self recipes

Being A Healthy Witch

Hi! I know, I know, these tips aren’t just for witches. My blog is just very central to that particular audience, and I wanted to share my little ‘food journey’ with fellow witches, some of whom might be vegan // vegetarian // health conscious. :-)

Okay, so here’s my little story: I’ve had body images for my entire life, and, sadly, they have only gotten worse as I’ve grown older. While I’ve ever been “fat,” I’ve never been happy with my body and the way it looks, and have always longed for perfection // had an irrational fear of packing on pounds. My brain has just always told me, “you’re okay, but you’re not *there* yet. You could be better, prettier, skinnier, and *then* you’ll be there…” such image problems are even worse when topped with severe anxiety and depression // anger issues. I have body dysmorphia. Severely. I know this to be true, no matter how many times my family likes to remind me (not in a mean way at all - they only want me to be healthy and happy). I’ve suffered through both consistent and on/off self-harm since sixth grade, emotional eating, depersonalization, under-eating, unhealthy “promiscuous” actions at a young age, and making myself throw up.

But this post isn’t to list off my disorders. It is to share my own progress, and serve as a reminder to myself - and others - that eating does not have to feel like a burden or a chore. Believe me, I am nowhere near finished with my unhealthy mindset. I still dread having to eat. (Too bad there isn’t a spell to get rid of anxiety)! But the thing is, is that I dread it that much less when I know that what I’m putting in my body is healthy. In addition, there is magick in cooking, and it makes preparing food for myself and my boyfriend that much more exciting. I long to eat sweets and just shove a bunch of food in my mouth, trust me! But lately I have been resistant to that, and have strived for eating clean. I haven’t eaten meat or bread in such a long time! When we go out, it is vegan and dairy free 99.9% of the time.

Here is a list of some healthy things that I have found a love for making or snacking on over this past year.

• Overnight Oats - DIY oatmeal prepared in a mason jar, left to refrigerate overnight and to be eaten in the morning! Can contain anything you like. (I usually use bananas, mixed berries, almond milk, honey, cinnamon, shaved coconut, and chia seeds, all on top of rolled oats).

• Peanut butter w/ bananas or apples.

• Fruit smoothies w/ protein powder and chia seeds.

• Vegan sausage.

• Homemade rosemary/garlic potatoes.

• Crunchy granola/mixed nuts (a great substitute for snacking on chips).

• Scrambled eggs with green peppers.

• Chickenless chicken strips.

• Apple slices topped w/ tuna (unless you are full vegan/vegetarian) and dried cranberries.

• Pickles.  

• Ants on a log!

• Fruit acai/chia seed breakfast bowls.

• Tuna-stuffed avocado. 

• Pasta w/ beefless ground (tastes real)!! 

• Wheat toast w/ peanut butter, honey, and granola. 

• Honey, apricot, and almond butter on low-fat crackers. 

 • Vegan grilled cheese w/ jam. 

• Vegan protein bars (I recently discovered this delicious brand called GoMacro - and they have them at 7-11)!!

 • Cucumber, dill, and (vegan) cream cheese sandwiches. 

 • Fruit pizza - bagel w/ (vegan) cream cheese spread and topped w/ mixed fruits. 

 • All of the fruits and vegetables!!! 

I know a lot of you may have body issues too, and have a hard time eating or wanting to eat. I personally choose to only drink water, and try hard to eat clean and always take daily vitamins. Once you introduce healthier things into your diet, it becomes gradually easier to not “fear food” again, and learn some fun recipes along the way! The goal is not only to accept that your body is your only one, but to let your insides thank you for feeding it such healthy, yummy things. (Oh, and for larger meals, don’t forget about homemade vegetable soups, veggie burgers, salads, or vegan tacos)! I hope that this helps someone! 🌟 and feel free to tell me your own ideas/recipes! I’d love to have some more :-)

Pink Hot Chocolate Milk - A Self-Love Potion

A potion for self love. Take as a ‘self love pick-me-up.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ c. Strawberry Nesquick or other strawberry milk flavour (add more to taste if desired.
    Strawberry represents love, sweetness, passion, softness, and warmth.
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
    Chocolate represents sexual and non-sexual euphoria, communication, love, desire, and acceptance. White chocolate is a ‘whiter’ version of this.
  • ¾ c. instant dry milk
    Milk represents, peace, fertility, a healthy body, and having plenty.
  • ½ pkg instant white chocolate pudding (3.3 oz)

Instructions:

Grind up white chocolate chips. Freezing them first helps. Mix all ingredients together, using about three teaspoons per cup or water, milk, or coconut milk.

How to Make Healthy Food Taste Great: Part One

The Basics

When starting a lifestyle change many people worry about preparing healthier foods that will also taste great. It’s a valid concern. We’re making the decision to eat well for life, so we don’t want it to suck. That’d be depressing! You have to love the food you eat, that is not negotiable. A lot of people have this mental image of a sagging undressed mountain of iceberg lettuce; give yourself bonus points if you pictured it with a slight gray tinge, too. Beside it sits a boiled chicken breast where maybe a scant flake of black pepper kisses its skinless flesh. You know, like this miserable chicken breast–

That is so not the case. Healthy food has color, richness, texture, and flavor. It does take some trial and error to get there, though. If you’ve relied heavily on saturated fat, sugar, and salt to take up the grunt work of your culinary adventure you might stumble finding out how to fill that void on your dinner plate.

The goal of a well-made healthy meal is to reduce the amounts of saturated fat, salt, and sugar while also increasing the amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poly/mono unsaturated fats, and lean proteins. Notice I didn’t say eliminate saturated fat, salt, and sugar. These ingredients are meant to enhance the flavor of foods and other flavorings. A pad of butter or dash of cream can make a pan sauce absolute velvet and a touch of something sweet can take the burn out of a vinaigrette just enough so you can really appreciate the notes that comprise it.

They can be used in that same fashion in healthy cooking, but the current fashion of food uses too much of these ingredients. So much so that it ultimately defeats the purpose of using them to enhance flavor. Instead, they’re often used to the point of masking the other flavors, or maybe it’s more apt to say, make the lack of flavors less apparent.

The Sensations of Taste

Salt, sweet, sour, bitter, pungency, coolness, astringency, fatty, starchy


This should bring back memories of taste tests in Kindergarten. Remember? They took you to the lunch room and made you try a dozen or so foods your giant child eyes had never seen before. Then they make you eat it. By itself.  I specifically remember those denizens of evil made us eat a whole clove. It was so bitter, “who would eat this?” my 5-year-old brain wondered. It brings up a valid point, though. Adult Megan now knows how amazing this warm, earthy spice is, but sometimes we get something home and have no idea what to do with it. So, pop it in your mouth. Now describe what you’re tasting. If you can do that, now you can start to think about what to pair it with.

The key to creating healthy meals that taste amazing is using our many taste sensations in concert; in a way that complements and contrasts one another like the instruments of an orchestra. Many people hear “bitter” and think “gross,” But, in the presence of something a little sweet, it eases up that stone wall on the roof of the mouth and becomes pretty palatable. If you add a few more notes, such as something salty or sour, it becomes quite complex and your tongue starts asking for more. That just tasted–amazing?

Bitter: many leafy greens, brassicas, many herbs, many spices, raw chocolate
Salt: salt, cheeses, soy sauce, cured meat
Sour: citrus, vinegar, many fruits, some vegetables
Sweet: most fruits, maple syrup, molasses, sugars, carrots, bell peppers (yes, vegetables are sweet)
Pungent: hot peppers, cayenne, mustard, ginger, horseradish, garlic, onion, cinnamon, clove, many herbs, and many spices
Astringency: wine, liquor, tea, coffee, grapes 
Fatty: butter, oils, nuts, avocado, cream, cheeses, yogurt
Coolness: mint

Think about ways to combine ingredients to create a meal with multiple taste sensations. What’s the peanut butter to the jelly? Be creative and unafraid to really mix it up. Some things are about harmony, others are opposites attract. When you get a handle on this, you suddenly only need a minimal amount of flavor enhances (saturated fat, salt, sugar) to add the body and “a-ha!” to your meals.

Mouthfeel

For the same reasons we want to compliment and contrast the taste sensations in our food, we don’t want too much sameness in the textures of our food either. Mouthfeel is in part ingredient selection and another part cooking preparation. Vegetables can be mush if they’re overcooked, or they can be that snap, crackle, and pop! Some cooking preparations can smooth out the texture, while others can add a crisp and crunch to it. If I gave you a scoop of ice cream; well, you’d probably be pretty happy with it. But, what if I gave you a scoop of ice cream that had been dipped in a dark chocolate shell and had peanuts sprinkled on top? Instead of one texture, you’ve now encountered three. You’d also have added new taste sensations. Start thinking about your meal preparations in these ways too.

Think of foods that are–

Creamy: soft cheeses, yogurt, nut butter, silken tofu, plant milk, dairy milk, purees/mash
Juicy: fruit, vegetables, meat (if it’s prepared well), firm tofu (if it’s prepared well)
Snappy: raw or lightly steamed fruit and vegetables (especially with skin attached), the skin of meat/meat substitute
Crispy: anything toasted/roasted/broiled
Crunchy: leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, croton, breading, toast
Viscous: Broths, sauces
Granular: grains

Also–

Uniformity: the sizes of your knife cuts are similar throughout the dish so each bite has a similar experience, there are enough of the ingredients to have the same experience throughout the meal, some ingredients are used sparingly to not weigh down the dish

  • Replace excessive salt, sugar, and saturated fat with a variety of flavor sensations and mouth feelings.
  • Do not overwhelm the palate. Too many ingredients, or too much of an ingreident, with the same flavor profile or textures can tip the balance in an unfavorable direction.
  • When working with a new ingredient, take a taste test and describe to yourself its flavor profile and the textures that pass through your mouth.
  • Several foods have multiple taste sensations and textures, so note those in your tasting as well.
  • Experience new foods with your other senses; we eat with our eyes, hands, and noses as well!
  • Adding color to your dishes is a good indicator that you’re moving in the correct direction.
  • Recipes are an absolute lifesaver and take out a lot of guesswork. Do not feel discouraged if it takes some time to start crafting your own ideas.
  • Every skill takes trial and error. You’ll learn from doing.
  • It’s OK to hate a food. While many of us have to retrain our taste buds there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding a food absolutely revolting and moving on from it completely.

I am not a trained cook or culinary professional. I’m just a home cook who loves playing with new food and continuously wants to challenge the idea that healthy food is bland and inedible. In the future, I want to break down some meal staples such as “the weeknight dinner” and “the salad” using the model I’ve outlined in this post to help illustrate how to apply this information. I hope this initial writing serves as a starting point for people to start rethinking healthy food if they’re in the midst of a lifestyle change. Have fun! Food should always be fun! 

Anyone else studying for midterms and looking for a study break snack ? I made these matcha 🍵 muffins three times in the last two weeks and they’re always a hit !

Matcha and berry muffins (makes 6) :

* 2/3 cup soy milk * 1 heaped tablespoon chia seeds (to replace the egg)
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice * ½ mashed banana * ¾ cup sugar or ½ cup natural sweetener (agave or maple syrup) // You can use less sugar if you like the strong bitter flavor of matcha
* 1 + ¾ cup whole wheat flour * 2 heaped teaspoons matcha
* 2 teaspoons baking powder * Handful of frozen or fresh berries

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine the wet ingredients (including the ½ mashed banana) in a bowl, whisk and let the mixture sit until the chia seeds form a gel and the lemon coagulates with the milk. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and make sure the matcha powder does not make lumps. Pour the wet ingredients in the wet ingredients’ bowl and stir well but do not over-mix. Then, pour in the soy milk mixture and stir together. Pour the batter into a muffin mold (I use a silicon one so the recipe is completely oil-free) and at the last minute add the berries on top of each muffin. Bake for about 20mn and let cool off before indulging in these vegan matcha muffins !

Vegan Guacamole Burgers are the best thing ever. I’m sorry for posting quite many burger pics (sweet potato burgers last week, now guacamole burgers) right now, but as it seems I’m currently a bit obsessed… 
Pictured is a dark/whole wheat ciabatta-bun stuffed with homemade garlic guacamole, cucumbers, rocket salad, a vegan burger patty topped with melted “cheese” and a fair amount of barbecue sauce plus some cute baby tomatoes. Thanks to my sister Julie for being my hand model with her rad nail polish…! Would you be interested in a burger recipe? I’m currently working on one, but it would be great to receive some feedback from you guys! 
Thanks & enjoy your weekend, xx Amber :)

10

The Voltron calendar I ordered came in the mail and it’s the CUTEST THiNG EVER! I can’t stop gushing over each page and for each month with all the characters. Plus full spreads of Hunk recipes, self reminders from Keith and Pidge, Lance tips, and motivation from Allura, Coran, and Shiro, etc. I’m so impressed by the quality and creativity, and I can’t stop squealing over all of these!!
Thanks to @hawberries and the other artists for doing such an amazing job on this ❤️❤️. This will take me through the year for sure 😌✨✨

A simple Vanilla Sponge Recipe - 20cm cake
Combine 200g Butter with 200g Caster Sugar.
Then add 4 Eggs, 50g Plain Flour, 200g Self-raising Flour, and 1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
Beat on a high speed for 4-6 minutes.
Pour into a lined, greased tin and pop in the oven, preheated to 150C fan assisted, for 1hr 30m.
Leave in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out and leave to cool.

21 Day Fix Approved Peanut Butter Chocolate Quesadillas!

For those of you on the 21 Day Fix journey, here’s a recipe that you can have when you want to TREAT YO SELF. Remember, you can have certain treats no more than three times a week that replaces one of your yellow containers. Here it is:

1 12” whole wheat quesadilla
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon dark chocolate chips
½ banana

1.) Spread the peanut butter on the tortilla

2.) Slice the banana and put on half of the tortilla

3.) Sprinkle (or arrange) the dark chocolate chips on that same side

4.) Fold tortilla over

5.) Cook on stove until brown

6.) TREAT YO SELF

This whole thing counts as:

2 yellows
2 teaspoons
1 purple

My husband and I each had one, and we couldn’t believe how good it turned out to be!

Let me know what you think! Happy Eating!

  • My mom: Oh look, there's a violin concerto competition coming up! I bet that's a cool cheap show
  • Me: Ye s... I would love to watch people half mY aGE play things I could ooonly dream of... sOUnds like a recipe for Self Esteem and Good MemorIES...