Friday, May 02, 2014

Ella's Bars

I have been buying way too many GoMacro Peanut Butter Chocolate bars and I had to come up with my own recipe to save some money and trips to the supermarket. Here it is, mostly using the same ingredients as the bars but I switched to sunflower seed butter and almonds instead of peanuts. Peanuts are tricky to digest and hard to find raw and good quality. They tend to have mold too so not very sexy:)

If you haven't tried sunflower seed butter, it is a great alternative. Instead of cursing to my gestational diabetes daily, now I eat these bars and still feel satisfied and keep my sugars under control! Go baby Ella!!! I got all the nutrition info for this recipe down below as well, so you are all set!

They are high in protein and low in sugar and you can even try with cacao nibs instead of dark chocolate chips for less sugar!

Ella's Bars, makes 16, 59 gr bars.

16 oz sunflower seed butter (Once Again Organic Sunflower Seed butter, one jar)
1 cup of almonds
2 tablespoons of brown rice syrup
3 brown rice cakes
2 packets (46 gr) of Garden of Life, protein powder, vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

1. Chop almonds to chunky pieces either by knife or food processor.
2. Do the same with rice cakes with a few pulses and be careful not to powderize the cakes, you want them crispy:)
3. Mix the almonds, rice cakes, protein powder, chocolate chips and salt in a big mixing bowl. This is easiest with my hands.
4. Add the sunflower seed butter, rice syrup and vanilla to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until all incorporated and sticky.

Line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan quite firmly. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours before cutting it into bars.

Once cold, cut into as many pieces as you like.  We like them frozen and keep them in the freezer. They don't stay there long though:)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trying to breath in a nightmare....

It was around 3 p.m., exhausted from being with Kael all day, packing and getting ready to move and getting ready for the baby...It is a lot of work. I opened the patio door and left Kael to play by himself outside. It is fenced of course. My phone was out of battery and I plugged it into the outlet in the kitchen. I got a message and sat momentarily on the tiny IKEA stool and took a breath. In that moment I heard a baby boy cry. I jumped out my seat, the crying noise was getting weaker and weaker and immediately in my mind they are taking him. Roberto has been warning me about being careful about child abduction and watching Kael 24/7, but we also have a dog and I was just there two minutes ago. I rushed to the patio and of course Kael was not there. It is hard to explain the first couple of breaths, but most moms out there, I am sure they know what that feels like.

End of life, period. Nothing is more real in that moment and though I am very pregnant and can barely move fast, I ran back inside the house first crying Kael and he was not there. The apartment door was closed but it was not locked, totally my mistake as he has left the apartment a few times before. I could not find him outside and went back in to reach to my phone to dial 911. The phone was almost dead, and I went back to the bedroom and there he was, the same joy I had when he was born into my arms, reuniting with his beauty and I hugged him real tight- of course he wanted to leave me and play with his trains.

I will never forget this day and the times that I am resentful for one or the other reason, for not having enough time, for not being a good mama, for not doing everything on my to do list. It takes only seconds to lose the most important being in your life. Guaranteed. I hope I learned my lesson. Tomorrow is another day....May it be filled with gratitude and love.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Easy pregnancy huh?

Well, just a few hours after I wrote my last post, I got hit with a lot of pain on my pelvis. It freaked me out! I was worried about pre-term labor, only at 25 weeks or something seriously wrong with the baby or an infection of some kind...The easy pregnancy was until last saturday! This week was like hell, mostly in bed and barely moving. Lots of dark chocolate as a remedy and thank god my blood sugar did not spike up with all this stress and sweets! I went to see a chiropractor recommended by my midwife and she said this is pretty common especially with second babies and carrying a giant toddler all the time! After a week of rest, I am really ready to get this house baby ready! Nesting time begins for this mama and first a toddler bed for my first baby who has been kicked out from our bed finally after 2 years!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What is baking?

There is a nice surprise baking in the oven! Guess what? I am pregnant with a baby girl due in June. Of course, we are beyond excited and so not ready! If I knew what life would be like with a two year old, I am not sure if I could be pregnant again. But nature has its tricks and I got pregnant before I saw this side of the parenthood and now we are about to be a family of 5!

This pregnancy does not feel like pregnancy at all, other than I am diagnosed with diabetes, and can't have all the luxury items of a pregnant mama. I also have to the home test 4 times a day, which is rather boring and super annoying. Results are so far so good though.  I am doing ok, if I don't eat chocolate for dinner and late night snack-which has happened, what can I say, I chocoholic is always a chocoholic. Unfortunately, not much is baking in the house. It is so strange and weird not to have sweets around or try new recipes. I do wish this will go away after the pregnancy, but in the meantime I have developed a new sense of love for all the diabetics in the world-which is a very lonely world, especially in the aisles of healthy grocery stores.

I found this treat recipe for Coconut Bounty Bars, and it worked really well. We kept them in the freezer and it tastes great as a frozen dessert. So try it out if you are also working on low sugar recipes. Everyone in the family loved it.

I am due for some baby belly photos, they are on the way, I promise:)

Monday, October 14, 2013

I <3 Homemade Chocolate and my Vitamix

Here is a super delicious and healthy chocolate recipe. All you need is a Vitamix. If you are like me, you know I love to make my own changes everytime to recipes, try adding pistachios and rose petals for a Turkish flair. Cardamom and espresso will also make this chocolate heavenly!

Speaking of Vitamix, I absolutely love Vitamix, the blender and the company. I got mine a few years ago and it started to make a weird-rather loud noise. I called up customer service and the person was super interested in our cooking adventures to daily inspirations, she was probably trying to figure out if we were blending knives and forks:) After listening to the motor, she sent me a return label, all free of charge and it will be returned within two weeks. Two weeks without smoothies, chocolate or luscious soups...It sounds like eternity.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Best strawberry milkshake ever!!

We made this smoothie on the run this morning and it is divine. I had to write down the ingredients, because it was simple but I am not to be trusted to duplicate recipes. Both Kael and Roberto approves!

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller glasses.

7 really amazing strawberries, not frozen
2 ice cubes
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cashews
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Photos from Cameron Highlands.


Monday, April 08, 2013

On parenting

When your children behave,
give them respect and kindness.
When your children misbehave,
give them respect and kindness.

When they are hateful,
love them.
When they betray your trust,
trust them.

Believe this difficult truth:
Showing respect in the face of disrespect,
love in the face of hate,
trust is the face of betrayal,
and serenity in the face of turmoil,
will teach your children more
than all the moral lectures
by all the preachers
since the dawn of time.

The Parents' Tao Te Ching

Now that I have baby, there is no running from the need from parenting. Making those decisions on parenting is hard-core for me! Life is not only about me...sigh...I have a vague idea that discipline is good for the child, so I don't want to cut him short of that experience. On the other hand, this little boy is so free and pure, discipline sounds more like containing him in my own bubble, which will take him years to free himself again to find his freedom. Also it does not mean that he can walk all over me and do whatever he pleases, I don't think that is freedom, but rather selfishness...

I don't think we know what works for every child for teaching without fear, or parenting without imposing your own values. No one has the answer. Something might work for a family but it does not guarantee that it will work for my kid. Also we never know if it really works because we can only know a little of the inside world of a child as an outsider.

I believe freedom, creativity and expressing your needs are the cores of our humanness (!) I can't just start giving time-outs or punishments because so and so says so...I need to embrace the idea, feel it, live it and believe it in order to apply it to myself and then to my child. I have come a long way on being flexible and open, as a vegetarian I am feeding fish to my child. I also know that I know little about parenting so all these ideas might change overnight! Don't take me so serious please:)

One can say he is playing with his food. I get out of control when he messes the already super messy house and I do raise my voice hoping that he will understand mommy is upset with what he has done. Furthermore, that he will connect the dots that mommy does not want him to do that again. I don't know if our brain is programmed to make mommy happy. It is like that for me now but only after years of rebellion, I now know how precious my parents are.

I also know and believe that kids learn by example not by preaching. That is why I love that poem I posted on top of this blog. That is the model I want to be for my child. I don't want to enforce. I want to show and share. Now, he is running after our dog with a stick in his hand and hitting him hard. Poor Leroy Brown. That is of course not something we will not allow. But I am clueless how to deal with this, without making it a "I am your mom and I said so" attitude. I am also not going to have an adult conversation with a 15 month old child and expect him to take me serious or else:))

Great reading on Elena's blog about this...

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Inspiration Day

Dandelions are not the easiest greens to work with. They are extremely good for you (especially your liver) but their taste is bitter and they are hard to chew raw. This salad is for the goddesses, both pretty and packed with power ingredients. I wish I could say we eat like this everyday. I don't have an army of employees in the kitchen and now it is a rare treat to take my time and do something special in the kitchen. I am very much happy with steamed veggies and lots of green salads rest of the time. Who knew washing your veggies take so much time and effort, but it is one task I can not ignore. However, laundry piles and vacuuming habits of our household would scare pinterest lovers:)

Check out this beautiful salad recipe here.

I also have a great dandelion pesto recipe from Cafe Buenna Tierra, you should also give that a try. Don't pass this amazing weed next time you see it at the farmer's market.