kale

As many of you know, I’m in the middle of a major weight loss challenge. It’s no joke. I have to lose a good 15 pounds (25 would be ideal, but I’m being realistic and leaving room for major muscle gain, which I’ve been experiencing big time) by the end of April for a big “After” photo in the June issue of Today’s Parent Magazine. Can you say “eek”?!

I’ll be posting updates on how I’m doing in a new blog on Todaysparent.com. When I have the link I’ll give it to you asap.

In the meantime, I’m loving the green smoothie my naturopath Jennifer Baer recommended for me. And after stepping on my scale this afternoon, I realized that every time I get into a green smoothie kick, I start to lose weight. Every time. I just started drinking them again this week and my weight is ACTUALLY dropping. And I think it’s the kale.

Yes, kale can taste disgusting in a smoothie, but, I’m telling you it does wonders for weight loss. And when you have the right ingredients, and if you blend it well, a kale smoothie can be quite yummy. I splurged a while back on a Vitamix, and I haven’t looked back since. With a 7-year warranty, the exorbitant price is well worth it. ANYWAY! Here are the ingredients. Just dump them in and BLEND WELL:

1 cup kale
1 cup berries
1 banana
1 cup soy/rice milk
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
cinnamon to taste

Sometimes I add chocolate Vega Shake-and-Go Smoothie powder for extra protein, omega 3s and chocolaty goodness….

Makes 2 servings (refrigerate for a snack or breakfast the next day).

Enjoy!

Photo: daveeza


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I’ve been cooking up a STORM lately. It’s part of my New Year’s Resolution. I’m going to stop going to Starbucks and ordering take-out and START cooking and REALLY paying attention to what I’m putting into my body. And, INDEED, with a little motivation, some good slippers, some help from must-have STAR cookbooks, like…

veganomicon

…and a little creativity, I am SO good to go. I’m, like, DINING in my own home.

This particular recipe was adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s brillers tome Veganomicon (recipe p. 201). And it is UNBELIEVABLE. My little 2-year-old was begging me for “MORE NOODLES, MAMA!” And I…. I could not SPEAK while eating this dish. (I was even able to take a GOOD PHOTO of it — see above? — which NEVER happens; I am NOT a food photographer most days.)

In my adaptation of the recipe, I lowered the fat and salt content, and I added chickpeas for protein — making this a complete, one-dish vegan meal!

OH! And some of the ingredients may seem scary, I know. But, just buy a pack of Udon noodles (I used Kamut), some delicious Umeboshi vinegar (or Mirin, a Japanese rice wine), some brown Miso, and, really, any mushroom will do — I splurged on Shiitakes because they’re apparently among the most healthful. Just go out and buy them. Be adventurous! It’s no biggie, really, and the recipe’s a cinch.

Speaking of healthful, among the shiitakes, the miso, the umeboshi vinegar, the kale and the chickpeas (cooked from scratch), this is not only a ridiculously delicious dish, but it’s also a disgustingly HEALTHY dish.

Check it!

INGREDIENTS

1 package Udon noodles
1 tbsp Oil (I used olive oil – and cooked dish at low to medium heat)
1/2 Onion (thinly sliced into “half moons”)
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2-1 cup Shiitake Mushrooms (stemmed and chopped)
2 tsp fresh Ginger (grated/minced — use 1 tsp ground ginger if you must!)
1 tbsp Umeboshi Vinegar (OR Mirin)
1 cup Water
3 tbsp Brown Miso

2 cups cooked Chickpeas
2 big handfuls Kale (lovingly tear it up into bite sized pieces)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the Udon noodles (see package instructions).

2. Meanwhile, using low-to-medium heat, sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the olive oil — until onions and shrooms are just softened (about 5 or so minutes).

3. Sprinkle ginger and continue to sauté a little longer.

4. Next comes the umeboshi vinegar, water and miso. Sauté, sauté, sauté.

5. Add the kale and chickpeas, stir it up, and cover until kale is softened.

6. Add in the noodles, mix, and mix.

7. I’d let it sit for a bit — allowing the noodles and chickpeas to really absorb the flavours — if you can resist, that is….

8. ENJOY!

9. Let us know if you LOVED it, too!

Serves 4-6.