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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eggplant Tea Sandwich

I heart eggplant anything. 

But mostly if it's with mayo + garlic + tomato. 

I know, I know this is supposed to be a health inspired blog and mayo is not considered to be a health food. But lets face it, it's real life we are living, and sometimes eating whatever we want is totes okay. You can, however, totally substitute mayo with Greek yogurt if you want a "healthified" version of this appetizer.  

The eggplant spread itself I believe was introduced by my aunt Stella, who I haven't seen for over a decade; she lives in Ukraine. 

I know many people make different versions of this appetizer but I love it most as a spread, on a toasted baguette. 

-2 regular size eggplants
-2 Tbsp. mayo 
-4 garlic cloves
-1 tomato on the wine (or whatever tomatoes you'd like)
-1 organic french baguette (got mine from Trader Joe's)
-1/2 onion, chopped + sauteed
-2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
-pinch of salt + pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with olive oil. 
2. Slice rinsed eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half in quarters lengthwise. Roast until softened and golden brown for 40 min, turning eggplant over at 20 min. 
3. While your eggplant is roasting, sautee your onion with olive oil until caramelized, 5 min. Add pinch of salt + pepper. 
4. Slice your baguette (I used my dandy electric bread slicer) and lightly brush it with some olive oil. While your eggplant is nicely roasted and cooling off, toast your baguette for about 5 min (your oven should still be on from roasting your eggplant). 
5. In your food processor (or blender or using your potato masher), pulse your eggplant until desired consistency. In a mixing bowl, combine your pulsed eggplant with mayo, crushed garlic and sauteed onions. Top your toasted baguette with your yummy spread (best refrigerated and cold) and sliced tomato.

Enjoy your tea sandwich with a cup of your favorite tea! :) 

Note: The spread is also delicious on a regular piece of bread (Ezekiel, my fav!), topped with gouda cheese, smoked salmon and tomato. A delicious combo!

Happy Holidays, 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food Lately



Here's some random shots of food from my camera roll. 

Have you ever discovered something so yummy that you ate it for lunch the whooole week? If you guys love seafood, you will love this Wild Smoked Salmon Dip from Costco (which is not the most healthiest thing out there, considering that it's made with cream cheese, but sometimes it's just A-OK to eat whatever you want in moderation-even if it's for the whole week! Ha!). Paired with some whole wheat bread from Costco as well as Campari tomatoes that are super sweet and delicious. Make sure you sprinkle your tomatoes with Himalayan Crystals... pink salt that is :) Which is really good for ya! And it's yummy!

My hubby asked me to pick up some Kombucha, so to Marlene's Natural Foods Market & Deli I went. Which happens to be one of my favorite grocery stores, which also happens to be a bit pricy. But lets pay for health now so we don't have to later. Alright. Up next is Ezekiel bread, one of the most cleanest breads out there, two green smoothies for hubs and I, some Kerrygold butter, which is always UNSALTED (I like being able to control my sodium intake), and some red wine for good health.

Back in July I started a PiYo challenge group, coached by my friend Megan Ewoldsen. You should totally check her out on her Facebook page under "Megan Ewoldsen - Health & Fitness." She's a super cute and fit mommy of two beautiful little girls. Anywho, a part of the challenge group, was a month supply of Shakeology, and I quickly fell in love with the chocolate flavor.  

Pure heaven in a jar - filled with delicious vitamins & minerals. Bam! 

If you are ever in the Tacoma Downtown area, you must visit Margaret's Cafe. She serves the most delicious salads & soups (one of my favorite food combos!). I ordered the Lemon Chicken Ginger salad with the most delicious dressing (totally will have to go back and order the salad again just for the dressing), and a cup of her Split Pea soup. The roll was pretty amazing too. Oh and her Caesar Salad is one of the yummiest too! 

Until next time!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chicken Sausage Alfredo

Hi lovelies! I hope everyone's weekend is going great!

Hubby and I have been so busy lately that we have been eating out a little too much. And now that I'm back to working part-time, I'm excited to start cooking a lot more. Yay!

After de-cluttering our apartment and getting rid of "junk" that has been accumulating (ahh I love getting rid of stuff!), I decided to make a pasta dish. My husband loves pasta and I don't make it as much as he would like me to.

So today I threw together some ingredients and decided to call it "Chicken Sausage Alfredo." I probably should have called it Broccoli Alfredo since I used so much broccoli! Ha!

I shared the picture above on my Instagram and said that I would share what my hubby thought of the dish. And he LOVED it! Seconds after trying it, with the cutest Italian accent and his eyes closed, he said "Italy, Italy, Italy!" Haha! He said it was very rich and flavorful, with a nice spicy kick! Oh and the turmeric gave it such a pretty color too!

I paired the pasta with a simple caesar salad and whipped up my own homemade caesar dressing. The dressing alone needs a blog post! I could eat the dressing on its own it's that good! Will be sharing in future posts. 

Heres a recipe to the pasta. 

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
-3/4 stick of butter
-1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
-1 cup Pecorino Romano (love the sharp flavor!)
-5 cloves garlic
-pinch of salt & pepper 

Alfredo Sauce Instructions:
In a saucepan, melt the butter and then whisk in the cream. Add pinch of salt & peppa. Add the crushed garlic and the cheese. Bring to a light simmer. And done! 

Pasta Ingredients:
-box of Quinoa shells (cook per packaging instructions)
-head of broccoli, chopped
-1/2 onion, sliced (purple onion would be great too!)
-package of Trader Joe's Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, sliced
-pinch of salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano and cumin 
-2 Tbsp. olive oil (for sauteing)

Pasta Insructions:
Saute over medium heat the onion, sausage, and broccoli for about 5-7 min. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano, and cumin. Combine the alfredo sauce and the cooked shells. 

Two hours later, hubby asked for more! I think I'll be making it again :) 

Until next time!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Hello Lovelies!

Ever since we came back from our Labor Day weekend trip, I have been a busy bee! So tonight I can finally say TGIF! And I "totes" totally just found out what "TGIF" stands for! Ha! I might just be a decade behind. 

Here's our Labor Day Weekend trip in pictures.  And I hope ya'll had a wonderful weekend as well!

Hubby and I decided to be "spontaneous" at a totally wrong time, on a Labor Day Weekend! We packed our little car Saturday night and drove out early Sunday morning to an unknown destination... but with Lake Chelan in mind.

After asking a lot of locals about private camp sites and settling on a campground, it was lunch time!

And we hungrily dived into these hamburgers and greasy fries!

And then we took a walk. And I tried pretending I was in Italy and took the photo above. 

So many boats and kayaks passed by this pretty view. 

My husband's patience for "stopping by and taking a photo" is increasing! He stopped the car and had me take the photo above! Ummm, "sure, honey!"

I don't know about you, but I'm one hungry girl every time we camp! Hubby and I normally don't eat hot dogs, but these campfire sauteed Brats on a toasted (almost burned)  bagel with garlic & herb butter were way too good!

No regrets whatsoever!

My friend Julz is a genius! She sauteed broccoli with one whole jalapeno pepper and some sliced up onions. The jalapeno brought out so much flavor from the broccoli that I was in broccoli heaven. Oh and we used the same pot that we used for sauteing our smoked Brats... so the flavor of broccoli was just fab! Ha! 

I was way too excited for Eugene and I to use our enamel mugs I got from a flea market our first married summer. I was drinking my Yogi Detox tea within minutes. 

For lunch we grilled chicken and asparagus. What a perfect combo! 

I don't remember the last time I had a s'more! And it was time I had one. Or maybe three. We were camping after all, right? 

Hubby and I have a tradition to have dinner at one of our favorite rustic Tuscan wineries in Chelan. So the night we left for home, we knew where we were going for dinner.

I ordered creamy tomato basil soup. The sun was setting and it was getting chilly. And soup seemed perfect at the moment. I also ordered a caesar salad. 

I definitely felt like a good detox was needed when I came home. A good detox for me usually consists of lots of water, detox tea (I love the Yogi Detox), and green tea! Water and natural tea's are one of the best things to flush out unwanted toxins. 

I love a good detox/cleanse; and might be thoroughly talking about it in future posts. 

Until next time!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Little Country Girl

I try to find peace and contentedness whatever life throws my way. Life is not always a pretty canvas. Things happen. But the clock continues to tick.

I believe it's when we can find the good in the bad in order to experience true happiness. 
So whether it's Monday morning at work or Sunday brunch with the hubby, I try to be of good cheer.

But I'm really happy when  Sundays come around. 
Hubby and I always look forward to Sundays.

So this Sunday we decided to runaway to the country side. I get so giddy and excited being in the country. There's just something about the peaceful scenery driving through the farm. Even time seems to slow down. 

We visited a lavender farm which happened to have the most amazing wine, cheese, and natural bar soap (not that we ate the soap, just stuck our noses in it). We explored the inside of a cute cozy lavender shop that sold endless number of lavender goodies. We got to take wine, cheese, and bar soap home. We later fed our hungry bellies delicious Mexican food in a quiet small town nearby. Mr. Hubby and I both have a soft spot in our hearts for Mexican food. Only those that can relate will understand.

Cheers to more great Sundays!

Xoxo, Alina

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sharing Life One Post at a Time

I have always been the type to write things down on a piece of paper. Growing up, I would write things down in diaries, journals, notebooks, sticky notes, etc. You get the point. So when I "grew up," I continued to buy sticky notes, journals, and note cards to write down anything that needed to be released from my mind onto a piece of paper. And it wasn't until I got married that I gave blogging a thought. But I always pushed that thought away. The idea of posting my thoughts, fears, and every day life on the internet held me back. But being a dreamer and someone who likes to get things done, I couldn't push the idea of blogging away for any longer. It was time. And the time was now. 

I hope that my journey of "blogging" will give me the ability to make many mistakes, share my everyday simple life, marriage, healthy recipes, holistic living, faith, and whatever else life leads me to share.


And lets share life one post at a time.

Admiring autumn through the window. Fall 2013.