Pickled Turmeric Eggs

I live in the Washington, DC area. It is an urban area that is a vibrant melting pot of culture. I’m within walking distance of plenty to eat and drink – you name it, we’ve got it. And although, I have become quite obsessed with my vegetable garden, it’s far from farm life. Luckily, because we are surrounded by VA, WVA, MD, PA … we do have farmer’s markets. So with that being said… Guess what? It is spring and the farmers are out!

I recently stopped by a farmer’s stand to pick up some fresh farm eggs! They are absolutely gorgeous and taste amazing. 


And lately, I have come across some really fabulous egg recipes. Turmeric Pickled Eggs has been on my mind! The minute I saw the whites of the eggs, yellow from the super spice turmeric, I knew I had to try. 

This recipe is written by Heidi Swanson. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 
  • onion or shallots thinly sliced (I used red onion) 
  • 1 table whole peppercorn 
  • scallions for garnish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs

Directions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan bring water to a boil. 
  2. Slowly and gently drop while eggs in pan with boiling water.
  3. Cook eggs for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Once cooked transfer eggs to an iced water bath, this makes it easier to peel off shells. 
  5. Peel egg shells off.
  6. Now in the sauce pan, add Apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and turmeric. Simmer until sugar dissolves. 
  7. Chop onions/shallots, put them in a mason jar.
  8. Put eggs in mason jar. 
  9. Pour vinegar turmeric mixture in mason jar over eggs.
  10. Let sit in refrigerator. Eggs last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.
  11. Half eggs and eat with chives, sea salt and pepper. You can also devil the eggs, or use them on top of salads. 

Enjoy!!

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?


Vegan Chocolate Nog Truffles 


Because of the dramatic Election, the holidays seem to have been overshadowed. Is this how everyone feels? Or is it just me because I live in Washington, DC. Well, we can not forget them! Thanksgiving is approaching – it’s next week. To get in the holiday spirit, I have been making Truffles. These Chocolate Nog Truffles cane from a recipe I found in Veg News. They are spiked with spicy rum and nutmeg. They scream, “It’s the Holidays!” They are also really easy to make, I promise.

Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 3/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dark or spicy rum
  • 1/2 cup sliver or chopped almonds
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegan shortening
  • Roasted almonds or toasted coconut flakes for garnish.

Here is what you do…

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add powder sugar and nutmeg. Beat until coarse crumbs form. Slowly pour in rum and bear until fluffy. Fold in sliver or chopped almonds. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove mixture from refrigerator and use hands to roll into truffle balls. Place balls on to baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. In a double broiler over medium heat melt chocolate and shortening. Stir and combine. 
  4. Remove truffle balls from refrigerator. Using a fork slowly lift truffle ball from baking sheet and dip it in the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Once all the truffles are covered with chocolate top each truffle with a roasted almond or toasted coconut. 
  6. Place back in the refrigerator and let cool until chocolate mixture has harden into a shell. 
  7. Share with friends and family. Enjoy! 

I brought these Truffles into work and everyone loved them. These would also be great to bring to any holiday party. 

What is your favorite holiday snack, dessert, or dish? Has anyone made Truffles before? 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Eating for two: What to eat while pregnant!? Pregnancy Cravings, and good reads!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

EATING FOR TWO

In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was really concerned on what to eat, and what foods/drinks to avoid? I already ate a¬†healthy, mostly plant based, organic diet. But I knew I drank too much caffeine, and struggled with drinking enough water. I also worried that I wasn’t eating enough. Being pregnant means, it is no longer just about me. I have become less selfish, and put my needs aside, thinking mainly of what will nurture the new life, that is developing and growing daily.

I am lucky that Thanksgiving and Christmas were during the early stages of my pregnancy. I eat really well during the holidays. All of the food I cook is organic and locally grown. My plate was filled with a variety of different foods, everything super colorful and in season.

Whether you are pregnant or not, most of the same nutritional rules apply. ¬†For example… You are what you eat. Eat your colors. Purchase things that are local and in season. Avoid the nasty – preservatives, pesticides, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and GMOs. ¬†And although this may be obvious, limit your caffeine intake, absolutely no smoking, no alcohol, and no drugs.

In the beginning there were some things that totally through me off. My doctor told me it is safest to eat pasteurized foods. The reason why is that the process of pasteurizing kills harmful bacteria. This meant no “raw milk” soft cheeses, no farmers market honey, no free range local eggs (unless they are cooked all the way through.)

This made me read labels a little more closely. I shop at farmers markets, and organic grocery stores, so this may surprise you, but some things are not pasteurized. Some soft cheeses like feta and goat cheese are made from raw milk. Organic free range local eggs are raised on pasture, but are not pasteurized. I still eat free range local eggs, but I just cook them well. I loved poached eggs before, but for the time being, I am making egg scrambles and frittatas.

Although, many eat vegetarian and vegan during pregnancy, my doctor wanted me to eat well balanced meals. So for me, to easily achieve balance and make sure I am getting enough protein, I decided to include organic meat, eggs, and dairy (greek yogurt, and cream cheese) to my daily diet. It’s no longer just about me and my needs, I’m eating for two.

When it came to fish, I was confused. I always eat wild caught, but because of dangerous mercury levels found in wild caught fish, it is almost safer to eat farmed raised fish during pregnancy. The reason why is because it is mercury free and more controlled.  Although this may be true, I still have been eating wild caught fish, but in moderation. Oh and raw fish and sushi is off limits.

I also am a tea drinker. However, because I am limiting my caffeine intake I only drink a small amount of black tea a day. When pregnant you can have up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. I normally keep my caffeine intake under 40 milligrams.

Two of my favorite types of tea are Chia tea and Green tea. Chai tea has star anise in it. To much star anise can cause contractions. Green tea is also controversial because some say to much green tea can make it more difficult for the body to absorb folic acid, which is essential. However, Raspberry Leaf tea is the best tea to drink while pregnant. Midwives have claimed for years that it strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles, resulting in an easier labor.

I found three books really helpful…

GOOD READS

  1. The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy, by Allison Tannis and Jonny Bowden. This book is very straight forward. It basically lists the healthiest foods to eat for each trimester and beyond. It talks in detail of why each food is beneficial. It also talks about some to avoid and the reasons why.
  2. The Kind Mama, by Alicia Silverstone. This book was by far one of my favorite baby books. Alicia Silverstone is very green, earthy, hippy like. She is also a vegan.  This book not only talks about fertility and pregnancy nutrition, but it also has many recipes to try. She takes the book beyond nutrition, by discussing co-sleep method, what to register for, how to make your own belly balm, prenatal yoga, and much more.
  3. Skinny Bitch, Bun in the Oven, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.¬†This book is a gutsy guide to becoming one hot healthy mother. These are the girls who wrote Skinny Bitch, a book I read a couple years ago. They use Skinny Bitch in the title of this book simply because it is their brand. Trust me they do not expect us pregnant ladies to be skinny, and they open the book saying that now is not the time to worry about dieting and body image. ¬†These ladies are also vegan, so be aware because they get really into it. However, they are also quite hilarious. I’m still currently reading the book, so I’ll get back to you once I am finished with a final review.

FOOD CRAVINGS

One of the top questions that every pregnant lady gets asked is What foods have you been craving? Honestly,¬†I haven’t had any weird cravings, however, all this baby wants is fruit. In the fall/winter I ate a lot of apples and citrus fruit. Now that it is summer time I am eating watermelon, honey dew melon, peaches, strawberries, and other berries.

To get my daily dairy intake, I eat a lot of organic greek yogurt. When I traveled to Greece a couple years ago, I remember the greek yogurt being amazing. Wallaby Organic yogurt reminds me of the taste and texture of the kind I ate in Greece. It has become my favorite kind, because it is high in protein, (17 g) but very low in sugar (4 g). I get the plain flavor, and add berries.¬†YogurtNow that the farmer’s markets are up and running, I stop by as much as I can. After yoga, on Saturday mornings, I have been stopping by the Del Ray farmer’s market, and picking up some amazing strawberries. I have never eaten strawberries so sweet. I added blackberries and raspberries for a great berry mix.

berries

 

I also am pretty obsessed with tomatoes. I eat them every day. Sometimes, I will eat a bagel with cream cheese and tomatoes. Other times I will eat tomatoes and hummus. But on Saturday, after yoga, while at the farmer’s market, I spotted these beauties. I am also growing tomatoes in my garden.tomatos

While walking though the farmer’s markets, I immediately started to think of lunch, a tomato sandwich would be perfect. I haven’t eaten a tomato sandwich in years. The way I use to eat it as a kid was simple, white bread, mayo, tomatoes and salt. I went to MOM’s organic market in search for organic sour dough bread, and a healthy alternative to mayo. I found Earth Balance.

earth balance

This mindful mayo is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free. There are no preservatives. It is vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free!  It is awesome!

I decided it was time to clip some of my basil I have been growing in my garden. basil

So the ingredients for the ultimate tomato sandwich is organic sour dough bread, tomatoes, basil, earth balance mayo, sea salt.

Drinking while Pregnant

When it comes to drinks, it can be quite boring during pregnancy. ¬†I don’t drink soda on a regular, and I can’t drink too much iced tea because of the caffeine. So I have been drinking lots of water. To spice things up I add fruit to my water. However, a coworker introduced me to La Croix sparkling water.

sparkling water

My favorite flavors are the coconut and the passionfruit. This sparkling water is awesome because you feel like you are drinking a soda. However, there are no calories, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and it is sodium free.

So that is my answer, to the oh so popular question, “Have you had any cravings?” Some say you crave what your body is in lack of. Others¬†say while pregnant you crave what your body and baby need. If this is true, maybe those who don’t have any real cravings, are eating a well balanced diet and living a stress free healthy lifestyle.

Thats all I can hope for!

And always remember… ¬†When pregnant you are eating for two. But that doesn’t mean you need a ton of extra calories, it is more about the quality of food you eat.

“The cleaner, more cell-loving, oxygen pumping, nutrient-rocking food your put in your body, the better your body can do what you ask of it.” – Alicia Silverstone : The Kind Mama

What foods have you been eating lately?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Body Butter recipe: prevent stretch marks, relieve dehydrated skin

February is over – Thank God! This winter has been brutal for the East Coast. New Englander’s got slammed with white out conditions, one blizzard after the next. As for my home,¬†Washington, DC,¬†¬†we haven’t had it nearly as bad as up north. But there also hasn’t been a February this cold since the 1970s, and some temperatures were record breaking.

Last week, we had an ice storm followed by a snow storm. Thumbs up to all of the runners out there training for Boston and other spring marathons. I don’t know how you do it, training in the slippery dark winter conditions. However, on a brighter note, I am very excited to say, March is here. Day light savings time has come, the sun is shining and almost all of the snow is melted. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the arrival of Spring.

In the mean time, I am still trying to tolerate the cold, and what it has done to my skin. With such cold winter conditions,¬†it is no surprise that my skin has becomes dry, dehydrated, and chapped. This year has been more extreme than ever, and nothing seems to relieve it. Trust me, I’ve tried lotion after lotion.

I have recently become obsessed with Coconut Oil. But while on the search for an amazing lotion to use, this winter, I have had a difficult time finding one containing the main ingredient, Coconut Oil. I also have been very sensitive to smell, so the ones I did find, ended up smelling to strong, and not having enough Coconut Oil.

So after some research, I have decided to stop the never ending hunt for the perfect lotion, and instead make my own body butter. By making my own, I am able to really customize it to my needs.

Some needs¬†that are important to me…

  1. High quality ingredients. Organic and raw ingredients. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know how high the quality the ingredients used are. Just like in food, ingredients used in beauty products that are processed or low quality, do not have the same health benefits as those that are organic and raw. When making your own product, you have complete control in which ingredients you choose to put in your recipe. I chose raw for my butters, and organic cold pressed for my oils.
  2. The amount of ingredients found in the product.¬†¬†When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know the exact amounts of each ingredient. It may say it has coconut oil in it, but it may only contain a tiny amount. Many lotions are mostly made with water. Also some may have other fillers and¬†preservatives. When making your own product, you have complete control in the amounts of each ingredient.¬†I didn’t put any water, preservative or fillers in my body butter.¬†I wanted coconut oil to be one of the main ingredients so it is.
  3. Texture. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you have no control over the texture. This drives me crazy! The two coconut lotions I tried were really liquid like in texture. I felt they were too light. Some body butters I used were to greasy, while others were to waxy. I just wanted a really creamy, rich, whipped texture. When I made my own I was finally able to achieve that.
  4. Smell. ¬†I am very sensitive to smell. I tried a lavender coconut lotion that at first I loved the smell, but then I got really sick of it. I also tried a lotion that smelled like coconut. ¬†At first I loved it, because it reminded me of the beach, but it didn’t take long, soon I was over it. When making your own body butter, you can control the smell. Either, keep it natural with the fragrance that comes from the ingredients used, or you can add any fragrance you want, by adding an essential oil.¬†I kept mine natural, so it smells like coconut and chocolate.
  5. Quantity.  You can make as much or as little as you wish, but keep in mind that an organic product only lasts one year or 18 months if refrigerated.

Body Butter

A client of mine gave me some homemade beauty products this Christmas, made with a focus of essential oils. And although I loved them, it wasn’t until I started reading Alicia Silverstone’s¬†book,¬†Kind Mama¬†that I got the urge to make my own. In this book, Silverstone, has a recipe for a homemade oil, and a homemade body butter. These recipes help keep a mother-to-be’s skin hydrated, and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

How to make the Body Butter…¬†

body butter

Ingredients and Health Benefits

Ingredients

  • Raw Shea Butter:¬†Shea butter comes from a nut from the shea tree found in Africa.¬†It is extremely hydrating and has inflammatory properties. It is usually a whitish color and has a very mild smell.¬†Always¬†use raw like I did in this recipe because while in the raw state it contains vitamins A and E along with other minerals.¬†In this recipe use¬†1/2 cup of raw shea butter.shea butter
  • Raw Cocoa Butter:¬†Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean. When found in the raw state, cocoa butter is a tan color, that smells like chocolate. ¬†Also when used in the raw state, cocoa butter is high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, making it an anti-ager. It is extremely hydrating, moisturizing even the most severe dry skin. But ultimately, it is best known as the ultimate¬†Stretch Mark Reducer¬†and that is¬†why I used it in this formula of body butter. There are no guarantees, but the secret has spread by moms and moms to be, to liberally rub cocoa butter products all over your growing belly, to prevent or reduce stretch marks. So if you are expecting cocoa butter is a must ingredient to include in your homemade body butter, or one to look for in your belly balm of choice.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of raw cocoa butter.Cocoa butter
  • Organic Coconut Oil:¬†Coconut oil has been used for many years in Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It has recently become trendy here in the USA. It is a clear white wax consistency, that has a mild coconut smell. It has amazing healing properties. However,¬†when it comes to including it in skin care products it is best know for being a great moisturizer with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil.coconut oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil:¬†Jojoba (pronounced ho-hoba) comes from the seed of the jojoba plant found in south west USA. It has many vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin and hair. Jojoba similar to the others above is a moisturizing, anti fungal, stretch mark reducer, anti inflammatory, and has many other healing properties including unclogging hair follicles to promote more hair growth. Although, it does it all, the most unique property about jojoba oil is how gentle it is for sensitive skin. It is a yellow oil, that has a mild smell. ¬†Please read labels on the back of the bottle to ensure it is pure jojoba oil and not mixed with any other oils. ¬†In this recipe use 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil.
  • Vitamin E Oil:¬†Vitamin E oil is best known for its healing properties. It can heal scars, stretch marks and sunburn etc.¬†Warming:¬†I don’t have a bad reaction to Vitamin E oil, however some do. It is strong and can cause irritation, If you experience irritation do not add vitamin e oil to your body butter. If you do not experience irritation, in this recipe use 1/8 a cup of Vitamin E Oil.¬†

Directions

This body butter recipe is vegetarian/vegan and raw/organic.

  1. Heat all solids, (1/2 cup raw shea butter, 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, 1/2 cup coconut oils,) in a water bath. A water bath is used to slowly melt the ingredients with out altering their integrity. To achieve this, you will place all ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Let the steam from the boiling water heat the bowl, which melts the ingredients.
  2. Once ingredients are heated, set out to cool. Once cooled to room temperature place in refrigerator and let cool for 1 hour, until ingredients turn into a soft solid.
  3. After cooling process, remove from refrigerator, and add oils (1/4 cup jojoba, 1/8 cup of vitamin E oil,) to the bowl.
  4. Once oils are added, use electric mixer to combine all ingredients. Use electric mixer until desired whipped texture is achieved. This doesn’t take long, with in minutes the recipe will almost look like a whipped frosting or whipped cream consistency. This is what you want. It smells amazing and becomes a rich, whipped, creamy, soft, body butter.¬†whipped

 

There are lots of great body butters and belly balms out there, but by making your own, you have complete control over what ingredients you use and how much of each ingredient you use.

Other body butter and belly balms that I love.

x354 I have yet to try this one, but I have heard it is very good. And it looks like it is made from the same ingredients I used minus the vitamin E oil.

StorQ belly Balm

Beauty-Square-Belly-Balm_1024x1024_16bbda39-8040-4d7f-8b95-806c9647c764

I have this, and love it! It is a very small amount, but perfect to put in your purse and so you can reapply through out the day.

Have you ever made your own body butter? What is your favorite ingredient found in skin care products?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Got leftover Turkey? Make Stock!

Another wonderful Thanksgiving came and went. The feast was amazing full of my favorite fall flavors. ¬†However, just like everyone else, my fridge is over packed with tons of leftovers. Well if you are like me, with a stuffed fridge, questioning what to do with all of those leftovers, you’ve come to the right blog.

I’ve got your back!

Lets start with ideas for your leftover Turkey.

There are lots of things you can do with your leftover turkey. Some like to go traditional, by making a good old turkey sandwich. My husband, however got a little bit more creative by making a turkey pot pie from scratch. I’m so proud of him… This is what we ate for dinner.¬†turkey pot pie

The turkey pot pie was delicious, but it only used some of the left over turkey meat. We still have a lot more meat to use and the whole turkey bones and all. The last thing I am going to do is let those bones go to waste…

At this point, some of you may have your jaws dropped… gasping, “You eat Turkey?” I have said it before, but I will say it again, although, I eat mostly a plant based diet, and almost always experiment with vegan and vegetarian cooking, I do not label myself as a vegetarian. I occasionally eat meat, as long as it is organic/wild caught. I also am working on being more balanced in my life, and definitely believe at certain times in life, organic animal based protein is necessary in moderation.

Moving on…

Lets talk about STOCK…

I use vegetable stock all the time. I use it in my butternut bisque/soup recipe. I use it in replace of water in any recipe that calls for water. It actually really does give that extra flavor. However, two weeks ago, I made my very own vegetable stock for pho soup, and (not bragging, just stating the truth) it was over the top good. Store bought vegetable stock just doesn’t even compare to made from scratch vegetable stock. I was almost a little mad when I discovered this… because now I am going to always have to make my own, or at least have some homemade stock on hand. The key to this is to make it in bulk and then freeze it.¬†

Another reason why I prefer making my own is because I have more control on what I put in it. No additives or preservatives like the store bought kind, plus I can really customize it to my taste buds. Depending on what dish I am making, I can add a little more of one spice. It is also much more economical. Save money, make a big pot of stock, and freeze it so you always have it on hand.

There are also amazing health benefits to stock, especially chicken stock (as long as it is organic.) According to Sarah Wilson from IQS…

  • Stock is full of minerals and electrolytes, in a form easy for the body to assimilate.
  • Stock has been know for centuries as a healing remedy for the digestive track because of it’s soothing effect on areas of inflammation in the gut.
  • Stock is a de-stressor. It repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine.
  • It is great for anyone with Thyroid and autoimmune issues.

Now there are many types of stocks other than Vegetable. There is Chicken, Turkey, Bone, Fish… the list goes on. And for the same reasons, I listed above, it is better to make your own.

But because Thanksgiving has just ended, the odds are you have some leftover Turkey on hand…

So now lets use those turkey bones and make some Stock!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped up roughly
  • 1 white onion, chopped up roughly
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped up roughly
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • garlic cloves
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 bay leaf
  • Turkey bones (use organic turkey)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Remove turkey meat from bones, leaving some on if desired.
  • Cut turkey meat in small pieces and place a side. (This meat can be used later for turkey soup.)
  • Place all ingredients in a big pot over the stove. (or crock pot, slow cook)
  • Fill pot with water to cover all ingredients, (about 20 cups of water.)
  • Bring liquid to a boil, continue to boil for 20-30 minutes.
  • After 20-30 minutes of boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 3-6 hours. 3 is the minimum, but 6 hours is ideal for ultimate flavor and health benefits.
  • Once simmered for the time you choose, strain all ingredients. Now you have Turkey Stock!

Note: You can use immediately for soup, or you can store in the freezer.

stock 1

stock 2stock 3Have you made Stock form Scratch? What’s your favorite kind of Stock? Leave a comment below and let me know what you do with your leftover Turkey!

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe

My November Goal post revealed my food goal for November, which is to explore and test my Thanksgiving recipes instead of winging them the night before or day of. So I have been in search for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe -something new and different that my family has yet to try.  To find this recipe, I have been reading tons of magazines and blogs. While browsing Bon Appetit I finally came across a Sweet  Potato Cheesecake Recipe.

thanksgiving mags

 

I don’t bake much, but I have been lately. Having a Kitchen Aid Mixer and a Vitamix has made me more adventurous in the Kitchen. These tools are must haves and I can’t believe I use to cook and attempt to bake with out them. They save me in the kitchen.

Okay, lets talk about Sweet Potatoes…

When baking this recipe there were so many firsts for me.

It was my first time making a Cheesecake and using a springform pan. First time ever using sweet potato as a dessert. And it was my first time doing a water bath.

So lets define some important tools you must know before you continue on…

Springform pan: is a type of bakeware which features sides that can be removed from the base. This is a must have when making cheesecake. Like any product, you can find one to fit your budget. I got mine at Sur La Table for under $15.

Water bath: At this point your cheesecake is already assembled in the springform pan. Now you are going to place it (cheesecake springform pan and all) in a bigger baking pan. You will boil water over the stove. Once water comes to a boil you will pour the boiling water into the bigger baking pan until it is about 1 inch deep up the side of the springform pan. Then you will transfer the cheesecake and water bath to the oven and bake. The water bath keeps the cheesecake moist and prevents drying and cracking.

cheesecake

 

So there are two parts to this cake, the Oat-Pecan Crust and the Cheesecake Filling.

Oat-Pecan Crust

INGREDIENTS:

all ingredients are organic

  • 2/3 cup whole pecans
  • 1/3 cup large rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats.)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Combine all dry ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, slowly increase to Variable 6 for 5 seconds.
  • Bring back down to Variable 1 and pour melted butter in though the lid opening.
  • Pulse until everything is blended.
  • Transfer crust mixture to a 9″ springform pan, pressing it into the bottom and 1″ up the sides.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Place on wire rack to cool.

Cheesecake Filling

INGREDIENTS:

All ingredients are organic

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1.5 lbs or 24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Peel and Cup the sweet potatoes, boil them until soft.
  • Combine all ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, increase to variable 10 until all is blended
  • Start water bath, (for additional notes check above) bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Position the springform pan inside large baking pan/dish.
  • Pour filling into crust.
  • Pour water in the outer baking pan/dish until it reaches 1″ up the springform pan.
  • Transfer cheesecake in the water bath to the oven and bake for 60 minutes, until edges are firm.
  • Remove cheesecake from water bath and cool cheesecake on cooling rack for 1 hour.
  • Then transfer cake to refrigerator and cool completely for 4 hours.
  • When ready, run a thin knife around sides, remove springform pan sides.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Important note: Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. If it is cold the eggs will not mix well. It will be lumpy.

 

cheesecake

 Wondering how this taste!? Well it turned out delicious. I brought it to work and it was gone in 5 minutes. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? What are you making for Thanksgiving? Have your tried sweet potatoes as a dessert?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Chai Tea Recipe

I love coffee shops.

I could easily spend the day reading a good book, or writing an interesting blog post in a coffee shop -they are just sooo cozy and welcoming.  I was actually talking to a friend the other day about how I would much rather meet up, to chat over coffee, then go to a bar for a drink.

However, I have a confession to make … I don’t drink coffee.

I am a tea drinker.

I drink it everyday.

I love all different kinds of tea, but my favorite by far is the oh so delicious Chai tea.

When it comes to a Chai Tea latte, I am guilty of  being like every other American, and just grabbing one on the go from Starbucks.  The Chai Tea latte from Starbucks is very addicting, but it is not healthy for you at all (shocker.) Starbucks is the fast food chain for coffee, so what do you expect?! The Starbucks Chai tea is a concentrated syrup that is extremely caffeinated and loaded with sugar.

Because I am trying to limit my sugar intake, (read about I Quit Sugar Detox here.) I have decided to cut back on Starbucks Chai tea. There is no need to drink one of those suckers everyday, when I can make my own delicious chai tea at home, and control the ingredients I put in it.

The idea that I can make my own Chai tea came to mind, when I came across a simple Chai tea recipe in the I Quit Sugar cookbook. Although, the recipe is awesome, (and I plan on trying it soon,) I decided to continue my  Chai tea research.

Here’s what I found…

I came across the blog, indiaphile. The author explains Chai perfectly by saying,¬†‚ÄúChai‚ÄĚ is the Hindi word for ‚Äútea‚ÄĚ but it usually means the well-known sweetened spiced milk-tea of India.” I also learned from this blog, that¬†Chai Tea is the National drink of India. Indians normally drink Chai at least two times a day, once in the morning, and then again in the afternoon. In India you can get Chai anywhere, including right from your favorite street vendor. You will also find a¬†recipe for Masala Chai, on indiphile –¬†¬†I have a feeling I am going to end up like her mom, obsessing over perfecting my Chai tea recipe.

Because the Chai recipe in I Quit Sugar looked  so good, I decided to search for Sarah, the blogger who came up with it. Her blog is called My New Roots.  She invented Chaice-cubes! 

Let me explain…

You will be making your own chai concentrate. Here’s how…

INGREDIENTS

Because of all of the organic ingredients, this Chai is full of health benefits.

  • 5-6 inches fresh, grated ginger root
  • ¬ľ cup whole cardamom pods¬†
  • 1/8 whole fennel seeds
  • scant ¬ľcup whole cloves
  • 6- 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 ¬Ĺ liters fresh water

DIRECTIONS

  • Start out by boiling a big pot of water infused with all of the spices found in traditional Masala Chai. Then let this pot simmer for 2-4 hours.chai tea
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain.
  • Let cool. (I refrigerated my liquid for a couple days. You can refrigerate for up to 2 week.)
  • Once liquid has cooled, pour liquid into ice cube trays.chai tea ice cubes
  • Store in freezer, so you always have chai on hand.

To make Chai Tea Latte by using the Masala …

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat milk or use a milk alternative over the stove.
  • Add a couple chai ice cubes to the milk and simmer.
  • Once mixture is very hot brew tea. Either place tea bag into mixture, or use loose leaf tea. Traditionally, the tea used is Black tea, but you can use which ever tea you desire.
  • Add honey or stevia to sweeten.

It is fall, my favorite season. And nothing gets me in a better mood, or warms me up more, than a spicy Chai Tea Latte. Now that I have these Chaice-Cubes on hand, there is no excuse to go to Starbucks. These cubes are just as fast. Plus, I can tweak the Chaice Cube recipe to my own taste buds, maybe next time I will add vanilla bean. I also like the idea of changing up my milk option, maybe using coconut milk one time, and almond milk the next. 

Are you a coffee drinker or tea drinker? What is your favorite coffee shop?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

Plant Strong 2Plant Strong

 

It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Roasted Chickpeas

1236834_10102009943788586_528716337278462953_n

This photo got a ton of attention when I posted it to Facebook and Instagram last night. People requested the recipe and wanted to know all the details from what kind of seasoning I use to if they get crunchy.

Why I decided to make these…

On Saturday, when I was at DC VegFest, they handed out free samples of this snack. They tasted delicious, and the minute I saw them, I knew I have seen them before. In my favorite cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson has a recipe for these. So instead of buying a bag at VegFest, I decided to make them myself.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas. (Drain and dry them the best you can.)
  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons hot paprika (I didn’t have hot paprika on hand, so I used red pepper flakes as a substitute. When using red pepper flakes I only used 0.5 teaspoon.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary. (I used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. (I used dried)
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Pour the chickpeas on a baking sheets, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Check the chickpeas at 10 minutes shaking the baking sheet, making sure they aren’t stuck to the sheet. Continue baking for the rest of the time.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine evoo, salt, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, paprikas, and red pepper flakes if using.
  • Once chickpeas have baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and put them in the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix together.
  • Place paprika covered chickpeas on baking sheet and put in the oven, baking for an additional 5-10 minutes. (The longer you leave them in the oven, the crunchier they get. Just make sure they don’t burn.)
  • Let cool for a couple minutes and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!

*** All of the ingredients I used are organic, and non GMO. ***

Why I love these…

I absolutely love these chickpeas. They are a wonderful alternative to potato chips, kale chips, or popcorn. They are a low in sugar, high in protein snack. You can eat them by themselves, or add them to salad, soups, or even on top of grains. And although, I flavored them with paprika,  you can really chose any type of seasoning or flavors you are craving. A friend of mine, commented on facebook that she made hers with garlic and grated parm. So try away, get creative!

Have you tried roasted chickpeas before? What is your favorite seasoning? How do you flavor you roasted chickpeas?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

dc water

DC waterfront

DC water rest

After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

1 2 3 4