Friday, January 29, 2010

Curried Yellow Split Pea Kale Soup

Another one of my favorite winter foods (besides tea and oatmeal) is SOUP! I adore it! I make up huge batches of it, and it feeds me for weeks. (and it freezes amazingly!) My mother's split pea soup has a special place in my heart (tummy), but I enjoy experimenting with different beans, vegetables, and seasonings.

Usually I'll head over to Whole Foods Bulk section and pick up a big bunch of beans, add water, boil, add spices and let it simmer for the majority of a weekend day, while I pick up the odds and ends of life around my apartment.

The other week I whipped up an especially good combination-yellow split pea, with kale and curry! and voila!

Curried Yellow Split Pea Kale Soup

3 cups dried split pea (~ 1 lb)
9 cups water
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
2-3 cups kale, chopped.
salt and pepper to taste.

Rinse the split peas, and then bring water and peas to boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and let sit for 3-4 hours. After about 2 hours, add spices. Wait an hour more than chopped pieces of kale, taste and add more seasoning if desired. Serve warm, or refrigerate and eat it cold like hummus.

This soup is cheap, healthy, and easy!!.I bought organic yellow split peas at WF for 62 cents in the bulk section-save the world-buy in bulk!

Do you have a favorite soup/recipe? Corinne of Green Grapes Blog is having a Scrumptious Soup challenge-head over to enter/drool over other healthy eats!!

How is this the last week of January?? Life is crazy.busy.currently-will be back soon with an exciting challenge of my own!!! Stay tuned!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hot Tea Month

Not only is January Oatmeal Month, but it is also Hot Tea Month!!

my current tea status

I adore tea!I drink it at all times of the day, year long.
Be it:
yerba mate

yogi tea (for their wise sayings)

ginger tea
holiday tea

Fun Facts:
  • Black, green and oolong all come from the same plant- Camellia sinesis, but depending on how it is processed/fermented it becomes either green, black or oolong (the inbetweener)
  • It seems like research keeps coming out about the benefits of tea! It can increase attention-span, lower diabetes risk, prevent lung cancer and the list goes on!

What's your favorite type of tea? Are you primarily a coffee or a tea drinker?
Enjoy your Monday! I'm off to have tea at Upstairs on the Square for Haiti!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just Say NO-FA

This past weekend, I assisted Jessica with a 900 person potluck at NOFA winter conference.

Trying to feed 900 people, two meals, with them providing all the dishes could have been a disaster, but thanks to Jess's amazing organization and delegating skills, great volunteers, and a whole lot of good food-it went off without a hitch!

Thanks to generous donations from Iggys Bread, Clear Flour Bakery, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Tribe Hummus, Bigelow Tea Company, Stonyfield yogurt, Organic Valley and Dean's Beans coffee Jess and I were able to organize a breakfast from local organic producers.

The Prius was JAM PACKED with bread and dairy. and smelled like a bakery

I couldn't believe how much bread we got! Gotta carbo-load before you see Joel Salatin speak! After breakfast, I kept the coffee brewing and bread stocked while Jess and volunteers organized the lunch setup. Check out Jessica's write-up on her blog.

It was a long day, but good food, and great people made it whiz by! Thanks for letting me help out Jess!!

**Did you know that GoodGuide has a iphone App and text messaging service? I didn't! Now it will be so easy to make healthier, more 'green' choices at the super market!**
***If you're in Boston-Upstairs on the Square is having an all-day benefit for Haiti on Monday. check out the deets here. they are also having an all vegan 'slow food' prix fixe on Wednesday. I think i just have to go.

Monday, January 18, 2010

[E] &Goji!

I first heard about [Me] & Goji at the Healthy Living Summit this summer, when it was included in our delicious breakfast!
For Christmas, my gorgeous older sis gave my lil sis, mom and I each gift certificates to make our own cereal!
So What is [Me] & Goji?? It's a Customizable Cereal where you pick your cereal base, and each add-in. They have a huge variety of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, and seeds to throw into the mix! As you drag and drop ingredients into your mix, a nutrition facts label on the side keeps a tally, and your price is calculated. Changed your mind about an ingredient? No problem-just drag it over to the "Compost Bin"

I made "E's raw and (white) sugar free museli" with the 5 grain museli, dried strawberries, mulberries, golden berries, chia, and of course, goji berries! (how could you not??)
It arrived in a big ol' Cereal Capsule (seriously, this is the FUTURE of cereal)

and i love it-especially the dried strawberries. They don't skimp on the amount of berries in the mix, which i loved.

Even more reasons to love [Me] & Goji:
  • There are several gluten-free options, and many sugar-free ingredients.
  • Almost everything is certified organic and vegan!
  • It was started over a year ago, by three friends, is a small business, and pretty local (to me!!).
  • Each batch is handcrafted, (mine was made by "Adam's Mom")
  • Furthermore, each owner is in his 20s, which is inspiring!
I Highly recommend that you check out [Me] & Goji- what would [You] Mix??

**Chocolate Covered Katie is giving away a Vita-mix!!! I would love to win that puppy! Enter the giveaway here!**
***Is one of your new year's resolutions to get back into shape? The Fitnessista just started her "Winter Shape-Up" fitness plan! Jump on board!**
****After the awful tragedy in Haiti it's important to the best place to donate, where your money has the greatest potential to actually save lives. Here's a great article with suggestions, and how to avoid scams You could also help send local doctors to Haiti, or buy a Theo Chocolate bar. All weekend OpenSky is donating 100% of their profits. Now is the time for action! ****

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All About Me

\I've been in Boston for two weeks before school starts and it's been quite fun!
New Years was a blast, and then I've started exploring the swanky cocktail spots in the beantown. Drink and 28 degrees are winning currently. Clink is next on the list, especially after hearing about their <150>
Went on a field trip to Dedham to New England's largest Whole Foods. While there I gave in at Lucy and bought their running skirt. I wasn't a fan of them, but I tried this one on, and just loved it!

excuse my pale stems. its winter.
And the price was right at $10 (love post-holiday sales!)
I wore it at Fitcorp, which I'm trying out for 6 weeks thanks to BuyWithMe (groupon?). I took another acro-yoga class and hope to do much more of this in the near future!!

I also made Vegan Truffles at MIT Chocolate Science Labs A wonderfully fun experiment, I look forward to playing around with it in my own kitchen.

curry dark/white chcolate-amazing

espresso, peppermint dark chocolate

experimentation with flavors is highly encouraged!
I'm a huge fan of wandering around Boston, exploring, so one day I decided to head south-South Boston.The only time I ever go down to southie is for the st pattys day parade, But on a crisp winter's day, not clad in green, I checked out Core Pilates, which kicked my arse. And then I treked over to Rocca to try their 2010 detox menu.

for the beginning of January they are offering 3 raw courses for $20.10, and lots of fresh juices, because they lost their alcohol license for a month, and decided to embrace the detox. Annabelle and I tried each got a salad, a 'pasta' and the one dessert offered. The salads and entrees were good, but a little oil heavy. The dessert was lackluster, a mango cannoli, aka a slice of pineapple wrapped around a mango puree.

beet ravoli, love the meyer lemons in it!
I applaud them for trying out a raw menu, and trying to make the best out of their situation. But it was far from the best raw meal I have ever had, and the amount of oil used was excessive and unnecessary. Basically I won't be back again, but I'm glad I tried it!

Classes Startedtoday, but I don't have class on Wednesday and Friday, which is nice. I'll be working on those days. After work today I'm heading to NOFA with Jessica. I'm helping her organize all the meals of the day, which shall be interesting. We secured some sweet donations from Iggys and Clear Flour and the conference should be good, even though I'm not sure we'll get to see much of it!
Today, Corinne nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award

Apparently I'm supposed to tell ya 7 fun facts about me, and then nominate 7 other lovely bloggers. So yes, this post is all about me, but here goes!

  1. I grew up in Lander, WY, which is a tiny town smack dab in the center of our square of a state. I used to hate it, but I've come to love going back to visit, and grew up with some amazing people. While I love living in Boston, I miss wide open spaces, mountains and fresh air.
  2. I started playing violin and dancing at age 4. I stopped dancing at 14, and violin at 18.
  3. I played no sports in highschool. I lack hand-eye coordination, and just wasn't a sporty kid. I was a debater, and ran for fun.
  4. But, I rowed for BU my freshman year at BU. After a winter spent indoors erging, and 6 am runs up and down Harvard Stadium, I decided it wasn't for me. But I made some very good friends, and it was an experience!
  5. I spent my junior year of high school in Bangkok Thailand. An amazing year, totally immersed in Thai culture, even attending Thai highschool. Sometimes it feels like that was a dream, and I hope to return soon.
  6. While I've run 2 half-marathons, and a full marathon, but I have never done a 5K or 10K. i can go forever, but the pressure of a sprint scares me. Hoping to change that this year!
  7. I am addicted to mustard, raisin, and nut butters, though not together-EW!
Thanks again Corinne-You're beautiful! While the Blog world is filled with gorgeous ladies and gents, of both inner and outer beauty, here are my 7 nominees
Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fabulous Fiber

Fiber Really Is Fabulous! Because humans can't digest fiber, it keeps you regular! Soluble fibers (found in oats, legumes and vegetables) have been shown to decrease cholesterol, protect against diabetes, colon cancer and gallstones. Insoluble fiber (in wheat, corn and vegetables) may delay glucose absoption, increase satiety, lower cholesterol, and protect against colon cancer. But no need to get picky-all fiber is good fiber, and most Americans are seriously lacking in the fiber department! The ADA recommends that adults have a dietary fiber intake of 20-35g per day, not exceeding 50g. Usually, this is about 14g/100calories consumed, so the average woman would aim for 28g, while your average male would be closer to 35g. It's much better to get your fiber from whole food sources, rather than mixing up a cup of Benefiber or Metamucil!

So let's bump up the fiber!
  • Increase whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and legumes in diet! Not only do they give you lots of fiber, but they're loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Make sure to increase your intake of fluids to at least 2 qts every day
Here are some great sources:
1/2 cup kidney beans 9g (1 cup is about the size of your fist, in cooked beans)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans 6g
1 medium sweet potato 5 g
1/2 cup of raspberries or blackberries 4g
1/4 cup of dates or prunes 4g
1 apple, banana or orange 4 g
1/2 cup cooked broccoli or parsnips 3g
8 brussel sprouts 4g
1 cup spinach 3.5g

Want to know the fiber content of a food I didn't list above? hop on over to or check out this stellar list!

Source: Mahan, L.K, and S Escott-Stump. Krause's Food and Nutrition Therapy. 12th edition

Monday, January 11, 2010

Purely Elizabeth: Betty's Got Nothing on us!

Watch out Betty Crocker-there's a new Elizabeth in town!

Thanks to a Twitter Giveaway, iIreceived a Huge package from Elizabeth of Purely Elizabeth. I spotted her products in the twitter-verse over the past few months and had been meaning to check it out. This presented a fabulous opportunity.
I also discovered that besides sharing my name, she too, attended BU. Oh the coincidences! We also have similar tastes: in the package she also included some of her favorite gluten-free treats. they included-larabars, Gnosis chocolate, Vega products and single-serving peanut butter-Delicious!!

Purely Elizabeth is a line of gluten, dairy and sugar-free baking mixes. Using high quality ingredients,whole grains, flax, hemp and chia seeds. There are currently 4 products in this line including:
  • ultimate cacao muffins
  • perfect pancake mix*
  • banana maple muffins *
  • apple spice muffins

First- the blueberry muffin baking mix

The instructions were simple enough-add 1 egg, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla, put in muffin cups, and bake! But, in true Elizabeth style I subbed,1TBS flax meal + 3TBS water for the egg, Stevia instead of the maple syrup; and Applesauce instead of olive oil.

NOTE: I am not a baker, and no good at following recipes. My roommates like to play the game-lets guess what Elizabeth substituted in this!! I like playing around with recipes way too much to be a great baker-let's call me a cook!

Verdict: Good! I enjoyed the combination of blueberry and maple and liked the texture of the gluten-free flours. The blend of millet, corn, almond, and coconut flour made an excellent substitute for traditional wheat flour. Chia, flax and hemp seed add omega-3 They would have risen more, and been less salty if I had followed the recipe exactly, but I enjoyed then!

I brought home the pancake mix to share with my gluten-free mother, and she stuck to the recipe with excellent results!

Go Get it while it's hot!! DailyCandy named Purely Elizabeth Sweetest Thing in Food for 2009!

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your products with me, and creating these fabulous products, with an excellent mission statement:
**eat purely. live purely. Purely Elizabeth ***

Friday, January 8, 2010

My House is a Cheesecake Factory

Is a Sinfully Guilt-less cheesecake an oxymoron?? Not anymore!!!

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
**Inspired by Pure 2 Raw Cheese Cake**
1 cup walnut halves
1/3 cup medjool dates (pitted)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
Directions: Place all ingredients into food processor.

Pulse till combined
Press into bottom of a 8in spring board pan, lined with parchment paper
1 3/4 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup light agave
1/2 cup water
pinch sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup dark unsweetened coco powder *what i had on hand-use raw cacao powder to make 100% raw*
Directions: Place cashew butter, agave, water, sea salt and vanilla to blender. Blend till smooth. Add in the coconut oil and blend. Then add the with coco powder.

Put in freezer for until ready to serve

The filling is quite fudge-like, and oh so delicious!! Even my very raw-skeptical sister loved it!

Special Thanks to my favorite Raw Twins for this, along with all of their other amazing recipes!! Their running the Disney Marathon Tomorrow so be sure to stop by and wish them luck!!!

** In the Wednesday Food Section of the Boston Globe, they highlighted some of the vegan/raw/vegetarian restaurants in the area, and proclaimed that Boston is a Health Food Mecca. While it mentioned some of my favorite local restaurants, there is still plenty room for growth and we are still no where close to beating NYC or SF for delicious, healthy eats!! The Article can be found here **

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Raw Gingerbread Superstars

Winter Break Mission: Put a Dent in Recipe Making!!!
i always have 2309423094830 recipes I want to try, so my goal over winter break has been to put a dent in that list and whip up some tasty treats.

First on the list-raw gingerbread!!

Spotted: Katie and Averie getting it on with raw gingerbread men! I just had to join in on the action!

Raw Gingerbread
.75c dates
.75c raw almonds
1/4 tsp each ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg
tiny pinch sea salt
1/4 vanilla extract

Add everything to your food processer (or vita-mix if you're cool like that)

and process!!

Then I rolled it out between two sheets of parchament paper

and cut it out with cookie cutters!

The gingerbread, poodle and scottish terrier presses just weren't cutting it (pun intneded) so I stuck to good ol' stars-and then succumbed to balls.

Perfect snacks while doing some PLEASURE READING!!
(yes, when I do not have classes, I still read about nutrition/fitness. "Hungry gene" was very good-discussing the pitfalls of current obesity treatment and the need for continued research. I found it fascinating. "What Einstein Told His Cook 2"=an entire semester of food science in one book. A good refresher)

Have a great Wednesday, and come back on Friday for another Raw Recipe!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Oatmeal Month!

January is National Oatmeal Month!

Oatmeal is definitely one of my favorite breakfast foods, and fabulous on these winter mornings!
besides being delicious and comforting, its also nutritious!

Besides being a Whole Grain its chock-full of soluble fiber, which may decrease your "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and increase the "good stuff" (HDL), decreasing your risk of heart disease, as well moderate blood sugar levels.
I love all types of oats-from steel-cut to irish style, to just plain rolled oats. But, be careful of those Quaker Instant Oat Packets-they're loaded with extra sugar. Make yours at home, to make it more nutritious and cheaper!!

I buy mine in bulk, organic, and make it on the stove-top, (2-3 parts water to 1 part oats). Then I sweeten it with stevia, and mix in all sorts of things, such as:

Rhubarb-POM oats

Chia + Amazing Grass Oats

Pumpkin Oats with Cinnamon

Marathon Oats

Cacao-nib Oatmeal

Not pictured, but also loved:
Other Fun Add-ins
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Raisins
  • Flax seed (ground to make sure you get all the o-3s!)
  • Cocoa Powder

and my new addition to the breakfast grain family-Kamut! Thanks to Chocolate Covered Katie's Blended grain inspiration, I picked this little guy up from Whole Foods! (also check out her amazing oatmeal recipes!! )

Do you like oatmeal? Have any favorite recipes you'd like to share??

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oh the weather outside is Frightful

But, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!
Hope everyone's decade is off to a fresh start!!!
I'm bundled up at home-drinking lots of tea, and leaving the house only for work, the gym, yoga, and whole foods.
A quick recap of my winter break thus far:
spent quality family and friend time,
with champagne, ugly sweaters, and houses full of laughter.

are you two sisters? NO..........yessssss (**night in roxbury, anyone??**)
Nom-nom-nom-ed on all my mom's homemade preserves

peaches and the best salsa in the world!
Made Sunflower seed milk + more raw treats (recipes coming soon!!)

Got a lot of christmas booty, even though I didn't ask for anything

my itunes was in serious need of some tunesss

glass straws (so eco and appropriate for hot coffee too!! these teeth are staying white!) and Pollan's latest book!

headband, socks, amazing raisins, and massage balls

um, how did my big sis know all I needed in life was a lunchbox, [meandgoji] and flower-shaped measuring cups??
Adorned my knuckles with the best fake tats ever

veganluv y'all
ate "chedder-cheese" cauliflower

made home-made marshmallows with my mother. a delicious sugar-coated culinary experiment.

Loved me some Avatar

Danced last night of 2009 away and welcomed the new year whole-heartedly!! Started the first morning of 2010 at an Inten-Sati class which was probably the most inspiring, affirmative group-exercise class I've ever taken!!

Have a great weekend!!