smallworld beauty: health, fitness & beauty blog

a way to a man’s heart is through these bacon wrapped egg cups

February 27, 2010 Healthy food concoctions, Other Leave a comment

There’s just something cozy and comforting about a good hearty breakfast especially with the one you love.

This next recipe was inspired by two sources. The first one is Lean Bodies, a motivational fitness site, and the second is Chef Annie from Annie’s Eats. The concoction is appealing to the eyes and tastefully pleasing to the tongue but I tweeked it a little bit to reduce some calories and add a little more fiber for you!  :)

Check out this easy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • eggs or egg whites
  • whole grain english muffins
  • low fat/ low sodium turkey bacon
  • low fat shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • spray butter or olive oil

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a pan, grill turkey bacon until medium cooked (not crispy)
  • spray a cupcake pan well to avoid sticking
  • lay and squeeze in 1/2 of english muffins on the bottom
  • wrap turkey bacon along outside of pan
  • crack open 1 egg on top off muffin and in between bacon strips
  • sprinkle cheese on top
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes

Mmmmm…. Bacon, egg & Toast cups are welcome in my mouth anyday!

I like to make these with a side of sauteed spinach and mushrooms and maybe a few orange wedges.

How can you have a bad day after a meal like that!

Leave comment

from my mommy’s kitchen to yours! You have to try these dishes!

February 15, 2010 About me, Diet, Health, Other 1 Comment

Food is one of the most amazing wonders of this world! I love it all! Every culture somehow perfected their own style of cooking, flavors, herbs and spice blends.

I try to surround myself with worldly people to get the most variety in my dishes.

My Japanese friends make the best Sushi Boat filled with various lean raw and cooked seafood rolled or topped on sticky rice. My Ethiopian friends introduced me to the Injera crepe-like bread that provides fiber and nutrients with a hint of sour dough taste. My spicy latina girls hooked me up with the tastiest rice and beans and fried plantains. Oooo, let’s not forget about my Italianos and Jersey Shore crew! Mmmm.. the taste of homemade pasta and meatballs! My Indian friends throw in extra curry and spices into my vegetable stew and freshly serve me that delicious garlic N’aan. My Americans! I love you! On cheat days, I love nothing more than a Philly chicken cheese steak with fried mushrooms and onions! Mmmm… I can go on forever if you let me, but I’ll spare you :)

One of my favorite cooks in the world after Chef Ramsey, is my Mommy! Every bite into her food sparks “I love you” and memories of growing up in the Middle East. The Arabs definitely deserve props for their culinary skills. The food concoctions are not only infused with unique flavors and delicious taste, but also with immune boosting herbs and spices.

Most people might think that my Middle Eastern diet consists of Hummus, Falafel and Tabouleh. Yes, I have these dishes from time to time, but  they’re not on top of my list when it comes to Middle Eastern Cuisine. Depending on the region, food preparation can be quite different.

Since my mommy is Palestinian, her touch in cooking tastes different from Lebanese, Egyptian or even Moroccan Cuisine. She uses different spice blends like nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and fenugreek. Her favorite herbs are dill, cilantro, parsley and mint.

It would be a shame to keep my Mommy’s dishes a secret, so below I have listed a few of my favorites!

KOOSA!

Koosa in arabic translates to Zucchini. Koosa is also the name of this dish. My mommy stuffs small to medium zucchini with rice, lamb and spices, then lays them in a deep pot to simmer and stew with lamb and tomato paste. If you like grape leaves, you’ll fall in love with Koosa bites!

Click on the image for a similar recipe.

MA’ALOUBEH! In arabic, this translates to “turn over or upside down”. This delicious rice, chicken and vegetable concoction is popular during family gatherings.  In a large pot, vegetables like eggplants, cauliflower and green peppers are laid on layered on the bottom, followed by chicken and rice. The meal is then cooked on low heat until complete. When it’s time to eat, the pot is “turned over” and served “upside down”. Toasted pine nuts and almonds are usually sprinkled on top and garnished with parsley. Ma’aloubeh can be eaten plain or with a side of Laban (greek yogurt) and salad.

MLOUKHIEH!

Seriously, I can eat this dish everyday if I could! Mloukhieh, or Jews Mallow is a spinach like plant that is popular in the middle east. It is usually simmered in onions, garlic and chicken. When the soup is complete, it’s usually topped on basmatic rice. At our house, my mommy would sprinkle toasted or fried pita bits then finish the dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This dish is perfectly well-balanced

M’SAKHAN! If you’re looking for a delicious cheat meal, this one should be on top of your list!

This dish consists of oven baked bread topped with olive oil, sauteed onions in spices like nutmeg, sumac and cinnamon, then finished with spiced chicken and toasted nuts. This dish is also served with a side of fresh Laban (greek yogurt) to compliment the flavors.

FATAYER! This pastry is usually served as an appetizer along with the main course. This doughy triangle is usually filled with nutmeg spiced spinach and onions, different cheeses or even pomegranate infused ground meat.  Fatayer are usually served fresh out of the oven and into your mouth…

Mmmmm… they’re delicious!!! My favorite ones are the spinach :)

There are endless recipes that I know you’ll love, but unfortunately I can’t fit them all on this page. My suggestion is to make friends with an Arabic family and crash one of their gatherings! Arabs are very hospitable and will be more than happy to have you as their guest. Be prepared to pack on a few pounds if you become a regular lol…

Here are a few more of my favorite dishes that you can Google :)

  • MAFTOOL (Couscous, chickpeas & Chicken in tomato and onions)
  • KOFTA (ground meat in tomato or tahini sauce)
  • BAMIEH (stewed okra and lamb on basmati rice)
  • M’JADARA (Rice & lentils, topped with sweet onions and served with Laban)

If you’ve experienced these dishes already, I would love to hear your thoughts!!!



Leave comment

a way to a man’s heart is through a bite of these Coconut Crab Cakes

February 7, 2010 Healthy food concoctions, Other Leave a comment

crab-cakes When it comes to preparing a delicious meal, ingredients are very important. I love my ingredients to be fresh, flavorful and healthy.

I stumbled upon the next concoction while searching for meals that contained cayenne or black pepper, spices that have been shown to aid in weight loss.

The Chef is GingerlyJ, a 25 year old wife, mom and business owner. She began to cook with her Grandmother at age 5 and watched her mother run a deli. After GingerlyJ’s mother passed at age 17, she was inspired to write a cook book and now running her own successful catering business. click here to connect to her Twitter page.

Not only is this recipe full of fat blasting ingredients like cayenne, ginger and garlic, but it’s also low in carbs and fat! Now, that’s my kinda meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 8 ounces flaked crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
  • 1/4 grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup low fat/ fat free mayo
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 lemon

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Toast coconut in a pan or microwave 3-4 minutes in microwave
  • In a bowl, combine crab, ginger, scallion, red pepper, carrot, lemon juice, mayo, egg, rice vinegar, and garlic
  • mix well
  • combine bread crumbs and cayenne and mix again
  • sprinkle half of coconut flakes on a plate or board
  • using a spoon, or ice cream scoop, create even size portions and form into balls
  • roll the balls into coconut flakes and place on baking sheet
  • sprinkle remaining coconut flakes on top
  • bake for 20 minutes until golden brown

gailan21-300x225 GingerlyJ suggests an asian hot mustard to accompany these yummy crab cakes.

I would definitely serve this on a bed of ginger sauteed buk choy or chinese broccoli.

Enjoy!

Leave comment

Could this tea be the secret to the Brazilian Body?

February 3, 2010 Other Leave a comment

Adriana-Lima-81Victoria Secret Models Adriana Lima and Giselle both share a few things in common.

They’re both Brazilian beauties that have amazing physiques.

Brazilian women are known to be beach babes who are proud to wear the skimpiest of bikini bottoms, baring their cellulite-free behinds.

Could these women be keeping a secret from us?

porangaba A few days ago, my boss plopped a little red box on my desk and mentioned that a company had sent over some samples.

PORANGABA TEA”.. Hmmm… I’ve never heard of this before. The box gave very little information on the tea so I was curious to read up on this.

Apparently, this tea is called Cafe do Mate, meaning Coffee of the Woods. The tea plant produces red fruit that resembles coffee beans. These plants grow in South America and are sold at most beach vendors in Brazil. Since it’s a natural product, there’s not enough research to validate the claims.

Porangaba Tea is Brazil’s weight loss potion, containing caffeine, allantoin, allantoic acid and even pottasium. It has been reported to aid in boosting weight loss, reducing appetite, acting as a diuretic and even reducing fatty deposits and cellulite.

The recommended dose is 1 tea bag 30 minutes before every meal. Other stimulants work well to suppress appetite, but can also lead to a crash leading to more hunger. Apparently, Porangaba suppresses the appetite leading to less food intake minus the crash.

Since receiving the sample, I’ve had a few cups pre meals, and like most warm beverages, I noticed a slight sense of satiety. I’ve also achieved similar satiety by drinking hot water before a meal so I really can’t tell if it made a significant difference. Of course, I need to give it a few weeks to truly evaluate the benefits.

The market is saturated with products and claims, so don’t worry about what works for celebrities and models, find supplements that work for you!

Leave comment

a way to a man’s heart is through these baked garlic parmesan wings

January 31, 2010 Other 2 Comments

The Super Bowl is weeks away, and the party invitations are already in the mail!

I couldn’t even tell you who made it to the playoffs, but I can say that I’m looking forward to the party. Super Bowl parties are great excuses to get together, have a great time and eat some yummy cheat foods like loaded nachos, hoagies and my favorite, chicken wings!!!

Since I love chicken wings so much, I searched around for a healthier “baked” recipe to justify more chicken wings in my belly :)

Of course, it’s hard to come close to a perfectly seasoned, fried and dipped chicken wing, but this next recipe is still crunchy and leaves me satisfied! Mmmmm…

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of Chicken Wings
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt n peppa

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Lay your wings on a baking sheet
  • Season your wing with salt, peppa, Italian seasoning, and cumin
  • Bake wings for 20 minutes
  • While wings are baking, mix garlic powder, parmesan and oil in a bowl
  • Pull wings out and roll them in your parmesan mix and throw them back in the oven
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes

Touch down!!!

Leave comment

Could your sneakers be causing your joints more damage?

January 28, 2010 Diet, fitness, Health, Other Leave a comment

runner-3

If you’re a gym goer, especially a runner, I know that you consider your sneakers vital to your workout. You have special running shoes, weight lifting shoes and even ones for that intense spinning class.

Companies are constantly marketing new technologies in shoes that will give you better comfort, support and even build you a better butt! ree

Mentally, when I put on my Nike Zooms, I feel like a butterfly on that treadmill and feel that my joints and bones are prone to less pressure and damage.

Apparently, the next study is negating what I just said, in fact it suggests that sneakers are bad for you!!!

What?

The following study was published in the Dec. 2009 issue of the PM&R, the journal of American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

According to Dr. Casey Kerrigan and fellow researchers at the University of Virginia, running barefoot puts less torque/ pressure on your cartilage and joints.

The study involved 37 women and 31 men who average 15 miles per week in recreational running. They were all asked to run on “scale-like” treadmill as their torque and twists were evaluated by some device.

The researchers found an increase in this torque for the knees, hips and ankles when the participants were wearing running shoes as compared with when they were running barefoot

The study showed that wearing sneakers caused a 38% increase in torque which was surprisingly more than walking in heels which was only 20-26%

So what’s the solution? Do we take our sneakers off and walk and run barefoot everywhere? Won’t I get cracked heels and constantly need a pedi egg to scruff them? what if I step on glass!! Not cute…

Dr. Kerrigan is not promoting running barefoot, but the simplest shoe may be fine as long as it supports the foot from other injuries like shin splints.

Dr. Kerrigan also went on tell interviewers that she believes she has the answer to a better shoe and that she’s already in the process of designing them through a manufacturing company.

Hmmm…. what do I think?

nikeairzoomWell, I was started to believe Dr. Kerrigan for a few seconds until I read the part about her “new shoe”… Now I think it’s just an advertisement ploy to put money in her pocket..

I think I’ll continue to rock my Nike Zooms!!!

If you’re concerned with the breakdown of your joints caused by running, then try lower impact cardio like the elliptical or even swimming. In addition to low impact exercise, make sure you’re well nourished and that your diet is rich in Vitamin D and Calcium to help with stronger bones :)

dairy1 kale

Click here to read how Kale is King of greens and how its Packed with Calcium.

Leave comment

time conscience? try these effective full body workout moves

January 25, 2010 Health, Other Leave a comment

If you’re year has started of hectic and contains very little rest and relaxation time, the last thing you want to do is waste more driving time heading to a crowded gym.

And I say.. it’s ok.. don’t go to the gym! :) Stay home and workout instead.

There are many options to working out at home.

  • Fitness DVDs. If you have a Fitness channel on cable, choose a fun 30 minute class that you’ll enjoy.
  • Go for a walk. Find a great uphill and downhill neighborhood to work your legs or just go for nice jog.
  • Jump Rope and jumping jacks. Jump ropes are so inexpensive and easy to carry around.
  • Full body workout. Doing full body workouts can cut time while getting both upper and lower body in shape.

Check out one of my favorite full body moves! (by the way, how cute are these cartoons! They were created by Uttam Gusham in India)

squat press

SQUAT & PRESS: You may do this move with dumbells, bands or your own body weight. I usually use 12 lb dumbells for this.

Similar to the cartoon, start standing straight up, squat down with your booty parallel to the floor (hold 3 seconds) and come up extending your arms up to work those sexy shoulders.

Try 3 sets of 12-15 reps. Beginners try 2 sets of 12 reps. Your legs, butts, thighs and arms will feels this.

Check out this great Full Body Workout I found in Glamour Magazine!

Add these moves to your week and you’re guaranteed to look more trim and tone.

Body by Glamour Strength Plan Month 1 Body by Glamour glamour.com

If you have other great sources and links, please share with the rest of us!

Leave comment

Feed Your Skin this! Check out this at home anti-oxidant skin care recipe.

January 22, 2010 About me, Beauty, Other Leave a comment

guinot-facial-01 This post was inspired by my Mommy!

All my life, my Mommy has been walking around the house with natural goop on her face, body and hair. Sometimes it’s chunks of dripping avocado mix on her face, olive oil on her body and even some fatty mayo on her hair.

At least once a day, I get a call from my mom about her latest food recipe and/ or beauty regimen that she saw some where or made up herself.

I would love to post a picture of her right now, but she threatened to sue me! So.. just imagine a beautiful glowing, olive skin toned complexion.

Here’s the latest one she called me with that felt amazing on my skin!!

Ingredients:

grape

  • 1 cup of red grapes with seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in a blender
  • Mix until pasty
  • apply your mask all over the face
  • Leave on for 15 min
  • Rinse with warm water

This anti-oxidant rich mask will regenerate, hydrate and soothe skin. Plus, the oatmeal will gently exfoliate dead skin cells and leave your skin supple and glowing!

And who doesn’t like that!

Thanks Mommy!

If you have other fun and nutritious skin care recipes, please do share. Healthy looking skin is always in demand :)

Leave comment

Live Life to the fullest

January 19, 2010 About me, Love, Other 1 Comment

DON’T BE AFRAID YOUR LIFE WILL END; BE AFRAID THAT IT WILL NEVER BEGIN. Grace Hansen

What a great quote!

Just the other day I was getting in trouble in the playground at school with the other little monsters. Today, I look in the mirror, and it’s a new person. How amazing that I’m looking at a grown woman with new features, new lines and a new soul.

Why am I writing this? If you’ve been paying attention to the news all week, I’m sure you noticed the chaos and sadness that’s occurring in Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude of an Earthquake struck. The death toll has reached over 200,000 and still more bodies are being recovered. Tragedy is all around us, and wars are being fought all over the world, and human suffering still exists.

When situations like this happen, it’s normal for people to turn to religion and spirituality to help ease their minds to justify life.

Here’s a great quote that sums up how I feel. LIFE IS NOT THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE. IT’S THE WAY IT IS. THE WAY YOU DEAL WITH IT IS WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Virginia Satir.

live-life21

You can go on all day quoting scriptures on why life is the way it is, but personally, I just don’t know… deep down in my heart, I love the cute fables and morals that go with religion but when it comes down to it, I’m just like everyone in that I share similar goals.. I strive for peace and happiness

Life is precious and don’t forget, fragile. Tomorrow is never promised so don’t put off life in hopes for a better future. Live it now. Live the life that makes “you” happy.

We grow up learning to please everyone and doing things for acceptance, not realizing we have wasted time and opportunities. Being accepted is great, but what’s the point if you’re miserable :(

You deserve to love your life! So let’s do it!

Live it up, laugh out loud, love hard, live in the NOW, and take risks!

Leave comment

a way to a man’s heart is through this Ethiopian-inspired veggie oats recipe

January 17, 2010 Healthy food concoctions, Other Leave a comment

steelcutrecipe

I recently had a delicious side dish from an Ethiopian Vendor while visiting a local fresh food market. I can’t seem to remember the actual name of the dish, but it was a mixture of steel cut oats and cauliflower. The flavors, textures and overall taste was so comforting and yummy.

As usual, the mad scientist in me tried to recreate this dish :)

Not only did I recreate this recipe, I reinvented it! Instead of just cauliflower, I added more veggies, broth, beans and spices.. End result: AMAZING

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped eggplant
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomato
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • salt n peppa
  • Italian seasoning or curry depending on your taste (I love curry!)

Preparation:

  • Bring your veggie broth to a boil
  • throw your oats in, lower heat and let it simmer for 5-10 min
  • In a wok, sautee your veggies and chickpeas for a few minutes until almost cooked
  • Don’t forget to season with your preferred choice of spices (italian or curry)
  • 10 minutes after oats are cooking, combine the veggies and mix in.
  • Let it simmer some more for another few minutes
  • If you need more broth, feel free to add more too depending on what consistency you like
    Voila!
    I’m not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy vegetarian dishes throughout my week. This dish provides a complete protein (chickpeas + grains = complete protein), complex carbs and plenty of nutritents!
    I hope you enjoy my crazy yet yummy concoction!

Oh! and if you happen to know what that Ethiopian dish is called, I would love to hear from you!

Leave comment