Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ballet, Old Friends and Whole-Food

For our second week of Whole-Food Wednesdays, I’ll be grabbing my meals on the road.

Sienna and I are heading into Manhattan for a matinee performance of The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. This annual event has marked the holiday season for us every year since she was just 3-years old. From the moment the lights dim, it’s as if we’re magically transported to a wondrous world of sweet treats and sugar plum fairies. Nothing says Christmas quite like this breathtaking ballet performance. This year is even more special because we're bringing the best babysitter ever, our neighbor Abby. This is Abby's first time seeing The Nutcracker so I very much look forward to seeing her reaction.

To top it off, we’ll meet my girlfriend Louisa and her daughter Delia. Louisa and I have been friends for 20+ years and our lives have paralleled in many ways -- from finding our “husbands” after years of being single and the birth of our children, to the passing of our fathers just three weeks apart. We’ve been through everything together and she knows me like no other. From the moment we met, she has inspired me to be a better person and she continues to do so to this day. I honestly believe I would not have the life I enjoy today had it not been for her influence.

The Nutcracker 2011

The Nutcracker 2010

In keeping with our Whole-Food Wednesdays Challenge, I'm sharing a recipe I found on the fly last week. It’s a delicious Taco Soup that tastes magnifico. The recipe follows below.

As a reminder, the goal of Whole-Food Wednesdays is to reduce our meat intake but increase our consumption of plant-empowered foods. Easy, peasy, right?

Each of you who shares a whole-food, plant-based recipe, success story, fitness and nutrition win or technique, or your own personal Eat This, Not That plant-friendly example will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win your own copy of one of my most treasured plant-empowered cookbooks! Share two little gems and you'll be entered twice. Send me three and you'll be entered thrice! You can comment directly on this site or e-mail me at

The raffle goes off at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 26. Good luck!

Peace, love & kale!

Taco Soup, by Nava Atlas
1/2 cup raw bulgur or quinoa
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
3 cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped mild green chilies, fresh or canned
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups of vegetable broth

Shredded cheddar-style nondairy cheese (I recommend Daiya)
Romaine or green leaf lettuce, shredded
Roma tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
Stone-ground tortilla chips

Bring 1 cup of water or vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the grain and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until the water (or broth) is absorbed.

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until all are golden.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes, plus the cooked grain and 3 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Fill each bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with a bit of shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes. Add tortilla chips to the bowl or serve on the side.


  1. You had a busy day! Did you still get your workout in?

    1. Of course! I have a workout update post coming!