Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Post-Thanksgiving Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Hello my beautiful friends! I hope you guys had an amazing thanksgiving holiday, and spent it with people you love and care about. The holidays can be a hard time for people who struggle with loneliness, FOMO and mental health, so I hope you were surrounded by love and happiness. I am always here to chat with you, so leave me a comment! 🙂

After all the gluttony of Thanksgiving Day, I needed to find a way to use up leftovers in a healthy way. This recipe really came together on the spot. I was making a stir-fry for my mom and decided to switch out some ingredients to make a healthier option for myself. I hope you guys enjoy!

Grains to know:

Quinoa is a 7,000-year-old plant that originated in the mountainous regions of South America. It is actually a seed that does not contain gluten. It is a complete protein source because it contains of all 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential acids our body doesn’t produce on its own. There are about 120 varieties of quinoa, and there are three commercialized categories: red, white and black.  Learn more about Quinoa here.

Millet’s uniquely high content of nutrients, lack of gluten and ability to survive in harsh conditions makes it a great option. The most common of the many varieties is pearl millet. Different varieties are primarily produced in India, Africa and China. The grain originated in Africa, but then spread through Asia and the Middle East as early as 10,000 years ago. Lean more about Millet here.

Buckwheat has been around for thousands of years. It is a naturally gluten free whole grain which is a good source of proteins, fiber and resistant starch. Most of the buckwheat grain for human consumption is marketed the form of flour. Learn more about it here.

Farro originated in the Fertile Crescent, and has been very popular on the Italian menu for centuries. It’s actually a specific type of common wheat, so it is not gluten-free, but it is a great source of fiber, iron and a little protein. Read more here.

Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ancient grains – I used a mixture of Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat and Farro
  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced cooked sweet potato
  • 2 shakes of All purpose seasoning
  • Soy sauce and salt to taste
  • splash of olive oil (optional)
  • Diced turkey and ham (optional)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil grains until al dente or a firm.
  2. Add oil, meat and veggies (not greens) to hot skillet on medium high.
  3. Add seasonings and grains then mix
  4. Incorporate greens and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through
  5. Remove from heat and serve
  6. Add avocado for extra goodness!

 

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Enjoy!

Karissa ♥

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strawberry granola parfait

Quick & Healthy Strawberry Parfait

Looking for a quick and easy snack or even meal, that will soothe your sweet tooth?Whenever my sweet tooth begins to ache and I want to have a healthy snack, I make this!

What you need?

Strawberries or other berries, Granola, Yogurt and Honey (optional)

How to?

Layer yogurt, granola and strawberry until the container is filled. Super simple!

 

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Yumm!!

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Make it pretty then smash! 

 

Be happy and healthy my loves!

Karissa 🙂

Eggs in A Cloud Recipe

Let me preface this by saying I am no whiz or genius in the kitchen. I can whip up a few things to save my life, but to be honest, I see a husband who will be cooking 99% of the meals in my future lol !

Most of the recipes on my blog took so many tries to get it right. For each recipe I get right, there are 6 more which bit the dust. Even though I find it difficult, I keep trying to gain some skills. Hopefully if I try enough, i’ll get it right at least once then muscle memory will take over.

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Beautiful egg on a cloud from domacica.com

I’ve seen this recipe all over Pinterest for the past few weeks! I looks so good in the pictures, and the tutorial videos make it look so easy. For me, it’s not. I guess you can tell by now that this did not turn out so well. To be honest, it’s not difficult, but I can be a little klutz sometimes ha.

Wednesday morning I finally decided to take the plunge and try out this recipe. I cracked, separated, whipped and lightly mixed as well as I could. Funny enough, my dad, grandma and I still ate it even though I left it in the oven too long – I was trying to get the yolks to the perfect hardness because I don’t like runny eggs – and it got dry and crispy.

I think I needed to whip up the egg whites into stiffer peaks than I did because as soon as I mixed in the shredded cheddar, it began to revert O.o . You can see the runny part all over the pan separated from the fluffy clouds. Maybe the salt had something to do with it. I also didn’t add as many ingredients as the original recipe because I didn’t have them on hand. When I tried using the bottle to separate the yolks, most burst so I could only top 2. We won’t talk about the one on the bottom left.

egg in a cloud attempt

So many things wrong with this photo … lol I tried!!

I probably should have taken them out 2 minutes after this, but that didn’t happen.

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In the oven a baking!

I didn’t take a photo of the final product. Trust me you aren’t missing out.

Anyhoo … here’s the original article from Buzzfeed:

Make Your Dreams Come True With This Easy Eggs In A Cloud Recipe

The instructions in the article are as follows:

“Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 eggs, yolks separated
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup bacon, crumbled
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or whisk
  • Baking tray

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Egg on a cloud from delish.com

Here’s what you’ll do:

1) Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C.

2) Separate the eggs: egg whites in one bowl and egg yolks each into their own bowls.

3) Using an electric mixer or whisk, mix the egg whites until thick and fluffy.

4) Fold in bacon, parmesan cheese, and chives. Do not overfold.

5) Scoop onto baking tray and make an indent in the middle using the back of a spoon.

6) Bake for 5-8 minutes or until egg whites start to brown.

7) Place the egg yolks into center of the egg whites. Bake for 3 more minutes.

8) Enjoy!

 

I had big hopes for this one because it was such an interesting take on eggs. With more practice, I’ll master this cloud business!!

Will you try it? If you do, let me know! Tried any interesting recipes lately?

Be happy, healthy and a cooking!!

Karissa 🙂


P.S. I’m particularly proud of this recipe: Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling ! I worked so hard on this one lol Go check it out!

Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

I’ve been tinkering with my previous banana bread recipe, and boy do I love the result! This recipe is decadent and just sweet enough to be the perfect treat!

I love it and I hope you will too!

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Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

My bananas were not ripe, so I put them in the oven for 15 mins at 400° and they came out softer and a little bit sweeter.
 

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbs flour to thicken

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter your container
  2. Mash ripe bananas until smooth then stir melted butter into the banana
  3. Mix in the other ingredients until combined
  4. Combine ingredients for filling and set aside
  5. Pour half of the batter into baking dish, pour the filling into the pan then add the rest of the batter on top covering the filling.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes for an hour at 350°F or until the a knife or toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven, cool and serve.

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Karissa 🙂

All about Tamarind and How to make Tamarind Candy!

I have so many memories of primary school in Jamaica. For most of the 6 grades, my grandma would bring me to school and pick me up after. We didn’t have a car because no one in my family at that time drove so we would walk up the long hill from my school to the main road, and then walk to the taxi stand to get a ride home.

After school the vendors would line the streets as kids spilled out of the school grounds. The kids would flock to the stalls to scoop up the hoards of sweets and snacks on display with their left over lunch money, or money saved specially for an after school treat. One of those many sweets was tamarind balls. These sweets were sold at every roadside stall, little shop or supermarket being made in people’s homes or on a mechanized assembly line.

What is Tamarind?

Tamarind, Tamarindus indica, is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The edible portion is the fruit pod of the tree. The pulp of the young fruit is green and sour, but the pulp becomes paste-like and more sweet-sour as it ripens.

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Tamarind pulp concentrate is popular as a flavoring in Middle Eastern India, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. It is referred to as the “date of India”.

A single cup (120 grams) of the pulp contains 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat and a total of 287 calories, almost all from the 69 grams of carbs in the form of sugar. Despite its sugar content, however, tamarind pulp is still considered a fruit.

Tamarind can be found in three main forms:

  • Raw pods which are the least processed form.

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  • Pressed block where the shell and seeds are removed and the pulp is compressed into a block.
  • Concentrate where the pulp has been boiled down, and preservatives may also be added.

To make pulp:

  1. Remove and discard the pods.
  2. Put the pulp with seeds in a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover completely.
  3. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Push pulp through a medium sieve into a bowl.
  5. Discard seeds. Refrigerate, well sealed, for up to one week or freeze.

Uses:

Tamarind has many savory uses, in addition to sweet, the most common of which may be as an ingredient and flavor component in Worcestershire sauce, as well as in sauces, marinades and chutneys.

Tamarind in liquid form was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever and peptic ulcers. The bark and leaves can also be used to promote wound healing. The polyphenols, like flavonoids, in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help regulate cholesterol levels.. This plant is currently being researched for potential medicinal uses.

Due to it’s tartaric acid content, tamarind pulp can also be used as a metal polish to remove tarnish from copper and bronze.

Tamarind Candy

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Tamarind Candy

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener because I love the taste with the tamarind, but you can use any other type of sugar, honey or agave or any other sweetener of your choice. I used 1 cup of sugar, but you can limit the sugar to your liking. For best results, leave the tamarind to soak. If you’re as impatient as I am, you can still eat a piece after you mix it and it’ll be good, just not the perfect mix of sour and sweet. You can also use the pulp instead of the actual fruit with seeds to make small balls. Add some chili powder for a spicy kick!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of tamarind pods
  • 1 cup sweetener
  • white rum

Directions

  1. Peel pods to remove fruit
  2. Rip into smaller pieces and add to container
  3. Add sugar and rum then mix to coat each piece of tamarind
  4. Store for a day to 5 days to ensure the sugar and rum thoroughly soak each piece of tamarind for optimal taste.

Hope you try out this recipe and Enjoy it!!

As always be happy and healthy!

Karissa 🙂

Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

¡Hola amigas! My dad recently bought a container of turmeric roots, but they were just sitting in the refrigerator, so I decided to put them to use. I haven’t used turmeric before, so I was excited to try it! I settled on trying my hand at a Turmeric Ginger Chai latte because it’s simple and quick so I can determine if I like the taste and if I should experiment with more recipes.

Health Info

Turmeric? 

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Turmeric is a warm, bitter spice that comes from the turmeric plant, and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. The curcumin in the plant gives it the yellow color. The root is also commonly used to make medicine because it is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet at fighting disease due to its anti-oxidant properties, and there are a plethora of studies and articles which discuss and prove turmeric’s benefits. Add a pinch of black pepper to ensure increased digestion of curcumin.

Be careful! 

Some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric, especially after skin exposure. Typically this is experienced as a mild, itchy rash. In addition, high doses of turmeric have been observed to cause nausea, diarrhea, increased risk of bleeding, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, hypotension, uterine contractions in pregnant women and increased menstrual flow.

People taking certain medications should also be careful when using turmeric in their food or supplementing with it. Turmeric may interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, and can affect medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Ginger?

Ginger-Root-Benefits

Unlike turmeric, I frequently have ginger tea just for the taste or because I feel unwell. Ginger is known to be a potent reliever of digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.

The root or rhizome of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. Ginger is part of the same family as cardamom and turmeric, and is commonly produced in India, Jamaica (my roots), Fiji, Indonesia and Australia. Ginger contains numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as gingerolsbeta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.

Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Plus ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein or fiber since it’s eaten in small quantities.

The Meat and Potatoes

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Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener, but you can use honey or agave or any other sweetener of your choice. You may also choose any nut, soy or oat milk for this recipe. Be careful with the turmeric because it will stain any and everything it touches, as seen in my now stained nails. O.o

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 inch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Leave on medium heat for 15-20 mins to ensure full extraction or lesser time for weaker taste.
  3. Strain to remove ginger and turmeric and let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Serve with a little dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy!

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Try it out and tell me what you think! ♥

Karissa 🙂

 

Healthy Oats and Banana Bread

As a child, my mom made banana pancakes almost every weekend, and I loved them. Naturally my love for the pancakes translated to love for banana bread. Banana bread is a perfect sweet treat, but it is mostly made in an unhealthy way with white flour and tons of processed or bleached sugar. So, I decided to create a healthy version of one of my favorite treats.

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Needed

Oat flour, eggs, bananas, cinnamon, vanilla extract, sweetener, optional wine soaked raisins and baking soda

Method

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I blended my oats for a few minutes to make oat flour. You can blend for longer then use a strainer to get smoother and finer flour.

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Combine all ingredients

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I added raisins soaked in wine for a deeper, sweeter taste

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Whisk together until smooth

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Add to dish and bake

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Look at that brown goodness!

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Healthy Oats and Banana Bread

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener. I also used only 1/2 cup of oat flour because I wanted a chewy and soft consistency, but you can up the oat flour to 1 cup or 1.5 cups or even 2 cups of flour for a more bread-like consistency.

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • optional wine soaked raisins

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients and whisk together
  2. Add to greased and floured baking dish or cake pan
  3. Bake for 40 mins at 350 F or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean
  4. Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Karissa 🙂