My first real meal in two days

Ugh.  We got sick – the worst kinda sick we had the flu.  Yuck, I know.  Lennox had it first {poor baby}and then it was my turn.  If moms got sick days I woulda taken advantage for SURE!  But, we are back to normal {mostly}.  My appetite is still MIA but I’m sure show up some time soon.  I knew I needed something good for me, but I wanted something to warm me up.  Taking what I had in the fridge I came up with this:

Lunch

First, I sauteed some green onions.  Added sliced yellow squash and some curry powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.  Then some pea pods, grape tomatoes. I covered it all with some baby spinach and let it wilt.  Then I added some left-over tomato coconut soup.  Wah-la.  Lunch is served.

Anyone else LOVE tamales?

And I’m back.  Whew.  Over the weekend seemed like a good time to do a “internet detox”.  What?  I know, I’ve been overdosing on the internet lately, sad but true.  We are all guilty of this sometimes I’m sure.  I feel much better after a few days of giving my eyes a rest from that terrible computer screen – ahhh!  Now, I’ve gotta catch up on all my blog reading, I just can’t help it.

While I was detoxing I did some more adventurous cooking, some good and some down right terrible {like my vegan grapefruit cupcakes that were nauseatingly sweet}.  My overall favorite was not surprisingly my tamales.  Tamales remain one of my all time favorite foods.  My obsession with tamales started in high school.  Everyday at lunch time a sweet little man named Valentino parked his mini red pick up on Venice Blvd and sold fresh homemade tamales about of the back.  Back then, I was a vegetarian and fell in love with his chili and cheese creation.  At a $1 a pop, I would get two {ok maybe 3} each day and wolf them down with the other students, sticking out like a sore thumb.  I happily ate my tamales while the other kids gossiped in Spanish about me {there was no way a stupid little blonde like me understood Spanish, so they thought}.  After I graduated, I would still stop by sometimes for lunch this time stocking up and buying them by the dozens.  Years later I would still see Valentino selling his delicious tamales and would always stop – if not only to say hello.  He never forgot me.  So, on Friday I was doing some grocery shopping and saw some Maseca and decided to give it a shot.  I had always heard tamales were time consuming and not particularly easy to make but I had nothing to lose.  I was home alone and the little one was napping so I went for it.  Oooh, they were good too!

Vegan Tamales

Start by soaking your corn husks in water {about 16}.  I soaked mine for about 30 minutes while I was making the filling and tamale dough.

Filling:

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

3 tomatillos

1 jalepeno

2 cloves garlic

1 cup cilantro

1 lemon – juiced

Combine all ingredients and whiz in food processor.  There will be extra yummy filling to put on top of your tamales later.

Tamale dough:

2 1/2 cups Maseca

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups lukewarm vegetable broth {or water}

2/3 cup coconut oil

3 drops doTERRA lime

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add broth and mix.  Add coconut oil and mix using hand mixer till dough is fluffy and looks like cookie dough.

Now here’s the hardest part…

Making the tamales – how I did it:

Taking approx. 1 heaping tbsp of dough, flatten in your hands then place in corn husk.  Add a dollop of filling in the center and roll to make a tamale {on some of mine I sprinkled some chopped spinach in there too}.  Tie the ends off with string or a strip of corn husk.  Repeat till out of dough.   Now, steam the tamales for about 30 to 45 minutes.  They are done with they are no longer mushy to touch.

Now, there are probably better ways to do this – this is just how I did it.  Next time I will research tamale making on YouTube to get a better technique for rolling and wrapping the tamales.  My ghetto method worked just fine given it was my first try.  Any tips are greatly appreciated!

Enjoy!

Easy Cheese-y Black Bean Dip

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of salad dressings.  I do however love salads, so I usually dress them up with hummus or something of the sort.  Today I made some Cheese-y Black Bean dip and added that to my spinach salad and was quite please with the result.

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Here is the recipe:

Easy Cheese-y Black Bean Dip

Easy Cheese-y Black Bean Dip

What would you pair this dip with?

1 can of black beans

5 drop doTERRA lime

2 or 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Hot sauce to taste

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients and whizz in blender.

Green Ginger Berry Power Smoothie

Good morning lovelies!  My body was wonderfully sore this morning from Monday’s workout – yes,  I know it is Wednesday.  Monday’s workout was soo good I’m still feeling it.  One of my favorite muscles to workout is my hamstrings because I can always feel it .  What is yours?  Do you have any recommendations for a good bum workout?  I find that it is hard to really get my bum sore the way I get my hamstrings aching, and who doesn’t need more of a lift, right?  Help me out here folks…

So I felt like I really needed an extra boost this morning, so my smoothie was packed fully of goodness {and still tasted good}!

Green Ginger Berry Power Smoothie

1 handful of spinach

1 tsp chlorella

1 Tbsp maca

1 Tbsp hemp protein

3 strawberries

1/2 banana

1.5 handfuls of frozen berries

2 drops of doTERRA ginger

Add coconut milk to achieve desired thickness.

Whizz all ingredients in a blender/magic bullet and enjoy!

 

 

For the love of routine and the smoothie ritual

One of the hardest things about traveling with a baby is the lack of routine.  We’ve been back home for a few days now and today is the first day we’ve got back on track.  I thrive on routine {heck, without it I practically don’t have time to shower}. The sweet two hours that I get to myself when Lennox is napping is when I get to practice my baking skills, squeeze in a workout, place work phone calls, blog … you get the drift.  Those two hours are what keep me sane, in love with life and present with Lennox when he is awake.  So, for now, it’s nice to be home and easing back into our routine!  I especially missed the morning smoothie ritual…here was today’s masterpiece:

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Wild Orange and Berry Smoothie

1 handful of spinach

1 Tbsp hemp protein

2 handfuls of frozen berries

1/2 banana

4 drops doTERRA wild orange essential oil

coconut milk

Directions: Pack spinach and other ingredients into blender, add milk to desired consistency. Blend and wah la!  {I’ve fallen in love with the magic bullet – it helps me so I don’t go over board and end with smoothies for 3}

Vegan Coconut Lime Muffins

Eager to try out my new doTERRA lime oil in a recipe I got to work this morning.  We are going on a road trip today to Havasu {yippee} and so I needed to make some yummy snacks.  Here is what I came up with.

OK, you are probably wondering why there are so green, right?  One of my favorite secret ingredients…you guessed it, SPINACH!

Vegan Coconut Lime Muffins

2 cups spinach

1 3/4 cup coconut milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

20 drops doTERRA lime oil

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp maca

2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup golden flax meal

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

Directions Combine dry ingredients.  Add ACV to coconut milk and let sit.  Whizz spinach in a blender/food processor/whatever.  Add chia seeds to spinach.  Combine all ingredients.  Wah la.  Pour into baking tin or whatever you choose.  Bake at 350 till done – about 30 minutes for me.

Too lazy to chew

Today is an off day. Getting to the gym at 9:45 {at night} is no longer a good idea. Home by 11:00, I was all wired up. Lennox usually wakes for a feeding at midnight – and last night was one of those nights where he just doesn’t wanna go back to sleep. Needless to say I wasn’t tucked in myself until after 2:00 and he was ready for another feeding by 4:00. The older I get the more I realize the importance of sleep. No more late night workouts for this gal. I would have been better off skipping a workout.

So, it’s lunchtime and I feel too lazy to chew. Here’s my lunchtime smoothie.

Spinach Basil Lemongrass Smoothie

2 cups spinach
2 handfuls frozen peaches {time to go shopping}
4 drops doTERRA Lemongrass oil
2 drops doTERRA basil oil
1 1/2 cups apple juice {just a guess}

Whizz in blender. Pray for burst of energy!

Black Rice and Orange Lentils with Avocado Salsa

Lentils are one of my favorites.  I love making a huge pot and eating it leftover meal after meal.  Lentils get better the next day…well at least I think so.  I’ve never tried the colorful varieties so I was excited when I bought some orange lentils in the bulk section at the health food store.  Buying this was is cheap and very non-committal.  You can get just enough for one meal…I love that. I always find that when I buy in bags I have enough for two meals plus a teeny bit extra and I find that annoying.   Because of this the bulk section is my new favorite place in the health food store. It’s the bargain smart way to buy.  Actually, yesterday was all about bargain shopping for me.  My local store gets delivery of their produce on Tuesday’s so I went to get some of the fresh goodies…well, I got there too early and the delivery hadn’t arrived yet.  But, what I did get was great prices on their existing produce – the organic broccoli was still in good condition and marked down to $.99 (normally $3.99).  Awesome, right?  I thought so!  I also bought a handful of vegan carob chips just to try.  They were good enough that I might commit to buying more to try in a recipe someday.  Watch out for that…

Here’s the vitamin packed meal we had last night…PS, orange lentils cook quite fast…I was surprised.

Black Rice and Orange Lentils with Avocado Salsa

Rice:

1 cup black rice (or brown rice)

1 3/4 cup water

1 clove of garlic chopped

salt to taste

Directions:  Combine ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to low and cover.  Cook for 30 – 40 minutes.

Orange Lentils:

2 cups orange lentils

5 cups water

4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Directions:  Rinse lentils and discard any funny looking ones. 🙂 Add lentils, water, garlic, cumin and pepper to pot.  Don’t salt yet as it will make the lentils tough.  Bring to boil and then turn down heat to low simmer.  Cook approx 20 minutes or until lentils are done.  Then add salt. (I usually like to add onions to my lentils, but I didn’t have any…they were quite good without)

Avocado Salsa:

1 tomato

1/2 avocado

1 Tbsp chia seeds (for good luck and extra nutrients)

2 limes juiced

chopped cilantro

salt

Directions: Dice tomatoes and avocado.  Combine all ingredients.  I usually like to add chopped radish to my salsa, but I didn’t have any.  You need to make this fresh at every meal as it doesn’t keep.  Especially if you use radish.

Serve over a bed of organic spinach… and enjoy!  PS, Lennox loved the lentils too!

A few reasons why this meal is good for you…

Black rice is high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, anthocyanin and several important vitamins.

Lentils are high in protein, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals.  Serving with rice makes it a complete protein.

xoxo,

Crystal

 

Herbed Green Hummus

Green is my favorite color…when it comes to food.  I add greens to almost anything…why not pack in some extra nutrients here and there, right?! Using organic greens is key see what produce you should also buy organic here.

Herbed Green Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans

2 handfuls organic baby spinach

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp tahini paste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

4 drops doTERRA thyme oil

4 drops doTERRA lemon oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Water to achieve desired consistency.

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor and whizz!  Easy peasy!

Personally I love dipping broccoli and cauliflower in hummus…bell peppers are also delish too!  Oh, also I love adding a few spoonfuls to my salads.  Yummmy!

(You easily make this recipe raw by using sprouts chickpeas instead.)