Cauliflower Poppers with dipping sauce

I have to admit that before this experience I had never, to my knowledge eaten a cauliflower before. It always looked weird. Boy was I wrong. I saw a recipe for baked cauliflower drenched in buffalo sauce and decided to try it. This is what I came up with.

Ingredients:

Head of Cauliflower

Oil

Salt

Chipotle Hot Sauce

Dipping Sauce:

Vegan Mayo

Hot Sauce

Lemon Juice

Cut off as many pieces as you desire to eat, rinse well. Place in oven and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. Let it bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you start hearing it sizzle. Take out and dip in hot sauce, then return to oven for a few minutes.

When done place on plate with sliced carrots and cucumbers. Mix a couple of spoonfuls of mayo with the leftover hot sauce from the dipped cauliflower. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon and mix until blended well. Place on the plate with the cauliflower and veggies. Enjoy.

Advertisements
Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Minestrone ‘Krautchi’ Soup

So I have just learned the nutty flavor of quinoa and decided to use put it in a vegetable and bean soup. I soaked the minestrone beans overnight before cooking in order to prep it for easier digestion.

I also wanted to try out making kimchi, but since I am in a foreign country I chose not to ferment my own cabbage. Instead I went the lazy route and bought a fermented whole cabbage in the produce department.

Ingredients for Soup:

Mixed beans -oaked overnight for easier digestion-

(I used a minestrone mixture)

Frozen green beans

Quinoa

Fresh Tomato

Salt

I drained the beans and placed them in a pot with water to boil. I also added tomatoes since I wanted them to become stewed. After about thirty minutes I added the frozen green beans and salt to taste. My quinoa was precooked so I added it in last right before taking it off the eye. If you don’t have any precooked then you can wash them and then boil them for 15 minutes then add them to the mix, or throw them in 15 to 20 minutes before you finish cooking. Either way it gives a nice chew, grainy, nutty texture sort of like fresh oatmeal.

Although it needed small preparation the flavor was delicious and it is definitely a healthy choice especially for the wintertime. Quinoa is also a very healthy addition as it packs in lysine and other amino acids as well as being a complete protein and a good source of manganese which promotes healthy bones.

Krautchi:

Ingredients:

Fermented cabbage

Fresh Carrot

Fresh Garlic

Yellow Onion

Chipotle Hot Sauce

(I used heinz brand)

Shred and chop the carrots, garlic, and onion and mix with hot sauce by hand in a bowl or container. Chop the cabbage to your taste. Mix it into the other ingredients and voila. It honestly tastes just like kimchi.

I had never purchased a fermented whole cabbage before but it works great for those who dont want to use jarred sauerkraut as it may be too shredded. Kimchi is usually made with napa or Chinese cabbage, but the cabbage I used was the regular one in the store.

Normal kimchi and also sauerkraut have natural probiotic functions and therefore is great for your digestive system and decreasing the overgrowth of yeast in your body by packing the body with healthy bacteria.

Also, this chipotle sauce is heavenly. I have also been eating cauliflower ‘bites’ with this sauce as the coating and it is so good. The grocery store selection is limited where I am currently living (in Montenegro), so I dont have the option of looking for Korean spices.

It definitely saved time and concern since I am not in my native country so don’t I want to get sick over trying to ferment anything. Another thing I noticed about the cabbage was this white milky substance, which I learned to be kahm yeast. It is not harmful and all I had to do was rinse it off and enjoy the pickled veggie. Cheers to trying new things!

______________________________________________________________

I served the krautchi as a garnish on top of the soup. Delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Vegan ‘Cinnamon Oblivion’ Recipe

This recipe is inspired by my all time favorite dessert, which is from Outback restaurant. I used to order it all the time alongside the Queensland Chicken salad. Oh, those were the days. It is made with all vegan friendly ingredients, and suprisingly does taste like the real thing.

Ingredients:

Chia Seeds

Cinnamon

Vanilla flavored soy yogurt

(I used Alpro brand)

Crunchy granola

(I used Verival  Bio Beerer Crunchy)

Frozen mixed wild berries

(I used the one with strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries)

Place the granola in the oven to warm. Put chia seeds and cinnamon in a bowl and add the soy yogurt. Mix lightly. Top with frozen berries. Then when the granola is warm put on top of mixture and mix until coated.

The frozen berries and vanilla flavor stand in for the vanilla ice cream used in the dessert. The berries as they melt also taste like the raspberry sauce that I always chose to place on my dessert instead of caramel. The cinnamon takes the place of the cinnamon apples, which are so decadent, but has too much sugar. The granola is the crunchy chocolate croutons that I used to love so dearly.

Even if you have never tried a Cinnamon Oblivian:cinnamon

this dessert is very tasty and a healthier version for those who are lactose intolerant or dont desire to eat animal by products such as is found in the ice cream and whipped topping. The chia seeds are added in to give a boost of fiber, protein, omega vitamins, and other important nutrients.

Here is a few pictures of me preparing the dessert.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

The Issue of the Candida

img_0374

I have had problems with yeast under my breasts, as I am a large chested woman, since I was a teenager and it has been a slow uphill battle to find a definitive cure for chronic breakouts. I also have recurring vaginal yeast due to the same imbalance of healthy bacteria due to poor diet, as most Americans have.

In the past I tried probiotics in supplemental form, probably in my early 20’s to no avail, as it seemed to make my stomache get even more irritated. I have also tried yogurt, but with my dairy intolerance it also caused an adverse reaction. The only suggestion I received was to take a strong yeast fighting medicine called diflucan consistently, and indefinitely. All was well until I travelled overseas and it seems like this regimen is frowned upon.

Since I have had yet another issue I have decided to try again alternative methods. I just purchased some oil of oregano which I have read helps with antifungal issues. It smells very nice, a bit like mint, and it tingles like tea tree oil. I put one drop in a teaspoon each of olive oil and placed it on my bedside to use as a topical ointment. We shall see if it stands up to the hype.

Also, I was reintroduced to a product that I use for my hair health as it also seems to be helpful in fighting yeast. Apple cider vinegar can be drank warm with a splash of lemon and cayenne pepper to help cleanse the body. I have started drinking this in the evening and morning to do more to regulate a healthier gut flora.

I also bought some more probiotic supplements, which is infused with b vitamins. I hate taking pills but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to make the body sing in unison. While I was at the health food section I also picked up some nutritional yeast to add to my vegan/vegetarian food journey. I wondered if it would be contraindicated to my yeast problem, but I read that it should not have any negative impact. Again we shall see.

I did learn that coconut oil and also fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are natural probiotics and help fight candidias by replenishing your gut with healthy bacteria.

If you are having any similar problems then check out this website https://www.thecandidadiet.com/. I know that I have been waiting nearly 20 years if not longer for this sort of information.

 

 

Posted in Educational, The Vape Room | Leave a comment

Photography 2

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Gallery | Leave a comment

Crna Gora on the Rocks

If anyone has seen the Casino Royale 007 movie, they may have heard of the country that I now reside in. I saw the movie back in 2014 while still living in the state of Washington, and had to google it to make sure that it existed. Montenegro, or the black mountains, is a small country that formerly belonged in Yugoslavia, along with Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia. I am happy to state that I have been to almost all of these countries, save for Macedonia and Bosnia, but I do plan on visiting Sarajevo in the near future. These are truly beautiful lands carved with rich history and culture.

The actual movie scene was from what I researched, shot in the Czech Republic, but Montenegro definitely has some top spots that could have been used. On a day trip from the capitol of Podgorica, I traveled a few hours and was able to see three different towns-Rijeka Crnojevica, Budva, and Kotor.

The first is less than thirty minutes away and it is a historic fishing town. It has its roots all the way back to the beginning of the Ottoman empire ruling in the area. The residents of Podgorica fled to the mountains to escape the Turkish army. They thrived in the rough terrain since the Ottomans did not know the land as well as them. The fishing town is not very populated now, but it is still a gem to visit as it sits in the presence of Skadar Lake, a popular tourist destination via the national park.

Budva was my next stop, which was an hour away. It honestly reminded me of Monaco, just a smaller version, and much more beautiful due to the adriatic sea surrounding it. The water is so crystal clear that it is enchanting to sit and stare into the horizon. There are portions of the old town walls from the medieval ages still in existence, and the prices are much more palatable than Monaco.

After leaving, thirty minutes later I was in Kotor. It is one of the most preserved locations in Montenegro as being authentic and approved via UNESCO as a protected establishment. The old town has a backdrop of a mountainous fortress that looks amazing around dusk. In all the locations were unique in their own way, and it is amazing to find so much history and picturesque moments in such a small country.

Check out my youtube channel at Tales from the Vlog to see a video on this trip or you can just click here https://youtu.be/J63ZME66PD8

Posted in Photo Gallery, Travel | Leave a comment

Travelling the World, Naturally

I am back again to talk more about my hair journey while abroad. As in my last post earlier this year, I am still learning new and interesting things about my hair while living outside of the U.S. For starters, I have come to understand that my hair is low porosity. This means that it doesnt let moisture in very well. In order to accomplish this I have to use heat to open up my hair cuticles. My hair has grown substanstially since this past February, and I am more in tune with what my hair thrives on. For instance, too much product builds up on my scalp if I use anything that my hair doesn’t like. I have figured out that it does well with a simple conditioning of extra virgin olive oil and honey. My goal is to condition weekly while washing my hair with apple cider vinegar. The product that I use for moisturizing in between is a shea butter beeswax cream mix that I found at a cosmetic store in the current country that I am in, Montenegro. I also found a gel schwarzkopf that has no alcohol.

This lack of ability to obtain multiple processed products will assist me when I do get back to the states and am able to get my hair trimmed into some fashion that is suitable to wear loosely. At the moment my hair is at a stage where it is growing long in the back but still shorter in the middle. Read further for my summary of what may help you if you do find yourself travelling around without adequate textured hair products at your disposal.

 

For any black female, starting a natural hair journey can be daunting. Whether you go for the big chop (which I did) or you gradually allow your tresses to come down, learning to understand and take care of your particular grade of hair is a challenge. Now just imagine trying to learn to love your hair in a foreign country. This has become my experience since fully grasping the importance of moisture and nurture with my strands. Since my undergraduate college years from 1999 until now I have gone natural approximately three to four times. This last time being the most enduring and educational. Particularly because I decided to continue with my journey which began the summer of 2013 due to a broken down vehicle and no option for getting to the hair stylist. I walked to the nearest head start and shaved it all off. The experience was lovely until I reached what most people proclaim as the ‘weird’ phase of a natural. It was too long to just wear loose and look nice and not quite long enough to pull in a ponytail. My weird phase also came when I was knee deep in a very minimally populated area of those who have African descent. My struggle began in a place called Croatia.

It is a part of the former Yugoslavia and although there are a small percentage of blacks in the country, it is not enough to cater to the unique hair needs of the population. This scarcity led me to try extreme measures, therefore, I went onto youtube. And from there I began to learn how to make DIY conditioners and cleansers that have helped my hair tremendously. I do have lapses in memory of what I am supposed to do such as tying my hair in protective styles, moisturizing, and I still have yet to get on the bandwagon of detangling with a brush. I have however stopped brushing my hair, finger detangle (occasionally), co-washing with apple cider vinegar, and using coconut oil to help maintain moisture. It is a uphill battle but less than a year after learning the do’s and don’t’s of natural life (albeit this is my umpteenth time) I building an appreciation and love for my locks. Although I don’t have easy access to many of the products I see on youtube, even in a place like Croatia there is a drogerie mart (DM) on every corner which sales apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, aloe vera oil, and other natural ingredients like eggs, mayo, olive oil, etc. to support healthy hair growth in women, or men, of color.

Posted in The Vape Room, Travel | Leave a comment