review: kelapo coconut oil

I’m a huge fan of coconut oil. And it always helps when it is organic and fair trade like Kelapo. I have a little more work before I’ve completely convinced my Dad that it isn’t as bad as it might outwardly appear (he works in Cardiac Rehab and they really don’t take too kindly to those high saturated fat levels) but I’ll be patient. :)

On the outside, coconut oil has gotten kind of a bad rap, but it’s rather dated information in my opinion. Many studies have been done and show that coconut oil can actually promote heart health, act as an antimicrobial, absorb nutrients and minerals and help fight the signs of aging. (And you know I’m a believer in everything in moderation anyway.)

I use coconut oil in many different ways – for popping pop corn, on Hemp Bagels, in baked goods, in stir-frys as well as in smoothies.  The flavor is slightly sweet and the texture luxurious. Summer is a perfect time for a tropical-tasting smoothie, full of good fats, don’t you think?

Orange Strawberry Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Blend ingredients together until somewhat smooth. The coconut oil will harden in little chunks, but I kind of like them while drinking my smoothie. When I’ve made it with a banana instead of berries it reminds me an orange julius.  :)


Have you tried coconut oil? Like it?

Disclaimer: Kelapo sent me coconut oil to review. The opinions are my own.

annie chun’s dinner party

This dinner party started like all of the other dinner parties I have.

With prosecco. Prosecco with ume plum wine to be exact.  I was lucky enough to participate in an Annie Chun’s Dinner Party, which meant I was to host an Asian Dinner Party, choosing between Korean, Thai or Chinese fare. I decided to go with a Korean theme, mainly because the Korean Flank Steak recipe sounded amazing!

Menu

Starters: Chicken and Pork Pot Stickers, Rice Crackers & Roasted Seaweed

Main: Korean Flank Steak with Sticky Rice, Pickled Cucumber Salad and Sigumchi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach)

Dessert: Black Sticky Rice with Coconut Mango Ice Cream

This dinner party was a lot of fun to plan – with a little guidance from Annie Chun’s and plenty of creative room – I decided on a menu that like most of my dishes, is healthy, simple, full of vegetables and delicious as ever.

The starters were Pork and Chicken with Vegetable Pot Stickers served alongside some Rice Crackers and Roasted Seaweed for munching. (We did have a slight fiasco with the pot stickers sticking to the pan because I don’t think I used enough oil, but thankfully my guests didn’t judge me too much and they still tasted good!) :)

A marinade of Korean BBQ sauce and gochujang sauce flavored the Flank Steak impeccably, and the Taster cooked it to perfection! After some quick internet searches for some side dishes to go along with the Korean Steak I decided on a pickled cucumber salad (so simple!) and Sigumchi Namul. Both side dishes allowed me to do most of the prep work ahead of time and the great thing about spinach is that it literally takes 2 minutes to cook. Since there would be rice twice during the meal, I knew I wanted strictly veggie sides. The greens also add a beautiful contrast to the plate.

Dessert was easy. But I can’t really take credit for it. You see, desserts have never really been my strong point and I just happen to know someone who makes home-made ice cream in all sorts of flavors. Yes, home-made! So Kate made some Coconut Mango Ice Cream for me and I served it over the black sticky rice. The ice cream was great – not too sweet, with hints of mango and coconut. It really was the perfect ending.

It is actually quite rare for me to have dinner parties. I love to entertain, but because our table only seats 4 and our dishes are less than desirable, entertaining is usually limited to appetizers and cocktails. Since this was a bit of a special meal, I also wanted to really think about the table settings and decorations. Just like dessert, decorating is not something I really excel at so I wanted to keep it simple. Flowers and candles were easy, and always warm up a table; and the little cards on each place setting read Jalmukesumneda, which essentially means, I’m looking forward to this meal.

And I really was. :)


Annie Chun’s provided me with various products and compensation for other ingredients for hosting this dinner party.


in my cupboard: jalfreezi sauce

As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. We all have the nights when spending an hour to make dinner is just not an option. One of my favorite “after soccer, before next activity meals”  growing up was tortellini with pesto. My Mom always makes batches of pesto when the basil is blooming and then freezes it to use throughout the year. I have very fond memories of those rushed, but always finding time to eat as a family, meals.

Unfortunately I don’t have any home-made pesto to toss with tortellini, but I have something that comes pretty close, with an ethnic twist. Jalfreezi Simmer Sauce makes dinner taste like it’s been simmering away for hours, instead of minutes. When served with some naan, brown rice and tofu, you can almost pretend that you are at your favorite Indian joint.

The sauce is delicious and the ingredient list is real. Does it get any better than that? I’ve had pre-made sauces in the past and was never thrilled, but this I can say will be making it to my pantry again.

The Makings of a fast, delicious Indian meal at home:

What is your go-to quick meal?

afternoon tea

source

Afternoons always call for something salty or something sweet – but always something. As of late, I’ve been on a sweet kick and as much as I love a good soy chai tea latte, I’ve got a close contender that is much lower in sugar, calories and $$. Is it exactly the same? Of course not, but you can have this every day!

Combine all ingredients for that perfect afternoon tea break.