Tuesday, January 15, 2013

C U Next Tuesday..

Hello there,

It's tuesday night, and what a tuesday it's been.
Monday was goood though, real good, so let's jump back to that!

After mowing an entire batch of banana cookies (sigh:( ) I at least had a successful albeit awkward first workout on this circa 1970 stationary cycle my mom and her boyfriend brought over in preparation for their provincial move this May. This thing is huge! It must weigh as much as I do, and it's much bigger, so much so that I can'tcan barely use it. I think it'll have to go, being soo small in my first apartment, a cute bachelorette studio in the heart of Calgary's core. A shame, because it would have been really nice to have around, and it has decent interval programming!

I followed up with a little strength yoga, mm it was nice. After that the night really took off, Babooshka came and we had an amazing healthy vegan dinner! While neither of us are vegan, I eat vegan a lot (as such so does he hehe). I appreciate how much whole food you consume in vegan meals, how easy it is on the body and on the planet. Modern generations generally don't realize how much more MEAT! we consume than generations past. It's an unhealthy staple for a diet, as meat is typically hard to digest (~3 days in the human body,) it is more consuming to produce than plant matter and offers less necessary nutritional value, one might think it would be more like a side to a delicious dish of vegetables, fruits and grains...

On that note, if you're dying to know what delicious body, animal and planet friendly dish we went for, it was the uber amazing Avocado Cream Sauce Loaded Spaghettini!

MMMM. We both lovee this dish, which is saying something, Stef is an avid fan of things meaty.

(Note this pasta I actually made tonight (Tuesday) for myself, sans the "loaded" veggies. This time I had it with simple carrot ribbons! Still delicious)

Avocado Cream Ribboned Carrots and Pasta
 Inspired by Oh She Glows 

Serves 2
  • 1/2 small sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1 tbsp lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 1.5-1 garlic clove, to taste
  • pinch kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 serving/3 oz of your choice of pasta (I used 3oz of whole wheat spaghettini)
  • 1 medium carrot, skin removed with peeler, peeled into ribbons
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic clove, lemon juice, water and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta back into pot. Add carrot ribbons to pasta. Transfer carrot pasta mix to a serving bowl, pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

We went wild here and added some cheese as well! Out of the norm for me, my Babooshka's favorite, and admittedly delicious! *Pictured with Bellevitano Merlot shavings. Soo good!*

Note: This dish will not reheat well due to the avocado flesh, but can be made ahead of time by preparing and packaging sauce and pasta separately, refrigerating in sealed containers, and reheating the pasta before combining with sauce.

Served with a glass of Cupcake Farms Sauvignon Blanc this was an amazing meal!(Tonight too! :P)

Monday was one not unlike many others, back to the office, and to celebrate I did some late night baking! Check out these Tropical Coconut Chia Bars for a breakfast to inspire!

I can't begin to tell you how delicious these are, you'll simply have to taste them *drool*
I brought them to work this morning and they were very well loved, unfortunately only half this tray made it to this morning, and none of them exist now... Be fore warned.

Unfortunately you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that one, it's about time to call it a night in this house. It was a very long night and a long day, and I could use a good sleep! Maybe I can help myself from baking more goodies before bed again, ugh!

Until next time,
Bella Seren

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cookie Monster Sunday Breakfast

Hi Friends,

Today is Sunday, and I've slept in laateee. Hey, it was before noon ok!

After a lazy sleep like that you limbo in a make-or-break mode, do I stay in bed for a few more minuteshours, or do something about this mess?

Luckily today it was the latter, and to kick off the day a couple things need to happen.

1.Wake the mind.
     Your brain requires sustenance to perform it's duties. Provide this with a nutritive breakfast!
2.Wake the body.
     Your body has been asleep for hours, isn't that creepy? Laying unconscious for hours like that?
      Start every day with two glasses of water to activate the internal organs again.
3.Wake the soul.
      While you fulfill the first two needs, enjoy yourself. For me today this means BANANAS! :)

Banana Raisin Oat Cookies
Mmm, look at the chunks of banana, raisin and dark chocolate throughout!
And a vegan cookie the size of my hand?! Yussss!

  • 1 Chia ‘egg’ (1 teaspoon ground chia seeds or 2 tsp. ground flaxseed + 2 tablespoons water OR 1 egg)
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 cup white flour (other flours will work too)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 banana, mashed, leave chunky
  • Dark chocolate pieces(I added a few teaspoons to dry mixture)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix chia or flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in a small to medium sized bowl and then add flax or chia egg. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients. Stir well and shape cookies onto a pan. Makes 18 very small cookies or about 8 large cookies. I made mine large!
Cook for 10-12 minutes.

This recipe is another adapted from Angela Liddon @ Oh She Glows' Banana Apricot Spelt Oatmeal Cookies. Angela is a constant inspiration to me, in a life where I struggle with disordered eating without the support of friends or family I gain strength and guidance through the glimpse into her mind that is her amazing blog. By the way when I say 'adapted' it's almost always translatable to 'with whatever I had on hand' ;)

While these cookies aren't the healthiest, I think they're fitting for a lazy Sunday morning, with the added benefit of the superfood Chia Seeds! They come out quite like a chewier cupcake/muffin top when made white flour, and they are banana-y delicious! With all this new found energy I'm off to do some cleaning, get a workout and maybe some yoga in and prepare for a nice dinner in with my Babooshka. Tonight I'm serving a dish we're both very excited about, a healthy, creamy, dairy free loaded pasta, again adapted from Angela's recipe. I love this dish and Stef has yet to try it, but loves creamy pastas and integrating healthy eating where he can. Stay tuned for more on this later!

Ciao for now,
Seren . xo

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beginning the End

Welcome to my clarity;  
Clarity: Caring for the Mind, Body and Soul.
This is a place to share and grow, where you will find delicious recipes to nourish your being, information relating to health and whole living with a little pinch of me mixed in, while I make my journey to healthy living.

I'm Serenity, and this is your window into my life. Welcome and thank you for joining me!

I started Clarity in hopes that I can share my experiences and bring positive impact to others, just as Angela Liddon's Oh She Glows has done for me. I've been suffering from disordered eating for almost a decade, an alarming number given it's just under half my age. It's yielded some of the most valuable life lessons, and the hardest, most torturous times imaginable for me, and while I've reached and maintained recovery for short periods, and continuously strive for wellness I cannot say I've kicked the mindset to the curb - yet.

 It's already been a year on the rise, a bold statement two weeks into 2013, but I'm actually referring to the year past. January 2012-Present has been an incredible time for me, I've not ever made so much personal progress in such a short amount of time - more on this to come - and I can only try my best to keep the trend. Without further formalities ado, ladies and gentlemen, my first blog post ever!

Lazy Sunny Saturdays

Following an amazing lazy morning with coffee and magazines in bed, brunch at Sunterra Market and a "fruitful" adventure including a mystery fruit in the produce section that had to be bought and examined on the spot (It was a golden passion fruit, neither I or my b had the slightest clue, so you can imagine our shock at opening the fruit to find this strange, slimy mess!:

As well as these mysterious nasty little gaffers:
But don't panic, it's just Buddha's Hand!
The oldest member of the Citron family these weird finger-y fruits apparently don't actually contain any pulp, theyre just skin! Used mostly for liquors and marmalade and $4.99 /Lb I deem them a well over priced joke of a fruit. Not like bananas, now that's something I can get behind. Especially ripe bananas, mmm!

Which brings me to the recipe(s) of the day, big props to Angela for designing these, she is a saint
 I tell you!

Single Serve Banana Bread Batter Almost-Instant Steel Cut Oats!

This recipe is great, a delicious banana bread-y treat which boasts nutritional value far beyond any baked counterpart I've seen, this one will be with me for quite some time. Perfect warm on chilly mornings, or refrigerated for a tasty treat on a warm day (or night, or any time really!) You just can't go wrong here!

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 ripe medium bananas (1/2 mashed and 1/2 chopped(Save some slices to garnish)
  • 1 cup homemade oat milk(so easy, fast and cheap!), or other milk, as needed
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, or other nuts, toasted if preferred, for garnish(optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil to garnish (optional)
  • 1 tsp nut butter (I used almond) to garnish (optional)
  • Shaved dark chocolate, to garnish (optional)
1. In a blender or processor, grind the steel cut oats and chia seeds into a flour. Remove and place in a medium sized pot.
2. Stir in your milk of choice and increase the heat to low-medium. Now stir in the mashed banana, the chopped banana, and 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Heat for 4-5 minutes, adding more milk if desired and reducing temperature if necessary.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon (to taste), a pinch of salt, vanilla.
4. Combine nut butter with coconut oil and warm over low heat or in microwave, until thin.
5. Portion into bowls and top with chopped walnuts or other nuts, 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup and nut butter mix, banana slices and shaved dark chocolate.
6. Enjoy!

I didn't get picture of my result before I mow'd it all down for dinner(I'm weird, I know) in a haste of delicious nutrion-ness, but you can view photos of Angela's original recipe from which this was adapted here!

With the successful satisfaction of my sweet tooth teeth, first break of a new beginning and a (rare) Friday night out on the town behind me, I think it's time to call it a night. Sophie concurs..
Goodnight, world!