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When you become a mom, you Self is put last. You start caring for a tiny human being who has no power and is fully counting on you for survival. Then, this tiny human starts growing and you start finding a balance, but most of the time, you find yourself exhausted and on edge about the smallest little things. You realize that if you don’t actually take care of yourself, your tiny human will end up being cared for less, because you’ll be too exhausted to care for him to perfection. So take on the offers to babysit and head out for an hour or 2 to self-care. Here are 5 ways to save your body and mind:

  • See a nutritionist. Forget vanity, looking thin and avoiding people telling you you’ve gained weight. I started seeing Rouba when I had gained a few kilos and stopped feeling like myself. She helped me achieve a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in food. I still go for a monthly check up, because it makes me feel good, it helps me maintain my weight – which became essential for me after seeing how much energy it gave me, how much better I could take care of my child and feel less tired (especially after a sleepless night). Eating better is everything! It is good for your gut which, in turn, is good for you.
  • See a psychologist or life coach. 7 years ago, I met a life coach who changed my vision about life. This is a huge thing to say but it’s true. His advice and statements sticked with me and help me out of situations till now. Since then, I’ve always wanted to see someone regularly. Coming from a psychology background, I always believed in seeing a professional to preserve your mental health. Needless to say, it helps you keep things in perspective, brings you back to earth and gives you tools to survive difficult situations. Mental self-care is related to physical self-care. The body gets tired of fighting the mind sometimes, and gives way to all kinds of diseases and physical unease.
  • Walking or gym or dancing or whatever makes you happy to move. Since forever, my favorite workout has been walking. It helps me meditate and be alone with my thoughts.
  • Take it slow. Not having a hectic life is not wrong. Our society puts so much pressure on having non-stop activities and people to see that we forget how important it is to just slow down. Night in with a book or Netflix on your mind for the 6th night this week? Do it. Let the guilt go.
  • Say no to  things you don’t want to do and to people you don’t want to see. Limit situations where you feel uncomfortable and stressed. You’ll lose people along the way, you’ll maybe fight with your husband, or mom, but with time, they’ll learn your limits and how to respect them. This is maybe one of the things I struggle with the most in my self-care routine. It is so hard to do what keeps you sane without justifying yourself to everyone.

And most importantly, be yourself. Do not let anyone or anything change who you are. That is true self-care!

Any other self-care tips? Comment to let us know!

When in the mood for something sweet, I can’t even allow myself to think about having something else than 10 g of dark chocolate or a fruit. See, I’ve become accustomed to a generally healthy lifestyle. Milk chocolate bars and potato chips have been out of my vocabulary for years now – except for my pregnancy cravings which I have, thank God, grown out of. But sometimes, a fruit or a tiny piece of dark chocolate just don’t cut it. That’s when a homemade dry cake comes to mind.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching so it got me thinking about the kind of food my mom cooks at home. The first thing that pops into mind is her famous beef stroganoff. She knows how much I love it and surprises me with it when I’m having the worst days and pop by for a visit. I can smell it when I enter their house and it just makes the happiest girl!

Today, I was lucky to have lunch at home. Since everyone, including my mom, was busy, I decided to make myself a healthy version of beef stroganoff. I had some serious doubts at first since I decided to use yogurt instead of cream, but it turned out to be delicious and guilt-free 🙂 Here’s the recipe.

Healthy Beef Stroganoff

What you’ll need (for 2 persons)

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 500 g lean beef, sliced
  • 8 medium fresh white mushrooms, sliced
  • 500 g fat free plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it

  1. Melt the corn flour in the warm water and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the canola oil (on low heat).
  3. Add the diced onions, beef and sliced mushrooms. Toss until the meat is cooked while seasoning with salt and pepper, then set aside in a bowl or plate.
  4. In the same pot, add the yogurt and melted corn flour and stir until it thickens.
  5. Add the beef mixture, season with salt and pepper, and stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the mustard and tomato paste and mix until combined.
  7. Season with more pepper and chili powder, add the wine, and stir until you obtain the preferred thickness.
  8. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for 2 minutes and turn off the heat.

And you’re done! You can choose to have it with brown rice or a fresh green salad (that’s if you want to cut carbs on that specific day).

healthy beef stroganoff | breadonbutter

healthy beef stroganoff | breadonbutter

Bon Appetit! 😉

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I know I’ve written about these pancakes before, but I kind of wanted to remind you about this guilt-free delicious breakfast. To make it even more fun, here’s a video and the recipe!

Video by Zein El Cheikh

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup oat flour
  • 1.5 cup rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp natural maple syrup

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients and whisk until combined. Grease a pan, cook your pancakes, then have them with pure maple syrup and bananas on top. Delicious and guilt-free!

So, are you making them anytime soon? 😉

I must admit I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. I can’t really explain why. It might be work overload or wanderlust, but I know that eventually, it shall pass. Meanwhile, not so surprisingly, I search for comfort in food. This doesn’t mean fast food and carbs. On the contrary, I’m craving healthy and delicious dishes that I learned to make myself.

This low-calorie noodle soup is all you need after a long day or during a weekend at home (I hear rain is coming back this weekend and I like it 😉 ).

Low-Calorie Noodle Soup Recipe

low-calorie noodle soup | breadonbutter

What you’ll need (for 2 persons)

  • 300 to 400 g of noodles (of your choice)
  • 200 g of mushrooms of your choice
  • 300 g of chicken
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1.5 cups of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • A bunch of fresh coriander washed and separated
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 4 Spring onions, sliced

How to make it

  1. Wash and clean the chicken and add it to a pot of water, lemon slices, and ginger. Bring to the boil then let it simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender.
  2. Make the noodles (as indicated on the pack).
  3. When the chicken is done, heat the sesame oil and the fish sauce in a small pot (on low heat), then add 1 cup of the chicken stock (i.e. water from the pot in which you boiled the chicken), soy sauce and sriracha. Mix until they’re all combined, then place the sauce in a serving bowl.
  4. Now for serving it, the idea is for you and your guests to construct your own soup. Serve the noodles and the mushrooms in the main bowl, and the chicken, coriander, spring onions and sauce in separate little bowls as toppings.

That way, you can have your ideal noodle soup made of only healthy and lightly cooked ingredients. Isn’t this awesome? I think I’m not feeling down anymore! 😀

low-calorie noodle soup | breadonbutter low-calorie noodle soup | breadonbutter

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As some of you might have noticed, I’ve been all over the place lately. Juggling between work, the last finishing touches of the new house, social events and emotional fatigue (due to everything that’s been happening in the world, touching our most favorite places), I have come to neglect Breadonbutter. I honestly feel like I’ve been neglecting my child. I think about it all the time and feel guilty – just like all the moms out there; and whenever I see something related to food or travel, or think of a story that would be interesting to share, I immediately jot it down on my blog to-do list. Knowing me, the fact that this love story between that website of mine and myself will be hitting three years in December, I just know it’s going to last forever. So no matter how long I’m away, know that I’ll always be back to share interesting stories, recipes, DIY projects and travel guides with you all.

Since I’ve also been too busy to cook, I’ve been all about easy, fast but nonetheless healthy recipes lately. The one I made today for lunch literally took 5 minutes, and it was completely satisfying and delicious. What I love the most about this recipe is that it can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whenever you’re in need of a healthy and boosting breakfast, this should be your go to. When you’re looking for a lunch recipe on the go, this is it. Finally, when you get home from work craving something flavorsome but can’t deal with cutting vegetables and washing the dishes, well that’s the recipe you should opt for! The seasoning will depend on the time of day. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, add some chili flakes to give it a punch. Lemon juice can also be avoided for breakfast.

So there it is. Fresh avocado toast topped with tomatoes and basil.

What you’ll need (for 1 person)

  • Half a whole-wheat baguette
  • Half an avocado
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 0.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp ginger powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced coarsely
  • 2 large basil leaves
  • Chili flakes (optional)

How to make it

  1. Slice the bread in half and grill them until crunchy.
  2. In a bowl, crush the avocado with a fork, then add the lemon juice, olive oil, ginger powder, and salt, and mix until combined.
  3. Spread the avocado on the bread, place the tomatoes then the basil on top and sprinkle with chili flakes.

Enjoy the flavors 😉

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Not all recipes have to be complicated. Sometimes, an easy dish you make can win the heart of your loved ones and they’ll keep asking for more. I love to give a twist to traditional recipes and make them in my own way. Because I’m a big french fry lover, I’ve found a way to have them without their disadvantages.

To make healthy french fries, you’ll need:

  • Unpeeled potatoes (count one per person), cut in the shape of fries
  • Dried rosemary leaves
  • Pepperoncino (i.e. Italian chili)
  • Coarse salt
  • Lurpak cooking mist (or olive oil)

How to make them:

  1. Grease an oven dish with a bit of cooking mist or olive oil.
  2. Place the potatoes on top.
  3. Spray the potatoes with cooking mist and olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle salt, followed by rosemary and chili.
  5. Place in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for about an hour or until crisp and slightly golden.

Enjoy guilt-free!

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Since my early childhood, I’ve been the one asked to take the first spoonful of tabbouleh when it was freshly done. Once the combination of tastes was perfect for my tastebuds, it was served on the lunch table. The perfect taste is one that combines the sour feeling brought by lemon juice, the mediterranean olive oil’s familiarity, and the crispiness of the fresh ingredients: parsley, not-too-juicy tomatoes, and really fresh onions. The bulgur was always a little extra for me, I never really cared for it and the Lebanese recipe of a tabbouleh doesn’t call for a lot of it anyway.

As I’ve grown up and been doing my own cooking, making tabbouleh is a tad complicated and it’s all because of the parsley. When I get back home from work, the last thing I want to do is pick and wash parsley, so tabbouleh is mostly had at family lunches or in restaurants. Rare are the times when I get the same one I used to when I was a child.

Not long ago however, I found a way! It’s all thanks to one thing: ingredient replacement. By simply substituting parsley with rocket leaves, chopped the same way as parsley, you’re one step away from a delicious tabbouleh on a weeknight! Here’s the recipe.

What you’ll need (for 2 persons)

 

  • 5 cups of chopped rocket leaves
  • 3 medium to large tomatoes (choose them sour, not very juicy)
  • 2 medium white onions (we sometimes use red onions instead)
  • 1 Tbsp of bulgur, soaked in water (optional)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (known as debs el remmen)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it:

  1. Chop the rocket leaves, dice the tomatoes and the onions
  2. Soak the bulgur in a bit of water
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and start adding some of the lemon, then oil and mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and have a spoonful to determine what’s missing. Continue adjusting the dressing until you’re satisfied 😉

And there you go! Tabbouleh made easy!

 What do you think? 

Most of you must be aware by now that Jean is one of Bibayti’s co-founders. This amazing platform, similar to La Belle Assiette in France and the UK, aims at gathering profiles and menus of Chefs (amateurs or professionals) for people to choose from when they organize a brunch, lunch, or dinner at home.

Jean is also a Chef on the platform and I’m his helper and dessert person.

A few weeks ago, we got to cook dinner for 24 people in Saida. It was the craziest food experience I ever had (after the Beirut Street Food Festival saga), and I thought I’d share the recipe of the Pesto Bruschetta we made that night.

Pesto Bruschetta Recipe

What you’ll need (for 6 persons)

  • 6 small to medium tomatoes (make sure to choose them red and juicy), diced
  • 3 cups of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 medium slices of bread (the kind you prefer) – I chose a whole-wheat country bread

How to make it

  1. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes and garlic
  2. In a small blender, place the basil leaves, 4 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt and blend until you get the texture of a pesto sauce
  3. Add the sauce to the tomatoes and garlic and mix
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
  5. In an oven dish, place the bread slices with a sprinkle of olive oil on top and heat them in the oven until golden
  6. Take the bread out of the oven and distribute the tomato mix evenly on top of the slices
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 So, what’s for dinner? 🙂

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Pumpkins are not just for Halloween. They’re in fact one of the lowest calories vegetables to make a meal with, and the most recommended by health professionals for lowering cholesterol and losing weight. Full of antioxidants, they’re the perfect addition to your salads. Pair them with spinach and you’ll be on your way to the Popeye effect.

Here’s a fast and delicious pumpkin salad to make with the two ingredients.

What you’ll need (for 2 persons)

pumpkin salad | breadonbutter

For the salad:

  • 4 cups pumpkin cubes (i.e. fresh pumpkin, diced)
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 Tbsp Pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

How to make it:

1) In an oven dish, place the pumpkin cubes on aluminum foil, sprinkle with the olive oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden.

pumpkin salad | breadonbutter

2) In a bowl, place the spinach leaves, then top them with the roasted pumpkin cubes and pumpkin seeds.

3) Make the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour it over the spinach and pumpkin cubes.

pumpkin salad | breadonbutter

pumpkin salad | breadonbutter

Enjoy this fresh meal!

Anyone here a pumpkin addict?