Try This—Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

So I broke my Huel diet last night on the most divine sandwich I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t feel much like cooking some elaborate meal so I opted for the tried and true grilled cheese sandwich. I usually put sliced tomato directly on a grilled cheese instead of making a side of tomato soup. Two birds, one stone. But alas, I had no tomato. I had no tomato soup. I didn’t even have any cheddar cheese. So as it goes with most tasty new recipes, last night’s sandwich was born of a combination of desire and improvisation. I bring to you the Spanakopita Grilled Cheese. You must try this!!!

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 4 slices good-quality bread
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • One 10-ounce bag baby spinach, or 2 big handfuls
  • Pinch salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 4 thin slices provolone cheese

Directions

  • Preheat your panini press (you can make this on the stove top, but for next level sandwiches you really should invest in a panini press).
  • Divide butter evenly between the four slices of bread, spread thinly on one side of each slice.
  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and shallot, and cook about 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden-brown. Add spinach and salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes, until the spinach is wilted and most of the moisture is cooked out. Add dill and feta, turn off heat, and mix.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread butter side-down on your press or pan, add one slice of provolone to each, then divide the spinach mixture in half and place half on each slice. Top with the remaining 2 slices of cheese and slices of bread, butter side-up.
  • If using a panini press, put the lid down and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. If using a pan, flip after about 5 minutes, then cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: Alexandra V. Jones

I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

The Only Bedding You’ll Ever Need

Fact: A good night’s sleep is just as important to overall health as diet and exercise. Fact: Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and a restful sleep is a thin layer of bedding.   So I realized a long time ago that when it comes to bedding, you have to search for quality above all else. Seriously, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. Let’s make it worth it.

I went to DC and I stayed in this pretty fancy hotel. Long story short, this hotel had the most comfortable bedding I’ve ever felt. It was unbelievable. I stripped the bed in search of product tags. It was that serious, y’all. Anyway, the company that produced these incredible bed linens is Pacific Coast Feather Company. As soon as I got home, I placed an order for the pillows and comforters. You guys, you just have to experience this to know what I’m talking about. This is truly the most comfortable bedding you’ll ever own. Best part: it’s affordable and super durable. I mean, think about it, hotel rooms get way more traffic than your bedroom at home, or at least I hope so, and this bedding not only holds up but maintains that level of comfort. Right now they’re having a sale on comforters and pillows. Check it out, you guys! You can thank me later.

Rejuvenating Grape Face Mask

Consider the humble grape. At this point, this little fruit – or cluster of fruits – may feel a bit… played out. After all, grapes have a habit of showing up all over the place: as raisins, jelly, jam, good puns, wine. Like apples, grapes are one of those produce items we’ve grown so used to, our eyes often skim right over them at the market, opting instead for something more exotic. But before you pass over that purple or light green cluster yet again, take another look. The simple grapes sitting before you come from a long and complicated history, with their first domestication dating as far back as 8,000 years ago. What’s more, they could be the key to gorgeous, youthful looking skin. Intrigued? Read on.

What are grapes?

Thought to have been originally cultivated in the Middle East over 8,000 years ago, grapes are botanically a berry and have been used as food and to make wine for nearly equal amounts of time. The yeast that occurs naturally on the skin of the grapes is what causes the fruit to turn alcoholic, which eventually led to the discovery of turning grapes to wine. Now, the majority of grapes worldwide are destined to be made into wine, though a small percentage is reserved for those of us who still like to eat them straight from the vine.

What are the benefits of grapes?

We’ve all heard of the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, but did you know the same benefits could be reaped by simply eating dark red grapes? Packed with antioxidant-rich polyphenols like resveratrol, grapes — specifically the skin of dark red and purple grapes — could benefit heart and skin health. The flavonoid quercetin present in the skin of dark red grapes has been found to potentially reduce LDL cholesterol and grape’s high polyphenol content has been shown to possibly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The resveratrol found in grapes could also boost brain power, helping to increase blood flow to the brain and neutralize free radicals. Grapes are also a rich source of skin-friendly alpha hydroxy acids, which boost cellular turnover and help heal damage caused by the sun, while collagen-promoting anthocyanins found in the skin of grapes could reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Takeaway: Don’t peel your grapes. One more takeaway? Rich in insoluble fiber, grapes could aid in digestion and tonify the digestive tract, helping your digestion work more efficiently.

 

 

Not only can you enjoy the magnificent cleansing properties of grapes internally, you can also whip up an amazing face mask to have your skin Autumn ready in no time! If you’ve been following me, you know that I’ve already used wine to make an incredibly, restorative face mask. This recipe uses fresh grapes instead and dare I say, I love this one even more than my red wine mask. Check it out!

Rejuvenating Grape Face Mask

Ingredients

  • Small handful dark purple grapes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp oat flour or oatmeal
  • Optional: A few drops of grapeseed oil

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Use your fingers or a clean mask brush to apply to face, avoiding the eye area. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and follow up with your favorite oil or moisturizer.

via Wellness Encyclopedia: Benefits of Grapes + Renewing Grape Face Mask

Try This—The Mozzacado: A Next Level Caprese Sandwich

There’s really no way for me to be modest about this, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I am a sandwich aficionado. Like seriously a sandwich making guru. There’s really no challenge too great when it comes to making a vegetarian version of a classic sandwich. Still don’t believe me? Try this incredible vegetarian take on a Vietnamese favorite or this amazing vegetarian halloumi burger or any of these. I’ll wait.

Yup. When I’m right, I’m right. But maybe the biggest challenge for a guru like me, is to bring you a knock-your-socks-off recipe for an already vegetarian friendly sandwich. I’m up to the task though. I think I might have a slight advantage here, because who doesn’t love a caprese? Mozzarella. Tomato. Basil. Mmmm. Nuff said. But I, for real, just took my caprese to the next level. Sky high with avocado. Mozzacado! Yaaaaassssss!

This is a super easy recipe, but the payoff is like hitting the lotto. Full disclosure: I ate two of these sandwiches on football Sunday. Whatever. It’s more than a little delicious and it didn’t leave me feeling guilty at all. Fuller disclosure: The second time around, I put that Mozzacado on a panini press. I have transcended. Seriously, if you love sandwiches as much as I do, get your hands on the Cuisinart panini press that I use. Your sandwich game will never be the same. Anyway, the name says it all. The Mozzacado. You must try this!

Mozzacado Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small ripe tomato
  • 4 slices whole milk mozzarella, sliced thick
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Lightly toast the bread
  • Smash the pitted avocado with a little salt and pepper
  • Spread a thick layer of smashed avocado on the warm bread
  • Layer the cheese with the basil and tomato over the avocado