9.07.2014

Lazy Sunday Playlist


1. Owl City- Saltwater Room
2. Merriment- I Give Up
3. Sufjan Stevens- For the Widows in Paradise
4. First Aid Kit- Stay Gold (Acoustic)
5. Sucre- Say Something
6. Joseph Arthur- Honey and the Moon
7. Ingrid Michaelson Ft. A Great Big World- Over You
8. Alex Winston- Don't Care About Anything
9. Tegan and Sara- I Was a Fool
10. Perma- Two of a Crime
11. Simon and Garfunkel- The Sounds of Silence
12. Lights- Last Thing on Your Mind
13. Megafaun- Second Friend

9.06.2014

Snapea Crisps Review

     A few months ago I posted a review of the Trader Joe's "Inner Peas." I ranted and raved about how they were my new favorite snack, and how I simply could not get enough of them. And I really couldn't. Since I loved them so much I recently decided to try out another brand of the same product called "Snapea Crisps." Plus I had coupons. When I got to Whole Foods I was ecstatic to see that they had FLAVORS. And guys, the lineup is impressive. Right then my thoughts towards the Trader Joe's version went from "I can't live without you" to "step it up, guys, you can do better." 


     The line includes lightly salted, caesar, black pepper, wasabi ranch, onion thyme and tomato basil. And the best part is, they ring in at under $2 per bag. Sold. I'll take ten. My favorite varieties are wasabi ranch and black pepper. After tasting these bad boys, the plain ones just don't do it for me anymore. Not only are their flavor options crave-worthy, they are also crispier than the TJ’s version. And the main ingredient is peas. PEAS. So you’re basically eating a giant vegetable. Not really, but there’s no doubt they are healthier than your average bag of chips, and that’s gotta count for something. 

8.31.2014

Immunity Boosting Juice Recipe

     Ever since I started including ginger root and lemon in my daily diet, I very rarely get sick. And when I do, it’s always minor and short-lived. But every now and then, I get the feeling that my body is working extra hard to fight off sickness. I’m much more tired than usual, I wake up with a scratchy throat, and I’m generally a little bit weaker. 
     This was one of those weeks. I started feeling slightly under the weather at the beginning of the week and ended up going to bed around 8:30pm. After two more nights of 10 hours of sleep I still felt exhausted, so I was convinced that my immune system was working overtime. 
     When you feel a cold coming on, it’s best to keep your body extremely hydrated and loaded up on nutrients that will give your immune system the boost that it needs to fight sickness. In general, drinking tons of water and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will do the trick. Here’s a juice that will pack in everything you need to get your immune system on the right track. 


What You’ll Need: 

-1/2 Cup Pure Coconut Water
     *Benefit: Hydration
-1-2 Knobs Fresh Ginger Root
     *Benefit: Minimizes Congestion
-1 Lemon 
     *Benefit: High in Vitamin C
-2 Oranges
     *Benefit: High in Vitamin C
-1 Cup Cucumber 
     *Benefit: Hydration
-1 Cup Collard Greens
     *Benefit: Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Viral
-2 Cups Kale
     *Benefit: High in Vitamins C & K

1. Pour coconut water into your glass with a few ice cubes and place at the base of your juicer. 
2. Juice your greens first. Greens aren’t always easy to extract juice from, so I always juice them first so every bit of juice will eventually get extracted from them as I juice my other ingredients. 
3. Juice your ginger, lemon, oranges, and cucumber. I would recommend peeling everything, unless you’ve bought organic produce and you have a very heavy duty juicer. 
4. Stir and enjoy! 


     When you’re feeling sick, I would recommend drinking this once a day until you’re 100% again. And to keep your immune system on point year-round, add ginger and lemon to your daily diet. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes to your overall health. 

8.22.2014

Couscous Stuffed Mushrooms

     Monday was one of those days where nothing went quite as planned. It was a typical Monday. I overslept, my low fuel light came on, and by the end of a very long day I realized that one of my socks had a hole the size of Texas in it. Chris and I had planned to go for a run after work, cook a quick and easy dinner, and then unwind for the evening. 
     But, shortly after we got home it started raining. And I'm not talking a pleasant little sun shower either. We had to put off our run for another day, which instantly opened up an extra 30 minutes in our evening schedule. So, we decided to make something a little more involved for dinner. Why not, right?  
     On the menu: breaded tilapia and stuffed mushrooms. Yes. Whenever I see the word "stuffed" on a menu I get excited, because let's be honest, stuffing usually implies two things: cheese and carbs. BRING IT ON. I love stuffing vegetables, because at least then I can consider it a balanced meal. Stuffed peppers are amazing, but nothing beats a stuffed mushroom. Or 5 or 6. Let's be real, people. 

What You'll Need:
*Serves: 4
1 Large Package of Crimini Mushrooms, Whole
3 Teaspoons Mayonnaise
6-7 Green Onions
1/2 Cup Uncooked Couscous
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan + Extra for Topping
Paprika
1 Cup Chicken Broth

Recipe: 
1. Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit. 
2. Wash your mushrooms thoroughly. 


3. Remove the stems, and set aside. 




4. Place mushrooms caps face up on a foil lined baking sheet. 
5. Finely chop mushroom stems and green onions. 



6. Coat a medium frying pan with cooking spray. 
7. Add onions and mushroom stems to pan and cook until slightly tender over medium heat. 




8. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to pan and cook until broth evaporates, approximately 10 minutes. 
9. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, boil 1/2 cup chicken broth. 
10. Add 1/2 cup plain, uncooked couscous to pan and cover. Remove from heat. 



11. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and basil. 



12. Add onion and mushroom mixture and couscous to bowl, and stir to combine. 




13. Stuff your mushrooms. Don't be afraid to overload those bad boys. You'll be glad you did. 
14. Top with paprika and extra parmesan cheese. 



15. Bake for 15 minutes.



     Now grub your little heart out. These work great as a dinner side, but would make for an awesome little appetizer too. If you have leftover couscous mixture, don't toss it. It makes for a tasty snack! 

8.15.2014

How To: Fried Okra

     Okra is one of those vegetables that doesn't get enough credit. A lot of people have never even heard of it, let alone tasted it. And boy, are those people missing out. I love vegetables. I really do. I'm a firm believer that once you start eating healthy foods on a regular basis your body will actually crave them. I've grown accustomed to a wide variety of produce, but out of all the vegetables in this world, Okra has to be my favorite.
     Mmmm. Just thinking about it is literally making my mouth water. I don't know if it's because I grew up eating Okra straight from my Grandma's garden, or if I was just made to enjoy it's sticky, seedy, unusual texture, but me and Okra were meant for each other. Whip some up tonight, and you will quickly see what I mean. 
     Okra isn't typically one of those vegetables that people eat raw (although I do enjoy it this way too). Most commonly, Okra is fried and served with other Southern favorites. Throw some on a plate with mashed potatoes and fried chicken and I am a happy girl. 
     It's pretty simple to make, but there are definitely some tricks to make it perfect every time. And the best part- from start to finish, it will only take you ten minutes! 



What You'll Need: 
-Okra
-Eggs
-Breadcrumbs
-Salt 
-Pepper
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil 



1. Cut your okra into discs, approximately 0.5" wide. Discard the end pieces. 
2. Create an egg wash. The amount of okra you are making will determine how many eggs you need. On a large plate, gently scramble egg and add salt and pepper and any other spices you want. This is the best way to get your flavor in. If you try to season once the okra is already breaded and cooking, it won't stick. 
3. On another plate, place breadcrumbs. 
4. Dip the okra in the egg wash and then in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. 



5. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. If you really want to impress your taste buds, and you have some on hand, fry your okra in bacon grease instead of oil. I know, this isn't the healthiest option, but oh man, it's GOOD. This is how my grandma makes it, and I'm always blown away by how amazing it tastes. But, if you want to go with the healthier option, stick to olive oil. It's delicious as well. 



6. Fry on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. If you don't stir enough, your pieces will stick together. When they are done, place them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. 



    Now all you have to do it eat it! And trust me, you won't have any trouble with this part.