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Lentil Falafel with Tahini Dressing

September 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Needed to mix it up a bit for dinner and get some protein in as well. This recipe hit all the marks for me and Robert. Crunchy, Spicy, Savory, with a little Tang and oh so delicious! We will keep this in the rotation for sure and I know you will too! 🙂

Falafel Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dry lentils
  • 1/2 med red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbls of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbls of fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbls of tahini sauce
  • 1 tbls of cumin
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1 tbls of corn starch
  • Tahini Dressing Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup of tahini sauce
    • 3 tbls of water
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1 tbls of garlic, minced
    • 1 tbls of parsley flakes
    • 1/2 tsp of paprika

    Directions

    1. Soak Lentils for 2 hours ahead of time. once soaked, drain water

    2. Add all of the falafel ingredients into a food processor and mix till well combined. If mix is too dry, add a little water, 1 tbls at a time. Till you get the right consistency.

    3. On a greased baking sheet, scoop 1/4 cup of falafel mix onto baking sheet, leaving space in between.

    4. Refrigerate falafel patties for 15 minutes.

    5. Preheat oven to 375

    6. Meanwhile, mix all tahini sauce ingredients till well combined.

    7. Pull falafel patties out of refrigerator and bake for 30 minutes.

    8. Optional: Serve falafel patties in a pita pocket with tomato, onion and tahini sauce. Or you can eat them alone with just the sauce.

    9. Makes 24 small falafel patties or you can make 12 large patties for burgers.

    10. Note: these freeze really well!

    Nutrition, Recipes

Cabbage and Lentil Soup

August 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Soup in pot on table with flower centerpiece

I’m 22 weeks pregnant and lately I’ve been craving yummy warm comfort food. So i decided to make this delicious and very easy homemade soup. It hit the spot and satisfied my craving and I know it’ll do the same for you! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of dry lentils
  • 1 tbls of oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of water or vegetable broth

Directions

1. In a large cast iron pot on med heat add olive oil and sauté onions, carrots and celery till soft and fragrant.

2. Add tomatoes, cabbage, oregano, bay leaves and lentils. Stir and let cook for 1 min.

3. Add water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

4. Turn heat down low and let cook, till lentils are soft.

5. Enjoy!

Nutrition, Recipes

Back to Basics

June 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm

women in Pilates Push-Up position

Most of you who follow me on social media probably noticed i participated in the Pilates #MarchMatness back in March. I had so much fun going back to Joseph Pilates’ traditional mat class, in his original order. It felt great to get back to the simplicity, yet complexity of his exercises. Going through the entire mat series reminded me of the natural progression from one exercise to the other, and why he designed the order the way he did.

The series starts with The Hundred, which warms up the body and gets the heart pumping. The Roll Up and Roll Over are next, they warm up the spine and engage the abdominals. Leg Circles are next, and they stabilize the pelvis. The series continues in this fashion, engaging the abdominals and stabilizing the pelvis while constantly bending the spine in one direction and then reversing the movement to bend the spine in the opposite direction. As you progress through the series each exercise becomes more difficult and challenges you to keep proper form.

Re-establishing the foundations of Pilates helped me to have a greater understanding and a deeper knowledge of the work. Although I’ve been practicing Pilates for many years It gave me a new perspective and I picked up on subtle nuances that I had not noticed before. I felt a deeper connection with my body and mind and when I truly focused on my breath with my core during an exercise, I reached a sense of enlightenment and understanding that I believe comes from many years of practice. My knowledge and understanding was already there, but sometimes you need to go back to the basics in order to renew your connection with your body and mind.

It also helped me when working with my clients. I brought them back to the beginner level and slightly changed my cueing in order to have them deepen their focus on the breath. Although they had done theses exercises a hundred times, it challenged them in a way it hadn’t before, which gave them a deeper understanding of the work as well.

Getting back to the basics is a great way to recharge your body and reset your mind, to help you evaluate your goals and set new ones. You can gain a clearer vision of what you want to accomplish and you’ll move forward with purpose and clear intentions.

You can go to my instagram page to check out the whole series- https://www.instagram.com/thepilatesboutique/
Or check out the official #MarchMatness site- http://www.marchmatness.com/

Fitness, Pilates

Kale and Cabbage Salad

April 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Its springtime and I’ve been craving something fresh and crunchy to eat, but not the same standard salad I usually have. Luckily, we recieved kale and cabbage in our weekly Annies Organics box. So from there, I was inspired to combine the two, add a little sweetness with the roasted beets and sweet potatoes and then a little tanginess from the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Presto! Craving Satisfied!!! It turned out delicious and this is now me favorite salad. I hope it becomes yours as well! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 whole bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 whole head of cabbage, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped red beets
  • 2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbls of stone ground mustard
  • 3 springs of thyme

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400

2. Toss beets and sweet potatoes in olive oil, place on baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes

3. Meanwhile, place kale and cabbage in large bowl and set aside.

4. In a smaller bowl mix apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, mustard and thyme together and set aside.

5. Once the beets and sweet potatoes are done, take out of oven and cool completely.

6. Toss the cooled beets and sweet potatoes with the kale and cabbage mixture.

7. Add the black beans and dressing and toss one last time.

8. Enjoy!

Nutrition, Recipes

Eggplant medallions

I know I mentioned in my last recipe post, I didn’t want to go the route of celery root mash, but I had some left over and figured…Why not? It’s obviously a favorite amongst celery root fans. So why not try to make my own? Well I have to say, I’m very happy I made celery root mash! It turned out delicious and Robert could not stop raving about it! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 med size eggplant, sliced into discs
  • 1 med size celery root, peeled
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbls of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of chopped fresh thyme
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Water as needed
  • 1/2 med onion, sliced
  • 2 med sized sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 med size red beet, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of oregano

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450

2. Place the celery root on a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil and bake till fork tender (30-45min).

3. Meanwhile, place cooked chickpeas, olive oil as needed, garlic and thyme in food processor. Purée till smooth.

4. Once the celery root is fork tender, add to the chickpea mixture in the food processor and purée till smooth. Add water and olive oil as needed . Set aside.

5. Lower oven temperature to 350.

6. Place sliced eggplant medallions on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20/30 minutes. They should be cooked, but still have a firm texture.

7. Add olive oil to sauté pan on med heat.

8. Add sliced onions, chopped sweet potatoes, red beets, kale, red pepper flakes and oregano to pan and sauté till sweet potatoes are fork tender.

9. To plate…Put 1/4 cup of celery root mash on plate, place 2 to 3 eggplant medallions on top, with the sautĂ©ed sweet potato mixture on top of that.

10. Enjoy!

Nutrition, Recipes

Celery root "steaks" with chickpea purée, Sautéed onions, Brussel sprouts and beet coleslaw and roasted carrots

We received celery root in our Annies Organics share last week and I had no idea what to do with it. I did a little research and found a lot of celery root mash and soup recipes, but I didn’t want to go that route. So, this is the recipe I came up with instead. I hope you like it! I have to say, it turned out pretty darn delicious! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 celery root, peeled and sliced into 1 inch thick “steaks “
  • 3 tbls of Dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp of dill
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbls of olive oil
  • 1 cup of brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of red beets, peeled and thinly slice
  • 2 tbls of Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbls of Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 carrots, cut in fours
  • 1/2 med onion, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. In a small bowl, mix the 3 tbls of Dijon mustard and 3 tsp of dill together and pour over the celery root “steaks”.

3. Place the celery root “steaks” on a baking sheet, with the sliced carrots and bake for 45 min.

4. Meanwhile, place the sliced brussel sprouts and beets in a bowl.

5. Mix the apple cider vinegar and the other Dijon mustard together and pour over brussel sprouts/ beet mixture and toss with the red pepper flakes. Set Aside.

6. Place chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and paprika in food processor and pulse till smooth.

7. Sauté onions in pan, till soft.

8. Once the celery root “steaks” and carrots are done (Fork tender). It’s time to plate!

9. Place 1/4 cup of chickpea purĂ©e on plate, then place the “steak” on top. Stack carrots against the “steak”, pour the brussel sprouts/ beets coleslaw across the top and the onions off the side.

10. Enjoy!

Nutrition, Recipes

My love for cooking

Over the years I’ve become more confident in my cooking. I’ve gone from following recipes to the T, to using them as inspiration and making them my own. Now I create my own recipes, just by looking at the ingredients in front of me. Of course they’re not all winners. In fact, some are downright disgusting, but from my failures I learn what not to do next time.

I started cooking at a young age. I Can’t remember exactly how old i was, but I do know it started with making pancakes for my brothers and sisters on Saturday and Sunday mornings. My most vivid childhood memory of cooking is with my little sister Caitlin. Our 3 older siblings were away at college and my mom and dad were working late. We were home alone and hungry. Caitlin wanted pasta and meat sauce, and usually my mom kept a jar of sauce and a box of pasta in the pantry, but not this time. We had the pasta, but no sauce. We did some digging and found a can of tomato paste, a can of whole tomatoes and ground meat in the freezer. From this I created a my first very own sauce, and satiated my sister’s hunger. Thus began my journey into cooking.

Just before my third year in college I moved out of the dorms and into my own apartment. I finally had an oven, and that’s when I ventured into baking and perfecting my white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies. I soon became a baking queen and was making cakes, cookies and brownies for all my friends.

It wasn’t until after college, when I had my first job as a nanny, that I started to really get into looking up recipes, as one of my responsibilities was cooking for the kids. I would practice the recipes at home and use my boyfriend at the time (now husband) as my guinea pig. He’d tell me If it needed more or less of something, or if it was just not good. It was also at this time when I started cooking vegetarian food, because the mom didn’t want her kids consuming too much meat. I started experimenting with tofu and discovered it could take on any flavor I wanted it to. I learned a lot cooking for those three boys. It was an amazing experience and it gave me the confidence to take more risks in the kitchen.

I moved to Florida in 2006 with my new found culinary confidence and started to create my own recipes. After my husband and I bought our house together, we’d have different themed parties and I’d get to create the menu based off the theme. It was so much fun!

Over the years my husband and I became more conscious of the quality of the food we were consuming, and how it impacted the environment. We  started our own vegetable garden and would pick up a box from Annie’s Organics once a week, which had all fresh, local and organic fruits and vegetables. Eventually I started to cook more vegan, which challenged me to get more creative with my cooking. Not only to make sure it was a well balanced meal, but also to make it delicious. Which to be honest, wasn’t that difficult. When you cook with good ingredients there’s so much flavor. I sometimes think people don’t want to eat healthy because they don’t want to sacrifice on flavor. It’s just not the case. As long as you have fresh ingredients, flavor and creativity have no limit.

I’ve had many people tell me they can’t cook, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe anyone can cook! It’s just a matter of wanting to cook and finding the time to do it. Maybe at first your food isn’t the greatest, but over time if you keep cooking you’ll get better. Making small changes can go a long way. We started by buying fresh produce and unprocessed food, and then planted our own herb garden. Fresh organic ingredients will inspire you to highlight their natural flavor and get more creative in the kitchen. You can also find inspiration by looking up recipes and tweaking them how you like. It’s important to find the time to cook a meal from scratch at least once a week and challenge yourself to go vegan every once in awhile. It’ll bring you a new-found confidence in the kitchen, and your body and mind will thank you!

My time in the kitchen is precious to me. I love bringing happiness to other people with my food and over time you will too. Just remember to have fun and always cook from the heart. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients or different types of cuisines. If you need inspiration, please feel free to check out my recipes as well Pilates Boutique recipe page

I give you full permission to change them anyway you like:)

Nutrition, Pilates

Morning Pilates: Scissors

March 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Morning Pilates

Broccoli Stalk Soup

March 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

Broccoli Stalk Soup

I came up with this soup, when I realized I’d been wasting the broccoli stalks all these years. The almonds add a creaminess that’s delicious! Ive also enjoyed this soup as a sauce with my pasta. You’re going to love it!

Ingredients

  • 4 stalks of broccoli
  • 1 med size carrot
  • 1/2 med size onion, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup of almonds
  • Water as needed
  • Olive oil as needed

Directions

1. Soak the almonds for 4 hours in water

2. In a large pot bring to a boil with the carrot and broccoli stalks. Once at a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the onions with the thyme in a sauté pan with olive oil.

4. Remove thyme from onions and hold for later.

5. Place the cooked broccoli, carrot, onions and almonds in a blender. Add water as needed and blend till smooth.

6. Once soup is at a consistency you like, place back in pot with reserved thyme and cook on simmer for 15 minutes

7. Serve soup in bowl and enjoy!

Nutrition, Recipes

Finding Balance

February 27, 2017 at 11:17 am

Finding Balance

I love to workout! It’s not only a way for me to unwind and release stress, but I also feel a great sense of accomplishment when I’m finished and I look forward to seeing the results of my hard work. The problem is, I don’t know when enough is enough. It’s hard for me to find the balance between working out and letting my body rest and repair itself. I sometimes push too hard and end up hurting myself, which means I end up having to take a break and the pendulum of balance swings. I’ve gotten a lot better though, I’m really trying to pull back and listen to what my body needs.

The question is, when to listen to your body and when to push through. Finding that balance. As with anything, too much of something, regardless if its good, can be harmful. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, but it’s an important one: Truly listen to what your body is telling you. There are days when I wake up exhausted and I don’t want to go workout. Most of the time when this happens it’s just me feeling unmotivated and lazy. But every so often if I really stop to evaluate my body and mind and listen to what it’s telling me. It’s saying your body needs a rest.

Of course this can be applied to everything in our daily lives. Maybe you need to find time for yourself to workout or even just eat a little healthier. Life-Balance is important. It’s not only essential to your happiness and well-being, but it also increases success in your career or business. When you take the time to find balance in your life it will help you stay focused and motivated to achieve your goals.

So, how do you create balance in your life? Firstly, you need to target where the imbalance is. For me, like I mentioned before, it’s my workout/rest time. Instead of me going for a long run or an interval training class, I should spend some free time with my husband, enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation. You might find, that your work/personal life is off balance and you’re suffering stress and anxiety from your job or business. Then you should make time for yourself to decompress and reset your mind and body. Even if it’s only once a week. For the students in my Pilates By The Lake Class, it gives them a chance to connect with their minds and bodies, to be outside in nature breathing the fresh air and soaking up the vitamin D from the sun. They also enjoy the social interaction with one another. It’s the time they take for themselves to enjoy without work or family distractions, and that’s important when creating a well-balanced life. We all need to take time for ourselves. Weather it’s you joining a new class on something you like, going for a bike ride or even 10 minutes of meditation. Find the time. You’ll see how rewarding it can be, in all aspects of your life.

Fitness, Nutrition, Pilates

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