Sweet Potato Chili

I know this chili isn’t much to look at, but it is so. damn. good. I’m in the midst of a 30-day cleanse that allows me to eat one healthy meal per day. Yes, one meal per day, people! Otherwise, we’re talking shakes, celery, and cucumbers. Knowing the extent to which I love food, I’m sure you can imagine how much I look forward to my one and only meal. That’s why I had to make it extra special. 

What I love about this chili is that, despite being hearty and filling, it’s chock full of healthy ingredients. I decided to add sweet potato for some extra nutrients, and I am so happy that I did. Also, this chili is a meal prepper’s dream, as one batch yields five servings and takes only an hour to make. I think it goes without saying that this is 100%, without a doubt my new go-to chili recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 a medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • Garnish: lime wedges, non-fat Greek yogurt, and corn chips

What you’ll do:

  • First, add the avocado oil, garlic, and onion to a large pot; sautée over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes
  • Then, add the ground bison and, using a flipper, break into smaller pieces; flip every so often until browned through, approximately 5 minutes
  • Next, add the crushed tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, broth, and spices; stir until all ingredients are combined
  • Turn the heat to its lowest setting and allow to simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Serve in individual crocks and garnish each with a lime wedge, a generous dallop of Greek yogurt, and several corn chips

DIY Dry Shampoo

Hellooooo, ladies! If you are an avid dry shampoo user such as myself, you will love this post! I am a dry shampoo junkie. I go through cans and cans and cans. Between work, school, maintaining a social life, enjoying hobbies, and working out, whose got time for daily hair washing and styling?! Quite honestly, I should have invested stock in Batiste a looooong time ago. However, as I’m on a mission to rid my apartment of all things toxic now more than ever, I almost fainted when I realized what goes into that aerosol can.

Upon researching how to make some dry shampoo of my own, I was blown away by how simple (and cheap!) it is to make. As an added bonus, I made mine with peppermint and lavender essential oils. They not only make the final product smell wonderful, but have functional benefits as well. The tingling sensation of peppermint on my scalp is also amaaaaazing! It’s truly incredible how much more I have incorporated essential oils into my life since joining the Young Living community. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and know that I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to learn.

Ingredients:

  • Corn starch: adds volume
  • Baking soda: cleanses
  • Peppermint essential oil: anti-itch
  • Lavender essential oil: anti-dandruff, strengthens hair, stimulates hair growth

What you’ll need:

  • A 4 oz. powder shaker with lid (I purchased this one from Amazon and it is perfect for this project!)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional for brunettes: 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the shaker, apply the lid, and shake well
  • Shake the dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and use your fingers to work it into your scalp; allow to sit for roughly 5 minutes
  • Once 5 minutes has elapsed, brush the remaining dry shampoo through your hair and style as usual

Garlic Confit Hummus

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My mind is pretty blown as to how I haven’t posted this recipe until now. Of course, I make all kinds of whacky, flavored hummus on the reg (sweet potato, beet, and roasted red pepper, to name a few). However, this classic hummus is without a doubt my go-to. This recipe has two parts to it: the garlic confit and the hummus itself. As far as I’m concerned, the garlic confit is what makes it!

What is garlic confit, you ask? Garlic confit simply translates to garlic cloves poached in extra-virgin olive oil. This method of cooking garlic results in a more tender, less poignant, and slightly sweeter version of raw garlic. I recommend making enough to ensure that you have plenty leftover to use in other recipes. I love it for sautéing veggies, incorporating into homemade salad dressings and marinades, and simply spreading onto crusty Italian bread. An added bonus? Your place will smell amazing! You’re welcome in advance. ;)

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PART 1: THE GARLIC CONFIT

What you’ll need:

  • Garlic cloves
  • EVOO

What you’ll do:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 275°F
  • Place the cloves onto the bottom of a glass baking dish
  • Cover the cloves in EVOO
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour
  • Store in a mason jar at room temperature

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PART 2: THE HUMMUS

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. garlic confit EVOO
  • 8-12 garlic confit cloves
  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • Optional: pine nuts

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor
  • Blend until smooth
  • Spoon into a serving bowl
  • If you’re feeling extra fancy, garnish with EVOO, sweet paprika, and pine nuts

Lemon-Poppyseed Crepes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Filling

My mom recently got a huge promotion. She’s an incredibly talented interior designer and one of the hardest workers I know; nobody deserves it more than her! Of course, my brother and I wanted to celebrate with her. I decided to host brunch at my apartment this past Sunday and ending up making decadent and delicious Lemon-Poppyseed Crepes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Filling.

Note: Recipe yields 8 crepes.

PART 1: THE CREPES

What you’ll need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. poppyseeds
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

What you’ll do:

  • Add the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and salt to a blender; blend until smooth; gently stir in the poppyseeds
  • Over low-medium heat, melt 1/2 tbsp. of unsalted butter on a cast iron skillet
  • Quickly pour 1/3 cup of batter onto the skillet; cook for approximately 1 minute on one side; using a spatula, flip onto the other side and cook for 1 additional minute; set aside
  • Repeat the previous two steps until all ingredients have been used

PART 2: THE FILLING

What you’ll need:

  • 1 8 oz. package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 pint of fresh blackberries, puréed 
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl; using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and creamy
  • Add approximately 2 tbsp. of filling to the middle of each crepe; spread over the entire crepe, leaving a 1 in. border; roll, serve, and enjoy!

Simple Syrup Four Ways

Several months ago, my family and I went to Board Room Spirits, which is a local distillery near my hometown. It was there that I enjoyed one of the best Moscow Mules that I’ve ever had. I asked them what their secret was, and thankfully, they indulged me. In lieu of ginger beer, which can be way too sweet for my taste, they use house-made ginger simple syrup and club soda. They were even kind enough to write down their recipe for me. As you can imagine, making my own has been on my to-do list since.

Then, my friend Lauren and I were at Mission Taqueria for happy hour last week. We enjoyed some amazing tequila-based craft cocktails. Sitting at the bar, we were able to admire their simple syrup collection, which sparked the idea to make our own. Our ideas spiraled out of control, and we were left with four simple syrups that we wanted to create: basil, ginger, jalapeño, and mint. We purchased some squeeze bottles from Amazon and got together yesterday to bring our ideas to life. They turned out fantastic!

The beauty of making flavored simple syrup is that it is incredibly easy. All it entails is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, as well as the ingredient that you’d like to infuse. It’s not an exact science by any means. For instance, if you prefer mild spice, use fewer jalapeños, and if prefer intense heat, use more. Also, since I’m not a huge fan of sweet drinks, these syrups are perfect as they add just the right amount of savory flavor. Now, don’t be surprised if you notice me posting a ton of cocktail recipes in the near future. ;)

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BASIL SIMPLE SYRUP

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan
  • Bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer
  • Pour into a squeeze bottle and label
  • Discard solid ingredients

GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 lb. fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan
  • Bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer
  • Pour into a squeeze bottle and label
  • Discard solid ingredients

JALAPEÑO SIMPLE SYRUP

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 small jalapeño peppers, sliced thin

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan
  • Bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer
  • Pour into a squeeze bottle and label
  • Discard solid ingredients

MINT SIMPLE SYRUP

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan
  • Bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer
  • Pour into a squeeze bottle and label
  • Discard solid ingredients