Monthly Archives: May 2014

Kitchen Makeover

I don’t know about you but I can easily get inspired by beautiful and organized spaces. Long before Pinterest became popular, I had several folders full of pictures of uncluttered kitchens, closets and over a dozen printed DIY projects.

Real Simple Organization

Photo Credit: Real Simple

Over the last year, I’ve spent a few hours here and there working on projects around the house. However, with a full-time job, kids in school, marathon training and recently cooking school, I had little time left to tackle any major organizational tasks, especially in the kitchen. It’s kept clean but not as organized as I would like it to.

This was all about to change a week and a half ago when we were asked in school to reset our kitchen. Our assignment was to take two photographs showing two separate spaces in our kitchen ( the refrigerator and pantry) that were cleaned and reorganized.

For the first task, I emptied the refrigerator, cleaned every single shelf and discarded non-fresh produce (mainly herbs).  I invested in several food storage glass containers for my fruits, vegetables and sauces. I also made a fresh batch of almond and cashew milk to get the fridge picture ready 🙂

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For the second task, I made a list of my essentials and headed to the local whole foods store. I purchased inexpensive 16 oz glass containers ($3/ea) and ordered chalk stickers online for labeling.

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Resetting the pantry took longer than cleaning and organizing my refrigerator. I had many bags of nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts and hazelnut), flours (coconut, garbanzo, and almond) and quinoa pasta laying around.

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This assignment was fun and much needed.

Do you also get inspired by uncluttered spaces?

Raw Coconut Hazelnut Truffles

As you probably know, three days ago (May 15th), I started culinary school at Rouxbe Cooking School. The first two days, I set up my profile, wrote down my cooking goals for the next 6 months and watched the orientation videos. Overall, it looks like a pretty solid program that is going to keep me crazy-busy in the kitchen. On the other hand, the great news is that I am going to be eating most of my assignments. I love this perk!

Today,  I worked on my first homework assignment: Make Your Go-To Dish. We were asked to prepare a plant-based recipe that is part of our regular culinary repertoire. “It can be a simple dish, such as a starter, a soup, a favorite salad, or even a more involved entree”.   As part of the assignment, we needed to upload 3 pictures of our  favorite go-to dish: Grading criteria:

  • 1 “mice en place shot” – max 6 points
  • 1 recipe in process shot – max 6 points
  • 1 finished dish shot – max 8 points

After much deliberation, I decided to prepare my latest favorite concoction. This is what I submitted to the school:

Raw Coconut Hazelnut Truffles

This is my go-to energy-boosting snack. These raw coconut hazelnut truffles are the perfect snack and post workout treat. The recipe is simple but packed with flavor.

Photo 1 – Set up

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Photo 2 – Recipe in process

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Photo 3 – Finished dish

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Ingredients

1 ½ cup of (wet) hazelnut pulp (from homemade hazelnut milk)
12-14 Medjool dates
½ cup of coconut flour
2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of organic coconut flakes (for rolling)
Dipping sauce (optional)
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 Banana

Instructions

Place dates in the food processor and puree until a thick paste is formed. Transfer the date paste to a mixing bowl and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Using your hands, roll the mixture into bite-size truffles. Roll each truffle into the coconut flakes. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

For the dipping sauce, place the raspberries and banana in the food processor and puree.

This recipe makes approximately 15 truffles.

Enjoy it!  

My new culinary adventure

Starting May 15th, I’ll be attending culinary schools. I am getting a Plant-Based Professional Certification from Rouxbe Cooking School. This program is lead by world-renowned chef Chad Sarno. He is also the co-author of  the book  “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”. Actor Woody Harrelson calls him the “Michael Jordan of vegan foods”.

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Photo Credit: Rouxbe Cooking School

These are some of the delicious, colorful, plant-based meals I will be preparing over the course of the next six months.

Photo Credit: Rouxbe Cooking School

Photo Credit: Rouxbe Cooking School

Please join me as I embark on this new exciting culinary adventure. Of course, my kitchen will be open to all my family, friends and virtual followers.

Hello Green World!

Welcome to my first blog post! I am reporting from beautiful San Diego where I am living in the sunshine, swimming the sea and drinking the wild air, as prescribed by brilliant Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Over the next few weeks, I am going to be uploading my favorite tips and recipes for wellness, nutrition, fitness, beauty and more. With every post, I am hoping to bring a little bit of sunshine and kale (why not?) into your life.