Bacon Almond Quinoa Recipe

bacon almond quinoa rice With the heaviness of thanksgiving feast just around the “waist side”, I decided to add some yummy quinoa to the table for a small friendsgiving dinner we had last night! What’s great about this dish is you can prepare it in advance. I found the super easy recipe on Food and Wine and altered it a bit. Now, let’s head over to the kitchen, all you bacon lovers, and get to cooking:
Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 thick slices of Applewood-smoked bacon (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
1 sage sprig
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. minced chives
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Cranberries for a little sweetness, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate (I just used a baking tray) and toast in the oven until golden brown (4 minutes); let cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the diced bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat has rendered (about 2 minutes)
  3. Add the shallot and cook, stirring a few times, until softened but not browned (about 1 minute).
  4. Add the quinoa, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the stock is absorbed (about 17 minutes).
  5. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it stand, remain covered for 5 minutes.
  6. Discard the sage and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  7. Stir in the chives, parsley and toasted almonds. Season the quinoa with pepper. Add some cranberries if you want this to be savory and sweet, and serve!

Bon Appétit!
xo, tfny
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goodliving: boost your immunity

Achoo! Bless you, you, and you. We all know everyone and their mamas, papas, cats and dogs – you name it – we’re all getting sick! I had to deal with a gnarly cough for about a month and ended up on antibiotics. If you know me, I rarely hop on drugs for a quick fix.

So to hopefully help some of you dodge this crazy cold, here are a few natural, easy tips you can give a try:

R&R – RELAX & REST. Many of us are always busy. We’re workaholics. We’re party animals, and amidst it all, is the importance of finding that quiet time to get a good night’s rest. That’s the hard part – finding that balance. Without good rest, your body wears out, grows fatigued; that is when you’re more susceptible to getting sick. As much as we’d all want to run off caffeine and live like the energizer bunny, we’re only human; we need rest to re-charge our body.

ECHINACEA. So I kind of, sort of, swear by this. This herb has helped me conquer minor colds to fevers. Best of all, it has helped my friends bounce back from feeling under the weather at a much quicker rate (especially my best friend, who used to always – I mean always – be sick). I use echinacea when I notice onset signs of a cold, or at the early stage of when I’m actually sick. Echinacea makes symptoms less severe. It should not be taken as a daily supplement because you won’t allow your body to build it’s own immunity.

ZINC. This mineral increases the production of white blood cells that help fight infection. I’m no doctor but I do recall my own doctor telling me this isn’t something you have to take everyday. It’s not recommended to have too much zinc in your body though it is still essential. It is a metal, so use sparingly and it is beneficial to our health. I normally only take zinc when I notice the early signs of feeling sick.

GARLIC. Not only does garlic add a wonderful kick to foods (mm.. garlic fries), it’s fresh cloves are packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. So get to eating more of this stinking rose, because it’s also good for your heart.

Stay healthy folks and if you’re one of the many not feeling well, I wish you a speedy recovery!

xo,tfny.
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ready. set. goal

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I suppose if it’s announced publicly, it must become a commitment! Over Labor Day weekend, the girls and I painted the city of angels red. We reveled at a pool party, which prior to baring into bikinis, I decided to feast like a king because: 1. I normally do and 2. I wanted to be able to last through the night. Sadly, it was quite inevitable after feeling bloated as a whale to stray from that self esteem, especially with a pool filled with coke-bottled, perfect-figured sharks swimming around. Pause. Nobody’s perfect. Before going about the “stfu, you’re skinny”, this IS a skinny girl rant because that is exactly the problem. I don’t want to be viewed as skinny, I want to be fit! They are two completely different concepts and I have a ways to go. As I speak for myself, I am nearly shapeless; if I stood next to Spongebob Squarepants, it will be difficult to tell us apart aside from his charming good looks.

The issue with my body type is that I am an apple where all my food ends up being stored around my abdominal, which is the hardest area to burn. Frankly, its triple times more difficult because I love food so much that the thought of a strict diet… Well, its not even thought. After scoping out the various body types by the poolside, I’ve decided I really need to put my foot, er.. fork, down.

Currently, I’m only working out enough to maintain. I know without ever changing my diet (or the excessive amount I eat), it’s going to take a lifetime before I see real results. Here, my goal comes in: it’s time to put more thought to eating cleaner and scheduling time to exercise more. No more cheat weeks; it has to remain a cheat day, as in one not five. This state of mind doesn’t spring because I think I am “fat”, rather I want to be healthy. I don’t want to start panting excessively when I speed walk up hills. I want to see some definition in my arms, abs, and let’s just throw in a bubble butt while we’re at it. Wimpy as it sounds, I want to be able to do a proper pull up without chair assistant, aside from reaching the bar, because at this point, simply dangling myself on the bar might not be the cutest look.

I’m not trying to do a disappearing act with myself, more so, I hope to start selling you tickets to the gun show. Kidding. Before I go over my head, I will give myself until my birthday, a full two months, to really push myself out of my comfort zone (being lazy). I’m not trying to be a body builder, I’ll be ecstatic with half the strength of one. So here’s to the extra sets of burpees, incorporating more weights, staying away from eating multiple cookies in one sitting and running that extra mile.

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Whether reading this motivates you to try to reach or push harder in your personal health goals or if you think this is petty, it’s absolutely fine. As long as I’m able to entertain a positive thought and promote even the littlest growth, we can be in this together. Let’s get it!

xo, tfny.

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No Bake! Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Cookies

Literally, a super easy recipe and basically as mentioned… Chocolate, Oatmeal, and Bananas!

I love making banana oatmeal cookies because it’s a good, clean eat. Simple and it’s a no bake. Normally I don’t add chocolate but I saw this recipe via OhSheGlows and thought it was a  great frozen snack that’s vegan, and gluten-free. It’s a great alternative when you’re craving something sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (found some at Whole Foods)
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder

IMG_1055Instructions

  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for about 60 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir so the rest of the chips melt.  (TIP: Microwave in increments of 10-12 seconds, take out and stir to prevent burning the chocolate)
  • Chop the bananas and mash it into the melted chocolate chips with a fork.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients into the chocolate and banana until all oats are coated with chocolate.
  • Line a plate or cookie tray with parchment and form size of cookies to your desire.
  • Freeze for about 1 hour or until firm. Cookies will firm up, but they won’t become solid and will remain chewy

Best serve cold because it is banana so when left at room temperature, the cookies will get a bit “mushy”. I recommend to keep these in the freezer until you want to eat them : )IMG_1057This picture DEFINITELY doesn’t do this justice but when you’re quickly “baking” this so late into the night, something’s got to give right? Anyways, hope you enjoy!

xo,tfny.

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basic breakfast

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A easy way to spruce up the most basic of breakfast; milk and cereal:

Since I need to do some grocery shopping and there’s nothing to eat, I went for the easy choice of milk and cereal but why stop there… An easy way to add some antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and all that good stuff into your body is by turning something simple, to be a little more complex.

If you’re lactose intolerant, a delicious substitution is Coconut Milk.
I’ll rave endlessly about this because I love almost everything coconut. Plus, it’s still a good source of calcium AND this contains 60% medium chain fatty acids. Just cause it says “fatty”, these are “good fats”, which mean they will actually be easier for your body to burn as energy!

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(sticking to morning talk, this is me – no make up, bed head, and my chipped nails… Bare with me here)

For the cereal, I know childhood ones bring back memories but don’t fall into the trap. Read the label! Those usually consist of sugar as their top ingredient and because cereal grains are so refined, they are striped and hold poor nutritional value.

What’s in my bowl? Nature’s Path Organic Hemp Plus Granola.
(Although, steel cut oats are the best oats to eat, this was already in my pantry… I used it with my greek yogurt, hah)

Easy Additives:
Chia Seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and minerals. Super helpful for your metabolism, people with diabetes and who doesn’t like having good skin! I’m impatient so I like to put 1tbsp or 2 into the milk first so they can soak. You want them to produce this clear little jelly layer around the seed.

Raisins can’t get enough of those antioxidants but they’re also one of the richest sources of the mineral boron used for building strong bones. Also, I like that they give a chewy texture to the crunch of the cereal. Ideally, you should try to buy raisins or any dried fruits that don’t use Sulfites as a preservative.

Blueberries high in antioxidants and low on the GI (glycemic index). Though they aren’t the lowest GI berry, they’re still favorable for regulating your blood sugar. Adding any fruit into your cereal is good too!

Give it a try and enjoy! Like they say, breakfast is the most important meal so start your morning off right. It’s what kick starts the rest of your day!

xo,tfny.

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