I often get asked, “What do you eat if you don’t eat meat or dairy?” Well, I’m realizing now that I eat a lot of beans. Usually I eat them with rice or pasta, and most often with avocado, tomato, chia seeds, leafy greens, and so on. I’ve started saving the cans that beans come in (for a project I’ll let you in on at a later date…), and I’m realizing now just how many beans I eat because my new can collection is getting a little ridiculous. Anyway, I digress. I’ve been noticing lately that I’ve really been eating a lot of carbs – rice, pasta, bagels… Though I’m not easing up on my brown rice, I love it too much, I am, however, trying to wean myself off of bagels. My little obsession started after I injured my foot in September – not that I didn’t always love bagels, because we’ve always been besties – but they were just so easy and, obviously, so delicious. But like any sugar, they’ve become addicting and I need to stop. What I’m trying to get at is that I came home from the gym yesterday and wanted to make a kind of sandwich, but instead of using bread, I decided to wrap my sauteed beans, avocado, and tomato in a refreshingly delectable lettuce wrap. And it was scrumptious. Although Iceberg lettuce doesn’t have nearly the nutritional value of other darker greens, I decided to go with it because of its durability, but I made sure it was organic.
Another question I get asked a lot is, “What do you want to accomplish with this blog?” And I truthfully answer, “I have no idea.” Because I don’t. What I do know is that I love doing it: I love discussing health and nutrition; I love sharing information and introducing new recipes, and I love that balanced bella has been accepted among many and acquaintances will come up to me and share their ideas and opinions about it with me. Since I sold some of my treats at the local fall festival last month, a lot of people have asked/told me to sell more items since not everybody has the time/ingredients to make the recipes I post. So I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I’ve decided to create a “balanced bag lunch.” I’ll be cooking them on Wednesday afternoons and they’ll be available for pick-up that evening – perfect for the next day’s lunch (or just devouring it on your way home that evening…) For now, I’ll be making them on Wednesdays, and depending on its success, I’ll keep you posted about adding future pick-up days. The lunches will vary from week to week and I’ll do my best to post what it will be at least a couple of days before pick-up. Usually it will entail a tupperware filled with a hearty soup, spaghetti squash with pesto, quinoa and vegetables, or another recipe I’ve posted about. I’m also going to be including a large cookie and a bottle of water. All items are vegan, healthy, and 100% delicious. Unfortunately it’s only available if you live here, in New York, but for those of you who don’t, I’ll keep you updated on the progress of “balanced bag lunches.” It’s beginning this Wednesday, so if this is something you’re interested in, please contact me via the contact tab at the top of this page or via email at email@example.com or via Facebook messaging (Jaime Witkowski). If you’re not interested in ordering a lunch but you have further questions, please please please feel free to contact me regardless and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I’m very excited about this and I’ve put a lot of thought into it! Now, let’s get going with that lettuce bowl recipe…
- Iceberg lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 package (8 oz) mushrooms of your choice, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas (rinsed well)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- optional: salt
- optional toppings: avocado, tomato, chia seeds
- In a large pan on medium/high heat, add oil.
- After one minute, or once the oil is heated, add the diced onion and mushrooms. Saute for about 3 minutes before adding the chickpeas.
- Lower the heat to low and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes to heat the chickpeas, and in the meantime, cut up your avocado and tomato and set aside your lettuce.
- Add the beans and company to your lettuce and enjoy!