Here’s a little recap of my time down in Florida, which was mostly spent on the Gulf coast.
Greetings, friends! I’m currently in Florida’s Gulf for the week to celebrate my birthday, which is today! I enjoy celebrating in some way, even if it’s small. So far I’ve spent most of the day just floating in the ocean. What’s the most special thing to me though, is all of the love that gets sent my way. It keeps me smiling all day long, and I feel so blessed.
Just thought I’d drop in and say hello with a few pictures.
The omelettes were filled with sautéed strawberries with cinnamon, diced apple, banana, and cherries. On top I served some goat milk yogurt, chopped pecans, and carob chips. Good morning!
I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend!
Oh gosh! There’s so much catching up to do! I’ve been back in Florida for a couple of weeks, but I have some things that I want to share with you from before I even left for Toronto. So get ready!
Let’s see… how have I been enjoying the summer’s endless heat?
Slicing up lemons, limes, cucumbers, and a handful of mint leaves, and letting it all sit for a couple hours in a jug of water is all it takes.
You can tell how delicious these were just by looking at them.
I made this particular one with Greek yogurt, honey, almond milk, peaches, and cinnamon.
I’ve recently made Averie’s No-Bake Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites and Kelsey’s Cocoa Coconut Energy Balls. Both should be under your bookmarks if they aren’t already.
I sautéed some yellow squash, crumbled tofu, and diced sweet potato with Bragg’s flavorful Organic Seasoning. Drizzle some coconut butter, and I sealed the deal. By the way that sprinkle has 24 herbs and spices that add lots of flavor. Even if I don’t know what to cook I just use some of this and I instantly have a tasty dish. Thanks to my old roommate introducing me to this it’s now one of my secret weapons.
Himalayan Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
2 1/2 tbl poppy seeds or even chia seeds
2 tsp lemon zest
4 peanut ginger chews, finely chopped
1/4 cup goji berries
3 tbl shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar, or brown sugar
1 large egg, or egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 zucchinis, grated
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour mix
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbl curry powder
*Don’t be daunted by the long ingredient list*
2. In a bowl combine the almonds, poppy seeds, lemon zest, shredded coconut, goji berries, and ginger. Set aside.
So now that I’ve shared this recipe with you, here are some tips to go along with it. I soaked the almonds beforehand to add to the bread’s dense bite. I also thought of the recipes I’ve made where zucchini and almonds held hands in the most delicious way. I love coming up with kitchen experiments, being inspired by places I want to travel to and let my mind go.
Now take a bite into a slice of this and you’ve got a spiced and moist bread, with some crunch and the most unique flavor.
Recently, I’ve been letting a bag of green tea steep in a glass of cold water overnight.
- Or one packed with adventures!
Thinking about the warm weather, and coming back to cold weather has been on my mind lately. I try not to let the weather bring me down, but sometimes it’s hard! Something I thought about the other day is that weather is humbling for me. Weather and mother nature are greater than our expectations of it. Wind can make fun of me when it pushes me forward or gets me eating my own hair. The breeze welcomes me to relax into it. When it rains sometimes I imagine that clouds are just giant sprinklers and I can run through them. Whatever it may be like outside, it’s bigger than me and I’m okay with that.
Stepping outside and feeling warmth on my skin.
My parents frequent the several German bakeries in their area and always bring home things that are nostalgic for me.
This had such a curious taste, and I can’t really explain it but I’m not complaining.
By some miracle she did not get sick at all! That whole bar is twice the amount that is toxic for her, and I don’t know how she managed to eat something that is almost as long as her. She’s a supa freak! [Supa freak, supa freakayyy! Ow!]
I am all about options, and I chose a pear cider. This was so yummy, and tasted like an “older kid’s” version of pear juice in a box.
Raw red Russian kale with dressing, leftover yellow split pea soup, and…
The coconut-sesame seed rice recipe is from my “Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners” book, and I’ll give you a brief description so maybe you can give it a try! Cook some basmati rice with ghee and salt. Then when the rice is done cooking, heat up some ghee in a small pan and fry equal amounts of shredded coconut and sesame seeds till they’re lightly browned. Mix in with the cooked rice, salt to taste, and garnish with cilantro. I’ve posted about this recipe before. It’s so simple and incredibly flavorful!
Emily was staying a few hours away from us for a few days, and then she decided she was ready for girl time!
This is going to sound corny, but this really is coconut bliss.
Apparently Coconut Bliss has come out with four new flavors, and one of them is on my radar–ginger cookie caramel!
She’s such an intelligent woman and is so dedicated to what she does! Hearing her stories from work and her benevolent attitude towards the people that work for her makes me proud.
I hadn’t gone out for Thai food in such a long time! I requested that they also add some grated ginger, and much to my delight I saw AND tasted that they actually did. I’m never afraid to make special requests. If you’re polite about it then why not? I was left feeling satisfied and with yummy leftovers.
I steamed a bundle of asparagus and sprinkled on sea salt, drizzling of lemon juice, and a pat of butter. For the mushrooms I sautéed onions and garlic, then I turned down the heat and threw in the mushrooms with some salt and herbes de provence. Once the mushrooms softened I turned the heat down to low and mixed in a splash of balsamic, a few spoonfuls of goat cheese and Greek yogurt, and some cracked peppercorns. Let it simmer for a bit so the flavors blend together. Now the mashed potatoes were just a basic recipe but there was a special ingredient: black truffle salt. I served that with a pat of butter as well.
Spending the week with them in paradise was wonderful. I live with Emily right now, and we just have such a great understanding and appreciation for each other. I always feel funny just calling her my roommate because she is so much more than that to me. She is someone that I can stand in flamingo stance with while talking about our thoughts on life and the world around us. Sway is also one of the coolest ladies that I’ve ever met. She lives further up north so I don’t get to see her that often, but it’s always really nice when we do. We’ll have the same thoughts or do the same things as each other and it can be really freaky sometimes, but I love it! Actually, there was a week where I was eating lots of roasted beets and grilled goat cheese sandwiches, and when I told her that she told me that she had been making them too! It’s so awesome to be so connected with someone. These ladies are so easy to be around, and I can’t think of a time where we felt like making a fuss towards each other. I bet that the people they encounter in their lives can’t help but feel touched and graced by their presence. Both of them are so special and thinking about them and that they are in my life brings me peace.
I think we all have those special people in ours lives that seem to complete us.
Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. It’s been a little while since my last post, and a lot has happened in the world, hasn’t it? Before I jump into my post I just wanted to share some links with you all that help towards the relief efforts over in Japan. When the news kept unfolding during the first couple of days my mind couldn’t help but wonder how the people in Japan were handling the situation. I know that Eastern thought is very different from the western mentality. While some in the west may be frantic, I had a feeling that the people in Japan were trying to be calm and collected about the situation. I think they already have a sense that the world is much bigger than they are, and that catastrophic things in nature are a part of it. Well, that’s just my thinking. Here are some links though that you all may be interested in:
Last week I was in Florida with two close friends of mine for spring break. Oh my goodness, I wish we could all go back, but life doesn’t always work out like that. Atleast we have memories and pictures to look back on though, right?
We finally made it home after a lot of scary incidents. By the time we got my parents house all we wanted to do was go to sleep.
This was one of the best honeys I’ve ever tasted. It was thick and had such a wonderful unique flavor. Whenever I get honey I try keep it local as it also helps with allergies. Later on we strolled along Mizner Park, an outdoor place for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
As soon as I saw the words “Spice & Tea Exchange” I knew we had to go in. After oh-ing and ah-ing at all the wonderful blends of herbs and spices we settled on some to take home with us: almond cookie tea, blood orange smoothie tea, berry white tea, and black truffle salt. All of these things smelled deliciously potent, and my imagination started to get carried away.
Add some goat cheese for the final ‘pow’.
You can click over here for the recipe. It’s simple and delicious.
They are the kind of people that are okay with sitting in silence, and don’t mind when I want to vent. Plus, they know how to have fun! Here’s a quote that sums up what I love about these ladies:
“Your friendships should be low maintenance. Life is stressful enough with work, relationships and family. You don’t need someone in your life that you dread contact with.“
Speaking of friends, I’d like to give a shout out to the beautiful, Jen! She used to write a food blog, and now she is back with a new blog! She’s also attending culinary school so it’ll be exciting to read about what she’s learning. Check it out here.
Stay tuned for the next recap!
p.s. my mother nominated me for a contest on Perricone’s site on Facebook, and I’d greatly appreciate it if you click this link and “like” my picture! But first you have to have “like” the Perricone MD page on Facebook. Thank you very much!
There is so much to catch up on, but I think I know where I want to start for this post. Hmm… let’s see what part shall I rewind back to next? Aha!
My lovely mother really spoiled me this time. I think I barely cooked while I was there, which is unusual!
It was my first time trying them, and I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the the shells were.
I’m going to share her recipe with you. First she sautés some chopped onions and garlic. Then add diced tomatoes and sauté for a bit. Add some bay leaves, the beans, sea salt, and pepper. Then cook it all in almond milk until the beans are thoroughly cooked. Lastly, garnish with cilantro!
I like to make the oatmeal in a pot and spoon it into the jar little by little while stirring so the nut butter is distributed evenly throughout–not just at the bottom.
She obviously doesn’t use nut butters as much as I do! I don’t think it would take me a year to finish a jar.
The cous cous was cooked in vegetable broth and ghee giving it so much more flavor. Seriously, ghee is a staple in my kitchen. When that was done cooking we threw in some chopped red onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and other random veggies. Stir in some lemon juice, olive oil, spices (curry, cumin, and paprika), and salt to taste. Before you’re all done you can add some diced avocado and cilantro for that last touch of flavor. Cous cous is such a versatile grain to work with. You can make it sweet or savory. Cook it in juices, milks, or broths. Mix in whatever you’d like and voilà! A tasty dish.
In Virginia I’m usually in the mood for soups. I know that’s usually weather related though. Anyhow, this salad was incredibly tasty! I tossed sweet potatoes, apples, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and onions in a mix of coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon. Then I roasted them till they were done, and tossed them over a bed of Tuscan kale, letting the kale wilt from the warmth of the other veggies and fruits. To seal the deal I topped it off with pomegranate arils, and the beans my mother had made bandeja paisa style (cooked with plantains) and vegetarian friendly!
I made Ful Medames, a traditional breakfast in Egypt. Actually, fava beans are eaten at all times of the day over there, and it’s said that even the pharaohs enjoyed these beans.
I took Ani Phyo’s oatmeal raisin cookie recipe to another level by adding peanut butter. The idea for adding the nut butter came from Laury’s adapted recipe for no-bake oatmeal cookies. Here’s the recipe for the cookies I made for my step-dad!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookes (High Raw Vegan)
1 cup raw or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tbl Creamy peanut butter (creamy is better for binding)
1. Process the oats and cinnamon in a food processor into small pieces.
2. Add dates and process till it’s mixed well. Throw in the raisins and pulse.
3. Place in a bowl and mix the peanut butter in with the batter.
4. Now roll them into balls and enjoy!
Remember “The Flexitarian Cookbook” I mentioned in a previous post? Well, this was another delicious recipe from that cookbook! Everyone at the dinner loved it, and the lovely host even asked me to share the recipe. Now that says something, doesn’t it?
I’ll be dedicating a full post to “The Flexitarian Cookbook” featuring more recipes, and a review!
He made me raw vegan treats with figs, dates, walnuts, and gingerbread spices–very yummy!
When I saw this it seemed familiar, and that’s because Katie once featured their pasta made out of black beans.
This was actually yummy and had an interesting texture! I was very much pleasantly surprised.
Don’t forget to participate in my giveaway, in case you haven’t already or you missed it! Click here to check it out. You have until Tuesday to participate, so my fingers are crossed for you!
Wow so I can’t believe that it’s already mid-June and I’m catching you all up on what I’ve been up to since the end of May aka since I’ve been in Florida. Before soaking up the sun, my mornings have consisted of eats like these
Hey Brittany, I’m eating bird food too! Okay so that was corny, but I couldn’t help it! Anyway, this mix has scraps of their bread, oats, sunflower seeds, bird seeds, and who knows what else! I’ve enjoyed it with cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, fresh fruits. And the above picture has cottage cheese with honey mixed in, a lot of cinnamon, and a nice big spoonful of the cashew-macadamia nut butter I made for my mom awhile ago.
You also can’t go wrong with cinnamon, pear, and hazelnuts.
I also tried Irish steel-cut oats as well and I love the texture and nutiness!
But I wasn’t going to give up either. I bought some Greek yogurt at the store and I attempted to make the chia-icing yet again.
Everything in the store was 50% off that day so I got this whole set for $10–there’re four of each in the set.
Have you guys had any amazing finds recently?
I made crêpes stuffed with sweetened ricotta cottage cheese (only thing on hand) and cinnamon. I topped them with fresh strawberries, chocolate hazelnut butter, more cinnamon, and a drizzle of amaretto syrup. I think this is a true example of eating with the eyes first. Then my mouth got a taste and it was strange because I’d never heard fireworks go off in the morning.
Can you tell that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day? If my mornings have been starting out like this then you can imagine what I’ve been feasting on throughout the day. Let’s just say that I’ve been taking advantage of the kitchen, my mom’s cooking, and being so close to the tropics.
Here’s the right way to start every day!
Finally, when I could take the sun no longer I headed inside to get ready. My mom really wanted to take my friend to this German restaurant that has become one of her favorite places for dining out. I think it’s partly because everyone that works there loves her. In fact, when we were seated, a few of them came up to our table to say hello and they just wanted to talk to my mom hahaha.
I thought it was cool how it was like a sample of various German salad dishes. They were only missing the famous German potato salad. Anyway, the vegetarian choices on the menu were barely existent, but I managed to find something. And it did not disappoint.
Potato pancakes, latkes, whatever you want to call them… are one of my favorite things! So saying these were the best is saying a lot.
Then it was time for the desserts!
Oh my gosh I was so happy to be eating delicious food from my home country. Not to mention, Germans do desserts right. They’re not overly sweet, instead they let the actual flavors shine through. I love that about their desserts. It brought back so many memories and we told my friend of all the traditions they have over there. I’m so glad to be going back there this summer. Can’t be away from home for too long, can we? Eventually we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and made our way down to Miami for our last night of south Florida fun!
We ended up going to this place my mom wanted to go to that had an intense tropical theme going on. There were performances in two areas going the whole night. It was neat to see them re-enact the Brazilian carnival with the beautiful and barely there costumes. There were also men dancing their hearts out, and I actually thought they were much better than the women… and not just because they were better looking. We decided to end the night pretty early around 1 or 2 am since I had to start driving the next day. Was it really almost time to leave? The beginning of the week seemed to go by slowly, but towards the end time just seemed to speed up.
On our last day, my friend and I went to an incredibly relaxing yoga class in the morning. We thought it would be good to get some stretching in for our long car trip ahead.
That marzipan you see there is not just any marzipan. Oh no siree! It is marzipan with apple, cinnamon, and bread. It was so good! Kinder, Milka, and Yogurette are my favorite chocolates ever! I even posed with the Milka cow stuffed-animal when I was a baby. What can I say… Germans love their chocolate enough to have glamour shots with one of the mascots. That cheese you see in the back was also tasty and I made a sandwich for myself for the road with the bread they brought back as well.
Last of the lentils + rice + coconut oil. Also had some of that bread with the cheese, tomato, fresh basil, and black pepper. On the side I had a big fresh salad!
We made it safe and sound by the next day, and we belted out to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” with the windows down driving up a busy road to let everyone know that the girls were back in town!
I just realized that I forgot to reveal the truth! Drum roll please! Okay… so the truth is that I made out with one of the guys from my favorite band. Oh man, that is a long story to tell and I smile whenever I think about it. I definitely thought I was all that and a bag of potato chips after that hehe.
So back to the recap. The next day was cloudy and rainy so I decided to take Kelley to some specialty stores. But before that I whipped myself up a quick lunch.
My parents had the sprouted tortillas which I’ve never tried before. I was surprisingly satisfied with these. Sometimes those kinds of tortillas taste too “brown” for me, you know what I mean?
Then we hit the markets.
She really liked both of them! These are old favorites for me. Before my mom came home from work I decided to take Kelley to a secret location that a lot of locals don’t know about. I discovered the little spot back when I was learning how to drive and I was just curious to where this seemingly endless road would take me.
Then we headed home for dinner.
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but avocados are a staple at my family’s table! The next day my mom took off work and she wanted to make something special for us! She went through practically all of our cookbooks the night before to find some recipes to make.
I use to take dance lessons with the man in the picture. He’s so incredible and even knows how to belly dance! He knows how to shake his hips better than any one I know. But aside from that, this couple has so much love inside of them and it just radiates through their smiles.
You know I helped my homegirl out! The music was good and you know what means. It was time to dance. There was no one out on the dance floor, but who cares. As soon as we started shakin’ what our mama’s gave us, a crowd of people came and joined in on the fun. Seriously, how can someone just sit there when there’s music to be danced to and a dance floor? But at least it doesn’t take much to wake some people up!
My next post will be the final recap of my break in Florida. I miss it already! I’ve been calling my mom every night… actually that’s something I did anyway hehe. I hope everyone is enjoying spring so far!!! Don’t you just love seeing everything come to life?
Hello hello and greetings from the Sunshine state! I’m going to be backtracking a bit though and showing you some new things I tried during the week before heading down south.
Cinnamon + cottage cheese + NuNaturals vanilla extract on an English muffin; I’ve seen many bloggers prepare this little combo a la K–I love the ring of that! I topped it with Mymoune’s Crème of Dates with Almonds. Check out the whole almond. On the other half of the English muffin I spread on some good old butter and the berry preserves Holly sent me awhile back. I also made a smoothie which entailed: hemp protein powder + blueberries + banana + almond milk. This was a simple yet so delicious breakfast.
I tried another Amy’s frozen entree and I was not disappointed. My tummy was feeling funky earlier that week and I figured Indian food would help settle it down a bit. This was the Mattar Paneer entree and I loved that there were plenty of cumin seeds. After I snapped this picture I mixed it all together and added in some coconut oil and voila! No fuss meal.
I remember on this warm and sunny day (spring is finally moving winter aside) I wanted to snack on something that reminded me of Florida. So I went for Betty Lou’s Coconut Macadamia Butter Ball, and I put it in the freezer so I could have it cold. I just love biting into these. There’s something so satisfying about biting into a yummy ball of nut butter.
Speaking of Betty Lou’s, here are some other goodies I’ve tried. Let me start off with the Krispy Bite. Holy yum!!! I think this may be my favorite little snack of theirs, and I think that’s saying a lot because I like everything hahah. But seriously, there is no eating like a turtle when I munch on these. They disappear faster than it takes me to open the wrapper up.
Next up is the Almond Butter Ball. Doesn’t it remind you of the top of a Drumstick sundae cone? I love the denseness and it’s not overly sweet either. They also have a High-protein variation as well, but as far as taste goes… I prefer this one.
I was actually able to go out with just this on! Hooray for warmer weather.
I am racking up the OIAJ, aren’t I? This was the last of my MaraNatha cashew butter and I knew how I wanted to bid it farewell–with a tropical flair. I cooked the oats with a tea masala (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, nutmeg, and mace), banana, and almond milk. Then I threw in some mango bits. A little trick I learned is to pour a bit of hot water in the jar before you mix in the oats to soften the nut butter a bit. Then I stir it all together little by little with my special spoon (the one with the long handle). I definitely savored it because these nut butters cost an arm and a leg!!!
This was my first time driving to Florida without my parents and it was so exciting!
Speaking of sandwiches, I completely forgot that the grilled cheese sandwich included one of my latest finds–white truffle oil. So good! Anyway, this sandwich was yummy, and I was able to heat it up in the microwave at a gas station. We snack on these awesome pita chips, Sabra hummus, Pirate’s Booty, granola bars, sunflower seeds–hippie food! But whatever, we eat what we like. We drove through a torrential downpour that lasted most of the second half of the trip. Oh and there was an undercover cop that just pulled in to the highway from the side of the road and cut me off. If I didn’t move over I would’ve collided into it! But we finally made it to my parent’s place!
My mom has been cooking for us a lot lately, but I’ve been helping her out too. I love cooking, but it’s nice to have someone make things for you for a change though, you know? Especially if it’s your mother’s cooking.
The weather down here has been wonderful, but the wind is not our friend. Every time we’ve gone to the beach, we’ve ended up being brutally attacked the sand. But we will return to Virginia as bronze goddesses, no doubt!