strawberry rhubarb crisp.

strawberryrhubarbcrisp
I
ts that time of year again where I have rhubarb coming out of my ears and no clue what to do with it besides make pie. So I present to you a crumble. I tried to find something that was refined-sugar free; this was a little tart, but it was pretty good. I think it would be great mixed into some yogurt! The top makes almost like a granola – it was my favorite part.

  • 2 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • zest from one orange (or lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
For the crumbles
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ¾ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large mixing bowl with the zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and cornstarch and mix well.
  2. Mix the almonds, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  3. Grease an oven proof casserole or skillet and spoon in the fruit filling. Crumble the topping evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, checking occasionally. When the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

fizzy toilet bombs.

toiletbombs

I whipped these fizzy toilet bombs up in no time. You drop one in your toilet and let them do the cleaning and deoderizing. And since you use essential oils, I love how refreshing they make the bathroom smell! Drop one in your toilet bowl and watch it fizz, leaving your toilet fresh and clean. I found the directions here. 

1 1/3 cup baking soda
½ cup citric acid
1 tsp water
30 drops Lavender essential oil
30 drops Peppermint essential oil
30 drops Lemon essential oil

Mix the baking soda and citric acid together in a small bowl. The next step is to add the water and essential oils to the mixture. To minimize the fizzing action, use a small spray bottle that produces a fine mist.

Gently mist and stir the dry mixture until all of the oils have been added. Test the mixture at this point by squeezing some in your fist. If it isn’t clumping very well, put a little more water in the spray bottle and wet it down some more, but just until it can form a good clump in your hand.

Then, pour the mixture into your silicone mold of choice, and pack each cell down firmly. Allow the bombs to dry for several hours, then remove them gently from the mold and they’re ready to use!

 

harry potter party.

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Milo had a harry potter birthday party this year at the Laboratory Science Academy in Wicker Park. The kids spent the afternoon making harry potter potions and doing science! There are SO many harry potter party ideas thanks to pinterest, and I tackled a few of them.

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We got some nerd glasses at a toy store near our house, and just popped out the lenses and each kid got their own pair of harry potter glasses.

We visited universal studios this year, and I was able to pick up some of the candy bags at honeydukes. They don’t typically sell them, but I asked if I could have them weighed and I would buy them and they agreed.  So we filled these with some bertie bots jelly beans, I got off of amazon, Homeade golden snitches made from ferrero rocher chocolates, some gold chocolate coins from gringotts bank, and a rainbow lollipop.

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But no harry potter party is complete without a wand! I got some wooden cooking chopsticks at Super H Mart, coated the end with some hot glue and painted them brown. Easy peasy!

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The party was a hit! I can’t reccommend the Laboratory enough! The staff was so kind and patient with all our silly kids and the kids had a blast. Milo told me one of the kids had their wands with them at school on monday! Success!

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cucumber + pineapple + mint smoothie.

cucumberpineappelsmoothie
I recently tried a smoothie at the juice bar near my work and it had mint in it. I almost asked for it without, but I figured, they wouldnt add it if it wouldnt taste good, right?! I took a sip and it tasted fine, but then immediately I got a little kick of mint and was like “whoah…” I think I’m now strangely addicted to this goodness. I recreated the smoothie, with my own twist on things and this is what I came up.

1 cup coconut water
juice from half a lime
1/2 cucumber
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
a few sprigs of mint
Handful of greens (spinach or kale)
1 Tablespoon hemp seeds

Blend in a high speed mixer and enjoy!

cauliflower chowder.

CAULIFLOWERCHOWDER

Heres a recipe for this dreary, rainy day! It’s a creamy, garlick-y soup that was delicious and came together pretty easily. It makes great leftovers, because the garlic really sits in and comes to life.  If you have a vitamix this soup comes together in no time!

Original recipe found here.

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (+ more as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potatoes. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1½ tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the top off the garlic bulb so that some of the cloves are slightly exposed. Drizzle with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap bulb in tin foil and place on sheet with vegetables.
  3. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (they don’t have to be totally soft because we’ll be blending them later). Check the garlic after 15 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning. Allow the veggies to cool slightly then add them to a vitamix or high powered blender. Squeeze/spoon the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  4. Add the cashews, along with the hummus and quinoa to the vitamix. Pour in liquids, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings (adding more garlic, salt, pepper, miso or other seasonings) as desired.
  5. Serve warm topped with some of the roasted garlic garnish from the hummus, some chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

russian potato salad.

potatosalad

This was a great little salad I made for lunch one day – and I want to remember it for summer bbq’s or potlucks! It came together in about 15 minutes and used only a few ingredients, but love the tangy flavors and rich, buttery potatoes. Will be making this again for sure!

Original Recipe found here. 
2 lbs small young potatoes (cut to same size if necessary), skin on & washed (I used butter babies)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dill, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
3 tbsp organic white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

    1. In a medium pot, add potatoes and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until soft (check with a fork). Drain.
    2. Add remaining ingredients, cover and shake the pot. You can also stir gently. Serve cold, warm or hot.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

date + almond butter cups.

datecups

Right before I stopped eating sugar, I discovered Justin’s Dark Chocolate mini Peanut Butter cups. I was IN HEAVEN. Honestly, they have been one of the hardest things to not get to eat. Just having a little bit of chocolate at the end of a meal has left me feeling kind of incomplete after  meal – not going to lie. But thanks to kittee’s recipe for these homeade chocolates I can eat candy again! Or at least feel like I am!

All of her combinations look and sound so good! I went with dates and almond butter, but I think I definitely want to add something crunchy to them next time. I store them in the freezer and grab one when I need something sweet!

2 parts cacao powder
2 parts melted coconut oil
1 part liquid sweetener
soft dates
almond butter

Line a mini cupcake pan with liners or grease them. If you mix about 1/4 cup of the cacao and 1/4 cup coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, you’ll get enough chocolate for a few cups.

Put the cacao powder, coconut oil and sweetener in a small dish and stir well to combine.

Spoon a little bit of liquid chocolate into each paper, just enough to cover the bottom, and freeze for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, carefully split your dates in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto each half. Remove the tray from the freezer and smoosh a date half into each chocolate circle. Spoon more chocolate on top, to cover the date and freeze until ready.

 

korean tacos.

koreantacosThe original recipe I found for these tacos was actually a chicken recipe, but I changed it up and made it vegan, using Beyond Meat, and modifying the ingredients a bit. The result were tacos that packed all kinds of flavor and texture! I used the leftovers to turn into quinoa bowls for lunch the next day….More on that below!*

Cabbage slaw:

    • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
    • 1 Tablespoon agave
    • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • Juice from 1/2 lime
    • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
    • 2 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
    • 3/4 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
    • salt and black pepper, to taste“chicken” marinade
    • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
    • 1 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or minced
    • 1/4 cup Korean chile paste, or gochujang
    • 1 Tablespoon Agave
    • 4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oilTortillas
      beyond Meat (tofu or seitan would also work fine)
      Cucumbers
      hot sauce
      Cilantro
      green onions
      Kimchi

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, agave, rice wine vinegar,  soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and sesame seeds. Add the cabbage. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
  • Prepare your sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, Korean chile paste, agave soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Marinate the Beyond Meat in the sauce for an hour or overnight.
  • When ready, warm up a pan and cook up the beyond meat, reserving any extra marinade.*
  • Cook until ready – then serve as tacos topped with cucumber slices, green onions, cabbage slaw and kimchi. Cilantro and hot sauce optional.

    *we took the extra marinade and marinated tofu, then baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so and used this tofu, the cabbage slaw, kimchi, green onions, slaw and cashews mixed with quinoa for a delicious lunch the next day.

 

 

make up remover pads.

makeupremover

Ive noticed that my skin around my eyes have been drying out quite a bit, and I think it has to do with the harsh eye make up remover I may be buying from target. I took a stab at making my own since I had all the ingredients on hand and this will hopefully due the trick!

1 small mason jar with lid
round Cotton Pads
1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon of dr. bronners mild castille soap
Water
2-4 Drops of lavender essential oil (optional, but lavender is great for your skin!)

Directions:

1. Place cotton pads in the glass jar.
2. In a small bowl mix the coconut oil and castile soap and essential oil together.
3. Pour mixture over cotton pads.
4. Press down on the pads so the soap and coconut oil evenly absorb into them.
5. Pour water over pads, just enough wet the pads.
6. Place the lid on the jar and shake (this helps to evenly distribute the liquid over the pads).

Use one pad at a time to remove makeup from your face. Dispose of pad after use. Keep the lid on the jar to prevent the pads from drying out.

general tso tofu.

generaltso

Heres a confession. I have made this dish for my weekly food prep lunches for the past three weeks. I love it. I have modified the recipe a bit to avoid all that frying; and it still works out great.  Another confession: I use white rice and I feel like I’m eating chinese take out.

Original recipe can be found here

  • 3-4 cups (474-632 g) cooked white or brown rice
  • Steamed broccoli
  • slivered almonds
TOFU
  • 12 ounces (340 g) extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 4-5 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
SAUCE
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 T maple syrup,
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
STIR FRY
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
  • 1 bundle green onions, bulbs removed, roughly chopped
  • optional: Sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. If serving with rice and broccoli, begin preparing at this time. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
  2. Take pressed tofu, slice into thirds and bake in 400 Degree oven for 20-30 min, flipping over halfway through. When done baking, slice it into cubes and set aside.
  3. Prep/chop green onions, garlic, and ginger at this time. Set aside.
  4. While tofu is pressing, prepare sauce by combining sesame oil, cornstarch, minced garlic, minced ginger, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  5. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add tofu to a shallow mixing bowl and top with tamari or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and maple syrup. Toss to combine. Let rest 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Use a slotted spoon or fork to transfer tofu to a quart-size or large freezer bag. Add cornstarch 1 Tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer – about 5 Tbsp.
  8. To the hot skillet, add 1-2 Tbsp oil and let warm for 30 seconds. Then use a slotted spoon or fork to add tofu to the pan (leaving any excess cornstarch behind).
  9. Cook on all sides for 1 minute, or until light golden brown. You don’t want it blackened or burned, as you’ll be cooking it again later with the sauce. Aim for a consistent golden brown crust (see photo). Remove tofu from pan as it’s finished browning. Set aside.
  10. Return skillet to burner and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. Add the sauce and tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, to coat the tofu and vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened (see photo).
  12. Remove pan from heat and add sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat.
  13. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli and slivered almonds for some crunch.
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