foodie

EAT: Simple Shrimp and Garlic Tofu Noodles

I remember before my fitness journey I used to think that cooking healthy food would mean a ton of ingredients that weren't already in my pantry and cooking meals that took hours to prepare. I'm not sure why this was the perception that was engrained in my mind. Maybe it has to do with our fast paced living here in America causing us to rely on things that were more convenient like fast foods or packaged foods.

As I began to learn how to cook and nourish my body I quickly realized that the best foods were the most simplest ones that had wholesome ingredients. I personally like to choose local and seasonal as much possible to ensure that I'm getting the most nutrient dense meals created. The reason why local and seasonal is my preferred way to go is because local foods ensure that you're not only helping to contribute to your local farmers, but the produce doesn't have to travel far to get to your plate. Meaning that these ingredients are plucked right before they are washed off and trucked over to your local farmer's market or Whole Foods. I also choose seasonal because the food has been grown at the same time I'm eating them and its cheaper!

Seasonal food is grown and harvested at the peak of its supply so this saves you on the hiked up pricing of off season produce and meats. The next time you're in the grocery store take note of the price of strawberries during the winter vs strawberries if you live in California. You'll notice that the price drops or there are tons of strawberry sales during April through July. This is because there's an abundant amount. This goes the same for seafood. Right now is crabbing season and Dungeness crab goes on crazy sale during this time of the year, but come spring time the prices are back up! 

Today, was spent like most of my Tuesdays; working out in the morning and studying for the rest of the day, except that I've been pretty relaxed about meal prepping because I'm experimenting a bit with eating intuitively. I didn't have a meal prepped, but purchased ingredients with the intention to prep. I was starving between my study sessions and so I whipped this meal up in less than 20 MINUTES!  I topped the shrimp over some Shirataki tofu noodles, but if that's not your jam or if you have a soy allergy use rice or toss the shrimp into a salad.

Simple Garlic and Chili Shrimp 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic 
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro (or more) 
  • 2 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1tsp of smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Directions: 

  1. Season shrimp with chili powder, paprika, and salt.
  2. Preheat your pan or cast iron skillet on medium heat and coat with coconut oil.
  3. Once pan is heated place shrimp onto the pan and cook for 2 minutes on one side undisturbed.
  4. Then mix in minced garlic and flip shrimp onto the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes
  5. Turn heat to low and toss in cilantro and juice of half of a lime.
  6. Mix and serve with lime wedges.

Garlic Noodle Recipe

  • 1 package of House Foods Shiritaki Noodles
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced.
  • 2 cups of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil or coconut oil

Directions: 

  1. Drain Shiritaki noodles in a strainer. 
  2. Dice the bell pepper into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Cut cauliflower florets into halves or quarters depending on the size of the florets. 
  4. Preheat non stick pan and coat with coconut oil or sesame oil. You can use sesame oil if you're wanting more of an asian flavor. I personally love sesame oil. 
  5. Toss all the noodles into the pan and cook for about 2 minute stirring it frequently. 
  6. Mix in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  7. Then toss veggies into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring it frequently.
  8. Top with shrimp or whatever protein or main dish and enjoy. 

What are some of your favorite quick and easy recipes that you rely on when you're strapped for time? Share them in the comments below. I'm always looking for some new inspiration. 

EAT: Raspberry and Mango Chia Seed Pudding

Overnight oats and chia seed puddings are some of my most favorite breakfasts or afternoon snacks to have prepped and ready to go. They are quick, easy, and full of dietary fiber and goodness!

Rather than having chia seed pudding for breakfast, I like eating them in the afternoon as it helps with the sugar cravings that typically begin to come in the later part of the evening when I often find myself stalking the pantry for something sweet to indulge in. 

One thing I love with chia seed puddings is just like oats you can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Personally, I like to keep it pretty simple and choose fruits that are readily available to me. Here's my go to chia seed pudding that literally takes less than 10 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to eat. 

Raspberry and Mango Chia Seed Pudding 

Macros: 370 calories 45C/15F/14P

Macros: 370 calories 45C/15F/14P

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • orange zest
  • 1/4 cup of cubed mango
  • 6 raspberries to garnish (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. Cube half a mango which is approximately 1/4 cup
  2. Pour all the ingredients into a mason jar or sealed container 
  3. Shake the ingredients to give it a nice mix. 
  4. Let sit for a few hours or overnight
  5. Wake up and put some raspberries into jar and ENJOY!

I love chia puddings, but they are high in carb so depending on how you're fueling yourself towards your fitness goals it's a dish I wouldn't consume for myself more than once or twice a week. A meal like this is perfect on your high carb days since its still pretty light on the taste buds and something that can fill you up due to all the fiber in the chia seeds.

What are your favorite overnight recipes? 

 

O'o Farms in Maui, HI

I'm sure you followed along some of the Maui adventures on Instagram especially since I couldn't help but flood my feed of all the amazing experiences and moments we had as a family. This vacation was much needed for all of us especially since my husband and I have been non stop on the go all summer and for the past twelve weeks while Encarnacion Photography was knee deep in wedding season.

I can't wait to share all of my memories with you on the blog, but one in particular that I wanted to highlight was the farm tour of O'o Farm. The first time we heard about O'o Farm was when we shot a wedding at Pacific'o restaurant four years ago in Lahaina. Pacific'o is one of the few restaurants in Maui that incorporates an amazing farm to table seasonal menu which highlights some of the finest ingredients found on Maui and the freshest fish caught for the day. If you are planning a visit to Maui, Pacific'o is a must for your taste buds. During our dining experience they had mentioned that we should tour the farm, but since our dinner was on our last night in Maui it was too late for us to schedule something then. So this time on our trip to Maui, we made O'o our first major adventure and one I would do all over again.

O'o Farm is nestled in upcountry Maui tucked away from the heat of the beaches in its much cooler climate. Across their eight acres you will find beautiful stone fruit orchard with some exotic Hawaiian citrus, rows of lettuce, garden vegetables, and a handful of freshly planted coffee trees which are featured in the Aina Gourmet Market at the Honua Kai. This was a treat for us since we were also staying at the Honua Kai and have been known to be slight coffee snobs who enjoy a cup of Sightglass pour over and Stumptown cold brew coffee.

The tour began with a meet and greet with Ancil Clancy, the orchard manager on the farm. You can tell by the way Ancil talks about each crop or product that he has a vast amount of knowledge, dedication, and passion for his craft. Something that any foodie can appreciate when someone is describing the food and the time taken into the harvest and process of the ingredients you are about to indulge in. Ancil is also in charge of nurturing the coffee orchard which includes harvesting, processing, and roasting the coffee. 

The tour starts with a brief walk through the orchards learning a big about coffee, the fruit, and the tasting the berries of the coffee. Then you meet Chef Daniel Eskelsen  and he provides an extensive overview of the menu for the day and the ingredients that are featured in the menu. All the produce on the menu was picked that day as well as the fresh catch which happened to be Opah, a moonfish. The salad on the menu was hand picked by us straight from the garden which was such an incredible treat for the girls. Included in the tour was an overview of their coffee roasting process for Aina Coffee, a 100% Maui grown coffee which is a single origin that offers unique characteristics and a mild beautiful roast. A definite treat for any coffee lover. 

We've always has a dee love and appreciation for food and those involved in creating the wonderful dishes we enjoy at many of our favorite restaurants, but this experience deepened it. You can tell how mix love and attention goes into creating an amazing product. The knowledge and care that goes into the process of growing and harvesting food was unbelievable.

Here are some photos from the day taken by both Jonathan and myself. We hope you enjoy. Aloha!

On the menu for our day was:

  • Fresh Maui Pineapple
  • Wood oven baked focaccia bread made with Maui onions
  • Wood Fire Roasted Chicken featured with a puree of garden root vegetables made into a "gravy"
  • O'o Farm Signature Tofu with oven roasted herbs and vegetables
  • Kaffir Lime Opah
  • Fresh hand picked O'o Farm greens with a citrus vinaigrette
  • Espresso Chocolate truffles which featured coffee fruit fresh from the farm served with a cup of Aina Coffee

* menu varies depending on season

EAT // Grilled Citrus Porkchops

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Grilled Orange Pork Chops and Curried Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

4 Boneless pork-chops

Juice from 1 medium orange

Zest from orange

1 tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning

2 teaspoons of curry powder

2 lbs of butternut squash purchased pre cubed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking pan and sprinkle curry powder on top. Baked for 25 minutes.

Zest the orange with citrus zester. Place orange zest to the side. Mix fresh juice from one medium orange into a zip lock bag and lemon pepper seasoning. Place pork chops into the bag and marinate for 25 minutes or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium high heat and grill for 6 minutes on each side. I use a heat thermometer and pull of my proteins 5 degrees before suggested cook temp to keep meat moist.

Measure out to portions for your meal. Mine are 4 oz of pork chops and 1 cup of butternut squash. Sprinkle orange zest on top and enjoy.

EAT: Chicken stir fry w/ Shirataki Noodles

I love making stir fry! They are one of the quickest meals to make for the family and it's clean and healthy too.

For the kids and my husband I put the stir fry on top of rice instead of the shirataki noodles. I personally prefer the House Foods brand vs Miracle Noodles because of the texture consistency. 

Chicken Stir Fry w/ Shirataki Noodles Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic chicken breasts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2lb of snap peas
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon of Shiracha
  • Juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1.  Cut the chicken into 1 inch strips

2.  Squeeze lemon, salt, pepper, and garlic onto chicken, mix it in and marinate in a bowl. Set aside. 

3. Peel carrots and slice into thin circles or julienne slices.

4. Cut bell pepper into one inch strips. 

5. Heat up a sitr fry pan or pan with medium high heat. Put in coconut oil.

6. Put chicken mixture into pan and cook for 5-8 minutes. Stir frequently.

7. Pour in Bragg Liquid Aminos

8. Cook chicken for another 5 minutes then take out of the pan and set aside. 

9. Throw vegetables into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes.

10. Then put chicken back into the pan with the vegetables. Lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes. 

11. Stir in Shiracha.

12. Serve over rice or Tofu Noodles.

Chicken Stir Fry w/ Shirataki Noodles