Month: January 2013

3-Bean Sweet Potato and Kale Chili (stew?)

Hello beautiful people!!

Let me tell you that it was hard not to blog the last couple of days.  It’s such a nice part of my routine, to be able to share, hopefully interesting and positive, thoughts and aspects about what’s going on.  Yet, things come up.  So instead, I have a lot more things to share with you!

Mini Detox

So, remember how I said I needed to get back to the healthy track, maybe mini detox?  Three days is what I aimed for and what I did!  Now this wasn’t the best detox… for me.  Basically, I strived for whole foods.  No bread, pasta, or sugar, and solely plant-based.  I also made sure I went to yoga all three days.  Sweat is a necessity for a detox.

Breakfasts

IMG_5151Banana Whipped Oatmeal (x3) with green tea

Lunches

IMG_5142Quinoa, garbanzos, mushrooms, tomato sauce.  Balsamic roasted broccoli.

IMG_51563-bean chili recipe coming up!!

Dinner snacks

IMG_5145IMG_5154And just another larabar for yesterdays dinner.

Pros and Cons

  • Con:  If you are detoxing, it’s important to take it easy, mentally.  No worries, or bad emotions about what’s going on in your life or what you should be doing.  For me that didn’t work.  I was preoccupied with other things to try and make this detox worth while
  • Pro:  My tummy slimmed down
  • Con:  I bloated at night!  The first night was really bad, and I think it was because of the apple.  I learned that raw apples do not do my body good like it used to.  Just the larabar was fine for me though.
  • Pro:  Cravings went away.  I was craving pasta, burgers, and scones like a mad woman!  I guess my body got used to just eating whatever.
  • Con:  Sleep deprived.  I was working late every night and still waking up early.  My body wasn’t hasn’t done that since the holiday season.  Naps became a necessary activity.
  • A Really Big Pro: Triphala.  Supports digestion and membrane of the digestive tract.  Lets just say that towards the end of last week, going to the bathroom was not one of my favorite things to do.  If I was going to do this mini detox, I wanted to make the most out of it.  I have heard of this ayurvedic herb for awhile now, but since I am very hestitant toward supplements, I never made the effort to try it.  I AM SO GLAD I DID.  It’s not a laxative where it makes you go.  It just helps to regulate.  Ayurveda is very big on digestion, a healthy gut, and healthy lymphatic system.  So to be blunt and honest, morning elimination was just as it should be for me.  If you would like to learn more please visit this link, as it explains poop more in depth.

Doing experiments and detoxes definitely definitely helps one know what works, and doesn’t work for their body.  It is ever changing, but once I grasp something it makes living healthy and comfortably a little more easier.  With that said my experiment with Ayurveda is working out, and by that I mean it is working at my advantage.  

The only thing that I tried to keep up with was my big lunches.  But even the first lunch of quinoa and broccoli didn’t satisfy me like this chili did.  This chili had the warming spices, that are healing for my dosha and the winter months in general.  Adjust the spices to your liking!  This could also technically just be a stew, since I used no chili powder. LOL

 

3-Bean Sweet Potato and Kale Chili (stew?)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes cubed
  • canola oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 15 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (there was one opened in my fridge I wanted to finish)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzos
  • ~ 2 cups quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp  ground cardamon
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro
  • salt and peppa

In a large pot put the sweet potatoes to boil, for about 20 minutes.

While waiting for the sweet potatoes, start chili in another pot.  With about 2 tbs of canola oil, sautee onions, till they are translucent.  Add garlic, and sautee for another 2 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce, and crush a little further to even out the chunks.  Bring to a simmer.  Once sweet potatoes are ready transfer them and most of the water into the tomato sauce.  This will ensure that most of the nutrients from the water are in the chili and add more volume to the recipe.  Add all your beans and spices to the pot.  Leave out the cilantro and salt and peppa.  Let simmer for about 25 min with the cover tilted, to let some steam come out and sauce to thicken.  Stir in the quinoa and turn off the heat.  Rip the kale into big junks and stir into the pot.  Salt and peppa to taste.  Before serving add the cilantro for a fresh taste!

IMG_5165Avocado always rounds out the meal 🙂

I hope you guys have a great rest of the day!  It’s beautiful by me, so hopefully I can get out in the fresh air!

yesenia

 

Foodie Adventures: La Cerveceria

Good morning everyone!!!

Happy Monday!!!  I’m hoping that this morning is starting out right for you guys.  If you guys are coming back from a pretty good darn weekend, make it a good transition into an amazing week 🙂

Where do I begin!  Well, since Friday and Saturday were kind of a bust, I guess we’ll begin with yesterday.

My brother actually went back to school yesterday!!  With over a month at home, I’m definitely going to miss him.  I got really accustomed having someone around and actually spending A LOT of low key time together.  From going to yoga, car-pooling, cooking together, and even just being on our computers, I really enjoyed it.  Anyway we made it a point to drop him off and help him get settled in as a family.  My job….

IMG_5077Organize the pantry!!!  Usually I really don’t enjoy organizing, or cleaning, or being a responsible adult (I’m working on being domestic, don’t fret), but I was pretty excited to work with the food!  It’s more fun the single person way to me.  I find it kind of cute, and actually kind of satisfying playing around with YOUR ingredients.   After I was done, I was wanting to do one for myself.

BRUNCH!

La Cerveceria

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Wow.  Amazing.  I can’t wait to do this again.   It was my family’s first time doing “brunch” in the city, so I guess we didn’t have much to compare the place to, but the atmosphere and food didn’t disappoint.  Check out the website and you’ll see that the place is kind of modern chic, I guess you say (not a restaurant reviewer as you can see, so bare with me, people.)  La Cerveceria is a South American tapas restaurant, with strong Peruvian  influences.  I am half Peruvian, so I think it made it easier for me to enjoy or dislike.  Back to the ambiance though.  The walls have awesome artwork, from paintings, to newspapers, and photographs.  Wine and beer bottles take up a good portion of the walls, so you know it is a place that will try and serve any of your needs.  If you are a fan of spanish/bachata music, definitely come here.  It was like they had the top 40 bachata songs in the last 10 years or so.  It was loud enough for an upbeat casual feel, but not crazy “I can’t hear what you are saying” club status.

La comida

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Most of us started with Bloody Mary’s.  Yum.  It was light and fresh.  It wasn’t heavy with carrot juice or alcohol, and here  they used sake, which I thought was different.

Appetizers:

IMG_5090Ceviche

The ceviche wasn’t cooked, which was prob our only “complaint” even though I will call it a concern.  Ceviche is made of raw fish, that is cooked with lemon for a few hours.  It must be how they do it, because I’m sure they wouldn’t be serving fish raw if they didn’t mean to.  Peruvians do not eat it raw though.  If you like sushi, it shouldn’t be a problem.  It was also kind of pretty.

IMG_5089Quinoa salad

They took a traditional staple, quinoa, and put an american twist.  With toasted almonds, currants, and goat cheese, twas yummy.  The dressing was leche de tigre (tiger’s milk), which is the juice from the ceviche.  My dad tells me it’s like medicine.  Perfect after a night of drinking!

IMG_5093Tacu Tacu

This is actually a traditional dish from Peru, but again with some American twists.  Tacu Tacu is just rice with black beans and sauce.  On my dish, we have a sausage beer sauce topped with two poached eggs, and peruvian yellow sauce.  Serious Yum.  I wiped my plate clean, but actually tried really hard to savor every bite.

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I tried a bit of everyone’s entree, just to make sure none were poisonous.  All were delicious.  The sauce on everyone’s dish was amazing.   It was just enough food to keep us full, but not overly stuffed.

I especially liked the menu because they offer a little bit for everyone.  Tofu scramble and choclo for a great vegan option and my brother enjoyed eggs, potatoes, and mushrooms.  They use organic eggs, and local and organic produce when possible.  When I see things like that about a restaurant, I get really excited.  To me it shows the restaurants care and knowledge about quality of their food.   I love the motto “When in Rome, eat like a Roman.”  I may have just made that up, but you get it right.  I am a foodie and LOVE trying great food.  It’s part of the reason I want to move to California.  To see where it all began.

IMG_5081And I am happy to report that this loser will definitely be my side for the foodie ride… I’m soo corny.

Dessert anyone?

IMG_5121Apple tart from Whole Foods!

It was more like a breakfast cake, but yummy all the same.

Now it’s time for some healthy whole foods once more.  My tummy needs it.  After eating out or ordering in for the past week, I am ready for a mini detox plan.  Bring on the oatmeal and veggies!  I have some great posts lined up for you peeps so stay tuned.

 

Till next time homies!

 

yesenia

Back On Track

Good Morning everyone!

I hope you guys have had a good couple of days.   It’s been 2 days, but for some reason it seems like I have a lot to catch up on (don’t worry, it will prob be pictures).  Between sleepovers, not really working, and people feeding me, I’m hoping for this weekend to be a good transition into a semi-good routine.

Not that I haven’t enjoyed myself!  I love spending time with friends, especially those who know me all to well and take me to Whole Foods 😉  I went to a different one in Princeton.  It was amazing!  So big!  So many options!  I was kinda in heaven.  Fresh Foodie Heaven to be exact.

A little later it was sushi time!

IMG_5023Miso Soup

IMG_5024Veggie Rolls and Spring Rolls

IMG_5027Fried Tofu, Bock Choy, Eggplant, and Rice

Then it was back to reality.  I actually had work yesterday so my meals were as follows:

Breakfast

IMG_5034Banana Oats with peanut butter

Lunch

IMG_5036Rice and beans with avocado.  Grandma was set that I would enjoy it.

Dinner

IMG_5042Leftover sweet potato soup, roasted broccoli, and olive bread.

My brother had actually made pasta for dinner, but since I hate wasting food, I finished up the soup.  Plus with rice and beans for lunch, pasta def would have been too much.

I know that most people don’t eat the way I do.  I am trying to accustom myself to big lunches.  When I go to bed early, wake up and have breakfast early, it just makes sense for me.  Next week the house will be quieter with my bro starting school, and I actually will be working a little more.  Hopefully brown rice and lighter dinners will help me get back on track next week.  I also need to get busy with my January intentions.  Five more days left of this month.  The year is going by fast!

* unpicture – an amazing chocolate mint lara bar and icecream with chocolate* Definitely not a weeknight thang.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

yesenia

Mid-week “Gourmet” Recipes

Good morning people!!

I hope you all had a fabulous Monday!  You know what I actually didn’t realize till after the post?? Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr Day!  Ugh, so horrible.  I didn’t remember till I went to yoga and it was packed.  Well the rest of the day, I took in all the inspiration and positivism of the class, and even social media, I could get in.  One that really stuck with me was from my yoga teacher.  She said something along the line of  “You know you’re living out your own thoughts when people start to think you are crazy.”  Pretty neat right?  If I had a penny for all the times my friends, family, or aquaintances thought I was wierd, looked at me like I was crazy, or even amazed (less negative crazy), I would be hell’a rich!  It’s very true though.  Those that go against the “normal”, what is familiar, or what they grew up with, big props to you!  It’s never easy to be the minority in something you truly believe in.  When you have the courage to speak up or act out, it could only better how you feel and maybe even touch the lives of others.  Here’s another one from King himself, “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Enough motivation for you?  I try, just because i like ya.

Anybody interested in a bunch of quick recipes?  To me, I love a meal that just seems a little more special.  I actually promised this last week, so my apologies.  I hope you enjoy this sometime soon.  Each recipe is super easy and all together will be super tasty!

Roasted Veggies, Cilantro Quinoa, Herbed Tomato Sauce, Lemon Dill Trout

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

  • a hefty bag of brussel sprouts halved
  • 1 butternut squash cubed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and peppa

Preheat oven to 375.  Scatter veggies between two trays.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Few pinches of salt and peppa to taste.  Mix together.  Let cook for about an hour.

Cilantro Quinoa

  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 4 cups of water
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt

In a medium pot bring the quinoa and water to a boil.  Then adjust the heat to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.  Once done, fluff with a fork and add in the olive oil and salt right away.  Once a bit cooled (5-10 min)  add in cilantro.

Herbed Tomato Sauce

  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 bulbs of garlic minced
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbs thyme
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • 1 tbs basil
  • salt and peppa

In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil and add in the onions and garlic.  Let the onions sweat and add in the diced tomatoes.  Raise heat till it starts to simmer.  Add in the herbs and adjust heat so it doesn’t start boiling.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and peppa to taste.

Lemon Dill Trout

  • 2 big trout fillets
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • dill
  • paprika
  • salt and peppa

In clear 9×13 pan place the fillets next to eachother.  Drizzle some olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, sprinkle some dill and paprika to your liking.  Rub into the fish.  Salt and peppa to taste.  We grilled ours for about 30 minutes.  Depending on how thick your cut is, adjust the cooking time.

*Its best to start the vegetables first since they take the longest.  While they are cooking, you can cook the stove-top dishes and fish till its complete.  I may have gotten lucky with a helping hand from the bro on the grill.  Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do 😉

 

They Say It’s The Little Things

Good Morning Lovelies!!!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Excited it’s Monday?  (insert sarcastic face) -_-

But really, I don’t mind Mondays.  I work weekends, nights, and sometimes my weekdays are like my weekends.  Ahhh… the life of retail

Anyways, I didn’t do anything spectacular over the weekend, but all together it was pretty damn good.

IMG_4950Over cooked pasta and kale with white bread dipped in herbed olive oil.  Meal was ehh, but it was nice with the bro.  Little things.

IMG_4962Milk and cookies my brother made.  Experimented with healthy options such as coconut sugar and coconut oil.  Needs works.  But…..

IMG_4960It was those chocolate morsals that still made them delish.  Little things.

 

IMG_4965Vegan scone with almonds, walnuts, and dates, from Whole Foods for breakfast.  Took me 15 minutes to savor every last crumb, no interruptions.  Little things.

IMG_4975Tried a new flavor larabar.  Delicous and nutritious.  Little things.

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IMG_4979I really love Breakfast. The End.

 

 
IMG_4980Late light lunch.  Sprouted English Muffin.  Avocado.  Fried egg.  Sun-dried tomatoes.  Amazing little things.

IMG_4987Same ol’ Indian take out and red wine with the whole familia.  Little things

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Your own personal ice cream and a scary movie with the family.  Little things.

 

Is it cheesy to have a moral of the post here.  Oh well.  Moral of the post is, it really is the little things.  Everyone has heard, but it’s true.  All those little moments can make you realize just how lucky you are and how great life is.  Even if you don’t win the lottery, go to an expensive restaurant, go out to the clubs, or meet the love of your life.  Enjoy the simplicity of life’s little pleasures.  Everyone’s is different, so don’t be afraid to embrace what you love!

Have an amazing day everyone!

 

yesenia   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be Vegan…

Hey peeps!

Back sooner than I expected!  I hope you all a good couple of days.  Mine were good.  I got to see some friends that I usually don’t get to hang out with often so that was nice.  We decided on a bummy sleep over which was all too appropriate and needed, at least for myself.

How to Be Vegan… At a Sleepover (and be semi-healthy!)

I know I’m not vegan, but I do try to eat a plant-based diet when out.  Some events are harder than others, but this one was actually easy peazy.

1.  Start you’re day normal!: My day started pretty regular with yoga and breakfast.  I even got to make a big lunch (which I will share be sharing tomorrow) to keep me satisfied till whenever I would be able to eat again.   I think this is important, since if you are on the right track from the beginning, less of a chance you will be irritated when hungry and feel less tempted to give into unhealthy choices.

2.  Food will come when it comes:  We didn’t eat again till 10 pm!  I usually try not to eat so late, mostly because I’m in bed by 10 pm (hello grandma status!)  I’m someone who lives on a schedule.  It helps me get my work done and stay on track on what I need to do.  Eating right, is usually part of that schedule.  Yet I actually was kinda hungry, and we were able to order take-out from a chinese place.  Since I had the big lunch like usual, I was still able to eat lighter and not feel like I had to have “dinner”.

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3.  No quinoa and organic vegetables for you!:  And you are still going to live!  I had Chinese vegetable dumplings.  It was cheap and perfect as a light dinner/snack.  Enjoy it.  Not like you get to eat like this all the time.

4.  Drink up or snack on!:  I tried to keep content and healthy on liquids.  I was lucky enough to be at a house of a big tea drinkers!  Yay!  It was actually fun to try different teas, and they even had my beloved ginger tea.  I’ve been scared of getting sick, so trying to stay healthy is not just to be healthy right now.   If hungry, have what they offer.  She offered ample of goods, such as chips, popcorn, canned soups and beans, and even pasta.  We had a late breakfast, so I was able to hold off.  Since all we did was watch movies on the couch (promise, I don’t do this often)  I wasn’t up for much eating anyways.

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5.  Get in the kitchen for a little:  We stayed in and decided to make breakfast!  Perfect time to cook if you ask me.  Might as well start your day off right!  I made myself oatmeal while they had waffles.  Not a bad deal. If they are your friends and know what you like, most likely they are going to offer what they can.

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Boy does she know me well!  She took out the oatmeal, raisins, and peanut butter.  She’s good. Instead of the pb, I swapped it out for some nut clusters instead.  Twas delicious and filling.

6.  Enjoy your time together:  It’s not just you, there are people around to chill with and talk to.  Enjoy it.  I don’t get to see my friends that often, but when I do, I learned not to make a big deal out of anything.  I’m down to do whatever, whether it’s go out for drinks to lay on their couch.  I can drink by myself and lay on my own couch if I wanted to, but I rather do yoga and homework by myself.  Enjoy whatever you are doing with the other person.  Laugh a little more, it can help you live a whole lot.

Eventually things will get back to normal.  You will always be able to come back home to a healthy meal and helpful routine.  I actually came home to some leftovers.

IMG_4947Leftover balsamic roasted veggies, quinoa, and hummus on top.

I actually think the hummus got me sick, I know it didn’t expire or taste so different, but it was a different brand then I’m used to and it was open for quite some time.  All I know is it sat like a brick in my stomach and I woke up to pain in the middle of the night.  No bueno.  Didn’t last too long, so I was able to wake up at normal time and have one of my favorite breakfasts.

IMG_4948OIAJ!! (banana oats to be exact 🙂

I hope this was semi-healthful.  I guess this may be common sense for some, but for those who are used to their own food, diets, and practices, change for a day may hard.  It’s also to show, that you can try and be healthy and have fun, even when it seems you will have to let go of it all.

Hope you guys enjoy your day!

yesenia

Eating Like One “Should”

Good morning people!

How are you all?  I hope you guys are awake and ready for the day begin.  Let me tell you that this chica legit fell asleep during yoga!!! So embarrasing!  I woke up pretty tired, but I knew I had to get some yoga in since I’ll be taking a couple of days off.  It was during savasana (dead man’s pose), which is the last pose of the class where you lie like a corpse. Normal breathing, still body, still mind.  Well, before you know it I’m lying there, heavy breathing, mouth open, and dreaming!  I tried to keep myself focus on the breath, but I guess I was focused on rest.  Damnnn.  Want to the new purpose ohming took on today?  An alarm clock to signal the end of class.  I woke up in shock hearing the whole class chant.  I just was hoping everyone had their eyes closed like they should have.  #yogiproblems

Anywaysssss, lets go through yesterdays comidas.

Breakfast

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Sauteed apples in coconut oil and cinnamon with a little chai tea on the side.  I woke up a little later and wanted a little something before yoga.  It was actually perfect because it didn’t make me feel heavy at all.

Lunch

I forgot to snap a picture!!  I guess because it was basically a couple of on-the-go snacks.  I got out of yoga and had to do some SERIOUS groceries.  All I had was a larabar and banana to make it until I got home.

Lunch Pt. 2

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Doesn’t this look pretty?? Whole grain Baguette with a fried egg and topped with cilantro.  So simple and satisfy!

Dinner

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Cannelini Kale soup!!! So yummy!  I wish I knew how to make good soups, like ALL the time.  It’s always a hit or miss for me!  My mommy made this and there were so many veggies, it made me really happy.  I’m a simple girl remember?  She asked me to buy some vegan bacon, but I could not find such thing, even at Whole Foods!  So I bought regular bacon.   I actually had to consult with my brother, since he’s careful about his meat too.  Well, we both devoured that soup.

Dessert

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Ice cream on the couch.  Yummy!  Chocolate Coconut Milk ice cream with extra chocolate chips and shredded coconut.  Trying to cut down on the sweets again since I got too comfortable this weekend.  Hopefully, I make it through the week….

I would say this is a normal day of eats for most people.  Smaller meals, snacks, soups, sandwiches, small desserts… Pretty healthy still.  Since the new year and the excitement of people trying to keep to there healthy resolutions, you hear now more than ever how one should eat.  Could be what they hear or what they experience.  For me, the Ayurveda way has been going great.  I like my bigger meals, less meals, and minimal snacks.  I’ ve never been a snacky person to begin with, even when I was little.  There are off days, and complicated ones where my meals take a back seat, but in general I still try and eat healthy no matter what.  The next couple of days will be just that.  I’ll be out, so I will do the best I can to feed myself right, even if that means small meals and snacks or pasta and bread.  The horror 😛

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Today, I’m glad to say I can eat what I like in the comfort of my own home.  With some banana oatmeal, black tea, and yoga done and digesting, I’m ready to start this couple of days right!

How do you start your days on the right track?

Till next time peeps!

yesenia 

ps.  When eating differently and trying to get your digestion on the right track, ginger tea becomes my savior.  Some local raw honey, you can aid your digestion and up your vitamins and antioxidants for the cold winter months!

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