Last week we launched our Restaurant Recipe Features which you'll find here every first Friday of the month. We'll rotate to various restaurants throughout Northeast Ohio to share how they are transforming our "ugly" produce into beautiful meals. Here's last week's recipe from Fat Cats Tremont if you missed it! The other weeks of the month we'll be featuring original recipes from local bloggers, customers and amazing humans who inspire us to live a healthy and happy life. We're excited to kick things off with our friend Beth Anne Lazaro from @RALABALA who also happens to be a longtime Perfectly Imperfect Produce customer. Today she's showing us how she turns our produce into a power-packed breakfast to fuel her very active lifestyle and her family of five.
Do you know someone who is so energetic and full of life that when they walk into a room, the entire place lights up? Someone whom everyone wants to be near in an attempt to absorb even an ounce of their positivity? Well yesterday we got to spend an entire morning with someone exactly like that, who inspires us on so many levels! Meet Beth Anne, AKA "BALA" - the fabulous female half of @RALABALA. Beth Anne and her husband Ralph Lazaro are the badass couple who created a community focused on providing "food and fitness inspiration for real people who want to live extraordinary lives." It was a "passion project" they created as a place to capture information people were dying to know about what they eat and the workouts they do to look and feel their best.
When Beth Anne isn't coaching group fitness classes and providing nutrition and meal planning for her clients, she's at home teaching her most important students - her own three children ages 10, 9 and 7. She wants them to learn that eating healthy, real food is both delicious and fun! "I Love My Tribe" is written on a sign that is the focal point of her kitchen. It is evident that family is the focal point of her life.
Beth Anne feels strongly that it is uber important to give her kids a great start to the day so that they can thrive. "I get to start their day," she says. The veggie and egg frittata recipe she's sharing today allows her to get all kinds of veggies into her kids' bodies before they head out for the day, plus it offers the added protein of eggs so they aren't hungry. She loves this dish because you can do all of it in one pan and it comes together faster than you'd think. You can get the veggies cooking and let them sit for a bit while you juggle other morning chaos.
This dish is super flexible and so it's a great way to use up whatever produce you have on hand. This week she was able to use the sweet potatoes, asparagus, bell pepper, onion and cabbage from her PIP delivery. You can even add a sprinkle of bacon on top for added kid appeal. Beth Anne tells us she loves how our PIP boxes allow her to add in items to her family's diet that she might not otherwise pick up at the store. For example, that purple cabbage can be chopped and added to virtually anything from salads to stir fry, tacos or soup. Check out our Instagram stories for behind the scenes video of Beth Anne cooking up this colorful and nutrient dense dish for us in her own kitchen in Chagrin Falls.
SUNNY START FRITTATA
1/2 Perfectly Imperfect onion, diced
1 Perfectly Imperfect sweet potato, cubed
1 Perfectly Imperfect bell pepper, diced
4 stalks Perfectly Imperfect asparagus, chopped
1 handful of greens (Beth Anne used last week's organic "kalettes"), chopped
1/4 head red cabbage, sliced/shredded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 organic eggs (Beth Anne used Harvest Bell Farm eggs)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, cook onions in oil until fragrant and softened. Then add diced sweet potatoes. Cook until lightly browned and a little soft, for approximately five minutes. Add paprika, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir to coat the sweet potatoes. Cover with a lid to steam the sweet potatoes and cook them a little faster. Add peppers, asparagus, greens and cabbage and cook about ten to fifteen minutes or until browned and softened. Add 4 eggs on top. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the egg white out a bit to try to cover the whole pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on the stove for a few minutes then transfer to the oven to finish cooking the egg yolks, about 10 minutes more in oven at 375.
Every morning at the Lazaro house also begins with a smoothie. Beth Anne loves making the kids smoothies because she can "get some goodness" into them before sending them into the world. "It's really important to me to start their day with something healthy and good for them. That way they get to school feeling better than if they had just had a waffle thrown at them and then they're hungry in an hour," she says. Beth Anne adds whatever she can get her hands on that is fresh and in season. Today that included mangoes, cantaloupe, beets and greens from her Perfectly Imperfect Produce box! "My goal is to make it fun for them and also get good, quality foods in their system before they leave and I'm not as much in control of what they are putting in their body," she says. Each morning her kids give her a grade on her smoothie. I'd say this one is definitely a perfect 10!
BEET THE DAY UP SMOOTHIE
1 Perfectly Imperfect beet
1 Perfectly Imperfect mango
1 Perfectly Imperfect orange
1 banana (frozen if possible)
1 handful of greens (Beth Anne used last week's organic "Kalettes")
1 teaspoon flax
1 teaspoon chia
a drizzle of raw local honey
1/4 cup milk alternative (Beth Anne used Milkadamia Macadamia Milk)
1/4 cup water (add more or less depending on desired consistency.)
*Optional 1/2 cup frozen fruit for texture*
Wash, peel and chop all fruit. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until well combined.
Beth Anne also opened up about her transformation to a healthier version of herself after she weighed more than 200 pounds after giving birth to her three children. She has learned a lot since then. She tells us that her strong physique today is the combination of working out an hour a day, five to six days a week. She combines Cross Fit and weight lifting, spinning, pilates, yoga, running and hiking with her kids AND eating properly. "When you put the two together it's the best possible scenario. You should be active every single day and do what brings you joy," says Beth Anne.
A day in the life of Beth Anne's food routine looks a little like this. She always eats a "big breakfast" which includes a small smoothie and a frittata with two eggs and a lot of veggies; much like the dishes she shared today. "Every single plate should include a lot of veggies, a little protein and some starch - some carby things like sweet potatoes." Lunch is usually a salad or soup. Beth Anne always consumes carbs before and after a workout which might consist of dried mango or dried pineapple. She tries to stick to whole real foods and she drinks a whole lot of sparkling water. "I try to drink half my body weight in water per day," she says. For dinner the Lazaro's usually have meat that Ralph prepares along with a lot of veggies and a starch. The goal for them is to put a veggie with every meal.
Here's one "Healthy Hack" from Beth Anne on one of her favorite ways to sneak more healthy food into her "Tribe's" tummies. Before breakfast and before dinner she chops up veggies and fruits and lays them out on the cutting board for her hungry humans to snack on. At her house you can always have those. This way instead of grabbing a handful of chips from the pantry because it's a quick snack, it's just as easy to grab veggies. "You want healthy foods to be easy to get from your first to your face," she says. If you do the chopping ahead of time it's easy to grab the healthy stuff when you're hungry. Visit our Instagram stories for more healthy hacks from Beth Anne.
Thanks for inspiring us Beth Anne to eat well to live well. Don't forget to follow Beth Anne and her hubby Ralph on Instagram @RALABALA for more healthy recipes and nutrition advice, challenging workouts and fitness tips and ENDLESS inspiration to help you live your best life. Visit www.ralabala.com to check out more information about upcoming RALABALA Sweat & Feast events. Thank you to Beth Anne for spending so much time with us cooking and chatting. We are so grateful for you.
We hope you'll try making Beth Anne's frittata and smoothie recipes in your own home using this week's PIP box contents. Don't forget to show us what you're cooking up in your own kitchen by tagging us @perfectlyimperfectproduce.com. And message us if you'd like us to feature one of your recipes for turning our Perfectly Imperfect Produce into beautiful meals.