Mexican Avocado Slaw

Make sure to check out the new ANK blog poll to the right near the top of my blog homepage! --------------------------------------------------------------->

Since juicing, my new "Half-Blog-Year" Resolution is to eat at least 4 fruits a day and one large oil-less salad a day.  While eating more fruit is as easy as grabbing a banana, apple, or orange, salads require a bit more work.  The way I have have been getting my greens in before I was juicing was using whole romaine, or other lettuce leaves as wraps for cooked veggies and beans.  Now, I've been enjoying more traditional salads, and a few more interesting salads like the recipe I'm bringing to you today.

My idea for this salad's "dressing" came from watching The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue, where he squishes a peeled avocado and some lemon juice into a raw chopped kale salad.  If you are a member of Netflix, instant watch, the movie is available to watch at this link.  Inspiration for this recipe also came from my love of Mexican flavors such as fresh avocado, green chiles, cilantro, etc.  I feel like I can never get enough Mexican food, and with this salad, I don't have to feel guilty about going back for seconds... or thirds. :)

Mexican Avocado Slaw
Serves: 4-6 main course, more if served as a side

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped thinly
1/2 green cabbage, sliced and chopped
1/4 red cabbage, sliced and chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin, then chopped into 1 inch strips
1 bunch green onions, greens sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped thoroughly
1 lemon
1 4 oz can diced green chiles, liquid drained
4 avocados

Directions:  Prep all ingredients.  In a very large bowl mix together the kale, green and red cabbage, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.  In a separate, smaller bowl peel, pit, and mash the avocados, juice the lemon, and add the diced green chiles.  Mix together well.  Prepare to get messy.... pour the avocado mixture into the large bowl of salad, and with your hands mix and massage the dressing into the salad.  Serve the slaw plain, or with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.  Enjoy!
Amy's Notes:  This would be a great salad to bring to a picnic or potluck.  When you make it, feel free to include any other ingredients you desire such as roasted red bell pepper, tomatoes, pinto beans, etc.  If you're the only one eating it (like me), don't be afraid to make a big batch, it keeps really well in the fridge without feeling "soggy".  

I love avocados in just about anything!  What is your favorite love-it-so-much-you-want-to-add-it-to-everything ingredient?


Happy Half Birthday to ANK!

Today is the Half Birthday of Amy's Nutritarian Kitchen!  I am finally back to my normal self now that I have been juicing, and feel ready to get started with eating a more strict nutritarian diet.  Unfortunately, school (and life) have been insanely busy for me lately, and I have no good recipes to share with you today.  
However, I do have a great link that you definitely need to check out: Hungry for a Change.  Through this link you can register your email and get a free link to watch the movie, it is definitely worth it!  I found it to be very inspirational and hit on a couple of bad habits of mine, such as putting myself down when I look in the mirror, and making bad choices when I'm bored or depressed.  I'm planning on watching it one more time before the free online premiere ends on March 31st and giving you guys my summary about it.  Until then, hope you guys are having a good start to your week and are living plant-strong!

If you watch the movie, let me know what your take on it is!


Green Ginger Citrus Juice

So far, my juicing has been going great, and I can really feel my taste buds changing and loving the salads I've been having daily.  I find that I'm getting cravings for fruit more than I am for traditional desserts.  This is exactly what I was hoping for when I began juicing and I'm glad that I am getting the health benefits I desired.  I've been steadily losing a bit of weight and finding that I have much more energy during the day.  It feels great!

The last post of my Ginger Citrus Fruit Juice was a big hit on Pinterest, and was re-pinned over 100 times, that I know of!  A reader of mine on this same post asked if this delicious fruit juice could be made into a "green monster", and I loved the idea!  So here is my version of the 'greening' my Ginger Citrus Fruit Juice:

Green Ginger Citrus Juice:
1 grapefruit, peeled
1 orange, peeled
1 1/2 lemon, peeled
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
2-4 handfuls of dark greens, washed thoroughly

Directions:  Prepare all ingredients and juice in a power juicer.  Run the pulp through the juicer at least two times (so to get as much liquid from the greens, which don't juice as well as the fruits).  Serve over ice and enjoy!

Amy's Notes:  I used chopped collard greens, but you can also use any other dark green such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.  As I said in the directions, make sure to put the pulp through the juicer at least two times.  This is so that you get all of the juice you can possibly get out of the produce you use.

I think green looks good on me.... What is your favorite dark green to use in juicing or cooking... or wearing haha?


New Favorite Morning Juice

So this is day three that I have been on my juice fast, and the nature of it has already changed.  Because I'm a woman, and I get what all women get once a month, I felt weak and sick all yesterday to the point of needing to lay on the couch for most of the day.  Since I have done juicing before and know how it's supposed to feel, I knew I wasn't feeling right.  So I have moderated my juicing fast to include one raw plant-based meal a day in the mid afternoon, with juicing before and after.  Yesterday I had a simple salad with greens, peppers, avocado, and salsa.  Just eating a small salad made me feel so much better, and I am still getting the benefits of nutrient packed juice!

My juice recipe I made today is by far my favorite juice recipe I have made so far.  Of course, it is a fruit juice :)

Ginger Citrus Fruit Juice
2 oranges, peeled
2 grapefruits, peeled
1 lemon, peeled
1 square inch fresh ginger, peeled

Directions:  Juice all ingredients and serve over ice.

Amy's Notes:  This is a great juice for breakfast, even if you are not on a juice fast.  It put an immediate pep in my step!  It has a perfect subtle ginger taste that works perfectly with the fresh tastes of the citrus fruits.  This recipe could work for those who only have a hand juicer for lemons, just hand juice the oranges, grapefruits, and lemon, then stir in a 1-2 teaspoons of very well minced ginger, or ginger paste.

Ginger is a taste that has started to grow on me over the years, and I find myself using it more and more in stir fries and dipping sauces for veggies and wraps.

Do you like using ginger in your cooking?  What is your favorite recipe to use ginger in?


Back to Square 1!

It is official that Amy's Nutritarian Kitchen will be 1/2 year old in one week from today (March 27th)!  I don't normally celebrate half birthdays, but this seems to be a big one for me.  A lot has changed since I started this blog in September.  I have taken steps to creating a healthy lifestyle, have had some bumps along the way, and I feel that I have learned and grown from it.  

My life outside my blog has changed dramatically too.  I am in my final semester at WSU and I will be graduating in May with a degree in Environmental science.  Kevin and I got engaged over Christmas and are enjoying planning all that that entails.  We've gone on a few road trips that have been a blast, but overall detrimental to my health goals.  This is where the title of my blog post today comes in:  I am back to square 1!

After going on a road trip to Vegas last week, I did not eat in a way that I would like to admit, and the way I have been feeling lately is not positive for my health.  So, just like as I started this blog, by ending a juice fast and beginning a nutritarian lifestyle, I am giving myself another do-over by going on a juice fast until the 1/2 birthday of my blog and starting anew.  Unlike the first time I juiced, I will be giving you guys my daily progress, step-by-step, of what I eat, how I'm feeling, and how I am keeping motivated!  I hope you all will join in supporting me in this renewal, and I really look forward to bringing you guys some great nutritarian recipes when I am done with my juice fast.  For a week I will be providing my favorite juicing recipes in hopes that you will give it a try :).  

My Loot for the week:

I am by no means endorsing others to go on a juice fast, but if you are interested, try this website to learn more, or watch "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" to watch other's stories of their journey.  If you have any questions for me personally about how or why I am juicing, please feel free to leave me a comment at the bottom of this post, or email me at amysnutritariankitchen@gmail.com.

Check out my new board on Pinterest that is all about juicing!  Find it at this link.

Here is my first juicing recipe:

Basic Fruity Juice
2 oranges, peeled
2 apples, cored
10-15 strawberries, greens removed
1-2 bunches of grapes, vine removed

Directions:  Juice all ingredients and serve over ice.

Any questions for the "crazy juice girl" this week?


Back from Spring Break!

Hello all!  It's good to be back in Pullman after such a long roadtrip!  Kevin and I had so much fun on trip to Bozeman, MT to see my brother and sister-in-law (and to take engagement photos), then to Las Vegas for lots of fun.  Here is a google map of how long our trip was!  

Here is a synopsis of our trip:
Thursday afternoon: We left for Montana after I finished my last class and arrived in Missoula, MT around 6 to get our growlers refilled at Big Sky Brewing Co., then headed to Cracker Barrel for dinner (one of Kevin's favorite home-style restaurants that is only in a few cities).  After that, we continued on our way to Bozeman, MT.  After a warm welcome from my brother and sister-in-law, and a good night's sleep, we were ready to enjoy all of the greatness that is Bozeman.
Friday:  We got a late start on the day and had lunch at the best sandwich place around, called Pickle Barrel.  After that, all of us went to a brewery with some great drafts, then to a bar downtown that served Moscow Mules, which were great.  Then, we went to dinner at a restaurant that was built in an old train station.

Saturday:  We took engagement pictures. literally. all. day!  And it was so worth it because they turned out amazing!  Thanks so much to my brother Andy for being the artistic and tech-savvy one of the family!  Here are a few of our favorites:

Sunday:  On Sunday it was time to leave Montana and make our way to VEGAS!  We drove most of the day and only stopped in Idaho Falls, ID so I could show Kevin where I worked over the summer, and in Salt Lake City, UT, to take a look around the city.  By the time we got into Vegas it was just past midnight... so of course we went out to explore Freemont Street a bit.  We stayed at the Plaza on Fremont Street for Sunday through Tuesday night.
Monday:  Kevin and I explore Fremont Street together and have a good time gambling and exploring.   Later that night we had a dinner show at the Fitzgerald for a murder mystery, and a comedy show afterwards.  It was such a blast! 

Tuesday:  We went to the Mob Museum located a few blocks from Fremont Street.  It was great learning the history of mobs in the US and how it helped make Las Vegas what it is today.  My history nerd of a fiance was lovin' it!  Here is us in an interactive line-up:
Wednesday:  On Wednesday we said goodbye to Fremont Street and headed for Excalibur on the Las Vegas Strip!  We enjoyed some time by the pool before we headed down the strip to meet with Kevin's roommate and his girlfriend.  We wandered on the strip and had a great time sight-seeing.  That night Kevin and I got to the amazing Pen and Teller at the Rio!  It was one of the neatest shows I have ever seen; Kevin and I have spent days wondering how they did all their tricks!

Thursday:  We spent some more time relaxing by the pool in the warm (for us at least!) sun and under some palm trees.  Then we went to some of the main attractions on the strip, like the Treasure Island show, the Venetian gondola ride, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, and watching the Bellagio fountains. 
Friday:  We finally have to say goodbye to Vegas and make our two day drive back to Pullman.  It was a vacation full of fun times and great memories that we'll never forget.  

It took two days to drive back that was at the time, less than fun.  I'm happy to be home and back to blogging.  I have an announcement tomorrow that I hope everyone will be excited about... stay tuned :)


Plant Strong for St. Patrick's Day!

Hello all!  I am still on my Spring Break road trip with Kevin (pictures and stories to come later), but I promised myself I would write about this awesome Irish inspired dish I tried out last week.  The recipe comes from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's website and is available to members at this link.  Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that is usually made with mashed potatoes, cabbage, butter, and sometimes herbs, cream, and ham.  In Dr. Furhman's version there are mashed potatoes, kale, onions, and soy milk.  Hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day today!

4 medium potatoes (8-10 small), wash, peel, and cut into fourths
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and well chopped
1/3 c plain milk alternative
1 large onion, halved and sliced thinly
(I added garlic powder, parsley, and some fresh ground pepper)

Directions: Prepare all ingredients.  Boil or steam potatoes until tender and mash-able.  Drain and mash with the milk alternative if needed.  Next, steam the kale for 4 minutes with a microwave steamer, or with a stovetop steamer until tender.  In the meantime, while the potatoes and kale are being cooked, water saute the chopped onions for ten minutes, or until browning and tender.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes, steamed kale, and sauted onion.  If desired add 1 t of Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest (I did not use).  Add any seasonings or fresh herbs as desired.  Enjoy, and eat your greens as well as wearing them today!

How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year?


Breakfast and Exercising Habits

I hope everyone had a great weekend, and are more ready to take on the week than I am!  This is the last week of school before Spring Break for me, and of course, this is when all of my midterm tests and papers are!  I have a paper due tomorrow and three exams on Thursday, so I will essentially get very little sleep and have no life for the next few days.  However, I do have something to look forward to for Spring Break....
Kevin and I are leaving with some friends on Thursday for a big road trip going from Pullman, WA (where we live), to Bozeman, MT to see my brother and sister-in-law, then to Salt Lake City, UT for a day, and finally to Las Vegas, NV!  This will be my second time to Vegas, but it will be a first for many other things!  Last summer I went with my mom and had a great time walking down the strip and seeing all the new sights, but I'm very excited this time to focus in on some specific activities like seeing the Mob Museum, going to the Tournament of the Kings, laying by the pool, and gambling at a few casino tables.  

Compared to the weather here in Pullman, it will be about 20-40 degrees warmer in Vegas, so I'm excited to lay by the pool and enjoy the sun.  This means.... swimsuits....  Fortunately, Kevin and I have been work out maniacs for the past month and have been getting quite smexy lol.  I've always been more of a social exerciser to the point that I'd prefer to play a sport or do cardio when I can enjoy someone else's company and have them encourage and push me to do better than I would on my own.  Kevin, it turns out, is my perfect person to do that with.  Although our workout goals are very different, we seem to encourage each other through light competition to better our health each time we go to the Student Rec Center.

Generally, when I used to go to the gym by myself, I would do cardio for about 30 minutes, abs for 10, a little bit of arms, and call it good.  This would get me in and out of the gym in about an hour, but would not show much for results.  In contrast, when Kevin and I go to the gym together, we stay for 2-3 hours if possible.  We now do about an hour of cardio on the bike, sometimes some running on the track, as much abs as we can take, lower back exercises, arm weight lifting, and at least ten minutes before and after of stretching.  On top of feeling very accomplished for doing this, I feel like I have a lot more energy for the rest of my day, which is nice.  

One downfall to my increased physical activity has been that I have had to adjust my eating schedule.  I'm generally in class from 9-1, so going straight to the gym for an extended amount of time gets me home around 3 or 4.  I never like to work out right after I eat, so that just leaves breakfast before I go to the gym to power me through the day and my workout.  Before finding that out I needed more "fuel" for the gym, I used to just have two fruits for breakfast in the morning, like an apple or banana, but eating just this would make me come home and crash after the gym, and make me want to overeat at night for dinner.  My solution?  Rip's Big Bowl from the Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn (find a link to buy the book in my Amazon book list down the right column of my blog).  I find that a version of this breakfast cereal bowl keeps me full and satisfied till nearly dinner time, and fuels me perfectly for longer workouts.  In the summer, this would be a breakfast I would have before going on a long hike or bike ride.

ANK's Version of Rip's Big Bowl

Ingredients: (serves 2, or one very hungry workout maniac!)
1/3 c old fashioned oats
1/3 c Grape Nuts
1/3 c Uncle Sam Whole Wheat Berry Flakes
1 T ground flaxseeds
1 T raisins
1 T chopped walnuts
1 banana, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 apple, peeled and cubed
1 orange peeled and cubed
1-2 c milk alternative (your choice)

Directions: Combine all ingredients except for milk and mix with a spoon.  Divide into two bowl2 and pour as much alternative milk as desired.  Enjoy, and get ready to be full and active for the rest of the morning and afternoon!

Amy's Notes: This is a very large breakfast that is meant for someone who is very active, or plans on having a big workout during the day.  Remember that on a nutritarian or plant strong diet, you don't need to count calories or measure most foods, but you do need to pay attention to your level of satisfaction.  Do not eat more than it takes to fulfill your hunger in the morning.

What's your favorite meal to have for breakfast?  Do you change your breakfast according to your activity level of the day?


Colorful Sweet Potato and Bean Tacos

One of my favorite types of food is Mexican food.  I literally can never get enough of Mexican flavors!  Usually I used to love chicken fajitas or arroz con pollo, but since changing to a nutritarian diet starting over a year ago, I started loving veggie tacos, burritos, and cheese-less enchiladas.  Today while looking through Pinterest (find me here), I found the most brilliant idea for making hard shell tacos at home.  Here is the link.  And here are my yummy sweet potato and bean tacos:

Sweet Potato and Bean Tacos:
Soft taco shells
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (I used white beans)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c frozen yellow corn
11-2 red bell peppers, diced
1/2 c chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t saffron
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 small bunch kale leaves, stems removed and thinly chopped
chopped green onion

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large skillet, water saute the red onion and minced garlic for 3-5 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes and saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then, mix the spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, saffron, and cayenne pepper) in 1/2 c of water, and add to the skillet.  Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the corn, chopped peppers, and beans of your choice.  Stir and allow to simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, but not mushy.  In a small food processor, process the chopped tomatoes until minced and creamy.  Mix into the bean and potato mixture and turn heat off.  Allow to cool.  In the meantime, while the filling is cooking, steam the taco shells in the microwave by wrapping them in a damp cloth or paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds.  Place in oven on open rack stretched between two wires.  Allow to bake for 7-10 minutes, or until crispy.  For the kale, place it in a small bowl with a small amount of water at the bottom and microwave for 30 seconds.  When the taco shells are done, fill each with the bean and potato veggie mixture, and top off with the lightly steamed kale and chopped green beans.  Add salsa, hot sauce, or guacamole if you prefer.  Have napkins at the ready and enjoy!
Amy's Notes:  This was such a delicious and filling dinner, I can't wait to use the leftovers in the next few days!  In this recipe I used white beans... because I didn't check my pantry for black beans before I started the recipe.  All the same, the beans tasted great and took on the same beautiful yellow color as the rest of the dish.  So, use whatever beans you prefer for this recipe.  The taco shells I used were soft corn and whole wheat ones, but you can use any shells that you prefer.

For those interested in a chance to win The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant Based Nutiriton, check out Vegan Planet at this post.  Hope you have a great rest of the weekend!