Go Brown, for all your Rice

To me, the best kind of rice to always have in your kitchen is brown.

Long grain brown rice.

Short grain brown rice.

Basmati brown rice.

Why?

Brown rice is a whole food, a whole grain. White rice, however, has most of its nutrients stripped away

HealthyHabit

Make a batch of brown rice on the weekend and leave a container of it in the fridge. You can grab it quickly through the week and combine with some beans and veggies.

It’s so easy.

I really enjoy the brown basmati rice, Here are a couple of quick pictures I took this past weekend.

I started by soaking 3 cups for 30 min. (soaking time recommended on package).

Then I rinsed it and put it in a pot with 4.5 cups of water.

Next, it went on the stove on high, with the lid on, until it began to boil.

I turned the element down to low, without removing the lid and left it on the element for 30 min.

That’s it. I let it cool and then found a container.

Healthy rice for all through the week!

Wishing you a healthy, successful journey,

SignatureAli

Mrs. Dash – a kitchen must

Find “kitchen musts” on the SHOP page.

I use Mrs. Dash, Original by adding it to soups, and rice and beans/veggies and other dishes while cooking. It also brings some life to dressings and sauces. It has NO salt, which is a bonus because you can have all the flavors without the salt. Of course, if your dish needs a little help in flavor, then at least you can control the portion of salt by adding your own.

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Product description: An all purpose, versatile blend of 14 savory herbs and spices including onion, black pepper, parsley, basil, orange peel and tomato adds flavor excitement to any dish.

Ingredients: dehydrated onion, garlic powder, black pepper, dehydrated carrot, lemon juice solids, dehydrated orange peel, parsley, tomato powder, citric acid, lemon oil, celery seed, basil, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano, thyme, savory, cumin, mustard flour, cayenne pepper, rosemary, coriander.

Look at that list! Everything looks like something I would put into my body. The only ingredient that is not ideal is citric acid, which is a preservative. Although it is naturally found in some citrus fruits, commercially used citric acid is not.

I’ve read different reports on citric acid. Some say it is produced by a mold that is fed sugar (usually corn-derived). To me, it’s important to recognize that it is a commercially synthesized product. It is just something to keep in mind. I think the main point here, is that on the Mrs. Dash list, it is the only ingredient that gives me pause. Ideally, the best herb and spice mixture would be one that you make yourself.

You can find Mrs. Dash products almost anywhere, but if you cannot, click on the image and order through Amazon.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Quickie Meals

Is eating healthy easy? It can be, but usually when you really want something worthwhile, it takes some effort.

So, you need a little effort to be able to eat healthy meals and avoid the convenience food trap.

Take 2-3 hours on your weekend to get ready for the week. It really is that simple.

Don’t think you have the time?…Make the time.

Let’s say we have about 12-18 waking hours each day of our weekend. That’s 24-36 hours on a weekend.

Anyone can fit in 23 hours to plan ahead.

What’s the pay off?

Healthy, guiltfree meals through the week that energize you and help you veer away from convenient fatty, sugary, processed foods.

Let’s look at what I did last weekend:

1. While home Saturday doing other things, I made a pot of brown basmati rice AND a pot of oatmeal (I added chia seeds and ground flax seeds to the oatmeal, once cooked). I popped them in the fridge, once cooled.

2. Sunday: I tried something a bit different that turned out to be a HUGE success! I found some thin plastic containers that are distinctly different from the other containers we use for food (I discovered these treasures at Dollarama). I made a meal in each one, which was ready to go for any meal during the week (lunch for my daughter or hubby to take to school/work or as a quick dinner).

Dollarama containers

Here’s what I made, labeled to identify the contents.

How I made them:

1. Mexican: I layered the following:

-rice (the rice I made the day before)

– black beans, raw chopped red pepper and salsa

-sautéed jalapeños, red peppers and Mrs. Dash seasoning (original)

2. Green Beans and Onions: I layered the following:

-rice

-sautéed green beans and onions with Braggs Liquid Soy Seasoning

My reward? A text from my daughter a few days later.

She has told me on two more occasions how convenient they are for her and how tasty they are.

Yay!

I love it when my ideas turn out well. The experience reminded me how EASY it is to prep and make healthy food!

Anyone can do this!

The idea is to play around with some basic foods and flavours you like as well as different containers.

One day, I might put together some more specific “recipes” for these quickie meals.

Hey…if I can do this, you can too!

Give it a try, if you really want to eat healthy.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Chickpea Etc. Salad

In our house, this “salad” is a hit as a spread on Wasa crackers.

It also works on top of a green salad or as a spread with a tomato sandwich.

Chickpea Etc. Salad

A No-measure Recipe

1. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.

2. Add to large bowl and mash, leaving some chunky bits.

3. Chop and add any veggies and herbs you like (for this batch, I used celery, red pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro). Choose amounts you like, according to your tastes.

4. Add lemon juice (fresh or bottled). Mix well. Add a tablespoon at a time, until you are happy with the taste.

5. Add several shakes of Mrs. Dash seasoning (original).

6. Mix well.

7. Add some sea salt to taste.

8. Something missing? Play around with it. Add a little pepper or more Mrs. Dash. If you have a sauce or condiment you like, try it.

Note: This recipe is oil free. You could add mayo, but then you take some of the health benefits away by adding such a high fat condiment.

You could also make this with black beans or another type of bean.

Let me know what combinations of ingredients make your Chickpea Etc. Salad a hit in your house.

Wishing you a healthy and successful journey,

Ali

A Sweet Glimpse

Just a quick post to share how easy it is to eat well.

Sliced in half and with the seeds removed, I popped these beauts into the oven.

Organic sweet peppers. -tiny little things 🙂

350 degree oven.

-No oil. No spices. No salt.

-15 min. on one side.

-5-8 min. on the other.

Smile.

Simple. Real. Food.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Simple Food = Great Taste

Food should be simple.

In order to enjoy simple, real food, we have to enjoy the taste.

Have a look at what I’ve been nibbling on until my husband gets home.

These beets and carrots have nothing on them: no oil, spices or other flavours. I just cut up the beets, threw them with the carrots on parchment paper, and put in the oven on 350 degrees for 35 min.

They are so tasty!

BUT…that’s because I’m not clogging up my taste buds with foods high in fat, salt and sugar. My body is getting trained to like simple, real food.

Think about it. When we’re eating poorly (think: cheese, chicken fingers, cookies, potato chips) the last thing we’re interested in is vegetables, unless they’re slathered in fatty dressing.

I’ve learned that it takes a little time and commitment to health to rewire the taste buds, so they will welcome veggies on my tongue.

Once rewired, it’s easy to enjoy delicious healthy foods.

Your body naturally craves what you give it. I am trying to give my body good food as much as possible. When I give the gift of veggies, fruit, beans, grains and starches to my taste buds, they want more!

Although we need to retrain our thinking when it comes to eating well, resetting our taste buds is even more important. Speaking of taste…

Excuse me while I go munch on a few more beets.

Wishing you health and success on your journey.

SignatureAli