Category Archives: BLOG

Photo Shoot Lunch- Gluten-Free, Low Fat and Delicious!

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Although you would think a photo shoot would provide healthy, low fat lunches-not only for the models who are supposed to be fit and healthy, with glowing skin and thick lustrous hair, but for anyone in such an appearance based industry….sadly that is not always the case. Rarely ever really.

Well today I have been pleasantly surprised!

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On the lunch menu:

Roasted salmon with dill, asparagus and baby potatoes

Quinoa and feta cheese burgers with sweet potato humus

Watercress and zucchini salad

Steamed broccoli with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sprouts

Red cabbage horseradish coleslaw

Fresh celery, apple, lemon and ginger juice

Berry frozen yogurt cheesecake with a seed and date crust

Everything is gluten-free and low fat. So delicious. Food that actually makes you feel good about eating. The way it should be! (Yes, I had seconds!)

Will be recreating some of these recipes soon, so stay tuned!

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Working it! 🙂

Creamy Banana Mango Breakfast Smoothie- Dairy & Soy Free!

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Smoothies are a great breakfast option for days when you don’t have time to cook, or want your breakfast to go or in a hurry.
I try to keep my blender in plain sight in my kitchen so I am reminded to use it in the morning to make nutrient packed smoothies (just a tip!).

I love creaminess in my smoothies, not a big fan of just pure fruit and ice. But I don’t want to use milk or soy, so instead I use coconut milk. It’s not the coconut milk from a can used in Thai cooking, but rather it comes in a milk carton and is low in fat and tastes refreshing. I personally like this brand, available in select grocery stores.

http://www.kokodairyfree.com/

This recipe is super simple, and I like the fact that there are no berries involved, unlike most smoothies.

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Ingredients:

1 banana
1/2 cup of frozen mangoes (now you don’t need any ice)
1 tbsp of honey
1 cup of coconut milk

Instructions:

Everything into a blender and blend until smooth(ie). That was easy! 🙂

From the KoKo Dairy Free website:

Unique, great tasting, dairy free alternatives to milk

+ Made from freshly pressed coconut milk.
+ Naturally free of lactose, cow’s milk protein, soya and gluten.
+ Ideal for anyone with lactose, cow’s milk protein, soya or gluten intolerance.
+ Suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and coeliacs.
+ Cholesterol free and with calcium and fat levels matched to semi-skimmed milk. A naturally healthy
option for all to enjoy.
+ Palatable and versatile to use as drinks and in cooking.

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Quick & Easy Lunchtime Hand Rolls with Sesame Tomato & Cucumber Salad

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I love hand rolls! What’s so great about them is they are actually a perfect snack or lunch time treat if you are bored with sandwiches but don’t want to splurge on Sushi. They are super easy to make at home with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Key ingredient of course: Nori (seaweed). But what you put inside is totally up to you and your imagination. I had a can of tuna and mayonnaise in the fridge. You could also add veggies to it, like your standard avocado or cucumber, but I decided to save mine for a salad on the side.

This literally took about 20 min to make, but if you happen to have leftover rice in the fridge you could be eating in about 5 minutes.

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Ingredients:

1 cup Sushi Rice, Brown rice or I used a mixture that I like which has Wild Rice and Lentils, rinse well, until water runs clear

1 1/2 cup water

1 can tuna fish

4 Nori wraps (make sure to have more handy, it takes a few tries to get them rolled just right without the insides dropping onto the floor!)

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp spicy red pepper Dijon mustard (you could use any type of hot sauce for this)

2 tsp Amino Acids (one for the spicy tuna and one for the salad dressing)

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 small tomato, diced

1/3 cucumber, skin on, diced (about 1/2 cup)

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tbsp of tamari sauce

Instructions:

Boil the rice, with the lid on. About 15 min. If you have time to let it cool great, otherwise pop it in the freezer to cool down.

Drain the tuna, add the mayo, spicy Dijon mustard, 1 tsp rice vinegar, sesame seeds and 1 tsp of the amino acids in a bowl and mix together.

In a separate bowl add the sesame oil, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp amino acids, s&p,  mix together and add in the tomatoes and cucumber. Toss well.

The assembly!

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Now this part looks easier than it is. I went through a couple of these before I got it right. The key is you want to make a cone so when you pick it up, the rice doesn’t fall out if the bottom. So tear the square seaweed sheet in half and place a bit of the rice and tuna mixture on the left side, roll the left corner inwards, and as you roll bring it on an angle towards you to make a cone shape. No matter what shape you come up with- it’s still edible!

One thing to keep in mind is the seaweed will go soft the longer it sits, so try to prepare and eat right away. I also found that instead of dipping the hand-roll into the tamari sauce, you could also drizzle a little on before you roll it up. Lessening your chances of any more spillage! 🙂

Tamari vs Soy Sauce:

Both are made of fermented soy beans. However Soy Sauce actually contains wheat and gluten, where as Tamari is Gluten and wheat free. I find that taste very similar but to me, tamari tastes less salty yet richer. I only use Tamari now.

Nutrition for Nori Seaweed:

Nori has about a third protein and a third dietary fiber, and contains high proportions of iodine, vitamins AB, and K, and iron. (Wikipedia)

Salad Nicoise, Herbes de Provence Encrusted Ahi Tuna, Burrata and Heirloom Tomatoes with Homemade Aioli

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Some holidays you just never want to leave. That was the case last week when I was in the South of France. The warm sea breeze, bright sunshine, the freshest seafood and local produce including juicy ripe tomatoes, sweet and mouth-watering melons,  the famous and fragrant Herbes de Provence and of course lets not forget Cotê de Provence Rosé. A delicious vacation to say the least!

After visiting the Chateau Minuty Winery  (http://www.chateauminuty.com) to bring back some bottles for ourselves, I decided to share the experience and have a dinner party once back in London, so we could all celebrate the flavors of South of France.

What’s great about this dinner is that it can accommodate different dietary requirements. The salad portion of the Salad Nicoise is kept separate from the tuna, so those who are Vegetarian (but eat eggs) can help themselves, those who eat fish can add it later and I even made grilled organic, local Sirloin steak for the die-hard meat eaters in the house.

On the Menu:

Hors D’œuvres: Spring Radishes with Herbes de Provence infused Fleur de Sel (Sea Salt)

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This is very easy to make and a French classic. The first time these were offered to me I thought to myself “you can’t be serious, radishes with salt on a plate? Really??”.  I was used to seeing radishes as a garnish and always tossed aside. But I couldn’t insult my host, so I gave them a shot. I was pleasantly surprised at how much flavor they had. Peppery, and cold with a perfect crunch. Just a hint of sea salt, making them the perfect fat-free snack.

This variety is called the French Breakfast Radish and I find the flavor stronger and more distinct than the ones commonly sold in grocery stores (red, round and used for garnishing). Just chop the tops off and rinse in cold water, add some Fleur de Sel on the side, butter is traditional but not necessary and serve right away. Radishes will dry out if left to stand.

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Les Plats (the main dish): Homemade  Aioli, Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad, Salad Nicoise and  Grilled Herbs de Provence encrusted Ahi Tuna

Ingredients & Instructions:

To serve a dinner party of 8 people

Aioli:

  • 1 clove smashed up garlic (I like to use a mortar & pestle)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • s&p
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

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Smash up the garlic clove really well. You can use a whisk for this recipe and a large bowl or you can use a hand blender or food processor. The key is to be really quick with the whisk as the olive oil needs to be drizzled in very slowly to incorporate air to create thickness.

Add the garlic, egg yolk, Dijon mustard, s&p and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk together, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you have a mayonnaise like texture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad:

  • 6 heirloom tomatoes (Heirloom: A non-hybrid breed of tomato, usually passed down through generations, these are my favorite tomatoes bursting with juicy sweetness)
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 balls of Burrata cheese (this is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, it is tough on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle, a special treat!)
  • good drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • good drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Herbs de Provence seasoned Sea Salt & fresh cracked pepper ( I picked this up in St. Tropez but you could easily make it yourself, just add herbs de provence to your salt and keep in a jar, it will be fragrant and give your food a South of France flavor)
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano

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Chop the tomatoes and burrata into 2 inch pieces and place in a large dish. Chop the basil up and sprinkle on the tomatoes and burrata, add the oregano, fresh cracked pepper and herbs de Provence sea salt, olive oil and balsamic.

Salad Nicoise:

  • 2 heads of cos or romaine lettuce
  • 6 boiled organic eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 10-12 baby potatoes skin on
  • 1 cup of nicoise olives, pitted
  • 500-600 grams of French or Fine green beans, ends cut off (handful per person)
  • Dressing: 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of champagne or white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey Dijon mustard, s&p

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Wash the lettuce and chop into bite size pieces (the French never cut their salad with a knife and fork! I was quickly informed of this on my first trip to Paris…ahem…). Chop the potatoes in half or quarters and boil for about 15 min. Boil the eggs for about 10 min and let cool. Boil the beans until they are just al dente, about 3 min and then plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.

Peel the eggs and cut in half. Assemble on a large plate, placing the olives in the middle.

Herbes de Provence Encrusted Grilled Ahi Tuna:

  • 4 tuna steaks, about a pound each, make sure you go to a trusted fish monger with good quality fish
  • 4 tbsp herbes de Provence
  • s&p
  • olive oil

IMG_4936Rinse and dry the tuna steaks. Brush a little olive oil onto each side and then sprinkle with the herbs, about 1 tbsp per steak and s&p. Do both sides.

Have the BBQ on high and cook the tuna for about 2 minutes so it is medium rare. Tuna tends to dry out very quickly if it is fully cooked, so be careful not to over cook. This method will sear the outside and leave the inside pink. If you want it fully cooked go for about 4-5 min on each side.

Slice lengthways and plate. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Bon Apetite! 🙂

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Picnic Lunch: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato, Feta Cheese and Toasted Seeds

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Finally it’s warm (and dry!) enough in London to sit outside in the park for lunch. I love having picnics, it reminds me of my childhood- eating finger foods, lounging on the grass, out in the sunshine.
Also, bringing your own lunch to work is a great way to save money, eat healthy and save calories (restaurants are concerned primarily about taste so in goes the butter, oils, fats, sugars and salts to make the food taste great). Cooking for yourself enables you to control all of that.

I found these great little lunch boxes that are BPA free and even have the utensils right in the lid, making them perfect for picnics.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of rinsed organic Quinoa
1 cup of water with veggie stock (optional)
1 cup of diced squash and sweet potato (mixed)
1 small zucchini diced
1/2 yellow pepper diced
1/4 cup of organic low fat feta cheese
2 tbsp of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds (mixed)
Small handful of parsley
1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil, good quality
S&P

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Instructions:

1. Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot plus the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 min.
2. Turn the oven to 250 degrees C.
3. Add all of your diced veggies in a large bowl, add in the thyme, oregano, paprika, s&p, and a good drizzle of oil. Toss around and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 min.
4. This dish can be eaten warm but if you want more of a salad, once the quinoa and veggies are cooked, let them cool down. Once cool (or kept warm) add back to the large bowl to incorporate.
5. Add in the feta cheese, chopped parsley, toasted seeds, a drizzle of good quality olive oil and lemon juice. Toss well. Ready to serve!

Quinoa is really high in protein and Gluten-Free, making this a gluten-free meal that will give you enough energy to make it through the day 🙂

Maple Glazed Wild Salmon on the BBQ with Sautéed Rosemary Green Beans and Wild Rice Pilaf

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Caramelized maple syrup with spicy Dijon mustard on crispy BBQ salmon. Mmmm…I picked this recipe up in my hometown, in Canada, making great use of wild Canadian Salmon and 100% pure Maple Syrup. It’s delicious and ready in 30 min, eh!

Ingredients:

2 organic/wild salmon fillets
3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
2 handfuls of green beans
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of wild rice plus lentils and barley, you can find this mix in the grocery store or make it yourself
2 cups of boiling water
1 tsp of veggie stock

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Instructions:

1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Place in a pan and add 2 cups of boiling water. Bring to a boil, add the veggie stock and a pinch of salt, reduce heat to low, keep uncovered, cook for about 25-30 min.

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2. Rinse and pay dry your salmon and place on a plate. In a small jar add the maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Shake well. Salt and pepper the fish and then pour the marinade over top. Let sit in the fridge until ready to cook.

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3. Rinse and chop the ends off of the beans. Slice the garlic very thinly. Cut the tomatoes in half.

4. In a pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and once hot, add in the beans and rosemary. Sauté for about 7 min, tossing every few min. At the last 2 min add in the tomatoes and garlic. Toss and cook for about 2 min. You want the beans to be charred on the outside yet al dente. Before serving, s&p and remove the rosemary.

4. After about 20 min, check the rice. The water should be evaporated and the rice cooked. If it needs a little more time add more water and continue to cook. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Turn on the BBQ to high and once hot place the salmon directly on the grill. Cook on each side for about 4-5 min.
If you don’t have a BBQ you can roast the salmon in the oven for about 12-15 min on 450 degrees.

Everything is ready to be plated and served. I like to have a half of lemon to squeeze over the green beans, a little acidity gives a nice kick. Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Skin and “Green” Beauty with Celebrity MakeUp Artist Katey Denno

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Interview with Katey Denno, celebrity make up artist (her clients include Christy Turlington, Felicty Jones and Amanda Seyfried), Burts Bees Make Up Expert and one of my favorite make up artists to work with!

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Consistent with the idea that what you put into your body ultimately determines your overall health, I believe the same when it comes to what you put on your skin. Katey believes in using all natural and organic products as much as possible. As a model it’s really great to work with a makeup artist who not only wants to do a good job but actually cares about the skin of her clients.

I’ve asked Katey 4 key questions about her makeup philosophy, professional advice, industry tips and tricks and her favorite products of the moment:

1. What made you go into “all natural, good for you” makeup?

“A few events came together as the catalyst for my focus of using products from -and spreading the word about -the green beauty industry. When I was a social worker for the first 10 years of my adult life, I worked primarily with women in difficult situations. Towards the end of my time in the field, I focused on work with folks infected with HIV and AIDS. It became really apparent to me that what you put on your skin winds up in your bloodstream. I carried that observation with me through the first few years of my makeup career, and when my best girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 34, I thought: what can my role be in making sure she’s as healthy as possible through treatment and into recovery. Research led to more research and testing of tons of products. I’ve interviewed countless experts in the world of non-toxic beauty, and I continue to gather info daily”.

2. What advice do you have in regards to eating and drinking for healthy glowing skin?

“I’ve come to know that what we put in our mouths -food and drink – contributes at the very least, 50%, to the overall quality of our skin. There is a direct correlation for the overwhelming majority of the population between how well the liver processes our intake, and the glow and clarity of our skin. Eliminating processed foods and refined sugars from your diet will almost definitely give you noticeable results in how your skin cooperates. Skin issues and complaints change throughout the years, and from decade to decade, we see such different skin care concerns: acne, excess oil, wrinkles, rashes, outbreaks, sagging, and dryness are all normal, and can be tempered by seeing what foods and liquids your body responds to well, and eliminating those it doesn’t. Common culprits for acne: nuts (unless they’ve been soaked overnight), alcohol, avocados, dairy. Common glow-inducing foods: green juicing, coconut oil, olive oil, lemon (in water), all green veggies, fish“.

3. What are your favorite products at the moment?

” I’ve been a fan of face oils for a long time. I love the task of finding the oil mixture that suits each persons’ skin, since the viscosity of each is quite different. They penetrate quickly, absorb fully, and hydrate intensely. Also, for days when wearing a lip color isn’t of interest to you, but you don’t want to be bare lipped, a tinted lip balm is my go-to”.

4. Can you tell us a trick or tip, as an industry expert, for “model ready” makeup?

” I love eyelash curlers because I know that curling your lashes – no matter how puny you think they are – will change the way you see yourself and make you feel more beautiful. Even the most beautiful women in the world light up when they see the difference a good lash curling makes, particularly when I teach them this trick:
 whichever side of your face you’re on, angle your wrist 45 degrees towards your nose as you’re clamping at the root, this forces the outer corner of your lashes to get a more thorough curl, thus opening your eyes even more. Miss this outer edge and you might as well not bother curling”.

Thanks Katey! 🙂

You can check Katey out on her amazing Green Beauty blog http://www.thebeautyofitis.com and at http://www.burtsbees.com/d/nature-knows-color/expert-color-tips.html

Katey Denno Bio:
For years, models, celebrities, friends and co-workers have asked me to “slow down!” while I’m speaking so that they can take notes on my makeup and skin care tips, advice, and cautions. I finally took note myself, and decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a blog so that I can share all of my acquired knowledge and experience with a much larger audience. Makeup and skin care aren’t the only topics about which I’ll be writing; all of my posts will be rooted in the idea of creating a more beautiful you, and a more beautiful life, in all ways.

I’m an avid researcher and teacher, and one thing I’m very passionate about is the fast growing ‘green’ beauty market. I’m excited to share the latest information on advances being made in this part of the industry, what it means for you when you’re standing in front of a wall of lipsticks or countless moisturizer options, and of course, no beauty blog would be complete without them: how-to demonstrations and frequent product reviews.

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SIMPLE GREEN JUICE RECIPE FOR HEALTHY, GLOWING SKIN

1 bunch washed Kale

1 apple

1 pear

1 inch piece of ginger

1/2 lemon, rind removed

2 sticks of celery

Everything whole, skin on, but rinsed (organic if you can), into a juicer and juice away. Sooooo good for you and you will SEE the benefits on your skin! This is my daily skin elixir. Tip: if you need extra sweetness toss in another apple or pear.

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