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KarmaFree Cooking’s 7 year Itch…

15 Nov

Yep… It’s been 7 years since we started this project called KarmaFree Cooking. And just like any relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs and lately I have neglected you a bit.  If you guys were my husband, we probably would be in therapy!!!

KarmaFree Cooking has 7 years of blogging experience.

And just like in a therapy session, I would try to focus on the positives we’ve had in our last 7 years:

Just like when any relationship hits that 7 year itch, I am ready to work as much as it takes to keep our relationship going strong.  Please, feel free to share your feelings too in the comments section.  Let me know what you like about us, what you would like to see from us, what you don’t like so we can fix it. 

I am positive that, if it’s for the best, we’ll still be around for 7+ more years… with your support and God’s will too.  Gracias!!!

Are we eating Chia Seeds the right way???

13 Nov

I have mentioned to you how I boost my morning smoothies adding a bunch of super powerful foods, like chia.  But I must admit I usually just add the dry chia seeds right into the smoothie when I make it in the mornings.  However, this method of adding chia seeds to my morning smoothie might not be the best way to work the goodness of chia into my daily routine.

Are u eating chia seeds the right way

My friend Cristina, who trains for marathons alongside me, lost a lot of weight training for the Chicago Marathon.  I haven’t seen her in while and when I complimented her on her new figure she credited chia seeds.  I told her I also had chia seeds in my smoothies, but I could not credit any weight loss to it.

Actually, one of my main complaints of adding chia seeds to my morning  smoothies was that they got stuck on my teeth sometimes and if I didn’t brush my teeth right away, in a matter of hours I could feel little pieces of gelatinous seeds stuck to my teeth (thank goodness I mostly work from home!!!!!!).  Not fun or pretty at all!!!!

She told me her secret was to soak chia seeds overnight in some water and then in the morning, add the juice of ¼ lemon and eat those chia seeds on an empty stomach.    Really???

Chia seeds with Lemon Juice

I have been doing it for a few weeks now and I must say that I really like it…  before I go to bed I place 1 tbs of chia seeds in a small bowl with some water.  I never measure the water…  but I swirl it a bit to make sure all the seeds are wet.  I leave the bowl on the kitchen counter until the morning, when I just squirt the juice of ¼ lemon and I eat the gelatinized chia seeds with a spoon.  I do this especially before I run in the mornings.  I then, after I return from running,  have a full breakfast and I add other stuff to my morning smoothie – like maca, goji powder, ground flaxseeds, etc. 

I have not noticed that much weight loss…  but in other trainings for ½ marathons I have gained some weight, and this time around I haven’t and my skinny jeans fit the same way.  Before, when I was training, my skinny jeans would not go over my hips, for some reason…  so something is indeed working.

Have you been also eating chia the wrong way?

KarmaFree Cooking is now part of the Qué Rica Vida Family

3 Nov

The last few months have been a whirlwind – Lots of work, lots of traveling and those who follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have been privy to that, as I have found some time to post updates here and there, but unfortunately not a lot of time to develop new recipes and content the way you’re used and accustomed to from me.

As part of one of these trips I got to meet representatives of Qué Rica Vida, a great Spanish-language website and community that provides recipes, articles and great cooking inspiration to the Hispanic and Latin American public.  Now, I am proud to announce KarmaFree Cooking is an official contributor for Qué Rica Vida, particularly helping them add variety and spice to their selection of vegetarian/meat-free recipes.

Qué Rica Vida Announcement

In the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing some KarmaFree Cooking recipes which will be featured in Spanish in the Qué Rica Vida site… but don’t fret, we’ll make those recipes also available to you in English as well.  You’ll see the whole collection of KarmaFree Cooking recipes for Qué Rica Vida in a new category in our right-side bar.

If you’re bilingual… or just plain curious, I invite you to check out Qué Rica Vida’s site and their expansive collection of recipes.  It’s a great space to gather some inspiration for the kitchen and to check out a few friends of KarmaFree Cooking – Sazón Boricua, ChecaLaMovie and Hungry Food Love.

Let’s Celebrate Vegetarians Today!!!

1 Oct

International Vegeterian Day

 

Thanks to my Facebook friends, I was reminded that today, October 1st, is International Vegetarian Day!!!

Everyday to me is a vegetarian day, therefore, I tend to forget these things.  I’m going to have to program a reminder in my calendar, just like I do for birthdays.

I invite you to invite a friend to celebrate this beautiful “holiday” by enjoying a dish that highlights fruits, vegetables or cereals…  showing by example that the vegetarian lifestyle is varied, healthy and delicious at the same time…  Let’s Celebrate!!!!

Cocina Abierta new vegetarian menu in Condado

12 Sep

I’ve told you about Cocina Abierta… a super cool restaurant owned by a former neighbor of mine, Martin Louzao. Martin is an awesome chef, one with a former vegetarian girlfriend. I would like to think that based on her insistence or my insistence on her asking if several of their dishes were truly vegetarian, that he decided to create a Vegetarian Menu in his new location in Condado.

Cocina Abierta is not a vegetarían restaurant… we still have a great opportunity for Vegetarian Fine Dining in Puerto Rico. But Martin has certainly captured my attention developing new dishes and adapting several true and tried favorites to create a vegetarian tasting menu fit for celebrations, to take vegetarian friends when they travel to Puerto Rico and when you want to enjoy truly good cooking overall.

If you ignore the smells of grilled steaks coming from the kitchen… you will find Cocina Abierta has a great ambiance and atmosphere. Their menu is divided into ACTS, like a play, but we only ordered from the Vegetarian side concert. I took my friend Andrew, who was visiting Puerto Rico for work. Aside from the Yoga Center cooking, he had not had the chance to experience fine dining in Puerto Rico.

We ordered:

Baby Arugula Salad with Almond-Stuffed Dates and Caramelized Onions

Cocina Abierta - Vegetarian Menu Salad

Eggplant Mignon over a bed of Curried Couscous

Eggplant Vegetarian Dish

Ricotta Gnocchi with Blue Cheese and Arugula

Cocina Abierta Vegetarian Menu

Gelatos – Salted Caramel and Strawberry Flavors

Cocina Abierta Vegetrian Menu

OMG!!!!   What an awesome experience we had!!! We shared everything because we wanted to taste as many things we could… I would have ordered another salad just for me… not because the serving was small, but because it was so delicious.

The Eggplant Mignon is something I would rarely order in a restaurant, yet I was very surprised to taste the flavors of India in a very refined manner, suitable for the Western taste buds. I am not too fond of Indian cooking and I enjoyed this very much…

The gnocchi are so rich and delicious… it was a good thing we shared. Because if not, I would have eaten the whole thing by myself and would have been counting the amount of calories for days.

The gelatos were spectacular, in particular the salted caramel one… with pieces of caramel inside. It was heaven on a plate. I may just go back and sit at their Dessert Bar just to have the salted caramel ice cream. Move over Mango Sorbet from Hagen Dasz, there’s a new frozen dessert in town!!!

I want to thank Martin and the whole Cocina Abierta team for a wonderful evening… our waitress Mari Carmen was a joy and made our dining experience all the better. When you have someone serving you who’s super excited about the food… it gets you excited too. We were very happy and Andrew even mentioned he might return again when his next business trip takes him back to San Juan.

I am glad I have an alternative to offer friends and people who ask on tour FB page – “Where can I eat in PR if I am vegetarian???” There’s no need to suffer or put your lifestyle aside if you’re traveling to Puerto Rico.

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