For those just tuning in, I have just launched my second round of #ChristinasCleanChallenge and am eating 100% vegan (as usual), gluten free, avoiding processed foods (even processed vegan/gluten free foods,) sugar, and am limiting my cooking oil. My meals until October 11th will all be prepared with simply fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and gluten free grains such as quinoa and brown rice.
Wow, that's "strict" right? It must be so hard to "deprive" myself of so many things.
Let's talk about deprivation. I saw a pretty disturbing post on Instagram yesterday mocking clean eating - saying that we are depriving our body and ourselves of things we want by taking on a cleanse thus leading to unhealthy eating habits and poor body image. Personally, I have never felt I have deprived my body of what it needs except for a very foolish and short-lived fling with the master cleanse in college. The point is that people have an idea of clean eating, healthy eating, plant-based lifestyles, etc. that we are all just crazy and intentionally depriving ourselves of things we really want.
I'm here to tell you that after four years of veganism, I do CRAVE fruits and veggies. When I indulge in actual crappy food... I feel like crap. For those who want to talk about not punishing ourselves for eating a burger and fries - I don't. When I eat a veggie burger made of quinoa and black beans topped with avocado and jalapeños on a whole wheat bun that is my indulgence. And no, it's not something I need to feel guilty about or punish myself for because healthy foods are at the core of it.
People view my lifetsyle as restrictive and limiting. I'm here to tell you that it constantly frees me. You want to know how to break a self-loathing, self-punishing, poor body image cycle? Be kind to your body! Feed it things that will actually nourish you. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle. Okay, I'm done with the soap box but I really did think it was necessary. If you want to know more about how I achieved my ultimate goal of "Size Happy" read my story.
Savory lentil apple skillet
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes
2 cups cooked lentils
1 apple (I used gala)
1/2 white onion
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp coconut oil
black pepper to taste
top with fresh chives
1. Chop apple and onion
2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet
3. Add onions first and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the apples.
4. Once apples and onions are both soft (about 6 minutes total) add the lentils.
5. Add tamari and pepper to taste.
6. Remove from skillet and top with fresh chives! MMMMMM
Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a Garlic-Tomato-Cashew-Cream Sauce
COOK TIME: 1 hour and 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour and 45 minutes
WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER INGREDIENTS:
1 head cauliflower
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
4 cloves garlic
favorite spice blend - I love Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning
small handful lemon-thyme
small handful flat leaf parsley
TOMATO CASHEW CREAM SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 water (may need more)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2-3 tbsp tomato purée (canned)
Rolling pin or empty wine bottle
Large ziplock bag
1. Soak cashews for 4 hours or overnight.***
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash cauliflower head and remove leaves. Chop across bottom, so the cauliflower can lay flat in a baking dish.
3. Finley chop lemon thyme and parsley.
4. Combine olive oil, garlic cloves, herbs and spices in a large plastic ziplock bag.
5. Remove all air bubbles from the bag and zip. Using a rolling pin or empty wine bottle, move over the bag crushing the garlic and combining oil, herb, and spice mixture. Don't worry if the garlic cloves are still pretty big.
6. Open ziplock bag and add the head of cauliflower. Shake in the bag until it is well-coated. Remove from bag and place in a shallow baking dish. Pour out any extra spice-herb-oil-mixture on top of the cauliflower.
7. Roast cauliflower for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
8. Meanwhile, combine cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, and water in a blender. Remember you don't want a nut-butter texture, you want a creamy sauce texture, so you made need to add more water and pulse multiple times until desired texture is achieved. Add in spices and tomato purée. Stir to combine.
9. Once the cauliflower begins to brown (after about an hour and fifteen minutes) carefully remove from oven. Top with garlic-tomato-cashew-cream sauce and poor any excess liquid around the sides of the cauliflower. Cover with foil.
10. Bake the cauliflower for another 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes crispy around the edges and bubbles. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. ENJOY!
***Do NOT let soaking the cashews scare you away from this recipe. I've never soaked cashews before because I always told myself I didn't have time. It was seriously the EASIEST thing ever. When I made my coffee in the morning, I emptied 1 cup of raw cashews into a small tupperware container and covered them with water. I set them aside and seriously forgot about them until I was ready to make the sauce. You can soak cashews, I believe in you!
So what do you guys think? Am I a crazy, self-depriving, diet-freak who is only encouraging others to do the same?