All posts by bkinigrl

About bkinigrl

I am a Family Medicine & Sports Medicine Physician; Nationally Qualified NPC Bikini Competitor and 100% Vegan Athlete. I believe that lifestyle -- including diet and exercise -- are crucial parts of our health and well-being. Here, I share my insights on medicine and information about achieving optimal health on a plant-based diet.

Healthy Advice for Enjoying Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is almost here which means food, fun and football for most Americans. It’s a day when so many of us gather excitedly around the T.V.—and the snack buffet. Yet, the big day doesn’t have to be the undoing of all your healthy habits. Want some healthy advice on how to enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday without leaving your good intentions on the sidelines?

Pre-Game Planning is Key:

▪ Before kickoff, get your 10,000 steps in. The Super Bowl is one big, glorious, (sedentary) spectator sport. If you get your steps done for the day, you won’t feel the need to miss those entertaining commercials.

▪ Workout. A structured exercise session can be a nice reminder to make healthy choices throughout the rest of the day. If you get your sweat on or lift weights before game time, you’ll feel better (and less guilty) sitting on the couch for the evening.

▪ Eat. Yes, the party is sure to have a nice spread, but don’t make the mistake of showing up starving. Eating a few high-protein meals earlier in the day will help you make better choices and avoid overeating at the party. Be sure to bring a dish or two to share. That way you’ll know there’s something healthy you can enjoy. Some ideas include a veggie tray with guacamole, a fresh fruit tray, or some homemade chili.

Other tips and reminders:

▪ Limit alcohol. If you’re going to drink, keep it to one or two alcoholic beverages and drink lots of water in between. Overconsumption not only impacts your weight and metabolism, it can also increase your hunger sensation and lower your inhibition. The result can be eating much more than you’d originally planned.

▪ Ditch the carbs. Party food for many people means highly-processed, high-carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, crackers and chips. These foods will throw your blood sugar and energy into that unhealthy rollercoaster cycle every time. Add to this, their interference with hunger and satiety hormones—all while you’re sprawled out in the recliner for the evening. Unnecessary fuel equals stored body fat.

What are your tips for enjoying Super Bowl Sunday while staying on track? Share your strategies with others, and enjoy the celebration!

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Meatless Monday: Portobello Hot Dogs

Summer can be rough on vegans (and vegetarians), who can get stuck eating only salads, and popsicles at cookouts. Not even the baked beans are safe (they’re usually made with bacon, pork, or other animal-based additives). So what’s a rabbit-food-lover to do?

Thankfully, there are in fact plenty of options. Vegans can happily crowd around the grill and wait for delicious plant-based burgers, pulled “pork” sandwiches, and veggie dogs made out of actual vegetables instead of processed soybeans.

Are you craving a more traditional “veggie” dog? Finding a decent veggie hot dog is no easy task, so why not save some time—and your taste buds.

No worries, you can grill up the next-best-thing with portobellos. The mushrooms, sliced in strips, grill more evenly and faster than a plain portobello burger, and with all the fixings, you’ve got yourself a classic dog in minutes.

Try out this simply vegan recipe at your next outdoor party. 

Portobello Hot Dogs

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced into 4 long slices each

Fixings:

  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • squeeze of lime
  • salt & pepper
  • mustard
  • 4-5 hot dog buns
  • optional: ketchup on the side
  • optional: 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped red onion and sliced tomatoes. Add a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside.
  2. Preheat your grill or grill pan. 
  3. In another small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together (olive oil, balsamic, mustard, salt & pepper), and brush onto the portobello slices until they’re coated.
  4. Grill mushroom strips on each side until grill marks form and mushrooms are tender and juicy (about 3-4 minutes per side). 
  5. Place 2 mushroom slices into each hot dog bun. Top liberally with onion & tomatoes, some serrano slices, and mustard.

Recipe from Love and Lemons

Meatless Monday: Creamy Avocado-Lime Pasta

Creamy, thick, and rich with lots of garlic flavor. This pasta dish is sure to please. The avocado works wonderfully in this recipe to create a sauce so thick and creamy, that you will think there is cream hiding in there. 

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of dry shell pasta of your choice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. of veganaise
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • salt & pepper 
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well, set aside to cool.
  2. Cut and peel the avocado and remove the pit. Put it in a food processor together with chopped cilantro, lime juice, veganaise and garlic paste. 
  3. Blend it until it’s creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a refrigerator if you have time.)
  4. Transfer the avocado sauce to a medium sized bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss them well. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.

DIY Super Bowl 50 Menu

If you’re into football you’re probably getting ready for the big game today. For some people, the Super Bowl is more about entertaining guests rather than watching the game. That’s certainly not the case for me…it’s all about watching the game. Regardless, today’s post was inspired by Super Bowl 50! Here are a few (meat free) recipes to help you create some delicious snacks to enjoy during the big game later today!
Fresh Guacamole (Serves 4) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium, ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small jalapéno pepper, seeded and finely diced OR 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spiciness)

INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, tossing the seed and scooping the green innards into a large mixing bowl.

2. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency; my recommendation is to keep it a little chunky.

3. Mix in the red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and peppers, if using. Stir to combine.

4. Serve immediately with chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas!

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
  • 1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.
  3. Combine the flour, paprika, and onion/garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Coat the cauliflower pieces in almond milk and then with the flour mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.
  5. While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and earth balance in small saucepan on the stove top and heat over low heat until the Earth Balance is completely melted.
  6. When the cauliflower is looking crispy and lightly browned – pull it out of the oven and place it in a large bowl. Pour the hot sauce mixture over it and toss to coat.
  7. Bake coated cauliflower for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy, and sauce looks absorbed.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Let cauliflower bites set out for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve with dairy-free blue cheese dip!

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sticks  
This recipe is perfect for an appetizer when you want to show off in the kitchen, or just to enjoy as a snack any time. And these nondairy Mozzarella cheese sticks taste so good that I guarantee you won’t even believe their vegan!

INGREDIENTS 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Cut the block of vegan mozzarella into stick shapes.
  2. Put ¼ cup of the flour in one shallow bowl. In a second bowl, create the batter by combining the remaining flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and garlic powder. The consistency should be like pancake batter. If it is too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, add more flour. In a third shallow dish, combine the rice cereal, the spices and the grated parmesan to create the breading.
  3. Roll the cheese sticks in the flour. Shake off the excess and dip them into the batter. Shake off the excess batter and cover the sticks in the breading. Lay the mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Fry the mozzarella sticks, about 4 at a time, for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown and you see the cheese starting to ooze out. Turn them halfway through to make sure both sides get browned.
  5. Place on a cooling rack so they stay crisp.
  6. Serve while hot with a simple marinara sauce.
  7. Enjoy!
    1. Nondairy Queso Dip 

      INGREDIENTS

      • 1/2 c cashews
      • 3/4 c cauliflower
      • 1 oz carrot
      • 1.25 c unsweetened almond milk
      • 1/4 c vegetable broth
      • 1-2 chipotle peppers, to taste
      • 1/4 tsp mustard
      • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
      • olive oil spray
      • 1/4 c onions
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp cumin
      • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
      • 1/4 tsp cayenne
      • ground chipotle pepper, to taste
      • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I use Muir Glen Organic), well drained

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Pour boiling water over the cashews and let sit at least 10 minutes.
      2. Meanwhile, place cauliflower and carrots in a large bowl, add 1/2 c water, and boil until tender.
      3. Drain cashews. Add soaked cashews, cauliflower, carrot, almond milk, vegetable broth, chipotle peppers, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and nutritional yeast to a blender.
      4. Puree until smooth.
      5. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and spray with olive oil.
      6. Add onions and sauté, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
      7. Pour almond milk mixture into the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
      8. Add salt, cumin and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      9. Stir in diced tomatoes and adjust seasoning to taste.
      10. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

      Recipe from Home Sweet Jones.

      Happy Super Bowl 50, everyone! Enjoy the game…. And Go Panthers!!!


      Meatless Monday: Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwiches 

      This smashed chickpea & avocado salad is great for sandwiches and it is also great as a dip for veggies, crackers, and pita chips. It is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free-as long as you use gluten free-bread or serve as a dip with veggies or gluten-free crackers.

      If you are looking for a quick and healthy lunch idea, make this Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich. It is one of my favorite sandwiches and I hope you like it too!

      Ingredients:

      • 1/3 can of chickpeas
      • 1/2 a small ripe avocado
      • 1 small spring onion finely chopped
      • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
      • Dash of lemon juice
      • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
      • 2 slices of wholegrain bread
      • Small handful of fresh spinach (or micro-greens of choice)
      • Tomatoes (optional)

      Instructions:

      1. In a bowl, mash the chickpeas and avocado until avocado is well mashed and most of the chickpeas are not whole.
      2. Add the onion through spices. Mix in. Taste and adjust salt and spice if needed.
      3. Prep the sandwich bread by toasting if desired. Add a layer of spinach or micro-greens of choice. Layer a good helping of the smashed chickpea avocado mixture.
      4. Add a layer of juicy tomatoes and serve.
      5. Serve in sandwiches, tacos, wraps or salad bowl.

        MEATLESS MONDAY: SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN TACOS WITH AVOCADO SAUCE 

        These tacos are perfect for your next meatless Monday or taco Tuesday, as these tacos can literally can be made in under 30 minutes, making them an easy weeknight dinner.

        The roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and slaw will all last in the fridge for a good two-three days so you can heat up the sweet potatoes and black beans and assemble the tacos as you’re ready to eat them.

        Ingredients 

        Tacos:

        • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
        • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
        • Salt and pepper to taste
        • 1 (15oz) can of black beans, warmed up
        • white corn tortillas

        Slaw:

        • ½ bag (~8 ounces) of shredded cabbage/ coleslaw (broccoli slaw would also work well)
        • ½ cup of chopped cilantro
        • juice of 1 lime
        • ¼ cup of coconut oil, melted
        • 2 tablespoons of agave
        • 1 teaspoon of cumin
        • 2 tablespoons of white whine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

        Avocado Sauce:

        • ½ cup of nondairy sour cream
        • 1 avocado, pitted and skinned
        • small handful of chopped cilantro
        • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
        • Salt and pepper to taste
        • Optional for garnish: extra cilantro
        • Sriracha

        Instructions

        1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
        2. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste.
        3. On a prepared baking sheet, evenly spread out the diced sweet potatoes and put them in the pre-heated oven to roast for 20 minutes.
        4. While they roast, prepare the slaw: In a large bowl, melted coconut oil, lime juice, cumin, white wine vinegar, and agave are mixed together. Then the slaw is tossed in as well as the cilantro. Set aside.
        5. To prepare the avocado sauce: add Avocado, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper are blended together in a food processor until the sauce is creamy smooth.
        6. Heat the black beans on the stove.
        7. Once the sweet potatoes are done roasting, the tacos can be assembled by topping a tortilla with the sweet potatoes, black beans, slaw, and the sauce.
        8. ENJOY!!

        This recipe serves 8