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!
|Mole Roasted Chickpeas|| |
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup low sodium veggie broth broth
- 1.5 cups Cinnamon flavor KeVita tonic (or 1.5 more cups veggie broth + 1 teaspoon extra cinnamon)
- 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 ounces unsweetened baker's chocolate
- 3 cups chickpeas
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place the coconut oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until softened. Feel free to add a splash of water if it appears to be drying out.
- Add the tomatoes, veggie broth, KeVita, peppers, and spices (oregano through cacao powder). Reduce heat to low and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While sauce is cooking, skin your chickpeas. This is not 100% required, but really helps the beans soak up the Mole.
- Add the Baker's chocolate and cook over low heat for another ten minutes until the chocolate is melted.
- After the sauce is cooked, use a stick blender (or regular blender in batches) to puree until smooth.
- Pour chickpeas on to a baking sheet and pour the mole over the top, giving everything a quick toss. Bake in oven for one hour, or until liquid has dried up, leaving your chickpeas with crispy bits.
I hope you enjoy!
I have had a fantastic couple of weeks.
I went to Disneyland, I got engaged, I got home, I returned to work with a job that I love, I wrote, I swam, I lifted, I ate food that was fucking awesome. This time last year I was working a job that was slowly killing me, and I was sick- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I had IBS that made me feel somewhere on the scale of uncomfortable to terrible all the time. I grinded my teeth at night and rarely slept well. I was well on the road to loving my body and treating myself right, but it wasn’t consistently clicking.
When I work, I try to keep these facts in mind. I often get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of effort that I put into Super Strength Health, not because I don’t want to do the work or find it to be a chore, but because most tasks simply take me about three times the amount of time than I think they well, and thus my to-do list is perpetually long.
But the truth is, this work has both changed and saved my life in a number of ways. It gave me something to look forward to waking up to- day in and day out. It gave me huge amounts of self-esteem and a ton of incentive to KEEP doing my best, KEEP talking to myself kindly, KEEP loving the shit out of myself no matter what. Super Strength Health for me is freedom. The freedom to love my body. The freedom to be publicly open and imperfect and raw. The freedom to offer my listening ear most hours of the day, the freedom to let myself be supported financially by something I am extremely passionate about. It helps me as much as anyone else, and to keep it going I have to remember where I came from, and where I am now.
Basically, this “day in the life” is brought to you by a feeling of gratitude. My life is fun and cool and I love it, despite the kinks. (Also, as I’ve said before: I think we need as many feminist, body positive, health at every size advocating, health and wellness practitioners as possible. If you want to talk further about starting a business in this realm, email me! Let’s build an alliance.)
6:30AM Wake up.
When I first started my journey to self-employment, I felt scarred from 5am wakeups and 3 hour a day commutes. I relished in never EVER using an alarm to wake up. I am naturally an early riser, so most of the time I wake up with the sun anyway. It seemed reasonable to allow myself time to get into my natural rhythm. That was awesome for about a year, but these days I find myself using my alarm again, because there is a 7:30AM class at my gym that I genuinely enjoy taking. Although rising to do something I love is much much different than rising to sit in traffic, it is still not exactly easy to wake up to darkness. I never regret it once I am at the barbell, though, so I keep that in mind as I stumble around in the dark.
For those curious: my breakfast is consistently oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, and peanut butter and I always eat before I lift. I know some folks are all about fasted AM cardio, but that feels like shit to me, so I don’t do it. Huzzah for bio-individuality and meeting my own needs.
7:30 AM Barbell WOD
Today’s workout was a warm up, a complex of squat cleans, front squats, thrusters, and push presses, some backsquat sets, some deadlift sets, a superset of push ups and pull ups, and a 7 minute AMRAP of overhead squats and toes to bars. I was thoroughly worked when I was finished and straight chugged my recovery smoothie of Vega Sport, maca, chlorella, pineapple, banana and almond milk as soon as I was done. It tasted heavenly.
For those curious: I consider my workouts and my food to be a serious part of my business. It is my job to practice what I preach and my workouts are scheduled into my life like work hours (barring illness or exhaustion or injury)
9:00AM Prep for my meal prep-clients.
A new (and fun!) part of Super Strength Health is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free meal delivery.
It is important for me to offer my clients the freshest local and organic ingredients possible, so first I hit up the farmer’s market. I get the things I can’t get there (beans, coconut milk, etc.) from my local whole foods.
Today’s clients got vegan taco salad (romaine, lettuce, tomato, grilled scallions and green peppers, salsa, homemade bell pepper cilantro vinaigrette, black beans, and walnut taco “meat”) and coconut, kale, kidney bean and chickpea chana saag with wild rice. It took me about three hours to shop, prep, make, and package up enough for everyone and they picked up the goods from my house later that day. (I do delivery too, its just much cheaper for folks to come to me if they can!)
I ate some of the food I made for others for lunch, and it ruled.
12:00 Computer time
This is the moment of reckoning for me, because my email inbox is kiiiiinda cray. I tried to approach it calmly with intermittent deep breaths. I don’t know what it is about the time I have to spend on logistics that tends to give me anxiety, but it’s definitely a thing that I have to be gentle with myself about. I spent three hours computer-ing and it was totally fine. A lesson to Lacy of the future: do not fear the inbox!
3:00 Cofee with this babe.
This is my friend Jaiye. She is most often seen biking anywhere and everywhere, but sometimes we both slow down and get to have coffee with one another, which always feels much needed. I stole this picture from her social media, as it was taken mid-bike tour, which is when I am pretty sure Jaiye is the most stoked.
I caught up with Jaiye at Timeless Coffee while the sun peeked through for the first time in days. Life was good. Oh yeah! I also ate some collard green chips with my Americano ’cause I was feelin’ snacky.
It’s amazing, because my title is health and wellness coach, but much of what I do in a day is not actual session time. Tonight I met with a client that manages to seriously move me every single time we speak. I am amazed at the people that I get to work with! It is humbling to spend time with those who are demanding self-love in a world that doesn’t necessarily promote it, and I am honored to bare witness.
7:00PM Dinner and band practice
After my session, I dove into some food (wild rice, tempeh, romanesco, kale, tahini and nutritional yeast in case you couldn’t tell!), and hopped in my car. Due to some flooding issues of our practice space, we didn’t have a full practice, so one of my greatest homies (oh, and our bassist) and I went over some lyric placement so that I am extra prepared to shred when the space dries out.
9:00PM Shower, dudefriend snuggle, 1 episode of Gilmore Girls, and sleep.
In roughly that order, I relaxed into my off time, mentally high fived myself for a very fulfilling day, and got some shut eye. I am an eight-hours-of-sleep-or-bust type of babe, so I have a strict 10:00PM lights out policy if I plan on having another early morning the next day (which I do!)
See you guys tomorrow with a brand new recipe!