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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Making homemade mashed potatoes is SO easy, it would make no sense for you to reach for instant ones. But what actually separates AMAZING mashed potatoes from subpar ones?

GO FOR A MIX OF POTATOES

Russet potatoes (the classic brown-skinned ones used for baked potatoes) are the classic go-to for mashed potatoes, but you don't have to stick to only those. We like using a mix of russet and Yukon gold, which have a super-creamy texture.

PEEL—OR DON'T

This is the age-old debate: Should you peel your potatoes for mashed potatoes?! The Delish kitchen falls into the camp of people who happen to love the texture that the skin adds, so we don't peel our potatoes, but it's entirely up to you.

USE ALL THE BUTTER

Our recipe calls for a whole stick, but real butter enthusiasts might even want to use another few tablespoons. We like to melt our butter with milk in a saucepan so the milk is warm when it hits the mashed spuds. Mashed potatoes can easily be made vegan as well by substituting all of the dairy items for vegan ones...without taking away from the flavor!

USE FULL-FAT EVERYTHING

Starchy potatoes need serious fat to turn them creamy, so skip low-fat varieties for sour cream and milk, which will produce drier mashed potatoes.

DON'T BE AFRAID OF GOING HEAVY ON SEASONING

Mashed potatoes are begging for salt and pepper. Potatoes need a lot of salt—go heavy! This will help bring out their buttery flavor and ensure they don't taste lackluster.

ADD ALL THE MIX-INS

We're obsessed with loaded mashed potatoes—who isn't?!—so we totally encourage you to stir in shredded cheddar or Parmesan, cooked bacon bits, chives, the works, after you add the melted butter-milk mixture. Truly any fresh herb or cheese will only help mashed potatoes taste amazing.

INGREDIENTS 3 lb. potatoes (about 4 large, a combo of russets and Yukon Golds) Kosher salt 1 stick butter, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish 1/2 c. milk 1/2 c. sour cream Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until totally soft, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to the pot.

Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and milk until warm.

Pour over warm milk-butter mixture and stir until completely combined and creamy. Add sour cream and stir until combined.

Season mashed potatoes generously with salt and pepper.

Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and top with the remaining two tablespoons butter. Season with more pepper before serving.

Enjoy!


Cauliflower Stuffing!

This low-carb cauliflower stuffing proves that you don’t necessarily need bread to make an amazing stuffing. However, if the group your feeding on Thanksgiving Day is gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the only stuffing recipe you’ll need. Plus, it’s assembled entirely on the stovetop, which bodes extremely well for your oven space (more time for turkey and pie!).

Don't skimp on the butter.

From a flavor perspective, if you’re going low-carb, you just can’t go low fat-too. A generous amount of butter—four tablespoons—is essential when it comes to keeping stuffing rich and tender. Fat is great! Don’t skip it. If you’re vegan or dairy-free, use coconut oil or your favorite brand of vegan butter instead.

Build your base.

Like any classic stuffing, this recipe starts with sautéing your mirepoix—onion, celery, and carrot—which, when mixed with herbs like rosemary and sage, makes everything taste like Thanksgiving. Once the mirepoix cooks down, add cauliflower and mushrooms, which add some depth to the dish. It’s still totally vegetarian, but cauliflower and mushrooms add a depth of flavor and texture that will keep everyone interested.

Add a lot of fresh herbs.

Cauliflower is basically a sponge: it’ll soak up the flavor of whatever you cook it with, so we recommend going heavy on the herbs. Here, we did a mix of fresh parsley, rosemary, and sage. You can use dried herbs if you already have them on hand (use half the amount of dried as called for fresh in the recipe), but really, nothing beats the flavor of fresh, and a bunch of herbs typically won't cost more than a few bucks.

Simmer it.

Pouring over some broth (low-sodium vegetable or chicken) helps the vegetables cook gently over low heat. If you like stuffing with a crispy top, broil the casserole for 2-5 minutes after it’s finished cooking on the stove.

INGREDIENTS 4 tbsp. butter 1 onion, chopped 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced 1 small head cauliflower, chopped 1 c. (8-oz.) package baby Bella mushrooms, chopped Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 c. freshly chopped parsley 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage) 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

DIRECTIONS In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed 10 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Wine Wednesday

It's Wine Wednesday!!

We are a firm believer in this tradition as it is the perfect way to celebrate your week being halfway over!

But if you needed more reasons to incorporate this fabulous day into your life, we've compiled a list of reasons why.

  1. Wine is healthy! Well, it has very beneficial properties. It’s all the rage, and it’s a big part of the Central Coast scene! Science dictates this to be true, and we don’t want to argue. Wine has antioxidants, reduces the risk of heart disease, and improves cognitive function!

  2. Wine brings out the best vibes! Wine Wednesdays encourage interacting with others, which is proven to decrease depression and boost feelings of prosperity.

  3. Wine is the drink of the gods and was a crucial aspect of keeping ancient civilizations civil. Across many different ages and empires, wine provided economical, medicinal, and religious support. We should honor the time spent researching different properties of wine by indulging in a glass.

  4. Disconnect Engaged. Our modern environment is, simply put, uptight. Stresses are quick to accumulate – money, home life, work, and many other external factors. The mild sedative quality of red wine allows us to disconnect, relax, and rejuvenate.

  5. Eat more, drink more –that’s the life, right? Red wine controls blood cholesterol levels, protecting you from the effects of fried foods. Is there a better statement in this world? With that said– everything in moderation.

Want to elevate your Wine Wednesday even more?

Take it outside! We know that wonderful feeling of sharing a bottle of wine with friends in your sweatpants on the couch, but we also encourage the excitement of dressing up for a fun day out. Plan a wine tour at a local winery or simply enjoy your glass outside on the deck with friends as the sun sets on this beautiful day.

However you do your Wine Wednesday, we raise a glass with you!

Cheers!


Morning Routines.

Good morning friends!

Today's blog is all about your morning routine and how maintaining one can help keep you motivated and on track in your daily life.

Now we don't mean bust out a pen and paper and create a checklist that is 15 bullet points long. What we DO mean, is to establish a series of occurrences that you can do the same way every single day. By starting the day right, you maximize effective time of positive influence of the ritual on your day.

Setting the tone for the day is extremely important. The best strategy to do so is to form good habits enclosed in a morning routine.

Another reason why the morning is the best time to start changing your life is the existence of the body clock. Most organisms on this planet, including you, run in cycles. The daily 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm and is responsible for a balance between eating, sleeping, and various other physiological processes.

The circadian rhythm of human willpower is simple. The amount of available willpower is the highest right after sleep. During the day, willpower is used and it reaches the minimum level in the evening. Therefore, people often break resolutions at the end of the day.

How often do you hear that someone ate healthy for the entire day only to consume tons of chocolate in the evening? This is the willpower’s circadian rhythm in action.

Thus, the morning is the best time to start the change that requires willpower. If we begin our day with a familiar series of events, we are less likely to "fall off the wagon" with our habits, goals, and ambitions for the day and are less likely to fail.

Routines can be as simple as waking up, having a good stretch, enjoying a cup of coffee, a shower, and then off to work. Or it can be much more elaborate. However you "morning", keeping it consistent will make all the difference in your day!


Egg Roll in a Bowl...

We have discovered one of the most delicious, healthy, and of course gluten-free recipes ever.

Chinese food is a staple for most. It's got such bright, bold, fun, spicy flavors...particularly our favorite, the egg roll. It can be a bit heavy at times and is honestly hard to recreate those same flavors at home. Not anymore!

We've discovered an amazing homemade alternative that invites all of those familiar and spectacular flavors you love right into your bowl...without the guilt!

Here is the recipe:

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided. 1 lb. ground turkey, beef, or pork 1 ½ cup sweet onion fìnely chopped 1 cup carrots shredded ½ tsp gìnger minced 3 cloves garlic crushed ¼ cup chicken broth 5 cups cabbage cut into ¼-inch shreds 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce (gluten-free) 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar ½ tsp. salt to taste ¼ tsp. pepper to taste 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil Toasted sesame seeds optional Green onions (optional for garnish.)

Instructions:

In a large saute pan over medium heat drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and add ground turkey. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until turkey is almost cooked through. Push turkey to the side of the pan and add onion and the other tablespoon of oil. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add shredded carrots, garlic, and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir the vegetables and turkey together.

Pour chicken broth in the pan and scrape the bottom of it to deglaze it. Add cabbage, coconut aminos or soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until cabbage is to your desired tenderness. Just before serving, add toasted sesame oil and top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or eat it in a bowl by itself.

We promise you will not feel like you are missing out on this treat we all know and love by following this recipe.

Enjoy you little health nuts!


Benefits of Pilates

We came across an article recently that very simply broke down all of the amazing benefits of Pilates. We thought it was excellent information to share if you are hesitant or not sure if Pilates is the right choice for you.

Possibly one of the most exciting aspects of Pilates is that anyone can do it, and everyone can achieve amazing results. Because there's no bouncing, jarring, or stress to your body, Pilates offers the ideal form of exercise for people who, because of joint pain or muscle weakness, shy away from exercise.

It's also convenient. You don't need any heavy, expensive equipment, and you can do Pilates anywhere, anytime. Some of the routines take less than 10 minutes, making Pilates the perfect form of exercise for anyone who finds there's not enough time in the day for exercise. You have 10 minutes to strengthen your abs and back, don't you? You'll start to see and feel results in as few as 10 sessions.

Just some of the many ways you can benefit from doing Pilates regularly include:

A Healthy, Supple Spine Pilates gives more support to your spine, creating space between each vertebra. That extra space not only makes you appear taller, it also creates more mobility, transforming your spine from a stiff rod into a supple string of pearls. This new suppleness prevents degenerative spinal problems, such as slipped disks.

Kinder, Gentler Conditioning If you're out of shape, Pilates provides a wonderful way to ease into any kind of fitness plan. Pilates puts no stress on your joints and no wear and tear on your ligaments and cartilage around your joints, especially your knee and shoulder joints. It conditions your muscles in a balanced way and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inward. In reality, Pilates is very rehabilitative. It's almost like going to physical therapy sessions. In fact, unlike other forms of exercise, you can safely do Pilates every day without overstressing your muscles or joints. To see results, however, you need to do Pilates only three times a week. But you have to be consistent. That's the key.

Improved Mental Outlook and Increased Motivation Pilates benefits your emotional health. The smooth, steady movements quiet your mind and soothe your nervous system. As you lengthen and strengthen your muscles, you'll improve your circulation and whisk tension away. Each workout will leave you feeling calm, balanced, and rejuvenated. Focus on letting the tension go, and you'll be on the path to a healthier body inside and out.

Better Balance, More Coordination In your 40s, balance starts to deteriorate as your muscles weaken and your nerve receptors lose sensitivity. Pilates reverses this aging process by stabilizing your core. Pilates works the small, deep muscles needed to keep your body steady when walking and your spine both supple and strong.

Less Pain and Stiffness If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, you'll find that lengthening your body through Pilates will help soothe the soreness. Appropriate exercise is vital to managing arthritis because it increases flexibility for stretches and reduces pain and fatigue. Stretching helps pump vital nutrients to your muscles and tendons, which help keep them healthy and minimize your risk of injury. It also stimulates the production of joint lubricants (synovial fluid) and prevents adhesions. As circulation increases, your legs, back, neck, and shoulders loosen up, relieving aches and stiffness. Pilates also leads to subtle posture improvements, which will also eliminate tension, driving away headaches, backaches, neck aches, and other aches and pains.

Did you need more reasons? We didn't think so.

Article Credit: https://www.active.com/pilates/articles/every-body-benefits-from-pilates