Category Archives: Health

Slow Cooker Murgh Makhani

Hi Guys!

Wow! *Blows Dust* It’s been a while.  With all the hectic tasks in my life, cooking has been pushed to the back burner (ha! Cooking joke. Get it?) However, I have been getting back on track towards improving my health, and that’s starts with what I eat. In doing so, I have found my new obsession: slow cookers! I love slow cookers because I just throw ingredients into the pot, go to bed, and wake up to the intoxicating smell of FOOD! Easy peasy right?

This week I had the most intense craving for “Murgh Makhani”, also known as “Butter Chicken”. Murgh Makhani is a dish originating from the Indian subcontinent featuring chicken in a mildly spiced tomato sauce. (Yum!) A quick search on Google for “butter chicken recipe” revealed 297,000,000 results. (yikes!).  Briefly scrolling, I come across a slow cooker recipe from one of my favorite sites: damndelicious.net.

*Note:  In step 2, it says to stir in the coconut milk after stirring the onions and garlic, and then throw in the tomato paste. But, I am Haitian: “Nou fri pat tomat la ak zonyon” (“We fry the tomato paste with the onions”).  So, after step 1, I added tomato paste first, stirred for about 5 minutes, then added the rest of the ingredients.

The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

 

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger powder until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place chicken into a slow cooker. Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

 

Voila!

Bon Appétit,

-K

 

Traditional French Crepes with Strawberries and Bananas

Morning Guys!

I hope everyone had a splendid Christmas with their loved ones and are eagerly awaiting the New Year. I am ready for 2016 to end and I know many of you are as well. I normally don’t like making New Year’s resolutions but since I want my 2017 to go without a hitch, I’ve decided to make one. I spent most of 2016 struggling with eating breakfast in particular. So, next year I want to make breakfast just as important as my other meals. (I read this article and instantly felt inspired: Breakfast: Is It the Most Important Meal?).

Breakfast is one of those meals that I find difficult because I associate it with fatty, oily, and heavy foods. So I started reflecting, like I often do, on the types of things I like and how I can make them healthier. My mind wandered to the time my boyfriend and I went to Paris and enjoyed the most delicious crepes. A little bit of reminiscing, research, experimentation, and love created this: Traditional French Crepes with Strawberries and Bananas.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-calorie butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 cups 2% milk (Skim works too)
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (Brown sugar works too)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Peanut butter or hazel nut spread
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Sugar Free Powdered Sugar Substitute (optional)

Equipment: non-stick skillet, ladle, mixer, blender, & parchment paper

1

Place melted reduced-calorie butter, milk & egg whites in a blender and blend. Then, sift the whole wheat and all-purpose flour, sugar, & salt into a separate bowl.

2crepes-1-of-6

Access your mixer and pour the liquids into it. Turn the mixer on and set it to a slow speed (using my Kitchen Aid Classic Pro Mixer, I use the 4 or 6 speed). Then, slowly add the dry ingredients from the separate bowl in the liquid mixture. Mix under smooth. Let the batter sit in the mixer for 15 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.

 

3

crepes-2-of-6$_35Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat, then coat with non-stick cooking spray (I like Pam Olive or Canola Oil). Using a ladle, pour batter into the pan, then swirl to coat entire bottom of pan with a thin layer.  crepes-3-of-6Run a spatula around the edges of the crepe.
Gently lift the crepe and flip with fingers or spatula. Cook for one minute on the bottom. Place each crepe on a layer of wax or parchment paper to cool.

 

4

crepes-4-of-6Spread peanut butter or hazel nut spread across on one side of cooled crepe. Then, fold in half twice into a triangle shape. For added sweetness, cover folded crepes with Sugar Free Powdered Sugar Substitute. Top it with sliced bananas and strawberries.

 

 

Voila! crepes-6-of-6

Hope this gave you some morning inspiration and remember that healthy doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. Go for both!

Bon Appetit,

-K

Falafel Spinach Wrap with Hummus

Seasons Greetings, All!

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve last posted. As some of you may know, I was in school , or what I like to call “kept in captivity”, for 14 months. Well, I am proud to announce that I am finally done! 🙂 I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with some of America’s brightest IT professionals. I look forward to new opportunities and achieving major career milestones.

Ok…now to the real reason for this post: LUNCH TIME! My life gets so hectic some times that I forget to make a meal and often find myself scavenging for lunch. What makes it more difficult is finding take-out or delivery meals that stay within my food and calorie img_2786-jpgbudget. Many share this same complaint with me. However, have no fear, I have found a solution. Rather than find healthy complete meals, we should find places that offer custom meals at a lower cost and build to a healthy alternative. That is exactly what I did today. The result: Falafel Spinach Wrap with Hummus

Ingredients:

  • Spinach Pita Wrap
  • Falafel Balls
  • Shredded Cucumber
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Mixed Green Leaves
  • Honey Yogurt Sauce
  • Hummus (Optional: On the side)

I had them lightly grilled the pita for a little crunch and voila, lunch is served.  Hope this gave you some mid-day inspiration and remember that healthy doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. Go for both!

Bon Appetit,

-K

 

 

WATER

Hey Guys,

I want to share with a major key (S/O to DJ Khaled): WATER. key

Water is so important:

  • “When you don’t have enough water, dehydration comes out to play. When you’re dehydrated you’ll experience dry mouth, low blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, dry skin, and worst of all, fatigue.”
  • “Water serves as a lubricant in digestion and almost all other body processes. The water in our saliva helps facilitate chewing and swallowing, ensuring that food will slide easily down the esophagus.”
  • “Water also lubricates our joints and cartilages and allows them to (pardon the pun) move more fluidly. When dehydrated, the body rations water away from the joints. Less lubrication equals greater friction and that can cause joint, knee and back pain potentially leading to injuries and arthritis.”
  • “The movement of water within our cellular systems transports vital blood plasma which is 92% made of water. Blood plasma play a critical role in buffering the body’s pH, circulating antibodies from the immune system, and regulating osmotic balance which all helps to maintain proper body temperature.”

However, did you know what can help you lose weight?

  • Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn
  • Drinking water before meals may reduce appetite, thus decreasing calorie intake, leading to weight loss
  • Drinking water may also help prevent long-term weight gain
  • More Info -> http://time.com/4011532/water-weight-loss/

But if you are anything like me, I have a really hard time drinking water. So here are some cool tips that help me remember or “sneak” it in:

1IMG_1105I purchased this awesome water bottle from Ogorgeous.com.  I love it because I can track how much I am drinking by timeframe. It’s sort of like a challenge..then, DO IT AGAIN! 🙂

sapphire-back-small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 5.47.31 PMThere’s also the “Water Your Body” app (available for Android and iPhone). This is a “personal hydration coach”:

* Sends alerts/alarms when it’s time to drink

*Provide Facts & Tips

*Tracks your consumption and more!

Of course, there are other apps like waterlogged; this is just my favorite.

3

Eat Your Water: Plot Twist – Food has water in it too! Here are some of the fruits and veggies with the highest water content:

  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Celerydownload
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Watermelon
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Zucchini

 

4

Make a water bet: Gather up friends and family, and challenge them to an agreed upon goal. You can keep d5b92eaaf8712c78966fd71c8cc7a83btrack of progress through a shared calendar.

 

 

 

5

chiliEat something spicy. I know, I know…it’s torture but NOTHING makes you love water more than when your mouth is in FLAMES!

 

I hope this helps! Get Your Water On!

Until next time…

-K

Asian Vegetable Stir Fry

Hi Guys!

Let me share with you that I am having an affair….with Trader Joe’s!!! I seriously love that place. Between having all my favorite foods from all over the world and the prices, what’s there not to love?

“Trader Ming’s Asian Vegetables with Beijing Style Soy Sauce is a colorful mixture of sugar snap peas, broccoli, baby corn, petite green beans, water chestnuts, red bell peppers, carrots and Kikurage mushrooms. The mixture cooks quickly, so the vegetables stay firm and retain their bright colors. The soy-based sauce comes in a separate packet so you can add it at the last minute to achieve that intriguing flavor profile.”

During my recent trip to visit my other boyfriend, Trader Joe, (Is it really an affair if my main boyfriend knows about it?) I had the pleasure of coming across a new gem, Trader Joe’s Asian Vegetable Stir Fry. At $2.69 for a 16 ounce package, you really can’t go wrong.

k2-_f2b32ca5-0651-4d1d-bed5-bf8f9e98f1cb.v2I placed the stir fry in frying pan set to medium heat. Then added a little bit of some of my favorite seasonings: Lawry’s Garlic Salt, mashed garlic with bell peppers, and a Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (I can’t live with out it). Seriously, you can season how you like. That’s what is so awesome about cooking.

Then I added shrimp to the mix. My boyfriend is allergic to shellfish (BOO! lol), so I made an alternative with his favorite: STEAK! Finally, I added some of the soy sauce from the package to top it off.

Let me know how you like to season it 🙂 & Bon Appetit!

FullSizeRender 4FullSizeRender 3

-K

 

Banana Nut Muffins with Walnuts

Hi Guys!

Happy New-ish Year!

I know…I know…I’ve been totally absent. Between school and work, life has gotten crazy to say the least. However, I see that during my absence I’ve had some new visitors. Welcome guests!

I did not come back without bearing a gift: a new recipe!

If you are a get up and go type of individual such as myself, Breakfast is the last thing on your mind. We’ve got to do better this year. After all, it is the most important meal of the day!

Solution? = Banana Nut Muffins with Walnuts!

The recipe is SUPER SIMPLE!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  1. Muffin Pan
  2. Paper Cups (optional)
  3. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour is okay too!)
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 3 large bananas, mashed
  9. 3/4 cup Brown sugar (white sugar is okay too!)
  10. 1 egg
  11. 1/3 cup butter, melted
  12. 1 cup Walnuts (If you want to go Nuts! lol)

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). You have two options: You can spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray (like Pam), or you can use paper cups.

2With a strainer, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Place that to the side for now.

3In another bowl, mix the bananas, sugar, egg, walnuts, vanilla extract and melted butter. Don’t over mix, unless you really want to crush the walnuts into smaller pieces.

 

4

Now, mix in the other bowl with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

 

5

Now scoop the mixture into your muffin pan. (I like to use a Ice Cream Scooper to do this. It makes the process quicker and cleaner).

6Bake in preheated oven. Takes about 20 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped and will have a golden brown color.

And that’s it. I like to make them in batches and put them in a large Zip-Loc bag. Grab and Go in the morning.

Bon Appetit!

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NEW RECIPE!: Mojo Chicken Quesadillas with Red Kidney Beans!

Hey Guys!

I made a great meal last night for two: Mojo Chicken Quesadillas with Red Kidney Beans! It is super easy to make, healthy and delicious too!

What You’ll Need
  1. Pots & Pans
  2. Ziploc Bag
  3. Lettuce
  4. Whole Wheat Tortillas
  5. Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella and Mexican Blend)
  6. Boneless Chicken
  7. Mojo Marinade
  8. Preferred Seasonings
  9. Red Kidney Beans
  10. Tomato Paste
  11. Red & Green Bell Peppers
  12. Cilantro
  13. Onions
  14. Light Sour Cream (Optional)
  15. Light Guacamole (Optional)
  16. Pico de Gallo (Optional)

1Dice Up Green & Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Cilantro. Then, spray canola oil lightly into a pan and turn on stove to a medium heat. ( I use PAM’s Organic Canola Oil).$_35

When the pan starts to get hot, take about 2 table spoons of tomato paste and spread it around in a pan. ( I use CONTADINA’s To170x245_t_pastemato Paste).  Then, put the diced Green & Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Cilantro into the tomato paste. Sauté mixture until mixture begins to sweat, then add enough water to cover ingredients. Cook until water reduces. Be careful not to burn. Keep stirring.

It should look like this: Quesadilla (1 of 7)-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2Open can of Red Kidney Beans. ( I use GOYA’s Red Kidney Beans). goya-red-kidney-beans-51045Pour into a separate pot. Fill the empty can of beans with water and  to add to beans. Repeat. Boil on high heat. When water comes to a boil, add mixture from step one to the Red tony-chachere-creole-seasoningKidney Beans and Water. Boil until water reduces. Season to taste with whatever seasoning you like. (I use TONY CHACHERE’s Original Creole Seasoning).

 

It should look like this: Quesadilla (6 of 7)-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Now for the Mojo Chicken. I like my food with a lot of flavor, so I marinate my chicken. You can do it over night for the best taste. Take your favorite seasonings (again, mine is TONY CHACHERE’s Original Creole Seasoning) and put into a 31ykJor2NiLziploc bag. Then, put boneless chicken into ziploc and pour Mojo marinade of your choice into bag. (I use BADIA’s Mojo Marinade). Close bag and then shake to mix. When it is marinated to your liking, add to a pre-heated pan at medium heat and cook.

Cut cooked chicken into dice-like shape.

It should look like this:Quesadilla (2 of 7)-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: QUESADILLAS! Heat pan to medium heat. Place Whole Wheat Tortilla on to pan and toast to your preference.Quesadilla (3 of 7)-2 Then, on half of the tortilla, place cheese and Mojo chicken. Let it sit for about a minute to melt the cheese. Take the other half and close tortilla into a half-moon shape.  Flip on both sides for extra crispness.

It should look like this:Quesadilla (4 of 7)-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5Slice lettuce into strips and add your favorite toppings: Pico de Gallo or Salsa, Light Sour Cream, and Gucamole. Place a scoop of beans on the side. Dinner is served! *Remember the more toppings you add, the more calories you are consuming. 

Quesadilla (5 of 7)-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many have asked about my portion sizes. The featured plate is my date’s. Mine looked like this:Quesadilla (7 of 7)-2

 

Enjoy! Let me know what you think. You can also substitute the ingredients as you like. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. 🙂

-K

Rock’s Kitchen

Hey Guys!

If you have a Facebook, please do yourself the favor and add “Rock’s Kitchen” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514049472156622/) to your groups. It may be a closed group, so if you are interested, feel free to reach out to me and I will add you to the group.

Rock’s Kitchen is the perfect resource when you need to figure out how to spice up your food but keep it healthy. “Healthy choices with taste and substance.” Rocky Alexander is the mastermind behind this group but it is open for others to contribute.

Check it out!

-K

TheKalynFlournoy

Hey Guys!

I have often said that the best thing anyone can do is share. That is the idea behind this site and the same can be said about this new post.

Allow me to introduce a dear friend of mine, Kalyn Flournoy. Kalyn is all about sharing as well, which is the concept of her blog: https://thekalynflournoy.wordpress.com/.  Her blog follows not only her own journey to wellness but also the journey of others. In fact, I img_2394will be featured on her blog later in the month. (Will post that later.)

It is her hope that her blog will motivate others to not only improve their life but maintain the change. She writes on her blog:  “I hope that you will read my blog, enjoy the stories and become inspired by the lessons, to make a healthier change in your own life. I, as well as the many people that are featured on my blog, am being completely raw and honest to show you that anyone can do this, anyone! Yes, even you!”

Please do yourself the favor and follow her blog. You won’t regret it. 🙂

-K