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Food

Food, Life

3 Things You Need To Stop Using – TODAY

Did You Know? “Already, the ocean is filled with about 165 million tons of plastic. That’s 25 times heavier than the Great Pyramid of Giza.  By 2050, plastic in the oceans (is predicted to) outweigh fish.”

( v i a )


One thing that drives me nuts is throw-away plastic.  I really can’t stand it.

And because it’s Earth Day this weekend I thought it would be a good time to address throw-away plastic.

Earth Day

Earth Day

I use old glass coconut oil jars for nuts & mixes too!

Earth Day

Veggies always ready to snack on…

Earth Day

Chopped onion ready for recipes & lunches //  Beans ready to go for salads!

Earth Day

THESE containers are perfect for lunches – great portion size & love that they’re wide, not deep

3 Things You Need To Stop Using, TODAY

1. Plastic Serving Items:

Plastic plates, utensils, cups, bowls, straws – all need to go!  I can’t remember the last time I purchased any of those items.   I remember in the 19th century when we thought using plastic items was incredibly smart because it made clean-up easier, but that was the 19th century when we didn’t know how much that was effecting our mother earth.

Honestly, it takes two seconds to get everything through the dishwasher & once you get in the habit of it, you don’t even notice the clean-up.

Large garbage bags filled with plastic serving utensils is disturbing.  Not to mention half of it blows away or breaks in the process & isn’t even used.  Instead – use real, affordable, inexpensive items that you’ll easily be able to wash, store, & reuse.

2. Zip Lock Bags:

Zip Lock Bags are dumb.  Wafiq had a hard time letting go of these but after much trickery I’ve managed to keep them out of the house & he’s barely noticed.

I use these red containers for EVERYTHING.  I chop onions, broccoli, jalapenos, and other veggies – then leave them in the containers to easily pull out & use for a quick lunch or recipe.

This size is particularly awesome for the Oatmeal I eat every morning.

And the containers make your refrigerator look so organized!!  Much better than bags hanging out all over the place.  This size is the perfect portion for your meals, anything bigger allows room for too much food!

I also use containers to freeze meat. Rather than the whole package, I’ll separate the pieces & freeze them in portions of my choosing.

Time to ditch zip locks people!  These containers are awesome, $23 for a set of 40, and you can buy them at Target OR Amazon Prime!

3. Paper Towels & Plastic Water Bottles:

I put paper towels & water bottles together because I understand avoiding these two items completely is not realistic for some people.

As far as paper towels are concerned – you can no longer be the person who grabs a paper towel EVERY SINGLE TIME you wash & dry your hands.  My jaw drops writing that.  You know how many paper towels you use & go through?!  Buy a few kitchen towels to dry your hands & switch them out as often as you need to in order to keep them clean.  Period.  Paper towels should be more of a back-up option.

As far as water bottles – I never drink out of the plastic ones unless I’m desperate for water & forgot to bring my own, which is rare.  I always have a huge water bottle with ice that I carry around & refill.   Every time I leave the house & of course while in the house.  (I shamefully became a Yeti addict recently, nothing like a freezing cold drink of water.  I use a metal straw with mine. )  If anyone buys those God forsaken small, 8oz, water bottles still – It’s time to stop immediately. What a waste!

 Earth Day

Earth Day

The Oatmeal I Eat Every Single Morning // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

Fail Free (homemade) Ready To Bake Cookies // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

What do you think?  Anyone else have any obsessive ways to ditch trash/recycle build up?

I’m not a huge climate change advocate but it does break my heart to see what mother earth is going through, especially with some of our wasteful decisions – so I try my best to do little things that will hopefully make a difference. Creating less trash sounds like a good start.

Let me know your thoughts!

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful

Xx


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Food

5 Uncommon Ingredients For Your Kitchen: Middle East Inspired

Did You Know? Most of us are used to eating popcorn at the movie theater, but in parts of Columbia they snack on Ants.  “Known in Spanish as ‘hormigas culonas,’ the brown, cockroach-size insects are roasted, salted and eaten like peanuts. Considered a delicacy, they can fetch more than 10 times the price per pound of Colombia’s world-famous coffee.”

( v i a )

 


Piggybacking off the Veggie Curry recipe I want you all to make, I became inspired to start sharing uncommon ingredients you need to add to your kitchen cabinets.  One reason I love cooking so much is learning about new ingredients & foods.   It’s like discovering lost treasure.

That’s also one of the best parts I’ve discovered from living abroad, all the new found flavors AND being able to show off favorites from home.

I used to be afraid of recipes that had ingredients I didn’t use or have in my kitchen.  I thought it took too much energy to find them & the unknown price & flavors… But over time & the use of bravery, I’ve stalked my kitchen with all kinds of interesting ingredients & end up using them more than I expected.

I want to help you become familiar with a few of them & encourage you to explore flavors for yourself.  You’ll be so popular & feel really cool.  Today, I’m sharing 5 ingredients, but I plan to share more later.   YUM! I’m hungry.

5-Interesting-Ingredients

5 Uncommon Ingredients for your Kitchen! Mid-East Inspired 

1. Turmeric:

Commonly used in Curry!  Delicious! You can buy fresh turmeric in the grocery store near ginger, those two look similar, or turmeric ground up into a spice.  Turmeric is not scary, unless you make Turmeric Milk, I still have nightmares from this experience.

Right now, Turmeric is the popular girl at school.  Bloggers & healthy people figured out the benefits of turmeric & now it’s all the rage, for good reason.  Benefits can: reduce bloating, heartburn, high cholesterol, headaches, swelling, water retention, inflammation, skin issues, and the list goes on.  (via)

So, Pinterest a yummy Curry recipe, like this one, and give Turmeric a try!  (I really need to get a Curry recipe on MissBassmaster soon…)

2. Cumin: 

How the hell someone does not have a large tub of the cumin spice at home I have no idea… I dump Cumin in everything!  Hummus, spaghetti, Chili, Curry, casseroles, seasoning – I mean everything.  By the way, I’ve watched plenty of Curry & Biryani dishes being made & let me tell you it’s pretty cute how American’s measure out a precious teaspoon of their spices to add in a dish – Arab’s dump them in! I’ve witnessed it & have applied the same strategy when cooking.  With some spices it works against me (*cough* cayenne pepper) but with Cumin, dumping works!  I prefer ground cumin more than the seeds, but to each their own.

3. Cardamom:

Have you ever wanted to know how Arab’s cook the rice they accompany to all their lunches?  Cardamom. They throw a few cardamom pods, & a clove or two, in their rice cooker while the rice is cooking.   This is a staple way to prepare your basmati white rice. Or really any basmati rice dish.  And how easy is that?  Wafiq and I grab a cardamom pod + a clove and toss them in our rice cooker.  Adds the perfect amount of very light flavor to really make you feel like a pro in the kitchen.  Hello, Chef!

Cardamom is known as an expensive spice, but don’t let that scare you.  A little goes a long way & it’s still not that expensive for a good spice. You can find it near the spices at the grocery store.  The bonus? Believed benefits include: mood-elevating properties, aromatherapy, antidepressant, improved blood circulation, cancer protection, treatment for sore throats, congestion, stomach & lung issues… the list is long! (via)

4. Tahini:

Do you have Peanut Butter?  Yes?  Then Tahini shouldn’t scare you away.  It’s basically a different kind of peanut butter but instead of peanuts, Tahini is made from sesame seeds.  You can find it next to Peanut Butter in the grocery store & likely only a dollar or two more than peanut butter.  Most commonly known as an ingredient used in Hummus, which is why I always have a jar in my kitchen. Wafiq’s mom chops dates & drizzles a little Tahini over them for an evening snack… SO GOOD.  (Hummus Recipe: HERE)

5. Saffron:

This is probably the most intimidating ingredient on my list simply because it’s pretty expensive for such a little amount.  And what the hell do you do with it, right?  Saffron is a little tricky to find, usually found near the spices in a little jar. Most rice dishes that are yellow coloring have Saffron in them, unless it’s Turmeric as a substitute.  I’ve only used Saffron in Biryani recipes, like this one.  You can throw in a very little amount, only a very small strand, and the dish will turn yellow as mixed.  You can also mix the saffron in a liquid (we used milk) before you add it to a dish.

Saffron is still tricky for me, but worth a try!!  I don’t always have Saffron in my kitchen, but from time to time I’ll get my hands on some & Wafiq thanks me 🙂


I hope you’re excited to get to the grocery store (OR you’ve already ordered them on your Amazon app, HA)!

These flavors are currently waiting for a tasting so give them a try! Most are super easy to incorporate into any meal & you can only begin exploring new meals from there.

Anyone have new ingredients to share?  I’m ALWAYS looking 🙂

Have a great day today & be thoughtful.

Xx


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Food

Trust Me, Peanut Butter & Veggie Curry

Did You Know? Herbs are derived from a plant’s leaves whereas spices are sourced from the bark, buds, roots and seeds of a plant. This means you can have two very different flavors and products from the same plant.

( v i a )


I really scored with this recipe & now you will too.

 Peanut Butter and Veggie Curry

You know I hate boring or bland.   I love fresh, flavorful & different.  This is it!    I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I request that you do NOT allow yourself to be afraid of food.  Spices, new ingredients, mixing flavors are all wonderful! Let yourself try them.  Indian food & curry are stereotyped to making your stomach boil but I would argue that, as it’s never happened to me.  I think it depends who makes your curry & what you’re actually eating. (McDonalds makes my stomach boil.)

Spices are the cream of the crop.  They add so much to any dish.  Be familiar with lemons.  Cumin.  The real flavor of Salt & Pepper individually.  GARLIC. Pine Nuts.  LOL!  I just loooooooooove food so f-ing much.  I can’t stand picky eaters, open your palette & taste food of the beautiful mother earth!  There’s nothing better.

Creativity in the kitchen is like creativity in a painting.  Fun & talented.

This recipe isn’t mine so CLICK HERE for a direct link, trust me –  Delicious, delicious, delicious!!

Veggies & Lentils in Peanut Sauce by Vegan Richa

I added chicken.  I slice the chicken, cook it on the stove in a little coconut oil w/ salt + pepper, then throw it in when I mix everything together.  The only veggies I use are 2 onions, 2 red bell peppers, and a handful of spinach.  With a ton of lime juice & rice to serve.

Anyone have other interesting, easy delicious recipes? Let me know!

As always, be thoughtful!

Xx

 

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Beauty, Food, Life, Style

5 Things I Can’t Go A Day Without

Did You Know? 68% of the people suffer from Phantom Vibration Syndrome, the feeling that one’s phone is vibrating when it’s not. ( v i a )


I love investigating peoples routines & what they do every single day, meaning they’re obsessed.  For a long time that was Target for me.  Not a product, but a place.  I went to Target all the time & it was the one thing I desperately missed when I was out of the country.  I’ve gotten it together since then.  (*Amazon Prime*)

But of course, there are still products you use every single day that you can’t go without & those are the secret’s I need to know about!

Below are mine…

5 Things I use Every Day

5 Things I Can’t Go A Single Day Without:

1. Coconut Oil:

I’ve recently started experimenting with other oils as moisturizer, which I’ll update on later, but I still use coconut oil every single day in the kitchen.  I love the taste it brings to a dish.  I use it as oil when sautéing, mix it in my oatmeal for breakfast, or give my little doggie a spoonful as a treat.    I prefer cooking fresh meals as often as possible & coconut oil goes right along with that – I use it for everything in the kitchen & I love that it doubles as a use for pretty much anything else.

2. Hair Clips:

I can’t go through an entire day without using a hair clip.  My entire life I’ve had long, thick hair which I’ve loved but have only been able to manage with a tight ponytail.  I started hating the huge line mark that a tight  ponytail was making so I made the brave switch to hair clips & haven’t looked back.  I either: 1. Half dry my hair & twirl it into a bun, securing with a clip 2. Pull half my hair up once wearing it down has had its moment  3. Clip up when I get out of the shower when my hair is still wet.

Keep in mind, hair clips give your hair room to move so you’re less likely to have breakage.  And I should note, I currently do not own a curling iron so the only way I achieve any volume or curl is by wearing my hair in a bun w/a clip all day or overnight.. When I let it down, BOOM – curls.

3. White Shoes:

They’re too easy.  I wear these either letting my dog out in the morning, at work, after work, a quick run to the grocery story, the beach, with a fancy dress for a night out… Shit, I’ll wear them with anything, anywhere.  I buy a new pair OFTEN because they’re so affordable & there’s nothing better than clean, bright white shoes.

4. Moisturizer / Chapstick:

Cannot survive a day without my moisturizer.   I’ve always had super dry skin & I’m pretty much always trying to hold a self tan, so a moisturizer is an absolute MUST.  The past year I’ve been using my oil of choice & this Tepez Cream.   My face is super sensitive & will break out if you look at it incorrectly, so I’ve tried TONS of products that haven’t worked.  Oils & Tepez Cream never let me down – but I’m still looking.  Anyone have a fantastic moisturizer or eye cream that pumps in moisture they swear by?!  I’ll send you a thank you note if you tell me your secrets… Seriously.

And of course I carry chapstick everywhere.  The one place I NEED it daily is next to my bed.  I smear it on before I sleep and it moisturizes my lips all night long so I wake up fresh.  I can’t fall asleep without it.

5. Huge Sunglasses:

Even on a cloudy day I’m wearing sunglasses if I’m outside (or in a bright room?).  I can’t stand the strain on my eyes from squinting.  Once you realize how much huge, dark sunglasses helps your eyes you’ll never be able to go a day without them.   {They also come in handy when you’re super hungover, at the grocery store, buying frozen pizza, and run into your ex boyfriend.}


When I think about the things I can’t go without, these come to mind.  I feel like each of them serves a purpose in my day to day functioning, including my $15 H&M pants I was wearing in my recent Instagram pic.  As long as I have these items, I’m good to go, ready to conquer the world!

What products can’t you live without?

Have a great week & be thoughtful!

Xx

 

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Food

Not Your Average Weeknight: One-Pan Wild Rice & Kale Dinner

Did You Know?  When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight ( v i a )


Hello hello!

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I have tons of wild rice in my kitchen from Minnesota & I’ve been meaning to find new recipes to cook with it.    I’m used to eating Basmati rice because Wafiq requires it with majority of the meals he eats.  What is a meal without rice people!?

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

BUT we both agree that eating the same thing, or even the same ingredients, over and over gets boring.  I start eating outside the house when my kitchen hits a dry spell.  I prefer the cooking process because it’s totally therapeutic but I’m always looking for ways to mix it up!  I get bored VERY easily.

I made the recipe below 3 days in a row – totally different than what I’m used to cooking & I couldn’t get enough.  I had little faith the dish would turn out as I was throwing in the ingredients, and I’m not a huge kale fan, but to my surprise it worked perfectly.  And it was super easy, quick, and affordable.

YUM.

Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)


Ingredients:

1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice

3 Cups Broth

Coconut Oil

1 Chicken Breast cut into bite size pieces, seasoned generously w/salt & pepper *see note

2 Tablespoons Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne

3 Cups Kale, washed & torn into pieces

5 Cloves Garlic, diced (<< because, Garlic)

½ Cup Red Onion Chopped

1/2 C Parm Cheese

¼ C Pine Nuts

Parsley & Green Onions for garnish

Directions: Cook wild rice per instructions on packaging, use preferred broth instead of water.  Typically, wild rice cooks 1 cup rice per 3 Cups water/broth.  Wild rice takes longer to cook than regular rice so make sure you do this step before anything else.

When rice is ready, leave aside.  Heat deep skillet over med-high heat with 1 tsp coconut oil.  Once oil has melted and skillet is hot, add chicken & cook thoroughly.  Approx. 10 minutes, flipping pieces often.  When cooked, remove chicken & set aside.

In same saucepan you cooked the chicken, add 2 Tbls coconut oil, when melted, add garlic & onion.  Toss for approximately 3 minutes, until just beginning to turn translucent.  Then add, kale, cumin, cayenne & a dash of salt & pepper. Continue mixing for approximately 5 minutes or until kale has wilted.   Add the chicken and wild rice to the skillet, mix together well.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in parm cheese.  Garnish with green onions & parsley.

Finally, and very importantly – in a small pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  When warm, add pine nuts constantly turning until toasted, approx. 1 min.  When toasted, sprinkle over wild rice dish.  Serve warm & enjoy!

**Note – You can skip meat, or use shrimp.  If you use shrimp, you don’t need to remove it before adding everything else.  Start shrimp a couple minutes before adding other ingredients.


Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I’m hungry right now so these pictures have been murdering my soul (drama).    I was sick last week, as I think most people in Texas seemed to be, nothing a little Glinda’s Magic Salsa with extra garlic couldn’t fix.

I’m super happy to be bouncing around healthy again, ready to get after the world!  You know when you’re sick you feel like all life is over?  At least I do, I see the end.

Anyone have EASY & REAL dinner recipe links to share?  I’ve been eating out lately… womp womp

Have a great week & be thoughtful,

Xx

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Food, Recipe

Say Goodbye to Ready-to-Bake Cookies & Hello to Your Homemade Version

Did You Know? The largest cookie weighed 40,000lbs with 101ft diameter. Immaculate Baking Company had to surround the whole creation with heaters (more than 20 altogether) to get the sheet to baking temperature.  As for the cookie dough, it was made from 40,000 pounds of ingredients. ( v i a )


I was planning an entire post on my favorite online clothing shops but had a craving for cookies that I couldn’t resist, so the clothes will have to wait.  My mind is too distracted to talk about sequins & sales (<< very rare).

 Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies

My ultimate guilty pleasure: Cookies.  I RARELY find myself saying no to a cookie.  Other desserts don’t typically tempt me, but a cookie & I can’t walk away.   The gold mine was when I figured out how easy/delicious ready to bake cookies were.  Gooey & worth every extra pound to the hips.

 https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=499873047&pid=uid5076-33374726-43

Because I know majority of the ingredients in ready-to-bake cookies are shit, I stopped buying them. But the cookie craving could not be curbed.  I tried buying the “organic”,  ready-to-bake cookies or gluten-free or packaged cookies that had a little better of an ingredient list, but they were simply not as good, no way around it.

 Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies(4)

I decided to hunt down a perfect cookie dough that I could easily make myself.  And that would NOT go flat. Taste like ready-to-bake but be homemade.

I would have my own ready to bake cookies with ingredients that I chose myself.  No more mysterious maltodextrin, cellulose gum, xanthan, high fructose corn syrup, or other bullshit.  ONLY ingredients of my choosing.

At the very least, I can pick my own poison.

 Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies

The recipe from Averie Cooks: Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies is the bees knees.

The hard part for me was always finding a recipe I could make myself that was a NO FAIL win & this recipe is the golden ticket.

I roll the cookies into super small balls & freeze them in separate containers of about 8.  That way I can easily grab a pack of balls out of the freezer & stick it in the refrigerator for my own homemade, ready-to-bake cookies.

Also, as I’m practicing portion control, really small cookies will do the trick.

I should note, I’m not a huge chocolate fan but these cookies are delicious & completely satisfying.  For chocolate lovers or non-chocolate lovers.

{Full disclosure, Wafiq was helping me roll balls the other day & they were the size of my hand.  To each their own.}

Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies

My homemade ready-to-bake cookies! Perfect size containers: HERE

These cookies are perfect for a quick dessert that tastes totally homemade but they’re so easy & simple to keep on hand it’s rather unbelievable.

 Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies(4)

Give them a try!  And don’t ever buy the ready-to-bake kind, maybe I was on my own as I traveled down that road but admitting the problem is the first step to recovery.

 Ready-To-Bake-Easy-Cookies(4)

Anyone have a cookie recipe that they can freeze & bake later but still tastes extra delicious??

Have a great week & be thoughtful.

Xx

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Food, I recommend...

Never Forget Breakfast Again – Classic Oatmeal

Did You Know?  French breakfast includes tea, coffee, juice, or hot chocolate, with bread & butter, or pastries.  They prefer only sweet food, nothing with salt – no meat, no eggs.

( v i a )


Today – OATMEAL

Classic Oatmeal

I don’t know why I haven’t brought this up earlier as I’ve been eating oatmeal every single day since I was birthed.  My dad in particular is a major connoisseur of oatmeal as a breakfast meal & I quickly followed in his footsteps.

My dad eats his oatmeal, plain jane.  I’ve always added a wee bit of brown sugar.  But now that I hate that mother fucker sugar I had to switch up my oatmeal routine.  For easily the past year, the following is how I eat my oatmeal >> Every. Single. Morning.

 Classic Oatmeal

Mix Together:

1/2 Cup Cooked Stone Ground Oats (Boil according to package directions)

1 Tablespoon Flax Seed

1 Tablespoon Raw Honey

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

The key to making oatmeal specifically for your taste buds is getting the proportions right.

For example, you may prefer extra honey to make the meal sweeter.  Maybe add a little water so the oatmeal isn’t as thick.  Add an extra scoop of flax seed to give a little more crunch.  It really is all up to you.

I particularly love oatmeal with these ingredients because each of them serves a purpose.  The meal is extra filling & provides energy for the day ahead.   Not to mention the whole concoction is QUICK + EASY with no room for bull shit in any form.

Classic Oatmeal

If you research the ingredients you’ll learn how beneficial each of them can be.  Not to mention they simply taste good. Here are only some of the benefits:

Stone Ground Oatmeal – Fiber rich, helpful to maintain weight by keeping you full longer ( v i a )

Flax Seed – Among many benefits, contains tumor blocking compounds call lignans ( v i a )

Raw Honey – Anti viral, contains powerful antioxidant, stabilizes blood pressure, boosts immune function, stabilizes digestive health ( v i a )

Cinnamon – Promotes energy, prevents UTI’s, improve diabetes ( v i a )

Coconut Oil – Balances hormones, improves digestion, burns fat, and balances blood sugar ( v i a )

I used to eat Oatmeal for breakfast because my dad did, and I liked it.  To discover the benefits?? Especially when adding a few ingredients, makes me feel like a natural born genius.

 Classic Oatmeal

Because stone ground oats takes a little longer to cook, I make them a night or two before so I have a breakfast that’s ready to go. I throw the oats + mix-ins in a little container, like the ones linked below, and wa-la! Breakfast!

Like pretty much any food, the less processed & broken down it is the better, so don’t eat instant oatmeal.  Instant? Bad.  Go for the stone ground, mother earth blessed, oats. YUM.

Anyone else an oatmeal lover?   Other ride or die breakfasts that I’m missing?  I’ve been so loyal to oatmeal my entire life I can’t imagine another option – besides a sweet, huge ass Cinnamon Roll from Cinnabon – for some reason that’s resonating with me.

Have an awake morning tomorrow, and be thoughtful…

Xx

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Food

White Bean & Spinach Comfort Soup

Did you know?  As little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity, and more. Stronger doses are also extremely beneficial for improving heart disease risk and cutting risk for diabetes, cancer, and neuro-degenerative diseases. ( v i a )


For those of you that are cold and looking out the window to snowy days & frozen eyelashes, be grateful.  To have winter means you likely have the privilege of enjoying 4, individually beautiful, seasons.  I spent 18 years hating the snow & literally chose my college based on physical location – the farthest point away from snow that I could get. But here I am missing the variety of weather that I once took for granted.

White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(2)

On another note, today we’re making soup.  I’ve been eating this soup for years & currently have pounds of it frozen in my freezer waiting for our lunch date together.

I wanted to share with you because it’s incredibly simple, super tasty, affordable, fast, fancy, healthy, and makes enough for everyone + some. And you can easily add loads of garlic & consume with ease, meaning if you’re ever sick – eat this instead of sugar infused Sprite or vitamin C powder.

White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(3)


White Bean & Spinach Comfort Soup

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 Cans White Beans (Cannoli Beans, Northern Beans, White Kidney Beans – anything similar.  Rinsed & Drained.  For a real curve ball, mash half of the beans with your hands so they become clumpy – this will add a little texture to your soup and a little realness to your hands. )

4+ Cups Fresh Spinach (Rinsed)

15 Cloves of Garlic (Peeled & Chopped)

1 Large Yellow Onion (Diced)

1 Teaspoon each – Salt & Pepper

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Cayenne

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Lemon

6 Cups broth

Optional: Parmesan Cheese

Optional: Plain Yogurt

Optional: Sliced Pancetta or precooked Sausage sliced & rolled into balls

Directions:  Heat a deep soup pan over Medium/High heat with 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil.  Coconut Oil is the shit, I always go heavy on it.  When oil is melted, throw in onion & garlic.  Add Salt & Pepper.  Stir until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  (If garlic starts to burn, turn down the heat.  If adding Pancetta, mix in once onions & garlic are near done & stir for another minute.) Next, add the spinach.  Continue mixing as the spinach slowly mixes down into the onions and garlic, about 5 minutes. Once the spinach is mixed well and melted down nicely, add more spinach. Jk. (Unless you want to.)  Then add all the spices, mix well.  Add Beans.  Mix well.  Pour broth over mix & turn the heat to high until it begins to boil.  (Throw in sausage balls if you choose to use them.) When boiling, lower to a simmer & let sit for at least 20 minutes, longer if you have time.

To eat: Squeeze tons of lemon on top.  Add fresh garlic if you’re sick, it will blend in nicely.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top OR skip the cheese & lump a spoonful of plain yogurt on top.  Add fresh ground pepper.  Eat with sourdough toast.  The options are honestly endless.  My personal fav: tons of lemon juice, yogurt, and fresh pepper with a side of toast.


White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup

You’ll make this soup & think it’s too easy to be delicious.  How and why?  You’ll want to put more effort into cooking your dinner.  How can you make such a fantastic impression as a chef with such minimal work?  Don’t tell anyone how easy it was – that’s how.  You worked fucking hard for a good 5 minutes. You’re a champion.  Well done.

 White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(4)

This is my go-to, quick, healthy dinner.    I also love spaghetti but haven’t figured out how to make the carbs look good on my waistline, I’ll let you know when I discover the trick.

Anyone else have secret, “super hard” recipes to share?  I have another one for cookies that I plan on sharing soon..

Have a great weekend and remember, be thoughtful!

Xx

Cherry on your Master Chef cake:

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Food

Holiday Feast for Two

Did you know?  “The average American spends about $786 on holiday shopping” and “the average holiday shopper will spend $107.50 on themselves” ( v i a )

 


This is for everyone having an itty bitty Christmas dinner…

Feast for 2

That’s been my routine the past several years, traveling over the holidays is becoming more & more unappealing – too many people, snow, money, problems, and stress!  Staying home, taking the time to relax, enjoy some OFF moments is the gift I’ve been giving myself.

organic-whole-chicken

Wafiq and I have made it a routine to cook a full dinner w appetizers + desserts as our own personal Christmas treat.  I’m becoming a pro at an easy feast for 2.  If you’re alone or w one or two other people, here’s a great menu for you.  You can still have everything a Christmas feast brings, all the way down to your favorite cookie.  And if you’re not celebrating Christmas, you can still take the extra day off work or the weekend to cook yourself an extra special feast.  (<< I’ve been known to do this often.)

Feast for 2


Holiday Feast for Two Menu:

Appetizer:

My go to appetizer is guacamole or hummus.  Both are easy to make, but the most important part – they won’t make anyone full, the perfect app to snack on while cooking without getting stuffed.  Both of my favorite recipes for those are: HERE

Whole Roasted Chicken:

A whole chicken is not only better than turkey, it’s the appropriate size for 2.  You still get the cozy feeling of a whole turkey or ham cooking in the oven, but it’s a more realistic (and easy) main menu option.  If you ask me, you have to buy Cravings by Chrissy Teigan for this whole roast chicken recipe but here it is online: RECIPE.  The recipe is unexpectedly easy, super juicy & delicious.  For this meal specifically, I don’t use the veggies that the recipe calls for, I throw in the onions and garlic (of course), but not the carrots, potatoes, ect.  Use the juice left in the pan as a smothering, buttery gravy.

Green Bean Salad:

This salad compliments the meal perfectly.  It can double as a salad + veggie for the table.  {SO. GOOD.} Also, it’s super easy to make, you can find the recipe: HERE.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes:

I can not eat a holiday meal without potatoes.  (I can not eat most meals without potatoes.) I also think I happened to master a perfect comfort style mashed potato combo –

Ingredients:

4 Russet Potatoes (Peeled & Chopped)

1 Cup Cheddar Cheese

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

½ Cup Milk

1 Stick Butter

¾ Green Onions Chopped Small

Salt to tasting

Pepper to tasting

Directions: In a large pot boil water, then throw in potatoes.  Boil until you stab a fork in a potato and it easy falls off, approximately 15 minutes.  Drain potatoes.  Put potatoes back in hot pot.  Throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Mash until smooth.  I usually mash the potatoes with my fork or a large wooden spoon because I don’t mind lumps, but go ahead & mash how you prefer.  The potatoes should be soft enough for mashing to be easy.  If you want smoother potatoes, add more milk + yogurt + butter until you have a mix you prefer.  (YUM!)

Dessert

Addicting crack mix is the best way to finish the night.  The perfect sweet ending for two.  The whole meal is the easiest dinner of all time, and to stick to the theme you’ll need an easy dessert – find the directions on Instagram: HERE.


Feast for 2

This meal will make your Christmas stress free!  Even if you’ll be with family & friends through the holidays ,I suggest this meal for any weekend, especially as it gets colder & you’re looking for that perfect comfort meal.

Affordable, grand, and fucking delicious.

christmas-snack

Can’t. Stop. Eating. { Recipe }

I wish everyone the most relaxing week leading up to Christmas, remember to give yourself a break! Family, friends, kick ass food, and your dog are the only things that matter…

And most importantly, remember to be thoughtful 🙂

Xx

 

2017 CELEBRATIONS:

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Food

Easy, Delicious & Different – Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Did you know? Wild Rice is very difficult to grow commercially because it’s best harvested with canoes or non motorized boats as the grass is super fragile – which is why it comes from it’s native land Minnesota & neighboring areas, including Canada. ( v i a )

wild-rice-soup2

I worked in the deli department of a grocery store (Byerlys) for about 4 years in high school.  I would cut cheese & slice meat. Very cool.

I learned a lot in that grocery store.  I was easily the youngest person in my department which meant quickly learning to have confidence & a large ball sack.  No more sweet, innocent Katie – time to grown the F up.  So, thank you to the grocery store, wouldn’t have made it far without you.

I also learned a lot about food.  Many of my shifts were spent maintaining the salad bar. I learned all about ingredients, what they smell like, how long they last, how they taste, what they look like.  (To this day I can’t eat pickled jalapeños, I can still smell them.)

There were also a couple foods I couldn’t get enough of.  Never got old no matter how many pounds I served a day.  Mmmmm corn soufflé, Ruben Panini and… cheese.

Wild Rice Soup was one of them.  Every single time I indulged, it was as delicious as the last.  After visiting home a week or 2 ago I felt it was time to share a recipe, perfect timing for fall + the cooler months.  Soups are the best, comforting & delicious.  I did my best to twist this recipe a little & keep it as healthy as I know how, basically avoid foods I don’t know or heavy creams.

A Couple Quickies: ( v i a / v i a )

  • Wild Rice is not a grain or rice, it’s aquatic grass

  • Grain Free & Gluten Free

  • Rich in magnesium & fiber to help digestion

  • Super flavorful & affordable

  • 30 times higher in antioxidants than white rice

  • Naturally, the Minnesota state grain (If you want the good stuff, make sure it’s Minnesota grown).

wild-rice-soup recipe

Interesting Wood Wick Candle: Here

Wild Rice Soup Recipe

6 Tablespoons Real Butter

½ Cup Minced Onion

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

½ Cup Flour

4 Cups Vegetable Broth

2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice (*cooking time takes a while, prepare ahead of time)

½ Cup Finely Grated Carrots

3 Tablespoons Chopped Slivered Almonds

Salt & Pepper

1 Cup Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

2 Tablespoons Dry Sherry

Parsley or Chives

Directions: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Sauté onion & garlic until translucent.  Blend in flour.  Slowly add broth. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, then boil & stir for 1 minute.  Stir in rice, carrots, almonds & S+P.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Blend in yogurt & sherry.  Allow soup to simmer.  Serve with parsley!  (*Feel free to add small cubes of ham, or chicken if you want a meaty soup)

 wild-rice-soup recipe

What’s your favorite fall dish?

Have a great end of your week & be thoughtful.

Xx

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