Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Snack Time Fail! - Curry Roasted Almonds

The Enemy - aka Curry Roasted Almonds 
Well.....the picture of these Curry Roasted Almonds doesn't look that bad but I wouldn't call them a spectacular kitchen win either. Luckily Mike really liked them so they did get eaten and did not go to waste. I have a really hard time wasting food in the kitchen!

I had such high hopes for these yummy almond morsels. I thought they would be perfect to enjoy as weekday snacks at work and school. I haven't made spiced nuts before only candied pecans (which are amazing and I could eat everyday if  they weren't unhealthy!) so I was definitely guessing at quantities, timing, etc...... and just hoping they turned out amazing! Well.... they didn't. Here is my process of failure.....

Curry Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:
3 cups of almonds
2 tbsp of curry
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of sea salt
dash of pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp of hazelnut oil
1 tbsp of maple syrup

Instructions: 
Pre-heat oven to 275. Put tin foil onto a baking sheet.

I mixed all the above dry spices into a bowl, then I add the spices to the liquid mixture. Which was olive oil, hazelnut oil, and maple syrup. I think it started off by having too much olive/hazelnut oil in the mix so they were too liquidy to start.

I then poured the whole thing into my bowl of almonds and mixed it all up. Poured them onto the baking sheet, and baked at 275 for 10 mins. Then I checked in on them, mixed them up, and baked them for another 10 mins. They still didn't look right  (too wet) so I decided to broil them on Low. Well I forgot about them and I swear they were only in there for what felt like 2 minutes but low and behold I look over at the stove and there was clouds of smoke billowing out of it! Yikes! I ran over and managed to rescue my poor almonds from their burning demise.

They were not ruined altogether but they had a nice crunch hahahah. They had a slight burnt flavor, but more of an overpowering curry flavor.

Needless to say they were not my finest work in the kitchen, and although I didn't like them much, mike devoured all of them.

And suggestions on how to make a better spiced snack almonds would be greatly appreciated!!! 

On another note:
I set up Zumba classes at my office as I head up our Health & Wellness Program. Our first class is tomorrow and I am both excited and nervous for it. I haven't done Zumba,  I have watched YouTube videos, done a crappy at home version which I don't think is the same thing. But never actually been taught by a real Zumba instructor or in front of other people let alone people I work with. I am generally a pretty uncoordinated person, I trip over my own feet and walk into walls quite often so Zumba is probably going to be a rather challenging experience for me. LOL I think I will stick to the back of the classroom and just dance around doing my own thing to get my exercise in! lol Kinda like how Phoebe on Friends runs to the beat of her own drum! I love the running episode with her and Rachel in central park, one of my favorites!  Phoebe will be my inspiration for Zumba tomorrow.

Has any one ever tried Zumba? How did you like it?

Have a great rest of your day!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Bisque, Yum Yum!

Happy Monday! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has started the week off right. This is what I made for Sunday night dinner, and it was amazing! I have made a lot of pumpkin, carrot, butternut squash etc..... type soups but this one has a wonderful assortment or sweet and spicy flavors, and a very warming feeling. 


Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Bisque 
Adapted recipe from Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Serves 6
GF, DF, MF


Ingredients:
1 14oz can of organic pumpkin puree
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 large white onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of cayenne
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, toasted
drizzle of hazelnut oil
pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a small pot boil the sweet potatoes until tender and cooked.

In a large soup pot saute your onion and garlic. Add all your spices and salt and pepper mix into the onions and garlic.

Add you pumpkin puree and the cooked sweet potatoes. Add your vegetable broth, maple syrup and sherry wine. Let it come to a boil and then bring down to a simmer.

Using a hand held emulsion blender (or a normal blender or food processor) blend all the ingredients of the soup together.

Toast your pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan on med- heat until browned.


Top the soup with the toasted pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of hazelnut oil!


As I mentioned above I ate this soup for dinner last night and it was so good! As I always do I took it for leftovers at work today but ended up getting very bad heartburn and indigestion. I didn't eat until 2:30 pm which is much later than I usually eat lunch, which may have been the cause.  I ate some plain raw almonds to help alleviate the heartburn which really helped. But I wonder what it was that caused the heartburn and indigestion in the first place?

Do you have any all natural relief remedies from Heartburn and Indigestion?

Have a great night,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Love Moments: St.Patricks Day, March 17th, 13

It is a bright and beautiful St.Patricks Day today!!

I have had a wonderful weekend I hope you all have had a splendid one too! Here is the recipe for the delicious Lentil & Yam Stew that I posted about earlier in the week.


Lentil & Yam Stew
Adapted from the "Meatless" Cookbook
Serves 8
GF, DF, Meatless

Ingredients: 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 med white onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 19oz can of brown lentils, rinsed
1 large Yam, peeled and diced into cubes
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, in juice
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 cups of water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:
In a large soup pot saute the onions, celery, carrots, and bay leaf, continue stirring until everything is soft and the onion is translucent.

Add garlic and curry powder and cook for about a minute.

Add your vegetable broth and water. Add the lentils. Bring everything to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add in your yams and cook covered until the yams are soft.

Add the tomatoes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop out the bay leaves :) no one wants to get a mouth full of bay leaf while they are trying to enjoy their stew.

And Serve!

Love Moments for the weekend! 

Love Moment 1:
Spring is in the air and the moss is looking very green for St.Patricks Day! 


Love Moment 2:
St.Patricks Day Dinner & Poker Night! 


We had proscuitto wrapped asparagus and baba ganoush with bread to start off the night right!

Jenna is looking like a very good homemaker serving up our Bangers and Mash Irish Dinner. We had all natural lamb and turkey sausages thanks to David and Jenna. I made a cauliflower and potato garlic mash, with a gluten free, dairy free mushroom and onion gravy.

We had an epic game of poker, eight people with a $5 buy in! It was so much fun!


Have you ever had an Irish Car Bomb! Well it is probably one of the more disgusting shots that I have tried. It is a shot of whiskey and baileys that you drop into a glass of Guinness. I managed to get one and only one of those shots down! 


Most of all it was just a really fun night of laughing and spending time with family!  


Love Moment 3:
Homework & Movie Sunday! 

Both mike and I have mounds of homework to do, so we are going to spend the entire day reading and studying! Sounds riveting doesn't it! I also like to multi-task and since I was in high school have always done my homework with silly movies playing in the background. Even if I have readings the movies are still playing. I don't know how I manage to work like this but it has always worked for me, lol! 

I am looking forward to making  a Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Bisque for dinner tonight and I am going to try to make spiced nuts for lunch snacks this week. I have a very large bag of almonds that we need to get through so I figured lets jazz them up a bit! 

I have been having a hard time lately thinking of snack ideas for mike, that boy just eats so much food.  I haven't been buying grocery store granola bars as they are essentially just sugar. We have been doing hummus and GF tortilla chips, or veges lately. But I need to come up with some better snack ideas! 

What do you do for healthy snacks during the week?

Have a great St.Patricks Day Sunday everyone!!! 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday - March 13th, 2012


I started the day off right with a thick and creamy green smoothie.


Green Smoothie:
3 cubes of ice
1 cup spinach
1 small banana
1/4 avocado
1 tsp glutamine
1tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp chia seeds
1tbsp (heaping) almond butter
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk

Then I got stuck in traffic for an extra half hour this morning during the morning commute :) I was just glad it wasn't pouring down with rain this morning.


For lunch I had leftovers from last night dinner, Lentil & Yam Stew. It was really good I will be posting the recipe for this soon.


I had a long 2 hour managers meeting today and by 2 o'clock I was drained so I had a tall, soy latte from Starbucks.

For a snack on the drive home I ate some cut up peppers and homemade hummus.

Dinner was so delicious tonight! We have been eating vegetarian for the last couple of days, so on the way home we stopped by Meridian Meats and picked up some fresh new york steaks, seasoned with steak seasoning. We paired it with a fresh spinach & lentil salad, topped with candied pecans and fresh organic goat cheese. ( I have found that I react less to goat cheese and feta, it is mainly cows milk, regular cheese, and eggs that I tend to react too).  The candied pecans were bad, but a nice sweet treat!

The salad also had cucumbers, orange pepper, tomatoes, scallions, and I dressed it with a very tasty dressing. 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of honey.


Have a great night everyone!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Forward!!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

It definitely feels like spring is in the air! It is so nice to be siting here typing out this post at 7pm and it is still light outside.

I managed to get out for a 2.5 mile run after work, fit in 20 minutes of strength training, and a light 10 min cool down and stretch and its still light out!

Tonight I made a very well balanced meal, if I do say so myself :) I wanted something that was fast and packed full of protein.

I decided on Pineapple Curry Chicken, with steamed broccoli and crazy rice!

Pineapple Curry Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, and Crazy Rice! 
Crazy Rice is very simple, and really not that crazy :)

2 cups of brown rice
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste (try to use sea salt)

Cook the brown rice as per instructions, as it is simmering and when there is about 15 minutes left on the clock add in your spices and salt and pepper, add in the kidney beans. Stir it all together and simmer for the remaining 15 minutes. This is a nice change to regular old brown rice. And because you are combining rice and beans you are eating a complete protein, this a great example of food combining. I top it with a bit of sriracha for heat, and because sriracha pretty much tastes good on anything!

Last week for a treat I made Chocolate Pudding ( aka avocado pudding) sounds gross but it is sooooo amazing! I could eat it all day long.







(sorry the pics are not awesome and it is in Tupperware containers because we took it for a snack at work)

I used this recipe below from The Whole Food Athlete


Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium avocados, scooped out
  • 6 tbsp cup cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup dates (make sure they are pitted! or you will find out quickly when you try to process them)
  • 3/4 cup vegan (almond or coconut) milk
  • Optional: 1 tsp of vanilla, cinnamon and/or coconut extract
Directions:
  1. Blend all ingredients into a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy
  2. If necessary, add additional dates, milk or cacao powder  to get desired consistency and taste
  3. Spoon into a large bowl. Refrigerate until serving. OR, spoon into Ramekins, demitasse cups or other small dessert bowls, then refrigerate until serving.
  4. Get creative with the toppings (just make sure they are raw, vegan, gluten-free). Shredded coconut and fresh strawberries are fantastic.
On a side note, my poor fur child has started to limp on her front right leg :( and we have no idea why. She has been very sad today.... I am taking her on very short, light walks but I really hope she gets better soon.

Have a wonderful Monday night everyone,


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wow where has the week gone!!!

Well it's been a couple days since I last blogged. I try to blog every other day if possible to keep the blog fresh and updated. I find it a great way to unwind at the end of a day but this week has been one of those weeks. I know you all know what I'm talking about, we have all been there. When it seems like the day is moving faster than the clock, nothing seems to be getting done, everything goes wrong, and the work just piles higher hahah. Ya one of those weeks. But I was also busy putting together a small fundraiser at work this week for a charity close and dear to my heart which makes everything worth it!

I have spent the week eating at my desk! Big No No! Or really whenever and where ever I can find the time to eat. I am so glad that these crazy busy weeks don't happen all that often.
  I had a yummy Kale, White Bean and Chorizo Soup for lunch, with a sliced up Pear.
Red & Yellow Beet Salad
I have been drinking more Coffee than I usually do. I drink Pomegranate Green Tea every morning. But this week i have been sneaking in a cup of java in the afternoons so that I can stay more productive and don't fall asleep at my desk. We also have to do a couple late nights as Mike has FE prep which means I hang out at the coffee shop until 7 pm studying which means more coffee!!!


The BEST part of my week so far has been hosting NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY in support of the SPCA and Humane Societies at my work and in our parts office. Everyone at worked pitched in and baked cupcakes, muffins, gluten-free, vegan, sugar packed, you name it we had it. It was so great!!! We set up a booth on Tuesday and Wednesday in both our main office and our parts locations and sold the cupcakes to raise money. National Cupcake Day™ is a brand new event helps raise awareness and urgently-needed funds to support animals that are abused, abandoned, neglected or no longer wanted. We raised just under $200.00 which doesn't seem like a lot but every little bit counts.

Here is a quick peek of all the goodies that were baked.....




It's not quite Friday yet and this will give you an idea of how I am feeling right about now. lol!! (PS.I love silly pictures)

I made a delicious Chocolate Avocado Pudding this week, I will be sharing the recipe this weekend, along with a great new vegan take on Shepard's pie that is to die for! Stay tuned......

All I can leave you with is everyone is human and I fall of the wagon quite often! Time to kick it up a notch and get back with the program lol! I hope everyone is having an absolutely splendid week!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Marvelous in my Monday! Tomato, Squash & Coconut Milk Bisque

Marvelous in my Monday truly has been marvelous today! The sun is shining so bright, there is still a chill in the air but the Vitamin D I have been getting is giving me some much needed energy. 

I was able to sleep in a little this morning as we had to drop our car off at the shop to get fixed. So that was a pretty great way to start a Monday. It is amazing what an extra 20 minutes of sleep can do! 

I had a scrumptious breakfast of organic, sugar free granola with shaved coconut, almond milk, sliced strawberries and a spoonful of almond butter (because i am addicted to almond butter). 

Because I got to work late I felt rather scattered and rushed all day. I have piles of work to do right now and losing 45 minutes really added up. So I ate my lunch at my desk, which I know is terrible and I am the biggest advocate of leaving your office to eat lunch, even if you just sit in the lunch room or go outside to eat your packed lunch, it is really important to have that mental break. I clearly did not follow my own advice today. I had leftovers from yesterdays Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry it was delicious. I also ate a banana  I was starving! But my boss bought me a soy latte so that made up for eating at my desk!

 
I had a bit of a fail with dinner last night. I made a Tomato, Squash & Coconut Bisque (Vegan) I followed the recipe from Honest Fare which can be found here (Tomato, Squash & Coconut Bisque Recipe). I did make a few changes to the recipe. 


The soup turned out really good, and both Mike and I enjoyed the taste thoroughly.  There was  enough for another serving and leftovers. Here comes the fail part. After dinner I was pretty tired and I had a bunch of catch up work to do for my dad. So I went to my computer room and completely forgot to turn the stove off. The soup was simmering but when you forget about it for 3 hours it kind of turns into a gross mess!!! Luckily it didn't burn too bad and I think I can manage to salvage it. But it went super thick and weird, so I think when I reheat it for left overs I will add some vegetable stock to thin it out again. This soup would be so amazing if it had prawns in it!! I may have to go buy some prawns this week :) 
I have made many kitchen fails, have you?

I hope everyone had a marvelous Monday!
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