It’s New York African Restaurant Week!

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ImageImageImageImageLittle old me had the pleasure of being invited along as press to the Edible Bazaar Benefit,  the launch party for NY African Restaurant Week (#NYARW)! I knew I was in the right place when I opened the doors of Suite 36 only to be greeted with the most enticing aromas and music I’d experienced in awhile. Then there was the fashion! The textiles, patterns and bright colors were such a sight for sore eyes after such a hard, gray Winter, my friends! Upon entering I ran into Yolanda Sangweni, Entertainment Editor for Essence  Magazine and author of the AfriPop online magazine.  More on our conversation later but of note, she was one of 2 MC’s for the night. 

The Edible Bazaar Benefit was the kick-off event for the 2nd annual NYARW which is held in both Spring and Fall. In the spirit of community support, ticket sales benefited Keep A Child Alive and the Alliance of Hope for Lupus and the party was sponsored by Edible Communities, locally known for Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan magazines. While our palates were enticed with South African and West African flavors offered by restaurants Madiba and Accra respectively our ears were treated to the soulful sounds of Congolese songstress Rafiya. The owners of these restaurants also received awards for their positive impact in the African and African diaspora community.  

According to the NYARW website

“Most restaurants will be offering 3 course Prix Fixe meals at various prices (most restaurants offering at 28.95) visit BeUevents.com to buy tickets. Some restaurants will be offering the full menu at a 10% discount to all African Restaurant Week dinners” 
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Low starch, veggie “rice” & “noodles” (Sugar & Gluten Free!)

Low starch, low carb blanched broccoli "rice"
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Blanched broccoli riceYou don’t have  to  subscribe to any particular diet to see the connection between too much starch and weight gain. When eating the preferred wholesome, real food diet you’d get your starches from tubers like potatoes and some vegetables and grains; a less wholesome diet might include baked goods made from starchy, refined flours. Between you and I, quinoa, popcorn, brown rice and rolled oats are favorites on days when I really need the energy. The problem (at least for me) with these starches is in part control, especially when  bored and/or overly tired. Well, if it’s food volume you’re after, there ARE ways to prep non-starchy veggies to suit your needs. With my solution and unlike with grains, you can have more than 4 oz (half a cup) per serving of these veggies so you will feel fuller longer; I doubt you will need much more, though, since they are all high in fiber.  Not only that, but these veggies come with a higher nutrient content so you’re getting more nutrition bang for your buck! How do I do it? I make noodles and rice out of vegetables, that’s how! (see below) ** These are useful option for the diabetic and gluten-free diets**

*You will need a food processor or blender to make the vegetable “rice” and a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler  for the noodles.

For rice,  fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil so that you can blanch the vegetables after you process into a rice like texture; use the rubberized blade on your food processor) and have a sieve ready to remove excess water.  *You can opt to blanche the vegetables BEFORE processing, up to you and your preference.

For noodles, I prefer the raw version. You can opt to steam or blanch if you prefer yours less al dente. 

Lastly, you can opt to season your rice and noodles with whatever herbs and spices you like! Personally, I like simple food but I am working on adding more flavor variety. Below is a list of vegetables in my low starch, grain free arsenal:

 

Broccoli “rice”

Brussel sprouts “rice”

Cauliflower “rice” or mash

Carrot noodles

Chopped cabbage

Green bean mash

Zucchini “noodles”

Spaghetti squash “pasta”

Cucumber “noodles”

Turkey (sausage) & kale soup

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I got this idea from a friend, Mindy T., who showed off the pretty kale she grew and made into turkey sausage stew. I don’t have any leftover turkey so I’m using spicy turkey sausage but if you do, use it!

I’m using my crockpot but the recipe I’m using is from

TheKitchn.com

Will let you know how it turns out but I can’t imagine  that it will be bad, especially in frigid temps!

Hack Your Life: The Career Edition

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Ack, it’s been HOW long since I’ve blogged for myself?? Jeez 😦 Sorry guys and gals I have been busy writing for other people here but haven’t had time for written content of my own. Well, if you don’t count what I post on the Facebook Fanpage every day. Ok, excuses extended, now back to regular programming. Let’s Hack Your Life, shall we?

So again: You’re entirely awesome as is s- no need to change unless you see and feel the need. Capiche?

Assess your current situation-  Are you happy? are you doing what you love or at least loving what you’re doing?  Before you answer no, you’d rather be somewhere in Italy making and selling your own ricotta consider this: work is work for a reason. It, like most relationships, will not always be sunshine and roses. It’s sometimes drudgery, sometimes frustrating and always required. However, if it is mostly  all of three of those then you have some things to think about: is it the job or is it you?

What activity would you do all day even if it was for free?  Are you the person everyone turns to when they have design and styling questions? Maybe a job in either is for you. Do you like to throw parties or give great advice? maybe you could be an event planner. Do you love languages and literature? then maybe a gig as a proofreader or translator is for you. The point is, there might be a niche you could fill that includes all of your passions. The thing is: do you REALLY want your hobby to be your job? Sometimes that isn’t a great idea. Still, research does show that doing a job you love can lead to personal contentment and earning power.

Can you afford to change jobs now? Times are tough out there on the job market so while it can be an escape to think about changing your circumstances, be realistic. Do you have enough money saved to make a full move or can you find a mentor in your to help guide you while you stay on the job? Better yet, is there another area of your current company that will fulfill the yearning you might have?

The moral of the Career story is that working is a part of maturity but there is no rule that says it has to be soul sucking to count as work. Make sure that it is a place you are at least proud to give most of your daily hours to. If not, then it’s time to consider the cost to your spirit.

I’m blogging for the DailyHIIT.com too!!

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ImageLast week’s biog post for the DailyHIIT was called ” 5 diet mistakes that are wrecking your workout results” and this week’s was called “Are you really fat or just bloated?” Both posts asked readers to stop and think about either how they could change their thinking based on facts instead of the mental reel in their heads. Did either post resound with you in any way? If so, how?