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a new chia recipe

Wow, guys.  Thanks so much for all the love you showed to me and my blog yesterday.  It may seem kind of silly, but yesterday really did feel very special to me.  ChiaSeedMe has seen me through so many moments this past year, and it has been such a blessing as it’s allowed me a place to express myself in so many different ways.  It’s really quite amazing when you think about it. A blog makes it possible for a person to have a responsive audience to whatever it is you need to share – fears, hopes, dreams.  It also has allowed me to express myself through photography and writing, which I never would have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday was hearing all the comments from those of you who love chia seeds!  These little guys are taking the world by storm.

And speaking of chia seeds, last night I added them to a meal that I’ve never added them to before.  And they were delicious as always.

When I was growing up, it was a rarity for my mom to not have a homemade meal on the table.  It was a norm for her to call us in from playing outside five times before we would actually come, and I remember never wanting to stop for dinner (who was I?).  But now I hold very dear the memories of our whole family sitting around the table every night.  My mom was (and is:) a great cook; some of her specialties included mexican casserole, tacos, meatloaf, chicken and rice casserole, roast with cooked potatoes and carrots, and last but definitely not the least – her famous spaghetti sauce.

I always loved spaghetti nights.  The sauce would simmer on the stove for hours as each flavor mingled together giving off the most mouth-watering aroma you can possibly imagine.  It would fill the entire house, luring us in from any part of the house; she probably got so tired of us inquiring “when will dinner be ready, mom?”  Sitting here right now I can vividly taste the slightly sweet, warm tomato flavors.

Now that I am older I can appreciate more than ever before the fact that my mom valued having a healthy, homemade meal on the table (almost) every single night.  Having my own family (minus kids) now, I realize how challenging it is to meal plan, get the groceries bought, plan ahead for preparation and create a tasty meal in time for dinner.  But I’m so thankful that it was important to her to do so and that she instilled that importance in me.

Last night’s dinner was the ChiaSeedMe version of spaghetti sauce.  Honestly, it doesn’t taste a whole lot like my mom’s.  But, I’ve dabbled in making from scratch spaghetti sauces before, and this one is by far the most delicious.  The flavors are much more complex and they work so well together, but this recipe was super easy as well.

I started off by sauteeing some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until both turned slightly golden and then adding one and half chopped bell peppers.

As soon as the peppers had turned tender, I poured in the tomato puree, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, mixing them together until the different textures became one and it became smooth. Already my nose was being filled with the fresh italian aroma.

Next came the seasonings – basil, a lot of italian seasoning, rosemary, garlic powder, sea salt and ground red pepper.  Dumped them all in and stirred like crazy.  When they were all incorporated well, I completed the second best step – the taste test.  I recommend you definitely not skip this step as you may want to adjust the seasonings to perfectly suit your tastes:)

And lastly, it was time to add in the namesake of this recipe…the star of the show.

As many of you know, the chia seeds did not affect the flavor of this sauce, but what they did add is protein, iron, omega 3′s and 6′s, calcium, fiber and other vitamins.  After sprinkling them over the sauce, I stirred to incorporate them well and then allowed the sauce to simmer for another ten minutes or so.  This gave the chia seeds time to soften and gel up; they were undetectable in the sauce, but they gave it a little bit thicker texture and absorbed some of the liquid so that the sauce wasn’t the least bit watery when ladled over the noodles.

After adding the chias, I took a quick break from the sauce to toss a handful of thin spaghetti noodles (the best kind) in some boiling water so they’d have just enough time to cook.  We can’t forget the noodles!

My only question is: how did I never think of this before now?

Spicy Chia Spaghetti Sauce

Ingedients

  • 29 ounce can tomato puree
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • small can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 – 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1.5 bell peppers, any color, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil, for sauteeing
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Directions

  • Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until both are slightly golden.
  • Add bell pepper and continue to saute until tender.
  • Pour in tomato sauce, tomato paste and tomato puree and stir until well combined.
  • Add in garlic powder, basil, rosemary, sea salt, italian seasoning, ground red pepper and stir well.
  • Lastly, add chia seeds, stirring to combine.
  • Allow sauce to simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat thin spaghetti with a sprinkling of Angela’s vegan parmesan and a side of sprouted bread slathered with Earth Balance and garlic powder and toasted in the oven until slightly crispy.

Mexican look out – italian just might be moving in for good!

How did your family handle dinnertime when you were growing up?  Did you eat around the table like me?  Was it family night around the TV? Do share – I love hearing how other families live!

**Also, don’t forget to enter ChiaSeedMe’s one year anniversary giveaway for some chia seeds or a special secret care package of my favorite little things!  You can enter by clicking here or by clicking the button on my side bar.

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food, family and lots of fun

Hello!

This week has been so crazy!  Since we’ve been back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving, we’ve been so busy.  I haven’t even had a chance to recap our Thanksgiving weekend…better late than never, though.  Right?

I ended up making three different dishes to take to my family’s dinner.  I’m blessed to have grandparents who are healthy eaters, so there were several great options on the table.  I was really excited about cooking up some new recipes I’d been wanting to try, so I decided to take a few things anyway!

First up, I made this Maple Spiced Quinoa dish that Angela had posted awhile back.

This dish was delicious!  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice.  All I had to put it in was my mom’s Tupperware bowl, but i promise it tasted worlds better than it looks.  The only negative was that I kind of wished I had made a savory quinoa dish for dinner, rather than sweet.  This almost could have been eaten as a dessert!

I also made Angela’s healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. Let’s just go ahead and get something out on the table – I totally had an Angela inspired Thanksgiving dinner!  Why not, right?  Her recipes almost always amaze me, and I didn’t really have time to come up with something on my own.  Plus, I had been drooling over these recipes since she posted them several weeks ago.  What better time to try them out than on Thanksgiving?!

I totally scored big with this casserole…especially when it came to my baby cousin, Caroline.  She was a big fan:)

This casserole was competing big time too because my aunt brought a delicious sweet potato casserole.  I think it competed well, though it may not have won out in the end:(  Except with Caroline that is.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Brownie cupcakes.  Now these were a hit!

Every bit as delicious as they look and sound.  How can you beat the combination of brownie + pumpkin + cupcake?!  Seriously?  I was so happy that everyone enjoyed these, and the recipe has already been sent out to the family.  I could actually really use one of these about right now…

To top it all off, I made up a quick batch of Super Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  They were awesome, as always.

My plate: vegetarian, mostly vegan and 100% delicious!

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day playing games and just hanging out.  I love holidays at my grandparent’s house – it’s so nice to just spend time together.  It doesn’t happen nearly enough.

And don’t forget family picture time!

And all the grandkids…starting at 1 year and going all the way up to 30!

My sweet grandma on her birthday.  Her actual birthday is today, but we celebrated it with her on Thursday evening after all the Thanksgiving festivities.  Happy Birthday Grandma!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, hanging out with my mom, step-dad and sister, decorating our Christmas tree and then celebrating yet another birthday.

We had a surprise party for my sister’s 30th, and I was in charge of lying to her all morning, getting her out of the house and then getting her back to the house in time for the party.  I don’t think she likes to be surprised very much, and she didn’t make it easy on me. I think she ended up being about 1/3 surprised.  Fun was still had by all though:)

We came back home on Saturday just in time to get ready for the Bedlam game.  The husband and I had to work in the suites taking pictures.  It was definitely the most fun game all year – even though we ended up losing in the end.

On Sunday we spent the day catching up on work and the house, and then we decorated for Christmas! One of my favorite activities of the season!  Pictures will be soon to come:)

That’s all for now!  I’m so glad to finally be caught up on everything…now it’s time to get caught up on all of your lovely blogs:)  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are having a great start to the week.  How crazy that it’s already almost December!

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about getting back and staying on track during this chaotic season – it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it!

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the secret to workout motivation + a giveaway!

Hey guys!

Remember a couple of months ago when I made this?

How about this?

If you remember, I told you that I’d be hosting a giveaway to give one CSM reader their very own spiralizer.

Well the time has come!

CSN stores has offered to give away a $45 giftcard to one of you guys.  If you’re not familiar with CSN, they have hundreds of online stores in which they carry everything from wardrobes to cookware to chic light fixtures.  You could seriously browse for hours! Not that I would know.

So, while I’d love for you to show the spiralizer some love (’cause I know it would love you right back), I also think it’s great to let you guys choose whatever you want!

So here’s the scoop:

  • For one entry leave a comment on this post telling me if you had to pick one food to eat every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • For one entry put ChiaSeedMe on your blogroll
  • For one entry mention the giveaway in a blog post and link back to this post
  • For one entry follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme)

You can enter as many ways as you want – just make sure to let me know which ones you did (or already do) in the comments!  Good luck!

The contest will close next Monday at midnight (central time).

**Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Sorry, international friends:(

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

This morning I put in a quick interval workout just like yesterday’s.  My legs felt like lead!  I wanted to stop so badly after about 15 minutes, but I just kept telling myself “you are strong, confident, and you have the ability to have a kick-butt workout!”

I’m not gonna lie though – it felt so good to stop and walk:)  I’m reminded this week of the key to truly motivate myself as far as workouts.  Wanna know the secret?

Workout!

That’s right.  Workout.

Getting to the gym, feeling those endorphins flow, and beginning to feel and see improvements in your health will give you the motivation and drive to keep going each day.  It will work, I promise.

So, I had big plans to tell you guys about the creamiest squash soup you’ll ever taste, but that will have to be postponed now.  Tonight’s dinner was just too good to keep to myself.

Tofu Broccoli Cashew Asian Stir-fry
adapted from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients

For tofu:
1 pkg extra firm tofu, cut into rectangles
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

For sauce:
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp agave nectar (pure maple syrup would also work I think)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
.5 tbsp molasses
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp arrowroot powder

For Stir-fry:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
2 pinches of sea salt
2 tbsp water
2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
.5 cup raw cashews

Is this not the most awesome pepper you’ve ever seen?  My step-dad picked it from his garden and gave it to me (after my sister and I fought over it, that is:).  Thanks, Clark! I didn’t want to say good-bye to it, but alas, I needed a second red bell pepper.

Directions

  • Place tofu rectangles in a shallow dish.  Pour soy sauce and vinegar over the top and make sure each piece is covered.  Allow tofu to marinate for 10-15 minutes
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until arrowroot powder is dissolved
  • In a large skillet or wok,  heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add tofu and saute until all sides are browned (I like mine crispy on the outside!)
  • Remove tofu from pan and set it aside
  • Add a little bit more oil, 2 tbsp water and broccoli to wok/skillet.  Place a lid over it and allow to cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add bell pepper and continue to saute for another several minutes
  • Add tofu, sauce and cashews and toss to coat
  • Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened

Serve over brown rice, quinoa, bulgur or any other grain!

This was by far the best stir-fry meal I’ve ever made – it tasted like it came straight from an Asian restaurant.  I think the key ingredient is the arrowroot powder. It makes the sauce thick and syrupy, mmmm.

Wel,, that’s it for tonight!  I’ve got to go look over my yoga class for tomorrow night. I didn’t teach last week because we were in DC, so I’m feeling a little rusty.  A few down dogs and sun salutations, and I’ll be back in business methinks.

And by the way, you may notice some changes around these parts over the next few days.  The husband is working out some kinks and getting a little crazy at times, but I’m trying to keep him reigned in.  You give him an inch…

Also, I added a couple of new pages at the top today and revamped some of my old ones!  If you have a second, check out my new “about” page as well as my “moves” page, which also has some info about PiYo.  Let me know what ya think!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!  If you’re not in the market for anything for yourself, you could win someone a Christmas present!

What is your key motivator for working out?  Do you have any tricks for staying consistent when the going gets tough? Please share!

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takin’ me back

Today was another successful day of Operation: Get Clear Skin. Successful being used very loosely of course – meaning I pulled out all the stops by sticking to the list I posted yesterday…but my face is technically still not clear at all. I honestly do think I can see a glimmer of improvement, though, so my hopes are high.  Thank you for all the supportive comments and advice.  You guys rock!

Actually, the drama with my face brought back a memory of Thailand for me today.  It was Valentine’s Day of 2008, and Jonathan had planned a one night getaway for us at a hotel in Chiang Mai.  It was really only about 15 minutes away from our apartment, but had air conditioning, a bath tub and was gecko free as far as we could tell:)

this little guy welcomed us to our kitchen the day we moved in – little did we know his entire extended family + all his friends lived in our house as well.

flowers the husband bought me from the market

hotels like this are fairly inexpensive for Americans

I seriously stayed in this tub for hours on end.  It was like I was back in America.

The next morning he took me out to breakfast…

and then it was time for the big surprise.

He had booked me a massage and facial (also really cheap in Thailand – I could get a manicure for about three dollars)!

I remember laying on my back, feeling like I had died and gone to heaven as a sweet Thai woman massaged things into my face.

You see where this is going.

The next morning I woke up and throughout the day this rash began to show up on my face.  It was like my entire face was completely overtaken by blemishes…seriously beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my 27 years.  I wanted to hide under a rock and never come out.  And I kept asking myself “what could have possibly made you think it was a good idea to let someone rub not only their hands, but also various other unknown concoctions all over your face?!”

Needless to say I haven’t had a facial since.

And that’s where memory lane ends.

Back to today.  I started off again with a delicious breakfast juice before doing an hour session of yoga in preparation for my class tonight.

The goods.  Parsley, escarole (leafy green I picked up at Whole Foods last week!), 1 plum, 1 organic carrot, 1 beet and 1 apple

aren’t beets so pretty?

a spry little sprig of parsley

and the finished product

After yoga and some light house keeping, I was ready for a snack.

apple and almond butter

I haven’t had an apple and almond/peanut butter together in a long time…but I think it is time to bring it back! holla.

I also sipped on a Pom spritzer (a few ounces of Pom juice mixed with seltzer water) on the side.  This little drink was so refreshing to me today.

A little while later lunch was a green monster just like yesterday’s, except with almond milk – yay for a stocked fridge!

After meeting with a new student whom I will be tutoring now as well as student I’ve been tutoring for awhile, I came home craving exactly what you see above: homemade salsa (recipe coming soon!), baby carrots, sugar snap peas, spelt pretzels and spicy garlic  hummus.  This snack plate was so filling and it took me forever to eat it, which is a plus in my book:)

Dinner was a little more carb heavy.  I somehow failed to get a picture, but the husband and I made Mexican Fiesta Pasta. It was hot, mexicany, spicy and it really hit the spot!

I must be off to bed now…I’m planning to make it up in the morning in time for a run, but I’m a little worried seeing as how tired I am right now and how late it is.  Must. Get. Sleep.

G’night!

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a success

Hi!

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday. This week has flown by!  I’ve been spending the last couple of days eating and breathing yoga as I’ve prepared to teach my first class.  I’m happy to say it went really well!  There are of course a lot of things I want to improve upon as I continue teaching, but for my first class I was pleased.

My eats have been kind of boring because I’ve been so preoccupied…just the closest, healthiest (and sometimes not so much) thing and call it good has been my motto!  Sometimes life is just like that you know?  However, last night when I walked in the door from yoga at about 6:45, the husband was hard at work in the kitchen, cooking up a fantastic recipe from, you guessed it, Eat, Drink and Be Vegan!

Gimme Chimis

Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-1.5 tsp Chipotle Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2-3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tempeh, chopped (or extra firm tofu or additional 1/2 cup beans of any variety)
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
  • fresh lime wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish

Directions

  • In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, chipotle sauce, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and salt and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add zucchini and tomatoes, and saute for another 5 minutes until veggies soften.
  • Add beans and tempeh (or substitute), stir to combine, and saute for another 3-5 minutes.

  • Stir in vinegar and transfer mixture to a bowl (scraping out all filling and reserving pan for later).
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  • On a flat surface, spoon 1/4 of filling down center of each tortilla, leaving 1-2 inches space on top and bottom.  Fold bottom edge over filling and roll up, tucking in sides as you go.
  • In the same frying pan on medium-high, heat oil for 30 seconds, then place burritos seam-side down on pan
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to lightly brown, then transfer to lined baking sheet )or if frying pan is oven-proof, then simply place it in oven) and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove and serve with lime wedges and a sprinkling of cilantro


This recipe was awesome.  I have to say that before I became more conscious of my health, chimmichangas were one of my favorite meals to order at mexican restaurants.  I especially loved the fried crispy shell.  This healthified  recipe was very reminiscent of the old chimi days…and the part that was most similar was the tortilla.  It was flaky and crispy, yet soft in just the right areas.  Score!

Well, I hate to cut this short, but I gotta run.  Tomorrow is the day I leave to go get my yoga certification, and I still have to read up on the manual and pack.  Oh, and run through my PiYo class again because I’m teaching in the morning!  I am loving all the yoga in my life right now, but I’ll also feel a bit relieved when the new stage has worn off and I can spend a little less time and energy preparing.  Soon enough, soon enough.

G’night!

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