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New Recipe! Best Ever Lasagna! Easy, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Healthy!

New Recipe – Sneak Peek Recipe from the upcoming Healthy Family Healthy You Book!

2014-10-19 21.31.28

Best Ever Lasagna! Vegan, Gluten-Free, Easy, Healthy. No Fake Cheese!

I made this dish last week for a Succos lunch. One of my guests, a friend’s daughter, is wheat-free and hates vegetables. I was sure this recipe would be my best bet. However, even I was surprised and thrilled when she and my other meat-loving guests couldn’t get enough of it (The vegetarians loved it too!). This lasagna was such a hit, I could have easily made two pans. My friend asked for the recipe so she could make it for her kids. I did teasingly say, “Buy the book.” Of course I was just kidding. I wouldn’t dream of making her – or you – wait!

I apologize for my lack of pictures. I was too crazed before yuntof to remember to take them!

Here’s the recipe!

Best Ever Lasagna

Ingredients

1 yellow onion

½ cup water

4 cups frozen spinach1 box

(12-14 oz) frozen butternut squash puree

1 package organic silken tofu (1 1b)

1 jar marinara sauce

A few sprigs of thyme

Shake of garlic powder and Italian seasoning

Brown rice lasagna noodles

1 jar (16 oz) roasted red peppers

¾-1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/8 cup nutritional yeast

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 13 x 9 lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook yellow onion on stove top in half a cup of water until the onion is soft and the water is gone.

Place spinach and squash into glass pie plate and defrost in the microwave (I used the “vegetable” setting).

Place tofu into pie plate with defrosted vegetables. Add thyme, garlic powder and Italian seasoning and mix thoroughly.

Place one layer of noodles in pan, followed by half of the vegetable and tofu mix. Cover with half the bottle of marinara sauce.

Place another layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with the rest of the vegetable tofu mix[sel1]  and the rest of the marinara sauce.

Place another layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with roasted red peppers (cut open and flatten if still whole), then panko bread crumbs and nutritional yeast.

Cook for 1 hour, uncovered.

Serves 6-8

I look forward to your feedback!

 

Yummy, Healthy Breakfast Recipes!

This week, (see last week’s yuntov tips!), I’m giving you two easy, but hearty, breakfast recipes.

You can also make the Tofu Scramble if it’s just your family eating a light dinner one night. This is an alternative to scrambled eggs and adds a number of vegetables and nutrients (and skips any high fat cheeses you might be tempted to include in an omelet).

20 minute Tofu Scramble (or 10 minutes if you have leftover cooked veggies in your fridge!)

Tofu Scramble

Serves 4

Ingredients

(As always, feel free to adjust the recipe based on what you have in your house and the vegetables your family prefers. If you have cooked vegetables already in your fridge, simply warm them in the pan before adding the tofu and spices.)

1/2 white or yellow onion

1 9 oz package sliced mushrooms

1 green pepper

1 orange pepper

1 1b extra firm tofu

2 Tb nutritional yeast

As many shakes of Turmeric as it takes to make the tofu yellow, like scrambled eggs.

Tasha’s Tip: Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer food – and natural food coloring! But careful because it can stain surfaces.

A few shakes of garlic powder, black pepper and salt, to taste.

1/2 cup black beans

tofu scramble 1

Directions

Cook onions on medium heat in 1/4 cup of water until softened. (Add more water as it evaporates until all the vegetables are softened). Add peppers and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released their juices.

Crumble the tofu into the pan. Add the nutritional yeast and spices and mix well over the medium heat. When the tofu is yellow and the spices incorporated, add canned or cooked black beans. Warm for another minute and serve.

 

Pomegranate Mueslix (Oatmeal)

Serves 1 hungry adult or 2 hungry kids

Ingredients

½ cup quick oats

¼ cup Pomegranate juice (approximate measurement)

1 teaspoon flax meal

Blueberry craisins or dried blueberries

Dash of vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1 diced banana

1 grated honey crisp apple (use a box grater)

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

 

Directions

Reconstitute dried craisins/blueberries in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Place quick oats in a separate bowl. Pour enough juice to wet the oats and mix (You can also do this step the night before and put the bowl in the fridge overnight. If you do this overnight, you can and should use regular old fashioned oats, as they are less processed). Add rest of ingredients, including dried fruit and mix everything together. You’re done!

 

 

 

 

The Recipe for Preventing (& Reversing) Holiday Weight Gain

Preventing Holiday Weight Gain! You can do it!

3 mistakes and 3 solutions

Last week I wrote about staying healthy during Rosh Hashanah. Those tips apply to all holiday, high, low, Jewish or not. The tips I gave you last week will certainly help, but we all know that it can be hard to control our circumstances, especially when eating out or traveling. I was away for Rosh Hashanah and not cooking my own food. I did the best I could, but I could have done better. Of course it was a good learning experience for the future.

The truth is, I didn’t gain weight over yuntov (that’s yiddush for holidays). However, I didn’t feel good about how I ate. I talked to the chef ahead of time to discuss providing vegan options for me, but I didn’t really know what I was going to get for each meal. Turns out there was something for me to eat at each meal, but many times it was just a few vegetables.

Menu planner

Here are the common mistakes I made and you may be making too:

1. Because I didn’t know what or how much I would have to eat at the next meal, and I often had few choices, I ate too much of what I could eat. I was in a feast or famine mode. I had snacks in my room so I really didn’t need to have that attitude. This is a reminder that much of hunger and the desire to eat is mental, not physical. Focus on the abundance of what you can eat, not what you can’t eat. I was definitely focused on not having enough and consequently wanted more.

2. Dinners were served at their appropriate times, but those times were  late at night. Because I hadn’t eaten much for about 7 hours at that point, I was hungry so I did need to eat and eating late makes me feel like crap – and isn’t good for anyone’s weight. If I’d been home, I could have eaten a proper dinner much earlier and simply had kiddush (blessing over wine) and motzi ablessing over bread) after shul (synagogue).

3. My other suggestions for late dinners is to eat soup and salad. I could have done that once or twice. However, because everyone else around me was eating a 6 course meal (and I had to wait for the 5th course to just get my plate of vegetables), I wanted to eat more than I needed or would probably want to if I were at home. Again, it’s all mental!

The following tips will help you maintain your weight and health in between festive moments. 

1. HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. You don’t have to exercise every day and you don’t have to exercise very long to see great results. Recent studies have shown that HIIT is much more efficient than exercising at a steady pace for a long period of time. One popular version is called the Tabata Method. In four minutes you can do 8 cycles of 1 exercise. Go as hard as you can (running, lifting weights, etc.) for 20 seconds and then recover for 10 seconds. I have some examples on my Pinterest page. You can pick four  different exercises and do a full workout in 16 minutes.  You only have to do this a few days per week. Certainly exercise as much as you can using this method. However, every cycle you complete will make a large impact on your fitness levels.

2. Intermittent Fasting is all the rage these days and for a reason. Again, there are various methods, but the easiest one is to fast for a period of time each day. Another option is to eat normally 5 days per week and then keep your calories to about 600 on two fasting days per week. The easiest method of intermittent fasting is what I try to do (and it works!). Keep your eating to only 6-10 hours per day. Most people would find it difficult to keep their eating to only 12 hours per day. I remember being in a cleanse workshop where everyone was unnerved at the suggestion of stopping all food intake each day at approximately 7pm – or whenever it would give us a full 12 hour rest from additional food.  Time off from digesting new food allows your body to burn more of its fat stores. In addition, if you know you can eat without unreasonable restrictions when you do eat, it’s easier to stick to this regimen than trying to “diet” all the time.

Here are some examples for how you might progress to this. (You can also go cold turkey in between this year’s three day yuntovs! You’ll love the results!)

Step 1: Eat 7am to 7pm. Don’t eat 7pm to 7am. (12 hour fast. 12 hours eating.)

Step 2: Eat 8am to 6pm. Don’t eat 6pm to 8am. (14 hour fast. 10 hours eating.)

Step 3: Eat 8:30am to 5:30pm. Don’t eat from 5:30pm to 8:30am. (15 hour fast. 9 hours eating.)

Step 4: Eat 9am to 5pm. Don’t eat from 5pm to 9am (16 hour fast. 8 hours eating.)

If you want to go down to the minimum of 6 hours eating per day, more power to you. I can’t do that! But I can do the 9-5 method. However, I do have to tell you that after getting out of that routine for so many days during my recent travels, it has been hard to get back into. I’ve had to ease back into it, which surprised me.

3. Decide what the right recipe is for you and write it down: 3 workouts per week, plus 10 hours per day eating, minus animal products = a great plan to get you on the way to your health and fitness goals!

 

 

 

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