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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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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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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Eggplant Meatless Balls

Yuum!! yes yuum indeed! Some people are quite fast on making a point on how “humans HAVE/SHOULD eat animals” – Ok! fine it that “tickles your fancy”, I won’t preach if you leave me alone! LOL…  I rather not eat MEATballs and have Meatless balls instead that is my prerogative.

So putting that aside, let me tell you about this meatless balls… These meatless balls are so delicious and satisfying I dare any one (vegetarian, vegan or not) to try.

Here is how I made them!

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One big eggplant

5 table spoons of cooked quinoa

1 small onion, diced

1 small red sweet pepper or half a red bell pepper.

Himalayan Pink Salt (crushed)

Panko bread crumbs

Pepper and Garlic Powder

1. First cut the eggplant and set aside with some Himalayan pink salt. This allows the eggplant to release some of its juices which we don’t need. Leave to rest for 10 mins.

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2. Combine onion and pepper in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add eggplant cut into small chunks. Try for them to be the same size (not like measure it with a ruler) but a uniform size will allow them to cook evenly. Add more salt if needed (but taste first) garlic powder and pepper.

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3. Once cooked set aside to cool. Then pulse the mix in a food processor until you get a thick paste. Don’t over process or i’ll get too watery.

4. Then add the panko bread crumbs and quinoa. Mix well.

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5. Make balls with your hands. You will have to squeeze excess water from them (egg-plant can hold a lot of moisture) then put the formed balls on a baking tray. I added a little bit more of crumbs to the try to prevent sticking.

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6. Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown.

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And there you have it. Easy, healthy eggplant and quinoa meatless balls that you can enjoy on their own or with any other dish.

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Let me know what you think if you make them!

xoxo
OnixJ

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Love is all you need

Love love love! On my previous post I shared a set of pictures of things I love (and my son, who isn’t a thing of course). In this post however I am just using one image.

Love is all you need

Yes! Love yourself and you will love others around you, I know it sounds cliché but it really is true. Find the harmony within and enjoy everything you do. Because love is me, it’s them, it’s you.

My picture represents balance and love with a little help from my raw and polished crystals. These 2 energies keep me rooted, in harmony with nature and more importantly, HAPPY!

What makes you happy?

* this post is not a sponsored post *

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Love is…

Valentine’s day is around the corner. And in this modern era of commercializations and digital show off many will start parading presents online.
The single will rejoice in their singleness (I know I used to do that) and those taken will give general displays of love all over the net. But wether you are single or not, love can have many meanings and directions. Over the years, after my divorce, valentine for me became a time to show my son how much love can change the world. And in this post I just want to show some pictures that for me mean love; in it’s many forms. Love is what you make of it! Love and be loved! Be bright and happy and the world around you will be happy with you… And if not? Keep walking!

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Food Choices & Parenting

So this is the thing, there is one thing about parenting (well, there’s many but hear me out) if you don’t have kids, don’t give me parenting advice. 

Uh huh, yes that’s the way I feel.

So I work hard to teach good values to my son, I concentrate on his nutrition and his lifestyle choices because I want the best for him. I believe the best for him is to be informed, so at his young age (8 years old) he knows where food comes from, and what is what. He has always been vegetarian by choice I have never ever told him not to eat meat, nor animal products. In fact he isn’t fully vegetarian he does eat/drink dairy and chicken as well as fish. He just isn’t fan of red meats, pork, other poultry, etc.

Anyway I have told my child that McDonalds is not a safe option. Most of its food is full of crap, lacks nutritional value and its loaded with sodium and other not so great ingredients. Their chicken nuggets are nothing but a combination of pink slime and flour. Therefore as from last year we banned McDonalds. We do other fast foods… ok we do only Chick Fil A occasionally, but hey that counts.

I have given my son the knowledge and the capacity to decide whether something is healthy or not. If he is out and about with someone else but me, and he really wants a “Happy Meal” he is by all means free to decide.

But, here is the beauty of it all. My son was with my mother. She picked him up from afterschool daycare and he said he was really hungry and wanted to go to Chick Fil A. Since McDonalds was closer my mother offered him McDonalds to which he declined and explained why. “McDonalds is not healthy, and it has yucky food” *proud grin* so my mother took him to get his Chick Fil A.

It was his choice.

So I tell this anecdote to a friend mostly because I am proud of my parenting skills (at least on this subject) and he says “but why do you do that to him! He is only a kid… kids can eat McDonalds” “meals come with a toy!” – say what? First, no. It is not ok for kids, it is not ok for anyone, it is maybe ok for your dog! OK! Second, do not question my parenting decisions. Third… NO! LOL and as far as for the toy Chick Fil A gives out books and board games with their meal, yes, far more useful than a plastic little toy.

I am wrong here? I am not a food Nazi, my kid is free to eat meat (yet he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t like the idea of killing animals nor the idea of dead meat, flesh and blood) he is free to eat cookies (and as a matter fact he eats too many of those) and ice-cream, and many other treats. But he is a healthy child, who rather drink a Mango Smoothie from Panera than an Icee from Target (even if he does have those occasionally)

I involve my child in cooking, so he knows where things come from. And he often asks me what is plant based and what’s not. He helps me from baking cookies to deseeding pomegranates (one of this favourite things to do.. . lol, easily amused like his mother I guess)

Anyway rant over. Am I wrong for giving my child the knowledge needed to make well thought eating decisions?

I don’t think so.

OnixJ

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Going Bananas!

Super Fruit of the Month: Banana

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I am going BANANAS! I am super in love with this fruit and as a matter fact I believe the saying has been re-written (at least for me) “ A Banana a day keeps the doctor away”

I do indeed have one (sometimes two) bananas everyday! Why? Because bananas are the energy bars from nature. Packed with approx 467mg of potassium, bananas provide a powerful protection to the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of the potassium-packed fruit helps guard against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke. Bananas also contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, which help prevent depression while encouraging feelings of well-being and relaxation.

In addition, the vitamin B6 in bananas helps protect against sleeplessness, mood swings and irritability. Hence this is why I declare them (for me) the super fruit of the month!

Some people are scared of bananas because of their high sugar content, but as I say everything in moderation, you would have to eat a hell of a lot of sugar from other sources plus many bananas for this to be an issue. And you probably already consume more sugar on that coffee anyway! Oh and on that potassium “overdose” some talk about? You could eat one banana per minute for one whole day and still be fine, so don’t panic. You can have your banana.

So what else can I do with a banana? (food wise people)

Simple Banana Pancakes

2 eggs

1 banana

Smash, mix. Add some cinnamon if you wish and cook as you would cook a regular pancake. Bang! Healthy breakfast is served!

Banalicious Smoothie

1 banana

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Almond milk and ice

A handful of clean spinach.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve and enjoy!

Banana Berry Ice “cream”

1 frozen banana (freeze without the peel otherwise it can get tricky)

A handful of blackberries

Food processor. Mix until all blended, add a little of almond milk if it is too solid. And there! You have an “ice-cream” without the cream. All natural and deliciously healthy. You can find a picture of this on my Instagram! My kid loves it!

Save the peels too! Even banana peels are useful. Apply the inside of a banana peel to pimples to naturally dry out these skin blemishes. Also, banana peels make a wonderful fertilizer, particularly for roses… is that spring knocking at your door I hear?

Still not convinced? Read more about Bananas at Food Matters. http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

The veredic?

The good: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6.

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars and carbs. But good carbs are needed specially if you are training/working out.

banana

93%

3%

4%

Carbs

Fats

Protein

-115
moderately inflammatory

ESTIMATED GLYCEMIC LOAD™ Glycemic load is a way of expressing a food or meal’s effect on blood-sugar levels. Nutrition Data’s patent-pending Estimated Glycemic Load™ (eGL) is available for every food in the database as well as for custom foods, meals, and recipes in your Pantry.

How to interpret the values: Experts vary on their recommendations for what your total glycemic load should be each day. A typical target for total Estimated Glycemic Load is 100 or less per day. If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you might want to aim a little lower. If you are not overweight and are physically active, a little higher is acceptable.
Read more about the eGL
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2#ixzz2qVFBkAXS

 

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