Entree, Featured, Food

Creamy Thai Green Curry

January 15, 2018
Creamy Thai Green Curry

This flavorful Creamy Thai Green Curry is made with rich coconut milk, seasonal vegetables, and finished with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes. Simple yet satisfying, this dish is perfect for just about any occasion and caters to most dietary restrictions.



Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub of ginger, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 small white onions, diced
  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk (I used full-fat coconut milk for a richer curry)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • Garnishes: handful of chopped fresh parsley and red pepper flakes, to taste
Creamy Thai Green Curry

Creamy Thai Green Curry – The Healthful Model 

Instructions:

  1. To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain, and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve.
  2. Warm a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a couple teaspoons of coconut oil. Cook the onion, ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of salt for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the zucchini and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into the pan, along with 1/4 cup water and 1 ½ teaspoons sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the zucchini is tender and cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Once the vegetables are done cooking, stir the spinach into the mixture and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove the curry from heat and season with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add salt and red pepper flakes (optional), to taste. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Enjoy! 

Notes from the kitchen:

  • To make this recipe gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Feel free to use any combination of vegetables. I used zucchini and spinach as that’s what was in my fridge.
  • If you’re interested in investing in a rice cooker, I recommend this one by Zoojirushi.
Featured, Wellness

Simple Tips To Reduce Plastic Pollution

January 9, 2018
Simple Tips To Reduce Plastic Pollution

Plastic is one of the most prominent pollutants of our earth and ocean, yet each year, plastic consumption is increasing. According to Project Drawdown, “We estimate the total production of plastics to grow from 311 million tons in 2014 to at least 792 million tons by 2050.”

Plastic has an undoubtedly convenient but alarming presence in our daily lives. We’re surrounded by plastic. Think about every piece you encounter in a single day: grocery bags, food containers, coffee cup lids, drink bottles — the list goes on. It is estimated that half of the nearly 300 million tons of plastic produced each year is used for single-use items. That means an item is used once (with the average lifespan of 1.5 hours) and then thrown away.

Mindless plastic consumption is a current and increasing threat to biodiversity. While changes made at the governmental level would have the most timely impact, right now, it’s up to the consumer to make conscious choices that support sustainability. Below are a few simple tips to reduce plastic pollution.


Refuse single use plastics wherever and whenever you can.

  • Avoid produce that’s wrapped in plastic. Plastic packaging can, of course, help keep food hygienic and prolong shelf-life. It makes it more convenient for the consumer to grab and go. But the costs of servicing that lifestyle are high, for people as well as the environment. Instead choose loose, seasonal produce.
  • When shopping for produce or bulk items, come equipped with reusable produce bags instead of using the plastic ones provided by most grocers.
  • Forego drinking bottled water whenever possible. According to the Container Recycling Institute, in the United States alone, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away each day. However, only a small percentage actually make it to a proper recycling facility. Make it a habit to always have a reusable bottle with you.
  • Just say no to plastic straws. According to Strawless Ocean, Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. Many of those straws end up in the ocean polluting the water and affecting marine life. Keeping a stainless steel straw on hand prevent the need for harmful, single-use plastics.

Reduce your plastic footprint by cutting back on goods that contain excessive plastic packaging.

  • Whenever possible, buy goods in loose form or packaged sustainably. For example, companies like Elate Cosmetics use biodegradable seed paper to package the powder products. They also give consumers the option to buy reusable compacts and palettes.  When the product is gone, you simply purchase a refill instead of a buying another product with casing.
  • If you have the option to purchase a product or appliance made out of plastic or from stainless steel or ceramic, choose the latter.

Invest in reusable items made from sustainable materials.

  • Whether you’re at the grocery store or shopping for clothes, always have a few reusable totes with you.
  • When you’re on-the-go, always keep your zero waste essentials with you. Include a reusable travel tumbler and water bottle, a container for leftovers, reusable cutlery, and a stainless steel straw.
  • Instead of plastic, opt for products made with sustainable materials like metal, stainless steel, copper, bamboo, cork, linen, organic cotton, plant fibers, stoneware, ceramic and clay.

Recycle anything that you can’t reduce, reuse or refuse.

  • Get familiar with your local recycling guidelines and follow them. If your city offers curbside composting, take advantage of this positive cyclical process.
  • Pay attention to the full lifecycle of the items you bring into your home, from sourcing through manufacturing and disposal. Remember the quote, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Resources

Books:

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Dessert, Featured, Food

Almond Flour Snickerdoodles

December 14, 2017
Almond Flour Snickerdoodles

After weeks of grasping onto the last of fall festivities, I’ve found myself finally getting swooped up in all the Christmas fervor. The season simply cannot commence without baking. More specifically, cookie baking. Which brings me to these divine Almond Flour Snickerdoodles. Rolled in a tantalizing blend of cinnamon and sugar before baking, and coming out of the oven with little cracks on top, these nutty gems are bound to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and set rack in the middle of the oven. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients. Set aside.
  • Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  • Place one-to-two inch balls of batter onto greased and parchment-lined baking pans and lightly press down.
  • Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
Entree, Featured, Food

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘N’ Cheese

November 24, 2017
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac 'N' Cheese

Once you make this dreamy twist on your classic mac, there’s no going back!

Creamy Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/5, 15 oz cans of pumpkin puree 
  • 4-6 garlic cloves,
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2, 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons organic miso paste
  • 4 cups gluten free pasta shells or penne, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the pan

Herbed Bread Crumb Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the canned pumpkin, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, salt, miso paste and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the garlic is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  3. Carefully place the pumpkin mixture in a blender (Blendtec works best!) and purée until all ingredients velvety smooth.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water, remove all excess liquid.
  5. Spread out the pasta in the prepared pan, and pour the pumpkin–coconut milk purée over the pasta. Gently fold in the nutritional yeast and mix well to combine, ensuring that all noodles are coated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping.
  7. Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, uncover, and sprinkle the top with the herbed bread-crumb topping, followed by a sprinkle of the remaining 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Transfer to the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until brown and bubbly.