The first time I had Kung Pao “chicken” it was a vegan version at a restaurant here in Oakland called Great Wall.I had just entered my freshmen year of college, and because I am basically 150 million years old, I wasn’t used to seeing fake meat around. Great Wall’s menu was chock full of classic chinese delights, and most of it was vegan. I was floored, and then I was stoked. I proceded to eat there most days for the next couple of years.
Great Wall tasted great, but from where I stand now, it leaves much to be desired nutritionally. Most things were deep fried, MSG was certainly used liberally. There weren’t many fresh vegetables in the meals, because- you know- that wasn’t really the point. It was a vegan version of greasy takeout! Obviously I can’t expect it to be some seasonal, local, organic veg plate.
These days, when I want Kung Pao, I make my own. I use ingredients I am stoked on, and- real talk- this recipe is SO delicious. I can’t wait to share it with you.
|Kung Pao Style Beyond Chicken|| |
- Marinated Beyond Meat:
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or Chili Ginger Lime KeVita Tonic for an extra punch)
- 1 container Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
- Kung Pao sauce:
- ½ cup miso broth
- 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Tahini or peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Other stir-fry ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon. minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup green onion, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cups kale, chopped
- ¼ cup peanuts
- For marinating the chicken: Stir together the Bragg's, apple cider vinegar and mirin in a bowl and add the Beyond Meat. Let sit for anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor the Beyond Meat soaks up.
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat oil or broth in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the green onion, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes.
- Continuing to stir, add the zucchini, kale, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry for five more minutes.
- Stir in the sauce. Add the chicken, with all its excess liquid if there is any. Cook for 5-10 more minutes, continuing to stir frequently, until the mixture is hot throughout and the sauce has coated the chicken and vegetables. In the last minute, add the chopped celery and peanuts and mix in thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!
Things have been really, super, very busy around these parts. I used to think “oh, as soon as XYZ is done, I will have ALL THIS TIME to do SO MANY THINGS”. Recently, I had the realization that I will likely always have projects and it makes sense to get used to having a lot going on. This is the life of a person who is willing to #workthathustle in order to live an enjoyable life. It is full, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
There are a lot of moving parts in terms of my day to day and I don’t take that for granted. While I’ve always been driven by projects and achievements, for years I didn’t do much outside of my eating disorder. I am honestly still getting used to the fact that I have a big life, with friends and clients and a partner. When I start to feel overwhelmed lately, I try to remind myself of times when I would simply mope all day and go to bed at 7PM, because I just wanted my day to be over. My life was therapy, the nutritionist, OA meetings, and compulsive cardio. I hated my body. My friendships were limited, and even with people I felt alone.
I don’t forget where I’ve come from.
ANYWAY, I am supposed to be telling you about my meals and snacks, not the deep dark shit in my past. What I am basically trying to say is that with my business, my side hustle recipe formulation, writing, friends, the podcast, my partner, a wedding in less than three weeks, kauai right after, and a move to Portland in September, shit is definitely happening. I am not living on the sidelines and I’m super grateful! Here is a peak at my food:
6:00AM – Pre workout, AKA breakfast number one:
My daily morning steez has been a FitQuick waffle with banana soft serve lately, and I cannot recommend this combo enough. The carbs give me quick energy to get out there and crush it at the gym, and a waffle and ice cream breakfast makes the kid in me really, really happy. After this waffle I hit the gym for the first day in my de-load week. I did the following workout:
A. 1 clean and 2 front squats- 4 sets at 70% of your clean one rep max
B. Back squat: 3 sets of 8 at 60% of your one rep max
C. Behind the Neck snatch grip push press- 5 sets of 3 at 60% of your one rep max snatch
D. Superset: 2 sets- 20 hip extensions, 20 weighted walking lunges
E. Cardio: 90 double unders, 30 back squats, 60 double unders, 20 front squats, 30 double unders, 10 overhead squats . (finished in 17 minutes and 36 seconds) Incidentally, my friend Ed was filming his back squat PR as I finished my overhead squats and he captured me here. I felt truly fucked as I completed this workout, but I’m looking strong! I’ll take it.
9:30AM- Post workout, aka Breakfast number two:
I love the fitness life for many, many reasons and how good exercise makes food taste is just one of them. This meal was a Stumptown Cold Brew in honor of my beloved Portland, paired with some Bread SRSLY vegan gluten-free sourdough, nooch, and some super-eggy style tofu scramble. This recipe is soooo simple, but the Kama Nalak salt takes the scram to a serious next-level. As a vegan who used to love eggs, I find this to be divine.
1:00 PM- lunch!
In the past, I have always had green smoothies for one of my two breakfasts, and it has taken some adjustment to just be getting my first veg serving after noon. I personally find that old orthorexic thoughts can still creep in from time to time, so I am actually enjoying the challenge of letting myself have what I want, as opposed to what I think I should have. Who says green smoothies are the only breakfast? Really, I think the answer is that no one said that, and that somewhere along the lines I made it up as a rule and stuck to it regardless. My breakfasts are directly around my workouts, and I find myself significantly more satisfied when I chew to get my nutrition at those times. Maybe you feel the same?
What was I talking about again?
Oh, yeah. Lunch.
So, by the time lunch rolled around, I was super ready for some veg-action. This pile is kale, steamed yukon gold potatoes, Beyond Meat grilled Chicken Strips, and Rita’s Chipotle Salsa, all piled on Food for Life Corn Tortillas. The tortillas are sprouted (yay, digestability!) and made of whole corn kernals. I LOVE them.
Dinner was a new recipe I formulated for the KeVita blog that I am actually really excited about. It involved eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, cilantro, zucchini noodles, and – of course- some KeVita. It was topped with So Delicious Unsweetened Cultured Coconut Milk and it tasted awesome. At the time of writing, that recipe has yet to be posted, but keep checking back. It should be up there soon!
It is definitely on the liberal side to call a protein chia pudding a dessert, but it was sweet and cold without the blood sugar spike, so I think it’s kind of perfect. Basically, I soaked 3 Tablespoons of Chia with unsweetened homemade pumpkin seed milk, 1 scoop of Vanilla Vega Sport and some frozen berries, and it tastes fucking awesome. I eat some variation of a protein pudding, ice cream, or pancake (typically using Vega) almost every day and I LOVE the flavor.
In between my foods and my workout I promoted a post I had written on emotional eating, cleaned the gym that I do a trade with, got groceries, answered client emails, formulated a meal plan, met with a client in person, formulated and photographed said KeVita recipe, trained a client, showered, and recorded my Podcast.
With the exception of the dinner recipe (which I formulated and took time with as part of my work), each meal took me less than 10 minutes to prepare. It may seem overhwhelming to eat healthy, but once you get in the flow it can actually be super efficient.
What are YOU eating lately? Links and pictures, PLZ!
SO. I have a recipe for you today, which I am ridiculously excited to present.
I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time. Obviously, I have been eating- and cooking, even!- every day. Quinoa here, tofu there. A dash of tamari. Some broccoli and nooch. Delicious, sure, but I am not trying to waste the Internet’s time acting like my bowls are some sort of revelation. I’ve been busy as heck (Podcast! Book proposal! Wedding! Moving! Training! Clients!) and that is truthfully when I am most prone to food ruts. This roast was a personal game changer for me, and even aside from the pandora’s box of recipe formulation it re-opened, the flavors are completely delicious and perfect for these waning days of Summer.
I really do believe you could make this recipe with any old raspberries and cauliflower, but these farmer’s market fresh beauties made the color of the recipe pop as much as the flavor. What can I say?- visuals are important to me. White cauliflower is great, but give me hues of orange or purple and my brain automatically codes whatever dish is being made as “fancy”.
And who doesn’t like being fancy?
|Raspberry Chipotle BBQ tofu and cauliflower|| |
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½-1 teaspoon liquid smoke, depending on your tastes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or lemon cayenne KeVita if you want an extra kick
- salt and pepper to taste
- spray oil
- 2 small heads cauliflower
- 1 14 oz. block sprouted tofu
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Combine tomatoes, raspberries, maple syrup, tamari, paprika, chili powder, and apple cider vinegar in a high speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth.
- Chop your tofu and cauliflower into 1" pieces
- Spray 1-2 baking sheets with spray oil. The larger your cauliflower heads are, the more baking sheet space you will need.
- Place your cauliflower and tofu on baking sheets, making sure to spread the pieces out in a single layer.
- Bake your mixture for 45 minutes-1 hour, checking intermittently. You want your cauliflower to be soft and the edges to be getting crispy.
- Plate and enjoy!
What Summer foods are YOU enjoying?