Ballet Stars

Brighten Up Your Culinary Routine with These Original Recipes from San Francisco Ballet's Natasha Sheehan

Natasha Sheehan posing with her Rainbow Superfood Energy Balls. Photo Courtesy Natasha Sheehan.

If you follow San Francisco Ballet corps dancer Natasha Sheehan on Instagram, you've definitely seen envy-worthy photos of gorgeously arranged food. But Sheehan is more than a skilled photographer; she also creates many of the recipes that she cooks. "I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, but the majority of the time I just experiment and see what's good. It takes a lot of trial and error," she says. Sheehan is a self-described "pegan," which combines aspects of both vegan and paleo diets to emphasize eating whole, unprocessed food. The San Francisco-native started experimenting with her diet when her dance training became more intense. "I was looking for foods that had higher nutritional value for energy and building stamina," says Sheehan. "Most importantly, I wanted foods that delighted my taste buds and made me feel and dance my best." As for her love of photography, Sheehan says that "kind of came out of nowhere. I've always been a perfectionist, even before I started ballet, and like to treat each meal as a celebration to truly enjoy by making it look aesthetically appealing."

Sheehan shared three of her recipes with us below: Rainbow Superfood Energy Balls, Paleo Banana Zucchini Bread and Oodles of (Veggie) Noodles Salad. Want even more colorful delicacies? Check out Sheehan's blog for additional recipes and tips.


Rainbow Superfood Energy Balls. Photo Courtesy Natasha Sheehan.


Rainbow Superfood Energy Balls

"These are great for a snack or a pick me up," says Sheehan. "Sometimes I like to have them as dessert or right before a rehearsal if I need a little boost."

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat coconut unsweetened fine shredded (plus a little extra for rolling)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup figs
  • 1/4 cup dates (Sheehan recommends deglet noor dates)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbs hemp seeds
  • Ashwaghanda (Optional. An herb used in Ayurvedic healing to help strengthen the immune system. Available at most health food stores and drug stores.)
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Lemon zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • Freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
  • Turmeric powder
  • Matcha green tea powder
  • Blue Majik powder/capsules (Derived from spirulina, Blue Majik is an algae extract full of vitamins, enzymes and minerals. It's available at most health food stores and online.)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the almonds and walnuts together. Pulse a few times in the very beginning.
  2. Add the dried fruit and coconut. Blend again.
  3. Add the chai seeds, hemp seeds, ashwaghanda (optional), pumpkin spice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Blend for about 10 seconds.
  4. On a parchment-paper lined baking tray, roll mixture into ping-pong sized balls.
  5. Roll the energy balls in the bowls of rainbow superfood powders (crushed freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries for red; turmeric for yellow; matcha powder for green; blue Majik for blue).
  6. Place the tray with the energy balls in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. The energy balls can be enjoyed immediately or stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks.


Paleo Banana Zucchini Bread. Photo Courtesy Natasha Sheehan.

Paleo Banana Zucchini Bread

"This is perfect for breakfast or brunch on a day off," says Sheehan.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (Sheehan recommends Jem Organics Cinnamon Red Maca Sprouted Almond Butter. "I find sprouted is better for digestion," says Sheehan.)
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup paleo baking flour (Try almond flour, arrowroot starch, organic coconut flour or tapioca flour as alternatives. Sheehan recommends Bob's Red Mill Paleo Flour).
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Organic Gemini's Tigernut Prebiotic Smoothie Mix (Optional)
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cinnammon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Ashwagandha (Optional. An herb used in Ayurvedic healing to help strengthen the immune system. Available at most health food stores and drug stores.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Combine the bananas, eggs, nut butter, grated zucchini and coconut oil in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  5. Pour in batter and spread evenly.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and flip your bread onto a cooling rack.
  8. Slice, serve and go bananas!


Oodles of (Veggie) Noodles Salad. Photo Courtesy Natasha Sheehan.

Oodles of (Veggie) Noodles Salad

For Sheehan, this colorful salad is "great for lunch" on warm weather days.

Ingredients
  • 2 handfuls of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 watermelon radish
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1/2 golden beet
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • Small handful of walnuts
  • A couple of mint leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing of your choice
Instructions
  1. Place the romaine lettuce in a salad bowl
  2. Spiralize all of the veggies (If you don't have a Spiralizer, Sheehan recommends grating or finely chopping the vegetables).
  3. Roast walnuts in oven or toaster oven at 350℉ for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add walnuts, mint veggie noodles and dressing to salad bowl
  5. Toss together
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Show Comments ()
Ballet Stars
Rachel Hutsell Photographed for Pointe by Jayme Thornton.

"I'm very cautious by nature," Rachel Hutsell says over herbal tea at Lincoln Center between rehearsals. You wouldn't think so from the way she moves onstage or in the studio. In fact, one of the most noticeable characteristics of Hutsell's dancing is boldness, a result of the intelligence and intention with which she executes each step. (What she calls caution is closer to what most people see as preparedness.) She doesn't approximate—she moves simply and fully, with total confidence. That quality hasn't gone unnoticed.

Even though she has been at New York City Ballet for less than three years, Hutsell, 21, is regularly cast in a wide variety of repertoire. She has already collaborated with several choreographers, including Troy Schumacher, Gianna Reisen, Peter Walker and Justin Peck, on new works. "She's not afraid to make mistakes," says Peck, who has used her in two premieres, The Most Incredible Thing and The Decalogue. "And she's open to exploring new movements."

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!

Ballet Stars
NYCB's Miriam Miller and Unity Phelan in Côté Cour. Photo by Erin Baiano.

How do you make a leotard line stand out when there are so many options? Erica Sabatini, a former soloist with Carolina Ballet, makes it look easy with her pairing of architectural designs and bright colors. Before officially launching Côté Cour in 2015, Sabatini's interest in fashion was sparked during her Balanchine-based training at the Miami City Ballet School.

Phelan in MIA Multi Turquoise. Photo by Erin Baiano.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Boston Ballet in Bournonville's "La Sylphide." Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


Wayne McGregor Makes His ABT Choreographic Debut

Ever since Vaslav Nijinsky shocked Paris audiences in 1913 with his Rite of Spring for the Ballets Russes, dancemakers from Sir Kenneth MacMillan to Pina Bausch have tried their hands at choreographing to Igor Stravinsky's infamous score. This spring, Wayne McGregor will be added to that list. The Royal Ballet resident choreographer's first work for American Ballet Theatre, titled AFTERITE, will premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City on May 21. Known for his grounded and experimental movement style, McGregor's work will feature video designs by innovative filmmaker Ravi Deepres and sets and costumes by designer Vicki Mortimer, both longtime collaborators. Alessandra Ferri, who has collaborated with McGregor in the past, will join ABT as a guest artist.

Keep reading... Show less
via Instagram

The wait for Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of Petipa's Harlequinade is almost over! But if you can't wait until American Ballet Theatre officially debuts the ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 6, we've got you covered. ABT brought the Harlequinade characters to life (and to the Alder Mansion in Yonkers, NY) in a short film by Ezra Hurwitz, and it's a guaranteed to make you laugh.

Keep reading at dancemagazine.com.

Ballet Stars
DePrince soars in English National Ballet's "Giselle." Photo by Laurent Liotardo, Courtesy ENB.

As told to Amy Brandt.

Myrtha is a role I've always loved to watch, but when Tamara Rojo asked me to dance it for English National Ballet's Giselle last year as a guest artist, I thought she was crazy. The role is usually for a tall, strong dancer. I'm strong, but I'm also very petite. I thought people might criticize me for that. I also wore brown tights onstage, since I'm a brown dancer, and I was nervous people wouldn't understand that—but I got great comments on it.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox

Sponsored

Win It!