Banana Chickpea Energy Bars

Yes, more beans! Many people assume that vegans/vegetarians are wimpy, protein deficient sissies. This just isn’t the case. With so many different varieties to choose from, I never tire of legumes. We particularly love chickpeas at our house. With 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving, these guys are money.
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Black Bean Brownies

There’s no way around it, I LOVE CHOCOLATE. It is truly one of my weaknesses. Fortunately, veganism does not mean you have to give it up, just be more discerning about what kind and in what form you are eating it. These brownies, adapted from allrecipes.com, are not only gooey and chocolaty, they are jam packed full of fiber, protein, and omega 3’s—making them ideal for a not-so-sinful treat.
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Rosemary Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Dressing

This is one of our favorite dishes. It is especially delectable in the colder months—we probably eat it a few times a week during the winter. It’s filling, healthy, and easy. It’s a great way to use up the veggies in your fridge that are on the cusp of becoming inedible. To my demise, I don’t have access to butternut in Korea so I substitute with pumpkin and it’s delicious. Don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe and try different types of veggies, squash, and potatoes.


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A Salad a Day Keeps the Doctor Away–MJ’s formula

“A salad a day keeps the doctor away” is one my food mottos. In our home, we dedicate at least one meal a day to a mondo salad filled with delicious high nutrient foods. When people ask me for nutritional advice and I tell them they should eat a huge salad for lunch or dinner, I often hear, “Salad just doesn’t fill me up.” MJ’s salads aren’t your ordinary salads. By using nutrient dense ingredients your body will be satisfied and energized. Be warned: these salads are not for sissies.

Last Nights Salad: lots of greens, dried nori, carrots, green peppers, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, apple slices, raisins, almonds, olives, hemp seed oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.


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The Easiest Bread You’ll Ever Make!

Part-Whole Wheat Chia Bread

When I first arrived in Korea, I may or may not have had a little break down over the lack of edible bread. I knew it was coming, as I’d read many threads about expats in Korea scouting for bread. They all said the same thing: the bread here sucks. And they were right. Once I got over my pouting stage and moved on to solving my bread problem, I felt like super woman. Those of you who read Mj and a Sea of Stories may recall the night Ibrought an oven home on the subway, all by myself. That very night I was busy baking.
Since coming to Korea, I’ve only purchased bread once—some “rye” bread from Costco that turned out to be not so rye-y—total disappointment. The rest of our bread consumption has been different variations of this VERY simple recipe. I was first introduced to the recipe by the mother of one of the children I nannied for last year. She got it from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Of course, I modified it to add some extra goodness (taste and health).

This recipe makes about 4 loaves of bread. The idea is that you make the dough, store it inthe fridge, and then rip off a chunk when you want to bake it. The book claims it saves for up to 2 weeks but I say more like 10 days. Again, this is the easiest thing in the world and your friends will think you’re AMAZING.

The Basic Recipe:

  • 6 ½ cups flour (I go for half whole wheat, half unbleached white flour. Sometimes I use all whole wheat or mix it up with some rye flour)
  • 3 cups luke warm water
  • 1 ½ Tbls yeast
  • 1 ½ Tbls kosher salt (or whatever is available)
  • Cornmeal—to keep the dough from sticking to the board and pizza stone/pan

 

Directions:

  • Stir yeast and salt into water
  •  Pour in flour and mix well with a wooden spoon—no need to kneed (pun intended)
  •  Cover mixing container with a towel or a lid—not air tight and let rise for about 2hours.
  •  Once dough has doubled in size, dust with flour and cut off a chuck (about grapefruitsize isusually good).
  • Form into a ball and place it on a cornmeal covered surface (pizza peal is you haveone)
  •  Let sit for about 40-60 minutes. During this time preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If youhave a pizza stone, it should be in the oven preheating as well. This will ensure that the  bread is getting heat from all directions.
  •  When your ready to bake it, dust the loaf with flour and cut slashes into the bread using a serrated knife.
  • Pop that sucker in the oven along with a small oven safe dish containing water (this will make the crust nice and crispy).
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes
  •  Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
  •  Store the extra dough in the refrigerator for in a covered food safe container.
  •  Make sure to share!

 

Variations

There are a million different variations so don’t limit yourself! Here are some of our favorites:

  • chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • olives
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • rosemary and olive oil

When I’m ready to bake a loaf of bread, I simply cut off the size I want, flatten it a bit on a floured surface and add in the desired goodies. Then I fold the dough over itself and work it with my hands until the add-ins are spread somewhat evenly throughout the dough. Then start from step 6 and proceed as normal.


Apple Raisin Granola

I LOVE granola but most store bought varieties aren’t vegan, are high in refined sugar, and have preservatives that my body just doesn’t need. This recipe was adapted from Brendan Braizer’s book, Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. I think the title says it all. This granola is chalk full of healthy omega-3s, fiber, and plant based protein. It’s sure to leave you feeling satisfied and energized for your day.

Ingredients:
  • 1 apple, diced (I used granny smith but choose what suits you)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1/3 cup diced almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds (or hemp protein powder)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup hemp oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (Brendan uses Molasses, not easily accessible in Seoul)
  • 2 Tbsp apple juice
  • squirt of agave nectar
Directions:
  • Pre heat oven to 250 F
  • Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix them up
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and blend
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix, mix, mix
  • Lightly oil a cooking sheet (I use coconut oil)
  • Spread mixture on sheet
  • Bake for about 1 hr, stirring every once in a while
  • Remove from oven, break up with a spoon or fork, let cool
  • Keeps in refrigerator for about 2 weeks (but good luck making it last that long)
I usually eat this dry as a snack in the afternoon but it also makes for a great energy packed breakfast. Top it with your favorite fruit and serve with soy, almond, or hemp milk.
Happy eating!