Peanut Sesame “Zoodles” (Zucchini Noodles)

Peanut Sesame Zoodles ( Zucchini Noodles )Clearly, I’m still having a great time playing with the Spiralizer I got for Christmas. If you don’t yet have one, you can still make this recipe, but you’ll have to find another way to make the noodles(ribbons/cutting). It’ll probably be a LOT more time consuming(and the noodles will not have that perfect noodle roundness) that way, so I recommend getting a Spiralizer if you enjoy these sorts of recipes.
I’ve found that any noodle based recipe, any type of cuisine, work perfectly with the zucchini noodles – all for fewer calories, with the same flavour. The zucchini seems to take on the flavour of whatever sauce you put on it, so it isn’t overly veggie-like. They also have the same texture of a perfect al dente noodle – and the same dishes can be made in mere minutes. This is also a great way to sneak extra vegetables into your diet.

I’ve always loved cold Peanut Sesame Noodles, so I decided to try this take on it. It turned out great – so I’m sharing it with all of you. I miss absolutely nothing(except calories) by switching out the noodle base for zucchini, and you can even add chicken or chickpeas for a little extra protein. This is easily my favourite recipe I’ve made with the Spiralizer so far.

If you have trouble finding the PB2 listed in the recipe, you can switch it out for a tbsp of Peanut or Almond Butter. Just heat and thin it with water first. Don’t use too much water, however – the recipe has other liquid ingredients that may throw off the base, making it too watery. So I recommend the PB2 if you can find it.

This recipe makes a HUGE bowl of noodles; so you can make a meal of it, or split it in two to four portions as a side. You’re probably looking at approximately 300-350 calories total, for the entire recipe(as written).
It’s super easy, and takes less than 10 minutes, start to finish. Hope you enjoy it!Peanut Sesame Zoodles ( Zucchini Noodles )

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large zucchini(larger zucchini have less flavour, so these are ideal for zoodles)
  • 2 tbsp PB2 (if no PB2 available, see text for alternate instructions)
  • 1 tbsp water, to thin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Spiralizer, to make Zoodle Noodles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all powdered ingredients into a bowl with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Mix well.
  2. If sauce is not thin, add tbsp of water of water slowly, stirring, making sure that it becomes thin, but NOT watery.
  3. Cut ends off of your 2 zucchini, and Spiralize both into a large bowl.
  4. Add sauce to bowl, along with sesame seeds and desired amount of red pepper flakes(I only use a pinch or two).
  5. Toss thoroughly, being sure to coat all noodles well with sauce. You may use extra sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
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Plant Based Protein Sources

You don’t have to be a Vegetarian to appreciate that reduced meat consumption can have a positive impact on your health. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to reduce your intake, or if you just want more protein options overall, refer to my handy, printable chart below. Feel free to share the chart with your friends and family on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Plant Based Protein Sources from www. YellowTurtleFitness.com

Lean Vegetable Beef Soup(w/ Vegetarian option!)

Lean Vegetable Beef Soup (with Vegetarian option!)One of my favourite comfort foods is Vegetable Beef soup. In the 80s, it was a classic cold day meal, with a grilled cheese on the side.

My version is not only clean and lean, but a meal in itself.

There are times when I do make a vegetarian version of this, and the switch is ultra easy to make. So if you want to prepare this for a Meatless Monday meal, or just prefer Vegetarian style, it only requires you to switch out a few ingredients.

Also, don’t be frightened off by the large ingredient list. Most of these are staples that are in my house 99% of the time. You probably have most of it on hand already!

In the Winter, don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables. Most are flash frozen at their peak, preserving their nutrition for your convenience. I make heavy use of them in this recipe, but feel free to switch them out for fresh if you prefer.

My Vegetable Beef (or “Beef”) Soup recipe is easy, clean, low calorie, and perfect as a warming meal on a cold evening.

lean beef and vegetable soup

Ingredients:

– 1 lb of extra (96%) lean ground beef / VEG OPTION: 1 medium sized bag of ground meatless crumbles

– 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 1 cup of frozen corn kernels

– 1 cup of frozen peas

– 2 cups frozen green beans

– 1 and 1/2 cups of carrots, sliced into coins

– 3 or 4 large stalks of celery, sliced

– 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

– 1  28 oz can of diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)

– 1  14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)

– 2 bay leaves

– 1/2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– 1 tsp dried sage

– 1 tbsp dried thyme

– 1/2 tbsp parsley

– 2 cups beef broth / VEG OPTION: 2 cups vegetable broth

– 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / VEG OPTION: leave this out. Substitute liquid hickory smoke + 1/2 tsp salt, if desired)

– extra salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Mist olive oil evenly into the bottom of a large soup pot. Add onion, beef (or meatless crumbles), and garlic.

2. When beef is mostly browned, add carrots and celery. If using crumbles, add carrots and celery in the first step. Cook until carrots and celery are beginning to get tender.

3. Add all tomatoes and broth to soup pot. Stir frequently and bring to simmer.

4. Add all remaining vegetables, paprika, sage, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir frequently while bringing back to a simmer.

5. Add bay leaf and parsley. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Check on soup every 15 minutes and stir.

6. I recommend giving it at least a 1/2 hour of low simmer + stirring. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves, then serve.

Awesome Autumn! Pumpkin Spice Frappe Recipe / VegaOne Starter Kit Review

finished frappe

Last weekend, I received a lovely Starter Kit for review from the good people at Vega. Vega is a company started by Brendan Brazier, a professional Ironman Athlete, who wanted to create a plant based, whole food diet that was complete enough to fuel the demanding nutritional needs of athletes. Being Vegan, he had trouble locating options in the market at the time for protein shakes. So he created the Vega company’s first product: VegaOne.

The Vega company now has a Starter Kit available, where you can try their most popular VegaOne flavours(French Vanilla, Berry,  & Chocolate), along with a book of recipes and a coupon.

vegakit

The Starter Kit fuels you for 5 days of clean, plant-based nutrition. Each packet contains 50% of your daily Vitamin/Mineral Intake; has no added sugar; and is soy, gluten, and dairy free.

Each packet also contains:

  • No artificial flavours, colours, or sweeteners
  • 15g protein
  • 6 g fiber
  • 1.5g Omega-3
  • 3 servings of greens
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics

Nutrition Fact Panel:

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

While I am not Vegan, I jumped at the opportunity to review VegaOne. I do see the benefit of a Vegan lifestyle, and will, on occasion, use Vegan products. Generally speaking, I am a huge fan of Whey protein, but it’s always good to switch things up once in a while/expand your palate.

I have tried all 3 flavours on their own, and quite like them.
The Chocolate is very rich – almost like a dark chocolate.
The only flavour that seems to have an aftertaste is the Vanilla. I used to use a Hemp Protein shake product a few years ago, and the aftertaste reminds me of it… slightly green, slightly nutty. It’s a pleasant flavour, and makes the shake a little different from your standard vanilla whey.
The flavours aren’t overly “spinach-y”, like some Greens supplement packets can be, and they manage to blend the greens in with the protein without it being too distracting. Even those with Veggie aversions probably wouldn’t have a problem with these shakes.

VegaOne would be great for those who are dipping their toe into Veganism, or even non-Vegans that just want a plant based protein with the added benefits of greens.

I had planned already to post some new Autumn recipes for the Yellow Turtle Fitness blog, and the VegaOne products fit right in for my first Awesome Autumn recipe:

The Pumpkin Spice Frappe!

If you love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccinos, but not the nutrition facts accompanying it, this recipe is for you.
My Pumpkin Spice Frappe is lower in calories, lower in fat, lower in sugar, higher in protein, and if you use the VegaOne packet, has the bonus of greens/added nutritional benefits. It makes a great post-workout recovery shake, as well.

First, gather your Ingredients:

vegafrapingredients

All ingredients, or notes, in parenthesis are alternate ingredients or suggestions. Remember that adding extra, or substituting ingredients, will change the calorie count.

You will need:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups Unsweetened Coconut Drinking Milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp Pure Packed Pumpkin Puree (NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling!)
  • 1 packet French Vanilla VegaOne Nutritional Shake Powder (or 1 serving Vanilla/cream flavoured protein powder of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (I added a bit of extra ginger, as well)
  • 1 tsp Instant Coffee Granules (if using brewed coffee, instead of milk amount listed above, use 1 cup strong brewed coffee + 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • OPTIONAL: 1/8 to 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (this will provide a very thick consistency to the Frappe, similar to a real Starbucks style Frappuccino)
  • OPTIONAL: Sweetener of choice (Maple Syrup, Stevia, etc), to taste

To Make Frappe:

– Place all ingredients, except ice, in blender. I did not find that the VegaOne product needed extra sweetener, so I suggest blending the ingredients without added sweetener first, tasting the concoction, and adding a little at a time as necessary.

– Blend until frothy and thick.

– Add ice, blend again.

– Pour into a cup, serve, and enjoy!

finished frappe

Makes 1 serving @ 250 calories

As I mentioned, remember that using a different protein powder, sweetener, milk, etc will change the calorie content, and probably the flavour, too. Calorie count is as listed, with ingredients noted above.

More Awesome Autumn Recipes coming soon!