Green Lentil Lasagna

Green Lentil Lasagna

Green Lentil Lasagna

Today it was all about “What Can I Throw Together for Lunch?”  Some of my favorite times in the kitchen are when I do not know what to make or have a recipe to follow.  This lasagna consists of:

  • Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagna Sheets
  • Mushrooms, onions, garlic, broccoli, celery and peppers
  • Trader Joe’s fire-roasted canned tomatoes and a little tomato paste
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Do not get all wiggy about directions or ingredients. Just GO FOR IT 🙂  I started with the tomato/tomato paste layer, then added a few green lentil sheets, then some cheese and then I repeated it till I ran out of ingredients. I cooked it for about 20 minutes on 400. 

Note: Next time I will add more tomato sauce to make it a little saucier.

No Bean Veggie Burger

No Bean Veggie Burger

Hey Friends, sorry its been so long since I have posted on my site. Life has been great, groovy but busy. I am excited to start posting again. I hope you will come back and check out what’s happenging at All in the Balance often. I love to hear from you!! This is not really a recipe, it is more inspiration with some suggestions on how to make a great No Bean Veggie Burger. I hope you get some ideas from the video. Leave me a comment and let me know what you love to use when making your veggie burgers  

Here is what I used in my No Bean Veggie Burger Recipe. ( I rarely measure- sorry )

  • One yam- I used the orange flesh kind but I prefer the yellow/golden ones
  • One can of no-salt organic tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup of brown rice- purple and black sticky rice works great
  • 1 golden beet
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful of fresh mushrooms

The first thing you want to do is cook your rice and steam your yam. You can use the microwave, no judgment over here. 

Next, you want to put all of the other ingredients you are using in a food processor and pulse it a few times. I think it is best if you do not over pulse the stuff. The texture is everything in our house. 

The next step is to heat a pan and slowly cook all the veggies. ( do not add the rice or yam yet ) You can use a little oil but honestly I think it is wiser to use a little water instead.

 

 

Lastly once that has cooked for about 5-8 minutes fold in your yam and rice. The yam should be mushy and blend in very easily. If not just give it a fine chop first.  Take your mixture off the heat and add in any spices you have handy. I used dried thyme, dried oregano and fresh parsley ( from my garden- YAY)

These hold together best if they have 3-4 hours in the refrigerator to set up. I like to let the mixture sit overnight.

I cook mine at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning them once halfway through.

 

This is the non-fortified nutritional yeast I mentioned. Amazon has the best price I think. Click the picture to purchase it on Amazon.

If you make these I would love to hear how yours came out and what ingredients you used.

Is your smoothie helping or hurting you?

Is your smoothie helping or hurting you?

In my opinon there are two HUGE things that can make your smoothie work against you and we have all probably done it recently. 

1- Using too much fruit. Fruit is yummy and so good for you but too much can quickly turn your healthy shake into a candy bar. 

2. Overfilling your blender with too many ingredients. In today’s world, we are consistently being sold  bigger is better and honestly, this is just not true even with healthy food. There is no reason to put so many ingredients in your blender that the lid BLOWS off. YES, we have all done it, admit it.  The two biggest reasons we should be keeping our ingredients size in balance are A- our bodies cannot digest all that food at one time. You will end up with the bloats and a gassy tummy.  B- You flat out don’t need 2 apples, a head of celery,  3 scoops of protein powder ( etc you get my drift ) to make a healthy meal. Experiment with your ingredients and see how you feel.  Be mindful of what you put in and you should be OK. BE logical and do not try to achieve a weeks worth of nutrition into one smoothie.

I usually start my smoothie with some sort of base. I either use Shakeology or a Pea Protein Powder.  If I am not using the smoothie as a meal replacement I just use a little almond milk as my base.

Next, I add in about 1 cup of frozen fruit. I always freeze my leftover 

fresh fruit, no fruit ever goes to waste at my house 🙂 The rest of the smoothie is really according to my taste buds or what I have on hand. Some of the things I add in are:
Hemp Seeds ( excellent source of healthy fats )
Chia Seeds ( good fiber and magnesium )
Maca Powder ( excellent hormone balancer )
Frozen Cauliflower ( Adds nutrition without messing with the taste )
Baobab ( high in vitamin c and much more )
Collagen ( Great for skin and joint issues )

Lastly, if I am feeling I want some extra fat and protein I add in 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter.  

Note: I do not ever need to add ice ( which is useless flavor ) because I have the frozen fruit or frozen cauliflower to make it thick.

 

Smoothies are a fab way to get some nutrition into your body when it needs quick fuel.  They are tasty and can be made quickly and affordable. Just be smart and pay attention to what you put in and how much you put in. 

The average SMALL Jamba Juice is over 300 calories!!!!!

Gluten Free Energy Bars

Gluten Free Energy Bars

Yesterday I was craving something like a granola bar and the only thing I had were bars with sugar alcohols. I went through a short stage where I liked “One” bars lol.  I know I know, soooooo bad for you. I have not had the heart to throw them away but honestly, I need to because they are filled with such horrid ingredients I should not even give them away.

I ran across this great recipe and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. Real food is so much better tasting. 

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops Vegan Chocolate Shakeology or protein powder of your choice.
  • 1 cup egg white powder, I get mine from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 cups dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ- I used hemp seeds instead
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, Califia Farms is my go to brand
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup all-natural almond butter, I used NuttZo butter that I get from Costco – It is heavenly 
  • 2 large ripe bananas mashed
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Combine Shakeology, egg white powder, oats, wheat germ, flax seed, and cinnamon in a large bowl; mix well.

  2. Add almond milk, honey, almond butter, and bananas; mix well with a spatula or clean hands.

  3. Place in an 8 x 8-inch pan that is lightly coated with spray. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

  4. Cut into twelve bars.

I store mine in the freezer and layer them between some parchment paper so they do not stick. Honestly, these are truly fabulous and so good for you. 

If you want some other healthy bar recipes, here is the original post from the Beachbody Blog.

PS If you are doing the 21 Day Fix or The Ultimate Portion Fix the container equivalents are:

Container Equivalents
½ Yellow
½ Red
1 tsp.

Healthy Mushroom Soup

Healthy Mushroom Soup

 Healthy Mushroom Soup

Mike and I have been into mushrooms lately if you have not noticed. I took a class a while back on the healing benefits of mushrooms and I have not looked back.  I have always loved to cook with mushrooms but never really knew much about this amazing fungi. WOWZA they are packed with so much good stuff it is kind of mind-blowing. Last year I learned about the power of mushroom powder through a company called Four Sigmatics. I encourage you to check them out. Not only are their products used in our house every single day ( I make Mike a bulletproof mushroom cacao drink to take with him to work ) they also have a fabulous FREE mushroom academy online where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about mushrooms. If you are interested in purchasing any of their products you can use the code allinthebalance at checkout and save 10% off your first order. You can hit me up if you want some suggestions on what we use.

Healthy Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lbs. of mushrooms, use your favorites. I used crimini and maitake. 
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 almond or coconut flour
  • cups vegetable broth – you can add more if it is too thick
  • 1 tsp dried thyme – I use my garden thyme sometimes but I think the dried stuff goes better in this soup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or almond milk
  • tsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to your liking

 

Directions

  1. Brush the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris. Try not to wash them as they just soak up the water. Slice half of the mushrooms and roughly chop the other half and put them aside

  2. Add the avocado oil, mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper in your soup pot. I used my instant pot on sautee mode. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have released all of their moisture, all the liquid has evaporated from the bottom of the pot, and the mushrooms become very dark brown. This usually takes just a few minutes.

  3. Toss in the butter and flour to the pot. Mix this really well making sure to coat all the shrooms then cook for about two minutes more. The mixture will create a thick paste and some of it might get stuck to the bottom of the pot but that is all dandy and will pay off in flavor when it is all done. Finally, add the vegetable broth, water, and thyme. Stir to dissolve all of the flour from the bottom of the pot. As the soup continues to cook it will thicken up. I like to make my soups a little on the thinner side because Mikes likes them for lunch the next day and he enjoys drinking it out of a thermos. Play around with the amounts of broth and cream to your liking.

  4. Stir the cream and wine into the soup. The last thing to do is add the coconut aminos and then get ready for a fabulous dining experience. You can top this soup with more mushrooms, parsley or some swiss cheese. You can also let the soup be totally naked on top. Try something different each time.

     

    Maitake Mushroom

     

    Tips-I like to use maitake mushrooms because they are a very meaty mushroom. Most of your health food stores will have them. I get mine from Jimbo’s here in Carlsbad. They are grown in the most fascinating way. Check out this company for more about their mushrooms, they are my favorite.  The soup tastes great however you chop them but leaving some big pieces really gives the soup some great texture. If you use almond milk the soup will not taste as rich. I do not like to consume a lot of dairy but this is one time I think it is worth it if you can tolerate it. I use organic cream. You could also use 1/2 cream and 1/2 almond milk to compromise. I sometimes like to use an immersion blender to mix things up but I try to always leave a few good mushroom chunks for texture. Get wild and crazy and try different types of mushrooms for this soup. The flavors will pop and your mouth will thank you. Do not over season the soup, add a little at a time. You can not undo too much seasoning. Been there done that and it is not fun or tasty.

     

How to make Yogi Tea

How to make Yogi Tea

Do you know how to make Yogi Tea? There really is no wrong way so let’s just get in the kitchen and give it a try. I have listed one of my favorite recipes below. However do not get stuck on the ingredients. The bottom line is all you need is some filtered water, a pot and some herbs and spices. The spices below are excellent for your immune system and also wonderful for liver support.

 

 

yogi teaIngredients

  • quarts filtered water
  • cinnamon sticks
  • tablespoon cardamom seed
  • 1/2  tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/2  tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or just peel a few inches and keep it whole.
  • 1 -2 black tea bags- Organic if possible- non flavored

Directions

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Add all of the above ingredients and then simmer for 15 minutes- 20 minutes. This takes great patience and is a great time to practice some mindfulness 🙂

I love to watch the colors change in the water.  I do not stand in front of the stove the whole time but I do take 5 minutes and just watch the water and the herbs swim together. The longer you simmer it the better but 15-20 minutes should be great. Strain and serve hot or cold.

Other items I have added to this tea are:

  • peeled turmeric
  • almond milk- once it was done simmering
  • three drops of licorice root- once it was done simmering
  • dandelion root leaves- You can get these at your health food store

PS: I have also brewed a whole pot of this in my slow cooker. Mike loves to take some of this to work and drink it as a cold tea.  It keeps for a few days in the refrigerator.

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