Meatless Monday: Curry Harvest Soup

Curry Harvest Soup

Fall has fallen upon us, which means sweater, sweet potato, and soup season have all officially arrived! We love all three, especially that latter one, which we encourage you to add into your eat-clean-toolbox.

With the temps cooling down, it’s easy to slide away from light summer fare into heavier winter territory. However, jumbo sweaters are no excuse to add another layer to your diet or your tummy. Luckily with an arsenal of soup recipes on-hand, you can stay warm and satisfied without needing to take that path.

This particular recipe from our food blogging LifeVester Grace calls on an array of hearty harvest veggies to create a soup that’s both robust, yet light. That’s exactly the combination we recommend employing to stay slimming down and feeling good all throughout the season.

Perfect for both Meatless Monday and late October days when you want something a little warm and brothy, head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe.

Then, as you continue to add more soup recipes to your eat-clean-toolbox, please share them with us! We’re suckers for soup, and would love to hear what’s filling your bowl.


3 Fall Pumpkin Oatmeal Recipes

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

As summer officially comes to a close today, we’re bringing you a few pumpkin breakfast ideas to wakeup your autumn tastebuds. You’ll find all of the recipes below packed with both real pumpkin and oats, a favorite fall combination of ours. Both ingredients are filled with fiber, which means together, they’ll easily leave you feeling satisfied well into lunchtime. Studies show when you eat foods heavy on fiber, you can feel full on fewer calories. That’s clearly good for your waistline. Now, let’s make it good for your tastebuds, too, by creating a heavenly, pumpkin-pie-in-a-bowl meal.

Although similarly spiced, you can guarantee the following recipes are all better for your health than a slice of pie, but perhaps even creamier and certainly easier to create, too. From a warm, to a chocolatey, to a make-ahead option, you pick your choice. Then say hello to fall with a bright dose of orange on your spoon.

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Meatless Monday: Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

 

The LifeVest office has been eating well lately, and we want you to join in with us!

For our last company lunch, our food blogger and LifeVester Grace brought us these Tofu Banh Mi Collards Wraps. Banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, generally filled with some type of protein, and layered with cucumbers, cilantro, pickled carrots, and sometimes various other veggies. In its translation, the word “Banh mi” actually means loaf, or slice of bread, so generally, you’ll find all of those ingredients encompassed by an airy baguette. Grace’s version, however, is obviously a bit different — and healthier, too!

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Meatless Monday: Ratatouille with Summer Herb Corn

Summer ratatouille

When summer produce reaches its prime, we’re all about packing it all together in a bowl and calling it dinner. This naturally generates a meal that’s simple, healthy, and never fails to be full of flavor. Ratatouille is the classic definition of that.

A traditional French dish, ratatouille consists of vegetables stewed together so that their flavors meld. It’s generally composed of zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, onions and peppers, all items that meet together around the same month of the year in the garden. For today’s Meatless Monday version, our LifeVester Grace at FoodFitnessFreshAir calls upon one other summer veggie to add to that mix – corn – for a mildly sweet and crunchy topping.

As Grace says:

“When veggies are fresh and local, you really needn’t do much to them but put them together and let their flavors swim free. Ready in 45 minutes or less (depending on your grain choice), this recipe lends itself well to a weeknight meal that’ll leave you feeling great. Pair with a side of protein, or sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top and call it a meal.”

Gather up some veggies, choose a whole grain to pair with them, and then head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe and get cooking!


Meatless Monday: Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Summer Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Summer Sauce

Zucchini grows faster than your appetite does after an intense summer workout – and come August, there’s plenty of it. Gardener or not, now is the prime time to sneak this vitamin A filled veggie onto your dinner plate, and with it’s noodle-making abilities, it’ll be easy to do so.

Containing a mere 33 calories per medium zuke, the summer squash makes for the perfect pasta swap. Alas, a solution that lets you send a pile of pasta high onto your plate without feeling weighed down afterwards. All you need is a cheap julienne peeler and a few minutes of time. From our Meatless Monday columnist and food blogger Grace:

“You should find the julienne peeler rather easy to use. Simply place your zucchini on a flat surface, and slide its blade from one end to the other. Repeat until you get down to the end.”

With any leftover zucchini scraps from the process, Grace places those right into the blender with the avocado cream that tops this recipe. It lends a bit of decadence to this light and fresh, summer-in-a-bowl recipe. As Grace says:

“With a bowl full of the whole summer garden – sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs – this is a good place to start the zucchini noodle marathon that’s bound to follow. Here, you get a whole bunch of fresh ingredients to keep things light, but also a richness from the avocado that pulls it all together. For presentation purposes, keep it all separate like pictured [above]. But you’ll definitely want to give everything a good mixing with your fork before diving in.”

Head on over to FoodFitnessFreshAir for the recipe, and get ready for a Meatless Monday pasta party that’ll make you feel fresh.


8 recipes for a healthy pizza

Since 40+ million Americans eat pizza on any given day, we decided it’s time to turn one of the nation’s favorite junk foods into a meal with more merit. Your average slice packs in more fat, sodium and refined “bad” carbs than can ever be claimed healthy. Enter the deep dish arena and you run the risk of piling 770 calories onto your plate in just one slice. Yikes!

Luckily, pizza has the potential to be an award-winning meal if you power it up with the right ingredients and give its crust some care. In fact, it presents the perfect platform to load up on summer veggies, which you’ll see in many of the recipes included below. Let your mood and your meal help you choose which to try first!

8 recipes to power up your pizza:

Carrot and Kale Farm Pizza

Click here for recipes…


Meatless Monday: Toasted Wheat Berry and Summer Herb Salad

Toasted Wheat Berry and Summer Herb Salad

Here on the East Coast, there is a small window where cucumber season meets tomato season. In those few weeks, us East Coasters rejoice in veggie heaven. The two were meant to mingle, table-side, with a fine bottle of olive oil and vinegar.

Together, the duo brings more than just the joys of Christmas colors to a white bowl. They also present a slew of vitamins and nutrients. In fact, tomatoes are one of the healthiest veggies (or fruit, by the technical definition) you can bring to your table, and we can attribute much of this to the noteworthy nutrient explained below.

  • Loaded in lycopene: Tomatoes can thank lycopene for their beautiful red color, and we can thank lycopene for the cancer-fighting benefits it brings to our body. Lycopene is an antioxidant that lends yellow, red, and orange vegetables/fruits their colors, and has shown in studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (especially prostate, lung, and stomach cancers). As Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, explains, “The shape of the lycopene molecule makes it very effective in being able to quench free radicals. We don’t really understand it entirely yet, but lycopene may have specific properties that protect the cell in a way other antioxidants may not.”

Click here to read on…