honey & nutmeg mask

A friend of mine passed along seriously the best face mask recipe I’ve ever used. I’m in heaven. It makes your face smooth, your pores small, and can be used as an exfoliator. Yes, this is definitely not a beauty tips blog, but I couldn’t resist sharing. Here’s what you need:

  1.  Fresh nutmeg – just about a tablespoon grated. 
  2. Raw, natural honey. Not that bear stuff.

photo 1

Before making it, I prefer taking a shower. the steam opens your pores and preps your skin. Once ready, grate the nutmeg, about a teaspoon. Mix it with about a tablespoon of the honey. Rub it lightly on your face. If you have sensitive skin, don’t rub too hard as it will rough your face up a bit. Then, wait thirty minutes. Wash it off with warm water. And then I’d recommend blotting your face with some sort of toner, I use witch hazel ( like my sweet great grandmother used to do). 

photo 3

One very important sidenote: when first moving in with your boyfriend (or girlfriend. Or hell, anyone), I would recommend not putting this on and then sitting in the living room, waiting for the thirty minutes to pass. You will freak out said person. If it’s a male companion, he will remember why he was told at an early age that women are insane.

Last sidenote: place a paper towel around your neck. Honey drips. Enjoy!

Warmed millet, brussel sprout and carrot salad – with cranberries and walnuts

So this is the other recipe I made today which I found from Vegetarian Times magazine, in their October issue. The salad is super healthy, fiber-ous, filled with great vitamins, protein, and is really tasty. I added and changed a couple things around based on preference and what I had. I actually ended up doubling the recipe, my friend, who served as my sous chef, took home half to eat this week, too. Accompanied with the curried carrot soup, this is going to be a great meal. Filling but light. Looking forward to it. Again, this is vegan!

 

Millet Salad 

What You’ll Need – (for one batch)

3/4 lb of brussel sprouts

1/2 lb Carrots – I added carrots to the recipe, a nice autumn addition

olive oil

3/4 cup millet

2/3 cup chopped walnuts – you can toast them on top of your oven while the millet cooks

2/3 cup dried cranberries – you can chop or just leave them whole

1/3 cup parsley – chop it up (I added more than the original recipe)

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar – I added a little more, base it off taste

1 Tbs maple syrup – I used agave nectar instead

Juice from 1/2 a large lemon, add a little zest too

Directions-

Cut the brussel sprouts in 1/4′s. Cut up the carrots. Place both in a baking pan. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and some garlic. Mix it all up. Bake in 475 deg. oven. Depending on how much you are cooking and what kind of oven you have, cook for about 25 minutes. Check on them for a while, stir em around… I like cooking brussel sprouts until they are a little blackened and crunchy. The carrots should be soft. Mmm this alone is a tasty side dish to any meal.

While the veggies are cooking, put the millet in a frying pan, on medium, and let it cook for 6 minutes. Don’t add anything to the millet, let it brown, crackle a little. After it browns, add 2 cups of water – or veggie broth if you prefer. Let it boil, then turn down the heat, let it simmer, and then cover. Stir occasionally. Like quinoa, the millet will be ready when all of the water is absorbed.

 

In the meantime, chop up the parsley and toast the walnuts. You’re also going to make the dressing. In a dish, add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, the balsamic vinegar and the agave nectar. Maybe a little pepper. Stir it up, and taste it. I like the combination of the three flavors… lemony, sweet, and vinger. It’s a really nice dressing.

Check on the brussel spouts. Take them out of the oven, and let settle. Check on the millet. Once all of the water is absorbed, the millet will be fluffy. Take it off the stove, put in a bowl, and let it cool down a little.

 

Now, fold the veggies into the millet. Then add the cranberries, walnuts, and parsley. Fold instead of stir, this will protect the softened vegetables.

 

Taste it! Maybe you like cranberries – add some more. Maybe you need more protein, add more walnuts. This meal was super inexpensive. Brussel sprouts are in season, cooked carrots are a popular fall dish, and most of the ingredients can be found in the large buckets at stores like Whole Foods – making sure you don’t waste or buy too much of anything. This is especially nice when living in a studio, where space is an issue. I love learning new recipes and making them my own. Like I mentioned in the last post, I think this will pair nicely with the curried carrot soup. I’m going to eat it warm, but it might also be nice cold. With the curried soup and the dressing on the millet, it would be interesting to try adding pan fried tofu to this. maybe cooked it in the lemon and agave nectar. Anyway, hope you try and enjoy it. Also, so nice to have lunch already made to fight your Monday blues. Enjoy!

 

Carrot Curry Soup. With pistachios. Boom.

Tonight I prepared two recipes I found in Vegetarian Magazine’s October Issue. I received a six month free gift earlier in late summer, and just received the October, November and December issues this week – Ha! Anyway, I went through them and cut out the recipes I was excited about. Today, I made the curried carrot soup with roasted pistachios AND this warm millet and brussel sprout salad. I’ll post that recipe next. I made both recipes for tonight’s dinner,  dinner tomorrow, and lunch on Tuesday (maybe I’ll freeze the rest)… with Thanksgiving on Thursday, I want something light and nutritious so I can eat a disgusting amount of stuffing, turkey, and pie. Not sure in what order. I. Can’t. Wait.

I changed some things around, based on what I had and how it tasted. Let me know your thoughts. Both recipes are vegan.

Curried Carrot Soup

What You’ll Need

Bag of carrots – the recipe called for grated, I just bought a bag of baby and chopped them up

2 large leeks – The grocery store ran out of leeks, so I bought a large white onion instead and chopped it up

4 cups of water – I didn’t want my soup that watery, so I only added two cups. (Note: maybe use vegetable broth, low sodium, next time)

handful of roasted pistachios – chop ‘em, or don’t. they are a nice crunchy and salty garnish

olive oil

1/4 and 1/8 tsp. baking soda – not sure why the recipe adds this, but maybe it’s a thickening agent?

1/2 tsp. curry powder – what?!! In my humble opinion, that’s definitely not enough curry powder. I think I probably ended up tripling that… so add how much you want based on personal preference. I like spice. I also added cinnamon to mine.

Screw it – add cinnamon. It’s a nice, autumn-y touch. :)

Directions-

In a large pot, heat up the olive oil, probably like two splashes of it. Add the baking soda (Note: this feels like a science project) Then add the cut up carrots and onions. BOOM. Just kidding. Stir ‘em up, close the pot, and let everything cook for like 15 minutes or less. Stir every couple minutes, and watch for the veggies to soften.

Add 2 cups water and curry powder. Let it cook a little. Then pour the soup into your blender (if you don’t have an immersion blender, ugh, sad face). Blend up, maybe add some black pepper.

Serve with pistachios on top. Maybe some raisins too, if you want something a little sweeter. If you aren’t going veggie, this might be nice with a savory, roasted rosemary chicken. Yum.

Seriously, this soup is SO easy, cheap, in season, and delicious. Carrots are one of the super veggies, spices are good for you system and your soul. And really, who doesn’t like pistachios?

Additionally, cook while listening to Mariah Carey, have football on mute, and you’ll have yourself a golden Sunday.

 

 

 

chickpea curry with cranberry almond quinoa

While I wait impatiently on Election Day, I decided to prepare my favorite Indian dish – a spicy, savory chickpea tomato based curry, and sweet delicious quinoa with cranberries and almonds. Looks pretty tasty, right? It’s not only delicious, but it’s super cheap, and super easy.

Here’s what you’ll need -

For the curry -

can of chickpeas

can of chopped tomatoes – I like the fire roasted ones with garlic

a yellow onion

garlic

fresh ginger

a little olive oil – to cook the onions, garlic and ginger

turmeric – a tsp

cumin – a tsp

coriander – a tsp

cayenne pepper – to taste (I made this batch a little too spicy)

garam masala – on top, after it’s cooked

veggie broth – two cups, maybe three depending on how long you cook

For the quinoa -

two cups veggie broth

one cup quinoa

handful of cranberries – I prefer to unsweetened ones, but they are sometimes difficult to find

1/4 cup slivered almonds

cinnamon stick

couple bay leaves

Directions-

Give yourself about 30-45 minutes to cook. First start on the curry. Chop up the onion, garlic and grate the ginger. Add all of it to a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Cook it up til the onions soften. About 10 minutes.

 

Next, and this is the tricky part, open up the cans of tomatoes and chickpeas. Pour em in. Add the veggie broth. Then add the turmeric, coriander, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Stir it up. Ha – I told you, this is a super simple and inexpensive meal. Initially the spices cost a bit, but they last forever.

 

Cover and stir occasionally. After reaching a boil, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for about 35 minutes. In about 20 mins, start the quinoa. Add the veggie broth, quinoa, cranberries, almonds, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Reach a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes – until the broth is gone, and the quinoa has a white rind around the grain.

 

A couple notes – I didn’t have cranberries this time, so I substituted currants instead. Turned out ok, but wasn’t as sweet. In fact I added a little Raw Stevia to balance out the cayenne pepper I overdid. I think I’m trippin over the election. In addition, I totally forgot to add the veggie broth to the curry. Fail. It dried up super quick, and the chickpeas weren’t as soft as they should’ve been – it also didn’t take a lot of time for the curry to cook. Kinda gross. So I added a little broth and let it simmer a little more. Much better. I’ve seriously made this dish half a dozen times, and today I screw it up.

Hmmm anything else I forgot? Don’t think so. This dish is served nicely with naan, if you aren’t stressin’ about carbs. It’s also nicely paired with sliced pears in cinnamon and honey… again, a nice cooling taste to add while eating this spice-rich meal. And oh yah – it’s vegan, and pretty healthy in it’s fat-carb-protein ratio! Enjoy!

what I learned at Whole Foods…

…how to eat a pomegranate!

Silly to post about this? Perhaps. But if you’re like me, you end up eating only half the pomegranate. The other half is either juiced from being smushed by accident, has stained your clothes, was thrown away mistakenly with the rind, or thrown away purposely out of haste.

Anyway. Simply cut the fruit in half. Then in a bowl of water, peel out the fruit. The rind floats to the top, and the pieces of fruit don’t squirt everywhere. Peel all the fruit, throw about the floating pieces of rind, then pour out the water. Crazy easy, and you actually end up enjoying the fruit.

Enjoy!

squash and KEEN-WA boats!

My mother passed this along via WebMD and I was immediately excited to try it. Check out the recipe, and see the step by step instructions below. Very simple, super easy, delicious, and vegan! In an effort to buy sustainable, local food, this recipe is great to make in the fall – Squash and pears are available locally, and the summer season of fresh herbs is just ending…

perfect and festive for fall

What you’ll need -

1. 1-2  kabocha squash – if you can’t find kabocha, you can try acorn

2. Quinoa! about 1 cup

3. 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (I cook quinoa in it, more flavorful)

4. honey

5. olive oil

6. 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach

7. 1/2 cup fresh basil

8. a pear

9. lemon juice from one lemon

10. a shallot

11. cardamom

12. salt and pepper

First, cute the squash in half, and then pull out the seeds. Make two parts honey, one part olive oil, and spread it around the open part of the squash. Lay them open-part down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degs.

While the squash is baking, put two cups veg broth, and one cup quinoa in a frying pan. Cook on high til it boils, stir, and let simmer – with it covered – for about 10-15 mins. Don’t let it stick to the bottom or over cook. It will fluff when done.

veggie broth adds nice flavor when cooking quinoa

After the squash are cooked, turn em the other way, open side up, maybe add a little more honey, some pepper, and cook for another 15-20 minutes. They’ll be done when they look a little caramelized on top. 

While the squash continue to cook, cut up the spinach, pear, and basil. In a bowl, combine the quinoa, lemon juice, minced up shallots (uncooked), and cardamom – to taste. Let the quinoa cool down a bit before adding the greens.

Add the basil, spinach, and pear to the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the squash are done cooking, let them set for just a second – they will be soft, and could brake open a little if you handle too quickly. Lastly, put the quinoa mixture in the squash, and serve.

I think this would be paired quite nicely with a piece of salmon, or rosemary chicken and garlic mashed potatoes. Great meal if you were hosting a dinner party. Maybe pumpkin-something for dessert. For one person, or two, these alone are great, and very filling… Eat the extra quinoa mixture cold for lunch, or cook up another squash the next day.

Enjoy, and happy fall!

ginger carrot soup with chili-lime pepitas

I’m back. And I’m still eating! I’ve made this recipe a couple times and love it! Especially with cold weather approaching, this is a tasty, healthy, vegetarian, simple soup that’s super flavorful – and cheap! It’s also a festive color for fall. Ha! Possibly not most important, but a nice touch for holiday events and dinners.

What You’ll Need-

  1. 3 cups veggie broth
  2. 1 cup orange juice
  3. couple cups of carrot
  4. couple cups of potatoes OR cauliflower (if you’re goin low-carb)
  5. onion
  6. ginger
  7. garlic
  8. little butter or olive oil (up to you)
  9. 1/2 cup milk, rice milk, 1/2 and 1/2 – this will determine if you want to soup to be vegan or not
  10. turmeric
  11. white pepper (trust me – this adds a nice taste that is different from black pepper)
  12. nutmeg
  13. two cups of pumpkin seeds or pepitas – same thing, different name
  14. chili powder
  15. lime juice
  16. salt

In  a pot, melt the butter, cook the onions, ginger and garlic. dice up the potatoes/cauliflowers and carrots, add them to the pot. Add the veggie broth and OJ, turmeric and a little white pepper. Let it boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Next, pour half the soup into a blender, add half the milk/non-dairy product and blend. Then add the rest of the soup and milk. Blend and puree to the texture you appreciate. Put back in the pot, add more white pepper, nutmeg and salt – to taste.

At some point while the soup is cooking – toast up the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan, add some salt, lime juice and chili powder.

Serve the soup hot, with the toasted (and quite tasty) pepitas on top. Enjoy!

I served the soup at a dinner party a few months ago. Served it with crispy, garlicky brussel sprouts, cold gazpacho, avocado, and most important – white wine!

De-lish. Edamame soy burgers!

I really thought I was going to write a post a day. Ha! That didn’t happen. But I’m back. And I’m cooking. Healthy. Vegetarian. High protein. You name it. Check out this delicious recipe – edamame soy burgers with sri racha and pickled ginger on top. I found the recipe online a couple years ago, but added and changed things around based on what I have. I definitely recommend making these.

What You’re Going to Need-

  1. 1/4 cup millet flour  (It was actually millet, not millet flour – but I that’s all I had)
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. salt
  4. a medium sized carrot
  5. a couple radishes
  6. inch or two of ginger – I like ginger, I used two inches
  7. clove of garlic
  8. lime juice from half a lime
  9. 2 tbsp mirin – it’s a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking
  10. Sri Racha! Depends on how spicy you like it
  11. 8 cups of frozen, peeled edamame
  12. 1 1/2 cups panko – Japanese style bread crumbs
  13. 2 egg whites
  14. Olive Oil Pam spray

Heat up the millet in a pan, add the cold water and a little salt, put in a bowl. Medium size, large size – whatever you have. :) Then, grate in the radish, carrot, ginger and chopped garlic. Add the mirin, Sri Racha, and lime juice.

Boil up the thawed edamame. Since it’s already cooked, just heat it for around five minutes. Drain and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the salt you would like – depends on your preference. Stir everything up, let it cool for about ten minutes.

Small amount by small amount, use a food processor to puree into a paste. I don’t mind eating a couple whole edamame beans, and I don’t have the biggest food processor, so I made what I had work. Fold in the egg whites and panko crumbs.

Place parchment paper on the bottom of a baking pan, and mold the edamame paste (for lack of a better word) into three inch patties – you’ll have enough for eight burgers. Place ‘em in the fridge to set for ten mintes or so – turn on the oven to about 400 degrees.

Once they’re set, spray Pam Olive Oil spray on both sides. This will help with the “crunch” and prevent adding additional calories from regular olive oil. Put them in the oven, cook ‘em for about five minutes, flip them, cook another five minutes… keep going until your get the crisp/golden brown you may be looking for.

Serve with Sri Racha, pickled ginger, wasabi, maybe naan, lettuce cups … you name it! Enjoy. These are — errr vegan? Definitely filling and delightful!