Fall Feelings and Apple Crumble


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Fall. Isn't it glorious? I love fall. Bouquets of sharpened pencils and all. It's not just because my birthday starts the season, but the start of dreary days and darker afternoons warms my introverted heart. The Swedish art of hygge was made for me. I love sweaters, thick socks, candles, and hot tea. And warm desserts. Is there anything better than the first warm bite of a dessert fresh out the oven? 

I made this apple crumble when the cold first hit and it hit the spot for me. Lots of warming, carminative spices keep the blood flowing and aid in digestion that could be sluggish as we start to wind down for winter. This crumble would be delicious on vegan ice cream or coconut yogurt. Or do like I did and put it on top of pancakes!

apples

Apple Crumble

Serves 4

3 Medium-sized apples (I used the Rome variety, but use your favorite!)

1 1/2 cups Gluten-free rolled oats

1/8 cup ground flax

1/8 cup black or white sesame seeds

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted & divided

1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your crumble)

1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided

1 tsp ground ginger, divided

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350F. Core and slice apples. I used a knife for 1/8-1/4" slices, but you can use a mandolin if available. Mix 2 tbsp of coconut oil with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and ginger, with all the nutmeg and cardamom. Mix into apple slices, then place in a glass or ceramic 8"x8" casserole dish.

In a separate bowl add oats, flax, sesame seeds, maple syrup, the rest of the coconut oil, and the remaining ginger and cinnamon. Mix well and layer on top of sliced apples. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until oats are golden brown. 

 Even Cricket wants a bite...

Even Cricket wants a bite...

What's your favorite fall treat? Write below in the comments or tag me on Instagram @lisammagee!

Veggie Niçoise Salad + Superfood Toppings


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My friend, Laura thinks up most of my blog posts  Well, she asks really great questions. Like what do I carry in my purse and what do I put on my salads. 

I love Niçoise salads. Maybe it's the way the veggies are grouped together, or how much I love potatoes on my salads. Skip the tuna (or not) and throw all these delicious veggies together then load with toppings. 

Veggie Niçoise Salad

Serves 2

2 small radishes

2 small carrots

Handful of green or yellow beans

4 mushrooms, whatever kind you like

2 small-ish red potatoes

1 avocado  

Few handfuls of arugula, or any kind of lettuce you like

Cut the potatoes in half and boil until pierceable with a fork. Chop up all the veggies after washing. Assemble all the pieces starting with the arugula. Slice the avocado on top. Use your favorite dressing. My preferred? Simple lemon juice with a little extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. 

And then throw on a bunch of toppings!

Black Sesame Seeds - High in calcium (1/4 cup has more calcium than a cup of milk!), magnesium and many other trace minerals necessary for proper body function. The hulled seeds do not have as many of the minerals so be sure to get actual raw black sesame seeds. Sometimes the cheap version are just hulled seeds burned.

Wakame Flakes - High in iodine which means they're a great addition for maintaining thyroid health. Wakame is also high in manganese, calcium, and other trace minerals which can ease PMS symptoms. 

Nutritional Yeast - Originally derived from the cast off yeast created from brewing beer, nutrional yeast is super high in B vitamins, including B12, and is a great source of protein. Sub in for parmesan since it has a slightly cheesy flavor.

Ground Flax or Chia Seeds - A little extra protein and a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids which keep inflammation down and lubricate everything from your skin to your joints.

Pink Himalayan Salt - With more trace minerals than standard table salt, the salts we once thought were fancy are now the best for us. Ditch the iodized salt and pick up some wakame flakes and pink salt instead. 

What's on your salad? Comment below or tag me on Instagram @lisammagee. Looking forward to seeing some superfood speckled salads soon! (Say that 5 times fast!)

Jessica Murnane + Reflecting on the Old Self


 Photo by Nicole Franzen for One Part Plant

Photo by Nicole Franzen for One Part Plant

My sister is a treasure trove of information. I don't know how she does it, but somehow she finds most of the things that make me happy. I have her to credit for putting me on to today's interviewee. Jessica Murnane is an inspiration. She's a podcast host, cookbook author, plant-based eating evangelist, and mother to one of the cutest kids I've ever seen (seriously). I had the chance to meet her through helping to launch her cookbook baby, One Part Plant, into the world. I was so excited that she agreed to let me interview her to share with you here. 

 

Before jumping into the interview, I wanted to share something I've been struggling with that Jessica addresses below: the old self. The old Lisa has been haunting me a bit lately. Old me ate until she was beyond full. She shoved every sugary thing in her mouth. She was sick, but she ate anything that she wanted. It isn't hard for me to admit that I miss old Lisa, even if I didn't feel well then. I want to eat pizza and not stress about what on the menu I CAN eat. What IS hard for me to admit is that I actually really like the idea of the new me. While I've still been feeling pretty fatigued, I like the idea of enjoying exercise and having great digestion. Of balancing my hormones and skin naturally. It's a work in progress, but I have to remember that it's barely been a year since I radically shifted my lifestyle. One day, this will be easier, but for now I just need to have a little patience with myself and keep up the good work. 

[Side note: In case you are unfamiliar, endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that makes up the lining of the uterus attaches itself to other parts of the body, usually within the abdomen. As the lining builds up during the cycle, the rogue tissue builds up as well causing pain and cramping. Jessica refers to this condition below.]


Tell me about why you started the One Part Plant Movement?

I changed my diet because of my Stage IV endometriosis. Well, I should say I "tried" to change my diet for Stage IV endo. I didn't think it would actually work. I had tried so many things to manage my pain and symptoms and nothing helped. I planned on getting a hysterectomy before a friend intervened and suggested I try a plant-based diet. I told her I would try it for three weeks and see what happens. In the back of my mind, I thought I'd still get the surgery. But then in just a couple of weeks, I began to feel better. I was able to get out of bed, exercise, and feel alive again. I never got the hysterectomy. 

But changing my diet was one of the hardest things I've ever done. There were moments where I thought it would just be easier to get a hysterectomy. I didn't know how to cook. I didn't know what to eat if I did cook. I felt so alone in my new food choices. I created One Part Plant for all those people like me. People that didn't wake up loving kale smoothies. People that struggle with food choices and change. I never want anyone to feel the way I did! 

 

Did endometriosis affect your digestion, skin, or hormones before you changed your diet?

I mean, my endo still affects my digestion, skin, and hormones. But now it feels manageable. In the old days, the week before my period you'd find me curled up on the bathroom floor crying. I was out of control emotionally. My face would be a mess and had terrible digestion. 

Now is a different story. I'm not saying I don't get moody now, because I can still be a little asshole the week before. But I'm more in control. I'll still get a pimple from time to time. And if I go off my endo diet, I'll have bathroom issues. But I'm a completely different woman!! 

 

Once you changed your diet and your endometriosis began to be managed, did you notice any other changes physically?

I still battle with inflammation issues (which I'm working on), so I'm not rocking a six-pack or anything . But overall, I just look healthier. My eyes are wider and whiter, my skin is softer, and I just feel so much better physically. It's been a huge lesson in my relationship with food. I make food choices based on managing my pain and symptoms and not on what foods make me "skinny" or "fat". 

 

What about mentally? 

There is a huge difference mentally for me. When you live with chronic pain and you know that every single month that you will lose a few days-week of your life because of your illness, it can put you in a very dark place. I was severely depressed and there were some days that I just didn't want to wake up knowing the pain I'd be in. 

I think it's so important that we raise more awareness about endo because of infertility issues and unnecessary surgeries, but we can't forget to talk about the mental toll it can have on a woman. It's very real and needs to be talked about. 

 

On a recent podcast you spoke with Minaa B about your "old self". This is something I am grappling with right now, too. Can you tell me what your old self was like? Do you ever miss her?

My old self still lingers around. I don't miss her, but do recognize the fact that she's made me who I am. She's the reason I got to change my life, write a book, and talk to you right now. She's insanely strong and determined, but was just in so much pain, (mentally and physically). She creeps back in when I'm struggling with negative self-talk. She can VISIT, but I kick her out because sometimes she overstays her welcome! 

 

What has been toughest about reconciling your new self to your old self?

Pizza. Kidding. But not kidding. Pizza meaning just being able to go out with a group of friends to grab some pizza and not having to plan ahead about what options I can eat there. I get bummed about this, but then remind myself just how shitty I felt after eating that pizza. I could be in bed for the day because of it. Having to plan ahead is worth feeling good...even if sometimes it feels like a pain. 

 

How do you celebrate the person you've become while still honoring your past?

By acknowledging her and not pretending that it wasn't hard to get here. 

 

As a teen, and even into adulthood, I had no idea what was going on in my body. You've been starting to speak to young girls about endo. What has the response been? Are things clicking for them?

At first they are like "who is this chick coming in at 8am to talk about periods?!". I'm a pretty open person and have to remind myself that they are still teenagers and aren't as open yet (and may not ever be) talking about periods. The thing that always gets them to get more engaged is when I tell them that 1 in 10 women have endo. They can look around the room and know that one of their friends or themselves might have it, it makes it less of an abstract idea. 

The most important thing is for them to know the symptoms. This is something I focus on a lot in my sessions with them. Just knowing the symptoms is a huge education moment. Not just for themselves, but they might be able to help other women around them. 

 

When you began this lifestyle and diet change did you use any herbs or essential oils to assist you in the transition?

I didn't! I wish I did. It was weird enough to me that I was eating vegetables, essential oils were not even on my radar. Since then, I know the power of them. My friend, Giselle Wasfie (she's a Chinese Medicine Dr.) has educated me on all things herbs and oils. My favorite phrase she says is "HERBS WORK". They do. They are so powerful and it's important to find which ones work and don't work for you. I loved my interview with her on my podcast

 

Do you have a daily self-care routine? 

It really varies every single day depending where I am in the country. I've been traveling a lot on my book tour. But I always try to get in some form of body movement. Even if that's just doing a 20 minute yoga class on my Aaptiv app in a hotel (I just did that on Saturday!) or finding a quick workout somewhere in the city I am visiting. I always make sure to take my Tumeric, B12, and D. Eat something green. And I try to make someone happy everyday. 

I think lots of potions, powders, and self-care "stuff" is cool. But I try to keep it pretty simple, so I don't get stressed about adding more to my day or feeling guilty because I forgot to skin brush. P.S. I do love skin brushing, but am usually half-way through my shower when I remember I was supposed to do it! 

 

Before guests leave your podcast they always share their favorite plant-based recipe. What are you sharing with us?

AH! Turning the tables. I love this Creamy Mushroom Lasagna from the One Part Plant Cookbook. It's one that for sure doesn't taste "healthy" and you can share with all type of eaters in your life, plant-based or not. 

 

 Photo by Nicole Franzen for One Part Plant

Photo by Nicole Franzen for One Part Plant

Creamy Mushroom Lasagna

serves 8

Olive, grape seed, or coconut oil, or veggie broth for sautéeing
3 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, chopped (you can use a mix of different mushrooms)
1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours (overnight is best), drained
1 cup veggie broth
2 big handfuls spinach
10 ounces gluten-free lasagna noodles (I love Tinkyada’s brown rice pasta)
4 cups marinara sauce, store-bought (a 32 oz jar) or homemade
Nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat a glug of oil or veggie broth over medium. When the pan is hot, add the garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant. This will take about a minute. Add the mushrooms, tamari, and thyme. Cook, stirring every minute or so, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms release their water and a little broth starts to form.

Combine the cashews and veggie broth in a high-speed blender and blend until the mixture is completely smooth. This might take up to 5 minutes, depending on the speed and power of your blender. Pour the cashew sauce into the pan with the mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a couple minutes to let the sauce thicken, stirring frequently. Throw in the spinach and stir for another minute.

Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Make sure to do this after your mushroom sauce is ready to go, so the noodles don’t sit for too long and start sticking together. Spread a third of the marinara sauce on the bottom of an 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with half of the mushroom cream. Add a layer of noodles. Use another third of the marinara to cover these noodles. Add the remaining mushroom cream. Add the last layer of noodles and cover it with the remaining marinara sauce. 

Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast over the top, if you like, and bake for another 15 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Thank you so much to Jessica for answering my questions! You can find out more about her and the One Part Plant Movement by heading to her website and connecting with her on Instagram @jessicamurnane and @onepartplant. Be sure to tag @onepartplant and #onepartplant if you make this yummy lasagna!

Changing with the Seasons


 Photography by Alexis Siemons

Photography by Alexis Siemons

If you've met me, you know my love of tea. I don't think I can go even half-a-day without a cup of something. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite tea-obsessed Instagram accounts, Alexis Siemons aka @teaspoonsandpetals. I was over the moon when she agreed to create a recipe to share with all of you!

This matcha tea infused dressing is the perfect way to ring in spring. The changing of the seasons is a great time to change up your diet. Lightening your diet with the addition of spring greens and late winter citrus helps get rid of the winter blues and transition your body into the proper season.

 

 Photography by Alexis Siemons

Photography by Alexis Siemons

Mixed Green Salad with Matcha Dressing 

                  by Alexis Siemons

·      1 teaspoon of Matcha 

·      1 pinch of sea salt

·      1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

·      1. 5 teaspoons honey

·      1 teaspoon water

·      1 cup mixed greens (watercress or arugula recommend for peppery bite that stands up to matcha)

·      1 orange (half to be sliced for salad and other half for 1 teaspoon of juice)

·      2 tablespoons goat cheese (optional)

Add 1 teaspoon of matcha to a small bowl or cup and mix with 1 teaspoon of cold water to make a matcha paste. Mix in 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil and 2 teaspoons of honey. Slice the orange in half and squeeze a teaspoon of the juice into the small bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and stir well. Add mixed greens to a salad bowl. Peel the remaining half of the orange, cut into small slices and place over greens. Break goat cheese into small bits and place over greens. Pour matcha dressing over salad and serve immediately. 

 

How are you changing with the seasons? Comment below and be sure to tag me @lisammagee and @teaspoonsandpetals if you try out this recipe!

COOKIES!!


I love cookies. If I get married, my wedding cake will be a cookie cake, that's how much I love cookies. So when I finally got around to making the Chocolate Chunk Cookies from the One Part Plant cookbook, I was pretty excited to realize that these are pretty much the best gluten-free, vegan cookies I've ever had. If I'm honest, I miss gluten. I miss flaky croissants and baguettes and pie. BUT these cookies make up for everything I've been missing. If you are wary of baking without gluten and without eggs, these are the cookies for you. They were super easy to make, the dough is just as delicious (which is my favorite part), and they take 10 minutes to bake! 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

from One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane

Makes 20 cookies

1 tablespoon flax meal

3 tablespoons water

2 cups almond meal 

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks or dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make a flax egg: mix flax meal with water in a small bowl or glass and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Whisk flours, salt, and baking soda together in medium-size bowl. Combine the maple syrup, vanilla, and flax egg in a large bowl. Begin to pour the flour mix into the bowl of liquids a little at a time, stirring as you go. When it is all incorporated, pour in the coconut oil and chocolate chunks and give it a few more stirs. 

Use a tablespoon to drop the dough onto the prepared sheet. These cookies won't spread much, so you can put them pretty close together. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then check on them. They should be slightly brown on top and still feel a little bit doughy. If they're not there yet, you can bake them for a minute or two longer, but you don't want to overcook these. After they've cooled, they'll harden a bit. Store them refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week or in the freezer for even longer. 

*Few notes: I subbed in almond flour for the almond meal because that's all my grocery had. They came out pretty light, but I'd like to make them again with the meal to taste the difference. 

I cooked these just about 10 minutes even. They came out a little doughy (which is the way I like them) and in the fridge they definitely harden up a bit more. 

Check out Jessica's website for more ways to incorporate plant-based meals into your everyday. If you make these cookies, be sure to tag @onepartplant and #onepartplant and share your snaps with me! 

Reflections on Eating


 Creamy Cocoa with Sweet Potatoes Soup from the Soup Cleanse Cookbook by Nicole Centeno

Creamy Cocoa with Sweet Potatoes Soup from the Soup Cleanse Cookbook by Nicole Centeno

What do you eat when you grieve? This week has been hard. Not only has the country felt like it's in a state of upheaval, but I've been going through some personal issues as well. The health of my sixteen-year-old cat, Patches, has started to decline with no cause as of yet and this week brought not great news. I can either spend a ton of money and put Patches through a lot to find an answer, or I can try an antibiotic and steroid and hope for the best. The possibility of losing the cat I've had since I was 12 is one of the hardest things I've had to face as an adult. Making the choice for someone else about how they want to live (or go) is not a decision I feel capable of making. For now, we're going to try some antibiotics and say some prayers. 

As I reflected on my week, I started to notice a pattern in my food habits. This week I made a few batch soups from Nicole Centeno's Soup Cleanse Cookbook. They were a lifesaver! They've been breakfast and dinner and lunch, at least one to two times a day. Quick soups easily heated up on the stove feel so comforting to me and help me not to worry about what I will be eating. I think that's the hardest part of eating when you feel sad. When you don't feel the energy to cook, but need to eat, what do you do? When you are reduced to only eating for the need to survive, does that make the act of eating meaningless? I've tried to practice more mindfulness in my eating habits, but I just couldn't seem to focus. I also noticed how much I eat when I feel sad (and bored). Once I noticed this habit I was able to start asking myself, "Do I feel hungry right now?" If the answer was no, I shut the fridge door (or gave into a cookie, I mean, let's be real, I'm not perfect!). I'm going to start asking myself this question more and hopefully be able to listen to what my body wants, and not what my mind is craving. 

What do you eat when you are grieving? What do you eat when you are sad or heartbroken? Do you eat at all? I'd love to hear how you deal with eating during trying times or ways you've started to break patterns in your food habits. 

Giving Thanks + The Best Granola Ever


This week I thought I might tell you about one of the things I am most thankful for: cooking. Cooking has been a saving grace for me when things in my body feel outside of my control. It has been so wonderful to control the quality of what I put in my body and infuse it with as much joy and love as possible. There are days when I feel uninspired, but it is truly a satisfying thing to be able to have the time to cook for myself.

One of my favorite recipes I've put together has been my gluten-free granola. I love homemade granola. Maybe it's my mother's influence but it tastes better than anything on the market. This recipe I adapted from Juice Press's Super Popular Granola. Sometimes it just ends up being the entire contents of my pantry with everything I throw into it. The great part is that you can add or subtract the things you want or don't want and it will still turn out delicious. 

The Best Granola Ever

(Gluten-Free, Vegan if using maple syrup)

About 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill for most all of the dry ingredients)

1/2 - 3/4 cup dry quinoa (depending on how much crunch you want)

1/2 cup dry amaranth

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tbsp cinnamon

Optional: extra spices of equal measure such as cardamom, nutmeg, or cacao powder + dried fruit such as raisins, goji berries, blueberries, or mulberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together in small glass bowl (can use double broiler for a quick melt, but I also like to just put the bowl in the oven for a minute). Mix in cinnamon and other spices if desired to oil mixture. Lay out dry ingredients (but not dried fruit) on lipped roasting sheet and coat evenly with oil mixture. Stir to coat thoroughly. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Mix in dried fruit if desired to cooled granola mixture. Once cooled, granola can be stored in glass containers on the counter for about a week. 

I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative in the kitchen. You can substitute so many things for other dry ingredients so play around with it until you find what you like best. As always, feel free to leave questions below or comment on your favorite granola additions!