Thursday, June 27, 2013

On the go beauty shot: fruit, dairy, fiber and vitamin E

I needed to pack a snack which could be respectably consumed around a bunch of people who eat super-healthy. 

Try filling your little container with this deliciousness:

Plain yogurt
Agave nectar 

Refrigerate or even stick in the freezer for a few minutes until you're ready to enjoy. It's like eating a decadent dessert, guilt-free!

Oh, and I looked respectable too. 

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Pineapple coconut chicken curry with basil

It was time to get back into the kitchen. We've been chaotic playing catch-up with projects and people, so I insisted on dinner made at Cocina Candelaria. Here's my modified version of a super-easy weeknight chicken dish.

Pineapple Coconut Chicken Curry

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tsp. of your favorite curry powder blend 
1/2 tsp. of salt (I used a flaked sea salt)
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips 
1/2 of a large ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces
1 large serrano chile, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
About 6 large basil leaves, torn 

To make:

Put chicken, curry powder and salt in a large ziplock bag and smoosh around to marinate. Overnight is best, though you can just leave it on the counter for a bit to come up to temperature and let the flavor begin to sink in.

Heat large pan to medium-high and add your oil of choice. I used this lovely coconut oil since it's so popular and it fit thematically anyway.

Saute chicken until it caramelizes, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium and cook it for another 3 minutes. Remove and put in covered dish. 

Now turn the heat back up and saute red pepper, pineapple and serrano. You'll know when it's done because the pineapple will begin to caramelize and it will all smell great.

Add chicken and its juices back to pan. Add coconut milk and brown sugar; stir gently. Let it bubble. If needed, add cornstarch-water mix to thicken.

Serve over brown rice, with fresh basil torn over the top. YUM!!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The I-don't-have-time-for-this leftover soup

Soup du jour
I probably make soup three times a year. It's not really Greg's thing, for whatever reason. He doesn't even like tomato soup with grilled cheese! That's just inhuman if you ask me. 

Half inspired by Corey's leftover ham soup recipe and half inspired by whatever I had on hand, I threw together my version in the slow cooker and it turned out great. Even though I make soup three times a year, and consume ham once a year. Oh, and the ham was in a Food Saver bag in the freezer labeled "Christmas 2011." Yep, we love that Food Saver.

I-don't-have-time-for-this Hammy Kale Soup

You'll need:
  • 2 cups diced cooked leftover ham
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 medium potatoes (your fave kind), peeled if you like and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 large or 8-9 baby carrots, sliced into about 1/8" slices
  • 5 or 6 big leaves of curly kale, cut into narrow ribbons
  • About 5 cups of good chicken or veggie stock 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt 
  • A few grinds of pepper

Kale and carrots? I'm in!
To make:
Heat large frying pan to medium, add a glug of olive oil and add the ham. It needs to start to carmelize, about 8 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes to soften the onions.

Dump mixture in the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, stir gently. 

Cook on high for four hours or low for six or seven hours. 

And that's it!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Life Alive: clean eating

I was very happy to spend some quality time recently with my sister in Boston. It's been ages since I visited, and she made it a point to show me a number of new restaurants, buildings, renovations and more. On the agenda was a great 'urban oasis and organic cafe' called Life Alive

The way they put it, 'A delicious meal ... is the starting point for nurturing the body and soul.'  And they're onto something. Sure, there are other organic places around, but this one has such great decor, an inviting vibe, and a line out the door and around the corner. 

We intentionally went for a late lunch to avoid the crazy time. The only downside of this is that they'll maybe be out of a special topping (avocado in this case).

I tried The Goddess (foreground in the photo), with ginger nama shoyu sauce over carrots, beets, broccoli, kale, tofu and brown rice. Melissa had The Adventurer, with sesame ginger nama sauce over corn, beets, broccoli, kale, cheddar, sprouted legumes, tamari almonds, quinoa and brown rice. 

Both were absolutely DEELISH, crunchy and totally satisfying. I mean, serious flavor. Balance that out with the Love Alive smoothie with blueberry, strawberry, banana, date and chia-almond milk, and it's hard to beat.   

If you're getting ready for a cleanse, are a serious juicer, raw eater, health nut or just someone who wants to feel better, this is the place. Too bad they only have locations in Massachusetts! I'll have to campaign to get Life Alive into Houston.  
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