1.3.2017

Day Three, still going strong!

Today, I decided to start my day with some yoga. I even had a little puggy cheering me on. For the most part, Lou is pretty respectful when it comes to yoga time, however he will get impatient at times. “Mommy, you have to throw the ball for me, remember? That’s your job!” Then there are those times where I’ll bend forward and he’s right there waiting for me with a big kiss! Moments where I can pet my puggy are mandatory in my practice!

img_8986

 

So let’s talk about food! Today was a double shake day, one for the morning and one for the afternoon. I was excited because this shake turned out more pink than the others. I may have “accidently” put in more strawberries…but is that even an accident? Is it??

img_8984

Dinner was one of my specialties! If there is one thing I could make for anyone, it would be gumbo. I love the warmth and spiciness of gumbo; it’s rich and comforting! Stews and soups are fun to make in general, especially if I have a plethora of veggies and I need to do something with them. Throw them in! I can honestly say, out of the many times I have made gumbo, they all turn out different. It could be the ingredients, it could be the timing, but they all are different in their own way. Don’t get me wrong, they’re freakin amazing, but I love them for being different! Yes, gumbo is great with the sausage or the shrimp, but I decided to omit these ingredients for obvious reasons and stick with only veggies.

One of my dreams is to actually have gumbo in New Orleans, but until then, I will stick with my gumbo at the Royal Street Veranda in Disneyland! A little fun fact about me, I don’t like to eat in restaurants and try to avoid going out to eat at all costs. I won’t deny that I’ve tried some amazing food at restaurants, but I usually take those recipes and try to replicate them at home. It has saved me SO MUCH money in the long run! So if you ever ask to go out to eat, I will most likely convince you to come over for dinner, and I’ll cook.

With that being said, I wanted to replicate the Disneyland Gumbo for my birthday one year. And I was lucky to have found THIS RECIPE on Pinterest!

For today’s recipe, I changed up the ingredients a bit because I had a lot of extra veggies in my fridge.

veggies

1 Zucchini diced

1 Tomato diced

1 yellow onion diced

1 carrot diced

1 red bell pepper diced

(I also had half of a green, yellow, and orange bell pepper, so I diced those up too)

2 stalks of celery, diced

Brown Rice

I still followed the recipe in the link for the seasonings.

The base of the gumbo is the roux, which is a combination of flour and butter (or oil). The darker the roux, the more flavor in the gumbo. This recipe called for ¾ cup oil, ¾ cup of flour. I’m sticking with gluten free, so I decided to use a GF flour. Guess who was out of Brown Rice flour? This chica, yup! So I used coconut flour instead. Everything turned out just fine and still tasted amazing.

Once you have the flour and the oil in the pot, stir, stir, stir, and stir some more. You’ll notice the roux begin to change into a darker brown. Be sure to start on low heat, you don’t want anything to burn. Once you have a good color on your roux, toss in those ingredients! It took about 20-30 minutes for the vegetables to become tender. I also had it simmer for about 10 minutes so all of the flavors could come together.

Before it is completed, I tossed in a teaspoon of Gumbo File. This powder is used to help thicken up the gumbo. Another thickener that can be used is sliced okra.

Once completed, I poured the gumbo in the bowls, served some brown rice on top of the gumbo, and topped it off with a little bit of thyme. This recipe is PERFECT for rainy days, cold days, or any of the 365 days in a year.

img_8983

1.2.2017

Day Two feeling refreshed and energized! Time to begin my day!

Breakfast: Arbonne Protein Shake (Same as day one)

Lunch: Kimberly Snyder’s California Wrap ( Recipe can be found HERE)

This recipe is always my go-to when it comes to a light yet satisfying lunch. I tend to have an odd eating schedule, so it is important for me to eat a lunch that will last until dinner, yet not all the way until 9:30pm.

bfast-wrap1(Via Kimberly Snyder.Com)

California Veggie Wrap

  • 1 sprouted grain, gluten-free tortilla
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash sea salt
  • ¼ cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and shredded
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup spicy sprouts
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  1. Combine avocado, lemon juice and sea salt in a small bowl. Lightly mash with a fork.
  2. Spread mashed avocado on tortilla.
  3. Top with spinach, carrots, tomato, sprouts, and pepper.
  4. Roll and cut in half.

For the gluten-free tortilla, I used Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas. These can be found anywhere from Lucky’s to Whole Foods (they are kept cold). They tend to be difficult to wrap so it helps to warm them up. Kimberly’s recipe is amazing, but I decided to make mine the quick and dirty way (plus, I didn’t have all of the ingredients).

Bianca’s Recipe!

img_8976

  • 1 gluten free tortilla (brown rice tortilla)
  • Two leaves of romaine
  • ¼ Avocado Sliced
  • ¼ Red Bell Pepper Sliced
  • ¼ Cucumber Sliced
  • ¼ tomato sliced
  • Hummus (for this particular day, I used Roasted Red Bell Pepper)
  1. Heat the tortilla. If you don’t have a comal, just warm it in the microwave, I won’t tell!
  2. Take some of that hummus and spread it all over the tortilla. This will help with getting everything to stick into place when it comes to wrapping.
  3. Layer all of your ingredients in a line. I’m picky so I try to make sure it’s even on both sides (I like to cut my wrap in half). Top your ingredients with a piece of romaine lettuce (It is great with spinach, but I didn’t have any). Be sure to leave about an inch free on both ends.
  4. Now it’s time for wrapping. Roll that sucker up and cut it in half! The hummus will help keep the wrap together. During rolling, you may want to tuck in the ends to prevent anything from falling out. But, if you’re like me, if it falls, it falls. I’m just going to eat it anyways.

Dinner:

Raw Walnut Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps

dsc_5781(via rawmazing.com)

I have done a recipe similar to this before with Kimberly Snyder’s Gorilla Wraps, which are also amazing! They tasted exactly like tacos! I recommend you try it out, here.

I was attracted to this recipe because of the picture on pinterest, it was colorful! I also liked that it incorporated more than just the walnuts as the “meat.” This recipe was made by Susan at RawMazing.com and is perfect for Taco Tuesday, check out Susan’s recipe, HERE! 

Just a warning, this recipe does take some prep, for example, the mushrooms need to marinate (in a very simple marinade) for 2-3 hours, and the walnuts need to soak for 2-3 hours. So make sure you plan ahead!! There have been so many times where it’s 5 pm, and I’m about to start a recipe and I have to figure out how I’m going to let my food prep for 3 hours in 3 minutes! Bad planning on Bianca’s part, don’t be like Bianca!

After the time had passed, everything was easy peasy, because it was raw! The only thing I cooked, was the quinoa, which only took 10 minutes on its own. Other than that, I placed everything in my processor, then chopped it all up. It’s important not to over process, because you still want the consistency of taco “meat.”

After processing, stirred the “meat” with the quinoa in a large bowl. Here, I had the opportunity to taste and season as I wished. Cumin is a great seasoning to really get that warmth of the taco seasoning!

Now it was time for the color! I chopped up some yellow bell peppers, red and green cherry tomatoes, green Serrano pepper, and sliced an avocado. Other than the avocado I quickly mixed everything up by hand, so it was somewhat of a deconstructed salsa.

Now it was time for assembly! For my tacos, I used butter lettuce. I love how butter lettuce is the perfect little cup, and it hold everything together. I put a good amount of the filling onto the lettuce wrap. Probably 2-3 tablespoons? Depends on how big the leaf is. Next you place your “salsa,” and top it with an avocado. My family and I love spicy, so I sprinkled a bit of Crushed Red Pepper as well. WARNING: The spice from the crushed pepper combined with the Serranos, WILL creep up on you, so either have a glass of water handy or calm that sucker down. Don’t forget to finish it off with the some salt and pepper.

You may notice there is a super burrito in the picture as well. Well I ran out of butter lettuce, so I resorted to Kimberly’s recipe and used the collard greens as the wrap.

img_8975fullsizerender

ENJOY!

Susan’s Raw Mushroom Walnut Taco Lettuce Wraps

Marinated Mushrooms

  • 3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cold pressed olive oil (optional)
  1. Place mushrooms in sealable container.
  2. Mix together marinade ingredients and pour over mushrooms. Seal container and shake to coat mushrooms.
  3. Let marinate for 2-3 hours (in the refrigerator), shaking occasionally to coat mushrooms.

Walnut Filling

  • 2 cups walnuts, soaked for 2-3 hours, rinsed and drained
  • Marinated mushrooms (from above recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • fresh parsley, one handful
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place walnuts in food processor. Pulse until chunky. Do not over process.
  2. Add mushrooms and parsley. Pulse until combined and mushrooms and parsley are incorporated.
  3. Stir in spices, quinoa and salt and pepper.

Note: These are spicy. You can cut the spices in half if you like things less spicy.

Assembly

  • Walnut mixture
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 avocado
  • Himalayan salt and pepper
  1. Place walnut mixture in lettuce leaf.
  2. Top with avocado and tomato.
  3. Finish with a grind of salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

1.01.2017

Happy New Year!

Resolutions are fun, aren’t they? Whether we stick with them or not, resolutions allow for us to have a brief moment of reflection as well as an opportunity to think of ways to be a better version of ourselves. This year my resolution was to find opportunities to motivate and inspire others, as well as be more open minded and willing to try more exotic foods. 2017, I am ready!

To kick off the New Year, I decided to cleanse my body of the Holiday Heaven I had with food for the past month. Lots of tamales, lots of menudo, and lots and lots of sweets! My body needed a cleanse, STAT!

I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to start Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living. If you haven’t heard of Arbonne, I highly recommend you check it out. Arbonne is a botanically based health and wellness company that only promotes ingredients that are pure, safe, and beneficial. Arbonne follows the European standards when it comes to their ingredient policy, which includes about 1,400 banned ingredients. Not only that, all of their products are vegan, gluten-free, and have never once been tested on animals. Yes, Yes, and YAAASSS! I loved the company and the products so much, I became a consultant!

Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living promotes healthy living by guiding you to make the right choices when it comes to your food habits. During the 30 days, you drink 1-2 protein shakes a day and eat one clean meal. For my New Years cleanse, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity, however I plan to continue with this lifestyle a lot longer than 30 days! Along with these 30 days, I also plan to include some time for yoga everyday. Let’s see how this goes!

Day One: January 1, 2017

Breakfast & Lunch:

Arbonne Protein Shake:

1 Scoop Vanilla, 1 Scoop Chocolate
1 Scoop of Greens Balance

1 Scoop of Fiber Boost

5 strawberries

½ Avocado

1 Tbsp of Almond Butter

8oz Almond Milk

Now if you’re hesitant about how to build your shake. No worries, Arbonne not only provides recipes, but a guide as to how to build your shake, or plate! The shakes are so yummy, I feel like I’m treating myself to a milkshake everyday!

Dinner:

Curry Zucchini Noodles

This recipe was written by Jordan Cord, and can be found Here!

I wanted a recipe that was light, quick, and refreshing. I also welcome any opportunity to use my vegetable spiralizer! This recipe answered my needs for sure.

The curry sauce was made with coconut water, cashews, garlic, avocado, and other yummy spices. It was fun to see how the cashews combined with the avocado helped to make the sauce rich and creamy (no dairy needed!). Colorful food makes cooking so enjoyable, so seeing the bright green in the zucchini noodles layered with an orange sauce was pleasing to my senses. I wanted more color so I decided to add some juicy cherry tomatoes. The warmth of the curry complimented the crispiness of the zucchini noodles and the cherry tomatoes were, well, the cherry on top!

This recipe is great for those who find they do not have much time to cook. This recipe seriously took no more than 10 minutes to make. Depending on your spiralizer, it may make a tad longer. The fact that the sauce was made by pressing a button on the blender, I was sold! If you are a little hesitant on the texture of raw zucchini, feel free to sauté it for a bit. Just be careful, because zucchini can become a tad mushy. Unlike actual pasta, zucchini noodles won’t leave you feeling heavy or tired. And unlike most dinners, this recipe won’t leave you partying at the kitchen sink, doing dishes for the next hour! Did I mention I was sold?!

Jordan Cord’s Raw Vegan Curry Over Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. coconut water
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ⅛ of a large avocado
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste

Coupons

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3-4 medium zucchinis [6-8″]

Instructions

  1. Wash zucchinis and chop off the ends. Spiralize using the C-blade (the one that makes spaghetti-sized noodles).
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine all other ingredients and blend on high until the sauce becomes very smooth. It should be quite thick.
  3. Toss zucchini noodles with curry sauce in a large bowl until thoroughly coated. Serve and enjoy.