Beat That Cold & Enjoy Some Down Time

 

It happens to me mostly in the Summer months for me and it happens to best the of us MAMAS -- sick days are just no fun. But why not make them fun? When you're run down your immune system tires and well, you get sick. So I like to think of my sick days as my body's way of telling me to go ahead and pamper up! 

Sick Day Recipe

After a GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP:

1) green juice - lots of vitamins and hydration

2) 2 poached eggs - good healthy fat and protein

3) tea with honey - honey helps coat the throat and herbal teas are soothing

4) lots and lots of water with lemon and cucumber - getting enough water is crucial

5) steam shower or steam room - a little sweat helps rid that bug

6) eucalyptus oil - helps you breath better. put water + oil in a bottle and spray while in steam or shower

7) follow up with a cold shower - gets your blood flowing and help clear your brain of the fog

8) maybe end the day with a good bowl of miso soup - lots of vitamins in there

Good luck! And enjoy your down time! Why not?

image credit for green juice 

My Current Favorite Things

I've just posted pictures of my favorite things right now. I literally have been obsessed with these products and recipes and web sites. 

My Favorite Things: 

1) Pretty Geometric Patterns 2) Free People Earrings 3)  Homemade Kale Burritos {see my easy recipe below} 4) Amazing Sugar Facial Scrub  5) Target Sandals + Lace Shorts 6) Paso Robles Syrah wines 7) Everything you see in the last pic is from Fab.com - MY favorite site right now for buying stuff! IN LOVE for sure and you really should join. 8) Plui bath toys {these are so fun in the bath & look cool too}

I figured I would share this with you in case you were looking for something to obsess about this month! 

Kale Burrito Recipe

2 handfuls chopped kale
2 Tbls olive oil
2 pinches sea salt + pepper
1 small avocado or 1/2 large avo
1 tortilla {whole wheat or gluten-free or spelt}
2 Tbls garlic sauce
3 Tbls shredded organic parmesan cheese {optional}

In a bowl combine chopped kale, avocado, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat tortilla on stove. Coat in garlic sauce. Sprinkle on shredded parmesan. Let it heat for about 5 minutes. Once finished add kale & avo mixture. Roll it up and DEVOUR!!!!!!!

Cherry Zucchini Muffins with Goat Yogurt & Honey

So, it's a long long story, but in here's the short version for now....

I recently purchased some SaladMaster cookware through a friend who sells them. If you don't already know about this company and this type of waterless cooking, you really should enlighten yourself. It's much healthier for you and everything seems to cook really quickly at low temperatures. 

Anyways, I have been practicing and practicing the new cooking technique and let me tell you, it's been a long uphill battle. It should be fairly easy to follow a recipe but of course, seeing as though I don't follow recipes, I am pretty much SUCKING at it. Put it this way, this Cherry Zucchini Muffin recipe was originally intended to be a "healthy cake".

The idea with Saladmaster and other waterless cooking, is that you can bake cakes on the stove top in a pan in about 15 mintues at a low temp.

I've seen people do it and it totally works. The best part is that you don't need sugar or salt or any added oils. Just enough liquid, which in this case comes from the fruit and eggs or milk, so that the thing doesn't burn.  

I made up this recipe in my head {yeah, at times I'm very fortunate to have this skill but it can also be a mess sometimes} and tested it out in the pan. Well, something went wrong. Not quite sure what. The flavor was there, but the pan was burned and it didn't come out in the shape of a cake but rather a pile of chunky berry sand. 

So, I decided to revert back to "normal" baking and tweeked the recipe a bit...and, voila! Healthy, tasty, low-sugar, gluten-free, no oil, no egg muffins. PERFECT! 

And what better than my son's favorite snack - goat yogurt - to top them with!! So tasty and hearty for a great breakfast or snack. 

Muffin Recipe

1c almond flour
1c gluten-free baking flour mix
1/2 c coconut flour
1/2 xylitol
1 1/4 c cherries, chopped
1/4c zucchini, shaved
3/4 almond milk or water {or 3 eggs, beaten in a blow by hand}
2 Tbls local honey

coconut oil, for greasing the muffin pan. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl combine all the dry stuff - flour and xylitol. Set aside. 
Meanwhile, chop cherries into quarters. Using a grater, or a cheese shaver, grate zucchini. 
Mix zucchini, cherries and honey in a bowl but SAVE 5 TBLS for the top of each muffin. Add water or almond milk to flour mixture. Then add the cherry/zucchini mixture. 

Grease muffin tins/pan with coconut oil.

Using your fingers and a spoon, put a layer of freshly grated zucchini on top of each muffin. Like you would a frosting or topping. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Note: The muffins don't rise much, so fill the muffin tins until completely full. These are dense and filling muffins.

Topping / Frosting

1 container plain whole greek yogurt
2 tsp - 1 Tbls honey {to taste}

Blend honey and yogurt well. Top each muffin with honey yogurt when ready to eat.

Note: Don't top the muffins until you're ready, this is is important. You might want to store the muffins in a container or freezer, so leave the yogurt off. Once you are ready to eat them make more greek yogurt topping. 

Peach & Cilantro Tempeh Salad :: Vanilla Fig Coconut Ice Cream

Summer is officially in full-effect! It's not only sweaty hot around here but the beaches are full of people, stores and parks are crowded, traffic is crazy and well, my taste buds are all over the place. 

Instead of craving comfort food, I crave fresh produce, sweet coffee {really weird}, green drinks, watermelon, crunchy veggies, white wine and yes, ICE CREAM and popsicles.

Today I have decided to share a really flavorful, Summery but light dish followed by FRESH in-season banana fig ice cream for dessert. No dairy and not a lot of cooking.

Tempeh is one of my favorite vegetarian proteins because it comes from WHOLE fremented soy beans, not flour or soy milk. It's got a lot of protein and vitamins. It also has a really hearty taste. I like to cook it the same way I would cook salmon had I been cooking salmon or stir fry meat in a wok {which I don't eat}. By the way, did I mention, it's meat-eater approved?

Makes a great lunch or light dinner. 

ORANGE TEMPEH & PEACH CILANTRO SALAD
serves 2 dinners, 3 lunches/snacks

1 package tempeh, chopped into chunks
1 peach, thinly sliced
1 large handful chopped cilantro
4 TBLS tamari
1/2 TBLS oil of choice
1 orange
1 avocado

In a small bowl combine tempeh, tamari and oil. Cut the orange in half. Set aside half the orange. Squeeze the juice over the tempeh mixture and using a grater or shaver, grate the orange peel into the mixture as well. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stirring a few times. 

Meanwhile, in another larger bowl combine sliced peaches and cilantro. Using the other half of the orange, squeeze orange juice into the bowl. 

Heat your stove to low/medium heat. In a frying pan, add the entire tempeh mixture. Let cook on one side until the moisture/liquid starts to harden and turn dark color {aka reduce the sauce}. After about 5 minutes of cooking on that side, using a metal spatula, scrape the pan and toss it again, coating the rest of the tempeh in reduction sauce. The tempeh should be pretty brown from the tamari, about 5 more minutes. 

One a plate slice the avocado into long pieces. Arrange on plate. Top with the peach salad. Then top the salad with warm browned tempeh. 

Enjoy! 

Dessert is especially fresh and healthy. With only honey and bananas as a sweetener it's a perfect way to end the day or maybe even START the day. I love having cold ice cream for breakfast on a hot Summer day, especially one with in-season fruit, coconut and honey. 

FIG NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM RECIPE
About 6-8 servings

4-5 fresh figs, sliced in half, skin on
1.5 frozen bananas
1 can organic coconut milk {creamy & full-fat}
1-2 heaping TBLS raw local honey {add more or less honey to taste}
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom, powder
1/2 vanilla bean
5 mint leaves, choopped

Chop 4 figs and break the frozen bananas in half. Add to a high speed blender. Open can of coconut milk and add that to blender as well. Mix on high until totally smooth and no chunks {you can keep chunks if you'd like}. Add honey and spices. Using a knife, cut open the vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds in the inside. Use the sticky black seeds, and discard the shell.

Blend again on high until thoroughly mixed.

Add to your ice cream maker and follow directions. Should only take you 30-40 minutes of freeze time.

note: because we don't use dairy, the ice cream tends to take a bit longer to freeze in the ice cream maker. Be patient. If it doesn't completely get hard like traditional ice cream, you can put in freezer for another 10-20 minutes before scooping out. 

Top each bowl with a mixture of fresh figs, finely chopped and fresh chopped mint.

A Peek Into Meredith's New Book

Writing a book is a major case of delayed gratification. By the time the book is published (usually close to 2 years after you sign the contract) you've almost forgotten how it happened. You are essentially in another phase of life. Still equally excited, but some of the nerves have warn off. You've sat with it, gained confidence about it, tweaked it, edited it, shown it to all your friends and family, bragged about it, bashed it, and when the book finally gets published you are pretty excited (ok, cant wait!) to share it. 

Within all of the waiting there are some spurts of major excitement- #1 is definitely getting back photos to share! 

Yesterday was a typical Tuesday, but it became A-typically exciting when I opened my inbox and found an email from Adrian Mueller with a link to his website and photos from my book shoot- which meant, I get to share some of the photos! 

We've mentioned Adrian before. He is the photographer with whom we've worked with on the last 3 books. This was the 4th time that Adrian and I have worked together - and you know, 4th times a charm ;-) Anyhow, Adrian is incredibly talented. I have learned so much about food styling and photography working with him. He is incredibly precise, meticulous, thoughtful and creative when it comes to his work. He has taught me to see things that I would have never before noticed- the details of details. I am so grateful for these experiences. 

I am so excited to share these photos with you! I really think that these might be the best yet. 

For more of Adrian's beautiful photography and some more of the work we've done together - check out his website