Ingredient of the Week

A few weeks ago, I recognized an all too familiar feeling of tiredness and weakness that’d been hanging over me like a heavy cloud. I’ve been dealing with iron deficiency issues my whole life, off and on, and I could tell that I was yet-again running too low on the mineral. Times like this one, when the deficiency isn’t too extreme, I just start taking some iron supplements and up my intake of iron-laden proteins that I’m not always the biggest fan of. So this time around, instead of ordering a big hunk of meat every night for the next few weeks, I decided to look to one of my favorite but easily forgotten sources of iron: cream of wheat!

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photo via: quemas.mamaslatinas.com

Cream of wheat always brings me back to my childhood, when my parents would heat me up a bowl in the mornings, with a touch of sugar and milk swirled in. My sister and I loved having cream of wheat for breakfast, with its savory-sweet smell and comforting warmth filling our bellies. Not only is it a yummy and filling breakfast, but it’s also very nutritious. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, with iron being its top bragging right, this classic breakfast is anything but simple. While I enjoy eating it plain, the same way that I did as a kid, ever since I decided to add it back into my eating regimen, I’ve been playing around with some fun toppings to give my breakfast an extra kick. I usually resort to adding a sliced banana, slivered almonds, and a bit of honey to my cream of wheat, but after browsing through these recipes that I randomly found, I can’t wait to mix up my routine a little more!

What do y’all think about cream of wheat? Have you tried it before?

New in Beauty

I’ve always been a sucker for new beauty trends and products, and it definitely doesn’t help quell my obsession when the products I try end up being amazing. Even though this beauty habit has me constantly cleaning out my makeup bags, I can’t truly complain about an obsession that introduces me to better and healthier beauty products, right?

Now, with my new monthly series called “New in Beauty,” I will be continuously sharing with you my latest beauty discoveries and where to get them for yourselves! Start clearing up your makeup counter now because here is my latest and greatest find from this month!

Glo Minerals Luxe Liquid Foundation – $54.00 (in natural)

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This foundation was actually given to me by my mother, who was told about the mineral makeup by a well-respected dermatologist. As it’s a brand that has received raving reviews from skin professionals around the country, she knew it would be something that I’d want to test out. Well, I gave it a try and fell in LOVE! My handy drugstore foundation is now in the trash and replaced by my Glo Minerals makeup! I really love it because I only have to use a pea-sized amount to achieve an even complexion, long-lasting coverage, AND a lightweight feel! Plus, the natural shade matches my skin tone perfectly, which has never happened for me in the past.  I definitely recommend this foundation for someone who doesn’t want the heavy feeling of makeup but does want to benefit from the skin protection and coverage!

Living Proof

Hump-Day Doings

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Happy Hump-Day and April Fools Day everyone!  I don’t have any pranks or fools jokes for y’all today, but I am presenting you with a list of doings for the first day of April!  Ch-ch-check them out!

READ THIS:

“Where All The Costumes Go After TV Shows Wrap”

DO THIS:

Work it out like Tris from Insurgent!

SHOP THIS:

Ankle Boots You Can Wear Into Spring!

TRY THIS:

A New Spring Hair Trend

DRINK THIS:

Starbucks’ New Menu Addition!

WATCH THIS:

The Justin Bieber Roast on Comedy Central NOW!

To get you pumped, here’s a funny clip from the show:

https://www.whipclip.com/video/3enuu

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!  Here are some of my favorite things from this past week to make your Friday a little more enjoyable!

Fall Outfit:

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Healthy Breakfast Food Swap:

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If you’re sick of the usual greek yogurt for breakfast, swap it out for some cottage cheese to get a yummy new texture and awesome protein kick!

New Movie:

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I saw this movie in IMax and it was AMAZING- do yourself a favor and see it ASAP

Cool-weather staple:

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I love this Wildfox sweatshirt!

Hilarious video:

This is just one of many hilarious “ew” videos by Jimmy Fallon- SO SO funny!

An Awesome Fall Ingredient To Bring Into The Kitchen

Now that it’s the season for fall ingredients to start hitting the grocery store shelves, I’ve been hitting up the local Whole Foods and Fresh Market for the best of the best. One of my favorite fall foods that I … Continue reading

Homemade Kale Chips: Salt & Vinegar

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So, last night I was watching Scandal (my new favorite show) on Netflix and trying to figure out what to do on a Wednesday night after a long and exhausting workday. I naturally spent some time browsing through Pinterest and eventually found something that I could do – make kale chips! I was already somewhat of a kale fan, but my delight with the nutrient-rich veggie has always truly depended on how it’s made. I have a DELICIOUS kale salad that I make every now and then, but the only kale chips that I’ve eaten and liked were Brad’s “Vampire Killer” Kale Chips from Whole Foods Market. Since I clearly didn’t have that much experience to base my opinion of kale chips on, I figured that I might as well give it a try since I had most of the ingredients that the recipe asked for.

The simple recipe that I found was for salt & vinegar chips and called for only a few ingredients: sherry vinegar, olive oil, kale, and salt. Super easy right? I didn’t have sherry vinegar so I just substituted it with red wine vinegar. Preparation for making the chips was just about as easy as the ingredients list looked. I first made sure to wash and thoroughly dry a bunch of kale that I’d previously bought for making salads. Since the leaves were already cut up and somewhat de-stemmed, this process went a bit quicker than if I’d used a fresh bunch from the produce isle. While the leaves dried in my salad spinner, I added about ¼ cup of vinegar, a few pinches of sea salt, and a little less than a tablespoon of olive oil to a big Ziploc bag. I then filled the bag to the top with the dried kale, sealed it, shook it up, and massaged everything together to make sure it was well combined. Next, I laid the leaves out onto a foil lined baking sheet and popped it into my oven, which was preheated to 300 degrees. I let my chips cook for about 20 minutes and they came out perfectly delicious and crisp! I really loved these kale chips and was so surprised that I actually liked my own chips better than the flavored ones that I usually buy from Whole Foods.

If you ever have the time and are a health nut looking for guilt-free snacks like me, I suggest that you try to make your own chips as well! If you want to try the recipe that I used or feel adventurous enough to try out another yummy flavor of kale chips, click here to navigate to where I found my tutorial!  Enjoy!!

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My New Food Crush…

In honor of the many Sunday brunches probably happening around the world today, I wanted to share with you one of my new food crushes and a classic staple to the fancy brunch meal…smoked salmon.  I initially got excited about this somewhat random ingredient during the last dinner on my spring break Carnival cruise last week.  I ordered the sushi appetizer because I was craving it all week and finally able to fill the growing void in my stomach for some yummy raw fish and wasabi.  When the appetizer came out, I was initially disappointed with the minuscule portion size, as there were only three little rice balls with pieces of smoked salmon and various garnishes on the plate.  However, my disappointment quickly turned around and I was already asking for another round of sushi after cleaning my plate in about 30 seconds.  When the trip was over, all I could think about was how to get my hands on some good smoked salmon so that I could relive the few moments in heaven that I experienced during that last dinner.  Luckily for me, The Fresh Market here in Athens knows me well and the employees were able to point me in the right direction to their smoked salmon selection quicker than you can say sashimi.

I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon all week, but I was quite disappointed this morning when I realized that I polished off the last slice of it yesterday and wasn’t able to make an impressive brunch with it.  However, all is well because I’m sure that I’ll be back to The Fresh Market in no time with another package of salmon in my hands when I leave.  I’m only hoping that this food crush of mine turns out to be short-term because my wallet may end up running dry before my mouth does…

If you’re already a fan of smoked salmon or haven’t even had it before and want to try it out, take a look at these yummy recipes with smoked salmon that I’ve provided right below.  It can truly be a great salty snack or meal complement that will give you a boost of omega 3’s and some brain power at the same time!

1. Smoked Salmon Cucumber Wraps

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2. Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

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3. Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad

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4. Poached Egg, Avocado, and Smoked Salmon on English Muffin

Image5. My Own Creation: The Power Breakfast

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 I hope these recipes and mouthwatering photos gave you some inspiration for your own Sunday brunch- have a great day everyone!

A Breakfast For Success

This morning, I woke up very early to get some last minute studying in for a big test I had today.  Every morning, no matter what, I give myself about 30 minutes of extra time so that I can make and actually sit down to enjoy my coffee and breakfast without feeling rushed and anxious.  This time I have to myself every morning really wakes me up and starts the day on a relaxed and positive note (in my opinion).  However, I do treat test days a bit more special when deciding what to make myself for breakfast.  Instead of the usual Greek yogurt or oatmeal mixed with various fruits, I always make some kind of egg-based dish since I’ve always believed that they give my brain a little boost.  This morning, I was exceptionally lucky because I not only had eggs, but also some fresh smoked salmon, avocado, and whole grains, which are all listed as brain-boosting “superfoods” by WebMD!  I promise they are…check out the WebMD full list if you don’t believe me!  Anyway, my breakfast was so satisfying and combined with some berries and the usual coffee on the side, I felt confident and ready to kick ass on my test.  Check out a few snapshots I took this morning and an easy recipe for the delectable and “smart” breakfast I made right below!

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Ingredients:

½ whole wheat English muffin or whole grain + flax sandwich thin

¼ fresh avocado (mashed)

~ 1 slice of smoked salmon (shred it up with your fingers)

Handful of feta cheese

1 whole egg + 1 egg white

ground pepper and hot sauce for garnish

Steps:

  1. Scramble your eggs into a bowl and combine them with the shredded smoked salmon and feta cheese
  2. Add ground pepper into the mixture and pour it onto a hot skillet to cook until desired level
  3. While eggs are cooking, toast your bread and spread the avocado on bread while warm
  4. Top the cooked egg mixture on the avocado-spread bread and garnish the mountain of deliciousness with ground pepper and hot sauce
  5. Enjoy while it’s hot! SO YUMMY!

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P.S.: look out for my next post if you are a smoked salmon lover, or want to try it out…lots of yummy recipes to come!