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In previous posts I’ve advocated for prepared vegetables like mushrooms and kale make your quickest [and holy moly delicious] recipes possible.  This vegan kale and mushroom taco does just that!  It also highlights the main ingredient in taco seasoning– chili powder, while ditching the rest of the salty packet (major sodium savings).  Here’s how it goes: Total time: ~30 minutes Servings: ~4 servings   Ingredients: 10 oz (~2 ½ cups) pre-washed, sliced mushrooms 2 cups chopped kale leaves 1- 15 oz can low-sodium or organic black beans, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon plant based oil (e.g.: olive or grapeseed oil) ½ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 4 small corn tortillas (3-4 inches) 1 avocado, sliced Directions: Heat a medium sauce pan over medium high heat with tablespoon of oil. Add mushrooms and kale leaves sauté on medium heat for ~8 minutes until kale is softened and mushrooms are cooked through. Add black beans along with salt, pepper, teaspoon chili powder and garlic powder; cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile heat 2 corn tortillas per person in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until softened. Fill tortillas with the taco filling, top with avocado and optional toppings as desired. Fold over and enjoy! Pro Tip: Top with cilantro and lime for extra fresh toppings.
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My childhood consisted of juicy beef kabobs almost every Sunday, whether from our backyard’s grill or the neighborhood Persian restaurant.  Unfortunately, my NYC apartment does not have access to a charcoal grill, but a grill pan– YES! Add some extra-lean meat and savory ingredients (some traditional Persian flavors, some not) and an indoor kabob is on.  Here’s how it goes– Prep time: 15 minutes                            Cook Time: 15 minutes                            Total Time: ~30 minutes Servings: ~4-5 Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef 1 small onion, finely diced or grated 1/2 jalapeno, minced (remove seeds for more mild kabob) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 table spoon canola, or other plant based oil Directions: Add all ingredients except the oil to a large bowl; combine with clean hands until ingredients are well distributed (you can also let this kabob meat marinate for 1-2 hours, or overnight to enhance flavors) Form the meat into mini kabobs, about 1/3 cup each Heat a grill pan or large skillet to medium high heat Coat a grill pan (or skillet) with the oil, until it is glistening Cook kabobs for 5-6 minutes on both sides until they are brown in the center
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Pre-washed, ready-to-eat veggies, like kale, carrots, or sliced mushrooms, are the biggest time saver of all time.  This recipe intentionally uses ingredients that require no washing and minimal prep.  The sesame lime dressing is tangy and savory and tastes good all week long. Hello, meal prep.  Basic, yes! But seriously, who doesn’t love an easy kale salad! Total time: ~20 minutes Servings: ~4 servings   Ingredients: For the Salad: 4 cups pre-washed and chopped kale 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts 1 avocado, diced 4 steamed vacuum packed beets, diced For the dressing: Juice of 1 lime 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon honey Directions: Toss together in a large salad bowl– all of the prepped salad ingredients In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the salad dressing, until well combined Drizzle salad dressing over the salad and toss to combine Pro Tip: Keep the salad in an airtight container for 4 days to maintain freshness!
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Current state: I’m basking in all new things- a new husband, new apartment, new Le Creuset and almost as important is a new Chana Masala recipe (maybe don’t share that part with my new husband, ah!).  While everything has seemed to change in the last two weeks (did I say #blessings?), I’m advocating for the same rockin’ plant based proteins, but in a whole new way. We can chat about 101 reasons why we should all incorporate plant based proteins in our diets (swapping plant based proteins for animal proteins can promote heart health and weight management, all while boosting nutrient intake- like fiber and potentially disease fighting phytonutrients). While that’s all great, here’s why you’ll actually love this recipe- 1- Building this meal in one pot makes this recipe super easy to cook and makes clean up a breeze 2- Using canned beans, which are already par-cooked, helps cook up this meal in about 45 min 3- You will impress your husband, friends, neighbors, booty calls, old and new, with this seemingly exotic dish Side note, other plant based proteins you can swap for animal proteins are… beans, nuts, seeds, whole soy foods like edamame and tofu, peas and lentils. Ready to whip up this recipe? Let’s go! The Acrobat’s Chana Masala Total time: ~45 minutes Servings: ~6 servings Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced (or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder as a time saver) 1 inch ginger, minced (optional) 2 teaspoons prepared curry powder 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (look for low sodium or inherently low sodium organic chickpeas; check the label and aim for less than 150 mg, ideally more than 100) 1 28-oz can low-sodium crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup water 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed in microwave 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) Directions: Heat a large pot (ie: dutch oven) over medium-high heat; add olive oil, onions and garlic; sautee for 5 minutes until onions begin to brown Sprinkle in curry powder and black pepper; combine with onions and garlic until onions and garlic are coated with spices and curry fragrance intensifies (about 2 minutes) Add to the pot- chickpeas, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water and spinach; mix to combine and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for ~20 minutes until sauce thickens Season with salt, if needed *Ideas for serving: serve 1 cup Chana Masala over 1/2 cup brown rice or over 1 cup roasted cauliflower!
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  Join me for a summer hangout, online!  Do you have a burning nutrition question, want to learn more about nutrition counseling or just want to say “hey”?  Chat it to me honey!  Here is the 411 below:   Time: Wednesday, July 25 2018 Place: Google Hangouts How to Sign Up: Shoot me an email at daniela@acrobatnutrition.com with your gmail address and I’ll take it from there   In the meantime, contact me with any questions using the email above and I can’t wait to hang with you!
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