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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

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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Life, Personal Updates

Twinkle Twinkle

Did you know? Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan—only one percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian—yet a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” (the next best thing to turkey—a meat you can’t find anywhere in Japan) is the go-to meal on the big day. And it’s all thanks to the insanely successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974. ( v i a )


Twinkle Twinkle,

Happy Holidays

It really is the sweetest time of the year isn’t it?  All the lights & food & friends. I love it extra amounts because it FINALLY cools off in Texas & I can breathe properly.  There’s nothing like wearing sweaters + being warm and cozy.

I’ve been gone for a quick minute, taking a break for family over Thanksgiving.  My mom came a few weeks early and I came up with this genius idea to paint the entire bedroom set from dark brown to white.  I had no idea how much of a time investment it was going to be!  {I’m immediately remembering why I’m not a DIY person.  Fuuuuck that.}  My mom did pretty much the entire bedroom set all by herself w limited space while I was at work, I feel bad.  But it looks A M A Z I N G!   I had no idea how much the energy of a room can change w the right colors.  The perfect ambience to relax + enjoy.  I went from keeping the bedroom door shut to wanting everyone to go cuddle on the bed & dream of fluffy white puppies.  I’m in the processing of finding lamps, art, organizers, and blankets to match, but as soon as I finish I plan on taking pics  Again, it was a lot of work but the room is LIFE CHANGING.  My mom is a hero (for more reasons than my bedroom set).

christmas crack recipe

This easy Christmas Crack recipe will be up on Instagram SOON!

I went balls out decorating for Christmas already this year.  I’m on a mission to be all ready for Christmas (deco, gifts, outfits) as soon as possible so I can enjoy the season.  Every year gift purchasing gets pushed to the weeks before Christmas – the stores are too busy, you can’t find what you want, and you’re tired, frantic, and broke.  My goal is to be done w everything then sit back and enjoy the weeks ahead. Baking, eating, drinking, movies – stress free!  And I think I’m almost there.

home-goods-wrapping-paper

The most BOMB ($2!!) wrapping paper from Home Goods

It’s important for all of us to remember that gift giving isn’t really thaaaat big of a deal.  I’m far away from believing in buying large amounts of crap w tons of money for unnecessary reasons.  If you receive a gift, don’t be picky about it, appreciate it.  Whatever it is, small or  large.  Strange or sentimental.  Useful or useless.  Be appreciative.  If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll find someone or some place that it does work. Someone who needs it.  I kind of can’t stand adults with Christmas lists.  Be grateful for anything and everything you receive, even if it’s as simple as a “Merry Christmas” greeting!

And if you’re giving gifts, relieve the pressure you have on yourself. Don’t worry about spending a lot of money if you don’t have it, or finding the perfect size, style or color.  Do what you can, be thoughtful, and that’s enough.  And if you forget someone, also who cares.  Give them a hug and do your best to show your appreciation.  Take them to lunch in January when they have the post-holiday blues, send them a card for Valentine’s Day – show your appreciation for the friendship whenever & however you can.

Wonderful warm people, sharing food, interesting conversations, sleeping in, huge smiles, lots of hugging, red fingernails and the sound of some blaring laughter are truly the best gifts of the season.

Enjoy December & be thoughtful!

Xx

 

Holiday Gift Ideas:

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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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Food, Recipe

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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Food, I recommend..., Recipe

3 Easy, Healthy & Delicious Dip Recipes

My favorite part of any meal – the dips!

No meal is complete without an extra kick, that bonus flavor.  Growing up, 7 layer dip w/chips ALL DAY.  Sour cream. Salsa.  Ranch.  Garlic Butter. Cheese. Marinara. Buffalo Sauce.   Shit, really anything dip-able.

3-Easy-Healthy-Dips

Well these days I’m a little more aware of what I’m eating, still a dip lover, but not so much the garlic butter from the Papa John’s pizza boxes style anymore.

And the best part, these dips are easy peasy, healthy & you can make them at home so you know what you’re eating.  (My favorite thing.)  Plus, you can make these dips anywhere – thanks gosh because homemade guacamole saved me from my Mexican food cravings whilst in Dubai.  And now homemade hummus is doing the same while here in the States.  OUI OUI.

Here you go, my 3 favorite DIPS to accompany any food:

Guacamole

Easy-Healthy-Dips-Guacamole

(I’m on a guacamole bender from the Cajun Shrimp Guacamole Bites recipe, I might surrender my own recipe for this one.  And anyone that’s tasted it agrees something’s different & damn delicious – Thanks Joyful Healthy Eats!!  )

4 small avocados

½ cup cilantro

juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 tablespoons)

1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Directions: Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt to a food processor or blender. Lightly pulse until the mixture is smooth.

+ Accompany with: Chips, Carrots, Tacos, Shrimp, Potatoes, Chicken, Burgers, Salad, Sandwiches

Plain Yogurt:

3-Easy-Healthy-Dips Yogurt

(Best discovery… ever.  If you aren’t already using plain yogurt in replacement of sour cream you are major MISSING OUT!  Plain Yogurt is good for you so throw out your Sour Cream, be gone with it already!)

Yogurt

Flax seeds Or Salsa

Directions: Mix together either Yogurt + Flax Seeds or Yogurt + Salsa. Plain Yogurt is your new best friend.

+ Accompany with: Chips, Tacos, Potato, Rice Dishes, mix in your mashed potatoes

Hummus:

3-Easy-Healthy-Dips-Hummus

(Thank you sweet baby Jesus I started making this at home.  I was completely over spending so much $$$$$ on hummus OR hummus filled w/weird mystery ingredients I couldn’t pronounce.  Fed up!  I want chick peas mashed up w/some damn Tahini! MmMmMm)

1 Can organic Chickpeas (Rinsed & Drained)

2 Tbls Tahini

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Garlic Clove

2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1/4 C. Olive Oil

Directions:  Mix all the ingredients in a little blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until everything is smooth.  (Add more olive oil if you need it smoother.) Transfer to a container. Make a small dip in the center with the back of a spoon and drizzle extra olive oil over the top. Pro.

+Accompany with: chicken, carrots, celery, broccoli, rice dishes, salads, olives, bread, crackers

3-Easy-Healthy-Dips-Hummus

There you go – my 1, 2, 3 of adult dipping.  I have at least one of these three items ready to roll in my refrigerator at all times.

You have to change up those bland-ish weekday meals w/added flavor, so give these a try!  Let me know if you’re a major dipper & what’s a go-to for your daily meals.

I’m off to finish my celery & hummus snack… and catch up on the Real Housewives of New York.  Wowzers, this Luann engagement is a little awkward.  What is marriage these days? LOL

Be thoughtful & happy Friday!

 

Xx

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F*** It Friday

F*** It Friday – I’m NOT Down With Turmeric Milk

I love trying pretty much everything I read about.  I obsess over other bloggers & their ideas + creativity.  New food, new makeup, new skin product, new style, new idea, new adventure – I’ll try it.

Wafiq laughs at me. After my garlic discoveries I went wild on the internet, fell in love with a ton of bloggers, and experimented like crazy.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but majority of the these new ideas I try for a month… & stop.  They don’t have the same amazing results I read about.  I barely admit that to myself & never admit it to Wafiq or my friends. EVERYTHING I DO WORKS!  Yeah right, this was my first realization I was in lala land.

 No-Turmeric-Milk

One time I tried: Turmeric Milk.  Remember that trend rotating through blogs?

The health benefits of turmeric, having a night time “treat” that was healthy, the beautiful pictures, and the unique recipe had me going.

I bought all the ingredients & was ready to see results.

Wafiq watched me that evening as I was opening the coconut milk and measuring out turmeric.  If you don’t know, turmeric is an ingredient they often use in Indian Food dishes, specifically Curry.  It’s what gives curry the orange/yellow color.

Both Wafiq and I are major curry lovers.  Another reason I expected this recipe to be a major win.

After measuring all the ingredients, pouring the end product into a large coffee cup, it was the first time Wafiq told me he didn’t think this was such a great idea.

I took my first sip.

It wasn’t good.

But I didn’t care because drinking garlic juice wasn’t good either but it nearly saved my life.

So I chugged the whole glass of turmeric milk. (throw up in my mouth, throw up in my mouth, throw up in my mouth)

Wafiq was watching & kind of laughed.

I kind of laughed.

And that was it.  I went to sit down and continue watching TV.  About 3 minutes later I felt S I C K ! Very very very nauseous.  I didn’t want to tell Wafiq. I never tell anyone when one of these ideas fails me.  And this one was failing me hard!

He could see me starting to sweat a little.  Literally.

We couldn’t conversate as I felt like any moment I was going to vomit, yet he kept pushing conversations? He knew.  I finally had to tell him I didn’t feel well.   His smirk was money.

I had to slowly move myself to the bed.  This was baaaaaaaaad.  I have a pretty strong stomach but I really felt my insides were about to projectile bright turmeric yellow all over the bedroom.  The entire night I had to concentrate hard on not vomiting.  Props to Wafiq because he didn’t rub it in my face, I think he felt bad.  Until the next morning when I was alive again, then he had a good laugh at me.  I had to laugh too.  Not everything is going to work for me or be as good as I read it to be, and I definitely needed a reality check – this was it.

I still can’t think about curry.  I still can’t think about coconut milk.  Or turmeric.

When I read about turmeric now I want to cry.  I can never have it again!!

F*** It. This wasn’t a win for me.  Just wasn’t.  Some ideas aren’t meant for everyone.  And that’s ok to admit.

No-Turmeric-Milk

Have you ever been there? Wanted to like something so badly but you just don’t?  OMG another one for me – Oysters.  WAH! I’ll try them again soon & hopefully have an enjoyable experience.

You know what I mean?  I feel like we all have that one thing that got us, one way or another.

F*** It.  I’ll be over here sipping wine as my evening “treat” going forward.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone, stay away from turmeric milk (kidding), and be thoughtful!

Xx

 

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Food, Recipe, Uncategorized

Olympic Viewing Party Menu

Pinterest got the best of me.  Last Friday I decided to throw an Olympic Opening Ceremony Party… with Myself, Wafiq and Bernice.  I found a few excellent looking party dishes + I was super excited for the Olympics.

I had a long list of recipes ready to go in an email titled: “Olympics Party Food” to Wafiq’s inbox.  I think that’s when he started to be concerned.  First of all, I never email Wafiq.  I don’t know what prompted that action. And second, I’m not fully confident Wafiq knew about the Olympics.  Or about cooking for them.

Wafiq followed up with a phone call & there was a moment of silence after he asked who was going: Bernice, Himself, and Me.

Shrimp, tuna, olives, buratta, wine, bread, prosciutto – for me, Bernice & Wafiq. I even considered decorations.

I was/am totally comfortable with that.  But Wafiq ended up inviting the neighbors to truly fulfill my Olympic Opening Ceremony Party goals. (Thank you neighbors.)

Anyways, I spent waaay too much time on Pinterest & the results proved it. These three recipes + a glass or two of wine made for an excellent Olympic party. Whether you have 2 humans + 1 dog or 10 people, you have to make it work.  Perhaps this weekend?

Olympic-View-Party-Menu

Olympic Party Menu


1. Cajun Shrimp Guacamole Bites – from Joyful Healthy Eats 

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, sliced in ¼” slices

2 Tbls olive oil

salt to season

Chipotle Shrimp:

1lb. large raw shrimp, peel and deveined

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Guacamole:

4 small avocados

½ cup cilantro

juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 tablespoons)

1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Cover bottom of baking sheet with tin foil. Add 1 tablespoon of olive to tin foil and using a brush, spread the olive oil over the entire pan so it is coated. Place the sweet potato slices on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Pour remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a small dish, using a brush, brush the tops of the sweet potato slices with olive oil. Lightly season with salt.

  4. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.

  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently flip the sweet potatoes slices over using a pair of tongs. Place back in oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove and let sit.

  6. To prepare the Guacamole: Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt to a food processor or blender. Lightly pulse until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

  7. To prepare the Chipotle Shrimp: In a small bowl, add shrimp, smoked paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and chipotle chili powder. Toss the shrimp to coat in the seasoning blend.

  8. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and then place the shrimp. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side.

  9. Assemble the bites. Top each sweet potato slice with a dollop of guacamole, one shrimp, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve

 


2. Prosciutto Crostini with Burrata and Lemon Honey Drizzle from The Charming Detroiter 

Ingredients

1 baguette, sliced on a diagonal into at least 12 crostini

Olive oil

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup honey

Salt

Pepper

4 slices prosciutto, torn into large pieces

8 oz. burrata, sliced

Microgreens, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat broiler to high. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

  2. While bread is toasting, whisk together lemon juice and honey in a small dish until combined. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, whisking to combine.

  3. After bread has toasted, remove from baking sheet. Add prosciutto to the baking sheet and toast under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until crispy.

  4. To assemble, place one slice of burrata on each crostini. Top with 1-2 pieces of crispy prosciutto and micrograms. Drizzle with honey lemon sauce and serve. Enjoy!

 


3. Fresh Ahi Tina Cakesfrom Superman Cooks 

Ingredients

8 oz fresh ahi tuna

½ C cracker crumbs (we used a club crackers )

1 tbsp old bay seafood seasoning

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

1 egg

Cilantro

Fresh lime

Olive oil

For the sauce:

¼ c cocktail sauce

½ c mayonnaise

Tsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Dice tuna into ¼” pieces and place in a mixing bowl

  2. Squeeze one fresh lime wedge onto tuna

  3. Salt and pepper tuna, and mix in old bay seasoning

  4. Crush crackers to an oatmeal consistency (you want some larger pieces)

  5. In a separate bowl, scramble the egg and add to tuna.

  6. Combine cracker crumbs with tuna and mix together (it will look wet, don’t worry the crackers will absorb the liquid).

  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes

  8. Heat a sauté pan over medium high and add tbsp olive oil

  9. Divide tuna mixture into 3 equal parts and form into balls and lightly smash to flatten top and bottom

  10. Place in sauté pan and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes.

  11. Serve with fresh lime and drizzle with tuna sauce


Olympic-View-Party-Menu(1)

SO easy! I organized & made everything ready in less than an hour.

I added wine, water, olives, & chips to the menu.  I laugh at myself for throwing this “party” without any guests, but it turned out wonderfully.  Commitment I tell you!

I’m still all in, watching the Olympics every single evening.  Anyone else loving them?  Such a change from that junk TV – Bachelor in Paradise (Yes I’m recording it & will be catching up soon).

Let me know if you have any other great finger food recipes, I loved doing this and plan to again soon… With or without humans.

Have a happy + thoughtful Friday!!

Xx

*Recipes: Joyful Healthy Eats / The Charming Detroiter / Superman Cooks

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