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Peanut Eggplant Soup

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peanut-eggplant-soup

One of my earliest memories of egg plant was when I visited my aunt in Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria. She simmered them on the stove and served them with yams.  Its an incredible taste that makes you crave for more. Some people enjoy it with peanuts or by itself.

I found some at the World market in Cincinnati, Ohio  and was thrilled to make them. I opted to try a combination of peanut and eggplant in a soup. It was amazing! You can serve it with rice, fufu, yams, or potatoes.

Eggplant peanut soup with basmati rice

Ingredients:

2 cups Peanuts (unsalted)

2 cups of eggplant

1 tbsp bouillon

1 tbsp fresh ginger

2 to 3 cups of blended tomatoes, onions, ginger, and peppers

1 cup of oil

1/2 cup onions

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

Smoked turkey, or any meat of choice.

Direction:

Wash and Boil your eggplant until soft.
Blend the eggplant or mush with a wooden spoon
Blend peanuts with 1 cup of water
Blend your tomatoes and red bell peppers, onions, ginger

In a pot, heat up oil, then add onions.
Add your blended tomatoes, onions, and peppers
Add some salt, bouillon, and cayenne pepper.
Add your choice of meat
Let it simmer
Add your eggplant mix, then the peanut blend.
I added peanut butter for enhanced flavor.
Stir and leave for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s well done.
Serve with basmati rice and vegetables.

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eat-lavishly-try-a-slice-of-blueberry

One of the highlights of being a mom who loves to cook, is the ability to whip up new recipes or find old time favorites to try. After a long uneventful  day, my boys and I decided to make something out of the pint of blueberries sitting in the refrigerator. We tried our hands on this amazing recipe and we loved every bite. The boys finished it all of course. This is definitely a great dessert to try, it’s not too sweet and it’s just right. It’s simple enough for beginners to whip up. We had it with vanilla icecream but you can simply eat with a cup coffee. Life’s Good!

Blueberry Buckle
Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 egg
2 1/3 cups self rising flour or (2 1/3 flour mixed with 2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 salt stirred well)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Direction:
Cream half the stick of butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg. Add 2 cups of self rising flour or flour mix then add 1/2 milk.
Fold in washed blueberries. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 inch pan. Sprinkle the top with crumb topping made with fork or hand blending the remaining 4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Bake for 35 minutes. You will see how the top buckles and understand its name.
The top would be crunchy and the inside very moist and slightly fluffy.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee or with vanilla icecream.

Bon appetit

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easy-turkish-kofta-pita-sandwich

This easy kofta pita sandwich is robust and full of Greek flavors. I used Grass fed flavor-packed ground lamb on top of Greek pita with Vivys Baobab sauce, fresh veggies, and a little poppy seed dressing. This is a quick meal for days you want to impress without the stress. This is what you need:

FOR THE BAKED KOFTA
1 lb ground lamb or beef

1 egg
2 tbsp plain coconut flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more
1 tsp paprika

FOR THE PITA FIXINGS
Greek pita or flatbread
Add your Greens ( I used spinach, baby kale)
Fresh Cilantro as needed
3 Sliced tomatoes
1 English cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 onion, sliced as preferred
1 tsp red pepper flakes or more

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lamb, egg, coconut flour, and garlic with the salt and other spices. Kneed together and form the lamb mix into small balls. Place at least 1 inch apart in a baking pan.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until brown and well cooked.
Prepare the Greek pita bread, add your vegetables layer by layer, Baobab sauce or hummus, and the rest of the fixings. Add your kofta lamb balls 3 to 4 balls works great and then sprinkle more paprika or pepper.
Finish off with more hummus or Baobab sauce.
Enjoy!

 

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Health and Beauty

KETO SEAWEED SALAD

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keto-seaweed-salad

My overloaded salad keto salad curbs my hunger and it’s absolutely tasty. You can enjoy this salad for lunch or dinner. The seaweed salad is our number one requested Keto salad at Vivys Kitchen. Try making this at home with this simple recipe!

Ingredients 

  • seaweed salad
  • green cabbage
  • kale
  • brussels sprouts
  • cranberries
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sauteed mushrooms

Add all of your ingredients in a bowl. Sautee your mushrooms with any sauce of your choice, I love oyster sauce so that’s what I use with a little coconut oil. Pan fry your bacon on the stove or place on a paper towel and pop in the microwave.

Combine all ingredients, serve with any salad dressing of your choice, and enjoy!

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Parenting

8 Tips to Save Money on Groceries

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The average family’s grocery bill is usually one of the higher numbers on the family budget. There can be an enormous difference in what each family spends on their groceries, depending on many factors, such as whether they buy organic, kosher, Gluten free, more meat, etc.

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The good news is that this allows for a large amount of savings if we decide to be frugal with our shopping. Following a few simple tips will have you well on your way to saving a few bucks.

1.) Make a meal plan. You’ll know exactly what you need from the store before you go.

2.) Watch for specials and coupons in store newsletters, and plan your meals around them.

3.) Make a list and stick to it. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it.

4.) Don’t shop when you’re hungry. That way you won’t be tempted to buy things that you don’t need.

5.) Shop alone. Count on your bill being higher when you bring your spouse or children.

6.) Only buy things you know you’ll use. For example, if your family doesn’t like broccoli, don’t buy broccoli in the hopes that they’ll eat healthier this week.

7.) Keep your eyes on the items on the bottom shelf where the prices are lower.

8.) Buy store brands when the quality is the same. Most of the time, it actually is the same product in a different package.

It’s pretty easy to be frugal once you realize how much money you’re actually saving with these simple steps. Keep a log of your grocery bills, so you can see how much of a difference you are making.

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allergies-types

Some months ago, my sister developed some annoyingly itchy rashes. She visited our family doctor who, suspecting an allergic reaction, advised that she stay away from groundnuts. Well, mum was also forbidden from taking groundnuts years ago, so, we were not bothered. Genetics and inheritance would explain it.

Fast forward to barely two days after the visit, my dear sister was enjoying boiled groundnuts and contemplating how much groundnut she should buy to take with her garri (roasted cassava) later on. I reminded her of the doctor’s instruction to stay away from groundnuts and her reply was something akin to staying away from groundnuts would kill her faster than the rashes.

I told her it is because her allergy does not come with respiratory problems that would make her cherish every breath she could drag in.

Not this type of Allergy

By allergies, we do not mean the frequent visits to the toilet after eating poorly cooked beans or after eating from the canteen just across the road. Those would qualify more as food poisoning. We also do not mean the sad feeling you get when food is more salty and peppery than you would like. Neither is it the uncomfortable feeling that comes with being around certain people. That is when you will hear things like, “I am allergic to that guy.”

We are talking about overwhelming reactions the body has to harmless substances that can lead to distressing and sometimes life threatening symptoms.

So here is a list of 5 Allergy types:

1. Asthma: in reaction to things as ‘harmless’ as dust and animal fur, asthmatics come down with a serious difficulty in breathing often associated with a wheeze. Most times, they need inhalers to widen their airways and aid breathing. They sometimes need oxygen too.

2. Allergic Rhinitis: for this, the nose starts running a lot and is itchy on exposure to things that other people do not even notice.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis: people with this usually have watery eyes that look brown or red most of the time. The reaction is evidenced by severe eye itching that could go on for a long while. So the next time you see a friend whose eyes look perpetually brown and starts watering or scratching the eyes, you might want to think “allergies” before “twas just a fly”.

4. Allergic dermatitis: this is probably the one my sister has. The reaction here is breaking out in rashes, itchy ones. This can be annoying and disfiguring especially if it has been going on for long and resulted in scars.

5. Food allergies: these are genuine, distressing, sometimes incapacitating reactions to certain foods. This is often depicted in movies, especially with sea food.

These are just a few of the allergies. It is advised that one looks out for the others if one allergic condition is found in an individual. They like moving together.

 

Your health and wellness is our top priority, have you gotten the 21 days of fearless Ebook? Get it here. 

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4-ways-celebrate-easter-eggs-color-glue

Easter is a well-timed holiday. As the weather is just warming up and you can literally see new life everywhere, this allows so many of us to understand the true essence of Easter itself: Rebirth, New life, Salvation. And what better way to celebrate this wonderful gift if not with chocolates, eggs and pastel colors?

And speaking of such fabulous things, why not make your Easter full of good times with some simple and yet fun DIYs that would keep you, the kids and all your loved ones happy and busy:

Easter eggs

Not many know this but eggs have been a symbol of the empty tomb of Christ after His resurrection. And the coloring of eggs stems from when they were strained red to symbolize the blood of Christ after His crucifixion. This custom can be traced back to the early church of Mesopotamia and has grown to what is practiced now in western countries in the form of egg hunting and gifting.

But even with its history, decorated eggs have always had excitement around them like the Faberge Imperial Eggs that have been the stuff of legends and treasure maps. It would be fun to make something as awesome as that and so, here is a gateway craft to egg decorating that just might get you addicted to making these wonderful treasures.

easter-glittered-eggs

Glittered Easter Eggs

A Resurrection Garden

If you can have a representation of the Nativity, I am sure you are just itching to make a representation of the greatest moment of all, the resurrection of Christ.


easter-garden

Resurrection Garden

The best part of the craft is that it is so easy to make and many components can be replaced easily with household items like trays, empty jars, and soil from the garden. It is also a fantastic way to have an interactive resurrection story with the kids.

Crosses

The cross is biggest symbol in Christendom because of what it stands for: Grace, Sacrifice and unconditional Love. Here is a great way to show your faith without breaking the bank.

easter-twine-cross

Twine Cross

You can also replace many components easily like the Styrofoam with tissue paper rolls and the twine with yarn. For an added touch, attach your cross to a wreath to make it more awesome or even wrap lights around it so that it passes the message of light even in the dark.easter-wreath

 

Foodie Basket

If you a foodie, not to worry, these two are for you. A fantastic mash-up that would make it look like you raided the garden at Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

easter-bread-basket

Bread Basket

easter-marshmallow-eggs

Marshmallows Eggs

And when you put the marshmallow eggs in the bread basket, you will definitely be the belle of the dinner table.

These are just simple and yet, great crafts that you can do with family, friends and your community and also have a beautiful way to share your passion about the greatest gift of all, John 3:16.

Have fun, keep being creative and have a wonderful designed life.

 

 

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Monthly Pick

Vegan Baking Made Simple

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When it comes to vegan baking, recipes can seem overwhelming (Have you ever wondered what a chia egg is and where it could possibly come from? (Keep reading!).  Most recipes can easily be made vegan with a few simple ingredient changes.  If you plan on having a vegan friend over for dessert or are delving into vegan baking for you (or simply just ran out of eggs), keep reading.

Veg baked goods require a bit more finesse and creativity than traditional baked goods, but the results are worth it.  Often vegan baked goods are more flavorful, filling and leave you feeling better than in you inhale a cake with day, bloat-inducing dairy or the jittery roller coaster of a refined sugar dessert.

 

Vegan Tips:

  1.  Swap part of the butter for mashed fruit, such as applesauce or banana, which is not a strong flavor but will lend moistness and provide natural sweetener. You can also use ½ a mashed banana to substitute an egg in most baked goods, or a small amount of mashed yam.
  2. In place of honey, you can use maple syrup in any recipe.
  3.  Use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and nondairy milk in lieu of buttermilk (1 cup of nondairy milk plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar for every cup of buttermilk.)
  4. Use ground chia seeds with water as an egg substitute. For chia “eggs”, the ratio of water to chia is 3 to 1, and you’ll want to set aside the water/chia egg to thicken and gel (about 3-5 minutes) before using in the recipe.

Healthy Baking tips:

  1. Most baked goods: muffins, sweet bread, and cakes, can be made healthier by reducing the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup less than what it calls for. You can also sub maple syrup with less than the sugar (2/3 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar. You just have to reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup and reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees).
  1.  Sub some of the regular or gluten-free flour with almond meal, or better yet, what I will dub “power flour”: half almond meal, a fourth quinoa or sweet potato flour and a fourth ground chia or flax.

zucch-3-3

In this Zucchini Brownie recipe, maple syrup is used in place of refined sugar, and coconut milk and apple cider vinegar replaces traditional buttermilk for a fluffy, delicious texture.

This is a pretty moist brownie (sorry, I know everyone hates the word “moist,” but I really don’t know what else to call it). It’s a melt-in-your-mouth, richly chocolate dessert.  If you prefer a drier crumbly texture, or more like a traditional brownie, use only one cup of zucchini, and 1-1/2 cups of gluten-free flour. 

 

 

Cacao Zucchini Brownies

cacao-zucch-brownies-1

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cup gluten-free flour (I used coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, brown rice flour and potato).

Feel free to use your favorite mix or flour of choice.
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (corn-free of course)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
A sprinkling of sea salt
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cup zucchini
optional: 1/3 cup nondairy chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line pan with a silpat or parchment paper and spritz with coconut oil or oil of choice.  I used a 9×13″ pan and the brownies were pretty thin.  For a thicker brownie, reduce the zucchini a little and use a smaller pan.
2.  Pour coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass or bowl, stir and set aside to curdle and thicken.
3.  Shred zucchini and pat with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture. 
4.  Whisk dry ingredients.
5.  Stir together wet ingredients, and add dry to wet, folding in chips last.
6.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Let cool on a wire rack then enjoy!  It’s great warm and fresh from the oven or cool as leftovers (if you have any!)

 

 

Mariah Miller

Instagram: @runninggirlhealth

www.RunningGirlHealth.com

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