recipe

March Lovin’: Cleanse Me Edition, Recipe Included!

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Hello, my dears!

A lighter post for you all.  One filled with pictures, hidden stories, and a way to remember enjoyment of the little things

I was looking through my intentions for the ending month.  As to kind of see how I have accomplished some, need to work on many, and how I can go further.  Well, a couple that stood out was my intention to feel daring and to humble myself.  Both, I believe are in the process of being conquered and definitely are to move further.

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Well, I stepped up my business game.  Little videos and plans here and there.  Just a start on how I want to get out there, and then actually doing it.  Then I did my detox.  And I found a little goes along way, especially with food.  Sweet Soul Nourishment can be found anywhere.

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Remember, when times were simple?  Or so I thought.  When we were just eating whatever and cooking up a storm?  Whatever felt right, for the day or week, I was on a mission to create.  Something delicious, lasting, and nourishing.  As all meals should be, but with a little twist.  The little twist being all the meat, cheese, and comfort, to make the week seem a bit more enjoyable.

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All fun and games during the winter season, until of course the detox came into play.  Which is exactly what I needed.  A detox to rid habits, foods, and cravings that came about more often.  Not that I couldn’t enjoy those delicious pastas and meats, but I think a calling to Nature’s food was in full blown with Spring

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My favorite were the smoothies, and I am happy to say that I have I have kept it up beyond my detox!  Instead of my breakfast of bread, butter, and eggs, I transitioned into a vegan green smoothie lover.  I never thought that would happen, since to be quite honest, I’ve done detoxes before and the whole drink for breakfast thing never stuck.  Maybe it’s the fact I can make it myself? The beauty in the colors?  Whatever it is, I’m going to make it last for awhile I think.

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Simple dinners also played a huge role as well.  Quinoa and roasted vegetables are something I would gladly do at least once of week with PLENTY of leftovers for lunch as well.  Pretty much how I started really learning to cook, I’m glad to revisit.  The basics of cutting veggies, roasting, and making a filling easy meal.

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Early mornings.  So close, but yet so far.  If you known me for a while, to say I’m not the biggest sleeper is an understatement.  While I envy those who can fall asleep by 9/10, to get those precious eight hours in, I also love the fact I am an early a bird regardless of the very minimum I get of sleeping beauty.  Yet, I have found myself wanting more.  More sleep and even earlier mornings.  Think it can be done?  I shall keep you updated.

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Can we talk about the warmer weather?  At first, I looked at it as a tease.  It was making me miss my palm trees way too much.  I don’t get impressed too easily either.  BUT, I will say it has motivated me to get more into the swing of things.  A little more activity and natural vibes.  I’m starting to remember my love for minimalism all over again.

 

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And now….

A little recipe, almost to easy to even call it that.  Whether on a detox or not, it’s perfect for a when you need a little more than a smoothie or juice.  Especially, when you have leftovers of quinoa that needs to be eaten.  My real motivation.

IMG_2385Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • cinnamon
  • fruit (I incorporated frozen mixed berries and mango)
  • 1 spoon almond butta

Mix the quinoa, milk, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  Let sit for about 20 minutes to allow quinoa and chia seeds to absorb the liquid.  Top as you please!

 

PS.  I really need some new bowls.

Quick and Easy Fried Rice

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So, one of my goals to eat healthier and get back into a more consistent/routine practice had to do with cooking.  Now, more than ever I have a great opportunity to utilize a working kitchen, using a lot more of the ingredients I love.  As well, I am trying to use methods to create the cost-effective and health conscious meals for myself and others.  If you struggle with feeding yourself and others with limited time and budget this post is for you.  Even if you don’t, this is a great easy break for you experienced-love-to-cook chefs 😉

I wanted to make enough food in one day to last almost three.  From one meal of rice and beans, I used the left over rice to make an easy and quick fried rice recipe.

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What makes this recipe cost-effective are the use of frozen vegetables and cabinet spices.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I slip on keeping up with planned meals and end up having VERY old wilted vegetables.  Also, it’s a great way to get a variety without buying a crazy amount.  Cabinet spices definitely helped when you forget the fresh basics, such as garlic and ginger, but still makes for a great taste.

I saved time having the rice cooked.  After that, you just cook the egg!

Disclaimer:  I don’t tend to measure ingredients when cooking.  I use the old taste and tell method of measurement, so most of these are estimations.  Feel free to change to your liking!

IMG_1776Quick and Easy Fried Rice

  • Half pot of already cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 packages frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola or sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat up your rice and defrost the vegetables in 2 different pots.  As they heat up you can create your sauce.  I used canola oil, kimchi juice from the jar, tamari, and spices.  Set aside.

Combine the vegetable and rice once warm.  Scramble the two eggs and add to the pot.  Mix together and then combine with sauce.  Add the scallions in, plus more for garnish. Salt and pepper to taste!

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I served mine with a little hot sauce and a dijon Mahi Mahi.  I only defrost the fish and then smothered it with dijon mustard and leftover sauce!  Right into the oven it went!

I hope you enjoy!

 

Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad

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I know.  I am giving you this ultra summer recipe while most are thinking about pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and pretty leaves.  Can we use this as a late summer recipe?  Who doesn’t want to use as much of the glorious summer produce the season has to offer?

Truth be told, this is a 1-2-3 post.  I took pretty pictures and it seems almost a sin not to share.  Reasoning with honesty.

Like I said, this is a pretty simple recipe.  Basically a variation and different feel to the previous quinoa posts.  This one happens to be a favorite.  I try to make something like this weekly as a lunch or side for during the week.  It’s perfect as Sunday make-ahead dish for the week or a quick refreshing side for a night.  Maybe to pair well with a nice roasted chicken?  Baked Salmon?!?!  So Fall!!!

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Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa (cooked and cooled)
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • handful of parsley
  • white wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil/grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Cut into chunks the tomatoes and cucumbers.  Roughly chop your parsley.  Mix your vegetables, parsley, and quinoa in a large bowl.  Drizzle white whine vinegar, then oil onto salad.  Add your salt and mix again.  If you need a little more flavor I recommend to put more vinegar.

Crumble the feta onto the salad before serving to keep the flavor of the cheese fresh and not soggy!

Enjoy!

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Now make this now before summer is ovaaaa! Preferably with a glass of wine on hand.

Chia Seed Pudding

Because it’s never too late/early to think about breakfast!

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I am practically Queen when it comes to easy semi-homemade recipes.  Trust me, I made sangria last night.  White super fruit sangria from a bottle and a chopped up plum.  Queen. So since I’m pretty good at it, I’m going to share it.  Share my strengths.  Why make shit complicated?  I kind of wanted to talk and ramble in a way, but I’m really just more excited about the food.  Life updates shall come soon enough.

Today I’m going to share with you a recipe from back in the days.  I’ve been making this make-ahead breakfast/dessert for years.  Since my organic vegan days.  Total health food.  Yes to progress!  We have our almond milk base, but feel free to use soy, rice, or organic milk.  Chia seeds which are amazing.  A power house of omega 3 fatty acid, the good fat found in salmon, eggs, flax seeds, and some nut butters.  The fiber helps for digestion and keeping us full, the healthy way.  And of course, we have the antioxidants and vitamins that come with every kind of plant-based superfood.  Cinnamon is a healthy spice I love to add in all things with a sweet tone to it.

It is once again, simple, adaptable, and great for busy weekdays.  As a healthy breakfast you may keep it simple with just 3 ingredients.  Spruce it up with fruit, sweetener (raw honey!), nut butter, or granola.  Seriously, options are always up to your creative minds.

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Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar.  Cover and store in the fridge for 1 hour to overnight.  For something a little more sweet add banana and honey.  Other fruit, granola, and nut butters work perfectly as well.  Enjoy, my dears!

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I should let you know that I officially have an extra 15 minutes some mornings.  You may use that to snooze or put on that blush and winged eyeliner.  Regardless, you’ll feel like a total badass.

 

Black Bean Quinoa Salad Pt. 2

The joy of making a salad.  You can read a recipe and make five or more different versions after the original.  At least, that’s how I look at it in my eyes, and I want to do what I want.  So, the other day I wanted an easy and quick lunch to make a head.  This is what came about.

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As you know, I am trying to get back on track, food included.  I’m on a mission to spend less money on frivolous meals and take time to make my own.  Truth be told, I really don’t care for meal prep.  I make my salads or sandwich the morning of and make dinner from scratch, if I ACTUALLY feel like it.  I know, but I blame it mostly on my schedule. My schedule varies on a weekly basis, and honestly, as well what I feel like making.  Some weeks I live off rice and beans, other weeks I can eat out every other day.

A couple of salads like this a week can really do the trick though!

Fresh ingredients are important for a recipe like this too.  I’m talking either local or organic ingredients.  If you are in a warmer climate, local might be best.  You want to make sure your tomatoes are sweet and herbs are vibrant.  I used parsley, just for a little something different, but cilantro would be great as well!

I was going to add a little avocado for this recipe, but I would definitely recommend to add right before serving.  You want to make sure it stays a pretty green with a buttery finish.  It really takes this salad to the next level.  You guys should know, I am a firm believer of a bad ass salad.

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad Pt. 2

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt

To prepare.

Cook quinoa accordingly.  Set aside and let cool. Rinse black beans out of the can and add to quinoa.  Dice both tomatoes into thick chunks.  All together you can add the tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.  Fold all ingredients together and enjoy!

Makes about 2 or 3 servings.  Keep refrigerated for a week.

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And I did the math… To make a batch of this salad can come out to about $7 tops, including the avocado.  With fresh more sustainable ingredients lasting for a week.  I think that tops a single serving for the same price.

Let me tell you about that healthy living with a budget, baby 😉

PS.  Because this really was a meal prep, excuse the poor lighting and multiple settings.  Sunday night and lunch Monday morning were still delicious!

For more or similar recipes, check out my salad from last year!

 

 

Gracefully Falling into Autumn

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Was that too much for a title?  I wanted to make it clever and cute, and semi related to the topic at hand.  Eh, I tried.

So, are you guys gearing up the Fall season?  Anyone already been ready?  I’m trying.  More mentally than physically.  The thought of cold weather makes me a bit uneasy, but thankfully there are the positive people who remind me about the better things, or to just get over it.  Sweaters? Boots? Pumpkin? Apples?  Plum lipstick?  Something has to make you excited, right?

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I’m a sucker for the little things.  Yes, warm weather all year round can seem like a lot to ask for, but it’s really just for the simpleness of shorts and a t-shirt, and fresh fruit that I would like.  So, for now, I will focus on the easy small ways.  How we can all gracefully enjoy getting into this season of transformation?

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Food!!! Focus on farmers markets for as long as you can.  Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I can still shop for local and delicious fruits and veggies.  It’s nice to see the change in colors in the atmosphere just from the food.  With fall squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, brussel sprouts, and cranberries, there are so many ways to enjoy the season just with food.  In the summer I must admit I take a break from cooking.  My go to of rice and beans with vegetables or salad, soon transforms to roasted root vegetable and curry.  Simple cozy recipes such Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal and Lentils with Butternut Squash, will make you a little more grateful for the color temperatures.

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Clean out those closets and cabinets.  There is nothing better than the feeling of a fresh start!  Fall is all about transformation.  Leaves turn colors and disappear, leaving space for growth once spring arrives.  Same with your body and surroundings in the home.  Go through your kitchen cabinets.  Take out expired cans and bottles, clean it up, make room for what you can use.  Even your bedroom closet.  I bet there are outfits you haven’t worn in a year?  Give it away.  With a big garbage bag, you will be surprise how fast it will fill up.  Whether the reason being it doesn’t fit you right or you changed your style up (I’m guilty of going through style changes frequently).  Maybe you can make room for cozy sweaters for the season.

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Clean up your diet.  I’m going to throw out the word.  Detox.  Yes.  It’s about that time again.  Do you dread it?  Love it?  Mine is a little both.  I love it because I know it’s going to help me start this season with the healthy boost we all need.  Let’s face it.  Fall and Winter? I hope I’m not the only one who will be indulging in hearty stews and curries, apple pie, pumpkin pie, or hot coffee and teas.  Why not prepare your body?  With a week of clean eating, juices, and exercise, you will only have a positive attitude of the new season ahead.  I’m looking forward for my body to feel light and full of energy to fight those colder dark early morning blues!

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Have fun with it!  Do what makes you happy! Experiment!  As I transition into Fall, oatmeal becomes a pretty important part into my diet.  The warmth and moisture it contains is perfect balance of the cold and dry weather upon us.  With some different variations and experimentation, I can enjoy feeling a little more healthier without getting boring.  You can discover what you love and don’t like so much.  For example, I learned I do not like dried apricots in my oatmeal, but love alone or in my desserts.  Who knew!  Little discoveries in a big bowl of oatmeal…

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Hope this helps!  Any questions on food, detoxes, and self-care, let me know!  I would also love to hear any advice you guys have on food, health, and fashion for Fall season!! Updates soon on the new events and changes for the next couple of months for sure!

P.S. Fall is great way to transition our self-care products and routines as well.  Check it out! I change my exfoliating body brush, switch from coconut oil everything to sesame or almond oil, and make time for more moisturizing face masks and body/scalp oil massages at night.  TLC people.  TLC.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

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Well, this is a spontaneous kind of post.  I live a spontaneous crazy life.  It’s almost 9pm.  Just got home from work and decided to down a cup a coffee.  Watch out.  I’m ready.

I made this salad in hopes to 1) use up some veggies 2) save money 3) to be healthy 4) to not be hungry.  These are all great efforts, right?  But, what makes it even better?  The fact that it was delicious!!!  I was not expecting that!  I know, so sad.  Sometimes, fast healthy food, doesn’t always work out to my advantage.  I’m human.

After a productive morning, I decided to keep it up by making myself lunch to bring to work.  With already cooked quinoa, farmer market vegetables screaming to be used, and canned beans, the only effort needed was to get out the cutting board.  Seriously, that could be the hardest part sometimes (most of the time.)

A lot of this is estimated, because like I said, I wasn’t expecting to post this!  So it’s a good sign that it is an easy and accessible recipe!  Definitely experiment with different veggies, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, or even different vinaigrettes. Use your imagination!  And let me know about the deliciousness you create 😉

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cobs corn, scraped from husk
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Combine all in a bowl and mix!!!!

P.S. Limited pictures due to spontaneity!