Energizing Pink Power Smoothie + That One Time on Dr. Oz!

I have a lot to share with you! But first...

I CAN'T EVEN with this smoothie. That color makes me weak in the knees. Every time I make it, I am just so stunned by the bright neon color. And all from real food!! My level of excitement is through the roof right now. I can't wait to share this with you. 

But I also want to tell you about this....

Last week I hoped on a plane to NYC to be part of the Dr. Oz show (!!!). I was one of 11 "health influencers" asked to help Dr. Oz launch The Regimen, a customizable plan to help you achieve your specific health goals.  It's essentially a checklist wellness plan that focuses on all the good things you can and should add to your diet/life. So many "plans" I see focus on the things we need to avoid and cut out. Ugh.  I prefer to focus on the good and let the nourishing foods crowd out the not so nourishing foods. That's why I'm really on board with this plan. It focuses on gut health, incorporating more real, whole foods into your diet, increasing physical activity, and creating meaningful social relationships. All the things that can help you be your healthiest self!

I was in NYC for a total of 23 hours and it was a complete whirlwind. I got to the city late Tuesday night after work (luckily it's just a quick hour and 20 minute flight), met my brother for dinner, and crashed at a friend's place before getting up bright and early to head to the ABC studio. I think I slept a total of 47 minutes LOL. I was glad I brought my heavy duty concealer because I had some serious dark circles under my eyes (yikes!).  

 The taping was tons of fun - we all had such a great time! After we were done at the studio, I took my carry-on bag and strolled around the city before grabbing an Uber back to the airport. And just like that, my short trip to NYC was over. All in all, it was an incredible opportunity and I feel extremely lucky to be part of such a great program with a fabulous group of people. The Regimen launched yesterday, so if you missed the show, check out more information here

In honor of The Regimen launching, I made you something really good and healthy. But also really pretty....with some fun ingredients ;)

 

If you haven't guessed already, the secret ingredient to make this smoothie the most beautiful smoothie there ever was is...BEETS! I'm having a major moment with beets. I just can't stop with them. We have been roasting them, spiralizing them, and throwing them in smoothies lately. 

Beets are highly nutritious and very good for cardiovascular health. The pigment antioxidants (heelllooo gorgeous color!) have been found to offer protection against heart disease, stroke, lower cholesterol levels, and even have anti-aging effects. Yes please. 

I also snuck another veggie in this smoothie. Any guesses?

CAULIFLOWER! Yep, cauliflower. I know, I know, not a normal smoothie ingredient, but hear me out! Frozen cauliflower makes the smoothie incredibly smooth and extra nutritious. Plus, you can't taste it - I promise! Cauliflower is totally becoming the new spinach (I like to add both to most smoothies!). Adding cauliflower to your smoothie is a great way to get extra fiber, disease fighting antioxidants, and loads of other nutrients (vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, folate, iron, magnesium, and more). 

This smoothie is also banana free so it's perfect for those of you who aren't really into bananas or are looking to incorporate lower glycemic index foods into your diet. You won't even miss the banana thanks to the avocado. Don't even get me started on my love for avocados. But seriously, this smoothie hits it out of the park. It's creamy, slightly sweet, and FULL of great nutrition. 

AND IT'S HOT PINK. That's enough reason for me to want to make it everyday. 

Happy blending!

Energizing Pink Power Smoothie

Inspired by Oh She Glows Pink Power Detox Smoothie

|Serves 1-2|

Ingredients

  • 1 cup filtered water OR coconut water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 medium sweet apple, roughly chopped (I like honeycrisp or fuji)
  • 2 small fresh beets (or 1 medium/large beet), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon 

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add liquid sweetener or 1 pitted date if needed. 

Notes

*If you don't have a high-speed blender, you might want to lightly steam the beets until tender before blending. 

Roasted Sweet Potato & Lentil Salad

I really want you guys to veg out with me.

And by veg out I obviously mean eat ridiculous amounts of actual veggies. Although laying on the couch watching Chef's Table on Netflix sounds like a great way to veg out, too.

Have you watched Chef's Table? It's a documentary series where each episode features a different world renowned chef. It basically tells their life story of how they got to be where they are today and also features their incredible restaurants and dishes. Scott and I are obsessed. It is filmed so beautifully and many episodes have actually moved me to tears. It's so inspiring to see how these chefs have followed their passion and become so successful. I'm kinda sappy though, I admit it. 

The point of this blog post is not really to tell you about Chef's Table, although if you want to chat more about it don't hesitate to reach out to me because I could (and would) talk about how much I love it ALL DAY. Now I just need to find a way to make about $500,000 more to be able to afford all these fancy restaurants that have been added to my foodie bucket list. No big deal

But hi! Ok! Let's talk about this dish! This salad is really simple and really, really good. It highlights one of my favorite foods, LENTILS.  

But first...are you familiar with pulses? Pulses are the tiny, but very mighty foods known as beans, dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas. These little guys are not new foods, but they have been newly anointed as power foods! Pulses are totally having their moment right now and I couldn't be more excited. If you haven't noticed already, I'll take any excuse to get more of these nutritional powerhouses into my diet. Chickpea salad, three bean fiesta salad, black bean loaded veggie burgerszoodles with veggie lentil marinara, the list goes on and on. I just can't get enough! I love them because they are affordable, sustainable, versatile, and incredibly nutritious. They are filled with fiber, plant-protein (9 grams per half cup to be exact!), folate, potassium, B vitamins, zinc, and iron. Heck yes! 

Want to learn more? Head on over to PulsePledge.com to learn even more about pulses and join the 45k + people to sign up for the Pulse Pledge, where you can commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks. You will receive more tips, tricks, and recipes to help make it easy to include pulses into your diet. Your bod (and taste buds) will thank you! 

For this dish, I wanted to make something light and easy, yet hearty and comforting. September really is the bridge between summer and fall and that's exactly what this dish is to me. A mix of light, bright, colorful veggies and chili spiced roasted sweet potatoes and hearty lentils. It honestly doesn't get much better. This dish just speaks to my September loving, veghead soul. 

I used black lentils for this recipe because I wanted the other colors to really pop. And boy, did they pop - just look at all those colors! Originally, I was just going to do roasted sweet potatoes and lentils, toss it in a quick dressing, and call it a day. I opened up my fridge to see some kale, red bell pepper, asparagus, and a gorgeous red onion so I decided to throw them in the dish. It turned out to be a fabulous decision. The result was a wonderful texture, lots of color, and lots of flavor. 

I made a simple dressing of Dijon mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon, and a pinch of salt & pepper.

Viola! Dinner is served!

....With a hefty dose of plant-protein, complex carbohydrate, loads of fiber, and tons of nutrients. Just the way I like it :) 

Roasted Sweet Potato & Lentil Salad

|Serves 2 as main dish, serves 4 as side|

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black (beluga) lentils, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped and woody ends discarded 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

For the dressing

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F). 
  2. Place the lentils in a large saucepan with vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and lower the heat to low. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 18-20 minutes. 
  3. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt & pepper. Lay out on a baking tray. 
  4. Toss the asparagus with 1/2 -1 Tbsp olive oil and lay out on a separate baking sheet. 
  5. Roast the veggies in the oven. The sweet potatoes will take about 20-25 minutes. Toss them halfway through so they roast evenly. The asparagus will take about 10 minutes. You want them a bit soft, but still bright with a slight crunch. 
  6. Saute the garlic, onion, and red bell pepper in ~1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat until onion and pepper become softer. Add the kale and saute for about 2-3 more minutes. 
  7. For the dressing, place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined. 
  8. Place the warm lentils, sweet potato, asparagus, and sauteed veggies together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. 
  9. Enjoy!

xoxo,

Lauren

This post is sponsored by USA Pulses. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that make WholeLivingLauren possible! 

    Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

    Buddha bowls. My favorite bowls. 

    Have you ever had a Buddha Bowl? If not, you need to make one ASAP. A Buddha Bowl consists of a grain, a green, and a bean (gosh I love when food rhymes), and is usually accompanied by a tasty dressing. It is packed so full that it has a rounded "belly" appearance on the top, much like the belly of a Buddha. It is always vegetarian and usually vegan. They are bright, colorful, satisfying, and incredibly nourishing. The best thing about Buddha Bowls is that you can make one however you want. Don't have purple cabbage? No prob! Want to use another veggie instead of broccoli? By all means! The possibilities are endless.

    I think the main reason I like Buddha Bowls so much is because I really just like big bowls of food...let's be honest. You might notice that most of the recipes I share here are served in bowls. What can I say, I just love diving fork first into a big bowl of yum!

    This is the type of meal you make when you don't really have time to do much else. Or when you are cleaning out your pantry and fridge. Here is the basic formula: 

    Pick a grain

    Pick a bean

    Pick a green + some additional veggies if you want

    Make a simple sauce

    DIG IN!

    But seriously, it's that easy. I also love these bowls because they provide so many nutrients. Thanks to the combination of beans, grains, greens, and other veggies, you are getting a bowl full of complete proteins. That means you are getting all the essential amino acids your body can't make alone. Woohoo! 

    The recipe I am sharing with you today seems to pop up in our dinner rotation regularly. To me, it's the perfect combination. I often make this for my work lunches as well. It is so nice to have something light, yet incredibly nourishing and filling to eat during the day at work. Sometimes thinking about the good lunch I have waiting for me is the only thing that gets me through a busy morning. Please tell me I'm not the only one ;) Although this is a short work week (BTW, I hope you all had a FABULOUS Labor Day weekend!), it is an incredibly busy one, which includes something pretty exciting. More on that later! I made these bowls for my lunches this week and I know I will be thankful I did. 

    This particular bowl is filled with pretty much all my favorite things. Quinoa (complex carbohydrate + protein), garbanzo beans (complex carbohydrate + protein), roasted broccoli and kale + raw purple cabbage (heeeellllooooo fiber!), avocado (healthy fat), and a creamy lemon tahini dressing (YUM). 

    Tahini is an ingredient I always have on hand at home. Tahini is made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is similar in consistency to nut butters. It is creamy with a mild nutty flavor and absolutely delicious. I use it when I make hummus, but I use is most often to whip up quick sauces or dressings. This lemon tahini dressing is simple, but wonderfully flavorful and is the perfect final touch to this Buddha Bowl, bringing everything together nicely. 

    So, are you ready to jump on the Buddha Bowl bandwagon now?

    HOP ON! You will be so happy you did. 


    Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing (V + GF)

    | Serves 4 |

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup dry quinoa
    • 2 cups water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube
    • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 2 large broccoli crowns)
    • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, stems removed and large pieces torn in half
    • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • salt & black pepper to taste
    • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
    • 1 avocado, sliced

    For the dressing

    • 1/2 cup tahini
    • Juice of 1 medium lemon
    • 3 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt 
    • a dash of maple syrup to taste 
    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water *see note*

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and place broccoli florets on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure the broccoli is well coated. Sprinkle with garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
    2. While the broccoli is roasting, put kale into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and massage until well combined, then sprinkle with salt. 
    3. Add the kale to the same pan of broccoli and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  
    4. While vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa by heating a medium saucepan over high heat. Once hot, add quinoa, water, and vegetable bouillon cube and bring to a boil, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to low (simmer), cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has completely absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. 
    5. Prepare the dressing by adding tahini, lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and maple syrup into a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add water a little at a time until it forms a pourable sauce. 
    6. To serve, divide the quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, and purple cabbage between serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado slices and drizzle with tahini sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bit more flavor. 
    7. Enjoy! 

    Notes

    *Amount of water needed may vary. Sometimes I only need 1/4 cup, other times I need about 1/2 cup. Start slow and add more until you achieve your desired consistency. 

    *Leftovers may be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It is best if the tahini dressing is stored separately.

    xoxo,

    Lauren  

    Simply Delicious Berry Crisp

    Berry Crisp. Is there anything better? 

    Berry crisp has always been a favorite of mine. Growing up, I loved all things berry, but berry crisp was just the absolute best. Not much has changed :)

    Over the weekend we had our neighbors over for dinner. I wanted to make a simple, summery meal to pay tribute to this sunshine season coming to an end. If you follow me on Snapchat (@wholelivinglaur) you already got a sneak peak of some of the food. 

    Here are the dishes I made: 

    Black Bean Loaded Veggie Burgers

    Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Slaw with Pine Nut "Parm" (I used cashews instead of pine nuts)

    Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey Mustard Dressing (I subbed maple syrup for honey)

    I also bought guacamole, fresh mango salsa, and some locally made corn tortilla chips from Whole Foods to snack on. 

    Not a bad lineup if I do say so myself! I wanted to make a dessert but to be honest, I kinda suck at dessert. It just isn't my forte. I also didn't have time to make a complicated dessert so I looked in my pantry and fridge to see what I could come up with. Chocolate avocado mousse? I only had one avocado....darn. Cookies? Meh. Summer berry galette? YUM! But I'm too lazy to make the crust. But I DO have lots of frozen berries (I can thank my smoothie obsession for that!) and I DO have granola. 

    BERRY CRISP. BINGO. 

    Berry crisp to the rescue! This dessert turned out perfect. It was super simple and absolutely hit the spot. This will forever be my go-to when I need to throw together a quick dessert. It was the perfect homage to summer but also made me super excited for fall. Fall in Ohio is the best. I'm ready for chilly mornings, jeans, and cute sweaters. When winter rolls around I'll be wishing it was summer again. Can it just stay summer and fall forever?! 

    I also need to tell you about my new favorite dairy-free ice cream! So Delicious "Very Vanilla" Cashew Milk Ice Cream. YOU GUYS, it's such a dream! Don't even THINK about skipping the ice cream on your berry crisp. And, no, So Delicious is not paying me to say this. It's just so good that I need you to know about it. And buy it.

    You can thank me later. 

    Simply Delicious Berry Crisp

    | Serves 6 |

    Ingredients

    • 6 cups frozen berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
    • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 Tbsp melted Earth Balance (or butter of choice)
    • 2 cups granola
    • Non-dairy ice cream of choice 

    Instructions: 

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). 
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the frozen berries, coconut sugar, and flour. Pour mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. 
    3. Combine melted butter and granola in a small bowl. Scatter the granola mixture over the berry mixture in the baking dish. 
    4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the berries and their juices are bubbly.. 
    5. Spoon into dishes and serve with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream on top. 
    6. Enjoy! 

    Notes

    *Feel free to use store bought or homemade granola. Here are some of my favorites: Blueberry granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola, Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Granola

    xoxo, 

    Lauren

    Green Machine Rice Noodle Bowl

    Scott wanted pasta. I did not. The result was this dish. 

    Every Sunday, while I make our weekly grocery list, I ask Scott what he wants for dinners throughout the week. He throws out a few ideas and I usually agree and start thinking about what ingredients we need. This past Sunday he suggested pasta. We had gone out to an Italian restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary (we celebrated 3 years on August 17th!) the night before and I think I was still stuffed to the brim from all the eggplant parm I ate. I was craving something light and fresh for dinner on Sunday...not heavy pasta. 

    Sometimes when I am really stuck in a rut, I start thumbing through the cookbooks that are stacked in our kitchen. There is something so nice about flipping through actual pages and not scrolling down a screen with your finger. Side note: I think I am starting to go blind from straining my eyes because I may or may not be guilty of looking up too much stuff on my phone. Man...that statement makes me sound like such a millennial. But for real, after almost 30 years glasses-free, I think I need to schedule an appointment with the eye doc.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway - I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, Plenty More, and I came across a gorgeous veggie rice noodle dish. If you are familiar with Plenty and Plenty More cookbooks, you know how stunning the photos are. Every recipe sucks me in! But the rice noodle dish really stuck out to me. It looked like the perfect balance of comforting noodles and bright, fresh green veggies. I had to make a variation. 

    And guess what? It was an absolute winner! I love this dish because it is so light and refreshing. The light sauce and bright citrus really make the ingredients pop. You know when you eat something that just tastes so fresh? That is exactly how this dish felt. 

    Fresh. Vibrant. Delicious. 

    Oh and hey, it's got some plant-based protein! This is the way I like to eat pasta. Light on the noodles, heavy on the veggies, extra plant protein.  

    So thanks for suggesting pasta for dinner, Scott. I guess you do come up with good ideas every once in a while ;)

    Green Machine Rice Noodle Bowl (V + GF)

    Adapted from the recipe "Rice Noodles with Green Onions and Edamame" From Plenty More by Yotam Ottalenghi

    | Serves 4 |

    Ingredients: 

    • 8 oz dried wide rice noodles
    • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced 
    • 2 bundles of green onions (about 15-20 small ones), white and green parts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch diagonal slices
    • 2 cut broccoli florets 
    • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
    • 1 Tbsp olive (or sesame oil)
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • Juice of 1 large lime 
    • 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
    • Zest of 1 lime (for garnish)
    • Red pepper flakes (for garnish)
    • Crushed peanuts (optional for garnish)

    Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well, rinse under hot water, and set aside with 1 tsp olive oil stirred through. Cover the noodles to keep warm and set aside. 
    2. In a large wok or saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and edamame and cook for about 5-7 minutes more, until the broccoli has softened slightly. 
    3. Turn the heat off, add the cooked noodles to the wok, then add the 1 Tbsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, sea salt, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
    4. Stir well and sprinkle with lime zest, red pepper flakes, and crushed peanuts (optional). 
    5. Enjoy! 

    xoxo,

    Lauren