Tag Archives: recipes

The Perfect Hangover Breakfast. I Mean… Mexican Brunch. Yeah.

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It’s been a week of running around, fixing up the house, hosting parties, celebrating birthdays, cleaning up… and we’re not finished yet. I’m tired.

Also, I’m now officially thirty years old, which I’m sure grants me additional bitching advantages.

Even though I can’t drink, what with the baby producin’ going on in here, you can’t blame me for not thinking of those of you who can and do (you bastards), so I bring you the perfect solution for your hangover mornings. Though this is a health and fitness blog, so what I really mean to say is did you know alcohol can be a major contributing factor in trumping weight loss goals? Now you do. Hey, if I can’t enjoy a drink no one should.

Back to cooking.

Tomatoes, onion and peppers are the three staples to accompany almost any dish in Mexican cooking. This brunch isn’t the exception.

 

Use an iron skillet for additional iron in your food. That’s right, cooking in iron pots and pans increases the iron content of your yums, as explained in this article published in the Journal of Food Science. Plus iron skillets give that old time ranch, wild west, pioneer feel to your kitchen. I’m sure that enhances the flavor.

With a side of black beans an avocado this brunch is a sure powerhouse of awesomeness. Heart-protecting, fiber-giving, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting awesomeness.

 

Mexican Brunch

2 farm eggs

1 jalapeno pepper

1 tomato

1 small onion

1/2 avocado

1 slice whole wheat bread

refried black beans

salsa

chipotle powder (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbs oil (I used coconut)

Heat the oil and saute the sliced onion and jalapeno in the skillet. After about 8 minutes, add the tomato slices. Once the veggies are cooked, crack the eggs on top of them and flavor with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the skillet if you like your yolks to cook instead of staying runny.

Toast your whole wheat bread and slice the avocado on it. Heat the beans and sprinkle with chipotle powder, if using. Take the veggies with the cooked eggs on top and pass them to your plate; cover in salsa.

 

Ideally I would have used two corn tortillas instead of the bread, but I didn’t have any at hand this time. Using corn tortillas in lieu of would also turn this into a gluten-free meal, if that’s something you need to watch.

Eat while promising yourself never to drink like that again.

 

An Exotic Korma (It’s *SO* Easy. Sshh.)

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Feeling like impressing people with a savory, enticing dish from mysterious lands? Oh you, show off you.

This is the perfect recipe to venture out of routine because it’s creamy, thick, filling and oh-so-good while remaining an extremely simple meal to prepare. And also? Way healthy, peeps.

Take a look at ginger root and try to deny that shit’s anything short of miraculous. It brings gastrointestinal relief to all sorts of ailments of the gut, including nausea and morning/ motion sickness. It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory which– as we’ve discussed before– is an extremely important attribute to include in an athlete’s diet. Ginger also has immune-busting properties and promotes healthy sweating which is very helpful in fighting off colds and infection. Also, it protects against several forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon and ovaries. So, hello ginger!

And what about coconut milk and coconut oil? Read and gasp, people. I’ll tell you in a nutshell that they help ward off tons and tons of diseases and maladies, including (but not limited to) throat infections, cavities, influenza, candidiasis, athlete’s foot, osteoporosis, colitis, kidney stones, cancer, liver disease… and the list goes on and on. Very worth it, right?

So let’s get on it. Sometimes I crave texture, if that makes any sense. Like, I’ll crave something crunchy or crispy. Or I desperately want something rich and velvety without having to resort to gooploads (yes, that’s a word) of melted cheese and heavy cream. This creamy Korma is the answer to my prayers.

To be honest I have no idea how authentically Indian this meal is, which is my way of saying Indian people, please forgive me if I’m butchering a traditional meal of yours. Feel free to send me gifts of authentic Indian cookbooks, k? Don’t just stand there, educate me.

Creamy Vegetarian Korma (a.k.a. Really kickass easy to make exotique extraordinaire)

1 C basmatti rice (can use regular rice)

1 potato, diced

1 small onion, diced

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced

1/3 C frozen peas

1 tsp ginger root, grated

2 Tbs unsalted cashews (can use unsalted peanuts)

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 Tbs cooking oil (I used coconut)

1 C coconut milk

1/2 Tbs curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

cilantro

Cook the Basmatti rice as you would any other rice. Set aside.

Heat the oil on a skillet and cook the onions until tender, then add the garlic and ginger root; move around and lower heat so they don’t burn. Mix in the carrot, potato, cashews and red chilli flakes, flavor with salt, turmeric and curry powder. I added a tiny bit of water and covered to let the veggies cook for about 10 minutes. Once they’re done, add in the red and green peppers, peas and coconut milk and leave it at low heat for other 10 minutes. Serve over rice with cilantro on top, and enjoy!

If you’ve ever wondered if a vegetarian dish can truly leave you satisfied, try this korma. The coconut milk is so rich in dietary fiber that it really fills you up good– without that Oh God Why Did I Eat So Much Now I Want To Die feeling. Treat your exotic side today.

I Tried Thinking Of Something Less Lame Than ‘That’s A Wrap!’. But Failed.

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Some days I’m little miss overachiever and I can clean the house, prepare a meal and photograph it, study, edit entries, bake school snacks, sell items on eBay, search new music for dance class, and go to work.

And then other days…

For those days when just rolling out of bed makes me feel like I deserve a round of applause there is nothing as refreshing and comforting as fresh veggies. Because they’re ready to eat.

You don’t even have to chop them nicely. I won’t tell.

Now, I won’t insult your intelligence calling this a recipe because it isn’t; it’s more of a meal idea for times when you could be doing something way more important than cooking. Like watching Hoarders.

Also, it’s a healthy meal which means you’re totally playing the responsible adult card even when you know you have an ulterior motive called sloth. I get it. No judgment.

Just grab all and any veggies you can get your hands on and roll them up in a whole wheat wrap (mine were whole wheat and grains or something. That’s why you can see the flax seed.) I used red and yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, red onion and green onion, with a side of organic baby carrots and green salad with raw honey- ACV dressing. To your wraps you can add a yummy spread on one side so it sticks shut and doesn’t unwrap. In this case I used hummus sprinkled with paprika and cayenne, but you can also use Baba Ganouj, Tzatziki, mashed avocado, walnut sauce, etc.

Eat, feel like a champ (because it is veggies, you know) and take it easy the rest of the day. You have my permission.

Magic Fruit Cups

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No baking, no cooking, no kneading, no way to mess this up. Truly magical.

Here’s the dessert idea that takes care of the chocolate cravings without bullying your body into a wicked sugar high. Because it doesn’t have to have any.

That’s right, you can choose to be a rebel without a cause and use some semi-sweet chocolate chips, or you can step over to the dark side and use pure chocolate (maybe 75%?), which would mean your dessert would also be dairy-free.

Either way you will find a punch of flavor and sweetness from the harmonious combination of fruits with chocolate. We’ve known for a long time that chocolate and fruits mix very well (chocolate fountains, anyone?), now just kick it up a notch with this frozen, easy and portable dessert that will have you licking your fingers under the warm summer sun.

And now that I’m done using fancy words like harmonious, let me tell you this treat fucking rocks.

 

 

Chocolatey Fruit Frozen Cups

2 Tbs coconut oil (plus more if you find you need it)

1/4 C pure dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or a combination of both

Fruits of your choosing. I used kiwi, strawberry, mango, grape, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry.

Place the coconut oil and chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave in 15 second increments, mixing well after every heating. Chop your fruit and line a muffin tin with paper cups.

Once the chocolate-oil mixture is melted, pour about 1 Tbs into a paper cup and add the fruit, making sure the fruit pieces touch the chocolate syrup so they ‘stick’. Please note you don’t have to fill the paper cup with chocolate– this would kind of defeat the purpose of a healthy dessert. Once you’re done preparing all the cups in your muffin tin, transfer into the freezer and allow to set for about 20 minutes.

 

The taste, the fresh coolness, the sweetness, the sound of your kid telling you this is the best dessert you’ve ever made, ever. See? Magic.

 

Pack A Picnic. Like A Boss. (Three recipes)

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Last night my daughter and I went with some friends to the local beach park for an outdoor showing of The Muppets, the movie, and had a great time.

Movie-watching has little to do with fitness, but eating always has to do with health. And so I set out to find delicious yumminess to bring in lieu of movie theater candy, and judging by the obscene amount of sweetly spiced nuts I ate before we even got to the movie, I think I got it right.

And the popcorn, oh the popcorn. It has that cinema flavor without being drowned in butter, and that to me is priceless.

To top off the sweetness (and mainly to share because clearly I was in no condition to split my spicy caramel nuts with anyone) I made chocolate covered banana mini popsicles.

Let the show begin.

 

Homemade Cinema-style Popcorn

1 1/2 Tbs of Coconut oil

1 C of kernel popcorn

sea salt

This can’t get any easier: just melt the coconut oil at medium-high heat in a large pan with lid, and once hot drop in 3 kernels to see if they pop. When they do, add in the rest of the kernels making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan (you may have to split the kernels into two batches); sprinkle with sea salt. Cover and listen to the wonderful pop pop pop. When the racket slows down remove the pan from the heat to prevent burning. That’s it! Then you’ll just have to do it all over again after you wolf down the first batch in 15 seconds flat (a purely hypothetical situation. Really.)

 

Sweetly Spiced Nut Mix

2 C of mixed nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans

1/4 C turbinado sugar (raw sugar)

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs water

1 Tbs raw honey

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne

Place the nuts in a large skillet and roast them lightly at medium heat, moving them around often and making sure they don’t burn. In a small saucepan heat the honey, butter, water and turbinado sugar until it becomes like a syrup. Medium-low heat is best to prevent the sugar from burning. Add the spices to the syrup, mix it well, and drizzle all over the roasted nuts in the pan.

Once they’re all evenly covered pass them to a sheet of aluminum foil to cool down, making sure you separate them with a fork. Stop yourself from eating them all in one sitting. Seriously.

I can see how these nuts would make a great homemade house-warming or Christmas present in a pretty glass jar with a nice ribbon. See, you come here for the fitness and health but you get so much more than that. You’re welcome.

 

Chocolate Covered Banana Mini Popsicles

1/4 C of semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 Tbs coconut oil (a little bit more if you find you need it as it melts)

2 bananas, cut in 6 pieces each

Ground peanuts and/or shredded coconut (optional)

Put your 12 pieces of banana in the freezer, on wax paper, to harden. In the meanwhile, place the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a glass bowl and warm it in the microwave in 15 second increases. After every 15 seconds mix it well and heat again until completely melted.

Dip each frozen banana bit in the chocolate and then roll over the crushed peanuts or coconut, if using. Bring each piece back into the freezer to set. They’re ready after about 20 minutes. You can use popsicle sticks or even toothpicks for easier handling. Voila!

The chocolate covered bananas are typically made with a mixture of chocolate chips and Crisco (vegetable shortening), but then I learned somewhere that coconut oil works just as well because it hardens fast at low temperatures. It does work! Coconut oil beats out greasy shortening in my book any day.

I should tell you that the pictures for this post came from what is likely the fastest photo shoot this blog has ever seen. Turns out that in less than 5 minutes tiny pieces of peanuts began to mysteriously walk off the plate. Apparently ants can appreciate good food, too. I’ll take that as a compliment, you sneaky buggers.

Add an assortment of fruits and fresh veggies and you’re all set. An easy and hassle-free picnic lunch, just like I like it.

This is still junky food, so don’t get too excited making this stuff every other day. It’s way better than regular movie theater popcorn, store bought ice cream sandwiches and big manufacturer flavored nuts, but still. Food is ours to be enjoyed for sure, but it isn’t enjoyment if you eat, say, like Louis C. K does:

 

Also, I’m happy to report that my guinea pigs lovely friends seemed to quite like the goodies I made. So this means so far I have the approval of nice Canadians and ants. Your turn.

 

For Those Days When You Want It All

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This morning I couldn’t decide if I wanted something sweet or something savory. I went back and forth in my head trying to choose the perfect breakfast, the one that would hit right on the spot.

Then, enlightenment. An a-ha moment hit me in the face and I had a motivational talk with myself. I said Girl, why do you limit yourself.

We’re only bound by the limits we set for ourselves and all that jazz, right? Not anymore. Choose to be free. Release yourself from your mental barriers like I did. Decide to have it all.

First, breakfast. Then THE WORLD.

 

Let’s talk a bit about the specific ingredients used, starting with the egg.

The egg I used is from the dozens we bought at the farm this weekend. They’re happy eggs. This means that mother hen wasn’t curled in a cage with 20 other hens, with her beak and toes broken to avoid hurting each other, bald from stress and with her skin in open wounds from friction against the cage wires. She wasn’t fed growth hormones and wasn’t driven crazy by being kept under bright lights 24 hours a day to increase her egg production.

No, this momma hen lived free with the grass under her toes, clucking and stretching her beautifully feathered wings. She has pecked and scratched at the ground, finding the best and most nutritious food for her body. And you know what? It shows.

Farm eggs are very different from supermarket eggs. The yolk is deep yellow, very rich in color and flavor, while the supermarket version is pale yellow and very weak in consistency. I have a very difficult time trying to fry supermarket eggs and keeping them in their shape because the yolk is so weak it tears apart and spills all over the pan with great ease.

Their shells are quite different, too. Farm eggshells are sturdy, while supermarket ones are fragile, crack easily, and it is common for the shell to crumble into your cooking pan (annoying!). In fact, my mom was telling me that my sister recently began buying real farm eggs, and this past Easter when it was time for her kids to go on the egg hunt they had one heck of a time trying to crack those shells. Snort!

If you’re here for health, your best bet is to go for farm fresh eggs. Nutritionally speaking, they’re sounder simply because a farm’s hens have a way healthier lifestyle and eating habits than the antibiotics-stuffed factory hens. It’s all a chain, and if the animals you consume lived in their own shit and were more pumped with chemicals than a bodybuilder, what do you think you’re eating? Shit and chemicals, of course.

Then we have the salt. I insist constantly that you use a good quality sea salt, avoiding regular table salt completely. Sea salt provides our body with a myriad of trace minerals that we need for many functions, including muscle contraction and expansion, nerve stimulation and transmission, and brain development. On the other hand, table salt is highly refined and it lacks any benefit. Nothing good will come out of it, period. Slowly but surely, it kills.

Finally, let’s discuss raw honey. Not only is the taste of raw honey far superior than regular supermarket honey, but it also offers many more benefits that the processed version has been stripped of. Raw honey is unpasteurized, so it hasn’t been exposed to heat, which guarantees that its nutrients remain intact. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food, and –especially if you buy raw honey from your local region– it can help in the prevention of allergies, as it contains pollen from your local flora. It has anti-bacterial properties and helps our immune system stay strong. Honey and lemon for a sore throat, anyone?

Now we’re ready. Behold.

 

Breakfast For The Greedy

1 farm egg

3 sprigs of asparagus, shaved

1 C of baby spinach

sea salt, pepper to taste

1/4 C cottage cheese

1/2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp coconut oil

For the syrup:

1 Tbs raw honey

2 Tbs frozen blueberries

Melt your coconut oil in a small pan at medium-low heat and when it’s warm fry the egg in it. You don’t have to use a heart-shaped pan like I did, but I swear stuff tastes better like this. It’s magic.

In another skillet warm the olive oil at medium-low heat and saute the asparagus with a bit of sea salt. Once they are done throw in the bunch of spinach and cover, for about 90 seconds. Place the cooked asparagus and spinach on a plate and wait for the egg to finish cooking.

In the meanwhile, let’s work on the most delicious homemade syrup ever: Place 1 Tbs of raw honey in a glass bowl, add the 2 Tbs of frozen blueberries, and melt it all in 10 second increments in the microwave. You want the blueberries to turn mushy so you can crush them with a fork and they release all their flavor into the honey, but you don’t want to boil or burn the honey.

Place your cooked egg on top of the spinach and serve the cottage cheese in a small bowl. Pour over the blueberry syrup, and you’re done!

 

High in protein, high in flavor. Savory and sweet. You can have it all.

 

Dinner in 15 min: Brown Rice Noodles With Asparagus and Mushrooms, Bathed In Walnut-Cottage Cream Sauce

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It takes longer to read the title of this post than to whip up this beauty dinner dish. True story.

It took me 15 minutes to make this dish and I was making it up as I went, which leaves me to think you could do it even faster. Nutritious, filling, comforting, creamy.

Is your mouth watering yet? It should.

The base for the sauce is cottage cheese and walnuts, and I beg of you as I always will when it comes to dairy products: Stay away from the low-fat, 0-fat, low-cal, 0% bullshit versions. If you’re too worried about the fat contents then have less of the stuff and have it less often. But really, if you’re going to eat it you might as well eat the real stuff with all its real nutrients, and not the chemical-laden shit. To the cottage cheese and walnuts we will add one clove of garlic and some quality salt.

The asparagus and mushrooms are sauteed on low heat in a little olive oil with a crushed garlic clove. Do not skip out on the garlic! It brings so much flavor you’ll miss it if it’s not there. Worried about this dish turning out too garlicky? Fear not. Garlic is a fantastic antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, helps the absorption and circulation of iron in our body, it has cardioprotective elements, and HEADS UP– it helps regulate the amount of fat cells that get formed in our body. Reasons of weight to eat garlic often! (get it?!)

The fact that we’re using brown rice noodles makes this an excellent gluten-free dinner option, though you can use regular whole wheat pasta if that’s what you have in hand.

 

Quick and Delicious Dinner (makes 2 servings)

1/4 pack of brown rice noodles

8 asparagus stalks, tough fibers shaved off and cut into pieces

2 C mushrooms

1/2 Tbs olive oil

1 crushed clove of garlic

For the Creamy Sauce:

1 crushed clove of garlic

2/4 C cottage cheese

1/3 C walnuts

3 Tbs water

quality salt, to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)

pepper, to taste

Start by crushing both your garlic cloves. It is recommended to crush the cloves and let them sit while you finish prepping other stuff, because this allows for garlic’s nutrients to surface and be more effective before being exposed to heat.

Place 1/2 Tbs of olive oil in a skillet and warm up gradually, then add the asparagus pieces and saute for 5 minutes. After this time, add in the crushed garlic and mushrooms, and continue to saute for about 5 more minutes, stirring every now and then. While this is going on, begin your sauce.

Take the other crushed garlic clove and place it in the blender with 2/4 C of cottage cheese, 1/3 C of walnuts and 2 Tbs of water. Blend, scrape down sides of the blender, blend again, and add a final 1 Tbs of water if needed for a smoother consistency. Salt to taste.

Remove the asparagus and mushrooms from the heat when they’re done, and prepare the noodles: Simply soak your amount of noodles in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until they’re as tender as you’d like them. Drain completely and serve on a plate, topped with the asparagus, mushrooms and walnut cream sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

 

How tasty is this cream sauce? Well, I licked the blender blades clean. And that’s all I have to say about that.