Discovering Houston Dynamo

This weekend I was invited to a Houston Dynamo Soccer Game against the Montreal Impact at the BBVA Compass Stadium as part of the Houston Social Media Influencers Group. I haven’t been to too many stadiums before but boy the BBVA Compass is nice! It isn’t a huge stadium but it is clean, easy to walk around, and there is always plenty of staff to help you out.

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We had the privilege to dine at the West Club which dinning area includes Air Conditioner and a Bar. The food was good, freshly made and the sitting area was spacious and (again) clean. The only downside was the lack of (as always)  vegetarian  options –  apart from salad –  but oh well hopefully this will improve.

We also went to the regular stadium sitting area getting up and close to the players during the game. I think the best part of watching a Live game at the stadium is the atmosphere. Many Dynamo fans were there sporting their orange #ForeverOrange shirts, faces, tutus, and skirts. Even babies were dressed in Orange. A live band was at one end of the stadium, and fireworks sparked out of the stadium when Dynamo scored their first goal against Montreal Impact.

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As part of the media group I got to meet Mr. Tim Hanley – Goalkeepers Coach at a pre-game press conference. Hanley has coached in Major League Soccer for 15 seasons and in American soccer for more than 20 years. Hanley coached three Goalkeeper of the Year winners in a four-year span from 2002-05 (Joe Cannon 2002; Pat Onstad 2003, 2005). Hanley worked in MLS with the San Jose Clash and San Jose Earthquakes and has also coached in the A-League, in the Premier Development League, and at Stanford University (2002-05). During the press conference, Hanley talked about their strategy for the game and of each one of his players. (very nice chap!)

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We also had the privilege to meet President of Business Operations, Chris Canetti just before the game. Canetti joined the Dynamo in May of 2006 as the team’s Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to President in November 2010. He oversees all aspects of the Dynamo organization.

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Overall was a fantastic experience, a night of goals and excitement among the #ForeverOrange crowd. Speaking of crowd, Dynamo tailgaters are fantastic! The atmosphere outside the stadium was just as vibrant as it was inside. Many Dynamo fans parked around the stadium awaited for their team to play. BBQs sprang around the parking lots inundating the air with the scent of fresh grilled meat and herb (and hopefully some grilled veg too!) It is one of those things you must do at least once in your lifetime even if you aren’t a soccer fan (or football – correctly said lol)

 Oh and by the way, Houston Dynamo won 3-2 against Montreal Impact.

GAME INFO by mlssoccer.com

REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 31 games; FC/gm: 25.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 6; pens: 10

SUSPENDED: HOU: Kofi Sarkodie (caution accumulation; through Sept. 7) … MTL: Hassoun Camara (through Sept. 7)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Ricardo Clark … MTL: Karl Ouimette
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Will Bruin … MTL: Hernan Bernardello, Matteo Ferrari, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka, Krzysztof Krol
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 8 goals … Impact 4 wins, 15 goals … Ties 1
AT HOUSTON (4 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 6 goals … Impact 0 wins, 1 goals … Ties 1

Form more formation on Houston Dynamo visit:
Website: www.houstondynamo.com
To purchase tickets: www.houstondynamo.com/tickets
Houston Dynamo History: www.houstondynamo.com/schedule/history
Houston Dynamo Social Media:
Twitter: @HoustonDynamo
Instagram: Houstondynamo

Thanks to Lopez Negrete Communications, Juan Alanis Senior account Supervisor and Houston Dynamo.

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Giveaway!

Hello my readers! I have decided to THANK YOU all for reading me ( I shall thank again in Thanksgiving ) 

In order to show my love and appreciation I am giving away an Organic Healthy Living Mini Sample pack that contains.

1. Aloha green Juice sachet.

1. Graze Box snack pack “Keen Bean” (edame beans, chilli broad beans and redskin peanuts)

1. Artisana Organic Raw Walnut Butter sachet.

1. Revolution Southern Mint Herbal Tea sachet.

1. Italian Black Truffle Salt sachet from The Spice Lab.

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OnixJ Organic Healthy Living Mini Sample Pack


What do you need to do?

Like my Facebook Page.

Follow me on Twitter and/or

Comment on this blog post.

Click on the link below to enter Competition! Please use RaffleCopter for your entry to be VALID

—–>  a Rafflecopter giveaway  <——

 

Good Luck! and thank you for reading!

 

*rules apply: winner must be in the USA.

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Guasacaca & Yuca… Vegan bites

Ok so today I had literally no time for lunch prep, so I had a quick look in the fridge and I found some cooked yuca, also known as cassava.

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Yuca or Cassava
” A tropical root vegetable, grown as a shrub in temperate zones of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, that is harvested for its root and leaves. High in starch, it is a plant that contains low levels of protein in the root and high levels in the green leaves. This plant is a key crop in many areas where other crops cannot grow as easily, making it valued as a food and a crop to market to local food markets, or ethnic food markets worldwide as a fresh or frozen vegetable.”

And it’s delicious! You can simply boiled it and serve, or you can boil and then fry, you can also use leftover boiled yuca and make little buñuelos which are like little fried pastries.

So anyway I ha some leftover boiled yuca. I decided to cut lengthwise like fries (or chips in the UK) and fry in butter and oil (just a little bit of oil so that the butter doesn’t burn)
These little fingers are super yummy, similar to steak cut fries in size.

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I dressed with Guasacaca. Now you are like guasa who? Isn’t it guacamole? Well no, guacamole is Mexican in origen and guasacaca is Venezuelan. The main difference is in the preparation, guasacaca is blended (instead of mashed) and so the flavours are combined.

How to Make Guasacaca
Ingredients
Makes 8-10 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons chopped serrano peppers
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 to 4 small ripe Hass avocados, pitted (do not discard the pits)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can leave small chunks if desired.
And there is done! Serve with yuca, arepas, or traditionally served on top of grilled meat.

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Buen provecho!
Xoxo
OnixJ

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What are Little Boys Made of?

It doesn’t have to be Snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails…

So I am a mother of 1. My boy and I are a team. His dad and I divorced when he was 4, and a year after we moved away to a different country. Its complicated, his dad has some mental health issues he needed (needs) to address before he can be an actual dad. So my son and I learnt to be a team of 2, we learnt to rely on each other.

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I have been doing this motherhood thing 24/7, 365 days a year for the last 8 years… and I love it. My boy is a very compassionate 8 year old, who likes to play with Lego’s and eat homemade cookies. He has always been vegetarian by choice (prompting me to take the leap and become more of a plant eater) When he was 5 years old he told me he didn’t want to kill animals to eat them, he said “what if they have mom’s and dad’s? what would be very sad”. He loves and respect life no matter how small or big – a quality many lack nowadays.

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I have taught my boy to love nature, to embrace nature and to be part of it and respect life. I shower him with love and affection and I treat him with respect, as equally as one can in a world made for grownups. I don’t believe in the premise that “kids must be seen ,not heard”, therefore I have taught him to be inquisitive, always wondering and discovering and never afraid to ask. Yes, he does has shores too  but I don’t exploit it making him do things for something like $1 a day. We do reward charts instead. Good behavior and good grades are rewarded with video game time and Legos. (Did I mention he loves Legos?)

My boy is my superstar, my biggest achievement, my companion… he has my whole heart.

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Some say my boy is too soft. Too soft because he isn’t a meat eater, too soft because he doesn’t like the sight of blood and guts. Too soft because he covers his eyes during “ugly parts” in the movies. Too soft because he still has 2 teddies he takes to bed every night. “isn’t he too old for that?” “he is the only 8 year old I’ve seen with teddies” –  I’ve been told.

He is too soft because I let him wear “pink” shirts, too soft because I make him a cup of tea every morning and I let him sleep in my bed once a month when the thunderstorms scare him… too soft because I wake him up every morning with cuddles and kisses, and I bake him cookies once in a while.

So what if he is too soft? So what if he isn’t a boy obsessed with guns, blood and guts. So what if he doesn’t eat steak for dinner, and play with worms? why do boys have to be raised to be hard, strong and senseless? don’t we have too many macho men in this world already? couldn’t we do with a little more softness and compassion?

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Life will try to destroy him. Society will try to re-shape him. Women will take advantage of him… maybe. But at least I know I have taught him to taste the sweet scent of life, to live to the fullest, to dance under the rain. I have taught him that its ok to be compassionate and to respect life. That is ok to open the door for other people, and to say thank you and please. That is ok to respect others even when they are being rude to us. That it is not ok to through rubbish or spit in the parking lot. That is not ok to solve problems with violence; that is not ok to alienate those we don’t understand.

I have done my part…

He will grow and do his part. He will grow and decide what to be. He will grow and decide who to be.

And if you think being compassionate in a world so tough is a sign of weakness, am afraid that’s YOUR lost.  

Xoxo

OnixJ

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Aloha, Dried Green Juice

*this is not a sponsored post*

Picture courtesy of Aloha.com

Picture courtesy of Aloha.com


Say Aloha to Health…

A few months back I came across Aloha, a green juice that comes in dry form. The little dry powder sachets are very convenient specially when on the move, travelling or on a busy schedule. I try to do a green juice everyday but let’s face it isn’t easy sometimes.

Aloha says to…

- Detoxify and help balance weight

- Improve and tightest skin

- Keeps energy Up and hydrates

- Boosts immune system

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The only downside is that on its own it doesn’t taste nearly as good as a freshly made green juice. But you can customize by mixing in Aloha into your favourite smoothie or juice. Aloha will provide a boost to your regular drink, without making a significant impact on taste.  Add Aloha to your Pineapple, Spinach Green Juice or to your Lemon, Cucumber water and your tummy and body will be happy with you for the rest of the day!

While on the go, road trip or travel, mix with coconut water for a better taste, or even with fresh orange juice. On its own Aloha can feel kind of powdery and grainy, so mix well.

Aloha’s Ingredients include: Spirulina, Spinach, Peas, wheatgrass Juice, Coconut Water, Lemon, Hawaiian Yellow Ginger, 3 types of mushrooms (Enoki, King Trumpet and Oyster) and Hawaiian Red Aleae Salt. How is that for a morning BOOST!

You can get a sample visiting https://aloha.com/home but make sure you cancel a subscription immediately after you receive your sample if you don’t want to end up paying $40 a month. (if you love it hey go for it!,  but if you only want the sample be weary)

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Veggies are fun!

There was a time in which people used to think of vegetarians a boring people who only ate salads and nuts. There was a time when being a vegetarian as considered even quite disrespectful to one’s culture.
Times have changed. More people are now concerned about the effects on the environment and on our bodies, and more have embraced the greener side of eating.
I am not fully vegetarian. But I have made significant changes in my lifestyle and eating habits and I have never felt better! So alive, so much clean energy :)
Here a few fast and kid friendly veg lunch/snack ideas for you.
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Puffed quinoa, fresh banana and grilled berries! So delicious and easy to make.
To puff the quinoa you’ll need a hot pan, no oil. Place the quinoa uniformly and toast gently. Make sure you stir or it will burn very quickly. Once it has puffed and it’s golden brown set aside and let cool.
For the grilled berries just add a little bit of coconut oil in a hot pan with the berries and let them cook in their own juices. If needed add a little bit of honey or coconut sugar, it the berries are ripe and fresh you won’t really need to add any sweeteners.
Then place banana, add berries and sprinkle puffed quinoa. Breakfast is served! My kid loved it!

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Boost your grilled cheese sandwich with some avocado and fresh tomatoes. Add fresh basil for an extra kick! Honestly… Takes the old classic to another dimension of deliciousness.

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Cauliflower “nuggets” are a super fun way to eat cauli. Simply blanch the cauli in hot water for a few mins, drain and set aside.
Prepare a batter; you can use regular flour, and water or you can use another type of flour for gluttenFree versions. Add salt, pepper and any other herb of your preference in the batter, I used creole seasoning.
Dip the cauliflower nuggets in the batter and fry until golden brown.
Serve with veg of your preference. Another favorite in my house… You can also glaze with a sauce if wanted.

There you have it. Have fun with veg, be creative and you will never get bored of the flavours!
Buen provecho! Enjoy!
Share your ideas with me by commenting on this post, I love to try new recipes!

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Texas Roadtrip

I have been in the USA for nearly 4 years now. More specifically in Texas. And let me tell you this state grows on you, slowly but surely I have learnt to love Texas…

Here a few photos I took during recent road trips to Killeen, Temple, Georgetown, and Belton (all near by Fort Hood area).

These are Texas roads seen by my lens.

All pictures taken by Jihane Rodriguez, 2014. Sharing is caring but please quote source.

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Posted in Life - General | 4 Comments

One Year on the Greener Side

20140508-210311.jpgYay! so I just realized its been one year since I started changing my eating habits toward a healthier, greener, plantbased diet. I am not vegetarian (not completely, I still consume eggs and chicken,fish, seafood) but I have been trying to move slowly but surely to the greener side.

Being a vegetarian is not for everyone hence I don’t preach about it. It is a lifestyle, a personal choice and in the same way I don’t appreciate people lecturing me about my vegetarian options I don’t lecture people on why moving away from a meat based, animal by-product life isn’t a good idea. (Unless I am asked about it) During this whole year i have educated myself, read hundreds of books and studies and researches all available online (see The China Study) and I have reached a point in which I can say with confidence I know what I am talking about.

My son’s diet and mine include a wide range of fruit, veg, grains, leafy greens, and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil)  We sure have fun eating and cooking. Nothing about it is boring at all, and I always make a point on educating my son on his choices and for him to know where food comes from. He is free to decide which way to go, but after all it was him with his compassionate spirit who decided not to eat meat (only chicken and seafood)

20140508-210240.jpgI have never felt more alive and full of energy than now. I feel clean from inside out and my skin, hair and nails are happy (my tummy is happy too) and as they say in Spanish “Barriguita llena, corazon contento” ( a happy tummy is a happy heart)

20140508-210222.jpgSo anyway Happy One Year on the Greener Side to me! here is to many more green smoothies, lettuce wraps, quinoa salad and chia seed puddings! In life do whatever makes you HAPPY!

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Posted in Life - General, Nutrition | 1 Comment

Vegetarian *mock* Sheppherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie! is a staple, a favourite of many British families, a pub meal that leaves you well satisfied specially on cold winter days. But what if you don’t want to eat lamb? well you make a vegetarian version of course!

Please note that, Cottage Pie is more or less the same but with minced beef. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally with minced lamb, and my mock version is with egg-plant.

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So here we go, I made just an individual portion, please adjust measurements accordingly.

1 serving of mashed potatoes (normal mash or if you want to go dairy free use a nut milk instead and a plant base spread instead of butter)

1 medium egg-plant – diced into small cubes

1 small carrot – cut into small pieces

half a white onion – diced

half a cup of frozen peas

3 medium mushrooms – cut into small pieces

coconut oil or any other vegetable oil for frying

salt, pepper and garlic powder

and add anything else you use for your shepherd’s pie filling (errm not the minced lamb tho lol) I used 3 table spoons of tomato pure, Worcestershire sauce and a splash of red wine – You can also use gravy instead of tomato pure.

Preparation:

1. Make your mashed potatoes and set aside.

2. In a frying pan saute egg-plant, onion, and mushrooms with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

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3. Add peas last as you don’t want to over cook them.

4. add tomato pure, splash of wine and a little bit of water if needed. Usually the egg-plant releases water so wait until it is cooked to add the extra water to prevent it from being too watery.

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5. On a ceramic container add the vegetable mix. Top it with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and add cheese if desired – (Vegan cheese will do to)

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6. Pop into the oven and broil until the top is nice and golden.

And there you have it! A *Mock* Shepherd’s Pie to go! I made mine small because I wanted to take it to work for lunch so it is an individual portion.

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Xoxo

OnixJ

Let me know if you try it!

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Colcannon… Irish Food

Happy St.Patrick’s Day! Forget the green beer and have some colcannon instead! Creamy mashed potatoes with kale and/or cabbage

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Enjoy!

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