As we are getting into the summer, many of you may be training to show your summer body and six-pack.
Restaurant foods can be greasy, full of synthetic and unhealthy ingredients. Since nutrition plays 70% role in most weight loss efforts, you may want to cook your way to a healthy and toned body.
I’ve designed 3 easy vegetarian recipes – an effortless (each course takes less than 20 minutes to make) and light meal – to prepare for the summer. You can snack on one course, or make the whole meal for you and your loved ones.
I’ve also included featured ingredients in the recipes so you know how you can benefit from these amazing superfood ingredients.
This article is a re-post from Green Queen Hong Kong. For those of you who are living in Hong Kong, or planning a visit to Hong Kong, check out their green guide, the most comprehensive green guide to the city!
#1: Organic Tomato Soup with Cayenne Pepper and Basil
This soup is organic, vegan, and non-GMO. The fiery heat of this soup can also warm you up in this cool March/April weather. The zesty taste of basil complements the summer tomato and spicy cayenne, making this soup irresistibly heart-warming and energizing.
FEATURED INGREDIENT: CAYENNE PEPPER
The best part of this soup is the cayenne pepper, which:
- Curbs your appetite
- Boosts your metabolism
- Is a good source of vitamin A
- Contains capsaicin that alleviates nasal congestion
Since many of us are getting the flu these days, this soup is a great remedy. The last thing you want is the flu to set you off your workout schedule for a week and you’ll have to catch up.
THIS RECIPE IS: Vegan
SERVES / Preparation time: 2 / 15 minutes
- 1 Can of Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce – I use canned tomato because it is faster. Otherwise, you can buy a cup of organic tomatoes, boil them, and puree them in a blender.
- ½ Cup of Almond Milk – I use home-made almond milk, though you can use almond milk (I like Pacific Foods Almond Milk)
- ½ Cup of Organic Vegetable Stock
- ½ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch of Grounded Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon diced onions (optional)
- ½ Tablespoon of olive oil
- Organic Basil
- Pinch of Himalayan Salt (Stephen James salt does the trick!)
- Heat onions with olive oil. Once onion is caramelized, add tomato sauce, almond milk and vegetable stock. Stir.
- Once soup is simmering with bubbles, add basil. We’re adding basil later in the process so we aren’t over cooking the leaves.
- Sprinkle soup with cayenne pepper, black pepper, and pinch of Himalayan salt.
#2: Anti-inflammatory Mixed Green Salad with Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa and Cranberries
This salad is organic, anti-inflammatory, and vegan. I love it because it is a great post-workout lunch, and contains complete protein, quinoa, for vegetarians. The chewy, moist and nutty flavor of this salad blends very well with the mildly sweet and tangy dressing, making the mixed greens a light and refreshing snack.
FEATURED INGREDIENTS: SUNFLOWER SEEDS, DRIED CRANBERRIES & QUINOA
I added sunflower seeds to add a bit of depth and texture to the salad. You can also toast the seeds to give the salad an extra flavor.
Sunflower seeds are also:
- High in vitamin E
- Contains good source of magnesium (good for muscle tone and eases fatigue)
- High in selenium (cancer-fighting and great for skin and hair)
To make the salad a bit chewy, naturally sweet, and moist, I’ve added dried cranberries; their natural sweetness complements the sunflower seeds’ nutty flavor, giving the salad a sweet boost. Of course, cranberries also give the salad a vitamin C boost. The amazing array of phytonutrients cranberries contain can also help fight cancer and are anti-inflammatory.
Lastly, the quinoa in this salad not only serves a complete protein, but can also make you feel full and balance your blood sugar levels.
THIS RECIPE IS: Vegan
SERVES/PREPARATION TIME: 2 / 15 minutes
- Around 250 grams of Organic Mixed Greens – I like Organic Girl for quick, pre-washed, organic greens
- 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower Seeds – I use Nowfoods.
- 1 Tablespoon of Dried Cranberries – I use Made in Nature because it does not have any artificial sugar, is certified organic, non-GMO and perfectly moist.
- ½ Cup of Cooked Quinoa- You can use black, red or white, or a mix them all together.
- 2 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Grape Must
- A few drops of Freshly Squeezed Organic Orange Juice
- Pinch of Pepper and Himalayan Salt
- Whisk dressing ingredients together.
- Assemble all salad ingredients in serving bowl.
- Mix salad with dressing just before serving.
#3: Pistachio Coconut Chia Delight Pudding
I love coconut puddings because they are easy to make, especially since fresh coconut milk and water are easily accessible in tropical areas (for beach lovers like you…) They make a great pre-summer snack. I find it a bit too light in the winter though you coco-lovers may disagree.
FEATURED INGREDIENTS: PISTACHIO AND CHIA SEEDS
I love pistachios. Termed “skinny nuts”, pistachios are:
- One of the lowest caloric nuts out there
- Rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid that prevent heart disease
- High in antioxidants like vitamin E for clear and glowing skin
- High in vitamin B6, boosting your immune system, maintaining your blood sugar levels and fighting cancer (I’d like to note that pistachios are great source of vitamin B6 for vegetarians)
Pistachio’s unique nutty aroma also complements the fresh taste of coconut giving this pudding a deliciously light taste and crunchy texture.
I’ve also added chia seeds, which give the pudding a thicker texture and fill you up. Chia seeds are also extremely nutrient dense: Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 2282 mg of Omega 3 and 752 mg of Omega 6 fatty acids!
Note: If you want to make a smoothie instead, you can blend the ingredients with ice and coconut water. Of course, I love prefer fresh coconut water to store brought ones. If you do choose store-brought ones, I like CocoWater, an affordable and high-quality drink.
THIS RECIPE IS: Vegan
SERVES/ PREPARATION TIME: 2 / 15 minutes
- 5 Tablespoon of Coconut Milk – I use Native Forest unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Grade A Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
- 2 Tablespoon of Raw Pistachio Butter (or ½ cup of raw pistachios)
- Blend coconut milk with raw pistachio butter or raw pistachios.
- Stir with maple syrup.
- Pour mixture on chia seeds. Stir till chia seeds are immersed evenly into mixture.
- Leave in fridge for 10 minutes till chia seeds absorb moisture and coconut milk.
- Top with pistachio nut or coconut shreds
How are you cooking your way to a six-pack for the summer? Leave us a comment!