Monthly Archives: January 2013

Lentil Meatballs & Veggies in Spicy Coconut Curry

Wow.  This fierce cold weather feels like the coldest, eyelash blistering cold I have ever experienced.  And they’re threatening tomorrow will be worse.  Doesn’t that mean I don’t have to leave my house? No?!? Ah well in that case I need to make something to eat while I’m at school that I know will warm me up.  Lately it’s been all things lentil meatballs well because I love real meatballs but I don’t love eating meat right now.  Oh and I prefer doing little to no work- enter this recipe and why you will love it once you try it.

stew 2Plus when you make your own “meatballs” you can hide things in them, like vegetables 😉

This looks like a lot of work but it is truly very easy and so worth it so get to it!

Ingredients for Meatballs:

***if you don’t have all these ingredients just find a good curry powder you like

1 cup lentils (I used yellow & brown), (soaked for minimum 6 hours)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 10oz package mushrooms

1-2tbsp coconut oil

1/2 zucchini

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground coriander

few dashes dried basil and oregano

2 tsp worchestire sauce IF you want to have more meaty flavor

1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 egg

up to 1/4 cup quinoa flour (or other flour to help bind)

*optional 2 tbsp tamarind for sweetness or 1 tbsp honey

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Directions:

-Rinse lentils well and add to pot with 1 cup vegetable stock.  Bring to boil, then simmer with lid on till all liquid is gone.

-Meanwhile, pulse the mushrooms in a food processor and then add to bowl.  Pulse zucchini, garlic & onion and don’t overfill your food processor and make more work for yourself.  I find it’s easier just to do them one at a time.

-Add onions to large pot on medium-high heat and add all the spices.  Saute for 3-5 minutes till soften.

-Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes, careful not to burn.

-Add all the vegetables and saute until softened. Season to your taste and adjust spices as needed.

-Remove from heat and once cooled slightly add egg, lentils, flour & oats.  Your consistency may have more or less water so add the oats and flour in smaller amounts as needed. You can lightly mash half the lentils to help bind also, or do quick spin in food processor.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, use 1/8 cup measuring cup and kitchen gloves to roll meatballs. Should make at least 12. Bake until brown all over about 30 minutes. Flip after 15 minutes.

Ingredients in Coconut Curry:

1 onion, chopped

2 yellow & 2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

3 garlic cloves, minced (use the food processor!!)

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1 can lite coconut milk (or full fat if you prefer)

1/2 cup vegetable stock

fresh chopped cilantro to taste

*optional red pepper flakes

Directions:

-Over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp coconut oil to same large pot you used for meatballs & add onion.

-Add all your spices. You should be tasting as you go and adjust as needed.

-Add bell peppers & carrots, stir to coat.

-Add garlic & ginger, stir for 2 minutes.

-Add can tomatoes, coconut milk & veggie stock. Bring to boil and reduce with the lid off for 10-15 minutes.

-Season to taste.  Take your meatballs and crumble into curry and garnish with cilantro.

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Super Power Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate has super powers like immune boosting, blood sugar balancing, packed with omega 3’s to make you even more beautiful, antioxidants & flavonoids just to mention a few.20130119-145703.jpg

Needless to say I am an obvious health advocate and also shamelessly obsessed with Dr. Oz. Now I don’t live and breathe by everything he says but I do like watching his show to see if I can learn something new. The other day he had on Sanjay Gupta who I never knew he was a neurologist and shared one of his treats he has at the end of the day. He made a “milk” drink & warmed it up with a dash of turmeric, ginger and cinnamon which I thought was pretty interesting and surprised I hadn’t tried this yet considering I put those ingredients in everything. So today I had to try it but made it into a “secret” hot chocolate and I also added a few other of my favorite ingredients. Shockingly, it was good. Really good, and you don’t taste the turmeric or ginger like you would think.

Doesn’t this look like a heart? Maybe it’s saying something… 😉

heart

Especially with all this “flu epidemic” going on I up the ante on my regular routine because personally I’m not a flu shot fan. So for a little extra nourishment, try this hot chocolate, it’s really comforting and delicious.

A teaspoon of turmeric helps the medicine go down! 😉

Ingredients

1 cup hemp milk ( or almond, coconut…)

1/2 tsp turmeric, cinnamon, ginger

dash cardamom

1 tbsp cocoa powder & dark cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder

*optional 1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

stevia to taste

Warm up on stove top or in the microwave. Top with a smidge of coconut cream for a little extra indulgence!

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Jalapeño Black Bean & Coconut Spread

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I don’t know about you, but my holiday break has already flown by. Back to the grind on Monday which means now I am trying to plan for the ciaos with easy go to meals that are healthy and delcious.  And although I’m a huge fan of trader joes and all those wonderful dips and spreads they sell, I know that I can make them myself with just a little effort.  Typically I love traditional hummus but I know that tahini is a bit expensive and due to my moderate allergy 😦 I used light coconut milk to help smooth it out instead which worked great.  If you are looking for more coconut flavor I would suggest using full fat because it is rather undetectable in the finished result. Fortunately, I am really pleased with how this turned out and I plan to double or triple the recipe so it lasts at least a week 😉

And for us gluten freers (seems to be growing by the minute) I suggest buying brown rice tortilla’s and baking them- it turned out perfect!  This came together so fast it would be great for last minute guests, lunch or just a snack.  So grab your food processor and give this a whirl 😉

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Ingredients:

1 can black beans rinsed

1/3 cup light coconut milk (from the can)

2 jalapenos

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1-2 tbsp olive oil, or flavorless

2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Salt & pepper to taste

*optional, 1 tsp cayenne

Directions

-If baking tortilla chips, preheat oven to 375, coat in light oil and sprinkle with chili powder.  Bake 10-15 minutes.

-Wrap garlic and 1 jalapeno in tin foil and add to baking sheet with tortilla chips. If your not baking chips I would suggest doing a quick saute with the garlic and 1 jalapeno so it is not too strong.

-Once they’re both cooked, add to food processor and do a rough chop.

-Deseed your raw jalapeno & add the rest of the ingredients.  Puree & season to taste.

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My Favorite Natural Beauty Products

So today were not talking food but rather some of my new found favorite all natural beauty products. I know most of those who read my blog are health conscious and watch that you eat fairly “clean”.  But I think most people don’t realize that what we put on our skin can affect your health. So over the past few months as my diet has changed to a more eco-conscious & “organic” direction, I have also began gradually looking at other parts of my life that could use a fresh green coat of paint.  Although I’ve never been one to go to salons (maybe 4 times) I do like to take care of my skin and play around with different makeup.  What I hadn’t wanted to acknowledge is real is the fact that the majority of products out there have lots of icky things like formaldehyde, toulene, parabens, phthalates, sulfates…etc.  What are all these your asking? Well obviously chemicals but they have been documented to change our cells and shown to be toxic.  {Find very detailed info here}

Now you might be thinking, yes but I would have to be putting tons of it on to have a negative impact.  Well the truth is women can put up to 25 different prodcuts on their skin not including things like hand soap and drinking out of plastics which also have the same compounds.  These can really add up and actually accumulate in our cells which studies have linked to the rise in breast cancer among other things.

So although I am not willing to give up cleaning my bathroom with bleach, I am definitly willing to use natural cosmetics on my skin which are then absorbed and can enter the bloodstream.  So I thought I would share with you some great and fairly affordable items I have fallen in love with. {You can click on the pictures for the source, but there are websites which have them for cheaper ;)}

1. Night Cream Argan Stem Cell and Chlorella Growth Factor by Acure Organics $17

This cream is so rich and hydrating and I noticed a difference in my skin within a few days. There was an overall improvement in the texture of my skin and it reduces the inflammation of the occasionally pimple.  I love that it uses chlorella and stem cell to help boost our skins natural growth. Plus a little goes a long way so the small bottle can last awhile.

 2. Green ApGreen Apple Nutrient Eye Creample Nutrient Eye Cream by Alicia Silverstone’s line “Juice Beauty” $30

This product has a practically perfect ingredients list and is the perfect consistency that blends easily. It has a subtle lightening effect and is very hydrating. Anti-aging effects from DMAE, CoQ10 & Green Tea.  It is a pretty affordable in comparison to other eye creams & I am expecting it to last at least a month. You only need 1/2 pump for both eyes.

3. Alicia Silverstone’s Irrestible Glow Facial Highliter $18Irresistible Glow Facial Highlighter

Again another completely natural list of ingredients and affordable considering how little you need to apply. This does take a bit of practice, but is totally worth it. The color is very flattering and is easy to adjust the amount.  You only need a few dabs on each cheek so I’m guessing this will last several months before it runs out.

4. MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut $15

mycele

This smells great and is not heavy at all.  I plan to wear this throughout winter, but in the spring and summer months I will be wearing a higher SPF when spending a long time outside.  Just to clarify, a lotion with higher SPF does not mean you don’t need to reapply and it last hours and hours.  It’s recomended that you should reapply every two hours unless your swimming and then it is even more frequent.

5. Kiss My Face Olive Oil & Aloe Moisturizer $8

Once I tried this I realized moisturizers I’ve been using were actually drying out my hands.  I wash my hands frequently so I can need a lot of lotion.  This sinks right in and is non-greasy.  You don’t need to reapply and it really results in softer hands.  The smell is very light and pleasant.

6. Zoya Nail Polish $8

Nail polish can be especially toxic and you would never expect that it could effect your health because it’s just your nails and not your skin.  Unfortunately our nails are part of our skin and still absorb toxins we put on them.  An especially dangerous chemical to look out for is toulene which is a known carcinogen.  Zoya is “3 free” of the most harmful chemicals and the first that I’ve tried.  I’m very pleased wNail Polish-Bela Lgith it {this is the exact color I used called Bela}.

This painted on just like regular nail polish and the color is really nice. I only did 2 coats and they came out perfect.  It is only been 2 days and it hasn’t chipped yet which has always been a problem for me in the past. {I used CND sticky coat which is also 3 free & plan to buy the top coat}

 

 

 

 

And of course I just can’t help myself and have to mention food.  Some of the most “beautifying” foods are those high in water content and especially vitamin A & C like watermelon, lemons, cucumber, eggplant & avocado.  I hope this helps and let me know if you have any favorites worth trying! 🙂

 

New Year, New Granola Bars

Happy New Year to everyone!  Hope you all had a great 2012, I know I did!  New apartment, new school, new blog, new job, quit new job, lots of new recipes & my most favorite part is the shiny little something sitting pretty on my finger 🙂 .  Now how is 2013 going to top that?  I’m not sure but I do know I’m starting with a new granola bar recipe.

Close up

I much prefer a chewy, denser granola bar minus the sugar, soy and other strange ingredients that comes in most store bought. Oh and gluten free at a non-gluten free price. So after you try scouring the stores for something fitting this description you can come back here and make these because they are good and healthy. I plan to only eat one once they come out of the oven and put the rest in the freezer for crazy school days which are approaching fast.

Oh & how cute is this jar of honey?  The only added sweetness is 1 tbsp honey drizzled over the bars when they are finished baking.

Granola Bars 003

Now although I quit counting calories, carbs and all other things numbers a long time ago, when it comes to bars I always read the ingredients list and make sure it’s not just like eating a candy bar.  So I have provided the “counts” below, but really if you eat healthy & understand what a portion size is I encourage you to not rigorously count & make yourself crazy, it’s quite liberating.  And while I’m sure many of you have wonderful health resolutions, try to  focus on the fact that you can have an abundance of fruits and vegetables without consequences.

Granola Bars 002

Original recipe by Kathy.

Ingredients:

-1.5 cups GF rolled oats

– 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

– 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

– 2 tbsp chia seeds

– 3 tbsp cacao nibs

– 1/4 cup mixture walnuts and pecans

– 1 egg

– 1 & 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

– 1 tbsp cinnamon (yes 1 tbsp)

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

*optional, drizzle 1 tbsp honey when pull out of the oven

(I prefer no fruit to avoid too much food combining and blood sugar spikes.)

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350, mix dry and wet separate, combine, bake 30-40 minutes, & eat!

bar

Makes 9 Servings

Calories: 161

Fat: 3.2g Saturated, 3.1g PUFA, 1.4g MUFA

Carbs: 12.9g

Fiber: 4g

Sugar: 0.8g

Protein: 5g

These bars are high in manganese, vitamin E, copper & magnesium with smaller amounts of zinc, iron & calcium. These minerals work to boost your thyroid, immunity, stabalize blood sugar, red blood cell production and the list goes on & on. So grab a bowl and start mixing to fuel up for the new year!

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