Saturday, March 30, 2013

on creating wellbeing for self and others 1.0

                                                                                     Foto: plaza de cayey, PR
1. be kind
2. nurture and love your self
3. listen carefully
4. do not be quick to judge
5. be supportive
6. love others 
7. smile
8. acknowledge the people around you
9. be compassionate
10. be genuine
11. be generous
12. keep your word
14. live in the present
15. learn from the past
16. accept failure
17. but use it as an opportunity for growth
18. breathe
19. find a cause
20. promote kindness


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Love Toasts

My son Khalil keeps me on "my game." Let me explain. He is an extremely picky eater and so I have to work extra hard in trying to get him to eat. On another topic: a long while ago, Khalil and I decided that our favorite shape in the world is the heart shape. We love hearts! The other morning I made french toasts using the heart shape cookie cutter. It was a big success! Khalil suddenly decided that french toast is his favorite food and now wants to eat heart shape french toasts every day, even for dinner! 
I am just glad he is eating something new. French toasts are quite simple to make. Here is my full proof recipe (even for picky eaters!).

What you need?
1 egg (for about 4 to 6 slices of bread)
1 cup almond, coconut or soy milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon (+more to add to your toasts)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
real butter (unsalted) for pan

What to do?
Gently mix ingredients together. Dip bread in batter and cook on medium-low for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Drench in VT maple syrup and enjoy!

My picky eater eats about 4 hearts. And my not so picky husband eats the bread pieces with the heart shape cutouts. As a family, we have decided that LOVE is the best thing in the world. So with these heart shapes we express our undying LOVE for each other (even our dogs get some love toasts).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anyday veggie lasagna

This lasagna recipe falls into the "anyday" category because it is super simple to make, it tastes glorious, and it is healthy to boot! You can make it as a vegan recipe (do not add cheese) or vegetarian (if you add light mozarella and mild cheddar cheese). Either way, this lasagna is light and kind on both your stomach and your figure (if you care about that sort of thing). 

What you need?
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sofrito
6 cups fresh spinach leafs
1 large can organic diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen vegetable medley (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
2 crushed garlic cloves plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup each of freshly sliced red, yellow, and green peppers
1/3 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste
10-12 pieces of lasagna pasta

What to do? 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the olive oil and sofrito and let it come together for a minute or two. Then add the vegetable medley, crushed garlic, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, salt and pepper and oregano mix and cover for 15 minutes in low-medium heat. 
Heat water, salt, and oil in another pot. When it bubbles add the lasagna pasta.  
Once the lasagna is cooked begin to layer it all together. You can add cheese to the very top layer, cover with foil bake for 30 minutes. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rosa's Pudin de Calabaza


There are many talented cooks in my family. On the one hand, I suppose that this is  culturally derived because as a group we take great pride in cooking and sharing food with our loved ones. On the other, our parents were both cooks: our mother is a master cook of traditional Puerto Rican foods and our father was, for a time, a cook for the merchant marine. Then later in life he opened and ran a small general store with my mom. As a child, when I spent time with our dad he would make me doughnuts and malta-shakes "to fatten me up." Then we would go into his lavish garden and he would show me his peanut plant, his guava, mango or papaya tree. He also planted exotic fruits and plants from seeds he gathered during his travels or that he traded by mail with others. Our grandparents on all sides cultivated their own food gardens, and on my mother's side they also worked the cane. Today my uncle cultivates several gardens simultaneously, and both my sister and I each cultivate our own ornamental and food garden. My mother likes to garden at my brother’s house, where in the summer he readies a small plot for her in his yard—she likes to plant potatoes, tomatoes, and gandules too. It is safe to say that cooking and gardening runs in "our blood.”

Here my sister shares an awesome calabaza recipe of her own confection:

What you need?
1Lb  calabaza
1 teaspoon of cinnamon*
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract*
4 eggs
1 cup of biscuit mix (or similar)
¼ to ½ cup of demerara (turbinado) sugar*
(*adjust to taste)

What to do? 
Remove skin and seeds and cook (just like you would with potatoes)
Then drain and let cool.
In food processor and after cooling the calabaza, mix all the ingredients to a smooth texture.
Pour into a greased baking dish (a meatloaf pan is perfect) and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Enjoy warm or cold.

My sister, Rosa (the creator of this recipe) says she has been eating this lovely dish for breakfast lately! And I say, yummy!  

Thanks sis for sharing it with us!