Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries



I have a ton of sweet potatoes in my apartment again! I had every intention of making them this weekend so that I could have them throughout the week. Plus I wanted the measurements for you. However, I've been at my mom's house since Saturday helping with Christmas stuff and her puppies. I also had my staff holiday party on Saturday night! I'm still at her house! However, I really want to post this recipe so I'm just going to post it. :) Later this week I'll make the recipe. Then I will edit the measurements and post the picture of the potatoes. At least for now, you will have the ingredients. It's all really to taste anyway. Anyway, on to the post!

First thing first, they DO NOT taste anything like the sweet potato fries one would order at a restaurant. They are not fried for one. They are baked. I got the idea the last time I received way too many sweet potatoes in my CSA. One can only eat baked sweet potato for so long before they get bored. Only thing was, I just threw together some spices hoping it would taste good. I also wanted to try using turmeric on some of my food since it has a lot of great benefits for you. Good thing for me, it came out delicious. Bad thing was, I didn't measure or write it down exactly what I used.

Turmeric is good for many reasons. It aids in digestion and detoxification. Turmeric helps reduce gas and bloating. It's been known to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with arthritis. (http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-turmeric.html is the main source I referenced. I also read several other articles and books that indicated similar information about turmeric. In fact a lot of spices and herbs do provide health benefits. That's why there's the great saying by Hippocrates, let health be thy food. I feel that we are only just beginning to really understand the importance of flavoring our foods. Does anyone experiment with flavors? Any specific reason you use that spice or herb? Is it just pure flavor or is there a health reason? I'd be interested to know!


Sweet Potato Fries

Olive Oil

Sweet Potato

Cinnamon

Turmeric

Nutmeg

Ginger



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Chop up the sweet potatoes in any size you like. (I don't peel my sweet potatoes because who has the time to do all of that! They are also bigger then your typical fry in the restaurant. :) Hey, what can I say, a girl likes her potatoes! Just make sure whatever size you do cut the potatoes, they are all uniform in size otherwise they will not cook evenly)

3. Cover the potatoes in olive oil

4. Throw the potatoes in bowl with the dry ingredients and cover

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Depending on how strong your oven is. (Mine is not a great stove so I need longer sometimes). You can taste the tenderness by sticking a toothpick in it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Firehouse Turkey Chili

Sometimes I love the cold weather and other times I do not. Cold weather involves tons of warm hearty meals such as chili, stew, lasagna, pastas, all things that I do not usually cook a lot during warm weather. Also, all things I avoided last year because I was such a newbie in clean eating. These were all traditional meals that I had growing up and made once I went off on my own. I was terrified of changing some of them due to losing the taste. There is A LOT to change in some of these recipes. This fall/winter, I plan on tackling them. I will also be introducing a lot of new recipes as well. I hope to share with you as the season progresses.

This recipe I am about to share is a recipe I have used for more then 5-6 years since it came out. I read it in Shape magazine, specifically the "Make over your body in 21 days" issue. (You can locate the original recipe on the Shape website.) Since then I have made some modifications to it. I use fresh ingredients instead of canned. It is still yummy and tasty if not better. This is my go to chili. Quick, simple and tasty. Does anyone have a favorite chili recipe? Please share in the comment section below.



Firehouse Turkey Chili - (Adapted from Shape magazine) Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large garlic clove, smashed

1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided

1/2 lb ground turkey

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 28 oz crushed tomatoes. (I also use 7-8 fresh tomatoes crushed when in season)

1 15 oz of kidney beans. (You can also use the can - I use fresh and I soak them the night before)

1 medium red pepper - diced

1 cup diced carrot

pinch of salt

sour cream



Directions:

1. Prep all ingredients in separate dishes

2. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Toss in garlic and all but 2 tablespoons scallion and cook, Stir frequently for 1 minute

3. Add turkey and continue to cook, break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until turkey is browned

4. Stir in chili powder and cook for 1 minute

5. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, bell peppers, carrots and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

6. Divide among four bowls and garnish with the remaining scallions. Top with sour cream if desired.




**I do not have a picture of this recipe on hand. Next time I make it, I'll post a picture. Trust me on this recipe. It's good! My mother requests it all the time.


live for the moment

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday plans?

Before I write this post, I must apologize for the long gap in posts. I live on Long Island where we recently have been hit by Hurricane Sandy. No gas, no power, no work. Things were crazy. I was lucky enough to have my power. However, my mother was displaced and was staying with me for about three weeks. I have gone back with her to her place in the past week due to Thanksgiving. She also got a new dog so she wanted my help with helping the dog adjust. In that time, I also had some personal issues going on as well. I do not feel the need to share them in a public forum. Just know, there's been a lot going on. As I write this, I am writing from my mother's computer. 

Well today is the Monday after Thanksgiving, I had meant to write a running post, planning post and a pre-holiday prep post in the past month. Needless to say, that went out the window. I have been in the meantime, getting ideas and being somewhat creative with my recipes. If you have food sensitivities, I highly recommend getting and reading Living Without magazine. There are two versions, one is just gluten free and the other is gluten free and dairy free. I also have been reading the Vegetarian Times magazine. I just love vegetables and fruit. There are so many ideas that are so refreshing these days. I was not a big fan of new foods when I was a child. These days, I love rediscovering foods from when I was little. Have you recently rediscovered any foods from when you were little? Any new twists on them this time around? For example, I rediscovered brussel sprouts. While I did like them when I was little, they were not among my favorite. This time around, I discovered if I roast them, I adore them. This makes for a happy Suzanne.

Holidays, usually my favorite and most dreaded time of the year. (I'll save the dreaded part for another day and another post.) I have a rather large family on my mother's side. While she only has one brother, she has a ton of cousins. Both her parents had 8-9 siblings. Most of them had children and so forth. On my grandfather's side, there are a lot of cousins and we are all really close. We don't even consider the degrees of separation most of the time. Yes that is how close we are and no I would not trade it for a thing. I love my cousins. Growing up around this time, my grandparents would come up from Florida and off we go visiting everyone. That is just how it was. I adored it. Things have changed a lot since they passed away and my sister has been at vet. school. However, it doesn't mean I can't get together with my cousins. Which I do try to do somewhat.

Holiday time brings back memories of TONS of Italian food. Christmas eve was at my Aunt's house with the 7 fishes as the Italians usually have. I also always had my favorite, my grandmother's potato pancakes. Last year around this time, I had just started my clean eating ways in the beginning of the fall. It was my first holiday trying to be a clean eater among other things. Some parts of it went ok, some parts of it was not. What I did learn was the holidays are a matter of balance. I also recognized that as long as I only eat like this one or two days of the year, I'll be ok. BALANCE is the key. This year I made some more of my own sides and plan to do the same thing for Christmas. Since Thanksgiving was my mother, sister and I, I was able to make requests for certain things such as an organic Turkey, real butter, things like that. My contributions to Thanksgiving was my butternut squash soup and carrot souffle. If any of you hosted Thanksgiving, what did you serve? If you brought sides, what did you bring?

What do the holidays bring for you? How do you do meal time? Anything in specific you HAVE to have?? Do you stick to your clean eating and work out routines? What are your plans to survive the next month or so? Any new year resolutions coming up? Any questions, concerns or ideas, please send them my way as I will be addressing these issues in upcoming posts.

Thank you for your patience in the past month. Regular posting will resume now. Lets all get through the holidays happy and healthy.




"Life, like surfing is all about wave selection and balance. Never let the best waves in life go by" - unknown

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut squash soup

The fall is here!! I love the fall, I love all things pumpkin and apple, such as apple cider and pumpkin muffins. Around this time last year, I had just started my journey on clean eating. This time around, I'm starting my journey of gluten free clean eating. Over the past few months, I have discovered that I have a gluten sensitivity. This explains the headaches, the breakouts, etc. I feel SO much better when I'm gluten free. It's a bit easier going gluten free when you already make so many things from scratch. However, I am also discovering that simple ingredients contain wheat, like soy sauce. (That explains why I bloat up like a pufferfish after I have sushi) I am also discovering that a lot of gluten free items and/or recipes contain ingredients that are not included in my clean eating lifestyle. That makes things a bit more difficult. So off I go to revamp my cooking methods, mostly the baking. I am in the process of testing out gluten free baking flour (I've made my own) among other recipes.

For the past few weeks, I have been working on a gluten free pumpkin pancake recipe. The first few batches came out horrible!!! The most recent batch, came out looking like a pancake but the flavor was a little off. I'm still experimenting. This explains why the blog hasn't been updated. I'm really not comfortable with giving out a recipe to my readers that does not have great flavor. I feel that clean gluten free eating should not require me to sacifrice taste. It doesn't! You just have to let go of old expectations and be willing to try new things. When I finalize the recipe, I'll post it.

In the meantime, I have brought out my old fall recipes. Some needed tiny changes and others needed none. I'll be posting these in the meantime. Last night for dinner was flank steak with olive-oil herb rub, sweet potato fries, string beans with lemon-hazelnut butter and butternut squash soup. YUM. I had gotten all the vegetables in my CSA. I love my CSA. It forces me to cook different recipes all time. Meal time is never the same and most certainly is not boring. I've made the steak and the soup before. So needless to say when I got a butternut squash and some carrots in my CSA last week, I was thrilled. I could make my butternut squash soup again!! I love this soup, my family loves this soup. I could eat this soup all the time which is ironic because when I was younger, I was not fond of butternut squash. Maybe I just needed to find the right recipe. I discovered this recipe several years ago while watching the cooking channel. The recipe is straight out of the Giada at Home cookbook. Enjoy!




Butternut Squash Soup (Giada at Home Cookbook)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 med. onion, chopped

1 med carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 1/2 lbs butter nut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces

6 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh sage leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper




Directions

1. In pot, melt butter and olive oil together over med high heat

2. Add onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and cook until aromatic (about 30 secs.)

4. Add squash and chicken stock, bring to a boil.

5. Once mixture is boiling, add sage. Let boil for 20 minutes

6. Turn off heat, season with salt and pepper to taste as you blend the ingredients together. (I use my immersion blender which is perfect for soups like this)

7. Once soup is blended, it will be thick and creamy. Serve immediately.













On a side note, went to the beach the other day and saw para-surfers!! I SO want to try that. Has anyone tried? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Juice Detox

The more I read about juice detox, the more I wanted to do it. Well, I finally got my juicer a few weeks ago. I was able to do the juice detox that I've been wanting to do for months!! I went off to the store and got all the food needed for a three day detox. I fully planned on writing this post after I broke the detox. It was only a three day detox, how bad could it be? I had gotten my detox plan from Food Babe. (Her website is www.foodbabe.com) She indicated by day three, she was feeling great so I figured I'd just follow her plan. I didn't really want to go through all the other juice books and come up with my own three day detox. (Yes I was lazy. However, I do have a juice book now and will be creating several of my own juice detoxes) 

There are two main reasons why one may want to do a juice cleanse. One is weight loss and the other is to eliminate toxins in the body. I obviously did and will be doing juice detox to get rid of the toxins in my body. It may be one of the reasons I get my cluster headaches. (Remember, I indicated that I would do almost anything to get rid of these headaches!) If you are going to become an avid juicer, I strongly recommend getting a book about juicing and recipes to familiarize yourself with the different benefits of juicing. This will help you get to your overall goal in juicing whatever the reason may be.

Before juicing, one also needs to be aware of the cleanse process. It helps to be prepared and not to be thrown off guard like I was! Each person's experience is different depending on the level of toxins in their body at the time.

Stage 1: Day 1: Be prepared for cravings. You are no longer chewing food. This gives your digestive system a break and a chance to break down whatever is left in your stomach. You may or may not get cravings this day. This also allows you to recognize what your body is addicted to. Day 2: You will get a slight film on your tongue. This is all the toxins coming out. You may get tired, have breakouts or a slight headache. You will also be going to the bathroom a lot. This is ALL normal. It is your body now focusing on cleansing the rest of your body. Stage 2: Day 3: Hunger will disappear and now your digestive system is fully at rest. This allows your body to focus on the other organs in your body. They will cleanse and heal the body. Stage 3: Day 4: You may experience a healing crisis at this point (which I did) This is where your body now accelerates the cleansing experience. You may also experience feelings of old injuries reoccurring. This is just your body healing itself at this point. The healing crisis will also now eliminate toxins out of your body through secondary resources. If you are prone to sore throats, sinus infections, etc. The body will eliminate toxins this way. It will feel similar to getting sick with a cold or a flu. However it should be all clear. This indicates there is no infection. DO NOT TAKE MEDICATION AT THIS POINT! It will completely reverse all the work you have done. When you take an antibiotic or medication, it suppresses the toxins in your body and forces the body to take longer to heal. Stage 4: Your body should be completely cleansed of toxins. You should be feeling great. You should have a lot of energy, your skin should be clearing up, old injuries may be healing as well. Stage 5: Breaking the fast, sticky, toxic, mucus coating on the intestinal wall is loose, and the first meal frees it from the intestinal wall. It should go right through the colon and gall bladder. At this point, you should be feeling better then you did before you started the detox as it will have eliminated A LOT of toxins from your body. With that said, you do need to be careful with what you put back into your body. You didn't do all the work for nothing!

Now that you know all of this, let me share with you my first experience with the juice cleanse. I had printed out all the recipes from Vani at Food Babe. There were three main juices I was to have throughout the day. I had several questions for myself such as, was this going to fill me up, was I going to like it, and can I do it? It definitely is a physical and mental battle going into this juice detox. I decided to do it on Monday so that way I would be out of the apartment and not near food. The first day was HORRIBLE for me. I had never juiced before in my life. I had so many cravings that day. It ranged from bananas to butternut squash soup to cookies. You name it, I wanted it. I also did not like the juices at all. (Remember, I had to halve the recipe since Chris wasn't doing it with me.) I literally had to force myself to drink the juices throughout the day. However, it did fill me up (which was one of my fears). The second day went a lot better. I tweaked the recipes and made it more tastier. I was able to drink the juices with NO problem. I started getting film on my tongue. Towards the end of the day I got a headache. No problem, it was bedtime for me anyway. I was also hoping that this was some of the toxins that causes my cluster headaches on its way out. I knew I only had one more day, I could do it! Day three, I woke up with a horrible sore throat. I ran to my resources. Was this normal, do I break the fast, what do I do?? I read numerous resources where they all say this normal. (read the above paragraph) This relieved my fears. I figured, okay, one more day. It should be gone tomorrow when I break the fast. (also keep in mind, I was finishing up my 6 day steroid pack for the cluster headache while doing the three day juice detox). Day four, yay I was able to break the fast, I had watermelon and some soup. Keep in mind, my stomach has now shrunk to the size of my fist. It took very little to fill me up. I still had a sore throat. As the day progressed, my nose started to drip. The mucus was clear as can be. Then later that night, I had a fever. Arg. I was frustrated. Wasn't this ALL supposed to go away when I broke the fast. However as I kept reading my resources, this was all normal. Some however suggested continuing the fast until all symptoms went away. I chose not to because it also indicates if you are going to fast for more then three days, you do it under a doctor's supervision. I'm not THAT crazy to do something like that. So for about another week, I continued to have a drippy nose, sore throat, and a cough which was all the toxins coming out. Remember, I said that your body will eliminate toxins through a secondary source? Well obviously I am prone to headaches, sinus infections and sore throats. This was ALL the toxins coming out. I refused to take anything because I really wanted to eliminate all the toxins. Besides it was all clear, no sign of infections. This is also why this post is a bit delayed.

After all this is said and done, I know my readers are asking, was it worth it? In my opinion, yes. I learned a lot about my eating habits as well as multiple other benefits. I learned that I have an intolerance to wheat (gluten as well) and dairy. I tried a bit of each after and noticed blown up stomach, tired, and not feeling well. So I will no longer be eating wheat. I'll have minimal dairy. (That will affect all the recipes I post up on the blog now.) My acne is clearing up. My hair is a lot softer. I'm sleeping better through the night and waking up with lots of energy. I have regular bowel movements. I lost 7lbs. (finally broke 160 which I've been trying to do FOREVER. Still have ways to go but I'm proud of that milestone. I also wonder if I would have lost more weight if I wasn't on steroids at the same time.) I'm breathing better. The best benefit of all is, with all this rain the past several days along with some hormonal changes, I haven't once had a headache or a twinge of a headache!!!!!! That was the goal for the juice detox.

Please remember this was my first juice detox. This was 28 years of toxins coming out of my body. I will definitely be doing a juice cleanse once per season. The reason for doing a detox each season is to do a seasonal cleaning of my body. I do not want to accumulate toxins that could possibly trigger my cluster headaches. Also I may do a juice day or two per month. It depends on how I feel. I'm not sure how big of a juicer I will become. Only time will tell. I am very interested in my readers opinions, if anyone has ever juiced, what their experiences were and if anyone plans on juicing soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carrot Souffle Recipe

If you don't have the Deliciously Organic cookbook by Carrie Vitt, I highly recommend it. Many of my new favorite recipes including this one has come from that cookbook. She also has a website, www.deliciously organic.net She often will post recipes and tips on her website. Carrie also has meal plans for a variety of diets if you would like to order one. (You do have to pay but I've read a lot of great reviews that would make it worth it.)

A few weeks ago, after I was feeling better from my first cluster headache episode, I wanted to cook badly. I had my chicken out from the freezer. We had also gotten multiple bunches of carrots in our CSA. I wanted the carrots to be a great side dish. I'm not a big fan of roasted carrots or constantly eating raw carrots. I wanted to play around with the ingredient. I went to my kitchen "bibles". (please let me know if you want me to do a review of the several cookbooks that I LOVE cooking out of. I'll do a post on that soon then). One of the recipes that I had found was carrot souffle out of the Deliciously Organic cookbook. She indicated that people tend to think negative thoughts when they hear the recipe name. However, these same people came back and wanted the recipe.

Carrot Souffle is apparently a southern staple. I personally think it should be a staple in my house as well. It's a great way to hide vegetables in your dishes. Chris has gone so far to request it for Thanksgiving. It is a great fall recipe and a great recipe to use up those carrots!






Carrot Souffle: (Deliciously Organic Cookbook)


Ingredients

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter melted

2 large eggs







Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and adjust rack to middle position

2. Bring inch of water to simmer on med-low heat in med saucepan. Add carrots, cover, simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well

3. Pour cooked carrots into food processor (or blender). Add maple syrup, flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon, melted butter and puree. While machine is running, add one egg at a time though the tube. Process until smooth. Pour carrots in pan. Bake for an hour or until set and the edges are golden brown.




"Surfing soothes me, it's always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I'm on a wave. "

Paul Walker

Friday, August 10, 2012

Headaches

        This post took some time to put together.  I really needed to do my research before presenting my information to my readers.  Some of you may not know, recently I suffered a two week migraine (cluster) headache!  I was dizzy, throwing up and in extreme pain. I've been back and forth to the doctor several times. At one point, I actually had an allergic reaction to the migraine medication. I finally ended up at the hospital where they gave me some heavy duty pain medication to break the pain cycle.Ahh pain relief. The doctor said that if the pain cycle never breaks, it gets worse.  Um ok, I've never heard of a two week migraine, have you?  My question was and is how did I get it and how can I avoid it? 
     I did some research.  I decided on multiple things. I made an appointment with the neurologist.  I also made an appointment with a holistic doctor as well.  It can't hurt.  I do want to know my vitamin levels, toxin levels and so forth.  Since I'm not about putting chemicals in my body I would like to to try the holistic medicine.  The appointment I made will check my vitamin levels and so forth.  Holistic medicine is about healing the core of the symptoms.  It focuses on the mind and body. It doesn't just medicate the symptoms.  I will let you know how that pans out within the next few weeks. I am also debating a chiropractor and acupuncture. I am considering chiropractor because I would like to get a back and neck adjustment.  It definitely feels like my neck and back are not aligned.  Acupuncture, because I have heard many wonderful things about it.  It draws out the toxins in the body and helps heal many aliments.  I just have to get over my fear of needles!   What are your thoughts on this?
     In the meantime I will be eating 100% clean diet. I will be participating in yoga and an exercise regime on a daily basis. i am also going to juice for a few days to help detox the body.  I will be taking supplements.  The supplements i will be taking will be a multivitamin, magnesium, and caltrate D.  These are things I can do on my own until i get to a doctor. 
     My research has shown that migraines and cluster headaches occur for many different reasons.  You will see below, a list of things I am doing and the reason I am doing it. 


Neurologist: They will do scans and testing to see where the headaches are coming from.  They will also most likely give me a pain management medication to deal with the pain until we figure out the cause of the headaches
Holistic Doctor: They will look at blood work, vitamin levels and so forth.  Sometimes it is our diet that is causing our physical symptoms. Sometimes it may be toxins around us or it just may be our lifestyle. This appointment will check all of that out for me.
Chiropractor: Sometimes when the bones are not aligned properly, it can cause pain.  It can also pinch some nerves.  This all can cause headaches! This is one of the main reasons I am considering a chiropractor as well.
Acupuncture: I've read several different sources that indicate acupuncture helps draw out toxins in the body.  It places the needles in several different pressure points to help with pain management.  People have been reported to use acupuncture and walk out feeling much better. 
Yoga: It has been reported that cluster headaches are sometimes a result of stress.  Yoga will allow me to stretch daily and help reduce my stress level.
Juicing: I have been doing a lot of research into juicing.  Juicing for three days will allow me to cleanse my body the healthy way.  It will allow the toxins to leave my body.  Even if it wasn't for headaches, I was planning on doing this anyway.  Do you realize how many chemicals we consume on a regular basis? That's even if you have a clean diet! My goal is to reduce the amount of toxins in my body.  This is another way to help manage my headaches.
Clean Diet: I usually follow this anyway.  I do once in awhile will have something that I know has chemicals in it.  For awhile, I'm going to try to avoid as much processed food, chemicals and preservatives as I can. This will help with my headaches as well.
Multivitamin: Everyone should be taking this anyway in my opinion. It allows for any additional vitamins into your system that you might not be getting in your daily diet.
Magnesium: This supplement is supposed to help with muscle and nerve function.  I have heard a lot about magnesium deficiency being correlated with migraines.  At this point, it can't hurt.
Caltrate D: Awhile ago I had gotten a physical and had a vitamin D deficiency.  I had a post about that as well. I am supposed to be taking this supplement to increase my vitamin D.  Once again, it can't hurt.

This is what has been going on.  If anyone has suggestions or tips, please let me know.  I have my appointments in the next two weeks.  Hopefully I will have some more answers for myself and for you.  Regular posts will resume next week.  I have several recipes to post such as carrot souffle, quiche, and so on!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Muffins, muffins and more muffins

I have been busy in the kitchen! My CSA comes every other week. It's tricky trying to come up with recipes based on the ingredients that I receive biweekly. One thing positive that has come out of the CSA pick up is that I'm forced to cook recipes that I don't cook on a regular basis. I have to cook right away otherwise this fresh farm grown food goes bad!

The great thing about this particular post is that you are going to get several different muffin recipes in one post! Rather then posting several different times about the same topic, I figure I will just post the several different recipes under one topic. Muffins.

Muffins are delicious. You can make any sort and it always comes out delicious. What I like about the muffins I make is that they are quick and easy to make. I often will make a couple of batches, throw it in the freezer and have some for the week. I heat it up for a minute if I would like my muffin to be warm. (Who doesn't!) I usually will have one for breakfast or a snack if my day gets to be too busy. I started my muffin affair back in the fall. I loved pumpkin bread. I hated cutting a slice daily. I made muffins and fell in love. Perfect size, no cutting, and delicious. I adapted the three recipes from www.100daysofrealfood.com Feel free to go check out her blog as well.




Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmug

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1 can pumpkin puree (or as much fresh pumpkin you want)




Directions:

1. Preheat ove to 350 degrees

2. In large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients

3. Make a hole in the center of dry ingredients and mix wet ingredients

4. Fold in pumpkin puree

5. Pour in batter in muffin pan and bake. Bake for about 20 minutes. Insert toothpick to make sure it's done. If toothpick comes out clean, it's done.




Pumpkin Muffins










Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon bake soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1-2 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (which usually ends up being one large zucchini)




Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Blend dry ingredients
3. Make a hole and pour in wet ingredients
4. Fold in grated zucchini
5. Pour in muffin pan
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes




Zucchini Muffins










Whole Wheat Muffins (with any filling you'd like)






Ingredients


1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour


1/2 teaspoon salt


2 teaspoons baking powder


1 teaspoon cinnamon


1/2 teaspoon nutmug


2 eggs


2 tablespoons honey


1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 cup coconut oil


3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice


1 cup of total fillings - (I have used blueberries and carrots)




Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Blend dry ingredients
3. Make a hole and pour in wet ingredients
4. Fold in desired ingredients
5. Pour in muffin pan
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes




Blueberry Muffins






Carrot Muffins

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spaghetti and Squash

Wondering what to do with all that summer squash in your garden? Tired of grilling vegetables the same old boring way? Here's a quick recipe to incorporate the squash in your everyday dinner. It's also a good way to get squash into your children's tummies without them noticing that there's vegetables in their pasta! The reason I say this is because this recipe is actually from my mother's kitchen. She made it frequently while I was growing up and I loved it. I still do. So channeling my mother, I made her spaghetti and squash recipe last weekend. It was a perfect way to incorporate all the squash I got from that week's CSA.


Spaghetti and Squash

1 onion diced

olive oil

7 summer squash, peeled and quartered.

(Mom uses green squash, I used yellow in this picture, it doesn't make a difference)

1 can of tomato sauce (or just crushed tomatoes)

Parmesan cheese to taste

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1 lb thin spaghetti (100% whole wheat) cooked

3 tablespoons water




Directions:

1. peel and quarter squash

2. saute onion in olive oil until very soft

3. Add squash, tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons of water along with salt, pepper and cheese to taste

4. Cook squash mixture for 30 minutes

5. Make pasta while squash is cooking

6. Mix pasta and squash together.









"Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period." - Bill Hamilton - surfer

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sauteed Chicken and Radishes with Mustard and Tarragon

Sometimes when anyone tries a new recipe, there are hits and misses. If the miss is from a cookbook, the reasons could be a. you didn't follow the recipe correctly or b. you just don't like the taste. If the miss is from you creating a recipe on your own, it most likely is because the flavors you brought together did not work out or the new technique of cooking did not work out. The more experienced of a chef you are, the more you know how to bring the flavors together or how to subsitute flavors in a recipe successfully.

I usually don't like to play around with a recipe until I've tried it at least once with exact ingredients and directions. Lately I've been playing around with recipes without even trying the original recipe. I wasn't a bad chef before but I typically cooked the ingredients I knew and the recipes I knew. Now I've branched out to new ingredients and new recipes. My confidence has grown in the kitchen. A lot of that is due to changing how and what I eat. I simply couldn't cook what I used to with a healthy conscience knowing what I know now. I no longer cook with white flour, white sugar, brown sugar, or canola oil. The list goes on. I now cook with coconut oil, honey and other subsitutes. What I knew previously in the kitchen, no longer worked. Definitely nervewracking but it is doable. You just have to keep trying and remember, some meals are hits and some are misses. Some just need to be tweeked more and others need to be thrown out for good.

With that said, I had radishes from the CSA I picked up two weeks ago. I don't like radishes in my salad and never really knew what else to do with it. Off I went to find a recipe to make the radishes with. I found this recipe and wanted to try it right away. I knew I had most of the ingredients. I needed to tweek it a bit though in the beginning. I hoped that it came out good especially since I never made it before. I'm proud to say, it came out delicious! Without further ado, I present:




Sauteed Chicken and Radishes with Mustard and Tarragon (Bon Appetit April 2011)

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (preferably boneless

kosher salt

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 1/4 cup chicken broth

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard ( I like a lot of mustard)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (I added more as I went)

2 bunches of radishes and stems (I used bok choy for the greens instead of the stems this time)

fresh tarragon for garnish




Directions:


1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add onion to same skillet; stir over medium-high heat 1 minute. add chicken broth to skillet; bring to boil. Whisk in mustard and chopped tarragon; boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon lightly and is reduced to scant 1/2 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon butter; set aside.






2. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper; cook without stirring until radishes begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook radishes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes longer.




3. Cut chicken breast halves crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; arrange on platter. Place radishes around and over chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken and radishes. Garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.









You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Butterflied Chicken with Onions

 I had been trying to figure out what to make one day. We still had a whole chicken left in the freezer. I wasn't really in the mood for the slow cooker chicken that I normally make. I wanted something else, a different taste. I found this recipe in my Deliciously Organic Cookbook. This chicken recipe is by far one of the best ones I've ever made and eaten. It's really easy to make. I substituted some ingredients as I went along and it still came out tasty! It is definitely going into myy rotation of chicken recipes to be cooked.


Butterflied chicken with Onions (adapted from Deliciously Organic Cookbook)

1 (4-5 lb) chicken, butterflied (to butterfly a chicken, lay it breast down. Take kitchen shears and remove the backbone by cutting it to the left and side of the spine all the way down. Remove)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-3 tablespoons tarragon (you can use any fresh herb here)

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large onions, cut into wedges (original recipe called for red onions, I found it still tasty with regular onions)

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust oven rack to medium position

2. Pat chicken with dry cloth to make sure skin is dry. Stir together soften butter, tarragon, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl. Gently lift the skin and rub herbed butter under skin of breasts, thighs, and legs. Season the entire chicken generously with salt and pepper.

3. Place chicken in roasting pan. Toss onion wedges, coconut oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in medium bowl. Pour onions around chicken in roasting pan. Roast chicken for 30 minutes and then rotate pan 180 degrees. Continue to roast about 25 minutes until crisp and golden brown and when a thermometer reaches 160 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part of the breast. Remove from the oven and before serving, let chicken rest about 15 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CSA pick up!

For those of you who know what CSA is, we started our first pick up last week!!! A CSA means community supported agriculture. A CSA is where you pay before hand for a part of the farm's produce. The main factor in deciding what you get each week is how much crop was harvested that week. This means you get fresh produce that is in season. I chose fruit, vegetable and egg share from the Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead. The reason we chose this farm is due to the drop offs. The drop off closest to us is in Bayport which is right down the road from my mom. This farm also allowed for variety which I liked. You can go to www.localharvest.org to find the closest farm to you. I also did a little research on my own. Not all farms are found on this website. It just makes it easier for most. After deciding back in March, I paid for CSA pick ups biweekly from June to November. I pick up fresh produce every other Wednesday between 3 and 7pm. You get what's in season, what's plentiful and freshly picked from the garden. Needless to say, we got tons of greens. I took pictures to show everyone. :) 









all the fresh produce!







View two







Kale







Radishes and Lettuce







Eggs straight from the chickens!










Kale










Bok Choy










Snap Peas










Mustard Greens










Baby Lettuce
















Turnip










Garlic Scapes












Strawberries










Blueberries






Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Potato Salad



On Long Island, every Memorial day is an extensive air show at Jones Beach. I've never gone. This year is my first year going! It however requires being at the beach all day. You have to get there early to get a good spot and then stay until about 3 or 4 when the show is over. I enjoyed the show greatly.

That being said, its required to bring your own food unless you want to spend money at all the food stands.  I I did not want to buy processed food nor bring processed food. We hit up the supermarket and our cookbooks the night before. We bought tons of fruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes and peppers to munch on. We made homemade roasted red pepper hummus, homemade fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade potato salad. Nothing contained chemicals which was what we were looking for. The only thing that contained sugar was the lemonade. To be honest, it was my first time making it, I didn't want to screw around with it by adding honey or maple syrup after hand squeezing 20 lemons! Next time I will. I wasn't too thrilled with the hummus this time around either, it wasn't creamy. I want to play around with those recipes and then once I feel satisfied with them, I'll put them up! I am however thrilled with the potato salad! No mayo involved! It's a great summer recipe and will be used often in our household.




Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash (Cooking Light through the Seasons)

Salad:

2 lbs small red potatoes

3/4 lbs yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons (I used 1 tablespoon drained capers)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




1. preheat grill to med high heat

2. put potatoes in pot, fill with water, bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. (About 18 minutes) Drain the water and cut potatoes into quarters

3. Coat squash with salt and pepper and grill. Grill until brown or tender. (about two minutes on each side). Add to potatoes

4. Combine all ingredients for dressing in bowl. Pour dressing over potatoes and squash. Toss until all ingredients are covered. May serve warm or cold.









"Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Resources

As I've mentioned it's tough work being a clean eater. I have to constantly look up recipes, modify recipes, cook the recipes, look up places to obtain local food, vegetables, produce, dairy and meat, look up restaurants that serve local food. It's tough in the beginning, especially when I'm not sure where to go. There's no easy one stop for all on the island. As I progress, I'm going to add resources to the list on the side of my page. For now, here's a list of my resources and how I selected that particular one.

First, let me start with produce. Now one would think, living on an island, it should be relatively easy to obtain local organic fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. It's not. I've had to go to Whole Foods. Why Whole Foods and not another supermarket, well honestly, Whole Foods has a bigger selection, plus it allows me to know where my food came from. The farms out east are not open during the winter and neither are the local ones. Next thing was, am I am willing to drive out east every other weekend to pick up produce. No I'm not. Why? That's a lot of gas. Plus everyone is driving out east, it's not going to be fun. So what I did was, I found two farms. One is local, Organic Today Farm which is in Islip NY. Not too much of a selection at times but it's local and organic. It's also open on a daily basis. I also signed up for a CSA from Garden of Eve Farm which is located in Riverhead. It starts June 9th and I pick up a local box in Sayville every other week. Why I picked this farm was due to it having multiple drop offs for CSA and you get a variety of fruit and vegetables. Plus it had different options for different people. The CSA will go from June to November. If Chris and I like it, we will also sign up for the winter CSA which is once a month. There's honestly not too many farms in the middle of Suffolk County on Long Island. I tried a few of the weekend farmer's markets around here and wasn't thrilled. They didn't meet the criteria of organic, choices and frequency. Both these farms were able to meet the criteria plus I was able to talk to the farmers which made me ecstatic.

Next was my produce. I used to get my produce from Whole Foods. However, there really isn't much of a selection that fits my criteria, grass fed, free range, hormone free, etc. I'm limited very often. Plus it's expensive! Needless to say, I haven't really eaten meat much since September. Mike from Organic Today in Islip has recently started selling local meat which is grass fed, hormone free, etc. Perfect. You can order by Wed and have it by Sat. He doesn't have too much of a selection but it's a lot cheaper then the supermarket. I'm excited. I'll probably order meat within a few weeks. I also found a farm upstate that delivers meat. You can check out www.eatwild.com for a local place by you. I chose Fox Hill Farm grass fed beef. I have yet to order from there yet but I will be. (The problem is you can't just say hm. I want this and then order it. It does take a few days). I can't wait to check out these farms with their meats. Both are a lot cheaper then finding it in the supermarket. I have yet to find a fisher's market that I like on the island. Any suggestions?

Next is dairy, cheese and whatnot. I found a farm that is called Udder Milk Creamery. They deliver to Long Island and have milk, cheese, etc. That's also on my list of places to try. I'll let you know after I try it.

Pantry goods. I have discovered Amazon is a lot cheaper then Whole Foods. It's also easy to find products that I use on a regular basis there. Unlike Stop and Shop or King Kullen. The only difficulty is now when I need food, I need to make a list and then order it at all once instead of going to the store and saying..hmm. what do I need? It should save more money in the long run.

Next is WHERE TO GO EAT! As many of you know, I recently had a birthday. I didn't want to go someplace that I was going to have to ask a hundred questions or that I knew the food wasn't prime. I did some research on www.eatwellguide.org (also great because it allows you to find a restaurant ANYWHERE and a caterer!!) I found several places on Long Island. One that I actually close for my birthday was 5th Season restaurant in Port Jeff. It's across from the water. The food changes every 12 weeks due to seasonal produce available. We went there for my birthday and OMG delicious. I have pictures on my phone. As soon as I can figure out how to upload those on here, I'll put up pictures.

I've mentioned cookbooks and reading material previously. I'll post them up on the side so no one has to go scan my previous posts. If I'm missing anything, please let me know. I'll also keep you updated as I go!




“Not only were you riding down this mountain but the mountain is chasing after you and you need to figure out how to escape the mountain but also use it.”
On Big Wave Surfing

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recap on eating habits and exercise



Ok so obviously no one is perfect. I haven't been 100% perfect. I find it difficult mostly when I'm out. I spend a lot of time at my parents house. I often either a. forget to bring my own food or b. just enjoy their food. My mom has been trying to eat better as well so its not like I'm eating junk food. I have continued to educate myself and improve habits here and there. Eating this way, living this life style requires a lot of creativity, time and energy. All of which I've had none recently.

I've gotten sick numerous times over the past several months. It's not fun when you as the chef in the house are sick too. No desire to cook or anything. Having a sprained ankle means minimal exercise. I've had a ton of stomach problems recently too. I am contributing this to not being diligent about my diet. I've found that when I'm not strict, I have stomach problems. I become constipated. I get migraines. It's NOT fun. I don't want to resort back to my old habits. After all isn't that what got me here in the first place? It's already the end of May and I haven't surfed yet. :( This makes me sad.) However I can honestly say I'm not in shape nor is my health up to it yet. I will get out there this summer though.

I have drastically changed the habits for when I'm not feeling well. GINGER GINGER GINGER. Did I mention ginger? Run to the nearest store and make sure you have pure ginger and ginger tea in the house. I have found that when I'm not feeling too hot, I cut up some ginger, put boiling hot water over it, let it steep and drink. It makes me feel better beyond belief. I have ginger tea as well. It has helped with sore throats and upset tummy. I'm not so quick to pop a pill or run to the doctor. I will rest, have fluids and have tons of ginger. There is research out there that states that ginger is good for all of these things.

I have done some research and I will be doing some juicing. What this means is I will be juicing my vegetables once in awhile. This will provide a detox for the chemicals in my body among other benefits. I've recently started following Vani on www.foodbabe.com She discusses the benefits of juicing among many other topics on her blog. I hope to be juicing by the end of the summer and be able to tell you what benefits I have gotten.

I also REALLY want to start canning and preserving my fruits and vegetables. Spring and summer is here which means all the yummy food is now in season. In order to have this continue for the winter, that means I need to start now. I'm doing some research and looking into how to do both. Once my CSA starts and I pick my recipes, I will be going forward with this. I hope to update my blog with this information as well. Lisa from www.100daysofrealfood.com recently attended a canning class and indicated that it was really easy. I'm hoping I feel the same way. I'll have to let you know!

I also would like to be doing yoga on a daily basis. A yoga studio just opened up right down the block from my job. http://bearfootyogacenter.com/home/ I would love to check it out besides trying to do yoga on a daily basis at home. However A. I'm not going to try it until I get into a routine at home and B. I'm not going to do it until I have money to pay for classes. :( I also want to start running. (check out my previous post on shin splints). I REALLY want to be able to run a 5K. I should be able to do it at the age of 28 years old right? The reason for this is A. yoga stretches and will help me with my tight muscles. B. Running will help me with cardio which will help at the beach.




Anyway, that's the update with me. How is everyone else doing with their journey to clean eating and healthy lifestyle?? What changes have you done recently??




“Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.”
Bodhi

articles!






Over the past several months, there have been a slew of articles that I've been reading. Some I've posted on my facebook page and others I've just shared with my boyfriend. I wanted to share some of the following articles with you so you can continue to learn about our foods along with me



1.

I'm glad I stopped eating Kashi back in September. I had also stopped eating Cascadian Farms. Goes to show just how much the food industry is in charge and not us.




2.






The yellow goo at the top is margarine.
The yellow goo at the left is "reduced fat margarine"
The stuff with the ants all over it is butter.




If the ants don't want to eat it, why should we??? DISGUSTING!!!




3. Are the foods we are eating killing us? - This article discusses just how much has changed in the foods, the hidden ingredients and the addictions




4. Does eating organic food turn you into a jerk? - This article was recently posted on my news feed today. It discusses how some people ask multiple questions while out to eat. While yes I understand there are a lot of allergies and what not out there so you do need to be careful with what you consume. However if you are going out and looking for specifically local and organic, do your research before you go. It's not that difficult.




5. Why Americans aren't eating their vegetables - I just posted this on my facebook the other day. Number 3 rang true for me. While normally I go to Whole Foods, my local farm or my CSA, once in awhile I'll run into King Kullen or Stop and Shop. The choices of fruits and vegetables are minimal. They also have little in stock as well.




6. are you eating glued meat? - EW! It's amazing what restaurants and vendors will do to cut costs.




7. Supermarkets and Pink Slime! - While I'm on the subject of meat, EW!!! The good news is after this happened, some restaurants promised to take it out. The bad news was the government allowed the school to buy the pink slime at a reduced price for school! Personal meat grinder anyone?




8. Why its important to watch what you eat when you are pregnant - I knew this but its insane how many studies are coming out proving this. Note to family: When I become pregnant, I will become a crazy fanatic about what I eat!




9. Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar is everywhere. It's crazy where its hidden and the different names it has!




10. Toxins Sugar should be labeled as a toxin and a drug. So many people consume so much of it, its not even funny.




11. Food dye and health concerns - As if mothers do not have enough to worry about. Studies showing that food dye (which is artificial) is linked to health concerns now.







If none of these articles gross you out or make you think twice, I don't know what will. Thanks for reading some of the information that I've put together for you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Homemade chicken soup



Between the past two weeks, I have been sick. Chicken Soup was called for. It made me feel better. This recipe is a combination of my mother's chicken soup and 100daysofrealfood.com chicken soup. I had leftover slow cooked chicken in the fridge so it was easy to pull out. The only thing I did not really like about the first time making this was the type of pasta I used. I was in a rush. Also, there really isn't too much of a selection of 100% whole wheat pasta in most stores. I'd used a different one next time I make it.




Homemade Chicken Soup


9 cups chicken stock/broth
1 bag of whole wheat pasta - the really really tiny ones if possible
10 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 celery stalks, washed and chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Salt & pepper, to taste


Directions
Bring chicken stock to a boil
Add dry whole-grain noodles to stock and set the timer according to pasta package directions.
When there are 5 minutes left in the cooking time throw in the chopped carrots and celery. Keep the stock boiling.
When there is about 1 minute left add the cooked chicken to the stock so it can heat up thoroughly.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.

Homemade dish soap



Some of you may know, I am planning on converting all my cleaning products to homemade cleaning products. Why you may ask? Well if I'm not willing to put chemicals in my body, why should I inhale them? Why should I surround myself with chemicals especially since I try so hard to avoid putting them in my body. Between following certain blogs and pinterest, it wasn't quite hard to find a recipe. The question was, was it hard to find the products, was it difficult to make, and was it worth it. I discovered it was a lot cheaper to make my own soap then to replace it multiple times from the supermarket. I also discovered that it was fairly easy to make.

I recently made this homemade dish soap from a recipe I found on www.frugalsustainable.com



Recipe as followed:
Homemade Liquid Dish Soap 


Ingredients: 
1 ½ cups hot water
1 tablespoon shredded bar soap (i.e. castile bar soap, ivory, or a homemade simple soap)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Super Washing Soda

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and then pour in 1 1/2 cup of very hot water. Be sure to whisk/stir this mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly blended (and the bar soap is melted).
2. Allow mixture to cool completely on the counter for approximately 8 hours. Stir occasionally.
3. Store in any dish soap dispensing bottle and use as you would the commercial brands.
*I did find that it did smell a bit at first. You really have to rinse the dishes off in order not to keep the smell on the dishes. You can also add lemon to the soap so it does not smell. The longer the soap sits there, the less it smells.

From website note: You may choose to naturally increase the anti-bacterial qualities of the soap by adding 1/4 tsp. of lemon, sweet orange, lemongrass, lavender or eucalyptus essential oils




“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breakfast



What do you eat for breakfast?? I posted up a granola recipe several months back. I also posted up waffles. I do also make whole wheat blue berry pancakes. (I'm thinking of starting a tab that indicates my recipes and easy access) I wanted to share with you these three quick recipes for breakfast.




My mom made the following all the time, this with potatoes as well. I was craving it. You could eat this at anytime in the day. It also goes good on Italian bread too. (Yes I'm trying to find a recipe to make that whole wheat!)



Egg Frittata with Asparagus
.

4-6 Eggs

Asparagus

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive oil




1. Heat up pan with olive oil over med high heat

2. Chop up asparagus and place in plan

3. After asparagus have soften, place eggs (mixed in a bowl) in pan.

4. Wait until eggs have browned on the bottom and flip.

5. When eggs are done cooking, take off the pan and eat.







*don't mind the mess in the picture. I didn't flip so well!






Eggs with kale and red peppers

Large handful of kale

1 red pepper chopped up

4 eggs

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste




1. Heat up olive oil in pan over med-high heat

2. Toss kale in pan, wait to wilt then toss in red pepper

3. Mix in eggs

4. Scramble all together until cooked thoroughly.

5. Take off the pan and eat.






Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
1 banana

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon fresh ground peanut butter

splash of vanilla extract






1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Eat when done.


Shin Splints



OW! Shin splints hurt. Badly. They also make it impossible to be mobile. As my ankle healed, I wanted to run. Plus the weather outside was getting nicer. I'm home during the day and should take advantage of this. However, I couldn't even get around the block without being in pain. I would end up hobbling home. Even if I walked and slowed down my pace! They still came, both legs, I could predict it. I would try to do 1 mile to 2-2 and half miles. "No way!" my shins screamed. In the past, I gladly used this as an excuse to say, "I'm simply not a runner", despite always wanting to at least complete a 5k. It was disheartening. This time around, I was determined to not make this the case again. I needed to change my mindset and my routine. Something had to give and this time, I wasn't going to stop running.

So, what did I do? I went to the one person in my life that have been running her whole lives. My sister, Jackie, who has been running since she was about 12. If she wasn't a vet, she would have been a personal trainer. Jackie has run 5K, 10K and half marathons. I do believe she is working her way up to a marathon. 

Jackie's response was, several types different stretches specifically for the shins, take an anti inflammatory after running, ice after each run, alternate days and get new sneakers. (Keep in mind, she also went to a sports doctor for her knees to help with her running).

Off i went armed with my new information. The only thing I hadn't done yet was get new sneakers. Needless to say, everything did NOT work . Maybe I should have gotten the sneakers first. I finally retrieved my old sneakers from my moms house and holy mackerel! what a difference. I could walk, I could run, no PAIN!!!!!! Being that I just got the shoes back a few days ago, I haven't really developed a routine. I'm excited. I will however be continuing what Jackie  told me.

Off I go to run. I'll update you in a month or so to let you know how this all works out for me.

can't wait until summer!!
"My life is like a stroll on the beach...as near to the edge as I can go."
Thoreau

Monday, April 30, 2012

Trying new food



Since cleaning up my diet, I make an attempt to try new recipes, new food, etc. I also have discovered that since my taste buds have drastically changed, foods that I might not have liked previously, I like now.  I absolutely encourage everyone to try new recipes/food at least once a week. I love trying new fruits and vegetables. It is so much fun!


To date I have tried:

Kale
Butternut Squash
Couscous - I make plain and then flavor it with my own batch of seasoning
Quiona
Ginger
Kombucha
Tumeric
Guava
Almond Flour
Almond Milk


*I currently can't remember any others but as I try new things, it will pop up on the blog as I go.









Guava! it's a bit tart. I sliced in in half. I scooped out the seeds which its soft and fleshy in the middle. Then I just bit off the rest which is a bit hard. It is definitely yummy!




I currently have a papaya and two coconuts ready to be cut and eaten! I can't wait. What new things have you tried lately?







"And then he tells me, "You know, kid, never give up. Find a way,
because that's what winners do."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Pilaf with Salmon and Aspargus



You have to like fish to like this recipe. I've made it twice so far. It's come out yummy both times. It's quick and easy to make. I like it and will make it again.

Spring Pilaf with Salmon and Asparagus (From Cooking Light: Through the Seasons)

Ingredients

4 cups of water

4 (6-oz) salmon fillets. (you can also get one long one and cut it)

1 Tablespoon of butter

2 cups diagonally cut asparagus

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh chives

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




Directions:

1. Bring water to a boil in a large skillet: Add salmon (skin side up) Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish with a slotted spoon and discard water. Break fish into large pieces

2. Return pan to heat; melt butter over med-high heat. Add asparagus; cook 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice, peas and broth and cook 1 minute. Add salmon, parsley, and remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Cook until 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Makes 6 servings: 1 1/3 cup serving size









“I could not help concluding this man had the most supreme pleasure while he was driven so fast and so smoothly by the sea”
Captain James Cooke


Monday, April 16, 2012

Penne with garlic and broccoli



One night I was hungry, I were trying to think of what was for dinner. I looked in my kitchen and put together this quick meal. Quick, easy and yummy


Penne with garlic and broccoli

Ingredients:

1 bag of whole wheat penne

2 whole garlic heads (or more if you like a lot of garlic)

3 whole broccoli bunches (or if you are using freezed broccoli, use the whole bag)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste




Directions:

1. Boil pasta as directed

2. Heat up olive oil in pan

3. Toss garlic in pan until browned

4. After garlic is browned, toss in broccoli. (If you are used fresh, cut off the stems (you can save these to make cream of broccoli) )

5. After broccoli is soften, combine with pasta, season as desired.



Dinner is served!















“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun”
Duke Kahanamoku

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MIA gall bladder (and recipe as promised)

          It's official, my stomach does not like me. :(  I've been doing some research on diets without gall bladders.  Surprisingly, there is none! A few guidelines here and there.  The doctors lied.  They all said that one could eat a normal diet after a month or so after the surgery.  They fail to realize just how much the gall bladder really does aid in digestion.  My liver is now doing all the work. I am heading the in the right direction.  The few guidelines out there do require that one eats a "real food diet" which I mean, no preservatives, processed food, and etc.  However, I now have to eliminate food from my diet. This includes, caffeine,oranges, grapefruits, minimal dairy, minimal chicken, turkey and red meat.  I also have to eat small frequent meals.   So bear with me as I go along this journey as well.  I not only have to eliminate food but change how I eat as well.  Wish me luck. 
       Anyway, last week I posted my dinner recipe. It was three different things, homemade mashed potatoes, fried okra and sage-pesto rubbed roast chicken.  The last two things were new in the household.  I received thumbs up from Chris and noted the recipes down in my "real food" cookbook.  I received questions on how to cook it and promised I would post it up on my blog.  Here you go!

Sage-Pesto Rubbed Roast Chicken (The Best of Cooking Light, Everyday Favorites)

Pesto:

 1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley
 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
 1/3 cup of chicken broth
 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 3 garlic cloves, peeled

Chicken:

 1 (7lb) roasting chicken
 cooking spray (I use olive oil pump)
 sage sprigs (optional)
 parsley springs (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. To prepare pesto, combine first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor.  process until smooth.
3. To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Once chicken is rinsed and dried, slowly loosen skin from the meat.  Rub the pesto between the skin and meat.  Also rub the pest on top skin. Place chicken on broiler with breast side up.
4. Bake chicken for 30 minutes
5. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees without removing chicken from the oven. Bake an additional 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 165 degrees.  Let stand 10 minutes then serve.



Fried Okra (Deliciously Organic Cookbook)

 4 cups of fresk okra, cut into 1/2 inch rounds, ends discarded
 1 medium yellow onion, minced
 1/2 cup medium to find ground cornmeal
 2 teaspoons of salt
 4 tablespoons coconute oil

Toss okra, onion, cornmeal, and salt together in large boil.  Heat large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add coconut oil to pan, swirling to coat. Pour okra mixture over skillet and stir every few minutes, for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. (I had to add more oil as I went along to keep frying)



“Not to sound too deep or weird, but I think that the times when you really appreciate surfing are the times you're really sort of becoming one with nature. Surfing's as raw of a sport as it gets.”Kelly Slater

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Health Complications.



Whoops, I apologize to everyone for the month and half gap in postings. Things have been a little crazy over here in my corner of the world. I got a physical which I will discuss below the results and I sprained my ankle pretty badly. I was on crutches and I still technically should be. It hurts after walking around or if I move around too much. :( So my mobility is a bit limited at this point.

So I finally got a physical which was completed with blood work. Everything came back beautiful. My cholesterol and blood pressure were wonderful. The only thing that was low was my vitamin D. I didn't realize until I researched side effects of low vitamin D, just how important it is. Here are some side effects:

1. achy muscles/bone pain

2. fatigue

3. low immune system

4. depression

5. poor cognitive memory

6. increased weight gain (it regulates a hormone that controls how you gain fat)

7. at risk for cancer

8. at risk for diabetes

Needless to say, I was not very happy. My doctor recommended I take vitamin d supplement twice a day. (I have done so) I researched different ways that I could increase these levels through my diet. I was full of questions, what was I not eating enough of, in what way should I change my diet. When we think of vitamin D, we think of sun. While yes, that is the best way to get vitamin D, you would need to lay out in the sun for a significant amount of time with the majority of your skin exposed. Apparently vitamin D can be found in fish, eggs, and fortified milk. I haven't really eaten much fish since my boyfriend moved in since he is not a big fan of fish. I have increased eating eggs with veggies in the morning though.

I have noticed a bit of a difference in taking the vitamins and maintaining my clean eating ways. On that note, I do feel I should make a confession to my readers.

I did not eat 100% clean in the past month or so. ::gasp:: I know, I know. However, my voyage off of clean eating only reaffirmed what I know. Clean eating is the best way to go for my mind and body. The times I did eat "chemicals", I became constipated, I had headaches and I gained weight. I felt lethargic the majority of the time. My taste buds had changed. Even in the past month, I noticed a difference in the eating habits as well. No I did not go run off to the nearest Wendys. I did maintain the majority of my clean eating habits. I just had a cookie here or there, a latte flavored with syrup here and there. Definitely not good for my body. This week I got right back on board with my 100% clean eating policy. No cheating here or there. It just isn't worth it for me. The withdrawals from the "added sugar here or there" is definitely noticeable. My body is already eliminating the junk food and its only been two days!

What I did do over the past month or so is continue to educate myself about food and what goes in it. Read this blog post for some of the articles I've been reading. www.100daysofrealfood.com I also found a local CSA. It is a farm in Riverhead that does drop offs all over Long Island. Garden of Eve A drop off for me is in Sayville.  I will be getting half shares of vegetables, fruit and eggs. This just means I will get getting produce every other week rather then weekly. Being that I am only feeding two of us, I thought this would be a good way to go. Hopefully it is enough. If I really wanted to be bold, I would just go to Riverhead and order my meat there too. It is expensive however worth it in my eyes. I'm not sure if I want to go that far yet as this will be my first year being a shareholder. I am are putting in my order next month. I will have completed one of my goals for the year which is to participate in a CSA. Also, if I like this place, they also have winter shares. (yippee!) I do also have another local farm in Islip that I will be popping over to every now and then. Next stop is to check out my local fish markets and butchers.

What have you been up to the past month?



"Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gemelli with Sweet Sausage and Spinach



This is a recipe that I found from the "Food and Wine Magazine 2004" Edition. It's very tasty and different from my regular pasta with my sauces. If you find the ingredients that are considered clean and good for you, this meal is quick and easy to make. My boyfriend and I weren't quite sure what to have for dinner. We tossed around some ideas. I knew I had the sausage in the freeze. He started thinking peppers and onions to go with the sausage. I love that meal as well but I knew I didn't have all of the ingredients. (Peppers are not in season!) However, I did have spinach and pasta around. I pulled the sausage out, defrosted it and made dinner. It's a bit spicy but you don't have to put the red pepper flakes in it if you don't want to.



Gemelli with Sweet Sausage and Spinach
3/4 lb of gemelli or penne (this particular night, I used penne, as always 100% whole wheat)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, quarted length wise and thinly sliced crossed wise.
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed (I was able to find sausage with no nitrates or chemicals)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1/2 pint grape tomatoes (I didn't put tomatoes in as we didn't have them but it tastes fabulous either way)
salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions




1. In large pot, boil water. Add pasta and cook until al dente. drain, leaving one cup of water on the side




2. In large deep skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering




3. Add onion and cook over moderate high heat stirring until softened. (about 4 to 5 minutes). Add sausage and crushed red pepper. Cook while breaking up the meat for about 5 minutes. Add spinach, tomatoes and cook until soften. (About 3 minutes)




4. Add pasta and reserved water. Cook lightly crushing the tomatoes until heated. In two minutes season with salt. Transfer to bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve.




"For those searching for something more than just the norm. We lay it all down, including what others call sanity, for just a few moments on waves larger than life. We do this because we know there is still something greater than all of us. Something that inspires us spiritually. We start going down hill, when we stop taking risks."