Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: Rockin’ Romaine Smoothie Bowl

One thing T and I have in common, besides our genes, is a love for green smoothies.  As a grown up I am flexible on acceptable smoothie colors.  T, however, is not.  Even when I try to conceal a purple smoothie in an opaque drinking receptacle he opens the top and calls me out on my mistake.  The smoothie bowl below is a twist on one of his favorites.  Instead of the usual spinach, I used romaine lettuce in a flurry of creative inspiration (just kidding, we were out of spinach and I didn’t feel like making a trip to the store…).  Truthfully the romaine pairs well with the sweeter ingredients and makes for a rather refreshing treat.  As a bonus, romaine happens to be a great detoxifier if you are in need of a little internal spring cleaning.

Rockin’ Romaine Smoothie Bowl


-1/2-1 cup (depending on how thick you like your bowl) unsweetened soy or other plant milk (I use West Soy organic unsweetened)

-1 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional but adds to the green hue and nutrition content)

-1 romaine heart, choppped

-1/2 banana (you can slice the other half for a yummy topping!)

-1 small handful frozen broccoli

-1 cup frozen mango

To make:

-Place all ingredients except romaine in blender (unless you have a Vitamix, then layer according to directions).

-Blend ingredients until smooth and add romaine.

-Blend again until romaine disappears.

-Serve in a bowl topped with berries, banana, granola, or whatever else your romaine heart desires!

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

Romaine….it’s not just for Caesar salads anymore…..
Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: Just Beet It

For the past several years I’ve been a big fan of beets.  In fact, beets were one of T’s first solid foods, which made for some messy but comical dinners at our house (see pic below).  Though T is in a no beet phase right now, my love for them is still growing strong.  So strong that I created this pretty-in-pink beet hummus last week to go with some tasty veggie burgers.  What’s so great about beets?  The nitrates in beets have proven to be performance enhancing, making beet root juice a popular beverage among competitive athletes.  More recent studies have shown simply eating beets prior to activity may have the same result.  Want to “beet” the competition?  Snack on this hummus prior to your next athletic event….


Beet Hummus


-1 15 oz can no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-2 medium sized beets, cooked (to skip the prep try Love Beets brand prepared beets)

-1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth

-1 teaspoon ground cumin

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-2 tablespoons tahini

-Juice of half a lemon

To make:

-Place all ingredients in food processor except for vegetable broth.

-Blend and slowly add in more vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.  You can use more than the recommended amount if  needed.

-Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.


For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

This hummus can’t be beet….
T back when he was a little beet machine….


Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: Doubly Delicious Carrot Cupcakes

Doesn’t this recipe sound like Peter Cottontail’s dream dessert? I made these on Easter and couldn’t think of a more fitting treat.  Unlike some carrot cake recipes, this one is super simple and pretty darn healthy (for a cupcake).  The secret?  Carrots in the frosting!  I know this sounds crazy but it’s just one of those things you have to try to believe.  We have all heard about carrots being great for eye health and it’s true.  The beta carotene and carotenoids in help in wound healing, protect against alzheimer’s disease, decrease risk of heart disease, lower risk of stroke, and boost the immune system.  No wonder why Peter always has that extra hop in his step……

Doubly Delicious Carrot Cupcakes (makes 12 cupcakes)


For frosting:

-3/4 cup raw cashews soaked in at least 1 cup water for at least 1 hour, up to overnight

-2 cups grated carrots

-1/2 cup pure maple syrup

-pinch of sea salt

-flaked coconut (optional, for garnish)

For cake:

-2 cups sorghum flour (I used sorghum for it’s high nutritional value and gluten free status but any baking flour would do)

-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (cinnamon would work well too)

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda

-2 teaspoons baking powder

-1/8 teaspoon sea salt

-3/4 cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened (I used Westsoy unsweetened organic soy milk)

-3/4 cup pure maple syrup

-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

-1 cup grated carrots

-1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

To make:


-Add 2 cups carrots and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan and cook covered on high until water evaporates.  Lower to medium heat and add 1/2 cup maple syrup.  Cook until carrots absorb maple syrup.  Remove from heat to cool.

-Drain and rinse cashews and place in high speed blender.

-Add carrot mixture and pinch of salt and process until smooth.

-Transfer to bowl and place in fridge to chill until ready to frost cooled cupcakes.


-Combine dry ingredients.

-Combine wet ingredients in high speed blender until thoroughly blended.

-Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined.

-Drop batter into paper lined cupcake sheet.

-Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until knife inserted into cupcake comes out clean.

-Cool on wire rack until ready to frost

Recipe adapted from Rouxbe Forks Over Knives Cooking Course

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

I love you like a fluffy bunny loves carrots….any old millennials get the vague reference to “21 Questions” by 50 cent?  
Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: 3 Minute Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

This recipe was born in an effort to use up a bag of brussels sprouts that have been sitting in the fridge.  J brought them home from the store intent on grilling them but, as you read in yesterday’s post, the weather hasn’t exactly been ideal for that (c’mon Virginia!  We left Chicago for you, show us some warm weather love….).  I am not sure how I got this far being plant based without making brussels sprouts but it is true.  Up until a few weeks ago I was a brussels sprouts virgin.  No more!  Since that slapdash weekday effort they have become a dinnertime staple.  I love it when my laziness produces a surprisingly good result.  Why brussels sprouts?  They contain sulforphanes which protect against cancer, glucosinolates to protect the gut lining, and vitamins like K and C to protect against inflammation. 

3 Minute Balsamic Brussels Sprouts


-1 lb of brussels sprouts, washed and prepped

-1/2 cup sweet onion, diced small

-1/2 cup vegetable broth

-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (truth be told I’ve yet to measure making these but this would be my closest approximation)

-1 teaspoon good quality sea salt

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

To make:

-Dry saute onion on Instant Pot saute setting, stirring constantly.

-When onion begins to stick, add balsamic and stir again until most of the liquid evaporates.

-Add brussels sprouts and saute a few minutes more.

-Turn off saute and add 1/2 cup vegetable broth.

-Give everything a stir and seal the lid, closing pressure release.

-Set Instant Pot to 3 minutes on high pressure cooker setting.

-When time is up, manually release the steam.

-Season as desired and enjoy!

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

I’ve never been to Brussels but I sure love their sprouts….
Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Maca Energy Balls

In the mood for a chocolate truffle but don’t want a sugar crash after enjoying your sweet treat?  These balls are for you.  Packed with superfoods like raw cacao and maca, they’ll keep you energized and satisfied.  My goal with the recipe below was to incorporate as many feel good foods as possible.  Between the magnesium from the pumpkin seeds, the anandamide in the raw cacao, and the adaptogenic properties of the maca, they’ll lift your mood without cramping your healthy style.  The recipe below is nut free, gluten free, and, of course, plant based.  Feel free to experiment to suit your own tastes and needs.

Chocolate Maca Energy Balls


-1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

-1/2 cup seed butter or tahini (I used this butter for some extra sweetness, nut butter also works)

-10-12 medjool dates, pitted

-1/4 cup maca powder (or sub oat flour, coconut flour, etc.)

-2 tablespoons raw cacao (regular cocoa powder or carob also works well)

-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

-2 teaspoons vanilla

-1/2 cup shredded coconut

-pinch of stevia leaf powder (optional, I use Stevia Select brand pure organic stevia powder, one smidgen scoop equals a teaspoon sugar)

To make:

-Place pumpkin seeds in food processor and grind until powdery.

-Add all other ingredients and blend until throughly combined and batter is slightly sticky. You may add a bit of water if necessary.

-Roll batter into balls and, if desired, roll in coconut or crushed pumpkin seeds for a fun appearance and texture.

-Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to help balls set.

-Store in airtight container in fridge.

Pro tip: If you aren’t in the mood for ball-rolling, press batter into a small (8×8 or similar) pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.  Cut into bars and store in fridge.

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!