#healthy

I often wonder…

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Photography by. Bernadette Mira

I often wonder how people discover their “true calling”. Reading through Julia Child’s Life in Paris is fascinating and leaves me the question of how will I know what I would like to do as a career?  I mean Julia was in her late 30s if I remember correctly until she found her calling. Well, began to experiment with the idea of cooking. Perhaps, I am too picky when it comes to these things but I don’t want to be stuck doing something that I  don’t enjoy for years to appease others. I did that once, and I’m not going back there again (fingers crossed)!

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So, here I am. Spending most of the days carving out a schedule that wont leave me completely exhausted but filling it out with enough projects to leave me feeling productive. I have been playing with the idea of creating my own career, because being a young black woman in these times and let’s be honest ANY time, I have to create something meaningful for myself. I have learned through all the job interviews that no matter how talented I am that no one is going to give me the job I would ideally want because I am black. I am plunging in head first and fully going into the deep waters to discover myself.

I honestly have nothing to lose at this point. At the brink of living a world where everything seems to fall apart literally every week, I need to make the most of it while I can.

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Roasted Carrots and Potatoes with Hummus 

Serves 4

Ingredients 

Hummus

1 can of drained chickpeas 

1/4 cup of Tahini 

1/2 tsp. of paprika 

1/2 tsp. of cumin

1/2 tsp. of oregano 

1/8 tsp. of sea salt 

1/8 tsp. of black pepper

1/8 tsp. of lemon zest

juice from half of a lemon 

4 to 6 tbsp. of olive oil

extra oil for drizzling

Roasted vegetables 

4 to 5 medium size carrots 

1 medium size russet potato cut into half moons 

sea salt and pepper to season 

1 to 2 tbsp. of olive oil to coa

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F having a rack directly in the middle.

2. While the oven is preheating, throughly wash the vegetables and pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Then cut the stems/greens off the carrots and cut the potato into half moon shapes (diagonally).

4. Add parchment paper to the baking tray and add the vegetables to the tray while fully coating them in olive oil. Then season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Roast the vegetables to 30 to 45 minutes or until tender to the touch. Then let rest for five minutes and serve with hummus.

6. Prepare the hummus in a food processor. Add all the ingredients one by one and season to taste. Serve in a big bowl for easy reaching and sharing.

Note: If the hummus is too thick or dry, add water or olive oil 1 tsp. at a time until desired texture.

Enjoy…or as Julia would say, Bon appetite!

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Curry Chickpea Pita Sandwich

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Photography by. Craig McDean(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Model: Gal Gadot

I never quite know how my weeks are ever going to be. When Sunday rolls around I try to set all these expectations. I’m going to wake up at 8:20 a.m. and make it to every 9:00 a.m. morning kickboxing class Monday through Friday then hit it hard on studying languages French and Japanese and make sure I get at least two recipes done this week for my blog! This past week didn’t go that way.

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I noticed myself falling. That deep, dark hole that I’m all to familiar with started to creep in the second I woke up on Monday morning. “Hello, my unwanted friend. Oh? What’s that you say? I’m not good enough? I will never accomplish anything or discover who I am as person?…Oh…that’s…great.” This conversation was never-ending till late this past Friday.

Ever since I realized that Musical Theatre was not the path for me, that it was more of a dream and desire of my adoptive parents, I realized that I was trying for years to please them and not myself. Going to theatre school, sitting out in the cold waiting for hours to MAYBE be seen for an audition, dealing with the numerous toxic people in the industry…it was exhausting and it definitely wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. So, now that I’m off that path and separated from my adoptive family, I don’t know who I am. I have to start over completely.

Maybe I’m just complaining and maybe nothing is truly wrong with not knowing what you want to do with your life, but it honestly bothers me. I THINK I like cooking and I THINK I enjoy taking photos, but am I actually doing it for myself or for others again?

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Curry Chickpea Pita Sandwich

Serves 2-3

Ingredients 

1 can of drained chickpeas (or dried that have been cooked)

Half of a yellow onion finely diced

Sea Salt 

Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. of ground garlic

1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika 

1/2 tsp. of curry powder

1/4 tsp. of turmeric 

1 tsp. of Tahini 

Yogurt sauce:

1/4 cup of plain yogurt 

4 big garlic cloves minced

Half of a cucumber finely diced 

1 Squeeze of half of a lemon juice (about a 1 tsp)

Toppings and Extras:

2-3 Toasted pita pockets

1/8 cup of chopped cashews 

1 small handful of diced grape tomatoes 

1 small handful of arugula 

2 hard-boiled eggs (make the night before)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. While the oven is preheating, make your yogurt sauce. Add the yogurt, minced garlic and cucumber and mix well together. Then add the squeeze of lemon juice. Be sure to only add a squeeze or two, about 1 tsp. (You don’t want the mixture to be too runny.) Then once the mixture is mixed well together set it in the fridge to rest.
  3. Then chop and prepare the toppings. Cashews, grape tomatoes, and washed arugula then set aside.
  4. By this time the oven should be done preheating and if not, continue to chop the half of the yellow onion for the chickpea mixture.
  5. Once the oven is heated add the pita pockets and toast them until warm.
  6. Then in a large pan on medium heat add 1 tsp. of olive oil. Once heated add the chickpeas, onions and spices and mix well together. Once the mixture is combined turn off the heat and then add 1 tsp. of tahini and mix again till combined. Move the pan off the heat and start serving.

I serve my pita pockets by cutting them with a scissors. I cut half of the top off the pita so it creates easy access to fill it in with the chickpeas and toppings. I did mine as followed, chickpeas, arugula, tomatoes, cashews, more chickpeas then yogurt sauce. Then I had the hard-boiled eggs on the side. Feel free to add the eggs into the pita pocket. Enjoy and happy eating!

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Photos by. Bernadette Mira

Purple and Sweet Potato Egg Hash

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Photography by. Unknown(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Model: Daphne Selfe

This particular image kept on coming back to me for some reason. It struck me, because (obviously) the woman who is modeling in the picture looked significantly older (NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT ALL) than the pictures I normally post on here. I thought to myself, “Damn! This woman is rocking this suit!” I was curious and I wanted to find out more about this power house of a woman.

‘Daphne Selfe’ immediately popped up as soon as I copied the image into the Google search bar. I’d never heard of her before, but I continued to see words appear like ‘Oldest’, ‘Professional’, ‘Beautiful’, the list went on and on.  She has been modeling since 1949, which if I do the math correctly is 68 years…is that right?! That’s insane! Which, honestly, makes sense since she is the World’s Oldest Professional Model.

Her resume of work impressed me. I’m not going to sit here and write everything down about her and her accomplishments, but take a moment and just sit with yourself for a while. Women are amazing right?! I feel like it’s easy for women to forget how impressive and how impactful we have been to this place we call Earth. Even if we feel like we have zero importance in this world, we certainly do and we can certainly accomplish ANYTHING that we want to.

So, ladies and gents, take a moment and realize how special we’re as humans. I know this is turning into some type of ramble, but I think it’s important that we take those moments when we have time to and give ourselves a pat on our backs. We can do anything we set our minds to. If someone can work their butt off till their 87, then anyone can!

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Purple and Sweet Potato Egg Hash

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1-2 small purple potatoes

1 small sweet potato

1-2 eggs

2 tbsp. of olive oil 

sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper

1 tsp. of garlic powder

1/2 tsp. of white pepper 

Extra:

Cast Iron Skillet

Spatula 

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Directions:

  1. Cut the potatoes in small cubes and toss in the cast iron skillet on medium heat with olive oil.
  2. Then add the following seasonings. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic, and white pepper.
  3. Sautee the potatoes for 6 minutes. Then crack the eggs and add them to the cast iron skillet with the potatoes creating a circle around them. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook/Sautee for another 3-4 minutes. Once the sides of the eggs start to turn a crispy brown, take the cast iron off the heat and serve at once.
  5. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack!

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Photos by. Bernadette Mira

Blueberry Protein Blaster

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Photography by. Mario Testino and styled by Lucinda Chambers(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Model: Cara Delevingne

Normally I don’t use this page to moan, but I’m sorry I must.  If you don’t enjoy reading ‘bitchy’ posts that are along the line of being pointless, please feel free to scroll on down to the recipe.

This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The first thing I do before I get up is that I check my phone, you know, what most people do nowadays. I was kindly informed that the letter I posted in the apartment building that I live in, that I was wrong for doing that.  For a little back story, it’s been a year since someone has come to clean the building. Normally it was done on a regular basis. You know, IF the board of the building is paying some one for those types of things, then they should be arriving to do so. But of course any fuckhead could say, “Well, no one will know the difference if I don’t show up and clean, so why should I show up?” It’s been like this for the past year and it has been infuriating to say the least. I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) and have been cleaning the building on and off.

Now, I have to talk to someone because SOMEBODY told on me for posting the kind letter that was along the lines of, “Please keep the area clean when you can, because no one has been arriving to clean the building.”

This isn’t important, but to be honest it put a damper on my day. I decided to roll along with the punches and create the recipe I planned for today anyway. I’ll be sure to get all this frustration out tonight once I head to kickboxing. There’s nothing like kicking the shit out of a punching bag.

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Blueberry Protein Blaster

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 cup of frozen blueberries

2/3 cup of blackberries

1-2 kiwis chopped fine

4 tbsp. of vanilla protein powder

4 blueberry ice cubes (add two-three blueberries to water and freeze overnight in ice-cube tray)

1 cup of water or coconut water

Extra:

Raw Coconut to serve smoothie in

Blender

Straws 

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend the shit out of it. (You really want the mixture to be super creamy.)
  2. Add the protein smoothie mixture to a cup, bowl or even a raw coconut.

Enjoy after a hard workout!

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Photos by. Bernadette Mira

Tropical Swirl Smoothie Bowl

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Photography by. Nick Hudson(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Model: Ajak Deng

While I sit here listening to Pandora on the African Radio station, I can’t help but wish that I could travel to a different land. I think that’s what I enjoy most about cooking/baking and learning new techniques from different cultures. I can automatically transport myself to a different place by trying to recreate a dish from somewhere far off.

Today was my day off, so I opted for something simple and refreshing before I take on the evening at kickboxing class tonight. I wanted to add a squeeze of lime to the dish, because the sad, shriveled lime that was left in the back of the fridge was calling to be used. This dish may transport you from cold, slushy, snowy NYC to a tropical island. Where you can hear howler monkeys off in the distance and then watch the sun slowly fade behind the ocean range.

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Tropical Swirl Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

Ingredients

Bottom part

2 ripe bananas

1/3 cup of Greek yogurt(optional)

1 juice from half of a lime

3-4 ice cubes

1/3-1/2 cup of coconut water

Top Part

5-6 Frozen strawberries

3 ice cubes

1/3 cup of chopped frozen pineapple

1/3-1/2 cup of coconut water

Toppings

Chia Seeds

Grated Milk Chocolate 

Directions:

  1. Gather your ingredients and blend the bottom layer first in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the bottom layer first to your bowl of your choosing. Then blend together the top layer till smooth.
  3. Once the top layer is smooth, add it to the bottom layer and swirl together.
  4. Add toppings of your choosing. I used chia seeds for protein and milk chocolate by Nathan Miller.

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira

Colorful Spring Rolls

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Photography by. Morelli Brothers(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Whenever I feel a lack of inspiration, I always turn to colorful fashion photos. I’m not sure why honestly. Trying to combined food along with fashion photos to create a recipe can sometimes be a nightmare when the photo is SCREAMING colors!! BUT I find it helpful. It gets me out of the box that I’m comfortable with. It’s easy to create a dish that has the colors, reds, browns, greens and yellows, because let’s be real that’s what most of the food we consume on a daily basis looks like. When I push myself out of that zone, I am able to create dishes without feeling like it needs to look EXACTLY like the photo I’m comparing it to.

So, today’s inspiration features the Morelli Brother’s photography. I was instantly drawn to the scene and the vibrant colors of this photo. Seeing the other people in the background behind the women, just adds to it. It says, “Wow, look at these two confident, colorful, fashionable ladies!” I couldn’t help but think, “Man…I REALLY want that dress!”

Without much more talk, here is today’s recipe! Enjoy!

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Colorful Spring Rolls with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Serves 3

Ingredients

1 carrot peeled and julienned

1 handful of thinly diced cilantro 

half of a small purple cabbage thinly sliced

half of cucumber julienned

Spring roll wrappers 

Cooked baby shrimp (optional)

Extra: 

Pot filled half way with warm water

Large Plate

Spicy Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

3 tbsp. of Soy Sauce

3-4 garlic cloves minced

1 tbsp. of Hoisin Sauce

1-2 tbsp. of Chili Sauce 

1 tbsp. of thinly sliced cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare day of or day before. Thinly slice carrot, cilantro, cabbage, and cucumber. Then set aside in an empty bowl. (If you’re adding shrimp, cook ahead of time. Follow directions on bag and set aside till ready to use.)
  2. Then prepare the spicy garlic sauce. In a small bowl add all the ingredients (including the thinly chopped garlic and cilantro) Then mix all together and set aside.
  3. Prepare a medium size pot of warm water. Be careful to only heat it to about medium heat or you might burn your hands if it’s too hot.
  4. Once the water is warm, bring the large plate onto the next burner beside the warm water. Add one spring roll wrapper at a time. Leave the wrapper in the warm water for about five seconds, then gently add it to the empty plate.
  5. From there you can add the veggies and optional shrimp. (I find it helpful to add most of the ingredients in the middle of the spring roll wrapper, then roll it from there. Try not to fill it up to much or you’ll have difficultly rolling it up.)
  6. Then repeat the process to make more spring rolls.
  7. Once finished, enjoy with friends and the added spicy garlic sauce.

 

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Photos by. Bernadette Mira

White and Purple Bean Salad with Rosie

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Photography by. Russell James(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Today’s inspiration is the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  The first time I saw or honestly, even heard of Rosie, was through watching Mad Max Fury Road.  I remember her role distinctly, because I was very upset to see her character go in the film, but her exit was memorable .  Rosie obviously not only acts, but models too.  She is most known for her role as being one of the faces of the Victoria Secret’s Angels.  With her talents combined with the extremely talented Russell James, the photo above inspired me to create a dish that would  resemble the striking, Gucci purple gown.

  The colors within the dish not only amused my eyes, but it reminded me of the days when I was little.  I  remember wondering out into the backyard where I grew up when spring and summer rolled around.  I would scout out tasty treats to eat like berries and nuts.  My favorite treat of all was the honeysuckle bushes.  The taste from the honeysuckles is the exact same sweetness in the dish that I am about to share today.  So, without further adieu, here is today’s recipe…

White and Purple Bean Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 can of cannellini beans 

1 head of broccoli 

half of a small purple cabbage finely diced

1 tsp. of coriander 

1 tsp. of olive oil

squeeze of lemon juice

1/2 tsp. of sea salt

2 tbsp. of agave nectar 

dash of black pepper (to taste)

Toppings

4 tbsp. of tahini (optional)

diced purple onions (optional)

crumbled goat cheese

slivered almonds 

Extra

Large Bowl

Tongs (to mix)

Directions:

  1. Wash one can of cannellini beans and drain until dry.
  2. Then combine finely dice purple cabbage and broccoli with the beans in a large bowl.
  3. Then with tongs, mix in the rest of ingredients and combine together.
  4. Enjoy with crumbled goat cheese and slivered almonds on top OR optional tahini for dressing.

Happy Eating!!

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira