today i’m talking all about stocking your pantry with everyday staples. since becoming a full time student who has little time to cook, I’ve noticed that keeping my pantry fully stocked with nonperishable, gluten free and whole grain options, is the key to easy meals all week long. all items can be purchased at your local health food store or organic section in larger grocery store. and while you’re all being creative in the kitchen, snap a few pic’s and use the hashtag #cookwithcare on instagram!
1. quinoa – I love this gluten free grain – its hearty, high in protein, nutty, and you can add just about anything to it to make it delicious. I love making a basic quinoa salad with chopped cucumber, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and hearts of palm. for the dressing just throw together a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a touch of honey. If you want to enjoy this grain for breaky, just add fresh fruit, chopped nuts, maple syrup and almond milk – this is your new porridge!
2. buckwheat noodles – this is my go to staple for nights when we have absolutely nothing to eat. Boil the noodles as per instructions, meanwhile stir fry or steam broccoli, edemame, bok choi, carrots, and whatever other veggies you have available. toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, a squeeze of honey, and a dash of tamari or some miso paste if you have that available. you’ll feel like you just stepped into the best asian restaurant in town!
3. canned black beans (eden organic is best & BPA free) – with this pantry staple make sure you rinse them really well with cold water, if you don’t you’ll be bloated for days. I love adding black beans to quinoa salad, or a tex mex salad. but another great way to use them is a dip – toss them into your food processor, add some lime juice, fresh cilantro, a dash of chili powder and salt and pepper for the best black bean dip.
4. brown rice – rice is always a great gluten free staple to have on hand. I make a big batch on Sundays so I can eat it all week with fresh steamed veggies, grilled chicken or use as a topping to a salad.
5. quinoa pasta – who said you cant have pasta on a gluten free diet?! well, you can. this delicious pasta cooks the same as regular wheat pasta, and can be added to any of your favorite sauces. you can also find it in lasagna noodles, macaroni and fusilli!
6. rice crackers – this little cracker is key in transporting your delicious black bean dip, homemade hummus or guacamole to your mouth. I also love all the fun flavors they come in.
7. canned chickpeas- just like the black beans, this easy pantry staple can be tossed with a salad, blended to make hummus, or you can even make flourless chocolate chip cookies – for the recipe go to http://cookwithcare.com/2013/05/09/flourless-chocolate-peanut-butter-cookies/
8. dried lentils- this little wonder is super high in protein, a great option for those meatless nights of the week. my favorite thing to do with them is make an easy lentil soup. check out http://cookwithcare.com/2013/02/27/hot-soup-snowy-day/.com for the recipe.
9. almond milk – I cant live without almond milk. its dairy free deliciousness that comes in all types of flavors. The most important thing to remember is always buy the unsweetened version because you don’t want to add extra calories and sugar. I use almond milk in smoothies, cereal, tea… the list is endless. And instead of the sugary hot chocolate in the packets, just buy chocolate almond milk, heat in a sauce pan, and drink!
10. rice protein powder (sunwarrior brand) – i included this gluten free, dairy free, whey free protein powder because its literally a meal in a glass and can easily take you from breakfast to lunch without feeling hungry. add a scoop to the blender, 4 ice cubes, ½ cup almond milk, ½ cup berries, ½ banana, 1 tbsp ground flax, blend and enjoy!
love & happy belly’s!
the odd time i post about homes that are insanely beautiful and slightly elaborate or even so stark that they seem impossible to live in. but this is pretty rare. most of my design i do for my own clients and the ones i am most drawn to are those that have style but are practical. i love a home that has a unique stamp on it. sure trends are great and i embrace many of them, but to have a home that carries unique pieces from travels or have been in your family for many years are all great ways to generate coversation and create interest for you and your visitors.
when i stumbled upon this home owned and designed by samantha hicks, i loved the global feel to it. a little boho meets victorian and certainly livable for her family. her textiles are very pretty and the simplicity of her dining area gives the space a slightly scandanavian feel. each room seems to have its own little personality from around the world. take a peek!
ahhhh, the breath of fresh air that a long weekend delivers- seriously priceless. not to mention this crazy beautiful weather we are experiencing. i am such a summer baby. my mood is lifted and my spirit high when i can indulge in sunshine and outdoor activity. my little family was on cloud nine, highly productive laced with laughter, entertaining and mid day snuggles on the porch. here is a little of what we got up to.
// urn love //
hope each of you enjoyed your first kick off to summer.
with a full heart and tremendous gratitude for life and love.
images my own.
it’ no surprise i talk about my crazy infinite love for my little girl all the time. the bond of a mother and her daughter is insanely spectacular and i feel full of tremendous gratitude to say i will be blessed with two of these beautiful beings. admittedly i have moments of thinking of jay and imagining that he may love to have that same bond that a father and son would have but then i am reminded that health and happiness are truly all that either of us want in our children. life does not exist unless it can be experienced to its fullest. that thing that money can’t buy (health) is at the core of a fulfilling life. then there is the obvious affection that sloane and her daddy have for each other that makes their bond unique.
alas, it still takes my breath away when i see shoots like this of a beautiful momma and her equally charming little girl. the fun these two had is so evident throughout the snaps. organic and real- i am so in love. images via +
this beauty that resides in the hampton is a true stunner. from landscaping to architecture and interior style, it hits a home run in all areas. a little less traditional than the beach blues and whites you can find so often in a hampton’s home, this style lends itself a little edgier. colour pops and modern nuances make the home a little unexpected in areas. the kitchen, a little more traditional to the country home style is nothing short of a breezy wonder. i may be imagining myself with a tall glass of red, cooking something delicious with the doors wide open. designed by the talented s.r. gambrel
there’s a million reasons to jump on the coconut bandwagon. you’ve probably noticed everything from coconut oil to coconut flour. today I’m going to debunk the mysteries and talk all about the delicious benefits of consuming coconut in as many ways possible.
this is a product I cannot live without. it has all sorts of uses from the kitchen to the bathroom. since this miracle oil contains lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, when taken orally (by mouth) its a potent anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti parasitic which boosts your immune system — its been known to heal such viruses as; herpes, influenza, and candida. if you don’t want to eat it off a spoon, you can always use coconut oil in oatmeal, smoothies, or as an olive oil replacement.
since this all natural sweetener has been touted as being the best sugar alternative, I felt the need to inform everyone about it. coconut sugar comes direct from the flower bud of the coconut tree, there’s no chemical processing nor any additives. it’s also super high in essential minerals and when compared to brown sugar it has twice the iron, 4 times the magnesium and 10 times the zinc. I use coconut sugar as a replacement for everything that calls for white sugar (you can even use it in your tea & coffee)
this delicious gluten free alternative to regular flour adds a coconutty flavor to all your baked goods. coconut flour has been dried, defatted and ground into a powder with the similar consistency to wheat flour. it’s also amazing for weight loss because its chalked full of dietary fiber which helps keep you full longer, so you eat less.
i love this potassium rich, super hydrating water. best consumed straight from the coconut itself, but since we don’t live in beautiful bora bora we have to buy it from the store. one thing to look at before consuming is the ingredients list. you want to make sure its natural, and there’s no sugar added. if you buy the one that’s flavored and has sugar you will be consuming as much or more sugar than what’s in juice or soft drinks.
this creamy deliciousness is so versatile, you can bake with it, add it to savory dishes, pour it on cereal or add it to coffee/tea. it’s packed with vitamins c, e, b1, b3, b5 as well as iron. if you don’t want to drink it, you can always slather it on your skin – its super moisturizing if you apply it to your face and leave on for 15 minutes, rinse then pat dry.
love & coconuts!
there are so few things in life that can take your breath away in a way that leaves you gasping for air. the exception would be that of being a mother. an incredibly overwhelming feeling of pride, love, responsibility and accomplishment comes from this role. many say being a mom is a thankless job- i completely disagree. my sweet sloane shows me just how thankful she is every day. her smile lights up an entire room. she has eyes that twinkle even in the darkest of light. she even gets so undeiably excited that her little teeth clench and her hands make fists that could shout hooray. her daddy and i are completely smitten with her beauty. the way her pretty blonde locks sweep across her blue eyes and her little hands tuck those tendrils behind her ears. sloane has this little energy power ‘thing’ she does with her dad. anytime she or her dad feel like they are lacking energy, sloane takes him by his cheeks in her hands and plants a sweet little kiss on his lips. they separate feeling energized, its an adorable thing to watch. in the morning i hear her little tip toes across the hardwood floor entering our room. she wakes me with the gentlest touch of my hair and says good morning mommy. sloane challenges me to be better, reminds me that we are not perfect and must always be aware of our actions because they have consequences. a spirit so undeniably strong, fierce and determined..my sweet baby girl, you will move mountains. i rest my head on my pillow each and every night knowing that your dad and i have created the most exceptional human being.
to my mom- thank you from the deepest depths of my heart for caring for me and making me who i am today. your love, friendship and passion not only make me proud of who i am but make me realize the love that a mother and her children can have, it’s overwhelmingly sweet.
to my baby girl who rests in my belly- you are entering a home full of love. you are so desired, anticipated and miraculous. thank you for your little burst of energy, your awakening spirit and your ability to make me feel whole.
happy mothers day my friends. you are the foundation of our world. you make life better than it could ever be!
i love nothing more in a home than when there is this perfect balance between sweet and stylish. it seems to be the right medium to allow people to feel comfortable during their visits while also impressed with the design and functionality of the space. this home delivers all of that. beautiful, simple whites give the home a fresh inviting feel with unique pieces of art and a wine cellar to die for. no doubt guests will be in awe of the savvy design ideas.
the darling courtyard off the back and oversized doors brings light in to the space and the home feels that much larger. feels like the perfect space for morning coffee and a good book!
one of my new holistic obsessions is essential oils! its chemical free, great for people who are allergic to perfume, has numerous health benefits and smells divine. i’m going to highlight a few oils that have been touted as being miracle cures in treating numerous problems including digestion, acne, anxiety, and mood.
the most common ways to use essential oils are:
- massage: use a drop in your favorite unscented body oil
- adding to bathwater
- hot/cold compress
- burning in a diffuser
- travel ease diffuser sticks
Jasmine – hands down this scent is my favorite, but it’s also the most expensive. its extracted from the flower of jasmine, it has a strong, sweet and romantic aroma. the health benefits of smelling jasmine are endless — one of the most important is it helps to boost your mood, fights depression and brings forth happy, romantic feelings.
Lavender – this scent is fresh, sweet and floral — and is the “go to” oil for almost any situation. it has amazing antibacterial properties to fights germs, helps to calm the nervous system, aids in digestion, calms vertigo and helps fight headaches.
Peppermint- the bright scent of peppermint not only freshens your breath, but its also great for soothing nausea, cools overworked muscles, and is ideal for a mid- afternoon pick me up instead of coffee. as well, if you’re suffering from a seasonal head cold or allergies add a few drops to boiling hot water and breathe in the steam, this will quickly help you to fight congestion.
Sandalwood- this scent is woody and floral, rich and sweet and is used for: stress, enhanced sleep, stretch marks and depression.
a great place to stop and smell the scents is your local health food store or whole foods market. they also sell on the go sticks called “travel ease”. they come preloaded with your scent of choice depending on your symptom.
love & lavender!