Tag Archives: healthy

Ultimate Green Smoothie

The sun’s out, birds are chirping, the world is blooming and for healthy foodies this all means one important thing: smoothies are back!

Personally, the emergence of spring is not only an opportunity to spend more time outside, but also an excuse to break out the blender. Nothing beats a cool, refreshing, nutritional boost on a warm spring day.

I’m giving you my all-time favorite smoothie recipe today AND three different ways you can use this delicious blend. Yes, three! 

But first, here is your recipe:

  • 3 Leaves of Kale
  • 1/2 Orange (or a whole one if its tiny)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Dried Dates (for sweetness)
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Water

BLEND… all these ingredients in a blender, and add extra coconut water if the mixture isn’t moving smoothly in the blender.

Voila! Smoothie done.

Now, the first variation is the standard, drinkable form. It is perfect for anytime of day to accompany meals or serve as a delicious snack. I top mine with chia seeds for an extra boost of Omega-3s and fiber. 


The second variation, is a good mid-day snack. It’s a fruit topped smoothie bowl! For this, all you need to do is pour the smoothie into a bowl, and cut up a bunch of fruits or berries to put on top. This gives the smoothie a little more substance, and it’s also just fun to eat! Sometimes drinking a smoothie doesn’t completely satisfy your cravings, but adding a bite can make you feel like you’re eating more. Sometimes we just need to chew! However, remember that this is best to eat in the middle of the day or later. It’s not quite enough to get you going in the morning.


The last variation, and my personal favorite, is the breakfast smoothie bowl! You can add fruit to top this one too, but the most important additions are nuts, seeds, and oats. Seeds are more nutrient dense than budded and grown plants and will make a smoothie into a sufficient meal, especially to kick off your day! I use walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seed shells, chia seeds, and raw oats (pssst, that homemade granola from last week would be awesome here too!) This bowls fills you up, and keeps you full. If that’s not enough, it tastes amazing!!


Try one, try them all! Let me know in the comment section below what your favorite variation is! Happy blending!


Simple Homemade Granola

Since we’ve covered lunch and dinner, I thought it would be only natural if we paid a little tribute to breakfast. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Hands down. There are so many delicious oatmeal and smoothie bowl recipes that I’m dying to share with you, but I realized that there’s one thing we need to do first. This staple is something we all know and love, and is best when piled on top of all of those other delicious recipes I just mentioned. I’m talking homemade granola.

A good granola recipe is something everyone should have, especially my gluten-free peeps out there. The best part? It’s easy, its fast, it lasts for weeks and the recipe is super flexible. This is an eye-ball-it kind of recipe, and as long as you’ve got the base ratio down, you can add however many mix-ins you desire.

Personally, I have a few granola recipes I like to make. However, the one we’re doing today its the easiest to do in a dorm kitchen. It’s protein-packed, and coconut oil-based. Really filling, healthy, and delicious.

Here’s what you need…


  • 4 Hand-Fulls Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Protein Powder (I used vanilla flavored to make it a little sweeter)

Nuts & Seeds:

  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/8 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)


  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Dried Dates
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Dried Cherries
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries


1. PREHEAT… the oven or confectioner’s oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. CHOP… all your dried fruits and nuts as indicated in the list above.


3. MELT… coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave. Then mix all the base ingredients in a bowl until completely combined. All oats should be damp.

4. MIX… nuts and seeds into base mixture. Then spread the mixture on cookie sheet.


5. COOK… for 20 minutes on 325 degrees, stirring occasionally.

6. ADD… fruits to mixture once done cooking. This is important! If you add it before, the fruit gets really hard and dry. You could honestly chip a tooth.

FullSizeRender 2

7. If you like your granola sweet, drizzle a little honey, or maybe even some cinnamon on top. Let everything cool, OR eat it hot with some cool milk. Mmmm! 

8. Finally, use this on top of everything! Or eat it dry by the hand-full. It’s a great, filling snack or meal whenever you want.

Veggie “Hand Roll” with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Hello again everyone!

This week we’re going to move out of the realm of dinner and explore a lighter, and usually more rushed, meal: lunch! The goal is to show you all that lunch doesn’t need to be a rush job. Instead, it should be the mid-day break that you look forward to. So here’s your challenge: pick a day next week that you’re going to forgo to protein bar and on-the-go yogurt and make lunch in the morning. If you need some help deciding what to make, I can help!

Today I’m sharing with you Veggie Wrap “Hand Rolls” with a Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. This recipe is an obvious play on sushi. We’re going to put a ton of fresh, crunchy veggies and hummus in a crisp seaweed wrap. Our “soy sauce and wasabi” is going to be a deliciously sweet and savory honey mustard. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s so good.

Here’s what you’re going to need to…

Wrap/Hand Roll

1 Raw Nori Seaweed Sheet

1 Red Bell Pepper

2 Carrots

2 Leaves of Kale

A heavy dollop of your favorite hummus


Dipping Sauce/Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Dijion Mustard

1 tsp. Honey


FIRST… Wash your veggies well. Julienne the pepper and carrots (cut them into long, thing strips as seen below.) Cut the tough, center core out of the kale. Then, just rip the kale into bite-sized chunks.

When all is said and done, your cutting board should look like this…


TO MAKE THE SAUCE…Put your teaspoon of both dijon mustard and honey into a small bowl. Mix it up. (How easy is that?!) You can use another kind of mustard if you have no other choice, but I strongly encourage the dijon. The difference in flavor is really noticeable.  The dijon has a kick that plays off the honey brilliantly. It’s borderline magic.


NEXT… Toast your seaweed. You can do this several different ways. If you have a convection oven, that’s the easiest. Pop the sheet in there and toast it for about 30 seconds, or until it turns green and is flexible to the touch. The change from toasted to burnt happens really quickly, so keep your eye on it. Other ways you can do this is holding the seaweed in tongs over an open flame or in a dry pan on your stove top.

TO ASSEMBLE… Do this quickly while the seaweed is still malleable. First spread a generous heap of hummus into the middle of the wrap on the diagonal (because thats the direction you’re going to roll it.) Then, add your cut vegetables. You can put as many as you feel comfortable with. I like to really load it up. If you have extra, just make another wrap, or dip it in more hummus!

Roll it all up on the diagonal, using your fingers to scrunch in the veggies and keep the roll tight. Channel your inner Chipotle worker. Then, slice it down the middle and you’re ready to eat!


Happy lunching everyone! Let me know how this works for you in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!


Bann Korean Restaurant

This week I returned to one of my favorite Korean restaurants in NYC (excluding Flushing, of course) that is outside of Ktown, Bann Restaurant in 50th and 9th Ave.

For appetizer I had the pork buns, which consist of korean-style boiled pork marinated in a special spicy sauce and a type of raddish-kimchi in rice buns. For main entrees I had Yuk-hwai bibimbop and Galbi-Jjim.

First off, bibimbap at Mill is great when you cannot go off campus, but Bann truly has an AMAZING bibimbap. (Even though in Korea no one really goes out to a restaurant to order bibimbop). Yuk-hwai is raw beef thinly sliced like sashimi and usually marinated in sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Galbi-Jjim was also amazing, and it is one of my favorite dishes in Bann. Galbi is korean-style beef barbeque marinated in a sauce that usually consists of soy sauce and sugar. They cook it together with squash, and the combination of the two is perfection!

That said, Bann also has a lot of vegetarian/vegan options for Korean-food lovers, and I definitely recommend you leave Mill (even though I still love Mill during midterms and dreadful days stuck on campus) to try this place!


Healthy Eating in College? | A Conscious Mindset

Given how outspoken I am about my undying love for food, it’s no wonder people constantly ask if I’m even trying to maintain “healthy eating habits” (whatever this means) especially as a college freshman subject to dining halls (……..) and the greatest food megalopolis on this planet. I thought I’d share some thoughts on how to best practice getting into that healthy mindset when there are so many distractions that can and often do prevent us from doing so. These are just some tips that I find helpful for myself, so I can’t guarantee they’re useful or relevant to you; however, hopefully you’ll at least find it a good read and please let me know your own eating habits that have been working out for you!

  • Eat a big, heaping, delicious breakfast. Seriously, if I was (god forbid) forced to pick my favorite kind of meal, it would be breakfast/brunch, hands down. It’s versatile, energizing, incorporates some of my all-time favorite foods, and cross-culturally delicious (looking at you, 油条, and you, shakshuka). Breakfast/brunch offerings at Columbia generally leave much to be desired, so I usually resort to taking advantage of swipes for “express breakfast” at one of our dining halls (choose any 4 of a variety of individual-container cereals, half-pint milk cartons, mini Chobanis, muffins, etc.), stealing bananas, almond milk, and dried fruit from another one of our dining halls, and whipping up something alongside. Here’s a semi-typical snap of what my breakfast might look like:



Presenting: (1) a bowl of one of my favorite cereals of all time, Kashi’s Go Lean! Crunch (SERIOUSLY life-changing–not too sweet, satisfyingly crunchy clusters of high-protein whole grains), topped with one ripe banana and about five sliced dried figs, served with almond milk, (2) some gluten-free oat-cranberry cookie balls (yummy, filling, and healthy), and (3) one apricot-oatmeal muffin(subbed in gluten-free wheat flour for this).

I also love experimenting, particularly with oatmeal, as it’s quick, there’s infinite variations of it, and filling. Some of my favorite recipes are: apple pie oatmeal,peanut butter banana (the ever-dynamic duo), and a variety of overnight versions, like this scrumptious blueberry banana version or a fig and cinnamon option. If you’re pressed for time, check out this post on the ever-effective overnight oat phenomenon!

Whatever you choose for your breakfast, try to eat it, first and foremost. Your body craves energy and good nutrition, and it craves it most at the start of the day. It prevents you from over-eating later in the day (take it from someone who knows) when your digestive processes slow down, adding instead of burning extra fat.

  • Be conscious of everything you eat. I’m also a big believer in everything in moderation. You can have that brownie, but not that other brownie. If you had a starchy lunch, try to cut down on the rice/pasta/bread products for dinner. It’s better, obviously, to overload on greens and fruit–go crazy if you’d like.
  • Be disciplined during the weekdays and let loose on the weekends. Any and all food crawls you see glorified on this blog happen during the weekends only because a) otherwise I’d explode, b) schoolwork consumes my soul the rest of the week #ColumbiaProblems, and c) again, I’d explode.
  • Listen to your body. Resisting temptation, in whatever form it may be, is one of the most difficult things in the entire world. But you and your body are much smarter than you may believe–be attentive when it’s telling you you’re full (usually before you’re even fully aware), when it doesn’t like something, when you’re feeling lethargic from what you’re eating.
  • Remember that nutrition is not a religion. As this is a food blog and not a health/fitness blog, it’s futile for me to preach that “fat doesn’t equal happiness and neither does skinny,” but nothing, especially not your favorite foods to munch on, should stop you from being your happiest you. An awareness of your health is first and foremost, and a love of your body and the food you eat can only boost the love you cultivate for yourself.

Above all, I think it’s of utmost importance to remember that your body is your own and no one else’s–you have the control and power to treat it right, an immensely remarkable thing. Happy eating! :) 

Acai Bowls at Juice Generation

Yup, ladies and gents, today I am going to assess Juice Generation. It is a chain – I am not kidding when I say I love Juice Generation. If you’ve never been, the name gives most of it a way. It’s a juicery that also has some raw and vegan snacks, acai bowls, and gluten free baked treats.

Today, I will review the acai bowls, which are made of pureed acai berries mixed with other things (could be bananas or soy milk) to form a thick consistency. Juice Generation offers five different types of acai bowls. The texture is the same as a smoothie; but an acai bowl may contain other ingredients to change the base flavor. Juice Generation’s acai bowls are super filling while light at the same time. After eating one, you’ll be totally satisfied but also not feel completely bloated.

The differences between each bowl are slight but different bowls fit different moods. The five bowls offered are the “Almond Butter Bliss” bowl, the “PB Acai” bowl, the “Coco Acai” bowl, the “Aloha Acai Bowl”, and the “Amazing Green” bowl. They all contain acai, banana, and either almond or coconut milk. The Almond Butter Bliss bowl contains almond butter, coconut, and hemp granola. The PB Acai contains peanut butter, cacao nibs, and hemp granola. The coco acai bowl is made of coconut flakes, and hemp granola. “Aloha Acai” has pineapple, bee pollen, and hemp granola. The “Amazing Green” includes hemp granola and seeds, kale, and spinach.


I recommend the almond butter and peanut butter bowl – especially if you’re looking for something more filling, and the others are super light. While they are all filling, I love the almond butter bliss because it hits the spot completely. I promise, that having something cold is totally worth it even though it’s winter.

Overnight Oats: Magic in a Jar

If there is one breakfast gem a breakfast aficionado can’t get enough of (and if I was forced–God forbid–to pick just one) it would be oatmeal.

That understated elegance of that strangely chewy-mushy-sticky texture. The oft-dismissed blandness. Its versatility–you want it classic with a snow-powder sprinkling of brown sugar and nestled among juicy raisins? Check. Baked until it’s crispy and enticing on its edges but still oh-so-gooey and melty towards its center? At this point, you could basically be eating a brownie. A brownie that’s at most 150 calories/massive portion. Want to blend it with its equally superpower friend, chia, into smoothies? It’s got your energy fix covered for that 8:40 you should really try to get to at least once this semester being the certifiably awesome human you are. Maybe honor the power it truly holds over your baking and brunch life by grinding it up and having yourself a beautifully simple, hearty gluten-free oat flour to use in pancakes and muffins. Or simply leave it in its whole, undisturbed glory in crisps, crumbles, and my personal favorite, and healthy addiction, overnight oats.

Not only are overnight oats a testament to the tastiness, convenience, wholesomeness, and, most importantly, downright deliciousness of my favorite grain, but making and eating them leaves one with an unparalleled sense of productivity and satisfaction. The ingredient list is laughably primitive and as you’re spooning (or pouring it straight from the jar, either works) your concoction into your mouth by the truckload you can swear you’re tasting a myriad of flavors you never put in. It’ll save you precious sleeping/dreaming of more food time in the morning; it’s the perfect grab-‘n’-go. It’ll keep you full for hours, and your cute mason jar and its contents will incite the jealousy and hunger, respectively, of all those unfortunate souls around you who have not been #blessed with the joy that is overnight oats.

Additionally, the versatility of oats–the sponge of the grain world–allow you to experiment, which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest rewards of cooking. Peanut butter banana is a classic, as is blueberry banana (which I’ll detail below), but let your creativity take you where it will–try a brownie modification to have an excuse to eat chocolate first thing in the morning or your other favorite candy.

Using mostly ingredients you can find in the bounty that is Ferris or JJ’s express breakfast, you can whip yourself up some breakfast magic that is infinitely less questionable than those geometric shapes in the dining halls. Here they are:

Ingredients overnight oats


From left to right: craisins/raisins, walnuts, rolled oats, blueberry Chobani, honey, one ripe banana, almond milk (or any milk of your choice), chia seeds (optional), and some sliced almonds.

Other than the honey, oats, and chia seeds, everything else can be easily found/stolen from your local Ferris grocery store. 😉

You’ll also need some sort of vehicle to contain your overnight oats (and your excitement). Mason jars are a great choice because they’re sturdy and allow you to shake it up vigorously without worrying about making your entire suite hate you for splattering oats all over the kitchen, and make it incredibly easy to eat these on-the-go. Alternatively, you can also use bowls, mugs, or anything your oat-crazed heart desires.

Measure oats


Measure out 1/3 cup of oats and add it, along with 1/3 cup of almond milk and 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt, into your jar/bowl/cup/whatever.



Measure milk


*NOTE*: for this specific overnight oats occasion, I decided I wanted some more liquid-y oats in the morning, so I added a full 1 cup of milk. This is part of beautiful adaptability of these recipes–tailor it to your liking! 

If you’d like, add in a dash (around 1-2 tbsp) of chia seeds for extra body and texture:

Progress 1


Add yogurt


At this point, mash up half a banana and save the other half for topping in the morning. Banana is by far one of my all-time favorite fruits: scrumptious, filling, good for you, and as versatile as the oats it will complement. Make sure it’s ripe so it adds sweetness and is easily mashable.





Drizzle in some honey (optional, if you like yours more sweet) and make some amorphous design blob if you’re feeling extra adventurous:





Now the best part: SHAKE IT UP! This should be so vigorous that if someone were watching you, they would feel exceedingly awkward. Afterwards, you should be left with one of the most beautiful messes on this Earth:



Refrigerate overnight. Top in the morning to your heart’s desire (I used the other half of my banana, dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon). Rejoice in the morning that your day will be made so much better with these oats staring back at you.

I hope you give this fun breakfast idea a try–I know I can’t get enough! Happy eating :)

This recipe was adapted from Hungry Healthy Girl:

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if preferred)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (for this recipe, I used Chobani blueberry Greek yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my favorite)
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana, mashed (reserve the other half for slicing and topping oats before eating)
  • 1 tablespoon Chia seeds (optional, but helps to thicken oats)
  • 1 packet Stevia or other sweetener (optional)
  • toppings of your choice

Peacefood Cafe: Raw Food For The Soul

After being a non-vegan for two months, I have decided to return to practicing the non-animal product lifestyle. In result, I have to do some hunting for NYC eats for vegans that are highly acclaimed but of course may be overhyped. For my first destination of checking out NYC vegan restaurants, I headed not too far from campus to The Peacefood Café on Amsterdam and 82nd Street (there is also one located at E11th Street and University Place).

I went to the Peacefood Café on a Sunday night at around six in the evening, where there was dim lighting and an earthy smell which created a warm and homey vibe. One can choose to stay and dine, order to go, or deliver as well. The waiting area, which consists of three seats, is filled with pamphlets of vegan recipes. Depending on what one orders the wait may range of 2 minutes to 10.

The menu consists of sides, entrees, desserts, with indicators of what is gluten-free, somewhat gluten-free, and what is raw (meaning nothing was cooked, but still safe to eat). There is also a special menu that is available for order from 5pm-10pm daily, which includes “cheeseburgers”, a vegan version of chicken parmesan, thai curry, among other items. A special breakfast menu, which includes granola, tofu scramble, quinoa porridge, etc., is available to order after 10am until the items are sold out.


Both times I’ve gone, I’ve ordered to go and have only tried the raw items. The first time I tried The Peacefood Café, I had the raw sushi roll, and this time I ordered the raw lasagna which came with “the other Caesar” which is a vegan interpretation of the typical Caesar salad. The sushi roll, which is walnut pate and veggies, is delicious with lots of flavor. It is topped with avo, and on the side are jicama and carrots. The lasagna was pesto and marinara separating layers of zucchini. The taste in both were extremely rich, and while raw, both were extremely filling and satisfying, this goes for “the other caesar” as well!


As a vegan, finding satisfying desserts that don’t taste “vegan” are hard to find. Both times I’ve gone to The Peacefood Café I’ve gotten a dessert. The first time I tried out the raw key-lime pie, which was full of flavor, tasted like a key-lime pie, and as I had the last bite I wished for another slice to appear so I could finish that one off too. The next time I went I tried the raw cacao mousse pie, thinking that no other raw vegan dessert could live up to the standard set by the key-lime pie. No disappoint whatsoever. The cacao mousse pie was to die for and lived up to all my expectations. It was rich, and creamy, and did not taste “vegan” at all, but rather tasted like any other cacao mousse pie.


Overall, I would highly recommend The Peacefood Café for everyone, vegan and non-vegans. Definitely a good place to go to try something new; the desserts are a must and highly recommended for all.

The Importance of Eating Your Heart Out

I will begin with a truth that is probably, hopefully very real to us all; it is midterms. There are so many assignments and classes and life happenings that it seems like there is never enough time in the day to do what one needs to do. Self-care – sleep and shampoo tend to be seen less and less in times like these – seems to be the first thing to go when times get tough. For me, the most essential aspect of self-care has always been taking the time to cook, to nourish myself with something healthy and whole. That might mean yogurt and fruit for breakfast instead of cereal in a bowl, a quick open-faced smoked fish and avocado sandwich with a carrot rather than something premade (after handing in what felt like a few too many essays, I made a pilgrimage to Zabar’s and I promise that it made everything ok), or a tomato and broccoli rabe pasta with a smattering of cottage cheese that was worlds away from anything microwaveable.

With each meal, I feel like the lost hours of sleep are gained, like the energy that has been drained from me is poured back in. It is more than therapeutic—this food makes me feel like my breaking soul is re-membered. And if you are reading this and thinking, “but it is mid-terms, and there isn’t time to cook!” then I would urge you to recall any times in the last weeks when you have procrastinated and wasted time. Now, think about how possible it is to fill that time with meaningful activities; this may not look like you hovering over a stove or spending hours at your favorite grocery store (Fairway is my new home), for this may not be the way for your mind to unwind and for you to feel wholly relaxed. I have just seen a lot of youtube videos being watched, a lot of catching up on Netflix queues being achieved. While that is all good fun, just think twice next time before you say that you don’t have time to cook. For me, walking down the aisles at the grocery store, mesmerized by the bright, oftentimes witty packaging and kernels of goodness within them, is where my mind is clear. It’s where I feel ok. Then, once these goodies make contact with my bowl or pan, I can feel that I am putting something good into myself, that protein, dairy, whole grains, and an array of vitamins are keeping me going. So far, it feels like a worthwhile use of time, but I guess we’ll see how I do on my midterms before I say anything more!

Tanya enjoys pasta, because it is delicious and makes life good.
Tanya enjoys pasta, because it is delicious and makes life good.

Spring Side

This has been a tough winter.  Even as someone born and raised in the area, towards the end of March I started to feel a bit resentful every time I put on my huge, puffy winter coat. I think we’re all grateful that spring has arrived, the tank tops are coming out, and we’re trading in the hearty stews for a fresher, lighter selection. Or maybe that last one is just me.

Nothing says warm weather like citrus. So in honor of the incoming season I’ve decided to share a side that is both springy and dorm friendly because it requires absolutely no cooking! It’s a raw fennel salad with orange and mint. And the preparation couldn’t be easier!


  1. Wash and slice the fennel and put it aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Take a few oranges and squeeze one over the fennel so it gets covered in juice.
  3. Slice the rest of the oranges, until you have as much as you want, and add it to the fennel.
  4. Chop up some mint, the amount is also up to you (I add quite a bit because I love the freshness mint adds), and add that to the bowl.
  5. Then throw in some olive oil, white wine vinegar or something similar, lemon juice if you’d like to, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix that all up and you’ve got yourself a delicious side for any meat. Its crunchy, tangy, and fresh, the spring trifecta.