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This Chocolate Chia Pudding is made with only 5 ingredients! It’s healthy, high fibre, absolutely delicious and a filling breakfast option! It’s also great for meal prep!

I’ve been making chia puddings so long that I can’t even remember the first time I made one. It’s one of my favourite go-to breakfasts, especially on a busy morning (hello meal prep) so it’s crazy that I haven’t made way more versions for the blog! Anyway, since we are getting back into meal prepping more often at home, you’ll definitely be seeing way more chia puddings and way more meal prep options.

What are chia seeds?

Maybe chia seeds are one of your favourite ingredients, or maybe you’ve never used them. Let me pull an extract from one of my blog posts where I explained often confusing vegan ingredients,

Chia seeds are a tiny seed that mean “strength” in Mayan, and I’m assuming it’s because the chia seed gives you lots of energy. They are tiny black seeds that get gelatinous when they absorb water, similar to flax seeds, and are loaded with fibre. You can use chia seeds in a multitude of ways – in your water to add fibre to your daily diet, as a great egg replacement too and really anywhere you want more protein and fibre. Due to their high fibre content, they help to keep you really full – which is why I like to sprinkle them over fruits or in overnight oats.  They’re also high in omega 3’s so you can enjoy them daily! I’ve even added them to a jam to replace pectin (since they get so gel-like).

Consequently, chia puddings are puddings made typically with chia seeds, a liquid, a sweetener and an optional topping or spice. They are thick, pudding like in texture, and very easy to make. For this version, I opted for a Chocolate Chia Pudding because well, I love chocolate, and it tastes like having dessert for breakfast!

How to make chia pudding

Making chia pudding is so simple. I’ll explain how to make this one. Firstly, I like to mix the chia seeds with the cocoa powder and stir with a fork. Then I pour in the almond milk, the maple syrup and the sea salt and whisk thoroughly until everything is combined. I let it sit for five minutes, then I stir again. Something about this second stir really ensures that all the chia seeds are properly incorporated. Then I let the fridge do its magic. The chia seeds absorb the liquid, create a thick and gelatinous texture. What results is pure heaven. Delicious, thick, creamy and so filling.

Meal prepping chia pudding 

If you’re looking for an incredibly quick breakfast option, this chocolate chia pudding is IT. Since they take between 5 and 10 minutes of prep, you could easily make chia puddings for the entire week all at once. We love to meal prep chia puddings because of the ease, how filling it is, and because it’s one of the few breakfasts that will last you the entire week in the fridge without a change in taste. Plus, you could also make this for a healthy low carb dessert!

Here’s how I meal prep chia puddings. I usually line up like 5 (or however amount I’m meal prepping) jars. I love using Weck Jars and mason jars for this, plus they look so neat lined up in your fridge. Then I will make the below recipe “5 times”, or make it 5x in a large bowl, then divide it up. It’s honestly up to you. I find the first way easier so I don’t have a bowl to clean up, and if you’re tracking macros or calories then you know you have an even amount in each. See all the nutritional information below in the recipe!

Tips for making chia pudding  

Woohoo, tip time! Here are some super simple tips:

  • Make sure you have fresh chia seeds! If your chia seeds don’t begin to absorb liquid by the 5 minute stir time, then they’ve probably gone bad. 
  • Feel free to up your liquid amounts or your chia seed amounts. This chia seed to liquid ratio makes for a nice and thick pudding, but you can add more if you want or more liquid if you want yours slightly thinner.
  • While this chia pudding is ready in 4 hours, I would let it sit overnight. Overnight chia pudding REALLY is the best kind. All the flavours have melded together, and your pudding is at the best consistency.
  • This chia pudding clocks in at 16.3 net carbs, making it low carb (almost all of those net carbs are from the maple syrup), but you could make these even lower carb or keto by swapping the maple syrup for a sweetener alternative like stevia drops. This recipe is VERY customisable to your needs.
  • Remember that you can easily double or triple this recipe. I just did it at a single serving since that’s how I usually have it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe so much friends! Eat up!

The post Chocolate Chia Pudding (5 Ingredients, Vegan, Low Carb) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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This Tempeh Stir Fry with Peanut Ginger Sauce is done in 35 minutes & perfect for a weeknight meal! A great meal prep option, and so delicious! 

The first time Gav and I made tempeh he took one bite and “ew, no.” He didn’t like the taste, the texture or the smell. I’m laughing right this because I remember the moment so clear that it took us months to buy tempeh again. As it turns out, we had tried a very – how do I say – “natural” chickpea tempeh. Spoiler alert: don’t buy chickpea tempeh if it’s your first time trying tempeh. After buying regular tempeh and giving it a good marinade, he was 100% in. And tempeh was officially welcome in our household. 

What is tempeh? 

Tempeh is often misunderstood. Think of tempeh as tofu’s fermented cousin. Both made from soybeans, tempeh is made through a process fermentation process of soaking the soybeans. It means it’s less processed and has a lot of nutrients. It’s also pretty high in fibre. I go into full detail here but long story short: I love tempeh as a vegan protein option. You just have to know how to use it. 

Because of the texture of tempeh, it really soaks up flavour and gets beautifully crisp on the outside while staying soft on the inside. I was really feeling for some tempeh so I asked Gav to pick up some at the supermarket. While I was originally going to just make a tempeh version of my Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry in Sweet Ginger Sauce, an idea popped into my head – why not in peanut ginger sauce?

I love a great peanut sauce. I’ve used it with Fresh Spring Rolls, an Asian Noodle Salad and even with a Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad. It’s creamy, umami packed, salty and high in protein and fat. Hello flavour town. Toss crispy tempeh that immediately soaks up this flavour into that sauce and some broccoli and carrot and you have a divine 35 minute stir fry. The peanut ginger sauce gets nice and thick and really coats the tempeh too, creating a rich flavour all around. Trust me, you’re going to want to give this one a try soon. 

What to serve with stir fry

I served this tempeh stir fry up with some seasoned cauliflower rice, and man, I forgot how much I love cauliflower rice! I’m not a big fan of rice (unless we are talking about sushi and fried rice), so even when Gav and I were dating, I would always get noodles with my lunch from our favourite Asian restaurant. After a few years I felt myself not wanting noodles as much, so I would gravitate to rice. Except I had to really soak them in sauce to give them some flavour. I love that with cauliflower rice I can really season it up and that it’s made so quickly! Plus, it’s also low carb and lots of nutrients. You can check out my cauliflower rice recipe here.

Tips for making this Tempeh Stir Fry with Peanut Ginger Sauce
  1. Crisp up the tempeh really well in the first stage. This will help it’s texture when the sauce is mixed in, and give it a great overall texture.
  2. Cut up your veggies to around the same size throughout. So carrots should be the same size julienned all around, and same for broccoli. That way they will all get cooked through evenly and you’ll still get a nice bite.
  3. When reheating, I enjoyed reheating this on the stove top over the microwave since it really gave the tempeh back that nice crispness.
Is this Tempeh Stir Fry Low Carb?

Since you know I’m having fun experimenting with lower carb meals, this dish comes in at 8.6 net carbs which is so crazy to me. Add some cauliflower rice on the side and you have a perfect filling meal. I thought maybe this serving five would be too small a portion at first, but thanks to the peanut and the protein in the tempeh, I was so full after my meal. Of course, if you need more – just have more! I hope you enjoy this dish friends! Eat up!

The post Tempeh Stir Fry with Peanut Ginger Sauce (Vegan) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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Here are 25 Delicious, Filling & Nutritious Low Carb Vegan Recipes!! Each is below 20g net carbs and I explain what low carb is and why you may want to try it!!

I am so excited to be doing this roundup because YOU guys asked for it. If you read my last OOTK, then you know that I’ve switched diets! My main diet now is more of a higher fat, lower carb way of eating!! I explained it all in the post but long story short, it’s really changed my life for the better.

If you want me to do a longer low carb blog post about low carb in general let me know!

What is low carb?

A low carb meal is a meal that is lower in carbs – pretty straight forward but not really. For most low carb diets (and I don’t mean diet like crash diet but rather way of life), instead of just “lowering carbs” you also want to focus on lowering simple carbs that are high in sugar, and focus more on carbs that are complex carbs and those that have great amounts of fibre.

The standard “recommendation” for carbs is 300g a day. This lifestyle left my sluggish, tired and with high anxiety. Generally a low carb diet means eating 100g to 150g per day. I tend to stay below 100g on most days, sometimes carb cycling up to 150g on some days (maybe twice a week) to switch it up so I don’t get bored and my body doesn’t get used to it.

What is a low carb meal? How many carbs are in a low carb meal?

There is no specific definition of what a low carb meal is, but if we are aiming for 100g a day, then I believe it’s safe to say that a low carb is 20g of carbs or believe for a full serving. I’ve done a lot of research and bought a few low carb books and that seems to be the general consensus all across. With that in mind, there are so many amazing options that open up!

When choosing low carb meals, I like to ensure they have a good amount of healthy fats. The point isn’t to deprive our body or carbs, but to instead to give it another fuel source which would be our healthy fats. I promise, a healthy fats blog post is coming! Even better, a lot of these options include good fibre.

Usually on a lower carb way of eating you want to focus on fibre too. Carbs – fibre = net carbs which are the carbs you want to focus on when doing a lower carb diet since fibre is basically “all good” and doesn’t cause any insulin spikes. So for example, while some foods do have carbs (sweet potato) the fibre amount really balances it out, allowing you to still enjoy your favourite complex carbs. I never want my vegan diet to be restrictive in good for me things, so this is excellent!

While I didn’t make all of these recipes with high fat in mind, I will add notes in the notes section of all of them to indicate how to ramp up healthy fats in these recipes!

Why low carb?

There are several reasons why you might go low carb. Maybe you’re trying to break your simple carb addiction, or it’s for your health or your doctor recommended it. Like I said I went into my reasons in my last post!

How do you do low carb vegan?

It’s a lot easier than I thought! I already had quite a few recipes that focused on protein and fat, and so were lower in carbs, or just lower in carbs in general. You’ll see a trend below of cauliflower, coconut milk and very veggie centric meals. So really the key seems to be to, focus on veggies and filling healthy fats to supplement your meals. I want to stress that while some of these meals are coincidentally keto, I am NOT keto nor doing keto, so that really does give me a lot more leeway too.

Okay – on to the recipes!

25 Low Carb Vegan Recipes (Mouthwatering)

Vegan Quiche Muffins with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Cauliflower Pizza Bites

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Easy Vegan Quiche (without the crust)

Zucchini Fritters

Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Healthy Kale Cabbage Slaw

Creamy Vegan Avocado Dressing

Cauliflower Rice

Baked Carrot Fries with Harissa Tahini Dip

Quick Pickled Cabbage

Lemon Garlic Grilled Zucchini

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi Masala)

Thai Green Curry

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Vegan Butter Chicken

Vegan Ackee and Saltfish

Slow Cooker Tofu Butter Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese

Easy Southwestern Tofu Scramble (without the taco shells)

Vegan Coconut Curry Soup (without the noodles/with less noodles)

BONUS SECTION – Sauces/Additions

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Basil Pesto

Homemade Roasted Tomato Garlic Sauce

The post 25 Vegan Low Carb Recipes (Mouthwatering) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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Get ready for a new kind of steak! These Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Steaks are beautifully roasted, tender and insanely flavourful! They’re also low carb!

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been brought forward due to the new interest in low carb recipes!

Before I even go into this recipe, are you seeing those golden caramelised edges?  Can you say – perfection? That’s exactly what I thought when I pulled these out of the oven. I’ve been on a cauliflower kick for quite a while which is funny since before I became a vegetarian I had NEVER given cauliflower a second thought.   After trying it, I realised it was an amazing and versatile ingredient and have so many recipes I want to share with you. P.S. I have an entire roundup up of Creative Cauliflower Recipes to give a try! For right now though, I need to share with you just how much I enjoyed these cauliflower steaks. It was so quick, so easy and so beautifully unique. Ready to dive in with me?

I don’t need to say much about these cauliflower steaks. They make a great main dish but also work as a side dish for smaller cauliflower heads. They would have been delicious just roasted, but the za’atar spice mix completely transformed them. Za’atar is a magical Middle Eastern herb mix made of ground sumac, roasted sesame seeds a variety of green herbs. It has a slightly lemon-y taste and taste amazing in olive oil, on coconut yogurt, in hummus…and on basically anything. I got my first taste at a Lebanese lunch restaurant where I became a daily regular. I asked how they made the za’atar mix and to my surprise they gave me a free container’s worth!!!

Needless to say I savoured every teaspoon. Since then, I came back from my trip to Israel with a giant jar of homemade za’atar that we’ve been dutifully using. You can buy za’atar pretty much anywhere now and the best varieties in your local international aisles/stores. mix. Adding za’a’tar plus searing the cauliflower before roasting is what transforms this recipe. It gives the outside a great texture that enhances everything.

Topped with the chimichurri it adds an EXPLOSION of flavour. I know, I sound uber excited, but I can’t help it. I love transforming a veggie but still keeping it’s integrity!! Does that make me a veggie geek? I think it does. So yeah, I’ll be sitting over here in my veggie geek corner, snacking on cauliflower, putting za’atar on everything. Just give me some Netflix and a blanket and I’m good for the night.


 If you try these Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen!

The post Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Steaks (Vegan, Low Carb) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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Happy May, friends and I’m back with another Out of the Kitchen post! A lot has happened since my last life update, which was on my birthday. It was difficult trying to figure out what to name this post, since I go into even more here. Either way, this is a positive post, because I have been doing so much better than I have been in years. This story is so much more than just changing my diet, it’s about changing my life. Friends, this is a long one! I’ll also be saving all of this information in a video so you can watch it also. I do want to start by saying that this is a difficult post to write since it’s my life, so I would appreciate love & kindness (especially since I may make a typo. I’ve cried while writing this post because it brings up so many emotions. I am sharing this because I HOPE it helps someone else, too.

A week ago I shared that I had finally “fixed my sleep” on Instagram and I got an overwhelming amount of you guys saying “HOW?!”. While I was going to just casually share it, that response made me realise that this needed to be addressed in an entire post. The answer is simple: I listened to my body, finally, and it rewarded me with low anxiety, high energy, and amazing sleep. I’m hoping that what I’m sharing will help you or someone in your life who might be going through something similar. Let’s get into it.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

As you guys may or may not know, I became vegetarian in April/May 2014 officially (hence why Jessica in the Kitchen started!). Then I became vegan early last year. Over that time I have seen tremendous strides in my health, which I credit to the lifestyle. But then, a few things happened. I began to have pretty bad sleep, so much so that I just became used to it. I got really into Jessica in the Kitchen and spent pretty much all of my time growing my brand. Then, I gained weight, had energy fluctuations and because I work so late, I would eat late pretty often.

All in all, I kind of got used to this way of living. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you put everything above your own health, without even realising it. It’s not until I’m typing this now that I’ve ever really acknowledged it. I was working 90% of the time, eating whatever was convenient and having poor sleep. I stopped taking care of myself. Now, the funny thing is that I wasn’t eating fast food or drinking soda or any typical “habits”.

Pretty tired of feeling this way, in January I put on my goal list to “meal prep at least three salads a week” “30 minutes of exercise, starting with 3 times a week” and “have some greens daily” and I just left those there. Little did I know that was my body’s way of screaming at me for help.

I began to have daily headaches, complaining to my mom about then, and I was feeling weak pretty much all the time and faint-ish. I was having endless panic attacks, first one a week, then up to so many a week that I was just crying all the time. Now, I haven’t had panic attacks in about 5 years, for context. All in all, I wasn’t feeling like Jessica. If you read my word of the year blog post then you know that my word is SEEK, and that I have SEEKING in so many ways already and ready for even more.

BREAKING POINT (Literally)

Then I broke my foot, again. It felt like the worst possible timing, and I definitely had a lot to say about it. I began to accept it as a part of my path. Long story short – there is a strong possibility, no, guarantee, that breaking my leg was a direct part of my SEEK path. As I found out a few weeks later, breaking my leg basically saved my life.

When I started doing physiotherapy for my leg, my physiotherapist took my blood pressure. Now I’ve always had 110/80, it’s like my standard for years. My blood pressure that day was 179/90. We both looked at each other and noted that something must have been off. I told her that earlier that day I spilled water all over my laptop and had yet another panic attack, and was wondering if that had raised it. She said likely but not that high. We took it again and it was about 154/83 . This was unbelievable for me but we proceeded with the session.

A week later we did it again and it was now 149/80+. Friends. These are hypertensive measurements. I called my doctor who was in the loop and long story short, I went on anti-anxiety medication that would also lower my blood pressure. This was really a wake up call for me, as I wondered when did I get so wrapped up in work that I had forgotten to take care of me, Jessica. We got the medication and that night, as I was falling asleep I heard a voice “check your multivitamins“. I fell asleep and woke up and it was the very first thing on my mind.

You see, I had started a new multivitamin in early January of this year, the same month I began getting those daily headaches, weak feelings and more. I checked my vitamins and noted the super high Vitamin D levels. To be honest, I didn’t think much of it until I began to Google search “vitamin D in vitamins and high blood pressure”. Forums of women were talking about how their new vitamins had spiked their blood pressure levels. I began to freak out, yet feel relieved at the same time. I decided to stop taking my vitamins that same day. We bought a blood pressure machine later that night and took my pressure. It was a perfect 120/80. Just like that – in 24 hours. No dietary changes, nothing. Just removed my vitamins.

I noticed that my headaches and weak feelings had also stopped by the next day. As it turns out, the high blood pressure was causing these things. It was a relief to know that it went away immediately, and that I wasn’t actually hypertensive, but also terrifying. I had felt all those symptoms, for months, and did nothing. I kept working, kept staying up late, kept crying, and kept going. I’m going to say this here. Do not expect anyone to take care of your body except you. Sure you can have loved ones who will try and help, BUT if you feel like something is wrong, only YOU can decide to check it out. As someone who hasn’t been to a doctor’s office in years, if I didn’t break my leg, I would’ve never known what was going on.

Needless to say, this led to an immediate decision: I need to take care of Jessica, and now. If I don’t do it, who will? No more endless late nights, no more “career first”, no more. Knowing that I could’ve had a stroke at such a young age kicked me immediately into gear.

THEN…CHANGING MY DIET

I noticed last year when in Israel that I was moving daily, eating lots of food and I came home and lost weight. My anxiety was almost at naught, I slept ridiculously well and I had energy all day. We were all puzzled. I mean, I ate. I didn’t know it then, but now I do: I was essentially eating a lower carb, higher fat diet.

I’ve been taught that a “high carb, low fat” diet is a good thing. Avoid fats, focus on good carbs, and you’ll be fine! Except along the way my sweet tooth kicked in. Plus my love of veggie burgers meant lots of burger buns. Cue lots of vegan desserts (good grief, the best kind!), enjoying my many grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade pizzas, and waffles and pancakes for breakfasts. Yes, all my recipes are on the healthier side,  and there’s nothing wrong with any of the above. Many people thrive on a higher carb lifestyle. I was not. For my body and my anxiety, this amount of carbs wasn’t giving me the energy I needed. The funny thing is, I’ve never had an issue with overeating. In fact when I began to track my diets I realised I was coming short of my calories every single day.

I came across a YouTuber’s page  who shares similar mental issues as myself and I was intrigued. As far as I’m concerned, she’s a God-sent for me. She shared her fitness journey and how eating a “higher fat, lower carb” diet helped her anxiety a lot. I did tons of reading and research and decided to give it a go. This was my menu-ish for my experimental week:

First, lettuce leaf tacos. Delicious, filling and I felt light but full. I whipped up some chia puddings for meal prep and my next dish was a tofu salad with lots of my homemade harissa tahini dressing. It was my first salad since before my birthday (a month earlier) and it tasted great. The next day I had a gluten free veggie burger, za’atar cauliflower and a salad for lunch. That same day I dropped my crutch and said enough is enough, I’m ready to walk (with the approval of my physiotherapist of course). That night for dinner I had a bit of quinoa, baked tofu, lots of spinach, and a half of an avocado sprinkled with sesame seed with some high fat, good protein vegan cheese. I felt, different. Energised. I forgot about my anxiety – it was no longer haunting my every thought. That night I slept – ALL NIGHT. I was convinced.

So, I changed my diet. Yes I’m still 100% vegan, in fact I’m now also incredibly plant based! I switched my diet to a lower carb, higher fat diet. This in combination with intermittent fasting has ridiculously, incomprehensibly changed my life. Now I have essentially switched my fuel source for energy from carbs to healthy fats. I have way more avocado, flax seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts than I ever have. I may actually finish my bag of chia seeds before they expire! My sleep has been really great. My energy levels have skyrocketed. No drops throughout the day. No eating a lot of white carbs and lots of sugar first thing in the morning then crashing around 4pm, only to hit my second wind at 9pm and keep going. It’s shocking to me how much my body positively adapted in only three weeks so far.

Now, I tried vegan keto for a week and while it was too restrictive for me, it was a great starter week. It really boosted me into recognising just how GREAT I could feel to be ALIVE! I will still be eating my sweet potatoes, and my organic homemade popcorn and my quinoa, but also far more vegetables too. I have had way more kale and broccoli and lettuce and mushrooms and all the other amazing veggies than I have my entire time being vegetarian and vegan. Wow I mean, it’s like I got a new view on life.  Even better, a new lease on life. Funny enough too, everything is sweeter. We’ve had to decrease the sugar in my matcha because it was tasting too sweet for me. I’ve started to just have my matcha with my protein powder on workout days. I feel like Jessica again.

INTERMITTENT FASTING

While I would rather go into this in a separate post after a few months so I can share this I better detail, intermittent fasting is now a daily part of my life. The late night eating was severely affecting my sleep apparently (as I learned going out late with friends one night in the middle of this and the difference that made to sleep). It has helped to curb my sweet tooth severely, and has helped so much with my gratitude and just recognising my blessings. Long story short for me: don’t eat right before bed. Let your body rest, refuel and focus on giving you a great sleep. I love what Elsa’s Wholesome Life writes about intermittent fasting if you want to read about it now.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES & MOVING FORWARD

All of the above has led to one more major thing: I’ve started back exercise. That’s an update for a few months down the line, but when I say I have my life back, I really mean it. Although I take a rest day, every day I move. I do cardio I love, and I lift weights. I am recognising this amazing body and the strength it is equipped with, daily. My foot is still healing but it no longer bothers me. Instead I am happy every time, because it reminds me that this is why I am here.

TL:DR: If you want a quick summary on this entire post, I:

  • Switched from a high carb, lower fat life to a higher fat, lower carb life. It’s helped my mood, to quiet my anxiety incredibly, and help me to focus on my life. Before, I used to get so many scary thoughts: I haven’t had one since I started to do this just a few weeks ago. I check my macros now which has made eating so much easier, and ensure it’s fats and protein, then carbs. I rely on complex carbs now and haven’t had a simple carb since I’ve started doing this. This doesn’t mean I’ll never have fries again, but I’m focusing on listening to my body and my gut and feeding it accordingly.
  • I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for about three weeks now, more specifically 16:8 (although it tends to be 18:6 for me most days).
  • I’ve made exercise a part of my daily life again, for the first time since undergrad university.
  • I fixed my sleep by properly fuelling my body with what it needed, and creating an eating window that doesn’t come close to my sleep time.

I am so grateful for my work ethic that allowed me to grow a business to 100% sustain Gavin and I. It is an incredible blessing. That being said, I’m ready to enjoy my last two years of my 20’s. Of course I know my life will only get better after 30, but I’m ready now. I have decided to cut back on my blog schedule. Believe it or not, I wanted to share this with you guys in January but I was too afraid! I’ll now be posting twice a week. This also means even higher quality content – I can’t wait to share!

No, I don’t plan to make every single recipe high fat low carb on Jessica in the Kitchen from now on. I will be incorporating a lot more of them now though, since that’s how I’m trying to eat in general. They’ll still all be delicious, vegan and healthy and focus on health and nourishment. I know a lot of you have been asking for more recipes like this, so I can’t wait to help you with that! Here are some of my current favourites:

Vegan Quiche Muffins with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Cauliflower Pizza Bites

Creamy Mushroom Soup

CONCLUSION

In conclusion..haha. Seriously though, I hope that me sharing has really helped to inspire you to live your very best life. A life with balance. A life with gratitude. We are growing every single day and we should recognise that in our own lives. Also, remember to always take care of yourself. Love you all and thank you for reading! If you have any questions let me know below!

The post OOTK: CHANGING My Diet, Fixing My Sleep + Intermittent Fasting (Life Update) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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Arancini are delicious fried rice balls! They are stuffed with warm gooey vegan mozzarella and served with a mouthwatering arrabbiata sauce & perfect for appetisers! There’s also an option to make them in your air fryer! 

If you’re like me then when you hear “fried rice balls” you run to see where you can sign up. Arancini, or fried risotto balls or fried rice balls are just as indulgent and delectable as they sound. You’re taking your home cooked, creamy and comforting risotto that’s already perfect – I made it here if you want to check it out. Then you let it sit for about a few hours until cooled, but preferably overnight. It really marries when sitting overnight. Then you scoop that, roll it in breadcrumbs and fry it. But it gets BETTER. You also stuff these magical risotto balls with CHEESE. THEN you fry it. Uh, who thought of this? Thank you for existing.  

You guys know we don’t fry things very often, but when we do I would rather use an oil that I know can handle the heat and that I can use on a regular basis. This is where Thrive Algae Oil steps in. If you’re a regular at JITK then you already know my love for Thrive Algae Oil. I’ve been using this Oil for over a year now. Not only is it now my go to oil for any use it’s also Gavin’s. Be that sautéing, pan frying, baking, salad dressings and now deep frying. Yes – with a smoke point of up to 485° it can handle that heat too. Is there anything Thrive can’t do? 

If you’re new here let me tell you some more about Thrive Algae Oil. Made from algae that was originally sourced from the sap of a Chestnut tree (not from water like other algae), Thrive contains the highest level of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) (AKA the good stuff like in avocado!) of all cooking oils. That makes it one of the best oils for maintaining heart health. Plus it has a light, neutral taste so you never have to sacrifice deliciousness for nutrition. If you want even more proof you can head on over to their Amazon page, where you’ll see so many people falling in love and agreeing that it’s one of the best oils they’ve used for all kinds of cooking and mixing. I know for sure it has been for me. 

Although we usually go straight to Amazon when it’s time to order another bottle, you can also find Thrive Algae Oil in major supermarkets like Walmart and Target!! 

Anyway friends, be sure to give these Arancini a try. They pair so well with arrabbiata sauce, which is essentially a spicy marinara sauce. I love scooping some onto my Arancini while they are still hot and that cheese pull is still ever present. I’ve linked to them in the recipe but if you can’t wait here they are. These Arancini are perfect for Italian night at home, appetisers and pretty much any occasion. Put them on your list and make them! 

If you don’t want to fry them, NO PROBLEM. I also included an air fryer option YAY! Finally, right? I’m happy to say these babies are super tasty in the air fryer. I just drizzle and/or use a silicone brush to brush the Thrive Algae Oil all over my risotto balls then air fryer. Let’s be honest, if they are 10/10 deep fried they are 8/10 air fried, but they are still certainly delicious and means you can still give them a try. Eat up and enjoy friends! 

The post Vegan Arancini – Fried Rice Balls (Air Fryer Option!) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce is about to be your new favourite tomato sauce! It has only 8 ingredients, so much incredible depth in flavour and is so versatile! 

Arrabbiata. Arrabbiata. *tries again* Arrabbiata Sauce! Despite the fact that I’m still struggling to pronounce this sauce properly, I can’t stop saying it. If you’ve never heard of Arrabbiata Sauce you’re in for a treat. I’m talking possibly best tomato sauce of your life treat.

If you’ve heard the story of me going to Italy already, bear with me. I’ve been to Italy twice now, and I loved it both times. It’s as if you’ve never tasted tomatoes like you’ve tasted them in Italy. On pizza, in pasta, as a dip – tomato rules. This sauce is no exception and the second I found out about it I knew I had to give it a try. Although I’m an avid lover of marinara sauce, sometimes I like something with more depth. More layers of flavour. More spice! That’s where Arrabbiata Sauce steps in. 
 
 
Arrabbiata means “angry”, which speaks to the spice of this sauce. Traditionally it’s made with dried chilli peppers. For the sake of ease and the fact that our dried chilli peppers were just finished, I used fresh red pepper flakes. I’ve scoured the traditional Italian sites and this was an accepted and suitable replacement. Apart from the pepper flakes, I tried to keep everything else as traditional as possible, and based the technique loosely off of my homemade tomato sauce. So what’s the main difference between Arrabbiata sauce and marinara sauce? To me – it’s the spiciness, the depth and the cooking techniques. Otherwise you could easily use Arrabbiata sauce anywhere you would usually use marinara sauce.
 
This sauce is very very easy to make. First, to pull out flavour and extra spice, I used a technique I’ve seen Gav do quite a few times. I sautéed the red pepper flakes in the oil. Not only does it pull out all the flavours, it creates a beautiful red oil that I want to use in SO many dishes now! Add in the seasonings then sauté. Then the tomatoes and the simmering takes care of the rest for you. That’s it, then you eat! 
 
 
What you get is Arrabbiata Sauce. Delightfully spicy (you could reduce the red pepper flakes a bit if you want only mildly spicy), divinely delicious and so versatile. One of the things that I love about this sauce is that after you make it, you can use it so many ways. We used the sauce as a dip for our Arancini. Gav made a bolognese with it and his homemade walnut meat that I couldn’t stop eating. We’re definitely putting it all over pasta. This recipe makes a lot, but we’ve already gone through over half of it in a few days. 
 
 
I hope you try this sauce and enjoy it, friends! 

The post Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce (Easy & Vegan) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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This Creamy Mushroom Risotto is the ultimate comfort dish! It’s so much easier than it seems. Vegan, gluten free, hearty & straight forward – you’ll be making this divine meal very often! 

The scene is Paris, France, 2015, in the 4th arrondissement. Sitting outside a cafe, fresh off the plane, I have my first Parisian dish: Risotto aux champignons de Paris et ses copeaux de parmesan. In all it’s creamy delicious, Mushroom risotto from Paris with parmesan. One bite and I’ve declared it that I’ve fallen in love with Paris. In fact, I’m in Paris with my love, my newly wed husband, on our honeymoon, sitting in a hat in a cafe with French music floating through the air and a server who happily tops up my wine after ever sip. I’ve also fallen in love with the word champignons and make mushroom a new favourite ingredient of mine. This is bliss.

Fast forward 4 years and I am finally remaking this dish. How has it taken me this long to make Creamy Mushroom Risotto, you ask? Intimidation. Although I have successfully remade other dishes we had on that trip, risotto seemed daunting. Haunting, almost. Then I finally bit the bullet and decided to have a go at it. I’m pretty sure 4 years of endless blogging has prepared me for this moment because after one attempt it comes out: incredible. After some adjustments and lots of creamy divine forkfuls, the final attempt reveals it all: perfection. Risotto is perfection. Except, it’s not. It’s a beautiful, temperamental, sometime-ish dish that you can’t just follow a direct recipe for. It’s not a script; it goes with the flow of life and that’s what makes it perfection.

All poetic wording aside: here’s what I learned from making this Creamy Mushroom Risotto. Risotto is not as hard as it seems. Risotto however, is a dish that requires a lot of love, time and patience. Give it that and it’ll reward you with the best rice/pasta-y/creamy dish you’ve ever had. The technique for risotto is simple: saute seasonings, add rice, warm. Add wine, absorb. Then add warm broth ladle by ladle, letting the rice absorb each ladle before adding another. Finish with a dollop of high quality vegan butter, vegan parmesan and lemon or lime juice. Stir, then finish. It’s a technique that takes a solid 20-25 minutes over the stove. But with a fun show on, or some Italian or even classical music playing, it becomes something more. It becomes an act of love. Risotto is love. 

This Creamy Mushroom Risotto will love you right back. Risotto is an Italian rice dish that uses rice (I used arborio rice, the most popular risotto rice) that is cooked in broth until creamy and delicious. But it’s also so much more than that. One bite, and you’ll understand. I added vegan butter caramelised  mushrooms on top and had it with a glass of wine. Yes, it’s a “treat yourself” meal. It’s naturally gluten free and I highly recommend using a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. You’re going to want to also use an amazing broth. With such few ingredients, quality is key. 

I hope you enjoy this delicious Mushroom Risotto, friends! I have two more Italian recipes coming your way: Arancini  (Fried Rice/Risotto Balls). Great for “leftovers” although we never had leftovers. I had to make a batch just for Arancini, and it was entirely worth it. I also have my new favourite version of an Italian sauce coming your way: Arrabbiata Sauce! Perfect for dipping or scooping onto the arancini, then devouring. Bon appetite!

The post Creamy Mushroom Risotto (Vegan +GF) appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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 Here are my 25 Favourite Vegan Easter Recipes! From breakfast to dinners to desserts, there’s something for everyone! These are all gluten free too!
 

Here we are again – it’s Easter time! Every time this time of year reaches I think – how is it mid April already? I feel like 2019 might be the fastest year yet. However, I think it’s because we moved houses, and wow, does that absorb time. Or it could be because I broke my leg and felt like time wasn’t stopping for me (update: it’s healed and I’m walking slowly by shortly)! 

Anyhow, I’m ready for Easter with these recipes! Since we’re vegan over here, I focused more on a carrot heavy theme and on vegan “egg” eggless recipes. Yes, I was that kid whose childhood involved many an Easter egg hunt, decorating hats, and all the things that kids do during Easter season. Then when I grew up, my Jamaican heritage was a major part of Easter. School goes on midterm break, and we eat copious amounts of fish and bun and cheese. I’ve explained this before, but bun and cheese is basically a spiced sweet bun and it’s served with cheese in the middle. Some people love it plain, but some like myself and my dad with lots of fruit or raisins in it.  Here’s a picture for reference: here. I love bun and cheese. Then I found out recently that most of them are vegan! Note, not healthy in the least, but definitely great for a once in a while treat. For the fish part, I included my favourite vegan “fish” recipes! Trust me, one bite and you’ll get it. Now I can have my fishless tacos, my bun and vegan cheese, and of course, all the other treats in this roundup.   
 
For this roundup, I did a mix of everything you could possibly need for your Easter celebrations. Breakfasts, lunch, sides, dinners, and desserts! I also kept a general spring theme here.
25 Favourite Vegan Easter Recipes Easy Vegan Quiche

Vegan Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Strawberry Panzanella Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Baked Carrot Fries with Harissa Tahini Dip

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Wondering what to do with that head of cauliflower in your fridge or freezer? Here are 10 Vegan Cauliflower Recipes to Help You Get Creative in the Kitchen that are all different, unique, and delicious! From tacos to pizza bites to whole meals, everything you need is here!

After seeing how well my 15 Easy Ways To Use A Can of Chickpeas post did, I knew I had to share another version with one of my all time favourite vegetables – cauliflower! 
 
It took me a while to love cauliflower. At first we wouldn’t even buy it. That was all until I tried “vegan wings” aka cauliflower wings. It completely changed my perspective of the vegetable. Cauliflower is one of my most versatile vegetables you’ll find. It’s also one of the easiest to manipulate and one of the most forgiving. You can have it raw, roast it, steam it, mash it, bake it, fry it – even use it in a pizza dough!! Seriously, if you overcook your cauliflower, just use it in a mashed or blended recipe. You could have it every single day for a whole month and never got bored. It’s that diverse. 
 

What is cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it’s a part of the same family as broccoli, kale and cabbage. Cauliflower can be enjoyed raw, perfect for a crudités platter, or cooked in many forms. I’m sharing all the ways I’ve used cauliflower on the blog so far. These ways are all so unique and with one bite of any of them, you’ll want to try them all. If you’re really not a cauliflower lover I recommend the orange cauliflower bites first. The flavour will blow you away, and it’s baked. A whole head of cauliflower bites for dinner? Yes please. Enjoy friends! 

10 Creative Ways to Use Cauliflower in the Kitchen 1. Make vegan wings Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings

Cauliflower Wings/Cauliflower Bites was the recipe idea that totally changed how I looked at cauliflower. My first version, a vegetarian cheesy buffalo wings became one of my first superstar recipes way back in January 2014. Two years later I made my Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings (still a top 3 JITK recipe every single day) and it’s just expanded from there! Cauliflower wings or vegan wings are coated, baked (or sometimes fried) and are basically my favourite meatless wings. They have a crunchy exterior with a soft, chewy interior. They absorb any flavour that you give them and taste absolutely incredible.

Other examples of cauliflower vegan wings/bites:

Sweet & Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites

Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

2. As a crunchy taco filling Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Crema

This just may be the homemade taco of your dreams. It’s like crunchy cauliflower wings…in a taco…with a divine slaw…topped with a creamy sauce. I mean, can you say heaven?

3. Rice it into a low carb rice How to make Cauliflower Rice

This reminds me so much of rice it’s insane. Admittedly I’m not a rice connoisseur, but if you’re looking for a tasty low carb rice alternative, this will definitely do the trick. You can even use it for cauliflower fried “rice”.

4. Blend them into a creamy soup Roasted Cauliflower Soup

This is one of the most loved soups on Jessica in the Kitchen. It gets a lot of remarks shocked that there’s no heavy cream in there. When blended, the cauliflower is rich and creamy and it makes the perfect guilt-free comfort soup.

5. Roast them into veggie steaks Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

These cauliflower steaks have such a beautiful presentation, flavour, texture and are pretty easy to make. That perfect sear makes all the difference. If you want to impress someone with an easy meal, this is the one for you.

6. Make them into burgers Vegan Quinoa Cauliflower Burgers

Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?! Cauliflower here adds texture and makes these burgers easy to whip up and so tasty.

7. Fry them into meatballs Buffalo Quinoa Cauliflower Vegan Meatballs

This is one of my favourite cauliflower inventions to date. The “meatball” base can be used in any sauce that you desire, and is so easy to make several batches of.

8. Turn them into a cheesy casserole Cheesy Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

An oldie but goodie, this casserole is an amazing way to use up leftover cauliflower! Because it’s so soft and “meaty” when baked, it works so well in this casserole.

9. Bake them into kid friendly pizza bites Cauliflower Pizza Bites

Kid friendly alert! These pizza bites are a pizza lovers dreams come true! It’s low carb, meal preppable and craving satisfying.

10. Make it into a cauliflower curry Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi Masala)

After trying a similar curry at my favourite Indian restaurant, I knew I had to replicate it, with cauliflower this time. The cauliflower soaks up so much incredible flavour here and makes such a warming and filling and inviting curry!

Commonly asked Cauliflower Questions, Answered

Q: Can cauliflower be frozen?

A: Yes! Not only can you freeze it, you can freeze every single one of these recipes too! You can even swap frozen cauliflower for fresh in many cases. Just let it thaw properly overnight in your fridge, or boil it and drain it. For the cauliflower wings, you’ll want to bake them for about 15 minutes first to dry out the excess water, pat dry thoroughly, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

I hope you found this post extremely helpful! What recipe do you want to make first? What’s your favourite cauliflower recipe? Let me know in the comments section below!

The post 10 Vegan Cauliflower Recipes to Help You Get Creative in the Kitchen appeared first on Jessica In The Kitchen.

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