Author Archive for tracilyn

Everyday Essentials: DIY Body Scrub

Making your own body scrub at home with quality essential oils is easy as pie…easier, really. (I’m SO not a baker.) Just three simple ingredients + an airtight container, and voila! Simple sugar scrub. Here’s a tip, though – using a scrub like this this can make the tub or shower especially slippery. Take Sheldon’s advice and don’t break a leg – or dislocate a shoulder – due to lack of adhesive ducks.

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Red Lentil Dal

Lentils are packed with protein, and they tend to be one of the staples of my diet. Red lentils are the sweetest and the nuttiest of the lentils, and they tend to get mushy when they are cooked – which makes them a great choice for curries and dals, or for thickening soups.

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Pasta Salad with Fresh Dill

This is the IDEAL summer picnic or potluck recipe – it makes a ton of food, and there’s no mayo in it – so less chance of spoilage as it heats up outside! I was looking for a great way to use fresh dill, as our herb garden has been producing TONS of fresh dill, sweet basil, purple basil, mint, and cilantro. (That’s not a complaint, mind you – I’m loving the access to fresh herbs!) Anyway, I was inspired by this recipe from the Minimalist Baker to make a pasta salad. I made a few tweaks to suit my tastes and to utilize the ingredients I had on hand. Let me tell you – the dressing is divine!

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Instant Pot Black Beans

Beans are a staple of my diet, and black beans are one of my favorites. I used to buy a lot of canned beans, but not anymore. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dried beans, and the Instant Pot makes cooking them a breeze. You don’t have to soak the beans first, but I usually do (and pour off the soaking water). This is my new favorite black bean recipe, and it was inspired by this post on www.apinchofhealthy.com. Enjoy!

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Everyday Essentials: My Favorite Perfume Oils

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? As such, it’s important to consider what you put ON your body, as well as what you put IN it. I’m not a fan of commercial perfumes – in part because they often get their scents from synthetic ingredients rather than natural ones. And the scents are so strong – overwhelming to the olfactory system! (Think about it…do you really want to put that chemical shitstorm on your skin?) I prefer soft scents and natural ingredients, so I use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils + unscented lotion instead of perfume. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Five Easy Steps toward Ditching Plastic

A few sad facts about plastic:

  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.
  • Fifty percent of the plastic we use is used once and thrown away.
  • More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day.
  • It takes 500 – 1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
  • Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, and more than one million bags are used every minute.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
  • Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
  • One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Sources: EcoWatch, Container Recycling Institute.

So, here’s the important question – what can you do about it?

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Easy Vegan Cream Gravy

I am a Southern girl, and every once in a while…I MUST have a biscuit and gravy fix. I’ve searched Wilmington for good vegan biscuits and gravy, to no avail. No worries, though. I just make my own! I love the “Best Damn Vegan Biscuits” recipe from Minimalist Baker, and this is my go-to gravy recipe. (Not that it’s vegan health food, but it sure is tasty!)

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Jamaican Jerk Marinade

I love this on seitan, or chickenless strips, or…well, just about anything. And here’s a hint: wear gloves when you handle the habaneros. Just do it. Trust me on this.

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White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus

Hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, but you can make an excellent hummus with white beans as well. Roasting mellows out the garlic and gives it an almost sweet flavor, so don’t be afraid of the garlic! Plus, it keeps the vampires away. (Except the ones that you don’t mind coming around…Damon or Stefan Salvatore, perhaps?)

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It’s Cherry Season!

Would you believe I never had fresh cherries as a child? I thought those yucky sweet maraschino cherries were the ONLY cherries. Boy, was I wrong. Fresh cherries are one of my absolute favorite fruits. I was delighted to walk into the grocery store over the weekend and discover organic cherries for just a few bucks a pound! The health benefits of cherries are pretty awesome, so I stocked up!

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