Archive of ‘Eat’ category

Superfood Spotlight: hemp seeds!!! get ready for TONS of protein & fiber

Pick up a bag of hemp seeds, flip it over & read the nutrition facts on the back—it’s NUTS. Hemp seeds are literally FULL of protein & fiber.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

3 tbsp of hemp seeds (shelled—I get these) provide 10g of protein & 3g of fiber, which is 11% of your daily recommended fiber.

WOW! Right?

To put things in perspective 1 hard-boiled egg = 6g of protein.

3 tbsp of shelled hemp seeds also provide tons of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • 45% of your daily recommended magnesium
  • 20% of your daily recommended iron
  • 110% of your daily recommended manganese (not a typo!)
  • & 45% of your daily recommended phosphorus.

NUTS, right?

Speaking of nuts… That’s kind of it’s flavor. It has a buttery-nutty flavor to it, & it’s SO good.

Can you tell I’m very into it? ; )

Here are some ways to enjoy them: 

  • Add them to your smoothies
  • Top your smoothie bowls with them
  • Add them to yogurt
  • Add them to cereal
  • Top your toast with them (#tuesdaytoast)
  • Add them to your pancake batter/nanacakes
  • Have them on their own (yes, I’ve had them straight out of a spoon—in fact I just had a spoonful of them RN lol)
  • Or on a spoon with peanut or almond butter. No shame, guys ; )

Those are some of my favorite ways to have hemp seeds, but you can obviously add them to anything & everything you’d like! They’re very versatile.

It’s like a healthy, nutty sprinkle. It’s so good!

You could also bake with them during the holidays. YUM! LMK if you add them to any of your holiday recipes? I’m all ears : )

Chat soon!

<3,
Bita

+ try this fiber-filled fitness bread + coconut yogurt recipe too

+ learn about chia seeds & ground flax seeds

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

Some kitchen faves:

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How to eat Fitness Bread—a yummy little snack

Have you guys heard about “Fitness Bread”?

I’d heard about it hear & there in talks about fitness & nutrition, but I never really sought it out.

But, then, today, on my 2nd trip to Whole Foods (there were 3 today—gah! Thanksgiving for ya) I spotted it. And instantly, I had to have it. After checking the ingredients of course—we’re solid. More on that below.

The funny thing is, right away, I knew exactly what I wanted to have it with: COYO coconut yogurt. To the point that I started craving it.

COYO caught my eye a couple months ago & Arrash I really liked using it as a spread on toast. We topped it with honey & pumpkin pie spice (YUM!) & it was sooo good. I had a feeling it’d be delicious with Fitness Bread too & it was! Fitness Bread is kind of long—the pieces are really wide, like double the width of a typical slice of bread—so I cut it in half.

It really hit the spot.

Once I took a bite, I knew I had to snap some pics to share with you guys—it’s definitely worth trying.

Oh & side note: I’m so sorry I completely ripped the packaging! The photoshoot was completely spur of the moment, & since I didn’t plan to photograph it, I basically ripped the packaging in half to get the bread out ASAP lol. I was very eager, LOL. My bad.

To make:

  • Cut one slice of Fitness Bread in half
  • Spread COYO coconut yogurt on top
  • Drizzle with honey
  • & sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top

Easy—peasy!

If you’re wondering what Fitness Bread is made out of (I was too!) here are the ingredients:

whole kernel rye, water, oat kernels, wholemeal rye flour, iodized salt, wheat germ, oat fiber, yeast.

I’m also into it’s nutrition facts.

1 piece (the entire slice—I used 1/2) provides 24% of your daily recommended fiber (yes, please!) & 4g of protein.

That’s 6g of fiber & 4g of protein just from the bread, & then you’re getting some extra fiber & protein from the coconut yogurt as well.

I’m very into it.

The packaging for the Fitness Bread says to eat it within 5 days of opening it, so I’ll be getting creative & thinking of more ways to eat it. Any suggestions? I’m definitely thinking an avocado-tomato combo will be happening soon. Maybe the day after thanksgiving : )

Okay, I’m off to get ready for bed. Very excited about this little discovery. I hope you guys enjoy too!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! xx

<3,
Bita

Cute plates I’m loving:

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Superfood Spotlight: nutritional yeast

I kept hearing about nutritional yeast but it took me a minute to finally try it.

About 6 months ago, I finally picked it up from Whole Foods and it was so good, I got a little carried away. I sprinkled it on everything, more or less—but not really a sprinkle, more like a BIG ASS POUR.

I poured it into pasta sauce.

I poured it all over potatoes before I baked them—same with zucchini and squash.

I poured it over mushrooms when I sautéed them.

I even poured it over quinoa whenever I wanted a quick, carb-y snack.

I let Arrash in on this little secret a few weeks ago… That he’s been eating tons of nutritional yeast. LOL. And he was pretty shocked to hear about 1/2 the meals he’s been eating the past few months have been filled with nutritional yeast. #YoureWelcome ; ) (Moana reference—I love that movie!)

Okay, let’s talk about taste first—because really, even if something is healthy & has tons of benefits, it’s hard to get into it if you don’t really enjoy it, right? So, taste…

It really does taste like cheese. Specifically, parmesan.

Can you make a quesadilla with it? No, not really. At least not with nutritional yeast alone. I tried. HA! But it has a parmesan-like taste that’s SO good.

& THE BENEFITS… Let’s get into them.

First off, it’s a complete protein—it provides all nine amino acids our bodies can’t produce on its own, while also being vegan. WIN!

Just 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (specifically Bragg’s) provides:

  • 4% of your daily recommended fiber (1g)
  • 4% of your daily recommended protein (2g)—complete protein
  • a ton of B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B12 (it provides 40% of your daily recommended value of it) < these are added to it

I also sprinkled it over my popcorn, which was delicious, but also messy when I spilled the popcorn. Whoops.

If you’re never had nutritional yeast, give it a try & let me know what you think?

And if you’re already a big fan, what’s your favorite way to use it? Tell, tell. I’m always looking for new ways to use it : )

<3,
Bita

PTFE- and PFOA-free pots & pans + my favorite bowls:

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How to make pumpkin seeds: a quick & easy recipe

Arrash is VERY into Halloween—& Christmas, but we’ll save that for another post.

For weeks now, he’s been telling me, “We have to get our pumpkins. We have to carve our pumpkins”.

About a week ago, we finally picked up two pumpkins, kind of on the smaller side, from Trader Joe’s & we got carving tools from Walgreens.

I wasn’t totally into the idea at first, but once we got into it, I LOVE IT. Carving is super fun—& kind of relaxing too. I feel like all these activities we use to do when we were kids, like drawing, have this kind of meditative feel to them now. Don’t you think? They’re oddly relaxing.

[ Our pumpkins. Can you guess which is mine & which one is his? ]

Anyways, before we started, we decided to save our pumpkin seeds so we could roast them after we finished carving the pumpkins.

It was so much fun carving pumpkins & then winging a very fall-ish recipe together!

& we definitely winged it.

Here’s the recipe we threw together, literally…

What you need:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Butter (we used Kerrygold—if you want to keep it vegan, use olive oil instead)
  • Honey
  • Seasoning: pumpkin pie spice, paprika, pepper & garlic salt

& parchment paper! : ) 

Here’s the 2-part recipe (don’t get scared, it’s super quick & easy):

Part 1—in the skillet pan

  • Rinse the seeds, if they’re straight from a pumpkin, drain them, and put them in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, melt some butter in the microwave. Once melted, stir in some honey, and pour it over the pumpkin seeds.
  • Add your seasonings (pumpkin pie spice, paprika, pepper & garlic salt), & stir the pumpkin seeds.
  • Put some butter in your skillet pan and roast the seeds in the skillet on medium heat, stirring constantly (so the seeds don’t burn).
  • Add more honey & seasoning as you like : )
  • After the seeds are roasted the way you like them, turn it off, & move on to part 2.

Part 2—in the oven

  • Lay out some parchment paper on a baking tray and pour your seeds on top, laying them flat. We’re going to pop them into the oven to dry them out a bit. Heat the oven to 450, and, if you’d like, drizzle some honey over the seeds before popping them into the oven. (We did this & it was delicious! Kind of like an extra glaze.)
  • Taste test them & take them out as soon as they’re dry enough & taste the way you like them : )

We snacked on them immediately, after they cooled down just a bit, & put the leftovers in the fridge.

& let me tell you, they’re REALLLLY good coming out of the fridge.

We liked them best that way.

This recipe is inspired by Halloween, but it’s also perfect for taking to Thanksgiving dinner, which we’ll definitely be doing this year.

Let me know if you try this recipe, how you like it. & LMK, if this kind of loose recipe works well for you or if you’d rather have a more measured recipe in the future : ) I love hearing your feedback. Thanks for reading!

HAPPY (almost) HALLOWEEN! xx

<3,
Bita

[ My niece & nephew, Shireen & Nadav, made this for us with their 3D-printer (so cool!) since Arrash is obsessed with The Nightmare before Christmas. Super sweet of them! & so good. They’re 9. ]

Cooking essentials + cute bowls for snacking:

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How to curb your sugar cravings

This is my favorite way to do it: FRUIT.

Lately, I’ve been avoiding dessert—not cold turkey, just limiting it, so I’ve been picking up more fruit at the grocery store.

When I get a sugar craving, I grab some fruit—instead of a brownie. Simple, right?

Some of my favorite fruits to snack on are stone fruits (mostly nectaries & peaches), grapes, & of course, berries. I’m obsessedddd with berries. Antoxidents! & they’re SO yummy!

If your office is filled with chocolate & desserts, pack some fruit with you in the morning and snack on it when you want something sweet.

Another good go-to is apples with nut butter. I love the sweet + salty combo.

Okay, dish… What do you eat to curb your sugar craving?

<3,
Bita

Cute bowls make it more fun:

 

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A sweet treat without added sugar: apples + nut butter

My dad always says we have two stomachs—one for food, and another for dessert, so even if we’re full from food, he says we always have room for dessert. He has a HUGE sweet tooth.

I remember this one time we took a family trip to New Jersey and we were at this restaurant/bakery and I turn around & my dad and nephew are starring into this display full of pastries and their eyes are just beaming. Picture the heart eye emoji—that’s basically what they looked like.

I definitely inherited his sweet tooth, but every once in a while I’ll cut out sugar for a little bit. 

So I have a bunch go-to’s for when I’m avoiding sugar but still want something sweet.

This combo is one of my favorites: apples with nut butter.

When you’re picking your peanut butter or almond butter check the nutrition label, to make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar—a lot of them do. Almond butter & peanut butter are delicious on there own, & then you get some natural sweetness from the apple and it’s perfect.

Lately, I’ve been loving Justin’s almond butter. It only has two ingredients: dry roasted almonds & palm oil & I love the taste.

After I dip my apple in almond butter, I usually dip it into chia seeds, because they’re full omega-3 and fiber. Sometimes I’ll also dip it into unsweetened coconut flakes just for fun.

LMK if you guys want more ideas like this. I love dessert, but I also have a ton of go-to alternatives.

Chat with you all tomorrow! : ) xx

<3,
Bita

Apple dividers + cute kitchen finds:

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How to make perfect (& easy-to-peel) hard boiled eggs

A little over a year ago, Arrash & I moved into our first place together and all of a sudden I couldn’t make hard boiled eggs anymore.

The shell kept sticking to the egg, so it’d take off half of the egg white when I peeled it.

It was so annoying and such a waste. It didn’t look pretty, as you can imagine, & it threw off the texture of the egg because the egg wasn’t smooth when I peeled it.

I couldn’t figure out what was different—the stove? the heat? the eggs?

I tried adding more salt to the water while I boiled it, but it didn’t work. It was still sticky. So then I thought: OLIVE OIL.

IT WORKED.

Now that we’re in our new place, I still use this trick. The other day I hard boiled eggs for us & Arrash even mentioned how easy they were to peel.

He said I should put it on the blog. Lol, I said, “I know” ; ) So here we are.

Such an easy tip:

To make perfect, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs, bring water, salt & OLIVE OIL to boil. The olive oil is KEY for making it easy to peel.

Once the water’s boiling, add the eggs, and lower the heat to medium. I usually use a spoon to lower the eggs into water, slowly, one at a time. Depending on your stove, and how you like your eggs, you may want to cook the eggs for 4-8 minutes. If you want it softer or a bit runny, 4-6 minutes should work. After they’re cooked I put them in bowl of cold water to cool them down.

So simple.

Let me know if you give it a try, how it works for you : )

I love having hard boiled eggs in the fridge because they’re a great source of protein—6 grams per egg, which is 12% of the daily recommended value.

They’re easy to grab in the morning to have with coffee, or during the day as a snack, so I usually make a batch once a week.

They’re definitely one of those items we almost always have in the house.

Okay, I’m off to get ready for bed. I’m planning to start the day off early tomorrow—fingers crossed ; ) so I’m heading to bed a bit earlier. Sweet dreams! xx

<3,
Bita

Let’s get cookin’:

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Sunday Splash: Big Sur + Carmel

[ Arrash & I in Big Sur ]

If you’re planning a trip to Carmel (even if it’s just a day trip), you have to check out these places.

Back in June, Arrash & I went to Carmel to celebrate my birthday & we discovered an amazing restaurant and two really cool wine tasting rooms.

Oh & we also tried to hike, but all the trails were closed because of the landslide that happened earlier in the year. Looks like some of them might be opening soon though if you want to check them out!

Since the trails were closed, we just parked on the road and walked by the shore. I loved it! It’s gorgeous there—definitely a great place for a date. If you bring a beach towel & some sandwiches, you can even just lay out at the beach.

Arrash told me to bring a change of clothes so we could go from hiking to dinner—again, apparently it’s a thing now, & luckily I knew exactly what to bring.

After we left Big Sur we went to Carmel for wine tasting. YUM!!

We went to Wrath and tried one of their tasting sets (is that what it’s called? LMK).

My favorite was the 2013 Pinot Noir. Here’s their description of it:

Wrath 2013 SLH Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands:
fresh palate with bright acidity highlight notes of cherries, dried herbs & raspberries

It was SO good. I usually steer clear of red wines (mostly to keep my teeth white, but also because I love a crisp white wine). But, I couldn’t have enough of this one. It was delicious. Possibly the best red wine I’ve ever had.

Next, we went to Scheid Vineyards, already a little tipsy—whoops ; ) My favorites there were their 2016 Pinot Noir Rose Estate Grown Monterey (a really delicious dry rose) & their 2016 Albarino.

Here’s their description of the Albarino:

2016 Albarino:
Pure and vibrant with lemon-lime aromas, flavors of ripe peaches and apricots, and mouthwatering acidity

Feeling even more buzzed (at least I was), we went to dinner at Montrio Bistro in Monterey—and I kid you not, I think about this one appetizer we had there alllllll the time. Seriously, all the time.

It was their “Mixed Mushrooms” with polenta.

It was so good we ordered it twice.

I randomly get cravings for it, so I’ve had to create some easy ways to get me through them.

Usually, I’ll get some mushroom soup from Whole Foods salad bar or this canned organic cream of mushroom soup, or I’ll sauté some mushrooms with olive oil, salt + pepper, and nutritional yeast. They do the job, but it’s obviously not the same thing. So hopefully we’ll go back there soon & I can order it again ; )

I also really love that their seafood is sustainable and they only use organic local produce. Big fan of that!

Okay, so next time you’re planning a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, check out these places:

  • Wrath — try the 2013 SLH Pinot Noir
  • Scheid Vineyards — try their 2016 Pinot Noir Rose & 2016 Albarino
  • Montrio Bistro — order their “Mixed Mushrooms” with polenta (twice!)

LMK if you guys have some places we should check out in Big Sur/Carmel/Monterey. I’d love to check them out next time we’re there.

Okay, I’m off to finish my tea (Yogi Kava Stress Relief—Arrash says I should have this daily), & get ready for bed. Sweet dreams!

<3,
Bita

[ More pics from Big Sur – this place is gorgeous! ]

Hiking essentials:

 

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Let’s get nutty… A quick & easy breakfast ( or naturally sweet snack! )

HI GUYS!

If you’re following along on Snapchat you already know this is one of my go-tos for breakfast.

I LOVE starting my day with coffee, but not on an empty stomach so I always make a quick & easy breakfast to have with my coffee.

One of my go-to’s are hard boiled eggs, but sometimes I need to mix it up a bit—& this is perfect way to do it!

Lately, I’ve been putting almond butter, bananas, gr8nola, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice ( not pictured ) on toast & it’s SO delicious. You guys have to try it.

I like gr8nola because the ingredients are clean & simple ( I always check ingredients! )

Here they are, straight from the label:

whole grain oats, honey, organic virgin coconut oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried unsweetened coconut, flaxseed meal, sea salt, cinnamon, stevia leaf extract.

So good, right!? & it’s delicious.

P.S. If you prefer, you can of course use peanut butter instead of almond butter. I like both.

I also love that I typically have all these ingredients in the house—makes it easy to have breakfast.

[ My almond butter of choice right now ]

[ I always check ingredients… This one has only two: dry roasted almonds & palm oil. No added sugar! ]

[ YUMMMM… ]

I love having this breakfast because it’s filling ( but still pretty light ), easy to make & naturally sweet.

Sometimes I even make this during the day or at night when I want something sweet, but still healthy.

Okay, what are your go-to’s for breakfast? Let’s hear ’em : )

<3,
Bita

[ My Minty moosh ]

[ gr8nola yumminess! You can find it here. ]

gr8nola + coffee? YES, PLEASE!

 

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How to go from hike to dinner ( without taking a shower )

EEK, sometimes you gotta do it…

This past Valentine’s Day Arrash & I hiked Big Basin in Boulder Creek ( in Santa Cruz County ), & saw the “natural bridge” at the Natural Bridges State Beach.

& then we went straight to dinner.

Well, technically we stopped by a local restaurant for a drink and an app first, but the point is there was no time for a shower before our vday dinner.

Clearly, Arrash made the plans ; ) LOL

But really… That was part of the fun—hopping from one activity to the other, without spending too much time on hair & makeup.

It was refreshing.

& super exciting! ( it was mostly surprises )

So I had to figure out how to go from hiking to dinner at a restaurant without looking or feeling gross.

[ Arrash & I at the top of Big Basin ]

Here’s what worked for me…

If you’re going straight from hiking to dinner at a restaurant…

Bring these items with you:

  • Baby wipes to wipe your face ( & armpits, LOL, if you want to… Pretty sure I did )
  • Your makeup ( so you can apply fresh makeup before dinner )
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume ( a small bottle or rollerball )
  • A change of clothes for dinner… I recommend bringing a top that doesn’t cling too much and is sleeveless or has cap sleeves ( sleeves after a hike suck because you’re still warm & that can make you sticky… Or is that just me? ) I brought black skinny jeans that I could put on in the car and a vneck. Yes, we changed in the car… So stretchy jeans were KEY. For shoes I wore white Keds. I think going for a casual, effortless-but-cute look makes it SO much easier!

Also, remember to put on sunscreen—so important! 

If you can, choose a restaurant that’s not too fancy so you can get away with a casual look & be comfortable with it.

Avoid curls—choose a hairstyle you can’t mess up while hiking. I went with straight hair. Easy-peasy.

After the hike:

  1. Wipe your face & put on fresh makeup ( if you want to )—point is, don’t leave on old makeup or pile on more makeup without taking it off first. It’s not good for your skin since you’ve been sweating ( it’ll clog your pores ). And layering on more makeup never looks as good as a fresh face, don’t you think?
  2. Apply deodorant & perfume. I took my small perfume bottle but if you have a perfume rollerball that works too! I might do that next time.
  3. Put on your change of clothes & fricken enjoy that dinner. YOU EARNED IT! Have dessert too : ) I did!

Speaking of dinner & dessert… If you guys are in the Bay Area or planning a visit you HAVE to check out the restaurant we went to because I still day dream about the food. It was that good!

We went to Au Midi, a French restaurant in Aptos ( also in Santa Cruz County )

It’s kind of a hidden gem.

From the outside, you’d never know how amazing their food is. It’s drool worthy.

& the experience was perfect!

P.S. when we walked in we saw a lot of French people dinning there, which I always think is a good sign considering it’s a French restaurant. If you go to a Persian restaurant, for example, and there’s no Persian people there… You should find a different restaurant ; )

Here are a few snapshots of what we ate ( demolished )

[ Au Midi’s soup de jour ]

[ Au Midi’s Stuffed Zucchini & Sea Scallops entrees ]

[ Au Midi’s Bergamote dessert. OH MAN, this was good!!!! ]

We started with the soup de jour ( AMAZING! ), and then got two entrees to share ( so we could try more, hahaboth of them were delicious! ), and then we had dessert.

Oh, and we ordered a bottle of wine and some dessert wine, too, to pair with our dessert…

Does anyone else make noises when they eat something they really like? Because I do…

I’m kind of like Wally Mars ( played by Jason Bateman ) in The Switch.

& boy did I make noises eating that dessert… Not sorry about it : )

Okay, I’m off to shower. Chat soon!

<3,
Bita

[ Loved this wine! ]

“Hike to Dinner” vibes:

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