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How To Wear A White Dress – Mistake Free!

Did You Know? The theory for the fashion rule to wear white after Memorial day started at the height of its popularity, the color white signified upper class and refinement. You wore white at summer resorts and society events, while the masses wore drab colors as they labored away. “By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already ‘in’ felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow…That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.”

( v i a )


YAY! ALL WHITE EVERYTHING!

I love wearing white. The color is fresh, clean, young and classy.  I feel like white is a perfect color for any occasion and is definitely a go-to for me.

I used to fear white.  I either risk my outfit getting dirty (hello spray tan) or wearing a fabric that was see through & revealing of all my precious undergarments.

However, I fear no more! Mostly because I don’t care if either of those accidents happen, but also because I’ve mastered avoiding them.

How-I-wear-White

How I Wear White, Mistake Free:

Start with the White Dress:

I wear white shorts & pants all the time, but dresses are also an easy option.  To avoid anything see through or too revealing go for a flowy style or a piece w/layers. I avoid maxi dresses that are white & super long because that’s more fabric to get sabotaged by dirt or stains.

Add Bright Shoes:

The fun part about white is that it matches everything. I’ve been known to pull out my hot pink heels when I wear white because the pop of color adds dimension, if you ask me.  It takes away from concentrating too hard on the dress.  If you’re trying to be a little more casual, white also looks classy & pretty with a nude shoe.

And A Bright Lip:

You’re either doing a bright lip, bright shoe, or both!  This lip stain does NOT move.  Once it’s dry, you really don’t have to worry too much about getting it on your outfit. And a bright lip really pops when you’re wearing all white. I love that combo on anyone!  OoOoO la la

Classic Gold Jewelry:

Subtle gold jewelry, tan skin, and a white dress?!  Yes!  To keep it smooth & classic, go for these skinny chains. Subtle, but the perfect detail for pulling all the pieces together.  I realized when you add a simple piece of jewelry it shows effort. HA! I used to always skip little jewelry, too lazy.

Oil Up w/Avocado Oil:

This one & my next are the biggest secrets.  I’ve been using Avocado Oil as moisturizer lately, it’s not very greasy & soaks in the skin just right.  I would typically recommend a bronzing lotion because I’m obsessed with fake tans but when you’re wearing white that can be a little risky.  Avocado Oil will shine perfectly on your bronzed skin to help you glow – without risking stain.  I put oil on any skin that’s showing!  Also, if you have a spray tan, make sure you do 1 day & 1 shower before your big white moment.  That ways the tan is super stuck on your skin & won’t make your dress brown. You get it.

Never Skip the Highlighter:

The key to life throughout the summer? Highlighter.  Who doesn’t want to glow?! I put it on my shoulders & collar bone, if they’re showing.  It really helps everything POP!

And Finally, Makeup:

Less is more when it comes to wearing makeup while you’re wearing white! Especially if you’re in a hot weather area where make up tends to slide after a while.  There’s nothing worse than foundation marks on your fresh white clothing, right?!  That’s my nightmare, looks cheap & high maintenance to me.  So, I do my face routine that I do for work days – concealer, highlighter, maybe blush & a little bronzer, then my eyes.  But that’s it!  You don’t want to risk touching your face & having the product transfer to your clothes.


Welcome Memorial Day & the summer heat! Welcome! Today, I walked outside my apartment & actually had a hard time breathing because the humidity & heat was so thick it felt like I was breathing under water. (Dramatic?) Anyone else feel me?! NOT a hot person, most definitely dreaming of a thick snow storm.

Also… note, Last Man Standing was canceled. I found out the news yesterday.  I’ve only watched the entire season through about 4 times on Netflix so I was really depending on fresh, new seasons to start soon. Anyone have other light comedy sitcoms to share?  I’m totally open to cheesy.

Have a great weekend everyone!  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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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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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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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

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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

 

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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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3 Easy, Delicious, Healthy Salad Combinations

I eat salad every day.

The interesting part is, I never order salad at a restaurant. I love making them at home.  Mixing all my favorite foods in one dish is one of the best creations of all time, and I’ve mastered some favorites.

easy-salad-recipe2

I go hard on these 3 salad combo’s but feel free to mix them up in new, different ways.  That’s how I never get sick of salad!

No need to be fancy or time consuming to be delicious.  I mix mine fresh for a quick lunch almost every single day.

easy-salad-recipe2

Salad Combo #1

Arugula – 2 Large handfuls

Cilantro – 1 Handful chopped

Pinto Beans – 1/4 Cup drained & rinsed

Cheddar Cheese – 2 Tbls cut into tiny cubes

Onion – 1/2 Cup sliced thin

Garlic – 1 big clove diced

S&P – to your tasting

Lime – Juice of 1 Lime

Olive Oil – 1-2 Tbls

Directions: Throw all together in large bow & toss


Salad Combo #2 

Cabbage – 2 Cups sliced thin

Basil – 3/4 Cup chopped

Feta Cheese – 2 Tbls crumbled

Avacado – 1 avocado chopped

Celery – 2 stalks sliced

Oilve Oil – 1-2 Tbls

Garlic – 1 big clove diced

Lime – Juice of 1 lime

S&P – to your tasting

Directions: Throw all together in large bowl & toss


 Salad Combo #3

Mixed Greens – 2 large handfuls

Black Beans – 1/4 Cup drained & rinsed

Rice – 1/4 Cup cooked

Cheddar Cheese – 2 Tbls cut into tiny cubes

Cilantro – 1 bunch chopped

Lime – Juice of 1 lime

Olive Oil – 1-2 Tbls

Garlic – 1 large clove diced

S&P – to your tasting

Directions: Throw all together in large bowl & toss

 easy-salad-recipe2

To summarize: I have leaves, beans, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, limes, avocado, & celery or carrots on hand at all times.  Makes life SO easy.    And the best part of making salads at home is that you can add more (or less) of ingredients you really like.  When I make a salad for Wafiq I double the beans, onions, and cheese.  When I make salads for me I go heavy on the leaves, lime juice & avocados.  We’re so lucky to have a kitchen w/so many wonderful ingredients.

Anyone have any interesting salad combo’s?!

Ps.  The new fall TV series lineup has me anxious. I have them recorded & have been waiting to catch up – see which ones are worthy of my time now that I finished The American’s.  (Did you know the lead actors in The American’s are actually married in real life?  Doesn’t that make the series even better?!?)

Have a fantastic week and be thoughtful <3

Xx

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Food

Staple Minnesotan Supper: Tator Tot & Green Bean Hot Dish

Staying in the Minnesota spirit as long as possible, I come today w/a recipe to share.

The holy grail of all a mid-western’s dinner menu: Hot Dish.

hot-dish-recipe

We don’t call meals in a pan casserole, we call them Hot Dish.  And boy do we love them.  If I wasn’t consistently concerned about my health I would eat these meals every night of the week.  All the best food groups slammed right into one pan, what’s better than that?!  (Anyone see that Friend’s episode where Rachel makes the Thanksgiving 7 Layer Dessert, “Cream, cake, berries, chocolate, beans, beef, jam” LOL)

 green-bean-hot-dish-recipe

After living YEARS without hot dish in my life I made an attempt at the ever so common – Tator Tot & Green Bean Hot Dish.  (My nickname as a child was: Spud.)

I did my best at making this recipe as healthy as possible – however, keep in mind Tator Tot’s are one of the main ingredients.

And I have A WAY EXAGGERATED excitement over the fact that I made homemade cream of mushroom soup! Cream of pretty much anything is a MUST in any hot dish.  Minnesotans always have a can on hand, at least a good Minnesotan would.  But I’m a huge believer in knowing every ingredient on the food label & I can’t manage to find a good cream of mushroom soup can.

So I bit the bullet & made my own (so easy it’s embarrassing).  Find the recipe: HERE  The only thing I changed was adding a few chopped mushrooms.

This is a true Minnesotan dish & totally worth trying at home.  Even if you’re not from the Midwest, get a little taste of it!  Also, don’t be afraid of the presentation, it’s all those good ingredients in one location – a hot dish pan, not too scary.

homemade-cream-of-mushroom-soup-recipe

Tator Tot & Green Bean Hot Dish

Ingredients:

1 lbs ground beef  (Can absolutely be made meat free!)

1 medium yellow onion Diced

6 cloves garlic Diced

2 C French style Green Beans cleaned & chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 Tbls minced Herb (Thyme, Oregano, both)

1 ½ C Cream of Mushroom

8 Button Mushrooms Chopped Small

¾ C Milk

½ C Plain Greek Yogurt

Tator Tots

Salt

Pepper

1.5 C shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 375.  In a small saucepan, brown ground beef over med-high heat until cooked through, drain any excess grease.  In large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, once hot add the garlic & onion cooking until near translucent (3-5 minutes).  Add chopped mushrooms & cook another minute, until barely soft.  Turn off heat.  Add the ground beef to the onion, garlic, and mushroom mixture. Mix well.  Starting adding! Chopped herbs, cream of mushroom, green beans, milk, & yogurt.  Spread evenly into a casserole dish, layer shredded cheese on top of ground beef mixture.  Finally, line the top of the casserole with tator tots in even lines. Bake for 45 minutes & enjoy!

 green-bean-hot-dish-recipe2

Anyone reading have their own hot dish recipe to share?  If you try this one, let me know!  Anything Minnesota has a special place in my heart, including being able to share this little recipe.  Enjoy!

Xx

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