cooking, food

The Meal Kit

I used to work at Whole Foods (cashier, pto, 401K, doubletime on holidays if you were wondering). When I left I swore I would never shop there again. I was lying to myself.

The Amazon Seared Salmon with fennel and pea risotto kit, $18.99

I was desperate for hen of the woods mushrooms today. I tried a few stores, but found nothing. I gave in and went to the Whole 365 on Flatbush and found this Amazon Seared Salmon meal kit. There are no mushrooms, but I’ve been thinking about fennel lately, and I’m always up for salmon. I figured that $20 was about what I’d spend on ingredients, and I do know how to cook, so it was a win-win. I was on my way to the register with my first meal kit.

I actually opened this on the bus because I had to see if these people really put a lemon in the box. For some reason this caused me to laugh uncontrollably. I was also a little surprised by all the plastic, especially for the teeny tiny diced onion bits. They were in a really big bag for the amount of onion included. The salmon filets were glorious. Generous size, and obviously fresh. Once I’d finished picking over how they had packaged everything, I was ready to cook. You need a saucepan and a good skillet. They actually tell you what you need on the box? But if you have nothing else, you will really need those two pots to do your business in.

Hm. I could have put that differently.

The instructions are pretty complete. Just follow them. I was skeptical about this nonsense… but it really works.

You start with the risotto. I have never used clam juice for anything, but this tasted incredible. I didn’t have olive oil on hand (too busy, my cupboards are bare) but I had some butter in the freezer and used that. The end result is creamy and flavorful. I’d be willing to eat this alone, or maybe with a little ham thrown in. It took the exact amount of time stated in the recipe.

Start the salmon when they tell you to. Follow directions. You will be handsomely rewarded. I heated that skillet up hot before cooking in it. Then I stole a little piece to eat because it looked and smelled delicious. I’ve been leery of cooking with fennel, but it was fine. Now I’d be ok with buying a whole bulb to experiment with.

You can actually get the meal in the package photo with minimal stress. You do actually get two meals, so one person can cook dinner and have a full meal for the freezer or to take to work. I decided to celebrate my cooking triumph with a bottle of red (yes, you saw this on my wine list post). I have some cooking skills, but I wouldn’t have done this on my own. It would have seemed like too much work. For about $19, I got a great meal, food to take to work, and a fun blog post.

Seared salmon with fennel and pea risotto Amazon Meal Kit results.

Worth the money.

Have you ever tried a meal kit? Were you skeptical or did you just dive right in? Did you ever think of making a meal kit for one person? Could be just what you need!

Until next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

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black women, blogging, body image, brooklyn, color, cooking, decorating, exercise, fitness, food, health, home, home decor, home furnishings, influencer, interior decorating, lifestyle, nutrition, personal style, Photography, self-care

The Salad Bowl

So yesterday I went to Soho because there was a sale I wanted to check out, and I ended up at Crate & Barrel. I just meant to browse or maybe get a planter for my homegrown lemon tree, but instead I got this stuff ($15 total, because I am cheap). And out of all of these things, the most important is the salad bowl.

See, I’m on a diet- or rather I’m going back on a diet, or really I’m doing everything I can to guide myself towards better food choices. I went to Dean & Deluca, which I always do when I’m in that neighborhood, and instead of coffee and pastry I did an iced chai with a banana. I am super proud because D&D makes fire baked goods and I did not waver. Which brings us to salads:

I love salad and while salad tastes good in anything, most of the time I’m eating one out of a plastic takeout bowl (recycling!) with a plastic fork (I re-use those, too). This salad was delicious, full of fresh greens, crispy carrots and cucumbers, perfectly boiled eggs and premium Tonnino’s tuna. It tasted amazing, too. But I know how I am and I need to stunt a little so when I saw the bowl, I knew that it was a match made in salad instagramming heaven.

This salad is just a pile of random stuff in a bowl- but look at the bowl! How can you not want to nom everything in it? And it was $2.57! Lightweight but sturdy melamine and looking like an egg yolk pouring out of blindingly white shell. It is pure salad motivation. Btw, this was actually tasty. Chopped salad greens, avocado slices, roasted sweet plantain, ground peanuts roasted with bbq sauce, and slivers of white onion. Topped with cheddar cheese, for color as well as taste. I think I enjoyed it more because it was nestled in bowl perfection.

I just blogged about my bowl to show off, and to show that no matter how you get there, eating good food makes you feel like your best self. Feel free to tell me about what motivates you to eat properly! (Or not, it’s all good).

See ya next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

cooking, diet, dieting, Fashion, food, health

In which we make eggplant pizza rounds #diet #paleo

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Once I decided to do this no carbs/no sugar thing I realize that there are a lot of foods that I love with bread or pasta involve. I grew up eating rice with every meal, too. There’s a whole world of other ingredients to fall back on, but it takes a few seconds to realize it. This week I was jonesing for pizza and decided to adapt an established recipe to fulfill my cravings. Eggplant parmigiana? Welcome to pizzaville.

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The first step is to make your sauce. Put together a 9 x 13 inch pan of tomatoes, garlic and herbs like basil and oregano. I did 2 pints of plum tomatoes, a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and a teaspoonful each of oregano and basil. I sprinkled a little salt and some crushed red pepper flakes on top, drizzled the whole thing with a quarter cup of olive oil and slid it into the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Take it out once at the 20 minute mark to stir everything up. Also, line the pan with some foil or parchment paper….easier cleanup.

Once this is done, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and over medium heat stir in a can of tomato paste. use a 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable stock to loosen things up. When it’s starting to bubble, ad your roasted tomatoes. Stir together and lower the heat. Let it simmer while you tend to the eggplants (make sure to stir so it won’t burn). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Slice an eggplant into 1/2 inch  rounds and lay them out flat for 20 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on them, then rinse them and at down with paper towel. This takes out the bitterness. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a stainless steel pan and start frying the eggplant discs. You want them browned on both sides. Place the fried eggplants back on your lined baking sheet. Turn off the heat under your sauce, which you were also keeping an eye on. Now you’re ready to build your pizzas.

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Spread a tablespoon of your rich, thick flavorful sauce n each eggplant round. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle chopped peperoni slices on top of the cheese. if you want to get crazy, go for one more layer of cheese. Who’s going to stop you? Slide the eggplant pizza rounds into the oven for 15 minutes, and then cook them under the broiler for another 2 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes, then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Slice up and devour.

*Alternate method: leave eggplant in the frying pan and layer rounds with sauce and cheese and pepperoni, laying a whole pepperoni slice on top. Let the cheese melt and then serve.

I can tell you for myself, they are delicious. For me, pizza is the cheese and toppins, so this worked perfectly.

 

xoxo, Faith/SEB

beauty, beauty products, cooking, exercise, Fashion, food, running, skincare

in which we update our exercise progress, and lack of it

1fallex1So, I made that NYE resolution to exercise and lose weight and technically  I did it…for 8 months. From January to August I was good I worked my way up from doing exercises on my mat in doors to walking and then to some jogging. But then August came and I was thinner and I was happy and I just gave myself a vacay. Then I did water aerobics, and maybe that works for some but it slowed me down.

So after a summer of running, water aerobics, biking and sweating I was thinner, but by September 1st the weight was creeping back. I had lost 13 pounds altogether, and fit into cutoffs but the tummy pudge was slowly rearing it’s squashy head.

fallex1So it was back to the track, in the early fall mornings. At least the light was inspiring.

fallex4Back into the workout gear, this time favoring the cheap sweatpants and sneaker routine because running means sweat. I just want to out some stuff on, go to the park and do my thing. My cheap discount store sneakers have held up and become comfy old friends.

fallex3Actually? My goal next year is to exercise and style myself with stuff I designed. I have a whole online shop with unique images and graphics that I created. Pretty soon I’ll be zipping my Black Lady hoodie on over my Couch Potato tshirt and Stars leggings. Feel free to take a look around my store at www.society6.com/SassyEthncBohemian

fallex7I’m just as adamant about keeping up my beauty routine, which is just like working out. Your health is every part of you being cared for, and I am always up for that. I recently got some samples of Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant toothpaste and whitening booster. Instant verdict? leaves teeth sparkling clean, with tat lovely slick feeling like you just had a cleaning.

I also got some new stuff stay lean and moisturized. Nature’s Gate body washes in Mango and Pomegranate Sunflower body washes are gentle cleansers, great for people who may be showering more than once a day. Callex Exfoliating Ointment is a runnier’s dream. At first I was skeptical, but after just a week of slathering on the thick ointment, I saw a difference. Softer, and less dry skin buildup on the heels. Great to put on after bath, and throw on some thick slipper socks.

I use Tata Harper’s Beautifying Face Oil every time I go running. I wash and then put a few drops on my face. Then when I come home I wash again and re-apply with moisturizer. Since exercising is good for circulation, that and the moisturizing leave me looking dewy fresh.

I just had this Dead Sea Mud soap by Adovia sent over, and I’m really excited to try it over the winter. It’s supposed to detox and purify while cleansing, so that’s perfect for a shower after a sweaty workout or run. I admit, I m paranoid about getting pimples because of bacteria in sweat lingering on my skin. So I try to have as much cleaning material on hand as possible, as long as it’s gentle.

fallex5Energems was nice enough to send me a ox of each flavor to snack on f0r energy- much obliged! I just rotate the flavors. the clean, uplifting energy boost is the same whether you pick Dark Chocolate, Mont dark Chocolate or Berry Flavored Dark Chocolate.All three flavors carry the punch of a cup of coffee,the anti-oxidant properties of dark chocolate, and vitamins B and D. And check out my interview series in their Buzz section!

fallex8I try to remember to eat good food. I live in a neighborhood with so many grocery stores that you would have to really work to go hungry. AND a lot of places carry stuff like chia seeds, quinoa, cracked burger wheat and all kinds of fruits and spices so you never get bored. Great prices, too. I’m super lucky.

The middle photo was me making jerk chicken with creamy spinach mashed potatoes. I prepped a delicious glass of sparkling lambrusco with ice and lemon. That was the day I almost got internet. We’ll talk about that more later. The next bowl, was a kind of chilequilies thing I think. Eggs, with I think beans and rice and avaocado. I put the cherry tomatoes on top for color and flavor and sprinkled on chia seeds.

I like big bowls and I can not lie.

fallex9My other thing is wrapping stuff in parchment paper and roasting it. It works great with fish and veg. I am also sick in love with cauliflower. Cauliflower with salmon and watercress? No sweat. A little olive oil or butter and then squeeze a lemon wedge over this. Grind fresh pepper in there, add some tarragon maybe- ooh! or dill. So good.

Frozen pizza with cauliflower. It happened. It was delicious. Don’t be afraid to elevate ‘junk’ with veggies. Not like cheese doodles and broccoli, but a hamburger can use freshly sliced peppers and cilantro with mushrooms instead of cheese, right?

I didn’t want to be super skinny, but I did want to fit my clothes and lose inches from my flubbery places and that happened. My next goal is to create a leaner stronger body, so pray fr me. Winter is long and bring so that’s on my list of self-improvement projects so I can be reborn in the spring, all cue and a size 5/6 able to get away with a4 every so often.

Next up: We visit the Holiday House with Harris Tweed

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

 

 

baking, business, cookies, cooking, entrepeneurship, shopping

in which I have my first Etsy cookie orders and realize how much it cost to ship to CA

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I rebooted my Etsy shop a few months ago after baking like crazy all Christmas season and finally got some orders last month! Which meant that I had to bake the cookies. Oh, and then I realized that I was out of packing supplies. Um, how much is postage?

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Well, first things first- they ordered cookies, so I had to actually manufacture them. Each order had a different add-inn, so there was calculating my ingredients and making sure that I had the right number of cookies per canister. Then I realized that I had no canisters, so that meant a run to the restaurant supply store, where they had no lids. Luckily the look includes wrapping the canister in a plastic treat bag, so while I was annoyed it wasn’t a showstopper. cookies2a  I love the idea of brown paper packages (I leave off the string) and I also love the idea of a birthday party in a box. So once I had canisters and cookies, it was about laying out the ribbon, gathering fun little toys and writing out the pretty labels.

Did I mention realizing that I had run out of brown paper? cookies4

I had given myself a 5 day lead time for delivering orders and even with all the frantic last-minute shopping, managed to get everything out on time. The worst part was finding out that shipping to California was twice the cost of shipping within the East Coast, which I was not aware of.

So now I know.

Next up: How to get Amber Heard’s red Makeup Forever lip look…

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian