recipes, Uncategorized

Healthy Valentine Eats

Valentine’s Day is coming up pretty quick and millions of people will go out to restaurants to celebrate the day.

I am not a fan of dining out on big holidays. I find that everything is overpriced and the whole experience feels rushed. I find that the food and service are not nearly as good on those hectic days as the kitchen tries to keep up with the mad rush of orders and the servers try to keep up with the mad rush of diners.

I’m a fan of staying in and enjoying decadent (but healthy) food at home. And yes, you can have a delicious and healthy Valentine’s Day. Don’t believe me? I’m about to take you through a whole day of healthy eats. Make these recipes for you and your sweetie, or you and your friends, or just you!

Breakfast

Start the day off on a good note, by eating a healthy breakfast. Many people will skip breakfast to “save up” their calories for the big dinner out. Don’t fall into that trap. Try this instead:

Cranberry Oatmeal

1 serving of oatmeal (I use old fashioned oats and cook it in the microwave according to the package directions)
¼ cup of whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup of walnuts
Brown sugar to taste

1. Make the oatmeal per the package instructions
2. Stir in brown sugar
3. Top with cranberry sauce and walnuts
4. Enjoy!

Lunch

Who wants to spend Valentine’s Day in the kitchen? Here’s a fantastic and flavorful salad you can whip up in a jiffy, giving you more time to snuggle with your sweetie.

Arugula and Salmon Salad

2 bags of arugula
2 bunches of asparagus
Salmon (I usually go with about a half pound per person); to save time, I usually just buy it already grilled from the supermarket
1 small jar of pesto

1. Put the arugula in a bowl and dress it with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
2. Boil asparagus until cooked, but don’t overcook it
3. Assemble the salad by topping the arugula with the asparagus, and the asparagus with the salmon and then the pesto over the top.
4. Mix and serve

This salad is terrific with a little loaf of French bread. And hey, since it’s Valentine’s Day; how about a glass of red wine as well?

Dinner

Dinner is typically the star of the show on Valentine’s Day, but again, you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, so here’s an easy dinner you can put together quickly. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s basically a one-dish meal, so you don’t have to time a bunch of dishes and make sure they come out at the same time, and, you don’t have to do a lot of dishes. Plus, this recipe is vegan, so while you are showing love to your sweetie, you can show some love to the animals too!

Spinach Lasagna

½ pound of lasagna noodles
2 10-ounce packaged of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound of soft tofu
1 pound of firm tofu
1 tablespoon of sugar
¼ cup of soy milk
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons of salt
1 quart of tomato sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside
3. Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside
4. Place the two types of tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the spinach
5. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with a thin layer of the tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles. Follow with half of the tofu filling. Continue in the same order ending with a layer of noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes

And of course…you need dessert!

Dessert

You can always go with the classic, chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate and berries is a powerhouse combo. Besides tasting delicious, it’s a relatively healthy treat as well. Serve the berries as the prelude to another amazing chocolate dish:

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

1 ¼ pounds of silken tofu
¾ cup of semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1. In a blender, puree the tofu until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly.
2. Pour mousse into dessert bowls and let chill
3. Top with fresh berries

There you have it! A whole day of healthy Valentine’s Day recipes to get your appetite (and maybe your motor) running!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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breakfast, gluten free, recipes, vegan

Creamy Quinoa

If you’re looking for a gluten free, vegan, hearty, healthy, and delicious hot breakfast, look no further!

This fabulous recipe that will warm your belly on those chilly fall mornings.

I love that the recipe is so versatile. Add in peaches, blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries. Bananas and cinnamon one day, pumpkin puree the next! This recipe can be customized to meet your tastes.

Creamy Quinoa
1 cup of quinoa – make sure you rinse it really well
2 cups of water
1 cup coconut milk, or milk of your choice
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
Dash of salt
1 ½ cups blueberries, peaches, strawberries, or other fruit of your choice

1. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
3. Stir in milk, spices, and fruit; warm through.
4. Top with brown sugar, chopped pecans or walnuts, or hemp seeds, if desired.

That’s it! Quick, easy, and delicious!

If you make this recipe at home, leave a comment and let me know what you put in to make it your own.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Did you get your copy of Your Best Year Yet! October is all about cooking, so get your copy TODAY at http://www.amazon.com.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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recipes, Tofu, vegan

“Cheesy” Scrambled Tofu

As a vegan, I’ve found that one of the harder meals to navigate is breakfast.

Sure, there’s always a bagel, a smoothie, or some fruit, but sometimes, I want a savory dish for breakfast and I’ll get some vegan sausage, make some potatoes, etc.

But scrambled tofu has quickly become one of my favorite breakfast treats.

When you make your scrambled tofu, it comes out looking like scrambled eggs. I put turmeric in mine (I put turmeric in just about everything) and that also helps give the tofu that “eggy” look.

Recently, I kicked my tofu up a notch and added some vegan cheese. It was wonderful, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Enjoy!

“Cheesy” Scrambled Tofu

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 package of mushrooms, any kind
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
1 pound of extra-firm tofu, drained
1 package of vegan cheese, diced (I recently used Daiya cheddar cheese style)
½ cup of water

Mix up the following blend of spices:
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
½ teaspoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1. First, you have to drain your tofu. I take the tofu out of the pack and put it on a clean plate, then, I put another plate on top of the tofu. Then, to create pressure, I fill up my Brita pitcher and sit it on top of the top plate. About 15 minutes is all you need to squeeze out all the extra juice.
2. Mix your spice blend and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onions and garlic; cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the spice blend and mix well.
6. Add ½ cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the spices
7. Crumble the tofu into the pan. You don’t want to mush it all up; just crumble it into pieces.
8. Cook for 10 minutes.
9. Add the vegan cheese and cook another 5 minutes. If the tofu starts to stick to the pan, just add more water

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, comment below and let me know how you liked it. And if you want more recipes like this, hop on over to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com While you’re there, sign up for your free health consultation too!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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breakfast, recipes, vegan

Kasha Breakfast Pilaf

It’s getting cold here in Philadelphia. I had to turn my heat on last night. I really didn’t want to do it, but it was time.

Now that it’s getting cold, I look for warm breakfast options (the usual fruit doesn’t cut it in the cold months). But being a gluten-free vegan makes breakfast a tough meal to figure out. No eggs, no sausage, no pancakes, no waffles; what’s a girl to do?

I found this recipe a while back for kasha pilaf. It’s a great recipe because it’s gluten-free and vegan, however, my non-vegan friends can just add a fried egg on top if they choose.

It’s a hearty, substantial, stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast. I usually serve it with a side of vegan sausage. I also like mine a little spicier, so I’ll add a few dashes of hot sauce to give it some oomph.

Kasha is rich in protein and gluten-free and, it has an earthy flavor that I particularly enjoy around this time of year.

Enjoy!

Kasha Breakfast Pilaf

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound sliced mushrooms (you can pick any kind, but I like baby bellas)
2 medium red potatoes, cut into cubes
1 cup of kasha
2 cups of boiling water
½ teaspoon of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
¼ cup of fresh parsley
Dash of hot sauce (if you’re so inclined)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and saute until onion is soft, about 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes, stir, and saute about 2 minutes. Add kasha and stir.
3. Pour in boiling water, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Fluff your grains with a fork, stir in fresh parsley and serve hot.

I usually make a batch of kasha pilaf on Sunday morning and eat it for a few mornings during the week. It’s great on those busy mornings when I don’t have time to prepare anything.

Hope you enjoy it!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Have you gotten your copy of my new book yet? Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! is available now @ Amazon.com.

Ever wondered why most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions quickly, while a small—annoying!—group of people somehow manage to reach their goals? What’s their secret to success? Do they have more willpower? Are they more motivated? Did they sign some terrible deal while the rest of us toasted the new year?

The answers to those last three questions, in order, are no, no, and probably not. The secret to success is simple: those who achieve their goals make small changes instead of trying to change overnight. No one runs a marathon without first learning to walk.

In Your Best Year Yet!, Certified Health Coach Karen Ann Kennedy provides month-long action plans for the twelve most common New Year’s resolutions. Each plan includes activities, tips, and suggestions to help you slowly change your behavior and habits.

Why wait until January 1? Take the first steps toward your new life today!

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Uncategorized

Raspberry Smoothie

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This past weekend, I ran a Spring Detox Event. The highlight of the event was making smoothies for the group. It was fun to mix different combinations and give everyone a try. Each participant went home with a “smoothie starter kit” that had maca powder, ground flaxseed, cacao powder, and some recipes to get them started.

While we didn’t make this particular recipe at the seminar, it’s a really good one, and so I wanted to share it with all of you. This is a gluten-free, vegan, protein-packed smoothie that will really get your day started in a healthy way. Enjoy!

Raspberry Smoothie

5 ounces silken tofu

1 cup frozen raspberries (you can use strawberries instead, if you prefer)

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 TBSP honey (use brown rice syrup if you want to keep the recipe vegan)

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Blend and enjoy!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well!

And until next time, veg in….don’t veg out!

Want to be at the next great event? Don’t miss a thing! Hop on over to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and check out all the latest information. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter so you’ll always be in the know!

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Uncategorized

Smoothie Operator

Happy Fall, Everyone! No doubt everyone has heard of “spring cleaning,” but I like to also do a bit of “fall cleaning,”in fact, I did that to my home over this long holiday weekend. Now, I’m about to do the same thing for my body.

The beginning of a new season is a fabulous time to give your body a little cleansing and rebooting. Juicing is a great way to do this. Juicing gives your body lots of healthy nutrients, and, it’s a great breakfast alternative for those of you that have trouble eating a big meal first thing in the morning.

So, welcome to my second installment of juice and smoothie recipes. I hope you enjoy them! If you try any of them, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought.

Veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

V8
4 plum tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 small red or orange bell pepper
1/4 small red onion
1 cup of parsley
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Dash of salt (optional)
Run all ingredients though a juicer and enjoy. Don’t have a juicer? No problem. Throw everything in the blender and strain the juice before drinking.

Breakfast on the Move
Handful of fresh strawberries
Handful of fresh raspberries
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cut of milk of your choice
Ice
Blend and enjoy!

Kale, Pineapple, and Almond Smoothie
1 cup of almond milk
1 cup of kale
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of pineapple
1 banana
Ice
Blend and enjoy

Chocolate Covered Blueberry Shake
1 large handful of blueberries
1 cup of spinach
2 TBSP of almond butter, peanut butter, or nut butter of your choice
1 TBSP cacao
Dash of cinnamon
1 cup of water
Scoop of protein powder
Honey to taste
Blend and enjoy! WARNING…this smoothie is not an attractive color (think battleship grey)but I promise…the taste more than makes up for the funky look!

Vanilla Almond Shake
2 cups of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 TBSP of vanilla
1 TBSP of almond butter, peanut butter, or nut butter of your choice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
Honey to taste
Ice
Blend and enjoy!

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