Gardein Beefless Ground “Meat”

*Disclaimer: This is not an sponsor post, opinions are my own* 

Oh joy! I recently came across Gardein. According to their site they Gardein’s ” food tastes good, is good for you, and is good for the planet. Why is gardein (garden + protein = gardein) so good? Because Yves, our founder, made it that way!  A delicious, convenient, and versatile protein option for everyone. 

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I have tried many other “fake” meats and they don’t deliver. Texture is never right and flavour is just off so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Gardein’s Beetles Ground. The texture is just right neither too soft nor too hard and it absorbs the flavors of the sauce, leaving you with a fantastic, taste and meat free Spaghetti Bolognese. I haven’t tried any of their other products but I am definitely making this one a staple in my kitchen.

I made a basic tomato sauce, if you are in a hurry you can either make your own and freeze to use later or buy a ready made one. There are some excellent organic options out there that taste great and will get you out of trouble if you are in a hurry. After my sauce was made, I added Gardein’s Beefless Ground, not before. Usually if cooking real meat I would cook the meat in a shallow frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and garlic, so my first thought was to cook the Beetles Ground the same way, but as per instructions say you should cook in the sauce for better results.

IMG_1153After I added the Beefless Ground I took less than 10 mins for the sauce to be ready. It looked just like regular beef and the flavour was awesome. Not as meaty (well cos its made of soy) but not as veggie as other ones I have tried, which is great because it means I can fool my meat eaters lol (my dad and my boyfriend would never eat a soy based “meat” they are true carnivores) which is good but then Im presented with another problem… my extremely “NO BEEF” veggie kid (my son) won’t eat anything that resembles beef lol! I am going to have him read the bag before hand.

Either way it is worth a try for both meat and non meat lovers. Easy dinner done!

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Spinach & Pesto Quiche

Wait, what? It is February already? time is flying! and I haven’t been so good keeping up with my writing. My bad.

I have however cooked some super yummy vegetarian friendly dishes lately so I promise I will do my best to keep up and share share share!

Last weekend I made a Spinach and Pesto Quiche, so delicious. I had never made quiche before and I know, I know its egg based but we haven’t given up eggs yet.

IMG_1270Spinach and Pesto Quiche is super easy to make. I did cheat tho, I used a 9inch pie crust which was already made all I had to do was to pop in the oven. But hey if you are in a hurry you have to compromise sometimes.

You will need:
2 cups of chopped spinach

half an onion

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

6 eggs

9′ inch pie crust.

IMG_1262First cut the onion into little pieces and cook in some butter (or olive oil) add the spinach after about 4 mins and cook both adding salt and pepper to taste (you can also add other spices at this point)

Set aside.

Mix the 6 eggs in a bowl, and add 2 table spoons of pesto sauce*

Add cooked spinach and onions to the egg and pesto mix.

IMG_1263Fill the pie crust with the mix, and place in the oven for about 50mins or until you notice that the center of the quiche is no longer runny.

and there you have it! simple and delicious meal ready! you can pair with a salad or a soup.

*for the pesto, if you want to make your own all you need is: Fresh basil, garlic and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Blend everything in a food processor and you get your very own pesto.

What have you been cooking lately?

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Xoxo

OnixJ

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Easy Dinners: Tortellini Bake

This dish is so easy and so yummy! my family loves it… and its so simple I hardly have to write much on this post.

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Ingredients for Tortellini Bake: 

1 pack of tortellini

1 jar of marinara sauce (store bought or you can make your own in advance*)

1 package of shredded cheese.

TO make your own sauce:
1 can of peeled tomatoes

Garlic (powder or fresh chopped garlic 1-2 cloves)

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar. 

Sofrito ( half an onion chopped, half a red bell pepper chopped. Fry on olive oil until tender) 

Make your sofrito, then add garlic, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and let cook in a low heat for about 30mins. Add water if mixture is too thick or if it reduces too much. Add sugar to cut the tomato’s acidity. 

Ok back to the Tortellini Bake. Get a glass or ceramic dish pan and add a little bit of olive oil just to prevent anything sticking to it. Add one layer of the tomato sauce, then one layer of tortellini followed by a layer of cheese. Repeat until you have at least 3 layers of each. Cover with more cheese and put it in the oven at 375 for about 30mins or until golden brown in the top and soft in the inside (check by sticking a knife into it)

and there you have it! Tortellini Bake.

Buen provecho!

xoxo

OnixJ

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Wood Project Weekend

This weekend my boyfriend (who will I refer as Captain Red Beard from now on lol) and I decided we would do some little wood projects since the weather was so bad around here (this is Texas we don’t usually get cold, miserable, rainy days). So off we went to Home Depot and grabbed wood (pine and cedar) 4 different types of wood stain, a few boxes of mason jars and other handy dandy stuff. Of course our projects were Pinterest inspired which is why I like to say we spent the weekend “Pinteresting.”

IMG_9730We made a Magnetic Mason Jar Spice Rack for which we used pine wood, magnets, mason jars and a gray tint to make the wood look “old” giving it a drift away wood look.  I must say this was a super cool way of spending some quality time together while building more than just a fantastic spice rack in the process.

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I learnt how to sand wood down which I had never done before (yay to new skills learnt) and i also learnt to stain wood. I ended up really liking the staining process and to see the wood completely change by such a simple step. More importantly  I got to see my Captain Red Beard’s skills in action. One thing is to know what he can do, and another is to see him craft which such ease and mastery. Working with wood and creating a new thing out of a blank canvas is a fantastic skill. Oh! and last but not least,  and I was awarded my very own tool belt/pouch thing ⭐️ I feel pro (ish) lol.

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After some research, we decided to use a magnetic primer on the wood to make the spice rack more well, magnetic, but it did not work as expected. The primer didn’t add enough hold for the mason jars to stay in place, so we discarded that idea, which was a bit of a blow because it would have been cool for it to work. Imagine the possibilities if that worked as we thought! magnetic walls to hold utensils and kitchen knives, magnetic walls int he office to hold notes without the need of a board… of my! but no… did not work. If you managed to make it work please let me know. We love all things vintage and antique and spend quite a good amount of time looking at and for little treasures both to keep and sell. So it made sense to go with a gray tint for this project.

We also made a Mason Jar Bathroom organizer which I am in love with. It makes the bathroom look so much cleaner and organized while adding some character. We paired with a heavy old mirror, with an elaborate golden frame to complete a missed-matched funky look. I like it, you don’t have to, lol.

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For the Bathroom Organizer we used mason jars, hose clamps and hard wood (cedar) along with a darker wood tint called Provincial. We took the lids off the jars to made them “open top” and we used hose clamps to attach them to the wood. Then the whole thing was mounted on the wall.

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Overall it was a fun yet productive way to spend a rather wet wintery weekend. Here are some more pics just because I feel like sharing (and I want people to believe me when I say I helped.. haha)

XOXO

OnixJ & Captain Red Beard.

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2014 in review! Thank you Everyone

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Warm Holiday Charm With an Eco-friendly Candle Holder.

Hello December!

Winter is upon us, and cozy nights are on their way! oh yes and what can warm up your holiday spirit more than the aroma of spices and oranges? This is a very cool simple project you can make with the kids in less than an hour. Bonding fun time! and super cool holiday aroma.

Here we go:

you need… oranges, a spoon, cookie cutter, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, and scissors.

1. Cut along the side of the orange, and then use the spoon to make your way through without breaking the orange peel.

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2. Once you have the orange peel completely separated from the orange, use the cookie cutter on the top part of the orange to make a little window.

3. Decorate with some cloves

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4. Place candle, and ta-da!

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November, and Autumn Warmness

November!

I simply love November with its bright deep oranges and reds cascading through and kissing the damp floors. The fresh breeze caressing your face and, oh, the scents of pumpkin pie, apples, and cinnamon. The drop in temperature and the early nights are so inviting, so intimately perfect… They are the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fireplace.

I have to confess, November (and Autumn as a whole) in England were more “Autumn-y” than in Texas, but nevertheless Autumn remains my favourite time of the year. America did bring the addition of Thanksgiving into my November, and I embrace it as one of my own now. Such a fantastical thing to celebrate; THANKS! It’s a time to stop one moment to savour the grandiosity of life and count our blessings, as well as a time to unite as a family and slow down from our busy schedules to be together. I wish more people would simply enjoy November without rushing into Christmas. Take your time and enjoy the moment… Christmas will come regardless, with its pretty colours and its own scents and magical moments.

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Thanksgiving brings me to think about family gatherings and blessings. Makes me think of fireplaces and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving makes me think about family stories, turkey, and wine. Oh, and let’s not forget cranberries! Those little gems! Bursting with flavour, a little juicy explosion in your mouth.

So speaking of Thanksgiving, last year we didn’t have turkey. We were concerned about the ways in which turkeys are treated, overfed, and exploited for Thanksgiving purposes. But since then, we have learned about some organic, cage-free, humane farms across the states that raise turkeys so we are still debating whether to go for one of them or simply ditch the turkey altogether this year, too. Other alternatives can vary from family to family. Mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, lentils, creamy baked leeks, quinoa, mac-n-cheese, pumpkin risotto, spinach turnovers, and beet salad are among my favourite items for this year’s menu.

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You can pair all of these with either red or white wine, for which I suggest trying K-J AVANT Red Blend from California. It is a fruity, bold wine with ripe raspberry and pomegranate and delicate hints of vanilla and cocoa. Red wines usually go better with red meats, but I find the bold flavour pairs very well with vegetables too, especially with leafy greens such as kale or spinach. Then, if you’d rather pair with white wine, I recommend K-J AVANT Californian Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh, tangy and light goes perfect with any vegetarian dish.

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And if you want to change things up a little and dare to bring a little of England’s Christmas flavours into the table, how about making some mulled wine? Oh the aroma! Simply pour a bottle of K-J AVANT red wine into a pan with some orange and some spices, such as star anise and cinnamon, and let it simmer for 15mins in a very low heat. You can let it simmer for longer to create a stronger and spicier beverage, or you can use a crockpot and let it simmer for a few hours on a low setting. Enjoy warm! Cheers!

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Just remember, drink responsibly, slow down, and enjoy the moment.

Christmas will come next, but for now… Enjoy the Autumn!

Xoxo

OnixJ

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Halloween Deco!

Oh Halloween! I love Halloween! the glitter, the spark, the make-up, the “gore”, the chance to be odd without anyone judging (well… less judging I shall say)  I love it all! Autumn (or Fall for my dear people in USA) is one of my favourite seasons. The colours, the scents, the food and the celebrations.

Moving to the USA has enhanced my love for autumn, even if I don’t get the magnificnet nature colours I used to get in the UK (It just doesn’t happen that way down in Texas) I have now added Thanksgiving to my list of things I love about Fall.

But before thanksgiving, HALLOWEEN!!! yes I go all out for Halloween. And here to show you some of the decorations we put up at home, hopefully to inspire you into adding some halloween magic to your house. Trick or Treat!

I started by re-using my IKEA Greenhouse (for more info see link) you can make it child friendly as I did, using paper cuttings, plastic skulls and couldrons or make it grownup spooky all gore and fresh by using fake blood splattated over the greenhouse and plastic thumbs (just and idea) but since I have kids I made a kid friendly halloween greenhouse.

see bellow:

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The rest of the house we covered with fake Spiderwebs which you can find almost at any shop (Michael’s , Target, Walmart) paying special attention to the fireplace area. We added a few accent pumpkins and spider candle holders.
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and there you have it! Happy Halloween! Let the candy fest begin!
Xoxo
OnixJ

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DIY Metallic Mason Jars

Crafty time! omg so I am obsessed with Mason Jars. I love how versatile they can be and how they add that unique vintage touch to anything. So I decided to make them a little different, and add as an accent to an already vintage kitchen.

This is super easy to do. Simply buy spray paint in your color of choice ( I got mine at Michael’s for about $7) I went with silver for this project because the kitchen is gray and white. Make sure you clean and dry your mason jars or any other glass containers that you wish to use. Once you get confortable with the idea you can even make patterns by using tape on your mason jar.

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This time I wanted a clean silver finish so I just sprayed the paint and done! took less than 10 mins from start to finish.

Make sure you apply from afar so that the paint is uniform and doesn’t drip down the sides. Apply as many coats as needed, I applied two coats to each jar.

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And Ta-Da! metallic mason jars. You can use them as flower pots or simply as a stand alone statement on a windowsill or above a chimney. Or even as center pieces at a baby shower or Country wedding.  The possibilities are endless! you can also repurpose old jars or buy new ones. I used an old bottle of Cream Soda as well as mason jars.

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Delicious Coconut, Chia & Lime Truffles

Oh yes! I love coconut. Anything coconut is my weakness! I love coconut oil and its so good for you full of rich fatty acids and healthy fat (don’t be scared of healthy fats, your body needs them… in moderation of course)

Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.

So I had this wonderful coconut butter from Artesana and I decided to make some truffles. My son doesn’t like the texture of the coconut butter by itself, which granted can be a little weird. Therefore I mixed it with some grated coconut, some chia seeds, lime zest and lime juice and the result was heaven!!

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You need:
coconut butter/oil (do not melt)

1 lime – juice and zest

a table spoon of chia seeds

2 tablespoons of stevia or sweetener of your choice

4 tablespoons of grated coconut

(extra grated coconut or coconut flakes for covering the truffles after)

Mix it all Ingredients in a container using first a wooden spoon and then your hand to mix well.

Make little balls and cover with more coconut, and refrigerate for 15mins.

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TADA!

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soo soo soooo good! You can also customize this into amazingly healthy and tasty halloween treats by covering with layered white chocolate to make them look like ghosts or mummies. I might try that next!

Enjoy!

xoxo

OnixJ

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