Basil Quinoa with Tofu

I do love basil fried rice, always have and always will. However SP’s stomach can’t really handle rice so I don’t cook it as much as I would (which is a big deal I’m asian after all). I’ve evolved and my life doesn’t revolve around rice that much anymore.

This recipe is spicy as we both like spice so feel free to tone it down. I did eyeball some spices so I will try my best to determine the amount. I am going to assume you have some experience cooking so you know how much flavour you would want to add or take away. I recommend using chilli paste instead of chilli powder if you have it for a better flavour, I was just out of it.

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Basil Fried Quinoa with crispy Tofu (the basil is hiding in there..)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Tricolour quinoa (I used Elan) (i had a little over 1 cup bc it was left over)
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 to 2 tbsp oil (i used coconut)
  • 2 medium carrots (julienne)
  • Half a medium onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 inch ginger (minced)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (more if you want i kept it light)
  • 1 red pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash and cook quinoa
  2. Chop/dice/mince veggies etc. and mix all spices and soy sauce together in a small bowl
  3. Heat your wok/pan with oil and toss in the veggies and cook for about 5 minutes (i don’t like my veggies too soft) add onion cook till translucent
  4. Add ginger and garlic along with the spices soy sauce mixture stir in for a bit.
  5. Add cooked quinoa and stir in till mixed and add basil. Mix in for a few minutes, taste for seasoning adjustments and you’re done.

Sara xo

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Vegan Spelt Pancakes

Pancakes!! Who doesn’t love them? Well okay SP doesn’t (weirdo). This was my first meal of day one going vegan for a month. I just had to start with something I’d eat whether I am vegan or not, plus it was the weekend..

One guess as to where I found this recipe… yup I bet you know it. Pinterest. Probably my biggest time waster. This recipe is from the pretty bee I followed her recipe pretty much to a T. The only exception was I didn’t have white spelt flour just the regular which looks a bit like whole wheat and I added some vanilla extract because its a habit when it comes to my pancakes or crepes.

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                Vegan Pancakes (it doesn’t look white as I used regular spelt flour)

 

Also note that when you first mix the batter it seems a bit more runny but when you give it a good 5 minutes or so wait (as she mentions in the recipe) the batter will be perfect for fluffy pancakes so don’t fret and add more flour or you will ruin it! Though I can’t comment if you use other flours as I have not tried.

I think it is a must try recipe whether you are vegan or not. Especially if you know people with tons of allergies. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Kelly from the pretty bee

Sara xo

New Challenge

It has been a long past year and still going. I have experienced some personal challenges/difficulties that I will not get into. Of course there were ups during the long periods but my general anxiety level has been high and is still generally high. I am working towards solving these issues. Moving on….

On another note SP and I have decided to try going vegan for the month of July so I will be posting some recipes. What brought about trying this out? Well gotta love Netflix…. we watched “What the Health” and though having studied health sciences/kinesiology during my school years, some things were new to me. I think a lot of us have become inured to what we eat; you don’t think about the process of which you get your food. I’m not saying that this applies to everyone but some of us just ignore the fact or we truly are not educated to the process of the food we eat go through.

On some level watching this show did affect me. I’m not saying I will completely be vegan and banish everything out of my life from now on but I will try to be more aware. So trying this for a month I will see how I feel and if it is something I will permanently stick to. Mostly for my health because I don’t know if I could go through my closet or makeup and start throwing everything out. My thinking is better to try and make an impact on some level than not at all.

Of course most recipes I will be trying will be stolen from the world of Pinterest and I will credit the authors when their recipes are used. Heres to being healthier and kinder to my body and the other living creatures.

Sara xo

Josie Maran’s Cleansing Oil

So I’ve strayed from my DIY oil cleansing recently and decided to try a store bought cleansing oil from Josie Maran’s line for my nightly routine. It’s been almost 3 weeks and you know what, I am happy with it. Mind you I could just as easily make a version of this cleansing oil  with a little research if I wanted to. The ingredients are pretty straight forward and I have most of them at home. It was just one of those things when you want to shop and buy something different.

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I don’t mind putting these ingredients on my skin

I definitely recommend this if you are lazy to make your own oil mixture for OCM or are looking for an alternative to the traditional DIY OCM. It takes off my makeup completely and my face feels clean and not stripped. My skin leans more towards the dry side so this is good news for me.

I also find my hormonal breakouts don’t seem as bad and don’t linger forever. Who knows maybe it is a combination of other things but either way I do love this cleansing oil. So if I’m not making my own I will definitely splurge on this. I got this at Sephora and paid CDN$40(plus tax) for it. That is a splurge for me as DIY face cleansing is WAY cheaper.

 

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As you can see I have not used much of this and I have had it for just over 2 weeks. The directions do tell you to use 3 to 4 pumps but I find that is way too much for me so I use 2 maybe 3 pumps. I use this daily at night as it gets all the gunk off my face. Overall opinion..love it for my occasional splurge, works well and gentle on the skin and knowing that it doesn’t have crazy things in it is a huge plus. Laterz

Sara xo

 

 

 

Egg Cup “Muffins”

Clearly life is busy and I don’t get around to posting much but what I have been doing is meal prepping weekly to reduce the stress of figuring out what to eat. I’ve come across few recipes for these egg muffins so I thought hey why not! Its an easy and quick breakfast on the go.

To me they taste like a mini frittata. These are great because it is a guilt free breakfast and I get my veggie and protein in the morning without it being a chore.


Egg Muffins                                                                                                                           serves 6

  • 7 large Eggs & about half a carton of Egg whites (~250g)
  • 3 cups chopped Vegetables (I used mushroom, spinach & onions)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese of your choice (feta is great too) or more
  • Salt & Pepper (I just sprinkled it in without measuring)
  • Cayenne (for some kick) optional
  • Parmesan (to sprinkle on top, optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven at 350F and spray/grease your muffin tin well or line them. Mix the eggs well in a big bowl and most of the egg whites.
  2. Toss in the veggies and the shredded cheese, mix it up. (I put in a leaf of spinach into each tin and mixed the rest)
  3. Season with salt pepper and whatever spice of your choosing.
  4. Divide your egg mixture into your muffin tins (I had my tin poured practically to the rim) and pour the remaining eggs white to top off your tin. Sprinkle some parmesan on top. Pop them in the oven for 25 minutes and voila! they are done. Check by poking in a knife, if it comes out clean you’re good to go.

I don’t let them sit in the muffin tin long as I find my eggs still tend to stick even when it is well greased. Also the eggs do rise quite a bit but will deflate as they cool, so don’t worry about it spilling over.

I usually don’t keep these in the fridge for more than 4 or 5 days, you could freeze them but I am not sure how they taste after as mine never last that long. I just make mine and eat them with the 5 day mark. I consider 2 muffins as a serving.

You could also try using 12 eggs if you don’t want to mix in the egg whites. Experiment and modify it to your hearts content. I’m sure adding bits of bacon into this would be amazing too. Laterz

Sara xo

Curry Laksa

I was given a packet of curry laksa to try by my boss who hails from the same country I’m from, Malaysia that is.OMG I was shocked that a pre made package tasted close to something made from scratch. I was excited to try it and finally got round to making it. This packet says it serves 6 but I guess it depends on how much curry you want to add to your noodles. Usually its serve with a lot of curry, as in deep soup bowl amount.

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Stuff I added to make it a meal.

The directions to prepare it is given though you can always add things to it that you want its all personal preference. Usually the basic ones have bean sprouts, a boiled egg, deep fried bean curd (or tofu goreng as we call it) and a mixture of bihon (thin rice noodles) and yellow noodles. The rest depends on who serves it and where you eat it.

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Making the curry I let the bean curd and shredded chicken cook in with the curry.
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The noodles, egg, bean sprouts and fish ball were cooked separately from the curry.
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This was the meal. It was delish

So basically apart from the noodles, bean sprouts, coconut milk and bean curd that the packet tells you to add, I added:

  • Fish balls (however many you like per serving)
  • Shredded chicken (1 large chicken breast for 2 people)
  • Boiled egg (usually half per person but SP declined the egg)

What also works with this are seafood stuff like prawns (yum!) for example. I also added more bean sprouts the second time I had this as I needed more veggie crunch of some sort. Just don’t overcook the bean sprouts, blanching them is more than sufficient.

I froze the left over curry and noodles into portions. You could always just cook enough noodles for however many meals you are preparing instead of the 600grams called for on the packet. So if you ever come across this packet (asian grocery stores, TNT in my case) give it a try. Laterz.

Sara xo

Quinoa Bean “Soup”

Chunky hearty and healthy! Its a weird summer day today, cool and cloudy and I felt like a hearty soup that was in keeping with healthy eating. Plus I know making a pot means I can go back and grab food on the run if I don’t feel like cooking.

I ran through the ingredients to “add recipes” on MyFitnessPal and it came out really low on the calorie scale, seems wrong but who knows. All I care about is that it is a hearty filling soup that doesn’t induce guilt. It is super chunky and may serve more if your portions are small. Also this soup is not very soupy as the quinoa absorbs the liquid, so if you want it more “liquidy” add more stock.

I did not use oil to sauté my veggies this time around so if you want that touch of oil go for it! The whole process took about 45 minutes give or take.

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Quinoa Bean Soup                                                                                                           serves 6-8

  • 5 oz Organic wild quinoa
  • 1 big can (795ml) Diced tomato no salt added
  • 1 can (540ml) Navy beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups Chicken stock (I just used regular Knorrs or sub for veggie stock)
  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Chopped sweet onions
  • 2 Carrots (mine were about 10 oz)
  • 1 medium Green bell pepper
  • 1 medium Red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 TSP Italian spice/herb
  • 1/2 TSP Chili powder
  • 1/2 TSP Dried parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop vegetables to small bite size pieces, sauté chopped vegetables with the herbs/spice in a bit of chicken stock in your pot for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add can of diced tomatoes and rinsed navy beans, stir in and add the quinoa and the rest of the chicken stock. Bring to boil and turn heat down medium/low(5-10minutes). Stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes till everything is fully incorporated and quinoa is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I have about 1 cup in those containers. The MyFitnessPal calculations are based on 6 servings for the recipe above. Laterz.

Sara xo