recipes

My Life in Jars

I have to come clean about something.

I, Christina, am obsessed with mason jars.

It’s not a new concept to store food in these cylindrical, glass beauties. In fact, if my mommom saw this she’d slap me over the head because she (as with most older, wiser people) has used mason jars in her kitchen for a century, and has also been jarring gravy for the same amount of time, in a massive collection of her own masons.

But it must have hit me when I started working, cooking, and storing food for myself just how great these are, and how the uses for them are practically innumerable. No longer do I have to worry about whether or not my soup, smoothie, coffee, dressing, sauce or any other liquid I might carry somewhere has spilled all over the inside of my bag. No longer am I thinking about the BPA seeping into my food when I microwave it later. No longer am I thinking about how quickly I have to eat what’s in there before it goes bad.

Well that last one is a little presumptuous – food can still go bad. But when its sealed that tight IN GLASS?? It definitely lasts longer than any other kind of container you might be using.

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Either way, the pack I bought at Target for $8.00 (!) have more than paid for themselves in the probably-a-year I’ve had them. Here are some of my favorite uses for maybe mankind’s greatest invention:

  • Overnight oats: the easiest = rolled oats, almond milk, blueberries, cinnamon, peanut butter… awesome and perfect breakfast! (pictured)
  • Storing my cold brew coffee (pictured)
  • Storing my favorite homemade soups for easy grabbing when making lunch (work well freezing too!)
  • Mason Jar salads (pictured) also for easy grabbing when making lunch
  • Smoothies – I’ll make a few early in the week, label the ingredients, and take them with me for breakfasts, lunches etc. The fruit and contents doesn’t go bad or taste any different!
  • Baking soda air freshners – DYI, all natural, no chemicals in the air and REALLY, HONESTLY work!
  • Vase for short, bundles of flowers I get at a farmer’s market
  • Storing and keeping fresh various grains – quinoa, farro, rice stay fresh for months in seal tight mason jars
  • Chia detox water: chia seeds purified water, fruits like frozen blueberries and strawberries, and lemons!
  • Chia pudding

The list could go on and on. What are your favorite uses for mason jars??

Thanks for reading!

– x

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The Best Pumpkin Seed Recipe

I love Fall and everything that comes with it. Pumpkin this, pumpkin that, literally just pour pumpkin spice sauce on everything I eat and I’ll be happy.

I especially love CARVING pumpkins, and with that, using everything in it for something delicious. First let’s talk about pumpkin seeds.

My favorite recipe is what I like to call PUMPKIN PIE PUMPKIN SEEDS. Here’s how it goes:

 

1 TBS Maple Syrup per cup of seeds

a few drizzles of olive oil

1 TSP Pumpkin Pie spice per cup of seeds

1 TSP Cinnamon Sugar per cup of seeds

a few pinches of sea salt

 

You want to wash off the seeds, try to remove all loose pumpkin from them. Rinse in a colander like so.

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Then let them dry overnight. This will allow the ingredients to stick to them better. Lay out on a baking sheet on a piece of wax paper, and cover with a paper towel.

 

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Once they’re dry the next day, you can pour them all in to a bowl, and add all of the above ingredients. If you want to add a little more of the spices to your taste, feel free! Mix around so each seed is well covered. Preheat the oven to 360.

 

 

Spread these out on a baking sheet again, making sure they’re well spread out. Let them bake for about 15 minutes, and at that point check if they look golden or toasty. Flip a few of them over, you want to try to get them toasty on both sides. Once they are you can take them out and let them cool!

IMG_4009Very good, and tasty snack for Fall!

GOOP Detox

Let me preface this by saying I am by no means a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow. Before actually perusing her website/blog GOOP, I’d only heard very pompous sounding excerpts from the it in other stories, or articles criticizing GOOP, and I thought “ugh, another celebrity who thinks they should be giving the general public health and lifestyle information. As if the privileges their lives afford them are in any way comparable to my life…”

BUT I actually gave it a chance when stumbling upon it again, and I have to say, I don’t hate it (insert the monkey covering it’s mouth emoji).

Take a look at this link below, to a detox she discusses doing (and provides “doctor” information for) around the dead of winter. Lately I’ve been overindulging and was looking for a healthy way to feel a little bit cleansed, and these light, simple, and somewhat nutritious recipes will definitely do the trick over starving myself with juices. Even if I don’t follow the plans exactly, the recipes like the carrot ginger dressing, and the broccoli arugula soup sound good enough to eat any time.

http://www.goop.com/journal/make/15/detox

Let me know what you think, or if you’re a regular GOOP-er!

Make Drinking Water More Fun

I love jumping on (and you know, getting in on the ‘ground floor’ of) new health fads. Or I guess I should say, I like finding new ways to distract myself from the fact that I’m not eating chocolate or pasta all the time, like I wish I was.

My new favorite way of pretending to be healthy is “infusing water”, as some pinners may call it. Basically throw some fruit in your water bottle, pitcher, or jars, let it sit overnight or several hours, and voila! WATER ISN’T AS BORING ANYMORE!

Really though, the first few times I saw this I was like “I mean… I don’t want juice, if I want water. So why would I do this?” But in reality, it’s delicious. I’m someone who LOVES lemon in my water, and this is like that but even better. You need the right combinations, though. Below is a picture of my latest combo, in my favorite mineral water Voss – lemon, blueberries, and mint.

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It all mixes up so well with just a hint of flavor, and allll the same great benefits of drinking water (plus more as blueberries are high in antioxidants, lemons aide in digestion, the list goes on). Other great fruits to use include oranges, starfuits, blackberries, strawberries.. the combinations are endless, so see what you like! AND WHATS MORE, just like a nice glass of sangria, you have a snack at the bottom of the bottle!

h/t to one of my favorite instagrammers – bysaber and detoxskintips. Check out some of her posts for amazing recipes as well as great tips and info!

 

Thanks for reading!

Recipe: Strawberry Vinaigrette

Part of the whole “eating better” thing I’m working on  involves eating more salads. EVERYONE KNOWS salads are what healthy people eat! But the thing about salad is they get so boring after like, a week of eating mostly salads. Another thing is, so many “dressings” these days are so fatty, and full of horrible stuff that it practically negates the healthiness of the salad itself. In light of this, I’ve taken to making some of my own vinaigrettes to keep my salad eating exciting, relatively healthy, and still flavorful.

There are a few ways to do this, but one recipe I like particularly is a strawberry vinaigrette. Strawberry vinaigrettes are great because they are just a bit sweet, and in that sense mix well with saltier salad ingredients like a light cheese. And though they are often used in spring and summer recipes, I love using it anytime of year.

One of my grandmothers secrets in making vinairgrettes and generally dressing salads with oil and vinegar, is to use more than one kind of vinegar. So for this recipe I did that.

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Ingredients

  • white wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • sugar/honey
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • strawberries

Use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part of both vinegars, however you want to use them. Add those, half a pound of strawberries, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of sugar to a food processor or blender, until smooth. Taste and see if it is to your liking. If you like it a bit sweeter, consider adding additional strawberries or a teaspoon of salt.

 

Recipe: Sundried tomato / Pizza pinwheels

If you’re looking for a great superbowl party appetizer that’s not the fattest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth but still is tasty, try these pinwheels with sundried tomato pesto, or pizza pinwheels. Only a few ingredients are needed

  • Pillsbury croissant rolls
  • Sundried tomato pesto (several great brands are available at Whole Foods, Eataly, or the Giada brand at Target)

If you want to make your own sundried tomato pesto (which I highly recommend), get some sundried tomatoes (jarred or fresh), lots of olive oil, basil, salt, pine nuts if you can, and parmesan cheese in a food processor. It might take a while and a few runs in the processor, but it’s worth it!

or

  • Tomato sauce, pepperoni, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

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(Even though the Pillsbury Pizza crust is pictured, this recipe works best with the croissant rolls.)

  • The croissant rolls will come out of the tube in twos, so lay each two out flat.
  • Spread the sundried tomato pesto, or pizza ingredients on each set of two rolled out croissants
  • Roll the ingredients up tightly as pictured in the second picture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for almost 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Test the middle when they are done with a toothpick to see if it is still soft or raw. If so let bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Once they are completely baked and have cooled, slice into thin pieces. Some people prefer to cut them before baking, but I find they are easier to handle and cut when they have already been baked.

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ENJOY!

Recipe: Almond Chia Pudding

If you’ve stepped foot in a Whole Foods, or Trader Joes, or any visited a website using the words “Clean” or “eating” in the last year you may have heard of Chia seeds. They are like very tiny sunflower seeds, but they are full of Omega 3s, Fiber, and Protein, and make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, and a number of other foods. But my favorite thing to do with them is making a pudding. When they are added to milks or yogurt and are allowed to sit the seeds expand, and can become a tapioca like consistency (hence “pudding”). With some fruit and honey, it’s a delicious and healthy snack! Here is a recipe with some pics of how to make some of your own.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Almond (or Coconut, depending on which you like better) Milk

1/2 cup of Chia seedsimage_2

Let sit for at least 2 hours (for best results, overnight is best). And you will have the product above! You can eat it alone, or I think its best to make a parfait type snack with fruit and honey

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Thanks for reading, let me know what you do with YOUR chia seeds!