Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Balsamic Tomato Jam




It feels like my last few posts have all included jam. Well, I guess you can tell I love using it in everything and even more, I love making it. This pan jam is one of the easiest things to make. A friend of mine has the cutest little garden at her house. Her tomatoes are prime for the picking so she shared the abundance with me . Earlier in the week, I had already made some tomato soup and veggie quiche. I wanted to try something different so the jam idea sounded great! I was skeptical how it would turn out, as the cooking process was a bit different from the way fruit cooks down. But let me tell you, this stuff is amazing. My mom kept raving about the flavor and pairing it with cheese and crackers. I went the other route and added it to grilled cheese made with goat cheese and spinach. I'm excited to get more tomatoes so I can make this again soon. I already have some new yummy ideas of what I can do with it.

Ingredients:

5 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
(heirloom, cherry, plum, yellow)
Juice from ½ lemon
⅓ cup agave nectar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To make:

Chop and measure 5 cups of tomatoes. In a large pot or deep pan, add tomatoes, lemon juice, agave, and salt. Turn heat to high-medium and gently stir to combine. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue to stir frequently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. After about 5 minutes of cooking, add the balsamic vinegar. Continue to stir often for 25-30 minutes or until jam has reached a thickened consistency. Remove from heat and pour into two 8oz glass jars. Top with lids and store in fridge or freezer. I usually put one in each until I'm done with the first but I put both of these in the fridge this time because we couldn't stop eating it ;)


Monday, July 28, 2014

Jammin Gin & Tonic






I never had an appreciation for gin until now in my mid-twenties. Vodka was always the go-to when my girlfriends and I would go out. Ketel soda was our drink of choice. Now I prefer gin with its mild taste that pairs well with so many different flavors. There is a local restaurant my boyfriend and I go to where the bar offers an amazing selection of non-alcoholic drinks with great fruity and floral flavor combinations. I'll order one of those and ask the bartender if I can add gin. I was given a funny look the first time it happened but he took my request and delivered a delicious drink. The gin complemented the flavors so well.  It inspired me to make a drink of my own.
A few months back, I made a batch of cherry apricot pan jam. The batch yielded two jars so I put one in the freezer. Now I have the perfect use for it. The jam itself is on the tart side so I included a little honey in this drink for balance. The flavors of the jam pair well with the infusion of rose and cucumber in Hendrick's gin. The rosemary garnish is optional but I highly recommend it. The flavor comes out stronger as you sip your drink.

 Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cherry apricot pan jam
Juice from ½ of a lime
1½ ounces Hendrick's gin
1 teaspoon honey
Fever Tree light tonic water
Ice cubes
Rosemary sprig for garnish

To make:

In a glass, add pan jam and muddle to break up any pieces of fruit. Pour in lime juice, gin, honey and give a quick stir. Add ice cubes, top off with tonic water and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Banana Coconut Fudgesicles


Here is a super easy recipe for Banana Coconut Fudgesicles. This quick summer treat is creamy, healthy, and delicious! I love having these on hand in my freezer.


Ingredients:

2 very ripe bananas, frozen
1 can coconut cream
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make:

A day or two in advance, freeze very ripe bananas in a ziplock bag. You can break apart pieces or cut into slices. Heat coconut cream in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chips and continually whisk until all the chips have melted. Pour mixture into a blender and add frozen bananas. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. Pour evenly into 10 popsicle molds and place in freezer overnight or until frozen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Quinoa Salad




If you took a peek into my fridge, you would most likely find a big bowl of quinoa salad. I love having this stuff on hand. I used to just make a pot of plain quinoa but spending that extra time preparing the salad allows for quick lunch or dinner prep for the rest of the week. For lunch, I like to sprinkle over a salad and for dinner, I'll have it as a side with chicken and steamed veggies. Make this salad for yourself or try it out at your next get-together or weekend BBQ. It will pair wonderfully with grilled corn on the cob. This salad is gluten free and vegan friendly. It’s also a great source of protein, especially for those on a vegan diet, as quinoa contains a complete protein profile.



Ingredients:

Salad

1½ cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup green onions, sliced
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing

¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup low sodium tamari
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin

To make:

Using a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa to a pot along with vegetable broth and chili powder. Give a quick stir and turn heat to high. Once the quinoa reaches a boil, turn heat to medium-low. You want a slow boil. Cook for about 25 minutes or until quinoa is done. Fluff with fork and allow to cool completely. Quinoa may be made a day in advance and refrigerated. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, and remaining ingredients for the salad. Gently mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine all your ingredients for the dressing. Whisk together and pour over salad. Stir to evenly distribute dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. I like to chill it for an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Cherry Apricot Pan Jam



Pan Jams are one of my favorite things to make. They are so easy and in a short amount of time you have delicious jam! No one will know the difference. Lately I’ve been using my last batch of strawberry jam to top my yogurt and granola in the mornings. It’s a great way to flavor and lightly sweeten plain Greek yogurt using natural sugars from the fruit and honey. This jam is also great as a topping for pancakes, added into smoothies or even muddled in cocktails. Since there is no canning process required, the jam needs to be kept refrigerated. It usually keeps for about a week or two in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. One batch  yields 16oz. This jam in particular is on the tart side which I prefer. If you would like a sweeter jam, add 1-2 more tablespoons of honey.


Ingredients:

2½ cups cherries, halved and pitted
2½ cups apricots, pitted and diced
½ cup honey
Juice from 1 lemon
Pinch of salt

To make:

In a large saucepan, add prepared fruit, honey, lemon juice and salt. Turn heat to medium high and stir to incorporate ingredients. Once the mixture reaches a boil, cook for about 18-20 minutes stirring frequently.  About ¾ of the way through you may need to turn the heat down to medium low to prevent thickening jam from burning. Once jam is done, pour into two glass jars. Top with lids and place in fridge or freezer. I usually keep the second jar in the freezer until ready to use.







Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moroccan Lentil Soup



There is a magical herb shop I discovered a few years back. I’m trying to remember if I stumbled upon it myself or if someone took me there. Either way it’s one of my favorite places to visit when I’m up in San Luis Obispo. I pretty much planned my birthday afternoon around going to this place because I wanted to stock up on my favorite teas and spices. The Secret Garden Organic Herbs Shop's name pretty much sums up the place. It’s hidden off the main drag in a little outdoor type cottage surrounded by flowers and foliage. They have a large selection of medicinal herbs, spices, and teas which the owner blends herself. You could seriously spend an hour here admiring the wall holding rows of large mason jars filled with all sorts of goodness. My favorite tea that they offer is Candy Cane Lane. It’s a seasonal blend which consists of green tea, jasmine flowers, spearmint, peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, roses, and stevia leaves. I made sure to get a larger bag the last time before they ran out.
Awhile back I had purchased some different culinary spices including a Moroccan curry blend. It smelled so good. I’ve never done much Moroccan cuisine so it sat in my cupboard a bit longer than expected. Finally, I told myself I had to make something with it. And now we have Moroccan Lentil Soup! This is my go to soup recipe. It’s so easy and healthy. A bowl is a meal in itself. Lentils provide a great source of protein and fiber, keeping my stomach full and satisfied. My mom likes to serve this soup over a bowl of couscous.




Moroccan Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium white onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced in quarters
1 cup red lentils
1 can garbanzo beans
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth can be used in place but would not make the soup vegan)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Moroccan spice blend from Secret Garden Herb Shop
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

To make:

Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear and set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add oil.
Once the oil is hot, add onions and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add carrots and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add zucchini and garbanzo beans along with the Moroccan spice blend, salt, red chili flakes and pepper. Mix well to coat vegetables.
Pour in the vegetable broth and water. Turn heat up to high.
Once it reaches a boil, add lentils and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
After 30 minutes your soup is ready to enjoy!
Let the remaining soup cool before storing in the fridge.







Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Liebster Award

I’m super excited to be nominated by Rachel from Suppose Anything Goes for the Liebster Award!  The Liebster Award is given to promote a newer blog they think is worth following, and to learn a little more about fellow bloggers.  If you haven't visited Suppose Anything Goes yet, I'd highly recommend it! 

Part of the Liebster award is that I have to answer some questions about myself and Happy and Healthy, then pass the award along to a new set of bloggers I enjoy following. This is a great way to discover some new blogs and to support the community!

What made you start blogging?
After I moved home four years ago, I was trying to raise money for an alternative natural culinary school. Because it was only a five month program I didn't meet the requirements of scholarships being offered. I started sharing recipes as a way to showcase my passion in hopes that I could somehow create my own scholarship. I was never granted any funding but I'm happy where my life has taken me. I continue with Happy and Healthy to express my passion for healthy natural foods and to inspire others to lead healthier lifestyles.
Who is your favorite blogger?
 
Kristen Marie from Kristen Marie Photography. She's an incredibly talented wedding photographer. Her work captures the most beautiful moments filled with so much emotion. The following post was my first exposure to her work and I fell in love immediately. Jordan & Nick Engagement Session 
What is one word you would use to describe yourself?
People tell me I'm sweet.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I've become a morning person. For the last four years I've had to be at work before the sun rises. The life of a baker.
What is on your bucket list?
To travel more overseas. There is so much culture and history I want to absorb. I have such a fascination with European architecture. Being able to see it in person would be amazing. Also visiting the Pyramids and Ancient Ruins would be icing on the cake!
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
100% dog person. I love the greeting you get when you come home and they are great companions, especially for naps and reading cuddles. They are always there to give you love.

What is the last film you saw?

The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love all of Wes Anderson's films. The amount of passion and detail he puts into them really shines through.
 
What is the farthest place you have ever traveled?
In my senior year of high school I was invited on a student trip to Spain and France. We started in Madrid and made our way to Paris. It was way more expensive than what it would have been if I planned it myself but the experience was completely worth it. I will cherish those memories and the friendships I made during those 10 days.
What's the best advice you have ever received?
You can't change a person. You must accept them as they are or move on.  
You can take three beauty products with you to a deserted island. What would you take?
Sunscreen because my pale skin burns, Karite lip balm, and grapeseed oil.
What is your dream job?
It's not too far off from where I am now. I would really love to get more involved in sharing healthy recipes and helping others improve their diet and lifestyle. I suffered from a compulsive eating disorder for a few years and would love to be connected with women who are trying to transition out of that dark place and into a life of health, happiness, and balance. 

Thanks again Rachel! Here are some blogs I would like to nominate:
Justine from Bewildered Beauty
Kenzie Kate from Kenzie Kate Photo
Mona from Designdear
Jessica from A Little Baker

Recently Shared Recipes

For those who don't know, I've recently started contributing recipes to an awesome new site called Collective Lifestyle. With that being said, I have been slacking with this blog. In case you missed them, here are the recent posts I've shared.


Matcha Latte




Superfood Pizza Crust




Cashew Coconut Butter Truffles




New Frontiers Quinoa Salad


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Ginger Pear Breakfast Bread


Chocolate Chip Ginger Pear Breakfast Bread, Gluten Free

Ingredients:

Dry
1 cup gluten free oat flour*
¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup ground flax meal
½ cup coconut sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xnathan gum
¼ salt

Wet
1 egg
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 heaping teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Add ins
1 medium pear, diced (1 cup)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

To make:

Preheat oven to 350ยบ
In a large bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients and gently mix to incorporate flour blend.
In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients and whisk well. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry. 
Mix well to saturate flour blend and then fold in the diced pear and chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes. 
Remove from heat and cool.

*You can purchase oat flour pre-ground at the store or you can make it yourself by adding oats to a food processor and blending them down.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quinoa Porridge With Caramelized Banana


This is a super easy recipe you can make with leftover cooked quinoa. It's a filling breakfast and an excellent post workout recovery meal. You get your carbs, protein, and sugar (from honey) to help build and repair your muscles.  The sugar from the honey will bring your blood sugar back up. During an intense workout it can drop very low. It can also provide energy for the rest of your day.

Quinoa Porridge With Caramelized Banana
Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients:

Quinoa Porridge

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 tablespoon PB2
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramelized Banana 

1 teaspoon butter
1 small banana, sliced
sprinkle of cinnamon

To make:

In a small sauce pan with heat on low, add milk, PB2, honey and cinnamon. 
Whisk well to incorporate.
Add cooked quinoa and gently mix well. 
Continue to stir every few minutes until porridge is hot.
While the porridge is cooking, you can caramelize the banana.
In a small pan, heat on medium, melt butter. 
Add sliced banana and sprinkle of cinnamon. 
Cook for about a minutes on each side.
Transfer porridge to bowl and top with caramelized banana.
Enjoy :)





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread


Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3/4 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
 2 eggs
2 ripe bananas mashed, about 1 cup
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter and flour a loaf pan. I used spelt flour.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, gently mix well to incorporate all ingredients. 
Using a hand mixer, blend butter in a medium bowl. 
Add eggs and blend to incorporate.
Lastly, add Greek yogurt and mashed banana. Blend until all ingredients are combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips and pour into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer comes out dry.
Leave in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wired rack covered with parchment.

This recipe was adapted from one found in a Martha Stewart magazine. Couldn't tell you which one... My mom has a million magazines and is constantly cutting out recipes for me. All I can say is that this bread is delicious!