Friday, May 22, 2009

A Memorable Memorial Day

Ah yes, Memorial Day weekend is upon us. The weekend that marks the official start of summer with blockbuster movies, cookouts and tossin' back a few drinks ; ) It's a weekend of fun and sets the tone for the next 3 wet, hot, sunny months. So with all the temptations of fatty food and alcohol filled events, here a few tips and recipes to keep you swim suit sexy all summer long!

  • Make sure you wear sunscreen!! You don't want to be spending you first weeks of summer battling nasty peeling and pain, along with a lifetime fear of the big skin "C". It's so not hot ; )
  • Sunglasses are key to keeping your eyes protected. Sure, be stylish but make sure they have the proper UV protection. Do you homework and you'll see that you can be chic and safe all at the same time.
  • Eat lighter foods like fresh fruit and salads. The feel and taste great on hot summer days and also contain a high water content to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
  • Be sure to have water with you at all times. Staying hydrated during the hottest months of the year keep you healthy and fresh, inside and out. It's also a great way to curb hunger and stave off "wastedness"!
  • Keep up your healthy diet, vitamin taking and workout regimen. Just because you have time off doesn't mean the calories don't count or that it will be easy to get back on track. Consistency is key and you will be happier for it. Come Labor Day, you still want to look good and not have to break out sweats for your Fall wardrobe ; )
  • Whether you are hosting or attending parties this weekend and throughout the summer, try some of these naughty tasting but nice feeling treats:
Carnivore Approved Big Mouth Mushroom Burger
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped (combination of crimini, shiitake, and Portobello)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup shredded soy cheese
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg replacer eggs
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan. Saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid boils off, and the mushrooms begin to saute.

In large bowl, add mushroom mixture to oats, soy cheese, breadcrumbs, egg replacers, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to develop the flavors. Shape into patties. Heat 2 tbsp oil in large non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Fry patties, cooking about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Serve on a toasted bun and top with grilled onions, avocado, lettuce, pickle and tomato.

Crispy Sumi Salad

1/3 cup tamari (wheat free for gluten sensitive folks)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh maple syrup
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 head red cabbage – shredded
1/2 head white cabbage – shredded
4 large pieces of your protein of choice (tofu, tempeh, faux chix, etc) - chopped
1 tsp soy sauce (low sodium)
1/2 cup sliced almonds – toasted
2 tbsp sesame seeds – toasted
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl, combine your tamari, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and whisk in your sesame oil. set aside.

Add your canola oil to a pan and bring to about 350 degrees. Add your chopped up protein choice and 1 tsp soy sauce. Stir fry until crispy on the outer edges. Set aside to cool.

Shred your cabbage into thin strips in a large mixing bowl.
Toast almonds and sesame seeds in a small pan. Then toss seeds, almonds and protein into the the cabbage bowl. Toss in the tamari/maple dressing, salt and pepper. Squeeze in 1/2 of the lemon and stir together. Set in the fridge to cool for approximately 1 hour.
Almond Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced honey-roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons raw sugar
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, agave and sugar; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Vegan Colada
  • 1/3 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (lowfat if you like)
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 oz organic rum
  • 4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve in a chilled glass and garnish with cherry garnish and umbrella ;)
Gooey Vegan Brownies
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day and welcome to Summer!!