Month: August 2015

Melted Brie + Berries Crostini

I love hosting events. It makes my heart oh-so-happy! I unashamedly adore my friends and family, rather like a giant Labrador retriever. Admittedly, I should probably dial it back a notch, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. What I don’t really love is stressing out when I have friends over. Hosting should be effortless and enjoyable for everyone, because the focus is fellowship. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be Pinterest fabulous, but that’s not really the point of welcoming people over to our homes. I find my most enjoyable events are when I keep things simple and my focus on my guests. Needless to say, I’m always on the search for effortless appetizers or hors d’oeuvres recipes. I make my own and experiments with others, always with the thought: how easy would this be to throw together for my guests? Admittedly, wine is usually my main course. Everything is better with wine, I’m pretty much 100% sure of this truth. Wednesday Wine About It is an awesome weekly …

10 Minute Miso Noodle Soup

Soups are the ultimate go-to for quick, easy meals. You can food prep the ingredients ahead of time or make the entire recipe in advanced, and they still taste amazing. Just when it didn’t seem possible to get any easier, miso soup proved we can abandon our cup o’ noodles and eat something a million times more delicious and way healthier in 10 minutes or less. Hallelujah, dinner just became effortless! As an incredibly busy cardiac ICU nurse and full time yoga practitioner, “fast, easy, and healthy” are necessary check list items when I cook. Being able to throw together an incredibly nutritious soup in 10 minutes frees us from ever having to get fast food or order take out food from some restaurant that may or may not give a damn about how sanitary their food prep is. This recipe is also very versatile. You can mix and match veggies however you’d like, but you can’t go wrong with shiitake + portobello mushrooms (mmmm…so good!), and fresh baby spinach or kale. Zucchini and squash …

Morning Habits for Weight Loss

In the words of Anne of Green Gables, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” This little saying holds true for our eating habits as well, and research proves mornings are literally a blank slate to our digestive system. How we start our day calibrates our metabolism and can either aid in our health efforts, or wildly sabotage our goals. The start of our day holds another little trick up its sleeve: it can be a powerful detox session for our body if we play our cards right. It’s not news that a detoxed body= a body primed to lose weight/be a fitness beast. The great news is that we can get the most out of our morning with just a few simple habits.  I hate early mornings with an intensity that borderlines on out of control. I personally, require minimal thinking, breathing, doing, and moving in the AM, so the less complicated, the better. Let us have morning success, and let it be effortless, ammirite? I’ve found these little habits make a …

Gluten Free Banana Bread

When I was growing up, I had an obsession with banana bread that I’ve yet to live down with my family. I was a little more than mildly fanatical about it, and since it’s not exactly cake and it’s not really just bread, I would usually try (unsuccessfully) to convince my mother that it was in my best interest to let me eat say…the entire loaf. Let it not be said that I was afraid of carbs as a child. Though I’ve developed a moderate ability to reign myself in when it comes to committing total carbocide, I still just love a delicious, moist piece of banana bread with a cup of tea and a good book. That’s a scene from a little corner in my heaven, friends 🙂 Being gluten free, sugar free, preservative free, etc etc etc often feels like it ends up being taste free. Texture can be unpleasant as well, and the final result is a really bad knock off from whatever original recipe from which it was fashioned. I don’t …

Meatless Meatballs + Veggies Medley

All hail vegetables, we just can’t get enough! Recently, I took a beef meatball recipe by Gordon Ramsay and converted it to zucchini meatballs that turned out to be so freakishly delicious, my husband requested them several nights in a row. Here’s the important thing about that little fact: My husband might not have a Texas accent, but he’s a Texan through and through, and he’s been born and breed to be all things Texas. That means “Beef: it’s what’s for dinner” was probably a motto he was raised to revere. He’s the nicest food snob you’ll ever meet. Neither of us think meat substitutes ever really taste like good substitutes or are a decent replacement. And then came zucchini meatballs… It was like a light from heaven shone down on my plate. And now that we have that little recipe preface out of the way, I can tell you about these Super Yum Zucchini Meatballs. The texture and taste actually is not only an awesome replacement for meatballs, but I personally thought it was even …

The Great, Mind-Numbing Diet Dilemma: What to Eat

Vegan. Vegetarian. Paleo. Oh my… There are endless diets out there that swear up, down, and sideways to be the absolute best for your body. They usually sound thoroughly convincing too, until you read up on another diet that abosolutely, positively contradicts everything the first diet claims you should follow. This leaves the great, mind-numbing diet dilemma: which diet should I follow to ensure I’m maintaining optimal health?! Most people start out 110% on a particular diet, only to find it feels far too rigid and then they give it up completely. While this post is not a promo for a particular diet, I do believe there are some key guidelines we can all follow to make sure we’re making healthy food choices. Food is fuel, and cooking and eating it should be a joy. Whenever I prepare a meal, I constantly think of all the people who desperately need basic provisions, and it reminds me to be grateful that I have the ability to not just choose to eat, but what to eat and …

Smoked Salmon + Goat Cheese Veggie Omelet

Ok, it’s not vegetarian. But it’s pretty damn delicious. You might already know that I follow a vegetarian/vegan diet 90% of the time, and occasionally I will eat fish, eggs, or goat cheese when I know they’ve been obtained through humane methods and are organic. An obvious modification to this omelet is just take out the salmon and it’s equally delicious. It’s been a really long time since I ate any meat, and when my husband and I popped into the market before starting a lovely Sunday Funday together, I saw smoked salmon waiting for me: must.have.now. That was my instinctive reaction, and want my stomach wants, it’s gonna get on any given Sunday. We ritualistically do a large brunch with friends every Sunday, but I had a laaaaaate late night out with a group of friends the night before and just wanted a low-key day of lounging about with my favorite human in the entire goddamn world (um, my husband, in case you are not good at guessing games). I threw together a quick …

Zucchini “Meatballs” in Fragrant Thai Coconut Broth

Vegetarians rejoice: we too can have meatballs with our goddamn meal, just like all those carnivores out there. This soup is soooo.freaking.yum. Well, it’s really good that is, if you like Thai dishes, coconut milk, and tons of exotic seasoning. Plus, coconut milk is amazingly good for you. So, hip hip hooray! Another plus is that the ingredient are light enough to make a good summer soup. My husband really hates ginger (and yet…he married a ginger kid. Conflict of interests? I should say so…) and so he wasn’t as big of a fan of this soup as I thought he’d be (I expected Domestic Goddess awards, but it was not to be. Note to self: no ginger root for Samuel!) However, despite his ginger flavor aversion, he was blown away by the amazing aromatic quality and how tasty the “meatballs” are. In a nutshell, it’s pretty heavenly. Forget Calgon taking you away, these flavors will make you feel like you’re a million miles from home in the best way possible. Soup is such a comfort …

DIY Glowing Skin Face Mask

THERE ARE ENDLESS BENEFITS TO LIVING A NATURAL LIFESTYLE, but one of the best perks is that when it comes to beauty, it’s a much more frugal option than mainstream counterparts and you know exactly what’s going on your skin. I repeat: you know exactly what chemicals are NOT going on your skin and therefore into your body. The skin is an organ, but we kinda forget this and the fact that it will indeed absorb whatever we slather on it. My skin routine is 100% natural, and ironically, when I switched to natural products, my skin looked so much better than when I was keeping up an expensive face routine. Not only does my health thank me for this, but so does my piggy-bank. You know, if I had one. Which, I guess Chase Bank counts, right? Remember, more expensive isn’t usually most effective. Some of my girlfriends spend a crazy amount of money on teeny tiny face product and treatments at various spas and such. It’s not necessarily to maintain gorgeous, youthful skin. …