Meatless Monday with Quinoa Cakes

If you caught my recent 32 in 32 post, the first item on the list was to be Vegetarian. Truth be told, I transitioned to a Vegetarian lifestyle a few weeks ago, but it’s been a struggle. I don’t miss meat, at all. In fact my diet previously was primarily vegetarian, but I apparently psyched myself out. Since saying the words, “I’m Vegetarian”, I’ve gone blank on meal ideas. I’ve been eating lots of homemade Pita chips and hummus…but a girl can’t live on hummus alone (no matter how delicious it is).

Enter Plated…and no, this is not a sponsored post or a referral link. I signed up with Plated months ago and have made a few meals from them, all delicious. So when I needed meal ideas, I ordered a few vegetarian meals from Plated to try out. They send you nearly every items you need to make the meal and the recipe card. The only thing I had to supply was some water, an egg, and some olive oil. I will admit this can be an expensive option which is why I don’t use it regularly, but it was incredibly helpful to have some help when I needed it this week.

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This particular meal was Quinoa Cakes with Pan Roasted Mushrooms. Simple. You can probably find hundreds of similar recipes on Pinterest…in fact, check here, I did a quick search for you.

Plated provided the mushrooms, quinoa, onion, breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, chives, thyme, and a pad of butter.

While the Quinoa was cooking with the onions, I used the butter to pan roast the mushrooms. Then added some fresh thyme near the end of cooking.

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Once the quinoa was cooked, it was mixed with an egg, garlic, pecorino cheese, chives, and breadcrumbs; then formed into 4 patties (this recipe was service for 2).

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Sautéed in a little oil for about 4 minutes per side. I was worried they would fall apart when flipping, but they stayed together surprisingly well.

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Finished cakes topped with mushrooms, chives and a little sour cream (I added the cream, it was not in the recipe).

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It was delicious and filling. Exactly what I needed to break out of my hummus rut. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow for lunch. I plan on making some more cakes, with my own twist on the recipes which I hope to share on here in the near future.

 

What are some of your favorite vegetarian/vegan meals? Feel free to link your own blog below in the comments if you have Vegetarian/Vegan friendly posts that I can check out! Or share your favorite Vegetarian/Vegan blogs, those would be helpful too.

[Soaked] Cinnamon Almonds

I have the most delicious (and nutritious) treat to share with you today, and it’s ridiculously simple to make. I’m constantly on the look out for ways to make everyday foods/meals healthier, and I’m always excited to find quick & healthy snacks

Many already know that Almonds (in moderation) are an nutrient dense food that can greatly benefit a healthy diet. The contain protein, fiber, and omega fatty acids just to name a few of their many nutrition stats. However, something I learned from researching raw food diets, is that you really aren’t getting the most out of your almonds if you eat them dry. Soaking the almonds first (generally overnight) will make them easier to digest, thus allowing the body to better absorb all the nutrients.

The information below is from the Food Matters Website, and was included in an excellent article about The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds. Be sure to check it out if you want more information, it touches on more than just almonds.

 

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

 

In my opinion, Almonds are much, MUCH tastier this way as well. As an extra health bonus, I dusted them with ground cinnamon which has its own host of health benefits. Notice I said just ground cinnamon, not cinnamon sugar. You could also use raw cacao, a little chipotle, or another spice that you prefer.

Get Creative!

 

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The visual difference between dry almonds (left) and soaked almonds (right). The soaked almonds will have a softer texture, but will still have a crunch to it. If you avoided almonds in the past because you disliked the ‘jaw breaking crunch’, give them another chance after soaking.

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The recipe is simple, and there are NO specific measurements needed. Just put a serving of raw (not roasted or seasoned) almonds in a sealable container. A plastic bag will work just fine, but I prefer to use something with a lid. Cover the almonds with water and place in fridge overnight (or for about 12 hours). In the morning, drain and rise the almonds. At this point they are ready to eat, or season them.

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Add your spices. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to 1/2 Cup of almonds.

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You can keep uneaten, soaked almonds in the fridge for about 24-48 hours before they will begin to mold. Since they don’t have a long shelf life, you should avoid making large batches unless you know they will be eaten right away. Unfortunately this isn’t something you can make on Sunday, and eat throughout the week.

For those that would like the health benefits of a soaked almond, but prefer the dry texture, you can dry them in a dehydrator for longer term storage.

Enjoy!

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I’d love to know if any of you have tried this method, or if you try this recipe. What other seasonings have you used?

 

 

*I have purposely tried to not use the phrase, ‘soak your nuts’ in this post, because…well…I’d like to avoid the pervy Google Spam Bots. But let’s face it, that’s exactly what I want you to do from now on…soak your nuts people!

 

 

**I also apologize for the inconsistent lighting in the photographs. It’s driving me crazy too.

Beauty Talk #1

 

Having been gone from this blog for so long, has not only been upsetting for me (I miss this space!), but also a bit daunting. I’ve sat down multiple times to write a ‘I’m back’ post and I couldn’t figure out what to say. I’m sure that’s not an uncommon feeling for bloggers that have to take a break away from the web. Sometimes the words just don’t flow so well…

 

I don’t have any extraordinary reason as to why I stopped blogging lately. Life and work have been overwhelming (we’re going through layoffs again), and I honestly didn’t feel like I had anything interesting to share. I hadn’t completed many projects around the house and I wasn’t trying any new recipes. Life felt more than a little boring. So, instead of boring you with the mundane catch up…let’s just move on, shall we? In the past few weeks I’ve been getting back into home projects and I have a few fun crafts planned. I’ve redone the backyard grass planters which I’ll post about soon. That post will answer the multitude of questions that have been emailed to me about the project. I never knew so many of you would benefit from a ‘growing grass on concrete’ project, so hopefully that future post will answer some of your questions. Click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve also made some progress on the office and made a few other tweaks around the house. More on that soon…

 

One fun thing I’ve done lately (blogging wise) is start up a new Instagram account. I’ve mentioned my love of beauty, makeup, skincare on the blog in the past. I’ve even done a few monthly favorite posts, but I wasn’t thrilled with those. Instead I’ve started up a dedicated beauty Instagram account where I can chat all things beauty, share my likes (and dislikes), etc. For anyone that wants to follow me, you can find me @evolovelybeauty. For the blog, I thought I’d share a recap from time to time along with any of my favorite posts/tips.

 

So today, is a little weekly beauty recap and a recipe!

 

My favorite post of the week was sharing how I start my day, detox style. Each morning I get up and make the drink below while the pup is eating. I drink this along with a probiotic capsule, then wait 30-60 minutes before eating. I started doing this in September and have seen a dramatic difference in my skin since doing so. I used to get hormonal cystic acne regularly and that has completely cleared up. I have not had a single cystic spot since drinking this at the start of my day. My skin is brighter, clearer, and overall I just feel better. My mom also drinks this and has seen a big difference as well.

I created this recipe using other detox drinks as a guide. You have probably heard of people drinking hot water with lemon, or taking a Ginger Bomb. This is essentially a combination of those drinks. It’s something that works for me.

 

Morning Detox Drink:

If you’re not used to drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, this can take some getting used to. Thanks to the other ingredients, it’s not overwhelmingly strong in this drink. You can alter the amount of water you use while you get used to the taste. Add more in the beginning if you need to, just be sure to drink the whole thing.

 

The Basics

1-2 Cups Water (I prefer hot, like for tea…but you can also drink this iced/cold if you prefer the taste that way)

1 Tablespoon Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Raw Organic Honey

Juice of 1/2 a fresh Lime (you can also use a lemon, I just prefer the lime)

Add all ingredients, stir and drink. I prefer to drink with a straw, and while I don’t chug it, I do drink it all rather quickly. It’s not something I like to sip on…you get the point.

 

Give it the best ability to absorb by not eating for 30-60 minutes after you finish the drink.

 

The Optional Additions:

After I had been drinking the above for about 2 months, I started adding the below. You may choose to skip these, or maybe you prefer to add them from the start. I’ll leave that to your discretion. Please note that with all the ingredients, do your own research (or talk to your doctor) to find out if these ingredients would be beneficial to you.

 

1/8 teaspoon of Ground Turmeric (I’m slowing adding more over time, it’s a strong taste)

1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger (I’ll probably slowly up this amount over time as well)

The other 1/2 of fresh lime (so that you are juicing the entire lime into you drink each morning)

Mix well and drink.

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Like a lot of super healthy things, I don’t always jump out of bed excited to drink this. But more often than not, I crave it. I’ve seen such a dramatic difference in my health (and particularly my skin), that I don’t really want to give it up.

 

In other beauty news lately…these are a few insta-posts from the last week! You can read the specifics of each picture over at Instagram!