Super Easy DIY: 4 Ingredient Homemade Tortillas

Hi there 🙂

As you well know, I set a challenge for myself that basically forces me to learn how to cook and bake. Cooking is not my thing and baking is a serious ‘No-Go’ zone.

In my ultimate frustration with not being able to have what I want, I’ve been scouring the web for easy DIY recipes. Guess what! None of them are easy. For some reason, simple cooking just isn’t a thing anymore. All I can seem to find are recipes with 15 ingredients. 9 of which I would have to search every specialty shop in the Country to find. So why so complicated? Ugh. However, I have managed to find a few tolerable recipes and make them my own way. This is one.

This recipe makes 8 tortillas. (BTW; this tortilla recipe turns into naan bread if you just leave them in the pan a bit longer. So…Ta-da! Instantly 2 recipes 😉 Yyyyaassss) 8 tortillas here get gobbled up immediately, so may I suggest doubling the recipe if you’ve got a hungry group. The recipe I found was in USA measurements and since conversion is a pain, we just used the measuring set we bought on our wedding trip. There is a conversion calculator that’s quite accurate.

Here are your very important 4 ingredients :

  • 2 cups flour (wheat powder)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

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And here’s what you do:

  • Basically, put it all in a bowl and mix well until it looks doughy
  • Remove dough from bowl and knead on a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour (wheat powder) to prevent sticking
  • Knead for about 10 minutes
  • Then leave to sit for 10 minutes
  • Divide your dough into 8 equal parts
  • Roll each part out until it is thin. It should be round, but I’m thinking that’s an acquired skill. I’ve found that kind of slapping it between your palms in a back and forth action will help to smooth it out.
  • Lightly coat your pan with oil or cooking spray and then place your rolled dough into the hot pan. Turn after 1 minute and remove after another 1 minute. (*If you want Naan bread, leave the dough in the pan until it bubbles. Flip, and repeat. Pretty simple.)
  • Keep tortillas in the oven on low in order to keep them warm before serving.

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That’s it!

If you are like me and hate doing all the prep work every time, make an extra batch of dough, knead and let sit, then divide into 8 portions, wrap each dough portion in either a freezer bag or plastic wrap and put straight to the freezer. It works pretty well and it’s ready to roll and cook as soon as it defrosts.

My tortillas aren’t so beautiful, but they did taste great and they managed to hold everything I stuffed them with. So in my book, it’s a win! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

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Plant Powered Protein Day 2: Lentils // Lentil Burger + Sweet Potato Chips Recipe — be well with mb

Hi there 🙂

I’m really happy to be able to share this post from from Be Well With MB.

I love veggie food and the great recipes that come along with it. So you can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this beauty of a recipe for lentil burgers! Thank you to MB for allowing me to share this awesome recipe post. I hope my hubby is reading, because this looks like something he would love to try!

Enjoy!

-Mliae

Day two of our #PlantPoweredProtein series brings us to lentils. While lentils may sound pretty boring to talk about, they’re one of my favorite members of the legume family. Not only are they an excellent source of lean protein (around 18g of protein per 1 cup and less than 1g of fat), but they are […]

via Plant Powered Protein Day 2: Lentils // Lentil Burger + Sweet Potato Chips Recipe — be well with mb

Product Review: Earth Conscious 100% Organic Cream Citrus Natural Deo

This is a product I found interesting after reading about the Earth Conscious product Hippy Paste on Sable Eyes blog, I did some shopping around for Earth Conscious products. The product I ordered is the Citrus No Nasties Deo. It’s close, but not identical to the Hippy Paste. I think.

I really wanted this product for my very picky fiancé. He prefers all natural products, hates the aluminum in your average store bought deodorants, and works out really hard – so needs good protection. (You know, some of those all natural products just don’t work at all.) Not to mention, it seemed like the perfect stocking stuffer. Only…I couldn’t wait until Christmas and gave it to him the day it arrived. Nice one :/ (Yes, I’m that chick who has to keep buying gifts because I can’t keep them squared away)

This stuff is really nice and it comes in a variety of scents (Hello, lavender!). I like the citrus for guys. It goes nicely with my man’s beard oil, which has a tinge of citrus scent in it too. Our suggestions for this product are that it’s very practical and good for day-to-day use, works well if you’re in an office job or not doing any kind of insanely heavy tasks (like building a house), and it smells great. You might have to reapply about halfway through the afternoon, but the way the deodorant spreads, makes it super easy and suitable for re-application as opposed to say, those crystal sticks. Only thing about this product is that if you are a person that works out really hard or does strenuous physical labor (the kind that leaves you drenched in sweat), the citrus deodorant is just not strong enough to handle that kind of challenge. I would like to try the mint, as it is said to be the stronger one. It would be really cool if that could maintain during a sweat-filled workout. I must say honestly though, that as far as all natural deodorants go, I much prefer this to some of the others we have tried.

If you would like to check out this product, you can find it here (I always include links for both the States and UK – which ships internationally):

USA:

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Citrus) by Earth Conscious (The product reviewed)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Mint – Strong Protection) by Earth Conscious (Mint! This will be my next buy, I love all things minty – and this is supposed to be the strong one)

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Lavender) Vegan Friendly by Earth Conscious (Lavender for the ladies, of course!)

UK/International:

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Citrus) (The product reviewed)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Mint – Strong Protection) (The stronger one, and minty – so my next purchase)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Lavender) Vegan Friendly (Lavender for the ladies who prefer a more floral scent)

Have you used this product or one like it? What did you think? Any favorites we should try?

-Mliae

Product Review: Organic Baobab Powder by Pandavita

Hello all 🙂

I’ve been testing out a new Super Food Product and I really like it, so I wanted to share my thoughts! Those of you who have been with me for awhile, know that I have been on the search for superfoods, brainfood, and good nutrient mixes. So far, there have only been a few that I’ve found worthy of a good share.

The reason why I’ve been on the lookout for the best of the best however, has remained a mystery…until now. I have blood issues. A horrendous case of anemia – no, not the ‘I bruise easily’ kind of anemia, but the ‘we’re going to find you unconscious on the floor if you don’t fix this’ kind of anemia. So, not only is it fun trying new products, but it is imperative to my health that I find good products that actually work – and stick with them! This is one of those products. Seriously. I have to take a ton of iron supplements on the daily and taking Vitamin C with that iron, helps my body to absorb more of the iron that I need. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover this product.

Until recently, I had never even heard of Baobab fruit. So, I was a bit hesitant to try it. But when I tried it, it was really good – even just on its own, so that was a two-thumbs up moment. 🙂 Also, any kind of nutrient that is derived straight from the plant, is much preferable to nutrients created in a lab. I mean honestly, who says ‘I want non-natural chemicals to make my natural body healthier!’ – Ummm…nobody. So of course I was thrilled to see that this is a vegan, plant-based product.

About this product: Baobab fruit is a fruit that is grown in Africa. The Baobab powder used is 100% organic and unprocessed because the powder actually dries inside the fruit, so no processing is necessary. It contains tons of Vitamin C, Potassium, Fibre, Magnesium and Calcium. It’s very fruit-y, sweet, maybe a bit zingy so it’s great in all yogurts, smoothies, or on its own. I would personally, only suggest using this product on its own, or in cool or room temp foods; as from what I know about superfoods, mixing it with hot food – or heating it – will diminish it’s nutrient power. If you are taking other nutrients which need to be absorbed quickly into the body, or else will be wasted, taking Vitamin C will help your body absorb those nutrients faster. Trust me 😉

About Panda Vita: Panda Vita is a small company in the UK which currently focuses solely on Baobab powder. They believe that the investment into 100% organic product is well worth it because it is healthier for the consumer and the planet. Panda Vita donates 5% of all their profits to charity, to a Panda conservation center in Chengdou, China. (Ok, that’s awesome! ) The people that I have had the pleasure to be in contact with are extremely friendly and helpful. Fantastic customer service is always a huge bonus! Not to mention one of my favourite bits: Affordable World-wide shipping! Yeah, Baby, Yeah!

promo

The nice folks at Panda Vita have been cool enough to even offer a promo code for my readers: If you would like to order this product, please go to the Panda Vita site and when you are checking out, use the promo code: LEB15 for your 15% off 🙂 I will be using this code in the very near future too!

I have been using this product in a Almond Coconut milk Chia Pudding, which I think you might like and I will be sharing the recipe next week 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I hope I was able to help you on your search for great nutritional products!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary package of Organic Baobab Powder in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I will be buying myself more 😉

Book Review: Five Seasons inThe Kitchen #FiveSeasonsinTheKitchen

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I really really like this cookbook! The recipes are unique and awe inspiring, and set out in such a way to help the reader follow a Zen-inspired lifestyle.

The 5 seasons are set as Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its foods (seasonal fruit and vegetable), the colors that normally accompany these foods & seasons (greens, reds, whites, etc) and coolest of all – the organs of the body which benefit most from this seasonal eating (Heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.) Fortunately for us, we can make almost any of these recipes year-round for a full body benefit and extremely tasty experience!

Some of the recipes I am dying to try:

  • Vegetable Stuffed Persimmon Fruit Leather with Asian Paste (Spring)
  • Rye and Spelt Flour Sicilian Pizza (Spring)
  • Persimmon Sorbet! (Spring)
  • Endive Boats Stuffed with Macadamia Feta (Summer)
  • Baked Vegetable Chips (I have been searching for this recipe!) (Summer)
  • Tri-Color Cashew Cheese Rolls (Late Summer)
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Grilled Pepper Sauce (Late Summer)
  • Hearty Root Soup (Autumn)
  • Acai Sorbet (Autumn)
  • Moroccan Style Jerusalem Artichokes (Winter)
  • Pickled Vegetables – Korean Kimchi (Winter)

In the beginning of the book, there is a nice explanation of Zen and the Zen diet. Following the recipes, there is a great section about mindful eating, which I think is extremely important – especially if one is using foods as a means of healing.

One of the additions I enjoyed, is the ‘Good to know’ sections. Filled with tidbits about ingredients, prep and nutritional value. It really is good to know that certain food items are very filling, and therefore I can make smaller portions!

If you are interested in cooking for health, following the natural cycle of food and body or just love to cook – I highly recommend this cookbook and it can be found here.

I can tell you that we will be keeping this e-book handy for our kitchen adventures, and I hope you will too!

– Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I like it…a lot 🙂

Supergreens Vegan Sushi

This has to be the healthiest sushi I have ever eaten!

As I stated in my previous post, I have been on the hunt for good, organic superfoods and nutrients that will serve as a compliment to my vegetarian lifestyle. I was absolutely thrilled when my package from Indigo Nutrition arrived! There are so many nutrients – brain food, that I need and this Supergreens Powder has ALL of it! Yes! Brain food, power food, ENERGY FOOD!

I couldn’t wait to get cooking. The only question is: What to create? I carefully opened the package and peaked inside. Green. Awesome, just as I thought, since the contents are 100% Organic Wheatgrass Powder, Organic Barleygrass powder, Organic Spiraling powder, Organic Chlorella Powder & Organic Mooring powder it would be a surprise if it were say …red. I took a big whiff (we do like to smell foods, don’t we?!) and it smells like …seaweed! 🙂 Question answered! Sushi it is (vegan, of course)!!

So we made this gorgeous set-up:

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Here’s how you do it:

Cooking and Prep Time: approx 1 hour (this includes cooking, cooling, prep & prettying)

Serves: 5 (as in, 5 large rolls.)

What you need:

  • 1 package of tofu
  • 3 teaspoons Indigo Nutrition Organic Supergreens Powder
  • Sushi rice (cooking volume: 1 decilitre sushi rice to 1,5 deciliters water)- for this recipe we used 4,5 dl sushi rice
  • 6,75 dl water (adjust if using varying measurements of sushi rice)
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 pack of seaweed wraps (usually come in packs of 8-10, but this recipe only needs 5)
  • A bamboo rolling mat (covered in plastic wrap) OR a sheet of baking paper
  • Small cup with water for rolling

Preparing the ingredients:

  • Preheat oven to 175 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit
  • Measure your sushi rice, put in pan or strainer and rinse well with cold water. 3 good rinses and drains should do the trick
  • Add the required water into the pot: 1,5 parts water per 1 part sushi rice
  • Bring stove to a simmering heat to cook the rice. Cover the rice and simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is completely absorbed. (Check frequently! Sushi rice is temperamental)
  • While the rice is cooking, remove your tofu from the package and rinse. Cut into length-wise strips and place on baking tray to bake.
  • Place baking tray with tofu strips into a preheated oven at 175 c for 15 minutes. It should begin to golden when it is done.
  • Cut one small cucumber into julienne strips to be used as filling
  • Measure out 3 teaspoons of Indigo Nutrition Organic Supergreens Powder and place into a small bowl.
  • Take rice and tofu from heat when they are cooked and set out to cool. (The fillings must be cooled or the seaweed wraps will pucker)

Making the rolls:

  • Place 1 seaweed wrap on a bamboo rolling mat (thats covered with plastic wrap) or on a sheet of baking paper (shown below)

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  • Fill ½ -2/3 with a small layer of rice. Don’t over-fill or it will not roll properly.

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  • Place one line of the baked tofu strips and 1 line of the cucumber strips (next to the tofu) towards the front of the wrap.
  • Sprinkle Supergreens powder gently over the tofu and cucumber filling

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  • Gently life the end (closest to you) of the rolling mat or baking paper and the beginning rolling fold of the sushi. Squeeze across the roll to give it a little compactness. Put the mat or paper back and continue rolling, squeezing gently along the way to ensure it holds.

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  • Roll until there is a bit more than 1 cm (0r ½ inch) of empty seaweed left to roll.
  • Dab this last section with a few droplets of water and run finger along line before completing the roll. The water will act as an aid to help the end of the seaweed wrap stick to itself and will seal the roll.
  • Set aside until all rolls are completed.

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  • Cut into 2,5 cm (1 inch) sections and lay flat on a plate. It helps if you use a large kitchen knife with a few water droplets on the blade – to prevent tearing the seaweed wraps.
  • Sprinkle the tops lightly with the remaining Supergreens Powder, for an extra boost!

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OK, I have to say a few things about this. Firstly, the sushi turned out awesomely! Secondly, these Supergreens are truly SUPER! We are both usually so tired by the end of the day. This small serving of these powdered greens gave both of us a serious energy boost. (I had a partner in crime on this one, so I know it’s not my imagination.) About 3 hours after we ate this sushi, we both looked at each other and were like – ‘I’m not tired… AT ALL. You?’ – ‘Nope, me either.’ – ‘I like that Supergreens powder!’ This fantastic boost of energy lasted about 5 & ½ hours after the meal. I can now tell you that I will have some of this with my food during the day so that I can continue to be a fully functioning human, even after the work day has ended! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!

The Organic Supergreens Powder can be found here. Indigo Nutrition is located in the UK, and they are currently offering free UK delivery with purchases over 30 British Pounds. Best part? This company does offer worldwide shipping, at a very reasonable rate not at the crazy high rates most internet shops do. All you folks around the globe, I’m looking out for you. I hate paying as much for shipping as I do for the product. I know how you feel, so I try to let you know when a good thing comes my way 😉

What do you think about supergreens/superfoods?

Thanks for eating! 😉

-Mliae

 

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*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary portion of Supergreens in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Which I have given, and I love this stuff! 🙂

Super Protein Chunky Mashed Cauliflower with Basil

Good day, everyone 🙂 Today I thought I would do a little something different. You know, I am constantly on the search for healthy products that will add a bit of a boost to my mainly vegetarian diet. So, in addition to merely doing a product review, I thought I would share a really easy and yummy recipe I created to go along with this great product.

I’ve been really excited, as I received my Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder last week. This stuff is supposed to be amazing! It’s 100% vegan organic protein powder. The ingredients are: 100% Organic Chia, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Pea, Organic Pumpkin Seed and Organic Rice Protein Powders. It’s a high source of Protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Phosphorus and Iron. Which makes this a superb nutritional addition for myself and any other vegetarians/vegans because it is difficult to get enough of some of these nutrients from diet alone.

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The serving recommendation is 5-20 grams daily, which is quite easy because there are 100 grams in the package and I included 10 grams in my mashed cauliflower recipe. There are no artificial colors or flavors, so I was a bit wary as to what it would actually be like when I opened the package. It is a nice natural color, and smells slightly reminiscent of turmeric. That was a pleasant surprise 🙂 I think that this product would actually go quite well in some smoothie mixtures, but it was dinner time and I was dying to try it, so this is what I made:

Super Protein Chunky Mashed Cauliflower with Basil

Time: 20 mins

Serves 4, 125g servings
Ingredients:
500g Cauliflower
10g Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 heaping Tablespoon of Turkish Yogurt (can be substituted with Soy yogurt)
1/4 Teaspoon Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Herb Salt
Fresh Basil Sprigs for garnish

Instructions:
Steam 500g cauliflower for 10 mins
Remove from heat and transfer cauliflower into medium sized mixing bowl
Add 3 Tablespoons olive oil
Add 10g Indigo Nutrition Organic Super Protein Powder
Mix on low with a hand mixer 1 minute, or use a hand potato masher (like I did) for 3 minutes
Add 1 heaping Tablespoon Turkish Yogurt, 1/4 Teaspoon Basil and 1/4 Teaspoon Herb Salt
Mix on low with a hand mixer 2 minutes, or hand potato masher for another 5 minutes
Serve and garnish with Fresh Basil
Enjoy!

This side dish turned out really well! It will pair well with steamed veggies and maybe a béarnaise sauce or vegan mushroom gravy. Personally, I ate a ton of it just how I cooked it and it was delicious!

I also woke up the next morning with a bit more pep in my step, which is unusual because I am normally a morning zombie. So I’m assuming that my body was thankful for the extra surge in nutrients.

Please check out the full line of Indigo Nutrition products. I know I’ve been drooling over what I might order next. I will definitely make sure I have this item in my pantry at all times.

What do you think, would you be interested in trying super food powders? Why or why not?

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

-Mliae

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*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary package of this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Green Smoothies: The weightloss & detox secret #GreenSmoothiesTheWeightLossDetoxSecret

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Greetings everyone!

As most of you know, I’ve been on a slow-boat voyage to healthier living. Diet, exercise, hard work and a smile 🙂 So, you can guess correctly that I was a happy thing when I got my hands on this smoothie recipe book. At first I thought it would be just like every other smoothie book out there: All kale, all banana, all the time… Buuuttt, Much to surprise, it isn’t! There are actually some really cool and creative recipes inside. Easy too! Good, because I’m not exactly the home-chef type. So, I tried a few of the vegan/vegetarian recipes and they turned out really yummy.

I thought I would share a few of my faves, as well as a short review from my perspective:

Some of my favourite recipes include: Arugula Raspberry smoothie, Almond and strawberry smoothie, beet and broccoli smoothie, spiced pumpkin smoothie (of course, it’s perfect for this time of year!), Gazpacho smoothie (This, I’m dying to try!), Tropical green smoothie, and a delicious dandelion celery smoothie.

What I liked about this book:

  • Fantastic, healthy alternative to fast food
  • Quick and easy to read
  • Interesting recipes, not just – put a whole bunch of stuff in a blender and drink it.
  • The recipes look GREAT!
  • Each recipe includes some nutritional information
  • Explanation of if it is or is not preferable for weightloss and why
  • Each recipe includes a short breakdown of what the special benefits of that particular smoothie are
  • The health benefits of chocolate are actually included…Yay!
  • It is suitable for vegans, as milk is almond milk & yogurt can be substituted for soy.
  • All the sweeteners included are natural. Agave, honey, cocoa

What reservations I have about this book:

  • Some of the recipes include natural sweeteners, which I feel is counter-productive. Although I understand that some readers may have a sweet tooth and naturally occurring sugars in vegetables may not be enough to satisfy the taste buds.
  • The suggestion to have the smoothies at approximately the same time daily. This leads me to the assumption that many of these ingredients are naturally occurring diuretics, thus the need for your body to adapt.

Before I got these good recipes, I was making kale and cucumber smoothies (good, but boring after awhile) with the occasional dessert smoothie of berries and ice cream – which is totally not the right thing for my diet. Now it’s replaced with the almond and strawberry smoothie. Yuuummm…

This book can be purchased here  by clicking on the link. The Kindle edition is $4.95, or free with the kindle reader.    Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial  There are also Hardcover and paperback versions available from $18 – $19.

OR, if you are in Europe:

Amazon UK:     Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret: 50 Recipes for a Healthy Diet (Special Diet Cookbooks & Vegetarian Recipes Collection Book 3)

What do you think, are smoothies the way to go? Or just a nice way to have a quick serving of fruits/vegs on the go?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Product Review: Teadora Nourishing Lip Balm

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Teadora Nourishing lip butter from Brazil is the product I am reviewing today on my search to find the products to create the perfect pout. I really like this product. It does not leave my lips dried out after 1,000 uses. I found that, even better, I’m not applying it all day long. It lasts much longer than the average lip balm, so I re-apply maybe 5-6 times per day.

What I like about this product:

  • Exfoliating properties. Because this is the slightest bit gritty, it gently exfoliates the dead skin on your lips, so you don’t find yourself mindless rubbing your lips.
  • I think it smells good. I can’t exactly place what the scent is, but it smells…clean, not chemical-y.
  • It lasts for-ev-er! Due to the fact that its super thick, its virtually impossible to get a ton of it to use at one go.
  • Product is Vegan. The ingredients I found are as follows: Buriti, Açaí, Cupuaçu, Buriti, Brazil Nut, Andoriba, Maracujá (Passion Fruit), Açaí oils, Cupuaçu, Murumuru, Mango butters & Carnaúba Wax
  • Price. This product is very affordable, and with the fact that it lasts soon long it’s a good buy. Solid 🙂

What I don’t like about this product:

  • The almost un-noticeable grit contained within, takes some getting used to
  • You have to use your finger. You’ll be swiping for ten minutes with a lipstick brush to get any, because it is solid its so thick.
  • Labelling. (I know, it has nothing to do with product performance) But if you’re like me, you like all your tubes and bottles looking new and beautiful. With heavy use and banging around in my bag, the ink does rub down a bit in some places such as the container lid.

Overall decision: 

For me, this one is a keeper. I will have it in my beach bag this summer. I will be buying more, and I like this product so much I want to try to some of the other products in Teadora’s line as well.

Keeper Tally: 2

  • Teadora Nourishing lip butter
  • Clarins lip balm with rose wax

I’ve linked Teadora’s website and amazon pages here, just click on where you want to go.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Teadora products.

The search continues!

-Mliae

 

Lip recommendation: Coconut oil

Well folks, I said I would try your recommendations..and I am. Misstery blog was kind enough to share some of her favourite lip products on a comment feed discussion prior to my bath and body works honey mania lip balm review. Thank you! I never would have thought to try this if it hadn’t been suggested to me.

This is an organic, cold pressed coconut oil that I purchased to try for cooking purposes. I jumped at the chance to try this for my lip challenge, because…how awesome would it be to find the perfect that was just hiding in my kitchen cabinet!

Here’s how it went down:

On day one, my lips were already in atrocious condition. Dry, cracked and bloody. Really bad. I filled half a shot glass with coconut oil (in solid form) and started smearing it all over my lips as often as I just could. No kidding, my lips were that dry that they were sucking this stuff up like it was a mojito in the desert. I tried it on my hands too…same effect. I’ve never been this dried out; I’m starting to think its the water in the new place or something. After about 5 hours  of constant re-application, the skin around my lips and on my knuckles started to get red and itchy. (Could this be a bit of an allergic reaction or what?)

On day two, began feeling an improvement, no more redness. Still thirsty, still lathering. After about 100 applications, the skin on my lips started to peel off – in sheets. I know that this was just that horrible dry skin shedding away so that new healthy skin could appear.

On day three, lips looked much better, and even fuller. Not exactly like collagen or a shellfish allergy, but not dry and small. Pretty and a little puffy (in a good way) and MOISTURIZED = happy blogger

On day four, everything normalizes. I’m still applying this stuff constantly, but I know enough about its reactions with me to write this review.

What I like about this product:

  • Accessibility: This is a somewhat common kitchen product that serves multiple functions. The 217 ml container is 50x the size of your average lip balm container and the cost is low
  • Moisturizing!
  • Feels very smooth on the lips
  • Smells coconut-y
  • Affordable
  • Multi-purpose: cooking, lip moisturizer, face and hand moisturizer, super hair and scalp treatment and about a bizillion other things

What I don’t like about this product:

  • Maybe not for sensitive skin in some cases, as I think I might’ve had a small reaction to it.
  • Should be cautious of using any oil product on your face, hands or body during parts of the year when UV is high
  • Kind of melted as soon as it got close to my face, so I was using tons of it and all the time
  • Container issues: Since you can’t exactly carry around a bucket of coconut oil in your clutch, how do you repackage it nicely for mobility? I kept it in a shot glass at home.

Overall decision: Unfortunately, this is not the perfect lip product for me. However, I will be using it on my lips again in the future because it was really nice and super moisturizing!

The hunt for the perfect pout continues! Any more recommendations for me to put on the try list? I must admit, I’m having a really good time doing this experiment!

-Mliae

Vegan egg salad

I’ve been craving egg salad so badly for like a week now. So, I decided to figure out how to make vegan egg salad with tofu and egg-free mayo instead of egg and traditional mayo. After a relentless google search for something that was simple enough for yours truly to manage, I just kind of said ‘ok, I get the point’ and went by my own taste buds. This is what I came up. The first bite didn’t exactly taste like egg salad, but after that initial spoonful, it was actually surprisingly good! I scarfed down the entire batch in one day. On toasted rye, in wraps, and on a bed of fresh spinach.

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(another beautiful fuzzy photo)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • egg-free mayo (also, you can do your research. Surprisingly, some store brands can be found that are actually vegan also…they just don’t advertise it. Shocker, I know!)
  • ½ tsp celery seed (or celery salt sprinkled to taste)
  • ground pepper
  • pickles or pickle relish or fresh cucumber or chopped celery (if you like a bit of extra crush)
  • tbsp of mustard

WHAT YOU DO:

  • open your tofu and squeeze all the water out. Crumble into a large mixing bowl.
  • mix in your mustard, celery seed, chopped onion, and pickles (or relish or cucumber if you want) -> mix well
  • I added 3 heaping tablespoons of egg-free mayo (add to taste)
  • mix well
  • pepper to taste
  • SERVE and ENJOY!

Winter slim-down week 14

I realized last night that due to my fear of boring my readers to tears, I have not gone into as much detail about my eating or exercise habits as I should be, on my weekly updates. I have been fortunate to have Chape checking in on me and trying to steer me in the proper direction (good luck, Chape), as well as a few real darlings like Marlene Dotterer, who have  been thoughtful enough to comment on what I need to watch out for. So, for those of you who are actually reading this, here it is…laid bare.

For starters, I will say that that scale is still back and forth over 2 kilo’s (5 lbs) and when I least want it, it shows nearing my original weight when I still had 10 kg (or 20 lbs) to shed. This, frustrates me to no end! I know that most of it is my fault alone. An occasional lack of willpower, trying too many different things, not exercising enough..maybe? I have changed the basis of my nutrition, as myself and my S.O. decided to try to go vegan. I’m addicted to cheese, so that’s been challenging to cut back on and I flatly refuse to cut out honey. But we’ve switched from cow’s milk to almond, rice or soy milk. And we are eating more pasta, rice and tortilla wraps than I am comfortable with. Don’t get me wrong – I like it. But as an accompaniment to every meal, it just seems a bit much. This of course, raises the challenge of couples and their eating habits. One whose metabolism is on fire and is usually the chef…and the other who just eats happily and hopes to catch up at some point.

Most of my meals this week have consisted of either steamed veg, cooked soy strips, or hummus and one of the accompanying carbs. There were 2 nights when we were just too tired to care and found ourselves scarfing down waffle fries and cider. (Yes, this is horrible…I know) My other diet fast food is this nutrilett soup. It’s rare, but sometimes I’m in a hurry, its cold and this is the best bet I can manage so I’m not starving half an hour later.

As per the photo; I did it, yes. I am sometimes in a rush and don’t cook every meal, so I bought a package of nutrilett soups and have been eating their protein bars for at least a year now. (Keeps me from going straight to the closest junk food when I’m hungry).

The vitamins I’ve been taking and trying to work into my diet when I do actually cook. (Grabbing oranges, bananas and apples on my way out the door doesn’t count as cooking, but it does count as healthy food) are helping. I can already see a noticeable difference in my energy levels (Thanks to some sunshine also) and my hair looks healthier. I’ve been focused mainly on taking vitamin C, vitamin D, MSM (which is sulfur) at a very low dose, and a green smoothie vitamin pack which contains 25 varying  supplements and ingredients including seaweeds, agave, spirulina, barley, clorella, apple, beetroot, berries, carrot, broccoli,shiitake, spinach, parsley, kale, etc. I have been eating some flax and chia seeds daily, as well. I have to say that the MSM has had some noticeably awesome effects. My hair, nails and skin are looking better and my energy level is increasing. (I’m sure the energy is a result of all the supplements). I have stuck to my mild daily exercise plan. Which is difficult sometimes, but do-able by the end of the day.

Any suggestions for this upcoming week?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

My first canning experience

Heeeyyyy, I actually DID it! Step one of my New Years resolution to learn how to preserve food before this summer arrives. I must confess, that this was extremely intimidating at first. I spent a lot of time doing internet searches and trying to get solid advice from people I know. I managed to get a great recipe for pickled green tomato’s (have to wait until summer) and find some good options online. I also managed to almost talk myself out of it because there seems like there is so much additional stuff needed that I just don’t currently have room for. Anyway, that wasn’t the case…as you can see.

Since I’m a total amateur with this, I only did the one can. It would be so upsetting if I did make a huge pile of pickles which turned out horribly and ultimately made everyone ill. Yikes :/ OK, so I do the one jar. I kind of made my own version of an appetizer recipe that my mother sometimes makes.

What she does is places sliced cucumbers and sliced white onions in a dish and covers them with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. (This mix is heated so that 1 sugar cube can disintegrate and then pours it over the cucumbers in the dish and tops with a bit of pepper) She then puts it into the refrigerator to cool for about an hour before serving.

What I did was basically the same thing. (especially since I’m expecting that these will be opened and devoured ASAP) I sanitized the jar and lid, washed and sliced a large fresh cucumber and a white onion. I layered the cucumber and onion in the jar, topping each layer with 3-4 sichuan pepper corns. I repeated this until I had it all packed in up to where the jar begins to bottleneck. I boiled a really small pot of a 3/4 vinegar & 1/4 water mix, and added 1 sugar cube. When it was boiling rapidly, I poured the mix over the cucumbers in the jar until it just covered the vegetables inside. Then I put the lid on moderately tight and left to sit. After an hour, the little bubble on the lid was flat and it was sealed. Now it’s just sitting on the cutting board pickling and looking pretty 🙂

I have no idea how it tastes, but it looks good… so I’m thinking ‘Not too shabby, eh?!’ 😀

My next preserving experiment to come soon. How are your resolutions coming along? The daily post has a great feed discussing this topic.

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

New Years resolution time…

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Whoop! Whoop! HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2016!! 😀

Aaahhh, it’s that time of year again. Time to look over your past achievements and failures, time to make that somewhat reasonable wish list for your year ahead, time to contemplate (and dismiss) all your former yearly resolutions. Some actually achieved and some that lacked.

For me? I’ve done the whole gung-ho ‘I’m going to diet and exercise and be healthy, wealthy and young for eternity thing.’ Guess what? Didn’t stick. Since I’ve already been dieting and exercising for the past 2,5 months, it seems like an unfair head start on a resolution. Time to find another challenge to add to the game.

One year, I did manage to make it an entire year without colouring my hair…and have actually managed to stick to it for the last several years since. I also managed to quit smoking Although I’m not sure whether to count that or not, as it took at least 15 tries before I put the pack down permanently. I also stuck to the plan that I wanted to get my degree abroad. At least long enough to actually get my degree! And this year, I purchased my first home. A farmhouse. A fixer-upper, but it’s mine and as of this minute, it’s still standing so I’m happy 😉 Which brings me to…this years’ resolution!

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Canning! That’s correct 🙂  Welcome yourself to another new experiment. This undomesticated female is starting, as of today, to learn how to preserve food. I mean to learn not only how to can, but also how to dry, freeze, preserve in oil, etc. Before you start scratching your head, let me explain. There is method to my madness. Although my land area is quite small, it’s also quite full. There are lots of berry bushes and some fruit and veg plants that have been growing for a very long time it seems. I plan to go on a planting binge myself when Spring arrives and I really really would like to be able to use everything I am able to harvest during the year. A) It’s the healthiest option as I don’t use pesticide sprays. B) I spend a fortune at the market, so it would help me to save money for the fun stuff, like traveling, shopping and this desperately needed home reno. C) Seriously, who doesn’t want to be able to enjoy their own home grown food?

So that’s the deal. I have nothing but vinegar and a few canning jars at the moment. I’ll be trying to learn the old fashioned way before all the extra pots and canners. (Mainly since I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, so simpler is always better) Today I was given my very first canning recipe for pickled green tomato’s. Yum!

I gladly welcome any advice, recipes, warnings or ideas about food preservation. Please share, as I am an amateur!

Stay tuned, I’ll be blogging about my progress while learning this.

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-mliae

Vegan Cabbage Casserole

Happy Holidays everyone!

Since holidays do have a tendency to be a bums rush for cooking, and if you’re anything like me, you usually forget at least one important ingredient; I thought I would share this recipe as a ‘just in case’.

What you need:

  • Soy pieces (I prefer the small ones that look similar to meat and just need to be soaked in hot water)
  • Rice
  • 2 veggie stock cubes
  • ½ green cabbage

What you do:

  • Chop the half cabbage into bite-size pieces
  • Boil for 30 minutes in a medium pot full of water with the 2 veggie cubes

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  • Preheat the oven to 200C or 400 F
  • Take a separate large baking pan (Pyrex rocks!)
  • Fill bottom of baking pan with the uncooked rice (only enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan)
  • Sprinkle soy pieces on top of the uncooked rice

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  • Once the cabbage has boiled for 30 minutes, pour everything (cabbage AND the water it cooked in) into the baking pan. It looks really soup-y but the uncooked rice and soy will soak up the water and cook in it when it’s in the oven.
  • Mix it together, but make sure the rice and soy are packed down under the liquid
  • Bake in the oven for 2 hours or until the top has begun browning.

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Serve, and enjoy!

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Winter Slim-down diet week 8

Jaahas…This week I lost all the extra weight I gained and regained. But, by no conscious doing of my own; sad to say. There’s only one magic word involved in this weeks’ weightloss and that is ‘DENTIST‘. I think we’re all on the same page now.

It seems that this chic has been keeping herself so busy this past 18 months that I’ve been rather masculine in my approach to healthcare. ‘I’ve got too much to do and can’t take time away’, ‘I’m not dying yet…’, ‘I’ll go if it starts to hurt’ or my personal favorite: ‘How the hell am I supposed to go to the physician when I cant speak the language?! I’ll make an appointment when I get home’ (and then never does).

I finally went. Good news; no cavities! Bad news; Thanks to a serious addiction to chili peppers and all things seed-y (flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower…you name it – I gobble it down. But the chili peppers seem to be the main suspect), it seems I managed to achieve a bit of a gum infection. I know…eeeewwww.  They patched me up at the docs, and after feeling as though I’ve taken a few hits to the face for the past few days am now healing nicely 🙂

Now that I’ve managed to babble my way through all the things nobody cares about, here’s what I did. As most chipmunk-cheeked victims of dentistry, I went for the softest, warmest things I could get. In all honesty, I didnt eat much of anything for like 3 days because it just hurt – but I’m not a proponent of starving yourself so let’s not go there. This past week has been all about plain yogurts with a splash of honey or something or vegan soups. For drinks, it’s been mainly vichy and herbal tea. (So, no booze and that always helps drop the extra weight)

The soup pictured above proved my favorite: Vegan Thai red curry soup broth with some small soy pieces, soup veggies (root vegetables) and fresh sliced mushrooms thrown in for good measure. The ingredients provided me with enough different vitamins that my body wasn’t craving any additional weird foods. (Which is awesome)

This upcoming week I’ll probably still take it light on the gorging myself on whatever I want for the holidays, but I’m sticking to the enjoyment plan with fingers crossed a miracle happens and I don’t wind up right where I started when New Years rolls around.

How’s your holiday diet going?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Coconut Ginger Tofu with mixed Vegetables

Super simple and delicious way to get dinner on the table without too much complication. This is a good recipe, which I just kind of made on the spot because it’s what I had at hand. Sometimes those things just turn out the best! Fully vegan, packed with protein (Tofu and broccoli) and enough for 3.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large frying or stir-fry pan
  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 small package coconut milk. (I used 300grams & the same container worth of water => 600 grams)
  • 1 small bag frozen mixed veggies (I used broccoli, cauliflower & carrot)
  • 1 handful fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
  • Olive oil

What to do:

  • Pour a small amount of olive oil into the pan and heat on mid-high
  • Drain and cube tofu, put in the pot
  • Add in veggies and spinach. Stir to fry
  • Once it begins to fry, add in the coconut milk and the milk container of water also.
  • Stir frequently
  • When it begins to simmer, add in the ginger and stir well.
  • Total cooking time runs 15-20 mins, depending on heat. Once its bubbling, stir often for another few minutes only. And then it is ready
  • Spoon out and serve
  • Enjoy!

I chose to enjoy this meal as-is, without any brown rice in addition as it is quite filling. If you are looking to create a more substantial meal, then by all means, cook up a batch of brown rice and serve!

Eat and Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

New foodie try: Simple and easy Kale chips! Recipe included :)

Several years ago while loitering in wonder in a natural foods market, I found and purchased my first ever bag of Kale chips. Habanero flavour, if I remember correctly. It must’ve been a precious commodity because the price tag on this handful of kale chips seemed like I was paying for it by the gram, as if it were gold. I fell in love immediately, and there was no turning back.

I am not a good cook. Sure, I can piece together a home cooked meal, but I’m not a recipe person usually, so it’s usually a one-time culinary experience and then I can never manage to remember exactly what I’ve done when the occasion presents itself the next time. I am hoping to rectify that situation via this blog and an eternal hope for healthy eating. Anyway, I digress.

As per the norm, whenever I taste something that I absolutely fall for, I go home and google it. If you’re anything like me you know exactly where I’m going with this. You google, always included in the search terms are keywords: easy, simple, fast… And every recipe you find is: Not easy, not simple, maybe fast, usually contains 1-30 extra ingredients that are not on-hand or are impossible to find (especially when traveling. Seriously, how to hunt down ‘baking powder’ in Cyrillic, Thai, Farsi or Yiddish?!)

I searched and searched….I found many great kale chip recipes but all, soooo yummy looking, but too much work. (Hello Dorito ranch kale chips!)  Until this beauty was found 🙂

-Rinse kale and remove from stem

-Place all kale leaves in a large bowl

-Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss (just enough to make sure that the leaves are oiled, but not so much as to soak them)

-Place on a baking tray (go ahead and pile it on, they shrink down when baked)

-Salt to taste. (I prefer freshly ground Himalayan pink sea salt & a little goes a long way)

-Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 120-150 C or 325 F

-Put in a bowl, crunch and enjoy!

Simple as that!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did 🙂

Thank you for reading

-mliae