Mama and Me SunButter and Banana Sandwich

TGIF! With the return of the cold weather this week seemed to drag on a bit. I am looking forward to the weekend and some quality family time. Tonight Doug and I are going on a date night to Les Miserables on Broadway. I am such a theatre nerd! I have probably seen Les Mis a bagillion times between the original production when I was growing up, the last Broadway revival, and the recent (not so great IMHO) movie. Still I can’t wait! Neither can my inner 12 year old who liked to pretend she was Eponine ;)

Most weekends Doug and I try to take Hermione on various adventures around NYC. We visit new playgrounds, go to museums, go out for brunch, and take long walks. Hermione takes two naps a day (at 9:30 and again around 2) so we don’t have the longest window in which to be out of the house. In order to maximize our adventure time I usually pack her (and us) a lunch so we don’t have to come home to eat. While she still nurses several times a day she is at an age where she wants three solid meals as well.

One of Hermione’s favorite lunches is a SunButter and Banana Sandwich on sprouted grain toast. While I do not usually eat grains I will often share this with her as it is just so yummy! The sunflower seed butter gives her a good dose of the healthy fats a baby needs to grow and the sprouted grain bread is much easier to digest than other varieties. I use sprouted grain bread for her over gluten free bread as many of the gluten free brands available are not vegan, and contain not so ideal ingredients.

Here ‘s Hermione last weekend enjoying her favorite sandwich on a picnic!

Mama and Me SunButter and Banana Sandwich

  • 1 piece sprouted grain bread (Hermione and I like the Ezekiel bread)
  • 1 T organic creamy sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  1. Lightly toast the bread in your oven or toaster
  2. Spread sunflower seed butter on toasted bread
  3. Slice the banana into thin rounds and evenly distribute on bread
  4. Slice bread in half diagonally and place one half on top of other to form a sandwich ( you can also eat open face)
  5. Break off bite size pieces and give to baby!
Mama and Me Freezer Cookies

A few months ago I began introducing Hermione to nut butters and nut milks. I have to admit the reasons were partially selfish. I use nuts so often that having Hermione enjoy them along with me has made cooking for the two of us much, much easier. She and I can now share green smoothies! Along with green smoothies Hermione has also been enjoying these Almond Butter Freezer Cookies. They are an easy way to get her the healthy fats and protein found in nuts, all in a form she can grasp in her tiny hands. The “Mama” version is a take on a dessert I enjoyed often while pregnant. I love to make a big batch of these and store then in the freezer so the are ready when either of us needs a little treat!

 

Mama and Me Freezer Cookies

  • 1 cup organic creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 T cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • liquid stevia
  • pinch of sea salt
For Baby
  1. Combine the almond butter coconut oil in a small bowl
  2. Drop half the mixture by small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Reserve the other half for Mama’s Cookies
  5. Store cookies in freezer
For Mama
  1. Combine the remaining almond butter/coconut oil mixture with the cacao nibs, vanilla extract, sea salt and stevia to taste
  2. Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Store cookies in freezer

There is no doubt Hermione is my daughter. Like her mama she loves clothes, books, and vegetables! I have to admit I was scared when I first introduced her to my beloved kale. What if she did not love it? Luckily, my girl gobbles up all sorts of dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. She prefers them in a smoothie but has been known to eat a handful or two of sautéed spinach as well!

Here is the recipe for Hermione’s favorite green smoothie. This smoothie is great for her because it helps her get iron which is one thing not transferred breast milk. After month six when a babies iron stores from birth begin to deplete it is important they get their iron from food. Hermione likes her  smoothie with almond milk, but if you are not ready to give your baby nuts (check with your doctor first) water is just fine. I make this smoothie in large batches and freeze it in ice cubes trays. That way I can quickly defrost a smoothie cube for her when it’s mealtime!

H.A.M’s  Favorite Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • big handful of spinach
  • big handful of kale
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water or almond milk
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix until thick and smooth adding more or less water to achieve spoonable consistency
  2. Serve to baby!
Avocado, Grapefruit, Beet and Fennel Salad

In this polar vortex of a winter I have found it hard to eat many salads. By the time dinner rolls around I am not only exhausted but am also craving hearty, comforting foods. Make that hearty, comforting, easy to prepare foods! Most nights I have been dining on a simple roasted sweet potato with some sautéed greens…or something along those lines. When I feel like something a little more exciting I have been making a large bowl of this salad. If I roast the beets and fennel ahead of time it take me only minutes to throw together and is oh so satisfying.

This salad combines three of my favorite foods- grapefruit, beets and avocado. Throw a little roasted fennel into the mix and I am in heaven! I could eat this every night. Especially right now when grapefruits are at their peak and are so sweet and delicious-not bitter at all!

Avocado, Grapefruit, Beet and Fennel Salad

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 grapefruit
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Trim the fronds and bottom off the fennel bulbs, then slice in half length wise. Cut each half into approximately 1/2″ semi-circles.
  3. Trim the tops and bottom of the beets and cut them into medium sized chunks
  4. Place the fennel and beets on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until both the beets and fennel are tender-about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Peel the grapefruit and cut into small sections.
  6. Slice the avocado into wedges.
  7. Once the fennel and beets have roasted and cooled toss all the ingredients gently in a small bowl so the grapefruit juice can coat the others.
  8. Season with sea salt and serve.
01/03
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Cozy Snow Day

Snowy days like today ( thanks Winter Storm Hercules) make me want to hunker down, stay indoors and eat warm comforting food. It is freezing cold outside and with a baby at home there is really no where worth trekking to. I got my workout in this morning and plan on spending the rest of the day cuddling my small person and cooking food for the weekend. These days I try and prepare recipes that all of us can enjoy. Hermione has started eating lunch everyday and loves to experiment with a variety of vegetables. So far her favorites include root vegetable “fries”, green smoothies and kale pesto. She really is my daughter!

Doug and I recently started getting weekly deliveries from Rustic Roots Delivery, an organic food home delivery service. They source beautiful produce from Montauk to the Hudson River Valley and deliver us a cooler of goodies each week! It is so much fun to open up the cooler and see what I have to play with. It really forces me to be creative with my cooking and use what I have.

This weeks delivery included an beautiful, huge butternut squash. I immediately know what I wanted to make. This Butternut Squash Puree tastes like Thanksgiving on a spoon. The best part is if I make it without salt ( a no no for babies and their tiny kidneys) Hermione can have some too! The perfect family meal for a freezing cold January day!

Butternut Squash Puree

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 sage laves
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds
  3. Divide the garlic, sage and rosemary between the two squash cavities
  4. Place the squash cut side down on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the squash halves are soft
  6. Allow the squash to cool before scooping the flesh into a high speed blender
  7. Blend the squash until smooth
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm
Enjoy the snow! In case you need something to warm your heart here is a picture of Hermione on our trip to Whole Foods last night before the snow started. It was her first experience with mittens and I swear she thought her hands had totally disappeared!

Have you heard of the Snippet App? Snippets are media rich, beautifully designed, mini e-books that you can download and read from your mobile device. With a huge range of topics from health to fiction there is a Snippet for everyone! Best part is the app is FREE and the Snippets range from just .99-$4.99!

Just in time for the holidays I recently published my first Snippet. Featuring all my best tips on how to host a healthy holiday party Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays will help you celebrate in style. From recipes, to decor, to personal style I have you covered!

So, get the Snippet App today and then download Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays!

Alignyo’s Plant-tastic Holiday Dinner Menu

I can’t believe Christmas is next week! Our tree is up and decorated, my shopping is done, Hermione’s first Christmas presents are all wrapped. Seriously, where did 2013 go?

Every year we spend Christmas with Doug’s family at their house upstate. We do a huge Christmas Eve dinner and then a breakfast Christmas morning before we open presents. It’s very festive and celebratory and I can’t wait to see Hermione experience it for the first time!

I always bring a vegan dish or two for the holiday meal, so when Alignyo asked me to contribute a recipe for their Plant-tastic Holiday Dinner Menu  I was thrilled. Along with my recipe this e-book is loaded with plant based festive ideas for starters, mains and desserts. So invite your friends and family over, break out the holiday tunes and mistletoe and cook them a plant based meal they will never forget!

I am all about beauty foods that make you both feel and look good! Last winter, I was thrilled to be asked to appear on Nikita Chopra’s new show, Naturally Beautiful on Veria Living and share some of my favorite beautifying recipes. I was quite pregnant at the time and vividly remember scrambling to find a dress that both fit over my belly AND was TV worthy!

Take a look at my  recently aired segment here:

 

Like what you see? Give my Cauliflower Fried Rice and Pomegranate Guacamole recipes a try yourself

 

Happy Thanksgivmukah

Happy Thanksgivmukah!

With the first night of Hanukkah tonight, and Thanksgiving tomorrow I feel suddenly in full on holiday mode. This year is extra special because each holiday will be Hermione’s first!

For Hannukah we will be lighting this adorable elephant menorah, opening a few small presents, eating my Sweet Potato Latkes (if you are making them for a baby make sure to omit the salt!), and saying our own version of the Hanukkah blessing.

While neither Doug nor I are religious, we are making a big effort to raise Hermione with the traditions of our parents. Minus the G– parts.  In case you are in a similar boat our Hannukah blessing goes like this :

Blessed is the time of our celebration, time of light for hope in the world.

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

We then plan to sing this song that we sing in Hermione’s yoga class and at bedtime. It is sung to the tune of “The Wheels of the Bus”

My little light bows to your little light, your little light, your little light.
My little light bows to your little light. Namaste.

Tomorrow Doug and I will be doing our annual Turkey Burn (90 minute class) at Soul Cycle which I cannot wait for! At last year’s Turkey Burn I was pregnant! What a difference a year makes! This year I have so so much to be grateful for from my beautiful baby girl, to my husband, to my family’s continued health. It certainly has been a wonderful year.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner at Soho House with Doug’s whole family. Hermione has a special party dress picked out for the occasion… stay tuned for photos!

While we will be eating Thanksgiving dinner out this year if I were cooking here are a few healthy recipes I would certainly include!

Truffle Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Thanksgiving Tomatoes  

Parsnip Steak  

Crustless Pumpkin Pie 

Pumpkin Spice Macaroons 

Looking for the taste of Thanksgiving in a cup? Try this smoothie over the long weekend! Yum!

World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day! I can’t think of a better day to come after Halloween. Whether you overindulged in candy or not, today is a great day to reset and get back to healthier, cleaner eating habits! As I am always saying, being healthy does not have to be hard work. You do not have to go on a 30 day juice cleanse in order to take good care of your body. If you focus your everyday diet around plant based foods you will find that you will be out of the “detox to retox” cycle. So get rid of all that candy ( here are some places to donate it ) and move on with your life. I promise, once it is gone you won’t miss those bite size bars of sugary poison!

When it comes to plant based meals, squashes off all sorts are a winner for me. I love zucchini in the summer and sweet potatoes in the winter! Japanese yams are my favorite variety of sweet potato. Their flesh is so sweet that I often roast them as “cookies” and eat them for dessert! This recipe for Miso Roasted Japanese Yams has been a dinner staple in my house for a few falls. They are super easy to whip up and keep well for a day or two if you want them as leftovers ( delicious either hot or cold!) Enjoy!

Miso Roasted Japanese Yams

  • 2 medium japanese yams
  • 3 scallions diced
  • 3-4 T sweet white miso paste
  • 1-2 T water
  • 5 drops liquid stevia
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut yams into 1″ cubes
  3. In a small bowl combine the miso, stevia and water. The mixture should be a slightly thick yet still liquid. You may need to add more or less water to get the right consitency.
  4. Toss yams with the miso sauce and half of the scallions until throughly coated.
  5. Roast yams for 25-30 minutes until soft and slightly brown.
  6. Toss yams with remaining diced scallions before serving.