Culinary Wednesday: Thai Mango Salad

Nicknamed the “king of fruit”, over decades mangoes have been used to soothe stomachs. Similar to papayas, mangoes contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties. Mango is rich in fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day in your diet, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles and symptoms of a spastic colon. Research and studies published at Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety have demonstrated that dietary fiber has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, including certain cancers and heart conditions. Now you have even more reasons to include this delicious fruit in your daily diet. The more you participate in strenuous activities,the more bodily potassium you lose, which is yet another helpful side effects of mangoes – high potassium content.

Message from the chef: Lazy Cat Kitchen

Today’s recipe is a Thai-inspired mango salad designed to be a delicious light meal on a hot summer’s day. This dish balances the sweetness and warmth of the mango with the acidity of the lime juice and the kick of chilli. It has a pleasing range of textures: the softness of the mango contrasting the crunch from the peppers, cos lettuce and nuts. For best results try and use an unripe mango, as they aren’t quite as sweet and closer in taste to the green mango that’s used for this kind of salad in Thailand.

This recipe is a perfect portable meal for work!

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Ingredients

serves: 4 (as starter) preparation time: 20 mins

  • 1 large Thai green mango or unripe mango*
  • 1 large red pepper (I used Romano pepper)
  • a handful of romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 spring onions, white parts sliced finely
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red chilli, diced finely
  • handful of roasted cashews (or peanuts), chopped
  • fresh coriander and/or mint, chopped + a few whole leaves for decoration

Dressing

  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tamari (for gluten-free version) or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • ground pepper, to taste

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Method

  1. Using a sharp knife or a special peeler, julienne mango, pepper and zucchini. Tear lettuce leaves roughly.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for the flavours to marry.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all salad ingredients apart from nuts.
    Mix the dressing in, adjust seasoning. Serve sprinkled with nuts and a few leaves of mint and/or coriander.

Recipe by http://www.lazycatkitchen.com/thai-mango-salad/

Sunday Spotlight: Erin Keller

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Profession: Actress, Registered Nurse, & Social Media Marketing Intern

Lives In: Vancouver, BC

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up mainly in Ontario & Michigan, USA, but was born in Vancouver and made my way back out here after high school. I’m a Libra, but was born on the week of the cusp so I’m actually a Libra-Scorpio (and yes, I like astrology, but try to take it with a grain of salt too). When I was in high school I thought I would be a doctor, or psychologist. I originally went to University in Victoria, BC for psychology, but then changed my mind a few times and finally decided on nursing. Half-way through nursing school I went through a break-up that allowed me to do a lot of soul-searching and find out who I really was, and what I wanted in my life. I became really fascinated with spirituality, natural health, acting & photography. I would say that this period my life was that pivotal time where I finally knew what I wanted, and made sure to go after it. So I got a job at a natural health store which I loved, bought a DSLR camera and signed up for acting lessons. It was at this time in my life where I began to live differently. I lived in pursuit of my passions. I began to listen to my intuition and follow my heart. I learned how to build meaningful connections with people who were like-minded and I can honestly say I was truly happy on my own, and felt whole on my own. It’s kind of crazy how the difficult times in life are actually a blessing in a way. They allow us to soul search, find ourselves, and realize just how strong we really are. Currently I am pursuing my acting career(i just shot an independent short film called “Cold Camping” by director Stacey Ashworth), am working as a nurse at a couple hospitals, and learning the ropes of social media marketing through an awesome internship with a great company. I am trying my best to live in the present, stay positive, stay healthy, follow my heart & pursue my passions. I want to look back on my life with no regrets, want to inspire and support others and keep the determination I feel I was born with and create a life that I love and feel fulfilled.

We understand that staying healthy is important to you. When did you first realize that it’s important for busy women to prioritize their health?

I first realized this when I was in nursing school. Oh did this lesson ever hit me like a ton of bricks. I had adrenal fatigue from my busy lifestyle of school, work and going through a break-up. I had no idea just how depleted I was until I went to a local naturopath, but I knew something wasn’t right when I had really bad insomnia (but was always tired), had trouble concentrating in class, and noticed I couldn’t eat the same as I used to as my metabolism was affected from adrenal fatigue. I quickly tried all routes to help get healthy again. I went to a naturopath and starting taking adrenal supplements, changed to a clean diet, tried to limit my caffeine and alcohol intake, and put exercise way up on the priority list. I also decided to work on my emotional health, and tried acupuncture, energy healing and hypnotherapy. It took almost 2 years of including all of these things in my life, but it eventually began to work and I felt like myself again…but even better. To this day I still include those health practices in my life, and it keeps me balanced and healthy.

What kinds of exercise tips do you have for commuters? I commute a ton, and find that walking everywhere (when possible) really helps. And little things like taking the stairs can actually help a lot too. I try to workout consistently during the week, and find if you either schedule it in, or have it in your head as non-negotiable that you’ll do it, that works well.

What kinds of healthy eating tips do you have for commuters?

I’ve actually learned this a lot more lately due to a film I just had to be in pretty good shape for. I think the key is eating a consistent diet. Meaning, that instead of giving yourself endless options of what to eat during the week, make a plan. Either pre-make your meals ahead of time and freeze them. Or if you are too busy for that, then try to eat similar things as much as possible that are healthy. For example, during my film prep for breakfast I would have a Vega shake mixed with water, or eggs & steamed greens, oatmeal & cinnamon or on occasion a spinach & feta wrap from Starbucks. I would almost always have a salad for lunch with no dressing and an apple. I would have an Emergen-C vitamin pack with water mid-day, and a light dinner. I found that by eating similar foods, it helped me stay focused on not steer away onto bad foods. I had made up my mind what I would have ahead of time, and it helped me get in shape quite quickly. I also didn’t have any alcohol and tried to limit my caffeine intake.

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When you’re overwhelmed with work responsibilities, how do you find a better work/life balance?

SLEEP! I find taking an extra nap or getting extra sleep at night helps so much. Meditation is also really helpful. And little things like getting the stress out of the body through exercise and going for a nice walk down by the water. Also connecting with friends, even if just over the phone. And when all else fails, a nice cup of tea or massage always makes me feel better.

What are your favorite workouts? 

I love the gym, and am a big cardio person. There’s nothing better than putting on some great music and either going for a run along the seawall or jumping on a machine at the gym. I also do some weight training when I’m there, and like going to classes from time to time like barre fitness, yoga, and ab classes.

 Have you ever tried any workouts that you just hate and you would never do again?

I despise burpees, but know they help, so I still do them. But besides that I like most workouts and think switching up your workouts is good for the body and give you great results.

How do you stay motivated when you’re just not in the mood?

Listening to good music, making a plan ahead of time (putting your workout gear in your work bag so you have to go), and sometimes just telling yourself that you’ll just do a short workout on the days where it’s tougher. And having a goal helps a lot I’ve noticed. Whether its an upcoming photo-shoot, marathon, or filming these all give you extra incentive to make it to the gym. So try to find a goal for yourself and you will see that motivation increase like crazy!

 What has Nursing taught you about health?

Well, I guess I could look at this question many ways. Being a nurse you see all aspects of health. You see that the body is indeed something that needs to be cared for, nourished and not taken for granted. I’ve seen people go from healthy to extremely ill in a short period of time, but I’ve also seen the opposite. People who even the physicians did not think would make it, and then they did, they bounced back. Miracle cases. I think that prevention in life and health is the key to be honest. I remember in nursing school watching a documentary “Food Matters” and it literally changed the way I looked at health forever. Learn how to eat healthy, don’t completely rely on your doctor for your health (meaning, educate yourself on health), and learn how to manage stress in a natural way. Natural health is remarkable, and all it takes is a little learning on your part to potentially change your life. Go into your local natural health stores and pick the brains of the people who work there, go to a naturopath once a year, read health related books and research online. Prevention is so important.

 What is the one aspect of your life that gets you through the “hectic” days?

My acting. I absolutely feel alive when I do it, and it makes me feel connected to my passion and purpose. I try to do some form of acting learning/training every day, and this truly keeps me happy and switches my focus from stress to calm. If I can’t do anything acting related for some reason, a good talk with a close friend also helps. I am so so grateful for the amazing people I have in my life. Truly.

 What is advice that you would give to your 20 year old self?

Pursue your passions, and if you don’t know what they are, take the time to soul search. You will find them. Surround yourself with positive people who love you and want the best for you and support you. Learn to live in the present and not look back on the past too much, or into the future too much either. If something you once wanted doesn’t work out, don’t worry. Learn to surrender in a sense, and know that it wasn’t meant to work out and that something better will come your way, without a doubt. But we must be patient and try not to control. Your wealth is in your health. Educate yourself on health and surround yourself with great mentors. What you think (in a sense) you become. So learning to think positively and optimistically is a skill that will help you create an amazing life. If your gut is telling you either not to do something or that a situation isn’t right, listen to that. It’s almost always right and is there to protect you. Find your inner artist, it is so fulfilling in life and helps you connect with that other side of your brain. Follow your heart. Help others. Be a good listener. Be a good friend. Find a partner who loves you for you and create a healthy, loving and supportive relationship. If someone doesn’t value you, move on, because someone else will. Stay true to yourself. Laugh. Always have something to look forward to. And lastly, that you CAN create the life you want, you just have to be determined, stay positive and surround yourself with good people. Do not settle for a mediocre life when you could have an amazing one. You deserve love and happiness, so don’t settle for anything less.

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You can connect with Erin on the following platforms:

Instagram: erinkeller77
twitter: @erinkeller777

Culinary Wednesday: Lemongrass Sweet Potato Gyoza

Lemongrass is an amazing super-herb cultivated and consumed in abundance in South East Asia. Found at most groccery stores in the form of fresh stalks and dried herbs, lemongrass is most commonly used to flavour teas, curries, and soups. It’s distinct sweet lemon flavour when crushed releases an essential oil called citrate, the same lemony flavour is also released when stepped as a tea.

Lemongrass has many health benefits and healing properties containing multiple compounds, oils, minerals and vitamins. The primary chemical component in lemongrass, citral, boosts potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

Equally celebrated in Ayurveda medicine, lemongrass is used as a diuretic, sedative/calmative, detoxification and tonic.

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Drink up your lemongrass tea! Here’s some general uses of this super-herb:

• Cough, cold & sore throats

• Anxiety

• High cholesterol

• Type 2 diabetes

• Colitis

• Digestion

• Rough, dry, scaly skin

• Acne

• Constipation

• Kidney detoxification

• Insomnia

• Relaxation & deep sleep

Sounds amazing right?

– Lemongrass is amazing chopped up and added into your typical curry: While simmering your curry (coconut milk + curry paste + veggies) add a handful of fresh stalks in to add a sweet lemon hint (even better if you can find kefir leaves to toss in there too).

– Try lemongrass tea (available at most groccery stores), if not buy fresh stalks (or dried herb) pair with fresh ginger, chamomile, honey, and you’ll have yourself an super immune boosting tea. Great for any common colds or cases of inflammation.

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We were super inspired by this lemongrass creation courtesy of olivesfordinner.com

Sweet Potato + Lemongrass + Gyoza makes for an super tasty meal.

Lemongrass Sweet Potato Gyoza

INGREDIENTS
Gyoza:
– 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and peeled
– 2 TBSP peanut oil
– 3-4 lemongrass hearts, chopped (reserve the outer stalks for broth or tea later)
– 1 large shallot, sliced thinly
– 1/2 fresh cilantro, chopped
– 1/8 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
– vegan dumpling wrappers (I used square, but round is fine too)
– 1 tsp ground flax seeds (I used a coffee grinder), mixed with 5 TB flax milk

Gyoza Sauce:
– 1/4 cup mirin
– 2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
– 1 tsp vinegar
– tsp organic granulated sugar
– 1 tsp to 1 TBSP Sriracha (dependant on spice preference)
– red pepper flakes

METHOD
Chop the sweet potato into small, dice-sized pieces. Bring plenty of water to boil in a medium-sized pot, add the potatoes, salt and a bit of oil and boil, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.

In a small saucepan, saute the lemongrass hearts and shallots in the peanut oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Transfer to the sweet potato mash and combine well. Add in the peanuts and chopped cilantro and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

To assemble the gyozas, lay one wonton skin on a flat surface. Dip your finger into the flax seed/milk mixture and run it along both ends of the wrapper to help create a seal. Then place 1 tsp of the sweet potato mixture into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wonton into a triangle shape and run your finger along both edges to seal it. Then, pinch the edges together to create a crimped shape along the edges. Lay the assembled gyoza on a slightly oiled cookie sheet while you prepare the rest of the gyozas.

Once they are all assembled, heat some oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up very well, about 4-5 minutes. Gently place the gyoza in a single layer in the pan, taking care to watch for any oil splashes. Let them sit in the pan for 3-4 minutes, or until well-browned on one side. Take 1/4 cup water and slowly pour it into the pan. It will violently sizzle. Cover immediately, and reduce the heat to low. Allow it to steam for an additional 5-7 minutes. Transfer back onto the cookie sheet to cool, and repeat the process until all of the gyozas have been cooked through.

To make the sauce, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. These can be served warm, room temperature or cold.

 

PC: thewanderlustkitchen +  thegourmettraveller.com.au

Spotlight Sunday: Rachel Pendergast

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Name: Rachel Prendergast

Profession: Owner/Operator at One Heart One World Travel Accessories, Flight Attendant

Lives in: Vancouver and Seattle

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in North Vancouver, I think that’s where I get my passion for nature and the outdoors. On my days off in Vancouver, you’ll find me on the North Shore, on a trail run or on the Seawall, taking in the amazing Vancouver oxygen. I’ve been with Westjet for almost 10 years now, and it’s allowed me to feed my travel bug beyond what I ever thought I would have the opportunity to experience.

What is something about you that most people don’t know?  I’ve been in over 20 musical productions, and cry every time I go to a theatre.

When the words “health conscious” comes to mind what do you think of? Awareness and balance. I think it’s so important to be aware of your body, and what it needs to stay the healthiest you can be. I also think it’s all about balance. I’ve never been on a “diet” ever in my life, I believe in healthy choices and treating yourself more than once in a while to keep a healthy and happy body and mind.

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You’ve launched your own business. What inspired you to start this? I wanted to start a project that helps me give back to what traveling has given to me. My backpack and I have lived and discovered our world together for years. I now also feed my travel bug with my career as a flight attendant. Of all the gains traveling gives us, the people and communities you meet are what we take home and inspire our hearts. Alongside small community organizations, we have designed and created travel accessories in an effort to create jobs, help fight poverty, and reduce waste in our world by supporting these talented people with our projects. These organizations all have our like-minded mission: To unite our hearts for a greener world.

With being a flight attendant, commuting, and running your own business how do you ensure your health stays at a optimal level?  Again, just trying to maintain a balance. I try to get as much fresh air as possible, see my loved ones, keep a healthy life style and happy heart. The rest just falls into place, and makes my life a pleasure to live. Green smoothies and Saje products help as well 😉

What do you always travel with in your carry-on just in case you get hungry?  I always have some kind of quinoa stir-fry, cut veggies and fruit, chocolate, hummus and snap pea crisps

On days that don’t allow you to work out or make your own meals, How do you make sure you stay healthy throughout the day?  I try and do a little room workout that usually ends up in me just dancing around my hotel room and singing “karaoke style” like a teenage girl and make Sure I get as much sleep as I can.

What is the most amazing thing your body has done for you?  I would say, let me fall asleep at any hour of the day when I need it. Our schedules are so crazy, it’s nice to beable to “turn off” at whatever timezone I’m in, when I need it.

What is your “go-to” meal to pack for when you are flying?  Quinoa stir-fry

How do you keep focuses when life just seems to get busy?  I take the time to just be, and don’t put to much pressure on timelines. I do my best work when I feel inspired, lifted and healthy. I take care of my personal life, and relationships before anything else. I don’t say no to any opportunities that could build my life, help me grow and learn, or just excite me. Create your best self, and focus on what sparks your happiness, and take risks.

 You’ve moved to Seattle? What is your favorite healthy restaurant there?  Umi Sushi in Belltown is  one of my favourites. The sushi is so fresh, and the ambiance is lively.

 Where is the best run-route in the Sea-Tac area that you’ve found?  I’m still exploring. Steward Park is a great one or Alki Beach Seawall. Anything with Trees and Water, I’m a happy girl.

What is the one country you recommend everyone to travel to and why?  That’s a tough one. I feel like traveling is such a personal quest, everyone is on a different journey, and benefits differently. I really can’t say that everyone should go anywhere, but India, Philippines and Botswana where 3 of the most incredible experiences for me. Go somewhere that pushes your limits and opens your eyes, get out of the main “touristy” spots, and get to know the locals. Eat at hole in the walls, and buy souvenirs from locals to support them. Take pictures and share stories. Try an excursion you’ve never tried before. Put away your cell phone, and use a real camera. Don’t get tempted by the world wide availability of WIFI, It’s now a luxury to be disconnected. Get lost.

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You can connect with Rachel at:

Rachel Prendergast
Owner, One Heart One World
Travel Accessories
rachel@oneheartoneworld.ca

Instagram and Twitter @1heart1world

 

 

Culinary Wednesday: Pad Thai Spring Rolls

The buzzing streets of Bankok are polluted by merchants serving up authentic Thai treats alongside a classic Singha for an astonishing $4 Canadian. Lucky for us, our predominantly vegetarian diet is no abnormality to the Thai people. Being one of the worlds largest produce exporters, Thai foods are rich in flavour, incredibly fresh, and local.

Pad Thai is one of the most popular Thai dishes to saturate the North American food market. It’s also become one of the most unhealthy options due to the amount of sugar and oil in the sauce alone. This recipe takes tantalizing Pad Thai back to simple, classic, and definitly a lot better for your waistline. The decision to turn this classic into a spring roll is genius, on-the-go friendly, and downright delicious.

A note from theminimalistchef –  If you aren’t into tofu, sub your favorite protein. If you don’t like spicy, leave out the chili garlic sauce. Need something for dipping? Throw in one of my three (yes, three) sauce options.

These rolls really are delicious on their own. But when served with a little additional chili garlic sauce, Sriracha, or peanut sauce, it’s elevated to a new level of awesome

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PAD THAI SPRING ROLLS
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
40 mins
Total time
55 mins

Recipe type: Entree, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan, Thai
Serves: 4 (8 rolls)

Ingredients
SPRING ROLLS
– 14 ounces (396 g) extra firm tofu
– 8 ounces (226 g) white or brown rice noodles
– 8-10 white or brown rice spring roll papers (I love Banh Trang brand)
– 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
– 1 large handful fresh cilantro
SAUCE
– 3 Tbsp (45 g) tamarind concentrate (I love this brand)
– 3 Tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce + more for tofu
– 3-4 Tbsp (36-48 g) coconut sugar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
– 1/2 lime, juiced (~1 Tbsp, 15 ml)
– 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (I love this brand) + more for tofu
FOR SERVING (optional)
– Peanut Sauce / Almond Sauce / Cashew Sauce
– Sriracha
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wrap tofu in a clean towel. Set something heavy on top – such as a cast iron pan – to press out liquid for 15 minutes. Then cut into 1/2-inch wide rectangular strips.
3. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet, giving each piece some space so it can firm up. Bake for 28-30 minutes to dry and firm the tofu. For softer tofu, bake for 20 minutes. For firmer, bake for 30-35 minutes. Set aside.
4. In the meantime, prep carrots, cilantro, and cook rice noodles according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
5. To make the sauce, add tamarind, tamari, coconut sugar, lime and chili garlic sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it begins bubbling, lower heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more tamari or soy sauce for saltiness, chili garlic for heat, coconut sugar or maple syrup for sweetness, or lime for acidity. You want it pretty flavorful with a balance of salty, sweet and sour, so don’t be shy! Remove from heat and set aside.
7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add baked tofu and 1 tsp each chili garlic sauce and tamari or soy sauce, plus 1 Tbsp of the Pad Thai sauce. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

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8. Add cooked noodles to the still-hot pan over medium heat and add remaining Pad Thai sauce. Use tongs to disperse sauce and toss noodles. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
9. Assemble a station for preparing the spring rolls with a shallow bowl or plate (for dunking the rice paper), bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil (to cook the rice paper with), and a clean work surface (such as a large cutting board).
10. Gather all ingredients and add hot water to the shallow bowl or pan. Let it cool for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 rice paper at a time and cook/soften for 45 seconds to 1 minute. You’ll know it’s ready when you touch it and it swirls around in the water.
11. Lift and let excess water drip off, then transfer to your clean work surface. Top with pad thai noodles, tofu, carrots and cilantro, then roll over once, tuck in sides, and continue rolling all the way up. Place seam-side down on a serving plate or baking sheet and cover with a damp, room temperature towel to keep fresh. Continue until all spring rolls are prepared (about 8).

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Serve as is with a bit more chili garlic sauce or Sriracha Another great addition is peanut, almond, or cashew butter sauce (see links to variations/recipes above).

Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 spring roll Calories: 204 Fat: 2.9g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 30g Sugar: 8.8g Sodium: 391mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 6.6g
LOVED THIS RECIPE? Find more by  the minimalist baker at http://minimalistbaker.com/

Sunday Spotlight: Mikaela Reuben

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Name: Mikaela Reuben

Profession: Nutritional Chef and Health Consultant

Lives in: Vancouver

Tell us a bit about yourself: I love eating, laughing, and surprising people. I grew up on Vancouver Island but I have always been a traveler. I thrive in the unknown and have created a business which allows me constant stimulation and challenge.

How did you get started in nutrition? I remember being interested in it all my life but I really moved into it after I watched my father heal himself post heart attack with food. I had studied in school and supplemented my passion with different nutrition and health certifications and programs but my career officially moved into it after I met a private celebrity chef on Maui in 2009 who was willing to train me as a nutritional chef.

Could you outline your basic daily diet: Lots of veggies, leafy greens, avocados, eggs, and sushi. I also have a tendency of eating too many rice noodles.

How do you deal with cravings for sweet, salty, and junk food? I struggle and sometimes I indulge:) haha. But really, when I have an extreme craving I try drinking tea or water first.. Then I move to food if this doesn’t satisfy me. I will try and create a healthy whole foods version to satisfy this need. Cucumbers with hummus, hemp oil and sea salt for savoury.. Or banana slices with sea salt, cinnamon, and coconut butter if it is sweet.

What is your daily workout regime? A mix of yoga and running. I try to walk as much as possible everyday.

You travel a lot, what are your must haves in your carry-on? Snacks, socks, and a sweater:)

How do you stay fit when travelling? Stretching and simple strength exercises wherever I am staying and lots of exploring.

What are your favorite pre and post workout meals? Big green smoothies before and boiled eggs with steamed greens after.

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What supplements do you take? Vitamin D, Plant Based B complex and a multivitamin, magnesium.

What food(s) has/have the biggest impact in your mind for muscle recovery? Leafy greens and proteins

What is your favorite motivating quote? 

TWO by Albert Einstein

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

If you could give any advice to those wanting to live a healthier life what would it be? Start slow, don’t set unrealistic goals, and try adding healthy options rather than taking away.

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 You can connect with Mikaela on the following Social Media platforms:

@mikaelareuben instagram

@mikaelareuben twitter

Mikaela Reuben Nutrition for Facebook

Pumpkin & Chili Stir-Fry with Kecap Manis Sauce

Kabocha, squash, and carrots are key vegetable starches in the Indonesian diet.  Kabocha, commonly called Japanese pumpkin is an Asian variety of squash, very similar to the North American pumpkin in shape. With its naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter in taste than butternut squash, Kabocha enhances flavour in both spicy and savory dishes.

It also has multiple health benefits:

Feel Fuller: contains 3 grams of fibre per cup keep you feeling fuller for longer!

Better Vision: 1 cup contains double the recommended daily Vitamin A intake keeping your eyes strong, skin soft, and bones healthy.

Sounder Sleep: Rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Increased serotonin sound sleep will also improve your mood, win. win!

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Pumpkin and Chili Stir-Fry with Kecap Manis Sauce

Ingredients:

– 1 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cubed

– 3 tbsp peanut oil

– 1 onion, thinly sliced

– 2 cloves garlic, crushed

– 4 chiles, sliced

– 8 oz sugar snap peas

– 1/4 cup kecap manis (soy sauce + equal parts organic brown sugar)

– 1 bunch thai basil leaves

– 1/2 cup toasted cashews

– steamed jasmine rice, to serve

 

Method:
1 – Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil on high. Add pumpkin. Cook 2-3 minutes, until almost tender. Drain well.

2 – In a wok or large frying pan, heat oil on high. Stir-fry onion 1-2 minutes, until golden. Add garlic and chilies and stir-fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Mix in pumpkin and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden.

3 – Add peas and kecap manis and stir-fry 1-2 minutes more.

4 – Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves and cashews. Serve with rice.

 

Recipe courtesy of Recipes-plus.com