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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pine Nut Romesco Sauce

Our recent trip to Spain has me longing for simple tapas and homemade vermouth. I loved eating our way through cities, one snack and drink at a time.

Recreating some of those tasty treats helps make me feel just a little more connected to that trip, this romesco sauce is one of those dishes. I made a few modifications to this classic sauce to make it my own, including pine nuts, chili peppers and sherry vinegar.

It's a super simple sauce that comes together super quick; the most time consuming process is soaking the little chili peppers. And it's great on just about anything- grilled meats, roasted potatoes and even just simple bread.

As for the Spanish vermouth, this is not your Martini and Rossi vermouth. It's enjoyed by the glass and it's delicious. And I can't find it in the States so it seems I am going to need to start my own batch of this scrumptious fortified wine; check in with me in a year.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Moroccan Mint Tea

Hot off our most recent travel adventure to Spain and Morocco, be prepared to read more than one post from me that has to do with the amazing food and drink we encountered. Today it's Moroccan Mint Tea, the Moroccan drink of choice and now mine as well.

No matter where you go in Morocco, you will be greeted with lovely mix of green tea and fresh mint leaves. Hotels, restaurants, houses, even rug sellers all had a fresh teapot waiting for us. Rows of shiny pots hang in the markets and piles of fresh mint are plentiful; my favorite glass of tea was from a unassuming cafe in the little beach town of Asilah.

The act of tea in Morocco is a ritual, a sign of friendship, a welcoming and a matter of etiquette. Served from shiny silver teapots, the tea is poured with bold grace  from high above into small, ornate glasses. It is felt this aerates the tea; I'm not sure I would notice the difference but the performance is exciting to watch and and completes the ceremonial act.  Did I mention it's also delicious?

Green tea is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks with it's anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Mint has been know to alleviate indigestion, nausea and headaches while quenching free radicals, clearing congestion and help to inhibit the release of histamines which often spur allergy symptoms. Mint also grows like a weed so this is a perfect way to use it up. 

Add mint to your green today today, make a spectacle while pouring it and then sit, take the time to enjoy your glass while you feel the worldly atmosphere of the Moroccan culture. Happy really does eat healthy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pineapple Red Pepper Salsa

Salsas and sauces are key to turning your dish from bland to wow.  Once you realize how easy it can be, you'll never need to settle with boring again.

Simple salsas add a scoop of nutrition to any dish, not to mention a glorious taste of freshness.

Don't over-think it, Chop, toss and your done with this simple Fat and Happy Pineapple Salsa.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Green Chili Bloody Mary

Last week I posted two recipes for homemade Gatorade, it's a great way to replenish your electrolytes naturally whether you are depleted from imbibing or intense exercise.

As a Health Coach, I wouldn't typically recommend morning drinks if you have already had a full evening, but sometimes hair-of-the-dog is what is going to happen. So how can you get the most out of your morning drink?

The base of a Bloody Mary is tomato juice (or V8),  at least you will be getting some much needed vitamins out of it. I prefer my drink to be spicy and have some serious flavor so the horseradish and hot sauce are key. The green chili and Worcestershire give this depth while the squeeze of lime freshens it up.

If you are going to indulge the morning after, stick to just one with this yummy, spicy Green Chili Bloody Mary. You might want to follow that up with a glass of natural gatorade too

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are you nursing a Hangover today? Try one of these 2 Homemade Gatorade options.

If you happened to have imbided during this St Patrick's weekend, you might be feeling a little worse for the wear today. And you might be wondering how to get yourself right as quickly as possible.

Time really does heal all wounds, even the pounding head, queasy stomach, heavy eyelid kind. But there are a few things you can do to help pass the time.

Alcohol has a diuretic effect on the body, so it's imperative to drink water.

Coffee only causes further dehydration, but if you feel the need to help you be more alert, don't drink it on an empty stomach and do double your water intake.

You liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol and will have a hard time also producing the additional gluclose your body needs from stored carbs  resulting in low blood sugar, so get some good carbs in you.

Move- the endorphin release could boost your mood so get moving.

And finally, skip the Gatorade, it's filled with sugar and other non essentials. Even though they stopped using high fructose syrup, it's still filled with chemically treated ingredients and refined sugar.  Instead, replace your electrolytes with Homemade Gatorade.

Below I'm giving you two recipe options; option 1 is simply squeezing some fruit in a jar and shaking. Option 2 requires a few minutes of steeping fresh ginger (which is a good antinflammatory and helps to settle upset stomachs). Both are great, just may depend on the level of effort you are up for.

The flavor on both of these is reminiscent of the classic yellow gatorade, but they are definitely more natural and have their own taste. Not in a bad way, they are pretty decent. I found the more I drink the more I crave the next sip.

I recommend using coconut water, it contains the same five electrolytes found in human blood and is a great hydrator and that is key to stopping your aching noggin.

For those looking to replace electrolites from intense exercise rather than drinking, these are the perfect choice over a store-bought, chemically filled option. It's a Fat and Happy cocktail that will keep you going for a few more miles.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Avocado and Spinach Breakfast Parfait

St. Patrick's Day calls for green. Green shirts, green rivers, green beer and green eggs and ham. Last year I made this luscious homemade creme de minth. But this year I'm sticking to the healthy-side of the green holiday with a super nutritious avocado breakfast parfait.

Sweetened spinach and avocado yogurt layered with fresh fruit and topped with almond and date granola. Delicious and filling! It's a great way to get your leafy greens and healthy fats in at one time. Avocado and almonds, while both calorie heavy,  are super important for energy, keeping our skin healthy and for proper functioning nerves and brain.

Do green the right way, with this Fat and Happy Breakfast Parfait.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shrimp Boil Fajita with Tabasco Corn Relish

Fat Tuesday is just a few days away and  I feel the need to get into the spirit early due to a hankering for some shrimp and sausage. I wanted to make a shrimp boil, it's pretty simple as there are only 4 main ingredients to it: shrimp, andouillle sausage, potatoes and corn... on the cob.

This is Chicago and we are in the middle of a polar vortex, there are no cobs of corn to be found here. So I had to adjust my plan. I decided to skip the boil portion and just cook the remaining ingredients in ghee and lemon. Ghee is essentially clarified butter, the milk and water solids have been boiled off leaving rich, golden butterfat.

Whoa you say- butterfat can't be healthy, can it? Ghee stimulates the production of stomach acid, increases the absorption of other nutrients, and is very supportive for acid reflux, ulcers, and other digestive complaints. Ghee appears to help lower cardiovascular risks, but with everything you must enjoy in moderation. It also has a higher smoke point so great for high temperature cooking. Because it's free of casein and other milk solids, if you are intolerant to butter you might be able to eat Ghee

So the shrimp and sausage were covered, but that leaves the corn, what to do with the corn. A simple toss with some red peppers, lemon and tabasco and I ended up with perfect  relish topping for my shrimp and sausage saute. Add a tortilla and I essentially ended up with a fajita-like dinner.

Get out the beads and get your taste buds ready with this Fat and Happy fajita-like Shrimp Boil (sortof).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Punxsutawney Phil gets a bad rap. He is just a cute little groundhog who gets blamed for a prolonged winter if the sun happens to be out.

Whether you want to blame Phil or Mother Nature, the cold weather is sticking around a bit longer. For me that means creating warm and comforting soups like this one, which combines hearty squash with a hint of sweet apple.

No fancy ingredients or complicated cooking, just a simple saute with nutritious food.

Warm your cold winter chills with this Fat and Happy Squash and Apple Soup and let Phil live out a peaceful spring at Gobbler's Knob.


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