Miraculously Stuffed Eggplant

I’ve been living life on the fly a lot recently. For the past decade (or longer) I’ve planned every moment down to the second. Planning certainly has a lot of perks, but it makes our brain think in binary, rigid ways sometimes. In an effort to break out of this more, I’ve been actively trying to seek out spontaneity and go with the flow. I found eggplants on sale the other day, so I bought a few and just decided I would let an idea come–and if not, just chop and freeze them! I think living life without a guide, without a plan, without a recipe can be a great asset when you find yourself getting bogged down in and stressed by the arbitrary details.

Ingredients:

-1 eggplant

-1 bag prepared @miraclenoodle rice

-1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

-2 tsp olive oil

-1 cup cherry tomatoes

-1 tsp minced garlic

Directions:

1. Combine tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, & garlic in a skillet and let simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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2. Cut eggplant in half length wise and roast at 350 for 10 minutes.

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3. Scrape out inside of eggplant and mix the pieces of eggplant “insides” into your skillet of veggies. .

4. Add prepared @miraclenoodle rice to veggie mix and continue stirring.

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5. Stuff both halves of the eggplant with veggie/rice mixture.

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6. Return stuffed eggplants to oven and roast for 7-10 minutes at 375.

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7. Enjoy! Feel free to freeze or use the leftover veggie rice in another dish or as a side dish.

This month use code HANNAHFEB18 for a discount when you order from miracle noodle 🍜

All the Colors Miracle Rice

I’ve been trying to have fun in the kitchen to cope with the more recent uptick in stress at work…mission accomplished! I’ve been loving the CSA boxes I get from Imperfect Produce as inspiration, which is conveniently delivered to my doorstep! A recent delivery included purple daikon radish, and oh my, these are delicious. Definitely a mild bitterness, but when cooked with coconut oil it blends perfectly with other flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag miracle rice, prepared according to directions
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 purple daikon radish
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 heads bok choy

Directions:
1. Chop bell pepper, purple daikon radish, onion, and bok choy into 1 inch cubes (I usually eyeball and guesstimate what a comfortable bite looks like). Toss veggies in 1 tsp warmed coconut oil.

2) Cook all veggies in you air fryer at 375 for 20 minutes, pausing once to stir. If you don’t have an air fryer, feel free to use the oven!

3) Meanwhile, prepare @miraclenoodle rice and add in garlic, 1 tsp coconut oil, and liquid aminos.

4) Combine veggie mix with  rice mixture and enjoy! This would be great with chicken, shrimp, or tofu!

I added some steamed broccoli on top and enjoyed this over a bed of dressed greens on the patio at work (I’m blessed with California’s sunny winter days 😉

This month use code HANNAHFEB18 for a discount when you order from miracle noodle!

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What’s your favorite colorful veggie? How do you cope with stress?

Going with Your Gut with GLG

If you’ve been in my life during the past 6 years, you might know I’ve struggled with a lot of GI issues. Without any clear answers, the various doctors I saw decided it must be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which has no real cures. The symptoms are highly varied and flare ups can come at any time. I’ve learned that my trigger is often times of high-stress, but I’ve also learned what foods I can use as tools to keep my gut happy.

I’ve been taking some form of gelatin nearly everyday for the past 3 years and I’ve recently started incorporating collagen as well.

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I have been taking it for a few weeks now, and I’ve heard it takes a bit longer to see and feel all of the benefits that come with collagen supplementation. There are numerous benefits beyond gut health: skin elasticity, joint health, and bone health, to name just a few. Collagen is shown to create measurable improvement in skin hydration and elasticity. [1] There is evidence that collagen can help repair the lining of the intestines, which can improve overall gut health. [2] I am curious to note whether or not I experience any changes in my joint health, although I am lucky enough to have few joint-related issues.  It is full of necessary amino-acids (the building blocks of protein) that keep our skin, hair, nails, joints, and bones healthy.

As a fan of functional foods, especially as an alternative to prescription drugs for treating my IBS, I’ve been pleased with my results from incorporating gelatin into my diet..so I have high hopes for the benefits that come with hydrolyzed collagen! If nothing else, I will have incorporated more healthy proteins into my diet. The regular collagen powder can be mixed into just about anything–your morning cup of coffee, your oatmeal, a smoothie, soup, etc. The cherry-flavored Collagen Endurance product has been a ton of fun to try out as well…

One of my favorite recipes reminds me of little gummy candies–they are my energy gel bites! These are a great pre-workout snack with B vitamins for natural energy and a good dose of protein for satiety.

Ingredients:

-1 scoop Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Endurance
-8 grams gelatin
-1 cup water

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1. Combine Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Endurance and gelatin with 1/2c boiling water and stir until dissolved.
2. Stir in 1/2c cold water and pour into a lined baking loaf tin.
3. Place in fridge for 4-6 hours or into firm.
4. Cut into small squares and enjoy!

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While many companies have recently started popping up promoting their own collagen supplements, I love Great Lakes; the company has been around since 1922 and does research to evaluate the real benefits, not simply hopping on the trendy bandwagon.

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Disclaimer: Great Lakes Gelatin & Sweatpink sponsored this review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions

Sources (because when I make claims, I base them in science):

1: Choi, S. Y., Ko, E. J., Lee, Y. H., Kim, B. G., Shin, H. J., Seo, D. B., … & Kim, M. N. (2014). Effects of collagen tripeptide supplement on skin properties: A prospective, randomized, controlled study. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy16(3), 132-137.

2: Graham, MF. Collagen Synthesis by Human Intestinal Smooth Muscle Cells in Culture. National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3792777>.

Radishes are Red: Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas

I recently received beautiful watermelon radishes in my Imperfect Produce CSA (Community-Sourced Agriculture) box. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I was inspired with the passionately pink-ish red radishes. Radishes have a bit of a bite on their own, so I decided to create a savory sweet dish that diminishes the bitterness, and highlights the beautiful colors.

Ingredients:
-1 bag miracle rice, prepared according to package directions
-1 large watermelon radish, sliced thin
-1.5 cup roasted broccoli
-2 tsp coconut oil
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1 tbsp sliced ginger (sushi ginger)
-3 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
-sriracha, to taste

Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients, besides miracle rice, in a small pot on the stove. Let simmer together for about 15 minutes, or until the radish is tender and the flavor has mellowed.

2) Add in the prepared miracle rice and let sit on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Enjoy! This is delicious on its own, but also goes surprisingly well over greens with an Asian-inspired dressing (think miso, soy, or ginger flavors).

**Use code HANNAHJAN for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle**

Doesn’t this just look like a romantic Valentine’s Day meal? Although I can’t say your breath will be great..

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Do you like radishes? What’s your favorite pink vegetable?

Salted Caramel Mug Cake (SF+DF)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes all I want are sweets–which is not exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle. I believe that is moderation is certainly important, but I also love coming up with healthy alternative recipes. It brings me so much joy to develop a recipe that packs more nutrient value and still tastes amazing.

I came up with this salted caramel recipe recently after craving a warm cake late one evening.

Ingredients:
-2 tbsp oat fiber
-2 tbsp coconut flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-dash cinnamon
-1 egg (or 1.5 egg whites)
-Almond Milk or water, 3-7 tbsp
-Caramel Syrup
-Dash sea salt
-Dollop of whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine oat fiber, coconut flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. Add in egg and 2 tbsp liquid and mix well.
  3. Slowly add in one tablespoon of liquid at a time until you reach cake-batter like consistency.
  4. Pour batter into a large greased ramekin and microwave on medium-high for 2-3 minutes or until the top of the cake is firm to the touch.
  5. Remove the cake from the microwave and pour on a generous amount of caramel syrup, a dash of sea salt (about 1/8 tsp), and a dollop of whipped cream.
  6. Enjoy your own mini piece of heaven!

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What’s your favorite healthy alternative recipe?

Warm, Creamy Rice Pudding: Two Ways for Winter (GF)

I have been craving different desserts with winter-themed tastes reminiscent of cinnamon and hot, deep cocoa flavors. Sometimes I feel like my mind is blank and lacks all creativity, but I recently had a stroke of creative genius for two different cozy, rice-based desserts. I love picking up different seasonal fruits and vegetables and I just picked up a bag of fresh cranberries. I love a nice cranberry sauce so I started with a simple homemade cranberry sauce and used it as a base for a creamy vanilla pudding.

Cozy Vanilla Cranberry Rice Pudding

Ingredients:
-1 bag Miracle Noodle Rice
-3/4 cup fresh cranberries
-1 tbsp water
-stevia, to taste
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Prepare Miracle Noodle Rice according to directions on the bag.
2. Combine fresh cranberries and water in a small microwaveable bowl and cover with a plate. Cook in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until you hear popping.
3. Remove cranberries from the microwave and combine with stevia until it is sweet enough for your liking.
4. Combine the cranberry sauce and vanilla, mix well.
5. Mix the prepared rice and cranberry sauce well.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

Creamy Hot Cocoa Rice Pudding 

Ingredients:
-1 bag Miracle Noodle Rice
-2 tbsp special dark cocoa powder (or your favorite cocoa powder)
-2 tbsp almond milk (or dairy, soy milk, etc.)
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (or hot chocolate mix)
-Stevia, to taste
-1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:
1.Prepare Miracle Noodle Rice according to directions on the bag.
2. In a separate bowl, combine milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, protein powder, coconut oil, and stevia to taste.
3. Combine the cocoa mixture with the miracle rice, stirring well. Add slightly more milk if the mixture is too thick (or more cocoa if the mixture is too thin).
4. Place the mixture in a bowl and enjoy hot or cold with a dollop of whipped cream!

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What’s your favorite winter dessert? Do you use rice for dessert recipes?

Maple Roasted Winter Veggies (GF + DF)

My favorite dish at thanksgiving every year is as beautiful and colorful as it is tasty: roasted brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and onion tossed in a maple & apple cider vinegar dressing and topped with pomegranate seeds.

Full of vitamins, fiber, and flavor! Plus, it’s easy to prep ahead of time when you’re preparing a big holiday meal.

Ingredients:

1 stalk of brussel sprouts

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 large butternut squash, peeled

1 large pomegranate, seeded

3 tbsp maple syrup (can use sugar-free)

3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place whole butternut squash in microwave for 6 minutes.

3. Remove brussel sprouts from stalk.

4. Chop onion and larger brussel sprouts in half.

5. Remove butternut squash from microwave, then peel and de-seed the squash.

6. Chop the squash into 1-inch cubes.

7. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined.

8. Toss brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and onions in maple syrup mixture until well-coated.

9. Place veggies on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until all veggies are tender.

10. While the veggies are cooking, break open your pomegranate into a bowl of cold water and separate the seeds from the white flesh.

11. Remove veggies from oven, place in serving dish and top with pomegranate seeds.

12. Pause to admire, then enjoy!

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What are your favorite winter veggies?

Meal Prep Hacks for the Holidays

I love chicken–it is delicious and works as a healthy protein in nearly every dish. One thing I hate: cooking chicken. Many of my coworkers assumed I must be a pescatarian since I rely so heavily on tuna and plant-based proteins, but really it is my sheer distaste for touching raw meat. Not to mention the added cooking time! I’ve gotten burnt out from other protein options and I am desperate for a healthy easy protein to add to lunches and dinners.

I was thrilled to find the new USDA-certified Coastal Range Organics Chicken products.  I love these products because I know they are never made with any antibiotics, hormones or steroids. The chicken is fed 100% organic vegetarian feed without animal by-products and raised free-range. This is the only frozen chicken brand I feel confident eating–it is free of artificial ingredients and preservatives, unlike so many of the other brands (read the labels!). It is nice to have reassurance that you can actually get some goodness from your freezer with Coastal Range Organics. They also make make a variety of other products: crispy stripsbuffalo wingschicken nuggets, and chicken burgers .

I decided to make a fall themed pumpkin risotto with the delicious grilled chicken strips. It only took 20 minutes start to finish–perfect for a quick dinner or meal prep.

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
Pumpkin, roasted and puréed
2 servings Coastal Range Organics Grilled Chicken Strips
1 bag Miracle Noodle rice

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Arrange 2 servings of your Coastal Range Grilled Chicken on a lined cookie sheet.
3) while oven is preheating, preparing Miracle Noodle rice according to directions on the bag.
4) Place chicken in preheated oven and set timer for 10 minutes.

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5) In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, spices, vinegar, and maple syrup. Combine well.
6) Add Miracle rice to pumpkin mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
7) Remove chicken from oven and add into rice mixture.

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8) Enjoy! I actually served this dish over romaine to get in an extra serving of veggies.

Use code HANNAHNOV for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle.

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Do you eat chicken frequently? What are your favorite healthy cooking hacks?

Disclaimer: Coastal Range Organics sponsored this review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions

Herb Infused Stuffed Squash

I recently received garlic herb Miracle Noodles and I was dying to use them in a fall inspired dish. I had a delicata squash to use and after I had such success with my last stuffed squash dish, I couldn’t resist running with this variation.

This screams comfort food to me; it’s a hearty blend of fall flavors, herbs, and garlic. I always love cooking and the inspiration struck me around 8pm after I had already made dinner so it became two days of lunches. This is also surprisingly budget friendly–a perk of eating seasonally that goes beyond the environmental benefits! (Delicata squash are only $.99 at Trader Joe’s!)

Ingredients:

1 delicata squash

1 tbsp canned pumpkin

1 tbsp broth

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp amore foods garlic paste

1 bag garlic herb miracle noodles

1 small bunch green onions

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

Directions:

1) Puncture delicata squash skin with a fork and cook in microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2) While the squash is cooking, prepare Miracle Noodles according to directions on the bag.

3) Heat coconut oil in a small skillet on the stove and briefly sauté green onions and mushrooms until tender.

4) In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin, broth, and garlic paste.

5) Add the pumpkin mix to the stir fried veggies and noodles and mix well.

6) Carefully remove the squash from the microwave and cut open (watch for the steam that will come out), then de-seed the squash with a fork.

7) Set seeds aside for roasting if you want–they make for a great crunchy snack!

8) Fill each half of the squash withe the Noodle mixture.

9) Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite part of eating seasonal produce?

Shishito Pepper Rice Stuffed Squash

I was beyond excited to see a box of Shishito peppers in my CSA box this week! I got so many fresh goodies, but these peppers are so trendy right now…so of course I have been wanting to try them. I’ve heard they are particularly fun because they are mostly mild, but every once in a while a super-spicy pepper sneaks in! I decided this called for a new recipe; I looked up a few recipes and found that the peppers pair well with garlic and ginger. I had a few delicata squash lying around from my Trader Joe’s expedition, so soon a seasonal idea was brewing…

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I have seen great results from recipes that blister the peppers on high heat, and luckily my trusty air fryer heated those peppers up in about 8 minutes!

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Look at how toasty and charred they got?! My favorite. I had to eat a few right then and there–these peppers have a great mild flavor with notes of citrus–I definitely see what the fuss is all about.

I use the ultimate squash life hack–always pre-cook in the microwave! I swear this trick has saved me hours of agonizing while attempting to chop a raw squash, plus it is faster and uses less energy. So I microwaved my delicata squash (whole) for about 4 minutes, before de-seeding it and stuffing it with my rice mixture.

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Look how preeetttyyy

The last step involved one final cook through to make sure the squash was fully tender, which also let the flavors in the rice mixture come together even more and crisp up on top.

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Yum, I’d say it turned out pretty well! I’ll let you know how it heats up as leftovers at work.

 

 Ingredients:
1 bag miracle rice
1 tbsp liquid aminos
1 tbsp pickled ginger
1 delicata squash
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp coconut oil
6-8 blistered shishito peppers

Directions:

Roast shishito peppers at 425 or air fry them until crispy (about 8 minutes).

Place whole delicata squash in microwave for 4 minutes.

Prepare Miracle rice according to directions on the bag. Combine prepared rice with coconut oil, liquid aminos, garlic, pickled ginger, and chopped roasted peppers.

After cutting open the delicata squash lengthwise (be careful of the steam escaping), de-seed the squash and stuff it with the rice mixture. I was able to generously fill both halves of my delicata squash.

Place the stuffed delicata squash back in the over (or air fryer) for approximately 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top looks crisped and browned. Enjoy!

Use code HANNAHOCTOBER for a discount when you order from miracle noodle 🙂

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Have you tried Shishito peppers? Do you stay on top of the foodie trends?