Yes, their last name really is Bean, and yes they do live in their airstream full-time….Meet Nallely and Tanner Bean- some of the most wholesome people I have ever met
It all started in the little town of Georgetown, Texas at a small coffee shop where Tanner was a barista. This coffee shop became a weekly stop for me and soon we connected by nerding out over Yirgacheffe pour overs and my cassava tortilla recipe! (Recipe at the very bottom of this post!) Tanner and his wife follow a paleo diet and they, like me, would much rather make food from scratch than choke up eight or so dollars for eight grain-free tortillas, for example. Soon we were chatting all about holistic recipes and their journey to healthy eating and becoming paleo.
Tanner shared with me that he suffers from psoriasis, an auto-immune disorder that causes dry, scaly spots on the skin. For that reason, and the fact that both him and his wife worked out excessively and never saw any improvements in health or weight they decided to try out a Whole 30 diet. Most of you know this is a huge and very difficult commitment to eat completely clean for 30 days straight. You guys, they felt so good they did it for over 60 days, AND through the holidays might I add! They couldn’t believe how great they felt from nourishing their body with real food! They transitioned to a paleo diet and still eat this way on a daily basis. They have found it to be so helpful for many reasons but especially for Tanner’s psoriasis and their vitality!
Okay so back to the airstream! Fast forward several months and I end back up in Montana, and so did these two…in fact in my backyard. Over the week that they were here visiting our national park (Glacier National Park), we hammocked, we hiked, we made coffee, WE BAKED!:) They taught me about simplistic air-stream living, and we talked a lot about food, nutrition, faith, and simple aspects of life. They have been airstream living since 2017! Read their full story here. Also, their instagram is beautiful and they give updates of all their wonderful adventures throughout all the national parks they visit and airstream living hacks. Follow them @essentiallystreaming or by clicking here. It really is no easy thing to downsize to fit everything you own into an airstream; to live happily with only the bare essentials. They even have to pay attention to how much their set up weighs for insurance purposes… something I would have never even thought of! Tanner also taught me on a couple occasions how to make really delicious coffee. I was so honored to be able to bake with them and share some of my recipes and what I’ve learned about food and nutrition with them too!
Because I know you’re wondering…here’s what we made:
paleo german chocolate cake
coconut butter or “manna”
Nallely made my day when she was almost in tears over the marshmallows. She hadn’t had marshmallows in over 2 1/2 years because marshmallows even at health food stores are made from cane sugar which is NOT paleo. Tanner also made me laugh sooooo hard. After overhearing me tell Nelly that we needed to bring the maple syrup up to 240 degrees fahrenheit, he pipes up and says something like “are you sure about that, I don’t think that’s possible.” You see Tanner being a pro barista (really, he’s won competitions and everything) pays very close attention to the boiling points at all elevations he visits. Well supposedly here water does not boil over 203. Of course he was proven wrong, and yes he did in fact double check me with his own thermometer!! LOL sorry Tanner…
You can head virtually experience our baking sesh here…Just be prepared for some good laughs haha 🙂
All that to say, my time with the Beans reminded me of a couple very important life things to always remember:
Keep the main things the main things. I have to remind myself what these are to me EVERYDAY ALL DAY and it is a struggle, let me tell ya. What is the essence of life for you? Does everything you do tie back to those things?
The world is really so small when you embrace community. Community is important to me, because it makes me and others better. The Beans wanted to bake with me because they wanted to learn from ME, but I learned so much from THEM too. That’s why I love cooking with others so much- its never a one way street. We were not created to do life alone. We can build a stronger, better world by sharing our experiences and talents with people and they with us.
Thank you Tanner and Nelly! ❤ Keep spreading the good stuff!
Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water as needed. Roll into balls. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin or tortilla press to flatten into a circle. Place on a hot skillet for about 1-2 minutes per side. When tortillas are finished cooking, place inside a folded damp kitchen towel to keep warm until serving. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze.
I love tacos, who doesn’t right? Most taco shells are made from corn. During nutrition class, I was really sad to find out that corn is actually a grain (not a vegetable) and also that it is one of two of the most genetically modified and pesticide full crops out there. Why is this? Corn is massively overproduced because of all the food additives that can be derived from it…even citric acid! Like isn’t citric acid supposed to come from oranges or something, not necessarily. This is just one example of a food additive that is in almost everything. Unless the package says grain free, it’s likely that the citric acid is coming from corn. Tip for all you paleo people out there and others allergic to corn. But how is that even possible? Heavy heavy processing of food that the body does not know what to do with. Pesticides and additives can also inhibit normal detox of the body by the way. Luckily I discovered a grain free hard shell taco by Siete. They are made from cassava, which is a tuber that grows in the ground! Siete also makes soft tortillas from other flours like almond, chickpea, cashew, cassava, etc. You can find them at most major health focused grocery stores, I get mine at Natural Grocers.
So the vegan part. Vegan tacos come together so fast and are so delicious. I made a couple different versions recently and both were delicious! Two things were on my mind, I want some protein going into these tacos and I want something fresh and green to tone down the spice I’m about to add.
To incorporate protein I used garbanzo beans and black beans for one recipe, and then a simple homemade hummus for the other. Both were great. I found the hummus to work really well for glueing the other ingredients to the shell so less fell out. I loved the black beans and garbanzo beans whole for their texture and flavor.
For greens, I chiffonaded spinach for one recipe and used sunflower seed sprouts for the other. Ps not sure if that is actually a word but basically what you do is stack some spinach leaves on top of eachother then roll them up tight and slice them with a knife. When they unroll, you will have long strips and you will feel super fancy! You’re welcome.;)
Okay so for the seasoning, I decided to think outside of the box and use some new harissa seasoning that I picked up. I used the Frontier brand which has a nice blend of organic chiles, cumin, garlic, and even a touch of peppermint! Super yummy and not too spicy.
I hope you can enjoy these recipes and make your own version of vegan tacos! Share pictures and tag me when you do! Also, I don’t measure anything when it comes to tacos so use these recipes as a guide to unleash your own creativity! 🙂
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a glass pan, lay down a sheet of parchment paper and drizzle in a couple tablespoons of avocado oil or coconut oil. Set aside.
Wash your squash. Slice the both ends off of the delicata squash and then slice it in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out using a spoon. Reserve to roast later or discard. Place each half on their flat side and slice into thin half moons. Place in the pan and sprinkle with harissa seasoning, plenty of salt, and pepper and about one tablespoon of honey. Toss to coat evenly with the oil then spread out so that the squash is in a single layer ideally. Roast for about 30 minutes flipping around the 20 minute mark.
While the squash is roasting, prepare all the other ingredients: make the hummus, dice the avocado, chop the cilantro.
TO ASSEMBLE: Spread a good layer of hummus on each side of the taco shell. Add the squash, avocado, and sunflower seed sprouts. Drizzle with tahini and sprinkle with cilantro, then squeeze plenty of fresh lime juice on top. 🙂
PS. The tahini was a goof up because I forgot it in the hummus when I made these, but to be honest it ended up being the perfect addition to these tacos!
Triple Bean Tacos
Garbanzo beans, canned or cooked yourself*
Black beans, canned or cooked yourself*
Dragon tongue beans (or regular string beans) **
Harissa seasoning (I used Frontier brand)
Coconut oil or avocado oil
Fresh lime juice
Siete Grain free hard shell tacos
Salt and pepper
Wash the dragon beans and snip the ends off. Chop into one inch pieces.
In a cast iron pan heat the oil. Coconut oil will give you a more buttery mouthfeel. Once the oil is hot add the beans. Add a little water just to coat the bottom of the pan and place a lid on to steam the beans briefly. Steam for a few minutes until al dente then remove the lid.
Add the harissa seasoning to taste, honey, salt, pepper, and both the garbanzo and black beans. Cook for about 2 minutes longer.
Meanwhile mash the avocado with plenty of lime juice and salt. Chiffonade the spinach by stacking multiple leaves on top of eachother then rolling up. Slice lengthwise into thin strips.
To assemble the tacos:
Spread a good amount of smashed avocado on each side of the tortilla. Place the bean mixture inside followed by the spinach. Finish with more lime juice and enjoy!
*I love the Eden brand beans because they are organic and pressure cooked which breaks down the lectins and makes it easier for your gut to digest the beans
**Dragon tongue beans are a beautiful purple and white speckled bean variety. They are less stringy than regular beans but can be cooked the same.
The oils and fats you should and shouldn’t be cooking with…
Fat. It’s sustaining to the body, satisfying to the mouth. In cooking with fat we prevent sticking, and our food becomes moist and tender.
FAT IS IMPORTANT TO FLAVOR AND FUNCTION
Fat is a controversial topic of health and I am here to bring clarity. In order for fat to be our friend we need to make sure we are using fat in the applications they are chemically meant for. To keep it simple, fats become damaged and turned into free radicals four different ways: oxidation, pressure, light, and heat. Free radicals are unpaired “free” electrons that damage our cells. You can read more about the science behind this here. Bigger picture, free radicals are responsible for degrading of organ systems which lead to chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. In the case of the heart damaging fats severely harm the blood vessels causing them to become torn. Our bodies use cholesterol and fibrin, and red blood cells to repair the damages but this makes the vessels less flexible as the new tissue is essentially a scab. Damages over time can result in high blood pressure, strokes, and other heart issues.
To avoid damaging our fats we first need to choose the right kinds. You always want to choose oils that read “expeller pressed”, “extra virgin” or in the case of coconut “virgin”. This means that they have been cold pressed. If the product does not read this then more than likely the oil has been extracted by method of chemicals and high heat. Again the heat damages the oil’s chemical structure and who wants chemicals in their oil. EW! You should also be familiar with the word “smoke point.” Visually when an oil is smoking, you know that it has become oxidized and you should NEVER consume smoking oil! You also want to select an oil that is in a dark container to reduce exposure to light. I opt for glass to avoid toxins from plastic. Exception: I’ve never seen coconut oil sold in a dark container. Keep your oils in a dark, dry, and cool place in your kitchen NOT NEXT TO THE STOVE. You should also keep oils sealed to avoid exposure to oxygen. Think along the lines of what an apple looks like after it is cut an exposed to air.
Which oils are the healthiest?
My three favorite are organic extra virgin olive oil, expeller pressed avocado oil, and organic virgin coconut oil.
OLIVE OIL- Should only be used in cold preparations. Heating olive oil damages the chemical bonds and causes free radicals. Olive oil has a delicious delicate flavor that is enjoyable in salad dressings, finishing foods, pestos, hummus, and other dips. Olive oil is also high in omega 6 anti-inflammatory fatty acids! 🙂
AVOCADO OIL- THE HEALTHIEST COOKING OIL. It can withstand very high heat before becoming oxidized and turning into free radicals. It has a very neutral flavor that will not come through in the food. Use in all cooking preparations, to marinade, in dressings, etc. To get you started try this sweet potato yam fries recipe!
2 organic sweet potato yams (pictured are garnet yams)
avocado oil ( just enough to coat)
Himalayan sea salt
Rosemary (fresh or dried, optional but delicious!)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Line glass pans or baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper. Clean and cut the yams into fries. Combine the yams with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat evenly. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes flipping at about the 20 minute mark.
COCONUT OIL- Is delicious, buttery, and antimicrobial. The lauric acid in coconut oil nourishes our tissues to create an antimicrobial effect. In this way it is great used in food, body care, and personal products! Coconut oil may be heated although not as high as avocado oil. Its best use is probably in baking applications and especially as a butter substitute. It is also delicious when melted gently and added to some cacao powder, maple syrup and sea salt for a chocolate syrup drizzle. 🙂 You can also use coconut oil in place of lotion and when making homemade beauty products! Lastly, swish coconut oil around in your mouth in place of mouthwash to cleanse your mouth of bacteria! Could it get any easier?
ORGANIC GRASS FED GHEE and BUTTER- Personally I avoid dairy. But if you prefer dairy, these are two options to cook with safely. Ghee especially is suitable for higher heats such as for sauteing. Butter is great for baking and for basting when roasting. Buying grass fed ensures a healthier omega 3 to omega 6 ratio as well as far more vitamins and minerals.
OILS YOU SHOULD NEVER COOK WITH
Besides olive oil, other vegetable oils including sunflower, flax oil, sesame, and safflower should never be heated. And in my opinion canola oil should never be used. In my nutrition course we learned that canola oil has actually shown to cause heart lesions, yikes! Additionally any sort of hydrogenated vegetable oil should never be consumed. Hydrogenation turns a liquid vegetable oil into a solid fat by means of adding metals, blasting with hydrogen under extreme pressure, deodorizing, and bleaching. MMM yummy right? The end product is now a trans fat or in other words free radicals. To nerd out one last time on you, the body has no use for trans fat because what happens is it gets confused about whether it is a saturated fat or unsaturated fat and puts it in all the wrong places, damaging your cell walls and body.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and took something away. If you have any questions or comments drop those below!
Hello friends. I apologize for the delay since my last post, its been a crazy past couple weeks- in a good way! School has started back up for me and we are learning about all sorts of cool topics like analyzing blood work and making herbal formulas based on energetics!
Anyways, I am excited to share with you guys some tips on how to save your sad looking herbs. It happens to all of us- we bring home a large bunch of herbs and only use a portion of it. The rest gets put back in the fridge and becomes limp. Most herbs at this point would have the fate of being thrown out. Maybe it was the way I was raised but I have a really hard time throwing food away…There are so many ways to repurpose and possibly even bring your herbs back to life!
HOW TO REJUVENATE HERBS
Think like you just received a bouquet of flowers. Similar process here, your herbs are thirsty! Water is what gives vegetables their crisp structure by the way.
Cut off a bit of the stems
Place in a glass with a little water in the bottom for the stems to drink from
Cover with a bag and secure with a rubber band for longer term storage or a ziploc type bag
Note, this method does not work as well for woody herbs like rosemary, repurpose instead! (Read on to know how).
Mince the lavender buds if using and the garlic pretty finely.
Add everything to a food processor or small blender. Pulse to get a nice chop on the herbs. You don’t want to completely liquify this but the lavender should be pretty chopped up with the herbs still a bit chunky.
Enjoy however you wish. I love to drape this over my breakfast bowls (as pictured above), add to brown rice or quinoa, as well as salads, with a nice balsamic glaze (stay tuned for next blog post on this). Chimichurri also is magnificent with anything grilled including but not limited to mushrooms, steak, chicken, shrimp. You could also thin this recipe out with more oil and use it as a marinade.
HERBS AND WELLNESS
Not only can herbs add flavor to our food, they are also super nutritious! Bet you didn’t know that in the past, herbs were actually added to meals strategically to help with digestion and other wellness benefits. Parsley, for example, is known as a carminative herb. These aid in digestion and help prevent bloating. Parsley also may help to combat cancer with its antioxidant properties. Some cooking methods may cause oxidation (free radicals) in our foods that can damage our cells so cooking with antioxidant rich herbs helps to neutralize this. Other herbs high in antioxidants are dill, cilantro, basil, and rosemary. Actually it’s pretty safe to assume all herbs have some antioxidant potential all just in different ways. Basil has antimicrobial properties to prevent bacterial growth (against such things like e.coli). Lastly, real quick you should know that rosemary is also said to help with memory; a great addition to your study-time snack students! 🙂
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any kitchen or health questions you’d like to see a post about I’d love to know! Use the form below! Healthy wishes friends!
Onions are my favorite vegetable to cut! It didn’t always used to be this way. Before culinary school I had no idea how to handle an onion. Then in school I learned an advanced way to cut an onion but it involved cutting horizontally and I was always scared to cut myself. After working in the industry I learned an even easier way!
First we need to get a flat side to safely cut the onion and also to remove the peel easier. Hold the onion firmly and cut both ends off. Leave some of the root core in tact so the onion stays together when you cut it- you’ll see in step 3 what I mean. (Cut the dirty roots off but leave that core inside the peel in tact).
Turn the onion on a flat side root side up and cut it in half vertically. Then peel the onion.
Lay the onion with it’s large flat side down and the root part of the onion away from you. Beginning on one side of the onion use the tip part of your knife to begin cutting about 3/4 of the way away from the far end and make a downward motion to cut all the way through the end closest to you (don’t begin the cut completely at the far end because we want the onion to stay intact). See the photo.
Repeat this in the width that you wish your dice to be.
Turn the onion 90 degrees. Begin cutting the onion crosswise. How far apart you make your cuts will depend again on the width of your dice you wish to achieve.
Repeat with the other half of the onion.
And there you have it, diced onion! There will be some odd pieces from the sides of the onion but just roll with it. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy not having to cry about cutting onions anymore. 😉
TIP: For optimal nutrient absorption let your cut onions sit for at least 5-10 minutes. Onions, like garlic, contain beneficial sulfur-containing compounds. Upon cutting and exposing to oxygen these phytonutrients are converted into compounds that promote health! The longer it sits, the more these compounds are converted. Heat deactivates these compounds so the that is why it is best to let them sit as long as possible to build up a fighting a chance of the phytonutrients surviving cooking. Also the finer the cut the better!
Why do Onions make my eyes water? Make it stop!
Onions contain two compounds called allin and allinase. When the onion is whole these compounds are separate but when the onion is cut the cell walls are ruptured allowing these two compounds to combine and form a new compound called thiopropanal sulfoxide. Like discussed above this compound increases the onions’ health promoting properties, but is also responsible for the pungent taste and aroma, as well as making our eyes water when it gets in the air. Some tricks that can help prevent your eyes from watering are cutting near a running vent, open window, or chilling the onion for an hour before cutting it. Running the onion under water will decrease its nutrition.
Nutrition of Onions
Which type of onions are the healthiest? It seems red onions rich in their flavonoid antioxidants that help prevent cancer and heart disease among many other chronic illnesses are the most nutrient dense. Rule of thumb the richer the color of any vegetable the more nutrients. Research supports that onions are beneficial for promoting blood sugar balance, heart health, digestive health, immune health, and preventing inflammation. This is all because onions are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin b6, quercetin, folate, biotin, chromium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, as well as the amino acid tryptophan which is needed for sleep! I found it most interesting that cooking meat with onions helps neutralize some of the free radicals that occur from cooking meat at a high heat. Plus they add such great flavor! It is recommended in the book The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan to consume at least two onions a week following the guidelines above to get the best health benefits! If you want to read more in depth about the nutrition of onions you can go to his website: http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=45
How to Store Onions
Properly stored, onions can last for a month or more. It is most important to make sure they are in a ventilated area and are stored in something such as perforated basket that allows air to circulate underneath. Yellow onions will last longer than white onions because they contain more of those pungent compounds discussed above. DO NOT refrigerate uncut onions. The moisture in the refrigerator will cause spoilage. Make sure they are in a dry and dark place for long term storage. The only exception is green onions, also known as scallions. Those should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag wrapped tightly around them. Also store away from potatoes. They will absorb the potatoes’ moisture and the ethylene gas from potatoes will cause spoilage as it is a ripening compound.
Sometimes we don’t need the whole onion. Cut onions should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container an used within 2 days as the onion will begin to oxidize.
I hope you found this post helpful and healthful!
Resources The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan first edition
Do you submerge your mushrooms in water or spray them off with water? If the answer is yes, I’m here to save you! You see mushrooms are like sponges- their porous nature means they absorb water. To get those perfectly browned sautéed mushrooms, we need to avoid adding water to them in the first place! Also definitely definitely do not use any chemicals to clean your mushrooms. They will absorb that too and we don’t want that. So how should we clean these things? It’s so easy you’re going to laugh, read on!
All you need is a damp paper towel or kitchen rag. Take each mushroom and wipe clean. That’s it! Make sure to only wash mushrooms right before you use them as washing in advance will encourage spoilage and cause the mushrooms to become slimy.
HOW TO SELECT MUSHROOMS
If possible, it is best to buy organic mushrooms to better ensure that the soil these fungi grew in was not full of toxins. It is often best to select packaged mushrooms versus loose as they are usually vacuum sealed. Loose mushrooms will stay fresh for up to five days whereas prepackaged will last 7-10 days before the package is opened. It is also best to buy whole mushrooms and chop them yourself because chopped mushrooms are pretty difficult to clean one and two they retain nutrients and flavor longer whole. Never buy mushrooms that are slimy. Look for plump and clean looking mushrooms.
HOW TO STORE MUSHROOMS
Since crimini mushrooms are most common, we will focus on this type. Crimini mushrooms will stay fresh for up to five days if stored correctly. Mushrooms need room to breath. Therefore it is best to avoid plastic bags and instead store them in paper bags in the refrigerator. Like I said above, do not wash ahead of time.
Research suggests that crimini mushrooms may protect DNA from oxidative damage and therefore cancer. They may especially help prevent breast cancer by preventing circulating levels of the form of estrogen that promotes this cancer. They are packed with antioxidant minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. Selenium is great for thyroid support as well as binding to toxins like mercury. Crimini mushrooms are also a great source of b vitamins which are necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and lipids. These means they help the body make and use energy! Crimini mushrooms are dense with the amino acid tryptophan which is necessary for healthy sleep. Lastly they are a great source of fiber and 5oz of raw crimini mushrooms only contain 31 calories making them a great food for healthy weight control/loss. You might want to add some more mushrooms into your life! Check out this easy recipe below!
MUSHROOM STOCK FOR UMAMI FLAVOR
1c mushroom stems
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole thyme leaves (optional)
parsley stems (optional)
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1/2c onion peels/scraps
6 c filtered water
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for about an hour or so. Keep an eye on it. Taste and if it seems infused enough strain and add salt to taste. Use as you desire!
Some ideas might be to make risotto, to cook rice and other grains, for sauces, soup, stews, or braised recipes.
I hope you found this post helpful and practical! Healthy wishes!
Mashed potatoes are a great comfort food right? What if you could have the same mashed potato dreaminess with a much more interesting flavor and less of a blood sugar spike? Oh wait, you can! In this post I am going to give you two ways to hack your mashed potato game!
Wash well one turnip. Without peeling, cut into one inch cubes. Place in a medium pot and add the salt and coconut milk. Cover with water and bring to a boil.*
Once boiling, cover and simmer until very fork tender.
Strain reserving the liquid. Transfer the turnips to a blender or food processor (preferably glass) and start pureeing. Add a little reserved liquid as needed to get a nice mash. Reserve the rest for a wonderful sauce or soup! Enjoy with your favorite sauce and toppings!
Turnips taste similar to potatoes but with a little extra zing! Yum! I served this with a coconut milk, lemon, and fennel based sauce which I steamed dandelion greens in. These are very good for detoxing the liver and digestion but you could use any greens. I’d suggest collards, chard, or spinach!
*You want to bring everything to a boil all at once, otherwise the outsides of the turnips will become overcooked while the inside remains raw. This goes for any vegetable mash, even potatoes!
Peel the celeriac with a paring knife or veggie peeler then cut into one inch cubes. Place in a medium pot and add the salt and coconut milk. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and simmer until very fork tender.
Strain reserving the liquid. Transfer the celeriac to a blender or food processor (preferably glass) and start pureeing. Add a little reserved liquid as needed to get a nice mash. Enjoy with your favorite sauce and toppings!
Pictured above is a chickpea shakshuka. It’s a spicy tomato based sauce originating in Israel with lots of delicious herbs. If you would like this recipe or the sauce recipe used for the turnip mash please message me by clicking here or via instagram or facebook!
On that note, if you make these recipes, I’d love to see your work! Tag me on instagram or facebook @chefabbalina!
I hope you find these recipes fun and easy!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn by qualifying purchases. With that said, as a holistic wellness centered company, all the links provided are products we use ourselves and are posted with our reader’s health and wellbeing in mind. Many of the links are to give readers an idea of what to look for. Of course if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.
When I was in gradeschool, often I had cup of noodles in my lunch- they were great! But then I got older and realized the ingredients weren’t so great. I haven’t had ramen like that in a very long time but I was delighted when I came across the idea to meal prep my own in a nutritious way!
Now the key to making a great ramen jar of your own is creativity. There is no strict recipe here so you’re going to have to get creative with me friend! Are you ready for this? Lets go!
STEP 1: GATHER JARS
I just used good old mason jars and also some old peanut butter jars that I saved. You just need something with a tight screwing lid
carrot ribbons (cook faster, use a veggie peeler to make)
cilantro, a lot
mint, a lot
mushrooms (add a lot of flavor)
pineapple ( I used frozen for less mess)
Other ideas for you:
fresh minced ginger, adds great flavor
minced lemongrass, adds great flavor (skip if using red curry paste)
thai basil, a lot
ramen noodles, cooked al dente
bok choy, chopped, cooked or raw
bell peppers, sliced or diced, cooked or raw
protein of some sort like pork belly, chicken, tempeh, boiled egg, or chickpeas
I could go on on and on but there’s some ideas.
So place the ingredients in your jars that don’t need cooked (like fresh herbs, the garlic granules, greens, bamboo, and frozen veggies). Then cook the ingredients that need cooked and add those to the jars. To save time fill each jar with the same ingredient all at one time then move on to the next ingredient.
TIME SAVING HACKS:
Frozen veggies: they are already prepped and blanched for you. You could even use a stir fry blend. I threw mine straight in the jar, they defrosted, and it worked out great. Otherwise you will need to cook what needs cooked. (onions, mushrooms (or you could leave raw), protein, peppers, etc). You can also used canned to save time. You will also want to cook whatever noodles you are using almost until they’re done (al dente).
Kelp noodles don’t need cooked! They are made from kelp which is a seaweed (so great for iodine content and gluten free) and only need rinsed and cut before use. Don’t worry they don’t taste like seaweed, they don’t really taste like anything actually
Carrot ribbons, they take about zero time to cook, you could probably just add them to the jar raw actually
This is going to be the fun part. Since I am on the elimination diet, I’ve had to stay away from soy and peppers, a big bummer so I was a little limited as to what I could try out.
The key here is flavor because you will just be adding water which has no flavor. Herbs from above are really key here too, use a lot! I also found the addition of pineapple adds a nice sweetness. Here are some other ideas:
tamari (omit himalayan salt if you use), start with a couple tablespoons
fish sauce, just a splash, omit himalayan salt if you use
pho spices like cinnamon, star anise, clove
red pepper flakes, just a pinch- would definitely recommend
peanut butter or tahini
soup base ( I stayed away from this because I don’t like the processed junk in most of these but feel free to use to give a more brothy taste. Lol I don’t think that’s a word.)
Once you figure out what suits you, add that to the jars. I don’t have measurements because it depend on what size jar you are using. I would say for a pint size start with about a teaspoon of seasonings and a tablespoon of pastes. Set in the fridge until ready to eat! I added my seasoning one day at a time and adjusted each day based on what I liked. Try out a few different flavors!
STEP 4: ADD HOT WATER AND DEVOUR
Heat up water to boiling and add. Stir up making sure the coconut oil melts and all the flavors meld. Enjoy!!
If you make this I’d love to see it! Tag me on instagram or facebook @chefabbalina 🙂
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn by qualifying purchases. With that said, as a holistic wellness centered company, all the links provided are products we use ourselves and are posted with our reader’s health and wellbeing in mind. Many of the links are to give readers an idea of what to look for. Of course if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.
food bought at the store in plastic containers and water bottles
microwaving and heating in plastic
non-organic food- especially the dirty dozen
When did living simple become so hard? It seems like every day another known carcinogen or hormone-interrupting ingredient is brought to my mind. The more I know the more I am driven to reduce my waste but more importantly I’m concerned about the toxic load my body is exposed to on a daily basis. These are toxins that are affecting our hormones and every part of our bodies.
The truth about hormones is tragic and lovely because hormones are responsible for how we look, feel, and think. For example, they tell us we’re hungry (leptin), happy (serotonin), sad, drive glucose into our cells for energy (insulin), help us respond to stress (all stress including sickness and injuries-cortisol, epinephrine, etc), not to mention the sex hormones that give us our figures, skin, and make reproduction possible. Unfortunately our environments and daily routines are hindering these hormones from operating correctly. No wonder almost every girl I know is on birth control pills for acne or period problems, accutane is more than common, my brother has to inject hormones to manage his diabetes, my mom is on thyroid medications, we obsess over what foods we can and can’t digest, and so many people are taking medications to manage stress. Right? When one hormone is out of balance, all hormones are out and so are many other bodily processes because the body has to work as a SYSTEM.
Do you see why I said the hormone story is tragic and lovely now? Because hormone levels will literally make or break your life. Imagine a clear focused mind, your ideal weight, beautiful hair and skin, a stable mood, energy like no other, and perfect sleep. I don’t know about you but I’m not there.
I often need my daily coffee, whether it be to wake up or to help move things out of my system, I’ve had problems sleeping ever since I can remember, I have an irregular period, I get headaches, and often can’t focus. That’s why I was so happy to pick up a new book to get some of this straightened out…..
The book is called “Cooking for Hormone Balance” by Magdalena Wszelaki. I have a hard time reading real books so a book full of practical information and recipes to apply that is my kind of book. She also has a great website you can check out for great resources and tips: https://hormonesbalance.com/
What exactly is putting all these hormones out of balance might you ask? Magdalena Wszelaki in her book lists:
birth control pills, hormones, and antibiotics
toxins in skin care and house-cleaning products
chronic stress and lack of self-care
lack of sleep
Let go through these:
Toxic pesticides and even toxins and components naturally occurring in food are harmful to our organs and hormones. Two quick things to do to help out your hormones and body are avoid pesticides, antibiotics and chemicals directly added to food and through processing or packaging. How to do that:
Start buying organic– I know it can be expensive but there’s ways to get around it because it really IS important. You can buy more in season and buy cheaper fruits and vegetables like bananas, celery, potatoes, coconut, frozen berries, and kale.
Buy local (this is even better as organic crops can still contain organic pesticides that are carcinogens and you have no way of knowing what is on your food)
Grow your own food. It is so easy to grow spinach and other salad greens as well as herbs, and even peppers. You don’t need a full garden, reuse jars your food came in or grab some small pots!
Buy grass fed meat. Fun fact, animals are fed gmo-corn and soy as their main food and these are foods that encourage bacteria growth like e.coli especially in the nasty conditions of mass farms. That’s one reason why they are shot up with antibiotics. Did you know if cows were finished on grass for even five days, five days! it would kill 80% of e.coli? For a good movie you can watch Food Inc on Netflix to see how foods are processed farm to factory to the store in America.
Imagine exactly how the ingredient made it into the food. If you don’t know how an ingredient even came about, maybe avoid it until you do. PS natural flavors aren’t really natural at all. They originated from something natural like citrus or cinnamon bark but as consumers we have no idea how they were extracted. Needless to say these are made in a lab with chemicals that we have no knowledge of.
Consider the packaging and how you are preparing food. Cans and plastic can contain BPA which is a known hormone disruptor and carcinogen and metals and products from China often contain lead. Every time something is heated, whatever that food is in is leaching into your food, that’s just what happens. Avoiding non-stick cookware, plastic, and aluminum is all a great place to start. Drink out of glass and ceramic when possible and use when reheating food. Is your morning coffee mug or water bottle plastic? Do you put hot leftover into plastic containers or heat them in the microwave? Do you use plastic spatulas to cook with? These are all areas to think about making some swaps! I started using all glass for baking and found out that it is actually quite non-stick not even requiring much oil!
I know this is all overwhelming. ITS OK! I say with anything we all just do the best we can with what we have and what we know! So don’t go getting your cortisol levels out of balance on me!;) Start somewhere: I started with just buying the dirty dozen organic, maybe that’s a great start for you! The dirty dozen contain the most pesticides and are:
The clean 15 list is as follows. You can visit the EWG site here. These are the safer fruits and veggies to purchase non-organic and wash really well!
sweet corn- although I disagree. Most corn is genetically modified (this is probably why its on the clean 15 because its been genetically modified to not need as many pesticides) so it should always be purchased organic.
papaya- another one that is often gmo so be careful
frozen sweet peas
Hormones and antibiotics in the form of pills
Many of us are diagnosed with some sort of hormonal imbalance and just given a pill. For example, birth control pills or thyroid medicine. This may hurt as much as it may help because as Msyzelaki explains pills like birth control pills actually cause imbalance of important vitamins and minerals and affect the microbiome (all the little bacteria guys in the gut that synthesize vitamins and run our immune system). Over time, exposure to synthetic hormones can also cause cancers associated with sex hormones like breast cancer. So this is a big deal. Not to mention a pill is often just a bandaid affect. It’s important to get to the root cause of what the imbalance is and where it could be coming from because otherwise the imbalance will just keep occurring and you will just keep band-aiding it. Does that make sense?..like a wound that never heals. This is going to be a journey, not a quick fix. It might be worth working with a nutritionist and/or naturopath or doing some muscle testing to find foods and environmental factors that don’t agree with you and where you are deficient. You could also work with your regular doctor and a health coach if you’re wanting more consistent support. Obtaining necessary nutrients from foods and supplements to support our hormones is absolutely necessary. One example is I started eating just a few brazil nuts every day because they are high in selenium which enables the thyroid to function. Each nut contains somewhere around 70mcg!! Like what?! I also use Himalayan pink salt only because it contains many many trace minerals in a natural balance from the earth instead of iodized table salt which only contains sodium and chloride created in a lab. A great resource for easy to understand nutrition information is the book The World’s Healthiest Foods. It literally goes through each vegetable, where to source it from, how to store, how to cook for optimal nutrient absorption, in addition to talking about all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need and how to get them plus more. You can also visit the author’s website: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php and type in anything you’re interested in.
Toxins in Skin care, cleaning products, and other things like:
shampoo and conditioner
detergent and laundry softener
face wash and lotion
soap and perfume
phone cases (BPA)
Unfortunately body care and cleaning products contain a lot of synthetic fragrances and ingredients that contain xenoestrogens and other carcinogenic chemicals. Did you know that there are actually multiple types of estrogen? When we talk about xenoestrogens, we’re referring to the fact that these products mimic one of those types of estrogen and throw out of balance the other types of estrogen which escalades and throws the other hormones in your body out of balance (BPA is an example). I never thought that it mattered so much what I was putting on my skin, I thought it was far more important to pay attention to what I was putting inside my body. I was wrong, these chemicals are absorbed just as much if not more through the skin and must be filtered by the liver too. The skin is our largest organ after all! They can throw off the gut microbiome which again affects your metabolic, cardiovascular, autoimmune system, and neurological systems. That’s a lot of systems! Here’s a list of things to look out for:
Parabens (synthetic preservatives)
Phthalates (makes products smell nice)
Triclosan (an antibacterial agent)
Aluminum (makes deoderants more effective)
Sodium Lauryl/laureth (foaming agent that is completely unnecessary)
Formaldehyde (bonding agent)
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs- used in nonstick cookware)
Bleach (ps this can also exasperate asthma and lung funtion)
To get you started though here’s some swaps I’ve made:
sweet almond oil infused with rose- literally fill up half a bottle with dried rose petals or hips or whatever herb you want (many bulk herbs are very cheap at natural grocers or in bulk bins at natural grocery stores, make sure to grab organic though) and then pour oil over it. Allow to infuse for 6 weeks (if you’re impatient like me you just use it whilst infusing haha). I chose rose because it is tightening and toning but different herbs have different properties. To use spray your face with water then rub the oil in. Easy peasy!
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Facial Serum- this is alcohol free and amazing for my face! Alcohol destroys the elasticity of skin over time and it’s in literally every lotion and a lot of body care products! I buy this again at Natural Grocers but I think it’s pretty widely available in health stores and online.
Soap bars from farmers markets or Natural Grocers. These cut down on packaging waste and at farmers markets you can have a conversation about what is in the soap
Castile soap diluted with water in a foaming soap dispenser. This is a natural non-drying way to wash your hands and body.
Norwex face and body cloths in place of body wash, shaving cream, and face wash. Just use water and it pulls 99.9% of bacteria off the skin!
White vinegar in the washer instead of fabric softener or use a filler free laundry detergent, like Norwex, that doesn’t leave residue in your clothes causing them to become stiff and need softener.
Pretty Frank deodorant- It’s a little more expensive but the best I’ve found so far and affordable as far as natural deodorants go. Natural deodorants are hard because they often don’t really do the job or cause skin irritation. I’ve tried COUNTLESS deodorants and so far this is the one for me. You can always use the Think Dirty app to find a good one at your local health food store. I buy the Pretty Frank deodorant from Natural Grocers but I see they also have it online.
1/2 white vinegar 1/2 water to wash produce- just put in a spray bottle or soak veggies in a bowl. let sit 10-20 minutes then rinse. Use for all veggies and fruit except mushrooms as they will absorb it!
Norwex microfiber towels to sanitize everything including my bathroom, kitchen, and yoga mat. They contain silver which holds the bacteria in the towel instead of spreading it around so I don’t have to use chemicals to sanitize-just water and for peace of mind sometimes some vinegar and/or tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is antibacterial plus I love the smell. I’ve also heard the face towels are great for washing your face without soap. PLUS this saves me money! 🙂
coconut oil pulling in place of mouthwash. It’s simple, swish around about 1/2 -1 T of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Spit in the trash to avoid clogging drains overtime. Coconut oil is antibacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and is amazing!
Essential oil diffusers or beeswax candles scented with essential oils in place of candles.
Chronic stress and lack of sleep:
Stress is something we all deal with and it is normal. The body has processes set in place to handle stress and in fact it doesn’t even distinguish between different stress. Where stress becomes dangerous is when it becomes continual. The process goes like this: Alarm (your brain receives the stress), Resistance (your body utilizes cortisol and other hormones to deal with the stress), Recovery (your body recovers from the stress and homeostasis is restored). Long-term stress occurs when the resistance stage is extended and you don’t recover from stress. Your body starts ignoring the high amounts of cortisol (fight or flight hormone) and this hormone keeps circulating in your body. Maybe for you this means you don’t sleep- that’s what happens for me. I don’t have an answer to combat stress but I do know that we could all benefit from reminding ourselves to be present and re-centering through perspective. I wish I did yoga every day or could take a long bubble bath- but that just doesn’t happen. One practice I do every day is I pray. If that’s not your jam another thing I do is simply thinking about the universe and something bigger than me like the stars or all the cells that make up everything on earth from soil to plants which we eat, to us, then back to the soil when we die or lose a strand of hair, etc. Right now, think of a time when you were awestruck. Do you remember what you felt in that moment? Didn’t you feel a release? There’s something magical and peaceful about re-centering ourselves and rescaling our problems to size. 🙂 Awe has that effect on us, so try cultivating that. And BREATHE- like actually fill your body with all the air you can get, I like putting my hand on my tummy to feel it happening, and then empty your body. This shifts you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic aka your body’s stress management mechanism. That’s just science folks! As far as sleep goes, I continue to have sleep problems but I used to go to bed at 12am or 1 every night. It came down to just creating the boundary that bedtime was 10 no later than 11. I also started eating dinner earlier and found that to help me get to bed sooner. Grounding and having a bedtime ritual can help too.
The last piece that affects hormones is genetics. Maybe you have a history of thyroid issues in your family or you are predisposed to have a sluggish liver. This is real, but this is not your destiny. You see all the concepts discussed in this post up until this point have an affect on whether these genes are turned on or not. Some deep investigation into what you can change in your routine is worth it and getting to the root cause of your body’s needs are where we need to start.
I know this information is all so so overwhelming, I get it, I’m there right now. I feel like I’m just afraid of the world and I can’t trust anyone or anything. Like I said, we all just do the best that we can with what we have and what we know. Just think about how much you are benefitting yourself by gaining this awareness! Start by making small swaps perhaps like the ones I suggested in this post. If you are really concerned see a doctor for tests. Magdalena Wszelaki recommends saliva and urine tests for hormones instead of just blood tests because your blood maintains constant levels to be able to keep the body running and you alive. So a blood levels of hormones and nutrients etc may misrepresent results of hormone and nutrient levels in your body. I’ve never done it so I can’t speak from experience. Talk to a naturopathic doctor, holistic nutritionist, or whoever you see for health care and they may be able to explain best. BUT realize that this is a journey and you know yourself better than anyone else- it will just some tuning in.:)
I’m so glad you took the time to read this detailed post! I could write for hours! If you would like to connect with me for more information, suggestions, questions, or just to make a friend, I would seriously love it!! Below is my contact info or you can visit my contact page to send me a message!
Disclaimer: These statements are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure. I am not a licensed nutritionist or medical doctor. This post does contain affiliate links. As a norwex consultant all products provided are products I have used myself and and are posted with my readers’ health and wellbeing in mind. Of course if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.
After interviewing my mom I found out that she used to pick them up from the old Arctic Circle. My mom being my mom took things into her own hands to make it for us at home as kids. I also have memories of dad blending a batch up and forgetting to take out the spoon before he pushed blend. We had to watch for wood in that batch haha. Good times…
Now that I am plant forward I make my own vegan ice cream because it is so simple and fun! Seriously-no eggs and no making a custard over the stove. The ice cream base comes together in about 5 minutes! I also found some really delicious organic candy canes (still junk food) but free of artificial color, flavors, and weird ingredients. They’re actually colored with fruits and vegetables!
For the Candy Cane Milkshake
You will need:
About 2 cups of Vanilla Vegan Ice Cream (see recipe below or use store-bought)
Blend all ingredients in a high power blender. Enjoy with more crushed candy cane on top if you desire.
Makes 2 small servings or one big serving
5 Ingredient Vanilla Vegan Ice Cream
2c full fat coconut milk
1/4c pure maple syrup
2 tsp or more of pure vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
Place the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer. Check the instructions with your ice cream maker to see how long it needs to freeze for, I tend to just keep mine in the freezer at all times because it does take some time, possibly up to 24 hours even!
In a glass food storage container whisk all ingredients together, taste and adjust sweetness and vanilla to your preference. Cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or better overnight to allow the flavors to meld and the mixture to chill (you want the ice cream base cold so it doesn’t thaw the ice cream machine bowl while you are churning because that would kind of defeat the purpose haha).
Assemble the ice cream machine with the pre-frozen bowl, paddle and lid in place. Turn it on and pour in your chilled ice cream base through the opening in the top. Allow it to churn for about 25-30 minutes or until the consistency is smooth but frozen. Don’t over churn because the ice cream will take on too much air and lose its smoothness but you don’t want it runny by any means. I just take a spoon and check if it will hold a thick composure as ice cream should, you’ll know. Store in a freezer safe container.
When ready to use, take out about 20 minutes beforehand to thaw otherwise it will be hard as a rock and impossible to scoop!