Hashtag whole360Fry

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It took 129 posts and a lot of commitment to clean up my cooking-and eating- style a little bit. I love all things food but 365 days ago I decided to make a more conscious but still delicious shift. Less rice more quinoa, whole over processed, lots of clean eating in many colorful ways and a hashtag to hold me accountable.

I’ve learned a few things from this #whole360fry ‘thing’. Clean and healthy options are way easier to choose than what I expected and saying NO to dirty options is awfully hard. So I ate eat a lot of clean and a bit of bad because life is short and curly fries make me happy.

This may sound cliché, but clean foods are easier to choose when my mind is also clean of all that junk that surrounds my everyday life. I eat my best when I feel my best. So if you happen to look at my hashtag journey you will see not only lots of raw fish and quinoa but also wine and the beach…Ahhh the many miles I have since walked, ran and even dragged myself at times.

I no longer hate running, but I still don’t love it. What I really like is the way it makes me feel afterwards and the fact that it doesn’t leave me famished. Running works when everything else failed didn’t!

Looking back at my #whole360Fry posts some of my favorite clean dishes where the easies to make; quinoa tabouleh, kale salad with tahini Sriracha dressing, roasted curry cauliflower and watermelon salad with feta and basil. My kids love kale chips and they’re learning to enjoy sweet potatoes. After all, this #whole360Fry ‘thing’ became a Fry family ‘thing’…and we all win!

Eating whole and clean doesn’t have to be hard. It’s a change that can actually be fun if you allow yourself to try new things. Documenting it here and on Instagram has helped me to continue to make healthy choices and to have fun with it.

 

Quick Arroz con Mariscos with lime-pickled onions

Arroz con Mariscos
It just means rice with seafood and a whole lotta of cilantro and cumin!
Arroz con Mariscos is a popular dish of rice and seafood in Peru and also Portugal. This quick version is perfect with shrimp and/or scallops. The convenient thing about seafood is that it’s quick and simple to prepare and the juices that are released add a lot of flavor to the dish. Our local Sprouts has a ‘dealicious’ sale on both this week. Add frozen or fresh veggies to this recipe. This time I added extra cilantro (one large bunch) and some chopped spinach. The greener the better, right?!
Quick Arroz con Mariscos with lime-pickled onions
 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 cups of cooked/steamed white rice (long grain)
  • 1 ½ to 2 lb of seafood (I used defrost shrimp and scallops)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 medium red/purple onion (1/2 chopped and ½ cut in thin slices)
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 small lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp of oregano
  • ½ cup of chicken stock or chicken broth (save another ½ cup in case rice looks dry after all ingredients are mixed)
  • ½ cup of peas (frozen it’s fine)
  • ½ cup of diced carrots
  • ½ red, yellow or green bell pepper diced
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • “To taste” ingredients
  • salt (about 1 tbsp but it depends on how salty the chicken broth you are using is)
  • cayenne pepper (1 tsp)
Instructions
  1. Before starting on the “Arroz con Mariscos” marinade the thin onion slices in the lime juice and set aside.
  2. On a big pan sauté diced onions on the OOil. Add bell pepper+peas+carrots or any other veggies you like (green beans, corn, etc.) Saute for a couple of minutes and add the chicken stock, lemon juice and spices (including chopped cilantro). Add the seafood and cook it for 5 minutes (Note: if you’re using frozen seafood use less chicken broth. If seafood is still frozen cooked for 8 minutes or so).
  3. Taste the broth before adding the rice. It should be on the salty side. Add more salt/pepper/cumin or anything your taste buds tell you. Add the cooked rice. Make sure you gently smash the rice clusters so it will absorb the broth evenly. Add more chicken broth if the rice looks dry. The rice should look pretty moist.
  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving allowing the rice to absorb all the juices.
  5. Serve with the marinade onions on the side.
Notes
You can add any vegetable to this recipe (green beans, lima beans and even chopped kale will taste good). I added chopped spinach on this batch. Also there’s no rule for the amount of cilantro you can use here. If you are a cilantro lover this is the time to abuse it!

What I learned from Martha Stewart

Stuffed Chicken Breast Rolls

When I first saw Martha Stewart on TV many years ago after I just moved here from Brazil, I  thought it was something seriously wrong with her. The slow talking, slow moving, the half smiles, the irritating hair in the eye, the missing sense of humor. What exactly is she? A baker?Designer? Not a chef, not a decorator…Wedding planner? I learned later that boring Martha was is an American icon and everyone loved loves to hate her.

I’m not exactly a fan but she has my respect. After all she has survived fame, prison, divorce, building an empire twice, and she has taught me how to pound a chicken breast properly.

Now, since I couldn’t find a video of Mrs. Stewart herself pounding the chicken breast here are the non-illustrated directions:

  1. Take a full chicken breast and place it on your cutting board.
  2. Take a piece of plastic wrap 2X bigger than the breast itself and put it over the chicken breast.
  3. With a meat mallet start pounding the chicken. Start from the center and work your way out. Use short and even strokes.

I use this method frequently to make chicken piccata, chicken scaloppini and chicken rolls. Stuffed chicken breast rolls is a quick ‘make ahead’ recipe. I usually stuff it with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and basil, ham and provolone, and even stuffing. First you need to pound the chicken breast like you were Martha and then:

  1. Season the thin fillets with salt/pepper/garlic powder.
  2. Place a mound of stuffing on each breast.
  3. Wrap and roll the fillets over the stuffing.
  4. Secure breasts with toothpicks.
  5. Place rolls, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 380F for at least 40 minutes (depending on the size of the rolls)

Wrap the rolls in bacon or prosciutto for extra flavor. If we could only do the same to Martha Stewart!!!!

 

A very personal detox!

Detox dealiciouscooking.com

Summer is almost done and it’s time to clean up my gut, liver, skin, mind…Call it detox if you like but it really is ‘nourishing’. Not all appetites are created equal and the juice type of detoxing just doesn’t work for me–not for my hunger, not for my pocket. I can’t handle being hungry and a all juice 3 day diet it’ll seriously harm my mental health, not to mention the family’s emotional health.

So rather than starving and punishing my system in order to clean it up, I adjust my diet and habits in order to remember how good my body feels as a whole when I nourish it rather than punish it!

Detox/cleansing doesn’t have to be complicated. Replacing is better than eliminating. For 3 days I eat mostly raw green foods, drink only water or homemade juice, and add some supplements like chlorophyl, fiber and probiotics to help flush the toxins. I still drink my coffee in the morning (my apologies to all the orthodox detoxers out there) and have a small taste of whatever I’m making for the kids (no, I don’t put them through cleansing…not yet!)

It’s my third time doing this and I’ve learned a couple of DOs and DON’Ts.

I DON’T start on a Monday. Why? Mondays are usually busy and sucky. It sets the tone. I rather start easily on Tuesday, seriously continue on Wednesday and finish easy on Thursday. By Friday and the weekend I’ll be tempted to screw up my clean insides, but I’ll think twice before indulging.  I DON’T expect to feel amazing right away. I usually feel shitty before I feel great.

I DO make a list and prep ahead. There’s no way! I could NOT succeed without having healthy detox appropriate food ready to eat. DO make sure you have a bathroom available all the time. Drinking liters of water and eating lots of greens and going to a movie, meeting or long event is just dumb. Be ready to pee like a horse and poop at least 3 times a day. If you don’t, you’re doing something wrong.

So here is how it goes down. I make a big batch of Green Soup (see recipe bellow) and eat that for lunch and/or dinner, wash a lot of salad (I dress it with whatever I like as long it’s not cheesy), cut a lot of fruit (pineapple is a must), leave my juicer on the counter (at least 8oz fresh juice a day) and exercise at least 15 minutes for the 3 days (walking works too). I won’t even touch cheese (I have an addiction problem) or anything that comes on a sealed package (ham, crackers, and even oatmeal). If I get hungry I eat soup, veggies, fruit…you get the idea. If I need something sweet, I juice some veggies and fruit, eat a couple of dates or blueberry banana chia pudding (recipe bellow).

Green detox soup dealiciouscooking.com

Green Soup with Bone Marrow

  • 1 container (32 oz.) of organic or free range chicken broth (I used Pacific)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small beef bone with marrow (available at most regular supermarkets but I usually get them at Whole Foods where they cut it in small sizes upon request)
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 small (really small) sweet potato
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of dandelion OR 1 bunch of green kale (aprox. 5 cups if chopped)

If you have a pressure cook (which it’s indispensable in my opinion) all you need is to throw all of it together and cook for 1o minutes after pressure valve starts making noise. If you don’t have a pressure cook GO GET ONE. You won’t regret it! Meanwhile, on a big pot cook the bone with the liquid for at least 45 minutes than add 2 more cups of water and the rest of the veggies. Let it cook for another 45 minutes. Add more water as need it.

Remove marrow from bone with a small spoon and add it to the soup. Discard bone. Blend the ingredients directly in the pot with a handheld blender. You can also transfer only the cooked vegetables to a blender and poor the mixture back into the soup liquids left on the pot. If you like your soups chunky, just smash veggies around with a masher.

Try the soup. Season with liquid aminos and cayenne pepper.

Blueberry Banana Chia pudding dealiciouscooking.com

Blueberry Banana Chia Pudding

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used plain almond milk)
  • 4 dates (soak in hot water beforehand if they are tough)
  • 1 frozen or fresh ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

Blend everything except chia seeds. Add chia to mixture and let it refrigerate overnight. Easy, right?

Detox water dealiciouscooking.com

Boost cleansing by dressing your water with lemon, lime and cucumber.

chlorophyll

I also add chlorophyll to my water 2 times a day (8-10 drops) which helps to purge toxins.

Sesame Kale Chips dealiciouscooking.com

Munch on kale chips. There are a zillion of recipes out there but my favorite way to bake kale is dressed with salt and a little bit of sesame oil. Use one bunch of washed green kale, pat dry and cut into big pieces. Place kale in a large bowl and massage it with 1 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and drizzle of sesame oil. Place it on a cookie sheet, bake it at 300 F for 30 minutes or until kale is dehydrated and crispy. Season with salt to taste.

Zucchini Noodles with fresh tomato and mushrooms

I save my most creative dishes for the last day because I know I’ll be tired of soup and salad quickly. Zucchini noodles tossed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms and herbs is pretty satisfying and easy to make if you have one of this.

Detox doesn’t have to be brutal. For me it’s all about nourishing without loosing my mind. Detoxing is a way of improving my relationship with food while helping my body to somehow stabilize.

 

Blueberry Orange Chia Seed Jam

Blueberry Orange Chia Seed Jam

This easy jam is a lot better for you than jams or jellies that are loaded with sugar.  Blueberries, orange juice, chia seeds and maple syrup, each of these ingredients carry their own benefits. I usually have it with toast, but it’s also delicious over Greek yogurt and oatmeal.  

The deal: Blueberries are $0.98 at Sprouts starting today!

Happy jamming!!!!

Blueberry Orange Chia Seeds Jam

Blueberry Orange Chia Jam
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small pack of fresh blueberries (4.4oz)
  • 3 tablespoons chia soaked in ½ cup of orange juice or water or fresh apple juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Start by soaking chia seeds in ½ a cup of orange juice or water or apple juice and one tablespoon of maple. Leave the chia seeds to soak until all the liquid soaks into the seeds and you have a gel (about 30 minutes)
  2. Put the chia mixture, blueberries, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Try it and add more syrup if needed.
  3. The mixture will be similar to a smoothie. Refrigerated to allow it to firm up slightly. If you want the mixture thicker and more firm, stir in another tablespoon of chia seeds.
Notes
This jam is delicious on fruit bowls, toast, ice cream, or anything that will hold still. It can keep for one week in the refrigerator, but we usually finish it before that.

 

Kale and Quinoa Salad with spicy citrus dressing

Kale & Quinoa Salad

Honestly,  I really suck when it comes to describe dishes, talk about foods in depth, explain what makes this or that recipe special. This kale salad is delicious, healthy and easy to make.  No fancy adjectives. No overuse of description words. And the fact that I can use a local food deal to prepare it makes this salad even more exciting. I hope you try it!

KALE & QUINOA SALAD with SPICY CITRUS DRESSING

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa and cook according to package directions adding some truffle salt and pepper. To get one cup of cooked quinoa, use ½ cup of raw quinoa)
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (slightly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 small shallot (minced)
  • 1 medium carrot shaved (use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrot in thin slices OR use a cheese grater)

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Liquid Aminos (if you don’t have it in the pantry just substitute for salt)
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Start by cooking the quinoa. While quinoa is cooling off wash kale well. Remove the ribs from the kale. Pile the kale leaves on top of each other and roll them up like a giant cigar. Thinly slice the kale.  Place it in a large mixing bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking with ‘gusto’. Taste it. Listen to your taste buds. They will tell you what to add (for me it’s usually more cayenne).

Now, this step makes all the difference so don’t skip it. Pour the dressing over the sliced kale mix and ‘massage’ it. Yes, massage it with your HANDS! Set aside and let kale marinade until slightly wilted (about 5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients.

The salad will keep for over 4 days in the fridge depending on how fresh the kale was when you use it. When picking your kale bunch just make sure the leaves are not mushy and sad. You want happy kale with vivid color and crunchy aspect.

 The Deal

Organic Curly Kale is always 99c at our local Ralph’s

Sprouts usually has good deals on ‘in bulk’ nuts and if you are not a nut eater you can buy just enough for the salad (no waste of nuts or money)