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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Long time no see! The last few months since I started my new job I have been trying to play catchup in life and have not been very inspired to cook. This usually happens when I start a new employment until I start to get into a routine. But as of late I’ve been eating out a lot and finally am getting sick of it. So now I’m creating. 🙂
Last night I threw together an experiment and hoped for the best. Thankfully it was a winner! 😀 Thankfully it’s really easy to make as well. The flavors in this salad are perfect for summer as it’s very fresh and light. This dish was inspired by a conversation about the Mediterranean Diet someone at work has been on lately. I think I might look more into it!

I call for “cans of”, but if you want to put in the extra time to cook your garbanzo beans I made mine in a “beyond rice, cooker” crockpot so it could soak for 3-4 hours and then cook for a minimum of 3 hours. I cooked mine in water, pink hymilian salt, and dropped a vegetable bouillon cube in for added protein and flavor.
Give it a try and plan a picnic on a beautiful day. I paired this with red lentils and green beans. Rinse and cook red lentils in chicken broth for 10 minutes, adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme. Once cooked, add in cooked and drained green beans, and a little olive oil and that’s it. It packs a lot of protein in these two dishes and no meat had to be thawed (which is the main reason I barely eat meat…lack of planning lol!)
So now on to the recipe! 🙂

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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Ingredients:
• 1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
• 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (I got the ones in water to cut the cost)
• 1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
• 1 green onion, diced
• Lemon zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 a lemon
• Olive Oil to coat (3-5 Tbs)
• 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate in the fridge overnight. It will taste good when freshly made, but even better if you marinate it.
Serves 4-6

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring and cooking fresh homemade meals. It really is an investment to your health to cook instead of eating out. I just feel better when I know what goes into my food instead of hoping I don’t get sick from an ingredient someone forgot to tell me, or cross contamination.
Also a recent change to my diet, I have been off corn for almost six months now if not longer, and cheating doesn’t even appeal to me anymore. It really made a difference in my digestion. When I ate corn it was organic as much as possible, and even that bothered me. Now I am starting to cut out nightshades too. I do notice when I eat potatoes on how much it effects my alertness and pain levels. Potatoes are my #1 comfort food too. But I do want to feel even better than I have been and hopefully one day the weather changes will not effect me as much as it does.
Look forward to more creations coming up and fresh meal ideas.
Thank you also for hanging in there while my life was put on hold.

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Protein Breakfast Scramble: Part 2

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So yesterday I FINALLY got to talk to my new naturopath doc. I am really hopeful this guy can help me get better. After an hour and a half “history” of my health problems he’s scheming up different ways to go about this. And the fact that he is allowing me to have 1 cup of coffee a day and to eat my dark chocolate means he will live another day. Lol!
The last few days I have been getting some raging headaches from trying to quit coffee and I don’t normally get headaches. So for now I’m gonna follow the doctors orders and drink my coffee. :-}
He also explained why my deep leg pains and the SUPER Sensitivity I’ve been having where it literally hurts to wear clothes (but they are kinda necessary!). It’s called “Central Sensitization” and it totally makes sense! (Is that too much senses for one sentence?). All my senses except sight (cuz I’m super blind) are pretty heightened. I’m a big texture person, smells bother me more than a pregnant lady, sounds and light bother me a lot and all those tend to make my pain worse. For a while I thought I might be autistic because I know that’s what they deal with too. But I am not.
Anyway. He also said I need more fat in my diet because it helps feed the brain. Healthy fats, not saturated fats. So I am experimenting…
This is a basic recipe I embellished today from this post.
Wanna know what is under this layer of dairy free jalapaño cheese? Just keep reading.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, smashed
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 7 oz. cooked black beans (half a can rinsed and drained).

Sauté all those ingredients together until onions are done. The sprinkle in:

• smoked paprika
• sea salt & pepper
• ground curry (I thought I grabbed the cumin. Haha)
• ground Turmeric
• dash of ground cayenne

Mix that all together and add 3 eggs, bacon bits, and a handful of washed fresh spinach.
Cook until eggs are done.

Shred dairy free cheese and add on top. Cook until “cheese” is melted.
I used Lisanatti brand Jalapaño jack cheese.

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It really does not smell very good to me. But the taste? OH MY GOODNESS! I could have eaten the whole thing to myself. 🙂
It serves two. Maybe I am two people?? 😉

So go ahead and try it out if you are adventurous. It really is D-lish! 😀

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Tuscany Bean Soup

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So this last month I’ve found out I’ve been gluten poisoned by supplements my doctor gave me. The sales rep lied to them saying it was GF when it wasn’t. So I was the one to burst their bubble.
No scary rash this time, probably because it was in low doses, but whenever I eat it’s like I’m digesting knives. So I put myself on a liquid diet this week. I’ve been doing healing smoothies in the morning, purée soups for lunch and no coffee.
Surprisingly I’m quite awake with no coffee!!!! That was a big shocker to me!
So something must be healing. Unfortunately all the problems with other areas of me have come back with a vengeance. 😦 I have a REAL naturopath I’m going to see next week. Let’s hope we can mop up this mess.
So on to the recipe, been slacking on getting this posted all week.
It’s fabulous, so try it on those days you need to warm your belly. :]
Happy Friday!!

Tuscany Bean Soup

Ingredients:
• 1 Tbs Grapeseed Oil
• 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 cups chopped raw kale
• 4 cups GF chicken broth
• 2 cups filtered water
• 2 1/2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed
• Turkey kielbasa sausage (I use Hormel natural selects, no nitrates)
• 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
• 1/4 tsp Salt
• 1/8 tsp pepper
• 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a large pot, heat grapeseed oil. Add garlic, sausage, and onion; sauté until sausage is cooked and onions translucent. Add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Add broth, water, cooked beans, tomato, herbs, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, mix the partial or all the soup until smooth (it tastes the same puréed as it does chunky, choose your texture). Return to pot and simmer 15 minutes. Then serve. It’s sooo yummy!

And here’s a Higgley moment. :-]

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What I ate tonight

I’ve recently done an assessment of my physique and I think I need to make some changes in 2013….I know, typical for beginning of the year. To tell you the truth, I have been too broke to buy real food! I leaned more on potatoes, eggs, beans, oatmeal, chips n salsa for a few months too long! Today I got a payday incentive. So a grocery shopping I went!
First I’ll show you what I ate tonight and then I’ll explain. 😉

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I need to eat more veggies than I have been. Potatoes tend to add up after a while, same with beans. So I went to my fav natural food store New Seasons and loaded up on the organics! Almost all their produce is organic and I looooove that! ❤ I really don't like Trader Joe's cuz it's like a search and rescue for foods I can eat. No thank you!
I loaded up on my greens. Here's some of what I got; Red cabbage, purple kale, rainbow chard, red leaf lettuce, and baby spinach (the darker the healthier). Oranges, lemons, bananas and fresh ginger so I can do smoothies again. Got lots of frozen berries that need used. And I even bought….broccoli! :-/ eek! I'm not a big veggie lover, and specially with broccoli. But I …must …eat… Green…
I'm planning on steaming the broccoli with some butter, I can do that. Just not mushy or raw please.
The kale is outside my comfort zone too. When I worked at a deli we shoved it in between the crocks of the salad bar. Then I found out years later that people actually eat it?!? O.o
One of my friends is doing the Paleo diet (way too restrictive for me!) she LOVES kale, her kids chant "we want kale!" Strange… She showed me you can cook kale with bacon! Just sauté them together (I made the mistake of throwing in the kale too soon, let the bacon sizzle first!)
That was 1/3 of my dinner, the kale and bacon. Then I cut up some sweet potatoes (the white kind, can't remember if its actually a yam?) then tossed it with olive oil, pink Himalayan salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary. Roast on 400° for 30 min.
Then the last 1/3 was quinoa boiled in chicken broth (make sure to rinse quinoa before you cook or it turns out bitter). Once that was done I added chopped green onions, red peppers, Roma tomato, avocado, & cilantro. D-LISH!
I gobbled it all up, but left room for my Bobs Red Mill GF/vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie! 😀 To cap it all off I brewed some jasmine green tea. Ohhh boy…no room for midnight snacks tonight!
When I eat something healthy I'll post a few of them, I know I love new ideas!
If you have any ideas for all the greens I bought, comment away!
So have a healthy happy 2013 and eat something green! 😉

 
 

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Don’t knock it till you try it! Vegan recipe

So I saw a new recipe that looked really good! But funny enough most people don’t agree with me. Well I just tried it out and it’s FABULOUS! 😀
It’s got a sweet tangy taste to it. You can make different variations of it. But the main part is consistent: BBQ chickpeas, cranberry sauce, wrap. Mmmmmm!
I added a little bit of onion to the BBQ sauce as it was heating up, cut some apple for on top, and made my cranberry sauce from scratch….although I didn’t see till recipe was in the making that you have to chill cranberry sauce for 3 hours to get it to gel. Oops! Well mine went into the freezer cuz I was hungry!
So first I’ll start out with the cranberry sauce, cuz that going to take the most time…
I got it off of Betty Crocker App.
• 1 cup orange juice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 cups cranberries

Boil OJ & brown sugar for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Then add cranberries. Boil for 5 more minutes until berries pop. Do NOT turn your back on this or cover with lid or you will not have fun cleaning the mess!
Like me…

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Now here’s the “meat” of the matter. I can’t remember where I got this recipe, maybe Pinterest? But I didn’t pin it so who knows…

BBQ Cranberry Chickpea Wrap
makes two wraps, vegan

2 GF wraps, extra large/thin
1 can chickpeas, drained
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I used a spicy/sweet sauce)
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 Tbsp vegan mayo
3 Tbsp whole berry cranberry sauce (I used this recipe for Cranberry Concord Sauce)
bowl of chopped romaine lettuce and/or arugula

To Make:

1. Add the chickpeas and BBQ sauce to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Or you can simmer on your stove top if you have time. Set aside to cool.
2. Prep your veggies: lettuce, onion and tomato.
3. Warm your wraps. I like to heat mine over a gas flame for about 10 seconds on each side. Be very careful if you do this though. You can also simply warm in your oven or microwave.
4. Start assembling your wraps. Add 2 Tbsp of vegan mayo (Vegenaise) and 1 1/2 Tbsp of cranberry sauce to each wrap. Spread evenly. Add in 2-4 heaping scoops of the warm BBQ chickpeas. Top with a palmful of onions, tomato and finally, lettuce. Fill the wrap as full as you can – but make sure you can still roll it up!
5. Roll. Slice. Serve!

Add-in Ingredients:
Try avocado, vegan cheese, shredded carrots, spinach, mandarin oranges, rice, quinoa and more as other yummy ingredients to this wrap!

It may not look appealing, but it all goes to the same place! So try it out and tell me what you think! 😉

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Want AMAZING skin?

Since I past the 30 benchmark (almost 2 years ago), my body is doing its changy stuff. Not necessarily the changes I want. So I have been on the search for face products that work with my skin, and trying to lose that little layer of fat that has been accumulating.
I think I have finally found something that actually works that is affordable!
First off, the skin care. I’ve been dealing with adult acne and am SICK OF IT! So with all the acne products comes dry skin…dry skin causes wrinkles. O.o
Viscous cycle…
Lately I’ve been washing my face with straight Jojoba Oil…that’s right, pure oil!

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(I wanted organic, but this is the best I could find).
I just put a dime size amount in my hand, smear it all over my face, eyes too, and then rinse with warm wet wash cloth (the exfoliant factor there). It takes off ALL your makeup, and mascara too! So now that your skin is squeaky clean, take a cotton ball and add 1 drop of jojoba oil to it. Dab dots on all quadrants (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, throat) then rub it all over.
Smear that fountain of youth on. 😉
When I’m dealing with breakouts (which are very few these days, YEAH!) I add at night a drop of Tea Tree oil the cotton ball after I’ve already spread the jojoba oil, and wipe it over my trouble spots. It heals my skin up so nicely!
You can do the Tea Tree oil in the morning, but it stinks…I had my boss one time ask if I was smoking sweet cigars. 😐 Grrrr
I’m not the worlds most motivated person… So spending days on end in a gym is not my cup of tea. So short story long…
I was at my massage appointment a few weeks ago, and I asked her to do the aromatherapy oils this time. It smelled sooooo good! And really helped relieve some of my rock hard muscles. (They are the ones hiding out under the flab). I was asking her about each one she was using and all the different uses they have. Then just jokingly I asked “is there one for weight loss”? Lol… Actually, yes there is! Hummmmmm….so…what is it?!?
It’s a blend of Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint, Ginger, & Cinnamon called Slim and Sassy. (funny name ha!) but what it does is its a metabolic blend that helps speed up your metabolism. There’s no phen phen or whatever in it. It’s just pure essential oils (and certified pure therapeutic grade at that).

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Not only does it speed up your metabolism and give you more energy, it also helps to suppress your appetite! Which is my main problem. I get like a hungry beast all the time!

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Last week I got my shipment of oils, and have been using them for a week. (I got peppermint, lemon, lavender, thyme, melaleuca or tea tree, and the Slim and Sassy).
After taking 3 drops under my tongue daily of the Slim and Sassy I’ve really seen a difference! I’ve lost 3 pounds (in 1 week) but better yet, I’ve lost inches! I can fit back in my skinny clothes again!! I was turning into the Goodyear Blimp before that (or felt like I was). It was to the point I didn’t feel comfortable in my body anymore. But now it’s a different story! There’s more oils on their product list I’d love to get, like the Deep Blue, for muscle stiffness (fibromyalgia pain) and Frankincense. But just a little at a time for my budget.
And last but not least…the hair.
I was getting sick of my A-line bob grow out Victoria Beckham style.

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(Don’t get me wrong, I love that haircut, I just want to put my hair in a pony tail one day). I’m a SUPER perfectionist, so this old haircut I had fit my personality perfect…

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But now…I am going for the Keira Knightly wavy bob, as my hair grows out.

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It’s so “imperfect” it kinda drove me nuts at first. 😛 Plus there was a hair poking me in the eye at one point. LOL! I’m getting used to it though.
I got some Argan Oil to protect my hair from the torture of the flat iron…which I’m learning to use, (I’m so flat iron illiterate!)
That oil makes my hair shine! Like super glam shine, not greasy scalp shine…
Makes me feel like a million bucks! (For under a million bucks) 😛
So there you have it, my 30 something makeover! 😀
If you want some of that Slim and Sassy head on over to dōTerra and pick up a bottle for yourself!
And here’s the Argan Oil I used. you might be able to find it cheaper somewhere. It was $32 at my salon.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in A day in the life of Jeni, Hobbies

 

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My New Cookbook Arrived!! :D

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I’m sooo excited about this cookbook!! I use to go to the Native Foods restaurant over in Bridgeport Village when I worked across the street from it.
It was expensive! (Hello, it’s in rich people neighborhood)… So now I can cook these dishes at home, and it has my favorite salad in it, the Azteca Ensalada. :-}
This chef actually makes me excited about VEGAN FOOD!
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the recipes…
Oh, and if you want a copy, it’s about $15 on eBay.
The book is called “The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook” by Tanya Petrovna.

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