Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Spiced Nuts

After sharing this picture on my Instagram and Facebook pages yesterday, I got several requests to share the recipes so I want to get it out to all of you before Thanksgiving so you can add it to your menu.  It is super easy and fast to make this deliciously addictive snack!  I basically use Emeril Lagasse's Spiced Nut recipe and change a few ingredients to make it dairy free and refined sugar free.  I also use less cayenne so it's not too spicy for the kiddos.  These spiced nuts also make a great hostess gift when packed in a decorated mason jar!

1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (Emeril calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
4 Cups of mixed nuts (I use walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts)
4 Tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter
1 Tablespoon filtered water
6 Tablespoons coconut sugar (a low glycemic sweetener)
1 Teaspoon pink himalayan salt

Mix spices and set aside

Heat nuts for a few minutes over medium heat in a dry skillet (I use my wok), stirring often to prevent burning, until they start to toast.  Add the butter and cook for about 1 minute while stirring until the nuts darken.  Add the spices, sugar, water and salt and cook about 5 more minutes while stirring until the sauce thickens.

Remove the nuts from heat and pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Break apart any clumps and let cool for several minutes until the sauce has hardened.


Long time, no write

It has been over two years since I last posted on this blog, and I have decided to come back and revamp it into a lifestyle page with more than just healthy eating and recipes.  Get ready for posts about fashion, interior design, food, recipes, DIY projects, organizational makeovers, parenting, marriage, meditation, health and more.  I am excited to share how I overcame PCOS and endometriosis naturally and conceived our second child without any medication or surgery...against all odds, which is what I have been up to over the last couple of years....a little time off to focus on the baby and adjust to life with two kiddos.  I hope you follow me on this journey of fun sharing and discovery.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Easy Thai Lettuce Wraps

This delicious recipe was inspired by my sister-in-law and her Thai Au Pair.  We made these when they came to visit last week, and they were such a huge hit I have recreated the recipe twice since then.  Everyone who has tried these amazing lettuce wraps (even the preschoolers) has loved them.  They are light and crisp, yet the high in protein making them filling enough to keep you satisfied through the afternoon.  That is, if you have enough self-control to not finish the entire pan.  :)

Here is my eyeballing recipe for these super easy one pan lettuce wraps:
1 Head of fresh organic romaine lettuce (green or red leaf would work, too)
Thai red curry paste
Coconut Oil (optional)
2 lbs Ground organic turkey meat
1 Package of mushrooms (I've used portobella, shitake and button.  All work well)
1 Bunch of green onions
A few cloves of garlic

Optional garnishes:
Thai Basil
Hot Sauce

Additional optional veggies that I have to be delicious when added:
Organic zucchini
Organic yellow squash

Below: lettuce for wraps and green onions and mint for toppings

 Heat a large skillet with a bit of coconut oil and about 1-1.5 tablespoons of red curry paste.  Add ground turkey meat and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Add diced mushrooms.  Cook until the meat is about halfway cooked and add the garlic.  Continue cooking for a few more minutes and some sliced green onions (as desired and reserving some for garnish).  Cook until meat is cooked through and veggies are soft.  Zest a bit of lime and squeeze some of the lime juice onto the meat (reserving some for garnish)

 Place a few rinsed and dried lettuce leaves onto a plate and place the meat on top of the lettuce like a taco.  Garnish with green onion, slivered mint leaves and a lime wedge. (Hot sauce adds a nice kick as well).


Monday, June 1, 2015

Caprese Pasta aka Cold Pasta - A quick and easy vegan meal

I have been making this refreshingly light pasta dish for years.  It is a staple in our house throughout the summer, made even better when the ingredients come fresh from our garden.  It is super easy to make, vegan, healthy, gluten free and great for a quick weeknight meal, picnic or cooling summer lunch.

1 Package of gluten free noodles - I like Jovial's brown rice noodles best
1-1.5 Cups of a variety of fresh small tomatoes - like golden pear, sungold, cherry, grape, etc.  Grocery stores now carry great variety packs perfect for this pasta dish...simply use the whole package. Cut in the tomatoes in half if small and quarter if larger
1/4 Cup of fresh basil chopped
2-4 Cloves of garlic (depending on size) finely minced
Olive Oil
Red or White wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
You can always add some Buffalo Mozzarella if you want.

Cook pasta according to box directions. While the pasta is cooking, gather, wash and cut your fresh basil and tomatoes

Place chopped garlic, basil and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste remembering that tomatoes generally need a bit more seasoning.  Drizzle with olive oil.  I drizzle over the entire mixture three times.  Add about 2 Tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar.

Now using your best kitchen tools (clean hands), squish the mixture up exploding all of the tomato juices together with the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and basil.

Drain and rinse the cooked pasta with cold water.  Add the pasta to the bowl containing the tomato mixture and toss.  

Vuala!  A delicious, healthy meal in less than 20 minutes.  Enjoy! 
(husband and 3-year-old approved)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It's the end of the school year, and that means it is time to thank our wonderful teachers and school staff for all their amazing hard work.  My son goes to an environmentally forward Montessori school so I wanted to give the teachers something that reflected that sentiment but was also somewhat homemade, creative and hand made in part by my son.  Therefore, I decided to get some plain white coffee mugs and have my three year old son paint them.  I bought the mugs at Michaels.  They came as a kit with the paint, and you simply paint them then bake them to set the paint.  Super easy.  Next my son and I went to the store and picked out herbs, which we planted in the mugs with tags reading "Thanks for helping me grow!"  Of course, the teachers and staff will eventually need to relocate the herbs to a larger vessel with drainage holes and can then use the mugs for coffee, tea or even pens at their desk.  They were a big hit!  My son loved painting the mugs and letting me know which one goes to which teacher.  I found the tags by searching free printable online and simply tied them on with natural string.  I even saw one of the gifts sitting on the recipient's desk as I left the school today.  Remember to thank your teachers!  Everyone deserves to be appreciated for jobs well done!

Enjoy and Thrive!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Low Glycemic Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

For those of you who do not know, I have a serious weakness when it comes to mint chocolate chip ice cream.  It has always been my favorite sweet treat.  It began as a child when my father would get me a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake every year for my birthday.  It was the best treat, and one of my fondest memories growing up.  However, in the years since discovering my candida and dairy allergies, my indulgences in this decadent dessert are few and far between...until now! 

I am so excited to have found this delicious recipe created by my sister-in-law's mother...you got that...it's my husband's brother's wife's mother (how's that for a mouthful), who is a genius at creating healthy and delicious recipes, so please check out her blog: http://atmykitchentable.org.  Anyways, I indulge in this healthier version of mint chocolate chip decadence several time a week, and it even allows me to have mint chocolate chip "ice cream" for breakfast.  Even better, it's a low glycemic index smoothie packed with super foods and protein!  I changed a few things, I use Young Living Essential Oils and only use two drops instead of three.  I also add kale.  I find it gives it a brighter green color more similar to mint chocolate chip ice cream, and I always have it on hand.  However, both of these adjustments are pure preference and convinence of what I have available in my home.  Added bonus: my three year old also loves it!

Check out the recipe in the link below:


Enjoy and Thrive!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What's in your beach bag?

As summer approaches and we start planning for our beach vacations, warmer weather, fun in the sun, days at the pool and all the things that make summer so wonderful.  It is also time to start thinking about your summer beach bag.  We fortunately live near the coast, and it is already beach weather here!  The other day when we were enjoying a morning at the beach, I decided to take a photo and write a blog about what I love and always have in my beach bag.  First of all, when I am with my family, I take our really large Life is Good anchor beach bag.  (When it's just me and hubby, I grab my smaller straw bag).  I love how my Life is Good bag fits everything we need (including three or more large beach towels).  I also make sure to have my filtered mineral water in a glass or stainless steal bottle so I am not ingesting BPA or any of the other toxins found in plastic.  Klean Kanteen makes great ones that can be purchased here: Non-toxic Water Bottles.  I also make sure to I have a hat and a bathing suit coverup.  Right now my favorite coverups are my J. Crew tunic (pictured above next to my hats do below) and my maxi skirt/dress from La Blanca (pictured below). I am also in love with my Life is Good straw hat (pictured in all).  I searched for a long time for hat that fits my large head, and finally found this one at our local Life is Good shop.

We also always bring our Bose Bluetooth Speaker.  It produces quality sound, is portable and easy to stow away when it is not being used.  Lastly, when I'm not using coconut oil as my sunscreen I pack and use Juice Beauty Organic Sunscreen.  It is does not have the toxic and irritating ingredients most sunscreens contain, and it provides more protection than coconut oil for those long days in the sun or strong Caribbean sun.

Non-toxic Water Bottles
Juice Beauty Organic Sunscreen

What's in your beach bag?