Homemade Dark Chocolate in 3 Minutes

So I’m sitting here with a napping toddler writing some recipe substitution tips when it hits me: I could really use a bite of dark chocolate, and I don’t have any, I don’t have any chocolate chips, and I can’t run to the store. Serious Emergency!

But I have cocoa… and coconut oil… and maple syrup… and another wackadoodle recipe is born chez Reilly:

Emergency Dark Chocolate
Serves 10

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave…)
1/4 cup flax seeds, hemp seeds, or other seeds/ chopped nuts (optional)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, cocoa, and sweetener. Remove from heat and stir in seeds or chopped nuts if using. Pour into dish and spread thin. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. 

What do YOU do in this kind of emergency situation? xo

Making Raw Hemp Milk Couldn’t Be Easier – Video!

Raw Hemp Milk
Makes 4 cups

1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
4 cups filtered water

Blend, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add to smoothies, pudding, desserts, soups, or cereal. High in protein, fiber, and Omega-3’s. Yum!

 

What’s in My Pantry? Video!

Hi friends! Hope all you East coast Americans survived the blizzard with enough beans and rice to keep you going. Check out what’s in our pantry in the video below, and look forward to weekly videos this year from me. Put in the comments things you’d like me to video about — I love me some new ideas! Happy nonperishable fooding!

5 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions that Last

you got thisDid it get you again this year? Something like…  “THIS year is going to be my year! I’ll be at the gym every day, I’ll lose 20 pounds, I’ll do yoga at home, and I’ll start juicing daily because I’m ready to live this life!” Well cheers to that, resolution people!! Here are some tips to ensure that your magic number really IS 2016 and that this will hands-down be your golden, platinum and diamond year:

1. Make a list of why you are making healthy changes, and refer back to it every day. Aside from your doctor wanting you to get healthier, make a list of 10 reasons why eating healthier, exercising, and adopting healthier habits is on your New Year’s Resolution list. Do you want more energy? Better sleep? To fit into your old clothes? Or maybe you’re just tired of saying “I need to get healthier” and making excuses for why it’s not a good time. You’ll be surprised how great you feel after a few simple changes. And that feeling is often the motivation you need to keep going too!

2. Remove temptations. The best way to avoid overdoing it on high-fat, high-sugar foods that are going to hinder your New Year’s goals, is to remove all temptations. I like to call this the “Pantry Raid.” Throw out or donate foods that aren’t going to help you meet your goals and replace them with healthier options. Popcorn is a better option than chips or pretzels, dark chocolate squares are better than cookies or cakes, and low-calorie drinks like Honest Tea and seltzer water are better than sodas or juices.

3. Make changes slowly. Rather than going full speed out of the starting gate on January 1st with a juice cleanse, an intense exercise routine, and a detox from all the foods you love, make one simple change per week. This will increase your chances of actually sticking with that new healthy habit. For example:

Week 1: Drink more water. Try for 10 glasses every day. At first, you’ll be in the bathroom a lot. But then things will even out as your body gets used to the new, hydrated you.

Week 2: Eliminate fried foods. Try grilled, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and baked for lower calorie options when it comes to cooking. And, if you’re a fried food lover, treat yourself with something small at the end of the week.

Week 3: Walk 20 minutes every day. Go outside, or use a treadmill inside to get your 20 minutes done. You can even step up and down on a small stool while watching your favorite TV show. Just move those feet and get your heart rate up in a healthy way.

Week 4: Eat more veggies. Add a serving of raw or cooked veggies to lunch and dinner every day, and eat them as the first part of your meal. You may find that you’re less hungry for the more calorie-rich foods when you get your veggies “over with” first. And you may even start to crave them!

Week 5: Eat beans or lentils instead of meat one night per week. Meatless Mondays have gained a lot of momentum lately, and for good reason. Skipping meat usually means you’re eating more fiber, which fills you up faster and is great for portion control. And rather than replacing a burger with a meatless cheese lasagna (which may actually have MORE calories), try to replace the meat with a plant protein like black beans in a burrito, lentils in a stew or pasta sauce, or a veggie chili loaded with kidney beans and pinto beans. Keep this habit going to keep variety in your week.

4. Track your progress and celebrate every small victory. If losing 50 pounds is your goal, track your weight on a weekly basis and celebrate every ounce lost. Even if you don’t lose weight one week, look back on what progress you’ve made in other ways since the beginning of the year and congratulate yourself. Maybe you’re able to walk without getting out of breath for 10 minutes instead of 5. Celebrate that progress! Heck, celebrate every. single. minute! 

5. Talk about your New Year’s Resolutions. If your coworkers, friends, and family know that you’re working on new, healthy habits, they can motivate you and make sure you stay on track. If you keep your goals a secret, it’ll be harder to say no to the cookie tray that appears in your work area. And perhaps you can find a buddy who shares the same goals as you do. You can motivate each other and swap new, healthy recipes, go on walks together, and even initiate your own “biggest loser” competition if you want.

Keep in mind that any healthy change is an important one, and while change can be difficult, once you pass the magic 21 days, your habits will become more solidified. You’ve got this, people!

Breakfast Fast Food – 3 Ideas. Video!

Too busy in the morning to make breakfast? Try my 3 favorite simple concoctions to keep you energized all morning long.

Baked Oatmeal: https://bitchindietitian.com/2012/03/0…

Tofu Eggs in a Wrap: https://bitchindietitian.com/2015/03/1…

Everyday Green Smoothie
2 large leaves kale
1 banana
1 cup frozen fruit (such as mango or berries)
1 scoop vanilla Plantfusion protein powder (http://www.amazon.com/PlantFusion-Pro…)
12 oz water

Mason Jar Salads: Lunchin’ Munchin’ for Smart People

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So I’m a little late to the party, but figured maybe some of you haven’t even gotten on the subway yet!? BuzzFeed posted these 18 great mason jar salads back in December, and not only are they pure genius, but they’re nice to look at, easy to make, store, and transport, and they are all about Operation: Fit Into Last Summer’s Clothes.

But what I love more than any of those things is that you can make your week’s worth of lunches in about TWENTY minutes! What’s 20 minutes? That’s about how long I spend trying to figure out why I just walked into the dining room. I could be making salads!

So, what you do:

It’s Sunday. Line up five 24-ounce mason jars, grab a bunch of ingredients, a cutting board and a knife, and get all assembly line-up in the kitchen. Everybody clear OUT! The salad belt has been turned on. Stuff your jars in this order:

Start with Dressing: Either something bottled (like TJ’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette) or 2 T rice vinegar plus 1 T olive oil plus 1/2 tsp salt.

Next, fill with Protein: Tofu cubes, beans, tempeh cubes, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and shelled edamame beans are some of my favorites. They’ll marinate in the dressing. Genius again!

Next up, Chunky Veggies and/or Grains: These are ones that can afford to get a little juicy with dressing: Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, jicama (is that a veggie?), corn… and quinoa, wild rice, pasta, roasted potatoes…

And Finally: Greens and herbs. Spinach, kale, mesclun, basil, dill, cilantro…

Optional Salad Toppers: Croutons, cranberries, sunflower seeds, those Asian noodle thingies. Not necessary, but oh so good.

Stick those 5 pieces of gloriousness in the fridge and take one each day for lunch (or have for dinner if that’s where healthy food prep time is at a minimum). Either shake it while IN the jar, or if it’s too jam-packed, empty the contents into a bowl and toss to coat dressing. No more excuses people!

What’s YOUR favorite salad stack?

Eggless Eggs Still on the Menu

Even with news of chicken eggs back on the cool list, Eggless Eggs are still a family favorite, a hometown staple, and a great way to enter into tofu addiction — no matter if they’re stuffed into a burrito, alongside toast, or eaten solo by the Paleos. Make a big batch on the weekend and choose your method of delivery on the day of. To breakfast! (Or dinner!)

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs
Makes 4 servings
Prep and cooking time 20 minutes

Searching for scrambled eggs without all the fat and cholesterol? Take this creation out for a spin, and you’ll find yourself singing its praises from the hilltops. Serve with fresh fruit and toasted 100% Whole Grain Fiber Bread. Compared to a 2-egg omelet, a serving of Eggless Eggs has 150 fewer calories, 11 fewer grams of fat, 450 fewer milligrams of cholesterol, and 2 more grams of fiber. Eggs never tasted so good.

1 (15-oz) block extra firm tofu
2 tsp olive oil
1 green onion, or 1 Tbsp diced onion
½ red bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
½ green bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
1 medium carrot, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric (optional, makes the “eggs” yellow)
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1 Press Tofu: Place 6 paper towels on the counter. Drain tofu from package. Place block of tofu on the paper towels. Place a cutting board or baking sheet on top of tofu. Place 2 or 3 cans of beans or similar weight on top of the cutting board, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. This process gets excess water out of the tofu, allowing it space to soak in other incredible flavors.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté veggies, spices, and salt until tender, about 5 minutes.

3 Crumble tofu into the skillet; continue to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4 Serve warm topped with black pepper and hot sauce if desired.

5 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per serving: 161 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 298 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15.5 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 54% vitamin C, 19.5% calcium, 13.5% iron

Now and Later Veggie Curry (Slow-Cooker / Freezer Meal)

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Now and Later Veggie Curry Ready for the Freezer

I posted 4 years ago (!!) about slow cooking, and I’m finally starting to have a love-love relationship with it. I have to admit, for quite a while, my crockpot did nothing other than look down on me and laugh from its prime real estate space the pantry. Now, it is pure LOVE, especially with the discovery of Little House on the Prairie-style freezer meals. So what if they didn’t have freezers on the prairie? I can still wear my apron and bonnet and call it homestead survival.

So here is my latest. I make a double batch: One goes in the crockpot for that night’s dinner, and the other compilation gets thrown in the freezer. The freezer concoction can be taken out and thawed in the fridge overnight and then tossed into the crockpot in the morning. 2 dinners, 1 dinner-prep cleanup, and lots of telecommute cooking.

Now and Later Veggie Curry
Serves 6

1 block extra firm tofu, diced
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen greens

15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cup water
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional, makes it quite spicy)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 onion, diced (optional, sometimes I skip this b/c I don’t have onions or time to chop)

Add all ingredients to crockpot and/or freezer container.* For the crockpot meal, cook on “low” for 3 hours. Thaw freezer meal in fridge overnight before crockpotting. Serve over rice or with whole grain bread.

*Sometimes I take the extra step and combine the tomato sauce, milk, water, spices, and agave in a bowl, and stir through–or even use a mixer–and then pour it over the chunky ingredients. I poured it over the tofu and beans, and then added the peas and greens in the picture above.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 213 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 13 g protein, 74% vitamin A, 36% vitamin C, 60% manganese, 17% folate, 12% calcium, 17% iron, 20% phosphorous, 11% zinc, 15% selenium, 22% magnesium.

What’s YOUR favorite freezer meal?

Breakfast Detox Soup

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Day 6! That happened fast, right?

I confess that I just could NOT drink a cold smoothie today. I went for a 15-degree walk this morning and the last thing I wanted when I came back inside was a freezing cold green smoothie to further numbify my feet and hands. Ice statue just wasn’t on my morning agenda.

So, I pulled some ingredients out of the fridge and made this Detox Soup instead. Dare I say it was better than a hot cup of coffee? Clearly the Detox is morphing my mentals!

Detox Soup
Serves 4

2 cups filtered water
1 cube vegetable bouillon
5 basil leaves, torn
2 cups chopped kale
5 carrots, scrubbed, unpeeled, chopped
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup crushed tomatoes (from a can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper

Bring all ingredients to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Good morning, warm sunshine!

Detox Day 2: The Hummus Understudy

Lentil Pate

You survived Day 1 and most of Day 2! You are rockin’ this detox like it’s your job! Your reward is a new recipe, or a reminder of a recipe. As much as you love the award-winning vegetable delivery vehicle of 2004, once in a while it’s sure nice to have an alternative. So, here it is from Skinny Dish. A pâté so zesty and brown (pâté is supposed to be brown, people), that it will have you saying ooh la la in no time! Shmear it on large veggie slices or rice crackers while detoxing.

Lentil Pâté
Makes 10 (¼-cup) servings
Prep time 10 minutes

Spread this tangy pâté on Sesame Melba Rounds, toasted baguette slices, or pipe it into hollowed-out cherry tomatoes or steamed and hollowed-out Brussels sprouts. It even works well as a sandwich spread. Heck, eat it right off the spoon for breakfast. You only live once!

1 (17.6-oz) pkg refrigerated Steamed Lentils, or 2 ½ cups cooked lentils
5 cloves garlic, peeled
12 large pitted black olives
3 Tbsp capers, with juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

1 In a food processor or powerful blender, process all ingredients together until combination is a smooth paste (some chunks may remain).

2 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per ¼-cup serving: 81.5 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 301.5 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4.5 g protein, 0.5% vitamin A, 3.5% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 11.5% iron

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