Spicy Jicama Strings – great snack or side

1 large jicama peeled, spiralized

2 tbsp olive oil

salt, dash

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tsp cayene pepper

2 tsp chili powder

 

Preheat oven 415 degrees

spready the noodles on a baking sheet (you may need two sheets)

drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat well

Season with the salt, onion powder, cayene pepper and chili powder, toss

Ensure the jicama is evenly spread out

Bake for 15 minutes

flip the noodels

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until you reach the crispness desired

 

if you like extra crispy noodels:

Spiralize the jicama, prior to baking the noodles, be sure to cut them into small pieces. If you’d like them crispy, blanch them for a minute in boiling water, then spread into a thin layer on a baking sheet – cook at 450

Meal Prep Sunday

weekend prep

  1. Build a Strategy – Plan your breakfast, snacks, lunches and dinner and then build your Grocery List
  2. Functional Containers – easy to stack in the fridge, as well as when empty, are microwaveable, freezer and dishwasher safe
  3. Don’t go crazy with complicated recipes: Also figure out which are your toughest/tightest times in the day – if it’s breakfast then opt for a shake or prepare overnight oats both are easy to grab and go in the morning
  4. Cook with a repurpose – What? Here’s what I mean I’ll make Turkey chili one night and then use the left overs the next night to top off wheat pasta or create a quick taco night. One meal just made 2 nights of dinner
  5. Chop Ahead: for example I prep all my afternoon meals on Sundays. Then I chop ahead for dinner meals that are made each night or every other night. I’ll have all the peppers, onions, garlic etc ready to go in containers. I just have to grab and fire up the stove
  6. If Meal prepping seems overwhelming start with prepping one ‘meal’ meaning prep your morning snacks, lunch & afternoon snacks and then as you get the hang of it prep other meals in advance.
  7. You’ve seen my obsession lately with all my spiralizer recipe posts – but I highly recommend investing in one – they are inexpensive and can turn any dinner into a fun meal that is fast and easy to pull together. Grilled chicken with sliced zucchini for dinner can turn into a pesto grilled chicken zucchini pasta meal!
  8. Know your Veggies – when prepping not every Veggie can be prepped on Sunday and expected to last until Friday. For example Zucchini and Cucumbers have a high water content they’re not a good candidate for spiralizer on Sunday to late in the week.
  9. Budget friendly – remember #1, the strategy – build around what is on sale that week from your local grocery store (for me that means I meal plan on Thursdays which is when I get the advertisement and see what Produce, Fish, Meats and Poultry is on sale) – we also have items we only buy in bulk -it might seem like a lot of $$, but the unit price drops dramatically – we tend to do this with our chicken, meat and fish.
  10. Meal prepping doesn’t have to take all day – for me it usually averages 2 hours on Sunday afternoon, but it took me a while to get this organized, in order to save time. Things that need to be boiled go first for example (this way while the water is warming up, I’m dicing or seasoning etc). Once items that need to be cooked are in the cooking stage I organize the containers and label them (Monday – Friday). I those containers in order, so as I serve out the portions, I can go down the line of containers and fill them up! I’m a creature of habit, so I usually pick one protein for lunch for the week and just change out the sides to make it entertaining. This also helped with how much cooking I had to do and how long it takes to prep.

until next time – Cheers!

beauty tip friday – 10 uses for baking soda

beauty tip friday_baking soda

1. Teeth Whitening

Baking soda can be used to brighten your teeth and eliminate plaque and yellow stains. One method is to use it by simply mixing it with your toothpaste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth in the regular way for 2 minutes.

Another method to use baking soda for teeth whitening is to prepare your own homemade whitening concoction. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 4 tablespoons of turmeric root and 3 tablespooons of extra-virgin coconut oil. This treatment can be done once a day for multiple days. Too much baking soda can harm your teeth since it can actually break down their natural enamel, so try not to overdo it daily.

2.Improving Complexion

Baking soda successfully removes the dead skin cells and balances the skin’s pH level which is imperative for clearer and healthier skin.

Mix filtered rose water and 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Apply this paste on the face and let it sit for a minute. Then rub it off using your fingertips and then wash your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. The treatment can be done once or twice weekly.

Another effective way to improve your complexion is to do the following procedure 2 or 3 times a week: mix lemon juice and 4-5 extra virgin olive oil and put it on your face and letting it sit for five minutes and then wash it off with cold water.

3. Alleviate Skin Rashes or Irritations

If you are suffering from a skin rashes, itchy or irritated skin, you can reduce the inflammation using baking soda. It possesses anti- inflammatory properties.

If you have itching all over your body, try a bathtub soak -Use 1 cup of baking soda in a cool water tub and let yourself soak it up for 10 minutes a day.

To prepare a combination and treat a specific irritated area, make a 1:3 ratio mixture of water and baking soda. This mixture is applied on the problematic area, and left to act for several minutes. Wash it off with cool water.this treatment can be done regularly.

4. Elimination of Hair Oil and Smell

Baking soda has alkaline properties so it balances pH levels. Therefore, it can be used to clean the scalp.

You can simply use your regular shampoo bottle and add a teaspoon of baking soda to it. Wash your hair with the mixture 1 or 2 times a week.

Feel the great effects of baking soda for your hair by combining equal parts of cornstarch and baking soda, sprinkling it to the roots of your hair. Tousle it around and then brush your hair with a high quality hairbrush.

In order to treat oils and bad odor in dirty hair, do the following treatment twice a month: prepare a 1:3 ratio mixture of baking soda and water. Apply this to damp hair and let it soak for five minutes and then rinse.

5. Relieve Sunburns

Baking soda can help relieve burning and itching by calming the irritated skin.

One way to use baking soda in these cases is to fill a bathtub with water, add a half of a cup of baking soda to the bath, and mix it well. Next, sit in the baking soda bath for 10-15 minutes. Pat your body dry or even air dry. You can do this once a day for a few days until the sunburn disappears or you find relief.

This treatment is also quick and easy to make: mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with cold water, then dip a washcloth into the mixture and wring it out so the excess isn’t sopping. The washcloth is applied to the affected area, and left for 5 or 10 minutes. The procedure can be repeated a few times during the day, until you feel the relieving effect.

6.Combat Acne and Zits

Simply mix a little baking soda with a teaspoon of water and make a paste. Apply the paste and let it sit on the affected area for 1 or 2 minutes. Next, wash your face with cold water to remove the paste.

The treatment can be done 2 or 3 days. Then, continue doing it once or twice a week for maintenance.

7. Nail Fungus

The removal of fungus on the nails can be a difficult task. However, if you have baking soda at hand, you are saved once more.

For your fingernails or toenails- Use warm water combined with 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda and apply it directly onto the nails, letting it set for a couple of minutes. Rinse this paste off with warm water and continue to do this one time each day.

Prepare another baking soda concoction by mixing 1 cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and mix in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Soak your toenails in the concoction for five minutes and afterwards, pat them dry. The procedure can be done twice a day.

8.Get rid of Dandruff

To get rid of dandruff, you need to maintain a healthy pH level on the scalp, so it is not too dry or too oily. One option is to combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda with fresh lemon juice and apply it directly to the scalp. Let this sit on your scalp for 2-3 minutes before rinsing. This procedure can be done once a week.

9.Eliminate Stains or Nail Discoloration

In order to treat yellow or stained nails, use 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 ½ tablespoons of baking soda to make a paste. Use this to apply to your nails with a cotton swab. The treatment can be done every two months.

10.Eliminate Body Odor

Baking soda absorbs sweat and moisture from the skin and thus lessens the unpleasant body odor. You can use it by mixing equal parts of cornstarch and baking soda and applying the mixture directly into your armpits to eliminate bad odor and prevent perspiration.

Zucchini Chips Recipe

Makes 2 generous servings

zucchini-chips

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1 zucchini

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, melted

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

juice and zest of 1 lime

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Slice the zucchini and sweet potato on a

Mix the spices and melted coconut oil in a large bowl. Add the vegetable slices and toss to coat. Place the vegetable slices on the sheet pans in rows, next to each other but not overlapping. Bake for one hour.

After an hour, if the zucchini looks lightly golden, remove from oven. If sweet potatoes still feel soft to the touch, leave them in and check on them every 15 minutes for another 30 to 60 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool.

Meanwhile, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator until vegetables are cool.

Serve vegetables with dip. Leftovers will keep for a few days in a sealed container.

Meal Prep Sunday – Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients quinoa edamame salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup drained and diced  roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped almonds preferably toasted

Optional:

1 cup spinach or romaine lettuce

 

Directions

  1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook gently for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and, without disturbing the quinoa, add edamame. Cover and continue to cook until the edamame and quinoa are tender, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Drain any remaining water, if necessary.
  3. Whisk lemon zest and juice, oil, tarragon and salt in a large bowl. Add peppers and the quinoa mixture. Toss to combine. Divide among 4 plates and top with almonds.
  4. Scoop over fresh spinach or romaine letttuce
  5. Tips: Note: Quinoa-Toasting the grain before cooking enhances its flavor and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering.
  6. MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

 

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa Beans and corn image

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3/4 cup quinoa

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

directions:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with vegetable broth; season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes; mix in the black beans and cilantro.

makes 10 servings, great for making ahead and pre-packing for the week

dry brushing

dry brushing helps remove toxins:

  • increasing circulation to the skin can reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • helps shed skin cells and encourages new skin renewal
  • assists to improve vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve ending
  • helps with muscle tone
  • helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores

how to:

  • start on dry skin before bathing (i do this in the tub so that i can later wash away any dead skin cells that fall during the process)dry brushing
  • wok in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer smoother strokes
  • always begin at the ankles in upward movements toward the heart
  • your back is the only exception to the previous rule – brush from the neck down to the lower back
  • after you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms
  • be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breast, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun burn or skin cancer.
  • ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities