Vegan Protein Smoothie | Post-Workout

Here’s an amazing smoothie recipe that I had promised a while back! I meant to post it sooner but every time I’d make the smoothie, I would get so stoked for it that I’d drink it and remember that I needed to take a picture of it for the post! Low and behold, I present you with a delicious smoothie recipe. IMAG0214
These are my favorite post-workout meals for a few reasons…
1. They’re packed with protein. Between the hemp protein and the peanut butter, it gives your muscles a buncha protein to repair all of that wear and tear from your workout.
2. Peanut butter is just the best and everyone knows it.
3. They’re one of those meals that are extremely healthy but are still just like dessert.
4. Hemp protein is one of the best protein powders because it isn’t flavored, it doesn’t have soy or milk in it, and it provides your body with every single essential amino acid. That’s amazing and SO good for you.

Lately, I’ve been running about 4 miles everyday and biking about 3-4 miles proceeding that. In the past year, I’ve gotten really into working out because of how it makes me naturally feel so good. It is good for your body, makes you happier, more relaxed and my serotonin levels are always through the roof. I really do believe that exercise helps me stay balanced in life. Exercise makes me so level headed and aids in constant spiritual growth. Just last week, I pushed myself a bit too hard when I was running and ended up with a minor shin splint. It’s a total bummer because I like to get at least 50-60 minutes of working out in everyday. So to help my body heal itself, I have been going some lower impact workouts (extra cycling and some elliptical workouts). I still don’t feel like those provide me with an intense enough workout so I decided to do a workout video from Fitness Blender, and holy cow was it strenuous. I enjoyed it a lot because it wasn’t too high impact on my shins/ankles, but if you would like to dedicate an hour and a half to an amazing workout, here it is: http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-detail/Epic-1000-Calorie-Workout-at-Home-Total-Body-HIIT-plus-Cardio-Strength-Training-Stretching/e2/

If anyone ends up doing that workout, let me know what you think of it! I was totally worn out by the end of it, but was so glad that I completed the entire thing. HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are some of the most effective and enjoyable workouts I’ve ever performed.

Back to the smoothie, here is the super simple recipe, you won’t regret making it!

Ingredients (Serves One):

  • 1/2 banana
  • 3 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1-1.5 cups of frozen fruit (I use a mixed frozen fruit bag with mango, pineapple and strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk (If you don’t have this, juice will do, but it’s creamier with the milk)
  • *optional* spinach, kale or dandelion (It doesn’t make the smoothie taste like spinach, it still tastes like fruit but has extra nutritional value! I add about 1/2 cup-1 cup of greens)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

*depending on your type of blender, this may be super easy if you have a BlendTech or some amazing blender, but mine is a cheep one so the directions are going to be geared toward those who have $40 blenders :) *

  1. Chop banana into 4-5 small slices and place into the blender with the hemp protein powder and almond milk. Blend until pureed.
  2. Next, place 1/3 of the frozen fruit into the blender. Blend until pureed. Repeat this step until all of the fruit has been pureed. You may want to add some extra almond/coconut milk if it isn’t blending well enough)
  3. Add in the spinach/kale/dandelion greens if you prefer to. Blend until it is pureed.
  4. Pour into jar/cup and place 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on top (If you blend the peanut butter in, it won’t really taste like there’s peanut butter in it so that’s why I just like to put mine on top).
  5. Enjoy! This should have about 14-15 grams of protein!

PB&J Oatmeal

Breakfast is totally my favorite meal of the day… actually, that’s not true, every meal of the day is my favorite.IMAG0174

This morning was PB&J oats! Oatmeal is a staple in my home, I use it to make just about everything. You can even puree it and use it as flour. I thought of this recipe when I was trying to put a bit more protein into my breakfasts (hint, hint… peanut butteeeerrrr). The awesome part about this breakfast is that oatmeal is a complex carb, which means it breaks down a lot slower than simple carbohydrates (aka white bread, white rice, etc.) and it keeps you fuller for a lot longer! Not only that, but the peanut butter adds protein; protein is a miraculous nutrient because of how satiating it is. After I ate this for breakfast, I was full for hours and it got me all the way through my daily 4 mile run and 4 mile bike ride (lets pretend that I didn’t go out and buy a PB&J smoothie for lunch after that..). You’ve gotta try this.

Lets get to it..
Ingredients:

  • 1 small apple (diced)
  • 1/4 cup  old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or coconut milk or water)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 sliced strawberries (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter (the more you add, the more protein content)
  • 1 tsp grape jelly
  • 1 tbsp raisins

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Directions:

  1. Dice up small apple and slice strawberries into thin slices.
  2. In a small pot on medium heat, mix the almond milk, oats, raisins, cinnamon, and the diced apple together.
  3. Stir until the oats begin to absorb almond milk (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Once the oats have completely absorbed the almond milk, place sliced strawberries into the pot and mix them in. Stir mixture and allow it to heat for 1 more minute.
  5. Take oatmeal off the burner, pour it into your bowl and place the peanut butter and jelly on top. Mix it all up again and enjoy! (The amount of peanut butter and jelly on it is completely up to you! I’ve just found that this is the amount that I prefer).

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

For such a simple dessert, packed with protein, these will have your mouth watering. My house smells like chocolate chip cookies right now and I don’t want it to stop. I’ve found that the simplest dessert recipes are the best.. So here ya go!

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Mmhhhmmm… If I don’t make this post fast enough, Cody is going to have eaten all of them by the time I’m done.

Makes about 12 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup canned chickpeas (drain the water out)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter or any nut butter (You can also add a little less than 1/2 cup.. I only added 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use vegan Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the cookies (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into the food processor except the chocolate chips. Blend until it is completely pureed.
  3. Add the chocolate chips in but mix them in with a spoon. If you use the food processor to mix them, they will get chopped up too much.
  4. Place cookies onto a cookie sheet or aluminum foil with coconut oil on it. It makes about 12 cookies. IMAG0182
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes.. All ovens are different but I kept them in for about 15 minutes.

Strawberry Chocolate Fudge Pie

In celebration of a bunch of our friends visiting from college, I felt that I would take advantage of the opportunity to make a pie for everyone.. Usually I try to only make desserts that are two servings because otherwise we’ll end up eating waaaay too much, but last night was a special occasion.
This was the first go on making this pie and I made it a bit differently than the recipe I’m going to post here. I’m modifying this recipe to be even tastier. And believe me, this pie is unreal, it’s so good.. you wouldn’t guess that it’s vegan.

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*you can see that I heated up the fruit topping, but I also tested it with just uncooked strawberries sliced on top and it was a lot tastier that way*

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup old fashioned plain oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 5 Strawberries

Chocolate Fudge

  • 1 cup carob chips
  • 1/4 cup earth balance butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Topping

  • 1.5 cups strawberries (or however many you have left from the carton)
  • 1/4 cup coconut

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Directions:

  1. In your food processor, place oats and coconut together. Blend until in powder form.
  2. Place raisins into food processor. Blend until pureed with oats and coconut.
  3. Put 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk (coconut milk or water) into mixture and continue to blend until the crust mixture sticks together.
  4. Place crust into the bottom of a spring pan or pie pan.
  5. Slice 5 strawberries thinly and cover the crust with the slices. Place in fridge afterwards.  IMAG0156
  6. On medium heat, place a pot of water onto the stove. Make sure that you have a pot that can fit inside of that pot of water, because the chocolate will melt inside of the pot that is sitting in the pot of hot water. This keeps the chocolate from burning because it’s not exposed to the direct heat of the stove; it’s only being exposed to the heat of hot water around it. Make sure that the water level isn’t higher than the smaller pot that will be placed in it (this prevents water from getting into your fudge mixture).
  7. In the smaller pot, place carob chips, raw cacao nibs and earth balance together. Then place it into the pot of hot water. Make sure to stay attentive to this mixture and continuously stir. Stir mixture together until earth balance and carob is completely melted. It will look like a very liquidy chocolate consistency.
  8. Stir granola and raisins into melted chocolate.
  9. Remove crust from refrigerator and pour the chocolate fudge mix on top. Evenly spread it across the crust. IMAG0157_1
  10. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup coconut on top of chocolate fudge in pan.                     IMAG0161
  11. Slice the remaining strawberries and place on top of pie.
  12. Place into refrigerator for an hour to allow pie to set OR place in freezer for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato & Onion Quinoa Stir-fry

If you’re looking for a dinner that has a bit of protein and is naturally flavorful, this is the one..Image

Lately, Cody and I have been exercise fanatics. Each time we find ourselves with just a bit of free time, we’re either running or doing the Focus T25 workouts (they’re amazing). Because of the amount of exercise we’ve been doing, I’ve been trying my best to put as much protein in our meals as possible [tomorrow I will post our post workout hemp protein smoothie recipe]. But the great part about this dinner is the nutritional density of the quinoa and veggies.

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(Appreciation post: I have the best roommate ever for helping me make all of these meals.)

Let me tell you a bit about quinoa..

Quinoa has all 9 essential amino acids, which makes it an extremely protein-rich food.
It contains twice as much fiber as other grains and it also contains iron (which can be a struggle to get when you’re vegan).
It is a great post-workout dinner food  because it contains lysine! Lysine helps with tissue growth and repair.
Not just that, but it also contains magnesium (aids in blood sugar control, body temperature regulation, energy production, detoxification, healthy bones and teeth), Riboflavin (improves energy metabolism, aids in energy production in cells), and it contains Manganese (which is an antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals).

The other ingredients in this recipe are extremely beneficial to your health as well. Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, resulting in a slower breakdown of the food, keeping you fuller for longer. It’s also packed with beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D and… IRON! Another great energy food.

Now that you know all of these benefits of these foods, check out the recipe.

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Ingredients (Makes two servings plus leftovers):

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 1 can of green beans (make sure the ingredients only say green beans and water.. no preservatives necessary!)
  • 1/2 large purple onion (You could also just put a whole onion in, we wished we did that after we made it because onions are a favorite for us)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked dry quinoa
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp organic vegetable broth
  • Spices as desired (I used tumeric, oregano, garlic salt and pepper)

Directions:

  1. Dice the sweet potato and onion.
  2. Mix quinoa, sweet potato, onion and vegetable broth in a medium sized pot (with a lid) on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. After that 5 minutes, add the can of green beans (make sure to drain the water from the can) and spices into quinoa.  Allow the mixture to cook (with the lid still remaining on) for 10 more minutes.
  4. Turn the stove off but allow the stir fry to simmer on the burner for 5 more minutes as it cools down. This allows all of the flavors to really soak into the vegetables.
  5. Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana-Peach-Apple Crisp

The amount of variations that I can come up with for this recipe is endless, therefore, Cody and I have eaten this in different ways every single night for the past five days. BUT that’s okay because this is a very low sugar dessert (in fact, there isn’t any added at all. Just natural sugars.) Some nights, we will make this just apples on top of a coconut/raisin crust but last night we made a chocolate banana version of it. Let me tell you, this will be one of the most pleasing things to your taste buds. I’ll probably make it again tonight…

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We always have a lot of fun making this recipe (or maybe our endorphins are just firing like crazy in anticipation of eating this).

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Ingredients (Makes two servings):

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned plain oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 banana (or a whole one if you like banana
  • 1 peach
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons carob chips (or some sort of vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs (if you don’t have this, it’s ok!)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of earth balance butter (vegan butter)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In your food processor, place oats, cocoa powder, cloves and coconut inside and puree until it’s a powder.
  3. After oats and coconut are finely processed, add in raisins and puree until everything is finely ground.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon (possibly a tiny bit more) of water (or almond milk, or coconut milk) to the mixture and blend until it begins to stick together.
  5. Divide mixture in half. It should be pretty stuck together. Spread the mixture inside of both bowls; this will be your crust.
  6. Chop banana into slices and line it on top of the crust.
  7. Now begin to slice the peach and apple into thin slices. Place them into a small baking tin and mix the cinnamon in with them.
  8. Place peach and apple into oven for 7-10 minutes (depending on how baked you want the fruit to be).
  9. While the fruit is in the oven, take a tiny bowl and mix the carob, earth balance butter and raw cacao nibs together. Take caution with the bowl you choose for this, because it’s going to be placed in a pot of hot water and some glass bowls might break because of the heat. Choose a bowl that can handle the heat of the stove.
  10. Heat a pot of water on the stove on low-medium heat (the amount of water should only go half way up the bowl that the carob is in), and place the small bowl with carob, earth balance and cacao nibs inside of the pot. This makes it so that the carob and earth balance melt without burning. Do this carefully, it can be easy to burn yourself with hot water.
  11. Stir together the chocolate sauce until it’s fully mixed together. It’ll look like plain melted chocolate.
  12. Remove fruit from oven and place on to the crusts, and drizzle the chocolate sauce on top!
  13. Enjoy!

Zucchini Spaghetti

After my fast yesterday, I woke up this morning with the idea of sweet potato muffins stuck in my head.. Unsurprisingly, I woke up, went to class, came home and immediately started making them (I’d post the recipe but I still need to perfect it). Nonetheless, I’ve been eating sweet potato muffins all day long. I figured that I need to eat something low carb, plant based and high in nutrients for dinner to balance out the rest of the meals I’ve consumed today.
So tonight’s dinner was zucchini pasta.. one of the easiest meals I ever make for dinner.

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • 1 Zucchini (I prefer to eat a small to medium sized one)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or jared) 
  • Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Garlic, Pepper
  • Any other veggies you’d like to steam and mix in
Directions:
Begin by slicing the zucchini into small strands. (If you actually own a spiralizer, you should totally use it for this recipe, if you don’t have one like me, you can use a knife). With a little bit of patience and cautiousness, slice the strands to be about 3 inches long and make the width as thin as you can make it (to resemble spaghetti or Alfredo noodles). After you finish slicing it, place the zucchini into a pot on medium heat and pour the diced tomatoes in and mix it up. Add in the spices you desire, and you can even add some onions or whatever other vegetables you’d like to mix in. It’s ready within 5-10 minutes after being heated, and it’s nicely filling. 

*Also, if you’re looking to make this meal a bit more dense, serve it on top of brown rice or mix in some black beans with it.