Curried Nuts and “Douche” Things

all done and ready for consumption!

Do you know what day it is???? Its Taquito Tuesday! Well, according to the 7-11 downstairs from my apartment it is. Needless to say I did not splurge on a 79cent taquito. But the nice Indian guy that works there was try to push me to get one. Tempting, really. Nope, I got a pepsi zero (yes, its a “diet soda” and I’m awful for drinking it, but its my guilty please, go suck it if you have a problem). I needed the caffine. And beleieve it or not, ladies and gentleman I had that pancake from yesterday again. I must say there were very good, possibly better than my flax pancakes, I’m afraid I’ll get hooked to this protein powder. Funny I actually have no intention of making a shake out of it….No, I just want pancakes!

Anyhow, I was about to go visit my sister who live about 45 min away and maybe 2 hrs away with traffic. So I decided to bring a cool new snack. I like almonds, and I’ve been meaning to do something to the plain old ones I always get. Not to say that almonds need some jazzing up. I pretty much like the almondy taste of almonds. Funny how simple and natural taste good on it own. But alas I’m into breaking out of ruts so I decided to spice them up. Instead of sweet, I busted out the curry and cumin to give these almonds an Indian accent (not to be polititcally incorrect, I was inspired by that friendly 711 dude). I actually love Indian food, Tandorri chicken, tikka, masala, korma, naan, I love it all. I love how “spiceful” it is! How you really dont need salt for anything. So this is what I did:

naked almonds!

Preheated oven to 350

Sprayed whole unsalted almond with canola oil spray (I do want to get my hands on some coconut oil spray though….o well, next time when I’m at whole paycheck, I mean Whole Foods)

sprinkled  curry powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. Mixed them up and let them get hot n heavy in the oven for 10-15 min (nuts toast up real fast, watch out!)

my ugly manicured hands spicing them up

Tastes like portable curry.

I told my sister I got a flat tire, I just didnt want to be in traffic, it was already 3:30pm and gloomy; its not like I had a great reason, I just didn’t feel like it. So looks like I’ll be seeing her on thursday, when my tire is “fixed”. Have you ever told a fib to get out of something simply because you just didnt want to go?
On another note, I stopped by the market and look what I saw:

I cant believe they put it above the snickers!

Seriously? I think Ed Hardy wearing guys often tend to be “douches”. My roommate and I made a list not to long ago of hallmarks of “douche bags” and sporting anything Ed Hardy was one of them. Like these guys need extra energy? anyhow, here is the list:

1) Your mood music is John Mayer

2) The only time you call a girl back after a thrid date is to ask if she’s pregnant

3)You go to yoga to get numbers

4) You lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour with the newspaper and leave the seat up when your done

5) When a girl asks you if she looks fat in a dress you smirk and say “ehe”

6) You wear ed hardy, and your white…..and straight

7)You drive a hummer and your not in the military… why the heck do you need a hummer??? oh yea cause your a douchebag

8) Lets put it this way, if it weren’t for you, AXE body spray would go bankrupt

9) you buy magnum condoms to prove a point, not cause you need them

10) you talk about yourself in the third person

11) You sport sunglasses at night; celebrities do that and your only claim is being a douchebag

12) You use more hair product than your girlfriend

13)You back in to a parking spot cause you need to prove your masculinity

14) You probably think this post is about you

“Whey to Go” Flapjacks and “Virgin Territory”

Happy monday, and it is indeed. I actually like this monday. I teach yoga in the evening, which I love, no kiddie dessert class to teach cause they are on summer break (and no offense to them, but I’m tired of those sugar buzzed 9 nine year olds), and I got a good upper body work-out in. That’s right, my biceps are still throbbing. So I’ve been on a mini quest to find the perfect protein powder to make a “commitment” to. Why “commitment”. Well for one, they are sold in tubs resembling costco mayonnaise which scare me for some reason. What scares me more is the price. I compare prices to items from trader joes, for example, “O my goodness, 30 bucks? thats like 15 Trader Joe’s greek yogurts or 15 two buck chucks!”.

So I’ve been trying to buy sample envelopes to try out protein powders. Now I must say, I am a protein powder virgin. I really dont think I NEED it, I eat plenty of meat, soy, and dairy…but to be honest, with flavors like “cake batter” and “cookies n cream”, I was curious to try them out in baked goodies. Plus, sometimes I dont want to cook up a whole fish for dinner, sometimes, I want pancakes for dinner, and what a good way to get in that “protein group” than in protein powder pancakes. So today, the shop only sold one type of single serving packets, Jay Robb’s Whey protein. So I bought is and this is what I added for the flapjacks:

-1/2 packet of Jay Robb’s Whey protien

-1 egg plus two whites (or use 1/2 cup egg sub)

– 1/8tsp baking powder

-2 tbs wheat bran

-splash of almond milk

I whizzed it in the magic bullet, and made, three GIANT pancakes! I topped it with some apricots and chocolate chips I found in the pantry. Then I thought it needed a “cream” factor, so I blobbed 2% cottage cheese mixed with an old jar berry preserves I found in the back of my fridge.

Look how many I made!

I was surprised I actually liked the taste of the protein powder. Who would have thought. Plus, I like that its got all natural ingredients and I can not only pronounce but spell all the ingredients on the back. Now THATS a feat.

My ugly old manicure again, this is the shot before it headed straight to my mouth, your licking the screen now, right???

The lovely cottage cheese and preserve goodness, all rolled in a protein packed pancake

So am I the only one that has this hang up about protein powders?

On another note, I’m still really digging almond butter in tuna salads, I’m currently polishing one off right now.  Are my tastebuds simply out of wack or is this legitimate that I cant get enough of this combo?

Lazy Sunday Eats, Smoked Salmon (no Shmear), and Reasons NOT to Exercise

This wasn't taken today, but this is generally how I look on Sundays

Sundays. I used to loath them in school, its like a day off, but not really cause you gotta be in bed early, prep homework, etc. I haven’t been in “school” (culinary or academic) for over two years and the way my work schedule is, Sundays aren’t all that special. I do love driving on Sundays, no traffic and I’am addicted the line up on NPR on Sundays (“car talk”, “This American Life”, yes, I’am a nerd).

I start my intensive, professional 300 hr Yoga Teacher training in two weeks.  I already completed a basic 200hr teacher training, but this is way more intense. I get to assist a senior teacher at Yoga Works and he serves as my “mentor”. Its kind of like an internship, only I’m paying them, oddly enough. In addition to assisting, I’ll learn more in depth yoga teaching techniques like teaching seniors, knocked up women, kids, etc. So I pulled myself together to go to a yoga class after neglecting yoga practice for this past week and hitting the gym during the weekdays. Its good to take days off, but today was not the day. I honestly much rather do rest days on days where I’m busy.  But in the spirit of Sunday being “lazy” for most everyone else (and whoever equated “lazy” with “no exercise” should be smacked), I thought I would give my list of excuses for not exercising. For those times you feel lazy or sluggish and don’t want a guilt trip for not exercising, use this list:

1) Gyms are usually filled with annoying people, macho meat-heads carrying 2 gallons of water or annoying chicks with layers of make up and the word “juicy” or “pink” plastered on their ass as they bbm someone on the treadmill

2) Too many attractive people at the gym and did I mention I look like shit when i’m sweaty and stinky, not pleasant

3) I have some episodes of Entourage, Spranos, and weeds to catch up on

4) Richard Simmons sweatin’ to the oldies in Daisy-Duke short-shorts, enough said

5) I believe in no pain, period

6) I dont need buns of steel, thank you very much, I prefer cinnamon buns

7) one word: spanx

8) You can always do it tomorrow…or the day after that… or the day after that….

segregation, tee hee

Ok so on to today’s recipe….I was about to go to my usual, boring, tuna salad for lunch today (my pantry is still stocked with tuna since I hoarded them when they were on sale), when I realized I bought smoked salmon last week and haven’t opened yet. I have a thing about wasting food, so in the spirit of getting out of a rut and using up the salmon, I decided to concoct a new smoked salmon recipe. Being a Jew, I associate smoked salmon with red onions, capers, “shmear” (cream cheese or some other spreadable edible) and bagels. Well I didn’t have any of those ingredients so I simply chopped up the salmon and added:

-chopped celery

-chopped cucumber

-lemon juice


-1 hard boiled egg

-a spoonful of greek yogurt

-onion powder (I swear, if anything is bland and you dont want salt, onion powder will save it)

"yumms" said the roommate who normally loathes smoked fish

mix, mix, mix and gobble.  Its like an Omega 3 feast! Who said you can’t have smoked salmon without shmear? Enjoy your laziness!

My roommate and our lovely house guest for the next two weeks!

Pumpkin, meet Tuna, what a good couple!

When I started thinking about blogging with mainly recipes, I had to think outside the box. There are so many recipe and food blogs out there, and I just really wanted to be different. Think of different flavor and texture combinations, or a least unusual ones.  For lunch today, I decided to change up my go-to tuna salad. I don’t mean to brag, but I make the BEST tuna salad. I leave my tuna cans in the fridge cause nothing is as good as a really nice and cold tuna salad! Temperature of food make a difference to me for some reason. Anyhow, I opened a can a of pumpkin a few days ago cause I was noticing how absent it was since the holiday seasons.  Mind you its hard to find! Most grocery stores don’t carry them this time of year!  I still had half a can left and didn’t want it to go to waste. I was not in the mood for mixing it up with cottage cheese or greek yogurt (the usual pumpkin pair). So I decided that maybe it should hook up with this tuna I was planning on hoofing down.  Turned out, they are a very good pair! Here’s what I used:

-1 can of cold chunk light tuna (yes, albacore is tasty, BUT it has a little mercury and chunk light is very low in mercury, plus, its mild flavor I think works better with the pumpkin)

-2 celery stalks chopped finely

-2tbs of dill relish

-thinly sliced napa cabbage (did I mention I have an obsession with napa cabbage? its actually healthier that the usual coleslaw mix!)

-1 tbs spicy mustard

-2tbs yellow mustard (I like my mustards!)

-sprinkle of dill (I used dried but if you can get your hands on fresh, way better flavor!)

-about 1/2 cup pumpkin (i didn’t really measure but about 3rd of the can 🙂

the pumpkin and tuna, before the mixing action!

had mine with a whole wheat flax tortilla! Its like Cinderella tuna (get it pumpkin, i know, I so not funny)

Mix it all up! I like it with spinach and crackers but its up to you what you pair this pair with.

CPK’s Thai Peanut Pizza Redo!

As I mention a few posts ago, I’m not a cheese person, never was. Hence when I was little, I was head of heels in love with California Pizza Kitchen’s Thai Chicken pizza! My mom and I used to indulge in it often and I have fond memories of sharing a pizza after light shopping. I liked it cause it was loaded with so much yummy stuff that it didn’t need cheese (cause ordering “bread” and “sauce” doesn’t always taste great).  I redid it with a healthy twist!

you’ll need

-whole wheat or rice tortilla

-2 tbs spicy mustard

-splash of hot sauce

-tbs peanut butter

-lime juice

-shredded chicken or pieces of baked tofu

-cole slaw mix (NOT dresses, just some cabbage and carrots)

-green onion (optional garnish)

-peanut pieces (garnish, optional)

Heat the tortilla on a pan so it gets nice and crispy. Mix the mustard, hot sauce, and peanut butter and the lime juice o thin it out and spread on the tortilla

partners in crime

lay on the chicken/tofu and the cabbage! You can garnish with green onions and peanuts (i didn’t cause I was out of both). Its best eaten cold to be honest.  I love peanut butter and spice! what a cool combo!

Crunch, spicy, and yet creamy too!

Happy Father’s Day Recipes, and a Thank You Note to my Dad

Happy Father’s day. Sadly, my dad is out of town and I won’t be spending father’s day with him. My roommate’s dad lives in New Jersey (we live in L.A.) so I guess we’ll be celebrating their absence together. I have a wonderful recipe for you that’s healthy and great to make for dad for breakfast! But before that I’d like to dedicate part of this post to thanking my father. As some of you may remember, my mother died when I was thirteen and my dad was both a mom and dad for me during the most important years of my maturation. I don’t know if he’l actually read this, but I’d like to publicly thank him and hope to inspire you loyal reader to appreciate the father or father figures in your life.

Dear Abba (its what I call him 🙂

Thank you. Thank you for being my Dad. Thank you for tucking me in at night, and waking me in the morning when school started so painfully early. For sitting through my tantrums when I was young when I couldn’t decide on what kind of cereal I wanted, for cleaning my vomit-laden sheets when I got salmonella when I was three. Thank you for telling me I’m a genius after getting a bad grade, for putting up with my driving when i first got my license and for getting me a car. I still cant believe you did that! Thank you for not doubting my driving when I got in a car accident and for being there in the hospital when I got surgery from that accident. Thank you for eating the foods I didn’t like that were served on my plate in restaurants, and for sharing your meal so I wouldn’t be hungry. Thank you for giving me the window seat on the airplane leaving you stuck in between me and some other dude that hogged the arm rest. I really thank you for telling me I needed help when I was at my lowest weight, and for supporting me unconditionally to this very day. Thank you for punishing me in times you needed too, and thank you for being a sport and buying me tampons and other girlie stuff. Thank you for sitting through those chick flicks (even though I’m sure you liked some of them!) and sitting through my school plays. Thanks for understanding my reasons to leave college for culinary school, for leaving culinary school for rehab, and for leaving rehab to train to be a yoga instructor. Thank you for being strong when mom died, and for being there for her throughout her cancer treatment. Thank you for “doing” my mom and conceiving me! Smooth move dad! Thank you for taking my calls when I was upset, when I was happy, when I was in pain, or for when I was so confused. Thank you so much. I love you, I thank you for being you. I couldn’t have asked for a better dad.

Love, kookie (what he calls me 🙂

Ok, now that I’ve sobbed on my keyboard….Let’s get this pancake recipe underway!

-3/4 cup egg whites or egg sub

-3 tbs flaxseed meal

-1/8 tsp baking powder

-dash on cinnamon (optional)

-tsp vanilla or almond extract

Mix it up well with a blender or mixer and simply cook on a well greased side until you see tiny bubbles in the pancake (about 2 min on each side). Serve with syrup, almond/peanut butter, or my personal favorite, warm stewed berries! makes about 2 BIG pancakes or a bunch of small ones.

I like BIG ones so mine made two, but you can probably squeeze four "normal" ones out of the recipe

before the big flip

My Dad and I,and no, he's not some hawaiian king, he's too short and skinny for that

Daikon? Chips Please!

I love discovering new foods and new ways to cook things. I really think cooking is so much like art in that way. The possibilities seem endless. So I ventured to buy a vegetable most of you are probably not familiar with, the daikon. It’s an oriental radish used a lot in many chinese, korean, and Japanese dishes. It’s not exactly brimming with nutrients  like kale or sweet potatoes, but it does have some vitamin C surprisingly. I admit I’ve only worked with once or twice and it was a long time ago that I forgot what it tastes like. But being a root vegetable, I thought maybe I can turn in into chips! Heres what I did:

I slice the daikon thinly and no need to peel! If you have a handy dandy mandolin, you can use it to slice to make them nice and even. Some mandolins have a “waffle” cut so that could be cool too!

Spread them out on a baking sheet and spray with olive/canola oil and sprinkle with salt. I used paprika a garlic powder but rosemary, basil, onion, and even curry powder would make some pretty tasty chips!

I let them do their thing on 400 degrees for about 20 min. Then turn the oven OFF and let them hang in there. The dry heat crisps them up and dehydrates them so they get REALLY crispy!  Of course you could deep fry them, but I frankly dont like cooking with huge amount of hot oil since I’m so clumsy!

spread em out so they don't overlap

they end up looking like this, I know this looks like some sort of coral but I swear they are yummy!

phallic, ain't it! BTW, I know I have the ugliest hands! I will never be a hand model! I take bigger pride of my shoulders to be honest

Yoga tips for the week!

Let’s milk my knowledge for all its worth. I realize I’ve been doing purely recipes daily, but theres more to my expertise than food (although I really dont think I’m an expert at anything).  In a few weeks I’m shooting a yoga segment for a pilot series for FitTV. They wanted me to focus on “core” exercise so I was researching and digging up my old yoga school papers and books to compile a short and sweet yet balance core strengthening segment. Now, I must admit, I in no way have a six, four or any kind of “pack”. I’m not out of shape or “pudgy” by any means, but my abs seems to have a hard time getting some definition. I think I have some killer shoulders and biceps (thanks genetics! you should see my dad’s legs!), so I don’t know why they want me to do a tummy segment.  I’m built very small but I have way stronger quads and arms so I hope I will not disappoint anyone because of my lack of “packs”. Anyhow,

This is when i first start my Yoga teacher training so I wasn't in the best shape and this it not the best angle, and I'm going "Eagle Pose" a little incorrectly, but you get the idea....Wow, I'm also realizing how much cleaner the carpet was when I took this picture!

here are some moves I’m considering and feel free to try them out this week and let me know what you think! Obviously, I’ll visually demonstrate the poses in the segment, but if you are unfamiliar with the poses, google search them or better yet, search on youtube so you can see a video on how to perform them correctly.

1) Navasana (boat pose) – The rectus abdominus is contracts when we raise our legs and torso while our sternum is drawn towards the pubic bone.  Holding this pose invigorates the core muscles isometrically

2 )Paschimottanasana: (Seated forward bend)-  The upper portion of our rectus is engaged as we flex our torso forward while keeping our legs stable.

3) Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose)- This pose helps keep the rectus flexible as well as strong since its a good complimentary stretching exercise.

4) Parvritta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose): In this pose, we rotate our shoulders while keeping our legs steady to exercise our obliques. Strong and toned internal and external obliques help maintain spinal alignment when we lift heavy weights.  As we engage our obliques in Yoga, imagine cinching up strings of a corset, drawing from the side in order to flatten the front

5) Pranayama (breath of fire): One of the most important components to maintaining a strong core is exercise our transversus abdominus.  But, unlike other abdominal muscles, the transversus does not move your spine and engaged most often when we sneeze, cough, or exhale. S the most effective way of exercising it involves working the breath. To practice “breath of fire”, breath in and out through the nose and pull your abs in towards the diaphram during the exhalation and out during the inhalation.  Its meant to be done very fast and loud, about 2 or three time per second

Full O’Flax Waffle!

gorgeous right! I like it with whipped cream but you could go healthy and cause it with a warm berry sauce and greek yogurt

birds eye view shot

So a little tid bit about me, I’m the only person in my family born in the United States. Yes, I’m a mutt. My dad’s Belgian, I actually am too since I’m his daughter so I have a Belgian passport (I have three different passports! different colors too!).  Anyhow, I go to Belgian almost every year. My Grandmother still lives there and I’ve been going almost twice a year since I was born. So I was bred to like good chocolate and good waffles.  I indulge in REAL Belgian waffles when I visit. There are lots of different kinds in Belgium and what you find at IHOP is definitely NOT what you’d find there!  Anyhow, I thought I’d make my own, healthier version. I just bought a waffle iron for 16 bucks at Target and its wonderful so I think its a good investment.  Heres what I used, you can modify to your liking: -1/2 egg sub or whites, or two whole eggs -2 tbs flaxseed meal (or 2tbs Coconut flour, I used flaxseed meal for this) -1/8tsp baking powder -dash of cream of tartar -tsp of extract of choice (get creative! I used banana!) mix all the ingredients up in a blender/magic bullet/mixer and pour in a in a circular motion in the waffle pan. Spray your pan if it tends to stick but mine didnt need extra greasing! slipped right off! Look how beautiful!!!!!

Weekend eats: My Kinda Pizza!

There are very few foods I do not like, some foods make me feel ill, but I still love them.  But the one food I simply do not like is hard cheese (cheddar especially). I DO like cottage cheese for some reason (although I’m picky about that as well. I hate most non-fat cottage cheeses and I find some brands too salty.  So when I make “pizza” I make it with some cottage cheese. This pizza is an individual one for people who dont like sharing their food, like me! Heres what I do:

Warm up a tortilla in the pan until toasty (it should get firm, like a chip)

Sautee eggplant (leftover from eggplant overload a few posts ago), zucchini, and mushrooms and top the tortilla (dont put “sauce” here like you may be used to, it makes it soggy)

spread it out on the tortilla! mmmm you can see the steam!

Then…..Mix cottage cheese with about 1/4 cup salsa!

spread it out on the tortilla! mmmm you can see the steam!

Then proceed to do a fancy culinary trick and stackfresh basil leaves, roll them like a cigar or sushi (or a joint…..) and slice very thinly

your basil "cigar" or "joint" should look something like this

Put the cheese n’ salsa mixture on top of your veggies, the sprinkle your sliced basil on top.

The yummy result! It survived for about four minuets this afternoon before I inhaled it


So on a side note, please feel free to post recipe requests or maybe things you’d like “healthified” or perhaps ingredients you like to see put into a recipes that you normally have no clue what to do with. Happy Saturday!