#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

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

Green Super Charge Juice with Pooja Mor

Green Drink

Photography by. Patrick Demarchelier(Left) and Bernadette Mira(Right)

Today’s inspiration is Pooja Mor. Now living in New York, she is one Indian model that is breaking the headlines of fashion and showing a new type of woman. She has been seen in Italian Vogue and Indian Vogue. I was very captivated by Patrick’s Photo of Pooja Mor. He captured the texture and swirls that are in the green tie dyed dress so beautifully. It inspired me to create a green juice that would boost any New Yorker’s day.

Living in New York, time gets away with you and sometimes you need that extra charge to start your day. Today’s recipe will wake you up and give you a boost of energy to keep you going in the crazy fast lane that is New York. I hope you enjoy!

Super Green Juice

Makes 2 full glasses

Ingredients

4 Dinosaur Kale Leafs (including stems)

4 Celery stalks finely chopped (including stems)

2 pitted Dates finely chopped

1 green apple diced

half of a ripe mango 

1 tsp. of Matcha green powder

1 tsp. of grated fresh ginger

1 glass of cold water

splash of lime juice 

Extra-

High speed blender or Juicer

Cheese cloth folded over twice

A large bowl to gather juice 

Toppings-

Chopped dates

Directions:

  1. Add finely chopped ingredients to blender or juicer.
  2. Blend for five minutes or so.
  3. Then, set the large bowl beside the blender so it’s close to catch the juice.
  4. Then, fold over the cheese cloth twice to catch any of the pulp.
  5. Gently dump some of the juice into the folded cheese cloth.
  6. Make sure not to add too much or the pulp will get into the bowl.
  7. Gather both sides of the cheesecloth and squeeze until most of the juice comes out.
  8. Repeat this process until all of the juice is used up.
  9. Throw away the leftover pulp.
  10. Pour the juice into a glass jar and cover and chill to enjoy for later or enjoy juice with chopped dates after completing the recipe.

(If confused, watch Hot For Food, Lauren Toyota do it How to Juice)

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira

Chilled Oatmeal for the Summer

Featuring Veronique Branquinho’s  Resort Collection 2017

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Photography by. Ronald Stoops(Left)Credit to Veronique’s Collection and Bernadette Mira(right)

I happened to stubble upon Veronique’s page while perusing the Vogue website late at night. I was immediately stunned by her clothing designs and her way of using vibrant patterns, while incorporating comfort. Her designs give off a sense of effortlessness, but are trendy and chic. Pairing denim designs along with hanging tassels that are enveloped with tawny colored beads are definitely hitting the street styles. Veronique is Belgium born and raised. By 1978 she was already presenting her fashion designs to the world. Her most recent Resort Collection, inspired me to create a dish that brings comfort to the senses and a hint of surprise.

So, today I present a breakfast dish that will be great for those summer days…

Chilled Oatmeal

topped with walnuts

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup of rolled oats

1 banana

2 pitted dates

2-4 cups of cold water (add more if needed)

1 tsp. of ground ginger

1 tsp. of agave

Toppings

handful of walnuts

1 sprig of mint (optional)

1 tsp. of nutmeg

Extra

raisins

cinnamon

maple syrup

(Anything that you enjoy on top of oatmeal dishes)

A high power food processor

bowl or glass pitcher covered (to store oatmeal)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process rolled oats and water till it forms a liquid consistency.
  2. Next, add banana, dates, ginger, and agave. Mix on high till completely blended together.
  3. Once blended, pour the mixture into a bowl or glass pitcher. Then cover with plastic wrap to store in the fridge till the next morning.
  4. Next morning, add your toppings and enjoy while sitting outside on your porch. (I like to imagine that I’m sitting on a porch somewhere, while birds chirp in the background.)

Enjoy!!!

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira

Parm Wheat Berry Salad with Suki

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Photography by: Tim Ho (Vogue Taiwan-Left) and Bernadette Mira (Right)

Now, if I would have to answer the question, “Whose your BIGGEST girl crush?” Suki Waterhouse would make the cut. I am amazed by this 24-year-old model, actress and photographer. One thing that strikes me the most about Suki, is her gorgeous eyebrows. Having bold, full eyebrows is something that I want to master with my own.

Suki started her modeling career at the age of 19. I can’t even imagine having anything highly significant like a modeling campaign at such a young age. She has modeled for Vogue, Elle, H&M, is one of the faces for Burberry and so many other companies.

Suki’s outfit/photo reminded me of different brown textures with a hint of green. It took me quite a while to figure out what recipe would be ideal for this outfit. I tried my hand at making biscotti, which tasted delicious, but I will have to tell you food photographers/fashion photographers, taking pictures of biscotti is a pain in the a$$! That idea had to be thrown out the window. I quickly got my bearings together and came up with a scrumptious, healthy salad recipe. So, without further adieu, I introduce you to…

Parm Wheat Berry Salad

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 bag/container of arugula greens

1 cup of cooked wheat berries

1/2 tsp. of garlic powder

1/2 juice from half of a lemon

1/2 tsp. of fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. of sea salt

1/4 cup of golden raisins

1 tsp. of olive oil

2 small sprigs of fresh oregano

Toppings:

whole or chopped walnuts

drizzle of olive oil

parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. The night before, prepare wheat berries to what they say on bag.

2. After wheat berries are cooked, season with lemon juice, olive oil and spices.

3. Cover and refrigerate over night.

4. Next day wash and dry arugula.

5. Combine greens together with wheat berries.

6. Add golden raisins, walnuts, oregano, parmesan cheese and olive oil to drizzle.

Enjoy!!

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira