Good morning all!
How are you doing today? I don’t know about where you live, but it’s getting mighty chilly here. Gone are the days when I can leave the house for the gym in the morning with just my running gear on. This week, full-on sweats and a jacket have been required!
Yesterday was yet another Try Something New Tuesday, #25 to be precise. It consisted of some food related and non-food related new things. Here’s what went down:
1. Recipe of the Week: Moroccan Wild Rice Salad. This recipe was contributed by one of my fab readers, Shirley. I don’t cook rice very often to eat as a side dish for my meals, usually because by the time I think of it, all the other food is ready. However, this salad is great because it can be prepared at the beginning of the week and eaten hot or cold in lunches. I had some for lunch on Monday and loved the blend of seasonings in the vinaigrette.
2. A new cereal: On Saturday when I went to Angela’s house for vegan Thanksgiving dinner, she included some Powerhouse Glonola in my goodie bag and I busted open the package yesterday morning at breakfast.
It’s chock-full of almonds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, oats, chia seeds, and lots of other fab ingredients that make it super tasty. I combined it with some yogurt, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and strawberries, then sat and admired it’s delicious crunchy texture – for about 2 minutes. Then it was all gone.
3. Some new skincare products: A while ago, I received some Burt’s Bees samples in the mail and I saved them specifically for trying on a Tuesday. Just like almost every other teenager, I was plagued by the acne monster and spent much of my teenage years cursing at the terrible acne genes I inherited from my dad’s side of the family. I tried practically every product out there, and yes, even took Accutane *gasp* to tame the volcanic eruptions on my face. Luckily things aren’t so bad any more, but occasionally my teenage nemesis returns.
The only Burt’s Bees products I’ve tried in the past are the lip balms, which I like because they don’t taste like much and keep my lips moisturized for a long time. (If you’ve ever been on Accutane, you’ll probably share my appreciation for this!) I was excited to try the Purifying Daily Cleanser and Targeted Spot Treatment from the company’s Natural Anti-Blemish Solutions line because like all other Burt’s Bees products, they are made from all natural ingredients. The cleanser contains willow bark extract, evening primrose and beet root extracts, and the Spot Treatment contains tea tree oil, calendula, yarrow and parsley extracts which apparently help to reduce redness and promote healthy skin.
While it’s far too early to tell whether or not these products are working well for me, I do like them so far. I used both yesterday morning and night, and they didn’t dry out my skin like other acne products. So far so good!
4. A new legume: Lima beans!
Until I started blogging, I was fairly inexperienced in the legumes department – kidney beans and green beans were pretty much the only ones I ate on a regular basis. My attempts to eat a couple of meat-free meals each week have led me to be a bit more adventurous, and this week I tried lima beans.
What’s so great about these ones? Well, like other legumes, lima beans are a good source of dietary fiber which can help to lower cholesterol and prevent blood sugar from spiking after eating a meal. They are also full of molybdenum and tryptophan, two minerals that provide benefits you can read about here. Lima beans have a fairly mild, buttery taste, and one cup provides 14.7 grams of high-quality protein.
My lima beans were used in a Corn and Lima Bean Salad, which I took for lunch yesterday. It was really tasty, but it didn’t hold me over for very long. Next time, I think I’d up the bean quantity, or maybe even add a whole grain – barley maybe?
5. Dandelion greens: This weekend while grocery shopping, I decided that my green leafy salads could use some excitement. Instead of buying just Romaine lettuce, I picked up some dandelion greens to see what they were all about.
Dandelion greens have antiviral properties and have been used in China, Europe, and the Americas for medicinal purposes. They are believed to help with digestion and prevent cancer, and are rich sources of fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin. Quite an impressive list, don’t you think? For a full list of health benefits and nutrients in dandelion greens, check out this link.
The first thing I noticed was that these greens were much more bitter than your usual Romaine lettuce, spinach, etc. Apparently the taste is a little more mild when they’re cooked, but since I ate them fresh, it was definitely noticeable. How did I eat my dandelion greens, you ask? With my next new thing…
6. A new shellfish: Crab!! Back on Try Something New Tuesday 18, I tried sushi for the first time. I’ve eaten a bit more sushi since, but since the quantity of crab in sushi is fairly miniscule, I’m considering crab a new thing this week. It was the star of my dinner last night and I loved it.
Rather than buying the fresh kind, I opted for a can because I figured it would be easier to work with in this particular dish.
First, I mixed it with some red bell pepper, onion, minced celery, breadcrumbs, and seasonings….
…then I rolled it in some more bread crumbs and more seasonings…
…roasted a red bell pepper, a key part of my sauce…
… and finally produced….
Ta-Daaaah! Crab Cakes with Chipotle Chili & Red Pepper Sauce. Despite the fact that they were a little difficult to keep together at first, these little cakes were so full of flavour. The coating was just enough to make them crunchy but not detract from the taste of the crab. I’ll be making this one again for sure!
Alrighty, that’s all I have new-s wise! I’ll leave you with my questions for today:
- Do you have a recipe I should use for Recipe of the Week? Send it my way!
- Did you try any new things yesterday?
- Do natural ingredients influence whether or not you purchase beauty products? If so, which brands are your favourite?