content.  The higher the cacao content, the lower the sugar content.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/milk-linked-fractures-10-better-foods-strong-bones

Cajun Quinoa and Shrimp

Adapted from http://www.thisgalcooks.com

Serves: 4
Ingredients
¾ lb large shrimp
4 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
½ C chopped sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp coconut oil
2½ tsp cajun seasoning
pepper to taste
2½ C cooked quinoa
1 C nutritional yeast
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions
Toss the shrimp and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning together, set aside.
Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in a oven-safe skillet.) Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan along with the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until the onion and jalapeno are tender, stirring often. Mix in the quinoa, tomato paste, ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and tomato chunks. Top with the shrimp and then sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro.