Thursday, February 28, 2013

Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds are the best option you can make when it comes to nuts. You can put them in anything and you can even make almond butter by just throwing them in the food processor and letting them go until they become a paste. I throw it in smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, bars, salads, rice, casseroles, ANYTHING, PEOPLE!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Breakfast Smoothie

This is a great smoothie for a breakfast on-the-go. It's VERY filling and it has a bunch of different perfect foods. In fact, this smoothie alone has 5 superfoods: oats, nuts, spinach, berries and almond milk. Although if you ask me, these are all pretty super.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whipped Coconut Lotion

Ever since I learned coconut oil can be used not just in cooking but also in beauty, it has been an intense love affair.
At first I started by using it in my hair before washing it, to make it extra soft. Then I would leave it in the sink with hot water while I showered so that when I came out, the oil had melted and I could put it on. But that was too messy and most of the time I forgot to melt it. Then I figured I'd add my own lotion to the oil to help it not be so hard and made it easier to put on. But that was only a temporary measure because I did not want to repurchase any more lotion. I wanted to make my own! So this is how this "recipe" came about:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get rid of dark under-eye circles!

This is kind of a different post. Or, COMPLETELY different. I don't know what inspired me to do this but I just thought I'd share the products I use to combat the dark circles around my eyes.
Obviously, getting a lot of sleep and drinking tons (gallons?) of water helps. But when it's genetic, only concealers will get you out of that mess!
These are the products I've been using for years:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Back to Basics 10 - Homemade Chicken Stock

I use SO MUCH chicken stock. I throw it in everything from soups and sauces to quinoa and mashed potatoes, so it makes sense for me to make my own. Plus, store-bought stock SUCKS. It just has no flavor! Plus, with homemade you get even more benefits than just better flavor.

This stock couldn't be easier to make. Whenever I roast chicken, I keep the bones in a zip lock bag in the freezer for when I'm ready to use them. Or sometimes, if I'm a party or a dinner and I know the host well, I may or may not ask (aka annoy) them to give me the bones. Then you just gather up some kitchen staples and leave it cooking on the stove, the longer the better. SO EASY! Try to use as many organic ingredients as you can.

Don't worry if you don't have some of these ingredients, the point of stock is to throw in anything that's about to go bad. But please don't throw veggies in that are ALREADY bad. That would not make for a good chicken stock. You can also add any veggies you like! I made this chicken stock during the recent blizzard so I couldn't go out to the grocery store to get some of the missing ingredients. This is all about what you've got at home.
(Recipe for vegetable stock on the bottom)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why Do You Bother?

I've been asked many, many times why I bother having everything homemade. While I do have a lot of time on my hands to do this, there's not a crazy amount of work that goes into it. It's enjoyable and it's a way to spend your free time and bond with your friends and family. This is the why:

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Ricotta, Brown Rice & Lentil Rolls

This is a vegetarian recipe, YAY!!!!! Trust me, you won't miss the meat.The past two posts have led up to this recipe. I made the brown rice and the marinara sauce in the morning on the day of. This was actually a recipe I saw on Giada at Home, she made them with goat cheese. I was all up for going to the store and buying some overpriced goat cheese. I've never tried it before so I thought it'd be fun. But then I saw she had the same recipe in her cookbook except she used ricotta instead of goat cheese. I had that lying around so, why not? I did make other changes to her recipe to suit our taste.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Back to Basics 9 - Homemade Marinara

Why would you ever want to buy marinara sauce at the grocery store? Convenience? Well, this sauce could not be any easier to make. And it only has 7 ingredients:
Olive oil
1 onion
28oz whole peeled tomatoes (organic if you can)
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper to taste

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Back to Basics 8 - How To Cook Perfect Brown Rice

I know a lot of you are scared of cooking brown rice, I was. You need to cook it way longer than white rice and you don't know for how long, then it comes out either rock hard or super soggy. I've been there! But this method combines my mom's great way to impart flavor in rice and Nicole's way to cook fluffy brown rice.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Strawberry Fruit Leather (Roll-Ups)

This recipe for strawberry (check out why they're great for you) leather was inspired by Weelicious. This is the second video I've made, it went A BIT smoother this time. This recipe is crazy good, my boyfriend didn't know what to expect. He thought it would taste like crap (NO FAITH!) but was pleasantly surprised.
The entire thing has 202 calories, once you cut them up into 7 strips, each one has 29 calories. And it's pure fruit. This is what you would get out of the box:

Strawberry Health Benefits

They're sweet, adorable and a great addition to almost anything you're eating. But do they actually have any nutritional benefits? Ohhhhh yes!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Back to Basics 7 - Dirty Dozen

Buying organic is very important. It means putting food on your table without any kind of pesticides or chemical fertilizers that could harm your body and those of the ones you love. It also means less fossil fuel converted into fertilizers and it means healthier soil that should sustain crops for generations to come.
But not all of us can afford to buy everything organic. It would be great if you could just pick out anything in the grocery store and it didn't have harmful chemicals in it. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Boo.
So what is a person to do??? Well, we can start off buying organic food that would have had the highest pesticide residue. This is a list of the foods you should ALWAYS buy organic:

Friday, February 01, 2013

Fancy Ketchup

I already have a ketchup recipe up. But this is a very different one I found in one of my favorite books: The Homemade Pantry. If you're interested in making healthy, fresh food that is cheaper than you would get at the store AND doesn't have a thousand unpronounceable names, this is for you. This recipe has way more ingredients than the last one, and it might be for a more mature palate. These are just some of the ingredients that go in here:

Avocado Banana Shake

Don't mind the terribly shaky picture

Banana's Health Benefits