I've been wishing I had a pause button to hit lately. Not because times are bad or good, happy or sad, but it's just been busy. If I could just hit the pause button for one day, I could stop all distractions and just be. Because this is impossible, we won't harp on this wish,  but could you imagine? What if we got to take a break from the chaos and just have a day with no agenda, no deadlines and no tasks to complete? Ah, what a dream! We would all get the recharge we so desperately need.

The best word I can use to describe this “overstuffed” feeling is consumed. I feel consumed by the world. This is a struggle of mine because I really do strive to care about what is truly important and leave the rest behind. But come on, I'm human, so I am rarely successful at this. When I let worldly problems and/or successes determine my joy, I usually end up disappointed. Happiness and sadness are feelings that come and go but joy is the only thing that can be permanent. You can choose to feel that. I used to be really good at protecting that inner joy I'm talking about but times like this, when I am trying to be so many things, I lose it. It gets watered down. I think it's because I am so consumed with my own personal agenda and success. That's not a bad thing by the way. It's important to work towards your own personal goals and desires but trust me when I say, if it's always only about you, life becomes an unfortunate cycle of “never enough.” I know because I've been there. Strive for perfection knowing you will only get excellence. Perfection does not exist in this life!

Maybe this will help depict what I am trying to say. You know when your room or car is cluttered with pointless things, it makes you a little anxious? You feel out of sorts because there is more stuff than there is space. What do you keep? What do you give away? Do you need this? Can you use that? Same thing when we fill ourselves with petty problems and impossible expectations. Too much stuff and not enough space. If we replace the one thing we can control, our inner joy, with worldly/petty problems and desires, we have just replaced our most prized possession. And that is the one thing we should never give away.

Although I hate this reality, It seems like every day I hear of a close friend or family member going through a hard time. I sometimes wonder, although I try not to, how I would react to certain tragedies I frequently hear about. A sickness in the family, loss of a loved one, or termination of a job. Would the joy I so desperately try to protect be enough to get me through? Or have I replaced that with worldly worries: bills to be paid, goals to be hit, obligations to attend, and money to be made. It always sounds “fluffy” or “too goody good” but a real day to day goal of mine is to try and be the best version of myself. So when I fail, or put my head on the pillow at night not being able to recall one time during my day I helped someone, I get upset. With all the people I see and talk to throughout my day, how did I not do my part to make their day better? It's because I’m so consumed with what I need to do to get ahead that others begin to feel in my way. They become an obstacle as opposed to an advantage.  I hate that.

So I’m challenging myself to carve some space to relight the fire in me. I need more room to feel that joy so when the happiness is fleeting and sadness sinks it, I have a constant peace…a constant hope. I actually have somewhere to pull from. For me, It's time to de-clutter. Clean up the mess and make room for what can lift us up not weigh us down. Because at the end of our lives, what we did or didn't do won't be remembered. The way we make people feel is where our legacy lies.

-Christina-

Posted
AuthorTwinatics

Do you get the craving for Chinese food every now and then? Well, we get it quite often. We usually want to satisfy the craving but we think about the feeling most of us get after stuffing our faces and suddenly we talk ourselves out of it. Thankfully we found a solution! This lo mein and cauliflower recipe will satisfy your craving for Chinese food while still giving you all of the nutrients you need to have a healthy, balanced meal. This dish is a rockstar: gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, low in fat and high in protein. What more could you want? This may be one of our new favorite recipes so you have to try it out!

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Vegetable Lo Mein:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of Banza angel hair pasta(any spaghetti or pasta will do)
  • 1 tablespoon oil or more if needed 
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 carton of mushrooms 
  • ½ cup of cashews
  • 1/2-1 cup of edamame 
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Rice wine vinegar 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds for garnish, if desired

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce(tamari if you want gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey  

PREPARATION:

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add in onions and mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in garlic, lemon and vinegar and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add cashews and edamame 
  6. Stir in the sauce and cooked noodles and toss to combine.
  7. Serve immediately with sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.

For the Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Set aside.

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Ingredients:

For the baked cauliflower:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water plus more as needed
  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets (scant 4 cups of florets)

For the sticky sesame sauce:

  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil divided
  • 1/2 inch ginger minced or grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (to taste), minced or grated
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of honey 
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste like sriracha

For the sticky sesame cauliflower:

  • battered cauliflower (above)
  • sticky sesame sauce (above)
  • Pistachios 
  • chopped green onions for serving

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, garlic powder, and salt. Add 1 cup of water and stir. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until a pancake batter-esque consistency is reached. You want batter that is thick enough to stay on a cauliflower floret but thin enough that you can easily shake off the excess. I usually need another couple of tablespoons of additional water.
  3. One by one, dip the cauliflower florets into the batter, gently shake off extra batter, and place them onto the baking sheet. Leave plenty of space between florets on the baking sheet so that they can get crispy. You may not be able to quite fit a whole head of cauliflower on two baking sheets.
  4. Bake the battered cauliflower for 20 minutes, rotate the position of the trays, and then bake for another 5-10 more minutes or until crispy and browned.
  5. Meanwhile, heat two teaspoons of the sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger and saute over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 60-90 seconds, or until the garlic and ginger are softened and fragrant.
  6. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir well. Continue cooking on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and thickened slightly. Turn the heat to low and leave on the burner, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Stir in the remaining sesame oil just before mixing with the cauliflower. (I do this to make sure there's a nice noticeable sesame flavor).
  7. Once the cauliflower is done baking, use a spatula to gently mix it together with the sauce in a bowl or the saucepan if large enough. Spread it back out on the baking sheets, and return it to the oven for just 2-4 minutes, to thicken the sauce onto the cauliflower. Watch it carefully, as the sticky sesame sauce can burn quickly. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, sprinkled with pistachios and chopped green onions if desired.
Posted
AuthorTwinatics

It’s easy to go meatless on Mondays when you have a meal this good. We have posted a couple of stuffed bell pepper recipes in the past, but this is by far our favorite! It is easy to make, super satisfying, and healthy as can be. No meat, no dairy, but all the flavor. It’s packed with protein so don’t worry about incorporating any elaborate side dishes. Pair these peppers with a big green salad and you have the perfect dinner. Oh, and this recipe makes 8 peppers! So it is a great start to your meal prepping for the week ahead.

 Enjoy, friends!

Ingredients:
•    1 tub Guidry’s Mix
•    2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
•    1 Fifteen oz can of diced tomatoes, drained, reserve the liquid
•    1 Fifteen oz can of tomato paste
•    2 Fifteen oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
•    4-5 ribs celery, finely chopped
•    Half bag of shredded carrots
•    1 Ten oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
•    1 1/2  cups quinoa  (should make 3 cups cooked)
•    1 package of slice mushroom, roughly chopped
•    8 large colored bell peppers, cut top off and remove seeds
•    Daiya dairy free grated pepperjack  cheese – 8 oz package
•    Sea Salt
•    Black Pepper
•    Cayenne Pepper
•    1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
•    2 tsp. oregano
•    ½ tsp. paprika
•    2 cloves of garlic, minced

Preparation:
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
•    Cook quinoa (easiest to put in rice cooker with 3 cups of water. 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water. Cook just like white rice)
•    Pour olive oil in saucepan over medium heat
•    Then add in onion mixture and garlic and cook until soft (about five-ten minutes). 
•    Add carrot, celery, mushrooms, oregano, paprika, and sauté 1-2  minutes.
•    Stir in drained tomatoes/paste. Cook for another five minutes. 
•    Stir in the chick peas, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium/low heat, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
•    Stir in spinach and cook 5 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and package of daiya cheese. Season with salt and pepper
•    Fill each bell pepper with a heaping ¾ cup of the quinoa mixture and place in baking dish. Pour reserved liquid on bottom of dish. Cover with foil and bake between an hour to an hour and fifteen. Let sit for 5 minutes when finished. 

Posted
AuthorTwinatics