Tag Archives: vegetarian

BAKED Zucchini Chips

delicious baked zucchini chips

               I was craving a healthy snack this afternoon and decided to try my hand at whipping up some baked zucchini chips! I have been thinking about different healthy snack ideas for my upcoming Sweet + Skinny Detox Meal Plan and these fit right in perfectly! They are super healthy, easy to make and really satisfy that crunchy potato chip craving.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Slice a zucchini very thin, you can use a mandolin if you have one but cutting them as thin as you can with a good knife works just fine! Spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil cooking spray and spread out your zucchini slices evenly so they do not overlap. Sprinkle some garlic, oregano and a little salt and pepper to  your liking and bake them for 1 hour and a half to 2 hours, depending how thin you slice. You’ll know they’re done when they get a little brown and turn crunchy! 

Crispy Cauliflower with Jeff Kawakami

It’s always a blast spending time in the kitchen with my bestie and team ludo teammate, Chef Jeff Kawakami. What a lot of people don’t know about Jeff from watching The Taste is that he’s a pretty killer healthy cook as well. Jeff makes some vegan dishes that are out of this world and has celebrity clients that require him to make really healthy food, really delicious on the daily. Naturally, I asked him to share with us, an easy, go-to snack that’s both delicious, healthy and ‘man-friendly’.

Crispy Cauliflower

1 cauliflower cut into florets
1 egg
1 egg white
1.5 tbsp of dijon mustard
hot sauce to taste
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut your cauliflower head into florets and place in a large bowl. Add eggs and lightly toss the cauliflower in them. Add you mustard, hot sauce , garlic powder, parmesan and bread crumbs and toss till cauliflower is covered in mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and then spread out the cauliflower on your baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, they are finished when the edges are light, golden brown and crispy.

What JUICER do I use?

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                One of the most frequent questions I get is,”what kind of juicer do you use?” or “What kind of juicer should I buy?” So I figured it was about time I write a blog dedicated to letting you know just that! My first response to most of these questions about finding the right juicer is that the right juicer is the one you will use!! There are so many different types of juicers and you can certainly argue for some over others but at the same time, a fancy juicer with all sorts of amazing features that you can’t afford right now and discourages you from buying a juicer all together helps no one. Get what you can with in your budget when you are just starting out, it’s more important to start getting into the habit of making delicious fruit and vegetable juices at home. Once you have a little more experience with juicing and get as addicted to that pure, clean, boost of energy that it provides as I am, then you will feel better about investing in a higher quality juicer.

               As for me, I use a Samson Multipurpose Juice Extractor and I absolutely love it! My Samson operates at a lower speed (80 rpm) which means that the original nutrients and flavor are preserved when I’m making my juices. Some juicers tend to operate at higher speeds (7000-10000 rpm) where a lot of the vitamins in the fresh juice start getting destroyed. This was extremely important to me when I was selecting a juicer because I want to get as much nutritional value from juices as possible especially for when I’m juice cleansing! My Samson Juice Extractor is also great at juicing those dark leafy greens I love so much. A lot of juicers can clog up if you’re as much of a kale monster as I am. My first juicer would waste so much kale and spinach, it would go straight to the waste bucket and I would get just a drip of juice from a massive handful. Once again, if you have to buy a more basic model when you are starting out, just take the leafy green waste and put it through the juicer a second or third time to get as much juice as possible but it is such a beautiful thing to not have to do that with this juicer. Lastly, I love my juicer because it does so much more than juice! When I first started juicing, I was completely unaware that you could find juicers that can also make nut butters, mince, make noodles, puree for salad dressings and sauces and even make nut milk. I use it for everything! It has become my best kitchen buddy. Can you tell I’m a little excited by my favorite kitchen toy? Don’t worry I’ll be posting even more about some of the other wildly handy things my juicer can do this month! Feel free to check out more information about the juicer I own here as well as all it’s brothers and sisters.

Green Guru Smoothie

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Nothing is better than a GOOD green smoothie to start your week off in the right direction or get you back on track mid week! I love this particular one when I really want to feel nourished and full. It has lots of good for you fats so you won’t start getting the ‘hungries’ around 11am. It’s also fulling enough to drink post work out if you’ve had a really intense sweat session. Totally inspired by Kris Carr’s one in Crazy, Sexy, Diet, a book that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to be more mindful of what they put in their body and take better care of their ‘god-pod’ (body) as she would call it! I hope you give it a whirl for breakfast one day this week, I know it might sound a little funky for a smoothie but you’ll have to take my word, it’s pretty yummy and it will start your day off right and set the stage for making healthy choices all day long!

Green Guru

4 leaves of Romaine
1/2 avocado
1 cucumber
1 banana
whooping tbsp of almond butter
1 cup of coconut milk

Blend it all together and enjoy!

Shehu’s Gnocchi + Veggies

               Yes, Shehu was the chef from Team Marcus that ended up staying while I got sent home on The Taste a few weeks ago but us New Yorkers stick together and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be in the bottom with. Shehu is a big sweetheart and it was such a pleasure cooking with him on the show and hanging out with him here in NYC. He was generous enough to share his absolutely delicious and VEGAN recipe for potato gnocchi with vegetables with me because he knew I’d just love it! Gnocchi is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods in this cold weather and I couldn’t think of a better thing to whip up this weekend to warm you up if you’re reading this from the east coast, like us! It’s also a great dinner party dish, simple to make and super impressive to guests! Give it a whirl, get creative and feel free to keep up with Shehu on facebook and instagram for more delicious food inspiration!

shehugnocchi

Sauté Potato Gnocchi with Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

1 med size Potato
2 cups AP Flour
1 sm Zucchini
1 sm Yellow Squash
1 sm Carrot
1 sm Onion
1 cup Broccoli Florets
1 cup Cauliflower Florets
2 cups Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp Shehu Fitzgerald Spice Blend # 14 ( or your own favorite spices!)
Salt and Pepper

Place Potato in a pot and cover with water 1 tbsp salt and boil till just tender. Remove from water let cool for 2 mins then peel off skin. Place into a bowl and mash ( try best not to have any lumps ) season with salt and pepper and add flour litter at time and mix to make dough ( sorry I always do this by eye ). Knead and roll into 1/2″ rope and cut into 1″ pieces.

On the stove have a pot of boiling water ready. In a small sauce pot warm tomato sauce. Drop gnocchi into the pot of boiling water and cook till they start to float, then sear them in a sauté pan over med high heat. Season with #14( your own favorite spices!) and cook till golden, then remove  from pan. While pan is still hot add veggies and cook till done.

Assemble the plate and serve :)

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Louise’s Green Machine Smoothie

For those of you who watched The Taste last night, my #teamludo not only won the group VEGGIE CHALLENGE, but my girl Louise (aka. Weezy) won 2 gold stars for her veggie dish! Woot! Woot! Combine that with my man Lee saying that his gold star was for me and it’s safe to say I felt very happy with my friends stepping up there game and making some killer vegetarian dishes!
Naturally, I wanted to represent my veggie rockstar team mate Louise and asked her for a yummy recipe to share with you and I think you guys are going to LOVE this one!! Louise was kind enough to share this fabulous video with us of her making her “Green Machine Breakfast Shake” Check it out for a delicious and nutritious  way to get your greens in the AM and start your day off right. For those of you who are vegan watching, Louise does add some greek yogurt for protein, feel free to substitute that with a little more almond milk and scoop of almond butter OR if you like the yogurt-like consistency, they make some delicious almond and coconut ‘yogurts’ out there. Enjoy! Go #teamludo!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Even vegetarians and vegans need to be a little naughty sometimes and I just couldn’t resist sharing this decadent southern classic that my friend (and fellow Taste gal), Rebekah Faulk whipped up for her wonderful blog Some Kinda Good. I think these would be a wonderful veggie friendly addition to your superbowl apps and because they’re a little naughty, you’ll still feel like you’re indulging with boys without having to chow down on buffalo wings or those baby hot dogs. Now, of course, if you want to make them even healthier, you can try baking them instead of frying them. Same prep just put them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 375 degrees and then once they’re cooked, maybe sautee them in a pan with a little bit of coconut oil to get the outside crispy! However, I wasn’t about to mess with greatness, so I left Rebekah’s recipe just the way it was for you here. Enjoy!

FriedGreenTomatoes

Some Kinda Good’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients
3 Large Green Tomatoes
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup self-rising flour
2 Teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil for frying
Green Onion for garnish, optional

Directions:
Slice tomatoes about ¼ of an inch thick. Place them on a flat surface and season with salt. Transfer the tomatoes to a colander and allow them to drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a cast iron skillet or 10-inch frying pan with vegetable oil halfway full and set over medium heat. The oil will be ready for frying when sizzling occurs after gently sprinkled with water. In a small dish, use a fork to combine the cornmeal, flour, Old Bay, salt and pepper. Dredge the tomatoes in the flour mixture on each side. Roll the sides of the tomato in the flour mixture too, to ensure an even coating. Shake off any excess before dropping the tomato slices into the hot oil. Fry the tomato slices until golden brown, turning once during cooking.  Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels. Garnish with green onion.  Serve warm with Ranch Dressing if desired.

Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV Personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC-TV’s The Taste, she blogs at SomeKindaGood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter @SKGFoodBlog or on find her on Facebook

 

My Green Standard

It’s hard to imagine my life before green juice, in all seriousness, my body runs on this stuff! So naturally, my first book was called JUICESPIRATION : Recipes, inspiration and everything you need to have an amazing juice cleansing journey!an ode to my absolute devotion to the miraculous drink because I’m a total addict. Green juice is an amazing way to give yourself a healthy, nutrient boost anytime, especially once that 4pm slump comes around and it’s a little too late in the day for coffee! Personally, I also think it’s a great way to start your day. I always feel better and want to make healthier choices through out my day when it begins with a big glass of a green juice. For those of you that aren’t full card carrying green juices fans quite yet, I wanted to give you a little preview of one of the recipes in “Juicespiration” and my personal go-to green juice to get you going! Try making my green standard at home or order it at your local juice bar to get you going on your healthy journey and be sure to tag me on facebook/instagram/twitter with @cassandrabodzak #juicespiration with your green juice pics!!

standardgreenjuice

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

 

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It’s absolutely frigid in NYC right now and as much as I do absolutely love my juices and smoothies, sometimes in the winter it just gets too darn cold for them! When this kind of chill strikes, I always turn to soups to heat me up and nourish me. This carrot ginger squash soup is not only delicious, it’s super easy to make and packed full of nutrients to give you energy and keep you warm! (It’s also vegan! psssh don’t tell!)

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

Sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 1 clove minced garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for 3 minutes in medium pot. Add 1 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth, 1 cup frozen butternut squash cubes and 1 cup of carrot slices. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. With a hand blender, puree until smooth; if desired add broth for thinner texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

2014 Jumpstart to a New You intensive

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              Are you READY to get out of your own way and                                                                           FINALLY start having the body and life you want?!

                         Do you want to start 2014 off right and make sure it’s                                                             your  HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST year yet?!

Maybe you’ve tried countless diets, detoxes and cleanses and this year you’re ready to get REAL. You want to STOP stressing so much about food and weight and start loving your body! Okay, maybe that involves losing a few pounds as well, THAT’S OKAY! You can lose weight naturally by learning how to eat right for your body and finding out what foods work for YOU.

My mission with my ”2014 Jumpstart to a NEW YOU intensives” is to help support you in finding the actionable steps to make your healthy New Year’s resolutions STICK this year.

Whether that includes losing 10lbs, eating less processed foods, going vegan, learning to meditate or just trying a juice cleanse for the first time, it doesn’t matter! Decide what YOU want to shift this year! What are YOU committed to making happen? And then let me help you! Email me ASAP at Cassandra@GoSweetandSkinny.com to schedule a 2hr skype or in person meeting, if your in the NY/NJ area.

Here’s what you’ll get from our TWO – HOUR INTENSIVE SESSION: – specific ACTIONABLE goals for the next month – personalized recipes + guidance for YOUR goal – a sample week long meal plan (if appropriate to your goal) – personalized advice and tools on HOW to stick to your plan – 3 weeks of email support following our sessions – a summary of our session with key points – access to our PRIVATE 2014 Jumpstart facebook group – where you can support each other with your goals as well as get more personal insights from me!

Are you ready to invest in YOURSELF this year? Why not let 2014 be the year you FINALLY start looking and feeling AH-MAAZING!?!

It’s ONLY $200 and a great way to kick off your New Year right!
PLEASE, I urge you to book your session NOW, do not hesitate, these WILL book up and I do not want any of you to miss out!

Email me today! I can’t wait to help support you in making 2014 your sweet and skinniest year yet!

cassandra@gosweetandskinny.com

or go ahead and schedule one today at meetme.so/CassandraBodzak

And so it begins – The Taste

thetasteandme
Thank you so much to all of you who spent Thursday evening glued to your TVs watching “The Taste” on ABC, whether you were a friend or family member looking out for me or you met me for the first time on the show, I am SO GRATEFUL you tuned in! The outpouring of love and support, tweets, facebook msgs, etc, has just been out of this world and I sincerely thank you. Let’s go #teamludo !
It feels like just yesterday all thirty five of us auditioning for The Taste landed in Los Angeles. I was out of my mind excited for the opportunity to make my vegan cupcakes on TV for the infamous Anthony Bourdain and still terribly nervous about whether or not I would make a mentor’s team. I remember all of us standing at baggage claim together introducing ourselves like it was the first day of school. The air was electric and everyone seemed to have the mindset of “we made it this far, we’ve already won.” After all, we had all beat out thousands of other cooks for these 35 coveted spots and we were getting to do what we love on TV for some of the most respected celebrity chefs. This glass was definitely half full.
The couple days leading up to auditions were full of foodie talk, families visiting and maybe a couple moments of poolside lounging. So many of us had already developed friendships by the time we went up to the chopping block that it was no longer just ourselves we were sick-to-our-stomach nervous for, it was our friends! All of a sudden it wasn’t about me making it, it was about “we” making it.. Our particular group consisted of Jay Qualls, Jeff Kawakami, Greggy Soriano, Lee Knoeppel, Steve Ford and Reina Bazzi but we were all pretty friendly with eachother in general. I’ll never forget the knots in my stomach as I waited anxiously to hear who had made it before I went in to cook and how even in my complete euphoria after getting chosen by Ludo, I couldn’t really settle down till I found out that Jeff had also made it. It was the most intense and thrilling experience of my life and I couldn’t have found more amazing people to share it with.
As for the actual baking itself, well just imagine wearing heels and a dress, being in a kitchen you’ve never worked in before with equipment your not used to using and having only 60 minutes to make, cool and ice cupcakes. Not intense enough for you? Well add to that the fact that you KNOW you are making something that none of the people you are trying to impress typically like and it’s all being filmed for national TV. Yeah, I’d say it was pretty nerve racking. I’ve made vegan cupcakes countless times in the past few year but never had it been more absolutely essential for them to be perfect. I finished just in time and said a little prayer as they were taken away to the judges.
Standing on that stage in front of Ludo, Nigella, Marcus and Anthony was completely terrifying. I was doing my best to keep it together as Anthony, Marcus and even lovely Nigella tore my prized cupcakes a part and bracing myself to walk away when I heard something in Ludo’s voice. He was going to pick me, this passionate, insanely talented French chef was going to take a huge gamble and give a healthy home cook a shot! I was floating on air, literally doing everything to contain excitement and not run over and hug him! I walked off that stage with wobbly legs and a smile so big my face hurt. I had done the impossible. As my dad would say,” I brought a knife to a gun fight and I won!”. I was the only vegetarian to make the show, the only person to get picked for a vegan dish and the youngest contestant this season. I was in heaven. I still am. ☺

Watch me audition TONIGHT on ABC’s The Taste!

thetaste

Please join me TONIGHT,Thursday, Jan 2nd at 8pm on ABC while I live out one of my wildest dreams and not only get to make my yummy vegan cupcakes on national TV but I get to feed them to four of the most respected chefs in the game! Getting the opportunity to audition for The Taste has really been a dream come true for me. I can’t even tell you how many times I had to pinch myself while I was out in LA with my family to film it! The entire day of my audition my stomach was a wreck, my heart was racing and my feet couldn’t touch the floor. The feeling of being on that stage while Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson, Marcus Samuelsson and Anthony Bourdain eat YOUR cupcakes, well it’s both terrifying and incredible! I wouldn’t have traded it for the world!

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I’ll be live tweeting and facebooking during the episode so please be sure to follow me on twitter and facebook and hashtag #TeamCassandra and #TheTaste to show your love! :)

I’ll be posting the recipe that inspired my audition cupcakes shortly after the show airs and a vlog about my post- audition thoughts the following day! So stay tuned! Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss anything!

Here’s a little video I recorded Pre-Pre Audition, when I was just auditioning to get to audition for the mentors!! enjoy ;)

 

My interview with Jordan Younger of TheBlondeVegan.com


It was so much fun to meet up with Jordan Younger, vegan smoothie queen and creator of TheBlondeVegan.com. She is such a vibrant and inspirational lady and I’m very pleased to share with you part 1 of our interview! Check her out! :)

Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash

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I love butternut squash and this maple cinnamon recipe is a super easy crowd pleaser for the holidays!

maple cinnamon butternut squash

1 butternut squash
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of cloves
1 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of macadamia nut oil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and get out your Pyrex or whatever oven safe dish you’d like to use. Skin and chop your squash to small chunks. Place your squash in the oven dish and drizzle with oil. I love using macadamia nut oil or coconut oil but regular olive oil will do if your in a bind. Next sprinkle some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I’d use about a tablespoon of sugar and two shakes of each spice but do it to your preference. Next, move your butternut squash around in the pan to evenly distribute the spices and oil. Let it bake in the oven for 45 minutes till squash is nice and soft. When it cools, drizzle some room temp grade b maple syrup over it and enjoy!

My interview with Tara of SKINNYBYTARA


I caught up with friend and fellow healthy living guru Miss Tara Milhem of SkinnyByTara.com in central park the other week and picked her brain to find out a little bit more of her food philosophy! Want to know what this skinny, healthy and vibrant yogi eats on the day to day? Press play and please SHARE, LIKE and SUBSCRIBE if you enjoy!

My Favorite Salad!

myfavsalad

 

After a month of hotel living and room service/take out eating, I could not wait to get back to NYC, my apartment and my kitchen! My body was craving something delicious, fresh and healthy. Yes, your body will actually start CRAVING that after you feed it too much heavy, restaurant-y food! I didn’t eat like a total heathen, I mean this is ME we’re talking about but fair enough to say I had a couple more cocktails than usual and indulged my love for mexican food more than once while on the west coast. So first night back and all I can think about is making a salad! Seriously, starved for a salad with home-made dressing for a change. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can not wait to start making some season fall dishes, but it was almost 80 degrees in NYC when I got back (total bummer for fall-obessed me) and so I thought it fitting to have my favorite salad just one more time before pumpkins, cranberries and apples take over my culinary life. Spinach, strawberries and brie, it’s a little naughty but very nice, all of my favorite things combined to make a very easy, simple and delicious salad. Enjoy!

MY FAVORITE SALAD

SALAD

2 handfuls of baby spinach

5 small strawberries, sliced

small handful of crushed walnuts

5 slices of brie, chopped into fourths

 

DRESSING

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil (I used basil infused)

pinch of salt

1 tbsp of fresh strawberry (or any kind of berry) preserves

 

 

Defining Myself

I need to open up with you about something I have struggled with for a LONG, long time. This week it was really brought to the forefront of my mind because of a really exciting opportunity! Unfortunately, I can not officially  let you know what I’m doing but let’s just say it involves my handy-work in the kitchen and a lot of people watching me. (wink, wink) I promise to let you know as soon as I LEGALLY can! But for the purpose of today’s blog, let’s just say I was asked by someone relatively important if I was a vegan chef. In that moment, I was forced to do something that I was very uncomfortable with..

DEFINE MYSELF.

At first, I said,” well,  yes, I am mostly known for my vegan cupcakes.”But after a few seconds I corrected myself. ” I don’t only cook vegan, I just try to make really delicious things healthier for people with out losing the whole ‘delicious’ part of the equation.” It felt weird and I’m sure they weren’t pleased with my Switzerland- like answer.  Honestly, I get this question A LOT  so I felt like it had to be addressed and leave it to the universe to create such a formal occasion for it! Truth is some ( NOT ALL) vegans don’t really like us ‘swiss’ types either, people have their beliefs (carnivore, vegan, low carber) and they feel very passionate about them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate, but I’m passionate aboutPEOPLE GETTING HEALTHY AND ENJOYING IT! Yes, I personally, a hundred percent agree with veganism but even I occasionally have an egg or want a piece of salmon. I don’t beat myself up, I’m human, I do my best and I listen to my body.
More importantly though, I don’t want to single anyone out. I want to help you whether you’re used to eating 4 cheese burgers a week or you are ready to go raw vegan! So my cooking, when it’s for me, is mostly vegan/vegetarian but you bet I can cook almost anything and I want to be able to cook anything! I aim to provide a variety of healthy recipes and tips on the site and as well as when I’m one on one with my coaching clients.
Starting to clean up what you put on your plate and take charge of your mind and body is no small task but where there’s a will there is a way. So whether you’re still eating steak or you are on a juice fast, it’s cool. Start at your own pace, don’t get intimidated, maybe try a juice for breakfast or make one of my vegan treats that look yummy and incorporate it in your day to day. Slowly but surely you will start learning this whole other beautiful palette that your body wants and craves. But for now, if you want a healthy, good for you recipe with chicken or meat, feel free to reach out and email me. There is no “perfect” diet, there is only what works best for you body right now. We’ve all grown up with  a very similar processed, American diet and we’re all at different stairs on the staircase to our happiest, most vibrant, fit and thriving bodies. I want to be there every step of the way because everyone deserves a chance ( and the help) to get that fabulous place where we feel amazing, look fabulous and love our lives. 

So if I’m going to define my cooking style, I’m a maker of delicious, healthy dishes that help people lead their happiest lives and promote their over all well being. 

I simply refuse to be put in a box.

Greek Eggplant Tapenade

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I love me some eggplant!! This Greek eggplant tapenade is totally vegan, low fat, healthy and wonderfully delicious. I really enjoy making a big batch of this at the beginning of the week and having it for breakfast or a light lunch through out the week on some toasted  ezeikel bread but it’s also great served with crostini at a cocktail party. It’s light yet decadent and totally good for you!

Skinny Greek Eggplant Tapenade

2 small eggplants

1/2  of a (medium sized) red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 branches of fresh parsley, minced

1 branch of fresh oregano, minced

the juice of one lemon

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

(ezeikel bread or a baguette to slice and toast)

You can use prepackaged garlic, oregano or parsley if you MUST but when possible, FRESH IS ALWAYS BEST! It will just taste, so much better! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and wash your eggplants and then stab them with a fork all over to give them a bunch of tiny holes all over so they don’t explode in your oven. Place those babies in a casserole pan and stick them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes to roast. The skin should get slightly scorched and that’s totally okay. 

While those little darlings are cooking, get to your cutting board to prepare all your flavoring agents! Dice your red onion, mince the garlic, parsley and oregano and put it in a bowl off to the side. Once your eggplants are done, cut the top with a stem off , slice and chop it into rather small chunks, removing any big seed pockets. Place your chopped eggplant in a large frying pan on medium-low heat on the burner and add your oil. Stir in your bowl of chopped and minced friends and then continue to add your balsamic vinegar. Slice your lemon in half and squeeze out that juice into the mixture! Be sure to keep stirring the eggplant tapenade while adding ingredients. Keep it on the heat till it’s reached your desired consistency (it will get slightly mushier the longer it’s on) and add salt and pepper to taste. I tend to keep it on the burner for another 5 minutes or so, tasting as I go. Enjoy on some toasted ezeikel bread or serve to your friends on a lovely slice of baguette. 

 

 

Sweet Potato + Carrot Haystacks

 

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Fall is just around the corner and that makes me SO HAPPY! My absolute favorite seasonal flavors are in the fall and I just LOVE cooking with them. I pretty much do it all year round, even if it’s slightly inappropriate, haha. These little baby haystacks are somewhat reminiscent of latkes except they are but lighter and healthier. They are also totally VEGAN if you want them to be, and if you don’t, you can add a little egg whites or sub out my non dairy creamer in the topping. I think they are  perfect for the weekend, you know when you have a really huge brunch and only want a light, healthy dinner but still want something ridiculously delicious! ;) They are just enough to hold you over but low fat and healthy that you won’t feel overly stuffed. These Sweet Potato and Carrot Haystacks ( aka latkes or potato pancakes) are also super cute! Which means, they can be a a great healthy, vegan, low fat appetizer/h’oure derve for a party! Plus, they taste just decadent enough that no one will even know what you’re serving is GOOD FOR THEM! haha Isn’t that always the key!? Super easy to prepare, the whole process probably took me 30 mins tops. Hope you try them out in your kitchen soon!

 

Sweet Potato + Carrot Haystacks

1 sweet potato

1 carrot

2 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp chili powder (for an added kick!)

3 heaping tbsp of Gluten Free Oats

sprinkle of cinnamon + nutmeg

pinch of salt

(optional egg whites)

 

Creamy Apple Topping

1/2 granny smith apple

1/4 cup of French Vanilla Silk or Coconut milk creamer

sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon

 

First off, set your oven to 450 degrees. I used a mini cupcake pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray but you can make them more pancake like and put them on a cookie sheet as well! Next use a potato peeler to remove the outside layer of both your sweet potato and carrot, after that’s been discarded. Use a grater (or just keep using your peeler and then chop it a bit afterwards – that’s what I did) and place all your sweet potato and carrot shreds into a medium sized mixing bowl. Next add your almond butter, maple syrup, oats, egg whites if you’re not making it vegan (they stick together a tiny bit better when you use egg whites but the pictured ones are with out!) and finally your seasonings!  Mix it all together very thoroughly! You really want the almond butter and seasonings evenly dispersed. Now just scoop the mix into your little cupcake pan or on to your baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins depending on size.

While those babies are browning up in the oven, let’s make the YUMMERIFIC  (that’s right, made up that word!)  creamy apple topping. Cut the skin off 1/2 of a granny smith apple and dice it into tiny pieces, add your creamer and season to taste. Either let the apple pieces soak as you mix up the entire mixture or put everything into your blender/food processor for creamier, less chunky consistency. (My blender wasn’t cooperating with me when I was making these so I only diced them.) Let this chill in the fridge while your little haystacks are cooling off.  When reading to serve plop a little into the center and let any extra juice drip over on to the sides. I absolutely LOVE the sweetness of the apple topping against the heartier, slightly spiced sweet potato/carrot so I tend to have a heavy hand with it! ;)

 

 

I’m SHARING my BROWNIES!

These past six months have been wondrous to say the least. It’s truly been incredible to watch the Go Sweet and Skinny crew go from a group of people who went to school with me at some point or knew me through some NY social circle to a much larger group of amazing people determined to lead happy, healthy, inspired lives from all over the country! YAY! I am so happy to have you all joining me on this journey and feel so grateful to help provide you with the tools to living an amazing, vibrant, healthy life. It’s an interesting observation that I had I tonight though, because the bigger it grows, the larger my desire to stay personal is. I feel like more than ever I am writing super specific and intimate posts about what I’m going through because whether you actually went to high school with me or you happened to stumble upon my book on amazon, I want you to KNOW me, really know me and feel like I’m just that health nut girlfriend that gives you really awesome tips and killer recipes when you’re in a bind! My close friends get such a kick out of my youtube videos on GoSweetandSkinnyTV because it’s just like actually talking to me, I’m that ridiculously myself in them for you and that makes me really happy to hear.

So anyways, I know you’re wondering what in the world I meant by “sharing my brownies”, am I doing a vegan brownie give-a-way?! Sadly, no, but maybe at some point in the future if there is a big enough uproar I will. I was listening to an incredibly inspirational seminar by Fabienne Fredrickson and she gave a really touching antidote that really tugged on some strings for me and I just felt like I had to share so that you guys could really feel where I’m coming from. Forgive me for butchering it, Fabienne, but here’s my spark notes version of it:

Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party and all the guests are in the living room while you are baking brownies in the kitchen. The aroma of the baking brownies is seeping through the house and guests happen to wander in and out of the kitchen asking what you’re up to. Now let’s fast forward to your brownies being done, all cut up, cooled and put on a plate. Guests are coming in to see what’s going on but you are just huddled in a corner with your plate of brownies and you are not letting anyone else eat them!

Seems pretty ridiculous, right? Why would you bake delicious brownies and then not share them with ANYONE!? Well Fabienne used this to compare to those of us with service oriented businesses being afraid of marketing our services. Safe to say, it really hit home. When Go Sweet and Skinny started to take off and I saw the need for individualized guidance, offering up one on one assistance to help my amazing followers on their own specific path to a happy, healthy, AMAZEBALLS life was a total no brainer!

AND THEN I STARTED HOARDING MY BROWNIES!!

I got so worried that people might think I was forcing them to buy something or trying to “sell” them on coaching that I was very hush-hush about it. I offered it when people came to me specifically looking for guidance and touched on it here and there without making any huge waves. Fabienne made realize that not only was I totally incorrect in my assumptions but that I was depriving you of the amazing services I have to offer by not even letting you know that I offer them! And that’s when it really hit me.  Not to mention, of course, I received some very loving emails saying that they saw a post about my FREE 30 minute breakthrough sessions and had never even known that I offered an one on one counseling package despite being avid followers of my facebook and blog. Whoa! Thanks for the re-enforcement universe!

Well, it worked, I am here and I am happy to say that I WILL NOW BE SHARING MY BROWNIES!  I will share my brownies with love and a smile from here on out! If I can help someone by offering my support one on one as they embark on their journey towards a life and body they love  - I want them to know about it! So be prepared to hear a bit more from me on this now. I’m talking LOUD + PROUD now. Of course, the recipes, tips and inspiration will always be the foundation of everything GSS but I’m really excited to be able to guide people individually on their specific path to health and happiness! It can be really hard and confusing at times to make massive change all by yourself and we all have different areas in our life we could use a little reinforcement in to help us push through to the next level. I’m here for those people who are ready and willing and need a partner to help them climb up the rest of the mountain to healthy body bliss because it’s so much easier when you have a guide who’s been there and done it and knows the path.

On that note, if you’d like a FREE 30 minute clarity session with me to get a taste of what we could accomplish together and set you off in the right direction, email me at gosweetandskinny@gmail.com to request a date and time. I’d love to meet you!

 

HOW CAN YOU SHARE YOUR BROWNIES TOO!?

Well it’s not just me that needs to share my brownies, you’ve got a plate too!! A great, easy way to start sharing your brownies is to start spreading the love, inspiration and tips you find on GSS as well as your other favorite healthy living blogs. Share healthy recipes or inspiration posts on facebook or twitter, instagram healthy food pics or motivational quotes. You don’t need to be an authority to pass along the brownies! If you’ve found some delicious stuff, take a little for yourself and then spread the love!! Not only will it make you feel amazing but you are helping other people have a chance to enjoy them as well. So go on my darlings, let’s make sure all the guests at the party of our life get a chance to indulge in a brownie!