Digestive Tea

So it's Thanksgiving weekend and many of us tend to over indulge a little, leaving us with upset tummies and bloat. This year I was hosting and I put a pot on the stove and brewed this digestive aid tea all day and night while my family was here and they took some as they needed it.

I want to be clear, this isn't a "diet tea" or a way to burn off the "extra" calories consumed this weekend. It's about restoring the balance in the digestive system and helping our tummies feel a bit better. 

Four simple ingredients found at most grocery stores are:

  • Fresh ginger 2-3 slices (leave the peel on)
  • Star Anise 1-3
  • Fennel Seed 1 teaspoon-tasblespoon
  • Cinnamon Stick 1-2
  1. Simply boil the ingredients in the pot. I like to get to a boil and then turn it all the way to the lowest setting to keep on the stove and people can consume as they wish.
  2. Use a fine strainer to pour the mixture into the mug and enjoy!

Why these food?

  • Ginger is a known anti-inflammatory and nausea fighter. Usually when we are sick or have motion/car/sea sickness ginger is the first things we grab for. It get's food moving through our digestive system a bit faster, reduces gas, bloating and cramps. It's known to awaken the tastebuds (think ginger in between sushi!) and stimulate digestive juices. 
  • Star Anise is known to help protect against colds anf flu as an antiviral, as well as good for reducing gas, hiccups and water retention. The taste is similar to licorice and in this recipe can be substitued for licorice root, but I find star anise more wildly available in stores. 
  • Fennel seeds conatin concentrated oils that sooth upset stomach. Fennel seeds are used a lot in Ayurvedic cooking I have come across!
  • Cinnamon is a digestive aid used to help sort of balance levels of glucose and triglycerides in the blood. I also find it very relaxing in the smell and taste and warming and comforting. I adore cinnamon so I sometimes put more in. 

 

I hope you enjoy and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Lentil Kale Soup

What's better on a cold day then a warm bowl of homemade soup? Especially when you have a cold and cough after the flu?

For lunchtime I put together this yummy easy soup that's ready in about 30-35 minutes.No need for hours and hours of stewing. Oh and completely vegan! 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1L of vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • handful of kale (or spinach would work)
  • spices of choice. I used tumeric, coriander seed and cumin. I also used a pinch of Asafoetida, which is commonly used in Indian dishes to add flavour and is a digestive aid. If you don't care if this is vegan you can used chicken or beef stock and you would get some of the flavour missing when using vegetable stock. 

Directions:

  1. Heat the pot with the olive oil at the bottom. 
  2. Add the diced onions, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook until a little soft and the onions are a bit translucent. 
  3. Add the stock and lentils and spices you have chosen.
  4. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  5. Add the kale/spinach in the last 5 minutes. Tip, chop them into smaller pieces, making it easier when eating. 
  6. Serve and enjoy. 

What's some of your favourite things to throw in your soup?

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

 

Pineapple Salsa

This super simple salsa has the twist of balsamic vinegar that offsets the sweetness perfectly! Perfect for summer BBQ's and potlucks. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cut pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup fresh cut strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Toss together and enjoy! 

Love, 

Jen

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Ooooo I love roasted chickpeas. I make them in a few flavors, but the honey and cinnamon are hitting the spot today for a bit of sweetness! These are fairly simple to make, high in fiber and easy to put in containers for on the go snacks. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • optional 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Rinse chickpeas under water in a strainer. 
  3. Place chickpeas on a cookie sheet or pan and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and set temperature at 350 degrees. 
  5. Mix cinnamon, honey and optional salt in a bowl. 
  6. Stir in the chickpeas and coat evenly. 
  7. Spread chickpeas back out onto the sheet and in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

As my daughter says "they start sweet and then nice and crunchy!" A nice healthy snack and they make the house smell soooooo good while cooking.

Love, 

Jen

Nutrient Packed Smoothie

I'm a busy lady. As most of us are. I also love smoothies, but I sometimes despise pulling out 5 million ingredients to make a simple healthy and nutritious smoothie. 

So here is the easiest way to pack some nutrients into your day without the pain of finding and pulling out ingredients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 - cup coconut water depending on if you like your smoothies thicker or not. If you do not have coconut water, plain ol tap water will suit you just fine. 
  • 1 scoop concentrated greens - I used the Balance Diet Spa Boost 

Blend everything together and back you go to your busy day!

I like to use this as a pick me up in the afternoon especially since I find myself liking something a little sweet mid day. If you wanted to make this more into a meal replacement I would add some protein powder and your favorite milk instead of water. 

I like using the concentrated greens since its an easy and quick way to get in a bunch of health benefits in one little drink! The pineapple is a great anti-inflammatory and the coconut water a wonderful hydrator, so drink them all summer long, staying full of energy.

Love, 

Jen

Quinoa Kale Cakes

Quinoa Kale Cakes, say that three times fast! Growing up my best friend was Polish. Her mom was thick accent, moved from the motherland only a few yeas ago Polish. She was a stern but wonderful woman that was always trying to feed me. Always. She made these delicious morsels called potato pancakes I adore. She made them for me sometimes when I wasn't getting her daughter into trouble. Hehe. I have never been able to perfect the potato pancake quite like her, but I like to think these quinoa cakes are a healthier version that do hers a tiny bit of justice. 

These cakes are not very stable or hold together until they are cooking ( a lot like potato pancakes), but once the cheese crisps up and the eggs cook they firm up a bit. So do not fret!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I like to precook more then this and additional quinoa can be used in salads for lunch throughout the week.)
  • 1 cup egg whites OR 3 large eggs. 
  • 1 cup fine chopped kale. Removing the hard stem first.
  • 1.5 cups cheese. I used Mozzarella, but I've also used Parmesan or Cheddar.  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

How to:

  1. Preheat eh pan to a medium high heat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl really well. 
  3. Scoop up about 2 tbsp of mixture and place in the pan, spreading it out a bit. 
  4. Flip when the edges start to brown a bit.
  5. Press down to cook the other side flattening and remove from heat when done. 
  6. Enjoy alone or I like Thai chili sauce or any condiment to you hearts desire!

 

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Summer Spinach Salad

It's been unusually hot here in Alberta for this time of year. So much so we've had raging forest fires, even enough to evacuate a city of 90,000 people. Today is the first time the temperatures are a little cooler and it looks like the possibility of rain.

Yesterday it was hot and sunny and we were doing a potluck at my sisters house for Mother's Day dinner. Since her and I are both vegetarians, it's always the joke about which one of us is bringing the salad. And since it was Mother's Day (read as my day off of cooking) I was putting the least amount of effort in for this one. 

So here is my super easy and health summer spinach salad. I pair this salad with catalina or balsamic dressing. I wrote the balsamic dressing below!

What you need:

  • Bag of spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • salad dressing of choice. (See below for recipe)
  1. Mix spinach, strawberries, almonds and onions in a bowl. Set aside until it is being served.
  2. Before serving pour dressing, toss and enjoy!
  3. Say "Wow that was easy and it taste delicious!"

Okay step 3 is optional, but its really that easy! I really like simplicity, especially when it comes to summer food. Nobody likes standing in the kitchen forever when its sunny and hot out!

 

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a container with a lid and pour on the salad as much as you'd like. 

What's your go to salad?

 

Love, 

Jen

Coconut Rice

This is a super simple recipe meant to give a little extra something to boring old every day rice. My family gobbles it up without hesitation, even the kids! I like to make it along side chicken I've put some curry or spices on and voila a jazzed up regular old family dinner meal.

What you need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice.
  • 1 can of coconut milk (equal to 2 cups), additional liquid will need to be added if using brown rice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, teaspoon of lime juice.
  • Salt to taste

Directions (you know in case you're new to rice cooking):

  1. Put rice, coconut milk and optional coconut into a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until liquid is all absorbed. (10-15 minutes)
  3. Don't stir it, seriously just leave it until the liquid is gone. 
  4. Add salt and/or lime.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

It's that simple! Do you have a special way of spicing up otherwise boring foods?

Love, 

Jen

What's In The Fridge Stuffed Peppers

I love recipes that allow me to throw whatever is in the fridge into a meal, especially if it can be healthy. As we all do I believe. So loosely take what I have for ingredients and use whatever you'd like. 

What you need for this recipe:

  • 3 bell peppers (more or less depending on the amount of people you have.
  • 1 cup of precooked rice. This is great to do if you have leftover rice from the day before or food prepping. I used leftover brown rice.
  • half an onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup of kale/spinach
  • 1 cup of kidney beans. Other options could be cooked ground beef or chicken or any other bean you have on hand. 
  • 1 cup of cheese of choice. We used marble, but mozzarella or goat cheese would be fabulous. 
  • salt and pepper and/or any other seasonings you love. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat he oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Heat oil in the pan and add the onions and beans until tender. Or you can add your meat of choice until cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and the greens until wilted.
  4. Add the rice to warm it up, if it's been cold in the fridge from leftovers.
  5. Cut the peppers in half and scoop out the seeds.
  6. Add cooked mixture to the inside of each half.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. Put the peppers on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven until the cheese is melted and the peppers are soft. I like to put on broil the last minute to get the cheese to bubble. 
  9. Enjoy!

What's in the fridge that you will put in yours?

 

Love, 

Jen

KVASS - The "New" Old Probiotic Drink?

I'm currently in the process of waiting for my Kombucha to ferment (watch for that blog post!) and some how Kvass came across my lap. Kvass is a very very old fermented drink originally from the Ukraine dating back as far as 996 A.D. they say. Traditionally made from beets and sourdough bread, it is very popular in slavic cultures and apparently it's found in barrels on the streets of Moscow. 

As with fermented foods and drinks there are probiotics and they help aid in digestion. Wonderful for people with digestion issues, leaky gut and so on. I find the more fermented food I enjoy, the more energy I have personally. 

So anyways, I came across Kvass and thought I would give it a try, especially since it seemed pretty simple, I had the stuff on hand and only 2-3 days for fermenting time!

What you need:

  • A large jar or container with a lid.
  • Filtered water (Okay I just used water I boiled and let cool).
  • 1 teaspoon salt. I used pink himalayan.
  • 1.5-2 cups fruit. I used apples, oranges and strawberries.
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth (not required but nice to get the small strawberry seeds out)

Directions:

  • Mix water, salt and fruit together in jar. Leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
  • Shake the jar a few times a day. I left it on the counter in a spot I would see and remember. 
  • Open up the jar once or twice to let off the gases. 
  • Enjoy! 

I left mine for 2 days, since I am a bit impatient, but I feel like it could benefit from another day or two. Possibly making it a little bit more fizzy. Some describe the taste as similar to beer. I believe that's probably the one made with bread, but it's a very light and fruity, part sour taste. I wasn't sure at first but every day I drink a few ounces and I actually quite like the taste! 

I just popped it in the fridge and take a swig every day. I probably should put it in a glass, but I'm not sure my family is ready to try it so I'm saving having to wash an extra dish......

Use whatever fruit you have available or try some varieties. I hate beets personally so it's unlikely I will do the traditional version!

Pink Himalayn salt

Pink Himalayn salt

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Will you give it a try? Let me know what flavours you are trying!

 

Love, 

Jen

PMS Smoothie

Aunt Flow likes to visit every month, and while she is a natural process in life, most of us aren't fans. Check out this smoothie recipe for some relief before she packs her bags and leaves

The base is Raspberry Leaf Tea that’s been brewed and chilled. Some moms might know this from being pregnant to try and induce labor. It has antispasmodic properties (supresses muscle spasm) that helps with cramping.

The flaxseed has essential fatty acid that also helps relieves symptoms and aid in proper grandular function (hormome balance).

The kiwi and spinach are high in calcium for backache, cramping and nervousness. The higher magnesium contents in these foods, also helps you absorb the calcium.  Banana’s potassium and B6 help with water retention, not to mention have the right sweetness to kill the sugar craving.

Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of cooled Raspberry Leaf Tea (less or more depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 kiwis peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • handful of ice cubes

Blend smooth and enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

Healthy Chocolate Protein Muffins

So the gym is doing a Halloween bake sale to raise money for toys and stuff in the daycare. Since I go a lot, I offered to bake something. At first I said sugar cookies. But then rethinking, it's a gym. If we want their money we need macro/calorie friendly protein rich items! So here I made this muffin. Not to bad if you ask me!

IMG_6838.JPG

Ingredients (Makes 18 medium muffins):

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 pcs of 70% baking chocolate
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder. I used Allmax All natural so the chocolate taste isn't as strong as some. 
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins or add wrappers. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and put aside. 
  3. Put the egg whites in a mixer and start beating to get some air into the eggs. 
  4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil on the stove. Use a medium low heat to avoid burning. Watch and mix often, it will melt quickly. 
  5. Whisk cold Almond milk into the coconut oil and chocolate mixture to cool it down before adding to the eggs. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. 
  7. Pour mixture into muffin tin and bake for 8-12 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. 

Eat like this or my favourite is to put peanut butter on top!!!!! Let me know what you think!


Love, 

Jen

100 Calorie Protein Brownie

For a while I've been seeing the Jillian Michaels brownie floating around the internet. First I will say, Jillian I love you. Okay that's been said, now I can say, um your 86 calorie brownie is great and all, except so small! And no protein! Sure if I broke my brownie into 16 pieces instead of 9 bigger ones they would only be 50 calories! But when I want a brownie, I want a damn brownie! So here it is. 100 calorie protein packed brownie that's bigger then 1/16th of a pan!!!!

brownies 031

brownies 031

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (45g)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (60g)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste ( a little goes a long way)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, I used pink himalayan
  • 2/3 cup 0% greek yogurt (140g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (Like me throwing in my fall themed recipes here?)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (45g) I used regular old semi sweet, but use dark or whatever you like.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Boil some water in a small pot on the stove, with a larger metal bowl overtop. See the picture below.
  3. Spray 8" pan with non stick spray.
  4. Mix cocoa, protein powder, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  5. Mix the egg white, vanilla, stevia, greek yogurt and pumpkin in another bowl.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in the bowl over boiling water. You can also do this in the microwave, but you can risk burning the chocolate, plus it cooling too soon before mixing. But do what you like.
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, turn the burner off and quickly add the egg white, pumpkin, yogurt mix to it. Mix well.
  8. Now add the cocoa, protein powder mix.
  9. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Ever damn brownie recipe will tell you "don't over bake". So check at 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle and should come out clean, if not it needs more time. But dont go over 20 I'd say. They can be dry from the lack of fat in them.
  11. Cut into 9 pieces and enjoy!!!

Macros for real sized brownie piece (Sorry JM): Cal 100, Fat 2.3g, Carb 8.5g (half JM's tiny piece I might add), Protein 10.4g, Fiber 2.9g

brownies 007

brownies 007

Sorry it's blurry, but the best picture I took to describe what I'm doing here. Small pot with boiling water, larger sized bowl overtop so the steam from the boiling water is heating the chocolate. This will prevent burning the chocolate.

brownies 024

brownies 024

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, say that 3 times fast! Let me welcome September 1st with Pumpkin! Days of leaves turning, children heading to school and warm and delicious fall foods. I've never been one to go crazy for the pumpkin spiced latte like some, but pumpkin everything else, bring it on!!! These protein pancakes also have NO protein powder. I realize some people don't use it/have it, so I tried making this without.

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Sept 1 2014 089

Here is what you need:

  • 2 tbsp cocoa (10g)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4  tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • stevia to taste. liquid or powder, a little goes a long way.
  • 1/4 cup puree pumpkin. Not pie filling!
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, plus a splash more for the topping
  • 1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

The mixin':

  1. Put oats in food processor or blender until a flour like consistency. (Tip: I like to blend a bunch at a time and keep in a jar)
  2. Mix oats, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl mix stevia, pumpkin, egg whites, 1/4 cup almond milk and lemon juice.
  4. Heat non stick pan to medium.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  6. Put mixture in pan. The batter is a little thicker and will need to be spread by the spoon, or add more milk to make it runnier.
  7. Flip when starts to bubble.
  8. In a small dish mix greek yogurt, stevia and dash of almond milk. Heat in the microwave for a few seconds (tip I got from one of coaches recipes!)
  9. Put topping on pancakes and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 pancakes.

Macros for entire recipe: Calories 299, Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 34g, Protein 27g, Fiber 10g!!

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Sept 1 2014 096

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Sept 1 2014 094