Since it’s been so cold lately, I started making soups for dinner. I made two easy-to-make soups that are healthy and tasty. The first one I’m sharing with you is Split Pea Soup.
Split Pea Soup, serves 4
1 Tbsp butter*
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
salt to taste
2 cups dried split peas, rinsed
5-6 cups water
1/3 cup light sour cream*
½ lemon, juiced
1 carrot, grated
2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
paprika, thyme, and ground pepper to taste
1. Sauté the garlic and onions in butter in stock pot. Add 5 cups of water, the salt, and bring this to almost a boil on medium heat. Add the split peas. Just as it hits the boiling point again, reduce the heat to simmer and let it alone for at least 30 minutes.
2. When the peas are mushy, pour half of the pot into a blender and purée it. Add light sour cream. Pour this back into the pot and stir it together. If it’s too thick, add a cup of water.
3. Add the celery, lemon juice, and spices and allow it to simmer until you’re ready for dinner. ENJOY!
* You can make this vegan by substituting butter with olive oil and taking out the sour cream.
Happy Healthy Tip of the week:
Get rid of one unhealthy habit — keep it simple.
There’s always a lot of undue pressure we put on ourselves as we start the new year. I am all about New Year’s resolutions, but if you’re anything like me, you sometimes over-commit to some pretty extreme goals. My advice for you (and for myself) is to pick something simple and unhealthy and give it up. Do you drink soda more than you should? Eat potato chips? Drink alcohol during the week? Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is getting rid of the most unhealthy things - or at least indulging in them less frequently.
Speaking of New Year’s Resolutions, I made a small goal for myself this month and that is to stay sober this January - Sobuary for short. So far, so good! My next goal is to do a healthy cleanse to jumpstart my healthy eating habits. If anybody would like to join me on this cleanse, please let me know. I think it’ll be fun to do something challenging like this with each other. Just say YAY or nay!
Hello my hippies,
Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year to those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah. It’s been a while since I last posted and I have a few GOOD reasons, not excuses ;). One: I am currently planning my hippie festival of a wedding. Two: I and a team of dedicated social workers just finished working on a health-focused conference for 300+ youth that got featured in the LA times. And Three: I am now a co-founder of Bloggers Of Health - a network of health bloggers that serves as support, connection and a haven for other like-minded health enthusiasts like me. If you or a friend are a blogger of health, please go to www.bloggersofhealth.org to join me and my partner, Jes Sofia Valle in the fun. Needless to say, I am refreshed and excited to be back. Let’s do this!!!
What I’m going to share with you today is a Middle Eastern recipe that I LOVE to eat but never made until now, Tabouleh Quinoa Salad. I first had a taste of regular Tabouleh in college when one of my best friends, Linet Keshishian introduced it to me. I was craving it one day and realized it’s super easy to make and it’s super healthy just as I expected. And, because I like to personalize my dishes I used my favorite grains, quinoa to add that grainy texture to it instead of bulgur. This can be eaten as a side salad or as a whole meal as it is packed with protein and other nutrients, filling and light - so, no food coma after.
TABOULEH QUINOA SALAD, serves 4
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup tomato, diced
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the water and quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has all been absorbed, about 17-20 minutes and let cool.
- Mix the quinoa, tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint and green onion.
- Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and toss with salad.
Take a break.
If you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed and just want to quit doing something, it’s good to remind yourself that you can simply take a break, then go back to it later. Whether it takes you two minutes or 2 months it’s very important to give yourself some time to breathe, refresh and recover. Here’s a mantra for you: “Good things come to those who take a break.”
This week, I am sharing a vegan recipe I found in one of my favorite vegan blogs called, VGANJAR. I’m calling this recipe Choco Coco Cupcakes to somewhat simplify it from it’s original name, Chocolate-Coconut Butterfly Buns. This dessert recipe is very simple yet impressive. It’s not too sweet like a lot of cupcakes we get from stores and it looks and tastes amazing.
2 tbsp. applesauce
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. coconut oil, softened (olive oil, if not available)
3 tbsp. toasted coconut flakes
2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips, crushed (optional)
2. Mix the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar - set aside to curdle.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking power, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, stir together the agave, oil, applesauce and vanilla - gradually mix in the sugar until everything is smooth. Pour in the curdled coconut milk and slowly combine everything. Now add in the flour mixture into this, a little at a time, and stir.
5. Scoop into your muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes.
6. After baking, cool on a rack for 20 minutes. When cool, take a knife and cut out a circle in the middle of each bun. There should be a little ditch in the bun, but don’t scoop all the way to the bottom. Pour in coconut icing* and sprinkle some crushed chocolate chips on top. ENJOY!
*Mix powdered sugar, coconut oil, and coconut flakes together until smooth.
Happy Healthy Tip of the week: Buy local and organic food.
If you want a quick and easy way to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle you should start buying local and organic food. Buying local and organic food increases health benefits due to higher vitamin and nutrient content in the produce that comes from the healthy fertile soils. Also, there’s less impact on the environment when packing and delivering organic and local food. And, you get to support local farmers and local economy. Lastly, the exceptional taste of organic food will inspire you to cook and eat healthier. I do know sometimes, it costs a little more to buy organic but in the long run, it’ll cost you less when it comes to hospital bills in the future.