myfavouritelunches

Zain’s Wonderland Salad

I don’t even know how to name this beast.  I created it on a whim and have been eating it every single day since.  It’s like, 6pm comes and I go slightly mad and the only thing that seems to appease me is this incredible salad.

This is the best salad I think I’ve ever made.

Juicy, sweet strawberries, buttery avocado & walnuts are just the beginning.  As you go deeper, you will discover grilled crimini mushrooms, organic goat’s cheese, chargrilled zucchini AND poached sablefish.

I know, right?

Ingredients:

2.5 oz Wild Sablefish (poached in water) OR 70g Non-GMO Tofu (vegan)

1 Tsp Raw Unpasteurized Honey (only if using fish)

3 Cups Organic Spinach

1/2 Cup Strawberries Sliced

11/2 Cups Organic Crimini Mushrooms

1 Small Organic Zucchini sliced

1/2 Cup Organic Cucumber

1/2 Cup Organic Grape Tomatoes

1/4 Organic Red Onion

1 Tbsp Organic Walnuts

1oz Organic Avocado

1oz Organic Low-Fat Goat’s Cheese (optional)

Handful of Alfalfa Sprouts

Splash of Braggs

Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Dressing:

1 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I use Balsamic Fig Vinegar)

2 Tsp Walnut Oil

1/16 Tsp Stevia OR 1 Tsp Raw Unpasteurized Honey (I use stevia)

1/2 Tbsp Unsweetened Strawberry Jam

Directions:

1. Poach Sablefish for 5-7 minutes in boiling water and pour 1 tsp of honey over top, set aside.

2. In a non-stick saucepan, grill zucchini, mushrooms, red onion and walnuts in a pan with a splash of Braggs.

3. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dressing and mix well.

4. Assemble all remaining ingredients on your plate, toss with a bit of dressing and then add the grilled veg and sablefish to top.  Mix well and add the remaining dressing. 

*Note: I cannot be held responsible for your addiction to this salad.  za

Zain’s Homemade Vegan Pumpkin Soup

It really feels like autumn in my home after a trip to the pumpkin patch and my first autumnesque recipe.  This one is an oldie but oh such a goodie and is delicious served as a soup or over a bed of wild rice or quinoa.

So fire up the oven and get your sugar pumpkins roasting because this soup will fill you with all of the warmth and coziness of the season.

Ingredients

3 Cups Sugar Pumpkin (roasted) OR BPA-Free Organic Canned

1 Yam (roasted or boiled & peeled)

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

2 Cups Organic Sodium-Free OR Homemade Vegetable Broth

1/2 Cup BPA-Free Organic Low-Fat Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp Coconut Butter

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1” Fresh Ginger (minced)

1/2 Onion (sliced)

1/2 - 1 Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Curry Powder

Dash of Braggs

Himalayan Crystal Salt & Ground Pepper To Taste

Directions:

1. If roasting pumpkin and yam, preheat oven to 400F and roast until soft.

2. Melt coconut butter in a pan and sautee onions, garlic & ginger.

3. In a blender or Vitamix, puree all ingredients until smooth and heat in a saucepan if you require.  Top with fresh herbs, pumpkin seeds, coconut cream, slivered almonds etc.

***You may also add all ingredients to your crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours then blend :D

Yam Kale & Poached Egg & Feta Winter Salad

Toss:
1 cup mixed greens
1 cup purple kale (steamed)
1/2 yam (cubed)
1/2 cup teff (boiled)
1oz goat feta
2 soft poached quail eggs or regular eggs
1oz avocado (cubed)
1 tbsp walnuts
1/8 red onion (diced)

Dress With:
1 tsp walnut oil
1 tsp ground mustard
11/2 tsp raw honey
1 clove garlic (minced)
drizzle 2-3 tsp balsamic reduction S&P to taste!

***Vegans please omit eggs & cheese and swap honey for maple syrup***

Today’s delicious post-workout meal was:

My own special honey-dijon basa cooked on the grill, served with zucchini and quinoa and cottage cheese salad and roasted brussel sprouts, broccolini and mushrooms with balsamic reduction.

It was so fabulous.  I can’t get over honey-dijon sauce these days it has all the right kick and sweetness to it and brings out the best flavour in the fish, especially when grilled.

Zain’s Detox Salad

Cleanse out your system and purify your blood with my detox salad.  This salad is made with white vegetables that will help to protect your body and eliminate any unnecessary toxins.

I like to prepare a double or triple batch and store it in a large mason jar to allow the mixture to slightly ferment.  This helps to build friendly probiotic bacteria which is amazing for your digestive system.

Ingredients:

1/2 Red Cabbage (shaved)

1/4 White Cabbage (shaved)

1/2 Bartlett Pear (sliced thin)

3/4 Cup Cauliflower (lightly steamed)

3/4 Cup Chard (lightly steamed)

1 Tbsp Walnuts

3-5 Sprigs Thyme

3-5 Sprigs Tarragon 

Dressing:

2 Tbsp Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tsp Raw Unpasteurized Honey

1 Tbsp Miso (melted)

1/4 Tsp Braggs Aminos

1” Fresh Ginger

Ground White Pepper

Guys I just wanted to share a bit of a breakthrough that I had today: I enjoyed a plate of pasta with cheese for the first time in about a decade.  This was one meal that, I admit, was a little intimidating after recovery probably because of all of the connotation associated with pasta and with cheese and how these are anti-foods for the fit and fabulous.  

As you know, I have been experimenting more when it comes to foods and fear foods in order to breakthrough my personal misconceptions.  This is a recipe that I learned whilst I lived in Italy.  It was absolutely delicious and I can’t believe I went for nearly 10 years without enjoying these magnificent tastes, which I may add are amazing for a lean physique!

Zain’s Venetian Portabello Primavera:

Ingredients:

1 cup (cooked) Brown Rice Pasta (I used Fusili)

1 oz Skimmed Swiss Cheese

1/4 cup Portabello Mushrooms

1/4 Zucchini (sliced)

Dash of Braggs Seasoning

1/4 Tsp Fresh Oregano

1/2 Clove Garlic (minced)

6-8 Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

1 Tsp Tomato Paste

1 Tsp Honey

1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard

Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta until al-dente (about 17-20 minutes)

2. Sautee garlic, mushrooms and zucchini with a dash of Braggs

3. In magic bullet or food processor, blend tomatoes, oregano, vinegar, mustard spices and honey

4. Once pasta is cooked, strain and add to sautee pan, mix thoroughly then add sauce

5. Add in cheese and cook on low until melted.  Serve hot.

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Zain’s Favourite Vegan Winter Soups

Time to get cosy people!

It is definitely getting cooler out there and nothing is more nourishing than a steaming bowl of soup to warm your insides and satisfy your insatiable winter apetite.

Here are a few of my favourite vegan winter soup recipes which are easy to prepare and unbelievably delicious.  Make a huge pot and keep it warm on the stove for your family to enjoy or pack it in a thermos for work!  They make for a healthy, filling lunch, snack or dinner and will heal you from the inside out.

On the Menu?

  1. Vegan Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
  2. Vegan Garden Green Soup
  3. Vegan Spicy Thai Coconut Soup
  4. Vegan Russian Borscht Soup

Click HERE for complete recipe and directions.

Enjoy these soups with my Raw Flax Crackers, over brown rice or quinoa or just on their own!

Summer Salad Series - Zain’s Garden of Eden Maple Berry Salad with Dungeness Crab & Jumbo Prawns

The perfect name for the perfect summer salad!  With farmer’s markets and u-u-pick farms overflowing with luscious berries, I could not resist creating this gorgeous salad.  Not only does it have the antioxidants from the berries to help repair any oxidative stress from training and the sun, it also packs a mean protein punch with the sweet maple glazed crab and prawn combo!

*Makes a single serving but feel free to double or quadruple up to serve to your friends!

**Cook Time 5 minutes Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2oz Dungeness Crab Meat (off the shell, raw or cooked, I use raw)

2oz Jumbo Prawns (raw or cooked, I use raw)

1/8 Red Onion (sliced)

1/2 Cup Crimini Mushrooms (sliced)

2 Cups Organic Baby Spinach

1/4 Organic Cucumber (quartered)

1 Cup Organic Grape Tomatoes

1oz Organic Soft Goats Cheese (optional)

1/2 Cup Organic Strawberries

1/4 Cup Organic Blueberries

1/4 Cup Organic Blackberries

1/4 Cup Organic Raspberries

2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

3-5 Leaves Fresh Sage

1oz Avocado

2 Tbsp Slivered Almonds

11/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup OR Sugar-Free Maple Syrup (if you are training)

Cooking Spray

Dressing

11/2 Tbsp Sugar-Free Raspberry Jam

1/2 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard

1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I use Balsamic Reduction)

1 Tsp Vega Sport Oil OR Oil of your choice (optional)

1 Clove Garlic (minced)

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup OR Sugar-Free Maple Syrup (if you are training)

Himalayan Crystal Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Bring water in a saucepan to a boil and add in crab meat and prawns. Boil until tender but slightly undercooked, approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. IF YOU BUY PRE-COOKED PRAWNS AND CRAB MEAT, SKIP THIS STEP.

2. In a sprayed pan, add red onion, crimini mushrooms and sautee until browned.  Then, add partially cooked OR FULLY COOKED crab meat and prawns and drizzle with maple syrup.  Allow seafood to cook for another 3-5 minutes on med heat, until syrup caramelizes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a jar, combine all ingredients for dressing, cover and shake until completely combined.

4. Prepare ingredients for salad on a large plate or platter and toss with dressing.

5. Top with maple-glazed dungeness crab and prawn and sprinkle almond pieces and optional goat’s cheese over top. Serve immediately.

Zain’s Coconut Basa Super Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

Oooohhhh baby!  This salad has some serious yum factor!

This salad is definitely Thai inspired.  I decided to blend the rich flavours of coconut, lemon grass, basil and sweet curry with a coconut-peanut dressing that was ridiculously delish.

This is the first of my week long summer salad series where I will be sharing one of my summer salad creations each day this week! If you are bored of your same old salad, give one of these simple, squeaky clean recipes a try!

*Makes a single serving but feel free to double or quadruple the recipe!

**Excellent for a summer BBQ

Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 10 minutes (excluding fish marinade)

Ingredients:

4.5oz Wild Organic Basa

Basa Marinade

1 Clove Wild Garlic

1/4 Tsp Cumin

1/4 Tsp Ground Corriander

1/2-1 Thai Green Chilis or Jalapeno (I like mine extra spicy so I use a whole chilli)

1” Ginger

3-5 Sprigs Thai Basil

Juice of 1 Lime

1/4 Organic Light Coconut Milk

1 Tsp Braggs

1-2 Packets Stevia or 1 Tsp Raw Honey

HImalayan Crystal Salt to Taste

1/2 Tsp Ground White Pepper

Salad

2 Cups Organic Mixed Spring Greens

1/4 Organic Cucumber (sliced)

80g Organic Red Cherry Tomatoes

1 Cup Organic Purple Kale 

1/4 Red Onion (sliced)

100g Organic Baby Zucchini

3-5 Leaves Thai Basil

1 Tsp Fresh Lemongrass

1 Clove Garlic (minced)

1/2 Cup Fresh Corriander

1/2 Cup Organic Crimini Mushrooms

3-4 Stems Organic Green Asparagus 

1/4 Cup Organic Light Coconut Milk

1/2 Tsp Coconut Oil

15g Fresh Coconut Meat OR Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Cooking Spray

Dressing

1 Tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter

1/2 Tsp Braggs

1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

1/2 Clove Wild Garlic

Juice of 1 Lime

1/2” Grated Ginger

1 Packet Stevia OR 1/2 Tsp Honey

1/4 Tsp Sesame Oil

1/8 Tsp Sambal Oelek (optional)

Directions:

1. Marinate basa for at least 30 minutes (for best results marinate the night before)

2. In a sprayed pan (either on your stove or on the bbq) add coconut oil and once the oil begins to pop, add garlic, lemongrass and onion until browned then sautee mushrooms, asparagus, and zucchini until veggies are tender but still firm.  Add coconut milk.

3. Add marinated basa to the pan with the veggies (OR if using bbq, prepare an aluminium pouch for the fish with marinade and place the pouch directly onto the grill)

4. In a small bowl or sauce pan, whisk dressing all ingredients -  EXCEPT lime - together and heat on low for a few minutes until peanut butter has melted. Add lime and set aside.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients on a large plate.

6. After 5-7 minutes, check to see if the fish is cooked (most of the marinade should be soaked in).

7. Top salad with sauteed veggies from the pan and dress the salad, top with grilled basa and serve warm

Zain’s Maple Glazed Salmon Butternut Squash Salad

So lately, I have been on a bit of a butternut squash trip - not only does it taste incredible and serves up as a nutrient rich starchy vegetable, it is a versatile food and is delicious warm or cooled.

Whilst preparing lunch, I discovered how gorgeous it pairs with my maple glazed salmon on a bed of fresh greens.

*Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

2 X 4oz Fresh Salmon Fillet

1/8 Cup Maple Syrup 

680g Butternut Squash (baked)

1/4 English Cucumber (chopped)

2 Cups French Beans (steamed)

1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms (sauteed)

1/4 Cup Red Onion (sauteed)

4 Cups Mixed Greens (I used spinach, collard greens, chard, kale, radicchio)

2 Tsp Fresh or Dried Thyme

2 Tsp Fresh or Dried Marjoram

2 Tsp Fresh or Dried Sage

1’4 Fresh Ginger (minced)

1/4 Cup Walnuts

1 Tsp Walnut Oil

Dash Bragg’s Soy

Himalayan Salt and Pepper to Taste 

Cooking Spray

Dressing:

1/8 Cup Maple Syrup

1 Tsp Stone Ground Mustard

Few Fresh Chives (chopped)

1 Clove Garlic (minced)

11/2 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar

Pinch Red Chili Powder

Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste

1 Tbsp Walnut Oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake squash for 40 minutes or until cooked.

2. In a bowl, combine maple syrup, mustard powder and garlic and marinate salmon fillets.

3. Steam green beans and prepare and assemble mixed greens and raw vegetables.

4. Sautee ginger and set aside.  Then, sautee mushrooms and onion with a dash of Braggs sauce on sprayed pan until browned.  Then add salmon to the pan and grill marinated salmon for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat.

5. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dressing, set aside.

6. In a bowl, combine fresh herbs and spices, walnuts, walnut oil, sauteed ginger, salt and pepper.  Remove baked squash from oven and using a fork, mash the squash into the bowl of herbs and spices, combining thoroughly.  Using an ice cream scooper, scoop the squash into 8 balls.

7. Assemble on two plates and drizzle with dressing.  

5 Clean & Healthy Lunches to Go in 15 Minutes or Less!

Is the thought of prepping lunch stressing you out?  Find yourself eating the same boring food because it’s easy and you know what to expect?

Here are some of my super quick and out the door lunches that will keep your waistline tight and your energy high.

Ready?

Option 1: (Make in 15 minutes or less) - Zain’s Yellowfin Tuna Sushi Salad 

What You’ll Need

  • 4oz Yellowfin Tuna **Veggie Option Sub 70g Seitan (prepared in the same way as fish)
  • 2 Cups Mixed Greens
  • 2 Sheets of Roasted Nori (seaweed, torn into pieces)
  • 1/2 Can BPA Free Water Chestnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice (soaked the night before)
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 1-2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Bean Sprouts
  • 1/4 Cup Edamame (shelled)
  • 1 Tsp Braggs
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 Tsp Raw Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Asparagus Spears (cut in 1/3)
  • Pinch Salt & Black Pepper to Taste

1. Set rice to boil (this usually takes about 10 minutes if the rice has been soaked)

2. In a sprayed pan, pan fry mushrooms, edamame, zucchini and asparagus spears until browned.  Add Braggs, sesame seeds and water chestnuts then add yellowfin tuna and sear until browned on both sides (about 3-5 minutes) then drizzle with raw honey.

3. Meanwhile in a glass tupperware, add salad, nori pieces, avocado, bean sprouts and in a small sauce jar, combine vinegar, sesame oil, salt & pepper

4. Once fish is cooked, remove from heat and pack in a separate container.  

5. When ready to eat, just assemble the cooked ingredients and toss with raw ingredients, dress and enjoy!

**In Your Lunchbox:  This Meal + 1 Organic Pear, 500ml Water, Green Tea, 2 Cups Raw Veggies + 3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt + 1/4 Cup Nuts & Seeds + 1 Tbsp Goji Berries 

Option 2: (Make in 15 minutes) - Zain’s Verona Pasta 

What You’ll Need - 

  • 1 Cup Brown Rice Pasta
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 4oz Scallops OR 4oz Chicken Breast **Veggie Option Sub 3/4 Cup Canelli Beans (prepared in the same way as meat option)
  • 1 Cup Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1-2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 Can BPA Pumpkin
  • Salt & Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Basil Leaves + 1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 12 Walnuts + 1oz Fat Free Pecorino Cheese OR Fat Free Cheese Of Your Choice + salt & pepper

1. Set water to a boil and add pasta.  Boil for 10 minutes until al dente, drain and set aside.

2. In a sprayed pan, sautee scallops OR chicken with garlic and mushrooms until cooked for about 5-7 minutes for scallops or 10-15 for chicken.

3. Meanwhile, grind or blend basil, olive oil, salt & pepper, pecorino and walnuts.

4. Stir in pumpkin, greek yogurt, fresh herbs, spinach, & salt and pepper into the cooked pasta, then add the basil mixture.  

5. Finally, add the cooked scallops OR chicken (slice into pieces) and stir into the pasta.

**In Your Lunchbox:  This Meal + 1 Organic Apple, 500ml Water, Green Tea, 2 Cups Raw Veggies + 1/4 Cup Hummus + 1 Tbsp Raw Almonds

Option 3: (Make in 15 Minutes or Less) - Zain’s Classic Club

What You’ll Need - 

  • 2 Slices Sprouted Grain OR Ezekial Bread
  • 2 Tbsp Greek Yogurt
  • 1-2 Sprigs Fresh Dill
  • 1 Steak Tomato
  • 3-4 Leaves Romain Lettuce
  • 4oz Seasoned, Prepared Turkey OR Chicken (not sandwich meat) **Veggie Option, omit and enjoy this sandwich with 1 scoop Protein Shake with Almond Milk, Spinach & Berries on the side
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Avocado

1. Combine yogurt, dill, salt & pepper and spread on bread.

2. Slice avocado and lay lettuce and tomato on top.

3. Top with turkey or chicken (omit for veggie option)

4. Enjoy

**In Your Lunchbox:  This Meal + 1/2 Cup Blueberries, 500ml Water, Green Tea, 2 Cups Mixed Salad with Cucumber & Cherry Tomato + 1 Tbsp Raw Cashews, 1 Scoop Protein Powder Blended with Iced Coffee

Option 4: (Make in 15 Minutes or Less) - Zain’s Mediterranean Wrap 


What You’ll Need - 


  • 2 Sprouted Whole Grain Tortillas
  • 1/4 Cup Hummus
  • 1 Cup Mixed Greens
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Tahini
  • 4oz Grilled Chicken OR 70g Seitan (prepared in the same way)
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1oz Low Fat Feta
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Sliced Red Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

1. In a sprayed pan sautee garlic, red pepper and chicken OR seitan.  When almost cooked 10-15 minutes, add lemon juice and sesame seeds 

2. Meanwhile spread hummus on the tortillas and top with mixed greens

3. Once chicken OR seitan is cooked, top the tortillas with the mixture, drizzle with tahini and add chopped parsley, feta and mint over top. 

4. Wrap up and pack to enjoy.

**In Your Lunchbox:  This Meal + 1 Banana 500ml Water, Green Tea, 2 Cups Mixed Veggies + 1/4 Cup Baba Ganoush + 1 Tbsp Raw Pistachios, 3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt


Option 5: (Make in 15 Minutes or Less) - Zain’s Vegan Candied Yam Stirfry


What You’ll Need - 

  • 1 Yam (microwaved)
  • 1 Tbsp Walnuts
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Purple Figs
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Red Quinoa 
  • 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Purple Kale
  • 1/2 Cup Swiss Chard 
  • 1/4 Yellow Pepper
  • 1’ Ginger (minced)
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Butter
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Cooking  Spray

1,Boil pre-soaked quinoa for 15 minutes, drain if necessary and pack in glass tupperware.

2. In a sprayed pan, stir fry ginger, yellow pepper, onion.

3. Add sliced yam, all remaining veggies, spices, coconut butter syrup, almond milk and figs.  Cover and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes

4. Once veggies are cooked, remove from heat and pour overtop red quinoa. Drizzle with maple syrup.

**In Your Lunchbox:  This Meal + 1 Cup Strawberries 500ml Water, Green Tea, 2 Cups Mixed Veggies + 1/4 Avocado + 1 Tbsp Raw Hemp Seeds + Raw Vegan Protein Powder Blended with Vegetable Juice


Zain’s Raw PB & Chocolate Mousse

**Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Organic Avocado

2 Tbsp Raw Organic Cacao

1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cacao Nibs

1 Tbsp Raw Organic Cashews

1 Scoop Chocolate Whey Protein Powder

1/2 Tsp Natural Vanilla

1 Vanilla Pod (optional)

1 Shot Espresso (chilled)

1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (**may require 2-3 Tbsp extra depending on consistency)

5-10 Drops Chocolate OR Vanilla Creme Stevia OR Clean Sweetener of your choice

Raw Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp Raw Peanuts + 1/4 Tsp Peanut Oil OR Coconut Oil + 1Tbsp Water

Optional Toppings:

1/2 Cup Organic Raspberries, 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Chocolate Chips, 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Strawberry or Raspberry Jam

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients except Raw Peanut Butter ingredients in food processor (add 1-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or water if necessary for moistening).

2. Prepare Raw Peanut Butter by blending ingredients together in food processor. Swirl into the mousse.

3. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge or freezer and top with optional toppings before serving cold.

***Note, stir this into your morning oatmeal or on top of your clean pancakes for a delicious twist!

Clean Lunch On The Go!!

Today has been one of those days.  Knowing that in advance, I had to pack a few of my meals simply because eating clean is a lifestyle and I don’t want to leave it up to fate in the hopes that I will be able to find clean eats on the road (unless planned in advance).

This is an example of a delicious and super easy clean lunch that you can prepare:

Zain’s Spicy Prawn and Amaranth Salad

Ingredients:

4oz Jumbo Prawns

2 Cups Mixed Organic Greens

1/4 Cup Sauerkraut (homemade)

1/4 Cup Organic Amaranth 

1/3 Cup Organic Crimini Mushrooms

1/4 Organic Red Onion (sliced)

1/4 Organic Avocado

1/4 Cup Organic Grape Tomatoes

Dressing

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 Tsp Curry Powder

1/2 Tsp Corriander Powder

1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder

1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder

1/2 Tsp Sambal Oelek

2 Tsp Avocado OR Chia Seed Oil

1 Tsp Black Sesame Seeds

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan bring 3/4 cup water to a boil and cook amaranth (I normally soak mine overnight which cuts cooking time by half) until tender.

3. Blend all ingredients for dressing in a magic bullet or food processor EXCEPT avocado oil.

2. In a sprayed pan, saute onion and mushroom until browned then add prawns.  Saute for another 3-5 minutes with 1 Tbsp of dressing (without oil).  Remove from heat and stir in cooked amaranth.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the salad veggies in your BPA free tupperware and place saute mixture into the other side of your tupperware (not directly on top of the salad or it will wilt from the heat).

4. Add oil of your choice to the dressing and pour on top of entire salad or pack separately in a small container on the side and dress before eating.

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How to Eat Clean When You Feel Like Crap

After an incredible vacation in Cuba, my fiancee and I came back to feeling really sick with traveller’s belly.  Because of a recent outbreak of cholera in the exact region where we were in Cuba, our doctor took extra precaution and put us on a cycle of antibiotics.

I am not one to take much medication for anything and truly believe in natural remedies for everything.  When my stomach started to turn, I began taking grapefruit seed extract, tumeric and ashwaganda root (ayurvedic medicine) and my best friend encouraged me to take black walnut, all of which are very strong remedies.  

To be on the safe side, however, I decided to do the cycle of medication and was sure to supplement with additional probiotics to counteract the effect of the antibiotics (which can rid the body of intestinal flora and disturb the digestive environment).

Needless to say, the thought of food was absolutely disgusting during the first few days especially.  My first thought was uggh there is no way I can eat anything but I knew that that was not going to help me in anyway to recover.

When you are ill, the metabolic rate decreases so that more energy can be used for healing but it is imperative to stay nourished and hydrated despite, whether ill with traveller’s belly or a cold or flu the best thing you can do is keep the body nourished.

Now that I am feeling better and back in full swing with food that I love, I wanted to share my experience with you so that if you experience illness, perhaps you can use this information to continue living your clean lifestyle and keep your metabolic rate high.  If you are living a clean eating lifestyle, the last thing you can afford to do is skip meals.

This experience definitely forced me to get creative with my meals.  Pancakes were out of the question last week and all I could really stomach were oats, soups, smoothies and vegetarian protein sources.  My body was also really craving fruit and although I was drinking tons of water, I knew that I was dehydrated from being sick.

Here are some of the meals that I was eating during the 4 days that I was feeling sick:

  • One of the problems with soup is that in most cases, unless the soup contains meat, it is often low in protein.  I decided to add sauteed tofu to my fresh soups and blend them to increase the protein value
  • With breakfast, I added sauteed tofu or sunwarrior protein powder to my bowl of oats combined with almond milk, flax seeds and banana
  • I made fresh vegetable juices with kale, spinach, celery, carrots, ginger and lemon
  • I made Smoothies with Sunwarrior protein powder, coconut milk, fresh blueberries, banana and vega sport oil
  • I made protein popsicles with chia seeds, vanilla whey, almond milk, peaches and/or mango 
  • I drank about 3 cups of coconut water each day 
  • I enjoyed handfuls of fruit throughout the day
  • I made watermelon juice with blended watermelon 
  • I made several of my Alkaline Vitamin Waters including: Recovery, C-Power and Stress-less vitamin waters

Here is a recipe for Zain’s High Protein Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

2 Cups Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Stock OR Unsalted Broth of your choice

93g Organic Medium Firm Tofu

80g Organic Carrots

1 Clove Organic Garlic (I used purple garlic from my garden)

1/2” Organic Ginger

100g Organic Broccoli

1 Cup Organic Purple Kale

1/4 Organic Red Onion

4oz Sprouted Red, Yellow OR Green Lentils (optional)

3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Fresh Lemon

1 Tsp Dried Thyme (from my garden)

1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin

Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt

Ground Pepper to Taste

Canola Cooking Spray

Directions:

1. In a sprayed saucepan, sautee garlic, onion, ginger and tofu

2. Once browned, add broth, lentils  carrots, broccoli, vinegar, lemon juice and allow to simmer until veggies are nearly cooked (approximately 7-10 minutes)

3. Add herbs, spices and kale and simmer for another 3-5 minutes

4. Remove from heat and add the mixture into a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined into a puree

5. Serve hot with brown rice cakes or 1/2 cup steamed brown rice

Today’s Lunch

  • A huge salad 2 cups with mixed greens, sage, chives and watercress dressed with 1/2 cup homemade pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic) and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp udo’s oil
  • 4.5oz Grilled Basa with 1/4 cup papaya, 1/4 cup pineapple and 2.5oz guava 
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli + 4oz  steamed yucca

And to drink:


  • San Pellegrino + lime
  • Green Tea

Zain’s Summer Salad Series

With summer in its full and glorious swing, I have been celebrating clean eating and fresh produce with some awesome and inventive salads that I am so excited to share.

You may recall my Salad Meals with some of my favourite recipes but in this series, I plan to use local, fresh ingredients that are in season right now!

This being my birthday week and all, I would like to share one special summer salad recipe with you each day this week, starting today!  Sound good?

I am sure as clean eaters, you are all salad masters; however, it is always awesome to see how others enjoy this perfect warm weather meal.

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Eating Clean and Maintaining Your Health While Traveling

Eating Clean From the Buffet

I know, I know, the buffet can be a nightmare if you don’t know how to navigate it.  All of those tempting smells and options can definitely be overload for some people and if you don’t feel like you can do it safely, best not to go near it at all until you develop a little resistance or have been eating clean for long enough that you are no longer tempted by the saturated fat filled food that once used to seduce you.

I am happy to report that over my last couple trips, I have noticed some pretty clean and lovely options at the buffet.  If you are in the mood for a relaxing morning without prep work for your meals, then yes, you can eat clean and healthy on the buffet provided you know what to look for.

The photos above are some of the clean options that I selected for lunch from the buffet this afternoon:

  • Protein: an omelet with fresh veggies made with coconut oil that I brought
  • Veggies: a huge salad dressed with pico de gallo (oil free), lime, vinegar, tabasco and black pepper
  • Carbs: roast potatoes, without oil (I added a tsp of extra virgin olive oil for my healthy fat) as well as 1/2 cup oil-free refried beans (no cheese) and 2 steamed corn tortillas

**Note, not every hotel has items that are oil-free.  It is important to ask the chef which items are.  After my conversation with Chef Omar here at my hotel, he is happy to point out which options will work for me in my meal program so that I am able to enjoy some of the food without having to pre-prepare for every meal.

My Tips for Eating Clean on the Buffet:


  • Go for steamed/grilled options (avoid fried or food cooked in oil or butter)
  • Check for a ‘healthy food’ area, most hotels have them now and they include items like skimmed yogurt, oats, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, veggies and even smoothies
  • Stay away from the breads!
  • Stay away from the pre-dressed salads!
  • Eat your meal BEFORE you go for dessert and if you have a treat meal planned, be sure to pre-plan which dessert you are going to enjoy and stick to that!