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I grew up hating the idea of eating anything with figs that weren’t Fig Newtons. As I got older, I never really bought figs, not sure why. Then one day I went to a friend’s house and she served them in a salad. Delicious! My entire thought of figs changed in that instant. They were tender, juicy and delicious, and they are filled with mini seeds, which gave it a nice crunch. I am drooling thinking about figs again.

Then one day recently I saw them at the store for a reasonable price and I thought, why not, I’m going to try them. I cut into them and they were magnificent. Bright pink/orange in color and super delicate on the outside. I quickly served them up with a spoon-full of goat cheese and honey drizzled over them. Delish. They made the perfect snack.

For you who are hesitant about figs, maybe you should know they have TONS of health benefits such as phyto-nurients, anti-oxidants (to help boost the immune system and fight off inflammation) and vitamins. I am just beginning my liver detox and figs are a GREAT detox – I think I’ll try to pick some up today!

 

I had an unexpected visit with all of my cousins this past weekend in Florida. While the circumstances weren’t the best, the family and food surely helped brighten the day. The first morning we woke up at my cousin’s house and made The Big Egg. Now, this isn’t something that’s hard to make. It takes minimal ingredients and the best part is that you probably have most of them lying around. You can also customize The Big Egg however you like, as there’s really no set way to make it.

 

Here’s how we made it.

Ingredients:

8 Eggs

4 cups of shredded potatoes (squeezed and patted dry)

chives

garlic

salt and pepper

Crab dip

Olive Oil

Hot Sauce

Cheddar Cheese

 

Directions:

Heat a non-stick pan very hot with oil and spread the potatoes evenly on the bottom. Turn them a few times until they are browned throughout and crispy on the bottom. Scramble the eggs, garlic and pepper together. Pour over the crispy potatoes. Let sit and cook. Once cooked all the way through, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with chives and more salt & pepper. Cut into triangles (like a pizza) and serve hot. Garnish with chives and crab dip (or whatever else you have). Since we were in Florida, we garnished with a Plantain chip, but anything you have to make the presentation look festive, go ahead and use.

Let me know in the comments section what variations you chose!

Good morning! I am going to keep this one short since I know you’re dying to make a wonderful breakfast today. The best part about this recipe is that it is healthy and very easy to make. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The best part is that I made the oat flour by grinding up the oats in a food processor. I made this one morning and it was so filling and satisfying that I’ve made it again and again. The leftover oatcakes freeze well and are great for on-the-go breakfasts or at work. They even make great snacks. I’ve also made a batch with mini-chocolate chips for a little more sweetness. To make it even sweeter, top with whipped cream. Decadent!

Ingredients

Oatcakes

2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats, roughly processed

1/2 cup gluten free oats, finely processed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

2 eggs at room temperature, beaten

3 tablespoons honey or agave

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Raspberry & Peach Compote

(I’ve also made these with blueberries and they came out just as great!)

1 crate of raspberries

1 peach (1/2 chopped in squares and the other half to garnish)

4 tbsp agave or honey

1/2 cup water

 

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
  • For the fruit compote, mix the raspberries and peaches (save a few for topping) with the water and honey/agave and on low heat. Let it simmer while you bake the oatcakes. If it gets too dry, add in more water.
  • For the Oatcakes – in a medium-sized bowl, place the roughly processed oats, the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg eggs, honey and milk, whisking to combine after each addition, and continuing to whisk until very well-combined. The batter will be pourable.
  • Heat a large (ideally, cast iron) skillet over medium heat, and brush with a thin layer of virgin coconut oil. Pour the pancake batter into the hot skillet in rounds, smoothing them out about 4 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Bubbles will begin to break through the surface of the pancakes from the underside. Once the pancakes are mostly set (about 45 seconds), carefully flip them over and press down on the cooked side with a wide spatula to sear the other side. The pancakes should have been nearly cooked all the way through when on the first side.
  • Remove the cooked pancakes from the skillet and place them on the prepared baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the preheated oven to stay warm until you have finished with all of the pancake batter. Brush the skillet lightly with more coconut oil, and repeat with more pancakes. Serve pancakes warm.

Happy Friday! I have started upping my pomegranate intake lately and have been putting them on anything and everything – sometimes, I’ll even just a spoon to a bowl and eat an entire pomegranate in one sitting. I love the crunch and the juciness. They are a little sweet but also sour/tangy and very juicy. Today, I made a chia seed and raw oat pudding for breakfast (combined chia seeds and oats and let it sit for a couple hours) then sprinkled pomegranates on it. I also have been adding them to my kale salad and they’ve made a very fruitful addition and yummy too!

I’m going to try to add them to baked goods – cookies, cakes, even topping ice cream and smoothies. Delicious! What are ways that you eat your pomegranates?

 

Folks, below is a TON of good news if you love the pomegranate like me… they have major health benefits, so eat up! #nomnom

Benefits of Pomegranate

1. Beauty Benefits

  • Regenerate Cells. Pomegranate protects the epidermis and dermis by encouraging skin cell regeneration, aiding in the repair of tissues, healing wounds and encouraging circulation to skin that is healing.
  • Protect from the Sun. Consuming pomegranate provides the skin with compounds that help to protect against free radical damage which can cause sun damage, cancer and sunburn. The oil of a pomegranate contains the antioxidant ellagic acid that can help to inhibit skin tumors to protect the body from skin cancer.
  • Slow Aging. Pomegranates can help to prevent hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles that are often caused by sun damage.
  • Produce Youthful Skin. Because pomegranates help to soften the skin and produce additional elastin and collagen it can make your skin look more firm, smooth and youthful.
  • Help with Dry Skin. Pomegranates are often added to skin care products because they have a molecular structure that can penetrate deep layers of most skin types to provide additional moisture.
  • Use for Oily or Combination Skin. Oily or combination skin types that are acne prone can use pomegranate to sooth these outbreaks and minimize burns or scarring that can occur during breakouts.

2. Health Benefits

  •  Eliminate Free Radicals. The high levels of antioxidants like hydrolysable tannins or polyphenols in pomegranates help to minimize the effects of free radicals and remove free radicals from the body.
  • Protect Cardiovascular Health. Pomegranate juice can act as a blood thinner and helps to remove plaque from the arteries that will help to minimize the risk of atherosclerosis. Consuming pomegranate juice can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
  • Fight Cancer. The antioxidants in pomegranates are effective in clearing away some types of cancer, including breast, prostate and skin cancers.
  • Improve Bone Quality. The enzyme inhibitors in pomegranate juice can help to prevent damage to the cartilage. It can also help to control cartilage degeneration to prevent osteoarthritis.
  • Boost Digestive Condition. Pomegranate juice helps to secrete enzymes with anti-bacterial properties that aid digestion and help to fight off hemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, piles and diarrhea. You can also use pomegranate juice as a laxative to treat constipation.
  • Increase Appetite. Children that do not have a strong appetite can drink a glass of pomegranate juice to get an appetite stimulant.
  • Cure Anemia. The high amounts of iron in pomegranates will raise hemoglobin levels in your blood to help correct anemia.
  • Reduce Inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates stems from its high vitamin C content that will help to manage asthma, sore throat, cough and wheezing.
  • Promote Blood Circulation. Pomegranates are often used to help relieve blood clots and can help to create a more youthful appearance.
  • Help Lose Weight. People are finding that pomegranates have a natural property that provides you with additional energy and cleanse the body, making it easier to lose weight

Hands-down this is the best bread ever. Not only is it gluten free, but its very nutty and filing. Since becoming (somewhat) gluten-free, I have vowed to make better choices as to what I consume on a daily basis. Bread is super satisfying, but unfortunately not healthy for you – especially since most of the grains and wheat are overprocessed and laden with chemicals and hormones. This is very easy to make and you can store it for a few days. It crisps up very nicely in a toaster and goes great with butter, almond/peanut butter or mashed avocado. The recipe is below. One trick I noticed is that normal bread loaf pans are too wide. For the second batch I made (pictured below), I made a wall with aluminum foil so the loaf shaped up to be a square rather than a rectangle. It was much prettier and easier to eat in this shape (the first load was wide and flat – still delicious anyway!)

 

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Directions:
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

 

You can find the original blog post and recipe from the My New Roots site.

Follow me @itzlindz98 on Instagram for more healthy recipes!

xoxo, LC

I have started to really enjoy cooking. It’s very meditative and a form of art for me. Last weekend, I had a few friends over to watch the Patriots vs Packers Fooball game. Admittedly, I’m not a football fan, so this gave me a great excuse to cook. Knowing that we wanted appetizer/bite-sized foods, I whipped up these tartlets. They were surprisingly easy to make and the minute the came out of the oven, they were eaten up so quickly! I would definitely make these again, however I’d switch out the ingredients to make something sweet – maybe apple or peach tarts or even a mix of sweet and savory – brie and fig or brie and pears.

 

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Tartlets

Here’s the recipe. I must say, first off, that I don’t really measure so everything is and estimate, but go with how you like them to taste – add more if you want more flavor or any additional spices/ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 box of button mushrooms sliced

1/2 a yellow onion, sliced into cresents

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup of white wine

1/2 cup of chicken stock

1/2 cup of grated smoked Gruyere cheese (the smokiness really added a lot of flavor)

2 tbsp (about 3-4 cloves) or roasted garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp of thyme

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 egg yolk

1 frozen pastry sheet

 

Start by caramelizing the onions. This takes a VERY long time, about 45 min – 1 hour. Throw all the onions in a pan with 1 tsp of butter and olive oil. Let them simmer on low heat, occasionally turning the heat up and stirring. Add in the chicken stock and white wine when they start to dry up. You always want to make sure they don’t burn and that there’s always some liquid in the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme and continue to stir for another 10 minutes until they are well cooked.

Thaw the frozen pastry sheet for about 20-30 min. Cut in the squares (One sheet makes about 16 squares). Spoon the onion and mushroom mixture in the middle. Top with shredded gruyere. Beat the egg yolk and brush the outside edges of the crust.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes until they are a golden brown and serve immediately!

 

Let me know if you make these and if you add anything else or make a variation!

Follow me @itzlindz98 on Instagram for more recipe ideas!

XO,

Linds

For as long as I can remember, my hair has been all sorts of different colors. When I was in college, it was light brown with blonde streaks, then post college it was brown with blonde/brown streaks. For the last few years It’s had a red hue to it… almost red, I should say. Well. I’m kind of ready to just go back to a natural bold, brown hair color. I’ve made the appointment, so there’s no going back now. I’m also getting a haircut – getting all of this hair cut off. How short? I have no idea…. I guess we’ll see tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about this!

Brown Hair

sunglasses

I was sporadically shopping on Abbott Kinney last Friday. I think I must have been in a really good mood that I got off work early and already got in a workout for the day. Anyway – I had been wanting some Ray Ban aviator sunglasses for a while, but just hadn’t got around to buying them. Plus I already owned a few pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses and I didn’t know if I wanted that same brand again. I know, #firstworldproblems. Anyway, I saw these at the Tom’s store and loved the colors on the side. I learned that when you purchase a pair of their glasses, you pay for another pair of glasses or a medical eye procedure for someone in need. I thought it was such a great cause… so this was a no brainer. I have to say, though, the case they give you with the glasses suck. It’s basically a cute looking bag. They provide no protection from these glasses getting smashed in my purse. I wish they could have given something a little bit more stable and sturdy especially for how much you spend on the glasses.

People go to casinos for different reasons. Some go because they want to take part in the gambling at the poker and roulette tables, some go for the entertainment, and some go because it’s a great place to get dressed up for and have a good night. Dressing up for the casino is definitely lots of fun and especially when you see all the other casino fashion that people are wearing. If you don’t like dressing up, there is plenty of online casinos nowadays, such as online casino Canada, where you can find a lot of fun games that you can play from the comfy sofa at your home.

There are a few different ways you can approach choosing a casino outfit for yourself. It depends on the reason that you are going to the casino first and foremost. Going all out glamorous is not necessary, but it is worthwhile remembering that the way you dress can affect the service you get. It’s no secret that the best dressed people will get lots of attention from the staff and maybe even free drinks. They want you to spend money in a casino, so if you look like you have money, you will get treated well!

Short cocktail dresses look great for night out at the casino although you must watch that hemline as a lot of casino’s can turn you away at the door if they feel you aren’t dressed decently enough.

If you want to let your jewellery do the talking, you could easily go for a nice maxi dress with heels and then long dangly earrings and a statement necklace.

The key is to keep it classy and tasteful. Understated works just as well as a cocktail dress. A smart casual trouser suit with killer heels and a nice clutch bag can get as much attention as a short dress because you will look like you mean business. If you are there to gamble this could be a good look, or even a nice little black dress. Avoid clichés such as feather boas and satin gloves-you will look like you’ve been watching too many Hollywood films.

A couple weeks ago, my friend invited me to a Stella Dot party that she was hosting for her other friend who reps the jewelry. I figured that I had nothing else to do that morning so why not go? Remember when your mom had tupperware parties? Well this is basically the same thing, only instead of tupperware, you’re buying awesome jewelry (that’s a tad too expensive, but who’s counting?) I always feel bad when I go to these kinds of parties so I always buy something and 99% of the time I spend more money that I would if I saw the same thing in a store. I bought these Serenity Stone Drop Earrings by Stella Dot. I am in love with them.

A few weeks later, I got them in the mail and have since worn them only a few times but get compliments every time. I think these were around $50 (ya, not what I would usually spend on earrings, but again I always buy something at these parties) and I love them. Have you shopped at Stella Dot before? What is your favorite piece of jewelry?

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