Category Archives: Healthy

Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes - Tea/Drinks

My triple almond coffee breakfast smoothie

July 7, 2015

Consider this recipe my greatest testament to my love for almonds. Really, this smoothie was inevitable. I cut down a lot on my caffeine but on the days I need a boost, I’ve been making this dairy-free smoothie which is full of protein and potassium. I call it “triple almond” because I basically OD on it — I use almond butter, almond milk, and actual almonds in it.

Triple almond coffee smoothie

Triple almond coffee smoothie


I also started adding raw maca powder to this. Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood with plant protein and fiber that naturally energizes you without the caffeine crash. Technically, you can totally make this without the coffee for that reason but I like its flavor personally. If you have decaf go for it–you’ll still get the energy boost. Maca’s actually a pretty intriguing ingredient, according to the website it says “the maca root was prized throughout the Incan empire for its adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body’s delicate endocrine system, and to help cope with stress…it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility.” Dang. I originally bought this powder for the Jennifer Aniston smoothie I tried recently, but since I spent $23 on a packet of this I decided I might as well throw it in more of my meals.

Anyway, this smoothie like most is pretty easy to make and tastes amazing. Let me know if you try it and what you think!:

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Triple Almond Coffee Breakfast Smoothie

– 1/2 cup iced brewed coffee (You can use any, but I’ve been using it with a Blue Bottle Costa Rican grind that I prepare in my Chemex pour over, then I throw it in a mug of ice to let it cool for a few minutes before I pour the ice and coffee together in the blender)
– 1 frozen banana (I always put a couple bananas in the freezer for my smoothies the next day but you can use a non-frozen one too since the ice will chill the smoothie anyway)
– 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened (I use Blue Diamond’s Almond Milk)
– 10-15 raw almonds
– 2 tbs of raw almond butter
– 1 tsp of maca powder

PS I added whipped cream and sliced almonds for the picture–quadruple almond smoothie?– but normally I’d just take this plain. It’s nice to add those little touches if you have guests though!


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Shy
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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Dessert - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Hair - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes

How to make a hair mask and a delicious dessert with 1 avocado

July 6, 2015

Have you guys ever tried to make your own beauty products at home? I made yesterday a little DIY spa day at home using products I concocted right in my kitchen with a little help from the The Vitamin Shoppe’s new line of Aromatherapy Oils.

Ingredients for the avocado hair mask

Ingredients for the avocado hair mask

This was a fun experiment for me because I came across a really awesome hair mask using Moroccan argan oil, olive oil and half an avocado, but I was also able to salvage the remaining part of the avocado to make myself a healthy dessert after (if that’s not embodying the spirit of Beauty & the Feast, then I don’t know what does). But first, the hair mask! This is an easy recipe that makes hair super shiny, and smooth. Tried and true.

Avocado Argan Hair Mask

Avocado Argan Hair Mask



Avocado Argan Oil Hair Mask
Ingredients
:
1/2 of a mashed avocado
1 tbs olive oil
1 pump of argan oil (I used the Vitamin Shoppe’s Moroccan Argan Oil).


Directions
: Mix ingredients together thoroughly (make sure there are no clumps of avocado or it will be hard to smooth through hair). Heat in the microwave for ten seconds. Let it cool, then apply to clean, wet hair (make sure to massage it in your scalp!) and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wash out.

So in the course of waiting, I realized 30 minutes is a long time. I was also starting to semi-freak out about wasting the other half of the avocado. I definitely didn’t want to throw the perfectly good (and ripe!) avocado half but I just made guac the other day (an aside: I pretty much make guac everyday so there’s never a shortage in my kitchen). But then I realized this was a good time to experiment with making an avocado chocolate mousse…and half an avocado looked perfect for one serving.

I say experiment because this is the second time I was trying this – the first time, I used Giada’s recipe here which uses a mix of bittersweet dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, agave and way too many avocados I think (the recipe called for four, but I only used two).

Giada's avocado mousse recipe -- looks delicious, but fell a little short in taste

Giada’s avocado mousse recipe — looks delicious, taste was off though!


Even so, it ended up tasting too avocado-ey (there’s nothing worse than serving chocolate dessert and realizing it tastes like fruit). The color and texture looked right, but the taste was off so that was a semi-fail (Sorry, Giada, I love you though).

So this second time around, I decided to try another recipe using low-fat cottage cheese. As usual, I adjusted it a little based on what I had at home and because I was only using half an avocado. That said, this tasted SO much better — you wouldn’t be able to tell there’s avocado in it at all (which is mostly the point) and it’s perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Take 2! Loved this recipe so much better! Use the remaining half of your avocado for this dessert

Take 2! Loved this recipe so much better! Use the remaining half of your avocado for this dessert



Fresh Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients
(again, remember this is for a single serving so considering you’re already doing a thick green hair mask, let’s just hope you’re at home alone anyway):
1/2 a ripe avocado
2 tbs of low-fat cottage cheese
1 tbs of bittersweet dark chocolate
2 tbs of powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbs of agave


Directions
: Mix together in a blender or with a spoon, and leave in fridge to cool before serving. I first blended it using a blender, but since the quantity is so little, it didn’t fully mix so I had to scoop it out and mix it by hand. The color was lighter than the Giada version, but this one was on point with taste.

Here’s the original recipe again (which is slightly different than the one I made up here), but the quantities are adjusted if you’re serving more people.

Let me know if you try either of these and like! I’m going to post an amazing DIY foot and body scrub in a couple days that I hope you love indulging in as much as I did :).


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Shy
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American - Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes

Recipe: Truffle eggs and thyme

July 5, 2015

Sooooo I guess some people noticed how obsessed I am with anything truffle-related (has it been that obvious? :) ), so I was inevitably tagged me to an Instagram post that displayed a delicious combo of soft boiled eggs and thyme. I’ve been craving it since so I made my own version of it, very slightly altered, but man, you have to try it if you feel the same feels about truffle as I do.

Truffle eggs and thyme

Truffle eggs and thyme

Toast a wheat toast, and top with low fat cottage cheese. Add sliced hard boiled eggs, and season with sea salt, crushed red pepper, fresh thyme, and drizzle a little truffle oil over it. On that note, my friend Shazeen introduced me to The Truffleist‘s truffle oil.

What's left of The Truffleist Oil I have

What’s left of The Truffleist Oil in my kitchen


It smells like HEAVEN and is so incredibly delicious. You should check him out and try his stuff — you won’t be disappointed!


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Shy
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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes - Vegetarian

Side dish: Seared lima beans with roasted pumpkin seeds

June 21, 2015

Anyone else watch the cooking channel while they’re on the treadmill? No? Well you should, because A) it makes an hour fly, and B) you will likely come across a new dish you’d want to try, like I did when I saw one from Damaris Phillips. She had an episode based on a recent visit to Mexico and she came back to make a three-course meal inspired by her trip. The appetizer she made looked just too good not to try: seared lima beans with roasted pumpkin seeds. I feel like I’ve been OD’ing on my favorite ingredients (mushrooms, avocados, quinoa, and that variety), so thought it would be nice to try something new. Never thought I’d crave lima beans so hard. It has a nice, nutty flavor and makes a good, light veggie side dish for a meal.

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Seared Lima Beans with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
[Makes 4 servings]
Ingredients

1/2 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
3 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil
16 ounces frozen large lima beans, thawed
5 small green onions, greens parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread out the pepitas on a baking sheet; transfer to the oven and roast until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Let cool to room temperature, then grind the pepitas in a food processor to a coarse-milled consistency.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and heat until very hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lima beans and sear on one side until light golden brown, 3 minutes. Add the green onions, parsley, roasted pepitas and the lemon zest. Stir, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and season with salt to taste.

Add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired tanginess is reached.


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Shy
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Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes

Recipe: Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Burritos

June 20, 2015

As promised, here’s an addendum to the last post: using that smoky avocado quinoa pilaf and making it a breakfast burrito:

Avocado burritos


Ingredients:
4 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of the cooked smoky quinoa pilaf mixture
4 eggs
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

1) In a large skillet, warm the tortillas and add grated cheese. Set aside.
2) In a separate skillet, add smokey quinoa pilaf mixture from this recipe.
3) Crack eggs into a pan and stir with a flat bottomed wooden spatula until they are cooked through and incorporated into the quinoa mixture (I also cooked the eggs separately since I had already prepped the quinoa)
4) Add quinoa mixture and cubed avocados to tortillas. Roll up like a burrito.

430 calories, 22 grams of fat (0 trans fat, 9 g sat fat); 39g of carbs; 10 g of dietary fiber; 18 g of protein; 2 g of sugar.


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Shy
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Recipe: Smoky avocado quinoa breakfast bowl

June 19, 2015

I was recently invited to the International Culinary Center to learn more about the health benefits of Hass avocados and recipes using them from Julia Nordgren, who’s a physician, trained chef, wife and mother of two (this is the part where I momentarily feel like I’ve done nothing in my life).

At the International Culinary Center


Dr. Nordgren


Tea and an avocado/dark chocolate smoothie for breakfast


It was easy to see her passion for food and nutrition as she demonstrated some easy meals. She taught us about the big misconception of fats (and aversion of it) when we diet. Healthy fats, like the ones you find in avocado, are important to have in your diet because it helps you absorb vitamins, help you stay satiated, keep your skin healthy, etc (the fats that you want to avoid, she added, are saturated fats like what you find in sugary, processed foods).

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Nutrition lesson aside, she prepared a delicious Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. She emphasized trying to squeeze in as much fruits and veggies in your meals, and this plant-packed meal has 15 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fiber.

Smoky avocado quinoa



Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

(serves 4; prep time 10 minutes; total time: 30 minutes)

Ingredients

3 tsp olive oil
½ small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp of smoked paprika
1 ½ cups quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cubes
2 tsp lime juice
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup small white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby spinach


Directions

1) Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until soft (about 3-4 minutes)

2) Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add smoked paprika. Stir and cook for 1 more minute. Add rinsed quinoa and stir to combine.

3) Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

4) Sprinkle the cubed avocado with lime juice and pinch of kosher salt. Mix gently and set aside.

5) In a separate sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add white beans and spinach. Cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and spinach is wilted.

6) Add the quinoa pilaf, stir to combine, and then spoon into serving bowls.

7) Top each bowl with a generous spoonful of cubed avocado.

You can even put this in a wheat tortilla to make a breakfast burrito. I’ll put that addendum in the next post. For more avocado recipes, visit http://www.avocadocentral.com/avocado-recipes. Enjoy!


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Shy
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